Devenish : Lake or Island

Grid RefH 223 473
Longitude7° 39' 24.55" W
Latitude54° 22' 25.59" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownEnniskillen (3.7 Km)
OS Sheets17, 18
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192

This site has subsites

Devenish - ChurchDevenish - Round Tower
Devenish - ChurchDevenish - High Cross
St. Molaise's House - Devenish - Church
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 7th September 2003

Unfortunately we missed the ferry by five minutes, but I actually got to see the remains of this fascinating monastic settlement from the shore.

The abbey, church and roundtower look wondeful across the lake. I'll be back now that I know times and prices.

2.25 Adult
1.30 kids

Ferries operate at 10am, 1pm, 3pm & 5pm

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Sunday, 3rd October 2004

Stuck in the car park once again! However, to add to the ferry times above I can now add that the ferry runs between April and September.

I did manage to use a big zoom lens to get some good photos during the only good bit of weather.

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Sunday, 1st May 2005

I finally managed to get across to the island today. Even better I had it to myself! I could wonder around the site at my leisure. This trip is well worth the 2.25 sterling for the ferry. The first ferry was nearly cancelled due to bad weather but the rain stopped and the ferry ran. The ferry operator told me they always turn up at the boat house even if the trip looks doubtful and make their mind up when they arrive. I'm so glad they do this, because when they left home it would have still been raining.

Now that I have been there I will add individual sites for the various buildings on the island, but here's a short list of what you will see: a round tower (which you can climb), three churches, an unusual high cross, a bullaun stone and some nice grave slabs.

Round Towers are found all over Ireland. They are very tall towers associated with early monastic settlements. Their purpose is one of much debate: were they bell towers, look-out towers or were they defensive structures, built to protect the sites relics and books during Viking raids? Maybe they were all three! The high-set doors certainly give the impression that some element of defense was considered in their construction.

Internally they had four or five floors, each accessed via a ladder from the floor below. Not every floor had a window, but the top floor usually had four windows which aligned to the cardinal points of the compass. The one at Kells (County Meath) unusually has five windows on the top floor which point at the five gates to the town.

Not many of the eighty plus examples left are full height these days. Many crumbled and were taken down for safety purposes. Some, however, are still very impressive inded with Kilmacduagh (County Galway) reaching an incredible 35m tall.

Originally all of them would have had a conical roof and those that still possess this feature give the impression of being ready to blast off into space.

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Marked Sites

Old Images

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Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Lakes or Islands

About Coordinates Displayed

This is an explanation of (and a bit of a disclaimer for) the coordinates I provide.

Where a GPS figure is given this is the master for all other coordinates. According to my Garmin these are quite accurate.

Where there is no GPS figure the 6 figure grid reference is master for the others. This may not be very accurate as it could have come from the OS maps and could have been read by eye. Consequently, all other cordinates are going to have inaccuracies.

The calculation of Longitude and Latitude uses an algorithm that is not 100% accurate. The long/lat figures are used as a basis for calculating the UTM & ITM coordinates. Consequently, UTM & ITM coordinates are slightly out.

UTM is a global coordinate system - Universal Transverse Mercator - that is at the core of the GPS system.

ITM is the new coordinate system - Irish Transverse Mercator - that is more accurate and more GPS friendly than the Irish Grid Reference system. This will be used on the next generation of Irish OS maps.

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