Blakestown Upper : Cairn

Grid RefN 955 071
Longitude6° 34' 25.92" W
Latitude53° 6' 21.42" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBallymore Eustace (4.2 Km)
OS Sheet56
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 21st December 2003

What a view! This cairn is siyuated on the west slopes of Lugnagroagh Mountain and offer spectacular views across county Kildare as far as Slieve Bloom.

The mound is embedded into the peat and has been dug out, at least seven stones from the kerb project through the surface. The whole hillside is scattered with probable monuments, which I cover in my notes here - Blakestown Upper (County Wicklow).

The whole atmosphere here is one of being caught between times. Below you is rough farming, while behind you on the other side of the hill is modern forestry. This spot exudes peace and tranquility as well as retianing some of the magic that obviously attracted the builders of these monuments to the location.

This site takes a bit of effort to get to, which has obviously helped to preserve some of the above mentioned qualities, and it's well worth the effort - especially if you have a couple of hour to wander around investigating and some time to sit and admire the views.

A cairn is a large pile of stones, quite often (but not always) containing a burial. Sometimes they have a kerb around the base.

Most cairns are hemi-spherical (like half a football), but the piles of stones used to cover wedge tombs, court tombs and portal tombs are also called cairns. When associated with these types of monument they are not always round, but sometimes rectangular or trapezoidal.

A kerb is a ring of stones placed around the perimeter of a burial mound or cairn. It basically serves the purpose of a retaining wall to keep the cairn or earth in place. Kerbs are usually associated with passage tombs, but do occur on court tombs and wedge tombs too.

Sometimes on passage tombs the stones can bear decoration, such as at Newgrange (County Meath).

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A Selection of Other Cairns

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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