There are reportedly over 70 cup and ring markings on five panels spread over the surrounding area to this site, but the farmer seemed reluctant to even tell us how find this one. We had a bit of luck here to be honest. I just saw a farmer, pulled over and we asked him about the stones and this one was just 400m awat down a track.
The panels we saw are amazing. The finest has a cup with seven rings around it and a gutter that cuts through the inner five rings. The two outer rings are not complete. The carvings on this rock face east.
In front of this panel is a deep cup with a single ring. To the north of the main motif are two other rocks which bear carvings, mainly cups and cups with single rings.
The farmer did tell us that someone from one of the Dublin universities had spent the summer surveying the entire area, so I look forward to seeing the results of that (if they ever get published). A small excavation trench was just visible in front of these carvings and the farmer mentioned pot and bone having been found, but said he has not heard anything about dates etc yet.
The rocks in this spot run in a line across the top of a low mound over a rocky outcrop and point directly at the magificent form of Slieve Gullion to the north.
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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.