The fantastic Carrigagulla stone circle at last! Oh how I've longed to make the journey here. I think it was one of the first Irish sites I saw a picture of and really wanted to get there. Quite a few years later I make it. I think the trek up the one mile long lane always put me off, but you shouldn't let it do so. When you have to pass right by the farm to get somewhere it always makes me wary: will I be the final straw? Will I be chased off as one too many pestering visitors? There's not much fear of that here if you're polite and considerate. The farmer is a very nice man and loves to accomodate people. He did say that he gets a little ticked off with people leaving gates open and such, and people trying to drive up the lane when it clearly says 'Road Closed'! He's had several Fiestas blocking his lane because their sumps have been torn off. The sign is there for a purpose ...
Now. The circle. Wow! It's as good as, no IT'S BETTER THAN it appears in all the pictures. It is as close to perfect, while so close to pine plantations as you will find anywhere.
This is a multiple stone circle with a long low (1m x 20cm tall?) axial stone. From this the other stones rise up gracefully to the entrance stones, which are just 60cm tall. The overall diameter is about 7.5m and a small stone stands in the centre.
It is built on a shallow rise surrounded by boggy land in the base of a bowl shaped valley. This is a very secretive location. Its survival is a testament to the reverence that some people have held for the stones for many,many years now. The original farm house ruins are just 75m away.
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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.