Gortlownan : Artificial Mound

Grid RefG 780 303
Longitude8° 20' 14.33" W
Latitude54° 13' 15.78" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownDromahair (2.5 Km)
OS Sheet25
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 9th May 2004

I was totally taken by surprise by this mound. There I was driving along minding my own business when I see this mini Silbury-like mound. Actually it's not all that 'mini'. The OS map has a red ring at this location, but this is no rath, nor does it look like it could be a motte, because there are banks that are higher than it on three sides. This would make it very vunerable to attack.

Judging by the current vegetation and drainage ditches the ground between Killerry church and it is or was a flood plain. If anyone knows more about this mound please let me know. I will definitely go back and see what I can find out locally, because it has me intrigued.

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I have been informed that the monuments register does have this down as a motte (thanks). Although it may later have been used for one I feel that the position of this mound doesn't quite fit in with the motte scenario: basically I can't see any reason why it should have been built there!

I suggest that a fort was needed somewhere in this area very quickly, so an older burial mound was used to give the builders a head start. This would not be all that unusual, as several excavated mottes have been found to have burials beneath them.

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Artificial Mounds

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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