'Gallen Priory' : Church

TownlandGallen
CountyOffaly
Grid RefN 118 238
GPSN 11797 23812 (5m)
Longitude7° 49' 23.47" W
Latitude53° 15' 52.35" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownMoate (16.2 Km)
OS Sheet47
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 20th June 2004

What a totally odd place! I didn't know what to expect apart from some fine grave slabs, but I think I expected a little more structure than this.

The foundations of one of the priory structures remains. Within this is a large grave slab with indistinct carvings and a hole pierced through the top. The east and west walls have been raised up to a height of 3m. In the east faces of these walls are set the most incredible array of grave slabs I have seen in one place.

There are all sorts of designs to be found including one of Clonmacnoise style which is equal to anything found there.

The main attraction has to be the fine cross (which is reproduced enlarged upon the wall of the convent that stands next to the site). This is, quite simply, beautiful! The centre boss is a fantastic Celtic swirl. In the centre of the two arms and the upper limb are very Celtic looking faces. Below the boss is a small figure - a very cheeky looking chappie.

There is also a bullaun stone set into the floor of the ruins.

Like this monument

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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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