'The Three Sisters' : Stone Row or Alignment

TownlandGreenan
CountyDown
Grid RefJ 102 411
GPSJ 10176 41103 (15m)
Longitude6° 18' 25.76" W
Latitude54° 18' 24.14" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBanbridge (5.7 Km)
OS Sheet20
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 9th January 2005

These stones took some finding and I would not have stood a chance from just the OS map, because on the new blue sheet 29 they have marked the stones in the wrong place (the old red sheet shows them in the correct place along the lane to the west of the road, not in a field to the east.) Luckily the lady that lives in the bungalow in front of the stones was in her garden and could give me directions.

There are just two of the original three stones still standing in a gorse hedgerow at the side of a farm track - the third lies in the hedge somewhere. The gorse has been cleared from between the stones so you can see them quite well. Their alignment is roughly east-west.

The east stone is 1.4m tall and has a vertical split in it, so that one thin slice hangs off the side. The other stone is 1.6m tall and has been cut into a very nice cuboid block with very flat surfaces. I think this is the most worked stone I have seen in a stone row .

Alignments or stone rows are groups of standing stones set in straight line. They can occur in any size group from two (usually refered to as a stone pair - see Boherboy (County Dublin)) to ten or more, although anything over four is exceptional (see Castlelanaght (County Cork)).

The function of these is a bit of a mystery, although many do seem to have significant astrological or geographical properties.

The stones making stone pairs often appear to be totally different in shape from each other, often hinting at a male and female partnership.

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A Selection of Other Stone Rows or Alignments

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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