Corn Hill : Cairn

CountyLongford
Grid RefN 187 842
GPSN 18729 84248 (8m)
Longitude7° 42' 56.43" W
Latitude53° 48' 26.65" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownDrumlish (3.7 Km)
OS Sheet34
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 18th September 2005

Corn Hill rises out of the lowlands to the north of Longford town like a mini Knocknarea (County Sligo). It is made even more conspicuous by the massive transmitter aerial on its topmost point. At the foot of this transmitter is the first of the two cairns that are to be found on the hill (the GPS reading on the left is for this cairn.)

The mound is about 3m tall and 20m or so in diameter. It is current crowned by an OS trig point. Near to the base of the trig point there is a depression, which may be lined with large stone blocks - is this the top of a cist?

About 300m west of the transmitter is another cairn - GPS=N 18587 84153 (5m). This one is very indistinct as it is just 1.5m tall and very covered in heather. A modern field boundary and fence almost masks it from the path that leads from the first cairn. The centre of this one has been dug out and two trenches cross it at right angles. At the southern edge of the cairn there is a large, flat boulder - was this part of an internal structure or even a kerb ?

As you would expect from a site on the top of such an isolated hill the views are tremendous. In every direction (when not obscured by pine plantations) the plane below seems to stretch out to the very edges of the world where they are bordered by a ring of mountains.

I must also mention the name. Some call it Cairn Hill, while others call it Corn Hill. It is very easy to argue that Corn Hill is just a perversion of Cairn Hill, but I want to suggest another origin: Perhaps these cairns were places of celebrating the harvest at Lugnassa like so many other hilltop cairns and mounds.

A kerb is a ring of stones placed around the perimeter of a burial mound or cairn. It basically serves the purpose of a retaining wall to keep the cairn or earth in place. Kerbs are usually associated with passage tombs, but do occur on court tombs and wedge tombs too.

Sometimes on passage tombs the stones can bear decoration, such as at Newgrange (County Meath).

A kerb is a ring of stones placed around the perimeter of a burial mound or cairn. It basically serves the purpose of a retaining wall to keep the cairn or earth in place. Kerbs are usually associated with passage tombs, but do occur on court tombs and wedge tombs too.

Sometimes on passage tombs the stones can bear decoration, such as at Newgrange (County Meath).

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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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