Skerry : Church

Grid RefD 190 089
GPSD 18985 08939 (3m)
Longitude6° 8' 39.73" W
Latitude54° 54' 49.93" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBroughshane (4.8 Km)
OS Sheet9
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 16th March 2008

Skerry church is perched on the top of a high rocky outcrop and towers over the surrounding fields. The main part of the building is very ruined with just one gable end and a side wall remaining. There is also a vaulted room that is almost complete.

The graveyard is rather run down, but there was a funeral held here lately. I was told that this would be the last one ever to take place here.

It is said that from this high platform St. Patrick tried to step on to the top of Slemish Mountain, which stands proud not too far away and dominated the area. There is a stone with a footprint somewhere on the hilltop that marks the spot where St. Patrick took his step from. He didn't manage to step on to Slemish, falling short and landing in the river below, where another stone bears a footprint. This story is very similar to others involving giants and hags striding from peak to peak and failing. Why Patrick would be portrayed as failing is beyond me - I think this is a much older story that has been given to Patrick.

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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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