'St. Colmcille's Birthplace' : Kist

Grid RefC 054 179
GPSC 05412 17881 (3m)
Longitude7° 54' 55.45" W
Latitude55° 0' 30.02" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownKilmacrenan (9.1 Km)
OS Sheet6
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 17th August 2008

I had failed to find the rock art to the north of this site and the farmer there knew nothing of it, either. His dad had once told him that masses used to be held approximately where the rock art should be, but he didn't know exactly where.

This site was a wonderful surprise. I knew there was possbly rock art here, but I didn't expect to find what I did. The site, now known as the birthplace of St. Colmcille, is marked by a massive, modern cross that is rather ugly. At the base of the cross there is a oval of stones that appear to be the remains of a megalithic kist. To one side of these stones there is a large slab, which was presumably the capstone to the kist.

The exposed surface of the capstone is littered with very large cup-marks - about 30 or so. It seems to be the custom to leave offerings of copper coins in these depressions, which has caused the stone to become stained.

I love sites that are clearly reused ancient monuments. It shows a continuity and respect, while trying to assimulate the monument to hold off the ancient respect that was once held for it.

Like this monument

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A Selection of Other Kists

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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