Caherlehillan : Cross Pillar

Grid RefV 572 835
GPSV 57240 83531 (3m)
Longitude10° 4' 41.99" W
Latitude51° 59' 8.17" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownCahershiveen (11 Km)
OS Sheet83
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Monday, 10th August 2009

This is another one of those sites that I've wanted to visit for many years. Being on holiday with Uta and the weather being unpredictable presented the perfect opportunity - this site is right by the roadside.

Through a small gate from the track to the adjacent farm you enter a small enclosure that is studded with small slabs marking ancient graves, each about 30cm tall. You can't miss the cross pillars as the tallest is over 1.4m tall. This pillar is slender with a fine cross taking up the top half of its narrow surface. Below this is a rosette-type motif that is very worn.

Standing next to the tall cross pillar is a shorter, wider flag. This is one of the most beautifully carved cross slabs I've seen to date. It is not as elegant as those that can be seen at Clonmacnoise (County Offaly), because it is much older and has a primitive quality. The decoration on this slab consists of two wavy lines at the base, a circular flared cross carved in false relief above the lines, and peacock just above the cross. This last motif actually looks more like a turkey, but it was carved by someone that had probably never seen a peacock. It is said to represent the splendour of Christ in Glory.

Among the small grave slabs there are four circular concrete stumps. These are easy to miss, but should be noted. They mark the location of four post holes from what is believed to be the earliest Christian building in Ireland!

Like this monument

Marked Sites

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Cross Pillars

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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