'Oweynagat' : Cave

Grid RefM 796 831
GPSM 79586 83108 (3m)
Longitude8° 18' 35.39" W
Latitude53° 47' 49.55" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownElphin (9.6 Km)
OS Sheet33
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192

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Rathcroghan - Ogham Stone
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Visit Notes

Saturday, 24th July 2010

This has to be one of the most amazing monuments in Ireland. What we have here is a souterrain with an ogham stone lintel that leads to a natural cave. How good is that!?

The entrance to the souterrain is quite low and is hidden beneath a tree, so that you can't see it until you are standing in front of it. The souterrain part of the monument is L-shaped, turning sharply left after just a few metres. From here it just slopes down to the narrow cave entrance. The total drop is about 8m to the cave floor and the cave is 6m or so high inside. It is very narrow and stretches back some 20m.

The way down to the cave is very slippery, so be very careful. You will also get very dirty, so old clothes are a good idea, as is a lamp.

Folklore has it that this cave is connected to the caves in Kesh Corran Mountain in Sligo (see Kesh Caves (County Sligo)), and that a huge boar erupted from here and created the earthworks that can be seen in the fields around the cave with his tusks.

If you look around carefully in the cave you might see some graffiti left by a young Douglas Hyde, Ireland's first prime minister!

There is what looks like the entrance to a second, blocked off souterrain next to the souterrain entrance, but this could be the nearly perfect sepulchral cist described by Sir Samuel Ferguson.

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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