Slievenagriddle : Chambered Cairn

CountyDown
Grid RefJ 529 453
Longitude5° 38' 56.7" W
Latitude54° 20' 0.21" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownDownpatrick (4.3 Km)
OS Sheet21
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Saturday, 2nd March 2002

First of all we tried to approach this the direct way using the track that goes upto the water plant but heavy machinery has turned all the bends into a mud bath on the incredibly windy zig-zag route. We had to approach across fields from a nearby farm yard which, apart from the few barbed wire fences we had to cross, I think is the best way. This is because the impression that this huge mound projects on to you is beyond explanation.

I had wanted to see this curious site ever since I saw my first photo graph of it. It really does not look impressive, after all it's just a slab on the ground, but it tantalises you to think of what could lie under it.

Some say it's a collapsed dolmen, but this is clearly not the case. For one the location is totally wrong. It could be a simple kist set into the top of a natural bluff or it could be a passage tomb built either into or to accentuate this natural feature.

I, personally, think that the exposed stone is the top of a chamber and the shape of the hilltop suggests that it has not always been exposed so, but was once covered.

The views are beyond parallel in my experience to date. No matter which way you approach this beautiful site it will not disappoint.

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Marked Sites

Directions

Tricky one to describe. From Downpatrick take the B1 south east and turn left after the hospital. Take the fourth right and stop when you reach a farm at the end of a track. If you look north east you will see the mighty mound of Slievenagriddle. It's a case of parking up and crossing the fields.

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Chambered Cairns

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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