Sorrell Hill : Cairn

Grid RefO 043 119
Longitude6° 26' 27.4" W
Latitude53° 8' 50.72" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBlessington (6.8 Km)
OS Sheet56
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 23rd September 2001

Wow ... what a rush. Not only did I manage to climb this beast, but I met two beautiful people at the top too. It doesn't come much better than that! The views from the top of Sorrel Hill are mind numbing and make this climb worth every bit of the effort. Be sure to check out the ancient ridgeway path running west too. The old main cairn has been capped with a much newer, smaller cairn which detracts a bit from the place. At the far end of the ridgeway is another cairn and so I think these were little more than boundary markers ... who cares I got to see some beautiful things today!!

A cairn is a large pile of stones, quite often (but not always) containing a burial. Sometimes they have a kerb around the base.

Most cairns are hemi-spherical (like half a football), but the piles of stones used to cover wedge tombs, court tombs and portal tombs are also called cairns. When associated with these types of monument they are not always round, but sometimes rectangular or trapezoidal.

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Marked Sites


From Blessington cross the lake via Blessington bridge and follow the lake south. Take the third left road (where the road takes a sharp right) and carry on for about 3km until you reach a parking area on the right. The hill above on the opposite side of the road is Sorrell Hill. The best approach is NOT straight up! head west along the road and follow one of the tracks up to the ridgeway path, then follow this up the hill.

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other 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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