Parknabinnia : Cairn

CountyClare
Grid RefR 259 932
Longitude9° 6' 12.38" W
Latitude52° 59' 4.06" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownCorrofin (5.2 Km)
OS Sheet51
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Saturday, 26th October 2002

A low cairn just 1.5m in height and around 8m in diameter this nestles on the top of a hill which has around 7 wedge tombs scattered around it. The brick sized lumps of limestone that have been used in its construction shine brightly in direct sunlight - in stark contrast to the lush grass that surrounds it.

It is not the most spectacular cairn, but it is a very pleasant sight.

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.

One of the most fascinating types of remains left to us by our neolithic ancestors. Enigmatic carvings on rocks, either loose boulders or earth-fast rocks. Designs vary enormously from simple cup marks to amazing spirals, zig-zags, checker-board and lozenge patterns.

No one knows what these symbols once stood for, but many theories exist including star charts, calendars and maps. Many passage tombs are adorned with rock art, both inside the chamber and on the kerb.

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image

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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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