Coumroe : Stone Circle

CountyTipperary
Grid RefR 772 763
Longitude8° 20' 18.12" W
Latitude52° 50' 14" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBallina (7.3 Km)
OS Sheet59
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 10th November 2002

When I saw stone circle marked on the map, in Tipperary no less, I just had to check it out. When I got there I was, to say the least, slightly disappointed. It is good that some of it remains, but the six stones (out of a probable 10 or 12) that remain are not too inspiring. They give no real indication as to any form other than round. None of them are above 50cm tall.

Another spoiler is that, predictably, they are stuck in the middle of a pine plantation, which at the moment is very imature, but soon it will be almost impossible to get to and very depressing when it loses all of its daylight.

Stones circles, put quite simply, are rings of standing stones, although not all of them are cicular, many being eliptical. Many have definite layout plans and often stone circles in one region share a similar style, e.g. Cork features many axial stones circles, where a recumbent stones faces an apparent entrance into the circle (see Drombeg (County Cork)).

They are the most well known of megalithic monuments and the ones most likely to capture anyone's imagination. Many theories exist about the original purpose of these enigmatic structures, the most popular (and at times most controversial) one is that they were built as astronomical observatories, many having apparent solar alignments with the sunrise and sunsets at the solstices and equinoxes. Lunar and star alignments have also ben noted.

No matter what the exact purpose it is certain that they played a significant role in the ritual or religious lives of the builders. One thing that nearly everyone has in common is that they are located in the most dramatic of places, usually offering unrivalled views.

Quite often other monuments, such as alignments, cairns, boulder burials or outliers, are to be found in close proximity to stone circles.

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Marked Sites

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A Selection of Other Stone Circles

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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