Moneen : Chambered Cairn

Grid RefR 746 028
GPSR 74615 02762 (5m)
Longitude8° 22' 16.03" W
Latitude52° 10' 34.34" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownGlanworth (1.5 Km)
OS Sheet73
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 1st February 2009

This is a very unusual site. Just visible from the road it is tucked into the corner of a field with the ditches cutting off two sides of the monument. The remains consist of a continuous kerb of about 2 thirds of the circumference - the rest having been chopped off by the hedges. This would have been about 10m in diameter.

The kerb is 40cm or so high and the central area is filled to the tops of the kerbstones. At the centre of the monument there is a cist with its roofstone in place. This stone is about 2m x 1m and rests on many small upright slabs that form the walls of the cist.

There are no views from the site, which is unprotected from the sheep that share the field with it. The hedges that cut across the site and high trees along the other field boundaries obscure the horizon.

Still, it's great to see a cist with (most of) its kerb still around it. When covered by a carin the monument may have been anything up to 2m tall, making very visible from a distance.

A kerb is a ring of stones placed around the perimeter of a burial mound or cairn. It basically serves the purpose of a retaining wall to keep the cairn or earth in place. Kerbs are usually associated with passage tombs, but do occur on court tombs and wedge tombs too.

Sometimes on passage tombs the stones can bear decoration, such as at Newgrange (County Meath).

There are two kinds of burial chamber that are refered to as cists or kists. Kist is usually used to refer to a megalithic structure and cist used for later Bronze Age burials.

Cists are small slab lined boxes, set into the ground, with a single slab used as a cover. They tend to be no larger than 1.5m square. Although cists are found in dedicated mounds or cairns they are often later insertions into megalithic cairns (see Kilmashogue (County Dublin)).

Kists are much bigger structures and usually built above ground level (see Dolmen of the Four Maols (County Mayo))and covered by a cairn. They are usually rectangular in plan with vertical sides, but one type, known as a Linkardstown Kist is pentagonal with sloping side stones (see Cloghtogle (County Fermanagh)).

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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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