Garrane : Stone Row or Alignment

Grid RefW 479 911
Longitude8° 45' 35.53" W
Latitude52° 4' 10.28" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownMallow (10.5 Km)
OS Sheet80
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Saturday, 12th April 2003

This is another "WOW!!!!" site. Even knowing the size of these stones beforehand does not really prepare you for seeing them up close. Not even the rain we stood there in could dampen the experience of seeing this incredible structure. The row originally had four stones, but one is lying on the ground near to its original position in the row (the NW end). Of the remaining three it is hard to say if they graduated in height or not, because the central stone leans out slightly. However it is easy to say that they're all huge!! The tallest approaches 5m tall.

The gates leading to the site all have old and battered 'Trespassers will be prosecuted' signs, but while we were there we met the landowner, who was out feeding her horses in the next field, and she stood in the rain and talked to us for a while, so she didn't seem to mind our presence. She told us about the rath in the next field, which still has visible hut foundations inside and of some other stones and a souterrain in the area. Unfortunately the horrid weather meant we had to decide not to visit these and to move on.

The rain made it impossible to study the landscape around the site - I would have loved to see where this north-west to south-east aligned row pointed to. I'll be back.

Ringforts are small (usually) circular enclosures formed by digging one or more fosses and piling the extracted earth to form a bank inside the ditch(es). Each structure would have been the homestead of just one family.

The size and number of banks area good indication of the status of the former inhabitants when compared with other local sites.

Most of them date from the late Bronze Age or the early Christian period.

These are underground structures the purpose of which is a cause for some debate. They are considered to be either for food storage, refuge when under attack and ritual use amongst other things. They are often associated with raths, early Christian settlements and cashels.

The building methods vary. The walls can be either drystone, orthostats or rock cut (i.e. cut straight into the bedrock). The roofs tend to be made from lintels (which can be seen very clearly at Poulawack (County Clare)) and it is quite common to find ogham stones used for this purpose (see Drumlohan Ogham Stones (County Waterford)).

As well as one or many underground passages they can contain chambers. Some definitely seemed to be defensive because evidence has been found at some indicating a door that locked from the inside.

Often the tunnels are on different levels and accessed through holes in the floor or ceiling of another tunnel called drop-holes.

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Sunday, 28th March 2004

Another revisit due to the fact that it was raining last time and I could hardly see the edge of the field, let alone the view!

This is a fantastic site, with expansive views that are hard to interpret due to modern plantations. I was a little concerned to see a massive hole has been dug just yeards from the row and a couple of large boulders lying next to it. I also can't remember seeing the fallen stone either, but I'll have to check my photos when I get them back.

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Marked Sites

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Stone Rows or Alignments

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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