Lugnagroagh : Cairn

CountyWicklow
Grid RefN 957 074
Longitude6° 34' 14.85" W
Latitude53° 6' 31" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBallymore Eustace (4.1 Km)
OS Sheet56
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 21st December 2003

If it hadn't been for the blue string and red & white striped tape around this monument I don't think I would have found it. The string is around it to let the forestry people know not to disturb it, but it hasn't helped much.

Walking along the path, which passes right by the mound, you hardly see this 14m diameter, 1m tall pile, because it's buried in peat on that side. However, the west edge is clearly defined by some very nice kerb stones.

Once found, though, it has a lot to offer. It is situated in a passage tomb position (on the top of the mountain) and offers 360 degrees of views. West is the flat lands of County Kildare as far as Slieve Bloom. East are the Wicklow Mountains, where you can see Lugnaquilla - the second highest (I think) of the Wicklow Mountains. South is the very dominant Church Mountain (County Wicklow). Interestingly, the stone at Blakestown Upper (County Wicklow) stands directly between here and Church Mountain.

Passage tombs are perhaps the most celebrated style of tombs, mainly due to the fantastic examples at Newgrange (County Meath), Knowth (County Meath) and Dowth (County Meath) in the Boyne Valley as well as those at Loughcrew (County Meath), which is by far the best place to experience these wonders.

The classical form of passage tomb is the cruciform style, where a long passage leads to a main chamber with 3 small chambers off, forming a cross when viewed from above. However, there are many other styles, some don't even have a passage! These other forms are with a round chamber (see Fourknocks (County Meath)), a polygonal chamber or in the form of a cross of Lorraine, which can be found at Seefin Hill (County Wicklow).

There is one form known as an undifferentiated passage tomb wherein the chamber is simply a broadening of the passage, such as at Matthewstown (County Waterford).

The passage and chamber was, once constructed, covered in a mound of earth or a stone cairn, which was in turn held in place with a kerb around its perimeter.

Perhaps what Irish passage tombs are most known for is the form of rock art more commonly called passage grave art, which can be seen in abundance along the Boyne Valley in the many cemeteries.

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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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