'Longstone Rath' : Henge

TownlandForenaghts Great
CountyKildare
Grid RefN 937 206
GPSN 93727 20600 (5m)
Longitude6° 35' 46.98" W
Latitude53° 13' 39.16" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownKill (2.2 Km)
OS Sheet50
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 20th June 2004

This site is in the grounds of Furness House and permission must be obtained to visit. I have been waiting to get here for over three years now and I was not disappointed when I finally made it.

The 'rath' is not a rath, but a ceremonial henge. Unusually the ditch is on the outside of the bank, which is presumably why people considered it to be a rath or fort. On the south and east sides the ditch is over 1.5m deep and the bank rises up to over 5m above its base.

The inner sanctum is around 60m in diameter and must approach half an acre in area. The banks are over 8ft above the floor level within. There are two definite entrances facing due east and due west. Set at the centre of the henge is the sites real, semi-hidden secret: the longstone that give the site its name.

This is the last of the Kildare longstone that I had left to visit and it's one of the most impressive. It is over 5m tall and very similar to the one at Craddockstown West (County Kildare). It is the most organic-looking of them all and it towers above a large, open cist at its base.

The pleasure and excitement I got from finally being here was an experience I'll never forget. The air seemed electric and even the small amount of drizzle that fell for the first few minutes of my visit couldn't dampen the wonder.

This site truly is one of the greatest pieces of Ireland's prehistoric heritage.

Like this monument

Marked Sites

Miscellanea

Access to this site is by arrangement only. See the link for Furness House for more information.

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Henges

External Links

Furness House

This site stands on the grounds of Furness House. Please contact them to arrange to visit the site and do not simply arrive expecting access, as this is rarely possible at short notice.
Click here to visit this site

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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