Scartaglin : Stone Circle

CountyKerry
Grid RefR 050 048
GPSR 05049 04793 (7m)
Longitude9° 23' 18.64" W
Latitude52° 11' 12.75" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownScartaglin (1.6 Km)
OS Sheet72
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
Hide map  (N.B. Google Maps & GPS readings are slightly out of sync - position is approximate)
Show inline map (by Google Maps)

Visit Notes

Sunday, 3rd April 2005

I waited around in the farmyard for the farmers to return home, but when they hadn't arrived after one hour I decided to head up. I had spoken to a neighbour, who sort of implied that they probably wouldn't mind. As the walk to the site is along a farm track I knew I wouldn't be disturbing anything, so off I set.

The stones are about 1km from the farm so it's a very peaceful spot. It also has some of the most spectacular views around. To the east you can see the mountains on The Dingle and to the south The Paps of Anu (County Kerry) rise above the nearer hills in a very pleasing manner.

The remaining stones are a little difficult to work out. Four still staind, one of which is presumably an outlier of what was a five stone stone circle . Next to these there are at least seven other stones that are very similar to the ones still standing. Was this a very unique pair of 5-stone circles?

Considering the amazing views offered from here I was surprised that I had not seen it mentioned elsewhere, but I soon realised that this was probably because it is so remote from the other Cork/Kerry stone circles - this is the northernmost of the group. If you're close by, though, take the time to walk up here. It's well worth it.

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.

Like this monument

Marked Sites

Directions

Start at the church at the south end of Scartaglin village. Drive up the side road next to it and take a right past the graveyard. About 600m along this road there is a farm track. Take this and drive up to the farmyard. Ask for further directions at the grey bungalow.

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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