'The Confessional' : Church

Grid RefR 699 850
GPSR 69929 85046 (7m)
Longitude8° 26' 49.47" W
Latitude52° 54' 55.66" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownMountshannon (2.3 Km)
OS Sheet58
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192

This is a subsite of:

Holy Island - Inishcealtra - Lake or Island
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 3rd July 2005

For me this is the wonder of Inishcealtra. I am amazed that Ive not read anything about it elsewhere. The Confessional is a small stone-built building just 3m x 2m in plan with walls that now only reach around 1.6m high. Not very interesting in itself, but it is what is inside that makes this little building so special.

Inside the single room is divided into two compartments by two huge megalithic stones, which lean towards each other to form a low triangular doorway into the rear chamber. At the rear of this chamber two more megaliths and a large slab form the back wall. Surely this is a re-used megalithic monument!

Within each of the sub-rooms there is a seat built into the wall. The innermost one was for the monk to sit on whilst hearing the confession of the person sitting in the front area. What I now begin to wonder is whether this hints at some previous use of the assimilated megalithic monument as an oracle. One also has to ask how many other sites were used in such a manner.

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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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