Millin Bay : Wedge Tomb

CountyDown
Grid RefJ 629 495
GPSJ 62888 49507 (7m)
Longitude5° 29' 36.14" W
Latitude54° 22' 5.03" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownPortaferry (3.7 Km)
OS Sheet21
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 12th February 2006

This site is the real reason I came on to the Ards Peninsula. I have read so much about it in Field Guides and books on Irish monuments that I had to come and visit. For me it was worth the extortionate 5.20 one-way ferry ticket - for others it may not be.

Unless you know what is below your feet when you stand on the mound it is very difficult to appreciate this site. Several large stones stick up from the rectangular bump that was put back over the delicate remains after excavation. These stones are from a 'ring' of stones that surrounded a fragile inner tomb, which had crude carvings on its small orthostats.

It is worth standing here for the view though if you can ignore the great big farmhouse that stands just 10m away. The monument is built on a low ridge that runs parallel to the bay, where the beach is just 150m away. While I was standing here my thoughts were snapped into the real world by a large 'whooshing' sound that I could not place. When I returned to the car I heard it again and realised that it was made by the sea rising between the sharp, jagged rocks that lie out in the bay. These do look a little like semi-submerged dragons, especially when coupled with the noise. Is this why the tomb was built here?

To the south Millin Hill rises above the sea and on a day of poor visibility might even appear to float upon it. Perhaps it's just the coast playing tricks, but this is another place with a magical feeling. As mentioned above though, there isn't a great deal to see on the ground.

Like this monument

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Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Wedge Tombs

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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