'Finn McCools Fingers' : Stone Row or Alignment

TownlandShantemon
CountyCavan
Grid RefH 465 078
GPSH 46507 07803 (5m)
Longitude7° 17' 25.51" W
Latitude54° 1' 2.26" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBallyhaise (3.7 Km)
OS Sheets27A, 34
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 26th March 2006

When I first noticed this stone row on the OS map I was told that the trees around it ruined the site, so I left visiting it for a later date. I then forgot all about it. I recently found out that the trees have been mainly cleared, which gave the green light for a trip to Cavan.

The row itself is very impressive. Four large stones, reaching up to 2m tall, align roughly northeast-southwest. At the southwest end there is a low rounded bouler and 5m from the northeast end there is a small rounded outcrop of bed rock.

The northern views from west around to northeast are quite extensive. The southern view is blocked by the high point of the hill (upon which incidentally is one of Ireland's rare vitrified forts).

There are two routes to these stones: a hard, steep one and a more gentle one. Guess which one I took! The hard route is indicated by a sign with a blue and white striped pole saying "Finn McCools Finders". The easier route is about 500m northeast of this on the same road and signposted "The Finger Stones".

Alignments or stone rows are groups of standing stones set in straight line. They can occur in any size group from two (usually refered to as a stone pair - see Boherboy (County Dublin)) to ten or more, although anything over four is exceptional (see Castlelanaght (County Cork)).

The function of these is a bit of a mystery, although many do seem to have significant astrological or geographical properties.

The stones making stone pairs often appear to be totally different in shape from each other, often hinting at a male and female partnership.

Like this monument

Marked Sites

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Stone Rows or Alignments

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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