'Mound Of Down' : Ring Fort

Grid RefJ 483 450
GPSJ 48265 45004 (5m)
Longitude5° 43' 13.56" W
Latitude54° 19' 55.56" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownDownpatrick (0.6 Km)
OS Sheet21
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 26th August 2007

I have seen many aerial photographs of this site, but I never thought it would be this big and imposing. The banks of this fort are massive - there are a lot of concrete steps to climb to reach the inside! The outer bank is over 4m high inplaces and one of the paths leads you along the ditch between the inner and outer banks.

The 100m x 200m fort was the home of the Kings of Ulster. at one time it is said that the tides cames right up to the base of the monument and filled the gap between the banks. Looking at it today it is easy to consider it to be in a not-very-defendable location, but this extreme water feature would have changed this. A reminder that we shouldn't always judge monuments on what we see around them today.

At one end of the fort there is a mound with another deep ditch cut around its base; effectively making the fort into a motte and bailey.

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Like this monument

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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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