Little Curragh III : Barrow

Grid RefN 746 140
GPSN 74553 13966 (3m)
Longitude6° 53' 6.02" W
Latitude53° 10' 15.51" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownKildare (1.8 Km)
OS Sheet55
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192

This is a subsite of:

Little Curragh - Barrow Cemetery
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 7th February 2010

This is a good sized barrow that lies in the shadow of a massive modern military earthwork. The barrow is over 15m in diameter and has a well-defined bank and fosse . The fosse is over 1m across and over 1m deep. The inner area is slightly above the level of the top of the bank. The way that the site has been positioned on a gentle slope somehow allows a causewayed entrance on the west side to lead onto the central area without seeming to rise.

This entrance feature is similar to the one at Little Curragh V (County Kildare) and raises the question as to whether this is a barrow or a small henge site.

A lone gorse bush grows on the central area, which is bad news. This should be carefully removed before more establish themselves and take over. This already has happened at the next site I went to on this trip.

A barrow is essentially a mound of earth over one or more burials. They are more usually to be dated to the Bronze Age. There are many forms of barrow including ring, bowl, long and bell barrows.

Ring barrows are formed by digging a circular trench or fosse around a central burial, with no mound.

Bowl barrows are formed by heaping up soil over the burial(s) from a surrounding fosse, these often have an external bank too (see Ballyremon Commons (County Wicklow)).

Bell barows are simply round mounds with no fosse or external bank.

Long barrows are rare in Ireland and are more common in southwest England. Their shape is basically ovoid rather than round (see Ballynoe (County Down))

A fosse is a man made trench that is often associated with a bank. Fossse can be used to refer to a dyke, the circular trench around some barrows or the trench dug around a ring fort for defensive purposes.

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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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