Inishmurray : Leacht

CountySligo
Grid RefG 566 538
GPSG 56566 53776 (3m)
Longitude8° 40' 9.64" W
Latitude54° 25' 50.13" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownGrange (10.4 Km)
OS Sheet16
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 20th June 2010

This is the most westerly of the leachts or altars on the island. It is located on clifftops at the west end of the island. This location is one of the highest points and offers great views to the mainland and over the island itself. Reaching it during egg-laying season can be quite hairy, though, as the huge black-backed gulls can attack you if you get too close.

The leacht is a typical drystone-built cuboid with slabs forming its flat upper surface. There is a small cross-slab standing upright on it, but I don't know if this is the original. The real slab may have been taken away for protection.

There is a low, square drystone enclosure around the leacht. Attached to one side of this there is a small circular enclosure, which may be the base of a beehive hut. Just outside the enclosure there is another leacht-type pile of stones, but this one is less geometric than the inner one. On the opposite side of the enclosure there is a small fenced off area with some slabs set flat into the ground. I don't know what this was.

The whole mini-complex does not stand in its original position, but was moved away from the cliff-edge after careful excavation. The sea was threatened to collapse the cliff below and consign the leacht to the waters below.

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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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