|Cairn N - Corstown - Cairn||Cairn R1 - Corstown - Cairn|
|Cairn R2 - Corstown - Cairn||Cairn S - Corstown - Passage Tomb|
|Cairn T - Corstown - Passage Tomb||Cairn U - Corstown - Passage Tomb|
|Cairn V - Corstown - Passage Tomb||Cairn W - Corstown - Passage Tomb|
|Cairns P1, P2, Q - Corstown - Cairn||Corstown - Standing Stone|
|Loughcrew - Corstown - Rock Art|
Walking from the car park, up the winding path it is impossible to know what you will be confronted with when you arrive at the top. It doesn't matter what pictures you have seen, nothing can prepare you.
The first thing you see is the huge cairn T. This is complete and central to this part of the necropolis. Unfortunately, the entrance is locked and there is no indication of where to get the key. I was later told by a local, 84 year old farmer that it was obtainable from a lady called Mrs. Napper in the village. This means that I was unable to see the fantastic carvings at the rear of this tomb. This did not mean that I saw no carvings here. In fact I have only seen this much carving at Knowth before. In the entrance to cairn T you can clearly see two massively carved orthostats.
Scattered around cairn T are cairns R1, R2, S, U, V & W. R1, R2 & W are just bumps in the ground. Cairn S & V are slightly better having exposed passages and chamber with traces of carving upon the stones. U is fantastic! A heavily carved cruciform chamber exposed in all its glory.
Cairns Q, P and N are unreachable and in states of decay and hard to distinguish. I think cairn N has a large standing stone outside it.
From the top of the hill looking north it is possible to see many standing stones, promontory forts and a stone circle (yet to be properly investigated).
I could spend hours up here. Next time I will make sure I get the key!
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Great! We got the key for a Ä20 deposit from Mrs. Napper at Loughcrew Historic Gardens and set off eagerly to enter Cairn T. What a fantastic tomb this is.
As you enter you are greeted by four heavily carved orthostats lining the passage and it gets better. The chamber is similar to Fourknocks but not as big, with three sub-chambers. The back stones of all three chambers are heavily carved with fantastic designs which include Dowth style sun motifs.
The chamber facing the passage is the most elaborately carved of the three with many carvings on the roof stone too.
On any visit to Loughcrew the key to this cairn is a must.
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The best way to see Carbane East is to park in the car park at N 53 775. To reach this take the R163 west from Kells and join the R154. At Patrickstown bear left (the R154 carries straight on but looks like a separate road) and turn right where you see the signs for Loughcrew Megalithic Graves. The car park is over the brow of the hill along this road. I believe the keys are available in Newtown, where this turning is. To reach Carbane East follow the signs from the car park.
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.