'Cuchulain's Stone' : Standing Stone

TownlandRathiddy
CountyLouth
Grid RefJ 007 039
GPSJ 00711 03885
Longitude6° 27' 53.78" W
Latitude53° 58' 27.77" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownDundalk (5.3 Km)
OS Sheet36
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Show inline map (by Google Maps)

Visit Notes

Sunday, 1st September 2002

This is one very nice standing stone, and it has quite a pedigree too. Standing on the highest point in an undulating landscape, in a very uneven field this stones positively towers over you as you approach. It seems to grow in stature and presence as you near it. I have not really felt such a thing for a long time.

I didn't actually come here to see the stone but to track down an interesting souterrain in a neighbouring field, but when I saw the stone I had to take a closer look. This was made easier by a sign post and a style into the field. Next to this is a little notice board that tells the stone's story.

It is said that the great hero Cuchulain, after being mortally wounded, tied himself to this stone so that he could continue to face his enemies. These did not dare approach him until a raven landed upon his shoulder - signifying that he was dead.

The stone is a whopping 3m+ tall, 1.2m wide at the base, 80cm thick and quite lovely. In a very clean font and with a good chisel, a bloke called Jim McKenna has left his mark here too.

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image

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Sunday, 7th October 2007

Considering this stone's folklore it was quite poetic to have a crow standing on the top of it as I approached. When Cuchulain tied himself to the stone crows came down and stood on it when he died. What wasn't so nice was the fact that the field had recently been sprayed with manure and it ponged.

Walking up the field to the stone doesn't quite put it on the skyline, because of the hedgerow beyond, but bending down slightly take the hedge out of view and the stone stands proud in silhouette.

Click Thumbnail to View Full Size Image

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Like this monument

Marked Sites

Directions

From Dundalk follow the N52 and then the R171 towards Knockbridge/Louth. The stone is on the left after about 2.5km along the R171. The sign post for it is on the right, just after a bungalow.

If heading from Knockbridge towards Dundalk then this stone is 1.4km out of Knockbridge (but on the right, obviously).

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Standing Stones

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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