Poulawack : Cairn

Grid RefR 233 985
Longitude9° 8' 36.26" W
Latitude53° 1' 54.17" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownKilfenora (6.7 Km)
OS Sheet51
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 27th October 2002

Another wonderful place and very easy to find too, although the short, steep walk is not suitable for all to attempt. When you reach the plateau you are greeted first by timy little model dolmens that people have built. Then when you reach the cairn proper there are lots more on the great piece of limestone pavement that surrounds the cairn. I am not sure what the two, much later, square buildings were for - possibly shepherd huts?

The cairn is, without including the tall stack of stones on the summit, around 2.5m high and 10m across. From the amount of mini-dolmens scattered about I'd say that this site is quite heavily visited and quite rightly too. It is quite lovely here even in the rain, but especially when a big double rainbow comes out to smile down upon you, as it did for me.

A cairn is a large pile of stones, quite often (but not always) containing a burial. Sometimes they have a kerb around the base.

Most cairns are hemi-spherical (like half a football), but the piles of stones used to cover wedge tombs, court tombs and portal tombs are also called cairns. When associated with these types of monument they are not always round, but sometimes rectangular or trapezoidal.

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Like this monument

Marked Sites


When Poulawack was excavated it was found to contain multiple kist burials.

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Cairns

External Links

Clare Museum Poulawack Collection

Clare Museum have on display the excavated material from Poulawack burial cairn on long term loan from The National Museum. Photographs of and information on these can be found on the CLare Museum website.
Click here to visit this site

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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