Magh Adhair : Artificial Mound

Grid RefR 443 770
Longitude8° 49' 36.12" W
Latitude52° 50' 28.02" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownTulla (5.4 Km)
OS Sheet58
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192

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Magh Adhair - Standing Stone
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 5th January 2003

When you enter the field that contains this ancient mound it is easy to forget that you are walking upon a piece of Ireland's history, a significant part in fact. For this 3m high, 30m wide, flat topped mound was the inaugral mound of the Kings of the Dal gCais and the O Brien's of Thomond, the most famous of which was Brian Boru, who later went on to become High King at Hill Of Tara (County Meath).

The mound is in good condition for the most part, but the bank and ditch surrrounding it are now only really strong on the west side. Stones are poking through the sides where the soil has eroded - quite a saddening site really, but at least you can see how these were constructed. It is not just an earthen mound, but a soil covered cairn type structure.

On the west side there is a strange little platform on the banks of the Hell River, which is just a fast flowing stream at this point. On the same side there is a causeway that crosses the fosse allowing easy access to the top. I should think that this is an original feature and maybe Brian himself walked upon it to get on to the top of the mound.

The location is very unusual. These places are normally set high up, or on open ground, but here you are surrounded by low hills making this the focus of a very large ampitheatre. To me the use of this location points to a much more ancient ritual purpose.

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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