Kilgowen : Standing Stone

Grid RefN 829 037
GPSN 82902 03722 (3m)
Longitude6° 45' 46.14" W
Latitude53° 4' 39.74" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownBallymore Eustace (11.8 Km)
OS Sheet55
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 4th November 2001

This could be what I've been looking for since I attended the Discover Odin lectures by Julian Cope at the British Museum in October. Is this place Ysdragil in Ireland?

The stone stands proud on top of a manmade mound by the side of the road. Unfortunately, it is not possible to get near this stone due to some heavy security on the premises. I don't know what they do here but it sounds serious.

This stone could actually have great importance in the sacred history of Ireland.

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Sunday, 7th August 2005

I have driven past this place again and again, but never stopped. This time the sun on the little knoll was so sweet as I drove home I had to pull over and take some pictures. I am still intrigued by this mound. Early accounts of Dowth and Newgrange say they both had standing stones on their summits. Could this mound hold a passage tomb inside? If so it would be a good link between those in the Wicklow mountains and the small cluster in south Kilkenny.

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Saturday, 5th August 2006

As we were passing we just had to pull over and take a picture of this great standing stone with a bull stood next to it.

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Sunday, 19th April 2009

Finally. Finally I was able to get to this magnificent stone. From the road it looks as if it is around 1.5m tall, but it's actually in excess of 2m. I had also imagined that it was round in cross section, too, but it is more like a squashed football in section.

The stone is around 40cm thick and 1m along its longer, north-south axis. The view from the top of the mound on which it stands is wonderful, apart from to the south where it overlooks a quarry (hence the no entry and hardhat signs on the gate below).

There is a delicate cross carved into the east face of the stone that took me by surprise.

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Like this monument

Marked Sites


Follow the N9 south from Kilcullen and at around 6 km look out to the left. You can not miss this stone.


Extract from the proceedings of the Dail 1986

The Long Stone at Kilgowan is a granite monolith about seven feet six inches high and is unusual among standing stones in that it has a small cross with slightly expanded terminals cut on one face. It stands at the north west end of an esker ridge running north west to south east at an attitude of 400 feet to 500 feet. Gravel digging in this ridge was noted in 1969 and this led to the monument being listed under the National Monuments Acts in 1971.In spite of this, it was noted early in 1973 that gravel extraction was continuing to progress in the direction of the monument. The land in question had then come into the ownership of Naas Concrete Ltd. who sought permission to remove the stone in order to extract gravel without further hindrance. The Commissioners of Public Works responded with a preservation order in May 1973.

The lands then passed to Spollen Concrete (Naas) Ltd. Correspondence with this firm and a subsequent site meeting in September 1975, when the boundaries of the protected area were pointed out, elicited assurances from the firm that no further disturbance would take place within this area. That bears repeating: correspondence with this firm and a subsequent site meeting in September 1975, when the boundaries of the protected area were pointed out, elicited assurances from the firm that no further disturbance would take place within this area. Subsequent inspections indicated that this undertaking was being observed at the time. However, in May 1985 the commissioners were advised by Kildare County Council that an application had been submitted by the Spollen Concrete Group for permission to extract gravel from various lands at Kilgowan including the area covered by the preservation order. The commissioners objected to such operations within the area covered by the preservation!


[212] On 3 November 1986 the chief archaeologist of the Office of Public Works received a report concerning further damage to the site. He immediately contacted the Kildare County Council who stopped the work. The Office of Public Works arranged also for the site to be inspected on the same day by an archaeologist from the Office of Public Works who found that an access route had been cut through the preserved area to an area to the east of the site where further gravel was to be extracted. Information was also obtained from a local antiquarian that during bulldozing operations on the previous Friday, 31 October 1986, he had noted two exposed inhumation burials, a head to the west and surrounded by flagstones and the scattered remains of other skeletons. At the time of inspection spoil had been thrown up on either side of the new access route and also down the slope so that no archaeological features in situ could be seen although numerous pieces of bone and flagstones were visible in the spoil.

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Standing Stones

External Links

Prodeedings of the Dail

Gravel extraction near to this stone has brought it to the attention of the Irish gov't in the past.
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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