Killaghtee : Stone Pair

CountyDonegal
Grid RefG 757 752
Longitude8° 22' 34.51" W
Latitude54° 37' 27.63" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownKillybegs (4.5 Km)
OS Sheet10
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Thursday, 1st January 2004

This fine looking pair of standing stones are now in the garden of a large modern house a few hundred yards from the sea ... and seem to be being used as supports for a washing line!

As it was early on New Year's Day I didn't want to bother the people in the house so I contented myself with looking from the road. There is a significant difference in the height of the stones and a large space betwwen them too, making me supsect that it was once a stone row with more stones in it. The taller of the stones is at the SE end and is over 2m, while the lesser one is around half that.

The alignement appears to point at St. John's Point a very prominent feature in the coastline.

Standing stones, also called menhirs or monoliths, are the most simple of megalithic monuments. They are exactly what they say, a stone that stands with one end set into the ground. Being simple in form does not make them simple to understand, for they have served several purposes over time. Some were placed to mark burials, others were probably erected to mark boundaries or travel routes, the purpose of others is uncertain, but it may well have been ritual.

Standing stones can vary enormously in size from a under 1m tall to over 4m. Some have been purposely shaped (see Stone Of Destiny (County Meath)) and some must have been chosen purely for their shape (see Ballyvatheen (County Kilkenny)). Most standing stones are dated to be from the Bronze Age, but some are clearly older, especially those associated with passage tombs such as at Knowth (County Meath) and Loughcrew - Corstown (County Meath).

Others have been re-used in later times (see Kilnasaggart (County Armagh) and Breastagh (County Mayo)), perhaps to try and capture some of the powers of the old gods or to legitamise a claim to land.

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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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