Barnes Lower : Rock Art

Grid RefC 108 245
GPSC 10764 24458 (6m)
Longitude7° 49' 53.39" W
Latitude55° 4' 2.41" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownKilmacrenan (5.3 Km)
OS Sheet2
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192
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Visit Notes

Sunday, 13th March 2005

Ever since I saw photos of these amazing stones I have wanted to visit them. This is one of those sites that defy the megalithomania system of classification, because they are primarily a stone pair, but I consider the carvings upon the main face of one of them more significant.

The images I initially saw did not prepare me for the massive size of the carved stone: it is over 2m tall and wide! Wow! I had planned my route so that I would arrive here mid-morning as the carvings are on the NE face and at this time of day the sun cuts across the markings making them stand out better. Luckily, the snow had stopped and the sun emerged, so my (not typical) planning was rewarded.

There are several large cup and ring motifs, some straight lines and a cluster of cup marks. The smaller stone also seems to have a few cup marks on its west face.

A few things have changed here since the photos I had seen were taken some 20 years ago. There is now a bungalow on the opposite side of the road and overhead telephone wires clutter up the sky behind the stones.

The landscape setting of the stones is a fascinating one. They are in the bottom of a wide valley which is walled in by very uneven topped hills. Both stones have odd shapes in plan section and the various edges seem to align with various dips in these surrounding hilltops. Checking these alignemnts throughout the year could provide some interesting informaton about these otherwise enigmatic stones, but this is a job for someone living much closer to these stones than Dublin.

Like this monument

Marked Sites

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Rock Art

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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