'Cairn I' : Passage Tomb

TownlandLoughcrew
CountyMeath
Grid RefN 572 773
GPSN 57188 77335 (3m)
Longitude7° 7' 59.36" W
Latitude53° 44' 32.96" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownOldcastle (3.6 Km)
OS Sheet42
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192

This is a subsite of:

Loughcrew - Newtown - Loughcrew (Carnbane West) - Passage Tomb Cemetery
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Visit Notes

Monday, 27th October 2008

While on the hilltop observing the sunrise inside Cairn H (County Meath) I took the time to look around some of the other cairns. I just caught the sun shining on the topmost sunburst motif on one of the orthostats in the passage of this passage tomb .

These carvings really do seem to come alive when the early morning sun strikes them.

Apart from the fact that the passage and chamber lack a roof, this is a fine example of a passage tomb. The cairn remians to the tops of the orthostats and the passage aligns to Cairn T on Carnbane East.

Passage tombs are perhaps the most celebrated style of tombs, mainly due to the fantastic examples at Newgrange (County Meath), Knowth (County Meath) and Dowth (County Meath) in the Boyne Valley as well as those at Loughcrew (County Meath), which is by far the best place to experience these wonders.

The classical form of passage tomb is the cruciform style, where a long passage leads to a main chamber with 3 small chambers off, forming a cross when viewed from above. However, there are many other styles, some don't even have a passage! These other forms are with a round chamber (see Fourknocks (County Meath)), a polygonal chamber or in the form of a cross of Lorraine, which can be found at Seefin Hill (County Wicklow).

There is one form known as an undifferentiated passage tomb wherein the chamber is simply a broadening of the passage, such as at Matthewstown (County Waterford).

The passage and chamber was, once constructed, covered in a mound of earth or a stone cairn, which was in turn held in place with a kerb around its perimeter.

Perhaps what Irish passage tombs are most known for is the form of rock art more commonly called passage grave art, which can be seen in abundance along the Boyne Valley in the many cemeteries.

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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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