'Aill na Mireann (The Catstone)' : Standing Stone

TownlandHill Of Uisneach
CountyWestmeath
Grid RefN 290 485
Longitude7° 33' 47.11" W
Latitude53° 29' 8.6" N
ITM east480366
ITM north584435
Nearest TownKilbeggan (13.9 Km)
OS Sheet48
UTM zone29U
UTM x449041
UTM y5761192

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Visit Notes

Monday, 29th October 2001

I don't know where to begin with this wondrous place. It is an experience all of its own. The Mide Stone or The Catstone is a massive piece of rock that is now crumbling, but with a certain grace. It is set in a small, shallow henge next to the most exquisite hawthorn glade. The power of this stone is almost overpowering and the energy that has gathered here over the centuries from the Bealtaine celebrations oozes out.

The stone sits on the southern side of The Hill Of Uisneach, possibly the most important hill in Ireland alongside Barrow (County Meath).

The hawthorn glade is a magical place all of its own. There are several rocks with deep gouges or grooves in them and many ribbons left as offerings adorn the trees. Many other people, thankfully, have come here to experience the wonders on offer here, sadly perhaps only around Beltaine.

This is a must visit site when dealing with Ireland just because of its importance in Irish history.

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Saturday, 3rd May 2003

The one thing I wasn't expecting was to think that the stone has collapsed a little, but I think it has moved a little.

This massive eratic (which must have been moved to where it sits) is an amazing piece of rock. The little depression that it sits in adds to its mistique and the little grove next to it is still enchanting, although somebody has taken down all the ribbons and offerings from the tress for some reason. Spoilsports!

Like this monument

Marked Sites

Directions

From Mullingar take the R390 south west. Look out for a sign pointing to Hill Of Uisneach by a picnic site. Continue until you see a sign pointing to 'The Catstone'. Park here and go through the horse gate on the other side of the road. The stone is diagonally up the hill to the left (about 500m).

Random Gazetteer

A Selection of Other Standing Stones

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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