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An Ráth: Not as simple as the map suggests !


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Finlieve: A fairly remote, nondescript top.

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East Coast Area
Place count in area: 6, OSI/LPS Maps: 35, 36, 42, 43, 50 
Highest place:
Mount Oriel, 251m
Maximum height for area: 251 metres,     Maximum prominence for area: 176 metres,

Note: this list of places includes island features such as summits, but not islands as such.
Rating graphic.
Ben of Howth Hill Binn Éadair A name in Irish
also Hill of Howth an extra name in English
(Ir. Binn Éadair [GE], 'peak of Étar') Dublin County in Leinster Province, in Binnion List, Polymict melange Bedrock

Height: 171m OS 1:50k Mapsheet: 50 Grid Reference: O28548 37620
Place visited by 281 members. Recently by: abptraining, davidhorkan, LorraineG60, MichaelG55, magnumpig, groe, oreills8, alanoconnor, dregish, declantb, morgan_os, brendanjrehill, Q35on, karoloconnor, Lauranna
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Longitude: -6.069313, Latitude: 53.373358 , Easting: 328548, Northing: 237620 Prominence: 167m,  Isolation: 12.3km,   Has trig pillar
ITM: 728469 737645,   GPS IDs, 6 char: BnofHw, 10 char: BnofHwth
Bedrock type: Polymict melange, (Elsinore Formation)

Binn Éadair (The Ben/Hill of Howth) is one of the most frequently cited hills in Irish literature. It is the subject of two poems in the Metrical Dindshenchas and in Acallam na Senórach it is the scene of a great hunt, during which Artúir (a character based on King Arthur) makes off to Britain with Fionn Mac Cumhail's three best hunting dogs. The Fianna pursue Artúir, kill all his men and bring him back captive to the Hill of Howth. According to legend, Binn Éadair is also the burial site of Oscar. The hill is also the scene of several romantic reminiscences in Joyce's Ulysees.   Ben of Howth is the third highest hill in the East Coast area and the 1434th highest in Ireland. Ben of Howth is the most southerly summit and also the second most easterly in the East Coast area.

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The Low but surprisingly Rough top of Howth .. by group   (Show all for Ben of Howth) Picture about mountain Ben of Howth in area East Coast, Ireland
Picture: Half an hour from Dublin City Centre
padodes on Ben of Howth, 2010
by padodes  7 Feb 2010
I love my quartzite, and nowhere more than on the Ben of Howth in Dublin where it has fused with iron and taken on all the warmer hues: pink to red, golden yellow to rusty brown. It’s even more attractive than the rose-tinted quartzite of Bray Head or the whitish variety of the Great and Little Sugar Loaf in Wicklow. It’s a good rock to walk on, too, since it yields a thin soil that doesn’t support much growth. It hasn’t got the messy habit of clothing itself in deep bog like granite, or the nasty one of turning to soap in wet weather like schist. It’s the kind of rock you can stride on with jaunty confidence.

There are really two bens on the Howth peninsula. The slightly lower one, Shielmartin, lies to the west and rises above the raised beach at Sutton that now links what was once an island to the mainland. The higher one, the Ben of Howth proper, with its trig pillar and ubiquitous mast, lies to the east and is just the cockiest of several surrounding hummocks. At this end, the pockmarks of old quarries are a reminder of how prized Howth rock has been in the past as a decorative stone for building. Between the two bens, Howth Golf Club has managed to turn what was once rough lowland into manicured greens (see photo). Not being a golfer, I’m never sure whether to consider this a stroke of ingenuity (pardon the pun) or just an intrusive incongruity.

It’s easy to turn a ramble across the bens of Howth into a fine circular excursion by linking it with a stretch of the cliff walk between Howth and Sutton. Guidebooks are full of indications in that direction. All along the way, the views are exceptional. My own snapshot, taken from the vantage point of Shielmartin, looks across to Howth Harbour and Ireland’s Eye (itself mainly of quartzite, too), with Howth Castle tucked away just to the left of the trees. The great white veil in the distance marks the approach of a hailstorm that would soon wrap itself around me.

P.S. Yes, with a film of frost, or mud, or lichen, quartzite can become slippery. Like any good wine, it, too, needs to be savoured with care. Linkback:
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EASTWARD HOWTH .. by Bleck Cra   (Show all for Ben of Howth)
Here's to Howth! .. by Bunsen7   (Show all for Ben of Howth)
Benny Hill! .. by Dessie1   (Show all for Ben of Howth)
Arguably one of the easiest bags for Dublin-based .. by csd   (Show all for Ben of Howth)
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Some mapping:
Open Street Map
(Various variations used.)
British summit data courtesy:
Database of British & Irish Hills
(Creative Commons Licence), a Hill-walking Website for the island of Ireland. 2100 Summiteers, 1400 Contributors, Monthly Newsletter since 2007