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The Pile Ends

A cache by MadraRua Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 03/12/2005
2 out of 5
2.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

This MultiCache is located on Poolbeg Pensinsula, east of Dublin City.
It involves a level walk along a 2.2 km long sea wall.
Calculate between 1.5 and 2 hours for the whole sheebang
plus between 30 minutes (by car or bike) and 1 hour (by bus/DART & walking) for getting there and back from the city centre.

Visit the friendly and helpful Geocaching Ireland discussion Forums

Getting there ...

By car: Drive east into the port from Outer Orbital Junction 80 near the East Link Toll Bridge (Sean Moore Rd/South Bank Rd) and take the first road left into Whitebank Rd.. Follow the road from there to the end of the peninsula.
(This is an industrial and port area, so for cycling and walking (etc.) I strongly recommend the public transport route.
NOTE: If you are passing travellers' caravans > you are on the right road).

By Public Transport: Dublin Bus (01-8734222) #2 or #3 to Beach Road, Sandymount, or DART (01-8366222) to Sandymount Station. From Sandymount walk towards Sean Moore Park (N 53° 20.081' W 006° 12.763'). If you are taking the bus get off once you are in view of the sea/beach.
Once you reach the sea walk away from the road and follow the footpath along the coast till you reach the road behind the powerplant.

The Wall is very exposed and even if it looks like a fine day
it will do you no harm to be prepared for rougher weather (i.e. rain, wind & waves).
This is a popular spot for Dubliners for a walk, especially on the weekend. Please be discreet!

Aerial view of the Great South Wall, with Dublin Port and City Centre in the background

Finding it ...

The coordinates at the top get you to a sign post which tells you a bit more about this place.

- Take a note of the height of the Lighthouse! -

From here move on to
N 53° 20.465'
W 006° 09.828'

- Note the year the Half Moon Club was founded! -

The next stop is fairly obvious - go to
N 53° 20.527'
W 006° 09.072'

- Note the number of solar panels on the top -
- (incidentally this is the same number as there are windows NOT facing the wall) -

(The spot you are standing at now used to be in the middle of Dublin Bay.
You are now almost equal distance from Dun Laoghaire, Howth and Dublin City Centre.)

The Final Cache Location can be found at

N 53°'
W 006°'

To fill the gaps:

abc = Take the year the Half Moon Swimming Club was founded, divide this by 2 and subtract 510 from the result = abc (fill in the result where it says abc in the cache location)

xyz = Take the number of solar panels on the Lighthouse, add three and multiply the result with the height of the light house in feet = xyz (fill in the result where it says xyz in the cache location)

About this Place...

Poolbeg is an industrial peninsula on reclaimed land stretching from Irishtown, along the south bank of the Liffey and out along the Great South Wall into Dublin Bay. The twin towers of the Poolbeg power station are a Dublin landmark visible across the entire city.
As you might have noticed on your aproach, Poolbeg is also where the Ringsend Waste Water Treatment Plant, one of the largest and most modern facilities of it's kind in the world, is located.

Irish Culture Special...

If you take the aproach by road, through the port, there is a good a chance that you might be treated to a display of Irish ethnic minority culture.

Most of the time there are travellers' (or tinkers' as they used to be known) caravans parked on the side of the approach road. Alltough it might not look like it: You are still on the right road.

The Travellers (or Pavees as they call themselves) are a minority community indigenous to Ireland who have existed on the margins of Irish society for centuries. They share a common descent, but have distinct cultural practices - early marriage, desire to be mobile, a tradition of self-employment, and so on. They also have distinct rituals of death and cleansing, and a language they only speak among their own.

For more information on travellers check HERE or HERE.


For centuries the approach to Dublin Port had been plagued by sandbars obstructing the entrance and also by frequent squalls and stormy conditions. To alleviate the situation, in 1716, the Ballast Office (predecessor of the Dublin Port Company) commenced the city's most ambitious civic construction at the time. From the harbour at Ringsend to Poolbeg Lighthouse a sea wall of 3 miles (5 Km) in length, the world's longest at the time, was built.

Initially the eastern part of the Great South Wall was composed of wooden piles on the outside filled in between with gravel and the place where those started where known as 'The Pile Ends'.

The wall was more or less finished in 1786. Meanwhile at the “Head of the Piles” (the end of the wall) an island of masonry was laid down on which Poolbeg Lighthouse was built. It was ready in 1767 and initially operated on candlepower! - (reputedly the first in the world to do so) but changed to oil in 1786.

Poolbeg is also the place where the first levelling of Ireland was carried out between 1839 and 1843. It was referred to a datum taken to be the level of low water of a spring tide observed at Poolbeg Lighthouse in Dublin Bay on April 8th, 1837. (Thanx Marmota Monax)

For many years to save travel time, passengers and packets of mail landed at the end of the main wall, or the Pidgeon's House, from where they were rowed to the city in boats.

"At the point then known as "the pile ends," where the original line of wooden piles ended, and the Pigeonhouse now stands, the port authorities erected a massive wooden house, strongly clamped with iron, to serve as a watch house, store house and place of refuge for such as were forced to land there by stress of weather; and between this place and Ringsend, a number of boats used to ply in summer, conveying pleasure-seeking citizens of that day to what had grown to be a favourite rendezvous while the works were in progress.

A man named Pidgeon who lived in the wooden house and acted as caretaker of the works and tools, finding the place become such a public resort, fitted out his quarters as neatly as possible, and, assisted by his wife and family, made arrangements for supplying meals and refreshments to visitors. He also purchased a boat to hire to his guests, had it painted and finished in an attractive manner, and as he dealt with only the best class of visitors, his rude hostelry soon grew to be a noted resort of distinguished citizens and wits, while the owner found himself on the fair road to fortune.

His house came to be known to all the Dublin folk as "Pidgeon's House," or the Pigeonhouse, and even after he and his family had gone the way of all flesh, and the old building, having served its purpose, had fallen into decay, the name was perpetuated in the title of the stronghold that in after years rose over its ruins."
from Weston St. John Joyce, 1920

A fort, a hotel and revenue barracks were build on the spot in later years, but have all since been removed. The ruins you can see today at the beginning of the wall are the last remnants of those buildings.
To the west of here land has been reclaimed over the centuries and what was once in the middle of the bay is now at the end of an peninsula.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

oruvaq oevpxf haqre cvrpr bs snyyra jnyy

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

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