The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art


A very, very sad place. Ballykissane burial ground is a disused CillĂ­n or burial ground for infants that died before baptism. Under the shroud of the maniacal catholic church, the un-baptised were buried away from the consecrated graveyard alongside murderers, lunatics and others deemed beyond salvation. A very nice woman who lives nearby nearly had tears falling when she was describing how grief stricken parents of infants were forced to bury their child after midnight in this graveyard away from the community and could not wake them or find comfort in the normal burial rituals. Those sick bastards. Ballykissane was in use up until the mid 20th century.

Only tiny bits of boulders mark the graves and the graveyard is so overgrown that it's impossible to see many of them now.
Recently, perhaps in a moment of repentance, a standing stone with a plaque of remembrance for the children buried here was erected where the old track to the burial ground met the road to the east.

The rock art is now sitting under a tree along the borders of the raised burial area but has moved at least once. Along both sides of a fissure are five cup and rings and around 12 deep and rounded cup marks. Other rings may have weathered away.

Access is through a farmyard along the road south. Please ask.
CianMcLiam Posted by CianMcLiam
9th October 2008ce
Edited 9th October 2008ce

Comments (2)

Great, powerful fieldnotes Ken. For anyone interested in the topic of cillinĂ­, or as vague about the subject as I was, there's a piece worth reading in the most recent 'Archaeology Ireland' (Autumn 2008). gjrk Posted by gjrk
10th October 2008ce
The history of this site is even more involved. Ballykissane or the town of Kissane was a small settlement of people known as crypto Jews who fled the Spanish Inquisition and were settled in Galway until Williamite times when they were resettled in County Kerry. The Christian authorities (RC and CoI) did not allow Kissane burials in Christian grave yards as they were considered beyond salivation as they were Crypto Jews. The ring marks are of of kabbalistic significance. The history of the Kissane family can be found on the facebook site relating to the Kissane family and can be traced for 40 generations Posted by Kissane1
17th March 2010ce
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