I didn't expect much here today, and I wasn't disappointed. This poor battered stone now rests on 3 stones, held there with mortar, and used as a flowerpot. It's in the grounds of Kilcoole church where it's been since it was rescued by the parish priest over 50 years ago. Liam Price's notes from 1959, shown here, tell the sad tale.
From the Liam Price notebooks: the placenames, antiquities and topography of County Wicklow.
Edited by Christiaan Corlett and Mairéad Weaver
Department of the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht:
Recorded by Price in this notebook, dated 4th May 1959, as follows; ‘Patrick Healy told me that a bullaun stone had been found near Kilquade Church and had been brought to the church by Father Masterson, the parish priest. I went to see it today. It is at the E side of the church, placed on the stump of a large tree. It is a very curious stone, a block of granite about 3ft. 3 in. by 2 ft. 3in. [which] has three hollows or basins, much broken, on the one side and a large oval hollow on the opposite side. The large hollow has been placed mouth downwards on the stump, so it is not easy to measure: but it appeared to be (approximately) 23in. by 13in. and 9in. deep, with a hollow worn or ground smooth. On top there are three hollows, all broken on the outer edges: (a) three quarters complete: 12in. x 10in. and 11in. deep: it is the end of the longer axis that is broken away, so the 12in. is an estimate. (2) about half remaining: 8in. deep and it was probably about 10in. in diameter. (3) very much broken away: it was probably about 10in. in diameter: I could not measure the depth. [drawing] This is a rough drawing of the top of this tone with the large oval hollow indicated underneath. The edges of the stone have been broken away, it would seem with a sledgehammer; they are not worn away by weather. The hollows of the three basins are smoothly and evenly rounded.’ (Corlett and Weaver 2002, 644-5).