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


Standing Stone / Menhir


The 'giant's stone' is the name by which it is known in the neighbourhood, and we are told that it was thrown by him from the top of Castletimon hill, and that the scores [of the Ogham] are the marks of his fingers and nails when handling it, previous to flinging it down.

Others admit the scores to be the marks of his fingers, but assert that it was kicked down, and that the hole in the end of it was made by the top of the giant's shoe when he struck it with his foot. If you object to the possibility of sending so large a stone such a distance with the force of a kick, you are met with the reply, "Oh! sure the same giant cast the big stone in Brennan's field" (the covering stone of the cromleac) "from the top of the hill, at the giant of Ballinaclea, and if so, he could easily kick down this stone." Good logic, certainly [..]

The legend further saith, that once upon a time [..] a neighbour not having the fear of the "good people before his eyes, took it home for a "hobstone;" but those spiteful little gentry so annoyed him, by keeping the spoons, trenchers, and noggins dancing on his dresser every night that it remained in his house, that after a week he returned it to its former place. Others say that the man did not take it home, but only got it into his car for that purpose, and that the rest of the neighbours compelled him to throw it out again.

Again, you hear that when the Danes erected the altar (cromleac) in Brennan's field, it was on this stone they scored the number of kings they had beheaded in their travels; but that, being so hotly pursued after the battle of Clontarf by Brian Boru's soldiers, they dropped the stone here on the side of the road, as they ran down to their ships at Ballynacarrig.

Associated as the history of the Ogham stone is with these old stories, I am glad to find that the people would not wish to part with it. Some time ago a lady of rank in the neighbourhood wrote to the proprietor of the land [..] for permission to have it removed to her own home. [..] The people evinced a reluctance to having it taken away. They were asked did they ascribe to it any cure or charm; they said not, but that if it was of any value, the place in which it had rested for so many ages was best entitled to it.

This lively interest [does the local people] great honour, and should put to the blush many in the higher ranks of life, who would probably think that Dunbrody Abbey would make a capital cow-shed, and the Ogham stone at Castletimon an excellent sill for the door of it.
'Description of a Cromleac and Ogham monument near Castletimon Church, County of Wicklow, by Mr J C Tuomey, N T.
p193 of the Proc/Trans of Kilkenny and South East of Ireland Arch. Soc. vol III (1854-5). (viewable at Google Books).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
29th September 2007ce
Edited 29th September 2007ce

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