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

County Laois



Despite extreme ignorance of Irish sites I've figured out this refers to somewhere in Laois: perhaps Fourwinds or someone else knowledgeable can pin the location down (if the latter large stone is truly prehistoric).
ST. M'LOO'S STONE.—In the district of Ryle in the Queen's County in Ireland there exist a grave, a trough, and a stone with which the name of St. M'Loo is connected. His grave and his trough are in a small old burial-ground, in the middle of which stands a ruin, apparently of a chapel, but there seems to be no tradition connecting the name of the saint with this ruin.

The grave is 11 ft. long, and faces differently from the graves around. On the assumption that St. M'Loo was the priest, two explanations of this are given in the locality—the one that the priest may more easily stand in front of his flock to present them on the Resurrection Day ; the other, that he may occupy the most conspicuous place to bear the Divine indignation should he have proved unfaithful to his trust.
St. M'Loo's grave is at one end of the burialground, and his trough at the other. The trough is of hewn stone, 2 ft. long by 1 ft. broad, and is overshadowed by a small white-thorn tree. Many resort to this trough to be cured by its holy water of their various diseases, and every one who comes attaches a piece of rag to the little tree. The trough is never empty, and is said to be miraculously filled. Interments still take place in Ryle graveyard, and often at Roman Catholic funerals, when the body has been laid in the grave, all the mourners gather round the trough and pray there.

St. M'Loo's stone lies in the middle of a field opposite to the burial-ground, from which it is separated by the high road. Tradition states that the saint knelt so often upon the stone to weep and pray that he wore five holes in its surface —two by his knees, one by his clasped hands, and two by his tears. The holes worn by his tears are on the right side of the stone. The circumference of the stone is 15 ft. 11 in., its length 5 ft. 7 in., its breadth 4 ft., and its depth 3 ft. There are on the sides traces of what appear to have been cup and ring marks. The usual unwillingness to disturb such relics prevails, and the people believe that a blight would fall upon any one who ventured upon such desecration. Who, then, was St. M'Loo ? W.
It could read 'McLoo' throughout. From Notes and Queries, June 10, 1882.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
28th August 2006ce

Comments (5)

I think that this refers to the bullaun stone in Kyle Cemetery at Clonfertmulloe - the 'mulloe' bit sounding enough like M'Loo to me. The bullaun was moved from a neighbouring field into the churchyard. FourWinds Posted by FourWinds
18th April 2009ce
This is indeed Old Kyle Cemetery. If anybody finds the grave of Molua please contact me...I have never found it...the description above indicates that it is at one end of the cemetery and is 11 foot long. Looks like i'm going back to this site again...lucky I live next door. TheStandingStone Posted by TheStandingStone
28th August 2009ce
Ooh thanks for both of those comments! Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
30th August 2009ce
It's a great piece of folklore - how did you stumble across this gem? TheStandingStone Posted by TheStandingStone
30th August 2009ce
Ah it's amazing what's been digitised and can be found with a few well-chosen keywords and some speed reading. Plus you admittedly may need a slightly unhealthy level of obsession and the equivalent of a trufflehound's nose :) It gives me a kick to find them - I figure it's the modern equivalent of the Gatherer's incentive. Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
30th August 2009ce
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