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

Clonfinlough Stone



A page at the Offaly Historical and Archaeological Society summarises some of the local 1930s Folklore Commission reports:
This survey gives us a glimpse of how the people of Offaly treasured their monuments and how they perceived them and what social role they played in the minds of the local people. According to the folklore survey, the Clonfinlough stone had images in the form of cross-men and loop-men carved onto the surface of the rock. This image puzzled many antiquarians for years until one Abbe Breuil deciphered the image and concluded that it represented a fight to a finish between the Old Irish and the Milesians in pre-Christian times, 1300BC. The cross-men were charging at the loop-men who in return were retreating from the attack.

He told the locals that there were many such stones in Spain. The story went on to say that they believed it was the oldest stone in Ireland and described it as "A stone that before Our Lord founded his apostolic church lay there enjoying the glorious sunshine in Summer and the rain leaving it as pure and white as the lily, in winter". Meanwhile, another story from the Clonmacnoise area records that there were two big rocks in a field which a local boy named Michael was continually playing around in the summer time. One summer day he was out playing as usual and he did not come in until dark. When he came in he began to tell his mother about a strange little boy he was playing with at the rocks.

He showed his mother a beautiful silver knife which he said he got from the little boy. When the mother saw the knife she was afraid to let him keep the knife and she made him go back to the rocks with her in order to return it. Michael left the knife on the rock and the next morning when he went out to play again, the knife was gone and he never saw the little boy again. It is said that the strange little boy was a fairy and he was trying to coax young Michael away. It is also said that another Michael will find the knife, and when he does he will find two big pots of gold under the rocks.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
23rd October 2010ce
Edited 23rd October 2010ce

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