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


Clonasillagh Decorated Stone

Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art

<b>Clonasillagh Decorated Stone</b>Posted by ryanerImage © ryaner
Nearest Town:Mullagh (7km NE)
OS Ref (IE):   N638803 / Sheet: 35
Latitude:53° 46' 6.09" N
Longitude:   7° 1' 56.41" W

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<b>Clonasillagh Decorated Stone</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Clonasillagh Decorated Stone</b>Posted by ryaner <b>Clonasillagh Decorated Stone</b>Posted by ryaner


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These two stones are located about 150 metres slightly east of south of the cairn in the same townland that I had visited earlier. No connection is made between them and the cairn in the Eogan notes on the SMR at These notes are taken from a paper that I haven't been able to access, so he may have mentioned a connection that I would say is fairly obvious.

The southern side of the cairn is truncated and a wall has been built that delineates the two different fields that I suspect are owned by separate people. The cairn is somewhat preserved in the northern field. On the southern side it has been flattened to the surrounding ground level, ergo, these are two of the stones that were pulled from the cairn during this destruction.

Anyhow, the broad flat face of the leaning stone is covered in what seem to be natural solution pits (they reminded me of the capstone at Rathkenny). A couple of these have rings carved around them and some of the pits may well have been enhanced. There are other markings on the stone, but in overcast light and without water, these were hard to make out. The stone leans at a 45 degree angle on another possible orthostat/kerbstone and as a result the carvings are now badly eroding.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
9th March 2021ce


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The SMR entry from

Class: Decorated stone (present location)
Scheduled for inclusion in the next revision of the RMP: Yes
Description: The remains of this monument have been described by Eogan (2000, 7-9) as follows: ‘What survives to-day is a large flat stone and a rounded boulder, possibly an orthostat and kerb-stone. These are not in their original position but were dumped there after destruction. There are some other stones in the area, but these are much smaller. The large decorated stone is at least probably one of the "large upright stones" referred to by Conwell. From local information, it appears that a monument stood very close to where the stones now are, but it is not possible to determine its precise location or the date of the removal, but this may have been about 1990. It was removed by bull-dozing; the two stones described in this paper were thrown aside and according to a local informant, a pit was dug into which other large stones were dumped. The area tends to slope to the south-east but adjoining ground to the north-west is higher. ??Stone A is a large flag 2.40m long. At one end it is 1.35m in maximum width; at the other it is about 1m. It is 0.40m in average width. The material is carboniferous sandstone with round calcareous concretions. Two parallel grooves near the top left-hand corner were caused by the teeth of the bulldozer bucket. Decoration occurs on the broad face that is visible and on one of the narrow sides. There is no decoration on the other three narrow sides. The other broad face is lying on the ground, but as it has not been possible to have it lifted, it is not known if it has decoration. The surface of the stone is weathered and this restricts information about the motifs, and in particular about the technique used in its application, but it may be assumed that pocking predominated. ?On the broad face cup-marks predominate, one hundred and forty one examples being present. These are natural hollows, often elliptical in shape, but there is a hint in some that human modification took place. The "cup-marks" vary in size from small examples 4cm in diameter to larger examples 10cm in diameter and 2cm in depth. Two other principal motifs are present - curvilinear and rectilinear. There are three curvilinear motifs. Two are similar, each of which consists of a hollow surrounded by a circle, the uppermost motif being the larger of these two circles. The lowermost circle is the largest overall example. This also has a central hollow which is surrounded by two concentric circles. A third member consists of an arc on one aide. A somewhat crescentic-shaped motif extends across the upper portion of the surface. This has inward-hooked ends. One end extends above and down one side of the central cup-and-circle motif. Another large motif consists of a straight line which extends up most of the surface. This appears to cut across the left side of the hooked motif and is, therefore, a later addition. Its overall chronological position cannot be determined, but its surface weathering is similar to that of the other motifs. Perhaps it is an overlay on a primary composition. However, prominent straight lines are not a feature of megalithic art. ?The decoration on the vertical side consists largely of a series of lines. These are usually parallel, either vertical or horizontal. Some constitute a motif in the shape of an inverted L, but others tend to form a gate-like pattern. Towards the broad end, the side slopes and in this small area there are twelve hollows, some of which Beam to have been modified. ??Stone B is a boulder that has minimum dimensions of 1.77m in length, 1.69m in width and 0.83m in depth. The material is also carboniferous sandstone. It has been damaged, probably at the time of bulldozing and flakes have been detached. There are ten hollows on one of the broader surfaces, mainly close to one of the edges. As is the case with Stone A, all seem to have been natural, but possibly some were modified as was suggested for Stone A.’ (Eogan 2000)
ryaner Posted by ryaner
8th March 2021ce