Franz Lindenmayr / Man and Cave

Holed Stones in Ireland

Cleer Island, photographed by NICK
- an addition to this website by a visitor through the stone circle webring
I don't know anything about it, because I have never been there myself, but it's there!

"Perforated stones, very similar to the ordinary pillar stone, are found in many parts of Ireland, Scotland, and even, as appears from Mr. Wilford's Asiatic Researches, in India. Abroad, as well as at home, their origin is shrouded in the deepest mystery, and it is not likely that the subject can ever be fully elucidated.

In Ireland they are generally associated with prehistoric remains, and are occasionally found in connexion with our earliest, and only earliest, ecclesiastical establishments. As has been already suggested what they were primarily intended for, no man can say. It is highly probable that they had their origin in days most remote, and that, somehow or other, perhaps like the "holy wells", they became, as it were, pressed into association with Christian rites." (from:Wakeman, William F., HANDBOOK OF IRISH ANTIQITIES, BRACKEN BOOKS London, first published in 1891, reedition 1995)

Some sites:

"The virtue of the Kilmaldekar stone was some thirty or forty years ago equal in repute to that conceded to the Stennis example, and even, in some respects, superior; for, it was further firmly believed by many of the old inhabitants of Kerry, that persons afflicted with chronic rheumatism, "falling sickness," or some other ills, might, by passing three times round it (with faith, and by the offering of certain prayers), be restored to health" (Wakemann 19)



"Another presumedly pagan example, standing upwards of five feet in height above the present neighboring level of the ground, may be seen upon an eminence in the immediate vicinity of Doagh, a village in the county of Antrim." (Wakeman 21)

"Rising picturesquely above the gorse-grown rocky outcrop, on the crest of a hill commanding a broad sweep of countryside, this shapely 'hole stone' is a good example of its type and a familiar landmark in the locality... A tapered dolerite slab about 5 feet high and 2 1/2 feet wide with a circular hole 3 inches in diameter, neatly cut, with smooth rounded edges on both sides. In the past betrothed couples joined hands through this aperture as a pledge of fidelity, a custom recorded in the Dublin Penny Journal in 1832, which also has a woodcut depicting the monolith." (McNally, Kenneth, STANDING STONES, Belfast 1988)



Dames, Michael Mythic Ireland, London 1992
Fitzgerald, W. 'The Holed Stone of Castledermot' JRSAI Vol. 22
Frazer, W. "Holed" and Perforated Stones' JRSAI Vol. 26
Harbison, Peter Guide to the National Monuments of Ireland, Dublin 1975
Logan, Patrick The holy wells of Ireland, Gerrads Cross 1992
MacRitchie, D. 'Note on Holed Stones'. JRSAI Vol. 22
McNally, Kenneth Standing Stones and other monuments of early Ireland, Belfast 1988
Paturi, Felix R. Zeugen der Vorzeit - Auf den Spuren europäischer Vergangenheit, Econ-Verlag, Düsseldorf
Roberts, Jack The SHEELA-NA-GIGS of Britain & Ireland, ohne Orts- und Jahresangabe
Robinson, T.D. The Burren - a map of the uplands of North-West Clare, Éire
Wakeman, William F. Handbook of Irish Antiquities, Dublin 1891


Holed Stones and Crawling through rites

Lochsteine und Durchkriechbräuche


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