Visits For November, 2004

Sunday, 7th November 2004

A Local Day

I didn't stray very far today due to other commitments, but as I was asked to give directions to Rathmichael Church (County Dublin) to a friend recently I decided to pop back and make sure they were correct .. they weren't quite.

I also wanted to go back there and have yet another go at finding the bullaun stone that is supposed to be nearby, but even asking a couple of locals didn't help. If anyone knows where it is please let me know. All I know about it is that it is reported to the north of the church somewhere.

This week I have broken my long established golden rule: I've started selling things: well, 'thing' to be absolutely correct. You can now purchase Anthony Weir's great CD-ROM - 'Fieldguide to Megalithic Ireland' through megalithomania: See my new shop page.

More stuff will appear in the shop, but only stuff I think is of the highest quality (and that I can get hold of). I don't intend to put loads of banner ads onto megalithomania right now. If these do appear they will only ever be internal ones and never for external items.

The original purpose of bullan stones is not really known, but they have an undisputable association with water and Brigid worship. A 'bullaun' is a deep hemispherical cup hollowed out of a rock. Bullaun Stone refers to the rock itself, which can have many bullauns in it, although many are single.

It is generally thought that they date from the Bronze Age, but I personally believe there is a much old provenance to them and that there is a relationship to prehistoric rock art, for a good example of this see Glassamucky Mountain (County Dublin).

Ritual use of some bullaun stones has continued well into the Christian period and many are found in association with early churches (The Deer Stone (Glendalough D) (County Wicklow) is just one of many at Glendalough (County Wicklow)) and holy wells. Their presence at so many early Christian sites, to me, places them as being of massive importance to the pre-Christian inhabitants of Ireland and something the church was very eager to assimilate.

The beautiful example at St Brigit's Stone (County Cavan) still has its 'cure' or 'curse' stones. These would be used to by a visitor turning them whilst praying for (or cursing) someboby.

Rathmichael Church (Co. Dublin)Round Tower18 New Images
Jamestown Cross - Stepaside Public Golf Course (Co. Dublin)Cross4 New Images
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