The Bishops Stone, Cross slab, Stone pillar and Holed stone

An early church belonging to the Culdees of Devenish, from where the name Killadeas is derived, is believed to have existed on this site. In the graveyard are several interesting stones, probably the most noted one is known as the Bishops stone, this odd shaped stone has been altered and reused several times, originally thought to have been a carved figure similar to those on nearby White Island, the body of the figure may have been chiseled away and replaced with interlacing, later an ecclesiastical figure carrying a bell and crozier was carved on the western side of the stone and also the inscription "ROBARTACH" was added. There is also a suggestion the stone may have also been used as a corbel at some time.

The stone is named after the ecclesiastic figure on the western side, see image below left, but I also think it could be a carving of a pilgrim. He is carrying a staff, usually associated with pilgrims, and the bell shape could easily be a pilgrims satchel. The head carving which is earlier resembles those at white Island but this figure reminds me of the figure on one of the pillars around Carndonagh high cross, and also a figure on the Marigold stone.

Cross slab, Cup marked/Bullaun stone

Another stone with a lot of history is the large slab standing west of the bishops stone, one side of the stone bears at least twelve cup-shaped hollows, see image above right, which suggest this maybe a multiple bullaun stone/cup marked stone that has been reused as an early Christian cross slab, as on the obverse face is a Greek cross in a circle with a bifurcated stem. According to Macalister there was also a weathered inscription "BENDACHT AR ART U LURCAIN" a blessing upon Art ua Lurcain.

Holed Stone and Stone pillar

Situated south of the bullaun stone is a holed stone, pictured below, as the image shows this stone is half embedded in the ground. Immediately to the West of the holed stone is a broken 1.2 metre high stone pillar. This stone may have been damaged because of its phallic shape. This conglomorate stone has been described as the remains of a round cross shaft, if so it would be the first round shaft found in Ireland.

Situated: In the cemetery of the Parish of Killadeas in the Townland of Rockfield, County Fermanagh. From Fermanagh Town take the A32 North, then the B82 for Killadeas, as you enter Killadeas the Church of Ireland cemetery is on the Western side of the road.

Discovery Map 17: H 2057 5399. Last visit July 2005.

Longitude: 7° 40' 59" W

Latitude: 54° 26' 2" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey and José Gutiérrez.

Ref: Lowry-Corry, Dorothy. “The Sculptured Stones at Killadeas.” The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, vol. 5, no. 1, 1935, pp. 23–33. JSTOR,

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