The Turoe Stone

Decorated cult stone

Standing at around three feet high the granite boulder known as the Turoe stone is a beautifully decorated phallic stone, the top half is covered with a curvilinear design typical of the Celtic art style known as La Tene, this dates the stone to around the 1st to 3rd centuries BCE, the middle is decorated with a form of Greek key. The patterns are carved in relief using a technique known as pocking.

The Turoe stone is one of the finest examples of these ritual stones in Europe. Although known as the Turoe stone this is not it's original location, the stone was removed from an Iron Age ring fort, the Rath of Feerwore a few miles from here. There are several similar decorated cult stones to be found in Ireland, these include the small example at Castlestrange, Co Roscommon, which is also decorated with a curvilinear design, but this stone is incised rather than carved in relief. Another example, bearing a similar design, is the Killycluggin stone in the Cavan Museum at Ballyjamesduff.

Latest update 31st Jan 2014: The Turoe Stone, Co. Galway is currently not accessible to visitors. The highly decorated stone has been removed to the Office of Public Works depot in Athenry for urgent cleaning / conservation.

Discovery Map 52: M 2636 2255. Last visit Aug 2014.

Longitude: 8° 33' 50" W

Latitude: 53° 15' 7" N

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Photos: Jim Dempsey.

Drawing showing Curvilinear design

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