Megauthic Crossslabs And Holed Stones

The cross-slab at the former monastery of Reask in County Kerry is of interest as a surviving bridge between the older and the newer forms of Celtic art. The carvings on the cross at Reask are comparable with patterns on Pagan stones from the La Tene Celtic culture in what is now south Germany. The Reask stone is irregular in shape, and the fourfold cross pattern cut into it has been squashed from a true circle to fit the asymmetrical megalith upon which it is carved. However, it is clear that there is a reason for this beyond laziness or incompetence. When one views the cross from a distance, it is apparent that the shape of its top imitates that of the distant horizon. This reflectivity of stone profile and horizon can be seen elsewhere in the British Isles. Some stone

Right: Early Christian cross-slab at Reask (Riasc), County Kerry, Ireland.

Below: The cross-slab dedicated to Bishop Irneit, from Maughold, Isle of Man, carved with a six-fold Juno's Wheel below which arc inscribed Latin crosses. (Manx National Heritage)

Early Christian Stone Carved

Right: Early Christian cross-slab at Reask (Riasc), County Kerry, Ireland.

Early Christian Ireland

circles, most notably at Castlerigg in Cumbria, have this feature in almost every megalith. The Reask stone is clearly within this megalithic tradition. In addition to its horizon-following shape, it was also once pierced by a hole like many ancient magical megaliths, but this is now broken out. The practice of drilling holes through stones is archaic, and many ancient rockfaces and megaliths contain 'cup-marks' where people have made shallow depressions in the stone. Cup-marks are especially prevalent on sculpted stones such as those at Newgrange and other megalithic holy places. Although it cannot be stated for certain why the ancient cup-marks were made, more recent folk-tradition shows that it was customary to scrape away dust from holy stones for use as a medicinal remedy.

Cup-marks arc found on stones in the fabric of churches and crosses as well as upon archaic megaliths. A number of Cornish cross-shafts are covered with drilled-out holes, such as that in the old churchyard of Merthyr Uny, in the parish of St Wendron. Other Cornish crosses have a depression at the centre of the wheel-head where a boss might be. Crosses like this exist or have existed at Bodmin, Callyworth, Crowan, Clowance, Lantcglos and St Kew. In addition to these depressions, a number of extant Celtic stones have holes drilled right through them. These holes have a function in folk-magic and spiritual development, being used for the promotion of fertility, healing and seership. Some holed stones are pilgrims' stations visited during saints' Patterns. Each has its own particular custom associated with it, such as looking

Cute Drawing Guitar

Inscribed pillar-stones. Left: broken pillar with floreated cross and remains of wheel-cross, Kilmakcdar, County Kerry, Ireland; Centre: Gallarus, County Kerry, Ireland, with wheel-cross;

Right: Llandilo, Dyfed, Wales, with ogham inscription and Coptic-type cross.

through the hole, passing something, or holding hands through it. There is a hole in the top of an ogham-inscribed pillar-stone that stands at a stopping-place on the Saint's Holes have a function in folk-magic and Kozd at Kilmakedar on the Dingle

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Responses

  • Pimpernel
    What is the function of the reask pillar?
    8 years ago
  • yohannes kiros
    What is early christian?
    8 years ago

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