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pure description, but originally polished ; it has three aper-
tures which meet in the centre for the attaohment of a string.

Fig. 93. No. 2. Fig. 94. No. 6. Fig, 95. Na 10. Fig. 96. No. 63.

In the second row, from No. 4 to No. 1 6, will be found thir-
teen beads derived from various localities, and selected from the
collection generally, but here arranged in the form of a neck-
lace. From No. 10, the centre-piece of that necklace, from
the two articles placed at the top of this Tray, and from
Nos. 6 and 53, have been drawn the accompanying illustra-
tions. Figs. 92 to 96. Fig. 94, from No. 6, is an ordinary glo-
bular bead. No. 53, Fig. 96, is a flat, oval ring of clay-
slate, figured one-fourth the natural size.


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Bings of stone, numbered from 47 to 60, and varying in
diameter from |ths of an inch to 3| inches, and of which
Fig, 96 affords an example of the small variety, may have been
worn on the thumb or finger, or were attached by ligatures
to the ear, or appended with other ornaments to necklaces.

Not only was stone formed into beads, and also finger and
necklace rings, but it was also converted into such large rings
as were probably used as bracelets or armlets, and of which

there are several

examples arrang-
ed upon Tray PP.

Of these. No.

49, Fig. 97, here

figured one-third

the natural size,

is 2^ inches in
Fig. 97. No. 49. the clear, and Fig. 9a no. 59.

No. 59, Fig. 98, the largest in the Collection, is 2| inches
in the clear, and ^ an inch thick. Similarly shaped objects
in jet are frequent.

Compartment III.— Shelf L, End-Case, Tray PF, contains sixty
objects of personal decoration. No. 1, a star- shaped bead or button,
composed of iron sandstone; 2^ inches across the points, smooth
and convex on one surface, and perforated on the other, as shown
in Fig. 92. No. 2, Fig. 93, a nodule of flint, with three apertures
meeting in the centre; it is 1^ inches in height, and somewhat more
than 1§ across. No. 3, a shield-shaped pendant, probably an amulet,
of whitish limestone, 2^ inches high, and 2^ broad. Beneath these
three objects are arranged, in necklace fashion, thirteen beads,
the central one of which, composed of shale, No. 10, Fig. 95, is of
a flat, oval shape, similar to those formed of jet; it is nearly 3 inches
long, by If across the middle, and tapers to |ths of an inch at each
end ; the aperture, which traverses the long direction, is of a large
size. The beads on either side of this are either globular or resem-
ble whorls; in size they vary, from No. 11, a round bead. If
inches across^ to No. 16, a flat, perforated disc, which is only fths of


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an inch in diameter. Nos. 4, 6, 10, 15, and 16, are composed of
shale; Nos. 5 and 7, of sandstone; Nos. 8 and 9 are limestone no-
dules; No. 12, chlorite schist; and Nos. 11, 13, and 14, lime-
stone. No. 6 is given as Fig. 94.

On the first straight row are six beads, of the ring character,
numbered from- 17 to 22, varying from If inches to Jths of an inch
in diameter. No. 17 is shale; No. 18 is red slate; the remainder
are of sandstone. The second cross-row contains five articles, of
which No. 23 is a mica slate ring ; No. 24, is a shale nodule; No. 25, a
limestone amulet, 1 J inches high, and about the same broad, perforated
at top, with a cross figured upon it, as shown by Fig. 100, p. 127.
No. 26, is a rotten-stone ring, indented at the side; No. 27, is a lime-
stone ring. On the third row are ^ve well-formed bead rings, of a
medium size, of which Nos. 28, 29, and 30, are of shale; No. 31 is
limestone; and No. 32, clay-slate. On the fourth row are arranged
seven rings, all, with the exception of the first, of a small size.
No. 33 is shale; No. 34, clay-slate, and only |ths of an inch across.
No. 35, the most beautiful specimen in the Collection, is a ring-like
bead, of quartz, nearly transparent, and 1 inch in diameter, with a very
small string-hole. Nos. 36, 37, and 39, are of limestone ; No. 38 is a cu-
rious bead of chlorite slate, smaller on one side than the other. Upon
the fifth row are seven small beads, some of them flat discs. Nos. 40,
43, and 45, are of limestone; No. 41, clay-slate; No. 42, sandstone;
No. 44, crystalline limestone; No. 46, of limestone, is the smallest
specimen in the Collection. The sixth row consists of five rings,
four of them small necklace or bead rings; and the fifth. No. 49,
Fig. 97, is a very remarkable bracelet, formed out of shale; its dia-
meter within the circle is 2^ inches, and from out to out 3^ ; it is
flat on the inner face of the ring, is nearly |ths of an inch thick, and
polished all over; No. 47 is shale; No. 48, granite; Nos. 50 and
51, sandstone. The seventh row contains six stone rings, varying
in size from Ij inches to little more than 1 inch, and are more slen-
der than the rest. No. 52 is a light ring of clay-slate; No. 53,
Fig. 96, is clay-slate, 1^ inches in the clear of the bore; No. 54 is
also of clay-slate; No. 55, limestone; No. 56 is a limestone ring,
1 inch in the clear; and No. 57 is a clay-slate ring.

Nos. 58, 59, and 60, are portions of bracelets or anklets. Not 58
is half of a ring, 2 inches in the clear, and I inch broad, of earthy


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limestone; it was procured from Ardakillan, and was — Presented
hy the Board of Works. No. 59, the largest ring in the Collection
(see Fig. 98, p. 123), is 3| inches in diameter, 2|^in the clear,
and about ^ an inch thick ; it is composed of shale, and was pro-
cured from Cruttenclough, parish of Castlecomer, county of Kil-
kenny. No. 60 is the fragment of a large thin ring, 3f inches in
diameter, and 3J in the clear. It was found at Keelogue Ford, and
was — Presented hy the Shannon Commissioners.

No. 15 came from Ballinderry Church, county of Antrim; No. 16
from Kells Abbey, county of Kilkenny; No. 48 was found in a
cromlech at Ladysbridge, county of Down; No. 50, at Dungans-
town, county of Wicklow ; and No. 6S was procured from Augha-
gallon, county of Antrim.

At the bottom of this Tray will be found a series of Touch-
stones, numbered from 74 to 82. They belong to the class of Tools,
although there can be little doubt of their having been worn either
as pendants on a necklace, or attached by a string to the person.
See pp. 89 and 90.


At the end of Rail-case B, numbered from 1 to 14, may
be seen fourteen pieces of fine-grained honestone or sand-
stone, carved and decorated with punch-marks, rings, and
circles, not unlike dominoes ; but of a variety of figures,
mostly, however, either oblong, angular, or circular. One of
the most remarkable is that resembling the gable
of a house, as represented by the accompanying
cut. Fig. 99, from No. 2, and which is 3 inches in its
greatest length, and 2 broad. They were found
in the mud thrown up in excavating the Brosna,
during the recent drainage operations connected ^«- ^- ^®- ^•
with that river. These small stones, together with several
similarly shaped pieces of bone, also found in the same loca-
lity, appear to have been used in some description of game.

Of Species vii. and viii., — articles illustrative of music or
the means of barter, — there are no stone representatives in
the Academy's Collection.


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Under this head may be classed all those objects either used
directly for medical or surgical purposes, such as instruments
and medicine stamps, or indirectly, as prophylactics, in the
shape of amulets and bullae, &c., against the supposed influ-
ence of fairies, or the " evil eye/' or disease in man or the
lower animals, — a custom still in use over a large portion of
the inhabited globe. The latter variety of these objects oc-
cupies a middle rank between medicine and religion.*
• Medicine Stamps, of Eoman origin, have recently at-
tracted the attention of the learned both in Great Britain and
on the Continent, where several have of late years been brought
to light. They are small stone tablets, engraved with letters,
and were used either for impressing wax or marking some
substitute for paper. They are generally oculists' stamps.
One of these was found at Golden Bridge, county of Tip-
perary, on a plot of ground called the Spittle Fields, contain-
ing some ruins traditionally known as ^' The Hospital," and
is now in the possession of Dr. Dowsley, of Clonmel, who has
kindly placed a model of it in the Museum (see Rail-case C,
No. 28). The inscription on it has been thus deciphered
by Mr. Albert Way : — " marci juventii tutiani diamysus
ad veteres cicatrices, a little mark at the close of the
first line, resembling a minuscule c, is somewhat indistinct."
This is one of the few relics of Soman art (except some coins)
which have as yet been discovered in Ireland.t

♦ The lucky horae-ahoe fastened on the threshold or the door-post, and " the
seven blessed irons" formerly hung round children's necks, are familiar examples of
such objects in Ireland ; while the coral hand with the pointed fingers, so much
worn by all classes in southern Europe, is too well known to require description.

t *'' The Archieological Journal," vol. vii p. 854 : see also Gough*s Treatise
in *'The Ardueologia," vol. ix. p. -327; Dr. Sichel*s Paper, published in Paris in
1845 ; and that of Professor Simpson, in the Edinbuigh ** Monthly Medical Jour-
nal," &c


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Amulets. — Not unlike the modem amulet, usually deno-
minated a * gospel,' is the accompa-
nying illustration, drawn the natural
size fix)m No. 25, on Tray TT^ which
bears upon its surface the rude repre-
sentation of a cross, bearing a " re-
monstrance.*' It is 1^ inches high,
and something more broad. It is of
limestone, and appears to have been Fig.ioo. Nass.

much worn. Somewhat of the same class is the shield-shaped
stone. No. 3, in that series of orjiaments.

Crystal Balls and ovals, varying from the size of a
marble to that of a small orange, are to be found in many
collections of antiquities in the British Isles. Such objects
formed part of the decoration of ecclesiastical shrines, of
which several may be seen in the Museum; for example,
in the Cross of Cong, the Cathach of the O'Donnells, and the
Donmach Airgid ; and globes of rock-crystal are set in most
sceptres, as may be seen among those in the regalia of Scot-
land, preserved in Edinburgh Castle. The smaller kind, and
those not of a globular form, manifestly belonged to shrines,
from which, perhaps, their peculiar sanative efficacy was sup-
posed to be derived. Globular masses of rock-crystal, uncon-
nected with either shrines or sceptres, have been preserved in
Irish families for centuries past, and have always been re-
garded with peculiar veneration, not only for their great anti-
quity, but on account of the virtue assigned to them by the
people, as amulets or charms, to be used in the prevention or
cure of cattle distempers. One of the most celebrated of
these crystal globes is that in the possession of the Marquis
of Waterford, concerning which there is a tradition in the
family that it was brought from the Holy Land by one
of his Le Poer ancestors at the time of the Crusades. This
is eagerly sought after, even in remote districts, in order to
be placed in a running stream, through which the diseased


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cattle are driven backwards and forwards, when a cure is said
to be effected; or it is placed in the water given them to
drink.* These crystal balls were also regarded as magic mir-
rors, such as those described by Spenser. We possess two of
them in the Academy; — see Nos. 1 and 2, in Kail-case C.
One is 2J inches in diameter, and the other 2J. See p. 148.


From the foregoing description of the weapons, some idea
may be formed of the warfare, the hunting, and the fishing; —
from that of the tools, of the industrial arts and probable
mode of life ; — ^from the notices of houses and fort^, and the
food implements and household furniture, we learn somewhat
of the agriculture and the domestic habits; — and from the beads
and rings, of the amount of personal decoration of the prime-
val people of this island. Of the objects used in* their games or
amusements a few specimens remain, but of their musical instru-
ments no relics have come to light ; and if they possessed
money or a means of barter, we are ignorant as to what it was.
That of which we have the most distinct evidence is the last
office of man for his fellow — Sepulture. Of the precise nature
of the religion of the people in this earliest period we pos-
sess no information, but such references as have been made to
the pre-Christian religion show that it was a form of Druid-
ism, in which its votaries chiefly worshipped the elements and
heavenly bodies ; and we know that when St. Patrick com-
menced his mission in the fifth century, his principal op-
ponents were the Druid priests. If, therefore, we would know
what the religion of the Pagan Irish was, we must learn it
from the history of Druidism in other countries.

* For the foregoing account of the Le Poer crystal the writer is indebted to the
Marchioness of Waterford. These amulets are described by Dalyell, in his " Darker
Superstitions of Scotland," p. 155, who gives an account of the most remarkable one
north of the Tweed. See also Sir E. L. Bulwer*s novel of " The Caxtons," vol. ii.
p. 343, and Sir Walter Scott's novels of " The Talisman" and '' My Aunt Margaret's


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Scattered over the plains of central and north-western
Europe, extending as far as the rigours of the northern cli-
mate permitted the Celtic race to spread, and all over the
British Isles, may be seen circular, oblong, square, and irregular-
shaped enclosures, which have remained from the pre-historic
period in their respective countries to the present time. Of
these, Carnac in Brittany, Rutzlingen in Hanover, several in
Denmark, Stonehenge and Aubry in England, the " Stones of
Stennis" at Orkney, and Classemiss at Lewis, in Scotland,
may be specified as examples ; and some such exist in Ireland.
Many of these are undoubtedly sepulchral enclosures, sur-
rounding tumuli or uncovered cromlechs, and several mark the
confines of what are termed " Giants' graves" — usually oblong
enclosures, only a few of which have yet been examined further
than the surface. One of the most notable stone circles in Ire-
land, from the size of the blocks which form it, and the extent of
space which they enclose, is that surrounding the great mound
at New Grange, on the banks of the Boyne, in the county of
Meath. But besides these circles connected with sepulchral
monuments, there are others apparentiiy intended for a diffe-
rent purpose ; and it is not without reason that many learned
persons conjecture that these stone enclosures were subser-
vient to religious uses, and that within them were enacted
some of the mysteries of Druidism. Possibly they were also
employed for holding solemn assemblies or courts of justice,
and for the inauguration of chieftains.

These remarks have been elicited by finding in the
Museum the model of a stone enclosure which exists in
the deerpark of Hazlewood, townland of Magheraghanrush,
parish of Calry, and county of Sligo — Presented to the
Academy by the President^ Dr. Todd (see Proceedings, vol. vi.
p. 123), and of which the perspective view given on the next
page affords a good representation. It is called Leacht Con Mic
Ruis^ the stone of Con, the son of Rush, and also " The
Giant's Grave." The large central space is 50 feet long, by


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25 wide. The avenue between the two small enclosures is
22 feet long, and 3^ feet wide, and each of the side spaces is
20 feet long, by 8 wide. The terminal space is an oval enclo-
sure, 23 feet long, by 10^ wide at the broadest part. Mr.
Wynne, on whose property this interesting remain stands,

states that <' several of
the stones were, it is
manifest, placed across
the others, like those in
Stonehenge, but the mo-
nument was much da-
maged some years ago,
by persons seeking for
treasure, supposed to be
hid beneath the surface,
r The entrance to this en-
closure faces the east.
There is a second stone
enclosure of the same
^* character about haM* a

mile distant, but only a fourth of the size, although the
stones of which it is composed are larger."* A glance at the
Ordnance Map (sheet 15, Sligo) will show that this must
once have been a very populous district, as many as thirty
large raths still remaining within a circuit of about three
miles round this structure ; and not far distant, in the town-
land of Carrowmore, there still exist sixty circles and crom-
lechs, " the largest collection," says Dr. Petrie, " of monu-
ments of this kind in the British islands, and probably, with
the exception of Camac, the most remarkable in the world."
See Proceedings, vol. i. p. 140.

* The foregoing illustration is taken, not from the actual monument, but from the
model, placed upon the ground-floor of the Museum. The Author is indebted to
the Right Hon. John Wynne for much information respecting this very curious
bat hitherto neglected relic of Druidism.


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In the arrangement observed in the Museum, and in the
construction of this catalogue, the Ecclesiastical Antiquities —
chiefly composed of metal — form an excepted class, not placed
together according to material ; but stone articles appertain-
ing to religious usages are again excepted from that class.

Altar-stones. — Upon the Uladhs, or penitential altars,
and on those of the small missionary churches, particularly
in the West of Ireland and the adjoining islands, or sometimes
placed upon the pedestals of ancient stone crosses, or beside holy
wells, there were usually found, some years ago, one or more
oval stones, either natural water-washed pebbles, or artificially
shaped, and very smooth; some were plain, and others decorated
and engraved. " They were," says Dr. Petrle, " held in the
highest veneration by the peasantry as having belonged to
the founders of the churches, and were used for a variety of
superstitious purposes, as the curing of diseases, taking oaths
upon them, &c." (see Proceedings, vol. iv. p. 273). In the
Life of St. Deglan, a MS. preserved in the Academy, we
read, " that being on his way from Bome, he stopped in a
certain church to say mass, and while there, a small black stone
was sent from heaven through a window, and rested on the
altar before him, and he gave it to Loonan, son of the King
* of Kome, who was with him ; and the name it has in Ireland

is Dubh-Deglain^ from its black colour ; and it still remains in
Deglan's church,'** at Ardmore, county of Waterford. Six
such stones will be found in Eail-case C, numbered from 3 to
9, and of which the three illustrations on next page present
the most remarkable forms.

No. 3, Fig. 102, of sandstone, is 4^ inches long, and
about If thick. On one side it has four indentations, like
finger-marks, and upon the other the figure of a cross cut into

f * Translation afforded by Eugene Cnrry, Esq., to whom the Author is much in-

debted for information respecting this and other matters connected with the MS.
illustration of the articles in the Museum of the Academy.


Digitized by



the stone. No. 6, Fig. 103, a shale nodule, 4 inches long,
has a peculiar form of cross marked on one side, and is plain

Fig. 102. No. 3. Fig. 103. Na 6. Fig. 104. No. 7.

on the other. No. 7, Fig. 104, is also apparently a shale no-
dule; it is 2| inches in diameter, and in figure resembles
a sling-stone, such as that on p. 75, Fig. 55, Upon the face
shown In the cut may be seen a number of raised lines,

forming an irregular, but by no
means unomamental figure. On
the obverse is a cross carved in
relief, the arms of equal length,
and extending to the edge of the
stone. See details of these altar-
stones on p. 148.*

Among the stone ecclesiasti-
cal antiquities may be classed a
vessel, supposed to be a chalice.
No. 34, placed in the Second
Cross-case, and here figured. It
is of sandstone, 7;^ inches high,
and 4| across the top of the cup ; it
stands on a base 3f inches across,
and has a rope-like ornament carved upon the stem.

At the foot of the right-hand staircase, leading to the

♦ In some localities a number of white round stones are placed on the altars,
concerning which there is a popnlar belief that they cannot be counted.


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Southern Gallery, are a number of sculptured and Inscribed
stones, for the most part connected with either religion or
sepulture. As examples of the former may be specified No. 1 8,
the greater portion of a highly decorated cross; No. 19, a
sculptured stone, bearing the figure of an ecclesiastic in re-
lief; No. 20, a small flag-stone, marked with a cross; and
No. 21, a small mitre-shaped stone, bearing the figure of an
ecclesiastic. See page 142.


. The small square stone grave, or kistvaen, containing a sin-
gle cinerary urn, placed beneath the surface of the soil, and
so frequently exposed by the plough or the spade ; the col-
lection of urns, apparently marking the site of an ancient
cemetery, possibly that of a battle-field; the grassy mound
and the massive cromlech breaking the level outline of the
landscape; the large stone circle, or the oblong enclosure,
popularly termed a " giant's grave ;" the huge temple-like
barrow, with its enveloping mound of stones or earth (the
western type of the true Oriental pyramid) ; the simple,
rude plUar-stone, the Ogham-inscribed monolith, or the
sculptured cross ; the wayside monument ; the horizontal
gravestone; the stone coflin; the modem vault, or stately
mausoleum ; and the carved recumbent figure in the decorated
abbey, as well as the marble tablet in the modem church ; —
all afford abundant examples of the use of stone material in
sepulchral and funereal rites, and evince the piety and re-
verence with which the dead were regarded in Ireland from
the very earliest time. Examples of all such sepulchral mo-
numents It would not be possible, except by models, to pre-
sent In a Museum such as that of the Royal Irish Academy.
But we have in the Stone Collection three forms of burial
illustrated, viz., by the early stone um of Pagan times ; by the
Ogham stones of very early Christian ; and the fragments of


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sculptured crosses of later Christian eras. Of the former we
have a very rare and .beautiful example in the large decorated
stone urn upon the fourth shelf of the Second Cross-case, as
shown by the accompanying representation (Fig. 106). It
came into the possession of the Academy with the Dawson

collection, but from whence

obtained is unknown. Its

dimensions are 8| inches

high, about 10^ broad, 1 inch

thick, 7^ wide in the mouth,

:_ and about 5^ deep ; it is

I composed of limestone, and

i decorated with two bands of

those zig-zag lines charac-

Fig. 106. No. 86. teristic of very early Irish

art, and has also on each side a circle, one raised, the other

flat and grooved, supposed by some to represent the sun and

moon. It has evidently been worked out with metal tools,

and is probably of a much later date than the early fictile urns.

Sir T. Molyneux described and figured a stone urn, said to

have been found at the mound of Knowth, on the banks of

the Boyne, county of Meath.

Ogham Stones. — Under this heading has been classed
a large collection of pillar-stones, marked with Ogham cha*
racters, (with two exceptions placed in the centre of the third
Compartment) arranged on the ground-floor, at the foot of
the staircase leading to the Northern Gallery. The cuts
upon each side of the opposite page, Figs. 107 and 108, from
No. 11, give views of one of the most interesting Ogham
stones in the collection ; it is about 4^ feet high, and averages
1 1 inches across. It was found, with three other similarly in-

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