<< Our Photo Pages >> Turoe Stone - Rock Art in Ireland (Republic of) in Co. Galway

Submitted by Anthony_Weir on Saturday, 03 January 2015  Page Views: 18925

Rock ArtSite Name: Turoe Stone
Country: Ireland (Republic of) County: Co. Galway Type: Rock Art
Nearest Town: Loughrea  Nearest Village: Bullaun
Discovery Map Number: D39
Latitude: 53.252667N  Longitude: 8.56198W
4Almost Perfect
3Reasonable but with some damage
2Ruined but still recognisable as an ancient site
1Pretty much destroyed, possibly visible as crop marks
0No data.
-1Completely destroyed
5 Ambience:
2Not Good
0No data.
5 Access:
5Can be driven to, probably with disabled access
4Short walk on a footpath
3Requiring a bit more of a walk
2A long walk
1In the middle of nowhere, a nightmare to find
0No data.
5 Accuracy:
5co-ordinates taken by GPS or official recorded co-ordinates
4co-ordinates scaled from a detailed map
3co-ordinates scaled from a bad map
2co-ordinates of the nearest village
1co-ordinates of the nearest town
0no data

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Turoe Stone, Co Galway
Turoe Stone, Co Galway submitted by Frank W : Very unusual Celtic carved stone in Ireland. the patterns have been the inspiration for a lot of "celtic" designs. The bright sun and close-up angle bring out its best features. (Vote or comment on this photo)
Celtic Cult-Stone in Co. Galway. Remarkable phallic pillar which stood in a field beside a house, up a lane to the N of a by-road, 6 km NNE of Loughrea.

It was moved from the Rath (Iron Age farmstead) of Feerwore ( Fír Mhór: Big – or Great - Men) in the same townland, where excavations suggested that an open site dating to the last centuries before the Christian Era was later enclosed.

The stone is of granite, 90 cms high, and the top half is covered with a continuous abstract curvilinear design carved in relief in the Celtic style known as “La Tène”, with a kind of circumcision-line of Greek-key pattern beneath it. The flowing design could be interpreted as semen. It is amazing that such a wonderful object - resembling (and obviously as important as) the Navel Stone at Delphi, has survived in Ireland up to the 21st century, remaining outdoors, albeit somewhat spoiled by a concrete surround and cattle-grid.

It has a kind of “sister” in the egg-shaped Castlestrange Stone, county Roscommon.

Note: The Turoe stone has been removed for conservation, due to return in summer 2015, see the most recent comments on our page
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Turoe Stone
Turoe Stone submitted by Sunny100 : The Turoe Stone, dating from between the 3rd to 2nd century BC. It stands in front of Turoe House near Bullaun, Co Galway. (8 comments - Vote or comment on this photo)

Turoe Stone
Turoe Stone submitted by Sunny100 : B/w image of The Turoe Stone standing at 1.68 metres high and dating from between the 3rd-2nd century BC - probably the Bronze-Age. It is made of granite with carvings in the Celtic-style of La Tene - spirals, circles, Greek key patterns and other symbols. The stone was perhaps associated with fertility rites. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Turoe Stone
Turoe Stone submitted by davidmorgan : Three views of the Turoe Stone. (Vote or comment on this photo)

Turoe Stone
Turoe Stone submitted by durhamnature : Old drawing from "The Study of Bronze Age Pottery..." via archive.org (Vote or comment on this photo)

Turoe Stone
Turoe Stone submitted by davidmorgan : It has been moved once already. From Kiltullagh, apparently. (1 comment)

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"Turoe Stone" | Login/Create an Account | 7 News and Comments
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Turoe Stone removed for conservation, due to return in summer 2015 by Andy B on Saturday, 03 January 2015
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Update January 31st 2014
National Monuments Service posted the following update on Facebook:

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. Monitoring of the condition of the granite stone over a number of years had indicated damage and loss of carved detail due to weathering and mechanical abrasion. The opportunity is also being taken to undertake high resolution laser scanning and 3D modelling of the entire stone. Following conservation, it is proposed to return the stone to Turoe once a structure with the appropriate environmental conditions for its protection is constructed.

Monday 7th July 2014
Robert M Chapple wrote: I was back in Galway at the weekend and took my lot, one of my lovely nephews, and my mother along to the Turoe Pet Farm … it’s still a great day out and I’d really recommend it if you’re in the area. As reported previously, the Turoe Stone is gone – taken for cleaning and restoration – to Athenry. The infamous shed is gone and even the concrete base and metal grille – a feature of the site for decades – have been removed. All that remains are the two signs from 2005. In speaking to the owners of the site, I’m given to understand that plans are in place to return the stone to the area – but not this specific field – sometime around summer 2015

I’ll endeavour to bring you more information if/when I find it!
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Release the Iron Age One!: What's happening to the Turoe Stone? by Andy B on Saturday, 03 January 2015
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Robert M Chapple writes (May 2013): Unfortunately you’ll not currently have an opportunity to see the Turoe Stone. I realised this as I stood at the entrance, and saw that ominous-looking shed standing alone and silent in the middle of a green field. At first I thought that this was some machination by the landowners to hide or attempt to get extra money for looking at the stone. A chat with the landowner, and then encountering the large Office of Public Works sign, informed me that this was not the case. As you can see from the sign, the OPW are:

“currently undertaking a programme of conservation involving the erection of a temporary shelter over the Turoe Stone, in order to protect the decorated stone from ongoing deterioration due to adverse weather conditions and to inhibit harmful organic growth. The condition of the monument is being monitored by a specialist conservation team from the Office of Public Works and the National Museum of Ireland. The future conservation requirements of the monument are the subject of current discussions.”

I’m all in favour of careful and considered conservation for this internationally significant stone – but this sign is dated 2005!

More at
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Re: Turoe Stone by Anonymous on Wednesday, 20 August 2014
The placement of the stone on the map and coordinates are wrong.
The correct ones are 53.252667 and -8.56198 [corrected]
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Re: Anger over plans to move ancient stone by Anonymous on Saturday, 08 November 2008
If it should be moved anywhere-it should be brought back to Feerwore, with a protective covered structure over it. This magnificent relic of the Celtic Iron Age in Ireland is priceless. and should not be removed to some museum. Those who are interested should get a copy of "Hand of History-Burden of Pseudo-History" by Tom O'Connor- that illuminates the role of this great relic- and it's importance to the area it was originally placed in-before destroying more of the Iron Age history of Celts.
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Re: Anger over plans to move ancient stone by Anonymous on Friday, 07 November 2008
Even though this stone is not on it's original site it is close enough to warrant remaining where it is. Build some sort of (removable?) protective cover to enclose it or visitors centre and leave it where it is.
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Re: Anger over plans to move ancient stone by davidmorgan on Thursday, 06 November 2008
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Weren't there more photos here once?
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Anger over plans to move ancient stone by Andy B on Thursday, 06 November 2008
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A community in Co Galway is outraged that a 2,000-year-old ritual stone is to be moved and taken to a museum.

Minister for the Environment John Gormley has been asked to intervene to prevent Turoe Stone from being moved to Galway City Museum.

The three-foot high oval granite monument was erected near a ring fort at Kiltullagh over 2,000 years ago and was moved a short distance to Bullaun, a few miles north of Loughrea in mid-Galway, about 150 years ago.

Experts believe it needs protection from the weather, but the Turoe Historical Society wants it to remain, with a visitor centre built on the site. The society says this would boost rural development. "The stone needs protection from weathering, but rather than removing it, this protection can be given to it on site at Turoe," said a spokesman for the society.

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