[Inscribed stones, Ballineesteenig]

Two fragments of a columnar stone with ogham inscriptions.

One of the fragments is described as forming the cornerstone of a 'miserable hovel', the other as standing on a heap of dirt. Said by a local informant to have formerly been part of a single tall pillar.
These drawings allow the broken stone to be identified as the column which Henry Pelham saw in 1790, standing intact in the centre of a village, on the route of the present N86. By 1804, as a result of a fire having been set against it, the stone was in two parts, and these ‘served various purposes around the farm’ (Cuppage). Finally, they were removed by Lord Ventry to Burnham House, then his residence, now an all-Irish boarding school for girls.
This new identification of the fragments illustrated by Chatterton adds her testimony of their condition in 1838 to the account of the stone’s vicissitudes given by Pelham, Brash, Ferguson et al.
In the archaeological record today the stone’s former location is given as Ballineesteenig [Baile an Ístínigh], although Pelham gave it as the village of Ballyfeeny, and Chatterton names Ballyrishtan, or Ballyrishteen, a townland adjoining Ballineesteenig. On the map in this database its location is given as Ballineesteenig (rather than its present position), to reflect more closely what Chatterton saw.

Archaeological Survey of Ireland, at http://webgis.archaeology.ie/NationalMonuments/FlexViewer/, record KE043-248----.
R.R. Brash, The Ogam inscribed monuments of the Gaedhil in the British Islands (LondonL 1879]
Judith Cuppage (ed.), Archaeological Survey of the DIngle Peninsula (Ballyferriter: Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne, 1986), record 591.
R.A.S. Macalister, Corpus inscriptionum insularum celticarum, Vol. 1 (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1945), record 147.

Image Details

Genre Scientific or Technical illustration
Technique Woodcuts
Subject(s) Antiquities and archaeological sites
Geographical Location
  • Ballineesteenig - Townland
  • Kerry - County
  • Munster - Province
Keywords(s) Antiquities, Inscriptions, Sculpture, Stelae
Colour Monochrome
Published / created 1839

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Rambles in the South of Ireland
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy Vol. 1, p. 221
Source copy James Hardiman Library, National University of Ireland Galway Special Collections: 914.190481 CHA
Rights James Hardiman Library

Related text from travel account

At the little village of Ballyristan, I got out to hunt for [p. 221] an inscription I had heard of, and a copy of which is here given.
[Image: Inscribed stones]
One of these stones stood amid a heap of dirt, near a cottage door; the other formed the corner stone of a wretched hovel.
An old woman told our driver that she remembered when they had formed a single high stone, or rather pillar (for, unlike most other Ogham stones, they seemed to have been chiselled into an exact round). Why it had been broken, I could not ascertain.
I was now so exhausted that I felt delighted to turn homewards, and to hear that Garfinny Bridge, another piece of antiquity I wished to visit, was not far out of our road. But, alas! as usual, the "not far," turned out to be a long, a weary long way, and the most fatiguing part of our expedition was still to come. [Vol. 1, p. 220-221]
Inscribed stones, Ballineesteenig