[Ogham stones, Ballintaggart]

Two smooth round-ended stones both with Ogham marks. The one on the right also has an inscribed cross. Their shape is described as resembling 'a large risolle or a flattened bolster'.

Based on its distinctive cross, the stone on the right appears to be one of the stones at Ballintaggart recorded by Macalister and others. The site where it and nine other ogham stones are now grouped, is in a field across the road from Ballintaggart House, which was recorded as the seat of S. Murray Hickson by Lewis in 1837, and is undoubtedly the residence mentioned in Chatterton’s text. While the ogham markings shown here do not fully correspond to those indicated by Macalister, they match more closely those for the same stone reproduced in 3D in the Ogham stones database of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. The other stone in the illustration appears to correspond to Macalister’s record 157.

Archaeological Survey of Ireland, at http://webgis.archaeology.ie/NationalMonuments/FlexViewer/, record KE053-033010-.
Judith Cuppage (ed.), Archaeological Survey of the DIngle Peninsula (Ballyferriter: Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne, 1986), record 820.
Landed Estates Database, Moore Institute, NUI Galway, at landedestates.nuigalway.ie.
Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (London: S. Lewis & Co., 1837).
R.A.S. Macalister, Corpus inscriptionum insularum celticarum, Vol. 1 (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1945), record 160.
Ogham in 3D, Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies, https://ogham.celt.dias.ie.

Image Details

Genre Scientific or Technical illustration
Technique Woodcuts
Geographical Location
  • Ballintaggart - Townland
  • Kerry - County
  • Munster - Province
Keywords(s) Antiquities, Archaeological sites, Cemeteries, Crosses, Inscriptions, Sculpture, Stelae, Tombs & sepulchral monuments
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. 226
Source copy James Hardiman Library, National University of Ireland Galway Special Collections: 914.190481 CHA
Rights James Hardiman Library

Related text from travel account

We returned to Tralee by a different road, which is shorter, though not so picturesque as that by Connor hill. Soon after leaving the town of Dingle, we stopped to see some Ogham stones which were pointed out to us in a field opposite Mr. Hickson's residence.
Some are placed near an old burial-ground, and two lie close to a ditch in the field. They differ from those we had already seen, inasmuch as the stones are perfectly smooth and round at the extremities, like a large risolle or flattened bolster. I copied the inscriptions of two; the stones are about two feet, ten inches and a half in length; the circumference at the centre, three feet one inch.
The characters are very perfect, and one of these would be an excellent specimen for a museum; there are, I think, seven or eight stones with inscriptions, one having a cross; and some others similar in shape, but without inscriptions.
[p. 226] This is the second time we have found a cross on the same stone with the Ogham characters. At first sight this seems inconsistent with the received opinion, which gives to these inscriptions an antiquity far more remote than the Christian era. Some learned antiquarians at Cork have removed this difficulty by suggesting that the crosses were probably added at a later period, when the stones were accidentally made use of at a Christian burial: the rude execution of these crosses, as compared with the inscription, seems to justify this idea.
Near the sea, on what is called "Trabeg," or "the short strand," are some stones similarly [p. 227] inscribed. A sketch of one of them is here given.
Mr. Windle [Windele], of Cork, who has bestowed much attention on the study of the Ogham character, supposes the translation of the inscription to be

"Brus-gus the king's son was lost in the sea."*
[Footnote]* On my return to Cork I was glad to find that Messrs. Horogan, Windle, and Abel had lately made an accurate inspection of the antiquities of this part of Kerry. I hope that the interesting researches of these learned antiquaries will shortly be given to the public. [Vol. 1, p. 225-227]
Ogham stones, Ballintaggart