Still Standing

A pre-Christian monument, the Doonfeeny Standing Stone is, at 14 and a half feet, the second tallest of its kind in Ireland (the standing stone in Punchestown, County Kildare is some 22 feet tall). The precise purpose of this and similar structures is unclear but the belief is that they were associated with pagan rituals, perhaps marking places of death and burial. It is notable that a church was subsequently built close to the the example at Doonfeeny, and a graveyard developed around it, all suggesting a continuation of older practices into the Christian era: two crosses were carved into this particular stone, as though to claim it for the new faith. For rather obvious reasons, standing stones were also long associated with fertility, women who wished to become pregnant being encouraged to visit them.

2 comments on “Still Standing

  1. teresastokes says:

    Very interesting. I have shared it to a Facegroup group I belong to called UK & Ireland Stone Circles & Standing Stones.

  2. Emma Richey says:

    Yes we have lots of standing stones and circles where I live. The Men Scryfa (Cornish for inscribed stone) is a large single standing stone and there is also Men-An-Tol consisting of 2 standing stones flanking a circular stone. There are many more in Cornwall all with similar associations to those in Scotland and Ireland. Probably they are not as tall as the one at Dunfeeny.

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