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If you are interested in ancient history and Celtic art, you might want to visit the Turoe Stone, a granite stone decorated with intricate patterns that dates back to the Iron Age. The Turoe Stone is located in the village of Bullaun in County Galway. It is one of the finest examples of La Tène style art in Ireland, and a National Monument of Ireland.

The Turoe Stone measures 1.68 metres high and has a conical shape. The top half of the stone is covered with a continuous abstract curvilinear design that resembles spirals, loops and circles. The design is similar to that on the Castlestrange Stone in County Roscommon, another La Tène style monument. The bottom half of the stone is plain and smooth.

The Turoe Stone is estimated to date to about the period 100 BC to 100 AD, although some scholars have suggested an earlier date. The stone was originally located at a lios (fairy fort) or rath (ringfort) at the Rath of Feerworesome, 3 km from Bullaun, but was moved to the present location at Turoe Farm in the late 19th century. The reason for the move is unclear, but it may have been done to protect the stone from vandalism or damage.

The stone was positioned on the lawn in front of Turoe House, set in a concrete base surrounded by a metal cattle grill. The structure was built in 2005 to protect the stone from the elements and preserve its delicate carvings. The Turoe Stone was then removed by the OPW (Office of Public Works) in 2013 to be cleaned and to be returned under a weather proof cover, but its return to the front of Turoe House has not yet happened much to the dismay of the Turoe Farm owners.

The original purpose and meaning of the Turoe Stone are unknown, but there are some theories and speculations. The stone may have been a religious or ceremonial object, perhaps related to a fertility cult or solar worship. The stone may have also served as a boundary marker or a territorial symbol. The stone may have been associated with a local chieftain or king, or with a mythical hero or deity.

The Turoe Stone is a unique and fascinating monument that reflects the artistic and cultural achievements of the Celtic people in Ireland. It is a testimony to their skill and creativity in carving intricate patterns on hard granite. It is also a mystery that invites us to wonder about its origins and significance.

Note: The Turoe Stone has not yet been returned by the OPW to Turoe House, so the stone cannot be found at this location currently, however it is believed that the stone will be returned soon in a state-of-the-art development and protective structure for the stone, giving it the preservation and attention this truly unique stone deserves.


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The Turoe stone



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