MONUMENT OF THE MONTH

MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS
   OF IRELAND.COM
ALL PHOTOGRAPHS ARE SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT
JULY 2013
The Derrykeighan La Tène Stone, COUNTY ANTRIM
Ireland, is mostly carved in low relief, with a continuous abstract La Tène style design, similar to that on the
Turoe La Tène Stone in County Galway. The unique design is an early example of Celtic La Tène art, dating from
the Iron Age, around c. 50 AD by the people living in the north-eastern region of Ireland. It was discovered in
1977 in the ruins of the old church at Derrykeighan but it is unclear if the people who built the church in the 17th
century placed it there by accident or deliberately. The stone, measuring 0.90m in height, 0.45m in width & 0.22m
in depth, was probably of ritual importance to the Iron Age pagan people of the region, and yet it was built into the
wall of a Christian church. The art was carved on the stone during the Iron Age, at a time when the influence of
the Celts was reaching Ireland from continental Europe. The stone was removed to the Ulster Museum for further
study and preservation and replaced by a replica. The La Tène design is now used as the emblem for Ballymoney
Museum. According to Mr. Richard Warner, Assistant Keeper of Antiquities at the Ulster Museum, the stone was
discovered during renovation work on the old church, which is now owned by the Ballymoney Borough Council.
‘The stone is not part of the original fabric of the building, nor could it have belonged to any earlier Christian
building on the site. It must have been brought, with other useful building stones, form somewhere in the locality,
when the building was being renovated in the 17th century or since.’ ‘The stone is decorated in a style which can
be closely dated to the 1st century AD or thereabouts. This stone is extremely important because it shows that the
art was local and that these items were not imported from other areas in Ireland.’
WHEN VISITING ANY OF THESE MONUMENTS,PLEASE ASK PERMISSION
FROM THE LANDOWNERS,IF REQUIRED.DO NOT LITTER OR DISTURB
THE MONUMENTS. THANK YOU.
Hosting by Yahoo Web Hosting
The Derrykeighan La Tene Stone, County Antrim