> This Killycluggin Stone doesn't seem to be made of gold and presumably
no traces of former gold-plating (or I would expect that to be mentioned
the site for which you provided the URL, and thanks for that). Is it
purely on the bases of its having been broken and its being in County
that it's believed to be Crom Crúaich?
In that specific part of Cavan, yes. The description of Crom as "clad in
gold and silver" (not made of gold) is quoted in Aubrey Burl _A Guide to
the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany_, 1995. There is no
trace of paint or other colouring on the Killycluggin Stone, as far as I
am aware, as there is not on the Greek and Roman statues, which, I think
has been established, were originally painted. It is the sum of
associations of the Stone with Crom that suggest to me the suitability
of a gold painted, silver filigreed, dome-shaped stone symbolising the
harvest in the form of a stylised stack of corn, which at some point had
the persona of a god thrust upon it.
> The idea that the circle itself is Crom Crúaich seems to be a little
incongruous, but I have some questions arising from this portion of your
message. How many stones are in the circle? If less than 12, has
been found for some having been removed? If more than 12, how do the
explain the inconsistency with the reference in the Dindshenchus? What
the name given locally to the circle? If the Killycluggin Stone is the
symbol of Crom Crúaich, why was the replica not placed in the centre of
Any inconsistency in the number of stones might be explained by the fact
that some are broken, displaced and removed, ie, gaps in the circle.
Heavy vegetation makes it impossible to count without a thorough
cleanup. Burl says "seven of the fifteen stones in this ring are
prostrate." Could be 12 plus the 2 entrance stones plus broken stones,
more or less as per Dindshenchus. Burl says the circle is 75.5 feet
(23m) diameter. The official Archaeological Inventory of Co. Cavan
(1995) says "(int. dims. 22m E-W; 18.6m N-S) enclosed by a total of
eighteen stones, all but five of which have fallen". The site is wildly
overgrown this time of the year, and a boundary fence runs through it.
That, and community pride and the desire to display the replica in a
highly visible and accessible location probably led to its installation
at a nearby crossroads next to a lay-by. Strict historical and
archaeological accuracy was not a priority. (A friend of mine initiated
the making of the replica as a Foróige project.)
It's called the Killycluggin Stone Circle locally and officially for the
townland. The name might mean "woods of the little bell or head", bell
being a colloquial term for head. "Kill" in Cavan is usually not
"church", though nearby Kilnavert ("-vert" is pronounced "-vart") is
given as "church of the graves" for a cluster of barrows, a wedge tomb
and a gallery grave.
A lot of standing stones of various shapes have been found recumbent in
the area, especially in Kilnavert, including one used as an altar --
Mass rock -- during Penal times.