Emerald Isle

The Boheh stone

Irish and Celtic myths and legends, Irish folklore and Irish fairy tales and Legendary Places in Ireland

The Boheh stone

The Boheh stone in the deepest west of Ireland is one of the finest examples of Neolithic rock art in Europe, over two hundred and fifty petroglyphs wrought by unknown hands on a natural outcrop of rock flecked with quartz stones, on the west side of a hill, facing the setting sun, around 3800 BC. Twice a year at sowing and harvest times this produces a spectacular effect, the "rolling sun" of Boheh, where from the location of this stone the sun appears to roll down the side of Croagh Patrick, the sacred mountain.

It was described by Kinahan in 1873 as a "pile of stones" in a field.  He stated that "a large flat stone covers most of the surface of the pile; of the stones under it, some are lying flat with others on edge or end, but all form a solid mass which might easily be mistaken for a natural heap. The markings occur on several of the stones and consist for the most part, of variously sized cup-shaped hollows, in places combined with circles, or part of circles."

For all that it has been well-known for centuries, it still has surprises to offer - a new panel of carving was found in 2014, and in 2023 Lynch wrote that the carvings on the top stone appear to represent the constellations of Crux and Centaurus, last visible from Ireland around 4100 BC.

Most of the designs on the stone are cup-and-ring marks and keyhole marks. The Boheh stone is located along the ancient spiritual path that stretches from the capital of the West, Rathcroghan in County Roscommon, to Croagh Patrick in County Mayo. Both the ancient trails and the Boheh stone were later Christianised: these are now known as Tóchar Phádraig and St. Patrick’s Chair. The beautiful rolling sun phenomenon can be seen on the 18th of April and the 24th of August.

The Boheh Stone can be found on the map below!



Legendary Places in Ireland

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