Mythical Ireland

Search Mythical Ireland

Home Ancient Sites Myths & Legends Art Astronomy Blog High Man Stone Map Contact Shop
Information Area

What's New at MI?

NEW Image gallery

Archaeology News

Audio files

Free Fonts & Dingbats

Free Wallpapers

Irish Place Names Books

Other Websites

Navigation | Sky Map SiteMap

Make a donation

Please consider a donation towards MI running costs:

My books
The Cry of the Sebac
The Cry of the Sebac - my new novel
Land of the Ever-Living Ones
Land of the Ever-Living Ones: my first work of fiction
Newgrange Monument to Immortality book
Newgrange: Monument to Immortality - click here
Island of the Setting Sun 2nd edition
"A fascinating insight into Ireland's ancient burial sites" - Irish Independent

Our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter for news and regular updates from Mythical Ireland
Established 16/3/2000

Turoe Stone, County Galway

Engraved stone in La Tène style

The Turoe Stone, located in County Galway in the west of Ireland, is one of the most instantly recognisable examples of ancient art in Ireland. It is the best example, from a select few surviving examples, of a Celtic art style called La Tène.

The Turoe Stone

In fact, it has been hailed as one of the finest examples of La Tène art in Europe, and in its Irish context, the art is assignable to the Iron Age, and specifically the last three centuries Before Christ. Standing 1.68 metres high, the Turoe Stone is highly decorated, with spirals, circles, curves, and other motifs. The patterns are in relief because the stone was skilfully picked back from the surface.

The Turoe Stone
Although the stone is now positioned on the lawn in front of Turoe House in the town of Loughrea, County Galway, George Coffey, in his 1904 paper for the Royal Irish Academy on the subject of La Tène art, said it had been moved in the 1850s from its original location near the Rath of Feerwore, an Iron Age ring-fort structure, at nearby Kiltullagh. Some commentators have said it's surprising the stone survives intact given the beauty of its art. The stone is set in a concrete base and metal grille to prevent grazing cattle using it as a scratch post.
The Turoe Stone
The Turoe Stone
The stone's phallic shape has led some researchers to comment that it could have been related to a fertility cult. Perhaps the stone dates from the Bronze Age or the Neolithic, and was decorated in later times, but this is mere speculation. Other examples of stones with La Tène art include Castlegrange, Co. Roscommon, Killycluggin, Co. Cavan, Mullaghmast, Co. Kildare, and Derrykeighan, Co. Antrim.


Many thanks to Eileen Roche for these wonderful photographs of the Turoe Stone.


Kenneth McNally, Standing Stones and other monuments of Early Ireland, Appletree, 1984.
Michael J. O'Kelly, Early Ireland - an Introduction to Irish Prehistory, Cambridge, 1989.
Sean P. O'Riordain, Antiquities of the Irish Countryside, University Paperbacks 1942 (1965).
More books listed here.


I found some good pictures of the Turoe Stone at this website, including an up-close look at the art, while Andy Burnham's Megalithic Portal has some information and a good photograph also.

Notice: All pictures are copyright © Eileen Roche. Images may not be copied, reproduced or redistributed without the prior written consent of Eileen Roche.
E-MailRequests for photos to:

Back to the ancient sites section

All information and photos, except where otherwise stated, copyright, © Anthony Murphy, 1999-2015
Home Ancient Sites Myths & Legends Art Astronomy High Man Forum Stone Map Contact