Monday, 6 January 2014

Adventures through Ancient Ireland: Doagh Holestone

We chose a soggy and windswept Sunday morning to visit another one of the countless remnants of ancient Ireland left strewn across the country.
Doagh holestone is a bronze-age megalith (around 2000BC) not far from Ballymena in County Antrim and is one of only a few holestones from this period remaining in Ireland.
In recent centuries Irish couples have been known to pledge their love to each other while clasping hands through this stone. But was it erected for that same purpose 4000 years ago? The romantic in me would like to think so but one theory about holestones is that bronze-age men would have  inserted their penises in these groin-height holes in order to ensure fertility! 
Either way, the connection to love and marriage remains today and some young couples still travel to the stone after their wedding ceremonies, or for bethrothals or handfasting ceremonies. I know Danny and I will be back to this site (hopefully in sunnier weather) for one of our year(and-a-day)ly handfastings.