Clogh Oghaim (Ogham Stone)

So, what exactly is an Ogham Stone?

An Ogham Stone is unique to Ireland and Wales and is a stone that has carvings in it now considered to be examples of early written Irish. They’re read from bottom to top and are simple enough that you can translate like a secret code. Finding meaning in the translation is something entirely different.

What’s interesting is that most stones found today are comprised of a list of names. For this reason, I can’t help but compare the Ogham Stone to the West Coast Indigenous practice of carving totem poles as a means of communicating important events and messages to the community; like a bulletin board. Most totems are abandoned when the tribe migrates to their seasonal locations and are lost to the rot of the forest.

The pictured Ogham stone comes from Derrynane; found at the entrance to Derrynane House. The stone has been carbon-dated to 500-550 AD and was found preserved in a bed of sand close to its current location.

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