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The Hollywood Stone
The Hollywood Stone was discovered in 1908 by some local Wicklow men out
hunting ferrets, lying face-down beside a grassy lane, near Hollywood in West Co.
Wicklow (Lockstown Upper SMR No. WI016-017) (image 2). This is St. Kevin’s
Road, a mediaeval pilgrimage route between the Wicklow coastal plains and inland
Ireland. The boulder is large, measuring about 1.2m in height, 0.9m in width &
08m in depth. A small section of the labyrinth is missing. On the face of the stone is
carved a maze-like pattern, or labyrinth, approx 70cm in diameter, and appears to
have been carved using the classical seed pattern. The twists & turns of the maze,
ending at a central cross, can be seen as symbolic of the pilgrim’s journey towards
his destination. This design is known from the Christian era, suggesting it was
carved in mediaeval times. At present it is not possible to definitively date the
Hollywood stone (Price, 1940, 260-261), (Harbison, 1991, 142), but both Price &
Harbison favour an early medieval date. Only two other examples of medieval
labyrinths, incised stones are known in Ireland. One (image 4) is located in a late
medieval church in Rathmore, Co. Meath (ME024-017006) (Leask 1933, 164-6) and
the other is a carving found on the base of the 12th century High Cross at Cashel
Co. Tipperary (TS061-025006) (Harbison 1992, 34-5; Leask 1951, 14-18). The stone
is presently on display in the Visitor Centre at Glendalough, Co. Wicklow.
CO-ORDINATES
Visitor Centre at Glendalough, Co. Wicklow
SMR No.:-WI023-009063
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Sources:
Goddard H. Orpen, ‘Carved Stone near Hollywood, Co. Wicklow’. JRSI 41(1911, p. 183-5)
Harbison, P. 1998 ‘A labyrinth on the twelfth-century high cross base on the Rock of Cashel,
Co. Tipperary’. JRSI (1988, p. 107-11)
Leask, H. G. 1933 ‘Rathmore church, Co. Meath’. JRSI (1911, p. 153-66)
Price, L. ‘Stone and Bronze Age antiquities of the barony of Lower Talbotstown, Co.
Wicklow’. JRSI (1933, p. 46-67)
Image 1 of Hollywood Stone - Courtesy NMS
Images 2& 3 of Hollywood Stone - JRSI 41(1911, p. 184-5)
Image of 4 Rathmore ME024-017006 - Courtesy NMS
Image 1
Image 2
Image 3
Image 4