|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. 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 is
located in a late medieval church in Rathmore, Co. Meath (ME024-017006) and the
other is a carving found on the base of the 12th century High Cross at Cashel Co.
Tipperary (TS061-025006). The stone is presently on display in the Visitor Centre at
Glendalough, Co. Wicklow.
Visitor Centre at Glendalough, Co. Wicklow
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