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CIIC 241. Kilbonane, Co. Kerry

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© COPYRIGHT, 2009 2015-07-23

© COPYRIGHT, 2009 2015-07-23

© COPYRIGHT, 2009 2015-07-22

© 2015-07-23

National Monuments Service Record Number: KE057-078002-

Site Type




Kilbonane church (KE057-078001-) graveyard (KE057-078003-) in pasture, on level ground, overlooking the valley of the Laune River to the S. The overgrown ruins of a rectangular church (21.4m E-W; 8m N-S). The walls (H c. 4m; T 1m) are of rubble sandstone bonded with lime mortar. The church is entered through a pointed door ope at the W end of the S wall. This was the parish church of Kilbonane, recorded in 1841 as 'the church of Saint Benignus' (OSL, 196-7). According to local tradition, the church was thatched and burnt by the Cromwellian troops (ITA). The Minutes of the CKFC records a belfry on top of the W gable and at the E end the 'south wall projects and widens showing what appears to be a souterrain leading under it'. The SE corner of the church has collapsed outwards, depositing a mound of rubble which obscures an area up to 4m outside the SE corner. There are no visible remains of the possible souterrain (KE057-078004-). The ogham stone formerly in the vault at the E end of the church has been moved to Coolmagort, Beaufort (Extract from ASI database, www.archaeology.ie).


1.91m x 0.41m x 0.18m (converted from Brash 1879, 234). The stone was broken across the centre in its original location covering a vault beneath the E window inside the church ruin at Kilbonane (Brash 1879, 234). It is now upright (though up-side-down in comparison to Macalister's drawing) and supported by a concrete pillar in the enclosure at Coolmagort.


Vertical, up, on two angles and up-up on the face, apparantly three separate inscriptions (Macalister 1945, 235-7; see Gippert for details of readings by others). There is quite a lot of damage to vowels on the angles. The inscription on the face is relatively easy to read but very difficult to interpret, except for the last 8 letters, which appear to spell the name BAIDAGNI. This name may also occur in the inscription on the dexter angle. Although only B[...]AGNI remains, the space left would accomodate -AID- as suggested by Macalister (1945, 235). The face inscription also contains some unidentifiable characters following NIR, described by Macalister as 'short strokes being V-like zigzags turned sideways, the long [2nd] stroke a similar W-like zigzag'. However, the first of the shorter characters is more C-shaped (see detailed image, which is up-side-down in comparison to Macalister's sketch (1945, 235), giving the appearance of a human-like representation).


Dexter angle: B[AID(?)]AGNỊ ṂAQ̣I ADDỊLONA
Sinister angle: NAGỤN[I(?)] M[U(?)]C̣[O(?)] B[AI(?)]D[A]N[I(?)]


'of Báetán son of A.'


  • MacNeill (1931, 51) sugested an identification of ADDILONA with a mid-sixth-century Siadliu, son of Ferb and greatgrandfather of Mo Chutu. However, McManus (1991, 172, note 25) pointed out that 'the Kilbonane stone (241) presents a number of difficulties which MacNeill attempted to solve in his discussion ... Bergin (1932, 107-11) rejected most of MacNeill's proposals including his explanation of ADDILONA, pointing out that *Saidliu is a phantom, the correct form of the name, in the genitive, being Saiglenn with -g- not -d-. The loss of an initial S on the inscription would be exceptional'.

  • In Macalister's view (1945, 237), 'the only reasonable interpretation for this inscription [on the face of the stone] so far offered is that of Prof. MacNeill (1931, 53) (who reads the cryptical letters ABBA - Ni raba amne dagni essi conidd ala amit Baidagni: `let it not be thus he makes it, but let him compose it thus, `Baidagni''. This interpretation was also rejected by Bergin (1932, 110) (see Gippert, CIIC 241, for details of these discussions).



covering a vault beneath the E window inside the church ruin at Kilbonane in the barony of Magunihy (Brash 1879, 234) (GPS coordinates -9.668483, 52.084366).



Last Recorded

In a small modern enclosure in Coolmagort (together with the seven stones from a souterrain in that townland) near the entrance to the Gap of Dunloe. The present location of this stone may be accessed via the National Monuments Service Historic Environment viewer on www.archaeology.ie. (GPS coordinates -9.634923, 52.06042)

History of Recording

Reported to have been discovered by R. Hitchcock and visited by Brash in August 1869 (Brash 1879, 234). By the time of Macalister (1945, 235) the stone had been moved to Coolmagort. Gippert noted that 'it was lying prostrate when the site was visited in 1978 and 1981, but had been erected leaning against a concrete pillar before 1998'.


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