Ogham in 3D
English | Gaeilge
Go to inscription

Shankill, Co. Kilkenny

Download Epidoc | 🔗 URI https://ogham.celt.dias.ie/Shankill

© 2017-08-11

National Monuments Service Record Number: KK016-013----

Site Type




No details of the find site appear to have been recorded except that the stone was found on a townland boundary (Shankill, Co. Kilkenny and Wells, Co. Carlow) (Lannigan 1969, 101, entry 60/6).


'Carboniferous limestone' (Lannigan 1969, 101, entry 60/6), 0.57m x 0.14m 0.05m . The stone is mounted on a wooden base, obscuring the end of the inscription on the first angle. Commenting on the unusually small size of this stone, McManus (1991, 75) suggests 'one cannot help thinking that, in its present size at least, it would have constituted something of an embarassment as a memorial. Unless it can be shown that it was part of an originally larger stone, therefore, one might entertain some doubt as to its authenticity'.


The inscription is pocked on three angles of the stone. Owing to the way in which the stone was mounted on the base, the inscription reads downwards on the first angle (at the end of which scores are oscured by the base), downwards on the second (on the opposite angle of the same face) and finally downwards on a third angle. Since the majority of ogham inscriptions start by reading upwards, it is possible that this stone is mounted upside down and that the inscription was meant to be read as up-up-up. However, this is not the only unusual thing about this stone (the inscription also generally starts on the left hand angle of one of the faces and generally reads up-(top-)down) so it is difficult to be certain of what was originally intended here.

'The transcription in the museum (which appears to have been made before the stone was mounted) reads -GIN at the end of the first angle but only one vowel notch is clear after the G and another just before the last consonant [although there is space for 4/5]. Of the latter, only two scores (of the B series) are visible above the mounting. In view of 275 CUNALEGEA, therefore, one wonders whether the reading was CUNALIGIAS or CUNALIGEAS, but this cannot be verified. The C of CUNA looks more like DD, the spacing being similar to that found in the LL of the second angle, but C is probably the intended reading... The last notch of the I of COSCIS/N is unclear and four scores of the final letter can be read with certainity, a fifth being debatable owing to damage below the letter' (McManus 1991, 75).




'of Mac-Conlach/Conlang son of Cóel descendant of Cosc'


  • Although the last few letters are uncertain, the initial personal name here appears to be a form of MAQI-CUNALEGEA(S), with a first element MAQ(Q)I- 'devotee, follower' (compare CIIC 40. MAQI-CAIRATINI, CIIC 66. MAQI-DECCEDDAS, etc) (McManus 1991, 108-9). CUNALEGEA without MAQI- occurs in CIIC 275. Drumlohan IV, Co. Waterford and CIIC 3. (CUNALEGI/-EA?) Island, Co. Mayo. This name contains the commonly occuring element CUNA- (OIr. ) 'dog, hound' and an uncertain second element (McManus 1991, 102; Ziegler 1994, 159).

  • The father's name, COILLI, 'looks like the gen. of the name later attested as Cóel, cóel 'thin, slender'... If the intended reading was -IAS or -EAS [as in the case of the first name above], COSCIAS/COSCEAS might be gen. of a fem. ā-stem *Coscā' (McManus 1991, 76.



Discovered on the townland boundary between Shankill, Co. Kilkenny (barony of Gowran) and Wells, Co. Carlow (barony of Idrone West). The precise find location of this stone is unknown. The archaeological record of this stone may be accessed via the National Monuments Service Historic Environment viewer on www.archaeology.ie. (Approximate GPS coordinates -7.004731, 52.689927).



Last recorded

Now in Rothe House Museum, Kilkenny, on display at the top floor of the second house. Publicly accessible (GPS coordinates -7.254813, 52.654265).

History of Recording

Discovered by Captain M. Doyle (Curragh Co. Kildare) in 1960 and donated to Rothe House Museum (Lannigan 1969, 101, entry 60/6). The stone was recorded in 3d by Gary Dempsey (Digital Heritage Age) and helpers during a workshop on photogrammetry in Rothe House in November 2018. Added to this website in July 2020 as an action of the County Kilkenny Heritage Plan Programme, funded by the Heritage Office of Kilkenny County Council and the Heritage Council.


Websites and Online Databases

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons licence Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Ireland

Copyright (c) 2013 by the School of Celtic Studies http://www.celt.dias.ie

All reuse or distribution of this work must contain somewhere a reference to http://ogham.celt.dias.ie/

Creative Commons License | Last update: 2023-07-30