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St. Declan's Stone Boulder Burial
 

County

Waterford

Coordinates

N 51° 57' 00.4"   W 007° 43' 11.1"

Nearest town

Ardmore

Grid Ref.

X 19320 77533

Map No.

82

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

3

Date of visit

Wednesday 19 June 2013

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The boulder on the beach rests on two natural rocks.


St. Declan arrived to Ireland from Wales some time between 350 and 400 after his journey to Rome. The legend has it that Declan received a golden bell from Heaven while he was celebrating a Mass. He wanted to bring the bell along with him to Ireland, but he left it behind when he sailed from Wales. The bell was very precious for him and he prayed that it would be safe. His prayers were answered and a boulder carrying his bell appeared and floated on the waves before his boat up to the shore in Ireland. Declan promised to build a monastery wherever the bell would have landed, so the boulder stopped on the shore of this bay and Declan founded his church on the heights of this area, the Great Height, Aird Mhór.
This boulder stands on two small supporting rocks. I think this can be classified as a boulder burial. It's possible that when the tomb was erected the water of the sea didn't reach this place, just like Rostellan portal tomb in county Cork.
Beneath the boulder there's a little hollow through which pilgrims would drag themselves during the pattern on St. Declan's feast day, July 24th, to cure their illness, mainly arthritis, and to receive spiritual benefits.
The passage beneath the boulder looks east (90°).


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