Aghade Holed Stone

Aghade Holed Stone or Cloghaphoill is a large holed stone and Irish National Monument located in Aghade, County Carlow, Ireland.[1]

Aghade Holed Stone
Gallán Pollta Áth Fhád
Shown within Ireland
Alternative nameCloghaphoill
LocationAghade, Tullow,
County Carlow, Ireland
Coordinates52.770101°N 6.746804°W / 52.770101; -6.746804
Width1.56 metres (5.1 ft)
Height2.4 metres (7.9 ft)
Foundedearly Bronze Age, 2000–1600 BC


The holed stone is granite, measures approximately 2.4 x 1.56 x 0.46 metres, weighs close to 5 tonnes, and has a hole about 32 centimetres (13 in) in diameter near the top.[2][3]

History and legend

Archaeologists believe that the stone was originally a door to a megalithic tomb. The hole may have permitted the offering of food or other objects to the dead.

The 14th-century Book of Ballymote offers a story where Niall of the Nine Hostages ties Eochaid, son of Énnae Cennsalach mac Labhradh (a 5th-century King of Leinster) to the Aghade Holed Stone and sends nine men to kill him:[4]

Then Niall went to Leinster upon a hosting, and he said that he would not go from them so long as he was alive, or until Echu were given him as a pledge and hostage. And this had to be done. So he was taken to Ath Fadat [Fád's ford] in Fothairt Fea on the bank of the Slaney, and was left there before Niall, with a chain around his neck, and the end of the chain through the hole of a stone pillar. Nine champions advance towards him to slay him. 'Woe!' said Echu, 'this is bad indeed!' With that he gave himself a twist, so that the chain broke in two. He seized the iron bolt that was through the chain, and advanced to meet them. He plied the bolt on them so that the nine fell.

Orcuin Néill Nóigíallaig (The Slaying of Niall of the Nine Hostages)[5]

Up to the 18th century it was common for sick children to be passed through the hole, in the belief that this would cure them.


  1. Weir, Anthony (13 November 1980). "Early Ireland: a field guide". Blackstaff Press via Google Books.
  3. Wood-Martin, William Gregory (13 November 1888). "The Rude Stone Monuments of Ireland. (Co. Sligo and the Island of Achill.)". Hodges, Figgis, & Company via Google Books.
  4. "Aghade Holed Stone, Carlow, Ireland". 25 September 2013.
  5. Ryan, John (13 November 2017). "The History and Antiquities of the County of Carlow". R. M. Times via Google Books.
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