Ogham Stone

ogham stone at DerrynaneDown from Staigue Fort House, past Caherdaniel on the way to Derrynane House, you can’t miss the sign for the Ogham Stone on your left.

This Ogham Stone lay partly buried on the Derrynane strand until the 1940s when it was moved to its present location.

The stone is of sandstone grit and stands 2.1m high. What is special about this stone, is that the markings on it are the earliest written form of the Irish language, Ogham.


Each letter of the ogham alphabet is composed of from one to five parallel lines or notches. These can be placed on, to either side of, or diagonally across a stem-line which is usually formed by the angle of a pillar stone. The ogham script is an alphabet thought to be based on the Roman alphabet.detail of ogham stone

The earliest use of ogham may date to the fourth century AD. The form of ogham inscriptions is commemorative and some ogham stones may therefore mark burials. The inscriptions are normally read from the bottom up.

The inscription is severely eroded. It was read by Macalister R.A.S. (Corpus Inscriptionum Insularum Celticarum, 1945) as:


Q[. . . ]CI

Below is a table which interprets the letters of the Ogham alphabet as names of trees or shrubs.

ogham alphabet


Designed by Aoibheann Lambe