On the beautiful Blackstairs Mountain beside Mount Leinster in Rathgeran townland, Co. Carlow is located Rathgeran Rock Art Stone. This stone (one of three in Rathgeran) is the finest example of early prehistoric rock art in south Leinster, and one of the finest in Ireland.
This stone is very hard to find on the Mountain & difficult to see in the bushes & wild fern. The Stone is up the side of a Mountain with no signs or directions & the people on which it lies don’t want anyone to visit on their land.
The nine circles carved on the stone it is over 4.5 thousand years since it was carved, older than the pyramids in Egypt. The Stone circles & cup marks that are also called Spirals. On the upper surface there are two sets of concentric rings (7 & 8 rings), the centre cupmarks of which are joined by a gutter. To the east of these is a 7 turn spiral. Below them is a 6 six ring concentric motif also with a gutter (gutters are very rare in ireland), to the west of which is a faint 6 turn spiral. There are two very eroded spirals or concentric rings above this last spiral.
This has to be amongst the best rock art in Ireland.
Photos by Paul O’Neill (October 2018)
Rathgeran Rock Art Stone on a map: