Kilgarvan Ogham Stone

Kilgarvin Ogham Stone, Co. Mayo

Ogham is a method of writing used by the ancients to inscribe the Irish and Pictish languages on stone monuments.  Possibly begun during the 4th – 7th centuries however several scholars think the stones date back at least to 100 AD.  The Ogham script consists of lines & notches incised on the edge of a stone: with each line or notch, or indeed a series of lines and notches, represented different letters of the alphabet. Usually it is read from the bottom upwards.[i]

This Ogham Stone discovered by a group that included Noel O ‘Neill & Gerry Bracken on Good Friday 2000 on a day’s fieldwork.  It is a short pillar: wedge – shaped in section, composed of granite.  The stone 1.4 in length, 0.3 in width plus 0.2 in depth.  It has been inscribed with a single name ‘DOTAGNI.’ The stone has been dated by Moore to perhaps 400 – 599 AD.  The graveyard where the stone lies is in the Barony of Gallan where the Gailenga Tribe frequented.  They were among one of the major tribes in the vicinity until the rise of Connachta during the sixth century. It is possible the stone commemorates a Gailenga Chieftain. The Co – Ordinates are 54 5 23.084 N 9 1 40.43 W. [ii]

This Ogham Stone was discovered stone by a group from Mayo Historical & Archaeological Society on Good Friday 2000.  This stone was lying on its side in Kilgarvan Graveyard adjacent to where an old church had once been in the parish of Bonniconlon, Co. Mayo.  According to local tradition the church had been founded by St. Feichin of Fore from Levney in Co. Sligo during the seventh century. [iii]


Several Irish Ogham Stones images are available to view at this site:


[i] Kilgarvan Ogham Stone ( [assessed 3rd July 2020]

[ii] Megalithic Monuments ( [assessed 3rd July 2020]

[iii] Kilgarvan Ogham Stone ( [assessed 3rd July 2020]


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