Punchestown Standing Stones

Punchestown Standing Stone, Naas, County Kildare

Punchestown Standing Stone is the largest of eight longstones in Co. Kildare and the tallest standing stone in Ireland. Made of granite it is nineteen and a half feet above ground and eleven feet in circumference. A quarter of a mile to the west is another longstone, at Craddockstown opposite the Racecourse's main gate from which it can be seen.

A tradition associated with the stones is that the legendary Fionn MacCumhaill hurled them from the Hill of Allen. There are two reasons given for this: one that it was part of a competition of strength, the other that he threw them at his wife who was in Punchestown!

Another story relates that an attempt was made by a Viscount of Allen to move the Punchestown Stone to his mansion by yoking fourteen pairs of oxen by chains to the boulder. This attempt to pull it from the ground caused it to lean at a dangerous angle. In 1934 it was decided to re-erect the stone vertically.

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