Warrenpoint's Coronation Stone: Our path to the Ancient God of Love
It’s Hallowed Ground we hail from!
Warrenpoint : An ancient ground where kings were anointed!
You may know something of the legend and myth of the Coronation Stone at the top of the Bridle Loanan, Warrenpoint.
Many of us locally know it as ‘The Devil Stone’ having been petrified by one of our friends that the markings on the stone was the earthly imprint of Lucifer himself.
However, the marking on the stone and it’s purpose may have more regal importance to the exertion of power and influence in ancient Ireland.
There’s no doubt our area of Carlingford Lough, Mourne, Cooley and Gullion was an important place to the ancient Irish.
How do we know? Our ancestors left their mark everywhere, for all time!
The MacGuinness Coronation Stone
This is the ancient ground where the newly appointed head of the local clan received the honour and responsibility of ruling and guiding his people.
In the times of the ancient clans of Ireland, this sacred stone was called Cusleac Aonguis or the Footstone of Aongus.
Aonghus is the God of Love and youth in Irish Mythology.
It’s here we can let our imaginations run wild and plot the path from Warrenpoint back to ancient times in Ireland.
A Warrenpoint Bloodline to the Ancient Irish God of Love perhaps?
The name MacGuinness /Magenis derives from the name Aengus.
Aengus Og was the son of Daghda and Boann, the Goddess of the River Boyne.
Boann was already married when she had the love affair with Daghda.
To conceal the pregnancy, Daghda used his magical powers to freeze the sun for nine months.
The magic worked!
Aengus Og was conceived and born on the ‘one day’.
Aengus Og was always surrounded by four small birds believed to represent kisses and the power to invoke love.
Ireland has a rich spiritual heritage long before Saint Patrick came to these shores – (check out the Neolithic wonders Kilfeaghan Dolman at Killowen and the Ballymacdermot Fort at Meigh, outside Newry)
Is there direct link from the Celtic Gods and the powerful Tuatha Dé Danann (see the video below) – the people who worshipped the ancient Irish goddess Danu – to the Coronation Stone on The Bridal Loanan?
Stone of Destiny
The ancient Magennis clan believed that when their leader stepped on the Coronation Stone , he received all the wisdom and power of ancient time through their “Stone of Destiny” which came from the same earth as the Lia Fáil.
Any usurper who stood on the stone would be flung violently off the stone.
Michael Crawford (see his book below) tells us about the “Brehon’s Chair of Justice” that stood close by the Coronation Stone were the ancient Irish administered justice in accordance with the old laws.
Lia Fáil is the Coronation Stone or Stone of Destiny at Tara where all the high Kings of Ireland were crowned.
Is there a connection between our Coronation Stone and the Lia Fáil; a direct link which the Ancient Kings of Ireland and Warrenpoint?
(Wouldn’t it be great to have a scientific study commissioned to prove the stone is the same?)
At one time a Clann leader's Coronation took place here
The clan MacGuinness / Magenis rose to prominence around 1100 AD.
They were chiefs of the ancient Irish túath or territory of Iveagh (what we now call home – County Down).
A Red Hand Dispute
The Magenis Clan laid rightful claim to the Red Hand of Ulster as theirs rather than the O’Neill’s of Tyrone.
The Belfast Lord Mayor, Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley and Warrenpoint's Coronation Stone
There is a fascinating account on the website of Dr Ian Adamson OBE – the personal physician to Ian Paisley – of a discussion he had with Martin McGuinness who was then Deputy First Minister.
Dr Ian Adamson was the Lord Mayor of Belfast from 1996 – 1997.
He was also Ian Paisley’s special advisor on history and culture.
He had enquired if Martin McGuinness had visited the site of the MacGuinness Coronation Stone at Warrenpoint of which he replied he had not yet visited (see below for links to full article)
The Legendary Stories of The Carlingford Lough District
Michael George Crawford published his Legendary Stories of Carlingford Lough District in 1913.
The copy in the picture was published by V.G. Havern Warrenpoint and printed by Outlook Press in Rathfriland.
This book really is an absolute gem of local myth and legend.
We are not sure if copies are still in print (this copy dates back to the 1970’s – there was a rerun in 2013)
Below is an extract from the book about Warrenpoint’s Coronation Stone:
On the foot-marked rock he stood,
High towering o’er the clan.
A kingly chief of old Iveagh,
In truth, a God-sent man.
Ten thousand voices thundered out
“Magennis” o’er and o’er,
Until the mountains answered back
“Magennis” from the shore.
The cry swelled round the land-locked bay
Like trumpet-notes of fame,
All nature joined the chorus of
The well-loved chieftain’s name.
The light of that great vision bright
With joy filled all his veins.
Making him wish to mark his span
The happiest of reigns.
The Oldest Map of Ireland
The map above is an early map of Ireland dating from the 1500’s.
You will note the ancient territory of Iveagh which was ruled by the MacGuinness Clan is plotted on this map.
The North is to the right of page.
It was not until Mercator’s world map of the 1560’s that North featured at the top of the map.
Thomas Caulfield Irwin
Thomas Caulfield Irwin was an Irish Poet who was held in high regard in Ireland during his lifetime was no doubt inspired by the mythical Coronation Stone.
He wrote about the Bridle Loanan in one of his poems.
He was described as the “Irish Wordsworth”.
The Bridle Loanan features in his poem “The Potato Digger’s Song” .
Th importance of the Coronation ground celebrated in words forever.
Thomas was born in Warrenpoint in May 1823.
It is believed he was born in Newry Street and his father was a local doctor
The picture above is of a commemoration plaque to Thomas which hangs on the walls of Warrenpoint Town Hall.
Thomas was celebrated for his descriptive portrayals of the Irish landscape.
The Potato Digger's Song
Come Connal acushla, turn the clay,
And show the lumpers the light, gossoon,
For we must toil this autumn day.
With Heaven’s help, till rise of moon.
Our corn is stacked, our hay secure,
Thank God ! and nothing, my boy, remains
But to pile the potatoes safe on the flure
Before the coming November rains.
The peasant’s mine is his harvest still ;
So now, my lad, let’s dig with a will :
Work hand and foot,
Work spade and hand,
Through the crumbly mould
The blessed fruit
That grows at the root
Is the real gold
Of Ireland !
Och ! I wish that Maurice and Mary dear
Were singing beside us this soft day !
Of course they’re far better off than here ;
But whether they’re happier, who can say ?
I’ve heard, when its morn with us, its night
With them on the far Australian shore ;
Well, Heaven be about them wid visions bright,
And send them childer and money galore.
With us there’s many a month to fill.
And so, my boy, let’s dig with will ;
Work hand and foot,
Ah, then, Paddy O’Reardon, you thundering Turk,
Is it coorting you are in the blessed noon?
Come over here, Kitty, and mind your work.
Or I’ll see if your mother can’t change your tune.
Well—youth will be youth, as you know, Mick
Sixteen and twenty for each were meant ;
But, Pat, in the name of the fairies, a-vic.
Defer your proposals till after Lent ;
And as love in this island lives mostly still
On potatoes—dig, boy, dig with a will;
Work hand and foot,
Down the bridle road the neighbors ride.
Through the light ash shade, by the wheaten sheaves ;
And the children sing on the mountain ride,
In the sweet blue smoke of the burning leaves,
As the great sun sets in glory furled,
Faith it’s grand to think, as I watch his face—
If he never sets on the English world,
He never, lad, sets on the Irish race :
In the west, in the south, New Irelands still
Grow up in his light. Come work with a will,
Work hand and foot
But look !—the round moon, yellow as corn.
Comes up from the sea in the deep blue calm ;
It scarcely seems a- day since morn ;
Well— the heal of the evening to yon, ma’am.
God bless the moon : for many a night,
As I restless lay on a troubled bed,
When rent was due—her quieting light
Has flattered with dreams my poor old head :—
But see—the baskets remain to fill !
Come girls be alive—boys, dig with a will
Work hand and foot
Who were the Tuatha Dé Danann?
Links to more from our Article
- Michael George Crawford: Legendary Stories of Carlingford Lough District
- Dr Ian Adamson: The Coronation Stone
- Iveagh: Wikipaedia
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