Birthplace of St. Columba

This is the birthplace of Saint Columba, also called Columbcille, in Gartan, Donegal, Ireland. More about St. Columba (Columbcille) is at There is a megalithic stone monument that pre-dates Columbcille by thousands of years. People place coins on one of the stones of the megalithic monument. According to a story told by Rev John R.Walsh. PP of the Derry diocese, the stone is where Columbcille slept and now it has miraculous powers to cure loneliness and sorrow. The stone has cups carved into its surface and coins are left in the cups.

A book Kenny, by Leona Dalrymple, The Reilly & Britton Co., Chicago, 1917 which may be read at online says:

I often think these days of Kenny's wood-fire tales of the shrine of Black Gartan where St. Columba was born. Colomcille, old Kenny called him around the wood-fire, didn't he? Colomcille, Kenny said, having been in exile, knew the homesick pangs himself and therefore could give the good Irishmen who journeyed to his shrine strength to bear them. I'm not in exile but there are times when I should be journeyin' off, as Kenny says when the brogue is on him, to Black Gartan. The curse of the Celt! Kenny swears there's no homesickness in the world like an Irishman's passionate longing for home and kin. Not that I long for the studio. God forbid! Kenny's the symbol for it all.

Another description of the St. Columba stone is at Retrieved Sep. 8, 2013.
'Cup-Marked Stones' by James Sconce, in v5 of the Transactions of the Edinburgh Field Naturalists and Microscopical Society (1902-7)

I have spoken of Gartan as being held on very reliable records to have been the birthplace of St Columba, and I may further mention that a great celebration was held there in 1897, on the 1400th anniversary of his death, similar to that which, it may be remembered, was held at the same time at Iona.

The family of the saint occupied a princely position, and for four generations, since St Patrick himself had converted and baptised the great-great-grandfather of the saint, the family had been Christian. Their permanent abode or fort was about ten miles from Gartan. But at Gartan there is the "natal stone" as it is called, which is said to be the actual spot where St Columba was born. His mother, the Princess Ethne, so tradition says, had been brought here for the birth.

Next photo of Gartan. Previous Gartan.

A fallen stone monument. One large stones has many cups carved into it as was common for megalithic monuments. There are coins placed on the stone.

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Stone of Loneliness