Stonetown, County Louth
Baile na gCloch
|• Dáil Éireann||Louth|
|• EU Parliament||East|
|Time zone||WET (UTC+0)|
|• Summer (DST)||IST (WEST) (UTC-1)|
|Area code(s)||042, +353 42|
Stonetown is a small rural community in the parish of Louth 10 kilometres from Dundalk, County Louth, and 11 kilometres from Carrickmacross, County Monaghan. The community consists of a small chapel, a primary school, a football field and a community centre.
It is related that Cuchulainn, the hero of the Táin Bó Cúailnge and son of Lugh engaged one of Queen Maeve's lovers and warriors, Fergus, in battle at Áth dá Ferta in the townland of Oaktate, Stonetown. According to The Tain Cuchulainn agrees to make a mock flight from Fergus his foster father in return for the promise that Fergus will fly from him at another time. That promise, redeemed in the last battle ensures victory for the Ulstermen.
It is also believed that Fergus Loingsech from Connaught and twelve others who sought Queen Maeve's admiration engaged Cuchulainn in battle in this same location. Cuchulainn struck off their heads, placed twelve stones in the ground and set a head on each stone, hence the name "Stonetown".
The area is a predominantly catholic area served by 'Our Lady of the Snows' Chapel Stonetown Upper. The chapel was built by the Rev. P.Banan in 1837. The plan of the chapel is in the shape of a cross. In 1987 renovation work was completed by P.P Rev. J.Finn and rededicated by Tomas O'Fiach. As of 2013[update] Rev S.Quinn served the parish.
In 1816 Patrick Devan, a hedge schoolteacher and the sexton of the chapel held a gathering which culminated in the Wildgoose Lodge Murders. He fled to Dublin, where he was arrested. Despite promises of money and freedom from prosecution, he did not co-operate with the authorities. He pleaded not guilty and conducted his own defence, but was found guilty, hanged and gibbetted.
The present school prior to refurbishment was built in 1952 and is a detached nine-bay single-storey school. Rectangular block, single-storey flat-roofed wrap-around corridor and toilet block to north, east and west, water tower to north-east. Pitched slate roof, clay ridge tiles, painted roughcast rendered chimney stacks, smooth rendered corbelled caps, uPVC gutters to overhanging eaves, circular cast-iron downpipes and vent pipes. Painted roughcast rendered walling, smooth rendered plinth, painted stone plaque to wall. Square-headed window openings, painted smooth rendered soffit and reveals, painted stone sills, painted timber six-over-six sliding sash windows, some timber casement windows, uPVC windows. Square-headed door openings, painted smooth rendered soffit and reveals, tooled limestone steps, painted timber doors, wrought-iron boot scraper to east entrance, painted rendered canopies to entrances, painted smooth rendered shelter to south, circular columns. School surrounded by hard and soft landscaping, bounded by painted stone walling, square-profile gate piers, wrought-iron gates, V-shaped stiles with tooled stone steps.
People of note
- George Pataki: 53rd governor of New York, ancestral routes can be traced to Stonetown, in a visit in 1999 he planted a tree in the corner of Annaghminnon Rovers GFC gaelic football field to commemorate his visit.
- Ruairi O'Connor: Magician & Mindreader
- The Flaws: Rock band
- Leslie Walker: PGA Pro Golfer
Places of note
- Oaktate: Sight where pre-historic urns were discovered in 1924
- Toomes: Proposed sight for the Gas Turbine Powered Station by the Quinn Group
- St.Ultan's Well: Located in the townland of Muff, the stone with Ultans knee marks etched still remains
- St.Patrick's Well: Located in Channonrock, there are annual pilgrimages, alleged to have cure of headaches
- Barnamacha: The road of the beggarman – where there were almshouses.
- McKenna's Pump: Old water pump which recently reached its 100th birthday, not many remain of this fine example
- Commins, J. O. (2008). Louth Village Through The Ages. Louth: Personal Publication.
- "Stonetown School, County Louth". Buildings of Ireland. National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Retrieved 17 October 2009.