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24 December 2005
Welcome return of the Hollywood Stone

The Hollywood Stone returned home to Glendalough (co. Wicklow, Ireland) after over twenty years of resting in storage in the National Museum in Dublin. Dr. Pat Wallace, Director of the National Museum, decided to loan the Hollywood Stone out to the Glendalough Visitor Centre for public display. Environment Minister, Dick Roche T.D., unveiled the stone in the visitor centre and thanked Dr. Wallace for allowing its to return to Glendalough, particularly considering its strong links with the main pilgrimage route to the monastic settlement.
     Some local Wicklow men out hunting ferrets discovered the Hollywood Stone in 1908. It was lying face-down beside a grassy lane near Hollywood in West Wicklow. This was the start of St. Kevin's Road, the main mediaeval trade and pilgrimage route between the Wicklow coastal plains and inland Ireland, and the Stone appears to have marked the start of the route.
     On the face of the stone is carved a maze-like pattern, or labyrinth. There are examples of labyrinths from Irish prehistoric rock art, leading to suggestions that may have been carved in the Bronze Age. However, this design is also known from the Christian era, and on the Hollywood Stone the twists and turns of the maze, ending at a central cross, can be seen as symbolic of the pilgrim's journey towards his destination. The location beside St. Kevin's Road, and a similar labyrinth on the floor of the Cathedral in Siena in Italy suggest it was carved in mediaeval times.

Source: Wicklow People (22 December 2005)

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