Within the ruins of the old monastic settlement of Ardmore in Waterford, founded by St. Declan in the 5th century, there are a number of interesting structures. My personal favourites where the two ogham stones I found sitting inside the ruins of the cathedral. We were heading back from a family break in nearby Youghal, and I was disappointed that I did not get to shoot as much as I had wanted too whilst I was there. So despite the pouring rain, when we passed through Ardmore, I was adamant that I would not go any further without stopping off to explore this fine monastic settlement. With the rain pouring down, the rest of the family stayed put in the car, whilst I braved the elements armed only with the smallest little red umbrella you could imaging. It was so small, that it barely covered my camera. But I was happy to suffer the soaking, once the camera was dry. There are a number of other sites in this location, but I will deal with these later in the week.
There were originally three ogham stones within the confines of Ardmore, but only two are still in place. The other stone known as Ardmore 2 was removed and is now in the Royal Irish Academy. As luck would have it, I was not the only crazy person roaming these ruins and exploring in the rain. Surprisingly there where about 10 other crazy tourists doing the same thing, but they seemed bewildered that I was spending so much time studying the two remaining stones. Both stones are located within the walls of the Cathedral and were a real treat to find. This is only my second time to come across such a find. My first encounter with Ogham stones was at Donard. The first and most striking of the two remaining stones is located in an arched niche, within the choir of the Cathedral and as you can see from my first three images, has quite a lot going on. Ardmore 1 as it is known, reads (LUGUDECCASMAQI COINETASEGAMONAS & DOLATIBIGAISGOB), which translates as (Of Dolativix the smith Lugud’s son, tribesman of Nia Segamain). This stone is approx. 1.27m in height and was originally found built into the wall of the nearby oratory and was removed around 1855.
The second stone, known as Ardmore 3 can be found on the opposite wall from Ardmore 1 and sadly seems to have suffered quite a bit of weather damage. It bears a simple inscription, (AMADU) which is said to be a male form of the Latin word (Beloved)? To the rear of this stone on the angled top I noticed a rather crudely carved cross. Was this a form of medieval graffiti or a later addition to the stone? The stone is approx. 1.33m in height and was found lying next to one of the burials in the surrounding graveyard. As I’m still a novice when it comes to these type of monuments, I won’t go into too much speculation as to what they are or meant. I did give a brief description on my previous post on the Donard Ogham stone. But if these are of interest to you, I would suggest that you check out the following article, Ogham; The Secret Code of our Ancestors. It explains everything you might need to know about these fascinating stones, much better than I could attempt to do so at this stage.