Map Reference: J242907 (3242, 3907)

The Doagh Holestone is a flat pillar tapering to a point and less than 1.5m high. It is pierced by a hole about 8cm diameter and splaying out on both sides to about twice that size.

View from one side showing the splayed nature of the hole

The date and original function of the Holestone is unclear. It may date from pre-Christian times but, unlike two other perforated stones in Co Antrim it has not been 'christianised'.

View from the other side emphasizing the double splay

The Holestone was used at one time to chain up criminals. It has also been used as a betrothal stone, with the happy couple plighting their troth by clasping hands through the stone. Such betrothal ceremonies must have been common in the days of slow travel and shortage of clergy or civic officers. To avoid illegitimacy in children pre-marriage ceremonies were often performed according to local custom; the bond was completed later when a priest or registrar was available. Expressions such as 'jumping the broomstick', 'living over the brush' or 'tying the knot' may come from such ceremonies.

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