The Proposal Stones

of Carlingford and Mournes

Proposal Stones were long rocks on which lovers sat, and whispered sweet nothings to each other. They almost always overlooked fairy forts or were close to fairy trees. They could be found all over Ireland hundreds of years ago when folklore and fairies were common place in the lives of the people.

Married couples and lovers who sat on these made a wish for long happiness together and hoped that luck and the fairies would watch over them for all the days of their lives. A tradition ensued where proposals of marriage weren’t considered serious unless the lady was seated on a proposal stone while he asked for her hand.

Couples often came back to the stones to renew their love for each other.

There was many a man who came back to the place he first proposed and asked his spouse would she do it all again only to be told that she wouldn’t. It is not known if this ever happened on these particular stones. By the 18th-19th century, the church became alarmed at the superstitious believe of their congregations and had the stones moved close to churches and monasteries.

This very much deterred the ardent lovers and couples from using the stones, and they fell into disuse. Lovers were synonymous with sin in the eyes of the clergy then and couples were not prepared to risk public denouncement and damnation.

The stones began to disappear or were lost in the building of ditches and houses, though the tradition remained on in a few parts of Ireland.

These Proposal stones at Ghan Road Carlingford Co. Louth are reputed to have come originally from the Fairy Glen in Rostrevor Co. Down, and the Fairy Fort at Rooskey in Carlingford Co. Louth.

They were re-used again for the first time in centuries on the 21st of January 2012.The bride to be said “Yes” and the couple signed the book located in the chest close to the stones.

The book is still here for you to sign or to read if your heart is still full of love. If it’s not – pass by and come back another day. ©