The Rolls of Butter, also known as the ‘Petrified Dairy’ is a multiple bullaun stone situated adjacent to the Drom-Feaghna cemetery in the townland of Garranes. It is probably one of the most significant pre-historic sites in western Europe and yet is virtually unknown.
The bullaun stone itself, is a flat-topped rock embedded in the ground at one end, about two metres square, with seven wells or bullauns on its surface. Two of the wells are merely slight indentations, whilst the others are good-sized cavities. In each bullaun is a smooth oval-shaped stone, hence the name ‘Rolls of Butter’. In the middle of the rock there’s a quern stone (a stone used for grinding corn) with another oval-shaped stone standing in its centre. Recent research indicates that this site was once an ancient astronomical observatory.
It has been discovered that the bullauns on the rock are an exact mirror image of the stars on the bottom half of the constellation of Orion and two associated stars. It’s possible that this site features one of the oldest known representations of the heavens, on earth – a treasure left to us by our ancient ancestors.
The ‘Rolls of Butter’ gets its name from a local legend connected with St. Feaghna, the area’s patron saint. The story explains that a woman in the locality stole milk from her neighbour one May Day morning. She was later, apparently making butter with the stolen milk, when St. Feaghna came upon her. The good Saint, being as adept at casting spells as he was at praying, immediately petrified (turned into stone) the butter rolls that she’d made. The woman then fled but he pursued her across the valley, eventually catching her up at a nearby river, where she suffered a similar fate! She still stands to this day as a large upright stone, in the townland of Gearhangoul!
Please Note: Due to the frailty and uniqueness of this monument, the site may be visited only by way of guided tour.