The Proposal Stones of Carlingford and Mourne
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 or lovers who sat on these made a wish for long happiness together and hoped that the fairies and luck to watch over them for all the days of their lives.A tradition ensued where proposals of marriage weren’t considered serious unless they were done while the lady was seated on one of these.Couples often came back to the stones to renew their love for each other,the man asking the lady if she would do it all over again should the knot of marriage be untied. If she answered without hesitatation the fairies heaped more luck on their relationship.
By the 18th-19th century, the church became alarmed at the superstitious believe of it’s 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 particular 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 Rookey 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.