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Balluan stone at St. Matthew’s C.O.I parish church on Woodvale road, Belfast. The stone was unearthed in 1855 at the nearby ancient Shankill graveyard. The church, designed to resemble a shamrock from the air, stands on the site of the first Christian church in Belfast (the Shankill gets its name from the Irish for ‘old church’). The stone was first thought to be used by pagan druids in pre christian times before being used by early Christians from the 5th century as a baptismal font.  A 10th century bishop’s crozier was also discovered close to the stone and is now on display in Dublin Museum.. Local folk-lore in the Shankill community has long associated the Balluan stone with healing powers. Among the beliefs is that the stone can cure warts. One would pierce the wart with a pin and then place it into the man made bowl/cavity on top of the stone. Many rusting pins were to be found there up until recent years.

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