The Mottee Stone is a huge granite boulder, weighing about 150 tons, situated on a high point near the hamlet of Conary, not far from Avoca Village.
Owing to its prominent location, the Mottee Stone has been a well-known landmark in the county for many years and attracts visitors to enjoy the amazing panoramic views. It is said that the five counties surrounding Wicklow can be viewed from the rock on a clear day, while in very good weather the mountains of Wales can be spotted across the Irish Sea.
The word ‘Mottee’ is possibly a deviation of the French word ‘moitie’, meaning halved or split. This name may refer to the sharp, almost sliced, features of the boulder.
Another theory as to why this stone is called ‘Mottie’ also relates its possible French derivative ‘moitie’. It is said that dispatch riders travelling from the Norse City of Dublin to Wexford would spot the stone on top of this hill and say ‘Moitie!’, French for halfway, the stone marked the halfway point on the route between Dublin and Wexford.
Folklore of the area says that the Mottee Stone was the hurling ball of the great Fionn Mac Cumhaill who hit it from the top of Lugnaquilla Mountain to top where it rests now. Another legend of the area states that every year on May Day the stone rolls down the hill to drink at the Meeting of the Waters!
The true origins of this granite stone can be traced back to the Ice Age. The stone is a glacial erratic which was plucked from its home granite bedrock by a glacier over 10,000 years ago and taken to this predominately slate area of County Wicklow and dropped at its present position. It is about 13km from the nearest likely granite source in the Glenmalure Valley.
The boulder is situated at a height of about 240m. Iron rungs have been embedded into the stone to act as a ladder, which allows you to climb the 2.4 metres to the top. The story goes that a rich Landlord got some Miners from Avoca to put them there so his wife-to-be could climb up them and have a look at the size of his estate from the top of the stone.
The views are truly spectacular here and it is a particularly nice spot for sunrise or sunset.