There are two "Wart Stones" in Clane, one on the bank of the stream opposite the graveyard gate and the other on the Millicent Road just beyond White's lane. The latter is regarded as the base of a stone cross and has a square hole on top, which is usually filled with rainwater. It is known locally as the "Wart Stone" a condition for which it is generally believed to have a cure. There is no account of what happened to the 'wayfaring cross' which surely once stood there and which would have dated back to the middle ages or earlier. It is on the boundary of Crockaun Commons and at the head of a little road, which leads into that townsland. 'Crockaun' in place names usually means a small hill. Crockaun Commons, however, is totally flat. A feasible explanation is that the word refers to a little rush, which 'hangs its head' or perhaps it refers to the little cross or gallows.
The large stone which is set into the bank of the stream opposite the graveyard on the Naas Road is also, sometimes, though less frequently so, known as a Wart Stone". it is the type of stone experts refer to as 'bullaun'. It is of very weathered, long exposed limestone and is about a cubic meter in volume. There is a deep bowl hollowed out on the top and it is shaped at the bottom like the narrow end of an egg. It is remarkable that it seems always to be filled to exactly the same level with rainwater, even after the longest drought.
Stones of this type are said to have been pre-Christian altars from which the Druids made offerings to the ancient gods, offerings such as, perhaps, milk, mead or even human blood. It has been speculated that it was here that Conall Cearnach beheaded Mesgegra, the first century King of Leinster, when he overtook him at the Ford at Clane while fleeing from the Battle of Howth. With a reputation like this, one wouldn't be surprised if it actually caused warts!
Reproduced from "Le Chéile" by kind permission