Mass Rock Sites of:
Knocknacarry Mass Rock, Cushendun, County Antrim
Situated on Private Land
Situated close to Cregagh Wood, Glendun Road, Cushendun, this Mass Rock has a very unusual feature stone at the back of the altar. The oval carved stone features an image of Christ crucified and an angel. According to Garrett the stone was brought from Scotland during the Penal era (1695-1756). She says that prior to the altar being built the locals met at the oak tree behind the altar and worshipped in the woods.
[Garrett, R. (1956) Cushendun, and the Glens of Antrim. Ballycastle, J.S. Scarlett & Son]
Colin Glen Mass Rock, Belfast City, County Antrim
The Colin Glen Mass Rock lies in a secluded glen at the base of a small ravine. The stream that flows through the site may have been used by the congregation to mask their footprints to avoid detection by authorities eager to arrest the officiating Priest. It is a very tranquil site marked by a wooden cross. The altar stone has been marked by a number of faint crosses and sits on top of a base of stones at a height of approximately 1m.
This Mass Rock can be accessed along a delightful (but very long) trail that starts at the Colin Glen Visitor Centre on the Stewartstown Road. Details of this route may be found at Colin Glen Forest Park | dandowlingblog (wordpress.com) This website also has some interesting folklore concerning the area.
See also Fun for all at Ireland's Leading Adventure Park - Colin Glen Belfast
We accessed the site down a steep ravine directly from the Glenside Road. The entrance was marked by 3 concrete blocks. It is steep so do take care if you decide to use this route.
Coordinates to access the Mass site via Glenside Road are:
The altar is difficult to access from Cregagh Wood and can more easily be accessed via a private driveway. We parked in the car park that belongs to St Patrick’s Church which is home to the very interesting Fuldiew Stone The Fuldiew Stone - Northword NI
The Mass site is visible from the road but please make sure you ask for the landowners permission before accessing the site.
Mass Rock Co-ordinates: N 55° 07'17.23", W -6° 04' 14.05"
It is likely that the local Priest had to seek shelter locally. There is a Priest Hole in Cregagh Wood which would have sheltered the priest if he was pursued. This is situated (not on private land) along the Cregagh Wood trail.
Priest's Hole Co-ordinates (approx): N 55° 07'17.45", W -6° 04'26.38"
Glenshesk, County Antrim
For information only
Niall McCaughan has developed and built a new website for Glenshesk, one of the 9 Glens of Antrim which has a lot of history recorded in it, gathered over a number of years. The research in part has been carried out for and on behalf of the Glens of Antrim Historical Society