Mass Rock Sites of:
Rathcormac Mass Rock
There is a Mass Rock about four miles northwest of Rathcormac on the Nagle’s Mountains and easily accessible from roadside through a gate marked with a cross.
Co-ordinates: 52°06'37.7"N -8°20'31.0"W
The Schools’ Manuscript Collection of the Folklore Archives describe a school outing to the site: ‘Last Tuesday week, being a holiday from school, our School Master and the school boys decided to go to Carraig an Aifrinn. We met at the top of the green and then we started our excursion. We had a donkey and car and a pony and car to carry us in. it was a fine warm sunny day. When we were walking on the mountain a nice healthy breeze was blowing. When we arrived at Carraig an Aifrinn all the boys went to see the historical rock and said a few prayers. We had a nice picnic there’ (381:399d).
While this site is north of Rathcormack, it is in the townland of Knockananig, Fermoy Parish. Traditional devotions of the Rosary and hymns have been held here for generations on the Sunday after the 15th of August each year. Mass has been celebrated here on a very few occasions in the past at a different time of the year (my grateful thanks to Seán Ó Murchú for this additional information).
Description from 'Archaeological Inventory of County Cork. Volume 1: West Cork' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1992):
Remains of church in narrow isolated valley; built along townland boundary. Indicated as "in ruins" on OS 6-inch map (1842). Rectangular in plan (int. 18m NE-SW; 5m NW-SE; wall H 1.6m; wall thicknesss 0.6m); central door in SE wall with lintelled windows on either side.
Internal ledge (Wth 0.5m; H 0.4m) occurs along NW and SE walls. Stone built altar at NE end; later internal divisions at SW end.
My sincere thanks to William Casey for providing the information and the photographs for this site.
Farlistown Mass Rock
SITUATED ON PRIVATE LAND
‘In the SE corner of a pasture field, on a gentle N-facing slope, with a view over undulating farmland. According to local information, there is a cross-inscribed mass-rock against the N side of the roadside field boundary in the corner of this field.
Clearance rubble is piled against the corner and the fence and its verges are entirely obscured by a dense cover of gorse, briars and hawthorn bushes.
The mass-rock could not be located due to this overgrowth.’
Located near a road junction named "Crossanaffirin" and previously noted within the archaeological record as being inaccessible due to scrub and rubble, Jim Keogh of Ballinhassig has managed to clear the site and locate the Farlistown Mass Rock. He hopes to get permission to fence off the site and lay down a footpath so he can organise a celebration of the Mass at this sacred spot in the summer of 2019. My sincere thanks to Jim for both the information and the photographs.
Description taken from the Archaeological Survey of Ireland available at
Markings found on top of the rock