Mass Rock Sites of:
Glebe Mass Rock
This site is recorded on the Archaeological Survey of Ireland available through the National Monuments Service and may be found within the grounds of St Brendan’s, Clonfert Cathedral. The site is part of a local heritage trail that includes The Pound (with a large blackened tree trunk) and St Brendan’s Tree (votive offerings) and the Nuns’ Walk. Whilst there is no actual Mass Rock at this site, the boundary wall has been lowered deliberately where the co-ordinates lead so it is assumed that this is where Mass was celebrated.
Co-ordinates: 53°14'26.4"N 8°03'33.2"W
More information concerning the Cathedral maybe found within a Heritage Conservation Plan available at
Letter More Mass Rock
SITUATED ON PRIVATE LAND
This site is recorded on the Archaeological Survey of Ireland available through the National Monuments Service. My thanks to Martin Heanue who was kind enough to show me the site. The land around the site belonged to his family for many years but was sold to the Land Commission by his father. His grandfather was most particular about maintaining the site and believed that it should never be touched but the Land Commission moved the altar stone and placed it in a wall lower down the field. It is no longer visible.
The original altar stone was L-shaped and was orientated E-W, with the bothrín to the north and the beach to the south.
The original altar stone was L-shaped and was orientated E-W, with the bothrín to the north and the beach to the south. The mound still remains visible and was originally edged with large quartz stones brought up from the beach below. Few of the quartz stones now remain at the site. Martin also informed me that there used to be three stone pillars on-top of the Mass Rock altar. The middle pillar had a cross carved into it. The pillars either side were pained, one white and one blue. There also used to be two fonts at the site made from rock. These too were relocated and have since disappeared. There is a Holy Well and a Famine graveyard near the site.
Sylane Mass Rock (Clais an Aifrinn) Corrofin
The Mass Rock is signposted off the road and is located near to Sylaune National School. It is a very pretty, well maintained site and well worth a visit. The Mass Rock consists of a man-made base with a flat altar stone on-top mounted by a stone cross on a carved base. The carved base contains the image of a chalice and has the words ‘UNPP HOCONOR 1680’ written on it. The site sits within a hollow and is surrounded by a ring of trees. There is evidence of a circular stone wall having surrounded the site but this is now only partially visible and a permanent stone wall has been erected.
Co-ordinates: 53°31'37.7"N 8°56'00.9"W
Woodford Mass Rock
Beautiful, well maintained site at the edge of the lough and very easily accessible off the road by the bridge. The Statue and altar sits within a purpose built walled enclosure and is lit up at night.
Notice at site reads:
‘Marian Year 1959. This statue erected by the parishiners of Woodford stands on the original altar of the church of Penal Days in Loughatorick’
Co-ordinates: 53°03'01.3"N 8°24'01.0"W
Aughinish, (Possible Mass Rock)
Situated on Private Land.
Situated in a field at the north end of the village of Aughinish.
My thanks to Geraldine Curtin of NUI Galway for the information provided.