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Mass Rock Sites beyond the Irish Borders

Mass Rock Sites of:

County MAYO

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Massrock at Ballynalty, Glencorrib, Shrule




Image of the Mass rock at Flood Farm, Ballynalty courtesy of Kevin Flood.

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Skeheen Mass Rock, County Mayo




The site is hidden from view from the nearby bohereen (lane). It is situated in a hollow within a field and appears as a heap of rocks from a distance and is not listed on the archaeological record.


My sincere thanks to Martin Frain for alerting me to this site and for the photographs provided. 


Aille Cliffs Mass Rock, County Mayo


This Mass Rock is situated close to stile 62 along the Togher Phadraig although it is no longer accessible due to the danger posed by the collapse of the Aille caves.


The depression in the landscape is very visible but unsafe to access.

Aille Cliffs

Slide show

Mass Rock



Truiste Mass Rock, Crossmolina, County Mayo


This site was identified from an entry in the Schools’ Collection of the National Folklore Collection at University College Dublin which states that ‘St Patrick’s well is situated in a glen. It is near a hill called Tristia ……Tradition tells us that when St Patrick was coming from Croagh Patrick to Killala he passed by Tristia and read mass on a rock near the wells. One of the wells is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the other to St Patrick. On Garland Sunday every year crowds of people go to pray at the wells. It is a custom to leave something after them on the mass-rock’ (see [NFCS] 151, 370).

We were very grateful to meet Richard Hegarty at the wells who was able to tell us some of the history of the site and his family’s connections with the wells. Tradition says that if you see a fish in the well or hear bubbling water then your prayers will be answered. He confirmed that mass is still celebrated at the wells on Garland Day (also known as Reek Sunday) which is a day of pilgrimage in Ireland on the last Sunday of July when lots of people climb Croagh Patrick. We visited in early September and the remains of the flowers in the bushes that had decorated the site on Garland Day were still visible.

From the road below it is possible to view a cross shape in the forestry planted above the site. The different types of trees and their colours are very distinguishable.

Richard was not aware of any Mass Rock at the site but there was a whitewashed wall that could have been the base of the Mass Rock, given its height, depth and width. The top of this wall was very overgrown, but it was possible to see items deposited on the shelf inside the overgrowth which could relate to the offerings suggested by the entry in the National Folklore Collection.

The site is accessed via a path from the roadside and the views of Nephin Mountain from the site are very beautiful.

Co-ordinates:  54°01'09.4"N 9°24'46.8"W



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