Mass Rock Sites of:
Rossmore Mass Hut Site
The Mass Hut is located in the field opposite the Lourdes Grotto in Rossmore in the parish of Uibh Laoire. There are no longer any visible remains above ground but field research indicates that this Mass Hut measured approximately 9.9m W-NW wide and between 11-15.8m N-NE in length. It is likely that the entrance was situated in the north-east wall of the building and that the altar was situated on the south-west wall as there appears to be a mound behind the altar area possibly resulting from the collapse of the gable wall at this end.
Co-ordinates: 51° 51’ 11.3’’ N -9° 5’ 54.5’’ W
A number of apparitions allegedly occurred at this site between Easter Sunday 1987 and Pentecost Sunday in 1997. Public prayer takes place at the Grotto every Sunday as well as a vigil for the Holy Souls on the first Sunday of every month. Our Lady is reported as having blessed a special crucifix and promises to free a family member from purgatory for each person who attends the vigil, recites the way of the cross and kisses this special crucifix. During one apparition on 31st October 1993 Our Lady is reported as having blessed each of the steps up to her statue including the arched stone which has the special blessing of healing.
The other steps have blessings of strength, courage, peace of mind, love, wisdom, understanding, council, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.
During the apparitions Our Lady was reported as having walked on the water and told people to drink from the stream and take the water to those who are sick (site notice - St. Joseph Patron of Families House of Prayer).
Teampallín Sinners' Stone
The Schools’ Manuscript Collection of the Folklore Archives records that ‘the priest also said Mass in Teampaillin in the parish of Mourne Abbey.
The people used to place themselves on the rock watching the English soldiers. In the rock where Mass was said there is a stone with a hole in it.
It is said that long ago the people need only put their finger in the hole and their sins were forgiven. This stone was called the ‘Sinners Stone’ and it can still be seen ….. (S389:97).
The site is easily accessed from the roadside.
The Sinners’ Stone is a recumbent slab shaped like a man and has a deep circular indentation similar to a cup mark.
It is located within the graveyard of the ruined church.
The exact location of the Mass Rock is unknown.
Co-ordinates: 52 02' 50.08" N -08 39' 40.55" W
Kilcrea Mass Rock
SITUATED ON PRIVATE LAND
Many thanks to Liam Fahy and his wife Maria for the information provided and help in finding the site which is in a very inaccessible location.
The Mass Rock is located within a gallery wood or deep glen and situated beside (but not in) a stream which flows from a place known locally as Clais an Aifrinn (Mass ditch or furrow) to Kilcrea Abbey. It is possible that the stream was used to guide the congregation to where Mass was to be celebrated and to hide their footprints as well as being of practical use in the Mass. The location of the Mass Rock at the bottom of a gallery wood with fields above is an ideal secret location and the higher ground surrounding the site would have provided a good place for the ‘look-outs’ who could have warned the priest and his congregation of approaching militia.
The Mass Rock is irregular in shape and has two small natural ledges near its base. There are no obvious marking on the stone but there is a ‘bore hole’ in the centre of the rock which appears man-made. Mass was last celebrated at the site just after the millennium.
Information from the Schools Manuscript Collection at the National Folklore Archive held at UCD, Dublin state that the Mass Rock was known as the ‘Holy Water Stone’ and that the hole in the rock served as a Tabernacle (NFCS 346:135; 346:99).