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Penal Chapel, Glencullen

This Mass House (14 x 20 feet) is located in Newtown, Glencullen, high up in the Dublin Mountains.

Believed to have been built in 1737, the landowner remembers how his late father recalled how his grandmother (who was born in 1810) witnessed a Father Smyth coming to Newtown and celebrating Mass in this Penal Mass Chapel. 

She remembered the people coming with little stools as there was no seating accommodation in the Chapel and that there was a far greater number of people in the lane adjoining the Mass Chapel than within.

The chapel was used up until 1824 when the original St Patrick’s Church was built. This has since been superceded by a new church built in 1909 a few hundred yards from the original St Patrick’s Church.

My sincere thanks to both Lorraine Bradshaw and Frank Maguire for the information and photographs provided.

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