Mass Rock Sites of:

County GALWAY

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Shantalla Mass Rock, Galway city, Galway

 

The Mass Rock is now situated within a small landscaped park in the middle of a housing estate and is surrounded on all sides by public roads. A path leads from the park entrance to the front of the Mass Rock which is known locally as the ‘Slidin’ Rock’. A stone cross and cairn have been erected on the top of the site.

The site was chosen by Daniel O’Connell to deliver a speech in June 1843 for the repeal of the Act of Union at a mass rally with an estimated 500,000 people attending.

 

Co-ordinates: 53° 16' 25.30" N  -9° 4' 1.20" W

Ardagh Mass Rock, County Galway

SITUATED ON PRIVATE LAND

This site is recorded on the Archaeological Survey of Ireland available through the National Monuments Service and is visible from a completed part of the Connemara Greenway route. 

 

The route is a planned 76km traffic free cycling and walking trail which will follow the historic Galway to Clifden railway line which closed in 1935 thus connecting the bustling city of Galway to the seaside town of Clifden (https://connemaragreenway.wordpress.com/).

My thanks to Gerrard Kenneally (and his little dog Nollaig) for pointing out the site and telling me a little bit about the area. The Mass Rock is located off a bóthrín which he believed used to go all the way to Ballyconneelly. This means access to the site could have been from the coast at Clifden or via the bóthrín from Ballyconneely some distance away. It is only possible to view the site from a distance but it appears to be a natural geological feature that has split to form two pillar stones which once supported the altar. The altar stone that once topped the monument appears to be lying adjacent to the rock. The site is on private grazing land and access was denied.

Barna (Bearna) Mass Rock, County Galway


This site is identified as part of the History and Archaeology of Barna Woods (http://galwaybarnawoods.com/history/). Car parking is available on site and if you follow the entrance to the woods and immediately look to your right you will see two stone bridges. 
The Mass Rock is situated by the stream within the hollow together with the remains of a Holy Well (about 3m away). The Mass Rock is almost square when viewed from above and has a reasonably flat surface measuring c. 0.6m x 0.7m. It is approximately 0.6m high.

 

Co-ordinates: 53°15'32.0"N 9°07'54.8"W

Ballynagrallagh - Lisheenneheilta - Log an Aifrinn (Mass Hollow)


SITUATED ON PRIVATE LAND


The site is sign posted from the road and has a seating area planted up beside the entrance gate. The site is on private farm land in a grass field but is clearly visible from the roadside.

 

A circular man-made structure has been built to mark the site where Mass was celebrated in Penal times and a whitethorn tree has been planted on the top of the base and a crucifix erected.  Mass is said annually at the site. 


Co-ordinates: 53°36'59.5"N 8°38'30.7"W

Barr A Doire (Barr na Daoire) Mass Site
 

This Mass Site was identified by Nugent in his 2013 publication ‘Where You at the Rock?’ as a place where Mass was celebrated during the times of depression (2013, 150). The Mass Site is situated within the graveyard of Barr A Doire in Carraroe. Carraroe or An Cheathrú Rua is a peninsula in Connemara, west of Galway city, situated between two bays; Casla bay and Greatman’s bay.

 

 It is also known as the Parish of Cillín because there is a small chapel located in Barr an Doire (http://www.connemara.net/carraroe/). 


Co-ordinates: 53°14'56.1"N 9°34'46.7"W

There is a definite hollow in the centre of the graveyard and what appears to have been a circular edging of small boulders. In one place this appears to make a little wall. There is a structure with a stone cross laid upon it and roses have been planted at the centre of the hollow. From this hollow the graveyard rises on all sides and so would not have been visible from outside the graveyard. There is an absence of graves in this hollow (with the exception of the one possible unmarked grave) so it is possible that this is where the Mass was celebrated.

Doonbeg Mass Rock


SITUATED ON PRIVATE LAND
 

This site is recorded on the Archaeological Survey of Ireland available through the National Monuments Service. The Mass Rock is a large irregularly shaped sloping limestone boulder that sits on farm land just off the road behind a wall.

 

The site around the Mass Rock is overgrown and undisturbed with a few whitethorn trees growing beside the rock which appeared to measure approximately W2m x D2m and H1.5m. Whilst this site is situated on private land, it is clearly visible from the roadside. 

Esker Mass Rock

SITUATED ON PRIVATE LAND


This site is recorded on the Archaeological Survey of Ireland available through the National Monuments Service.

 

The Mass Rock is a small irregularly shaped boulder and sits within a grass field behind a hedge. 

The area around the Mass Rock is undisturbed and the rock appears to sit within a small hollow in the ground. Whilst this site is situated on private land, it is clearly visible from the roadside.

Glassillaun Mass Rock


SITUATED ON PRIVATE LAND


This site is recorded on the Archaeological Survey of Ireland available through the National Monuments Service. The Mass Rock is an irregularly shaped boulder that sits at the base of a concave rock ledge surmounted by a large slab of rock. The rock has been marked by the erection of a small wooden cross (now broken). A man-made altar has been built in front of the Mass Rock to mark the site.
The Glassillaun Mass Rock site is above Glassillaun Beach which would have allowed for easy access to the site by boat.

The concave rock ledge is a significant feature in the landscape and is named Salrock (Salroc). When approached from sea, Salrock sits between the Mweel Rea Mountains (Sleibhe Chnoc Maol Réidh) and Benchoona (Binn Chuanna) and adjacent to the entrance to Killary harbour. The Mass Rock sits in a boggy overgrown field and Mass was last celebrated there around the millennium.

County

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GALWAY

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