Worship at Milltown’s Mass Rock
Reach out and touch the rich Celtic history of the Reeks District with visits to the many ancient and sacred ceremonial sites located in the area.
One of the most accessible points is Mass Rock – a heart-shaped boulder once used for ancient fertility and feminine rites ceremonies and set in the depths of Killaclohane Wood, north of Milltown.
Later used as a site for Christian worship, it was the setting for a terrible tragedy in the mid-17th century when a devoted priest by the name Thaddeus Moriarty was captured by Cromwellian soldiers – at the time it was considered an act of high-treason to practise Catholicism. Moriarty was forced to march some 20km to a prison in Ross Castle where he was then tortured to his demise over a two-month period.
The rock is still revered today, thankfully to a much more peaceful and less gruesome backdrop – though centuries-old graffiti etched in its surface alludes to its original function. Located in a small clearing in the woods, it is surrounded by a few benches which are sometimes still used for religious gatherings. It is said, that lying on the rock for 10 minutes is equal to eight hours of restful sleep!
It’s not only the rock that rocks – the walk through the forest (just further on from the nearby playground) is also stunning.
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