County Westmeath - Tue Sep 25 15:52:19 IST 2018

Main Record - County Westmeath

Sunday's Well, Ballymore, County Westmeath
15315022
General view.
Reg. No.15315022
Date1680 - 1750
Previous NameN/A
TownlandMULLAGHCLOE
CountyCounty Westmeath
Coordinates222755, 249733
Categories of Special InterestARCHAEOLOGICAL HISTORICAL SOCIAL
RatingRegional
Original Usemass rock
 
Description
Former mass rock/altar built into the side of a hill, erected c.1689. Constructed using rubble limestone with a cut stone flagstone/slab to the top. Site now heavily overgrown. Slab reads 'ME FIERI FECIT JOANNES DALTON, SACERDOS 29 AUG. ANNO DOMINI 1689' (Archaeological Survey, site WM024-008001-). Site now overgrown and inscription no longer legible. Located adjacent to a holy well (WM024-008002-) to the west slop of a hill to the northeast of Ballymore.

Appraisal

A former altar/mass rock, which represents an interesting historical fragment in the landscape to the northeast of Ballymore. Although dated 1689, this feature was probably used as a mass rock throughout the eighteenth century, particularly during the first half of the century, a period when Roman Catholics were not permitted to practice their religion under the Penal Laws in force at the time. According to local sources, the Father Dalton recorded on the stone tablet was a local priest killed/executed for saying Catholic mass at this time, an offence under these laws. The holy well, located adjacent to the north (WM024-008002-), is a site of pilgrimage on the 15th of August and local tradition claims it is a cure for 'bad veins'.
 
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