The Four Altars

The Four Altars, a ruin of penal times is situated about 5km from Ballaghaderreen town centre on the main Sligo Road. You will see it on your right-hand side in a field outside of Ballaghaderreen town. This monument was used in Ireland at a time when Catholicism was banned in the country under the Penal laws of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. These laws forced Catholics to practice in secret resulting in monuments such as the Four Altars. It was built by the Costellos of Cregan-na-Grant. It was constructed on a hill so the priest could see approaching English soldiers and he could flee to avoid being arrested. There are four alcoves, each containing an altar. The four altars face north, south, east and west so the priest was able to get shelter from the prevailing wind and rain when saying mass.

The Four Altars resides in its natural state of preservation on an unspoiled landscape. Please ask landowners permission and beware of livestock.