Bonamargy Friary, County Antrim

Bonamargy Friary, County Antrim

At the meeting of Glenshesk and Glentaistie lies the 15th century friary, burial place of the MacDonnells. It is reached on foot down a pathway from the main road. The friary was built by the local ruler, Rory MacQuillan, who was defeated by the MacDonnells at the Battle of Orra in 1559. South of the altar is a vault which Randal MacDonnell built for the burial of his family. A 17th century descendant of Rory, a prophetess known as Julia the Black Nun, requested that her remains be placed at the entrance so that people would walk over her and thereby help her to earn extra penance. The bones of one of the most famous MacDonnell chieftains, Sorley Boy, who died in 1590, are contained at Bonamargy.

Bonamargy is a real hidden gem that is worth a visit on your tours of Ireland.