Bonamargy Friary

This evening, I am posting information on Bonamargy Friary, near Ballycastle in Northern Ireland.

The site now comprises ruins with an associated burial ground in State care. The cloister, gatehouse, altar and church are well-preserved. History of the site stretches back 500 years, viz:

  • Founded for the Third Order of Franciscans circa 1485 by Rory MacQuillan.
  • Subsequently taken over by the MacDonnells. Chieftain, Sorley Boy MacDonnell is buried in a locked vault under the chapel.
  • Disruption caused when roof of church was burned in course of a battle between English troops and MacDonnells in 1584.
  • Restored early 17th century by Randal MacDonnell who built a chapel adjoining the south wall of the church.
  • Home to 17th century prophet and recluse, Julie MacQuillan whose burial is marked with a worn celtic cross as shown in image no 2 below.
  • Continued as a place of Roman Catholic worship until 18th century after which was used for burials.

Located on the edge of Ballycastle Golf Course on the east A2 coast road. Free access.

John McNaghten Burial, 1630. He was an official of the Earl of Antrim.

Bonamargy Friary

West End of main church with worn celtic cross showing burial site of burial 17th century prophet, Julie MacQuillen

Bonamargy Friary

Bonamargy Friary

Bonamargy Friary

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