Kilcoole Mass Path PURE Mile
Description of the mile:
The Mile starts at Forresters Hall which was built in 1913 it is also known as St. Patrick’s Hall and leads to Kilquade Church.
This walk existed before there was a church built in Kilcoole. To find the Mile go to the road opposite Pegmans’ garage and up the road to the water tank. There is parking available in front. Forresters Hall ahead and there is a turnstile at the left hand side leading to the Mass Path Mile.
There is a PURE Mile sign at the left of the entrance. Along the path there is a turnstile and a high stone wall which surrounds what was the Kilcoole Convent garden which is now the spiritual Luisne Centre. This turnstile was at a crossroads where people from Ballygannon and Pretty Bush came through the convent grounds on their way to Kilquade Church.
The Canninstown River supplied water to the town and there is a bridge along the Mile where the river which was diverted for watering purposes flows out of the convent of the Walled garden of the Luisne Centre. The river can also be seen entering this Walled garden. The walk takes you through another turnstile. A previously existing road has disappeared under the grass. Through the field and then on to another turnstile through woods known as the “Sally Walk” then onto a bridge and a gate leading to the main road and Kilquade Church. The “Sally Walk” is rich in ferns and wild honeysuckle. In the past alter boys would run through the Mass path to get to early mass at 7 or 8 am. This church dates back to 1802 and there are records of previous churches having been built on the site going back a further 500 years. Yellow man walking signage has been erected to guide people along the Mass path.
The tank on the water tower originally supplied water to the village which was pumped from the Canninstown River. There are a number of water pumps in the village which supplied the local houses. The Forresters who were a nationalist benevolent association built their hall in 1913. They ran cheap insurance sickness schemes, had a fife and drum band. Now the hall is used for dancing, bowling and marital arts.
St. Comghall’s cemetary on Lott’s lane dates back to the 7th century.
Flora and fauna
Trees which line the walk include oak, holly, elderflowers, sycamore and hawthorn. Historically there were rosehips and blackberries in the hedgerows here.
Fauna include swallows, crows, thrushes and blackbirds. Rabbit holes can also be seen.
An annual pilgrimage is held bring people along the Mass path.