Tullyallen Mass House
Old world exhibit: Map location 10view map
This was a place of worship for Killeeshil's Catholic parishioners. It was built in 1768 and extended in the 1830s when Catholics could again practice their faith openly. It has been reconstructed in its 1830s form with plain sash windows, whitewashed walls and thatched roof. Imagine how it would have been in its heyday - filled with local farming families on a Sunday.
Catholics worshipped at Mass Rocks or had altars in small sheds. Few had a proper Mass House but wealthy parishes could build Mass Houses if the landlord allowed it.
As the century progressed Catholic confidence and prosperity grew. More parishes built Mass Houses throughout the Irish countryside. The population of Ireland grew fast in the late 1700s and 1800s. Killeeshill parish numbers had trebled in size by the 1830s and the congregation extended the building.
The building has been recorded and re-erected here in its pre-1830 form. It has plain sash windows, whitewashed walls and a thatched roof. The priest lived in the annexe at the rear. The presence of the hearth in the west gable points to the buildings use as a school during the week. This practice was occasionally found in mass houses of that early period.
Take a look at the priest’s accommodation it is through the door at the side of the altar. In the early years of the church the priest would have lived here.