Ray Church., Falcarragh

Church · Hidden Gem · Landmark
Ray Church is a medieval church and National Monument in County Donegal, Ireland.
Ray Church is located 2.5km northeast of Falcarragh, near the confluence of the Yellow River and Ray River.
St Fionnán founded this church in the 6th century. Ray stood next to the Ray River, an ancient boundary between the Cenél Luighdech and Cenél Duach. Four 7th-century abbots of Iona were of the Cenél Duach; Ray was almost certainly their home church.
Ray high cross is the largest early medieval stone cross in Ireland. Local lore claims it was made by Columba (521–597) on Muckish to bring to Tory Island, but local saint Fionnán recovered Columba's Gospel Book and he gave the cross to Ray. The cross actually dates to the late 8th century.
The church was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell's soldiers in the 17th century. During Sunday Mass, the entire congregation was slaughtered in the Massacre of Ray (Marfach Ráithe). The dead are buried in a mass grave called Resting Place of the Bones (Lag na gCnámh).
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
11 reviews
  • Abandoned Church just off the N56 near the towns Falcarragh and Dunfanaghy, the Ray Grotto is not far away across the road, near the Ray river.  more »
  • Had no trouble finding this with our Garmin and it’s a short jaunt down a tiny road to get there. This 6th century church with the largest medieval stone cross (8th century) is a really special place....  more »
  • Very historic n interesting .fascinating how old it n the grave stones are. Picturesque setting. The magnificent cross is awe inspiring n the whole site is well worth a visit.
  • Far from the hustle and bustle of daily life... very peaceful
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