Glenshesk

Glenshesk is a pleasant glen lying on the eastern side of Knocklayde mountain opening out to the sea at Ballycastle. It is quite easy to visit and explore this glen and Glentaise in the course of a couple of days.

Like Glentaisie, on the other side of Knocklayde, it is also full of historic lore and at its foot lie the ruins of the Franciscan Friary of Bunamargy which was built for the friars by the local chieftain, Rory MacQuillan in 1485. As a result of a few fierce battles it became the property of the MacDonnell Clan who had no qualms about setting fire to the friary when it was occupied by the English forces under the command of Sir William Stanley in 1584. This glen is peppered with standing stones marking the burial places of saintly men and women and of brave clan leaders killed in battle. A castle in Drumenia is called after Goban Saoer who is celebrated in folklore as the icon of all skilled builders and craftsmen.

When surveying Glenshesk we also included the Carey valley, Fair Head and Torr which lie within the parish of Culfeightrin. The survey identified nine clachans – Carey Mill (1), Drumnakeel (2), Crockinacarragh (3) and Coolanlough (4) in the townland of Cross, Craigfad (5), Slieve Pin (6) in the townland of Ballyvennaght, Coolnagoppoge (7), Escort (8) in the townland of West Torr and East Torr (9).