Londonewry, A Mythical Town, #2

© By Sean Hillen

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Sean Hillen says: ‘A favourite of mine because it’s so beautiful. Chelsea Reach, familiar because I lived in Battersea for a while, is mixed into the Mass Rock in Ballyholland (pronounced Bally-hole-in) in the Mournes.

I took a position high above people and the altar to photograph it, and way down in the valley you could see the row of tiny cars parked on the road. Then, during the mass, a mist rolled in and the world below us disappeared. Just amazingly beautiful.’

Hillen believes that the Mass Rock in the picture, though it commemorates penal times, has origins in the last century. He says he finds the idea of people climbing a largish mountain to a big rock for religious activities very pagan and intoxicating.
The rock is a reinforcement of communal tradition.

Further Infomation




30 x 36 cm




Private collection. (Prof. Roy Foster)