Glenshesk - Glen of the Rushes

 

iA steep sided glen on the eastern flank of Knocklayde mountain, it commands some of the best views of Rathin Island from the high road which stretches the whole length of the Glen from Ballycastle to Breen Bridge. The same road forms part of the excellent Moyle Way from Ballycastle to Glenariff. The lower road follows the far side of the glen from Ballycastle crossing back over the river at the impressive high arch of the Glenshesk bridge.The 15th century Friary of Bonamargie is situated at the foot of the glen while a little way up at Drumeeny is the site of an ancient church ruin which is attributed to Saint Gobban, the legendary north Antrim builder said to have been responsible for the construction of Templastragh (Temple of the Flame),  some believe St.Goban or Gobain originated from Glenshesk.

 

Glenshesk is scattered with the ruins of cottages set in idyllic landscapes that echo the hardship of existences in days gone by, some of these ruins date back to the 1700's and are unique in themselves as examples of our heritage. The glen has also seen the coming and going of clans and their endless battles, ransackings and parleying. Close to where the glen starts to form you will find the burial place of  Hugh MacPhelim O'Neill who was killed at the Battle of Orra in 1583 when the combined forces of the O'Neill's, McQuillan's and English Cavalry were defeated by the McDonnell's and their Irish allies.