St Anne’s church, in the townland of Larass, was built in 1843 for local members of the Church of Ireland

This church was built to a design by the Collooney-born architect Sir John Benson and the adjoining glebe house was added in 1877. In its graveyard many of the old Church of Ireland families of the area are buried, including the historian and antiquarian William Gregory Wood-Martin, who wrote about the history of Sligo and Ireland’s prehistoric remains.

St Anne’s, like the Roman Catholic parish, has historic links to Killaspugbrone’s early Christian church on the headland below. Some stones and a rough stone baptismal font from Killaspugbrone are said to have been built into the chancel of St Anne’s. Inside the church there are many stone plaques that commemorate parish members who lost their lives at sea or in WWI.

The stone, slated building in the field across the road from the church is the former coach house of the Phibbs family, who lived at Seafield House, Lisheen, and who owned a large estate in Coolera. It was built to house their carriage and horses during religious ceremonies.

With the steep cliffs of Knocknarea at your back, you can see through the trees at this point the stone pillars that mark the safe route across to Coney Island to the north at low tide. These were put up in 1845, after a number of people were drowned crossing the strand. They were lined up on Blackrock lighthouse, so as to light the way on dark nights.

FROM HERE YOU CAN:

  1. Turn left onto the main road (R292), then first right onto the old main road and call into Dolly’s Cottage heritage museum.
  2. Turn back up the hill, called the ‘High Brae’, and head for Rathcarrick forest, where you can follow the Queen Maeve looped trails around Knocknarea or to the summit (L3503).
  3. Turn right onto the main road (R292) and, after 2kms, turn left for Coney Island (L7503). Follow the pillars across the sand at low tide to peaceful Coney. Always text ‘Coney’ to 51155 to check the safe tide times before you cross (available between April to end September).

Take happy memories with you but leave no litter and respect the ancient monuments. Watch out for other walkers and traffic.

STOPS ON THE COOLERA CULTURAL TRAIL