St Columba has long been associated with ‘the Glen’ though how it is not clear. However he was not the first saint to be here – that honour may belong to St Fanad. The Glen has long been the focus of pilgrimage and St Conal has a place in this also. The Glen is of course famous for its ‘rounds’ or ‘turas’ and the best way to tackle its many diverse monuments is first of all to follow their course. Most of the sites are marked on the OS map.
See a full articulation of the Glencolmcille pilgrimage on this website
Station 1 At Straid west of the Church there is a prehistoric court tomb some 5000 years old which has been Christianised with an altar for the pilgrims.
Station 2 also in Straid is a prominent Cross Pillar 2 meters high and decorated on both sides dated 700-800. There are the remains of an altar at the base. This too was probably an earlier pre-chistian sacred place.
OS: 10 535 849 marked
Station 3 The next station at Garveross is almost s kilometer to the West; there is a cairn by the side of which is stone slab and prayer stone. Just west of the carn is a hollow in the ground called Place of the Knees for the pilgrim to pray.
Station 4 is at Beefan. There is a altar (leacht) with Cross Slab within an enclosure; on a stone in the enclosure wall is a cross.
OS: 10 523 858 marked
Between station 4 and 5 is a small circular structure said to be the hernitage of St Columba.
Station 5 consists of a small church with an altar and St Columba’s ‘bed’ or tomb-shrine. There are various other cairns or leachta with cross slabs all within an enclosure including the church.
Station 6 is now a rock in Beefan called St Columba’s Chair on the slope above the Holy Well. But originally the Chair was not a station. Station 6 was an incised cross called the Stone of Entreaty
Station 7 is the Holy Well up the hill with cross slab.
OS: 10 565 862 marked
Above station 7 is the site of an hermitage.
Station 8 is sometimes called St Columba’s Garden. It consists of 3 upright crosses each surrounded by by a cairn within an enclosure.
OS: 10 528 858 marked
Station 9 at Farranmacbride is a beautifully carved Pillar Stone called the Stone of Gathering.
OS: 10 536 851 marked
Station 10 is a cairn with an upright slab in the centre in the midle of a field.
OS: 10 541 850 marked
Station 11 is cairn with a slab in the centre hidden behind a hedge.
Station 12 is a fine decorated stone at Drumroe. The patterns imitate 8/9 C metalwork.
Station 13 is stone standing right by the road.
Station 14 is a tall carved Pillar Stone.
Station 15 is a carved Cross Pillar, now broken, in the east end of the church grounds.