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Layd Church Yard

Tradition  has it that the parish church at Layd (broad place), established in 1306, replaced and earlier religious house. It ceased to be used as a parish church in about 1790, and was replaced by a new building in Cushendall.

The long narrow church is built of local red sandstone and schist. In later years it is known to have had a thatched roof. The present doorway in the south wall has a semi-circular arch, with a stone above it dated 1696. A most unusual feature is a tower at the west end, the purpose of which is very uncertain. It is generally thought to have provided accommodation for a priest.

Coastal Path
Hugging the cliffs to the south is an attractive coastal path leading to Cushendall Bay. On a clear day there are spectacular views of the Scottish coast, Lurigethan, Red Bay Castle and Garron Plateau. The round trip can be accomplished comfortably in an hour, but please note the path is steep in places.

The graveyard stands besides a fast flowing stream that cascades into the sea at Port Obe. It contains many fine gravestones, including memorials to members of the MacDonnell family and others which illustrate the areas maritime and Scottish connections. The unusual cross with a hole in the centre, standing beside the entrance to the graveyard, is much older than its inscription suggests.

A large celtic cross marks the burial place of Doctor James MacDonnell co-founder of a hospital in Belfast that was later to become the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast and of the Belfast School of Medicine which became the Queens University


The church is accessible via two routes depending upon you preference of walking or driving.
To drive start at Cushendall village centre (Curfew Tower) where you follow the road for the beach, along the way a road veers left and you can follow this for a short distance before coming upon a small car park on the right with a path leading to the church.
To walk, again start at Cushendall village centre (Curfew Tower) where you follow the road for the beach only this time continue to the end of the road and park and follow the 1.5 mile footpath along the coast to the church.



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