INSPECTION of the supposed cross mark in the rock by a heritage geology consultant indicates that the marks in the sandstone may in fact be naturally occurring.
The heritage geology consultant, who didn’t want to be officially quoted, inspected the rock formation closely and deduced that the marks found on the sandstone by Mr Hancock were more than likely natural occurring.
“To me, they look like fault lines in the rocks, which over the years have expanded as sandstone has a tendency to do,” he said.
“Fault lines can occur vertically and horizontally, hence can look like a cross, as they do here.
“Sandstone weathers over the years and can break down, faults can expand.”
“One must also remember we are looking at an area about 170 years after the suggested activity.
“Today it is an extremely steep area, littered with copious amounts of sandstone, in fact many large boulders, which have over the years obviously broken away from the escarpment.”
Father Faherty said he found it hard to believe that groups would have actually congregated in such a steep hilly area for worship.
“I’m not saying that Catholics didn’t congregate here and hold services over the years,” he said.
“But I just think this would not be the location. It is an extremely steep hill and I don’t know that they would have been able to actually hold a service here.
“I just can’t see why they would hold a service up here.
“I commend Bill for his attempts to find the first chapel, and hope his search continues.”
Although disappointed that what he believed may have been the first chapel site has been discounted, Mr Hancock said he will continue his quest and is hopeful of one day discovering the original chapel’s site.
He said he has taken photos of the location and has sent them to the National Museum making inquiries as to who would be best to investigate the site.
“It is still up in the air and
we would certainly like to see someone in authority actually take on the site and fully investigate it,” he said.