Mass path

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Ranaghan Westmeath Mass-path Stile
Construction of Ranaghan Mass-path Stile

A mass path is a pedestrian track or road connecting destinations frequently used by rural communities, most usually the destination of Sunday Mass. They were most common during the centuries that preceded motorised transportation in Western Europe, and in particular the British Isles; and the Netherlands (where such a path is called "kerkenpad" (lit. Church path).

Mass paths typically included stretches crossing fields of neighbouring farmers; and were likely to contain stiles when crossing fences or other boundaries; or plank bridges to cross ditches.

Some mass paths are still used today in the Republic of Ireland,[1] but are usually subject to Ireland's complicated rights of way law.[2]


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