The Lacken “Gazebo” is one of the most curious landmarks to be found in this part of county Mayo, and one of the most conspicuous. Forming a double arch of rough stones, the structure stands on the summit of Lacken Hill, at the rear of Castle Lacken. Now the origin of the structure seems to be a mystery, but it is likely that it was erected in the latter part of the eighteenth century possibly by the landlord of the place, either Sir Roger or Sir John Palmer, and may have “Masonic” connections.

One local tradition maintains that the construction was erected to commemorate the memory of Moira Browne, wife of the “unpopular” Sir John Browne, resident of Palmerstown House and the feared land agent for the Palmers in 1798. While Sir John Browne will always be remembered in the dinnseanchas - ‘the lore of the place’, as a cruel and heartless man, his wife Moira is recalled in a totally different light. So beloved was this woman that she is still spoken of fondly by the local people, over two hundred years after her death. Rev. Thomas Walshe in his Ecclesiastical History of Ireland referenced her in the following manner:

“Near this abbey (Rathfran), is Palmerstown House, formerly the residence of Mary Browne, who, is said to have died in the odour of sanctity”.  According to local lore “On the day she died strange bells were heard ringing in the air. It is thought they were the bells of Heaven. When she died, all around the house was dotted over with bright lights. All the people who saw those lights said it was angels that came down to accompany her to Heaven.”

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