There was a large earthen mote and an ancient church on this site, but nothing is now visible above ground. An impressive historic house, Motelands, now stands on part of the site. Two stone coffin lids of a Norman design were removed when the old graveyard was cleared and are under the care of the Ulster Museum. Old manuscript sources state that Con O’Neill died in 1619, in much reduced circumstances, having lost nearly all his territory. He died in relative obscurity, and there is no record as to the cause of death, which is recorded without comment in the ‘Leabhar Cloinne Aodha Buidhe’ or History of Clandeboye.
Con would certainly have preferred to have been buried at Knock Church, which was patronized by his family. In an agreement to sell land on 2 August 1609, he stipulated that he should have the right to attend Knock Church, but in the event he was buried at the less important Ballymaghan.
Who delivered his oration? Who carried his funeral board? What tokens were placed with his body? Was there any dignity afforded to him on his last journey? Was the occasion passed over with something close to embarrassment, or did his people turn out in vast numbers to mourn not just his passing, but the passing of a way of life?
The book of his life has gone to the grave with those who knew him. Mary Lowry adds a salutary epitaph:
Con O’Neill died in abject poverty in a small house at Ballymenoch, near Holywood. All the land as far as the eye could see once belonged to him. At the end of his life, he could claim only a grave in the old church that once stood at Ballymachan.