Ros Davies' Co. Down, Northern Ireland Family History Research Site
© Rosalind Davies 2001
Permission granted to reprint research for non-profit use only

Ballykinler Catholic parish

Ballykinlar Catholic Church

Ballykinler Catholic Church
Church of St. Patrick & St. Joseph
on the Ardglass to Clough Rd , North Tyrella BT30 8DF Tel; 4485 1221

This chapel was built in 1782-4 by Rev. John Macartan on the site of an earlier Celtic church . Prior to this, Mass was celebrated every alternate Sunday at the four roads of Tyrella and at the four roads of Carribnab. There is a tradition which says that Mr Craig, a Protestant farmer, used to keep watch on a hill in his farm in order to give notice of the approach of the priest-hunters.

The land was presented to the by Samuel Gibbons Esq. the owner of the Ballykinler Estate. The site had an old graveyard called lnish Lochaculin and was on an island in a drained lough. The parish priest 1814-1832 was Rev. Hugh Macartan then Rev. Michael O'Hagan until 1835 and Rev. Patrick Curoe in 1832 & again in 1839. A new chapel was built in 1855 with the foundation stone being laid by Right Rev. Dr. Denvir on 17 Jul 1855. It was soon obvious that the original site would not bear the weight of the intended church and the Marquis of Downshire granted a new site on an adjoining hill across the road where the present church was erected. On 17 June 1860 it was solemnly dedicated by Dr. Denvir with the sermon preached by Dr. Dorrian of Loughinisland. The church cost £1,600 of which £400 had been given by the late Nicholas Magraw Esq. of Liverpool, who was from North Tyrella. It was built in Lancet-Gothic from plans by Rev. Jeremiah McAuley.
It is to be regretted that in order to get stones for this chapel, the Catholics blasted with powder and carted off a stone circle, one of the ancient pagan megalithic monuments which had stood for three thousand years in the townland of Tubbercorran.

In the graveyard is the old Mass Rock with the inscription, "This Mass Rock served the people of this locality during the Penal Days. Originally situated on Robert Hogg's farm in Carricknab, it was removed to this place for safe keeping in 1984."

Newspaper articles from Down Recorder;
consecration of the new church of St Joseph, Ballykinler 26 May 1860; gossipings about parish 4 Jan 1862; death of parish priest Rev. P. Curoe 18 Oct 1873; concert, participants named 6 Jan 1900 has registers to view 1854-1880; PRONI & NLI have baptisms & marriages 1854- 1881; UHF has baptisms & marriages 1854-1900 ,graveyard nearby gravestone inscriptions available UHF Vol 9 ; email me for a gravestone look-up

References;DR; DR*: V9 MIs; LM 1994 p61; TIA: GIC ; O'L V1 p 121,136,137, 138; LM 1994 p59, 66 , 68; LM 1991 p32,34; LM 1997 p85-86; LM 1998 p77


by Ros Davies