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

Drumbo Parish

Church of Ireland Shaws Bridge Presbyterian graveyard & round tower Ballycarn Presbyterian Church Carryduff Catholic Church


Church of Ireland,Ballylesson

Church of Ireland- Holy Trinity
in Ballylessan townland, on the Belfast/Hillhall/Lisburn road

The church was erected in 1788-1791 & paid for by subscription. In 1836 it was described as being capable of holding 175 people with average attendance of 280 people.Its dimensions were 90 by 30 feet, with a pleasant appearance and trees. The minister was Rev. Marcus Falloon in 1830 and Rev . Horatio Maunsell in 1833 & 1863. The churchwardens in 1863 were Thomas Gray & James S. Bell.

records from 1791, graveyard attached, gravestone inscriptions UHF Vol 1, 2 & 18; oldest stone 1783; email me for a gravestone look-up
This photo was kindly sent to me by Brian McCleary.

References;V7 p 56, 60 OSM; GIPR: GIC ; V1 MIs; FR


Shaw's  Bridge

Shaws Bridge

This lovely old postcard of Shaw's Bridge c. 1920 was kindly sent to me by Jeff Hampton. Shaw's Bridge is over the River Lagan in Ballynavally townland.

Shaw's Bridge took its name from Captain Shaw, who built an oak bridge in 1655 to transport the guns of Cromwell's army across the river. This was replaced in 1698 with a stone one, which subsequently collapsed. The present five-arch span bridge was built in 1709.

References BN 10/11/2012


Drumbo Presbyterian graveyard & round tower

in Drumbo townland

The first minister, Henry Livingstone, was appointed in 1655 & the first church built in 1670. After his death in 1697 , Rev. Livingston was suceeded by Rev. Edward Bailly until his death in 1703. The next minister was Rev. Thomas Gowan in 1706 until 1716. He was suceeded by Rev. Patrick Bruce in 1717 until 1728. Next was Rev. Andrew Malcom in 1731 until his death in 1763. The church was rebuilt in 1750. He was succeeded by Rev. James Malcom (probably his son) from 1764 until 1775 because he was deemed unable to officiate. Next was Rev. Hugh McKee from 1776 until 1781. In 1792 Rev. Malcom was recovered and the congregation applied for his reinstatement but he was again unwell by 1794. He was suceeded by Rev. Samuel Hanna in 1795 until 1799, then Rev. James Riddle from 1800 until his suspension in 1826.

In 1833 ,the church was in need of repair . In 1836, the church was describedas capable of holding 700 people with dimensions 72 by 50 feet in a T shape. There was a meeting of the congregation re political situation in 16 Jan 1793. The meeting house in Ballycarn townland was built when this congregation split in 1830. The ground around the ancient round tower next to this meeting house was used as a burying ground. The minister from 1827 was Rev Mr. Campbell Blakely & he serviced 400 families in 1837. he ceame infirm and Rev. James McNeill was appinted his assistant & sucessor in 1867. The church was enlarged in 1870.

records available are baptisms 1699-1723 then 1764-1773, 1781-1792, marriages 1706-1721 then 1765- 1792; PRONI Ref # Mic/1P/ 291 for baptisms from 1827 - 1860s; gravestones UHF Vol 4; oldest stone 1697; email me for a gravestone look-up.

The colour photo was kindly sent by Mark Donald

References;NS; V7 p 56, 60 OSM; HCPCI p126-127; PE; GIC: GIPR


Ballycarn Presbyterian Church
in Ballycarn townland on the Belfast- Carryduff Road

This church was erected in 1830, with the expenses paid by the parish & public contributions . Its dimensions were 60 by 40 feet with 200 people attending in 1833. It was descibed as having plain architecture but in a grove of trees in 1837. This meeting house was erected because the congregation didn't like the minister at the Drumbo church. The minister was Mr. Montgomery. A newer church was built in Ballylesson with only a caretakers's cottage remaining at Ballycarn. The minister before 1902 was Rev. Samuel James Clarke.


Newspaper articles from Northern Star;
message from John Kelly to congregation 22 Dec 1794; school master wanted 27 Jun 1796;

Records available; marriages from 1845 & births from 1860, graveyard attached, gravestones UHF Vol 3; only 12 headstones; email me for a gravestone look-up

References; V7 p 56, 60 OSM ; GIPR; GIC ; NS ; MIs


Carryduff Catholic Church- Immaculate Heart of Mary
546 Saintfield Rd, Carryduff BT8 8EU

No mass had been celebrated in the area for 300 years. This church was built in 1946 on land given by Patrick Mallon of the Ivanhoe Inn after an influx of Catholic workers for the construction of Knockbracken reservoir. The parish priest was Rev. Daniel McFerran. It was demolised in 2009 to make way for new St. Joseph's Primary School ;

graveyard adjoining

References; DR* 4/3/2009 p12


by Ros Davies