Ulster Folk Museum

Catholic Church

Ballycultra Town building 38

This is an original building. The church was originally situated in Selshion townland, on the Birches Road leading out of the town of Portadown, County Armagh.

Dedicated to St John the Baptist, the church was built to serve the Roman Catholic Parish of Drumcree, County Armagh, in 1793. It was dismantled and moved to the Folk Museum in 1990.

The church was comparatively rare because it was built more than fifty years before the repeal of the Penal Laws, which regulated the rights and status of Catholics in Ireland.

This early rural Church has a striking similarity to contemporary Presbyterian Churches in Ulster. The interior has galleries on three sides and an altar on the long wall where the pulpit would frequently be found in Presbyterian churches of the 1700s.

The Drumcree Church has a magnificent early 1800s pipe organ. This originally came from the Church of Ireland parish of Dromore, County Down.

The museum was fortunate in acquiring a set of 14 Stations of the Cross identical to those hung in Church. 

Look out for the “barn” lay-out of the building, similar to the Presbyterian Meeting House, also in Ballycultra.  Also see the stations of the cross which are copies of the original stations of the cross that belonged to the church and the organ in the gallery above the main entrance.