Ulster Folk & Transport Museum

Church of Ireland

Ballycultra Town building 11

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This is an original building. The church was built in 1790 and came from Carnacally, Kilmore, County Down. It was dismantled and moved to the Folk Museum in 1976.

Kilmore church is a good example of a late 1700s church of Ireland. It is built of local stone and is a plain rectangular building with a square bell tower and porch at its west end. Below the large east window is the Communion table. To the left of the Communion table is the pulpit, and to the right of the table is the reader’s desk.

The church interior contains both early and later features. The reconstructed wooden box pews date from the 1790s, when they were a common feature in many churches. By the mid-1800s this old-fashioned layout was generally replaced by bench pews in rows facing the Communion table.

In the 1860s a solid fuel stove was installed before this the church was unheated. There are no windows in the north-side wall of the church; a measure taken to avoid draughts. The church was lighted by candles and oil lamps.

Kilmore was a rural parish belonging to the Church of Ireland, Diocese of Down. The church was built to accommodate a congregation of 160 people. The graveyard for the parish was laid out beside the church. The church was attended by a congregation of farming and rural families.

When a new church at Kilmore was opened in 1869, the old church was used as a hall, a school and even a store. By the 1960s the parish no longer needed the old church building. As the Museum had been searching for a typical Ulster parish church we were delighted to accept the offer of the old church from Kilmore Parish.

Look out for the box pews which were designated to particular families.