Built on land donated by the Andrews family the foundation stone was laid in 1838 but the church not opened until 1840. The Comber Church is very pleasantly situated and well-maintained. The late Victorian rendering covering the façade was removed a few years ago to reveal the original frontage.
By the time Dunmurry was built Presbyterians were giving elaborate decoration to their rectangular meeting houses. Opened in its present form in 1779 during the ministry of James Stouppe it is a ‘barn church’ that may have been designed by the Belfast architect Roger Mulholland. But already it can be seen how a well to do congregation required more than bare simplicity in its meeting-house. Perhaps most famous because if its association with the Rev Henry Montgomery.
A blue plaque was added to the meeting-house to commemorate Henry Montgomery in 2015:
Inside the meeting-house
The congregation dates from 1655, the present building was completed in 1762. In 1798 the minister was the Rev Robert Acheson, liberal in theology and radical in politics, a supporter of the United Irishmen. A very simple but characterful preaching house close to the coastline in this county Antrim town.
The entrance to the Church
A view of the interior taken in the 1990s. The pews came from the previous meeting-house
Opened in 1896 as the new home of Belfast’s Second Congregation it is the only example in Ireland of a building designed by the English architect Walter Planck. A very highly regarded example of early-English gothic modelled on Croyland Abbey in Lincolnshire, it is a medieval English parish church transported to suburban Belfast.
For more on the history of the building of All Souls’ see:
The view of Ballee from across the graveyard
The Ballee meeting-house was opened for worship in 1721, commemorated in a date stone on the long wall of the ‘T’. Smaller than Downpatrick the building is particularly notable for its impressive roof constructed from Memel pine imported from the distant Baltic Sea. The church interior was extensively renovated and a new organ, paid for by the Carnegie Trust, installed in 1912.
You can read more about the church and the Carnegie organ here:
Built in 1837 by the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian congregation following their removal by the courts from their original meeting-house, the church is an early example of the use of the classical style by a Presbyterian congregation. Two large ionic columns frame the entrance. Inside it is far less ornate but a very effective worship space.
You can read more about the congregation here:
A view of the building of 1711 taken from the side, showing the external staircase to the rear gallery
Interior, decorated for harvest. High central pulpit, ‘Squire’s Gallery’ to the right
The meeting-house in Downpatrick is one of the best and most complete examples in Ireland of a T-shaped meeting-house. Opened in 1711 and built at the start of the ministry of the Rev Thomas Nevin it has been in constant use ever since. Built with three galleries on each arm of the ‘T’ a fourth gallery was added in about 1729 behind Thomas Nevin’s impressive high pulpit.
The history of the congregation:
Take a 360 degree tour of the interior: