Ballinderry Middle Church

Old Church and Graveyard

The following extract is from “Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland – Parishes of County Antrim VII 1832 – 1838”. Thanks to The Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen’s University of Belfast for permission to use this extract.

Old Church of Ballinderry

Ballinderry old church is situated on a handsome site adjoining the road leading from the village of Lower Ballinderry to Lisburn. It is an oblong edifice, 1-storey high and slated, and situated nearly east and west, and measuring 64 and a half by 22 and a half feet inside; walls of stone and lime and 3 feet in thickness, and an entrance door on the west gable. It is lit by 2 windows on the south side, 3 on the north side and 1 large [one] on the east gable over the communion table: These windows are approaching to square, except 2 that are oblong. They are on the old fashion, the casing of wood; strong and clumsy.

There are 2 circular windows on the west gable to light the gallery erected on that end of the church. Entrance to this gallery by a door on the north side of the church, and stone stairs ascending to it on the outside. The gallery is small and supported in front on 2 timber columns. The communion table stands in the east end of the church and over it, on a framed parchment of canvas, the Royal Arms with the letters C and R at the top, and at the foot the words Dieu et Mon Droit.

The pulpit stands against the north side and about the middle of the church: The alley and area around the communion table is laid with freestone and the remainder of the floor partly of lime and sand and partly boarded; total pews on the ground floor 26, each averaging 18 feet of seats, and will accommodate persons each 12; total accommodated on the ground floor 312. There are 4 seats or pews on the gallery, each averaging 14 feet of seats; and will hold 9 persons each, total 36; total accommodated in the church 348.

The pews are of oak-panelled work, but the interior and furniture of the church is falling fast to decay and is now merely preserved for antiquity’s sake and the accommodation of funeral services.

On the west gable stands a sort of chimney or belfry and bell. This bell is now split and much injured, but seldom used since the erection of a bell on the new church. This bell was designed for Aghalee church but was brought here by mistake, and continues so to the present period. The Ballinderry bell was put up in Aghalee church and remains there to the present period also, and much a better bell than the one above mentioned. These 2 bells were cast at the one period. By this it would appear that the above churches were built about the one period:

Graveyard at Ballinderry Old Church

The graveyard is enclosed partly by a stone and lime wall and partly by a quickset fence, and partially sheltered by forest trees, with a good iron gate to the entrance: The following are amongst the Christian names and surnames on tombs and headstones in the yard.

Male names: Anthony; Alexander, Adam, Allen, Humphrey, Jonathan, Charles, Edward, Francis, Hugh, John, James, William, Samuel, Ralph, Henry, Thomas.

Female names: Agness; Alethea, Ann, Allice, Charity, Dorathea, Elenor, Maria, Joanna, Elizabeth, Margaret.

Epitaph on a headstone: “Here lieth the body of Mr Thomas Johnston of Portmore, who departed this life the 30th July 1800 in the 90th year of his age; he was descended from the Honorable and Reverend Thomas Johnston, third son of the Earl of Annandale in- Scotland, who was rector of Drumgooland and vicar of Ballynahinch, county of Down; in the reign of King Charles L”

Surnames on tombs and headstones: Allen, Blizard, Close, Clarke, Eken, Higginson, Johnson, Moore; Weatherhead, Culbert, Cinnamond; Casement, Eden, Gilbert, Johnston; Maze, Patterson, Yar, Ravonscroft, Ross; Peel, Shillington, Tatnal, Thompson, Thomson, Taylor.

The oldest stone legible in the burial ground is 1679 and the greatest age on any tomb or headstone is 92 years. Some of the tombs and headstones are defaced and consequently can not be read.

A chest belonging to the old church is at present in the tower of the new church and on its sides cut in figures 1706, which is said to be the period at which the old church was built; also a silver cup with the following inscription an it: “The cwp of Balanderey chwrch.” This cup belonged to the – old church and is in good order. Informants John Johnston and others, 16th March 1838.

Extraordinary Revenge

The following is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 23rd March 1832 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Extraordinary Revenge – Lisburn.

March 19 – A most inhuman act of revenge was perpetrated in the neighbourhood of Ballinderry on Wednesday week .-

It appeared that a stone mason, belonging to Ballinderry, had some animosity towards a respectable woman resident there, a widow, and he was determined to be revenged of her. The widow interred her only daughter about a year ago in the church-yard of Ballinderry. The man, a short time before he committed the atrocious act, went to the woman, and told her that, to satisfy his revenge, he would present her her daughters head. He opened the grave, broke open the coffin, pulled a quantity of the hair off the head of the corpse and laid it down on the bank beside him and then took a spade and chopped the head off. The monster brought it to the widow’s house and laid it down before her, swearing that it was the head of her daughter, and that his revenge was satisfied. He was summoned by the Churchwardens of Ballinderry, to appear before the bench here on Tuesday last, but he did not appear, but the facts as stated were fully proved. The witnesses are bound over to prosecute at the next Sessions, and the police are in search of the fellow.

Read the full story here »»

Ballinderry Parish Magazine

Ballinderry Parish Magazine, February 1909

Ballinderry Parish Magazine, February 1909. Kindly provided by Derick McClurg

The Ballinderry Parish Magazine dated February 1909 has the following advertisers:

Petticrew Brothers, Watchmakers and Jewellers, 21 Bow Street, Lisburn, 21 Bow Street, Lisburn.

Alexander Boyd & Co. Ltd, family grocers, chemists and Italian warehousemen, Castle Buildings, Lisburn.

Kilpatricks, suits and costumes, 65 to 75 Bow Street, Lisburn.

T & J McErvel Ltd. 40 Victoria Square, Belfast. – spring implements, seeds, manures and feeding stuffs.

Hugh Kirkwood, ironmonger and hardware merchant, Market Square, Lisburn.

Beckett Brothers, drapers, clothiers, outfitters, dressmakers and milliners, 22 Bow Street, Lisburn.

Ritchie & Son. Ladies’ and Gents’ tailoring and general outfitting. 54 & 56 Bow Street, Lisburn.

John F. Anderson, seedsman and florist – importer of Dutch flowering roots, 42 & 44 Bow Street, Lisburn

Edward Evans, agricultural warehouse, 81 Bow Street, Lisburn.

The Erskine Mayne book store, 3 Donegall Square West, Belfast. Telephone 1424.

William Ramsey, funeral undertaker, 6 Castle Street, Lisburn.

John E. Reilly, Practical printer, 21 Castle Street, Lisburn.

George Duncan & Sons Ltd., Lisburn Draper.(in business 74 years).

Charles V. Bolton, L.P.S.I., Pharmaceutical & Dispensing chemist, 45 & 47 Market Square, Lisburn. Telephone 6XI.

Baptisms

Jan 23rd – Frederick Charles, son of Thomas Charles and Sarah Thompson, Culmore.

Middle Church Cemetery Rules

The following is an extract from the Ballinderry Parish Magazine dated February 1909.

MIDDLE CHURCH CEMETERY RULES

Passed by the Select Vestry, and confirmed by the Diocesan Council in connection with the above cemetery.

  1. That if a parishioner requires new ground, the sum of 0s will be charged for each Grave, and that no more than three or less than two graves be given to the same family.
  2. That the sum of £1 be charged for permission to erect a railing including a headstone round a burial ground and 10s if only a stone is erected.
  3. That parishioners pay the sum of 2/6 and outsiders 5s towards the support of the cemetery for each interment; and on receipt of this amount, an order to be issued to the sexton for interment.
  4. That the sexton make all graves, for which he is authorised to charge the sum of 2/6 for each one made, and 5s if within a railing.
  5. That the Rev. J.W. Minchin and Mr. J.E. Bolton be requested to issue orders for Intermentcollect all Fees, and settle all Graves.

NOTES

An annual subscription of 5s will be taken in lieu of Fees in No. 3.

If, at the time of an Interment, the person applying for an order for the same shows, to the satisfaction of the Rev. J.W. Minchin or Mr. J.E. Bolton, that he is too poor to pay the fees mentioned in Nos 3 and 4; the same may be remitted (the Vestry paying the Sexton’s Fee), provided an entry of the facts, together with the name of the applicant is entered in a book kept for that purpose, and open to the inspection of the Vestry.

Any complaint in connection with the cemetery is to be made to the Rev. J.W. Minchin of Mr. J.E. Bolton.

Middle Church, early 1900s

An early 20th century picture
by Lannigan (Lisburn)
showing Ballinderry Middle Church

“Buildings of County Antrim”

The following can be found in the book “Buildings of County Antrim by C.E.B. Brett published in 1996.” page 30, no 25. Includes a photograph by M. O’Connell.

Middle Church, Ballinderry. Church of Ireland. Situated off road from Upper to Lower Ballinderry. Town land – Cluntirriff.

Death Notice — Evans

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter and dated 13th August 1898. It is used with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Evans – August 12 at her residence, Crew Park Farm, Ballinderry, Amelia, the dearly – beloved wife of William Evans. Her remains will be removed for interment in the family burying ground, Middle Church Cemetery, Ballinderry, tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon at two o’clock. Friends will please accept this intimation. Wm. Evans.

“The Middle Church of Ballinderry and Bishop Jeremy Taylor”

The following extract has been taken from the book titled “The Middle Church of Ballinderry and Bishop Jeremy Taylor” by Francis Joseph Bigger and William J. Fennell, published in Belfast by Marcus Ward & Co., Ltd.

For further details please see The Middle Church of Ballinderry at Lisburn.com.

This church stands westward from the modern village of Ballinderry-” the town of the oak “-and eastward of Portmore and Lough Beg.’ The district is filled with the associations of the troubled life of the earnest and eloquent Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down, the Shakespeare of divines.

Notes: The old village of Ballinderry was near the Church of Portmore, which is situate in the townland of Ballinderry, and not Portmore, and, being the largest townland, doubtless gave its name to the whole parish. At a later date “Ballinderry” was at the “Cross Roads,” whilst the present railway station has caused the centre to shift further east to what was called the “Upper Lane Ends,”or Upper Ballinderry.

The great palace of Portmore-to which, tradition ascribes an almost regal splendour -has vanished, with the melancholy exception of a perch or two of old brickwork, the crumbling walls of the bowling-green, and a few pieces of Irish oak, the last survivors of its sumptuous joinery. It was erected by Lord Conway in 1664, upon the site of a former stronghold of the O’Neills. Still, as one wanders over its site, there comes to mind a vision of the gifted divine who here thought to find, as he himself expresses it, “retirement in that solitary place,” under the protection of its owner. The little Sallagh island in Portmore Lough where he penned some of the thoughts that have immortalised him, possesses no vestige of his arbour, and is now “an unweeded garden;” but it was once the loved spot where, in solitude, the devout Taylor gave his soul its full freedom to think and record the thoughts bright, clear, and beautiful like the waters around him.

Notes This castle was pulled down in 1761. The deer park contained 1,000 acres, and was stocked with deer, pheasants, and other game. Earl Conway, in his correspondence with his brother-in-law, Sir George Rawdon, expressed his desire to introduce all useful and ornamental productions into his park and lake. These included hemp-seed from Flanders, cranes and decoy ducks from England, also numerous trees, shrubs, roots, and seeds. In return, his Lordship asked for cranes, dogs, frise, and usquebagh to he sent to him in England. One letter, dated July, 5665, states-” I pray acquaint John Totnal that I desire him to get some bee-hives at the Tunny Park.”-Rawdon Paters.

The family of Totnal is now extinct in Ballinderry, but there is a fine armorial stone of theirs at the Middle Church.

There is a short paper by F. J. B. on the armorial stones of Ballinderry, in the Report for the year 1893 of the Fund for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead, page 249.

From here he dates one of his letters “June 4, 1659,” and states that here his “little boat has cast anchor;” and the Preface to Ductor Dubitantium is dated “from my study at Portmore, in Killultagh, October 5, 1659.”

Close by, in the marshes on the west side of the shore, are the remains of the first Church of Ballinderry, known locally as the Church of Portmore, or Jeremy Taylor’s Church. It is now a ruin consisting of only two gables sixty-three feet apart and twenty-nine feet wide, but devoid of any architectural feature of interest. The site claims some attention, being like an artificial island in the centre of a bog, surrounded by a fosse, and lined with a double hedge, which adds wonderfully to the picturesqueness of the spot. This was the church in which Taylor officiated first, and which Heber calls the “half-ruined Church of Killultagh.” It was no doubt a pre-Reformation church, and close by it in the graveyard are two rude basins hollowed out of boulder stones. Bishop Taylor found this church inconvenient, and caused another to be erected nearer the village, now known as “The Middle Church.”

In 1823 it was decided to build the new church on the site of the Middle Church, which, however, was subsequently overruled, and the present site adopted after a considerable amount of discussion-the Vestry Book records the question having been “three times put.”

In 1824 the Middle Church was abandoned for all but mortuary and other occasional services, and the present Parish Church erected, which, with its gracefully proportioned spire, forms a pleasant picture as seen from its less pretentious parent, the subject of this paper.

In 1834, as appears by the Parish Records, “it was resolved that the old churchyard at Lower Ballinderry [Portmore] shall be properly fenced, and an iron gate and pillars placed on it.”

This quaint little whitewashed church arrests our attention, with its circular-headed mullioned windows, its empty bell cot, and its chancel end loaded with ivy spreading out over its wrinkled old roof. Here are tangible relics of Jeremy Taylor’s life and ministry, which should be most carefully preserved and cared for, and pointed out to hundreds to whom the name of Jeremy Taylor is more than an empty sound. The church stands duly orientated on the south side of the county road, in the centre of its graveyard, on the crest of a small hill. It is seventy-one feet long by twenty-nine feet wide, solidly built of masonry three feet thick, low to the cave, roughcasted and whitewashed; but its details, though scanty, bear the charm of the style which flourished in the middle of the seventeenth century. The windows are constructed of oak, with mullions, transomes, and circular heads, each having three lights, except that in the chancel, which has five, and all are glazed with sheet glass. Entering by the door in the west gable, we see at once the unchecked hand of decay hard at work on what was once a beautiful little country church of a style distinctive and unmatched, our solitary example of a purely Jacobean structure.

Our attention is attracted by the old “square” pews, with the seat running all round, and tall, straight backs. These pews extend along each side wall, and are made of Irish oak, framed and panelled, relieved with fine delicately-worked mouldings, the panels being selected for the rich wavy grain of the oak, and the framing held together with oak pins, all its colour richly toned down by the hand of time. This is doubtless portion of the now long-destroyed great oak forest of Portmore. On the north side, nearly in the centre of the church, stands the old “three-decker” pulpit, also of oak, panelled and relieved with the charming singularity of design peculiar to the Jacobean craftsman. The two front pews are larger and more elaborate in workmanship, and were no doubt set apart for the patrons of the church, although there is a local tradition that the large pew nearly opposite the pulpit was “Lord Conway’s pew.” It is sad to see how much the old joinery has suffered by the hands of time and man, nearly every pew door having been removed, some being used for wainscot; one, however, has been nailed up against the west gable wall in the gallery, probably because it contains the inscription-

A.B. 1668 A.H.

Notes The News – Letter of 19 April, 1763, contains the following advertisement :- “Sale of Portmore. Good old oak in Portmore deer park, scantlings, timber of stables. The bricks likewise.”

This date was the year of the church’s consecration, and the initials may represent the names of the first churchwardens. The chancel rail is comparatively modern, but the east window was boldly worked in solid oak. Here the ivy has forced its way in, and nearly covers the inside of the east wall as well as the outside, making a picturesque effect, but adding much to the general decay. The roof is peculiar, and worthy of note. It consists of oak rafters five inches deep and four inches thick, framed and trussed together, and held with strong oak pins at the meetings. These trusses are spaced two feet apart, and are sheeted longitudinally over to carry the slates, which are exceptionally small, and appear to have come from Aberdovey, in Wales. At an earlier date oak shingles were doubtless used, and this is borne out by local tradition. In 1791 an applotment was made on the parish of “one penny per acre for the sake of slating the church.” The ceiling is lathed and plastered on the underside of the cross timbers of the trusses. This roof seems to carry the conviction with it that it was brought from the old church at Portmore when that building was abandoned, as it is just of such character as would be in keeping with it, and was intended to be open to view on the inside from the plate to the ridge. In fact, it is quite open to conjecture that some of the other fittings were brought from Portmore as well. The examination of this roof, the walls, and the general arrangement of the west end, points to the supposition that the church was at some period subsequent to its foundation lengthened westward by nine feet (see plan), for the special purpose of obtaining room for a gallery which now exists, and is entered from the north on the outside by an inclined terrace. The door appears to have been on the south side at one time, but was moved to the west when this extension took place, and the present door replaced in 1808 at a cost of £4 16s. 9d., as appears by the Vestry Records.

In no country church could better examples of the conditions under which worship was held two hundred years ago be found,-the great family pews, high and uncomfortable, the old central pulpit in three stages rising one above the other ; the wide stone-paved aisle, the small red tiled chancel, and the bell cot on the west gable. The bell, which was rung from the outside, and weighed 13 cwt., is no longer there. It was taken down in 1869 by the Rev. Joseph M’Cormick, and sold in Dublin for £6 10s. 6d. It was subsequently re-cast into the bell now in Gilford Church. The inscription on it was-“This Bell is Cast for Portmore by order of Sir George Raidon, A.N., 1681,” and the Vestry Book records that it had been repaired in 1808 at a cost of £2 16s. 7d. From the roof over the east window the two irons still remain from which hung the “Royal Arms;” they were removed in 1859 to the present Parish Church, and placed on the west gallery, having been taken down by one John McAteer at a cost of Is. 6d. The arms were first removed to Belfast for “painting and gilding” by Anne Coates, of 49, Castle Street, at a cost of £6. These Royal Arms, with lion and unicorn supporters, &c., complete, all as represented during all the Stuart period from 1603 to 1689, are remarkable in many ways, and doubtless date from Charles II.’s time, if not from Charles I. They have the Royal monogram, C.R., and may have been erected at the instance of the garrison in Lord Conway’s great castle, when it flourished in all its glory, and its stables had accommodation for two troops of cavalry. The Royal Arms were erected in all Parish Churches in England from the sixteenth century onwards. At first they were hung on the old rood screens, then on the eastern wall, or some other prominent place in the church. Their erection in Ballinderry proves the strong English character of the parish. These arms are now probably just as they originally appeared, for we much doubt if Anne Coates did more than re-touch them. They are painted on a heavy oak panel, with a deep oak-moulded frame, and weigh from 2 to 2½ cwt. The old oak communion table has been removed to the present church, where it is still in use. It partakes of the character of the Stuart period, when the rubric provided for its use either in the chancel or “the body of the church.” The font was also there, but has now been restored to the notesGeorge Rawdon was the secretary of the first Conway, who died in 1630. In 5641 he held Lisburn against the Irish, who burned his mansion at Brookhill (built by Sir F. Brooke), carrying away £3,000 worth of chattels and plate. In 1665 he was made a Baronet, and obtained large grants of land. He was first married to Ursula, daughter of Sir Francis Stafford, of Portglenone, and secondly to Dorothy, daughter of Edward, second Viscount Conway. He died in 1684, in his 80th year, three years after he had presented the bell to Portmore, and was buried in Lisburn. (Lodges Peerage of Ireland, edited by Archdall, vol. iii., PP. 104-8.)

Middle Church, as a new one has been presented to the Parish Church. The pedestal is made out of one solid piece of oak, with a circular stone basin ; the cover is also of oak, neatly clasped with wrought iron : both are illustrated in the initial to this article. Only one piece of communion plate is now preserved, being the chalice still in use. It is inscribed-

THE CWP OF BALANDERRY CHWRCH

and from the hall mark was doubtless locally made about the middle of the seventeenth century. There is only one other relic of interest, and this is a fine oak offertory chest, about four feet long, one foot five inches high, and the same in depth, double locked, containing three compartments inside, the centre one being for the offertory, with a coin slot in the lid, and bearing the date 1706 on the front. This is now in the vestry of the Parish Church, and is illustrated as a tailpiece to this article.

It is locally believed that Jeremy Taylor wished to be buried in his new church at Ballinderry, and that a grave had there been prepared for him; but it was not to be-he sleeps his last sleep in Dromore, as he had himself desired, for we are told he said on his deathbed-“Bury me in Dromore” the cathedral he had done so much for, and his will contained a provision that he should be buried in Ballinderry “in case it should be consecrated before his death.” It was not consecrated until 1668, the year after the Bishop’s death.

The church has now lost much that made it perfect in early times, but enough remains of its character to make it valuable and full of interest to the architect and the archæologist, as well as to the Irish historian-an interest heightened by the mystic charm that links it with the times and life of that great scholar whose works are “enduring monuments of sacred eloquence,” and who, while he laboured in this out-of-the-way spot, and preached in his own little church at Portmore, “gave full reins to his imaginativeness, unmatched alike in ranges of illustration and in opulence of language.” It is said “the solemn music of his words, the rich beauty of his imagery in his incidental metaphors, and the tenderness, passion, colour, and force, if not precision of phrase, combine to place these writings by themselves on a level scarce attained by all the Asiatic eloquence of Chrysostom.”

To the Rev. Canon Sayers, Rector of Ballinderry, we are much indebted for kindness and assistance rendered to us in the compilation of this paper.

Funeral – John Russell

The following extract is from the Lisburn Herald dated 11th December 1909.

Military funeral at Ballinderry

The funeral of John Russell, a mutiny veteran of the 102nd Foot, took place at the Middle (Jeremy Taylor) Church, Ballinderry on Monday. Through the thoughtful intervention of Mr. Harry Pakenham of Langford Lodge, and the kind permission of Colonel Fortesque, a military party, consisting of a colour-sergeant, a corporal and twelve riflemen, attended to do the last honours to an old comrade. The cortege was extremely large and respectable, great interest being taken in the military ceremony, which was most impressive, the men marching slowly, with reversed arms behind the body to the place of interment. Rev. J.H. Minchin, vicar of the parish, read the beautiful service of the church, and afterwards three volleys were fired, and the bugler sounded the “Last Post.” A beautiful wreath was placed on the old veteran’s grave. The deceased was of a quiet, retiring disposition, and was much respected in the neighbourhood. He was 86 years of age, and carried his years well, and never tired of recounting the thrilling scenes of the mutiny campaign, especially at Cawnpore and Lucknow. His last years were rendered comfortable by the tender solitude of Mrs. Harry Pakenham and Mrs. McClintock of Glendaragh.

Death Notice — James Horner

The following is an extract from the Lisburn Herald dated 04 June 1910.

Horner – may 31 at his residence, Cockhill, Ballinderry, James Horner, late of Lisburn. Interred in family burying ground, Middle Church, Ballinderry on 2nd June.

Death Notice — Rachel Culbert

The following is an extract from the Belfast Evening Telegraph dated Friday 14th May 1915.

Culbert – May 13 1915 at her residence, Upper Ballinderry, Rachel Culbert. The remains of my beloved sister will be removed, for interment in Middle Churchyard, on tomorrow (Saturday) at 2pm. Friends will please accept this intimation. Sarah Jane McKeown.

Death Notice — Thomas McKeown

The following extract is from The Lisburn Standard dated 29th June 1917.

Deaths.

McKeown, June 22nd, 1917, at his residence, Ballinderry House, Lower Ballinderry; Thomas McKeown (late of Brookhill House). Interred in Middle Churchyard, Ballinderry, on the 24th inst. Matilda McKeown.

Naturalists’ Field Club Excursion

The following extract is from the Lisburn Standard dated Friday 31st August 1917.

Naturalists’ Field Club
Excursion to Ballinderry and Portmore.

The above club had the final excursion of the season on Saturday last, under the conductorship of Mr. S.M. Macoun, the places visited being Ballinderry and Portmore. Travelling in brakes, the party halted at “Jeremy Taylor’s Church,” where Mr. N.H. Foster described the settlement of the district by the English under Lord Conway, who built a castle on the site of the older O’Neill structure. Jeremy Taylor settled here at the invitation of Lord Conway in 1658. Consecrated Bishop of Dromore in 1661, he died on 13th August 1667. The old church, restored about 20 years ago under the supervision of W J Fennell, is interesting as one of the few remaining Jacobean churches in Ireland, After inspecting the church the members drove to Lower Ballinderry Corner, whence a walk of about half a mile led to the ruins of the old church of Portmore. Here the members scattered to follow their various pursuits till four o’clock, when tea was served in the schoolroom, the catering being in the hands of Ye Olde castle. Afterwards a business meeting was held, at which Mr. A. M.I. Cleland announced that the average attendance at the excursions during the season had been about 50. On the return journey the Tansey Road was taken through Killultagh and past Stoneyford to Castle Robin, where a fifteen minutes’ halt was allowed. From here the party admired the Lagan valley spread beneath them, whilst inspecting the somewhat meagre ruins of the castle. The drive to Belfast was then resumed.

Death Notice – Edward Mockler

The following is an extract from The Lisburn Herald dated Saturday March 2nd 1929

Death

Mockler – February – February 27 1929 at his residence Fruit Hill, Ballinderry, Edward Mockler. Funeral to-day Friday 1st march at 2 o’clock to the family burying ground, Middle Church, Ballinderry.

Death of Mr E Mockler
Chairman Lisburn Board of Guardians.

With vey sincere regret, which will be widely shared, we have to record the death of Mr. Edward Mockler, which occurred on Wednesday at his residence, Fruit Hill, Ballinderry. For a considerable time past he was in delicate health due to heart trouble, for which he was treated in the District Hospital and County Antrim Infirmary, as well as at his home.
The late Mr Mockler, who was the eldest son of the late Mr Edward Mockler, rector of Magheragall, was a well known farmer and was recognised as a skilled agriculturist, whose valuable advice was often sought and freely given. Well educated, his general knowledge was extensive and his intelligence much above the average. For a long period he had represented the electoral division of Ballyscolly at Lisburn Board of Guardians and Lisburn Rural District Council. He was an ex chairman of the latter body, and by virtue of that attended the Antrim County Council during his occupancy of the position. About 11 years ago, he succeeded Lady Keightley as chairman of the Board of Guardians, and discharged the duties so satisfactorily that the Board retained him in office, extending their sympathy towards him during his long, enforced absence, and ever hoping for his early return. As chairman, he discharged his duties with great ability and all-round fairness which won the admiration and confidence of the members, who relied n his sound judgement and guidance. He was also a member of the Committee of Governors of the Lisburn and Hillsborough District Hospital, at the opening of which he took a prominent part.

The late Mr Mockler was a sterling Unionist. In him the cause had an ardent and influential supporter, who rendered great service during the elections. He was also a member of the Orange and Masonic Institutions, in both of which he held high office.

An Episcopalian, the late Mr Mockler worshipped at Ballinderry Parish Church, of which he was a Synodsman, and had from time to time, held other offices.

During the great war he lost his second son Mr Edward Cecil Mockler who was a volunteer joined up with the First Canadian Regiment, and was fatally wounded in France, his death taking place on 7th May, 1915, at the Military Hospital, Cambridge. Deep sympathy is extended to the widow and family in their bereavement. The funeral takes place today (Friday) at 2 o’clock to the family burying ground, Middle Churchyard, Ballinderry, the firm of Wm Jellie, Railway Street, Lisburn, having charge of the arrangements.

Death Notice — Mary Isabella Higginson

The following is an extract from a newspaper cutting, source unknown.

Higginson – February 25, 1932, at her residence, The Temple, Upper Ballinderry, Mary Isabella, widow of John Higginson. Funeral on tomorrow (Saturday) at 2.30pm., for interment in the Middle Churchyard. Friends will please accept this intimation. Deeply regretted by her sorrowing Family and Grandson.

Death Notice — Frederick Higginson

The following is an extract from a newspaper cutting, source unknown.

Higginson – September 3, 19(unreadable) at the residence of his mother, The Temple, Upper Ballinderry, Frederick (Fred), fourth son of Isabella and the late John Higginson. Funeral today (Saturday) at 3pm., for interment in the family burying ground Middle Churchyard, Ballinderry. Friends will please accept this intimation. Deeply regretted.

Death Notice — Eliza Jane Moffitt

The following is an extract from a newspaper cutting, source unknown.

Moffitt – December 19, 1933, at her residence, Templecormac, Upper Ballinderry, Lisburn, Eliza Jane, widow of William Robert Moffitt. Funeral from her late residence today (Thursday) at 2pm to Middle Churchyard, Ballinderry. Deeply regretted by her sorrowing Daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren. Sarah Jane McLarnon, Elizabeth Clarke.

Death Notice — Thomas G Johnston

The following is an extract from a newspaper cutting, source unknown.

Johnston – January 7, 1939 at his residence, Lurgill, Roses Lane Ends, Ballinderry. Thomas G. dearly beloved husband of Minnie Johnston. Funeral on Monday at 1pm to Middle Churchyard. Friends will please accept this intimation. Deeply regretted by his sorrowing wife.

Oak Masonic Lodge no 326, Ballinderry. Johnston – the Officers and Members of above lodge are requested to attend the funeral of their highly esteemed member Br. Thos.G. Johnston. R A Spence WM S Rogan P.M. Sec.

Death Notice — Sarah Thompson

The following is an extract from a newspaper cutting, source unknown.

Thompson – September 16, 1940 at her residence, Ballynacoy, Stoneyford, Sarah, beloved wife of Abraham Thompson. Funeral tomorrow (Wednesday) at 2pm., to Middle Churchyard, Ballinderry. Friends will please accept this intimation. Deeply regretted by her sorrowing Husband and Family.

Death Notice — Francis Taylor

The following is an extract from a newspaper cutting, source unknown.

Taylor – January, 8 1941 at his residence Poplar Vale, Aghalee, Lurgan, Francis Taylor. Funeral tomorrow (Friday) at 2pm., to the family burying ground, The Middle Churchyard. Ballinderry. Deeply regretted by his sorrowing Wife.

Taylor – January 8, 1941, at his residence, Popular Vale, Aghalee, Lurgan, Francis Taylor. Funeral tomorrow (Friday) at 2 pm., to Ballinderry Middle Churchyard. Ever remembered by his only Daughter, Sons and Son-in-law. Meg and Eddy Campbell, Derriaghy.

Taylor – January 8, 1941 at his residence, Poplar vale, Aghalee, Lurgan, Francis Taylor. Funeral tomorrow (Friday) at 2pm., to the family burying ground, The Middle Churchyard, Ballinderry. Inserted by his sorrowing Son and Daughter-in-law Francis and Bertha Taylor and family.

Death Notice — Sarah Davidson

The following is an extract from a newspaper cutting, source unknown.

Davidson – January 11, 1941, at her residence Glen Villa, Ballinderry, Co. Antrim, Sarah, dearly-beloved wife of James Davidson. Funeral Monday at 2.30pm to Middle Churchyard, Ballinderry. Deeply regretted by her sorrowing husband and family.

Death Notice – Bessie Johnston

The following extract is from the Belfast Newsletter dated 31st July 1944 and appears with permission of the Belfast Newsletter.

Johnston – July 29, 1944 at the County Antrim Infirmary, Lisburn, Bessie, beloved wife of William H. Johnston. House and funeral (private) from the above infirmary to-day (Monday) , to Middle Churchyard, Ballinderry. Deeply regretted by her sorrowing Husband and Family.

Johnston – July 29, 1944, at the County Antrim Infirmary, Lisburn, Bessie, Beloved wife of William. H. Johnston. Deeply regretted by her sorrowing Mother-in-law, brothers-in-law and Sisters-in-law. – Oglises Farm, Ballinderry.

Death Notice — Elizabeth Fleeton

The following is an extract from a newspaper cutting, source unknown.

Fleeton – February 28 1945, at her residence, Lakeview, Upper Ballinderry, Elizabeth, widow of William John Fleeton. Funeral to Middle Churchyard, Ballinderry, tomorrow (Friday) at 2pm. Friends will please accept this intimation. Deeply regretted by her sorrowing Daughter, Mary E. Fleeton.

Death Notice — Elizabeth Hanna

The following is an extract from a newspaper cutting, source unknown.

Hanna – May 19, 1945, at her residence, Drumanduff, Ballinderry, Lisburn, Elizabeth, widow of John Edward Hanna (nee Elliott). Funeral on Monday at 11am to Middle Churchyard, Ballinderry. House private, by request. Deeply regretted by her sorrowing Daughter and Sons, Mable, Edward and Frank; also Sister-in-law.

Hanna – May 19 1945 at her residence, Drumanduff, Ballinderry, Elizabeth beloved mother of Florence E. Gordon – deeply regretted by her sorrowing Daughter and son-in-law, Florence and William Gordon; also Grandchildren.

Hanna – May 19, 1945, at her residence, Drumnaduff, Ballinderry, Elizabeth, beloved mother of Mary Mairs. Deeply regretted by her sorrowing daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Robert Mairs; also grandchildren.

Rev Benjamin Tisdall’s widow dies

The following extract is from the Belfast News Letter dated Monday 9th September 1946. Thanks to the Belfast News Letter for permission to use this extract.

Tisdall – September 8 1946 at her residence, Beechwood, Ballinderry. Jane Mackinnon widow of Rev. Benjamin Tisdall. Funeral tomorrow (Tuesday) at 11.30am to Middle Churchyard, Ballinderry. House private. Deeply regretted.

Death Notice — Mary Elizabeth Haddock

The following is an extract from a newspaper cutting, source unknown.

Haddock – January 13, 1947 at District Hospital, Lisburn, Mary Elizabeth Haddock, late of North Street, Upper Ballinderry. Funeral from above hospital tomorrow (Wednesday) arriving Upper Ballinderry Corner at 2.30pm for interment in Middle Churchyard. Deeply regretted.

Death Notice — Matthew Megrath

The following is an extract from a newspaper cutting, source unknown.

Megrath – March 21, 1951, at his residence, Lough Road, Upper Ballinderry. Matthew, dearly loved husband of Jane Catherine Megrath. Funeral on Friday, at 2.30pm to Middle Churchyard, Ballinderry, House private – Deeply regretted by his sorrowing wife.

Megrath – March 21, 1951, at his residence, Lough Road, Upper Ballinderry, Matthew, dearly loved husband of Jane Catherine Megrath. Deeply regretted by his sorrowing Brother and Sister-in-law, William Thomas and Sarah Megrath, and nephews, Willowbrook, Lower Ballinderry.

Middle Church Lych Gate

Lych Gate, Middle Church, Ballinderry

Lych Gate, Middle Church, Ballinderry
Reproduced here by kind permission of the photographer, Brian Daulman.
This picture was in “Lisburn Rural District Official Guide”, abt. 1967

From the Belfast newsletter dated Wednesday June 23rd 1954

From the Belfast newsletter dated Wednesday June 23rd 1954. With permission from Belfast Newsletter. Jeremy Taylor’s Church – The Middle Church, Ballinderry, which was recently renovated and restored. In this fine old church, dated 1668, which still retains the atmosphere of the period a service is held once each month during the summer.

Interior of the old church at Ballinderry

Interior of the old church at Ballinderry showing the “three-decker” pulpit and clerk’s desk

Naturalist’ Field Club Visits Old Graveyard

The following is an extract from the Ulster Star on 18th May 1963 and is used with permission of the paper.

Old Graveyard has visitors.

Places of general interest between Lisburn and Lough Neagh were visited by the Archaeological Section of the Belfast Naturalist’ Field Club on Saturday.

At Blaris old graveyard they inspected the tombstone of Sir Robert Hart, a native of Portadown who became Inspector General of the Chinese Customs and Excise in the latter part of the last century. Mr. Adams, who led the party, had with him a recording of a Chinese resident in Belfast reading the Chinese inscription on the tombstone.

Later the party visted Magheragall old church, Derrymore Basket Factory and Tunny Cut where the “Ballad of Tunny Cut” was recalled. Brief visits were paid to Crew Hill and Ballinderry middle Church.

During the next week the Club will visit the Giant’s Ring, meet at the American War Memorial, Belfast, for a study of the building stones of Belfast, and will probe into Hillsborough’s past.

Death Notice — Mary Adelaide Davidson

The following is an extract from a newspaper cutting, source unknown.

Davidson – October 26, 1970, at her residence, Hillcrest, Temple Road, Upper Ballinderry, Mary Adelaide, dearly loved mother of Freddie and sister of Ruth. Funeral from her late residence today (Tuesday) at 2.30pm to the family burying ground, Middle Churchyard, Upper Ballinderry. House private. No flowers by request. Very deeply regretted by the Family Circle at home and abroad.

Mrs Martha Peel

The following is an extract from The Ulster Star dated 31st January 1975 and appears with permission of The Ulster Star.

Grand Old Lady

Mrs Martha Peel

Mrs Martha Peel

Mrs. Martha Peel, the oldest woman in South Antrim, died on Friday at the home of her son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Peel, “Marlmount”, Ballinderry Road, Lisburn. She was 102.

Formerly Miss Martha Hazley, Mrs. Peel was a native of Ballinderry are and despite her years had an active mind and enjoyed good health. She had only been confined to bed three weeks before her death came peacefully.

Mrs. Peel formerly lived in the Ballinderry area but moved to Lisburn some years ago. Her husband, Mr. George Peel, died four years ago at the age of 86.

Mrs. Peel had a wonderful memory and she had many visitors including Mr. Jim Molyneaux, the Unionist M.P. for South Antrim at Westminister, for whom she always voted at election times. She always managed to go to the polling stations, although at the last election she used a postal vote.

She attended many Twelfth demonstrations and also visited Scarva on July 13. Her last outing was to Ballinderry in August.
A member of the Church of Ireland, Mrs. Peel in latter years was associated with St. Paul’s Church in Lisburn.

She is also survived by two daughters, Miss Meta Peel, Ballynahinch Road, Lisburn and Mrs. Margaret Thompson, Brookhill, Magheragall.

The funeral took place on Sunday to the Middle Churchyard, Ballinderry, the services in the home, in the church and at the graveside being conducted by the Rev. Kenneth Cochrane, rector of St. Paul’s.

There was a large concourse of mourners including Mr. Molyneaux.

Ballinderry Parish Church Souvenir programme

Ballinderry Parish Church Souvenir programme 2nd May 1981

Ballinderry Parish Church Souvenir programme 2nd May 1981

Ballinderry Middle Church – Photos (2012)

Lych Gate, Middle Church Ballinderry roadside view October 2012

Lych Gate, Middle Church Ballinderry roadside view October 2012

 Middle Church, Ballinderry October 2012

Middle Church, Ballinderry

October 2012

Outside Middle Church Ballinderry October 2012

Outside Middle Church Ballinderry October 2012

Bell, Middle Church Ballinderry October 2012

Church Bell, Middle Church Ballinderry October 2012

Views inside Ballinderry Middle Church October 2012

Views inside Ballinderry Middle Church October 2012

Views inside Ballinderry Middle Church October 2012

Views inside Ballinderry Middle Church October 2012

Views inside Ballinderry Middle Church October 2012

Views inside Ballinderry Middle Church October 2012

Views inside Ballinderry Middle Church October 2012

Views inside Ballinderry Middle Church October 2012

Unique window - south side Middle Church Ballinderry October 2012

Unique window – south side Middle Church Ballinderry October 2012

East Window, Middle Church, Ballinderry October 2012

East Window, Middle Church, Ballinderry October 2012

Through the keyholes of Middle Church, Ballinderry October 2012

Through the keyholes of Middle Church, Ballinderry October 2012

Through the keyholes of Middle Church, Ballinderry October 2012

Through the keyholes of Middle Church, Ballinderry October 2012

Lych Gate viewed from Middle Church Ballinderry October 2012

Lych Gate viewed from Middle Church Ballinderry October 2012

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