Old Church of Camlin

Book Extract

The following is an extract from the "Statistical Account or Parochial Survey of Ireland – Parishes of Glenavy, Camlin & Tullyrusk" by the Rev. Edward Cupples.

The church of Camlin is a venerable ruin, overgrown with ivy; and is situated at the verge of the parish, on a precipitous bank overhanging the river of Crumlin; being distant about a quarter of a mile from that town. It is seventy-seven feet long, and twenty-three wide. Although the present floor is on a level with the adjacent ground, the original one appears to have been much beneath it; for there are arches and niches running along the walls, and the present floor rises to the top of them, at a short distance from the roof. The windows are immediately above these arches; that on the east is a long, narrow aperture. A few individuals still continue to bury in the grave-yard.

Tradition relates that this church was destroyed by the wars of Ireland. By this must be understood the wars of James 11, when the churches, and other public edifices, were often occupied by his forces. In this manner, the church of Magheramesk, in a neighbouring parish, was demolished, in order to dislodge a body of Irish, who had stationed themselves in it, for the purpose of annoying an English garrison in that quarter. It could not have been destroyed in the Cromwelian wars, since it appears by the registry of the diocese of Connor, that an ordination was held in it on the 1st of December, 1661, by the celebrated Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down and Connor.

Memorials of the Dead

The following extract is from a book titled "Memorials of the Dead" printed in the early 20th century.

The church of Camlin or Crumlin is a venerable ruin, over grown with ivy; and is situated on the verge of the parish, on a precipitous bank overhanging the river of Crumlin, being distant about quarter of a mile from that town. It is seventy-seven feet long, and twenty-three wide. Although the present floor is on a level with the adjacent grong, the original one appears to have been much beneath it; for there are arches and niches running along the walls, and the present floor rises to the top of them, at a short distance from the roof. The windows are immediately above these arches: that on the east is a long, narrow aperture. A few individuals still continue to bury in the graveyard.

Mr Ewart says of Camlin or "Crumlin" : it has a well-kept graveyard (a rare exception to the general run of those that have come under our observation throughout Ireland -ED.), covering half an acre. The church was destroyed in the wars of James II., and the latest interesting event recorded concerning it, is that of an ordination held in it by Bishop Jeremy Taylor, in 1661, when Andrew Acton was admitted to deacon’s orders.

Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland

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.

Name and Situation

This parish appears to have been known by the name of Camlin from an early period. It was anciently situated in the territory of Killultagh, in the south or Upper Claneboy and county of Down, and now belongs to the manor of Killultagh, barony of Upper Massereene and county of Antrim.

Advowson, Tithes and Right of Presentation

The parish of Camlin is included in a union with Glenavy and Tullyrusk. It is not know in what year this union took place, but it is certain that there was no union in the year 1633. It has been referred to the time of the dissolution of the abbeys in the reign of Henry VIII or to that of Queen Elizabeth, in consequence of the small number of Protestants in some parishes at that period. It has a vicarage in the diocese of Connor, the reputed patron being the Marquis of Hertford, to whom the rectorial tithes belong. Camlin is called a grange in the registry of Connor and the church is designated the chapel of Camlin, both in the registry and the regal visitation book.

Religion

This parish is episcopally united to those of Glenavy and Tullyrusk, and constitute a vicarage, of which the Reverend Edward Cupples, the vicar-general of the diocese, whose reside at Lisburn, is the vicar. The name of this parish is but little known by the people, the union being generally, indeed almost only, known by that of Glenavy. The vicarial tithes amount to 380 pounds per annum and lay tithes (payable to the Marquis of Hertford) to 101 pounds, being altogether about 8d per acre. The vicar keeps only 1 curate, who resides in this parish and to whom he pays a salary of 75 pounds per annum. A second curate is much required as the union includes an area of 27 and a half square miles (crossed out: and in some districts the people are pretty neglected.)

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