Restoration works now complete at Ballynure Graveyard

Councillor Mandy Girvan, Contractor Wallace Dunlop, Councillor Pat McCudden, Deputy Mayor, Alderman Victor Robinson, Samantha Curry and Councillor Paul Girvan pictured with visitors at Ballynure Graveyard last week to celebrate the end of restoration works on site. INNT 39-226-CON
Councillor Mandy Girvan, Contractor Wallace Dunlop, Councillor Pat McCudden, Deputy Mayor, Alderman Victor Robinson, Samantha Curry and Councillor Paul Girvan pictured with visitors at Ballynure Graveyard last week to celebrate the end of restoration works on site. INNT 39-226-CON
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Restoration work has now been completed at Ballynure Graveyard.

Work included repair of the corpse house and stabilisation of remaining walls of the bell tower ruin in the centre of the cemetery.

The restoration project cost £32,400, with 75% funded by GROW South Antrim and 25% from Newtownabbey Borough Council.

The church itself was sited nearly in the centre of the graveyard and is recorded as being one storey high, measuring 38ft by 25ft with 3 arched windows and a square steeple at its west end.

Ordnance Survey Memoirs also record that the church was said to be approximately 100 years old - which would mean it was built around the 1730s - and stands on the ground of an ancient Roman Catholic Church. The steeple was erected around 1810 and the church bell in 1819.

The graveyard contains a number of ancient gravestones, the parish church remains, burial vaults for the well known local families of Dobbs and Ellis and a charnel or corpse house which was originally used to store bodies until they were no longer ‘fresh’ enough for body snatchers to make money from them.

Read the full story in this week’s Times...