Cemetery with links to King Fergus could be restored

NEWTOWNABBEY Borough Council is considering options for the restoration of the Monkstown Abbey and graveyard site.

The site, which is just off the Knockagh Road, was officially closed in 1960 and is thought to date back to AD600.

The graveyard, which is of Celtic origin, is also the burial place of King Fergus, the first King of Scotland.

Because of its historical importance, the site has been scheduled an historic monument by the Environment Agency.

However, over the years the site had become overgrown and could present a danger to public health.

In a report in the Times on April 19, residents in the area appealed for the property to be cleared, restored and promoted as an historical site.

Councillors were informed at this month’s Leisure Committee meeting that the site could be a potential tourist attraction and funding could be available from the Ulster Scots Agency for restoration works.

They have recommended that the council consider the options available to conserve the historic site and restore access to the public.