On Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th September Northern Ireland threw open many doors as part of European Heritage Open Day. During this weekend, we were given the opportunity to explore venues and grounds across the Provence not normally open to the public. There were 121 places in Belfast, Antrim and Armagh to choose from. Prior to this weekend, I am ashamed to say, I had only visited 22 of those on the list. I was determined to change that situation.
I decided to stay in Co Antrim and on Saturday I chose St John’s Church, Donegore
The parish was fortunate to receive the gift of this pipe organ from St Brigid’s Church of Ireland, Parish of Mallusk, Co. Antrim. It had started life in a Roman Catholic Church in the South of Ireland and spent some time in a Presbyterian church before the move to Mallusk. Many hands were needed to assist in the task of moving the seven hundred and eighty pieces from St Brigid’s Church to the horse lorry, and again from there into Donegore Church.
Pedals polished by regular footwork.
A view from the pulpit.
In the south-west corner of the churchyard is the watch-house, or corpse house, built in 1832 to foil the attempts of the “resurrectionists” at body-snatching. You can see it at the beginning of this little video clip.
Donegore Church is a Grade A Listed Building by the Historic Monuments and Buildings Branch of the Depratment of the Enviroment (N.I.) and the corpse house is also a listed building. As such, restoration and repair must be carried out to the highest standards and in sympathy with the architecture and history of the building.