Christ Church Derriaghy

A Short History of the Parish

W. N. C. BARR,
Derriaghy Rectory.
20th September, 1974





In this part we include accounts of the schools, the graveyard, the Roman Catholic parish. Derriaghy Mission Hall, Derriaghy Gospel Hall, the Orange Order in Derriaghy, Scouting and Guiding, Freemasonry and the Cricket Club. They are all intimately connected with the history of the parish, but if they had been integrated into Part I it would have been necessary to fragment their histories; it would seem more convenient for readers to assign them to this part where each can be treated as a unity.


A comprehensive history of education in the parish would require very much more space than is available here. All that we shall attempt in this section is to describe briefly the development of early educational provision in the parish, relying mainly upon the minutes of the Court of Vestry, and to give some account of more recent events in connection with the schools of the modern parish.

The earliest mention of schools in our parish records occurs in the minutes of the Court of Vestry held on April 21st 1794, where reference is made to schools at Milltown (Principal George Collins), Stoneyford (John Workman), Ballymacash (Michael Jones) and Aughrim (Robert Woods). We do not know how many of these schools were in operation before 1794 because the vestry minutes from 1760 to 1793 are missing. However the Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (Lewis 1837) states that a parochial school endowed by Mrs. Hamill with �50 was established before 1750 and that the Rev. Philip Johnson built a school at Ballymacash in 1790; and further evidence as to the existence of a school in Derriaghy is furnished by a notice in the Belfast News Letter for February 19th 1785 advertising a vacancy for an English teacher at Milltown in the parish of Derriaghy. Moreover a receipt dated 28 January 1774 is for an advertisement for a school-master for the Parish of Derriaghy.

From 1794 the minutes run on without a break and they indicate the extent of educational provision in the parish at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The table which follows lists seven schools additional to the four mentioned in the previous paragraph and gives both the year in which each school is first mentioned in the minutes and the name of the principal in that year. It cannot however be assumed in every case that the year of first mention is the year of establishment; and a further problem on which the minutes

do not throw any clear light is what connection, if any, there was between Milltown School and the Church School.

Name of School Year of first mention Principal
Rushy Hill 1803 Thomas Falloon
Church School 1806 Mrs. Nelly Groogan
Collin 1812 Miss Mary McClenaghan
Bovolgan 1815 Robert Richardson
Ivy Hill 1818 Edward Brittain
Island Kelly 1821 Joseph Whiteside
Poleglass 1822 Miss Mary Hamilton

We have not yet been able to locate all these schools and would welcome any information which would assist us to do so. The Church school probably stood on the site of the Quin Memorial Hall, Collin school was in what is now the home of the Glover family at Groganstown and later moved to the building which is now Collin Orange Hall, Ivy Hill was in Ivy Glen near the home of Mr. Marcus Rudermann.

All these schools were Sunday Schools, opening on Sunday to provide religious and secular instruction to children and adults who were at work during the six weekdays. They may well have been open on week days as well, but it was in their capacity as Sunday schools that they received a grant from the parish towards the building and maintenance of the schoolhouses and the salary of the school masters and mistresses. It is assumed that there was a parental as well as a parish contribution to the teachers' salaries since the parish contribution was so small. It never exceeded �1.2.9 for a man and only once �1.0.0 for a woman, dropping to �1.1.0. and 10/6 respectively in 1827, after the replacement of Irish currency by English. Frequently the parish contribution was halved, with no reason stated in the minutes; it seems probable that from the first the Vestry applied the principle which was embodied in a Vestry minute in 1824: "No allowance be made to any person for teaching a Sunday School unless extraordinary merit in individuals may induce the Vestry to alter this in their favour."

Most of the schools survived until well into the nineteenth century with a few exceptions. Aughrim is not mentioned in the minutes after 1820, Rushy Hill and Collin appear to have ceased operations for a few years and then recommenced, the former from 1812 to 1815, the latter from 1817 to 1823. Ivy Hill seems to have lasted only four years, from 1818 to 1821, in which year its first and only teacher, Edward Brittain, went to Ballymacash school. It is possible that the schools were in operation but not mentioned in the minutes because no parish contribution was being made, but this we cannot ascertain.

With the establishment of the National Board of Education in 1831 came the opportunity for the schools to apply for financial aid on a much more generous scale than had been available before. Contributions from the parish ceased after 1828 to all the schools except Stoneyford, the Church school, Collin and Bovolgan, if the absence of any statement in the minutes to the contrary is a guide; and there are very few subsequent references even to these schools. In these circumstances it must have been very difficult for the schools to maintain themselves, and yet a list of schools in the parish printed in a report of the National Board in the late 1830s shows that of the ten schools operating only two were receiving a grant from the Board and two from the Vicar; these four were still partly dependent and the other six entirely dependent on parental contributions ranging from 2/- to 3/6 a quarter.

It is conjecture that this failure by eight schools to obtain a grant from the National Board was due either to their inability to satisfy the Board's requirements or to a reluctance to suffer the small loss of control which connection with the Board entailed. The latter is shown to have been a factor in the situation by a comment made to the Board by the secretary of Collin school committee which applied for a grant from the Board in 1832. The application was signed by the Rev. H. Montgomery, Presbyterian minister, Rev. Peter McCann, parish priest of Derriaghy, and fourteen Protestant and Roman Catholic laymen. But Mr. John Roberts, the secretary, stated that the curate of the Established Church refused to sign. The clergy's opposition to the Board seems to have persisted, because as late as 1862 the Griffith Valuation of Ireland shows that the Church Education Society, the body set up by the Established Church to provide financial support to schools as a counter balance to the National Board, had schools in Derriaghy (the Church school), Lagmore (presumably the school conducted in the present Collin Orange Hall), Ballymacash and Ballymacward (probably Rushy Hill); while there were National Schools in Stoneyford and at the Rock (Roman Catholic). Apparently the private schools which were in existence at least until the late 1830's had not survived the rigours of the Famine years.

In the modern, smaller parish of Derriaghy the successors of these earlier schools are Derriaghy and Castlerobin Pri� mary Schools. What follows brings up to date very briefly the history of these two schools, together with a reference to Ballymacash school, now no longer in the parish.

In 1830 a school and teacher's residence were erected by the side of the Church (the site now occupied by the Quin Memorial Hall). It was placed under the Church Education Society and so continued until 1889 when a new school was built on the opposite side of the road by the Charley family in memory of Miss Mary Charley. It was placed under the National Board of Education. The school was opened on Monday, 28th October 1889, with Mr. W. J. Canning as Principal. Mrs. Nessie Morrow was appointed work mistress on 11th November 1889.

It has not yet been possible to establish what connection there was between this school and the schools already mentioned at Milltown (p.78) and the Church (p.79). The list of ten schools mentioned on p.80 is not helpful because it does not give the location of the schools.

Mr. Canning was succeeded by Mr. W. J. Whiteside on 3rd February 1890. Mr. James Chapman was appointed Principal on 1st August 1890, but remained for only slightly more than two years.

Mr. Joseph Mills was appointed, temporarily, on 1st January 1893, for three months but continued as principal until 1938 when he was succeeded by Mr. William Glass who in turn was succeeded by his son, Mr. Walter Glass, the present Principal. Mr. Mills built and lived at `Linden Hill', Stewartstown Road.

The school was built on a site measuring one acre seven perches, but after it was transferred to the Local Education Authority in 1926 a further plot of ground (one acre two roods) was taken in for a playground and a well sunk at the rear of the building. When the school was returned to the Church with the teachers' residences in January 1965 the playground was purchased by the Church.

The Infant School (i.e. the building situated with its gable to the road) was built in 1897 by the parishioners at a cost of �200 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

Mrs. Annie Brown was appointed Principal in 1889 but ceased work on 30th September 1890. Miss Sarah Jane Laverty succeeded her and remained until 31st March 1915. She subsequently emigrated to Canada and died there in 1970. Miss May Bell (Mrs. John MacHenry) became Principal in 1915.

Assistant teachers, until 1964 when the present new school was built in the Milltown Housing Estate, have included Miss Morrison, Mrs. Patterson, Miss Amy Brownell, Mrs. Smith and Miss Uprichard who retired in 1971.

The Principal's House was completed in September 1891 at a cost of �250 obtained on loan from the Board of Works and the Parish provided the site.

The Residence for the Principal of the Infant School was completed in July 1895 at a cost of �250, this sum also being obtained on loan from the Board of Works.

Castle Robin School
With the closure of Collin School in 1859 by the National Board it became necessary to make alternative provision for the children of that area, since the schools at Aughrim and Poleglass had also been discontinued. Canon J. A. Stewart therefore rented and had structural alterations made to a cottage at Aughrim owned by the Waring family, which served as a school for the next seventy years. It was accepted by the Commissioners of Education in 1915 when Mr. Joseph Laverty was principal. He joined the Army in 1916 and was killed on 16th August 1917 while serving as an officer in the R.I.R. For a short time Mr. Charles Smyth was acting principal, being succeeded in 1920 by Mr. W. R. Anketelle. In 1921 Mr. E. W. Mills was appointed, remaining until 1926 when Mr. F. W. Browne (now living in retirement in Killeaton Crescent) came as principal. During his time of office the old building was replaced by the present Castlerobin School. Mr. Browne left in 1945 to become principal of Newport School and he was succeeded by the present principal, Mr. J. Haugh. The old school was more recently known as Aughrim Hall and now, completely renovated, it is the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ian McKinstry.

Ballymacash School
The school, originally built at Ballymacash in 1790, was reconstructed in 1833 by Edward Johnson of Ballymacoss. On the completion of the new school in 1932 the old building was returned to the parish and is now Ballymacash Parish Hall, having undergone extensive repairs with the addition of a stage and kitchen accommodation.

Also under the heading of Education we find an interesting minute of a General Vestry Meeting held on 10th April 1897:

'That we the members of the General Vestry of the Parish of Derriaghy in Easter Vestry assembled desire to express our emphatic protest against the audacious attempt to alienate the Protestant endowments of the Erasmus Smith's Schools in manifest violation of the intentions of the founder, expressly declared in his lifetime, and that we call upon our representatives in Parliament to offer the most determined opposition to any such attempt. Proposed by Mr. E. J. Charley, J.P., seconded by Mr. John MacHenry, C.E. Copies of this resolution to be forwarded to the Prime Minister, the Leader of the House of Commons, the Chief Secretary for Ireland, the Member for S. Antrim and the University Members.'

Under the Erasmus Smith Endowment a number of schools had been established in Ireland in the 1660s; Galway, Drogheda and Tipperary Grammar Schools among them. In addition scholarships were granted at the King's Hospital (Blue Coat School, Dublin) and at Trinity College, Dublin.

Smith, a Freeman of the Grocer's Company of London, was born in 1611 and served an apprenticeship to a Turkey (Spice) Merchant in the City. He was one of the 'Adventurers' who helped to finance the military campaign in Ireland during the 1641 Rebellion. In return for their assistance the Adventurers were given large areas of land in Ireland. Smith received almost 30,000 acres; part of it was Trust Land to provide Educational Endowments.

Down the years these endowments were the subject of dispute, some maintaining that they were for Protestant or Church of Ireland children, the Roman Catholic Church holding that they were not a private endowment but were for any needy children irrespective of creed.

Protracted judicial proceedings took place in Dublin which resulted in the Erasmus Smith Schools Act 1938 (Irish Free State).

One half of the property and funds (over �65,000) was to be retained for education, including instruction in 'Protestant doctrine'. The other half was transferred to the Minister of Education for such public educational purpose as he may from time to time direct.

Drogheda and Galway Grammar Schools and High School, Dublin, were to be retained by the Governors; the Roman Catholics to obtain Tipperary Grammar School. (M. V. Ronan, 'A Romance of Irish Confiscation').

A number of Derriaghy clergy have had their education at. Erasmus schools or have had scholarships from the endowment.


The Parish registers date from 1696 and in December of that year the first burial is recorded. Presumably it took place in the parish graveyard. It is of William, son of John Allen; no age or address is given.

The Blaris parish registers, however, record burials at Derriaghy before 1696 and it's safe to assume that the church had a graveyard since its foundation.

The list of names in these early years gives clear evidence of settlers from Britain.

Here are a few taken at random:

1699 John son to Wm. Workinton March ye 21th

1701 Sarah Holdsnorth ye 22nd of July

1702 Sarah wife to Robert Buros ye 23rd of Aprill

1702 Israel son to William Crann ye 20th of Decbr.

1708 Eliz. wife to George Priestman ye 7th of Feby. George Priestman, son, ye 25th of Feby.

1713 Joshua Prience ye 20th of Feby.

The oldest decipherable headstone in the graveyard now, stands between the Church and the Quin Hall and bears the date 1770. There are stones bearing earlier dates but they would appear to be of more recent origin; one beyond the organ chamber is dated 1734.

An article in the Belfast Evening Telegraph, April 13th 1907, on the Derriaghy Burial-ground, mentions a stone dated 1702 on the grave of Robart Harris and gives a sketch of it, but no trace of that headstone can be found now.

The same article refers to another headstone which, to say the least, doesn't `add up'.

Here Lyeth the body of
Hugh Murray who departed
this life the 23rd day of
April 1773 aged 42 years
Also ye body of his daughter
Margaret who dyed ye 9th of
Sept. 1732 aged 11 months.

He and his daughter were almost the same age!

Another stone beyond the organ chamber has three very interesting circular devices carved in relief on top. In one circle there is a winged hour-glass above cross bones; in another two cherubim who seem to be playing with Father Time's scythe, while a third shows a grinning skull above a heart.

Here is another peculiar item from the same article but no trace remains.

Erected by Alexander Tuten
to the memory of his children viz.
John Tuten, senr. aged 2 years
John Tuten, junr. aged 2 years
Hamilton, aged 1 year

It is a strange way of referring to two brothers.

A headstone in front of the Quin Hall tells the sad story of a young man who died of apoplexy on a Canadian Pacific Railway train near Montreal on his way home and whose remains were interred by the 'Sons of Portadown' L.O.L. 919 on the 7th August, 1906, in Prospect Cemetery, Toronto.

Perhaps the most interesting monument is one situated close to the small entrance gate. The peculiar shape is sufficient to attract attention.

"Underneath lie the mortal remains of
Nathaniel Kronheim
Born in Prussian Silesia and an Israelite according
to the flesh but converted by the grace of God to the
faith of the gospel which he afterwards lived to
promote in public and in private for the space of
20 years during 18 of which he was employed in Ireland
and especially in Ulster as agent to The Society for
Promoting Christianity Among the Jews.
Thus did he endeavour to serve that Saviour
in whom he believed and whom he loved until in death he
could say "Lord now lettest thou thy servant Depart
in Peace according to thy word
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation."
This monument has been erected by a few of his
personal friends as a small memorial of affectionate regard.

He departed to his rest on the 18th Sept. 1852 aged nearly 80 years.

There is also an inscription in Hebrew on the face of the column. It reads in translation "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem".

The Seeds Grave plot to the left of the main walk records burials from 1746. It is marked by an obelisk and a stone bearing a number of inscriptions. The stone, however. was originally on a grave near the North wall of the old church and was removed to its present site sometime last century leaving the old graves unmarked.

The family had Carrickfergus and Belfast connections, where, as the inscriptions say, they were merchants. There is a device on the stone depicting a hand holding stalks of corn. Another branch was in the legal profession, one of the family being an Advocate General in Dublin.

A map of the Hertford Estate of the early nineteenth century shows the Seeds family as being the largest holders of land in the parish, most of it in the area of Moss Road and Harmony Hill which was known locally as Seeds Corner; sometimes the name is Seed.

The most recent burial in the Seeds grave plot was of Sir William Seeds, North Gate, London, a former British Ambassador in Moscow, who died in November 1973 aged 91 years. He left a small legacy to the church.

The graveyard is now much larger than it used to be. There have been several extensions made down the years, the most recent being consecrated in 1961. Previous to that what is known as the garden extension had been made. This area included what had been the garden attached to the teacher's residence at the school which stood on the site of the Quin Hall.

At frequent intervals back over the last century the vestry minute books tell of the anxiety of the rector and churchwardens because `there is little space left in the graveyard' for further burials. Rules were passed to prevent any who were not parishioners being buried there unless they had a family connection with the parish. The Reverend Dr. Knox of Belfast and Mr. Arnold of Dunmurry were severely reprimanded for taking burial services in the churchyard. For many years only Church of Ireland clergy were permitted to conduct burial services in the graveyard. People still recall the rector or curates meeting funerals at the church gates.

On two occasions we find that the rector has written in the burial register over the signature of Dr. Knox, "contrary to all law, human and divine"! A resolution was passed by the Vestry that no one was to climb over the graveyard wall to dig a grave. This had the backing of the diocesan authorities. God's acre had its problems.

Another interesting item concerning the graveyard is the fact, vouched for by at least one parishioner, that a green rose grew near the hedge along the old mill race. Unfortunately so many people took slips from the plant that it died some years ago. The strange thing was that any slips which struck produced red roses. The existence of the green rose was brought to the writer's notice by an enquiry from a former parishioner named Phillips who wrote from the Argentine in 1962 asking about it.

Some families had the privilege of burial within the church. Philip Johnson charged a fee of �20 for the burial of Mrs. Barbara Duncan of Magheralave in 1802.

Army lists of the 17th century state that two soldiers were interred in Derriaghy churchyard at the time of the Williamite wars. Schomberg's men were struck by disease at Dundalk in their advance from Carrickfergus to the Boyne. Many were evacuated to a large tent hospital set up on Blaris moor. It may have been from this hospital that Quartermaster John Wright was buried at Derriaghy on 2nd December 1689 and Henry Withens of the Earl of Devonshire's Regiment on 23rd April 1690.

The Churchyard was the scene of what must be the strangest story ever to come from Derriaghy. It seems well authenticated having been at the time `common talk' among the people of Lisburn.

One night in the autumn of 1808, the rector, The Reverend Philip Johnson, who lived at Ballymacash, startled his wife by waking and shouting that he had dreamt that the church was on fire. He went asleep again but awoke once again, crying out, `I saw the roof fall in and the walls crumble down'. Once more his wife soothed him saying it must be something he had eaten and again he settled down to sleep. The next time he awoke he jumped out of bed. `That's the third time. The Church is in flames. I must go at once'. Dressing, he flung himself on horseback and galloped madly for Derriaghy.

As he came to the crest of the hill above the Church he saw, with horror, a figure in white waiting,

To his amazement this turned out to be a young girl in a sort of wedding dress and to his further surprise she seemed to be expecting him.

When he dismounted she clung to his arm, sobbing with evident relief. 'Oh, I'm glad you have come', she cried, 'I am so frightened. He's waiting for us down at the Church. He said he would ask you to come to marry us tonight. We must be married tonight. He sent me up here to meet you. He has always been so kind but tonight he looked so strange that I am frightened'.

The rector, completely mystified, asked the name of this man she was going to marry. The girl whispered the name of a well-known citizen of Lisburn.

Together they went down the hill in the gloom to the Church but there was no sign of any man there. 'We have kept him too long', cried the girl, but Mr. Johnson told her to wait while he went to look for him.

The Church in those days was smaller than it is now and the walls of the graveyard were much higher and covered with ivy. As he listened in the darkness he heard strange sounds coming from the old Rosbotham grave and saw a faint gleam of light. He went nearer to it through the graves.

By the dim light of a lantern resting on a tombstone he saw, digging furiously and frantically in a shallow grave, the man the girl had named.

For some minutes the rector stood in silence gazing at the awful scene. Thus moving quickly across and standing almost over the man working in the grave he looked down upon him. The other man looked up and for one long minute, in utter silence, they gazed in each other's eyes and the rector shuddered at what he saw in that frozen stare�terror, horror, murder.

Dropping his spade, the man made over the wall and according to the story he left Lisburn soon after and eventually died in New York.

The above version of the story was recorded by Mr. William Carron in his 'Records of Old Lisburn'. Miss Johnson, a grand-daughter of the Reverend Philip Johnson, gives a slight variation in that the rector is said to have come in his carriage and not on horseback.

The wife of Henry Munro, leader of the United Irishmen at the Battle of Ballynahinch, who was hanged in the Market Square in Lisburn on Monday, 17th June 1798, is buried at the foot of the Waring of Ivy Hill enclosure. Henry Munro had been a much respected linen merchant of Lisburn and a member of the Cathedral Parish. The events which led to his taking the field at the head of the United Irishmen against the Government troops makes interesting, if sad, reading as does his subsequent betrayal, arrest and public execution.

It would seem from a contemporary account of the execution that it was to a Derriaghy man that Munro addressed his last words before ascending the scaffold. William Blacker, Commandant of the Seagoe Yeomanry during the '98 Rebellion, was present at the hanging, which he described in his journal extracts from which are printed in Lisburn and Neighbourhood in 1798 (T. G. F. Paterson, Ulster Journal of Archaeology Third Series vol. 11938). Blacker wrote that Munro "settled his accounts with several persons with as much apparent attention to business as if he had been in his own shop. His last was a disputed one, with an old Captain Pointz Stewart, whom he actually called from the head of his Corps, the Derriaghy Infantry, and made his point after considerable argument." (op. cit. p. 197)

Poyntz Stewart was married to Magdelen, daughter of the Rev. Philip Gayer, Vicar of Derriaghy, and his name will be found in the list of Derriaghy churchwardens in Part III under the year 1798. Patterson notes that he died in 1823, aged 87, and is buried in Lisburn Cathedral Churchyard, north side, within a railed enclosure. Blacker also states that Munro's mother, wife and sisters were witnesses of the execution, but Patterson amends this, remarking that Mrs. Munro was at Seymour Hill with her father, Robert Johnston, to which house she had been removed on the Friday previous to the Battle of Ballynahinch.

A note from Mr. W. S. Corken:
At the building of the present church in 1872 many graves were covered in the chancel including the Corkens, Dun-cans, Christians, Clarkes and others.


(Notes supplied by the Reverend C. Donnelly, Hannahstown, with additional material from Canon Marshall's notes and brought up to date.)

The earliest Parish Priest of Derriaghy of whom we have a record is Fr. Phelomy O'Hamill. According to the Register of Popish Parish Priests he was registered at Carrickfergus as P.P., of Derriaghy, Belfast and Drum. We are told that he was ordained in Dublin by the Archbishop of Armagh, Oliver Plunket. His two surieties in �50 each were Courtney Conway of Aghalee and Hugh Hamill, Yeoman of Carrick. Since he was not also registered in Downpatrick we can assume his parish did not extend into Down, whereas the P.P. of Blaris was registered in both Carrick and Downpatrick. At the time of Registration Fr. O'Hamill was sixty years of age and lived in Derriaghy�probably with relatives as was customary at this time. He is probably the Felix O'Hannig included in the list of priests sent to Rome by Dr. Plunket in 1670.

In 1707�George McCartney, Sovereign of Belfast, notified Joshua Dawson, Secretary's Office, Dublin, that in pursuance of the Proclamation he had jailed Fr. O'Hamill. He goes on to say that many Protestants had offered to stand bail for him�as he was held in great respect by all classes �but he did not allow bail until he had permission from Dublin. Endorsed on this letter by Dublin was "Let him continue where he is for the present". There is no record of the date of his death�but tradition says he was buried among relatives in Lambeg.

The Parish of Derriaghy included the whole of the civil parishes of Tullyrusk and Derriaghy and parts of the civil parish of Shankill.

The Roman Catholic Church of Derriaghy was built at an early period on a farm belonging to a family named Hamill.

Fr. O'Hamill was succeeded by a Father Magee who had been curate in Derriaghy and who is said to have worked in the Parish as Curate and P.P. for 50 years. He was buried in the Nuns' Garden in Lambeg.

He was succeeded by Fr. John O'Mullan who became P.P. in 1733. Some say he was a native of Ballywillwill in Co. Down�others a native of Derriaghy. On his grave in Lambeg the stone bears the inscription: "Here lyeth the body of the Rev. John Mullan, upwards of 39 years P.P. of Derriaghy and Belfast. He died 15 September 1772 aged 80 years".

During his time in 1744 the Chapel was burned down because of the expected rising in favour of the Pretender; It was rebuilt by Fr. O'Mullan in 1745, as the cross on the church indicates. Fr. O'Mullan was succeeded by his Curate, Rev. Hugh O'Donnell, a native of Glenarm. Fr. O'Donnell was born in 1739 and educated in Salamanca, Spain. On ordination he was appointed Curate of Derriaghy and Belfast. While still Curate he opened a Church in a disused factory in Squeezegut Entry off Mill Street, Belfast. A lease of 31 years had been obtained by some subterfuge. It was opened in 1769. Prior to this Catholics of Belfast assisted at Mass in a sandpit near Friar's Bush and on Holy Days in the house of John Kennedy. This house would have been on the site of the present Bank Building�facing Fountain Street. Kennedy was denounced probably in 1745. The factory was used as a church for about fifteen years until the opening of St. Mary's.

In 1782 Charles Heyland, James Mooney, Henry McAuley and Patrick McAlister obtained a lease of a gateway and house in Crooked Lane (now Chapel Lane) opposite Bryce's Lane (now Bank Lane) for a term of 71 years at a yearly rent of �4.11.0. They devised it to Fr. O'Donnell and two laymen in trust "for the congregation of Roman Catholics".

Here Fr. O'Donnell erected the Church of St. Mary. It opened on 30th May 1784. The First Belfast Volunteer Company�under Captain Waddell Cunningham�formed a guard of honour in full dress and presented arms as the priest passed into the Church. Other Companies also attended and entered the Church for Mass and Sermon. The collection was �32.2.6., �84 was already subscribed by the Protestants of Belfast. The Church cost �1,200 and after the opening was only �80 in debt. The first St. Mary's had a courtyard in front of it and was not as big as the rebuilt St. Mary's of 1868.

Fr. O'Donnell built the Rock Chapel in 1785. Prior to this Mass was celebrated at a Rock a few yards from the site of the present Church. Mass had been celebrated at a Rock on Colin Mountain, fronting Hannahstown, at a little mound about sixteen feet in diameter, which, when opened, was found to be funereal and contained a stone-lined grave. The spot is still called the Mass-corner.

After the burning of Derriaghy Chapel in 1744 Mass was celebrated in the barn of Michael O'Kane at White Mountain. Mass was also celebrated at the gable of Edward McQuillan's house at the Brown Moss. Fr. O'Donnell also celebrated Mass on Christmas morning in a school house in Tullyrusk graveyard and sometimes in the house of John Close nearby. Mass was also said on the Bohill Mountain where two mounds of earth formed a cross�each arm about 50 feet. In whichever angle was most sheltered Mass was celebrated.

It is of interest that the vestments for Mass on Colin were kept in the house of a Protestant family named Steele. This family had a cow's horn, used for warning on the approach of strangers, which came into the possession of Fr. Conway, Parish Priest of Derriaghy.

Cathal O'Byrne in his book 'As I roved out' (1946), says: "Belle Steele lived in Fair's Row, the first door on the town side, on the Upper Falls Road as you go out the way to Milltown and Derryaghy in the townland of Poleglass."

"The last of the family preserved a cow's horn which was used to sound alarm if any suspicious person was seen approaching the Mass station."

"But", says O'Byrne, "there is no tradition of a cow's horn having been used for that purpose, but when Belle Steele was on her death bed she had in her possession a small white metal horn such as might be used by a drummer boy in the old days, which was in use at the `Mass Corner' and also a little shell used by the Priest for putting water into the chalice. These relics ... were passed on to Miss Maggie Kennedy who lived in Drain's Row at the foot of Church Hill in Derryaghy."

Fr. O'Donnell built the Church of St. Peter, the Rock, the year after he opened St. Mary's, i.e. 1785. In 1792 he built a small school house at Hannahstown�which was used as a church. The gable still stands in the graveyard.

On the 9th June 1798 both Churches, St. Patrick's, Derriaghy, and St. Peter's, the Rock, were burned by the "wreckers". When times became quiet Derriaghy was rebuilt in 1802 by Fr. Devlin, Curate to Fr. O'Donnell. It is less than the size of that of 1745. It is dedicated under the invocation of St. Patrick and a portion of an alleged relic of St. Patrick which had been preserved in the parish in a silver shrine by a family named Cullen who lived near Colin, was placed under the altar.

The then Roman Catholic Bishop (Dr. Dorrian) purchased it from them. It consisted of a human jaw-bone in a perfect state but only retaining one double tooth. It formerly had five, three of which were given to members of the family when emigrating to America and the fourth was deposited under the altar. The family believed it was the jawbone of St. Patrick.

When the Chapel, together with those of Ballinderry, Glenavy and Aghagallon was destroyed in 1798 the Rev. Philip Johnson opened a subscription list and raised �59. 13s. 10d. to assist with the rebuilding, and the Marquis of Hertford subscribed �25 and gave the site on which it was built. In 1836 the walls were raised three feet and a new roof put on costing �100 and again members of all denominations assisted.

After the Rock Church was burned "James Magee and Patrick McLarnon collected money and built a little thatched house for a Chapel and it served as a school too." That little school house was replaced in 1829 by the present Church built by Rev. H. McCartan at a cost of �100.

Fr. O'Donnell lived in Springbank and his house is still occupied by the Finnegan family. But in Smith & Lyons Belfast Directory of 1808 among the clergy living in Belfast is listed Cassidy, Rev. Peter, 16 Berry Street; O'Donnell, Rev. Hugh, 33 Hercules Lane. At this time Fr. O'Donnell was ill and Fr. Cassidy was also in declining health.

With the consent of the Bishop an additional Curate came to Derriaghy, Fr. R. Curoe. However, Fr. O'Donnell seems to have recovered, for in 1809 he obtained from the Marquis of Donegall a plot of ground on the East side of Donegall Street � frontage 147 feet, lease 99 years, annual rent �14.14.0. It was actually a dump for refuse of the town. In 1810 advertisements appeared for tenders, etc., and it seems to have been roofed in 1811. Lord Castlereagh gave 100 guineas.

In 1812 Fr. O'Donnell retired and lived in his old house at Springbank, Hannahstown, and died there on 1st January 1814. His funeral from St. Mary's took place to his native Glenarm. Fr. Cassidy died in April 1815.

Before Fr. O'Donnell retired he requested the Bishop, Dr. Patrick Mullan, for permission to ask Fr. William Crolly, a professor in Maynooth, to take the Parish. It would seem that the Bishop agreed�but at the same time he decided to divide the Parish into two districts�Derriaghy and Belfast. It would appear that Fr. Crolly became Parish Priest of Belfast, for we find that Derriaghy was conferred on Rev. Denis McGreevey, who held the Parish till 1824. He was succeeded by Rev. Charles Hendron. He obtained from John McCance in January 1825 an acre of land for enlarging the graveyard. Mr. McCance also gave �20 towards erecting a suitable place of worship. Thus Fr. Hendron built the Church at Hannahstown in 1826. He was succeeded in 1827 by Rev. Hugh McCartan. Between 1830 and 1844 there were three successive Parish Priests who remained for very short periods except the last, Fr. Edward Mullan, who is buried in the church at Hannahstown. A tablet on the wall says: "In memory of Rev. Edward Mullan, P.P., who, while reading the divine Office, rendered his soul to God on 7th May 1844." For the next six months the Parish was attended by Rev. George Pye; 1845-1848�Fr. McMullan; 1848-1855�Fr. Michael McCartan; 1855-1869�Rev. James O'Hara; Rev. George Conway, 1869-1889; Rev. Bernard McCartan, 1889- ; Rev. Richard Storey, -1907.

Fr. Crolly completed St. Patrick's. He was appointed Bishop, 6th February 1825, and was consecrated in St. Patrick's, 1st May 1825. Next day he entertained 250 to dinner at Ward's Hotel, including many Protestants. On the 18th of the same month 170 Protestants of the town entertained Dr. Crolly in the same hotel.

It was Dr. Crolly who petitioned the Holy See to change the Episcopal See from Downpatrick to Belfast. This was granted, and thus Belfast became the Bishop's Mensal Parish.

He divided up many parishes, established schools and the Diocesan College, St. Malachy's. In 1835 he was translated to Armagh as Archbishop. He established the Armagh Seminary and laid the foundation stone of the Cathedral, in which he was buried in 1849.

Rev. Patrick Boyle, 1907-1955. St. Teresa's was built in 1912 and Father Boyle moved there, leaving a Curate at Hannahstown.

A temporary Church, St. Agnes's, was built during the war. Canon Boyle died in 1955 and the Bishop, Dr. Mageean, divided the Parish of Derriaghy into four�St. Teresa's, St. Agnes's, Hannahstown and Derriaghy.

The present Roman Catholic parish of Derriaghy is served by four churches�St. Patrick's, Barnfield Road; St. Colman's, Lambeg; St. Anne's, Dunmurry; and the temporary church of St. Luke, Twinbrook Estate.

There is a parish priest, the Rev. J. Kelly, assisted by three curates, two of whom live in the still growing Twinbrook Estate where three of the five voluntary parochial schools are situated.

(A note supplied by Miss Daphne Partridge)

In October 1923 Canon Cook held a ten day mission in Derriaghy Church. There were quite a number of conversions and interest was only at its height when the mission closed, so three young men, James Howard, James Madden and Jim Skelly of the Christian Workers' Union, started a further series of meetings. After this an after-church rally was started on Sunday evenings. Towards the end of 1924 the Misses Rigby and Harper of The Faith Mission held another successful mission and the Christian Conferences began in Derriaghy. This was the commencement of the annual Faith Mission Conferences in Ireland and these are now held in many other areas.

Immediately after that mission a Prayer Union was started and both Conference and Prayer Union continue until this day. In 1926 Jack Currie of Portadown, a tenter by trade, and James Grubb, who owned the land where the present hall stands, used to go down to The Faith Mission offices in Belfast to join Mr. J. B. McClean, the Director of The Faith Mission, in prayer for the Derriaghy community. Mr. Grubb never lived to see the hall erected on his land although this was his desire. When the meeting was held in the Orange Hall it had to be closed on Thursdays to facilitate a dancing class, so Messrs. Tom Allen, Bob Bodel, Jim Crawford, H. McFarlane, A. Maze and Alex Ruddell decided to build the present hall which was opened in March 1932. An Anniversary Conference continues each year in March. The Mission Hall is run along interdenominational lines and speakers come from the various Protestant churches.


(Information supplied by Mrs. E. Wallace)

The hall, situated near the junction of Barnfield Road and Derriaghy Road, was built in May 1922. Before its erection meetings were held in Milltown House, at that time the home of Mr. R. M. Watson and previously occupied by a family named McBride.

Members of the Gospel Hall would call themselves simply, Believers. Their worship is centred around a weekly celebration of the Lord's Supper and preaching. Not being concerned about history they have little to say about the origins of their gatherings but are not to be confused with any branch of the Plymouth Brethren.

Recently they reconstructed their hall giving it a new entrance porch and providing car parking space.

(Information supplied by Mr. R. Armour and Mr. J. Brankin)

The District is comprised of Lodges from Derriaghy, Mosside, Summerhill, Lambeg, Castlerobin, Cohn, Upper Falls, Finaghy and Dunmurry.

It is difficult to trace the origin of the formation of the District but it is recorded that in 1798 Lodges from Derriaghy took part in the 12th of July demonstration to Lissue, Lisburn, and proceeded to the Field with orange lilies tied to the barrels of their guns!!

In the early days permission was given by the Church for Lodge 136, Mosside, and 137, Summerhill, to hold their meetings in the old School House until suitable halls were erected in the district for them. The Parish Church is the meeting place for Divine Service on the Sunday preceding the 12th of July each year and it is traditional for one of the Lodges in the District to have Christ Church

depicted on its banner, symbolising its allegiance to the Church.

It is also interesting to note that Castlerobin, 146, was 'formerly known as Stewart's Guiding Star, called after Canon J. A. Stewart who was curate of Derriaghy Parish.

It is also interesting to note that one of the Lodges in the District held its meetings at Hanna Alderdice's Inn and, apparently, had a credit account with the Management for its refreshments.

On a particular year, on the 12th of July morning, the proprietress refused to hand over the flags of the Lodge until the outstanding refreshment account was duly paid!!

The District has progressed steadily since the turn of the century and each Lodge now has its own meeting place. There are approximately 500 Orangemen in the District and the numbers are steadily increasing.

(Based on information supplied by Mr. T. J. Fenning)

Like many great institutions, the Scout movement had a small beginning. In 1907 Robert Baden Powell, a British soldier who had become a national hero, held an experimental camp for boys on Brownsea Island off the coast of Dorset. This was to try out ideas for training boys which had been forming in his mind over many years. After the Camp, "B-P" as he was affectionately known, wrote the now famous handbook of the Movement, "Scouting for Boys". It was the publication of this book, first published in fortnightly parts in 1908, that had as its direct result the formation of Scout Patrols all over Great Britain. In spite of the fact that "B-P" had intended his ideas to be used by existing youth organisations and had no intention of starting a separate organisation, he soon had to acknowledge that, in fact, a new organisation had come into being. On the suggestion of King Edward VII he gave up his army career and became Chief Scout.

Scouting spread very quickly over the British Isles and we find that a Troop was formed in the Parish in 1911 with Rev. T. J. Armstrong as Scoutmaster and Eddie Brown as his Assistant. The meetings were held in Derriaghy School and the Troop was registered as 1st Derriaghy.

This leadership lasted till the Rev. J. T. Armstrong left and Eddie Brown joined the Army. Eddie was later killed in action. The next scoutmaster was the Rev. George Furniss. The Troop consisted of 4 Patrols, 2 at Derriaghy and 2 at Ballymacash. One of the early Patrol Leaders was Mr. William Brown, a brother of Eddie, and he remembers the thrill of his first Camp at Ballintoy. Travel involved train to Belfast, tram car to York Road Station, train to Ballymoney, then by narrow gauge train to Ballycastle and finally by horse drawn long-car to Ballintoy.

In 1920 Mr. Joe Brown took over, and camping and outdoor activities were the main features until he emigrated to Canada. It is interesting to note that Billy Brown's interest never flagged and up to the present he has been 25 years County Secretary of County Antrim Scout Council. On the late Rev. T. H. Egerton's appointment in 1923 the Troop got going once again with 3 Patrols at Derriaghy and 3 at Ballymacash.

Among past leaders we find the following names: Hyram Buchanan, John Curran, Jack Wadsworth, Joe Patterson, Sam McDona'd, Jack Johnston, Roy Shirlow, George Morrow and Jim Hilland.

The Troop has always had a very close relationship with the Church and has down the years received help, encouragement and practical leadership from the Rectors and Curates. Possibly, of later years the most enthusiastic has been Rev. P. A. G. Sheppard, and his leadership and inspiration has had its influence on the lives of many of our young men to-day.


Front row (left to right): ,Miss Margaret Benson, Miss Heather Barr, Miss Jill Cohen, Rector, Mrs. J. McCabe, Miss Noreen Thompson, Mrs. E. Beattie.
Back row (left to right): Mr. T. Thompson, Mr. J. Fleming, Miss Edna Richardson, Mrs. R. Fell, Mrs. E. Beattie, Mr. M. Fleming, Mr. R. B. Beattie.


Back row: Mr. D. Gordon, Mrs. Bethel, Brian Aitken, Don Liliey, Gilbert Cameron, Mrs. A. Boyd, Mrs. E. Scarlett.
Front row: Mrs. D. Greer, Mrs. D. Thompson, Mrs. N. Boston, Miss K. Hayes, Miss C. Gordon.

The Rev. P. A. G. Sheppard was Group Scout Master until his appointment to Ballydehob Union, Co. Cork, in 1960. He was followed in that role by Mr. D. G. Dewdney who was succeeded by Mr. E. T. Cairns. The present Group Scout Leader, Mr. R. P. Beattie, is also District Commissioner for Lisburn. He is assisted by an enthusiastic team: Tommy Thompson and Mervyn Fleming with the Scouts, assisted by Brian Aiken, Gilbert Cameron and Robert Bell. Jim Fleming, who is now Assistant District Cub Scout Commissioner, has been Parish Cub Leader for over 25 years, and is helped by Mrs. Eleanor Beattie, Linda Turley and Don Lilley. A Beaver Group has recently been started by Mrs. Beattie. She is assisted by Mrs. D. Greer.

The Parish has supported the Guiding Movement for many years. Among past Brownie Leaders we find the following names: Mrs. J. Johnston, who was Leader in the 50s and 60s, Elizabeth Bowman and Mrs. Shields. The present Leaders are Miss Margaret Benson and Mrs. Bethel, assisted by Heather Barr and Jill Cohen.

The Guide Company Leader before World War II was Mrs. Bennett. After the War the Company was begun again by Mrs. Pat McLaughlin. The present leader is Mrs. W. Beattie. She succeeded Miss R. Scott in 1962 and is assisted by Mrs. Fell, Miss Edna Richardson, Linda Turley and Valerie Chapman.

The Baden-Powell Organisations in the Parish now number well over 100 members (80 in scouting).


Front row (left to right): Mrs. S. Scully, Mrs. M. Lloyd, Miss M. Benson, Miss N. Millar, Miss C. Thompon, Miss N. Thompson, Miss K. Stewart, Miss R. Kelly.
Back row (left to right): Mr. D. Gribbon, Mr. D. Thompson, Miss A. Burrows, Rev. V. G. Stacey, Miss E. Richardson, Mr. W. Scully, Miss E. Burrows, Rector, Mr. R. Surgeon, Mr. S. Stewart, Mr. J. Campbell.

(Information supplied by Mr. H. McC. Taggart)

Freemasonry has been firmly established in Derriaghy for about two hundred years. Before 1780 a number of Freemasons were meeting informally in the Milltown Inn owned by the Alderdice family, and in 1782 decided to apply for a Warrant to form a regular Lodge. They selected the name St. Patrick and were allotted a warrant numbered 602.

That Lodge, known for miles around as '602', has met without interruption since that time. The nine original members increased to twenty by the end of 1782 and in mid-1783 there were thirty eight. In those times it was not unusual for Lodges to confer, as well as the 'Craft' degrees, higher degrees which are now confined to other branches of the Order.

In 1785 five Brethren were installed as Knights Templar in Derriaghy and there are references at times to members of the 'Priestly Order'. As time went on the room in the Inn became too small to accommodate those attending but attachment to the old venue delayed a change until matters became crucial in 1885. A move to Lisburn was considered but after many meetings and delays it was decided to erect a suitable hall locally. William Alderdice of the Inn, a member of the Lodge, offered a site and the decision to build was taken in 1887. On 17th August, 1888, after continuous occupation of 106 years, the Lodge held its last meeting in the old room and next day a new building was dedicated to the purposes of Freemasonry.

Bazaars were popular in those days and one held in October 1888 not only cleared the debt on the hall but left a 'handsome balance'. Next year, 1889, saw the formation of a Royal Arch Chapter�also numbered 602.

In less than twenty years the new premises were again inadequate and after much anxious deliberation it was decided to pull down the building and erect a larger one. The foundation stone was laid in 1906 and the present hall dedicated in 1907. This time a `Grand Bazaar' was held in the Grain Market, Lisburn, which lasted three days in September, 1908. It successfully wiped out the debt on the building.

Housing development in the Seymour Hill estate some years ago dislodged the Dunmurry Freemasons who sat in outhouses of the Charley Mansion converted for Masonic purposes. They were welcomed to the Derriaghy Hall where they still meet. A year or two ago those Lisburn Masons who met in the Lisburn Courthouse, lost their home when the Courthouse was demolished. They have also found a home in the Derriaghy Hall. A new and capacious car park has been made at the hall and plans are well advanced for extensions to the building itself.

The nine stalwarts of two hundred years ago founded in Derriaghy a Masonic tradition which has grown to eight units�three Craft Lodges, two Royal Arch Chapters, one Council of Knight Masons, and two Preceptories of High Knights Templar.

(Information supplied by Mr. R. Armour)

Derriaghy Cricket Club was formed in the year 1920 and rented a ground on the Barnfield Road. The Club had very little in the way of funds in those days and the visiting teams were entertained to tea in Hanna Cairns' house in Railway View. About the year 1925 a ground adjoining the main Belfast-Lisburn Road was rented from Robert McKinstry at a very nominal fee and the Club has remained at this situation until the present day.

A few years ago an opportunity was taken to purchase this ground and, thanks to a few well-wishers in the district, a large sum of money was subscribed and the balance guaranteed to the Bank.

Among the early cricketers connected with the Club were Rev. H. C. Marshall, then curate of the parish, J. F. Larmor, Steve and Ronnie Draper, Fred and Billy Browne, William and Edward Bruce, William Cairns, Harry Press, and Jack McKinstry. One of the most famous of these early cricketers was William Cairns, who played for the Club until he was nearing 70 years of age and in his 65th year took over 100 wickets, thanks mainly to the expert slip fielding of Billy Glover.

In the early days the Club played only friendly matches but later under the captaincy of Harry Press it ventured into league cricket and very soon won its way to the top grade of Junior Cricket. Such names as Victor Jack, Rev. Alex Jack, Robert and John Armour, George Graham, Billy Glover, Jim Poots, Tommy Dugan, Eric Maciee, Stanley Graham, Sammy Watters, Billy Hutchinson, Edward Cairns (Teddy), and Bertie Page played their part in making the Club a force to be reckoned with in the cricketing world. The Club 1st XI is still a very strong team in Junior Cricket and under the captaincy of Denis Fell, ably supported by his two brothers Jack and Gerald, success must surely be theirs in the years ahead.

The Rev. J. G. King, who was rector of the Parish before the War, was an excellent batsman for the 1st XI, and his curate, Rev. V. Dungan, also played for the Club.