Thursday, 2 August 2012

Camus-Juxta-Bann, Macosquin, St. Mary

Macosquin, "the plain of the conquest", and Camus-Juxta-Bann, "the bend next to the Bann", are the two names of a Parish which is ancient and historic. Today, Macosquin is a village five kilometres west of Coleraine, just off the main Londonderry road. A monastery is said to have been founded by St. Comgall in 780 at Camus. St. Coleman, who died in 699, was abbot of an earlier monastery. At the turn of the 13th century, a Cistercian house at Macosquin which was known as "de Claro Fonte".

At the Royal Visitation in 1622, it was reported that the old monastery was in ruins, and that the Merchant Taylors' Company, which had come to the area at the time of the Plantation, petitioned the Primate for the building of the church on the ruins of the monastery. This would unite both the churches at Camus and Macosquin, which existed by 1600. The church was duly built, and was reported to be in good repair in 1693, and again in 1768.

The present church in Macosquin was rebuilt in 1827. A stone on the west wall of the tower records this. A carved stone in front of the tower came from the Cistercian abbey.

The tower is of three stories, and has a window of clear lattice glass in the west wall. There is a clock on the second level, and louvered windows on the top level. The tower is battlement with corner finials.

A plaque in the porch records the donation of the clock in memory of James Sinclair, 1899. The interior entrance doors commemorate Alexander and Anne McAillister. The chancel and the vestry room to the north of the nave were built by Welland Gillispie in 1867.

There is a stained glass window in the west wall of the nave to the left of the entrance. It depicts the boy Samuel with Eli in the Temple, and it commemorates Mr and Mrs Samuel Smyth.

The nave is lit by three windows of two lights and small overhead windows on each side.

In the north wall, the first window depicts, on the left, the text, "the children of Israel brought an offering unto the Lord".

And on the right, Dorcas (Acts 9:39).

There is an angel in the upper section. This window commemorates Katherine Sinclair of Dundarg who died in 1906. This is recorded on a brass plaque adjacent.

Mrs Sinclair was the daughter of the Rev. Robert Alexander, Rector of Aghadowey, 1832-1869, and sister of Bishop, later Primate Alexander.

The middle window has the Lamb of God on the left, and "behold I stand at the door and knock" on the right, with a dove above.

This window commemorates the McMath family, 1991.

The third window has, "I am the way, the truth and the life", on the left, and floral patters and family crests on the right.

It commemorates H. Richardson Scott who died in 1876.

In the south wall the first window depicts, on the left the text, "the souls of the righteous are in the hands of God", and Mary with the Baby Jesus, and on the right, Jesus calling the little children.

It commemorates Dorothea Alice Sinclair who died aged eleven years, and Isabella Ann Sinclair who died aged five years.

The font which is adjacent to this window in the south-west corner of the nave,

commemorates these two little girls.

The middle window shows The Good Samaritan, with "the word of God", in the small light above.

It commemorates Alfie McClements, 1991.

The third window depicts, on the left, Mary with infant Jesus, and on the right, Joseph in the Carpenter's Shop. The fifth commandment is written overhead.

A plaque adjacent records that the window is in memory of Thomas and Agnes Oliver, 1999.

The east window is a triple lancet with cusped tracery containing a dove.

It has nine illustrations of our Lord, depicting various parables and Gospel stories. It commemorates John Baillie, 1972.

The altar is in memory of Major John Arthur O'Neill Torrens, Royal Scots Greys, who died in 1936.

A credence table and three chairs are adjacent.

The reredos commemorates John Robert Baillie and his wife Mary Louise, 1962, and the panelling the sanctuary is in memory of William and Annie Oliver, 1862.

The pulpit, which is to the left of the nave below the chancel,

is in memory of Katherine, wife of James Sinclair of Dundarg. The prayer desk on the left below the pulpit commemorates James and Isabella Stirling, and their son Robert and his wife Ellen, 1987,

and the prayer desk on the right is in memory of James Sinclair of Dundarg. There is a fine brass lectern.

On the west wall, Rolls of Honour commemorate those who served and fell in two World Wars.

A plaque records the installation of electric lighting in 1960 in memory of those who fell in the Second World War, and another plaque records the present lighting system in memory of Malcolm and Gwen McQuigg, 1980.

On the north wall, there are memorials to James McLernon of HMS Briton who was killed in action in Egypt in 1884, and to James Wilson and his wife Maria. Also commemorated are Henry Richardson who died in 1786, and his sons John and Henry.

A monument commemorates Hatton Elizabeth, wife of the Rev. Thomas Richardson, Rector, 1821-1837. She was the daughter of the Rev. George Young, Rector 1787-1797. She died in 1855. The next monument is in memory of Thomas Rumbold, 1st Regiment Life Guards who died in 1868, and his mother, the Lady Emily Kerr who died in 1874.

There is a memorial to Mary, daughter of the Rev. Thomas Richardson, and to the Rev. Thomas Richardson himself, and his son Henry who died in 1849. Another daughter, Barbara, wife of the Rev. Henry Torrens, is commemorated,

On the south wall a monument commemorates Thomas Bennett, JP, who died in 1858, and other members of his family. The family crest is above the monument.

The flags of the local branch of the Royal British Legion are placed to the left and right of the chancel arch. There is also a Loyal Orange Institution of Ireland bannerette on the south wall.

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