Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Tullyaughnish, Ramelton, St. Paul

The Parish of Tullyaughnish, "the hill of the horse island", is situated on the west shore of Lough Swilly, with the town of Ramelton at its center. The survey of 1622 observed that the original church was on Aughnish Island in Lough Swilly. It was moved to Ramelton to which Sir William Stewart had come in the Plantation of Ulster, and had built a castle in the village. His descendants still live in Ramelton today. There was also in the parish, a Franciscan Friary at Killydonnell which had been founded by the O'Donnell clan in the 16th century. The neighboring ancient parish of Tullyfern near Kilmacrennan, was joined to Tullyaughnish about 1660.

The present church of St. Paul, Ramelton, dates from 1825. It cost £1,101, of which the rector, the Rev. Cornelius Ussher contributed £900. It is a large almost square building with a tower in the west end and a sanctuary at the east end.

The tower has louvers in the upper storey, and battlements at the top, with prominent corner finials. The nave walls are supported by buttresses, the easternmost of which are capped by finials. Inside there is a large gallery, underneath which, to the left of the entrance, is the baptistery. This was erected in in 1967 in memory of Forrest Mitchel. The sanctuary is approached up steps, through the choir, and the vestry room is to the left.

In the east wall is a magnificent window of three lights. It was installed in 1975, and depicts the Creation. Inscribed in it are the words from the canticle Benedictie, "All ye works of the Lord Praise him". The window is by Patrick Pollen, and commemorates Major Robert Wood Grove of Castlegrovw, who died in 1969. In the north wall are six opaque square paned windows. There are five similar windows in the south wall, and of the six there, the fifth commemorates Hamilton Verschoyle, Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh who died in 1870, and his wife who died in 1883. The window in the south wall of the sanctuary is in memory of James Grove who died in 1891.

The alatr is in memory of Charles Lord who died in 1917, and the prayer desk commemorates John  M. C. Grove and his wife Lucy and their daughter. It was presented by Eileen Grove in 1955. The lectern is in memory of Alex Mitchell who died in 1886, and the pulpit is on the right hand side of the nave. The organ, by Conacher, has two manuals and pedals, and was installed in 1900. It was restored in 1999.

On the west wall a plaque acknowledges the gift by the Jacob family of vestry furniture, bookshelves, the sound system and pulpit area refurbishment. On the north wall are memorials to Edith Anne Gibbon who died in 1880 aged six years, to Ann Mitchell who died in 1895, and to Alma. M. Mitchell who died in 1978. On the south wall, a monument commemorates Lt. Adrian Stewart of the Gloucestershire Regiment who died in the Great War, 1914. Another monument commemorates Lt. Col. Dan Webber of the West Yorkshire Regiment who died in 1993. There is a memorial to those who fell in the Great War, and a memorial to Lt. A. G. Hamon of the Royal Navy who was killed on HMS Eagle in 1958, and to his daughter who died in 1956.

View of Ramelton, from St. Pauls. Visible are Ramelton Presbyterian Church on the right and the ruins of Ramelton Old Church on the left.

On the north wall of the chancel is a memorial to two brothers, the Rev. John. T. Browne from Ramelton, who was rector of Haigh, Lancashire, who died in 1862, and William Browne who died in 1880. Opposite a plaque states that the east window is a gift of Eileen Grove in memory of her husband, Major Grove who died in 1969. Also in the south sanctuary wall is a monument to Samuel Sproule who was secretary to the Grand Jury of County Donegal, who died in 1866.

The old rectory, a fine house in spacious grounds, was built about 1875. This was replaced with the present rectory in 1995. The parochial hall was the Robertson School. It was renovated in 1999.

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