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3rd Aug 2021
to 17th Sep 2021

Age Range
All ages

Dunlewey Near


Conservation Report for the 'Old Church of Dunlewey'

Nestled at the foot of Errigal (the highest mountain in County Donegal) and overlooking the beautiful Poisoned Glen sits this beautiful 'Old Church of Dunlewey'.

The former Church of Ireland church is an iconic landmark within this region. Its Gothic revival style, its distinctive white marble facing stones (with blue quartzite trim) and now-roofless form, serves as a breath-taking and much-photographed scene, with the backdrop of the Poisoned Glen, Errigal and the Dunlewey lakes.

Jane Smith Russell had the church built as a memorial to her husband, James Russell, landlord of the Dunlewey Estate, who died on 2nd September 1848. James Russell was laid to rest in a vault under the church floor.

Buried in a large communal grave is Dr. Frazer Brady his wife Fanny, who was a daughter of James and Jane Russell and four of their ten children who died at a young age.

Also interred in the surrounding graveyard is Richard Lewis Crankshaw, owner of Dunlewey Estate, who died in 1929. His wife Nellie who died in 1946 is buried in the graveyard of the local R.C. chapel. Her grave faces this church and her husband’s grave.

With the decline of the potential congregation the church was not in regular use. The expense of the upkeep and the passage of time added to its deterioration and in 1955 the roof was removed as a safety measure.

Various restoration initiatives have been undertaken by the local community down through the years.

Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.

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