1881 – Cunningham Memorial Presbyterian Church, Cullybackey, Co. Antrim

Architect: Young & Mackenzie


Cruciform church constructed to replace an earlier church of 1781 on same site. With its 130 ft spire, the church is very much a local landmark. External walls of local basalt rubble, rock-faced with sandstone dressings. Still in use today by its congregation.

“The plan comprises a nave with projecting transepts, porches, session room, minister’s room, &c. The tower and spire reach a height of 130 ft. to the weather-vane. The exterior walling is of the local basalt set in cement, with dressings of sandstone from the Dungannon quarries. At half height from the wall-plate the roof is ceiled, the principals being braced below by diagonals, on which rest neatly-turned shafts, with caps and bases; the spaces between the principals will be plastered. Double arches springing from moulded caps separate the ceilings of the transepts from the nave. The minister’s platform projects in front of an arched recess, in which is placed a canopied stall, surmounted by carved crockets and finial. Doors to the session room and minister’s room are placed at each side of the platform.

The floor is laid with a fall from the main entrance. Seven hundred people can be accommodated in the pews, which are arranged so as to ensure a clear and uninterrupted view of the platform. The ventilation of the church has been specially arranged for by a system of air tubes with high-level exits. The joinery work, which is mainly of pitch pine, will be simply varnished. The windows will be filled with tinted cathedral glass with neat border. The heating will be effected by a hot water apparatus placed below the floor of the session room. The works are being carried out by Messrs. H. M’Manus and Son, Randalstown, from the designs and under the superintendence of Messrs. Young and Mackenzie, Belfast.”

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