Dunlewey Church of Ireland, Donegal

A view through the doorway of the ruined church and across Dunlewley Lough.

“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. The church was consecrated on 1st September 1853…

“With the decline of the Dunlewey Estate the potential congregation diminished and the church was not in regular use. The expense of the upkeep and the passage of time added to the deterioration of the church. In 1955 the roof was removed as a safety measure. Furniture and fittings were distributed to other churches within the diocese of Derry and Raphoe. The bell is now installed in Cashel Church of Ireland near Doe Castle.

“In 1987 the local community restored the floor. In 2005, half a century after the unroofing, with grant aid for the Programme for Peace and Reconciliation, work was undertaken to ensure that this beautiful and historic landmark was preserved for future generations. In co-operation with Udaras na Gaeltachta and Fas the surrounding wall was subject to repair and conservation work. Considerable funds were raised through the generosity of the local community in the form of sponsored walks.”

Looking up into the tower.




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