Shankill Cemetery

Shankill Street,
Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday
Summer Hours - 8.00am to 10.00pm from the 1st April to 30th September
Winter Hours - 8.00am to Dusk from the 1st October to the 31st March

Shankill Cemetery Lurgan

Shankill Graveyard is located three hundred yards from Lurgan town-centre and is enclosed by three housing developments and the Belfast-Dublin railway line. It began life as a modest double-ring fort, the outline of which is still discernible. A tiny river flows nearby. Being adjacent to a plain and a wood which opened out unto Lough Neagh, the site was ideal for a simple religious foundation so characteristic of the first Christian millennium. Water, food, shelter and an ambience of peace were at hand.

There is a strong possibility that during the first settling-in period of the 1620s, Shankill Church was repaired and used for both Anglican and Catholic worship given the duo-racial make-up of the Brownlow household, William having married Eleanor O'Doherty, a scion of a high-ranking Irish family.

Kieran Clendinning observed that:

"There is not in the town of Lurgan a spot with which more hallowed recollections are associated with than the ancient graveyard of Shankill. Here the presence of the past is palpable. Entering the grounds you have the sense that wherever you step you are walking over the bones of long dead people both Planter and Gael who founded this once secluded spot as a resting place for the remains of their dead. Some graves with headstones are carefully tended while many more are nameless, and apparently untouched for at least a generation, leaving the visitor conscious of the overlapping layers of human history crumbling into one another. However, it is sad to relate that the silent stones are but a dream of past with vandalism and weather creating a detrimental effect on so peaceful an environment. Here smashed headstones, many so badly chipped or damaged beyond repair, leaves a void in recording the names of the many eminent people interred here who contributed to the social, political and industrial development of the town in the past has now perished."

Our thanks to Francis McCorry and Kieran Clendinning for the use of their research material.

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