The old graveyard is on a mound forming a strong defensive position above the river Lagan. The name and local tradition suggest that the first church on the site was founded by St.Patrick himself. There was probably a church here until 1641 rising, but certainly it was ruinous in 1679 when William Waring decided to build a new one at Waringstown. Now, even the foundations of the old church are hard to trace in the wild and rough graveyard. Atkinson transcribed the stones and although there are a few omissions and inaccuracies, ten stones are included which have since disappeared. If the graveyard were tidied some of the lost stones might be recovered, but bitter experience of such tidying indicated that many good stones would be irreparably damaged. Vandalism in churchyards is nearly always the work of the church or council responsible, or occasionally of the owner of the grave. Only rarely is it due to the wild gangs of youths, so often talked about.
The eighteenth century family names represented at Donaghcloney are: Boyce, Carmichael (the Rev. James Carmichael Presbyterian Minister), Carr, Dunbar, Huston, McComb, Marshal, Meeter, Miller, Roarke, Shanks, Sillcock, Thompson, Tomsone. In the nineteenth century the elaborate Brown monument includes John Shaw Brown of the famous spinning firm, who died in 1887. Other names of this century include: Adamson, Armstrong, Ferguson, Finlay, Frickilson, Gibson, Little, Nicholson, Turner, White and Wright.
The new church at Waringstown was built in 1681 by William Waring and is probably the most interesting and beautiful parish church in the county. It still has the original oak beams resting on there corbels, and with carved pendants in the centre. The large north transept was added in 1830 and other additions subsequently. In the floor are tablets to early members of the Waring family and on the walls are later memorial tablets, all containing little-known information. The church registers date from 1697 and the oldest gravestone from 1709. There are many interesting eighteenth century stones in the graveyard, again copied by the Rev. E.D. Atkinson. As at Donaghcloney, several of these have disappeared since the beginning of this century, though one to Elizabeth Williams of 1709 was recovered last year. The oldest families buried here are: Bailie, Black, Carson, Deneson, Harrison, Huey, McNarey, Pitt Tagart, Warren and Wilson, and in the nineteenth century there are also: Atkinson, Brown, Gibson, Hamilton, Hampton, McAlister, McC omb, Mackenzie, Robinson, Ruddock, Sharman, Shaw and Wells.
Donaghcloney Presbyterian Church is about 2 miles south of Waringstown in the townland of Ballynabraggett. The congregation dates from 1748 and was under the auspices of the Seceders from its origin. The original building was mud-walled and thatched and appears to have been completely replaced in 1798. The oldest stone in the graveyard goes back to 1825. but one of their ministers, the Rev. James Carmichael who died in 1783, is buried at Old Donaghcloney, though the stone is now lost.
Our thanks to Richard SJ Clarke for this description.