~~~ Loving God and Loving our Neighbour ~~~


The Church of Ireland parishes of Desertlyn and Ballyeglish, Diocese of Armagh




The ecclesiastical district of Ballyeglish began in 1866.  It was first a perpetual curacy, formed from the two parishes of Ardtrea and Tamlaght.  It is said that the original thought was to build the church in Irishtown (a hamlet in a small valley half a mile south from Springhill House).  However, it was finally decided that the church would be sited between Moneymore and The Loup, on the Loup Road.  Work began on the new church building when Mr Andrew Spotswood, agent for the Salters Company, came and laid the foundation stone on the 23d July 1866.  The building was constructed from white limestone from the Drapers Company estate, relieved with bands of red sandstone from the quarries in Moneymore.  Work went well; Archbishop M.G. Beresford consecrated the newly completed church, dedicating it to St Matthias, on the 2nd February 1868.  However, it was to be a further year, in 1879, before Ballyeglish could become a parish in its own right.        

Following the resignation of Rev. W. Hogarth in 1922, the benefice became united with that of Desertlyn.

In 2008, with a much appreciated grant from the Lottery Fund, together with contributions from parishioners; the church roof was completely refurbished.

Above: Ballyeglish Parish Church at the time of the re-roofing project.

Top right: the sanctuary, with two brass tablets listing the 10 Commandments either side of the central window.

Bottom right: some of the menfolk of the parish, admiring the new drive-way lantern.