Dundonald Parish Church / St Elizabeth's
The old mound or motte (known as the moat) at Dundonald is an ancient site, where a castle seized by King John 1 in 1210 once stood. Sir James Hamilton built a new church here in 1624. In 1636 a nephew of Hamilton’s, James Hamilton, became rector here but in 1644 he was expelled for not recognising the authority of the Presbytery or the Covenant. This reflects the deeply Presbyterian nature of the Scots settlers bought here by Sir James Hamilton and Sir Hugh Montgomery. Ironically, his successor, Rev Thomas Peebles, was ejected in 1661 for his Presbyterian views and James Hamilton was restored. A diamond shaped stone in the church bears the three dates of the churches built and rebuilt on this site, 1624, 1771 and 1838. Now empty, it stands beside the new church, built in 1965.
St Elizabeth’s on Church Green, off Church Road, near Upper Newtownards Road.