One of the most ancient sites in Portaferry, this small graveyard contains graves dating from the 17th century and the remains of an old church. A medieval church is also thought to have stood on this site. For most of the 17th century this was the local place of worship for Presbyterians. The first minister of Portaferry, John Drysdale, preached here. A Royalist, he was arrested by a Cromwellian officer. Several 17th century memorials, including those of Ulster-Scots ancestry, can be seen here. The church was given over to the Church of Ireland and was still in use in the late 18th century. After being removed, Presbyterians built a new meeting house on the site of the current Presbyterian church.
James Maxwell, who is buried here, died fighting for the United Irishmen during the 1798 Rebellion. He died on June 10th at the height of the rebel’s success, when they held all of North Down and Ards.
The old wrought iron gates are usually locked, but you can see through. Visit www.visitstrangfordlough.co.uk or call 028 4272 9882 for more information.