Newtownabbey Borough Council Ballynure Cemetery


Name: Newtownabbey Borough Council Ballynure Cemetery
Location: Ballynure
County: Antrim
Total Cost: £ 28,567.00
Axis: AXIS 3 : GROW South Antrim
Duration: 13 months
Telephone: 02890340000


Renovation of Ballynure Cemetery.  The graveyard is a reminder of Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels. Swift’s Kilroot parish included Ballynure and he regularly preached in the village. The earliest headstone in the graveyard records the death of Elenor Clemens in 1698, an ancestor of Mark Twain, the author. And the graveyard contains three burial vaults for the well-known local families of Dobbs and Ellis.


Ballynure Cemetery dates back from the eighteenth century and is located to the south of Church Road, opposite Christ Church. It is the oldest cemetery in Newtownabbey and the second oldest in South Antrim, containing the remains of an old church, gravestones and gated plots. The cemetery is accessed through rubble square pillars and the original cast iron-gates. The grounds of the old cemetery including the corpse house and church ruin are owned and maintained by Newtownabbey Borough Council, who identified a need to preserve the heritage of the site for future generations.


The following works were carried out:  

  • Vegetation and excess rubble removed from the old church ruin and stonework of the remaining structure re-pointed.  
  • Vegetation and disruptive roots removed from the vault and sandstone roof and dislodged/displaced stones re-set, joints in stonework re-pointed.  
  • Vegetation removed from the grass roofed vault, one corner of the roof rebuilt, missing stones replaced,  
  • Vegetation removed from the Charnel house. Loose stones on the vaulted roof removed and loose stones reset. One buttress of the house repaired, the cement pointing removed and re-pointed with suitable lime mortar. The entrance gate replaced, the interior cleared out and the floor, lime wash walls and ceiling checked.
  • The entrance gate pillar repainted and iron gates replaced.


A unique piece of built heritage preserved for future generations.


Project Objectives:

  • To complete the capital works by 30th June 2011.