Tullyvallen Old Church, Armagh, Ireland

Tullyvallen Old Church is the charming ruin of a Board of First Fruits funded Church of Ireland structure erected by Archbishop Robinson in 1775. It lies just outside the small town of Newtownhamilton, which was established circa 1770 by Alexander Hamilton. The whole area had been known as Tullyvallan prior to the Plantation of Ulster, from the Irish Tulaigh Uí Mhealláin, meaning ‘O Mealláin’s hillock”. The church was not in use for very long as it was replaced by a newer structure, named St John’s, nearer the town in 1867. The church must have been in a very poor state by 1837 as Samuel Lewis’ ‘Topographical Dictionary of Ireland’ describes, the church, for the repair of which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners have recently granted £106, is a plain edifice”. Kevin V.Mulligans ‘Buildings of Ireland: South Ulster” (2013) describes the building as being ‘built to one of Thomas Cooley’s ‘standard’ designs’. Cooley was an English born Irish architect who was involved in the building or designing of several prominent Irish buildings such as Dublin’s City Hall (formerly the Royal Exchange), The Royal Hospital in Kilmainham and the Four Courts.
The church is now in quite a ruinous state, one of the most interesting aspects of it is that its west wall doesn’t appear to ever had windows, something I have rarely seen before, I could be incorrect but the brickwork doesn’t appear to show any signs of reconstruction. The church is still accessible but very dangerous as many trees have now made it their home. On my visit the graveyard was virtually unapproachable due to the level of growth enveloping it.

GPS: 54.16828, -6.58039

5 thoughts on “Tullyvallen Old Church, Armagh, Ireland

  1. The top right photo is very picturesque. At first glance it looks like an oil painting. Nice composition. Many of the pieces that follow have a haunted quality. The looming angles of the shadowed tower with the infernally hornlike merlons implies a sensation of dominance. Funny how an artist can manipulate the subject and produce totally different reactions in the viewer.

  2. This is the area my 3X grandfather lived and I am thrilled to see the pictures. The pictures are beautiful and this may well be the church his parents attended. Thank you so much for these.

    • Thanks Judy, indeed it’s always so interesting when visiting these abandoned places to imagine when they were bustling places for communities and where so many of people’s big events, baptisms, weddings, funerals would have occurred. Glad you liked the post.

  3. My great great grandfather owned the Monaghan homestead just a mike away from the church, He was Church of Ireland. My grandfather was born there.

    2016 my partner went tobthe Church of Ireland in NewtownHamaliton and we were looking for My families graves.. there are no records dating back , do My partner having a crystal Pendulum on an old gold chain asked it could it show us where and of the buried lay.. i being a tad sceptical just let it go ahead snd voykd not believe what happened next ..the pendulum rotated untill it was vertical.
    We could not understand what was going on.
    Needless to say. We plan to return back to the OLD CHURCH and follow up on the experience. Incredible ….the whole thing.
    No windows in the west……burials are facing east!!!! Could it be the revival or existence of the Faith.. being where it is situated it is a possibility. !!

    • Wow Donald that sounds like a somewhat frightening but more so awe-inspiring thing to occur. I definitely found it to be quite an unusual and intriguing spot, unfortunately at the time of my visit much of the graveyard was completely overgrown with thorns to head height so alot of it I couldnt explore.

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