The Old Church in Dunlewey, Ireland, is a mysterious and captivating relic of a bygone era. This tiny church, perched on the edge of the dramatic and windswept Dunlewey Lake, has withstood the test of time and the elements for over 150 years.
The church was originally built as a memorial to James Russell, a wealthy hop merchant and local landlord who died in 1848 and is buried in a vault under the church floor. The church was consecrated in 1853 as a Chapel of Ease to Tullaghabegley, the parish consisting of the current Gweedore and Cloughaneely parishes.
Despite its age and isolation, the Old Church remains a testament to the resilient spirit of its builders, who erected this simple structure using local marble and red brick. The church was used as a place of worship for the local community, and was used for this purpose for many years. However in 1955 the roof was removed for safety reasons; the furniture and fittins were distributed to other churches in the diocese.
Today, the Old Church stands as a silent witness to the passing of time, its walls and roofless structure are worn by the relentless Irish winds. Despite this, the church remains a place of serene beauty, its simple lines and spare decor serving as a reminder of the simple faith of its builders.
Visitors to the Old Church will find it a peaceful and inspiring place, a quiet haven amidst the rugged wilderness at the foot of Mount Errigsal. The interior of the church is plain and unadorned; visitors are encouraged to sit quietly and reflect, to bask in the quiet beauty of this simple space.
The Old Church is also a popular location for photographers and artists, who are drawn to the haunting beauty of this remote location. Whether you are an art lover, a history buff, or simply looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life, the Old Church in Dunlewey is a must-visit destination.