HolyTrinity Self Guided Walking Tour

Holy Trinity Church

The HOLY TRINITY congregation cordially invites you to take a walking tour of our church.


The church is a complex building in a Gothic revival style with four bay Nave and side Aisle, single bay Porch,

Transept with Organ loft and single bay Chancel. The original Church was to the design of William Burn with significant additions including the side Aisle, by Thomas Drew in 1891.

Although not visible at ground level, it still has the original 1849 sandstone roof drains incorporated into the modern system. The building still retains all of the features of the 1891 church.

At the north end is the original 1849 graveyard area now a Garden of Remembrance contained by metal chain and containing a memorial to a former leader of the Mothers’ Union, Kathleen E Bailie (1890-1978) and to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Ballywalter Branch of the Mothers’ Union.


Begin at the East Door (main door) and continue in a clockwise direction around the church.

In the porch

The Roll of Honour is the original document from the 1914-1918 war and records those from the parish who were killed.  During that war it would have recorded those who were away fighting. You can see at the top of the document where, after the war, it was altered to insert a list of those who had died.

In the church

  1. Permanent carved wooden memorial commemorating those who died in the 1914-1918 War. The design incorporates a Celtic Cross echoing the design of the Battlefield Cross seen at stop 6
  2. The Font. Erected in 1899 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the consecration of the church. The plaque at the base states “In commemoration of the Jubilee year 1849-1899 of the building of the church. J.A Greer, Vicar ; Lord Dunleath, Andrew Glover, Churchwardens”

  Stained Glass windows and Battlefield Cross

Our church building is defined by its beautiful stained glass windows please take some time to look at them and note their richness and beauty    

  1. Southside Nave windows: This series of windows depicts snapshots from the life of Jesus. They were erected in memory of 2nd Baron Dunleath (b-d ) (1854 -1941) and his wife 1861-1935 (a).   b) and d) are by Heaton, Butler and Bayne*(signed bottom right hand corner                                                                                                                                           a) Mary and Joseph manger scene                                                                                                                                                         b) Jesus the carpenter “ Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary?”                                                                                            c) Jesus the Shepherd “ The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God”                                                                                 d) The boy Jesus in the temple “ wist ye not that I must be in my Father’s House?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             2. Southside west aisle window – 1914-1918 War memorial window

Commissioned from Heaton Butler and Bayne in 1919 by the Select Vestry, in memory of Capt A.E.S.Mulholland, and all his friends killed in action in Ypres France 1st November 1914. The central panel depicts soldiers in the trenches being led ”over the top”. The figure with the pistol represents their captain (presumable Captain Mulholland), as only officers could carry pistols.

The left panel depicts St Michael with the bible reference Rev 2.10

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer; behold the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life’

The right panel depicts St George with the bible reference Rev.6.9

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held’

  1. Battlefield Cross (directly below the window)

This cross originally marked the grave of Capt AES Mulholland who was killed at the 1st battle of Ypres on 1st November 1914. When the War Graves Commission decided, in the 1920’s, to change to the headstones that all war graves now have, the family could pay to have the cross brought home.

There is a story that Capt Mulholland’s brothers, who had also served in France, went over to return a set of clock hands for the village clock (removed because a German sniper had been hiding in the tower) and brought the cross back with them. It was subsequently placed in the church underneath the memorial window. It is complete and still retains the base of the cross that was buried in the ground. Some of the crosses were very plain but this is a very fine example in the form of a celtic cross with scalloped decoration. When the war memorial at (1) was erected the cross there was fashioned in the same shape.

  1. West isle Windows

(a) (b) and (c) are by J. Clarke and Sons**(signed bottom right hand corner). (d) is a later window, possibly by Heaton Butler and Bayne, the maker favoured by the Dunleath family.

(a) Virgin Mary and Elizabeth, in memory of the wife of Revd Greer who died in 1898, commissioned in 1898 shortly after her death by her husband.

(b)  John the Baptist and St Paul, in memory of Revd J.O’Reilly Blackwood who served twice as vicar of this parish (1878 -1884) and (1887-1895) and died in 1898, commissioned in January 1899 by Revd Greer

(c) St Thomas and St Patrick, in memory of Revd Greer, who died in 1899. Vicar from 1895-1899 Commissioned in June 1900.

(d) Martyrdom of St Stephen, in memory of Hon. Somerset Ward who died in 1912. The bible quotation on this window is from Acts 7 verse 59 ‘Lord Jesus receive my spirit’

(e) Triple window ‘Jesus the comforter’ has several bible readings echoing this theme and was erected in memory of Andrew Mulholland, who died in 1877 and was the father of the 1st Baron Dunleath. He was instrumental in the building of the Mulholland Grand Organ in the Ulster Hall.

  1. The Eccles table

This was erected in 1975 in memory of John and Elizabeth Eccles, contains the original 1849 Bible and Prayer Desk prayer book, also a list of former vicars of the parish back to 1437, Communion ware and the Gifts Scroll which lists gifts bestowed on the church in memory of former parishioners that are not commemorated elsewhere in the church.

  1. Pulpit, Chancel and sanctuary

1885: Vicar’s chair presented in 1885 in memory of Lizzie Cleland

1889: Henry L Mulholland presented new Communion Table

1891: Reseating of the whole church and new pulpit presented by John Mulholland Esq who later became 1st Baron Dunleath

1892: Sanctuary shelf given in memory of James Blackwood Glover

1924: Alter rails and panels were erected in memory of several members of the then Lady Dunleath’s family

1950: chairs at the communion table were presented by Minnie Dunwoody in memory of her husband, brother and sister.

1982: Alms dish presented by the Select Vestry in memory of Walter Brian, Hon Secretary of the Select vestry from 1962-1980.

  1. Sanctuary Windows

(a) The large triple window depicts Jesus the Good Shepherd in the middle panel. The figures on either side are unknown at the present time. The window was erected in 1910 in memory of John Mulholland, 1st Baron Dunleath, by his family.

(b) The trefoil window with an angel in the centre was commissioned from J.A.Clarke & Sons in July 1899 by Revd Greer.

  1. The organ

The organ was built by Peter Conacher in 1890-1891. It was paid for by public subscription. From January 1890 the collection from the second Sunday of every month went to the organ fund, the organ was commissioned and the first recital was given at the Easter Vestry 1891 by the organist, Hugh Magill.

The plaque states  “The organ was erected to the praise and glory of God by this Congregation in the year 1891 J.O’Reilly Blackwood Vicar; Andrew Glover Vicar’s churchwarden; H.L Mulholland, People’s Churchwarden”

In 1966 the organ was tonally redesigned by the late  Henry, 4th Baron Dunleath, a well-known expert in this area, making it unique among instruments of it’s age and size.

In 1999, to celebrate 150th anniversary of the building of the church, the keyboards and pedal board were refurbished and restored.

  1. Choir window

This is the latest of the stain glass windows . It depicts a countryside scene possibly Strangford lough erected in memory of the 3rd Lord Dunleath, who died in 1956 and was Henry Dunleath’s father.

10 .The Vestry

This is the clergy robing room and dates from the 1849 building. It has several photographs of former vicars of the parish and Lord Henry Dunleath when he became a Lay Reader for the Parish. Notable among the clergy is a photograph of the first vicar, Hugh Wilson.

11.Poster displays.

Please take time to look at the poster displays showing the 1849 plans and the 1892 extension of the church. Also the sentence of consecration.

Look at ordinance survey maps of the area before the church was built and the changes afterwards

There is also a display of photographs of the work carried out on our church roof. We are a B+ listed building and this was a conservation led project.  We gratefully acknowledge generous funding from the Heritage Lottery towards this work.

Historical Note:  The Stained glass window designers

Heaton Butler and Bayne (1)

Clement Heaton (1824–82) founded his own stained glass firm in 1852, and was joined by James Butler in 1855. Between 1859 and 1861 they worked alongside Clayton and Bell and were joined by Robert Turnill Bayne, who became their sole designer and a full partner in the firm in 1862. The firm was known as Heaton, Butler and Bayne from 1862.

His windows show strong design and colour, and are often recognisable by the inclusion of at least one figure with Bayne’s features and long beard. They became one of the leading firms of Gothic Revival stained glass manufacturers, whose work was commissioned by the principal Victorian architects. Inclusion of designs by Henry Holiday in 1868, led to a more classical influence in their work. During a long career, the firm produced stained glass for numerous churches including Westminister Abbey and Peterborough Cathedral.

When the firm ceased trading in 1953 their records were destroyed.

There are several windows in our church designed by Heaton, Butler and Bayne in memory of various members of the Dunleath family. One of the most notable is the 1914-1918 war memorial window.

  1. J.A. Clarke and Sons (2)

In 1877 Joshua Clarke arrived in Dublin as a penniless 18 year old. He was hard working, ambitious and shrewd and soon founded his company, Joshua Clarke and Sons. His sons Walter and Harry were born in 1887 and 1889 respectively, both on St Patrick’s day.

Joshua had little formal education, but he could see that the production of stained glass would be an ideal addition to his church decoration firm, so in 1892 he opened a glass studio in rooms in the family home. There were several stained-glass illustrators employed at this time by Joshua and one of these was  the designer of our windows. His son Harry was fascinated and by age 14 was showing great promise. He was apprenticed in his father’s firm in 1905, and studied art and stained glass at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art at night.  Harry won many awards and using Joshua’s studio facilities, soon began to establish a reputation for highly distinctive work.

When Joshua died in 1921, Harry took over the running of J. Clarke and Sons, as well as doing his own work. Walter and Harry remained very close but a deterioration in Harry’s health led to the separation of the stained glass studio from the church decoration firm. In early 1930 Harry Clarke Stained Glass Ltd was legally established. However both brothers died within six months of each other in 1930 and 1931.  The business was carried on by their children until its closure in 1973. Their business records are archived in Trinity College, Dublin (3) and we are grateful for unlimited online access to them.

 Harry began his career as an apprentice in 1905 so could not have been illustrator of our windows, but the craft he learnt in his father’s firm was the foundation of his brilliant career and can be seen in the beauty of our windows.


  1. www.victorianweb.org, www.revolvy.com
  2. www.catholicireland.net
  3. Archives section Trinity College Dublin Library

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and from private donations that made our roof renovation project possible.

Researched and compiled by Dr Marilyn Armstrong on behalf of the Select Vestry, Ballywalter Parish. April 2019

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