Slans Graveyard, Cloughey

Ancient graveyard with great views

The burial ground is located within a former rath, or ringfort, an enclosure from the first millennium A.D, enclosed by a white wall. Inside, the remains of a medieval church, believed to be the Church of Ardmacossce or Ardmacaisse mentioned in the Taxation of Pope Nicholas in 1306, coexist with a distinctive cross-carved boulder. Aerial imagery has revealed that the graveyard is the central point of a more extensive enclosure, concealed beneath the adjacent fields.

In its heyday, this was the primary burial ground for the Cloughey/Kirkistown region and served as the final resting place for numerous sailors who perished on the perilous Cloughey rocks. Offering a panoramic 360-degree view of the surrounding countryside, the graveyard also features an approximately 50-meter-long souterrain just beyond its walls, easily accessible until recent times. Acknowledging its historical significance, the site is scheduled for preservation. The majority of the earliest gravestones, predominantly slate, date back to 1677, revealing a glimpse into the area's rich history.


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Ardminnan Rd, Portaferry, Newtownards BT22 1QJ

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