Belleek
County Fermanagh, Ireland

St. Patrick's Catholic Parish Church
Dominating Belleek from the "top" are two churches, which initially caused excitement that one of them might have been where James and Sarah were married. However, further investigation dashed hopes. The largest church, above, is St. Patrick's Catholic Church, which as seen right, was founded in 1892. However, a protestant wedding is thought more likely and the Church of Ireland Parish Church, immediately below St. Patrick's, is older. However, this was previously a school and was only converted to a church in 1909. Plaque on St. Patrick's
Belleek Church of Ireland Parish Church

So where were James and Sarah married in the town in 1845? Nobody seemed to know the history of the town that far back and other than commenting there were a few small graveyards scattered about the area, but not where, no information was forthcoming. However, subsequent inspection of a re-print of an Ordnance Survey map of 1900 revealed there had once been a chapel part way up on the river side of the main street.

It was recalled in that vicinity there was a building that stood out from the rest, pictured below, that on further inspection could, at a stretch of imagination, have once been a chapel. (The residence immediately opposite is set back and has the air of a house for clergy.) Of course this could be completely wrong, but could this be the building where James and Sarah were married? Alternatively, given its prominence and location half way up the road, could this be the Market House in which soldiers were billeted?

As you can see, at the time of the picture it was derelict and up for sale. Any takers? It needs an awful lot of work doing to it!

Was this once a chapel?
Incidentally, the majority of the graves in St. Patrick's and the Church of Ireland graveyards were relatively recent and no headstones for Duffs or Hustons were spotted, though clearly a significant number of graves have been grassed over. It is possible that paupers' graves did not have headstones.

 

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This page was last updated on 5th August 2010.