On Down the Hill to The Church of Ireland in Kildare Street


There was a Church recorded on this site in 1306 but was in ruins in 1622 following 300 years of eventful history in Ardglass covered elsewhere on this website.   St. Nicholas was built on the original site in 1813 on high ground in Kildare Street, Ardglass. When the old walls were removed, a hand-bell with an ivory handle and an altar stone were found. The ancient holy water stoup was removed to a part of the graveyard. They also found an oblong stone, which is now inserted into a wall of the porch. It has a shield of arms with some curiously raised letters of Old English characters:- " Live to die, And fer the Lord, Amend yr life, And sin no mor for dethe is Yr rewarde. Mari Janes, Thoams Janes AD 1585."

The curate in 1783 was Rev. Samuel Buydy. In 1839 the north transept was added, as the congregation was increased by the numbers of coastguards and maritime official on duty in the port. It holds about 300 people. The duties of this parish in 1836 were performed by a perpetual curate who received £80 out of £130 which are the tithes of the parish. The remaining £50 goes to the Chancellor of Down. There is an old memorial document dated 1772 .

There is nothing distinctive in its architecture, but built into the wall of the entrance porch is one of the earliest headstones found in Ulster, it reads; "Live to die and for the Lord / Amend yr life and sine no mor / for dethe is your rewarde / Maria Jones, mother to Thomas Jones, gentleman A.D. 1585" .

 The rector in 1830 was Rev. George Crane & in 1852 Rev Charles Campbell & in 1910 was Rev. William Hanna.

Local linked organisations;

  • Ardglass & Dunsford Ladies Guild
  • Downpatrick Girls Brigade (made up of girls from the whole area meets in Down Parish Hall)



Our group of Churches serve a friendly community of Christians living in the Lecale area. Our worship reflects our rural community which is both warm and traditional. We love welcoming visitors and newcomers to this area where we enjoy excellent cross–community relations.

St. Nicholas’ Church is on the Kildare Street. Entering Ardglass from Downpatrick, turn right into Hill Street. At the top of the steep hill, turn left into Kildare Street. St. Nicholas’ Church is on the right.