Sexton’s Cottage

Painting of Sextons' House by Josie Duggan-Parish Art Class

Painting of Sextons’ House by Josie Duggan-Parish Art Class

This little cottage appears on a map dated 1834, so was most likely built in the late 18th, or early 19th century in the Georgian period. Its position beside the old church and graveyard made it an ideal home for the sexton and his family. The various sextons over the years up to the mid 1900s include James Orr (34 years), Samuel Orr (31 years), Christopher Halligan (30 years) Ernest Halligan (25 years) and Tom Marshall ( approx 10 yrs). The sexton’s cottage was purchased outright by the Church from General Templer in 1947 for £200. It was agreed to put a sexton’s house sign on the gate. However by 1954, as it was no longer required for a sexton, the Church was prepared to sell it as a site for the new proposed police station. This plan fell through, but the Church was successful in selling it in 1956 to a Mr Cooke for £300, with part of the garden being retained by the parish. James Rolston, who originally came from Loughgall but was now running a business in Belfast, bought the property in 1957 and used it as a holiday home for many years before retiring here. The thatch was removed in the 1970s and replaced with tiles. This is a photograph of James Rolston’s wedding to Lucy Johnston, which took place in Cloveneden Presbyterian Church in 1919. It was an impressive double wedding as James’ sister was also married that day. Apparently the mother of one of the brides was a fantastic dressmaker – did she make all the dresses? We may never know. The next and current owner bought the property around 1990.

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