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Graveyard Information

Ballynure Old

County : Antrim

Denomination :

Graveyard Name : Ballynure Old

Civil Parish : Ballynure

Town / Townland : Toberdowney

OS Reference : J316936

Other Information : This is in the townland of Toberdowney, parish of Ballynure, and barony of Lower Belfast and is severed from the older part of the village by the main road A tributary of the Six Mile Water flows past on one side of the graveyard Newtownabbey Borough Council keeps the grass neatly trimmed Of the old parish church of Saint Mary Magdalene which stood within the graveyard, only the west doorway and part of a later porch now remain standing Near the ruins are three family vaults One (Dobbs) is Victorian with steeply pitched roof, while the earlier two (Dobbs and Ellis) are barrel vaulted A relic from the days of resurrectionists, or body snatchers, is the corpse house by the entrance gate It is sturdily built of locally quarried basalt, and buttresses flank a doorway defended by a heavy iron grill When Thomas Fagan was taking notes for the Ordnance Survey memoir in 1839 he said it was erected by the parish for a safe depository for bodies lying there a number of days previous to interment - a plan lately adopted against resurrectionists taking up or carrying off the bodies in a fresh state (continued - ). (- contined) Fagan noted sixty-one surnames from gravestones The following names are included in his list but cannot now be found on pre-1840 stones: Anderson, Barklimore, McConaghy, McCrom, Morrow, Macky, Rogers, Stephenson, Stevenson, Watson and Wiley The earliest date of death to be read is 1628 (Clements), although Fagan has 1717 as the oldest legible stone As this was the old parish burial ground all religious denominations buried here A low area with few headstones in the south east was used for the unbaptised and suicides The burial register dates from 1852 All stones with dates of death up to 1900 have been copied .

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