16 Presbyterian Church

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Stop 16: the Presbyterian church

When you are on the Portlaw bridge, look across the road and you will see the Presbyterian Church. It was set up in the middle of the 19th Century. It is not used today and is starting to look a bit derelict. It reminds us that the Presbyterian community prospered in the town years ago. A lot of the supervisors in the tannery were Presbyterians who came from Northern Ireland.

This church seems to be away from today’s town centre, as does the Catholic one, St. Patrick’s Church, up the hill. (We decided not to make you walk that far so we put St. Patrick’s on our driving trail!). However, the old Portlaw was actually mostly on the other side of the river from where it is today. The landlord knocked a lot of the houses that were there and the Malcomsons developed the site of today’s town. So, the Presbyterian Church was actually very central to the community back in the 1840s.


The Manse house is attached to it. A famous international footballer called Dr. Staunton used to live there. This house was flooded many times when the river overflowed. Strangely, the church was never flooded. Some say that the church was used as a stable for horses and carriages around the turn of the 19th Century during Portlaw’s less prosperous years.

            Again, you can see the remains of some cast iron work on and around the church, which was possibly cast in the local foundry.

          Go to Step 17


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