Exploring Historic Waringstown:
A ‘self-guide’ walk to help you learn about and enjoy the rich social and architectural history of Waringstown.
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Clanconnel was the former name of the area before the Plantation of Ulster. Modern Waringstown covers two townlands – Magherana and Tullyherron. This walk takes you through four centuries and covers a distance of about 2 miles. So, enjoy the walk and find out about Waringstown’s rich history.
A good place to begin is ....
1. The Planters’ Tavern, Banbridge Road. The Planters’ Tavern began life as a gentleman’s residence built by the Brown family in the late 1700s when the population of Waringstown was about 500. The Browns were a linen family. Their family grave is in Holy Trinity Church in the village.
The Planters’ was taken over by the Lyness family and operated it as a grocery store/wine and spirit merchant. In the 1920’s the Joe McCabe and his family acquired the business. Joe was a great entrepreneur and also operated a pony and trap service into Lurgan, Banbridge and Donaghcloney which in the fullness of time became a bus service. The McCabes ran a small farm at the back of the Planters until well into the 1950s. When they sold the pub in 1971 one of the McCabe sons established a grocery store where the existing Post Office is located. Eventually the GPO took over the running of the Post Office and the grocery store closed.
2. Waringstown Presbyterian Church, Mill Hill, is the next stop. Until 1846 Waringstown was part of the Dromore Presbytery.
At this time the growing population of Presbyterians led to linen merchant John Henning presenting a request that the 80 families in the area be approved as a separate congregation. The service were held in the loft of the weaving factory adjacent to Murray House up the Banbridge Road. Michael McMurray was appointed as the Minister in 1848. He married into the Brown family who provided the site for The Desmesne in the village. In 1851the foundation for the new church in Mill Hill was laid and by 1853 the church was open for worship. The architect chosen to design the church was Ireland’s foremost architect, Sir Charles Lanyon.
3. Cambray House, Mill Hill, built in 1840 by linen owner John Henning, was reputedly designed by Sir Charles Lanyon and is situated at the top of Mill Hill on the left-hand side.
The four square, two-storey house is rendered with Italinate detailing and has a slate roof with tall Georgian-glazed windows and fine plaster work internally. John Henning died in 1874. His widow and son occupied the house until 1902. The house is currently maintained in its original detail by the Blackburn family
4. The Grange is situated at the bottom of Mill Hill on the opposite corner from The Planters’ Tavern and is reputed to be the oldest house in the village. The ground floor was built in 1659 with the first floor being added in 1691. However, there is a cruick truss in the building that is possibly part of an older dwelling. It is possible that the Warings lived in this house whilst Waring House was being built.
5. Waringstown Primary School, The Hollow. Established in 1933 by Mrs Margaret Waring, the school was built on Waring Estate land. With the expansion of the village, the school soon outgrew itself. A new school was opened in 1990 and whichwas further extended in 2008 with a nursery unit being built in 2013.
6. Holy Trinity Church was built by William Waring in 1651 as a small edifice for his family and tenants with the first minister being Roger Waring D.D. The tower was begun in 1745 but was not completed until 1750. Further additions were made from 1829-1855 including the north transept, the southern aisle and a new chancel. Features of the church include an oak pulpit, suspended brass lamp (originally oil burning), a memorial eastern window, inscriptions on the flagstones in the Nave, a Gallery originally used by the Choir and Jacobean carving undertaken by Dean Waring.
7. Waringstown House was built by William Waring in 1667 and is one of the earliest surviving unfortified Irish houses. It was built of land stone boulders set in mortal of puddle clay and the roof was originally covered with oak shingles resulting in the tall chimneys designed to throw sparks from wood fuel clear of the roof. The southern view of the house, seen from the garden, is Dutch in style with steeped gables and dormer lattice windows. The house is three stories high and is flanked by two-storey one-bay overlapping wings. The main frontage consists of three bays, harled and coloured with terracotta-coloured lime and tallow. The central doorway is flanked by fluted pilasters on moulded bases on which rest an entablature, surmounted by a triangular pediment. The interior has many Jacobean features.
8. Terrace View, LurganRoad opposite Waringstown House, was originally built for estate tenants. By 1710 William Waring had built cottages on both sides of The Hollow. Terrace View originally stretched down to the Clare Road. At this time there was a corn mill in The Hollow which was fed by an open mill race. In 1923, Mrs Waring rebuilt the old thatched cottages and the site of the old cottages became gardens for the new houses.
9. Murray House and the site of the old linen mill lie beyond Terrace View opposite Clare Road. It was here that the McMurray brothers established their cambric business. There was a functioning factory on the site until the 1980s.
10. Waringstown Cricket Club, Clare Road, was formed by Captain Thomas Waring and brothers John & George Henning in 1851. Matches were played on ground opposite Waringstown House where prior to the club being established the young men of the village had gathered at Easter to play ‘Common’ a cross between hurley and hockey. In 1858 the Waring family gave the club a permanent home in a field adjacent to the house – this became known as (and still is called) The Lawn. By 1866 the club had 30 members and their most important match was a local derby against a Lurgan team captained by Lord Lurgan. A new pavilion was built in 1999 to take the ground and the team into the next millennium and to celebrate their illustrious history.
We hope that you have enjoyed your walk and that it leaves you wanting to find out more.
Waringstown Community Development Association