Rector: The Revd Canon Henry Blair
 The Rectory, 47 Main Street, Kesh, Co. Fermanagh. BT93 1TF
 Tel: 028 686 31820

Curate Assistant: The Revd Philip Bryson
 3 Castle Manor, Kesh, Co. Fermanagh, BT93 1TF
 Tel: 028 686 33037

Parish Office
 The Fountain Centre, Drumwhinney, Kesh, Co. Fermanagh. BT93 1SD
 Tel: 028 686 32695


St Mary's, Magheraculmoney
St Mary's, Magheraculmoney

Ardess Hall
Ardess Parish Hall


Service Times

9.30am Morning Prayer in St. Mary's Parish Church, Ardess (each Sunday)

11.00am Sunday School in Ardess Parish Centre (each Sunday)

11.00am Morning Service in St. Mary's Parish Church, Ardess (each Sunday)

3.00pm Evening Prayer in Mullaghfarne Church Hall (1st and 3rd Sundays)

Magheraculmoney Parish Church - A Brief History

St. Mary's Church

Dominating the drumlin landscape of the quiet rural townland community of Ardess is the historic St. Mary's Church of Magheraculmoney Parish. Records state that the Church (also previously known as Templemaghery Church) was originally built during the fourteenth century and was burnt in 1484. Part of today's present stone built structure can be dated as far back as fifty years before the Reformation. In 1622 the church is described as "lately roofed but not glazed". It had no house but did have four tates of land in the possession of the rector with a fifth destined for Mr. Blennerhassett, the local patron. Its value in 1634 is given at £100.

Having since undergone extensive alterations and enlargements during the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Ardess Church with its three stage tower now stands proudly as a distinctive landmark in Ardess. Directly beneath the Church at Ardess also lies the family vault of the Archdales once one of Fermanagh's premier families since the plantation.

Famine Pit

Running right across and dividing the pre-plantation cemetery in two is a huge fourteen foot wide trench grave. Described locally as the Famine Pit the huge long narrow sunken grave of 120 feet had remained in an overgrown, unkempt state serving as a harsh visual reminder of the Great Famine period 1845 - 1850. In 1997 the newly formed Ardess Community Association's immediate objective was to mark the 150th anniversary of 1847 (known as Black 47) by firstly restoring the unmarked famine pit and subsequently creating a sensitive memorial commemorating the many forgotten famine victims from North West Fermanagh.

Drawing on the experiences of fitting memorials that were being erected by community history groups in Enniskillen, Lisnaskea, Belcoo and Irvinestown, the Association commissioned well known model make and artist Gordon Johnston from Enniskillen to gain an understanding of the circumstances surrounding the creation and location of the Famine Pit. The resulting design comprises of four integral parts that reflect both the historical and spiritual atmosphere of Ardess and serves as a poignant reminder of the significant site.

The Famine Pit serviced the human tragedy that unfolded in the Lowtherstown (Irvinestown) Workhouse and it is estimated that the bodies of some two hundred victims of the famine period from throughout the Irvinestown Poor Law Union area were buried anonymously. Over time the trench emerged, after having been filled as a mound, when the large number of bodies it contained, decomposed. In death, as perhaps in life, the famine victims had nothing but the transient space their bodies occupied in an unmarked sunken trench grave. Using traditional stonemasonry methods and local grey limestone the tumbledown sides of the Famine Pit have been strengthened and preserved with the stonewalling tastefully blending in with the vaulted tomb marking the end of the Famine Pit.


The distinctive graveyard surrounding ST. Mary's Church at Ardess is immediately recognisable as an ancient pre-plantation graveyard and in a survey it is estimated that there is a total of 433 marked grave headstones, flat slabs and crosses. The oldest visible date is 1679 and the most recent is 1984. From 1608 until 1903 the graveyard served both Protestant and Catholic families in the district. All these graves face east with the exception of priests' who, according to local folklore, face west reportedly overlooking their flock.

Dates for your Diary:

August 2018

Saturday 18th August – Ardess Parish Garden Fete from 11.00am to 4.00pm in the rectory lawn at 47 Main Street, Kesh. We will have something for all the family (face-painting, crafts for sale, cake sale, afternoon tea and even a challenge for all the men, a real digger for the big boys to play on and compete with each other!).

Friday 31st August – Restored from Failure: at 8.00pm in Ardess Parish Centre. How do we overcome failure in our lives? Michael Lonergan will be coming to speak to us on this topic.

September 2018

Friday 14th - Saturday 15th September 2018 – Re-dedication of Ardess Parish Church Weekend with Service of Thanksgiving and Re-dedication of the church on Friday, 14th September at 7.30pm following the ex-tensive repairs externally and internally over the last two years.

Saturday 15th September – Fun for the Family(Teddy Bear Picnic and Teddy Zip line) at Ardess Parish Church from 12.00 noon to 4.00pm. An afternoon for fun for the family at the church with a Teddy bear picnic and a zip line to give your teddy a trip from the top of the church down into the graveyard.

Saturday 15th September – Visits to Kiltierney Abbey, Deerpark, Kesh during the afternoon of 15th September in the middle of the Deer park, for those who would like to visit it (kindly granted by Mr Noel Graham). There will be guided tours of the Abbey remains and the graveyard. There will also be a barbecue on site for everyone.

October 2018

Saturday 20th October – Magheraculmoney Parish Auction - As the summer draws to an end and you are thinking of tidying up around the house inside and out do think about what you can give to the auction. We are also looking for any pledges you may be able to make that can be auctioned off. The auction will start at 12 noon.

November 2018

Friday 9th - Sunday 11th November 2018 – WW1 Remembrance Weekend when North Fermanagh Remembers will hold a weekend of events to include exhibition, talks, music and a closing act of worship, to remember the end of the Great War (1914 – 1918). The weekend will take place in Ardess Parish Church and Parish Centre and will gather all within the catchment area of North Fermanagh to remember those who fell in the Great War from the locality. Please plan to come along to this weekend. More details will follow.