Monday, 30 July 2012

St. Canice, Balteagh

Balteagh Parish is situated just to the south of Limavady. The name means "the town, or hut of the two ravens". The Patron Saint was Canice. In the 1622 survey it was reported that the church was in ruins.   
These ruins can still be seen opposite the present church. By 1768, the church was in good repair.

The church which exists today was built in 1815. It is a typical hall and tower church, which is entered through a porch in the base of the tower.

The main dower is in memory of Hadessa Hylands who died in 1983. Inside, the baptistery is in the north-west corner of the nave. The font has a beautiful covering which has a gold leaf bird on top. The baptistery and the font bowl commemorate Jill, infant daughter of Sir Patrick and Elizabeth Macrory, who died in 1947 aged two months. The pulpit on the right of the chancel has three decorated panels, the centre one of which illustrates The God Shepherd. It dates from 1896, when renovations to the church were made during the incumbency of the Rev. (later Dean) R.G.S.King. 

These renovations included the tiling of the church and the fine oak panelling in the sanctuary. The Holy Table and the reredos are finely carved. The credence table is in memory of Annie and Henry Rodgers, and there are fine wrought iron communion rails with gilded patterns. The wooden eagle lectern reflects the pulpit. The prayer desk on the right, adjacent to the pulpit, is in memory of Dean King, Rector of Balteagh, 1896-1899. The organ, which is set in a chamber to the left of the chancel was installed in 1913. It was built by the firm of Evans and Barr of Belfast to a design of the Rev. Wilfred Dixon, Rector 1910-1942. It has one manual and pedals. The lighting in the church was installed to commemorate Sir M. Macrory in 1951. The vestry room is behind the sanctuary to the right.

There are four windows in the south wall, which have diamond-paned, clear glass and Y tracery. The fourth window has a coloured inset. The two windows in the north wall were installed in 1896, and have square-paned clear glass. There is a little window in the organ chamber with coloured glass.

A monument on the west wall commemorates the Rev. William Horatio Stack, Rector of Balteagh from 1852 until his death in 1863. On the north wall, the Rev. Samuel J. Heaslett, Rector, 1946-1977, is commemorated, and on the south chancel wall, there is a memorial to John Buchanan, organist of Balteagh who died in 1924.


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  2. GORGEOUS building! Thank you so much for sharing. I found your site while researching a note left by my great-great grandfather George Anderson that I believe references this area, if not (?) this exact church. It reads: " The Rev. John Rowen of Balteagh sever at the siege of Derry (A.D. 1688) had two daughters one named Dorothea {she was a} cousin of Archibishop King and engaged to marry him, but she ran away with the Archbishop's agent, Richard Anderson, a scotsman." It is signed and dated August 7, 1861. Can you tell me anything about these people or refer me to any resources? I'm very curious.