(Irish Grid Reference: H956362)

Situated approximately two miles from Markethill, Cladymore Presbyterian Church was formed by members of Markethill Presbyterian resulting from a desire to have a more convenient place in which to worship. The distance may seem small in the age of motor cars but Cladymore was formed at a time when famine and fever epidemics made travelling, even short distances, hazardous to a person's health.

The Armagh Presbytery approved the application for a new church on July 7th 1835 and building work commenced later that year. The first minister was a Mr.Robert Shields, ordained on October 4th 1836. Despite its close proximity to the community the church was unable to prevent fever claiming the lives of a number of its congregation and indeed Rev.Shields himself succumbed and died in 1847. As a precaution against infection his private papers and the church records were destroyed.

The Mr.Andrew Marshall filled the ministerial vacancy in 1848. He remained at the church until 1856 when he took up an appointment with the colonial mission in New Brunswick. Mr.Robert Shannon succeeded him and was described as having, "A great interest in temperance and education in Co.Armagh". It seems he championed the idea of having a school beside the church. When a Headmaster was to be appointed thirty-four candidates forwarded their testimonials, a Mr.Anderson was appointed. During the 1920's the school was taken over by the Education Board but was returned to the church upon its closure in 1989 due to government funding restrictions. It was subsequently re-opened as a church hall.

In 1859 a visitation by the Armagh Presbytery was satisfied with the church and of the pastoral care. However, it requested the elders take more of an interest in the Sunday school and the Sabbath collection be devoted to caring for the poor. Additional elders were subsequently appointed.

In 1902 the process of re-mapping the graveyard was begun. All graves had to be reclaimed or forfeited to the church. Strict regulations about the size and depth of the graves were imposed to prevent the graveyard becoming overcrowded. A number of families could not afford to pay to reclaim the graves and so began a practice of burying dead relatives under cover of darkness. The graveyard gate being locked countered this practice.

Rev.Shannon continued serving the church until his death in 1907. He was replaced by the Rev.Charles Henry Hunter, previously a minister in South Africa. Installed in 1907 he resigned five years later having received a call to the ministry at Kircubbin.

His successor Rev.Andrew Irvine was appointed in 1913 and became Moderator of the Synod in 1921. He retired in 1946; two of his sons followed him into the ministry. Mr.Robert McIlveen was commissioned to the church in 1946 and presided over the construction of a new church hall. He resigned in 1954 for the charge of First Stewartstown, Co.Tyrone. The Rev.Allen McBride followed him into the charge of Redrock and continued to minister there until his resignation in 1983. After a vacancy of four years Rev.Rodney Thompson was appointed and remains the current incumbent.

1987 - Rev. Rodney Thompson
2005 - Rev. Donald Byers

Photo of the church. Photo of Cladymore Presbyterian Church.

Photo of Cladymore Presbyterian Church. Photo of Cladymore Presbyterian Church.

Photo of Cladymore Presbyterian Church. Photo of Cladymore Presbyterian Church.

Photo of Cladymore Presbyterian Church.