Built in 1778, this Category 3 building is a T-plan church with central tall 3-stage square tower on long south wall. Repaired and renovated 1845 and1864-5.
The church is no longer in use and is now a private dwelling. This accounts for the photos being of one side of the church only as the other side is the main private house and I didn’t want to intrude. Unfortunately, the churchyard is very overgrown and sad looking, which is a pity, especially when the village war memorial is in the grounds (didn’t help the hay fever either!). Sad as the churchyard looks at the moment, I did find some interesting history concerning the site.
Holywood was the site of a Premonstratensian abbey which was established in 1225 and dissolved in 1609. The abbey was dismantled and used to build the parish church in 1778. No remains are now visible.
The site of Holywood Abbey was previously called Dercongal, ‘Congal’s oak-copse’. The name Holywood refers to this oak-copse. The saint commemorated in this name may be Convallus, disciple of Saint Mungo. However, there are a number of other saints to whom the dedication could apply. The surrounding landscape has several prehistoric monuments, including two cursuses and the Twelve Apostles stone circle, which suggests a continuity of sacred or administrative tradition in the area.
Joannes de Sacro Bosco, a monk who lived here in 1221, became a member of the University of Paris and was one of the greatest mathematicians of the Middle Ages.
What a fascinating history! I’ve never seen a church built quite like that.