St Mark's History
Saint Mark's Church, Parish of Dundela, Diocese of Down and Dromore, is on the Holywood Road, East Belfast. The building is situated on 'Bunker Hill', an elevated position, which allows this beacon of Witness, to be seen from many miles around. The site was acquired and vested in a group of trustees chaired by William Ewartt, a wealthy linen magnate, for the purpose of building a parish church. The foundation stone was laid on 13th October 1873. At this time the location would have been in the countryside at the edge of the City of Belfast.
In contrast to other churches of the period, the trustees didn't choose a local architect, but instead decided on the celebrated English architect William Butterfield. His work includes All Saints Margaret Street (the tallest church spire in London), and Keble College Oxford. Saint Mark's Dundela is the only Parish church in Ireland to be designed by Butterfield. The church building was consecrated on 22nd August 1878, however only the nave and the tower were complete at that time. The work was completed to Butterfield's design and consecrated on 4th July 1891.
The church exhibits many characteristics of Butterfield's work including: the high ceilings, arches, pillars, mosaic tiling and contrasting coloured stonework.
These photographs were taken on European Heritage Day August 2009.
A leaflet about St Marks and European Heritage Day can be downloaded here.
(In PDF format, if you find you cannot open the PDF, then you will need to download and install a PDF reader, here's a free version.)