History

Photo Credit: Gary McMurray
Photo Credit: Gary McMurray

St Patrick’s Church, Kildress was built in 1818.

The parish name, Kildress, comes from the Irish Cill Dreasa, which means “church of the brambles”.

A few miles outside the large town of Cookstown, the idyllic rural scenery offers a peaceful break from the hustle and bustle of our large urban neighbour. Cookstown was founded around 1620, and like it the Kildress townland is steeped in ecclesiastical history – having been the property of the Archbishop of Armagh’s estate since the Plantation of Ulster.

Until the mid 20th century, the area was one of the main centres of the linen industry. In fact, a few hundred yards away from the church, the National Trust’s Welbrook Beetling Mill still offers a first-hand experience of creating the finest handmade linen.