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Visiting Bangor, Northern Ireland: A Skyline Dominated by the Gothic Church of St. Comgall, Dating From 1891-1899

Updated on April 4, 2019
Flag used in the Police Service of Northern Ireland's logo
Flag used in the Police Service of Northern Ireland's logo | Source
Parish Church of St Comgall, Bangor. This is the view from Wilson's Point on the North Down Coastal Path.
Parish Church of St Comgall, Bangor. This is the view from Wilson's Point on the North Down Coastal Path. | Source

A massive statement in stonework

The Parish Church of St. Comgall (1), with its pointed spire, profusion of pointed arching and solid, flying buttresses, strongly exemplifies Victorian Gothic style at its Downtown Bangor, County Down location, in Northern Ireland.

The massive tower causes the building to dominate Bangor's skyline, as can be seen in the photo I have supplied, above. Indeed, travellers to Bangor who arrive by rail or bus at the Downtown station are immediately confronted by the massive lines of St. Comgall's.

The sandstone facing of the tower especially causes the sense of skyline domination to be accentuated especially during evening sunlight. A combination of stone types was used in the structure.

Thorough refurbishment of the building followed a fire in 2012.

Inside the tower are bells which first rang in 1899; bell-ringing is a well established practice at St. Comgall's.

Work on the building as a whole lasted from 1891 until 1899. The building's architect was W. H. Lynn (1829-1915) (2).

St. Comgall's is located at 1 Castle Street, Bangor.

April 5, 2019


(1) See also:

(2) Other buildings by Architect Lynn include Chester Town Hall and various ecclesiastical structures; W. H. Lynn articled under Sir Charles Lanyon (1813-1889), responsible for many noteworthy buildings in Belfast, and collaborated with Sir Charles's firm on a number of projects, before starting his own architectural practice.

Some sourcing: Wikipedia.

Parish Church of St Comgall Built 1891-99.
Parish Church of St Comgall Built 1891-99. | Source

Also worth seeing

In Bangor itself, visitor attractions include: Bangor Marina. which is the largest in Northern Ireland; Bangor Abbey has a tower dating from the 14th century; Bangor Castle, at which North Down Borough Council is based, has gardens open to the public; the Old Custom House and McKee Clock are both prominent, towered structures.

Mount Stewart (distance: 9.2 miles / 14.9 kilometres), the country seat of the Marquesses of Londonderry, now belonging to the National Trust.

Belfast (distance: 13.2 miles / 21.2 kilometres); many visitors to Belfast visit Donegall Square, where the domed City Hall, a major landmark, is situated. Queen's University has a noted 1849 Gothic Revival frontage. Belfast Castle is a 19th century structure in Scottish Baronial style. The Parliament Buildings, sometimes referred to as Stormont, are the seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive.


How to get there: United Airlines flies from New York Newark to London Heathrow, from where a variety of onward flight options are available to Belfast International Airport, at Aldergrove, where car rental is also available. Please note that some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Outline map of County Down, Northern Ireland
Outline map of County Down, Northern Ireland | Source

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