Holy Trinity Church
This church was built in the Gothic-Revival style and consecrated on 19 July 1843. Over the next 50 years, it underwent considerable enlargement as Portrush expanded. By 1858, the congregation had increased with the rapid growth of the town and the church underwent considerable enlargement. During the 1880s, the church was further enhanced with a clock in the church tower, followed by a chancel and a new organ. At that time, Holy Trinity was one of the largest churches in Ulster and could seat 1,000 worshippers on a busy Sunday during the summer season.
The adjacent Parochial Hall is believed to have been originally built at the same time as the church as a dwelling for the church sexton. Later, it became a school for girls and, during the 1930s, it was a venue for a “working men’s club” for members of the congregation. The boys’ school was on the adjacent site now occupied by the red brick former bank building.
This church replaced an earlier one at Ballywillan about a mile south of the town. Ruins of the old church here date back to the 12th Century. It has no roof now but the walls are intact. It’s an important site from an archaeological point of view. It is not known who built this church, nor is there a definite date of its building but this place would certainly have been the main Parish church for Ballywillan. In the early 16th Century following the Reformation this church continued to be the parish church until the opening of the new church in town.
HOLY TRINITY CHURCH SCHOOLS
In 1853 Holy Trinity Church established both a Girls’ School and a Boys’ School close to the Church. The girls’ school is now the Parish (or Parochial) Rooms to the front of the Church, the boys’, closed in 1896, was on the site of the Belfast Banking Company building on the other side of Church Pass.
A Street Directory of 1877 records six schools in Portrush:
- National School (Mr McLaughlin, teacher)
- National School (Mr Porter, teacher & Miss Clarke, assistant)
- National School (Mr Moonan, teacher)
- Female National School (Miss Hughes, teacher)
- Infant National School (Miss Bradley, teacher)
- Methodist School (Mr Thompson, Teacher)