“Princess” Dorothea Ross
The ruins of the Old Ballywillan Parish Church are believed to date back to the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century. The best-known headstone there belongs to the “Princess of Portrush” – Dorothea Ross.
It is said that Dorothea was the illegitimate daughter of James II, conceived with a farmer’s daughter from Ballymoney during James’ campaign in Ireland to take back his kingdom in 1689 from King William III and Queen Mary II.
Dorothea married a wealthy merchant from Coleraine called Ross, and died quite young, during her twenties, possibly in childbirth.
Her headstone is said to have been erected by Queen Anne, her half sister. On the headstone is the Stuart Coat of Arms and a Fleur de Lys. Today the inscription has been worn away however, a newspaper report from 1881 identifies her name and date of death.