A Journey Into Our Church Heritage

Churches steeped in history and heritage

Welcome to the Larne Historic Church Trail.  This easy-to-follow trail will guide you around some of the oldest churches and graveyards in County Antrim.  A number of these sites, such as Templecorran, date back to the Early Christian period in Ireland.  Glynn Old Church and Churchyard is said to have links with St Patrick himself!  Others have their roots in the medieval period.  But all of them have played a vital role in shaping the Christian heritage of this region….and beyond.

A number of the sites on this trail still serve as places of worship – St Patrick’s in Glenarm for example, and St John’s in Islandmagee, one of the oldest places of worship in Ireland still in regular use.  Others are now derelict – their churches in ruins.  But each site tells a story, built into the stone work of its walls, and inscribed on the memorials in the churchyard.

Sense of place

Their locations, too, reveal a story.  Without fail, these ancient churchyards occupy places of great beauty and serenity.  This suggests that the people who built them not only had an innate respect for nature, but also an abiding sense of place.

Our web site will give you a flavour of Larne’s ancient Christian heritage.  It will let you glimpse what you can discover within only a short distance of our town.  But the only true way to experience all that these churches and graveyards can reveal, is to visit and explore them at your leisure.

Plan your route

You may decide to stop off and do some exploration at all the points, in which case the tour may take most of a day – just depending on how long you spend at each location.  Or you might decide to plan your own route around the sites that interest you most, by following all the points highlighted on the tour map.

You’ll see some beautiful places, and you’ll have an opportunity to explore an aspect of our history that’s maybe less well known.  And like all the best things in life, some of our destinations require a little time and effort to reach.  So be prepared for the weather – and wear a good pair of comfortable shoes!