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Long before the Plantation era, several churches existed in the area, but even the ruins of these have long since disappeared. One of these, Carngreine Church, stood near Carngrany. The burial ground connected with this church was used up in the cholera epidemic of 1832.

Some traces, notably the grave stones, still remain of what was once a church at Ballymartin. These ruins can be seen from the Antrim-Belfast Road, and it is thought that the church was destroyed when the village of Ballymartin was burned to the ground in the wars of 1641.

In the townland of Kilgreel a church is also supposed to have existed. Near the churchyard at Mallusk, stood a religious house, a branch of Knights of St. John of Jerusalem and at Templepatrick in what is the present Castle Upton a similar order existed. These Knight Templars as they were called, although not in Holy Orders, were bound by strict monastic rules.

At Castle Upton, the Refectory of the former monastery, measuring 42 feet by 27 feet is now in the Castle yards.


The settlers who came to Templepatrick in the early 17th century were of Scottish origin and therefore Presbyterians. It was not very long until a Meeting House, now the Old Presbyterian Church, was built just inside the walls of the demesne, a Session formed and the congregation began to grow.

The first minister was Josias Welch, a fiery and eloquent preacher and a grandson of John Knox, the Scottish Reformer. He was minister in the village from 1626 until his death in 1634 and is buried in the old burial-ground in Castle Upton demesne.

After the troubled times at the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th, the congregation expanded rapidly until in early 1830"s the Minister of the Church, the Rev, Robert Campbell seceded from the Synod of Ulster with part of the congregation. The remainder moved into the new church, now the Parish Hall, build by Lord Templeton in 1831.

Here they stayed until 1844 when differences in opinion with Lord Templeton forced them to leave this church and move to the new and present Templepatrick Presbyterian Church.

Church of Ireland

The history of our two churches, St John's and St Patrick's can be found on their own pages.