Ardess Heritage Weekend

On 9th and 10th September 2017, it was a busy weekend for St Mary’s Parish Church as it participated in two days of tours, launched an innovative phone app and held a Commemoration Service to honour those buried in the adjacent Famine Pit. 


The Church has a remarkable history going back to the fourteenth century and recently a Heritage Lottery grant has helped essential repairs to be carried out to the fabric of the church. This has led to a meaningful community outreach that has involved the wider community including the chapel in Ederney.  The Famine Graveyard holds bodies from all communities and following a refurbishment at the time of the Millennium is a popular place for people to visit. 


Mindful of the growing number of visitors, a new tourism training course was established to train up ten tour guides to World Host standards who were on hand over the European Heritage Open Days to show visitors around. 


Over the weekend, a new phone app was launched that provides an historical overview of the Church and the graveyard and includes a new musical composition putting Jim Ledwith’s poem ‘Ardess Sorrows’ to a haunting Irish melody.  The app is on the Ardess phone box and at the famine pit site. 


One of the highlights of the busy weekend was the Service of Commemoration held on Sunday evening.  With music provided by Fermanagh Choral Society and a selection of readings and reflections the evening brought a busy weekend to a close. 


If any group wishes to book a tour of the Church please contact the Parish Office to arrange Tel 028 6863 2695 or email