General information

Slans Graveyard
Slans Graveyard - Courtesy of ORNI
Slans Graveyard - Courtesy of ORNI

The graveyard is situated within a former rath, or ringfort, an enclosure of the first millennium A.D, and is surrounded by a white wall. Within it are the ruins of a medieval church which is believed to be the Church of Ardmacossce or Ardmacaisse, mentioned in the Taxation of Pope Nicholas, 1306 , along with an unusual cross-carved boulder. Aerial photography has indicated that the graveyard is in fact the nucleus of a much larger enclosure, which survives below ground in the surrounding fields.

At a time, it was the main graveyard for the Cloughey/Kirkistown area, and was also the burial place for many poor sailors who lost their lives on the notorious Cloughey rocks. The graveyard has an outstanding 360 degree view of the surrounding countryside and outside the wall there is a souterrain, approx. 50 metres in length which was quite accessible until recent years. The site is Scheduled for protection in recognition of its historic importance. 'Most of the oldest gravestones are of slate and the earliest readable date of death is 1677.

To access the graveyard, the 180m trail begins from the Ardminnan Road. Use the stone style and follow the fenced off corridor in the field to Slans Graveyard where you can explore the historic site and learn of its fascinating history from the interpretation panel.

Opening times

Accessible all year round.


  • Free (parking charges may apply)

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  • Free (parking charges may apply)
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Contact Information

Attraction / Heritage/History

Slans Graveyard

Ardminnan Road
County Down
BT22 1QJ
Phone number
T: (028) 9182 6846
Web Address

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