Quarry Hill Church
An award-winning conversion that blends cherished heritage and design-led luxury, for a captivating stay in a timeless Irish village.
The proud winner of ‘Best Rescue of an Historic Building' in the prestigious Heritage Angel Awards 2019, Quarry Hill Church is far from being a standard holiday conversion.
Affectionately known as the "old church" by friendly locals, the 19th century building is a much-loved landmark that graces the entrance to Strangford Village, on a tree-strewn hill by the shimmering lough.
Once ringing with the sounds of parishioners and prayer, over time the building fell into sad decline. Villagers Marty and Melanie couldn't bear to watch; so much so that they set their sights on buying and restoring the church themselves.
Along with determined support from the community, Marty and Melanie called on the services of skilled tradespeople from the parish (as well as Melanie's architecture and interior design experience!) to help them realise their dreams. The result is a truly stunning retreat, that sleeps up to 10 guests in celestial, child-friendly comfort.
You'll enter in style, as you pass through the original wrought iron gate and through to the beautiful main entrance, set in a blue classical façade. Simply head through the double doors to discover the charms of the sanctuary; a huge, light-filled, open plan space with separate areas for cooking, dining, and lounging by the warming stove.
This may be an historic space, but you'll find plenty of modern conveniences, including a 50" internet-enabled TV, a Bluetooth sound system, and plenty of high-end kitchen appliances.
There are also plenty of creative nods to the church's former working life, such as a staircase that has been cleverly woven into the original pulpit, the original church organ painstakingly restored by Melanie's father, and glass floors that allow you to experience the amazing full-height Georgian windows to maximum effect.
Relax in the cosy gallery, surrounded by glass balustrades that showcase soothing views to Castleward Bay, or stake claim on your favourite of the two king and three superking or twin bedrooms (whichever you prefer), each equipped with high quality mattresses and bedding... oh, and its own TV!
Four of the bedrooms are en-suite, while the fifth boasts access to the huge family bathroom, with an indulgent freestanding bath and walk-in shower.
Meanwhile, the stone-wall-enclosed, lawned garden is perfect for sunset barbecues with your loved ones, as you cradle cool drinks and listen to the distant sounds of the bay.
It's the ideal way to end another perfect day of exploring the friendly, bustling village, or perhaps paying a visit to the National Trust site of Castle Ward (filming location for Winterfell in HBO's Game of Thrones), with its lime trees and mesmerising walking trails.
However you choose to spend your time here, it's sure to include a wealth of warm and wonderful memories to treasure.
Things to note
Minimum 2-night stay (3 nights at peak season.) Check in from 3pm, check out by 11am. Pets may be allowed by individual arrangement. Stairgates, travel cots, and highchairs are available on request.
Tried and tested
Region: Strangford, County Down
Cost (from): £475 per night
Minimum stay: 2nts (3 in peak season)
Property ref: 1685
FacilitiesHistoric converted church, sleeps 10 guests. Entrance through original wrought iron gate and steps through church grounds into vestibule, double doors to open-plan sanctuary with double-height ceilings and full-height windows. Kitchen with contemporary appliances, coffee machine, wine cooler, welcome pack with essential provisions and local produce. Large dining table with 12 chairs. Lounge area with fuel stove, seating, 50" internet enabled TV and DVD player, Bluetooth sound system, superfast broadband, toy cupboard. 3 bedrooms (kingsize or superking/twin), two en-suite, one with access to the family bathroom with freestanding bath and walk-in shower. Stairs to mezzanine, gallery with seating and glass balustrades, 2 en-suite king or superking/twin bedrooms. All bedding and towels provided, each bedroom features an internet-enabled TV, desk, storage. Outside: separate laundry/drying room with secure storage for bicycles/sports equipment, enclosed garden with seating and barbecue.
Walking, cycling, golf, village shops, pubs, restaurants, beaches, the famous Strangford ferry, Portaferry Aquarium, National Trust properties and gardens, historic sites, wildlife spotting, family activities
At a glance
- An award-winning, awe-inspiring conversion of a 19th century church, beautifully positioned on a hill at the entrance to Strangford Village, County Down.
- The design-led retreat has been created with child-friendliness in mind, and sleeps up to 10 guests in 5 bedrooms (2 kingsize, 3 superking or twin.)
- There are plenty of modern conveniences to complement the stunning heritage features, including internet-enabled TVs in the sanctuary and in each bedroom, and high-end kitchen appliances.
- Relax in the scenic gallery, or gather for a sunset barbecue in the enclosed, lawned garden.
- The village is a short walk away, with an array of shops and restaurants. The National Trust site of Castle Ward is also close by.