Donegal Landscape Photography Ballyshannon as seen from St. Anne’s Church

 Donegal Landscape Photography

Donegal Landscape Photography. On Monday last I had the privilege to be allowed access to the clock tower of St. Annes Church to take some photographs of Ballyshannon. I just love Donegal Landscape Photography. I was sitting at home when Phonsie Travers rang me to say Ivan Diver was working in the Church and was willing to take me up to the roof- I dropped all and grabbed my gear and melted the tar from Kinlough to Ballyshannon. St Anne’s Church is situated on the high hill of Mullaghnashee and overlooks the town of Ballyshannon from every angle. There is no precise date for the first church on the site but it was erected in the early 17th Century. By 1735 the church had fallen into bad repair and it was decided to build a new church. In 1839 a huge storm hit Ireland and St. Anne’s was badly damaged, The Ballyshannon Herald reported at the time that it felt the church could not be repaired and sure enough the church of 1735 had to be replaced by a new church in 1841 at a cost of £3,405. A peal of six Warner bells was presented by Mr. H. Stubbs and installed in 1884, he later increased the peal of bells to eight in 1900. The clock was a gift from Henry Stubbs of Danby and of Alfred Stubbs of Portnason and it was set going on the 2nd October 1903. If you enjoy this post on Donegal Landscape Photography please leave a comment below  and if you would like to see more of my landscape work please visit the landscape store section of this website where you can also have the option of purchasing some of my landscapes. You can also visit and like my Photography Facebook page here.

Donegal Landscape Photography


The bell mechanism in St Anne's Church Ballyshannon


Below is Ivan Diver who maintains the Electrics in the Church and who showed me the workings of the Bells

Ivan Diver from Ballyshannon with the bell mechanism of St. Annes Church Ballyshannon

Ivan Diver from Ballyshannon with the bell mechanism of St. Annes Church Ballyshannon

Ivan with the ropes used to ring the bells by handIvan Diver with the ropes used to ring the bells by hand in St. Anne's Church Ballyshannon

This next photo is of the original instructions that came with the bells in 1903- its from Potts & Co. and is “Instructions for attending to a Tower Clock”

The original instructions for attending to a clock tower from 1903

A view from the window of the clock tower

a view of Ballyshannon from the window of St Anne's church

One of the large bells in St Anne’s which reads “Ring in the Love of Truth and Right” “This Peal of eight bells was presented to St Anne’s Church Ballyshannon Parish of Kilbarron by Henry Stubbs Esq. D.L. of Danby A.D. 1901

one of the bells in St. Anne's Church Ballyshannon

A view of one of the clock faces from inside the clock towera view of the clock face of St. Anne's church Ballyshannon from inside the clock tower

The next few photos are all the various views from the top of St. Anne’s Church, we are truly blessed to be from such a scenic town, the view of Inis Saimer and the channel is one i would never tire of looking at, even though the rain came down hard and i got caught in a few hailstone  showers while out on the roof I’m so thankful for the opportunity to take these photos, cheers Phonsie and Ivan.Donegal Landscape Photography

Ballyshannon as seen from the top of St. Anne's church

the port and the rock Ballyshannon

Landscape photo of Ballyshannon from the clock tower of St. Anne's church

If you enjoyed this post on Donegal Landscape Photography please leave a comment below and you can share this post to facebook or pinterest or stumble upon here also.


  1. Craig Dougherty

    I absolutely love these photographs of Ballyshannon. I am researching my Doherty/Rourke family that came from Ballyshannon in 1870. I have started an ancestry.com Ballyshannon tree to piece together all those that ever lived there. I just love seeing the beautiful town of my roots. Cheers, Craig Dougherty Lowell, MA, USA

    • Fergal McGrath

      Thanks for the kind words Craig- it is a beautiful town and rich in history, good luck with the family tree research

  2. Ken Laird

    Brings back many memories of tightening the ropes, and preparing to play the bells for Christmas morning and other joyful times. Also, of wandering around among the many graves , and wondering about the many folk who finished up on this hill. My Dad (beginning of the 20th century, ‘pumped’ the pipe organ here, by hand for the organist.. A Miss L. Killan. One of the strange anomalous features of St Anne’s is the fact that the wonderful marble pulpit is not on the north side , but rather on the south side of the sanctuary. The tower, older than the ‘new’ part which dates from the late 1840’s, is still fun to climb, especially going through the bells to reach the tower roof.
    Keep up the wonderful work…… Ken Laird, Ontario, Canada

    • Fergal McGrath

      Hi Ken, glad you enjoyed the photos and post. The tower really is fun to climb and trying to get my camera bag and tripod in through the bells and along the beams in the dark to get up to the tower roof was a challenge but one i really enjoyed. The view of Ballyshannon from the top was worth any amount of effort, I think I stood soaking in the view for an age before I even reached into the bag for the camera!

  3. Bonnie Dinsmore Richardson

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful photographs! Although I wasn’t able to have access to the clock tower, I was lucky enough to have Graham Laird give us a tour of the grounds. My great grandmother, along with her siblings, attended St. Anne’s as children before they came to the US. What a breathtaking view, hard to imagine leaving such a beautiful place. And I had no idea Ken and his father worked the tower-wonderful! Thank you again for sharing.

    Bonnie Richardson,
    Boston, MA

  4. Fiona Beet

    What amazing photos in such a beautiful part of the country. I particularly like the ones from St Anne’s clock tower – really interesting light and cloud formations

  5. Robin Laird (Rev),

    As another Ballyshannon lad, born and bred, I appreciate these views of the Church I, and all the family attended. We visited in May this year and were so pleased to see the building in good order. Full marks Ivan for all your voluntary work. As a cousin I am so proud of all your efforts. Robin.

  6. Robin Laird

    So very sad to learn of Ivan Diver’s sudden death. He will be sadly missed in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, and along the West of Ireland. Ivan was a fount of information and knowledge of Irish history and genealogical matters. God bless you Ivan, RIP. Cousin Robin.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Pin It on Pinterest