Knockbreda Parish Church owes its existence to Anne, the Dowager Viscountess Midleton, who proposed its construction at her own expense, and to her son Arthur Hill, the local landlord, who promised an acre of ground for its site just to the east of his Belvoir demesne.
Lady Midleton’s offer to provide a new parish church had to overcome some influential opposition when it was proposed in 1733. The parish of Knockbreda had been created by the union of the separate parishes of Knock and Breda in the 1650s. With the old church of Breda having been in ruins since the early seventeenth century, the dilapidated church at Knock served the united parish, but not it alone, for Knockbreda was at the time also joined to the parish of Dundonald, and therein lay the difficulty.
Lady Margaret Ikerrin of Castle Hill fumed at the proposed location of the new church at the western side of the large parish, which she deemed inconvenient. Notwithstanding her humiliation at being out voted on the issue at a vestry meeting chaired by Bishop Hutchinson, Lady Ikerrin appealed to the primate. Archbishop Boulter, however, believing the site ‘more convenient for the greatest part of the parishioners’, recommended his approval to the government. Within four years the church was completed.
It was consecrated by Francis Hutchinson, the Bishop of Down and Connor, on Sunday 7 August 1737 (Carmody, 1929).