About this church
Founded in 1755, Kilwarlin Moravian Church (KMC) is located in a rural district beside the historic village of Hillsborough, County Down, Northern Ireland. Revived in 1835 and re-energised periodically over the last century, the church is blessed with a vibrant membership, worshipping weekly in an elegant sanctuary.
The church sits within grounds boasting a unique garden, symbolising the 480BC Battle or Thermopylae, which was fought between the Persians and the Greeks. The battle has been the subject of books and films, for example the CinemaScope film 'The 300 Spartans'.
Basil Patras Zula arrived at Kilwarlin as minister in 1834. He was a Greek Noble and a soldier in the independence struggle against the Ottomans. Part of his legacy is a garden with a series of humps and a mounds in the landscape. However it is an attempt to reproduce the terrain of the battleground of Thermopylae, scene of the historic war fought in 480 BC between the Spartans and the Persians.
The reason for the garden is not entirely clear and a variety of views have been advanced to explain it. What in uncontested is the fact that it is a unique and most extraordinary garden in Ireland.