The Church is a rectangular building in dressed stone, standing impressively
on a hill overlooking the Dromara to Rathfriland Road. The freestone is said
to have been quarried beside the Lagan River, in the townland of Dree,
just a few hundred yards upstream from the church site.
The facade of the church is surmounted by granite pinnacles.
An ornamental granite plinth rises to a granite Cross in the centre, on which
is cut the date 1835 in Roman numerals. The church was designed by
Thomas Duff, Newry, a well-known architect of that time who also designed Newry Cathedral. The erection of the church began in 1825. It was completed and dedicated by Most Rev. Dr. Blake in 1835.
A former small chapel was located to the rear of the Parochial House. The church was re-roofed and redecorated by Rev. D. Mallon P.P. in 1887. However, it should be noted that the church was then known as the `Church of the Sacred Heart' and an old survey map give the church this name. This name and the date, A.D.1886, are engraved on the church bell and the centre window has a picture of the Sacred Heart. It is not certain when or why the church name was changed to its present name of `St. Michael', though it has been suggested that all churches built on hills were rededicated to St. Michael the Archangel.
The outstanding points of interest are the four mural panels in the sanctuary, erected in 1911. These seem to have been the personal gift of the P.P. at that time. The four panels, which are on coloured opal glass which has been painted and fixed, portray the Archangels Michael and Raphael and a Nazareth Scene.
The fourth panel, which is a mosaic of opal glass with a gilt background, is a very beautiful replica of Leonardo Da Vinci's `Last Supper.' The backing of this latter panel deteriorated and the picture had to be remounted and re-stored in 1983 at a cost of almost £3000. The restoration was the gift of a local family and this is recorded on a plaque under the mural.
From a History of Dromore Past & Present by Dean Anthony Davies