St. Mark's Parish Church in Newtownards, U.K., sits on a site near one of the earliest Christian settlements in Ireland-and therefore one of the oldest in Europe. In a.d. 540 monks founded the nearby Movilla Abbey, which was destroyed by Viking invaders in the ninth century. The south wall of St. Mark's contains a burial slab that came from Movilla's cemetery.
The current church was built in 1817, an example of Strawberry Hill Gothic architecture. Over the years additions and renovations were necessary to accommodate a growing parish, according to local resident Harry Allen, and a $3 million, four-year restoration project was just completed, using public and private funds.