The small town of Gilford lies on the western boundary of the Banbridge District and owes its name and origins to Captain John Magill who acquired lands here in the 17th Century.
Today the town is dominated by Gilford Mill which was built by Hugh Dunbar in the 1830s as a spinning mill. It produced yarn for weaving and linen threads. Towards the end of the century, the Millís unique resources for all processes in the industry were unsurpassed throughout the British Isles. At its height, the Mill employed 1500 workers but it fell into decline in the 1960ís and finally closed in the 1980ís.
The Mill not only provided enough employment to see the town grow rapidly, it also provided enough wealth to give Gilford two beautiful castles, Gilford Castle and Elmfield.
Harry Clarke, Irelandís foremost stained glass artist, designed two of the windows in St. Johns Roman Catholic Church. One of the windows depicts St. Catherine of Sienna, the other Bernadette Soubirous and the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes.