Grange graveyard

Grange graveyard is situated in the townland of Grange Foyle about a mile south of the village of Bready. It was once the site of an Augustinian abbey, but all traces of this building have since disappeared. In the middle of the nineteenth century a new wall and arched gateway were constructed, probably using the last of the stone from the former abbey. The square keystone of the arch is inscribed as follows: ‘This wall and gate rebuilt by the owners of ground within A.D. 1865’. The earliest gravestone dates from 1630 and commemorates a Robert Granger. Three stones in Grange bear mortality symbols. These include a skull and crossed bones together with a bell, hourglass, coffin and spades. The three gravestones have the appearance of being the work of the one mason. On two of the stones the inscriptions have completely disappeared. On the third the date 1741 can be read and with some difficulty and a little imagination the name Hamilton is faintly discernable. A detailed case study of this graveyard can be read at www.historyfromheadstones.com.



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Old Donagheady graveyard

Old Donagheady is situated in the townland of Bunowen not far from the village of Dunnamanagh. On the south side of the graveyard the ground falls away sharply to the Altinaghree Burn which flows into the Burndennet less than a mile away. The parish is said to have taken its name from St Cadinus, a companion of Columbanus and a missionary to the Morini, a tribe in what is now modern Belgium. This was the site of a medieval parish church. In 1622 this church was recorded as having ‘sufficient walls, but is uncovered’. Some time after this the church was repaired or rebuilt and used as a Church of Ireland church until 1788 when a new church was built about a mile away.  The graveyard is roughly rectangular in shape and contains the remains of a church. The earliest datable gravestone is from 168? (the last digit is illegible). No name can be read, but the memorial is richly carved with mortality symbols. It also features a hand clasping a chalice suggesting that it may have been to a member of the clergy.



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Old Leckpatrick graveyard
Old Leckpatrick is located about half a mile north of the village of Ballymagorry, close. Leckpatrick means ‘flat stone of Patrick’. Tradition has it that Ireland’s patron saint founded the first church here, though this cannot be substantiated. Whatever the true origins of the site, there was a parish church here by c.1300. In 1622 the church was in poor condition and without a roof. Some time after this it was repaired and used as a Church of Ireland church. In 1689 the church was burnt by some Jacobite soldiers, but was rebuilt shortly afterwards with the help of William King, Bishop of Derry. In the 1810s the church was abandoned when a new Anglican place of worship was built a few hundred yards to the south of it. Today all that survives of the church in Leckpatrick Old graveyard are barely traceable foundations. The earliest gravestone bears the date 1617 and is to a John Maghee, one of the first Scottish settlers in the area.



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