Old Church Ruins

Old Church Ruins

Old Church Ruins

This   church, it is claimed, was built on the site of a 13th century church, and in   1622, the regal visitation recorded that ‘the rector was then resident, one   Rev. John Richardson, and that the church was well repaired’. According to   numerous depositions by survivors of the terrible 1641 rebellion, led by Sir   Phelim O’Neill against General Monroe (a Scot), Loughgall and district   suffered much bloodshed. Jonathan Bardon, in his book ‘Plantation of Ulster’   published in 2012, quotes from a deposition made by a William Clark regarding   Manus Roe O’Cahan as follows ‘drove…three score persons which belonged to   the Parish of Loughgall and put them all in the Church there…imprisoned for   the space of nine days with at least 100 men, women and children… tortured…   after which.. were driven … about six miles to Porte of Doune to a river   called the Band… thrust them headlong into the river… perished… shot   at’ . An archeological survey in 1987 states that the inner face of the gable   shows signs of fire damage, the date of which is not known. After the   burning, the church was not rebuilt until 1740, from which time it was in   constant use until 1795 and beyond. During 1786, church records show that the   condition of the church was giving cause for concern and the erection of a   new church was considered. Although the building of a new church at the top   of the hill may have begun in 1795, as the tablet above the door informs, it   was not occupied until a later date. Today, the ruined bell-tower at the top   of the west gable is a landmark in the centre of the village. It bears the   date 1734 which refers to the beginning of the renovations following the   rebellion. The first recorded rector, in 1456, was a Richard Noter. There is   a great gap before the next entry, in 1613, that of John Lyford who,   following a scandal in Loughgall, went to America. There he became a   controversial figure during the early years of the Plymouth Colony in   Massachusetts. He was eventually banished from the Colony. The original entrance   to the Church was via the upper gate with the lower gate being opened in the   early 1900s. The Cope families have continuously played a very active role in   the church since the early 1600s. Entries concerning them are a very regular   occurrence in early church records, be it baptisms (frequent) or burials   (impressive). One such entry for 20th Feb 1724 reads ‘Walter Cope of   Drumilly, Esqr. Was interred in his own pew next to ye Communion Table in ye   Parish Church of Loughgall about eight of ye Clock in ye Night Between the   Twenty fourth and Twenty fifth of February 1723-4’
Unfortunately   the cannon is no longer on this gun stand but the current owner of the site,   who lives next door, replaces it with a magnificent award winning show of   bloom each summer. The cannon had been captured from the enemies during the   First World War and had been placed there as a trophy in 1919/20.   Understandably there was some opposition from those who felt it was   inappropriate to display a weapon of war that had been responsible for the   deaths of so many allied soldiers. Consequently many were happy for the gun   to be taken away for the war effort around 1942. In this rare photograph,   taken around 1931, the little girl sitting precariously on the old canon was   Veida Halligan who, in 2013, still lives in the village.
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