Maghery Heritage Map

Location: Maghery

Maghery Heritage Map

1.Coney Island – Coney Island is an island in Lough Neagh.  It was once known as Innisclabhall and then as Sydney’s Island.  Coney Island has a rich history with long evidence of human occupation.  Excavations carried out in 1962-63 indicated that there was a settlement on the island in Neolithic times which lasted into the Bronze Age.  A native settlement flourished there in the later Middle Ages when there was also a small iron industry.  Subsequently the island was refortified with a bank, a ditch and an external palisade.

The island was one of O’Neill’s major strongholds, but was delivered to Lord Deputy Sir Henry Sydney in 1567, and appears to have continued in use as a fort for a generation at least.  At some later point the defenses were thoroughly razed.  In the 17th and 18th centuries the island was only sporadically occupied.  In the 1890’s, Coney Island was bought by James Alfred Caulfield (1830-1913), 7th Viscount Charlemont, supposedly for £150.   In 1946 the island was given to the National Trust.

Coney Island was connected to the mainland by a causeway or submerged ridge, which can be seen in Summer when it is under less than two feet of water.  It is known locally as St Patrick’s Road.  This causeway was breached in the 19th century to allow the passage of barges from the River Bann to the River Blackwater.

2. O’Connor’s Stronghold – The building appears to be a 17th century fortified house.  The existing remains include a brick chimney 32 ft. high.  The tower was built as a look out to protect the mouth of the River Blackwater.  The connection to the O’Connors is unproven but historically the O’Connors were local chieftains for the area.

3. Maghery Country Park – Maghery Country Park offers views over Lough Neagh towards Coney Island, where a range of waterbirds can be seen throughout the year.  The park provides an oasis of calm in the village of Maghery.  Situated on the shores of Lough Neagh the park covers 30 acres in natural surroundings comprising 5 km of woodland walks and picnic areas.

4. St Patrick’s Monument – St Patrick’s Monument was erected on Coney Island in the 18th century to commemorate the fact that the saint used Coney Island as a retreat.

5. Togher Road – St Patrick’s Togher Road can be traced from Coney Island to Armagh.  It is said that St Patrick used the island as a place of retreat.  Runners were laid on top of the bog.  Sleepers were laid across the runners to make a road about 15ft wide.  The whole road was wedged at each side with vertical stakes driven into the bog.

6. Grave of Lord Charlemont – In the 1890’s, Coney Island was bought by James Alfred Caulfield (1830-1913), 7th Viscount Charlemont, supposedly for £150.  He built a summer house on the island in 1895 and is now buried in the tower on the island.

7. Mullnakill Old Graveyard – The oldest church site in Maghery is at Mullnakill where an ancient burial ground is found today.  From historical data of the time it would appear that the original church was in the adjoining townland of Daire Brochus.

8. Ancient Grange Site – This site was at the centre of an agricultural area farmed to support the monastery in Armagh. The Grange site was used as a store for vegetables and grain harvested locally.  From the store, food would have been distributed to local monks during the winter months.

9. Old Catholic Church at Maghery – This church was built in the 1830’s but is built on the site of the oldest church in Maghery and dates from the time of St Patrick.

10. St Andrew’s Church of Ireland – this church was established as a perpetual curacy in 1842 to ease the over-burdened Tartaraghan Parish Church which at the time served one of the largest congregations in the country.

11. McCann’s Fort – this is an ancient site and seat of the local McCann clan who were vassals of the O’Neill clan.

12.Traditional Lough Cottage – This traditional Lough Cottage is owned by John Pat Mackle.  John Pat was born in the cottage as were generations of the Mackles before him.  The cottage is typical of the district where families would have fished, kept a few cows and a garden.

Photos:  Below(Left) Coney Island from Maghery         Below (Middle)  O’Connor’s Stronghold 

                 Below (Right) The Old Catholic Church

                 Bottom (Left) The Old Catholic Church           Bottom (Middle) St Andrew’s COI, Milltown

                 Bottom (Right) St Andrew’s COI, Milltown

Coney Island, taken from slipway at Country Park, Maghery 1    O'Connor's Stronghold 2   Old Catholic Church, Maghery 3     Old Catholic Church, Maghery 2    St Andrew's COI, Milltown, Maghery 3    St Andrew's COI, Milltown, Maghery 4