Cathedral Church of St Columb’s


This Cathedral is a must see on your visit to Derry as it is inexorably linked with so much of the history of this City.

St Columb’s Cathedral, in Planter’s Gothic style, was built between 1628 and 1633, around 10 years after the City Walls were completed, making it the first Cathedral to be erected in the British Isles after the Reformation. It is the oldest building in the City and the mother church of the Church of Ireland Diocese of Derry and Raphoe and the parish church of Templemore. It is dedicated to Saint Columba, the Irish monk who established a Christian settlement in the area in the sixth century. Continue reading “Cathedral Church of St Columb’s”

Crevenish Castle


The remains of Crevenish Castle are south-east of the village of Kesh on the Crevenish Road, or ‘the back road’ as the locals call it – a beautiful drive in itself.

The Castle (originally called Castle Hassett) was built by Thomas Blennerhassett a native of Norwich, England. Blennerhassett secured his land here – confiscated Maguire property – in 1610 as part of the Ulster Plantation. A church, built around the same time has long since disappeared. Continue reading “Crevenish Castle”

Janus and the Lusty Man

I have to say I was rather surprised when I visited Caldragh Cemetery on Boa Island, Lower Lough Erne. For many years I have seen just close-up pictures of “Janus” and the “Lusty Man” (properly referred to as the Boa Island and Lustymore figures respectively) and accordingly, or for whatever reason, assumed them to be at least a couple of metres high. On entering the cemetery I could not see the said figures. Wandering around I happened upon them – Janus being about 73cms tall and the Lusty man about 60cm – sitting in the centre of the graveyard among random stones that mark long-forgotten dead. A nearby base – which some think belongs to Janus – would, if that were the case, increase its size to nearly 2 metres. Continue reading “Janus and the Lusty Man”

Irvinestown Famine Graveyard


It is generally accepted that during the ten years, 1841 to 1851, Country Fermanagh lost over 40,000 people or 25% of her people due to a potato blight which lead to the famine (1845 to 1850) which reeked havoc throughout the island of Ireland. What is less clear is how many of the 40,000 died as a result of hunger or disease and how many emigrated. Of course thousands who might happily have emigrated perished, as they could not afford to leave their home areas. Continue reading “Irvinestown Famine Graveyard”

Commonwealth War Graves – Irvinestown

Commonwealth War Graves – Church of Ireland

In my review of Castle Archdale Country Park I indicated that during World War II the park, then Castle Archdale Manor House and Estate were commandeered by the Royal Air Force and was a significant base for PBY Catalinas and Short Sunderlands flying boats which flew from Castle Archdale to protect Atlantic shipping from German U-boats. Continue reading “Commonwealth War Graves – Irvinestown”