Ros Davies' Co. Down, Northern Ireland Family History Research Site
© Rosalind Davies 2001

Permission granted to reprint research for non-profit use only

Maghera Parish

Maghera Church of Ireland Drumee graveyard


The parish church of Maghera

Maghera Church of Ireland

The Church of Ireland is in Maghera village down a long laneway. It marks the site of an early 6th century monastery founded by St. Donard, who gave his name to the highest peak in the nearby Mourne Mountains.

The remains of the old church, which was built in the 13th century, is nearby (on the right of the photo) It is surrounded by a graveyard. The old church is now a ruined rectangular structure built of rubble granite boulders and split stone. The west gable and the north walls still stand to their original height. There is a narrow light set high into the north walls. It stands in a circular walled enclosure described as a monastic cashel. There are two pre- Norman cross-craved stones and a 13th century coffin lid used as a headstone in the graveyard. In mid 19th century a bronze enamelled plaque was found in the graveyard. It was some sort of a badge in the shape of a crucifix. A group of women and soldiers surround the cross One of the soldiers is in the act of piercing Christ's side. It supposedly belonged to one of the Knights Templar of Dundrum.

In 1825, the Board of First Fruits gave £500 towards the cost of building a new church. The architect was John Bowden.The rector in 1830 was Rev. William Duffin. The new church was rebuilt in 1887. The Glebe House is across the fields and there is an ancient round tower nearby.
The tower stood to its full height until 1714 went it fell in a great storm.

References;HMNI p 94 ; church leaflet; FR; GIC; O'L V1 p 51,67; IPP p 112; WDG p25


Drumee graveyard
with the Mountains of Mourne in the background

The burials in this graveyard on Newcastle road are of Church of Ireland and Presbyterian parishioners from Newcastle.

This photo shows the graveyard with the Mourne Mountains in the background. Most stones are from 1895.;


Maghera Tavern in the village
3km SE of Castlewellan

This photo of Maghera Tavern was kindly sent to me by Joe Fitzpatrick whose relatives owned the tavern for several generations. It is situated in the centre of Maghera village.

This village and parish were Bishops lands in 1202 and worth 55 annually in 1615. The proprietor of the townland in 1795 was John Lindsay.

Newspaper Article from Down Recorder;
stone pillar: river drainage 8 Nov 1851

References; UJA; V3 p 51 OSM: DR; O'L B p 153, 323


by Ros Davies