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Dungiven Priory Church
 

County

Derry

Coordinates

N 54° 55' 02.2"   W 006° 55' 18.7"

Nearest town

Dungiven

Grid Ref.

C 69187 08274

Map No.

7

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

100

Date of visit

Sunday 5 June 2011

GPS Accuracy (m)

6
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The old graveyard and the priory at the far end.


Dungiven Priory stands on the site of an early church founded probably by St. Nechtán in 650 .
The priory was founded by the Augustian Canons in the 12th century, but it was abandoned after the dissolution of the monasteries. After that the buildings were held by the O'Cahans and used as a stronghold against the English.
At the beginning of the 16th century a tower was built on the west end of the nave for the church use, but during the period of the O'Cahans the tower served as a tower house.
In 1602 an English garrison was based here and in 1611 sir Edward Doddington had a manor house built attached to the church and the bawn wall. The tower became the dwelling of sir Doddington. The church was converted to the Protestant worship, but it was destroyed by a fire in the late 17th century.
One interesting feature is the chancel, that is locked, but it stores a wonderful example of canopy tomb traditionally regarded as the tomb of Cooey-na-Gall O'Cahan who died in 1385. The tomb shows a recumbent carved figure in armour garment. On the front of the tomb there are six panels with six carved figures which represent gallowglasses, Scottish mercenary warriors, attending the dead.
The chancel faces east (80°).


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