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St. Anne's Cathedral

Churches, Monuments & Graveyards

Step back in time to visit some of Northern Ireland's oldest Churches and Monuments, some of which date back as far as Norman times. There are even more antiquities from the early Christian era; and superb examples of monastic sites, gravestones, abbeys, round towers and Celtic crosses crop up in every County.

Graveyards and gravestones have long held a fascination for those with an interest in family history in Ireland. Today, few visitors to Northern Ireland in search of their roots are satisfied until they have identified the last resting place of their ancestors. Even if no headstone has survived, there is still something poignant about visiting the graveyard in which your ancestors are buried. The Ulster Historical Foundation have complied some 50,000 gravestone inscriptions into a digital archive on www.historyfromheadstones.com. You can also find maps showing the locations of 1,200 graveyards in Northern Ireland to help you plan your visit.

Just Some Ideas

St Columb's Cathedral, Londonderry/Derry

Dominating the skyline on all approaches to the city of Londonderry is Saint Columb's Cathedral, which has stood on its prominent site inside the famous walls of Derry since 1633. Dedicated to the name of Saint Columba (Columb)

St Aidan's Church and Holy Well, Limavady

An inscribed stone cross at Duncrun marks the site of St Patrick's Monastery and the Roman Catholic church there is dedicated to St Aidan (C6) whose tomb stands near the old church ruins.

Bodoney (Badoney) Church, Plumbridge, Omagh

The present St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland parish church at Bodoney (known locally as Badoney), built in 1784, is thought to occupy the site of an early Christian monastery.

Bangor Abbey, Bangor

Founded in 558AD the main body of the building dates from 1830's, the tower from 15th century and steeple dates around 1693. Interesting gravestones include a memorial to the assistant surgeon of the Titanic, local man John Edward Simpson.

Grey Abbey, Greyabbey, Newtownards

Grey Abbey, a Cistercian Abbey church and its living quarters were founded in 1193 by Affreca wife of John de Courcy, the Anglo-Norman invader of East Ulster.

Church Island on Lough Beg, Magherafelt

Church Island is a small island on Lough Beg - 1.5 miles from Bellaghy. On a visit to the island you will discover the ruins of an old church with no spire.

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Did You Know?

Ancestry Links

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
(www.proni.gov.uk)

www.ni-libraries.net
www.ulsterscotsagency.com 
www.ancestryireland.com
www.nationalarchives.ie
www.askaboutireland.ie
www.historyfromheadstones.com
www.discovereverafter.com
www.rjhuntercollection.com
www.placenamesni.org