Ardstraw Graveyard

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Ardstraw

The earliest record of a church at Ardstraw was that of MacEirc – a disciple of Saint Patrick. However, this was built upon in the late 6th Century and transformed by Saint Eugene into a famous monastic site and the centre of  an episcopal see which comprised   the greater part of County Derry, all of Inishowen (in Donegal) and a great part of Tyrone.

Little trace remains of Ardstraw’s illustrious past except for the wall of the graveyard, which is said to be built from the very stones of the monastery’s ruins.  The grave yard itself is also noteworthy as it is the final resting place of a number of O’ Neill chieftains – a privilege afforded to the O Neill’s in recognition of the patronage they afforded the episcopal see.

Did you know? 

The site of the bridge at Ardstraw was where the warring O Neills and O Donnells  would meet to  agree terms and negotiate peace.