Bodoney Church

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Glenelly Valley

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. The ‘doney’ element of the name indicates a very early foundation, certainly during the first phase of Christianity in Ireland. It may be the Both-Domnach, one of the St. Patrick’s seven foundations in the area of the Moyola River.

There are no early buildings visible on the site to show its use over 1500 years as a place of worship.A roughly-shaped stone cross, with a wheel motif expanded to indicate the arms of a cross, is likely to feature from the esarly period.This and 3 plain crosses from the graveyard are now kept in the church for safe keeping. Towards the back of the greaveyard can be found St.Patrick’s stone – a flat stone with shallow depressions.

A bronze bell from Bodoney Lower was found in 1856 . Now in the Hunt Museum in Limerick this underlines further early ecclesiastical activity in the area.

This site forms part of the Journey Through Time, archaeological and historical tour of the Foyle and Sperrins area.

Local Legends

Local legend has it that the name “Glenelly ” where Bodoney Church is located , came about as a result of St. Patrick visiting the area. On crossing the hill, and seeing the the glen he is reputed to have exclaimed ‘gleann eile’…..’another glen!’ The Sperrins being full of glens!

Another local legend has it that St Patrick’s cook – St. Athghin set up Bodoney Church.