Monday, 30 July 2012

Dungiven Church

Dungiven Villiage is in County Derry, 31 kilometres from Londonderry on the main Belfast Road. One kilometre to the south of the town are the remains of St. Mary's Priory. It is thought that St. Neachtain founded a monastery as early as the 7th century. The O'Cahan tomb is in the ruin, and contains some of the finest mediaeval tracery in the north-west. The priory became Augustinian about 1140, and was suppressed by the beginning of the 17th century.

At the time of the Plantation, a church was built by the Skinners' Company on the site of the priory. The fact that the name Dungiven means, "the fort of the skins" is coincidental. Its name has also been translated, "the pleasant mount"

A new church was built at the head of the town in 1718. This was replaced by the present church which was built on the same sight in 1816. It is cruciform, with nave and transepts, and a louvered tower at the west end. The bell in the tower was the gift of Edward Cary of Dungiven Castle in 1712.

The entrance to the church is through the porch at the base of the tower. The window in the west tower wall illustrates the text, "follow me and I will make you fishers of men", and is in memory of Canon John H. Kingston, Rector of Dungiven 1950-1970. In the nave, there is one diamond- paned window with Y tracery on each side, and likewise in the west wall of both transepts. In the north wall of the north transept, a stained glass window of three lights depicts from left to right, Nehemiah, The Good Centurion, and Ezra. It commemorates Robert Alexander Ogilby who died in 1902.

Opposite in the south wall of the transept, a window of two lights and tracery, shows the women at the Empty Tomb, in memory of Esther Gladys Ogilby, 1900. The window of the north wall of the chancel depicts Jesus gathering the little children, and it commemorates Jane King who died in 1890, and her daughter. The east window has three lights and tracery. It  illustrates the prable of the Sheep and the Goats, and in memory of James Ogilby who died in 1885.

 The baptistery is in the north-west corner of the church. The Holy table is in memory of John Trewlawny Ross, D.D., Curate of Dungiven from 1876 to 1879 and again from 1883 to 1886. The chairs in the sanctuary are in memory of George and Mary Sharp Ward, 1936. The pulpit is below on the left and in memory of Martha Cromie who died in 1944. The prayer desk on the right is in memory of Canon James Kelly, Rector of Dungiven from 1930 to 1950. It and the seat are finely carved. The brass eagle lectern on the left commemorates the Rev. Alexander Ross, Rector of Banagher and panelling on the sanctuary is of good quality. The organ has two manuals and pedals, and was made by the firm of Fosters and Andrews of Hull in 1878. The cushions in the choir stalls and the lectern microphone were given in memory of Eric Scott who died in 1895.

On the west wall, a monumet records various benefactors from the Ogilby family and from the Skinners' Company. The Ogilbys, an old family, resided at Pellipar House near Dungiven. The mausoleum near the main entrance to the church is one of their burying plots.

On the south wall, there is a memorial to Lt. Samuel McDonnell Campbell of the 3rd Lancashire Fusiliers who was killed in action in 1916. There is a monument commemorating the Ross family of Springhill, Dungiven on the north wall of the nave.

On the west wall of the north transept, a monument commemorates Canon George Warren, Rector 1886-1930 and his family. On the east wall of the north transept are the memorials to those who fell in the Great War, and to John Semple Moore who died in 1899. On the south wall of the south transept, are the memorials to Mildred Morley, daughter of Robert and Helen Ogilby who died in 1945, and to Mabel Crocker, daughter of Captain R. Ogilby, who died in the same year. On the east wall of the south transept, there are memorials to Michael King who died in 1899, to the Rev. Edward French, Rector 1823-1849, and to Esther Ogilby who died in 1900.

A memorial on the east sanctuary wall commemorates Michael King, son of the Rev. John King, Rector of Upper Fahan, who died in 1891, and his wife Matilda. A plaque on the same wall records renovations to the chancel in memory of Canon William Ross, Rector Dungiven, 1850 to 1886, who died in 1891.

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