HISTORY - ST PATRICK'S

HISTORY ON SAINT PATRICK'S OLD CHURCH, CLAUDY

 

Cumber Upper and Learmount was the original name of the parish - the addition Claudy (a stony beach) is only a few centuries old. Archbishop Colton journeying throughout the diocese in 1397 came across a new parish Church on the old site in the townland of Cumber, near where Glenrandal and the Faughan rivers meet. Today the ruins of a church stand on the site where Dr Colton beheld one. The ancient tradition is that Saint Patrick built seven churches along the Faughan and one of these he erected at Cumber. Further down the Faughan there was another church. Poston's house in Kilcatten now stands on the site of this church.

 

James Ross, in 1817 gave the site to Father McFeely PP of Claudy, on which the latter built the first Saint Patrick's Church at a cost of £500 and it was estimated to hold 600 people. The only portion being seated was the gallery on the eastern side.

 

The Church was consecrated in 1820.

It was roofless for several years until 1827, when Father Donnelly had it roofed.

 

It is said that the Fishmongers Company offered to build a Catholic Church, provided the site was accepted on their estate west of Dungorkin Bridge. Not being central Father McFeely did not accept the proposal.

 

Mass in Penal Times was said at Barrcraig, Lear and Mulderg.

 

The old Cumber Church graveyard contained the remains of several priests. Near the entrance and along the wall is the grave of Rev John O'Neal who died 24th August, 1794 aged 66 years, also the remains of Rev Manus Divin, who died in August 1799, aged 36 years. Father O'Neal was the predecessor of Father McFeely who died in 1824.

 

The Church was renovated in the 1930's and blessed by Dr O'Kane, Bishop of Derry - between 1931 and 1934 - possibly 1932.

 

The work of renovation was begun by Father O'Mullan who died 12th February 1931. The church was re-roofed, had 3 new galleries, new seating and electric lighting.

 

John Grant JP presented a sanctuary lamp and Wm McLaughlin supplied the tower and bell.

 

Saint Patrick's Church, 9, Church Street, Claudy BT47 4AA

Saint Joseph's Church, Slieveboy Road, Claudy, Co Derry BT47 4AS