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Historic Building Details

HB Ref No:

Extent of Listing:

Date of Construction:
1780 - 1799

Address :
Banagher Church of Ireland Feeny Road Rallagh Dungiven Co Londonderry


Survey 2:

Date of Listing:
21/05/1975 00:00:00

Date of De-listing:

Current Use:

Former Use

Conservation Area:

Industrial Archaeology:





OS Map No:

IG Ref:
C6590 0633

Owner Category

Church - C of I

Exterior Description And Setting

A 3 bay long nave church with “W” tower and spire and having added chancel and lean-to vestry. Built of random rubble schist with long walls of nave smooth rendered. Slated and gabled roof. The tallish 2 stage tower projects from the “W” gable of the nave with clasping buttresses on each corner and a plain string course defining the stages and in line with the bottom of the bisected pediment. The pointed entrance door is on the “N” side with a louvred pointed opening over to the belfry, which is repeated on “W” and “S” sides. A pointed blank is on the “W” side of the 1st stage with sandstone trim and cill and a relieving arch over which is repeated on all the tower openings. The tower is built of random rubble sandstone with ashlar work to the clasping buttresses and the entrance door. The stonework of the 2nd stage is much darker as if the lower work had been cleaned in the past. The tower has an elegantly proportioned spire, 8 sided without ornamentation but flares out at bottom to adapt to the square tower and overhangs it to form a slim cornice. At the spire base there is a plain band fluted on the face. There is a circular hole on every other facet of the spire, presumably to vent the space within. Tucked into the angle of the nave gable and tower on the “S” side is a lean-to store with corrugated roof and a wooden door on the “W” with plastered walls. There is a similar lean-to appendage at the other end of the nave. Both are inappropriate. The “W” gable of the nave has a narrow blank lancet on each side with the triangular ends of the pediment above. This gable is also finished in random rubble stonework. The “S” front of the nave has 3 large pointed windows evenly spaced with sandstone trim and “Y” tracery to 2 of them with patterned iron lights. The third window has lost its tracery because of the installation of stained glass. The sandstone cill to each window is overly long. Wall is smooth rendered and unpainted, the roof slated without barge stones at “E” end. There is a plinth which continues around the tower and remainder of church. The “N” wall of the nave is similar to “S” side in all respects except that the 3 windows have moulded sandstone hoods with horizontal stops and the vestry of later date overlaps on the nave wall to the sandstone trim of the 1st window. A ramp and steps have recently been formed to the vestry door, finished in smooth plaster and with galvanised decorative railing. The ½ round metal gutters are supported on metal brackets above a sandstone corbel eaves course. The short chancel, built of schist rubble stonework, has a 3 light middle pointed “E” window with sandstone tracery and trim and moulded sandstone hood with plain stops and above a relieving arch. Two broad shallow shouldered buttresses strengthen the gable corners. There is a steeply pitched roof without barge stones but simple moulded kneeler on one side, the c.i. gutter is supported on corbels with c.i. round downpipe. Slated roof. The vestry abuts the “N” side of the chancel and overlaps on the nave, its gable wall is in line with that of the chancel with unequal roof slopes and forming a valley with the chancel roof. Stonework similar without any buttresses but there are sandstone quoins. There is a pair of small lancets with sandstone trim and diamond pattern metal lights on gable with two single similar windows on long wall. The vestry door is narrow, shouldered with sandstone trim and wooden sheeted door. Chamfered plinth all round. The church enjoys a tree crowded location on top of a low ridge with a winding avenue rising steeply from decorative piers and gates on the Feeny Road. Around the church but mostly to the S E there is a well filled cemetery with headstones of the Stevenson family prominent at the N corner.


Shanahan, M

Historical Information

The old Banagher church of St Moresius may have been intermittently used during the 17th cent. After the new church was erected in Dungiven in 1710 parishioners of Banagher would seem to have attended church services there. The new church of St Moresius was built between 1780 and 1784 though there are accounts in connection with it dated 1775. The Earl of Bristol, Bishop of Derry subscribed to the erection of the spire at a cost of £883. Shanahan was probably the architect as he was associated with other churches in the Diocese around this time namely, Desertoghill, Ballyscullion, Tamlaghtfinlagan, Tyanee and Tamlaghtard. The chancel and vestry has all the hallmarks of architects, Welland and Gillespie and is typical of their church additions. If this is correct building would have been done c 1860s. In 1898 the former plaster ceiling of the nave was replaced by the present wood ceiling and no doubt this necessitated reslating as well. At the same time new mosaic tiling and a new heating installation were executed. A portion of the spire was rebuilt in 1980s to replace iron ties with stainless steel. A new ramp and steps constructed to vestry entrance in 1990s. References Primary Sources 1. O.S. Map 1830 Londonderry sh. 30 2. O.S. Map 1830 Rev. 1905 Londonderry sh. 30 3. O.S. Memoirs of Ireland, Parishes of Co Londonderry X, 1833-34, 1838 Ed by Angelique Day and Patrick McWilliams Q.U.B. p. 14, 27, 28 4. John McCloskey, Statistical Reports of Six Derry Parishes 1821 p. 90 5. Notes of 1st Survey, Built Heritage, 5-33 Hill Street, Belfast 6. File on Banagher C of I, Built Heritage, 5-33 Hill Street, Belfast Secondary Sources 1. De Breffny, The Churches and Abbeys of Ireland p.137 2. Leslie, Clergy of Derry and Raphoe p. 121 3. Rankin, Irish Building Ventures of the Earl Bishop of Derry, UAHS p. 38

Criteria for Listing

Architectural Interest

A. Style B. Proportion C. Ornamentation D. Plan Form J. Setting

Historic Interest

W. Northern Ireland/International Interest Y. Social, Cultural or Economic Importance V. Authorship X. Local Interest


A fine example of Planter’s Gothic style church design of the late 18th cent. with excellent Georgian tower and spire set in a pleasing sylvan landscape. Its historic association with the Earl Bishop of Derry and his architectural influence are of importance. The spire forms a salient feature of the Townlands of Derrychier, Rallagh, Knockan and Drumcovit.

General Comments

Date of Survey

18 July 2000