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16 October 2014
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Bellaghy - Hidden treasures Overview

Bellaghy Village was one of the first planned towns in Ireland, built on land owned by a London company.

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Bellaghy Bannerhead
Bellaghy Village - William Street in the early 1900s
William Street in the early 1900s

The Mouth of the Marsh

Bellaghy Village was one of the first planned towns in Ireland, built on land owned by a London company.

The area has been inhabited for 9000 years and provided a home to Neolithic and Mesolithic man. In 1622 Bellaghy had only 12 houses. They were made in England and shipped over! Read More >>
Bellaghy Bawn
Bellaghy Bawn

Bellaghy Bawn

The 17th Century Bawn at Bellaghy is the best restored example to be found anywhere in Northern Ireland.

The Original Bawn was virtually destroyed in the 1641 rebellion when the greater part of Bellaghy was burnt to the ground. Many locals still refer to it as "the castle", as do most tourist maps and it is situated in Castle Street.

Historically however it's most definitely a Bawn . So what exactly is a Bawn, who put it there, what was it used for and where does the name come from? Find out >>

Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney

Home of a Poet

Nobel Prize for literature winner Seamus Heaney, described as "the most important Irish poet since Yeats" grew up in Bellaghy and much of his work reflects life there.

Listen here to Seamus Heaney reading "Blackberry picking"

Map showing Bellaghy

How to get there

The village of Bellaghy lies North West of Lough Neagh (OS ref 295396) and is approximately 5 miles North of the town of Magherafelt and 35 miles west of Belfast, less than an hours drive with Motorway for most of the journey.

At the centre of the village lies the junction of three main roads leading to Magherafelt, Portglenone and Toome.

See the other sections in this article:

Overview | History | the Bawn | Plantation | Vintners Co. | Local Interest | Curios | Seamus Heaney

see also:
Ballykelly - a Plantation village
Limavady - a Plantation town



Anne - June '08
Has anyone got a Manus Diamond amongst thei ancestors? He was born about 1816 ,probably around this area. He ended up in Glasgow,Scotland. Also have Darragh ancestors From same area.

Mary O'Neill - Dec '07
Bellaghy is the best place in Ireland!!

M.T.VANTONDER. - Dec '07
It is my first visit to Ireland, and I am staying at the moment in the Bellaghy town land of Ballyscullion. Very nice countryside, everyone I have met is friendly and helpful, but one thing about Bellaghy and the surrounding countryside that shocks my family and I, is the litter strewn along just about every road you travel on, from the minor roads to small country lanes. There is no road that we have been on that we have not seen countless soft drink bottles strewn along the roadside verges, plastic bags hanging from hedgerows, crisp packets, and no road we have travelled on is without the remains of a takeaway meal tied up in a plastic bag and casually discarded by
louts from the comfort of their car. Most people we have met are proud of their countryside , and were keen that we seen as much of the sights as possible , but what we cannot understand is how you can have so much pride in your country , and tolerate this visual litter pollution strewn along your roadside verges, or is it that you have just got so used to it you don't notice it anymore , or could it be most people simply don't care. Surely local councils have a duty to their ratepayers to have regular litter cleanup where their is a litter problem, like they do in other European countries. Maybe it is time for the introduction of a plastic bag tax and a soft drink bottles deposit return policy. I hope when I return again in a few years time your MlAs, local councillors and will take the now serious litter problem in your countryside serious , and do something practical to tackle this visual pollution that is a blight on your countryside . M. T. VANTONDER - GERMANY.

Martina Scullion - Feb '07
Bellaghy is the place were our heritage still lies

Martina Scullion - Feb '07
Bellaghy is a nice wee village which Ihave been a resident of, it is a up and coming place still with lots of hstory

Raymond McErlean - Oct '06
I was born and bred in Bellaghy but left when I was 12 years old. It was magical during my teenage years to revisit the place, especially as there were so many good looking girls! I still find it interesting when it occasionally appears on the news. The church island is a treasure of a place, so redolent with history.

Eamonn Darragh - June '06
Bellaghy is the best place in the world, love from Eamonn Darragh.

Maureen Savell - May '06
My grandmother Sarah Dimond was born in Bellaghy in 1874. Do you know what RC Churches were there around this time. SI ejoyed your article very much. I will be visiting Ireland this year and will try to get to Bellaghy. Maureen

Shaun Wilkinson (visitor USA) - Mar 06
UNREAL!! my friends in new york are so jealous of what i have told them about IRELAND and especially the wonderful BELLAGHY!! i was totally amazed at what i saw in Bellaghy!! the people there are so kind and happy all the time the bars are off the hook its ( a bit of craic) i got it!!!! trust me im hard 2 please but it is outstanding must go see 4 yourself !!!!!!! :-)

Diarmud Larkin - November '05
Bellaghy is a great place, i love playing football for them an hope to be a star one day, if you haven't visited please do, you might even catch a glimpse of me an campbell showin sum football tricks.

CJ Scharle - August '05
I am hoping that one of my Irish cousins reads this. Visiting Ireland was great, but Bellaghy was by far the most beautiful town I have ever encountered. The people are wonderful and in a town filled with history, I am honored to be able to visit and to trace my ancestry to Bellaghy. If you live in Bellaghy and are of the Hughes family, to which I relate, please email me some day. I may even say what you guys like me to say ;)

Enda Scullion - February '05
Bellaghy is truly a town of greatness, peace and history if u want a relaxing time come and visit our wee town im positive you'll like it u can go 2 the pubs at nite for a bit of craic as well or go fishing at d ferry (chris tarrant comes here quite often) we are proud of our town and its history our famous sons and our great footballing history!!!!! Come and see for yourself!!!!!! u won't be let down!!!!

Leo Mc Elwee - November '04
I live in bellaghy, yes it is very quiet and a nice place to live in. It is rapidly growing area and I think should have more shops and should grow more as the town have plenty of residents. Everyone should visit the town at some stage.

Kelvin Boyle - October 04
I am a Scottish lad that has visted Bellaghy Many times to visit Family who lives there (Martin Ó' Boyle) and in the near future will be moving to Bellaghy myself. The life there is Brilliant ... its a great life in Bellaghy

Claire Monaghan wrote in March 04 to say:

The town of Bellaghy has to be "Gods Land" without a doubt!!! For anyone who hasnt visited, must go. Its great!!


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