Doagh (// DOHKH; from Irish: Dumhach, meaning "mound") is a village and townland in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is in the Six Mile Water Valley, about two miles south-west of Ballyclare, and had a population of 1,130 people in the 2001 Census. It is known as Doach in Scots.
Traditional houses stand in the village centre but the village has gradually grown and new housing estates have been built on its outskirts.
The first Sunday school in Ireland was alleged to have been held in Doagh on the site where the Methodist Church now stands, although there is no firm evidence to support this claim. The Methodist church was established in 1844.
There are a number of buildings of architectural interest either in or proximate to the village.(Reference Brett, CEB, O'Connell, M. Buildings of County Antrim, Belfast. Ulster Architectural Heritage Society. 1996. ) These include Fisherwick Lodge - a hunting lodge built for the Marquess of Donegall (1805), and Holestone House. Industrial architecture is well represented in some of the remaining mill buildings - the best at nearby Cogry (Reference, McCutcheon, W, A., The Industrial Archaeology of Northern Ireland, Belfast, Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland, 1981).
There is evidence of settlement in the vicinity at least from the Iron Age, and possibly the Bronze Age - as represented by the Holestone (places of interest, below) and traces of numerous souterrains in the surrounding fields. This is a substantial base of a Norman motte - overlooking the six mile water - is clearly visible at Lindsay's corner on the outskirts of the village.
The cemetery at Kilbride (a townland bearing the name of St Brigid) contains the 19th century Stephenson Mausoleum - a listed building in the style of a mogul palace - and numerous gravestones reflecting a history of emigration and war. In this cemetery is the headstone of William Gault, the founder of the aforementioned Sunday school and a person associated with the Doagh Book Club and radical 18th century Protestantism. (The book club was destroyed by a detachment of Dragoons in the early 19th century).
Places of interest
On a hilltop about a mile from Doagh is a Bronze Age whinstone megalith known as The Holestone. Couples used to promise marriage by clasping hands through the hole in the stone, a convention that can be traced back to about 1830. W.G. Wood-Martin in 1902 asserted that it was anciently “connected with aphrodisiac customs.” Even today, newlyweds, together with the wedding party, will visit the stone in observance of the ancient local custom. Many new houses have been built in the last number of years, modernising the village.
A memorial to John Rowan stands in the middle of the village. Rowan, a linen spinner who invented a steam driven vehicle later claimed to be the first motorcar, was born in Doagh in 1787 and died in Belfast in 1858.
Doagh was formerly the terminus of a branch line of the narrow gauge Ballymena and Larne Railway. The line was extended from Ballyclare to Doagh in 1884. Passenger services between Doagh and Ballyclare were withdrawn in 1930, and freight services in 1933.