Knockloughrim

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Knockcloghrim
Irish: Cnoc Clochdroma
Knockloughrim Presbyterian Church.jpg
The Presbyterian church
Population 186 (2001 Census)
Irish grid reference H8396
District Magherafelt
County County Londonderry
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town MAGHERAFELT
Postcode district BT45
Dialling code 028
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
UK Parliament Mid Ulster
NI Assembly Mid Ulster
List of places
UK
Northern Ireland
County Londonderry

Knockloughrim or Knockcloghrim (from Irish: Cnoc Clochdroma, meaning "hill of the stony ridge")[1] is a small village near Maghera in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. In the 2001 Census it had a population of 186 people. Knockloughrim lies within the civil parish of Termoneeny and was part of the former barony of Loughinsholin.

Name[edit]

The village's name is roughly pronounced noc-cloc-rim. The spelling Knockcloghrim has been adopted by the district council, the Electoral Office, and many other official bodies. The spelling Knockloughrim is used by the local Orange lodge/Royal Black Preceptory (Knockloughrim Rising Sons of Ulster LOL 401 and Knockloughrim Red Cross Knights RBP 746 respectively), the local Knockloughrim Primary School, and regional newspaper the Mid Ulster Mail. Other historic spellings include Knockcloughrim, Knockloghrim and Knocklockrim.

History[edit]

Knockloughrim was founded by John Bates, (1803–1855) a prominent Belfast solicitor who, on travelling through the area on his way to the azzizes in Derry, felt it would be a good site for a model village. Bates also served as Town Clerk of Belfast, being a prominent member of the Tory machine which controlled the city after local government reforms of 1842.

Bates is alleged to have embezzled money from the Corporation of Belfast to fund the building of the village, and absconded to France when this was discovered. He would later be extradited, but died in 1855 before he could stand trial. There is a monument to his memory in Termoneeny parish church. His descendent, Sir Richard Dawson Bates, would later serve as Northern Ireland's first Minister of Home Affairs.

Bates is also responsible for the fine 'Knock House', originally intended as a hotel. It served until 1921 as the Anglican rectory, and has since been a private dwelling. The last incumbent to dwell in the rectory was the Reverend Thomas Fisher, who was rector for 34 years until 1921. Knock House was also utilised during the First World War and Second World War to provide shelter for children evacuated from Belfast and other urban areas.

In 1830–1831, Knockloughrim was the scene of a severe riot, when local Orangemen were apparently involved in a scuffle with Roman Catholics.

Until the early 1950s, Knockloughrim was little more than a collection of houses and a church on the old Belfast-Derry route. The Northern Ireland Housing Trust (forerunner of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive) constructed a new estate which was completed in 1952, followed by several more over the following decades. This coupled with private developments has seen Knockloughrim expand.

Culture[edit]

Knockloughrim hosts an annual band parade by Knockloughrim Accordion Band, which is usually held on the second Saturday in June. The Royal Black Institution's Last Saturday demonstration was hosted in Knockloughrim in 1925. There are plans to make the village a greater hub for community events.

Buildings[edit]

  • Knockloughrim Primary School - The village school is a popular choice in the local area with just over 100 children attending. In 2012 the school won Best Kept Primary School for NEELB area for the care and attention taken to school and grounds and also was awarded a green Eco School Flag for environmental efforts. The school can be followed on Facebook or on Twitter @knockloughrim
  • Termoneeny parish church, St. Conlus' (Church of Ireland).
  • Knockloughrim Windmill is a restored windmill which was in operation until the Great Wind of 1895 blew the sails off. It is an historic monument, one of three listed buildings in the village, and contains local history exhibits. The windmill is now owned by the Magherafelt and Knockloughrim Methodist Church and stands in the church grounds. Not surprisingly, it is the only windmill owned by the Methodist Church. The windmill was built some time between 1860 and 1875 by William Palmer (1823–1898). Apparently it used to be called Palmer's Folly because it never worked properly. The windmill was built beside a steam mill, also owned by Palmer, making this one of very the few sites in all of Ireland that had originally both steam and wind powered machinery in the same location, described as a corn and flax mill. The buildings where the steam and flax mills were once located now form a small industrial estate, known as The Mill Yard. The windmill is said to have had six sails as opposed to the more common configuration of four, although there is some argument about this. The original roof was blown off by the Big Wind in 1895 and the strange onion shaped top that is there today is a replacement. Local legend has it that such a dome was an original fixture on the windmill, although an absence of photographs from the period means there is no certainty. After it was disabled by the Big Wind it had many uses, one of which was as a meeting place for the local Orange lodge before the present Orange Hall was built in 1908. The windmill was restored in 1993. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, it is currently closed, and will probably remain so indefinitely.

Transport[edit]

Knockloughrim railway station opened on 18 August 1880, closed for passenger traffic on 28 August 1950 and finally closed altogether on 1 October 1959.[2]

The railway station was a stop on the railway line between Magherafelt and Maghera. The old railway bridge at Derganagh Road, under which locomotives passed on their way to and from Maghera, remains in excellent condition, although it is now substantially overgrown and difficult to access. After the Second World War, daffodils were planted on the embankment in a 'V for Victory' formation, and this is still evident today.

The A6 Glenshane Road (Belfast-Derry route) passes less than half a mile from the centre of the village. Until c1970, the main route between the two cities actually passed through the village.

Religion[edit]

There are two places of worship located within the village, namely St. Conlus' Parish Church (Church of Ireland) which is still open for weekly services and the Methodist Church, built in 1984 to replace the old Gospel Hall, which is a joint charge with Cookstown and Magherafelt Methodist Churches. Unfortunately this church closed in June 2013 although remains maintained by the local Methodists. The Presbyterian Church, originally built in 1765 and replaced with the current building in 1840, is outside the village in the townland of Ballinacross. Termoneeny parish church is a joint charge with St Comgall's Parish Church, Desertmartin and the Presbyterian Church (a Ministerial charge within the Tyrone Presbytery) has been united with Bellaghy Presbyterian Church since 1928. Local Roman Catholics attend Mass at nearby Mayogall, about 1.5 miles away.

Parish of Termoneeny[edit]

The civil parish of Termoneeny (believed to mean the rock of Heaney) has the village as its main population settlement. The parish is geographically one of the smallest in the diocese of Derry and Raphoe, and comprises the following townlands:

  • Mullagh
  • Knocknakielt
  • Carricknakielt
  • Derganagh
  • Cabragh
  • Lurganagoose
  • Broagh
  • Lemnaroy
  • Ballynahone Beg

Termoneeny parish church, which has occupied its current site in the centre of the village since 1801, is an attractive listed building surrounded by mature woodland, and is dedicated to the honour of St Conlus, who is reputed to have been a 5th Century brass worker from the nearby parish of Tamlaght O'Crilly. However, despite extensive research, no firm record of him has been produced. It has been suggested, although it is obviously far from certain, that St Conlus may be a variation on the name of the much more famous St Columba. The oldest gravestone in the churchyard dates from 1859. At least three former rectors of the parish are buried in the churchyard:

  • Rev Henry Colthurst (rector 1862–1875)
  • Rev Thomas Reddy (rector 1875–1884)
  • Rev Thomas Fisher (rector 1887–1921)

The parish existed as a 'stand-alone' entity (having been united with Ballyscullion parish for over a century beforehand) between 1795 and 1921, with a rector residing in the attendant Rectory for much of this period. After the death of Rev. Thomas Fisher in 1921, the parish was ultimately amalgamated with the neighbouring parishes of Maghera and Killelagh; this union was terminated in 1980, when the current union with Dromore parish (Desertmartin) commenced.

Economy[edit]

Knockloughrim is the location of FP McCann Ltd, one of Northern Ireland's biggest quarrying contractors, and are responsible for many major projects, including the construction of the Toome by-pass, which opened in 2004. Their facilities now encompass a large portion of both sides of the Quarry Road, just outside the village, including the old McLean's Quarry.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland
  2. ^ "Knockloughrim station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 28 October 2007. 

Coordinates: 54°49′N 6°37′W / 54.817°N 6.617°W / 54.817; -6.617