Donegal & Derry

Friday 15 February

Rathmullan Priory (C293276) was visited. The church has a central tower and a south transept and has been greatly modified. The large east window has a hood mould on the outside with decorated label-stops featuring foliage. The small window in the south wall of the chancel has a hood mould with masks as label-stops. The transept is a three- storeyed structure with mullioned windows in the south wall and in the east wall two two-light windows at the ground floor. These may be later insertions within tomb-niches. Between them are the remains of a double piscina with only one remaining multileaved basin. Lying near it is a fragment of a hood mould with a decorated label-stop featuring foliage and beasts. The tower seems to be about four storeys high but it is not now accessible. The west end of the church is now a gabled house with a double red brick chimney stack. At the corners of the house are projecting turrets carried on Scottish-type corbels. There is also a very fine decorated doorway. To the north are the remains of the cloister garth but no arcade. There are remains of buildings at the north-east corner of the cloister-garth. A short distance away is a strong fort, probably late 18th century. It is rectangular with rounded corners and is protected by a deep ditch and a thick bank. The interior was not accessible. On the other side of the road is a row of coastguard houses, some of which have musket-loops.
In Drumhallagh Upper (C275318) the court-grave has a two-chambered gallery about 8m long composed of very large stones and with a good dividing-stone. On the NE there are possible remains of a court and a facade. However there are many recumbent stones here and around the chamber which may be kerbstones. The complete structure may be 20m long by 14m wide at the front.

In Drumhallagh Lower (C293323) there is a very fine cross-slab. It is about 120cm high by 20cm thick and 70cm wide and has a cross in relief about lm by 60cm with interlaced decoration on the east face. The lower part of the shaft is flanked by two standing figures and the upper part is flanked by two crouched figures. The arms of the cross project slightly beyond the edge of the slab but not as much as at Fahan. On the west face is a much simpler cross of similar size which is greatly weathered. Near the slab is a very fine bullaun-stone with a depression about 22cm diameter.

In a field to the south of Fanad Head (C219468) are three standing stones and a small plain cross. The stones are about 1-1.5m high and the cross is about 60cm by 60cm.
Sunday 17 February
The Giant's Sconce (C772298) is a large rocky outcrop with the remains of a surrounding drystone wall. The interior is oval-shaped about 45m by 24m and reasonably flat. It is defended by steep cliffs on one side. At Formoyle (C772285) the rectangular church has an octagonal apse at the east end and a bell-cot with bell at the west end. The church is four bays long and each window has a hood-mould. There is very little of note in the graveyard. On Gortycavan Road there is a mound of motte proportions (C792316). It has a very good ditch and outer bank which is missing only on the north side. The bank is heavily overgrown with whin and thorn and the ditch is deep and flooded. The central mound is greatly overgrown and the size and true nature of the structure could not be determined.
Monday 18 February

At Downhill the Bishop's Gate (C762354) is situated both within and without the arched gateway which is surmounted by a triangular pediment and bears the arms of the Earl Bishop. The lodge is four bays long by two bays deep and has round-headed windows and a pointed doorway. The windows inside the gate are blocked. There is a central chimney stack and four pinnacles at the corners of the building.

Magilligan Railway Station (C707345) is mainly two-storey with a single storey at the north-east end. The signal cabin is at the upper storey at the south-west end and the platform is in place. The building is mainly of red brick with black and yellow brick trim. The windows all have hood-moulds of red brick arranged to give the appearance of dogtooth decoration. The two-storey section has two dormer windows.
Bellarena Railway Station (C668315) appears to have been mainly a single storey building with a small two-storey central section. The west end has been greatly modified and is now a large two-storey building. The east end appears to be almost unchanged. The brick and decoration is similar to Magilligan Station. The Registrar's Office at Bellarena (C670299) is a fine long building of 1-2 storeys high with mainly small pointed windows.

The gatehouse at Bellarena House (C669302) is a single storey building of black stone. There is a two-bay front and single bay side. All windows are carried on three-sided bows. The entrance front to Bellarena House (C663299) is in the south. It is of five bays with the door in a single storey bow projection. Above this appears to be a tripartite window but the outer sections are false. There are a number of other false windows throughout the building. The east front has a three-sided two-storey bow projection. The north front is seven bays long and is of two storeys with a dormered roof. The house was built in three stages and the additions can be clearly seen. The fine courtyard to the north has a central pond. The north entrance to the courtyard has a two-storey gatehouse with a clock tower topped by a spire. There are two pumps in the courtyard. To the north-east is an extensive range of buildings including an ice-house and a pump supplied by A D Williamson & Co, Bridge Street, Coleraine.
The south gate-lodge to Drenagh House (C691232) is rectangular with a three-sided bow projecting to the north. The windows are square-headed with two pointed lights inserted. The west gate-lodge (C684242) is single storey with a three-bay front. The porch has a triangular pediment carried on four Ionic pillars with two square pilasters at the back. Two alcoves flank the doorway. The side is three bays long with square-headed windows.
Drumachose Church (C693232) is a rectangular building. It is very ruinous and there are indications of a north doorway. At the southeast corner on the inside is a holy well. The gravestones are mainly 19th century and modern although there are very many plain stones.