The Parishes of Leckpatrick and Dunnalong by William Roulston

This book presents a detailed study of two small rural parishes in north-west Tyrone over the past 450 years and examines and explores the changes that have been experienced in this area. In the latter part of the sixteenth century Turlough Luineach O’Neill, chieftain of the O’Neills, built a castle in the parish of Dunnalong that was become one of his most important strongholds. In 1600, during the Nine Years War, English troops under Sir Henry Docwra built an artillery fort on the site of this castle.

The Plantation of Ulster in the early seventeenth century was of immense importance in the development of the parishes, establishing as it it did a strong Scottish settler community in the area. Both parishes eventually came to form part of the Abercorn estate and chapter four examines the management of the estate in the eighteenth century. The impact of the Great Famine and the dramatic fall in the population of the parishes in the second half of the nineteenth century is examined in chapter five. This chapter also analyses the break-up of the Abercorn estate in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The parishes of Leckpatrick and Dunnalong abound with the remains of water-powered mills, pointing to the importance of milling in the local economy, and this is dealt with in some detail in chapter six. The development of the creamery Leckpatrick is also examined in this chapter.

Other chapters in the book examine the emergence of the different denominations in the parishes, the development of education and schools and, finally, an account of the Sinclairs of Holy Hill, probably the most important family in the area over the last three hundred years. The book contains much to both entertain and inform and should appeal to those who are interested in local history in general as well as to the people of the area.

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