Another great walk- the path to Fr Hegarty’s Rock through Swan Park in Buncrana, Co Donegal. This is the O ‘Doherty tower house in the park. Some sources suggest that the ground and first floor may be 14th century, which is very early for an Irish tower house (most were built after 1450). The top storey dates from the early 17th century.
Back towards Derry, the graveyard at Fahan is worth a visit. Here is St Mura’s cross, a stone slab with Celtic ornament and small projections at its side. It is thought to date from the beginning of the eighth century and is associated with an important early monastery on this site. An inscription in Greek (the only example in Ireland) translates as ‘Glory and honour to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit’. This is a formula first used at the Council of Toledo in 633.
Next door is ‘Buncrana Castle’ , date stone 1718 but thought to be earlier. Bult by Sir John Vaughan. His family leased the O'Dohery castle after the Ulster Plantation in the early Seventeenth Century. The building is on the site of the pre Plantation town and is an early example of a landlord or 'big’ house. Most were built from the 1740’s onwards. The building was very carefully conserved in the early 2000’s retaining and reusing the original slate diminishing in size to the ridge on the front slope.
Marks of Time
Sketches of buildings in the North West and further afield with a little information about their history.