Maghera Old Church

Map Reference: C855002 (2855, 4002)

St Lurach founded a monastery at Maghera in the 6th century and it was the seat of a bishopric in the 12th century. Parts of the present church ruin may date from this period but there was considerable rebuilding in the 16th century and the tower in its present form is a 17th century addition.

The doorway leading through the west wall of the church under the tower probably dates from the episcopate of Muiredach O’Coffey (1152-73). It is the most important single Romanesque monument in Ulster and consists of jambs in two orders decorated with floral ornament, animal interlace and figures.

They support a 1.6m long lintel bearing a representation of the Crucifixion. Christ is shown with extended arms and flanked by the two thieves, Roman soldiers and angels.

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