Remains of its ancient inhabitants of every period are scattered over the county. There is a cromlech at Slaght Manus, another at Letter-Shandenny, a third at Slaghtaverty, and others at Bally-na-screen: some had been surrounded by a circle of upright stones. There are remains of sepulchral mounts or tumuli at Mullagh-cross, and a vast tumulus is seen at Dovine, between Newtown-Limavady and Coleraine, besides several of smaller dimensions. Numerous cairns are met with in every quarter, especially on the summits of the mountains. Near Dungiven is a very remarkable sepulchral pillar.

Raths or Danish forts are likewise scattered in chains in every direction, each being generally within sight of two others: the most remarkable is that called the Giant's Sconce, anciently commanding the communication between the districts of New-town and Coleraine. Ditches enclosing spaces of from half a rood to several acres are also discernible contiguous to these forts.

There is a curious mound surrounded with a moat on the road from Springhill to Lough Neagh; and another, of larger size, at Dungorkin, on the road from Cumber Clady through Loughermore. Ancient intrenchments of different character are seen at Prospect, and between Gortnagasan and Cathery. Various coins, pins, rings, and forks have been found about a moat near Lough Neagh, and, among other ancient instruments, quern stones have often been discovered. Hatchets made of hard basalt, spears of grey granite, and barbed arrow-heads of flint (the last sometimes neatly executed, and vulgarly called elf-stones) are very frequently found.

Sometimes gold and silver coins, fibulae, and gorgets, with other ornaments, are dug up, but these are rare. There are many artificial caverns, which seem to have been designed for the concealment of goods, or for the refuge of families in case of sudden attack: the sides are built of common land stones without cement, and the roof is composed of flags, or long stones, but the vault is seldom high enough for the passage of a man in a stooping posture; they consist sometimes of different galleries, and the mouth was most usually concealed by a rock or grassy sod.

Besides the remains of monastic institutions in the city of Londonderry, seventeen others appear to have existed within the limits of the county; there are still remains of those situated respectively at Camus, Errigal, Tamlaghtfinlagan, Domnach-Dola, and Dungiven, at the last of which are the most interesting of all the ecclesiastical ruins. Near the old church of Banagher is a monastic building almost entire. There are few castles of Irish erection. Ballyreagh, on a rocky cliff overhanging the sea, is said to have belonged to one of the Mac Quillans; and a castle which stood near the church of Ballyaghran is reported to have been the abode of the chief of that sept. There were several English castles, with bawns and flankers, built by the London companies, one at least in every proportion of allotment, but they are all in ruins except Bellaghy, which is still occupied.

County Londonderry | Londonderry History | Londonderry Government | Londonderry Topography | Londonderry Loughs | Londonderry Agriculture | Londonderry Geology | Londonderry Manufactures | Londonderry Rivers | Londonderry Residences | Londonderry Antiquities | City of Londonderry

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