In the original plantation of the county in 1609, and the subsequent years, the English settlers were located in the fertile tracts along the borders of Loughs Foyle and Neagh, and the banks of the Roe and Bann; the Scotch were placed in the higher lands as a kind of military barrier between their more favoured brethren of the south country and the Irish, who, with the exception of a few native freeholders, were removed to the mountain districts. The varieties of religion corresponded with those of country, the English being Protestants of the Established Church; the Scotch, Presbyterians, or other sects of Protestant dissenters; and the Irish, Roman Catholics. This arrangement of severance long prevented, and still in some degree continues to prevent, the amalgamation of the several classes.

The Irish, shut up within their secluded mountain ravines, retain many of their peculiarities of language, customs, and religion; those of Glenullin, though near a large Protestant settlement at Garvagh will admit none but members of their own church to reside among them, though in other respects they are on terms of great kindliness with their neighbours of a different creed, except when under the excitation of party animosity.

The residences of many respectable gentlemen are in the cottage style, generally ornamented and surrounded with planting and gardens: the habitations of the rural population are of every description, from the slated two-story house of brick or stone, and the long narrow cottage with two or three partitions, to the cabin of dry stone or clay, without even a window. In the districts of Coleraine and Desertmartin, where lime is plentiful, the dwellings of the peasantry are neatly white-washed, and sometimes rough-cast, but in other parts they present a very sombre appearance.

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