Ballagh Church

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Ballagh Church
CountryNorthern Ireland
DenominationChurch of Ireland
Administration
ParishSallaghy / Galloon
DioceseClogher

About

Ballagh Church was located on the Ballagh road north of Ballagh Cross roads which is on the Dernawilt Road. The site is surrounded by some large well established trees which provided excellent cover.

Ballagh Church came under Sallaghy Church, which is in Galloon Parish. As people started to travel more due to the increasing use of cars the church was used less and less. Sunday School was moved to Sallaghy and a service was only held once every four weeks. The annual Harvest Service was held in the building and tended to be very well attended, full to capacity as one local remembers. Holy Communion was administered at Easter and at Christmas.

The building

The original use was that of a courthouse and a mound of stones out the back of the building was where the condemned would be hanged. The building/site was given to the church by Major Hare in 18??. There were two windows and a door to the front. A window in the north end and one at the back. The space was heated via a round wood/peat burning stove in the centre of the room. The floor was made from large square flagstones and very basic wooden pews, as one person remembers "This meant that the congregation did not fall asleep because their feet would be too cold and there bottoms very uncomfortable!"

The building had a tower attached with a small room underneath. There was also a small room which was used as a band-room and also by the local Orange-man as a lodge room. At the rear of the main building was a small residence which was for the caretaker who looked after the building and grounds.


Spring Water

Just outside the church, locals remember four stone troughs supplied from a spring well. It was said to be the best well / spring water for miles and flowed in abundance through the hottest of summers. When local families used to cut turf in the bogs, the troughs because an oasis for donkeys and horses stopping to drink the fresh water. Many locals remember collecting water to use as a domestic supply as there was no mains supply then. Over time the spring water flow was re-routed into a drain and the slowly the troughs disappeared one by one. Its unknown where these went to, but if someone knows maybe they can let us know.