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A Brief History of the Townland

On this page I have added some events which occurred in Drumlamph and the surrounding area over the years.

As I mentioned in my introduction on my home page, I am not a Historian, so if you know that any of these are incorrect, or would like to add to them, or contribute information about other events, I will be happy to accept them



(The name)

Drumlamph, Droim Leamh -"Ridge of the elm trees" takes its name from a narrow ridge in the south-east of the townland overlooking the river Moyola. The townland, covering an area of just over 1147 acres.

Over the centuries there have been various spellings of the name, here are just a few of them.

1609 - Dromlaugha
1613 - Dromlagha
1613 - Drum Laugh
1622 - Dromlaugh
1654 - Drumlaugh
1654 - Dromlagh
1654 - Drumlaugh
1654 - Dromlaugh
1654 - Dromloagh
1657 - Dromlagha
1659 - Drumlagh
1661 - Dromloagh
1663 - Drumlogh
1813 - Drumlamph
1826 - Drumlamph
1834 - Drumlamph
1834 - Drum-lamph
1834 - Druim leamh, Ridge of the elms
1869 - Elm Ridge
1925 - Druim-leamh, The ridge of the elm trees




  • The Normans arrived in Northern Ireland in 1177. It is known that they sailed up the river Bann, entering Lough Neagh at Toomebridge, where they established settlements around the shores of the Lough.

    From these settlements they sent out raiding parties throughout Ulster and it is known that they raided the church in Maghera. Since Drumlamph is between Toomebridge and Maghera it is likely that they visited Drumlamph.




  • Late 1500s/early 1600s the town of Bellaghy was formed by the Guild of Vintners and the building of the new Settlement, with its Church, Castle, Mill and Main Street was largly complete by 1622.

    The name Bellaghy "Baile Eachaidh" "Eochys townland" originally applied to the name of the townland, while the town was called "Vintners Town" but the name "Bellaghy" soon extended to cover the settlement as well.


  • During the plantation of Ulster (1603-1660) there were two large woods in County Londonderry, Glenconkeyne and Killetra. One of the biggest woodlands and possibly the dencest was the Oak forests was Glenconkeyne which lay north of the River Moyola to a few miles from Coleraine. During this period, Drumlamph was completely covered with dence trees forming part of Glenconkeyne Forest.



  • In 1633 Thomas Dawson purchased the eight townlands of Moyola.


  • In his campaign in 1690, King William had the assistance of Danish troops. Interesting documents have recently been printed showing that in April, 1690 some of the Fuhne troop were stationed at Bellaghy.


  • A private Chapel, which was to later become Christ Church Parish Church was erected at Moyola Park, Castledawson. (See Local Churches - Church of Ireland Churches)






  • Joshua Dawson built a new bridge over the Moyola River at Castledawson and for a time the town became known as Dawson's Bridge.


  • A new Castle was built at Moyola Park Castledawson and the name Castle Dawson became common. .

  •  Until the mid 1700s the area from Killyberry to Bellaghy was a dence forest. This wood was celebrated for being a haunt for wolves. The last of these animals are believed to have been killed in the mid 1700s


  • John Rowan built "Rowans Gift" in the townland of Drumlamph.



  • Joshua Dawson built the bridge in Bridge Street, which at that time was the main road to Bellaghy.

  • The bridge consists of a single arch spanning 116 feet, and once had the destinction of being the widest single span bridge in Ireland. The bridge gave the town its former name of "Dawson Bridge" and was built to replace the bridge that was carried away by a flood in 1795.




  • A new Roman Catholic Church  was built to replace the old Mass House at Mayogall. (See Local Churches - Roman Catholic Churches)





  • In the 1800's turf/peat was the main source of fuel and an areas wealth was determined by the quantity of turf it could produce. Drumlamph has a around 300 acres of bogland making it one of the wealthiest townlands in the area.

  • In the 1830s there were 99 families living in 95 houses. There were 498 family members and 16 domestic servants and farm workers making a total of 514 people. Of the families there were 65 different surnames, these were:-

Badger; Birt; Boyd; Brown; Bruce; Burrowes;
Cashelly; Collins; Craig; Cully;
Davidson; Davlin (Possibly Devlin); Dickey; Dillion; Donnelly;
Frew; Fullerton;
Gilmor; Greaves;
Hagan; Haghy; Hamil; Hearty; Henderson; Henry; Hughes;
Johnston; Jones; (Juoge);
Keenan; Kennedy;
Lagan; Lindsay;
Maguire; Mallon; Mawhinney.; Mayberry; McAuley; McCahy; McClevee; McCombe; McElvee; McErlane; McFalone; McGitting; McGlaghlin; McGouggan; McGragh; McIntyre/McEntire; McKee; McNeal/McNeill; McQuillan; Milliken; Moore;
O'Neill; Orr;
Simpson; Speer;
Walsh; White: Woodside.


  • The Presbyterain Church  was erected.in Bellaghy. (See Local Churches - Presbyterian Churches)

  • The Presbyterain Church  was erected.in Curran. (See Local Churches - Presbyterian Churches)


  • On the 6th January 1839 Ireland was struck by what was perhaps the most cataclysmic storm to strike the country in six hundred years. This storm became known as 'The Big Wind'

1840 (Approx)

  • Lemnaroy National School was built. Situated in the adjoining townland of lemnaroy, this is the school many of the children (their children and grandchildren) of Drumlamph attended until its closure in the 1960's

Note:- If anyone knows of the whereabouts of the school records, please contact me as these will provide invaluable information about the families that lived in Drumlamph and surrounding areas. Also any old photograohs of the School would be appreciated. 


  • The Irish Potato Famine The complete failure of the Potato crop brought hardship throughout the land. Throughout Ireland thousands where to die, many in Castle Dawson and the surrounding district.


  • The Railway was built through Castledawson.


  • By 1860 the following 46 surnames were in Drumlamph:-

Badger; Browne; Bruce; Burris;
Campbell; Costello; Craig;
Davidson; Dickie; Donnelly;
Ferry; Fullerton;
Henderson; Henry; Hunter;
Keenan; Kissock;
Lambin; Lindsay; Logan;
Mayberry; McAleese; McCluskey; McClutchey; McCombs; McGloughin; McGrath; McGuiggan; McIntyre; McNeill; McNicholl; McWhinney; Mellon; Moore; Morewood; Mulholland; Mullins;
Walsh; White; Woodside;



  • The Dawson family handed it over its own private Church to the Parish, and the church named Christ Church Parish Church (See Local Churches - Church of Ireland Churches)




  • There were 42 surnames in 1900, among them two spellings of both Johnston and Speer, which more than likely had the same origins.

There were 257 family members and 12 domestic servants and farm workers making a total of 270 people living in Drumlamph around 1900. Surnames in the townland at that time were:-

Bowman; Bradley; Bruce;
Cassidy; Convery;
Diamond; Dickie; Doherty; Donnelly; Duncan;
Elliot; Ewart;
Henderson; Henry;
Johnston; Johnstone;
Lagan; Lennox; Lindsay; Logan;
Mackle; Mann; Mayberry; McElwee; McFadden; McIntyre; McKee; McMullan; McNeill; Millar;
Patterson; Pedlow; Pimley; Porter;
Speer; Spier; Stuart;


  • John A Clarke & Co built a new weaving Factory in Castledawson

1914 - 1918

  • World War 1

You will find a list of  people from the area who died in the forces during WW1 on Castledawson War Memorial .

Castledawson War Memorial



1939 - 1945

  • World War 2

During the second World War, soliders were stationed in Moyola Park. Drumlamph, like all the townlands in the area was used for training manovers.

You will find a list of  people from the area who died in the forces during WWII on Castledawson War Memorial .



2000 -



  • On the 2nd September 2004 Prince Charles visited Castledawson. During his visit, Barbara McIntyre, an Artist from Drumlamph presented Prince Charles with one of her paintings. For photographs of the event see the Royal Visit page



This document maintained by George McIntyre.
Material Copyright 2001 George McIntyre, Northern Ireland.