On March 18th 2006, thanks to the considerable
kindness of both Michael McShane - a key member of the Creggan
Local Historical Society - and John Donaldson, the Creggan Church
Warden, I was finally able to enter Creggan Church. I am especially
grateful to Michael not only for the entire day that he set aside
to answer all my questions, but also for his chauffering which
went way beyond any reasonable call of duty.
put a photo of the Creggan
Church Window (done in memory of Sir
Thomas JACKSON ) on a separate page because
of its importance to the family and because of the size required
to view the details of its composition.
With respect to the photos included beneath, I was working
from notes when it came to their labelling and there may be
some inaccuracies. There was so much to learn and I only captured
portions in my notes. If there are errors
and if anyone can set me straight, I would sincerely appreciate
Sharon Oddie Brown, August 1, 2006
CREGGAN CHURCH, CREGGAN PARISH, CO. ARMAGH
|At the entrance to the churchyard
of Creggan Church, there are three buildings. As I entered the
gate to the grounds, the Girls School was on my right and the
stables were on my left. The building that was the boys school
was closer to the church and situated directly behind the boys
school. When I look at the photos of the buildings now that I
am home in Canada, I question my memory. There are no windows
in the building that I have identified as the "Girls School"
and this strikes me as strange. Perhaps it isn't.
do not know the dates that these buildings functioned as schools
nor do I know whether Sir Thomas attended school here. It was
suggested to me that he may have attended a school called Creggan
School which was run by the wife of Rev. Atkinson. That school would
have been further down the road. (I believe it was burnt down during
the Troubles and a modern bungalow now stands on its site.) What
we do know is that Sir Thomas attended a school with his brother
John which was within walking distance from Urker and which also
included a schoolmaster who was much disliked (by the two boys)
Behind the church is a bridge that spans the Creggan River.
From here one can walk south to Liscalgot
(see Map) where the GILMORE and JACKSON
families lived from the 1820s to the mid-1900s. It is a short walk
through lush rolling hills and is likely the route that the children
would have taken. If adults came to church in a horse drawn car, I
do not know if they would have taken this route over the bridge, or
gone the longer way round by the road that Urker Lodge fronted on.
Parish Births, Marriages & Burials relating to JACKSONs
Creggan Church Boys School
Creggan Church Girls School
Creggan Church Stables
Interior of Creggan Church
The photograph makes the church appear larger than it is. It is actually
a modest country church - appropriate to the size of congregation.
Inside there are also memorials to James
DONALSON April 24, 1907-July 6, 1997, as well as a plaque to the
EASTWOOD family whose remains are in the vault in the graveyard.
There is also a list of the rectors as well as a framed list of
baptisms including the names of the last of the JACKSON ancestors
who lived at Urker: Lucie Catherine & James Henry Francis WRIGHT.
Richard Donaldson Memorial
TO THE MEMORY OF RICHARD DONALDSON M.D. For thirty two years dispensing
physician to the district of Crossmaglen. He was a man of
great mental energy, a benevolent Physician and a Christian of
unostentatious Piety. The Parishioners of Creggan will long remain
deeply indebted to his indefatigable and successful exertions
for the Maintenance of their church in the time of its greatest
He died March 4th 1876 aged 54. This monument was erected by his
numerous friends who deeply deplored his early death.
This is the view from the bridge behind the church. A perfect pastoral
scene. The path from the bridge leads to Liscalgot
"Erected by Thomas Jackson in loving remembrance of William
R. BROWNE died 12th April 1862 Also his father, Daniel Gunn BROWN
Minister to the First Newtownhamilton Presbyterian Church 1835-1868
died 24th May 1892 and his wife Margaret nee JACKSON died 2nd Jan
"The Lord gaveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name
of the Lord"
JOB. Ch 1, Verse 21.
Daniel F. BROWNE died Feb 1867
John J. BROWNE died Jan 1878
Sons of Rev D.G. BROWN
In loving memory of my dear husband Hugh Kirkpatrick BROWNE who
fell asleep 5 July 1904; also Lily his only daughter who died in
infancy 4 July 1893
"Until the day dawn"
view from the graveyard. In 1988, The Creggan Local History Society
published a Guide to Creggan Church & Gaveyard. Copies may be
obtained at their centre in Cullyhanna, or on the internet (they
deserve your support and patronage!). Some sources say the present
church was built in 1758 on the site of an earlier church and the
bell tower was added in 1799. Other sources point to the fact that
there are Vestry minutes dating back to 1731 which imply the existance
of a church which is likely this one.
The following photographs show the graveyard
before its current restoration. The Manse and the Roctory are
also shown as they once were. These postcards are in the collection
of Christine Wright. I do not know their date.
Sharon Oddie Brown, August 11. 2006