The village of Eglington lies a few hundered metres off the Causeway Coastal Route, it dates from the Plantation of Ulster when the surrounding land was granted to the Grocer's Company, one of twelve London companies committed to the Plantation of Ulster by King James 1st. They subsequently leased the land to Edward Rone in 1615 with a covenant that he built a Bawn (fortified homestead) and twelve houses. By 1619 a bawn and eight houses stood here, the settlement was called Muff ('Mhagh - the plain) the same name as the river, glen and townland.
Nothing remains of the original settlement except for the ruins of the Parish Church of Faughanvale which was built in 1626, the gable and window arch still stand in the graveyard of St Canice, the present parish church was built in 1821. The fortified bawn stood until 1823 when the Grocer's Company remodelled the village and built a Glebe house (rectory) on the site, they also built a schoolhouse, courthouse, manor house, market house and cottages. Several of these are still to be seen today including the Erasmus Smith schoolhouse built in 1812.
During the rebellion of 1641, the bawn was taken by the insurgents under the command of Colonel McDonnell, they held out under seige through the winter of 1641 eventually being relieved by allied troops form Derry in the sunmer of 1642. The Parliamentarians then took the bawn and destroyed its fortifications. Later in 1690, it was taken over by the troops of King James II during the Seige of Derry, they set up camp here and went foraging the surrounding countryside for livestock to eat.
A couple of kilometres outside the village on the Old Coach Road you will find Faughanvale Presbyterian Church, the current church was bult by subscription in 1894, some of the money being sent back by those who had emigrate from the area to America, it replaced an earlier church founded in 1730. The church and graveyard sits on an elevated site in a beautiful rural setting with excellent views over the airport to Lough Foyle and Donegal, well worth a visit to see.
The name of the village changed from Muff to Eglington in 1858 after the Earl of Eglington, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland paid a visit to local Templemoyle Agricultural School. The school had been founded by the Grocer's company and wealthy supporters in 1826 to teach the rudiments of modern farming. The school could accommodate 70 borders and had 175 acres of land which was farmed. The school had a novel way of management, while half the school studied thoery in the morning the other half did practical work on the farm, they would then swap roles for the afternoon. A fair day was also held here in Feb, May, Aug and September of each year, the school closed in 1865.
Page 1 of 4