Nestling at the foot of the Binevenagh mountain is St Aidan’s Church, the site dates to pre Christian times and has a long eccelastical history. St Columba founded a monastery here in 580AD, after his death a shrine developed to him, people would travelled from all over Ireland to vist it. St Aidan himself was born in Ireland followed St Columba to Iona where he served as a monk, he then went to Lindisfarne and founded the first monastic settlement and became the first Bishop of Lindisfarne.
He died there in 651AD and was succeeded by St Finan, St. Finan was suceeded by St Colman, it was one of these two who brought the remains of St. Aidan from Lindisfarne
The area of Magilligan is well associated with music and one of Ireland's great harpist, Denis O’Hampsey who was born at Craigmore, Garvagh in 1695 and grew up at Magilligan. Despite contracting smallpox and losing his sight at the age of three, Denis went on to become one of the most notable harpist Ireland has ever produced. He lived remarkably in three centuries, passing away in 1807 at the age of 112 years old and is buried in St.Aidan’s.
Denis made a living from playing music to people of all classes and riches and travelled widely to do so. In 1745 he played for Bonny Prince Charles in Edinburgh, he also became a friend of Frederick Hervey who later became the Bishop of Derry and resided at Downhill Palace.
In 1792, he took part in the Belfast Harp Festival as one of ten invited harpists, of which six were blind. It is here were he met and became friends with Edward Bunting who was the organist at St George's Church and later St. Anne's Cathedral, he was also a collector and publisher of Irish melodies.
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