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Ecclesistical & Heritage World No.89

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Eglish Heritage Project

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a grant of £44,900 to Eglish Historical Society for a new project that will explore and record the history of the parish, it was announced today.

The two year project, ‘Eglish through the Ages’, will capture and record the cultural and natural heritage of the area over the past centuries to ensure its preservation for future generations.  At least fifteen volunteers will be recruited to help research, compile and record the heritage of the parish under the themes of history, literature, sport, folklore, politics and the industrial past. 

The unique heritage of Eglish includes its ancient church site, which is believed to have been a centre of worship since the dawn of Christianity, the base of an early Celtic cross, the sweat-house at Cadian and other places of historic significance including hill-forts, crannogs and holy wells.  Part of the Battle of Benburb was fought within the parish boundaries, Harper O’Neill is believed to be buried in the church grounds and connections with the milling industry date back to early monastic times, giving the area a rich heritage. 


The project will raise awareness and increase opportunities for those within and outside the parish to learn more about the history of the area through the establishment of a heritage trail and the erection of ten interpretive plaques at key locations.  A commemorative book will also be produced and distributed and a website created to allow a wider audience to benefit from the project.     

Funding for the project was awarded thorough the HLF ‘Your Heritage’ small grants programme which provides funding of up to £50,000 for projects that enable local communities to become involved in heritage that matters to them.  Commenting on the award, Head of HLF Northern Ireland, Paul Mullan, said: “The Parish of Eglish has a diverse and interesting heritage and we are delighted to be involved in enabling the local community to uncover, capture and create a better understanding of their past.  Particularly exciting are the opportunities for local people to actively participate in the project as volunteers, creating a permanent record of the area’s unique heritage by the people who live and work there for current and future generations to enjoy.” 

Eglish Historical Society, which is a cross-community group, was formed some years ago to develop an awareness of the rich heritage of the area.  It aims to encourage a new generation of historians to become involved in passing on what has been learned about the past.  A public meeting is being held to launch the project at Oona Valley Enterprise Centre on Thursday 10th June at 7.30pm and anyone who would like to become involved in the activities is invited to attend.  The Society is also appealing to the local community to support the project by sharing photographs or documents that relate to the heritage of the area.  All documents and photographs will be copied and the originals returned to their owners.  For further details please contact Brendan McAnallen, Chairman of Eglish Historical Society, Henry Daly, Treasurer or Wolsley Knox on 078679 01342 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information about HLF and its grants programmes, please call 028 9031 0120 or log onto www.hlf.org.uk