Walk of the Week: Moneymore Heritage Trail
Moneymore has been a settlement for more than 400 years and its historic past can still be identified in a range of important architectural buildings that hide behind the busy village of today.
This trail gives a flavour of Moneymore’s rich cultural past by returning back to the origins of this interesting and beautiful village.
Moneymore is located five miles north of Cookstown, where regular bus routes run to and from Moneymore.
This heritage trail starts off from the back of the Manor House, High Street, Moneymore. From here enter the Model Village beside the Manor House. Then go back on to High Street and follow on to the Library and Old Market House. Walk around the corner and down the hill on to Stonard Street to the Draper’s Arms and First Presbyterian Church. Turn right on to Ministers Walk to visit Manor Park and the Manse.
From here go back up Stonard Street, cross the road to the Orange Hall. Cross over the road again on to High Street to visit the New Market House, follow down to the right on to Market Street to visit the Corn Store and Gaol. Go to the end of Market Street, turn right on to Circular Road and then left on to Springhill Road — from here you will see the Common Barn.
Follow up the Springhill Road for approximately half a mile until you reach Springhill House. After visiting Springhill, backtrack down the Springhill Road and you will see St John & St Trea’s Church on your right.
Turn right onto Circular Road and the Second Presbyterian Church will be on your right. Follow the Circular Road to the end and cross over on to Smith Street. Here you will find St John’s Desertlyn Church, the last point of interest along this enchanting trail.
The young at heart can discover the trail and enjoy doing some simple brass rubbings along the way. If you ask at the Manor House reception or Springhill House you can get some paper and wax crayons.
Take these on the trail and look for the brass insert on every interpretation plaque. See if you can use the rubbings to spell ‘Moneymore’ — you may have to search for the correct letters.
In 1835 the Manor House was converted from a private residence into the agent’s house to the design of WJ Booth.
The first phase of the model village depicts Moneymore in 1622. A second model village depicting Moneymore in the Victorian heyday of 1880 is presently under construction.
The building that is now used as a library was designed as a doctor’s residence and dispensary.
The Old Market House is the three-bay centrepiece of what was originally a symmetrical range of buildings, 13 bays wide.
The Draper’s Arms public house formed the left-hand unit of the 13-bay set piece. In common with the dispensary, it was entered by means of a Tuscan porch and a coach arch led to the rear.
First Presbyterian Church was built to the approval of Jesse Gibson by George Bridger in 1823 and supported by the Worshipful Company of Drapers in London.
The Manor Park is thought to have been the site of the brewery built by Robert Russell, who had arrived in 1615 to assist the agent, Robert Rowley.
The Orange Hall was the site of the Moneymore Castle and Bawn, School House and Old Mill.
Completed in 1839, this three-storey New Market House is 11 bays wide and was originally a symmetrical range of buildings similar to the block on the other side of the road.
The Corn Store is a three-storey, nine-bay building with access galleries at upper levels that provided storage for local produce.
When the infant school moved out of a room of the storekeeper’s house adjoining the corn store, the building was converted into a police barracks and a small gaol.
The deputation of 1839 proposed the erection of a new common barn where many of the inhabitants could thrash their corn.
Nearby Springhill House is now a beautifully restored house managed by the National Trust and a past home to the Lennox-Conyngham family.
The Catholic chapel of St John & St Trea’s Church was built in 1831. Previously there was no Catholic church in Moneymore and Mass was celebrated at several different locations.
The classical barn-style Second Presbyterian Church was erected in 1831 as a seceding church from the first Presbyterian Church on Stonard Street.
St John’s Desertlyn Church was constructed in 1831 in a Romanesque Revival style after relocation from its former site on Lawford Street.
For further information on walking or any other outdoor activity, please contact Outdoor Recreation NI at, tel: 028 9030 3930 or walkni.com.
Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland (formerly CAAN) in association with Belfast Telegraph has provided this information. Every care has been taken to ensure accuracy of the information. Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland and Belfast Telegraph, however, cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions but where such are brought to our attention, the information for future publications will be amended accordingly.
Walk Name: Moneymore Heritage Trail.
Area: The Sperrins.
Nearest big town: Moneymore.
Time: Between one and two hours.
Terrain: Relatively flat tarmac roads.
Distance: 3 miles, circular.
Refreshments: There are a number of shops and cafes located at various points.
Publications: The Moneymore Heritage Trail and Cookstown Visitor Guide are both available from Cookstown Tourist Information Centre, tel: 028 8676 9949.
Walk Developed By: Cookstown District Council assisted by Moneymore Heritage Trust. The project was part funded by NRRTI through the EU PEACE II programme assisted by DARD and Sperrins Tourism Ltd.
Map: Sheets 14 of Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland Discoverer Series, available from Land & Property Services Map Shop, Lincoln Buildings, 27-45 Great Victoria Street, Belfast BT2 7SL, or visit lpsni.gov.uk.