Leckpatrick Old Graveyard

By John Dooher

The Old Leckpatrick graveyard is situated just off the A5 road, about three miles north of Strabane and near the village of Ballymagorry. This graveyard was last used for burial in the 1980s and most burials over the last half century have been in the new cemetery beside the existing Church of Ireland. The older cemetery is on the site of an earlier church and it is believed that it dates from the beginning of the seventeenth century or even earlier. Remains of buildings, thought to have been a church and school, are still traceable within the graveyard.

The name Leckpatrick is reputedly derived from the journeys of St Patrick, with the Leck part suggesting a resting stone for the missionary. It is likely that a pre-Plantation church existed on the site and there is documentary evidence for parish clergy of Leckpatrick in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Tradition also suggests that there was a monastic site close by, while a further monastery or ecclesiastical building was recorded on the 1609 Bodley map at Grange, about two miles further north.