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Grange Graveyard

History of the area


In pre-plantation times are area around Grange Graveyard was controlled by the O’Neills. In 1568 Turlough Luineach O’Neill built a castle at Dunnalong about a mile and a half north of Grange. This was the site of a ferry and was an important landing place for Scottish mercenary soldiers coming to fight for the Irish chieftains. In 1600, during the Nine Years War, a large force of English soldiers under the command of Sir Henry Docwra landed at Dunnalong and built an artillery fort there. Under the scheme for the plantation in Ulster, the lands in the vicinity of Grange were allocated to James Hamilton, 1st earl of Abercorn, a prominent Scottish nobleman. This particular estate was named the manor of Dunnalong and it became one of the better planted manors in Ulster. Seventeenth century documents such as the muster roll of 1630-31 and the hearth money roll of 1666 show that the manor was overwelmingly Scottish in character. This is reflected in the names found on the gravestones which are overwelmingly Scottish in origin. Very few of the names on the gravestones are native Irish in origin, an indication of the fairly small number of Gaelic families living the the townlands close to Grange graveyard.

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