Tirnoney Dolmen

One mile north of Maghera stands a prehistoric tomb at least 4,000 – 6,000 years old. Dolmens are tomb structures with standing stones and a horizontal capstone, found in a number of places in Ireland. In it our ancestors would have placed the cremated remains of their dead.

In earlier times a cairn of small stones would have covered it, at least partially. Dolmen means “stone table”. These are known as portal tombs because of the two large uprights upon which the capstone rests at its highest end which forms the entrance to the tomb.

In the field to the south there is rumoured to be a souterrain or artificial cave. Normally associated with ringforts, these caves were constructed as a refuge in times of danger sometime between the 5th and 12th Centuries.

Tirkane Sweathouse

This unusual dry-stone structure was used to cure fevers and pains up to the end of the 20th Century. It was probably constructed in the 16th-17th Century and many similar sites around the country were built in the 18th and 19th centuries. In Germany, these sites are known as Irish baths and this suggests that Irish Missionaries who travelled to Europe in the Dark Ages introduced sweathouses to that country.

A fire of turf or wood was lit inside the structure and the entrance was closed so that the heat built up and the stones became very hot. Then rushes were spread on the hot floor and water thrown on the stones to produce steam. The patient then sat in the sweathouse for as long as possible before emerging to bathe in a nearby small stream. It is only one of five such monuments in the country, situated only a 2 minute drive from the accommodation.

Knockoneill Court Tomb

A megalithic tomb, dating to the Neolithic or New Stone Age (2000-3000 BC), is found in Knockoneill. It is known locally as the ‘Giant’s Grave.’

Situated a 5 minute drive from An Teach Glas.


St Lurach’s church

The present day ruins of St. Lurach’s Church date back to the 10th Century and it stands on the 6th Century monastery founded by St. Lurach, the Patron Saint of Maghera. Contained within the ruins is a sculpture of the crucifixion, which is thought to date from the 10th Century, making it one of the oldest in Ireland. The details of the sculpture can still be seen today. Located 5 minute drive from houses.

Glenshane Pass

Glenshane Forest Ancient Mass Rock

Glenshane Forest Ancient Mass Rock is a challenging walk perfect for awakening the senses. Follow part of the Ulster Way through the forest then climb to the Ancient Mass Rock, otherwise known as the Priest’s Chair where sometime in the 17th or 18th Centuries, a young boy saved the life of a priest by lying to the Red Coats and sending them off in another direction.

Lough Beg

Church Island

Church Island is a small island on Lough Beg – 1.5 miles from Bellaghy. The later medieval church that stands today, was built on the site of an earlier monastic settlement, thought to have been founded by St Taoide (St Thaddeus).

A Bullaun Stone dating from this early settlement, is located close to the shoreline, to the south of the graveyard.

The tower and spire were built for Lord Bishop Hervey of Derry in the late 1700’s, to be seen from his house at Ballyscullion, and remains an iconic landmark to this day. Free parking and viewpoint is provided at Longpoint Wood.


Seamus Heaney Homeplace Centre

Seamus Heaney HomePlace is located in the village of Bellaghy, situated just 45 minutes from both Belfast and Derry City and is just off the main road which links the two cities. Situated between Heaney’s two childhood homes at Mossbawn and The Wood, and only a few hundred yards from St Mary’s Church, Bellaghy, which he chose as his final resting place, HomePlace is at the heart of the area that inspired so much of the poet’s work. Located a 15 minute drive from An Teach Glas.