. 6.3.2014

Note: Please note our website formerly Benbradagh has been moved to this new site The Winding Roe with the website address of www.thewindingroe.com .This should be easier to remember as the web address is basically the same name as the Website name. It is also the same name as our magazine "The Winding Roe" which we issue towards the end of each year.
We would appreciate if you would inform any former Benbradagh watchers of this new address. Thanks.
If you have roots in Dungiven or the Roe valley area we would be very pleased to hear from you. We are particularly interested in old photographs you may have from days gone by. Perhaps we may be able to identify people and places in them. If you would scan them as JPG's and attach we would be very pleased to receive. No need to send photographs. Here is an Email link for this purpose.Thanks.

A view of the river Roe as its enters Lough Foyle. Donegal shore opposite, Derry to the left and open sea to the right of image.

Greetings from the lands of the O'Cathans and the town of Dungiven a small vibrant and expanding town on the western slopes of the Sperrin hills on the main road between Belfast and Derry nestling beside Benbradagh hill and astride the river Roe as it swings north at Dungiven and flows up the Roe valley to flow into Lough Foyle north of Limavady close to Ballerena.

"Let others boast of foreign climes,
And vales beyond the sea,
I do not doubt in distant lands
Are fairy scenes to see.
But give to me a pleasant stroll
When summer's breezes blow
Where the primrose stars the verdant banks
Along the river Roe".
S.Connor poet.

We hope that you will enjoy the recent issue and support our efforts.We have endeavoured to improve the quality by introducing colour. Please advise those who may be interested. We would like to say thanks to those who purchased last years magazine and earlier editions.Also thanks to those of you in many parts of the world who contacted us with material and comments. Feedback is always appreciated. Please call back from time to time.

No magazine was produced for the year 2001 but a new team with an interest of the area's history started putting together a new magazine early in 2002. This magazine was aptly named The Winding Roe after the river Roe which rises in the hills close to Glenshane Pass then flows seawards through the Benedy Glen, skirts Dungiven to the immediate north then links with the Owenreagh and Owenbeg rivers and numerous other streams as it flows down the Roe valley passing close to the west side of Limavady town then swings north-east eventually emptying into Lough Foyle close to Ballerena.
To date eleven issues have been produced. Issues No. 1-11 for 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006. 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. For those overseas please contact our office in Dungiven the address of which is as below for cost and postage details. A check can also be made for availability of issues earlier issues. Issues 1 and 6 have been sold out but you can copy early issues by clicking on the icons below. The last issue of the Benbradagh magazine was number 30 issued at the end of 2,000. It had been published faithfully for some 30 years and was much appreciated by not only the local community but by people in far flung lands whose family roots are in the Roe valley or indeed in the general area of this part of Co. Derry. Sadly there are no copies of old issues available which prompted the new team of contributors to have the old issues put on the Internet. We hope that those of you who visit this website will gain information from the old issues and that you will pass on our website address to your friends both in this country and abroad. As now we get requests for old editions or photocopies of pages from specific issues. This is not really a practical approach so we now hope that you can print off from the files here on this Internet site. Note that the files are in PDF format and because of size may takea little while to download. So be patient and allow for your local Internet speed and the speed of your computer.

The Winding Roe/Benbradagh website is primarily aimed at those who have ancestral roots in the Roe valley and who may be doing research on this. We hope that the information in the files will be of use to you. We are aware that there are families in such far flung places such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand, S. Africa, Argentina, Mexico, Continental Europe and every place the Irish diaspora has linked will hopefully find this website useful. Maybe you have photos, stories or old letters brought by your ancestors to their new homelands all those years ago and you would like to share with us. If you would like to contact the webmaster please feel free to send an email via the website Email icon provided.Your comments and feedback appreciated. Be aware that you can forward images and text via the website Email icon so no need to have to write, send photos etc. all that dreaded "snail mail" stuff. Thanks. Though this website contains material mostly associated with a more "domestic" history of the Roe Valley some of you may become interested in the general history of the area and especially the N.E. area of Ireland the province of Ulster.To get a good comprehension of the history it will be necessary to understand the intertwined relationships between the main clans of Ulster the O'Neills with their smaller clan allies the O'Donnells and to a lesser extent the O'Cathans and their interaction with England especially after the Reformation and the coming of Elizabeth 1st and James 1st to the throne. Irish history in this part of Ireland changed for ever in the late 16th and early 17th century. The O'Neills and their allies fought a protracted compaign against the English but eventually were defeated and rather engage in a formal surrender chose in 1607 to flee Ireland for Continental Europe. Needless to say the run up to these events was a period of intrigue, religious differences, deals, deceit, power struggles, arranged marriages, family fueds and the usual events that change history to this day. The reader may find it helpful to do some reading up on these aspects to get a good comprehension of our history and where we are at this moment and the history that your ancestors lived in generations gone by. The Benbradagh a cross community magazine was issued between the years 1970 and 2000 some 30 years in Dungiven Co. Derry by a small group of local historians in the area. The magazine is now out of print. The magazine was generally about 20 to 30 pages of roughly A4 size. The Benbradagh was issued each year before or around Christmas or early Spring and its content usually consisted of articles by local writers on the history of the immediate Dungiven area but also on the Roe valley or about people having links to the area. The magazine will be of interest to people world wide who have their roots and family history in this part of Co. Derry, the lands of the O'Cathans, McCloskeys and O'Mullans. An area of much history and greatly affected by the Plantation of Ulster in the early 17th century.

Please note our new address:
Glenshane Community Development,
Glenshane House,
114 Main St. Dungiven Co. Derry BT47 4LG.

Tel. (028) 77742494

Fax. (028) 77742393

Please use above Email link for contact with our main office staff at Glenshane House.

Please use above Email link for comments, information, files etc to the website manager.

Notes on downloading the Benbradagh and The Winding Roe files.

In order to keep a managable size website and file size each Benbradagh has been converted into a PDF file. This should enable those interested to open each year in PDF format. It will also be possible to print out each page. Adobe Reader software is already available on most home computers or you can download free courtesy of Adobe from the link icon below.

The quality of the files is a compromise between file size, webspace and the quality of the original magazines some of which were already photocopies. The website is more suited for broadband high speed systems.
We continue on an ongoing basis to update the website so please call back from time to time. Each file is between 2 and 6 Mbs. With broadband they will each download in between 5 and 10 seconds.Broadband speeds are not always running at the speed claimed so be patient if you find some slowness in download. All downloads have been tested on broadband.
Use can be made of your "Magnifier" tool on the Adobe tool bar. I find that "Fit Visible" from the drop down menu gives the best clarity but experiment to suit your own computer.

As of the April 2010 check with the Dungiven office for availability of early issues. Issue No. 1 and 6 are sold out.

Thanks for your support. Please feel free to access issues 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of The Winding Roe by clicking on associated icons below. Feedback and comments are appreciated via the email icon at the bottom of this Home page. Feel free to print. Many thanks.

Acknowledgement and Thanks.
On a personal level and as a member of the team putting together the new magazine The Winding Roe we must first record acknowledgement and thanks to the original committee members who produced and published the Benbradagh for 30 years. We hope that by putting the old magazine on the Internet many people world wide will be able to access the information contained in the old issues.

The First Book of Dungiven was already a lost treasure when it was mentioned in The Book of Lecan written around 1412 by Mac Firbis of Sligo under the patronage of the O'Dowds. The Second Book of Dungiven then is a fitting title to this 30 issue compilation. This Second Book fits neatly into the second millenium.

Dungiven Co. Derry. Viewed across Crebarkey townland. The river Roe in foreground.

Wintry scene at the ancient Priory Dungiven. December 2010.
Image courtesy of D.Hegarty

The townlands of the Roe Valley area between the Glenshane Pass where the river rises near the White Mountain and Limavady. Most but not all the townlands are marked.Map of 1925.

The weir across the Roe at Carrick Mill (formerly Murrell's Mill) close to Limavady.
Image courtesy Webmaster

View of the "back" side of Benbradagh from The Grey Gables. Gelvin Water behind tree line.
Image courtesy of M.Wack

Ancient monastic ruins at Tamlagh Finlagan near Ballykelly.
Image courtesy of the Webmaster.

The Roe Valley from the Birren Road.
Image courtesy of D.Hegarty

A view across Leeke townland.
Image courtesy of the Webmaster.

View of the Roe at Turmeel townland.
Image courtesy of D.Hegarty

Benbradagh viewed from Tamniarn townland.
Image courtesy of D.Hegarty

Benbradagh from Camnish townland. Bovevagh parish. Deep winter 1995.
Image courtesy D.Hegarty.

Dungiven Castle Hotel. Front View. You can stay here. Ghost optional but extra!
Image courtesy of D.Hegarty

Winter scene Pelipar.
Image courtesy of D.Hegarty

St.Patrick's Church Dungiven.
Image courtesy of D.Hegarty

Memorabilia and Images of Times Gone By.

Some images from a recent portfolio of Denis Hegarty. Many of you have remarked on the quality of the images on the website and those used on the cover of the magazine. Denis provides the majority of website images and all those used for the magazine cover. This is much appreciated. With thanks also to Mary Wack who has also supplied us with some excellent images and not forgetting the Webmaster with his box Brownie !!.

Passenger list emigrant ship "Solon" Derry to Philadelphia June 1843. Many from Dungiven, Limavady Roe valley area. Some names we have identified. Do you recognise anyone? If so we would like to hear from you.Thanks.

Click and print a 2014 calender from the icon below.

Soldiers of note from the Dungiven, Roe Valley and environs.

Colonel Dennis O'Kane Tireighter Park Commander of the 69th Pennsylvania Infantry American Civil War 1861-65

Colonel John Haslet Straw Bovevagh commander Delaware Line in Washington's Army. American Revolutionary War 1776.

Lieut John J.Ferris Drumsurn.Officer 19th Mass.Vols.American Civil War 1861-65

Some Notes and Stories of Interest.

Some views from the Roe valley.

Notes of interest, the probable links between the Roe and the Monroe clan of Scotland, the legacy of the O'Neills of Ulster and a few points of interest.

Roe valley townlands map. Townlands map of the northern counties.

Some images of Ireland 1895-1905.

Some more images of Ireland 1895-1912.

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