“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Garvagh in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

Welcome to Garvagh

Welcome to Garvagh Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 15, 2012
1. Welcome to Garvagh Marker

The town of Garvagh owes its 17th century origins and subsequent development to the Canning family. George Canning was the first family member to come to Ireland when, in September 1614, he arrived at Agivey on the banks of the Bann as an agent for the Ironmongers' Company of London.

He established the hamlet of Ballinameen to the south of the town in 1620, but this was destroyed during the 1641 rebellion. The hamlet was re-established in subsequent years and is still known as Ballynameen today.

George Canning's son Paul acquired ownership of the lands from the Irish Chief O'Cahan in 1659 and established Garvagh on its present site in 1660. One of the first buildings he erected was St. Paul's Church in 1659, probably as a private chapel for the family.

The family home, Garvagh House, was also erected at this time. It was located in a 670 acre estate, which today largely comprises Garvagh Forest. Having originally been a fairly modest dwelling, Garvagh House was rebuilt in 1813 and continued to be occupied by the family until 1921 when, upon their return to England, the House and estate was sold to Edward Stronge.

The grand old house was demolished in the early 1960s to make way for Garvagh High School, still present today. It is worth noting that the gates beside this panel, although now in
Ballinameen Photo on Welcome to Garvagh Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, circa 1900
2. Ballinameen Photo on Welcome to Garvagh Marker
a different location, are the original gates from the entrance to Garvagh House, dating from the 1820s.

The Canning family was elevated to the peerage in 1818, taking the title Lord Garvagh. During the early 19th century Lord Garvagh embarked on a Grand Tour of Egypt. Mightily impressed by the pyramids, upon his return he had one built in Garvagh. Known locally as 'The Vault', it was never used, and can still be seen today in Garvagh Forest, a short walk from the forest car park. The entrance to the forest car park is at Ballynameen Bridge, at the southern end of the village, approximately 300m from this panel.

Just over 200 years after arriving in Garvagh, one of George's descendants, also called George Canning, became Prime Minister in 1827. He died a few months after his appointment and was buried alongside his old friend, William Pitt, in Westminster Abbey.

War Memorial
The War Memorial is one of the most prominent landmarks on Garvagh's Main Street. A somber construction, as befits its subject, it was designed by a local man, Thomas Johnston and was unveiled by Captain Charles E. Stronge on 27 March 1924.

Standing 40 feet high and built of local stone, it commemorates the 32 men from the district who lost their lives fighting in the Great War of 1914-1918, as well as those who died in the Second World War, 1939-1945. The men
Photo on Welcome to Garvagh Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, circa 1827
3. Photo on Welcome to Garvagh Marker
[Caption reads] George Canning (Prime Minister 1827)
and women who served in these wars are also commemorated.

Garvagh Museum
The Museum houses a unique collection of almost 2000 artefacts, which trace the history of the Bann Valley from 3000 BC through to the 20th Century. It provides a fascinating insight into life in the home, the farm and the town.

Further interpretation panels and local information can be found on Main Street and Bridge Street. For further visitor information please contact Coleraine Tourist Information Centre (Tel: 028 7034 4723)
Erected by Coleraine Borough Council, Environment & Heritage Service, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, et al.
Location. 54° 58.927′ N, 6° 41.276′ W. Marker is in Garvagh, Northern Ireland, in County Londonderry. Marker is on Main Street (A 29), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Garvagh, Northern Ireland BT51 5ABI, United Kingdom.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. World Wars Memorial (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Welcome to Garvagh (within shouting distance of this marker).
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Also see . . .  Garvagh, Northern Ireland. (Submitted on December 12, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesPatriots & PatriotismSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on July 24, 2018. This page originally submitted on December 12, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 470 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 12, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Distance photo of marker, photo of 'The Vault' and photo of 1820s Garvagh House gates • Can you help?
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