Coleraine Town 'Coil Raithin'
The Ferney Corner
This market town on the river Bann called Coleraine is said to have been given its name by St Patrick who, when he came there on his travels, was offered a site for a church. Near the place he saw some children playing among ferns and named it 'Cuil Rathain' - 'The Ferney Corner'. The site of this 5 th century church is today marked by the present Church of Ireland ' Church of Patrick' building which stands on the same site.
Prior to the Plantation of Ulster in the early 1600 the town of Coleraine was surrounded by a rampart, which still exists behind the Church of Ireland building today. The Normans occupied the lands for several hundred years building a fortication at Coleraine to control the passage of the Bann.
Previous to the Normans who wrestled the lands off the O'Cahan Sept, who in turn drove out the O'Connors, there stands Irelands oldest known settlement at 'Mountsandel', a mile to the south of the town of Coleraine. Excavations in the area of Coleraine have also revealed hearths of wooden houses that stood here 9000 years ago.
It was the City of London which undertook the plantation of Coleraine 'to reduce the savage and rebellious people to civility, peace, religion and obedience' . The English crown declared the lands of Coleraine forfiet from the O'Cahan Sept. O'Cahan naturally became rebellious with the result that he was arrested. He was taken to Dublin and later lodged in the Tower of London. With O'Cahan in prison the way was clear for the taking over of his rich and fertile county. This 'plum' of the plantation was given to the Corporation of London.