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Limavady Town

Feature Title

The pre-plantation town of Limavady survives now only has a distance memory, with no ruins left to provide evidence of its existence. At the close of 1612 Sir Thomas Phillips recieved as a grant from the Crown, at an annual rent of sixpence the lands near the old castle of the Dogs Leap on the Roe River near Kane's Rock. On the west side of the Roe his lands stretched from Drumraighland and Ballymore through Clagan, Tamlaght and Drumballydonaghy to the rich flat lands of Lomond and Myroe. The Crown also granted him the castle of O'Cahan, and the state papers of the Crown, record how he renovated the castle as a defensive position. it had a drawbridge, moat and circular tower. Beside the Castle Sir Phillip built a two-storey stone house and slated roof, there was an orchard, garden and dovecot for doves and pigeons. Sir Thomas Phillip can be credited with the creation of the present town of limavady, this new town of Limavady located a mile away from the old town of Limavady. He built 18 small houses at a cross roads, with a stone cross in the centre. The new town was called Newtown-limavady, and superseded the old town, of which no trace remains. The old church of Drumachose was in a ruinous state so the people met for worship in a house at Newtown-Limavady, with approx 25 settler families beening brought from England by Sir Phillips.

Story Title

The new town of limavady was the work of a elizabethan soldier, namely Sir Thomas Phillips, he had built a water-mill at

Coat of arms of Limavady

The coat of arms consists of:

The lower half of the shield uses the former coat of arms of the old Limavady district council. It shows two crossed bands with shells. This is taken from the coat of arms of the Connolly family who owned all the land around Limavady from 1697.

The upper part of the shield is a wavy blue band. This is taken from the Phillips coat of arms. The Phillips also owned all the land around Limavady until they sold it to the Connolly clan. As the Phillips had received the land as a grant from James I (in 1612) they must have made a tidy profit from the transaction. (Dealing in land is still very profitable in the town, so not much has changed over the years.)

The same blue band also features in the arms of the Haberdashers' company, who owned a lot of land around Ballykelly. On the blue band are two sets of crossed fish, which were taken from the arms of the O'Cahan family and the Fishmongers' Company. Between the fish sits St. Columba in his boat. He came to visit the Convention of Drumceatt in 575, just outside the town. He must have travelled up the river Roe in this boat, although I for one don't believe that he was that big, or alternatively, that he managed to stay afloat in such a tiny craft.

The crest on top of the helmet shows a mural crown, denoting the Borough status of the council. Inside this is a rock from which an Irish wolfhound leaps. This is taken from the famous O'Cahan tale explained elsewhere. The dog is carrying a broken lance from the Crest of the Phillips family.

How the creature managed to take off at all - carrying all that useless weight - is a mystery that I am at a loss to explain.

The supporters are from the Phillips and O'Cahan arms. On the left is a sinister looking cat_a_mountain, (O'Cahan) joined on the right by a dexterous black lion, (Phillips). They appear to be giving a cats concert.

Below the shield is the motto: ABSIT INVIDIA which means "Let there be no ill-will"; a most admirable motto if adhered to.

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