Welcome to the official website of the Bellaghy Historical Society
Keen local historian Mrs. Patricia Lowry organised the first meeting in Bellaghy Bawn (known locally as The Castle) on 16th February, 2000. There were 17 attendees including Bawn Curator, Mrs. Deborah Logan. The speaker that evening was Mrs. Muriel Bell who gave a talk on “THe Workhouse”. The following month, Mrs. Logan talked on “The History of The Bawn” and this time 31 people attended.
In April 2000, Mr. Graham Mawhinney of Ballinascreen Historical Society shared his experiences of how to set up a society and, more importantly, how to keep going.
Then, in May 2000, Mrs. Logan facilitated a discussion on “Agriculture in the Last Century”,the details of which were written up over the summer break and eventually became the basis for the first chapter of the Society’s publication, “Life in the Past”.
At that May meeting, those present agreed to form a society and elected a committee: Mrs. Mary Breslin was elected Chairperson; Mrs. Patricia Henry, Treasurer and Mrs. Patricia Lowry was elected Secretary.
When the new season started in October 2000, Mr. Alec Blair thrilled his audience with a presentation on “Ulster Dialects”. By this time membership had increased to the extent that the Bawn could no longer accommodate the numbers attending and it soon became necessary to move to the Old School House, Castle St., a short distance away.
One of the first projects undertaken by Mrs Lowry and others was to create a historical picture of the village, identifying buildings, occupants and their occupations over a number of generations.
Interest and membership grew and the variety of topics that has been explored at meetings over the intervening years has been extensive, reflecting not only the existence of settlements in the area dating back to the period after the ice age but also the economic, industrial, religious, cultural and political events that have influenced the lives of the people not only of Bellaghy, but across Ireland and further afield
More than fifteen years later, Bellaghy Historical Society continues to meet in the Old School Building at 8.00pm on the second Tuesday of each month between October and May.