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Patrick Street Graveyard, Strabane

Strabane Visitor Information Centre, Strabane, County Tyrone
Visitors at Patrick Street Graveyard in Strabane.

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Patrick Street Graveyard is the oldest burial ground in Strabane. The earliest memorials in the graveyard date back to the 17th century and most commemorate families that originally came from Scotland. The oldest memorial with a legible inscription commemorates George Home who died in 1672.

One of the graveyard’s more renowned residents is John ‘Half-Hanged ’McNaghten.  On 15th December 1761, McNaghten was led from his cell in Lifford jail, having been found guilty of the murder of Mary Ann Know of Prehen whom he claimed to have loved and married. He put the halter around his own neck and he jumped with great force to the ground below. To the amazement of the crowd, the rope broke. Many willed Mc Naghten to escape, but legend has it that being of noble character and blood, McNaghten refused, stating that he had no desire to be called or remembered as ‘Half-hanged ‘McNaghten. Another rope was prepared and the ‘unfortunate’ Mc Naghten was duly hanged, beheaded and buried in an unmarked grave in the corner of Patrick Street graveyard.

Located also within the graveyard is a large megalith suggesting that this has been a site of importance for thousands of years. Little is known of the exact purpose of this structure – it may have served to mark a burial site or simply to indicate a route way or boundary. It has been suggested also that during the 14th Century a group of friars from the Franciscan community selected this location to establish a religious foundation. The friary was said to have been eventually destroyed during an attack by the O’Donnell clan in 1523.  Of more certainty, however, was the presence here of a church building belonging to the Church of Ireland from the early 1600’s until the opening of nearby Christ Church in 1879. In 1689, at the time of the Siege of Derry, this church was used as a hospital by King James’s army.

Additional Information: Interpretation on site.


For access contact Strabane Visitor Information Centre on +44 (0) 28 7138 4444

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* For access contact Strabane Visitor Information Centre on +44 (0) 28 7138 4444

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