by Ann Robinson
The old burying ground that is known as Corrick Abbey is situated in the townland of Corickmore in the parish of Upper Badoney, County Tyrone. This parish was originally called Badoney or Bodoney (also Boydonagh), but was divided into Lower and Upper Badoney in 1774. Badoney may mean “the Sunday hut, where prayers are said.” Access to the burying ground is reached by following a narrow lane that leads off the Derbrough Road, that is the B47 Newtownstewart to Plumbridge Road. There is now no signpost to the abbey, but there is a lamp post on the main road, which acts as a landmark. The lane is situated southwest of M. Beattie & Son’s stores. The lane is about 700 yards long, and is quite twisty. Care needs to be taken in case there is any oncoming traffic.
At the end of the lane there is a small parking area. A modern farmyard is now adjacent to the abbey and part of the concrete farmyard and buildings may have been constructed on some of the monastery ruins. The site of the abbey is on a height at the junction of the Glenelly River, which runs down the valley through Plumbridge, and the Owenkillew River, which runs down the valley close to Gortin. Where the two rivers meet is known as “the meeting of the waters,” and, as well as being known as a place of natural beauty, it is also a favourite place for fishermen. There is always a very tranquil atmosphere at the site, although sometimes this is broken by the sounds from the nearby cattle! A field near to the burying ground was once used as a venue for annual picnic outings from the nearby Corick Presbyterian Church. This was known locally as “Robbie’s Holm” as Robbie McFarland of Corrick Lodge allowed his “holm” to be used each year, usually at the end of June, for tea, buns and lemonade, with games and races for the children and races for the men. There was also a local band. This tradition died out in the late 1940s. Unfortunately many of the names of the people who are buried in Corrick Abbey have been lost forever. Some of the family names on the headstones have died out in the area, some have emigrated to other parts of the British Isles, and further afield, and a few still remain in the area.