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Corrick Abbey

The graveyard


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The burying ground contains the ruins of the old “abbey” church. Only the east wall of the church now survives to any height. It has the remains of a gothic window, but is now (2003) almost completely covered by ivy and brambles. The south wall is about 3 to 4 feet in height, the north wall about 10 feet and the west wall about 15 feet. The walls also are becoming overgrown with ivy, brambles and young ash trees.

 

The site is enclosed by a stone wall and the entrance is through a small iron gate which is flanked by two stone pillars. There are at least two stones jutting out from the wall beside the gate that look as if they could have been used as a stile. It is likely that the stones from which the wall is built have originally come from the walls of the church. The area of the burying ground is about sixty feet by one hundred and thirty feet. There are now only two surviving yew trees, but there is at least one tree stump visible on the site.

 

There is a mixture of very old headstones, both upright and flat, and there are some modern headstones. Some stones have been used as grave markers, as have some pieces of architecture from the old abbey. Many of the headstones are very worn and almost illegible, and some are completely illegible. There is one tall obelisk stone, with a low surround, and one site with tall iron railings, one with a low wall and another with a low surround. Three of the flat stones have high relief inscriptions. There are large areas where there are no headstones at all. Some of the burials are also inside the ruins of the abbey church. Types of stones used are sandstone, slate, polished marble and concrete. Some of the older flat stones are covered in moss, grass and lichens. There are also some glass domes with artificial flowers and some containers for flowers. There are no old stones with detailed carving. The inscriptions tend to be mostly simple, recording names, dates of death and age. Townlands mentioned are Aughalane, Corick/Corrick, Droit, Letterbratt, Liscable, Lislea, Lisnascreagh and Tullynadall. Other places mentioned are Strabane, St. Louis, U.S.A. and America. From the ages given on the stones it seems that a lot of the people buried in the graveyard have exceeded their “three score and ten years.” One lived to 102, 8 lived into their 90s, 16 into their 80s and 12 into their 70s.

 

Although the earliest legible date is 1703 and the most recent is December 2001, it is likely that burials have been made here since the site first had a religious use. Many of the burials would have had no stone or marker, and many of those that did have disappeared over the years. Strabane District Council now owns the site and the grass cutting seems to be done on a regular basis.

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