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St Cadans Church - courtesy of Kenneth Wood_edited.jpg


St. Cadan's Church

Nestled at the foot of Binevenagh

Also known as Tamlaghtard


St. Cadan's Church

Until near the end of the 18th century the Protestant community in Magilligan worshipped in the old Church at Tamlaghtard. In 1773 the Earl Bishop decided  to erect a new church, St Cadan's, in a more central part of the parish. It is alleged that he built the church in this exposed location so that he could see who was attending church on Sundays from his residence at Downhill.

St Cadan’s formed part of Frederick’s building programme and bears striking architectural similarities to many churches all over his diocese. His building programme was to earn him the title, ’the edifying Bishop’.

St Cadan, who was venerated by the people of Magilligan, became a great disciple of St Patrick and for his devotions he was made a Bishop in the middle of the 6th century. He journeyed to the island of Bute in western Scotland, where he lived a hermit's life. From here he founded several churches throughout Scotland. Cadan died on Bute but his body was brought back and buried in Magilligan. 

The churchyard has a number of impressive family graves of local landlords such as the McCauslands and Gages. To the right of the entrance gate is a little grave dedicated to Captain Jarensen skipper of the Norwegian brig. He was drowned when his vessel perished  at Benone  in 1878.

Just outside the churchyard stands a one-storey brick school (pre-1854 ) in Tudoresque style. It would be tempting to think that the Bishop was responsible for its construction.


Interesting Places Nearby

Whilst these locations are not specifically linked to the Earl Bishop, they are close to Portrush & Portstewart, and you might also find them interesting.


The Dark Hedges are not hedges at all – they are two rows of old beech trees that lean dramatically over a section of the Bregagh Road, just outside the village of Armoy.

The hedges recently became famous when used as a location in the wildly popular HBO television series, ‘Game of Thrones,’ so you`ll always find fantasy fans with cloaks and cameras in the vicinity! However, the hedges had long been a popular subject for photographers, due to the twisting tunnel created by the trees and the way the light penetrates the branches at different times of day.

The easiest way to reach Armoy from the Giant`s Causeway is to travel east along the A2 Causeway Coastal Route to Ballycastle then take the A44 due south, however there is a more direct route to the hedges by cutting across the countryside along the Ballinlea Road, which leaves the A2 just before Ballintoy. Distance from the Causeway: approximately 18 miles or 29 km.


A popular destination for thrill-seekers, or for ordinary people who want to frighten themselves out of their wits, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge will take you from the mainland onto a small island that was once used as a salmon fishery. Because the bridge is 100 feet (30 metres) above the sea and sways when you walk on it, it is always amusing to watch people crossing and always a challenge to cross for the first time yourself!

However, like the Causeway, the bridge is run by The National Trust and is perfectly safe; the current bridge replaces an older one that was much more of a challenge, to say the least!

Carrick-a-Rede is approximately 8 miles or 12 km due east of the Causeway, along the A2 Causeway Coastal Route.


With just over 1,000 inhabitants, Bushmills is the closest village to the Giant`s Causeway, which is just over 2 miles or less than 4 km away.

It has a convenient park-and-ride facility for anyone who wants to avoid vehicle queues up at the Causeway itself, but there is another reason to dump the car; Bushmills Distillery, which with a founding date of 1608, claims to be the oldest licensed distillery in the world.

Bushmills whiskey is also famous world-wide and rightly so, because it is superb stuff, and a visit to the distillery, with its traditional techniques and pure source of water, will show you exactly how they get it tasting so good!

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