top of page
Downhill from St Finian's Greencastle (2).JPG


St Finian's Church

Fishing Village and ruins of a Castle built 1305

Views of Downhill and Magilligan from St Finian's 


St Finian's Church

St Finian's Church was built at Greencastle in 1782 on an elevated site with its entrance facing the Foyle. It is said that the Bishop viewed the attendance of his congregation by telescope from his residence at Downhill House.

The Church takes its name from St Finian, who established a monastery in the seventh century nearby at Cooley. At the entrance to the site at Cooley stands a high cross with a carved hole at the top. There is a local tradition that if a wish is made and a stone is thrown through the hole then the wish will come true. To the rear of the graveyard is a small rectangular building known as the Skull House. It may have been used as a mortuary.

Greencastle is a vibrant fishing village, which takes its name from a Castle, built in 1305 by Richard de Burgo, the Earl of Ulster, as a base for Norman power in the North West. The Castle, which guarded the entrance to Lough Foyle, was named Greencastle because of the greenish stone from which it was built.

A short walk from the harbour is the Maritime Museum and Planetarium, worth a visit.

Close by is a Martello Tower, which was built in 1810 for defence against a perceived threat of a Napoleonic invasion. Two forts were constructed at the mouth of Lough Foyle, one at Greencastle and another on the opposite side of the Foyle at Magilligan.

A shoreline walk extends south from Greencastle to Moville, the home of the ancestors of Field Marshall Montgomery.

bottom of page