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Draperstown - Derry - Front Row

old irish photo

Draperstown (Baile na Crois in Irish) is a village in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in the Sperrin Mountains. It is 12 km north-west of Magherafelt in the Upper Moyola Valley. Draperstown, named after the London Drapers' Company. It is commonly referred to by locals as Ballinascreen (Irish: Baile na Scrine) - the parish name of the area. It had a population of 1,638 people in the 2001 Census. Administratively it is part of the Magherafelt District Council area.

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Photo Details

  • County: Derry
  • Town: Draperstown
  • Scene: Front Row
  • Date: circa 1940

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  • Digitally remastered
  • 10' x 8' printed on quality photo paper
  • Also available mounted & framed, ask for details
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  • Read about Draperstown below

Draperstown

Draperstown (Baile na Crois in Irish) is a village in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in the Sperrin Mountains. It is 12 km north-west of Magherafelt in the Upper Moyola Valley. Draperstown, named after the London Drapers' Company. It is commonly referred to by locals as Ballinascreen (Irish: Baile na Scrine) - the parish name of the area. It had a population of 1,638 people in the 2001 Census. Administratively it is part of the Magherafelt District Council area.

The village is a crossroads, which has a variety of shops and offices, three places of worship, public houses, livestock and sheep markets, two schools and three industrial estates. In Draperstown the buildings in the upper part of the town east of the crossroads, were originally laid out in a triangular village green, the Fair Hill and along three streets. Later the green became one of the two competing Shambles in the town, the other one still survives today. The Fair Hill holds the weekly sheep market on Fridays, and is famous for having the only regular open air sheep market in Ireland. The lower part of the town features the roundabout which formerly was a wide crossroads at the head of the broad St. Patrick’s Street. The two parts together form a distinctive townscape and historic settlement. Key listed buildings within the village include: St.Columba’s Church, Tobermore Road (1888), the Courthouse, 20 High Street (1839) and the Presbyterian Meeting House, 47 High Street (1843). The core of the village was designated a Conservation Area in 1979. The local Gaelic Athletic Club is St Colm's Ballinascreen GAC.

History

Historically it is a union of two settlements. In Elizabethan times the crossroads that was later to become Draperstown heralded a toll gate and a duckpond adjoining an earthern fort. At the onset of the Plantation of Ulster the escheated land was distributed among the Established Church and the twelve London Livery Companies that were to form the new county of Londonderry. The Ballinascreen area was divided between the Drapers' and the Skinners' companies, and the crossroads formed the boundary between the two. The area was largely forgotten by the two companies until the turn of the nineteenth century, the land and properties being leased out to others. The present town was founded in 1798 by Laughlin McNamee, who had a public house in Moneyneena, 3.5km north west of the crossroads. When he realised that his business was going to suffer when the local fair was to be moved, he transferred his premises to the crossroads and built a number of houses alongside. The new settlement was referred to by different names: the Cross of Ballinascreen, Moyheeland, and Burboy. In 1812 the Drapers' Company had a resurgent interest in their portion, and built a new planned town in the western reaches of their land, overlooking and adjoining the crossroads. This they referred to as Draperstown, and this was the name subsequently recognized by the Post Office.

2001 Census

Draperstown is classified as a village by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISR) (ie with population between 1,000 and 2,250 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 1,638 people living in Draperstown. Of these:

  • 24.4 were aged under 16 and 15.0 were aged 60 and over
  • 48.9 of the population were male and 51.1 were female
  • 96.7 were from a Catholic background and 2.8 were from a Protestant background
  • 4.3 of people aged 16-74 were unemployed.

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service

Education

  • Naíscoil na Speiríní. An Irish Language pre-school, in which all subjects are taught in Irish.
  • Gaelscoil na Speiríní. An Irish Language primary-school, in which all subjects are taught in Irish.
  • St Colm's High School