Dungiven

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After coming down from Benbradagh and Boviel Top, I took a quick tour around the nearby small town of Dungiven, mainly to see the castle and priory.  I went to the castle first, as it easily found on the main street.  Most of the current castle dates from the 1830’s, and it has had various uses over the years, coming close to demolition, being used to accommodate the US Army during World War II, and later used as a dance hall.  In recent years it had been a hotel, but by the time of my visit it was derelict again.

 

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The rear garden, with a table and chairs from its time as a hotel, still rusting on the lawn.

 

 

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Its an impressive old building and I hope it doesn’t get threatened with demolition again.  As the sun disappeared, and the day turned gloomy, I headed off to look for the Priory, which proved more difficult to find.  I couldn’t see any signs anywhere, surprising for such an ancient building parts of which date from the 12th century.  Eventually I found the footpath that led to it.  The Priory contains a very impressive tomb with detailed carving and sculptures.  It is behind a locked doorway so I couldn’t access it to get any photos unfortunately.  Instead, I had a good wander round the exterior.

 

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Wandering around looking for the Priory, this chuch on the main street caught my eye.

 

 

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I finally found the path to the Priory.  Ahead on the path, you can see a rare black rabbit – maybe the result of interbreeding with an escaped pet.

 

 

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A standing stone on a rise in the nearby fields.  Later, I took a walk up through a church car park to get a closer look.

 

 

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The path and the fields on each side were full of rabbits.  I didn’t have my long lens with me, but this one didn’t notice me peering through a gap in the hedge, and I was able to get s shot even with the wider angle telephoto.

 

 

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Coming up to the priory.  The modern roof was added to give protection from the elements, particularly to the tomb mentioned above.

 

 

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Heading back out along the track to the town.

 

 

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The rabbits were still out and about, and still approachable through gaps in the hedge.

 

One last stop, a quick wander up to have a look at the standing stone.

 

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