|St Johnston - Carrigans ~ Co Donegal.|
St Johnston or the town of St John, a nickname for St Baithin, used to be a borough. The town used to return two members to the Irish Parliament. It had a court. One recorder presided over the court.
In 1618, the town was a small village or clachan. The houses were humble thatched roofed dwellings in a group inhabited by people who came over from Scotland in the Plantation so that they could defend themselves better against the Irish who had a lot of resentment towards them. The town was so small in 1618, that plans were made to bring in thirteen Englishmen or Scotsmen to build houses in the area – to build a new town in effect. This reflects the poor state of the existing town. It was complained that the existing town just didn’t stand a chance against attacks from the native Irish. The plans didn’t come to fulfilment.
At the time, thirteen families from Scotland were housed in a single street. The town consisted of one street back then.
The Bridge that presently crosses from St Johnston to Ard Baithin is an important help to working out how the town was planned in days long gone.
Bridge was mentioned on 13th March 1752 in the Abercorn Papers. Therein it was stated that there was an acre of land one acre in size near the bridge that
belonged to nobody in particular. This
land was on the St Johnston side of the bridge because the other side was
stated to be a “large park in
There would have been only a lane or dirt track down to the sore for the fishermen from the town.
original town would have been located along the current
current bridge to Classygowan didn’t exist until
after 21st July 1783 where the budget they hoped to stick to was
£15. The description is a bit odd, “The bridge between Clashygowan and St
Johnston mill”. But nevertheless what
was meant was the bridge between St Johnston and the Mill at Clashygowan. The
road accords the bridge would naturally have been
created at the same time as the bridge.
That the road was created does not suggest that there was no house
located where the current road meets the
16th January 1789
1789, the buildings in the town of
A Widow Davis was living in her tenement tough most of the roof had fallen in.
Adam McKay’s tenement fell down completely and plans were made for a James Smyth to rebuild it.
Taylor and Skinner's Maps of the Roads of Ireland of 1777 has St Johnston on it.
The McCrea and Knox Map of 1813 was concerned with cataloguing poverty and road building schemes and structures. There was a ferry on the Foyle that crossed to Carrigans and St Johnston and the St Johnston townland of Carrickmore.
The Mansion House Today
read in the Abercorn Papers from 1789 that facing the
This is how the mansion house currently looks.
Here are photographs of the stables.
The mansion house had a doorway blocked up with stones that was visible until 2002. The doorway was obviously the main door of the house.
The 1836 Ordnance Survey stated that there were five flax mills, a flour mill and a corn mill in Carrigans. They were ineffective at getting people in the area out of starvation and unemployment. The machinery lay idle most of the time. The cottages were described as very dirty and far too small by Mr Scott who was a farmer from Mullennan near Carrigans.
local Temperance Society built a Temperance Hall in St Johnston in the 1870s at
There was a mill at Milltown, St Johnston.
There was a house, part of it was demolished and part was retained that Sammy King lived in. The existing part became Humphrey Dunne’s Electrical Store. He built a workshop out the back to fix electrical appliances. There was a shop at the front selling electrical equipment and batteries and so on. It is now M1’s hair salon.
Opposite the road was a house in which people lived and the house passed into the ownership of Joe Gibson who had the house demolished in the 1970’s.