Ederney ( Eadarnaidh) is a village in County Fermanagh located in the tranquil Glendarragh River Valley on the edge of two townlands Ederney and Drumkeen, Northern Ireland, just over 2 miles from Lower Lough Erne near Kesh. It is situated 83 miles from Belfast, over 100 miles from Dublin and centrally located sixteen miles from both provincial towns of Omagh and Enniskillen. Ederney and its environs boast a population of several thousand people. There is a townhall, children's playground, pitch and putt course, tennis court, and football park within the village.
(A more comprehensive history of Ederney and the Glendarragh Valley is currently being prepared)
The history of Fermanagh and Ireland is very extensive so an overview of the beginnings of Irish life can be viewed here: History and Heritage Guide (Source: www.fermanagh.gov.uk)
The name Ederney* is said to come from the Gaelic word for "middle place" but historic records detail that Ederney was also known as the place of "the ambush". River crossings were always a good place to set up an ambush and especially if the local topography funnelled travellers into a relatively narrow pass as it does here.
There is also an alternative and much more ancient possible meaning for the name of the village. On the first ever known map of Ireland, that of the ancient Greek geographer Ptolemy, there is a tribe marked just north of the Erne called Erdini. It is more than possible that the name Ederney is the only surviving trace of that ancient tribe recorded in Ptolemy’s map in the 2nd century AD.
When Christianity came to Ireland in the 5th century AD – to Fermanagh in the 6th and7th centuries – Saint Tierney (550AD) founded a monastery just north of Ederney at Kiltierney.
Leo Mulligan MBE details that at the time of the Plantation of Ulster there was obviously a settlement of significance at Ederney or at least an indication of its ancient importance when the entire land grant was given to Thomas Blennerhassett of Norfolk in 1610 which was titled as "Edernagh”. By 1797, the settlement is recorded in the Topographia Hibernica as Ederney Bridge and Fair Days were held there.
Traditionally Ederney was the most thriving village of the three in the Glendarragh Valley. As a village it arose as a crossing place in the middle of the valley which tended to flood freely in times of heavy rain. At Ederney the main road from Enniskillen via Irvinestown towards Castlederg and Derry crossed the river here where the firm ground made the passage easier.
Photo: An Ederney Fair Day 1929
Places of Interest
Ederney Townhall is one of the principal buildings in the village is Ederney Townhall or Ederney Market House as it was first known, was established about 1839 under the instruction Rev.Wm West and was designed by the renowned Dublin-based architect, W D Butler. Originally, there were three bays on the ground floor which housed an open arcade. An upper floor was often used as a hall for social events as well as a school classroom. During a reconstruction in the late 1880s, the open arches were built-up and the building modernised into a two-storey three-bay building. The main front has a single large arch flanked by small windows at the ground floor and three windows at the upper floor. There is a simple pediment with a circular plaque which now houses the village clock. The side elevation has a single large arch at the lower level and a fine Venetian window at the upper level. In the early part of the 20th century the ground floor was still in use as a market place before being leased to Gracey’s of Enniskillen for an egg packaging depot. The upper floor was used for various uses from the late 1880s to the middle of the 1990s as a school classroom and as theatre and entertainment venue and was the location for Ederney’s first cinema. A separate first floor room was used for meetings by the Masonic lodge. By the late 1980s, the building had become an eyesore having been mostly derelict for several decades. It was taken over by Fermanagh District Council and redeveloped for community use following some local lobbying. Today it is fully operational as a village community centre accommodating for and providing facilities and services for the community.
Local historic sites include Drumskinney Stone Circle and the Deer Park (Kilterney), which is an ancient religious settlement. Ederney's old Townhall, the Glendarragh Wishing Well and St. Joseph's Church are also interesting landmarks that particularly characterize the village and surrounding area.
Ederney Map 2002 This unusual map was produced by Leo Mulligan MBE in order to capture Ederney's present and past at the start of the 21st century.
The geography of the area is richly recorded and includes landmarks and place-names from the past that have been so much part of Ederney's history.
First Ordnance Survey Map 1834 of Ederney: This map shows the geography of the area approximately 175 years ago. Please note that route into Ederney from Enniskillen was via the Back Street renamed New Street in later years. Also, the present Lack Road doesn't exist and the route to Omagh was via the old toll gates over the hill behind Seamus Carron's house at Edenclaw Little. The Castlederg Road at the time was via the Killygarry Road meeting up at Drumbarron close to Gerry McDonagh's house and continued through Gushedy More and Rotten Mountain townlands joining up with the present main route at Scraghey. There is one school house and that is located in what is now Martin Maguire's back yard. The RC Church known as Black Bog Chapel is located about half-a-mile north of the village in the townland of Monavreece (sometimes spelled Moneyvriece).
This page has been brought to you by Ederney.com. We are a promoter for tourism and eco tourism in the Glendarragh River Valley and the Fermanagh Erne Lakelands area.
The Glendarragh Valley Inn is an award winning facility in a village setting providing Northern Ireland Tourist Board approved accommodation as well as a 70 seater restaurant.
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On this website we have all you need packaged together at our own Glendarragh Valley Inn which provides hotel style accommodation bed & breakfast (B&B) and a licensed restaurant at Ederney near Enniskillen in the Fermanagh Erne Lakelands – Ireland’s most beautiful Lakeland county.
Whether it’s business accommodation or holiday accommodation or fining dining you need, Fermanagh’s award-winning Glendarragh Valley Inn will welcome you for an experience that is friendly and different
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Farming families in Ireland, during the Early Christian period, lived in isolated settlements. They built crannogs (artificial islands) in the loughs and wetlands,
and defended their homesteads on dry land with an earthen bank (raths) or
a drystone wall (cashels). Most of the raths and cashels were simple
enclosures rather than well defended citadels. In some of them underground
artificial caves (souterrains) can be found which were useful for storage as
well as defence. On the other hand crannogs and promontory forts were all
built as strongholds. So, defence was prominent in the concerns of the
population – probably because of the cattle-raiding, which was endemic in