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02-Sep-2017 16:05

In 1610, Donegal Town plus 100 hundred acres were granted to Captain Basil Brooke,an English servitor, who in 1612 set about constructing a full market area, church and churchyard, complete with ringed stone houses occupied by English, Scottish and certain Irish planters, a footprint for today’s ‘Diamond’.

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Donegal gave its name to County Donegal, although Lifford is now the county town.

The name is believed to have come from the huts that were built on the monastic settlement by St. The town of Raphoe is a typical 17th Century plantation town, the old market place centre which is called ‘The Diamond’.

There are many architectural gems located in and around the town including the Masonic Hall (1900), The Second Raphoe Presbyterian Church (1860), and indeed the Diamond itself is bordered by many fine Georgian Houses particularly on the west side.

Small thatched dwellings sprung up around the perimeter of this ‘Tower House’ which was complete with a ‘Fair Green’.

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Sadly with the demise of our Gaelic way of life, the overthrow of ‘The O’Donnell’ and the ‘Flight of Earls’( chieftains) in 1607, saw the ‘Plantation of Ulster’ by the English Crown.

Raphoe is one of the five heritage towns in Donegal.