LONDONDERRY (County of), a maritime county of the province of ULSTER, bounded on the south and south-west by the county of Tyrone; on the west, by that of Donegal; on the north-west, by Lough Foyle; on the north, by the Atlantic Ocean; and on the east, by the county of Antrim. It extends from 54° 37' to 55° 12' (N. Lat.), and from 6° 26' to 7° 18' (W. Lon.); and comprises an area, according to the Ordnance survey, of 518,423 acres, of which 388,817 are cultivated, 119,202 are mountain waste and bog, and 10,404 are occupied by water. The population, in 1821, was 193,869, and in 1831, 222,012.

The river Foyle appears to have been the Argita, and the Bann the Logia, of Ptolemy; and the intervening territory, constituting the present county of Londonderry, formed, according to this geographer, part of the country of the Darnii or Darini, whose name appears to be perpetuated in the more modern designation of "Derry." The earliest internal evidence represents it as being chiefly the territory of the O'Cathans, O'Catrans or O'Kanes, under the name of Tir Cahan or Cathan-aght, signifying "O'Kane's country:" they were a branch of and tributary to the O'Nials, and their chief seat was at a place now called the Deer Park, in the vale of the Roe. When their country was reduced to shire ground by Sir John Perrot, in the reign of Elizabeth, it was intended that Coleraine should be the capital; and the county was therefore designated, and long bore the name of, "the county of Coleraine," although it is a singular fact that the ruins of the court-house and gaol then built for the county are at Desertmartin, 15 miles from the proposed capital.

County Londonderry | Londonderry History | Londonderry Government | Londonderry Topography | Londonderry Loughs | Londonderry Agriculture | Londonderry Geology | Londonderry Manufactures | Londonderry Rivers | Londonderry Residences | Londonderry Antiquities | City of Londonderry

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