Here was located an ancient hermitage. It
is a spot of peace and wild beauty. The beat of the waves and the call
of the seabirds are the only sounds which disturb this haven by the side
of the Atlantic.
It is interesting to speculate as to why Culdaff was attached to Moville. Cloncha had fallen under Columban influence early. It would seem that Buadan's and Comhghall's maintained their independence. Moville and Both Chonais had close association with St. Patrick. Did this mean that these two sites maintained close links in the succeeding centuries, so that the grouping of Culdaff with Moville was a natural development ?
Culdaff is mentioned in 136722 and in the Papal documents of the fifteenth century?3 In 1605 the parish is mentioned in Bishop Montgomery's Survey?4 There is mention of a stone house here then.
In 1622 the Protestant Bishop of Derry reported that " the parish
church had very good walls standing, fit to be built on but not covered
"?5 The new rector was building a house and later the church was
repaired and made suitable for worship. This report indicates that after
the church and lands had been confiscated from the Catholics a decade
before, the building was allowed to fall into disuse for a time. Indeed,
the new rector had little use for
Bishop Nicholson, the Protestant ordinary at Derry, found in 1739 that the church was again in a ruinous and decayed state?s He ordered that the old building be pulled down and a new one built. The episcopal instructions were carried out and a new church arose on the old site in 1747. A tower was added in 1828, and the structure has remained unaltered since that date?
The original graveyard extended from Ardmore, where there are the remains of the old burial ground, across the road running
through the village to where the church now stands. This was confirmed in the last century, when road-workers found human bones in the soil while road-widening. Both Catholics and Protestants used the graveyard here during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Many parish priests of Culdaff in the postconfiscation period were buried there.
Of the many religious foundations in the parishes of Culdaff and Cloncha this site has the unique record of being the only one which continued as a place of worship from the eighth century until the present day.
As happened in many other areas, the re-building of the
church effaced not only the older structure but all evidence of the early