The parish of Ardagh takes its name from an ancient ecclesiastical site, which was either a Church or a small monastery, under the rule of the grandson of Eoghan Bel, King of Connaught. His name was O Suanaigh and he was a 6th century churchman who compiled orders for monks.
Ardagh was mentioned in a letter of Pope Innocent III in 1198, where it is called "Ardachard O Suanaigh", (the Ardagh of O Suanaigh).
The ancient ecclesiastical site must have included a cemetery on high ground, hence the name "Ard Achadh", which means high ground.
The first Church in Ardagh was located in the graveyard at the Knockmore end of the parish in the area known as Derreens.
The second church was located off the main Ballina/Crossmolina road in the area known as Carrowcrin.
The third Church, the present day one, is located beside the local community centre in an area known as Brackloonagh. Fr. O’ Donoghue was responsible for the building of this Church in the 1950's.
The Ballymanagh well and brick works are situated beside the new school on the Bunnanertish Road. The bricks were in great demand and used extensively. They used kilns, which required huge amounts of turf, all of which was cut and procured locally.
The owners of the brick works were the Clarke family, known locally as Lord Clarke's, hence the name of the well, The Lord's Well.
Extract from article by John Cronin and Michael Gordon published in the booklet ‘The Deel Basin – an Historical Survey 1990’ by the Crossmolina Historical & Archaeological Society. Reproduced by their kind permission.