Magherafelt Area Plan 2015
Maghera is the second town in Magherafelt District. It is located some 10 km north-west of Magherafelt town. It lies to the north of the A6 Belfast to Londonderry Road, and is bisected by the A29 Coleraine to Cookstown Road.
The town has its roots in early Christian times. It was the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Ardstra from 597 until 1158. It was burned in the rising of 1641, and abandoned for a time under an assault from adherents of James II in 1688. In the 19th Century, Maghera was described as a market and post town of 1154 inhabitants and consisted of a main street, some ½ mile in length and three small lanes. Modern development has taken place on and between the arterial routes radiating out from the town centre.
Maghera is situated in an elevated position above lower lying wetland, on the edge of the River Moyola Floodplain (to the south) and the lowland landscape of the Garvagh Farmland (to the north).
The form of the settlement has been influenced significantly by the steep slopes falling to the low-lying wet lands to the south, where there is a history of flooding. The mature Glebe lands contribute considerably to the attractive landscape setting from the southern approaches to the town.
Regional Policy Context
The Regional Development Strategy (RDS) supports the network of service centres based on main towns, small towns and villages in Rural Northern Ireland