As part of the Plantation of Ulster, James I had granted a large area of Faughanvale
parish to the
Grocers’ Company of London.
The Grocers’ Company founded this plantation township, originally known as Muff,
in 1619. Eglinton was called Muff until 1858 when residents petitioned to change
its name to avoid confusion with Muff in nearby Donegal. They chose Eglinton in honour
of the 13th Earl, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
The main street’s elegance is due to the improvements made in the 1820s when the
Grocers’ Company chose Eglinton for their Irish headquarters. The village was
redesigned with an impressive tree lined main street. Two oak trees in the centre
of the village were planted as saplings to commemorate the coronations of Edward
VII and George V. They built a manor house, a church, an inn, a school, a police
barracks , shops, houses and a row of cottages for widows.
In 1874 the Grocers’ sold the town to Mr. James Davidson from Brechin Scotland. His
descendents still reside in the manor house today.
Eglinton’s close proximity to Derry means it has changed from a farming village to
a commuter town for the city.