Where the River Ballyboe meets Trawbreaga Bay sits Malin Town which is a 17 th Century Plantation town. Coming from the Carndonagh direction, an impressive ten arch bridge leads into the small compact town built round a triangular green where cherry, lime and sycamore trees grow. Because of the ambience of this little town with a look of times gone past, one writer wrote, ‘a lovely place to dream in.’
On the outskirts of the town is the Church of Ireland Church with its battlemented towers and square pinnacles. It followed the only religion allowed in the town because of the penal laws in plantation times. A chalice in the church has the inscription, ‘This communion cup belongeth to the Parish of Clonchan 1638’.
Lagg Roman Catholic Chapel and Malin Presbyterian Church, both small white buildings, are farther out. The chapel, built in 1784, sits in the sandhills with Knockamany Bens rising behind and overlooking Trawbreaga Bay. It is the first catholic church to be built in Inishowen following the abolishment of the Penal laws. Its graveyard is shared with Protestants. At the door stands a font from the 6 th Century from the abbey of St Mura near Buncrana.
The Presbyterian Church of Malin, built in 1711,originally with a thatched roof, is slightly nearer the town and sits at sea level. Because of the Penal laws, the Presbyterians were told to build their churches below the high water mark. Graves were in the Chapel grounds so they wouldn’t be washed away.
It now has a special attachment for the door to keep the sea out when there are exceptionally high tides or storms!