Rostrevor, on the shore of Carlingford Lough, is a handy gateway to the Mountains of Mourne, approaching them from the south. The name of the village is said to derive from Rose, the wife of Sir Edward Trevor, who married her in 1612. Trevor was a key member of a Welsh dynasty who met Rose, daughter of the Archbishop of Armagh, while on military service in Ireland, and the land around Rostrevor was an estate he acquired there.
Among the points of interest around the village is the Cloughmore Stone (Big Stone) just outside the southern end of Rostrevor. This large granite boulder is thought to have been transported from Scotland during the last Ice Age, although according to legend it was tossed over from the other side of the Lough by a giant. Being 1,000 feet above the Lough, it is worth the walk up to the stone for the views, in addition to which there is a local tradition at Easter in which the locals roll Easter eggs down the slope from here. On the Kilbroney road above the village are the remains of the 6th century church of St Bronagh. The church is known for the ghostly ringing of a bell, even though there has been no bell in use there since the monastic community set up at the church came to an end. On Shore Road is the Ross Monument, originally erected in 1826 and restored in 2008, in honour of local hero Major General Robert Ross, whose military adventures included a victory over American forces at Bladensburg, Maryland, during the War of 1812.
For an energetic walk, head up into the mountains, where there are attractive walking routes through Rostrevor Forest. Or if you have kids in tow, head over to Kilbroney Park, where the Narnia Trail brings the famous C S Lewis stories to life, with themes including The Tree People and The Beaver’s House. Fans of ancient sites should head out to the Kilfeaghan Dolmen, about 3 miles out of the village. This Neolithic portal tomb is about 5,000 years old and has one of the biggest capstones in Ireland, weighing 35 tons.
|The quay at Rostrevor. Photo by Albert Bridge, via Wikimedia Commons.|