Tuesday, 14 February 2017

WARRENPOINT



The Northern Irish town of Warrenpoint faces the Republic of Ireland across the waters of Carlingford Lough.  The town sits at the mouth of the Newry Canal where it empties out into the Lough, and it is also near the foothills of the Mountains of Mourne.  There are lovely views from the seafront of the mountains meeting the sea.  The town was planned and built on a grid system at the beginning of the 19th century, and by the mid 1800s its timber trade with North America and Canada had turned it into a prominent port.  It was also an important centre for markets and fairs. 

Nowadays the town is a popular seaside venue, with a range of restaurants and watering holes plus an amusement park in the summer.  Above the town is a track called the Bridal Loanen, and at the entrance to this is the Coronation Stone of the Clan Magennis, once one of the most powerful families in Ulster.  This was where the chieftain of the Clan was inaugurated, surrounded by all those who owed him allegiance.  Just outside the town, beyond the WarrenpointGolf Club, is Narrow Water Castle, a 16th century tower house which, as its name suggests, occupies a riverside site on the Clanrye River a mile from where it enters the Lough.  The site was originally fortified in 1212 by Hugh de Lacy, 1st Earl of Ulster, in a bid to protect nearby Newry from river attacks, but the original castle was destroyed during the 1641 rebellion.  The castle was the scene of a tragic event during "the Troubles", when 18 British soldiers were killed in an ambush by the Provisional IRA.  Nowadays it is the scene of happier events, as it is a popular wedding venue.

Map of the area.

File:Warrenpoint, July 2010 (02).JPG
Photo by Ardfern, via Wikimedia Commons