Weathered masonry at the height of Torr Head was there to serve the custom house and as support for a spotting station where ships transiting the Strait of Moyle (Irish Sruth na Maoile), the 12 miles of water to the Mull of Kintyre.
Lloyd’s of London, vitally interested in the appearance of ships’ progress crossing the oceans, had notice of passage via semaphore (and, later, Marconi’s “wireless”). Destination ports were copied in.
Scottish influences touched the landscape covered by yesterday’s post, today we continue on this subject with these south facing views from Torr Head. The far ridge of Torrcor marks Loughan Bay.
A townland on the other side of Torrcor hill (and townland) has an eponymous ruin, Altagore Cashel. Mores the pity we did not visit this site, a thick drystone enclosing wall from the 5th century (you can see photographs from another site at this link). Cashel is from the Irish Caiseal, a circular, defensive fort (“ring fort”).
Books such as “Antrim and Argyll: Some Aspects of the Connections” tell of connections over the millennia, clan associations between the islands and ring forts such as Altagore Cashel.
Late spring and summer, weekdays, a net is stretched across the bay to catch salmon nosing up the coast, searching for their home spawning stream, here called Altmore Burn. “Burn” is a Scottish term for a fresh water source, evidence of the influence 12 miles across the north channel.
The small harbor seen here from Torr Head is for the salmon fishery. Small boats will seek shelter here from the wind and tides strong enough to roar in passing the Head, like a fast flowing river.
Taking in a flower meadow, foreground, coaster sheep pastures, the photograph, below, looks north from Torr Head. The high hill, midground, is Greenanmore, notable for a the largest passage tomb of the Antrim Glens. Locally known as “Barrach’s Tomb,” for the Red Branch knight of the 1st Century AD fort on Torr Head, tree ring research of the mid-20th Century dates these tombs in the neolithic The hilltop passage tomb was an ancient relic when the mortar of Barrach’s Torr Head fort was drying.
When I enlarge the original photograph, visible on the ridge is a decommissioned Cold War listening post, the tomb is near that. The distant land across the North Channel water is Rathlin Island.
Click photograph for a larger view. To do this from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page.
The existing dry stone wall was interrupted by the shrine. In the distance are dry stone walls around fields, a stone shed, feeding horses and the sea, being Galway Bay, storm clouds with distant rain.
A long path through fields, karst landscapes and outer walls leads to this entrance to the inner ring of Dun Aonghasa (Dun Aengus) of Inishmore, Aran Islands, County Galway, Ireland. The image composition is as a dramatic landscape with the surrounding walls and the cloudscape of an approaching storm.
A detail of the interior wall of Dun Aonghasa (Dun Aengus) in springtime. White flowers of Sea Campion (Scientific Name: Silene uniflora) (Irish Name: Coireán mara) set against the ancient dry stone wall. Inishmore, Aran Islands, County Galway, Ireland.
We found Sea Campion throughout the west Ireland coast.
Wishing a blessed All Saints Day (November 1st) for all my readers.
A view to the northwest from within Dun Aonghasa in springtime. The interior a karst formation (see my post, ” Galway Bay View from Dún Aonghasa”), the grikes filled with grass and a sprinkling of white and yellow flowers, a cloudscape rising over the walls. Inishmore, Aran Islands, County Galway, Ireland.