Dunseverick Castle Ruin, roadside info

Pride of History on display

On Causeway Road there is a turnoff an information placard for Dunseverick Castle near a cottage. This is the left side of the placard with the historical context. The right side is natural history of the area.

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Reference: Wikipedia “Dunseverick Castle.”

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Dunseverick Castle Ruin, closer

Recollections of Saint Patrick

Slight pangs of regret recalled in my first Dunseverick Castle post are recalled this morning on remembering the long Slige Midluachra (aka “High King’s Road”) of which Dunseverick Castle was the terminus, beginning from the Hill of Tara. Walk the High King’s Road, “why not?.”

Here we can see the two partial wall, remains of a gate house, destroyed in the 17th century. I can imagine making the climb up the foot path, examine the earthworks from before the Viking invasions, middle of the first millennium A.D. Recall a visit by Saint Patrick, trodding the path from his Easter fire on the Hill of Slane.

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Reference: Wikipedia “Dunseverick Castle.”

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Torr Head Photos

My latest photos accepted into Getty IStock

Click me to view the latest batch of photos accepted into Getty….these are from Torr Head..

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Dunseverick Castle Ruin

End of the Road

Checking Google Maps (GM) just now am sorry to see the Breezemount House B&B is closed, even the website is disabled. GM was how I planned our Ireland tour itinerary through late Fall and Winter of 2014, marking locations as “saved.” Keeping up a GM subscription is worthwhile, making it easy to recall the specifics of our lodgings. Pete, the Breezemont proprietor, a gruff Scottsman, gave good advice. Revisiting Dunseverick Castle Ruin our crunch at the end of that June 2014 day brings to mind the jist his words, to the effect his visitors do not plan enough time (for the area).

Dunseverick, on a romantic peninsula location overlooking the Irish sea and distant Scottish coast views, is worth at least a full morning to park at the Causeway Road turnoff, adjacent to a modern cottage, hike the alluring trial to the site to trod historic turf. I remember with a sense of regret setting up the tripod for several distant views, made larger by a variable “zoom” lens.

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Torr Head Stories VI

Down and Down

Weather 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.

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Cushendun Published

Photography accepted this week by Getty

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Torr Head Stories V

The Way South –

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”).

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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.

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Torr Head Stories IV

Salmon Run

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.

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Torr Head Stories III

Neolithic Passage Tomb

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.

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Torr Head Stories II

Ancient Castles and Raithlin Island

Knights of the Red Branch appear towards the end of “Dierdre and the sons of Uisneach”, a tale from 1st century AD Ireland, as protectors of the lovers Dierdre and one of the sons of Uisneach, named Naoise. The two fled to Rathlin Island, seen in the distance in the following photograph.

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From Rathlin Island they passed over the Irish Sea to Scotland where they lived happily for a term of years.

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Barrach’s fort no longer exists, a Coast Guard Station was built over the site. There are other intact ruins on this picturesque coast. Here is one close to the Giant’s Causeway, Dunseverick Castle.

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills