Cushendun Published

Photography accepted this week by Getty

Click me to visit Getty, my recently accepted Cushendun photography.

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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Click me for the next post in this series.
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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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Click me for the first post of this series.

Click me for an earlier post “View South from Torr Head and North from Torcorr Townland.”

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

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.

Click me for an earlier Torr Head post “A Bit About Torr Head.”

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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Click me for the first post of this series.
Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Torr Head Stories I

Mysterious Barrach, Knight of the Red Branch

Tor in Irish is a steep rocky height. Likewise, Corr means odd, uneven, rounder, convex, curved, peaked, projecting, smooth. Combined Torcorr is the townland where we stopped on the Torr Road, halted by our wonder at this sight.

In the distance, Torr Head projects into North Channel, the closest land to Scotland. Following the coast, the cliffs in front of Torr Head are home to numerous sea birds such as Fulmars (family Procellariidae) nad Oystercatchers (family Haematopodiadae). Along the rock beaches next Eider Ducks (genus Somateria). You might see the Common Buzzard (species Buto buteo).

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Click me for an earlier Torr Head post “A Bit About Torr Head.”

In the following photograph Torr Head seen from immediately above. I stand on the ancient site of Barrach’s fort, a knight of the Red Branch. After some internet research I cannot find another reference to this knight, other than the information placard on Torr Head.

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Cushendun, more information and good bye, for now

…upon the sea-sand….

The National Trust manages the heritage lands on this coast and throughout Great Britain. Looked up Cushendun on their web site and there is some useful information there. If you are touring Great Britain, a National Trust membership is a worthwhile investment. Sadly, there is a notice on the site about Coronavirus restrictions….and closures.

I learned Red Squirrels, an endangered species on the island, have an enclave at Cushendun. We didn’t visit the forested location where they live. We keep up with their antics looking out the window here at home where, thanks to our hemlocks, spruce and walnut trees the species is thriving.

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Here are several more of the information placards near the harbor explaining some local natural and tourism information.

Our travels this day, on the chart, were from Cushendun to Giant’s Causeway.

The last view of Cushendun town as we mounted the steep hill, Torr Road. The dashboard and windshield of out tiny car in the foreground.

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Cushendun, a house

…upon the sea-sand….

Here is another information placard found near Cushendun harbor, with a lovely poem.

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Here are several of the information placards near the harbor explaining some local history.

Here is a house on the Cushendun harbor road, windows opening to the Irish Sea. Doesn’t it go well with the poem?

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Cushendun Historical View

Cushendun (from Irish: Cois Abhann Doinne, meaning “foot of the River Dun”) is a small coastal village in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It sits off the A2 coast road between Cushendall and Ballycastle.

It has a sheltered harbor and lies at the mouth of the River Dun and Glendun, one of the nine Glens of Antrim. The Mull of Kintyre in Scotland is only about 15 miles away across the North Channel and can be seen easily on clear days.

In the 2001 Census it had a population of 138 people. Cushendun is part of Causeway Coast and Glens district.

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Here are several of the information placards near the harbor explaining some local history.

Ballyteerin townland, where Shane O’Neill was killed, is on the road to Torr Head.

Reference: Wikipedia, “Cushendun.”

Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Cushendun Beach View North by Northwest

Nearest Ferry, today

Today, the nearest ferry is just over an hour south, on the M2, Belfast and there is no option for the Mull of Kintyre. You can go to Cairnyan, Scotland; Douglas, Isle of Mann; or Liverpool, England.

Torr Road lopes over the hill, upper right.

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Cushendun Beach View North, ferry destination

Across the Water

North is a glimpse of land across the water, a reason Cushendun was a ferry port since ancient times: the Mull of Kintyre across the North Channel. The ridge to the sea is townland Tornamoney (Irish Tor na monadh).

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills