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

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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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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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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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

On Torr Road

Facing Views

Land and sea between Torcorr Townland and Torr Head was the theme of yesterday’s post, continued today.

A grand view presents itself throughout the roll down Torcorr into Coolranny townland. Loughan is a shallow bay along the North Channel of the Irish Sea, a rocky sand beach is accessible via a slope more shallow than the cliffs on either side. This access is a reason for the tiny rural community on the slope above, now a site of ruined cottages, abandoned during the emigration from Ireland, a flight continuing into the Twentieth Century.

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See this post for a description of wildflowers flowering here in the month of June.

This photograph from the bottom of the Torr Road hill takes in Coolranny Townland. a slice of land running from the ridge to Loughan Bay. We see a number of hawthorne trees in flower, yellow flowering Whin Bush, houses and the Roman Catholic church Saint Mary’s Star of the Sea.

The photograph of the header, taken by Pam, is from either Coolranny or Loughan Townland, looking across a sheep pasture, the North Channel of the Irish Sea toward the Mull of Kintyre, Scotland just twelve miles distant.

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Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

View South from Torr Head and North from Torcorr Townland

Facing Views

Standing on Torr Head the sights, every direction, overwhelmed the senses. With the camera I was able to capture views even today are coming into my understanding.

In this view south, Torcorr Townland coastal ridge runs down to the North Channel at Runabay Head. There are two bays, the nearest Portaleen Bay, between the dark, unnamed, point and Runabay Head is Loughan Bay.

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See this post for a description of the foreground wildflowers.

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. This photograph looks toward the vantage from which the previous photograph was taken, Torr head.

In the distance, Torr Head projects into North Channel, the closest land to Scotland. Following the coast, the unnamed point in front of Torr Head is 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).

The curved bay is named Loughan, above it are ruins of cottages emptied by Irish emigration.

Here is a slideshow of this post’s photographs. To visit from WordPress Reader, you need to first click the title of this post to open a new page. .
Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills