Audio Guide: Fionn mac Cumhaill

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This audio tour in the Ring of Gullion starts of at the National Trust property, Derrymore House, then takes you through Bessbrook…where you’ll find out about its linen industry… then on past the spectacular Craigmore viaduct, to Victoria Lock.

On this tour, you’ll discover some of the rich cultural heritage of the Ring of Gullion, and experience the sheer beauty of its landscape… Listen to the full Welcome (4mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français

Derrymore House, this lovely National Trust thatched property was built in the late 1700s by Isaac Corry.  Corry was the local Member of Parliament for Newry for 30 years and he was also Chancellor of Exchequer for the old Irish Parliament in Dublin.   He built Derrymore House on land left to him by his father.  It was described by Sir Charles Coote as ‘without exception, the most elegant summer lodge…’. Listen to the full Derrymore House audio (4mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français |

The words ‘Bessbrook’ and ‘linen’ are…if you’ll pardon the pun….very closely interwoven.  For the quaint town of Bessbrook is a great example of a “model village”. In other words, it was built entirely around the linen industry.   It dates from 1845, when the mill in Bessbrook was owned by a Quaker family by the name of Richardson, and they built the village as we see it today in order to house their mill workers. The village was based on the philosophy of ‘three Ps’: this meant there should be no public houses, no pawn shops, and consequently no need for police… Listen to the full Bessbrook and the linen industry audio (7mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français |

Craigmore Viaduct, this magnificent 18 arch viaduct is one of the most impressive railway structures in Ireland.   It sweeps across the valley of the Camlough River, carrying the Belfast to Dublin railway line.  The highest arch rises to 126 feet, making Craigmore Ireland’s highest viaduct. The entire edifice is around a quarter of a mile long and it has been the dominant man-made feature of the south Armagh landscape ever since it was opened in 1852… Listen to the full Craigmore Viaduct audio (4mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français |

Victoria Lock, The Newry Canal has a long and illustrious history.  It was constructed over a ten year period, with work starting in 1732.  And most of it was dug by hand, using teams of inland navigators or ‘navvies’ as they were called.  It must have been tough work each man had to bring his own tools and they lived in temporary camps along the canal while it was being built… Listen to the full Victoria Lock audio (5mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français |

Flagstaff Viewpoint offers one of the most breathtaking views in Ireland. From here you’ve an uninterrupted view over Carlingford Lough to the Mourne Mountains and the famous Cloc Mor…the big stone.  As you look further down the estuary you can see the Narrow Water castle standing guard at the mouth of the Newry river and beyond that, further down the lough, Slieve Foy dominates the horizon.  And nestling on the coast, you can pick out the towns of Newry, Warrenpoint and Carlingford… Listen to the full Flagstaff viewpoint audio (3mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français |

Clontygora Court Tomb, Clontygora…the Plain of the Goats….is an impressive Neolithic monument, nestling at the foot of Anglesey Mountain, with superb views of Slieve Gullion to the west.  This ancient court tomb is known locally as the King’s Ring.  It has survived for around 6,000 years… despite heavy damage being inflicted upon it the past…which included its stones being removed to build the first lock on the Newry Canal!  In fact, the stones that we see exposed here today would originally have been buried deep within a massive stone cairn…all of which has now gone… Listen to the full Clontygora Court Tomb audio (3mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français |

Slieve Gullion Adventure Park. After being immersed in culture and history at most of the points we’ve visited so far, you may want to let your hair down a bit….and Slieve Gullion Adventure Park just the place to do it.  This state-of-the-art Play Park has something for everyone and is guaranteed to keep kids of all ages entertained.  There’s a play area for toddlers as well as adventure and play equipment for the older kids… Listen to the full Slieve Gullion Adventure Park audio (4mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français |

Slieve Gullion Passage Tomb. This section of the tour takes you to the summit of Slieve Gullion to see its ancient Passage Tomb.  It’s such a lovely part of our tour that you might consider devoting a morning or afternoon to it on its own.  There’s a lovely drive from Slieve Gullion Courtyard up to where you can start to walk to the summit of Slieve Gullion itself.  The road snakes its way up through the beautiful woodland on the lower slopes of the mountain until you emerge into open country, with views to the south and east… Listen to the full Slieve Gullion Passage Tomb audio (5mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français |

Killevy Old Churches. Saint Moninna chose a peaceful place for her nunnery, which founded here on the eastern slopes of Slieve Gullion at the end of the 5th century.  The name Killevy comes from Cell Sleibhe Cuilinn, ‘the church of Slieve Gullion’.  Moninna’s real name was Darerca, although she also went by the name of Bline.  She’s believed to have come from the Donaghmore area of County Down, between Newry and Banbridge. According to tradition, when she was a child, she was baptised and confirmed by St. Patrick himself. It’s said that Patrick came to her parent’s house, blessed the family and predicted that Moninna’s name would be remembered throughout time… Listen to the full Killevy Old Churches audio (4mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français |

Ballymacdermott Court Tomb. There’s no doubt our forebears had an eye for a beautiful location.  This well preserved ancient court tomb occupies a superb location, sitting on a level terrace on the slopes of Ballymacdermot Mountain, overlooking the Meigh plain.  I’m sure the people who built this cairn 6,000 years ago enjoyed the views of Slieve Gullion and the ring dyke hills to the south, just as much as you can today.  It’s known locally as ‘The Cashla’ and is also refrred to as ‘The Fairy Ring’….and it’s reputed to be haunted… Listen to the full Ballymacdermott Court Tomb audio (3mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français |

Camlough Quarry. The Ring of Gullion volcanic complex is of enormous geological importance.  It’s one of the finest examples of a ring-dyke system in northern Europe.  It is very special in that you can see the whole ring structure and the possible origin of the source material.   In fact, the rocks found here are of international importance, and they’ve played a significant role in a number of geological theories about how volcanic rocks develop and interact… Listen to the full Camlough Quarry audio (4mb) | Gaeilge | Deutsche | Français |