Mythical Ireland – Rostrevor & Kilbroney Park

Kilbroney Park is situated in Rostrevor, a small town in County Down, Northern Ireland.

A lot of Irish myths and literature are associated with this part of Ireland and it is well worth a visit.

The most notable literature associated with Rostrevor is The Chronicles of Narnia.

C.S Lewis was born in Ulster and visited Rostrevor and the wider Mourne area often as a child. It is widely known that the landscape of Narnia is based on this area. Situated within Kilbrony Park, a Narnia trail has been created to pay homage to this famous fantasy series

The trail makes a lovely walk – suitable for young children. There are lots of wooden carvings along the way too.

Another local legend involves a large granite bolder called An Chloch Mhór (in Irish) which means ‘The Big Stone’. It’s know locally as The Cloughmore Stone. This stone is estimated to be 40 tonnes and is situated 1,000ft above the village of Rostrevor.

Scientists believe it was deposited there in the last ice-age, however local legend says that it was a rock thrown by the giant Fionn McCool from the other side of Carlingford Lough when he was fighting a Scottish giant.

This story is similar to the legends surrounding the Giant’s Causeway in Antrim, where the unusual rock formations are also said to be due to fighting giants.

Another mythical walkway in Rostrevor is The Fairy Glen

Locals used to be afraid to walk down this path after nightfall as it was believed the ‘fairy people’ came out and played their music here.

There are also some hawthorn trees in the area which is how it was thought the fairy people travelled from the otherworld to the mortal realm.

Hawthorn Tree

Of course these days people are not so afraid of the fairy people and in Kilbroney Park a fairy woodland has been created.

Lastly, if you like trees, Northern Ireland’s tree of the year (2016) is situated in Kilbroney Park. An ancient oak known as ‘Old Homer’, it’s now so crooked that steel posts have been erected to support it.

I also saw this tree while I was walking along the Fairy Glen path. It looks pretty crooked too!

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