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Rostrevor

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Overview





Rostrevor Bay is located on the northeast shore of the Carlingford Lough inlet that is set into Ireland's northeast coastline. It offers an anchorage off a small village at the foot of the forested Slieve Martin where the Mountains of Mourne terminate and sweep down to the sea.

The anchorage offers good protection in sheltered Carlingford Lough. However, if the wind comes on strong from the northwest round to the south it would be more comfortable in the marina on the southern shore. Tucked in under the mountain, Rostrevor does offer more protection from a northeasterly than nearby Killowen. The entire inlet is also subject to heavy squalls descending from the hills in northwest winds. The area may be accessed via Warrenpoint Port’s illuminated deep water shipping channel that runs the entire length of the lough. Careful navigation is generally required for this location owing to exceptional currents in the lower lough and at the entrance.



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Keyfacts for Rostrevor
Facilities
Top up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaBus service available in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landingNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Dangerous to enter when it is Beaufort force 5 or more from NNE, NE, ENE, E, ESE and SE.Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierRestriction: strong to overwhelming tides in the localityNote: could be two hours or more from the main waterways

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
2 metres (6.56 feet).

Approaches
2 stars: Careful navigation; good visibility and conditions with dangers that require careful navigation.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
July 18th 2018

Summary* Restrictions apply

A good location with careful navigation required for access.

Facilities
Top up fuel available in the area via jerry cansShop with basic provisions availableMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableHot food available in the localityPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationCashpoint or bank available in the areaPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaBus service available in the area


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationJetty or a structure to assist landingNavigation lights to support a night approachSailing Club baseScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Dangerous to enter when it is Beaufort force 5 or more from NNE, NE, ENE, E, ESE and SE.Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierRestriction: strong to overwhelming tides in the localityNote: could be two hours or more from the main waterways



Position and approaches
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Haven position

54° 5.280' N, 006° 12.090' W

Half a nautical mile southwest of Rostrevor Quay on the 2 metre contour.

What is the initial fix?

The following Carlingford Lough Entrance Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
54° 0.100' N, 006° 2.052' W
500 metres due south of Hellyhunter, a south cardinal buoy Q(6) +FL1.15s. From here the line of the entrance’s leading light beacons may be picked up.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in eastern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Strangford Lough to Dublin Bay Route location.

  • Plan the approach to be at slack water, preferably low water. Tides in the entrance attain rates of up to 5 kn making it virtually impossible for a displacement leisure craft to enter or leave against the tide.

  • Carlingford Lough's entrance channel and the dredged channel to Warrenpoint are both narrow channels where sailing vessels of less than 20-metres in length cannot impede ships in transit.

  • From the entrance follow the well buoyed and lit commercial channel up the length of the inlet.

  • Round Warrenpoint's first No.25 entrance channel marker and break off to the north towards the quay.

  • Anchor offshore where the local boat moorings are located.



Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Rostrevor for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Killowen - 0.5 miles SSE
  2. Greer’s Quay - 0.9 miles SW
  3. Omeath - 1.1 miles W
  4. Warrenpoint - 1.2 miles WNW
  5. Carlingford Marina - 1.4 miles S
  6. Carlingford Harbour - 1.7 miles SSE
  7. Greencastle - 2.9 miles SE
  8. Gyles’ Quay - 3.9 miles SSW
  9. Newry - 4.2 miles NW
  10. Kilkeel Harbour - 4.8 miles ESE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Killowen - 0.5 miles SSE
  2. Greer’s Quay - 0.9 miles SW
  3. Omeath - 1.1 miles W
  4. Warrenpoint - 1.2 miles WNW
  5. Carlingford Marina - 1.4 miles S
  6. Carlingford Harbour - 1.7 miles SSE
  7. Greencastle - 2.9 miles SE
  8. Gyles’ Quay - 3.9 miles SSW
  9. Newry - 4.2 miles NW
  10. Kilkeel Harbour - 4.8 miles ESE
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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Chart
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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How to get in?


Rostrevor is large bay with a quay and village located near the head on the north-eastern shore of Carlingford Lough inlet. The quay and surrounding area dry out completely at low water.

Convergance Point Use the directions provided for Warrenpoint Click to view haven for approaches and the run up the lough.

Warrenpoint’s No. 25 Light buoy, the first of its entrance channel marks, is approximately one mile due south of the anchorage location with plenty of deep water between. It is an ideal marker to round before turning north to approach the anchorage as it takes a vessel well clear of the shallow area extending west of the Killowen Bank at low water.

Haven location Approach Rostrevor Quay which will be clearly visible on the shore, and a huddle of local boat moorings will be seem standing well off it. Anchor close to these according to draft and conditions where very good mud holding will be found.

Vessels wishing to anchor closer to the shoreline and under the lee of the mountain will find a good location off the ‘Wood House’ just under a mile southwest of the Rostrevor anchorage. The ‘Wood House’ is a historical building approximately 1,200 metres north of Killowen Point and is easily identified by its gables and chimney. Better depths are available closer into the shore here with 2 LWS metres available approximately 400 metres from the building on a bearing of 45°.

Land by dinghy at Rostrevor Quay at any time during neaps or at the top two-thirds of the tide at other times. If landing on the tidal margins, be prepared to lift the motor out and use oars for the last length. Avoid the quay at low water as it is encircled by impenetrable mud. The best option to set someone down at low water on the stony beach about 300 metres south of the quay. This area is stepped up to the road.
Please note

This is only a set-down location as it covers at high water. A dinghy cannot be left here as it would be challenging to haul it up to the road.



Vessels that can take to the ground can practically anchor anywhere in Rostrevor Bay and come alongside the quay itself. Close southeast of the quay there is a new slip and jetty where boats come in to dry and to attend to maintenance work.



Why visit here?
Rostrevor, in Irish Ros Treabhair, has been known by many names. The current name is believed to have come from Rose Ussher the daughter of Armagh Anglican Archbishop, Henry Ussher. The name of Ros-trevor being the conjunction of her Christian name and the surname of Sir Edward Trevor who came from Denbighshire and who she married in 1612. The name was applied to the village afterwards and was first officially noted as such in 1618.



Others believe that Edward Trevor adopted the Gaelic word ros meaning "wooded height, wood or promontory" for the first part of the name as it was very suitable for the area. Adding to the confusion is the spelling of the name that has often varied in the past between ‘Rostrevor, Rosstrevor, and Rosetrevor’. Today the spelling Rostrevor is used for the village, while the spelling Rosstrevor is used for the townland the village is situated in. In past times the settlement was called Caisleán Ruairí meaning "Ruarí's Castle". Castle Rory or Castle Roe after Ruarí Magennis who built a castle there. Previous to that, it has been referred to as Carrickavraghard, because of its possible associations with malting or brewing.


But the area’s history goes back much further than all of this as is well evidenced by the Kilfeaghan Dolmen located about six km from Rostrevor. This prehistoric dolmen site shows human inhabitation existed here for between 3000 to 4500 years. A Rostrevor Christian settlement dates back to the sixth century with the establishment of a religious community founded by the holy woman St. Brónach. She was the reputed founder and patron saint of Cell Brónche, "church of Brónach" here, that gave the local parish its name of Kilbroney. The old church, supposedly built on an original site established by St. Brónach, stands in the graveyard on the Kilbroney road. It became a listed building in 1983. Inside the Catholic Church, Church Of Our Lady, is the bell of the original St. Brónach Church that dates from around 900 A.D. In Kilbroney Cemetery an 8th Century Celtic High Cross is thought to mark her grave.


Around 1752 the surrounding village consisted of a few cottages. The earliest settlement as we know it today centred on Water Street which consisted of a hotel and inn, together with dwellings for the local residents. Akin to and being a satellite of Warrenpoint it was the 19th-century Victorian seaside attraction that initiated development here. Because of its pleasant climate and scenic environment, Rostrevor became a fashionable resort by the early 19th century as evidenced by the number of large houses in spacious grounds in the vicinity of the village. At the time William Makepeace Thackeray noted of Carlingford and Rostrevor that 'were such a bay lying upon English shores, it would be a world's wonder; or if on the Mediterranean or Baltic, English travellers would flock to it'. It also went on to be the location that inspired the writer C.S.Lewis's Narnia.


Much of its present form dates back to that period; it’s tree-lined square dominated by the Kilbroney Parish Church and the Spire of our Lady's RC Church, and the quay situated on the lough less than a kilometre away. There was a steady growth in population in the late 19th century partly as a result of the arrival of the tramway from Warrenpoint in 1875 and the building of the Rostrevor Hotel in 1876. In the 20th century, the village experienced further significant growth with suburban development mainly spreading in a northeasterly direction from the historic village along the Kilbroney/Newtown Road. In the late 1990’s, new development concentrated on the apartment sector of the market with new apartments being built along the shore at Warrenpoint / Shore Road, The Square and Kilbroney Road.



Today, nestled at the foot of the heavily wooded slopes where the Kilbroney, Rostrevor and Ghant Rivers flow into Carlingford Lough, the village largely services holiday-makers. It caters for those who seek leisure in sailing, hillside forest walks and folk music with the latter being catered for in the annual Fiddler's Green Festival that is a week-long festival of traditional Irish folk music.


The village itself provides a wide range of open space/recreation areas. But what makes it a stunning location is the impressive landscape that surrounds Rostrevor, which lies within the Mournes Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Immediately above it, the 4,000-acre Rostrevor Forest provides an information centre, play areas and caravan parks in close proximity to the village. In addition to Rostrevor Forest, there is the ninety-one-acre ‘Kilbroney Forest Park’ and the smaller but much older woodland ‘Oakwood National Nature Reserve’.


For the energetic a hike up the 485 metres high Slieve Martin can easily be reached from Kilbroney Park along mountain bike tracks. On the path to Trig Point at the summit is the remarkable Cloughmore Stone derived from the Irish ‘An Chloch Mhór’, ‘The Big Stone’, which is informally inscribed on it. This is an enormous 30-ton granite boulder perched on the slopes of Slieve Meen. Standing almost 243 metres above the village it was deposited there by retreating glaciers during the Last Glacial Maximum. Local folklore has it that the giant Finn McCool threw the stone from Slieve Foy, across Carlingford Lough, to slay a rival giant. The remarkable stone is well worth a visit especially for the views of the surrounding countryside from its position.


The conspicuous landmark obelisk on the opposite side of the village that is visible throughout Rostrevor Bay is known locally as the ‘Ross Monument’. The monument remembers one of Rostrevor’s more famous sons General Robert Ross 1766 – 12th September 1814. He was an Anglo-Irish officer in the British Army who played a pivotal role in the 1806 ‘Battle of Maida’, and carved out a stellar career in the ‘Peninsular War’ in Europe against Napoleon. He personally led the British troops ashore in Benedict, Maryland in the War of 1812 and decisively attacked and routed the Americans at the Battle of Bladensburg on the 24th of August 1814. He is most well-known for the Burning of Washington, which included the destruction of the White House and The Capitol. Indeed there is some evidence that plans were afoot to send an American privateer to burn Rostrevor in revenge for Ross's attack on Washington.


Shortly afterwards whilst riding forward to personally direct his troops at the Battle of North Point at Baltimore, an American sharpshooter shot him through the right arm and into the chest. Ross subsequently died whilst he was being transported back to the fleet. Shortly after learning of his death in 1814, the British Parliament voted to erect a monument to General Ross in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The 30-metre high granite obelisk dates from 1826. With uninterrupted views of Carlingford Lough and the Mourne Mountains, the monument is situated almost on the exact spot where Ross planned to build his retirement home had he returned safely from his expedition to America.

From a boating perspective, Rostrevor offers a picturesque anchorage at the foot of wooded and high Slieve Martin. It is a stunning natural setting with the convenient village and pier ashore.


What facilities are available?
Rostrevor village has a population of 2500 and is popular among holiday-makers. Expect to find almost all provisioning necessities here. Carlingford Lough Yacht Club has a bar and shower facilities that are available when it is open. Nearby Warrenpoint has excellent road links and bus services available to Carlingford/Cooley, as well as to the major population centres of Ireland. International air services are available from Belfast airport 96 km. Minor repairs can be undertaken at the slip and jetty.

Useful transport contacts in this area:
Dundalk Train Station + 353 42 933 5521
Dundalk Bus Station + 353 42 9334075
Newry Bus Station + 44 28 30623531
Newry Train Station + 44 28 30269271


Any security concerns?
Never an issue known to have occurred to a vessel anchored off Rostrevor.


With thanks to:
Charlie Kavanagh ISA/RYA Yachtmaster Instructor/Examiner and Henry McLaughlin Carlingford Lough Yacht Club secretary. Photography with thanks to Ryan McDonald, Irish Fireside, Oisin O'Brien, Eskling, David Crozier, Albert Bridge, Aubrey Dale, Oliver Dixon, Gareth James, Eric Jones, Garry Harper, Andrew Tohill, Thomas O'Rourke and Daniel Morrison.


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Please zoom out to see the 'initial fix' for this location.
The above plots are not precise and indicative only.


































































A Northern Ireland tourist board overview




A short film with aerial views of Rostrevor and the anchorage





Views of the Kilfeaghan Dolmen and the view from the top of Slieve Martin



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