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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 once offered an anchorage but the coastal area is now part of the Carlingford Lough Marine Conservation Zone. The only berths available are for vessels that can take to the bottom alongside its quay or anchor about three-quarters of a mile away on the perimeter of the zone.

Rostrevor Bay is located on the northeast shore of the Carlingford Lough inlet that is set into Ireland's northeast coastline. It once offered an anchorage but the coastal area is now part of the Carlingford Lough Marine Conservation Zone. The only berths available are for vessels that can take to the bottom alongside its quay or anchor about three-quarters of a mile away on the perimeter of the zone.

The quay and anchorage offer 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. The entire inlet is also subject to heavy squalls descending from the hills in northwest winds. Access straightforward 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
September 9th 2022

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° 4.846' N, 006° 11.562' W

This is the anchoring position immediately outside the MCZ on the approaches to Rostrevor Quay.

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 and directions for the run up the lough are available in the Warrenpoint Click to view haven entry.

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

  • Anchor should be avoided as the area between Rostrevor and the ship channel into Warrenpoint is part of the 'Carlingford Lough Marine Conservation Zone' but it is just possible to anchor outside a ½ mile northwestward of Killowen Point.


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 - 0.3 nautical miles SSE
  2. Greer’s Quay - 1.5 nautical miles WSW
  3. Carlingford Marina - 1.7 nautical miles S
  4. Omeath - 2.1 nautical miles WNW
  5. Carlingford Harbour - 2.3 nautical miles S
  6. Warrenpoint - 2.3 nautical miles WNW
  7. Greencastle - 4.1 nautical miles SE
  8. Giles Quay - 6 nautical miles SSW
  9. Kilkeel Harbour - 7.2 nautical miles E
  10. Newry - 7.3 nautical miles NW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Killowen - 0.3 miles SSE
  2. Greer’s Quay - 1.5 miles WSW
  3. Carlingford Marina - 1.7 miles S
  4. Omeath - 2.1 miles WNW
  5. Carlingford Harbour - 2.3 miles S
  6. Warrenpoint - 2.3 miles WNW
  7. Greencastle - 4.1 miles SE
  8. Giles Quay - 6 miles SSW
  9. Kilkeel Harbour - 7.2 miles E
  10. Newry - 7.3 miles NW
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

Resources search

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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What's the story here?
Rostrevor Quay
Image: Michael Harpur


Rostrevor is a large bay with a quay located on the northeastern shore and the head of Carlingford Lough inlet. It lies at the foot of Slieve Martin and the Kilbroney River flows through the small village of Rostrevor with Rostrevor Forest nearby. The bay is readily identified by the 30 metres high granite obelisk Ross Monument that overlooks the lough from the shore.


The Ross Monument obelisk to Killowen Point
Image: Michael Harpur


In the past vessels that can take to the ground could anchor anywhere in Rostrevor Bay, or off Warrenpoint, and lie on a bottom of soft mud, partly waterborne in complete security. Tucked in under the mountain, Rostrevor did offer more protection from a northeasterly than nearby Killowen.
However, the 'Carlingford Lough Marine Conservation Zone' (Carlingford Lough MCZ) External link has been established to protect the habitat Philine quadripartita (white lobe shell) and Virgularia mirabilis (sea-pen) in soft stable infralittoral mud. It occupies the bulk of the area between Rostrevor the ship channel all the way into Warrenpoint.


Carlingford Lough Marine Conservation Zone largely occupies Rostrevor Bay
Image: Michael Harpur


The objective of MCZ is to remove the effects of human activity in this area as far as possible over this area. Trawling, dredging, and anchoring or moorings would cause this type of damage. Anchoring in the UK is generally regarded as a part of this right of free navigation in coastal waters. The Marine Management Organisation has declared that 'anchoring is a normal and legal practice' except on grounds of Safety or National Security. So it is best to assume, that unless in the case of an emergency or with the authorisation of the Harbour Master, that anchoring is to be avoided inside the MCZ. Likewise, the inner shoreline, within the designated MCZ, has designated shellfish beds and should likewise be voided.


Rostrevor Quay and its surrounds dry completely at low water
Image: Eric Jones via CC BY-SA 2.0


This only leaves Rostrevor Quay available for leisure vessels in the immediate vicinity. The quay and its surrounding area dry completely at low water so it is only suitable for vessels that can take to the bottom and as it dries to 2.1 metres LAT can only be accessed with a sufficient rise. The other alternative is to anchor ¾ of a mile south of the quay, just outside the MCZ closer to the shoreline under the lee of the mountain near the historic Wood House.


How to get in?
Rostrevor Bay and its approaches around Killowen Point as seen from the south
Image: Garry Harper via CC BY-SA 2.0


Convergance Point Seaward approaches are detailed in eastern Ireland’s coastal overview for Strangford Lough to Dublin Bay Route location. Use the directions provided for Warrenpoint Click to view haven for approaches and the run up the No. 25 starboard marker, Fl.G. 3s, that marks the commencement of the narrow Warrenpoint entrance channel.
Please note

Maintain a watchful eye within the Lough during strong west-north-westerly winds. As relatively short-lived whirlwinds, like mini-tornadoes, locally known as 'Kettles' can form as the squalls funnel down from the hills.




The drying bank extending off Killowen Point
Image: Michael Harpur


Warrenpoint’s No. 25 Light buoy, the first of its entrance channel marks, is approximately 1½ miles south by southwest of the quay with plenty of deep water between it and the shallow water leading up to the quay. It is an ideal marker to round before turning north to approach the quay as it takes a vessel well clear of the shallow area that extends west of the Killowen Bank at low water and another bank extending southward from Killowen Point. Follow the eastern shoreline to the quay which is located ¾ of a mile east by southeast of the Ross Monument.


Slieve Martin flanking the approaches to the quay
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Approach Rostrevor Quay which will be clearly visible on the shore, to the east of the small village and at the foot of the forested Slieve Martin sweeping down to the sea.


Yacht anchored close outside the D to E line of the MCZ
Image: Michael Harpur


It is possible to anchor just outside the D to E line of the MCZ on the approaches approximately 1,200 metres north of Killowen Point.

D position: 54° 5.053ˈ N and 6° 11.492ˈ W
E position: 54° 4.653ˈ N and 6° 12.192ˈ W.

The Wood House will be seen on the foot of the mountain here. It is a historical building and is easily identified by its gables and chimney. Better depths are available closer in to the shore here with 2 LWS metres available approximately 400 metres from the building on a bearing of 36°.


Rostrevor Quay
Image: Michael Harpur


Those intending to come alongside the pier should make the final approach with sufficient rise. A huddle of local boat moorings will be seen standing well off it on a final approach.

Those who anchor can 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 for landing is the new slip and jetty where boats come in to dry and attend to maintenance work close southeast of the quay.

The heady of the slip next to Rostrevor Quay
Image: Eric Jones via CC BY-SA 2.0


It is also possible 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. But this is only a set-down option as it covers at high water. As such a tender cannot be left here as it would be challenging to haul it up to the road.


Why visit here?
Rostrevor, in Irish 'Ros Treabhair', has been known by many names. 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.


The Kilfeaghan Dolmen overlooking Greenore
Image: Eric Jones via CC BY-SA 2.0


The current name is believed to have come from Rose Ussher the daughter of Armagh Anglican Archbishop, Henry Ussher. The name Ros-trevor is the conjunction of her Christian name and the surname of Sir Edward Trevor, from Denbighshire, who came here to marry her in 1612. The name was applied to the village afterwards and was first officially noted as such in 1618. Others believe that the first part of the name is taken from the Gaelic word 'ros' which means 'wooded height, wood or promontory'. 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.

Kilfeaghan Dolmen
Image: Public Domain
But the area’s history goes back much further than all of this as is well evidenced by the Kilfeaghan Dolmen located about 6 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 6th 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' that has become 'Kilbroney' giving the local parish its name. The old church, supposedly built on an original site established by 'St Brónach', stands in the graveyard on Kilbroney Road. It became a listed building in 1983. The original St Brónach Church bell that dates from around 900 A.D. is today inside the Catholic Church, Church Of Our Lady. An 8th Century Celtic High Cross in Kilbroney Cemetery is thought to mark 'St Brónach's' grave.

8th Century Celtic High Cross in the Kilbroney Graveyard
Image: Bernie Brown Tourism Ireland
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 its residents. The most notable addition came in the form of the 30-metre high granite obelisk erected on the opposite side of the village in 1826. The conspicuous landmark 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.

General Robert Ross, 1766 – 1814, 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 was sent to America at the head of over 4,000 of Wellington's 'Invincibles' during the War of 1812. Ross decisively attached and routed the American forces at the Battle of Bladensburg on August 24th 1814, nearly capturing President Madison in the process, before marching his troops to Washington.


The commemorative Ross Monument
Image: Michael Harpur


There, having had his horse shot from beneath him, he became famous for burning The Capitol including the President's House, the precursor of the White House, purportedly after first finishing the recently departed Madison's breakfast. He is also said to have indirectly inspired the American national anthem.


Ross Monument
Image: Michael Harpur


Just before the British assault on Baltimore, the lawyer Francis Scott Key met Ross to request that he release an America Dr Beanes. By chance of the meeting with Ross, Scott Key witness the terrifying British bombardment of Fort McHenry during the night. On seeing the American flag still flying high at dawn he wrote the lyrics of the 'Star Spangled Banner'. Shortly afterwards whilst Ross was riding forward to 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. He was buried in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Major-General Robert Ross
Image: Public Domain
After learning of his death the British Parliament voted to erect a monument to General Ross in St Paul’s Cathedral in London in 1814. The 30-metre high granite obelisk followed in 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 the steps at the rear of the monument, it is possible to see Rostrevor House, the home of his widow, which for a time was also known as Bladensburg House. There was some evidence that plans were afoot to send an American privateer to burn Rostrevor in revenge for Ross's attack on Washington and there were close engagements nearby. The 'Star Spangled Banner' certainly became the American national anthem in 1931.

Soon after the monument was erected, as was the case with Warrenpoint, it was the 19th-century Victorian penchant for seaside resorts that would initiate the sleepy backwater village's development. Because of its pleasant climate and scenic environment, it became a fashionable resort. As is evidenced today by the number of large houses with spacious grounds in the vicinity of the village it was one of the Lough's most exclusive. William Makepeace Thackeray, 1811 - 1863, 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.


View which might have been Ross' had he survived to build his mansion
Image: Michael Harpur


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 1990s, 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.


Rostrevor 1914
Image: Public Domain


Today, nestled at the foot of the heavily wooded slopes where the Kilbroney, Rostrevor and Ghant Rivers flow into Carlingford Lough, the tranquil and leafy Victorian resort village still makes its living by providing services to holiday-makers. It caters for those who seek leisure in sailing, hillside forest walks and folk music. The latter is catered for year-round in many of it its lively pubs which feature live music, including the Corner House and Old Killowen Inn. But most particularly in the annual Fiddler's Green Festival which is a week-long festival of traditional Irish folk music.


Traditional musician in a Rostrevor pub
Image: Tourism Ireland


The village 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). 1km east of Rostrevor, the 4,000-acre Rostrevor Forest Park provides an information centre, play areas and caravan parks. The park is also home to some of the best downhill mountain bike trails in Ireland with a thigh-crunching 27km red trail and a terrifying 19km black - bike hire and uplift available from East Coast Adventure. In addition to Rostrevor Forest Park, there is the ninety-one-acre Kilbroney Forest Park and the smaller but much older woodland Oakwood National Nature Reserve.


Kilbroney Forest Park
Image: Tourism Ireland


There are over 20 short hikes to be enjoyed in the area, ranging from easy strolls around Rostrevor Forest to rather more arduous treks up Slieve Muck and other Mourne peaks. A stiff 10-minute hike up the 485 metres high Slieve Martin along mountain bike tracks leads up to superb views over the lough to Carlingford Mountain. 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 also informally inscribed with other Victorian-era graffiti. This is an enormous 30-ton granite boulder perched on the slopes of Slieve Meen.


Cloughmore Stone on the slopes of Slieve Meen
Image: Tourism Ireland


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 Cloughmore Stone
Image: Tourism Ireland


From a boating perspective, Rostrevor has been largely removed as an anchorage by the 'Carlingford Lough Marine Conservation Zone'. But it is just possible to anchor outside of its perimeter a ½ mile northwestward of Killowen Point and at the foot of wooded and high Slieve Martin. It is a stunning natural setting and boats which can take to the bottom can dry at the quay convenient to the village. Here there are ample supplies and interest 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. Bus 39 serves Newry (25 minutes, at least hourly Monday to Saturday, six Sunday) and 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.



















Rostrevor Overview


About Rostrevor

Rostrevor, in Irish 'Ros Treabhair', has been known by many names. 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.


The Kilfeaghan Dolmen overlooking Greenore
Image: Eric Jones via CC BY-SA 2.0


The current name is believed to have come from Rose Ussher the daughter of Armagh Anglican Archbishop, Henry Ussher. The name Ros-trevor is the conjunction of her Christian name and the surname of Sir Edward Trevor, from Denbighshire, who came here to marry her in 1612. The name was applied to the village afterwards and was first officially noted as such in 1618. Others believe that the first part of the name is taken from the Gaelic word 'ros' which means 'wooded height, wood or promontory'. 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.

Kilfeaghan Dolmen
Image: Public Domain
But the area’s history goes back much further than all of this as is well evidenced by the Kilfeaghan Dolmen located about 6 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 6th 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' that has become 'Kilbroney' giving the local parish its name. The old church, supposedly built on an original site established by 'St Brónach', stands in the graveyard on Kilbroney Road. It became a listed building in 1983. The original St Brónach Church bell that dates from around 900 A.D. is today inside the Catholic Church, Church Of Our Lady. An 8th Century Celtic High Cross in Kilbroney Cemetery is thought to mark 'St Brónach's' grave.

8th Century Celtic High Cross in the Kilbroney Graveyard
Image: Bernie Brown Tourism Ireland
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 its residents. The most notable addition came in the form of the 30-metre high granite obelisk erected on the opposite side of the village in 1826. The conspicuous landmark 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.

General Robert Ross, 1766 – 1814, 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 was sent to America at the head of over 4,000 of Wellington's 'Invincibles' during the War of 1812. Ross decisively attached and routed the American forces at the Battle of Bladensburg on August 24th 1814, nearly capturing President Madison in the process, before marching his troops to Washington.


The commemorative Ross Monument
Image: Michael Harpur


There, having had his horse shot from beneath him, he became famous for burning The Capitol including the President's House, the precursor of the White House, purportedly after first finishing the recently departed Madison's breakfast. He is also said to have indirectly inspired the American national anthem.


Ross Monument
Image: Michael Harpur


Just before the British assault on Baltimore, the lawyer Francis Scott Key met Ross to request that he release an America Dr Beanes. By chance of the meeting with Ross, Scott Key witness the terrifying British bombardment of Fort McHenry during the night. On seeing the American flag still flying high at dawn he wrote the lyrics of the 'Star Spangled Banner'. Shortly afterwards whilst Ross was riding forward to 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. He was buried in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Major-General Robert Ross
Image: Public Domain
After learning of his death the British Parliament voted to erect a monument to General Ross in St Paul’s Cathedral in London in 1814. The 30-metre high granite obelisk followed in 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 the steps at the rear of the monument, it is possible to see Rostrevor House, the home of his widow, which for a time was also known as Bladensburg House. There was some evidence that plans were afoot to send an American privateer to burn Rostrevor in revenge for Ross's attack on Washington and there were close engagements nearby. The 'Star Spangled Banner' certainly became the American national anthem in 1931.

Soon after the monument was erected, as was the case with Warrenpoint, it was the 19th-century Victorian penchant for seaside resorts that would initiate the sleepy backwater village's development. Because of its pleasant climate and scenic environment, it became a fashionable resort. As is evidenced today by the number of large houses with spacious grounds in the vicinity of the village it was one of the Lough's most exclusive. William Makepeace Thackeray, 1811 - 1863, 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.


View which might have been Ross' had he survived to build his mansion
Image: Michael Harpur


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 1990s, 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.


Rostrevor 1914
Image: Public Domain


Today, nestled at the foot of the heavily wooded slopes where the Kilbroney, Rostrevor and Ghant Rivers flow into Carlingford Lough, the tranquil and leafy Victorian resort village still makes its living by providing services to holiday-makers. It caters for those who seek leisure in sailing, hillside forest walks and folk music. The latter is catered for year-round in many of it its lively pubs which feature live music, including the Corner House and Old Killowen Inn. But most particularly in the annual Fiddler's Green Festival which is a week-long festival of traditional Irish folk music.


Traditional musician in a Rostrevor pub
Image: Tourism Ireland


The village 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). 1km east of Rostrevor, the 4,000-acre Rostrevor Forest Park provides an information centre, play areas and caravan parks. The park is also home to some of the best downhill mountain bike trails in Ireland with a thigh-crunching 27km red trail and a terrifying 19km black - bike hire and uplift available from East Coast Adventure. In addition to Rostrevor Forest Park, there is the ninety-one-acre Kilbroney Forest Park and the smaller but much older woodland Oakwood National Nature Reserve.


Kilbroney Forest Park
Image: Tourism Ireland


There are over 20 short hikes to be enjoyed in the area, ranging from easy strolls around Rostrevor Forest to rather more arduous treks up Slieve Muck and other Mourne peaks. A stiff 10-minute hike up the 485 metres high Slieve Martin along mountain bike tracks leads up to superb views over the lough to Carlingford Mountain. 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 also informally inscribed with other Victorian-era graffiti. This is an enormous 30-ton granite boulder perched on the slopes of Slieve Meen.


Cloughmore Stone on the slopes of Slieve Meen
Image: Tourism Ireland


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 Cloughmore Stone
Image: Tourism Ireland


From a boating perspective, Rostrevor has been largely removed as an anchorage by the 'Carlingford Lough Marine Conservation Zone'. But it is just possible to anchor outside of its perimeter a ½ mile northwestward of Killowen Point and at the foot of wooded and high Slieve Martin. It is a stunning natural setting and boats which can take to the bottom can dry at the quay convenient to the village. Here there are ample supplies and interest ashore.

Other options in this area


Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Alternatively here are the ten nearest havens available in picture view:
Coastal clockwise:
Warrenpoint - 1.4 miles WNW
Newry - 4.5 miles NW
Omeath - 1.3 miles WNW
Greer’s Quay - 0.9 miles WSW
Carlingford Marina - 1.1 miles S
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Killowen - 0.2 miles SSE
Greencastle - 2.5 miles SE
Kilkeel Harbour - 4.4 miles E
Annalong Harbour - 6.6 miles E
Newcastle Harbour - 8 miles ENE

Navigational pictures


These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Rostrevor.


















































Rostrevor Overview



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