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Audley’s Point

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Overview





Audley Roads is located on the northeast coast of Ireland, on the western shore and at the head of The Narrows that lead to Strangford Lough. It is a lunch-stop anchorage where it is advisable to maintain an anchor watch, in a secluded natural location.

Audley Roads is located on the northeast coast of Ireland, on the western shore and at the head of The Narrows that lead to Strangford Lough. It is a lunch-stop anchorage where it is advisable to maintain an anchor watch, in a secluded natural location.

This is a lunch-stop anchorage as although it provides good southerly protection it is exposed to winds from every other quadrant and subject to strong currents and uncertain holding. Access requires attentive navigation as although there are no off-lying dangers, the location is on the edge of the fast-running tides of The Narrows.



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Keyfacts for Audley’s Point
Facilities
None listed


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: landing not recommended, possible or permitted hereRestriction: strong to overwhelming tides in the localityNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration

Protected sectors

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

Approaches
3 stars: Attentive navigation; daylight access with dangers that need attention.
Shelter
2 stars: Exposed; unattended vessels should be watched from the shore and a comfortable overnight stay is unlikely.



Last modified
September 30th 2022

Summary* Restrictions apply

An exposed location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
None listed


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Restriction: landing not recommended, possible or permitted hereRestriction: strong to overwhelming tides in the localityNote: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



Position and approaches
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Haven position

54° 23.010' N, 005° 34.754' W

This is just inside the 5-metre contour within 100 metres of the shore.

What is the initial fix?

The following North Narrows Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
54° 23.160' N, 005° 34.360' W
This is in the middle of the north end of the Narrows on the Admiralty D track.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details for vessels approaching Strangford Lough from the north are available in northeast Ireland’s coastal overview for Malin Head to Strangford Lough Route location. Details for vessels approaching from the south are available in eastern Ireland’s coastal overview for Strangford Lough to Dublin Bay Route location. Details of the approaches, tidal timings and the run up the Narrows to about a ½ mile below Strangford are covered in the Entering and exiting the Strangford Narrows Route location.


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 Audley’s Point for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Audley's Roads - 0.5 nautical miles SE
  2. Chapel Island - 0.5 nautical miles W
  3. Ballyhenry Bay - 0.6 nautical miles ENE
  4. Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 0.8 nautical miles W
  5. Jackdaw Island - 1 nautical miles W
  6. Strangford Harbour (Strangford Village) - 1.1 nautical miles SE
  7. Portaferry - 1.1 nautical miles ESE
  8. Don O’Neill Island - 2.1 nautical miles NW
  9. Salt Island (South) - 2.3 nautical miles WSW
  10. Cross Roads - 2.4 nautical miles SSE
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Audley's Roads - 0.5 miles SE
  2. Chapel Island - 0.5 miles W
  3. Ballyhenry Bay - 0.6 miles ENE
  4. Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 0.8 miles W
  5. Jackdaw Island - 1 miles W
  6. Strangford Harbour (Strangford Village) - 1.1 miles SE
  7. Portaferry - 1.1 miles ESE
  8. Don O’Neill Island - 2.1 miles NW
  9. Salt Island (South) - 2.3 miles WSW
  10. Cross Roads - 2.4 miles SSE
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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What's the story here?
The slight embayment ¼ of a mile westward of Audley's Point
Image: Michael Harpur


Audley’s Point is at the head of The Narrows where Strangford Lough opens up properly between it and Ballyhenry Point on the north shore. Its shoreline is part of the Castle Ward Estate featuring the pretty Audley's Woods on the headland with open pastoral farmland above the anchorage. This is in a slight embayment located ¼ of a mile westward of Audley's Point.


The pastoral lands inshore of the anchorage
Image: Michael Harpur


Tucked in close under the shore one can have a very pleasant afternoon anchorage. Especially so in strong southerly conditions to which the adjacent Audley Roads is exposed. It is a favourite for local Strangford Sailing Club boats, who have their base in Audley Roads, to observe club races. Because the currents run up to 3.5 knots and the rocky holding in an area is uncertain it has to be considered a stay-aboard anchorage. This said, the closer a boat tucks in, the further the currents reduce.


How to get in?
The wooded Audley's Point with Ballyhenry Point and Bay oposite
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Details of the approaches, tidal timings and the run up the Narrows to about a ½ below Strangford are covered in the Entering and exiting the Strangford Narrows Route location route description. Pass between the wooded Audley's Point where Ballyhenry Bay will be seen on the opposite shore. Audley's Point is steep too and clear of any dangers.


Yacht rounding Audley's Point
Image: Michael Harpur


Track in from the initial fix on the Admiralty D track on a bearing of 235° T for a ¼ of a mile paying careful attention to steerage when passing from the main tidal streams of the fairway into the comparative slacker waters of the inner bay.

The slight embayment westward of Audley's Point
Image: Michael Harpur


The indicated anchor point is just within the narrow band that is the 5-metre contour. It abruptly shallows inshore of this point so keep an eye to the sounder.

The anchoring area as seen from seaward
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Anchor according to draft as close in as possible. The closer to the shore the more protection it offers from southerlies and the run of tide run reduces. The area is subject to kelp-covered rocks that may challenge a CQR making for uncertain holding. Hence an anchor watch is advisable and the vessel should not be left unattended unless the security of the holding has been absolutely assured.


Why visit here?
Audley Point takes its name from the owners of Audley’s Castle, the landmark 15th-century tower house seen around the headland. The name is that of the Anglo-Norman family who held the tower house and the surrounding area for more than half a millennium. This extended history is widely evidenced today in the family name recurring in Audley’s Woods, Audleystown Farm, one of the three farms in the townland, Audleystown Townland itself and in nearby Downpatrick one of the electoral wards is called Audley’s Acre.

The Castle Ward Mansion today
Image: Tourism NI
What is interesting is the absence of a village called Audleystown today. This was a hilltop village of one hundred acres and 250 inhabitants that would have overlooked the anchorage. Audleystown was there up until the middle of the 1800s and was home to 25 families that were tenants of the Castle Ward Estate. Their faith was sealed when the 3rd Viscount Bangor died in 1837 and his widow, Harriet, or Lady Bangor took control of the estate. Lady Bangor had a stern reputation and was known by the time her husband died as 'The Evictor'. So the tenants of Audleystown must have had serious misgivings at the passing of the 3rd Viscount Bangor.

Their fate was sealed four years later when Harriet married Major Andrew Savage-Nugent in 1841. Savage owned an estate on the western shore of Strangford Lough directly opposite Castle Ward. It appears that Harriet was unhappy with the view across from Castle Ward House as it passed over the village of Audleystown situated a little north of Audley's castle even though the Lough does separate them at a narrow point. Nevertheless, it was felt it spoiled the 'naturalistic' panoramas across his parkland from the mansion. If on the other hand it was replaced by woodland then both the Castle Ward and Nugent Estate would appear to blend into one. Major Andrew Savage-Nugent had no qualms with this perspective as he did not like the inhabitants of the village. They were very poor and not the sort he wanted as neighbours to his property.,

So together Nugent and Lady Bangor set about clearing the village, demolishing the buildings and having them completely removed. The tenants of the small settlement were reportedly shipped off to America and the Bangors planted the more aesthetically pleasing Audley’s Woods over the fields; the Mountain Wood (c.1844) and Windmill Plantation (c.1850). The stones from the smashed village were then used to build some of the walls surrounding Castle Ward Estate.


The woods that replaced the village of Audleystown
Image: Michael Harpur


There is ample evidence to support this. Local memory in the neighbouring village of Strangford recalls how many of the villagers baked soda and wheaten bread for the people to take on the voyage. The American Folk Park archive has a rent book from Castleward where it appears that 25 families consisting of approximately 197 people were deported from Audleystown on 28th October 1852 on a ship called Ros. However there is no record of them ever arriving in the United States. The ship could have been lost or they may have gone to Canada or Mexico. Whatever happened to these people remains a mystery but whatever the case the village of Audleystown disappeared off the map. Literally, the O.S. maps record the transition with the map of 1835 showing the village at Audleystown, behind Audley's Castle, and in the subsequent map, of 1863, it is gone. All that remains today are the woods and pastoral lands.


The anchorage as seen from above Audley Woods
Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating point of view, Audley’s Point is a very beautiful quiet anchorage in a place where Strangford begins to open out into the more gentle waters of the Upper Lough. Though a lunch spot where a boat cannot be left unattended owing to the difficult rocky holding, it is a nice place to shelter from southerlies beneath a pretty headland. This is a good alternative to Audley Roads on the opposite side of the headland that is exposed to this quadrant.


What facilities are available?
Audley’s Point is a stay-aboard anchorage with nowhere to land and no local facilities.


Any security concerns?
Never a problem known to have occurred at Audley’s Point. A vessel anchored here is most likely to be alone.


With thanks to:
Brian Crawford, local Strangford Lough boatman of many decades.







An aerial overview of Strangford Lough.



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