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Jackdaw Island

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Overview





Chapel and Jackdaw Islands are located on the northeast coast of Ireland within Strangford Lough and are the first islands encountered on the southern shore after exiting The Narrows. This anchorage is to the west of Jackdaw Island, the western and smaller of the two islands.

Chapel and Jackdaw Islands are located on the northeast coast of Ireland within Strangford Lough and are the first islands encountered on the southern shore after exiting The Narrows. This anchorage is to the west of Jackdaw Island, the western and smaller of the two islands.

This is a good anchorage offering all-round protection except for north around to northwesterly winds and it offers particularly good protection from southerlies. The Lough's enclosed body of water provides sheltered sailing in all weather, all tides and ample marks to make daylight navigation straightforward.



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Keyfacts for Jackdaw Island
Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tender

Considerations
Note: 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
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
November 7th 2022

Summary

A good location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
Marked or notable walks in the vicinity of this location


Nature
No fees for anchoring or berthing in this locationRemote or quiet secluded locationAnchoring locationBeach or shoreline landing from a tender

Considerations
Note: strong tides or currents in the area that require consideration



Position and approaches
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Haven position

54° 22.968' N, 005° 36.538' W

200 metres west of Jackdaw Island.

What is the initial fix?

The following Chapel Island & Jackdaw Islands Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
54° 23.368' N, 005° 35.970' W
On the small 8.8 metre contour patch approximately 300 metres north of Chapel Island.


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, the run up The Narrows and onward to Killyleagh, on the Lough's western shore, are covered in the Entering and exiting Strangford Lough Route location route description.


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 Jackdaw Island for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 0.3 nautical miles ENE
  2. Chapel Island - 0.5 nautical miles E
  3. Audley’s Point - 1 nautical miles E
  4. Salt Island (South) - 1.3 nautical miles WSW
  5. Audley's Roads - 1.4 nautical miles E
  6. Brandy Bay (North Salt Island) - 1.5 nautical miles W
  7. Killyleagh - 1.6 nautical miles WNW
  8. Ballyhenry Bay - 1.6 nautical miles ENE
  9. Salt Island (Southwest) - 1.6 nautical miles WSW
  10. Don O’Neill Island - 1.7 nautical miles NNW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 0.3 miles ENE
  2. Chapel Island - 0.5 miles E
  3. Audley’s Point - 1 miles E
  4. Salt Island (South) - 1.3 miles WSW
  5. Audley's Roads - 1.4 miles E
  6. Brandy Bay (North Salt Island) - 1.5 miles W
  7. Killyleagh - 1.6 miles WNW
  8. Ballyhenry Bay - 1.6 miles ENE
  9. Salt Island (Southwest) - 1.6 miles WSW
  10. Don O’Neill Island - 1.7 miles NNW
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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?
Jackdaw Island as seen from the anchorage
Image: Michael Harpur


The small uninhabited Jackdaw Island is the western islet of the two easternmost islands on the southern shore of Strangford Lough. It lies a ¼ of a mile off the shoreline and is an almost square islet that is about 160 metres wide with a hummock at about its centre that rises to 10 metres. The shoreline dries out to the island and the surrounding shores of the island dry out to about 25 metres.

There is 2.4 metres LAT westward of the island where good holding will be found.


How to get in?
Jackdaw Island is about a little over a mile westward of Audley's Point
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Details of the approaches, tidal timings, the run up The Narrows and onward to Killyleagh, on the Lough's western shore, are covered in the Entering and exiting Strangford Lough Route location route description. Jackdaw Island is a little over a mile westward of Audley Point.

Initial fix location The Chapel & Jackdaw Islands Initial Fix places the vessel 300 metres north of Chapel Island where both islands will be visible and it is a simple matter of passing around Jackdaw Island.


Anchor westward of Jackdaw Island
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Anchor according to draft and conditions over sand and shale with good holding.


Why visit here?
Unlike Chapel Island, Jackdaw Island has never been farmed and appears not to have been inhabited. But the location history of human inhabitation runs very deep here as one field in from the tidal mudflats around Jackdaw Island is the important Neolithic Audleystown Court Tomb.


The position of Audleystown Court Tomb ashore
Image: Michael Harpur


Situated in a slight hollow overlooking the island the well-preserved tomb was built during the period 3900–3500 BCE. The cairn is orientated northeast-southwest, with the wider end facing southwest, and it has a double courtyard-double burial chamber layout which is unique to Ireland. Today it is faced with a drystone wall of standing shale stones, which in their time would have been covered by shale and earth. The court tomb was used for the burial of at least thirty men, women and children, along with bones of cattle, horses, sheep and pigs in two opposing galleries. There were also finds of pottery, a large javelin head, and scrapers and knives. Two of the bowls had lugs like vessels found in tombs in Scotland. Fingertip fluting on three bowls makes them similar to bowls found in Scotland and the Isle of Man. Its location on the shores of the Lough, directly overlooking Jackdaw Island and the estuary of the River Quoile suggests that some people saw themselves as being connected to the waters of particular sheltered bays and inlets. It is also historically interesting for being the site where the earliest known horse bones were found in Ireland.


The Audleystown Double Horned Court Cairn
Image: Peter Moore via CC BY-SA 3.0


Nearby in a sub-denomination of the townland of Audleystown, called Tubberdoney, is the site of an early possible 5th-century Christian church called Temple Cormick - Cormac's Church. All that remains is a small ruined, dry-stone church of simple rectangular plan with a surrounding enclosure that marks the boundary of an ancient cemetery. Unfortunately, its history is lost save that Cormac was a particular friend of St Patrick who arrived here to bring Christianity to Ireland. Toberdoney, meaning Donard's Walls, possibly refers to another early Christian site that may have existed in this area and was dedicated to St Domangart or Donard.


The drystone wall of standing shale stones
Image: Eric Jones via CC BY-SA 2.0


Today there is little activity save for birdlife on Jackdaw Island's tussock grass which is perhaps how it acquired its name. It is possible to land and go for a walk on Jackdaw, or indeed Chapel Island, from here. But please note that Jackdaw is an important nesting site for Sandwich Terns in the spring and should be avoided at that time. On the other hand, on a quiet day, tucked away from it all behind uninhabited Jackdaw Island, it is easy to immerse oneself in a peaceful location. Very little has changed at this location since Megalithic times and it is easy to cast the mind back even a thousand years to when Viking boats passed through close north of here. Most notably in 1002, and subsequently again in 1149, the sleek longboats came cutting through the Lough's peaceful waters, sharp-eyed crews tense with the anticipation of imminent battle and monastic plunder; bent on Quoile Abbey.


Jackdaw Island with the entrance to the Quoile and the Mountains of Mourne in
the backdrop

Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating point of view today, it is a snug anchorage where a boat can take in views across the island-dotted Lough to the west or over the mistily distant Mourne Mountains to the south. It is a favourite location to watch the clubs of the Lough race as the much-used racing mark No.11 (Jackdaw) is located nearby and, with the sun behind, it is the perfect place to watch the action.


What facilities are available?
There are no facilities on Chapel and Jackdaw Islands or in the surrounding area.


Any security concerns?
Never a problem known to have occurred around the isolated Chapel and Jackdaw Islands.


With thanks to:
Brian Crawford, local Strangford Lough boatman of many decades. eOceanic would like to thank Quoile Yacht Club External link for hosting our survey boat during the survey of Strangford Lough.



About Jackdaw Island

Unlike Chapel Island, Jackdaw Island has never been farmed and appears not to have been inhabited. But the location history of human inhabitation runs very deep here as one field in from the tidal mudflats around Jackdaw Island is the important Neolithic Audleystown Court Tomb.


The position of Audleystown Court Tomb ashore
Image: Michael Harpur


Situated in a slight hollow overlooking the island the well-preserved tomb was built during the period 3900–3500 BCE. The cairn is orientated northeast-southwest, with the wider end facing southwest, and it has a double courtyard-double burial chamber layout which is unique to Ireland. Today it is faced with a drystone wall of standing shale stones, which in their time would have been covered by shale and earth. The court tomb was used for the burial of at least thirty men, women and children, along with bones of cattle, horses, sheep and pigs in two opposing galleries. There were also finds of pottery, a large javelin head, and scrapers and knives. Two of the bowls had lugs like vessels found in tombs in Scotland. Fingertip fluting on three bowls makes them similar to bowls found in Scotland and the Isle of Man. Its location on the shores of the Lough, directly overlooking Jackdaw Island and the estuary of the River Quoile suggests that some people saw themselves as being connected to the waters of particular sheltered bays and inlets. It is also historically interesting for being the site where the earliest known horse bones were found in Ireland.


The Audleystown Double Horned Court Cairn
Image: Peter Moore via CC BY-SA 3.0


Nearby in a sub-denomination of the townland of Audleystown, called Tubberdoney, is the site of an early possible 5th-century Christian church called Temple Cormick - Cormac's Church. All that remains is a small ruined, dry-stone church of simple rectangular plan with a surrounding enclosure that marks the boundary of an ancient cemetery. Unfortunately, its history is lost save that Cormac was a particular friend of St Patrick who arrived here to bring Christianity to Ireland. Toberdoney, meaning Donard's Walls, possibly refers to another early Christian site that may have existed in this area and was dedicated to St Domangart or Donard.


The drystone wall of standing shale stones
Image: Eric Jones via CC BY-SA 2.0


Today there is little activity save for birdlife on Jackdaw Island's tussock grass which is perhaps how it acquired its name. It is possible to land and go for a walk on Jackdaw, or indeed Chapel Island, from here. But please note that Jackdaw is an important nesting site for Sandwich Terns in the spring and should be avoided at that time. On the other hand, on a quiet day, tucked away from it all behind uninhabited Jackdaw Island, it is easy to immerse oneself in a peaceful location. Very little has changed at this location since Megalithic times and it is easy to cast the mind back even a thousand years to when Viking boats passed through close north of here. Most notably in 1002, and subsequently again in 1149, the sleek longboats came cutting through the Lough's peaceful waters, sharp-eyed crews tense with the anticipation of imminent battle and monastic plunder; bent on Quoile Abbey.


Jackdaw Island with the entrance to the Quoile and the Mountains of Mourne in
the backdrop

Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating point of view today, it is a snug anchorage where a boat can take in views across the island-dotted Lough to the west or over the mistily distant Mourne Mountains to the south. It is a favourite location to watch the clubs of the Lough race as the much-used racing mark No.11 (Jackdaw) is located nearby and, with the sun behind, it is the perfect place to watch the action.

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:
Between Jackdaw & Chapel Island - 0.2 miles ENE
Chapel Island - 0.3 miles E
Audley’s Point - 0.6 miles E
Audley's Roads - 0.9 miles E
Strangford Harbour (Strangford Village) - 1.2 miles ESE
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Salt Island (South) - 0.8 miles WSW
Brandy Bay (North Salt Island) - 0.9 miles W
Salt Island (Southwest) - 1 miles WSW
Quoile - 1.4 miles WSW
Moore’s Point - 1.1 miles W

Navigational pictures


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



















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Please note eOceanic makes no guarantee of the validity of this information, we have not visited this haven and do not have first-hand experience to qualify the data. Although the contributors are vetted by peer review as practised authorities, they are in no way, whatsoever, responsible for the accuracy of their contributions. It is essential that you thoroughly check the accuracy and suitability for your vessel of any waypoints offered in any context plus the precision of your GPS. Any data provided on this page is entirely used at your own risk and you must read our legal page if you view data on this site. Free to use sea charts courtesy of Navionics.