England Ireland Find Havens
England Ireland Find Routes
Boat
Maintenance
Comfort
Operations
Safety
Other



NextPrevious

Magheramorne Point

Tides and tools
Overview





Magheramorne is a small village, on the southeastern shore of Larne Lough, which is situated on the northeast coast of Ireland. Located approximately two miles from the Lough's entrance it provides a secluded anchorage offshore of the grounds of the local sailing club.

Magheramorne is a small village, on the southeastern shore of Larne Lough, which is situated on the northeast coast of Ireland. Located approximately two miles from the Lough's entrance it provides a secluded anchorage offshore of the grounds of the local sailing club.

Magheramorne Point is a good anchorage that affords complete shelter and protection from all conditions except the north when it might become a little choppy and uncomfortable on account of the fetch across the Lough. Access is straightforward as the lough may be accessed day or night, at any stage of the tide and in all reasonable conditions. Outside of the harbour, navigation aids become scarce so good visibility will be required to pick up the leading marks.



Be the first
to comment
Keyfacts for Magheramorne Point
Facilities
Slipway availableShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementBus 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 landingSailing Club baseSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed

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
5 stars: Complete protection; all-round shelter in all reasonable conditions.



Last modified
December 15th 2022

Summary

A completely protected location with attentive navigation required for access.

Facilities
Slipway availableShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementBus 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 landingSailing Club baseSet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
None listed



Position and approaches
Expand to new tab or fullscreen

Haven position

54° 49.194' N, 005° 46.251' W

This anchorage area off the southern shore of Larne Lough, about midway between Magheramorne's disused cement works pier and the artificial island.

What is the initial fix?

The following Larne Harbour Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
54° 51.580' N, 005° 47.550' W
Half a mile north of the harbour and approximately midway between Larne No. 1 and No. 2 Light buoys. This is set upon the leading lights alignment of 184.3° T that leads through the centre of the entrance channel.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in the northeast Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Malin Head to Strangford Lough Route location.
  • Approach directions to the Lough are available in Larne Harbour Click to view haven.

  • Track down along the deep water channel that follows the western side of Islandmagee’s shoreline to about midway between the Larne Lough buoy and the Ballydowan mooring area.

  • Pick up the transit close west of the cement works and follow the old channel marks in line at 176.5° T, to the mooring area.


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 Magheramorne Point for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Mill Bay - 0.5 nautical miles ENE
  2. Ballydowan - 0.6 nautical miles NNE
  3. Larne Harbour - 1.3 nautical miles NNW
  4. Ferris Bay - 2 nautical miles NNW
  5. Brown’s Bay - 2.1 nautical miles N
  6. Portmuck - 2.2 nautical miles NE
  7. Whitehead - 4.7 nautical miles SSE
  8. Ballygalley Bay - 5.7 nautical miles NNW
  9. Carrickfergus Harbour & Marina - 6.7 nautical miles SSW
  10. Greenisland - 8.1 nautical miles SSW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Mill Bay - 0.5 miles ENE
  2. Ballydowan - 0.6 miles NNE
  3. Larne Harbour - 1.3 miles NNW
  4. Ferris Bay - 2 miles NNW
  5. Brown’s Bay - 2.1 miles N
  6. Portmuck - 2.2 miles NE
  7. Whitehead - 4.7 miles SSE
  8. Ballygalley Bay - 5.7 miles NNW
  9. Carrickfergus Harbour & Marina - 6.7 miles SSW
  10. Greenisland - 8.1 miles SSW
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.

Expand to new tab or fullscreen



What's the story here?
Magheramorne and the grounds of the Blue Circle Cruising and Sailing Club
Image: Michael Harpur


Magheramorne is a small hamlet in the Larne Area Plan situated west of Magheramorne Quarry. This part of the Lough has the Magheramorne Quarry in the backdrop and former Blue Circle cement works with a defunct pier and small basin on the foreshore. The jetty is now closed to shipping since 2002 and Blue Circle (now Lafarge) moved to Belfast harbour. It remains home to the Blue Circle Cruising and Sailing Club.


The slip and jetty of the Blue Circle Cruising and Sailing Club
Image: Michael Harpur


The sailing club have a clubhouse, wooden jetty, vast slipway and mooring area immediately offshore. The club may be contacted on Landline+44 (0)28 2827 3569, E-mailsecretary@bcboatclub.org.uk and website External link.


How to get in?
Magheramorne with the entrance to Lough Larne in the backdrop
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Use the directions for Larne Harbour Click to view haven for approaches and entry to Lough Larne and Mill Bay Click to view haven for the run along the shore of Islandmagee.
Please note

The anchorage will be readily identified from the entrance and the temptation will be to cut directly to it across the shallow lough, but access has to be via the circuitous doglegged channels.



Keep to the channel along the shore of Islandmagee until a ¼ of a mile after the Larne Lough yellow buoy that is passed to starboard in depths of no less than 4 metres.

Larne Lough - Buoy Yellow Fl.Y.5s position: 54° 49.901' N, 005° 46.481' W


The dredged channel leading southward as seen from Mill Bay
Image: Michael Harpur


The many moored local craft off, close west off Dalaradia Point, and the old disused Magheramorne Point cement works will have long since been seen across the lough just a mile southward. The area is reached through an old commercial channel that runs across the shallow lough to the remains of the cement works pier. Although no longer maintained it still has at least 2 metres of water. Magheramorne closed to commercial traffic in January 2002 when dredging ceased, and any buoys marking the channel were removed in August 2004. But it is still easily located.


The old dredged channel lies about 120 metres east of the artificial island
Image: Michael Harpur


Close west of the cement works two alignment leading marks supporting the channel, both marked on Admiralty Chart 1237, should be seen to be closing as the head of the channel is reached. They are situated on the foreshore close west of the cement works basin.

Front Mark - triangle pointing up on telegraph pole, 9 metres position: 54° 48.928’N, 005° 46' 049’W

The rear mark has a downward pointing triangle, elevation 12 metres, set back 60 metres from the front mark. They come into alignment a ¼ of a mile after the Larne Lough yellow buoy after the Magheramorne Point cement works should be seen to have opened behind the small artificial island in the middle of the lough. The following waypoint will help find the alignment at the north end of the channel and there may be a club danbuoy in the vicinity:

Magheramorne Leading Marks Alignment - Waypoint: 54° 49.740' N 005° 46.183' W


The dredged channel leading southward as seen from Magheramorne
Image: Michael Harpur


Once in line, at 176.5° T, follow the ¾ of a mile-long channel to the mooring area. Stick to the marks as it is only 50 metres wide. This passes the small artificial islet, a bird sanctuary, 100 metres to starboard.


Vessels anchored off Magheramorne
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Anchor in 2 to 3 metres to the north of the mooring area about halfway between the island and the pier. Landings may be made at a wooden jetty situated near the transit marks or at the club slip.


Why visit here?
Magheramorne derives its name from the Gaelic 'Machaire Morna' meaning 'plain of Morna'. The origin of the name 'Morna' is uncertain and it is thought most likely to be a tribal name. Before being known as Magheramorne it has the ancient Irish name of a 'Thuaithe' or 'Tuath' meaning 'petty kingdom'.

St Comgall
Image: Public Domain
In old Ireland there was a ranking of overlordship with the five provincial kings sitting at the top. Beneath them were regional kings and finally the petty kings, the king of an individual 'tuath'. The 'tuath' was therefore the most basic political unit in early Irish society. The rulers of these polities did think of themselves as kings even though an average tuath was only around 50km2 in size. According to Irish law, these kings had very limited powers; they could make peace and war and that was about it. So this area was once the domain of a single 'Thuaithe' or 'Tuath'.

For a time the area was also called 'Domnach-morin agro de Mag-damorna', shortened to 'Domhnach-mor. This Latin and Gaelic name broadly means 'the big Sunday place of the Morna plain' and it refers to an ancient church and monastic settlement that was once here. The precise site of this early church has not been located today, but it is believed to have been founded by St Patrick who brought Christianity to Ireland and who is the patron saint of the nation. This church would have been the church that 'Setna' and 'Briga Comgall' prayed in and the one where they baptised their son. Born here in the year 517, twenty years after the death of St Patrick, he was to become the famous St Comgall who has been celebrated since as one of Ireland's most illustrious monastery founders of the 6th century.

Comgall served as a soldier in his early life but left to study Christianity. He then went to live on a small island on Lough Erne, accompanied by a few friends who followed a severe form of monastic life. This austere life and contemplation prepared him to fulfil the main task of his life which was to be the foundation of the great monastery of Bangor. Founded in the year 558 he built the large and famous monastery to his designs of austerity and extreme discipline. Nevertheless, the monastery has attracted 8,000 monks by the time of St Comgall's passing and 30,000 monks were to come through it in the following centuries. It became the largest and most influential of Irish monastic establishments and a prototype for future monasteries and centres of missionary work. Although St Comgall founded other Irish monasteries, for instance, Cell-Comgail, none reached Bangor's prominence that was described as one of 'the lights of Celtic Christianity' bringing 'a light to the world'.


The original old lime kilns still visible on the site
Image: Michael Harpur


Today Magheramorne is a tiny hamlet of fewer than 100 people. The settlement is dominated by a disused quarry and the Blue Circle Cement Company works. For over two hundred years coasters came and went at a steady rate to its quay importing and exporting various cargoes basalt and chalk and in latter days cement from the works. After the quarry was worked out the kilns continued the production of cement well on into the 1990s. After this ended the Magheramorne berth was still used by shipping until 2002 when it too finally closed. These two hundred years of industrial quarrying, the associated quarry spoil heaps on the steep slopes replete with decaying industrial installations, have taken their toll on the Magheramorne landscape and degraded part of the landscape west of Larne Lough. All who come ashore here to confront the area's remorseless scars and many remnants of those days.


The ruin of the old cement works and the quarry degrades this end of the Lough
Image: Michael Harpur


However, plans are afoot for a major development that includes 450 environmentally-friendly homes, restaurants, retail units, a community centre, a hotel, a harbour-side tourist point with a viewing tower, boating facilities, a chandlery, and much more. So perhaps Magheramorne's story may yet take another direction. Those familiar with the HBO television series 'Game of Thrones' will be interested to know the old quarry has itself been engaged in telling another far-fetched tale in the meantime. In season one of the series, this was the primary set for 'Castle Black' and the 'Wall'. The Antrim Plateau near Cairncastle is also extensively used in the series.


The grounds of the Blue Circle Cruising and Sailing Club make it an excellent
berth

Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating perspective, set away on the sheltered southern waters of Larne Lough, Magheramorne provides another escape from the hustle and bustle of Larne. But unlike other out-of-the-way alternatives, it comes with the facilities of the local boat club situated next to the slip. It also has the convenience of public transport and, being on the mainland side of the lough, has the town within easy reach.


What facilities are available?
There is a concrete slip and a clubhouse ashore with all facilities including showers. The club welcomes visitors and there is usually some sort event on Saturday nights. Magheramorne is a small village where buses are available to Larne, a distance of 5 kms, plus there is a hotel half a mile away. Magheramorne is located 3 kms south of Glynn along the main A2 Shore Road.There’s also a very posh hotel about half a mile up the road towards town.


Any security concerns?
Never a problem known to have occurred at Magheramorne.


With thanks to:
Terry Crawford, local boatman of many decades.







An overview of the mooring area and Dalaradia Point




An overview of the old disused factory area



A photograph is worth a thousand words. We are always looking for bright sunny photographs that show this haven and its identifiable features at its best. If you have some images that we could use please upload them here. All we need to know is how you would like to be credited for your work and a brief description of the image if it is not readily apparent. If you would like us to add a hyperlink from the image that goes back to your site please include the desired link and we will be delighted to that for you.


Add your review or comment:

Please log in to leave a review of this haven.



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.