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Magheramorne Point

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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 alongside an old disused cement works that is home to a 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. 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 but the trek down to the anchorage is at first via the deep channel passing along the Islandmagee shoreline and then via the old dredged channel to Magheramorne. In the latter case, good visibility will be required to pick up the leading marks.
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.




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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
July 18th 2018

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
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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.

  • 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 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. Ballydowan - 0.4 miles NNE
  2. Mill Bay - 0.4 miles ENE
  3. Larne Harbour - 0.8 miles NNW
  4. Ferris Bay - 1.2 miles NNW
  5. Brown’s Bay - 1.3 miles N
  6. Portmuck - 1.4 miles NE
  7. Whitehead - 2.8 miles SSE
  8. Ballygalley Bay - 3.5 miles NNW
  9. Carrickfergus Harbour & Marina - 4.2 miles SSW
  10. Greenisland - 5 miles SSW
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Ballydowan - 0.4 miles NNE
  2. Mill Bay - 0.4 miles ENE
  3. Larne Harbour - 0.8 miles NNW
  4. Ferris Bay - 1.2 miles NNW
  5. Brown’s Bay - 1.3 miles N
  6. Portmuck - 1.4 miles NE
  7. Whitehead - 2.8 miles SSE
  8. Ballygalley Bay - 3.5 miles NNW
  9. Carrickfergus Harbour & Marina - 4.2 miles SSW
  10. Greenisland - 5 miles SSW
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?


Magheramorne is the site of a former cement works with a defunct pier and small basin. It is now a small hamlet and home to the Blue Circle Boat Club Magheramorne. They have a clubhouse, wooden jetty, slipway and mooring area immediately offshore. Use the directions for Larne Harbour Click to view haven for approaches.

After entering the harbour continue south past Ballylumford Power Station and its pier, between the L-shaped ‘A’ wharf and No.7 buoy, and then along the western shore of Islandmagee. Here the eastern shore of the inner Lough is covered by a gravelly foreshore that dries up to 200 metres off. Outside of this, there is a 200 metres wide channel that carries 6 metres of water for half a mile.

Close after the Larne Lough yellow buoy is passed to starboard depths fall to 4 metres and then to about 2 metres abreast of Ballydowan where local boats will be seen moored.

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

Continue toward Ballydowan and when about half way between the Larne Lough Buoy and Ballydowan, made obvious by its local boat moorings, look to the southern shore.

The many moored local craft off, close west off Dalaradia Point, will have been seen for some time across the lough just under a mile to the south. Likewise, the old disused Magheramorne Point cement works should be seen to have opened behind the small artificial island in the middle of the lough.

The area is reached through ¾ of a mile long old commercial channel that runs across the shallow lough to the remains of the cement works pier. Although no longer maintained and only 50 metres wide 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.

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.

Once in line, at 176.5° T, follow the channel to the mooring area. This passes the small artificial islet, a bird sanctuary, 100 metres to starboard.

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 name of a ‘Thuaithe’ or ‘petty kingdom’.

For a time the area was also called ‘Domnach-morin agro de Mag-damorna, shortened to ’Domhnach-mor. This Latin and Gaelic name that 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; the patron saint of Ireland who brought Christianity to 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 Ireland’s most illustrious monastery founders of the sixth 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 own 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".

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 for the cement 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, replete with decaying industrial installations, have taken their toll on the Magheramorne landscape. All who come ashore here to confront the area’s remorseless scars and many remnants of those days will find it hard to imagine that this was once called the ‘petty kingdom’. 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 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.

From a sailing 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. Photography with thanks to Brian Hough, Wilson Adams, Bob Jones, Albert Bridge and Aubrey Dale.


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





















An overview of the mooring area and Dalaradia Point




An overview of the old disused factory area



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