The Walkers on Drumee Loanin near Castlewellan

The Walkers on Drumee Loanin near Castlewellan

Drumee – Droiom Moinge – the ridge of the swamp. One of the network of paths which formed part of an intricate transport system connecting the settlements of Castlewellan, Annsborough, Maghera, Dundrum, Bryansford and Newcastle. These laneways offered the shortest, easiest routes for horse and cart, for example bringing coal from Dundrum or herding cattle to market in Castlewellan, so avoiding the steep hill at Ardnabannon. Now they provide quiet laneways criss–crossing the countryside.

The drizzle on the way down came to nothing and our group of seventeen met in Castlewellan and there, Peter who was leading that day, told us about the history of the area before we set off down the road out of the Upper Square towards the coast. He likened the route of the walk to the shape of a lollipop so we walked down ‘the stick’ and then struck off inland on one of the old loanins. This took us eventually to Maghera Old Church and the Round Tower where we stopped for lunch. You can tell a lot about the landscape in Ireland if you translate the Anglicised place names into the Irish and here Maghera means the ‘plain of the ringfort’. The round tower is said to have been destroyed in a storm in the mid 1700s. The medieval church situated behind the more modern church probably dates to the 13th century and is surrounded by an ancient graveyard. The current Church of Ireland rebuilt in 1887 stands near at hand.

horses by gateAfter lunch it was out along the Carrigs Road for a few hundred yards and then Church Hill Road to Smiley’s Loanin, another of the lovely grassy paths which make up this walk. After few hundred yards of busy road we struck off again along the last of the loanins back towards Castlewellan.

After an abortive attempt to get seats for 17 of us in the recommended Urban café in Castlewellan we decided that the Killinchy Muffler café in McCann’s at the Balloo crossroads would be a better bet which it was. But on the way out we saw the plans for the redevelopment of that building – a Eurospar!

The next outing on 4th November is to the Fairy Glen and Kilbroney Park near Rostrevor. It’s six miles on river bank, country park and lanes. We LEAVE at 8.45 from the church car park.


Added by: RobbieJackson
Added on: Monday 9th October 2017

Category: Walkers

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