Sunday, 24 July 2011

Kilbroney Forest

Timothy Belmont has enjoyed a memorable day out at south County Down today, passing through Newry, Warrenpoint and the charming little village of Rostrevor. The two-seater averaged 44.2 mpg.

The signs are all bi-lingual here, in Irish Gaelic and English, a jolly considerate idea for any of the local populace who might encounter difficulties speaking English.

I passed the splendid Narrow Water demesne and the Halls' august Victorian pile, Narrow Water Castle, which looked spectacular.

I stopped en route to admire the Ross monument.

Kilbroney must surely rank among the most picturesque of our forest parks. The lofty forestry on the side of the mountain and the flora were all evocative of a miniature version of Switzerland.

I trekked up as far as the Cloghmore Stone, a large boulder perched half-way up the side of the mountain. Think of circumventing Miss Widdecombe and you'll get the idea.

At the picnic area, where the cafeteria is, I placed my rug on the lawn, donned the feed-bag and munched a round of corned-beef salad sandwiches with a beaker of tea.

It would seem that this demesne was once owned by a  Miss Bowes-Lyon, who lived at Kilbroney Lodge. I must investigate this further.


On exiting the forest park I turned left, towards the Ballyedmond Estate, a seat of the richest cove in the Province, Lord Ballyedmond.

The palatial gates were, as one would expect, firmly closed, though his lordship's coat-of-arms (OBE badge included, suspended therefrom) adorn a blue plaque.

Within the gates there seems to be a deer-park and I spotted one or two of the animals grazing contentedly on the emerald-green lawns.

He could even have gone a step further and stuck a  few baronial coronets atop the gate-posts!


Anonymous said...

Surely the stone is called the BIG STONE not Fiddlers stone. Fiddlers Green is the flat grass bit half way up to the Big Stone.
sammy Mehaffey

Timothy Belmont said...

I don't doubt you, Sammy; doubtless got the old lines crossed.

It is a Big Stone!

Timothy Belmont said...

I think it's called the Cloghmore Stone, so I've amended the piece.


Liam Og said...

Cloghmor means big stone hence the importance of keeping our native tongue alive and well so we can truly appreciate all the place names in our island, lest we forget our roots

Timothy Belmont said...

You'll hardly forget your roots in Newry & Mourne.

It might also be beneficial to have Council signs and notices in French and German or other languages for tourists.