Friday, 12 March 2021



ANNALONG - anciently ISLE-ALONG - a mountain torrent, a creek, and a small village and fishing harbour, five miles north-east by north of Kilkeel, barony of Mourne, County Down.

The creek is the only place along a considerable extent of bold highland coast where fishing vessels can find shelter.

"As we pass to the southward through this barony of Mourne," says Mr Nimmo, "the mountains recede a little, and the country improves in cultivation; but no kind of seaport or creek occurs worthy of notice, excepting Annalong."

"This little village is situated at the mouth of a considerable mountain stream, which, passing swiftly through a gully in the slate rock, serves to keep off the swell which otherwise would seem ready to bury the small craft that find shelter within."

"The inhabitants have cut out a little dock in the rock on the south side, which, when I saw it, was choke-full of little smacks and wherries."

"Of these there are, belonging to the place, three decked and five half-decked, containing 166 tons; also twelve row-boats."

"The entrance, though narrow, is straight and deep; so that by means of leading marks and lights, the boats can run in pretty safely."

"The inhabitants of this place have stated, in their memorial to the Board, the practicability of making an extensive harbour of safety here; but this is quite out of the question."

"I think, however, it would be highly advisable to extend this little harbour by excavating a large space in the skerry rocks outside."

Annalong Harbour (Image: William Alfred Green)

A pier was erected by the proprietor of the soil, and has at its head from twelve to fifteen feet of water at the top of spring tides; but, having no other source of support than an annual toll of £1 1s [about £120 in 2020] on each of the few vessels which it shelters, it is in bad repair.

Though the village appears to be a prosperous fishing-station, upwards of 250 of its inhabitants are said to have been unemployed in 1835. 

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