J3422 : Gate and stile in the Mourne Wall

taken 14 years ago, 3 km from Glasdrumman, Northern Ireland

Gate and stile in the Mourne Wall
Gate and stile in the Mourne Wall
Iron gate and stone stile at a break in the Mourne Wall near Carrick Little.

I have been contacted regarding some pictures as they do not resemble the official Mourne Wall as seen in J3228 : The Mourne Wall, suggesting that they are, in fact, merely field boundaries. However, I am reliant on the OS data which describes this part of the wall in squares J3422 and J3323 as 'The Mourne Wall' so am describing them myself as such.

Despite research I have failed to come up with a definitive history of the Mourne Wall in its entirety. The wall does appear to have been built in different sections, with some areas of a much higher standard of construction than others. The author Paddy Dillon has written an excellent book on walking in the Mournes ('The Mournes: Walks' by Paddy Dillon published by O'Brien Press, ISBN: 086278896X) and his map of the Mourne Wall walk would seem to concur that this section leading from Carrick Little carpark to Slieve Binnian is indeed rightly attributed as the 'Mourne Wall'. On the 'Mourne Wall Walk', Dillon writes the following in relation to the rise from Carrick Little to Binnian:

"An obvious gravel track flanked by gorse bushes rises beside the car park. The gentle ascent leads past a couple of buildings and the boundary field walls alongside become quite substantial. Cross a stone step stile beside an iron gate. The Mourne Wall rises to the left, offering a direct line to the summit of Slieve Binnian."

This is a picture of the gate and stone stile as described above. The wall rising to Binnian can be seen in J3422 : Mourne Wall towards Slieve Binnian.

Dillon also offers the following brief notes on the wall itself:

"The course of the Mourne Wall on either side of the Silent Valley is disappointing, and in places it seems to be a haphazard construction. The truly 'classic' proportions of the wall are found northwards of Carn Mountain and Long Seefin, and there are some particularly stout sections on Slieve Corragh and the Bog of Donard."
The Mourne Wall

The Mourne Wall is a 22 mile long wall in the Mourne Mountains. It was built between 1904 and 1922 by the Belfast Water Commissioners to enclose their catchment areas in the Mournes and protect the area from the effects of cattle and sheep on the water course LinkExternal link . The wall is predominately constructed from local granite using traditional dry stone walling techniques; on average the wall is about 1.5 metres high and 0.8 to 0.9 metres thick. It is not uniform in construction along the entire length - the 'classic' granite wall is only to be found north of Carn mountain and Long Seefin with particularly impressive sections on Slieve Commedagh and Slieve Donard; elsewhere it largely resembles the traditional dry stone walls found elsewhere in the Mournes and south County Down. In places, such as Slieve Muck, the wall is not constructed of granite at all.

Belfast & District Water Commissioners gates and buildings

Images relating to Belfast & District Water Commissioners buildings and gates found throughout County Down between the Mourne Mountains and Belfast. They are found in and around the Silent Valley and in numerous places above the underground Mourne Conduit which carries water to Belfast. The buildings are mainly pumping stations, wells or houses (mostly now vacant) for staff. The red gates were erected, mainly through farmland, so that BWC staff (linesmen) could walk the length of the Mourne Conduit and visually check for problems at the surface. The posts have BWC cast into the metal at the top (Belfast Water Commissioners - see J3452 : BWC gate near Ballynahinch for a close-up) and there are a few to be found where the letters are back to front! The gates are also found in several places on the Mourne Wall - see J2923 : Stile and gate on the Mourne Wall and J3228 : The Mourne Wall at the Hare's Gap for examples.

See also the associated shared description for The Mourne Wall at LinkExternal link .

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Rossographer and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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J3422, 83 images   (more nearby search)
Date Taken
Saturday, 24 January, 2009   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 28 January, 2009
Dry stone wall   (more nearby)
Subject Location
Irish: geotagged! J 343 228 [100m precision]
WGS84: 54:8.2027N 5:56.6731W
Camera Location
Irish: geotagged! J 344 227
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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