The  Mourne Mountains  (Irish:  na Beanna Boirche  ) / m ɔər n /  mohrn  , also called  Mournes  or  the Mountains of Mourne  , is a granite mountain range in County Down in sydöstraNordirland. It contains the highest mountains in Northern Ireland and the province of Ulster. The highest of these is Slieve Donard at 850 meters (2,790 ft). Mournes is an area of outstanding natural beauty and has been proposed as the first national park in Northern Ireland. The area is partly owned by the National Trust and see a large number of visitors each year. Identification Mourne  (historically spelled  Morne  ) is derived from the name of a Gaelic Clann or September called  Múghdhorna  .  [1] [2] 

The mountains

Mournes visited by many tourists, hill walkers, cyclists and climbers. After a fundraising drive in 1993, the National Trust bought nearly 1,300 acres (5.3 km  2  ) of land in Mournes.Detta included part of Slieve Donard and nearby Slieve Commedagh at 767 meters (2,516 ft), the second highest mountain in the area.

The Mournemuren are among the more notable features of the Mournes.There is a 35 km (22 mi) of dry stone wall that crosses fifteen summits, constructed to define the limits of the 36 square kilometers (8,900 acres) of land purchased by the Belfast Water Commissioners in the late 1800s. This followed a number of Acts of Parliament to permit the marketing, and the establishment of a water supply from the Mournes to the growing industrial city of Belfast. Construction of Mournemuren was started in 1904 and ended the 1922nd

Some of the mountains have names beginning  Slieve  , from the Irish word Sliabh  means  mountain  . Examples include Slieve Donard, Slieve Lamagan and Slieve Muck. There are also a number of curious name: Pigeon Rock;Buzzard Roost; Brandy Pad; Cock and Hen; Percy Bysshe; Devil’s Coach Road; and Pollaphuca, which means “hole of the fairies and sprites.”

Mournes is very popular as a destination for the Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions and those who participate in Morne Mountain challenge.

The Isle of Man mountains of the lake and Snowdonia in Wales can sometimes be seen across the Irish Sea from certain parts of the Mournes on clear days. The mountains are also visible from parts of Dublin on clear days.

Vegetation and wildlife

Aside from the grass, the most common plants found in the Mournes is heather and gorse. Of the former, the three species found: cross-leaved heath (  Klockljung  ), bell heather (  Erica cinerea  ) and long (  heather  ). Of the latter two species: Common gorse (  WHIN  ) and western gorse (  Ulex gallii  ). Other plants that grow in the area are: bog cotton, rose root ( Rhodiola rosea  ), bellflower (  harebell  ), marsh St. John’s wort, wild thyme ( Thymus serpyllum  ), sorrel and heath spotted orchids.

Sheep graze high in the mountains, and the area is also home to birds, including the common raven, peregrine falcon, wren, buzzards, and native meadow pipit, gray wagtail, Stonechat and Snipe. The Golden Eagle, a former resident, has not been seen in the Mournes since 1836th

Possible National status

Mourne Country close Spelga Dam, the slopes of Slieve Loughshannagh and Ott Mountainmed a current in power after some recent rain

It has been suggested that the Mourne Mountains made Northern Ireland’s first national park.  [3] [4]  The plan has been the subject of controversy because of its status as private property, with over 1,000 farmers based in the proposed park,  [4]  and also because of concerns about the impact on local communities, bureaucracy and house prices.  [5] 

popular culture

The mountains are immortalized in a song written by Percy French in 1896, “Mountains of Mourne”. The song has been recorded by many artists, including Don McLean, and was quoted in the Irish group Thin Lizzy’s 1979 song “Roisin Dubh (Black Rose). A Rock Legend ”

Mourne Mountains also influenced CS Lewis to write  Witch and the Wardrobe  .  [6]

“Mountains of Mourne” is also mentioned in John Lennon’s song “Luck of the Irish” on the album  some time in New York City  .

The scenery of the Mourne Mountains also have the background for a number of productions, including  Philomena  and  Game of Thrones  .


Mournes is a very popular area for hiking, Wall provides a convenient navigation aid.

There are a large number of granite rocks, in the form of slabs and sectors, scattered over the whole range, making Mournes one of Northern Ireland’s largest climbing areas since the first recorded ascent in the 1930s. Berg forms generally quite rounded, often depending on the chamber for protection, but with good friction. 1998 guidebook lists 26 different rocks, with a total of about 900 lines in all grades.  [7] [8] 

railway access

The Northern Ireland Railways service and Enterprise link in Newry railway station.

Craigmore Viaduct with Mournes in the distance, seen from Bessbrook near Newry station.

See also

  • List of mountains in Northern Ireland
  • List of mountains in Ireland
  • Mournemuren


  1. Jump up ^ Joyce, Patrick.  Origin and History of Irish place names  .1869. p.128
  2. Jump up ^  “placental Database of Ireland”. 13 December 2010. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  3. Jump up ^  “Minister paves the way for the National Park in the Mournes”. Northern Ireland Planning Service. 25 September 2002.Retrieved eleven October of 2009.
  4. ^ Jump up to: a b . Peterkin, Tom (29 August 2007) “Mourne Mountains National Park status line”. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved eleven October of 2009.
  5. Jump up ^ Cassidy Martin (23 February 2007). “Community split over the national park.” BBC News. Retrieved eleven October of 2009.
  6. Jump up ^  “Mourne Mountains page”. Discovering Northern Ireland.Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  7. Jump up ^  “Irish Climbing Online Wiki – Co Down.” Retrieved April 7, 2011.
  8. Jump up ^ Robert Bankhead, ed. (1998), Mournes: MCI guide, Mountaineering Ireland, ISBN 0-902940-14-7
  • Kirk, David (2002). The Mountains of Mourne: A Celebration of a special status. Belfast. Apple Press ISBN 0-86281-846-X.