Donegal Photography Barnesmore Gap 5

 

Biddys O'Barnes Barnesmore Gap County Donegal. One of the most memorable nights at Biddys, film crew filming for the Famous Film. And to make it even more memorable the snow started falling towards the end of the filming.
Tthe road through Barnesmore Gap is an excellent road, but up until the 19th century it was just a bridle path and a dangerous place for travellers on foot or horseback because of the highway robbers who used the place to rob travellers. Indeed, in the 1780s Donegal had her own Robin Hood and his gang of twelve operating there. His name was Prionnsias Dubh MacAodh (Francis 'Black' McHugh) who was said to have robbed the rich to give to the poor. He was eventually captured and hanged in Lifford, County Donegal and two of his gang were in fact hanged near the Gap. The gallows they (and others) were hanged on can no longer be seen but it was located to the north of the Gap just off the Ballybofey road. It is on the left as you leave the Gap heading to Ballybofey, turn right onto the Castlederg road at the old stone bridge. The gallows would have been about 150 yards along that road to the left.
Barnesmore Granite. Stone Walls still remain on parts of the line through the Gap and their continued survival is testament to the quality of its original construction. Some with stiles originally built with Barnesmore Granite can still be seen. — with Barnesmore Gap.
The road at Barnesmore Gap (in Irish 'Bearnas Mor', meaning Big Gap) is the main link road from north Donegal to south Donegal between Ballybofey and Donegal Town. It is closed in on either side by mountains, one being Croagh Connelagh (Connall's Mountain) and Croagh Onagh (Owen's Mountain). The river running alongside the road is the Lowerymore River and the lake on the Ballybofey side of the Gap is called Lough Mourne.
A view from the summit of Croaghonagh (Barnesmore) across Barnesmore Gap to Croaghconnellagh with Lough Eske in the distance.
‘Farewell to Barnesmore’ © Joe Canning 2015. All Rights Reserved. I pinned my last swallow of whiskey and porter, slung my bag o’er my shoulder and walked from the bar. In a loving embrace I held my dear mother She splashed me with water from the font on the wall. My brothers and sisters were six, nine and four they clung to my kneecaps and begged me “don’t go!”. But a big world was calling and beckoning me, I was heading for Derry and wild raging sea. Then the landlady, Biddy, shook me by the hand took up a collection from stranger and clan, I stepped on the footboard of pony and trap, waved goodbye to my mother and Barnesmore gap. I heard the cart driver tell the horse to walk on. I heard them all shouting, “Good luck to you son!” My heart it was breaking for those left behind, I knew I would stay if I dared to look around. I went on through the valley passed steep waterfalls, Ballybofey and Stranorlar, the Finn and the Haw. Crossed the old bridge at Lifford and into Tyrone, It was there that I felt I was truly alone. The cart driver warned me to always take care, said goodbye in Strabane at the Abercorn square, I passed the old market in the afternoon sun, and then to reach Derry, I stuck out my my thumb. I didn’t wait too long and outside Strabane, I climbed with my knapsack to a travellers van. When I reached Derry city the Foyle bridge I crossed, made my way to the Quayside, still feeling lost. I reached bonnie Scotland and gathered the spud, from six in the morning in mountains of mud. When the season was over I took the boat back to my family and Biddy’s in Barnesmore gap. I had shawls for my mother that she draped on her back, A doll for wee sister and sweets in a bag, Toy guns for my brothers with exploding caps, and a bottle of Scotch for the man on the cart. For twenty years after, I continued the same, joined by my brothers in the ‘gathering game’. And our Ma loves our youngsters that climb on her lap, ‘neath the towering hillsides of Barnesmore gap
LOUGH MOURNE Approximately 2km long and .7 of a km wide, The lake runs along the road between Ballybofey and Donegal Town just before the two mountains that saddle Barnesmore Gap on the north side. The mountains either side of the road through the Gap are called Croagh Connelagh (Connall's Mountain) and Croagh Honagh (Owen's Mountain). The lough is a public water supply and there is negligible (very small brown trout) fishing available there.
The Map Wall' (2003) is a vertical, duel-sided structure, consisting of eight panels mounted on either side of a supporting wall which is made from reinforced concrete. In 1828, the Ordnance Survey of Ireland began the first ever survey of the entire country and during the orthographic (placenames) survey of Donegal in autumn of 1893; the renowned John O’ Donovan walked the county from Inisowen at the northern tip of the county to Donegal Town. Consulting native Irish speakers and the Annals of the Four Masters, he gave us all the current spellings of placenames in the county. During his three-month survey of Donegal Placenames, he wrote regularly to Ordnance Headquarters. These letters are rich in descriptions of the life and topography of the country before the famine. His letter concerning Barnsmore Gap, written in October 1835 is reproduced on the wall.
Perfection Reflection in and around the lake at Lough Mourne Barnesmore Gap County Donegal
Barnesmore Gap. The main Donegal to Ballybofey road, the N15, with the meandering Lowerymore River and the Old Railway Line running side by side through Barnesmore Gap.
Cashelnavean Bog,near Barnesmore Gap and eight kilometres from Ballybofey which is designated a Natural Heritage Area. Barnesmore Gap in the Distance. Spectacular any time but add snow and no words can describe its beauty.
The "Blue Hour" during sunset at Barnesmore Gap County Donegal
A Riot of Colour along the Old Railway Line. Walking conditions on some of the walk is quite challenging, but the beauty surrounding me more than made up for the sometimes hazardous track.
Croaghonagh North comprises 33 hectares of blanket bog located close to Lough Mourne in the Barnesmore Gap, approximately 8 kilometres southwest of Ballybofey, Co. Donegal. The site lies within the Croaghonagh Bog Special Area of conservation which supports some of the best examples of wet lowland blanket bog in the county. The site adjoins two good examples of oligotrophic lake habitat namely Lough Mourne and Lough Carn.
Snow in the Gap. Difficult and dangerous driving conditions due to heavy snow in Barnesmore Gap always is dangerous in this beautiful landscape. The funnel effect of the Gap in the mountains on the N15 between Donegal Town and Ballybofey can easily cause blizzard conditions. Barnesmore Gap is notorious for snowfall.
The ascent up Croaghonagh (Barnesmore) is gradual to start, but steepens about half-way up. As you gain height, a vast desolate tract of forested country stretching to the Tyrone border comes into view. After nearly 5 Km you reach the summit, with telecommunications Masts. Views include a wind farm not far to the south, and northwards, low lying moorland with only Lough Mourne breaking the bleakness.
Tthe road through Barnesmore Gap is an excellent road, but up until the 19th century it was just a bridle path and a dangerous place for travellers on foot or horseback because of the highway robbers who used the place to rob travellers. Indeed, in the 1780s Donegal had her own Robin Hood and his gang of twelve operating there. His name was Prionnsias Dubh MacAodh (Francis 'Black' McHugh) who was said to have robbed the rich to give to the poor. He was eventually captured and hanged in Lifford, County Donegal, and two of his gang were in fact hanged near the Gap. The gallows they (and others) were hanged on can no longer be seen but it was located to the north of the Gap just off the Ballybofey road. It is on the left as you leave the Gap heading to Ballybofey, turn right onto the Castlederg road at the old stone bridge. The gallows would have been about 150 yards along that road to the left.
The simple beauty surrounding me on the walk along The Old Railway Line in Barnesmore Gap more than made up for the sometimes hazardous track.
The Bluestack Mountain range are in the south of County Donegal. They provide an almost impassable barrier between the south of the county, and the towns to the north and west such as Dungloe and Letterkenny. The road between the two parts of the county goes through the Barnesmore Gap, which is a huge U shaped valley with the mountains of Barnesmore and Croaghconnellagh on either side. Croaghconnellagh is pictured here with Lough Barnes just behind it, and the higher Bluestack Mountains beyond.
A gradual ascent of Croaghonagh in Barnesmore Gap and you will experience breath-taking views of Counties Tyrone, Donegal, and Lough Eske and Donegal Bay in the distance.
Barnesmore Granite. Stone Walls still remain on parts of the Railway Line through the Gap and their continued survival is testament to the quality of its original construction. A Culvert built into the side of the mountain is still to be seen, with Barnesmore Gap, County Donegal.
Croaghconnellagh Mountain Cruach Conallach. A name in Irish meaning stack of Conall. Height: 523m Barnesmore Gap County Donegal. Fantastic walk from there to Meencarrigagh Old School
Lough Mourne is 2km long and .7 of a km wide. There are two loughs in Ireland by the name of Lough Mourne. This one in County Donegal and another in County Antrim. Lough Mourne, County Donegal runs along the road between Ballybofey and Donegal Town just before the two mountains that saddle Barnesmore Gap on the north side. The mountains either side of the road through the Gap are called Croagh Connelagh (Connall's Mountain) and Croagh Honagh (Owen's Mountain).
Somewhere Under the Rainbow Biddys O'Barnes Public Houses at the entrance to Barnesmore Gap County Donegal. Biddy's O'Barnes was originally an Inn dating back to the mid 18th century, a time when the Coach was the main form of transport, here was a stopping point, where horses were rested, and travellers relaxed before the next stage of their long and tiring journey through the Gap. Today, it still welcomes visitors. (Taken from their website back in 2010)