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County Armagh
Rostrevor (elevated view) - - 278010.jpg
Rostrevor seen from Kilbroney Forest
Grid reference: J1718
Location: 54°6’4"N, 6°12’4"W
Population: 2,433  (2001)
Post town: Newry
Postcode: BT34
Dialling code: 028
Local Government
Council: Newry, Mourne and Down
South Down

Rostrevor is a village and townland in County Down. It stands on the coast of Carlingford Lough, at the foot of Slieve Martin. The Kilbroney River flows through the village.

Rostrevor had a population of 2,433 in the 2001. The village is known for its folk music festival, the Fiddler's Green Festival.


Mussel dredger at Rostrevor Quay

Rostrevor was named by Sir Edward Trevor from Denbighshire, who settled in the area in the early 17th century[1] and was succeeded by his son Marcus Trevor, who became Viscount Dungannon.

While it is accepted that the trevor part of the name derives from Edward's surname, there is confusion over the first element ros.[1] Walter Harris writing in 1744 and Samuel Lewis writing in 1838 both attest the ros element as deriving from the name of Edward Trevor's wife Rose, a daughter of Henry Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh, whom he married in 1612.[1] Hamilton, writing in 1915, discounts both and claims that Edward Trevor adopted the word ros (from the Gaelic rois) meaning "wood", as it was very suitable for the area, or the Welsh word ros; 'a moor or marshy place'.[1] Harold O'Sullivan states that Trevor named the area after he got married to his second wife Rose Trevor, and that the name was corrupted over time into Rostrevor.[2] Adding to the confusion is the usage in the past of Rostrevor, Rosstrevor, and Rosetrevor to refer to the area.[1]

Today the spelling Rostrevor is used for the village, while the spelling Rosstrevor is used for the townland in which the village resides.

Before Edward Trevor renamed of the area, it was known as 'Castle Roe', or 'Castle Rory', from the Irish Caisleán Ruairí ('Rory's Castle').[1]

Places of interest

Kilfeaghan dolmen

Nearby Cloughmore is a 30-ton granite boulder perched on the slopes of Slieve Meen, 1000 ft above the village of Rostrevor, and known locally as 'the big stone'. It was deposited there by retreating glaciers during the Last Glacial Maximum. However, local legend says that the stone was thrown by a giant from the Cooley Mountains, on the other side of Carlingford Lough. Walking around the stone seven times will allegedly bring good luck. On top of this the views from the stone are stunning looking out over County Louth and Armagh and of course Carlingford Lough.

Kilfeaghan Dolmen is situated on the main Kilkeel to Newry road about three and three quarter miles from Rostrevor. It is a prehistoric dolmen and the site is dated between 2000 and 1000 BC. The capstone is said to be one of the biggest in Ireland and is estimated to weigh between 35 and 40 tons. Excavations at the site earlier this century unearthed various bones and pottery.

Robert Ross Monument, Rostrevor

The Robert Ross Monument stands prominently above the Warrenpoint Road on the edge of the village. It is a tall granite obelisk erected to his memory in 1826., in memory of Major General Robert Ross-of-Bladensburg, who was born here He served as a commander during the War of 1812 fought against the infant United States.

The old church, supposedly built on an original site established by St Brónach, stands in the graveyard on the Kilbroney road. It became a listed building in 1983.

In the village's Roman Catholic church is the bell of Bronach, dating from around 900 AD There are many stories of how the bell used to scare locals walking past St Bronach's church on stormy nights. All they could hear was a mighty sound and did not know the source, many believed it to be a calling from God.

The village has 2 rivers, the Ghan and the fairy Glen so named because many fairies are suspected of living along the banks of the river.

Horse Tram

Rostrevor Tram station opened on 1 August 1877 with an horse-drawn tram service to Warrenpoint. It closed in February 1915.[3]


  • Gaelic Games: St Bronagh's GAA
  • Football:
    • Killowen Celtic
    • Rostrevor Rovers
  • Boxing: St Bronagh's Amateur Boxing Club

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Rostrevor)