Slieve Bloom Mountains

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Slieve Bloom Mountains
County Laois, County Offaly
A view of the Slieve Blooms from the Glinsk Castle Hiking Loop
Summit: 1,729 ft 53°6’0"N, 7°34’0"W

The Slieve Bloom Mountains are a mountain range in Ireland. They rise from the central plain to a height of 1,729 ft. While not very high, they are extensive by local standards. The highest points are Arderin at the south-western end of the range and Baunreaghcong (1,676 ft) at the end of the Ridge of Capard.

The Slieve Bloom Mountains stretch from near Roscrea in the south west to Rosenallis in the north-west forming a link between County Laois and County Offaly. Access to the mountains and the most popular attractions is easiest by taking Exit 18 off the M7 for Mountmellick and following the R422 for Rosenallis, Clonaslee, Cadamstown, and Kinnitty. There are 3 routes which cross the mountain. From Clonaslee here it is very easy to follow the mountain road over 'the Cut' towards Mountrath. From Kinnitty take the road from the centre of the village opposite the Catholic Church past Longford Church to Glendine Gap near Ard Erin the highest point in the mountain. For some splendid views turn left onto the R440 towards Kinnitty one of the small villages nestled at the foot of the mountains.

Looped walking trails have been developed at six trail heads in the Slieve Blooms, Glenbarrow, Clonaslee, Cadamstown, Kinnitty, Glenafelly Forest Car Park and Glen Monicknew. Walking trails are colour-coded green easy, blue moderate, and red most difficult. The 52-mile Slieve Bloom Way colour-coded yellow can be accessed from any of these trailheads. In Cadamstown take time to walk the Silver River Eco Trail.

Glenbarrow waterfalls are located just a few miles from Rosenallis. Some scenic looped walks will take you to the falls and up onto the Ridge of Capard. There is a significant population of red grouse in the hills.

On a clear day, one can see the high points of the four ancient provinces of Ireland.


According to the Bodleian Dinnshenchas, the mountains were given their name as such:

"Bladma or Blod, son of Cú, son of Cass Clothmín, killed the cowherd of Bregmael, the smith of Cuirche, son of Snithe, King of Húi Fuatta. Then he went in his little boat till he set up at Ross Bladma — Ross n-Áir, “Wood of Slaughter,” was its name at first. Thence he went to the mountain. Hence is “Sliab Bladma” (Bladma’s Mountain). Whence the poet said:

Blod, son of Cú, son of Cass Clothmín, Killed the cowherd of fair Bregmael, The smith of Cuirche Mór, son of Snithe: He set up at Ross Tíre ind Áir.

Or it is Blod, son of Breogan, that died there; and from him the mountain of Bladma was named.[1]

The mountains formed the northern border of the kingdom of Osraige, and later Upper Ossory.

Highest points

The following table lists the 10 highest major mountain peaks of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, all with a topographic elevation of at least 1,332 ft.

Rank Mountain peak Elevation
1 Arderin 1,729.0 ft (527.0 m)
2 Stillbrook Hill 1,686.4 ft (514.0 m)
3 Baunreaghcong 1,676.5 ft (511.0 m)
4 Wolftrap Mountain 1,597.8 ft (487.0 m)
5 Barcam 1,587.9 ft (484.0 m)
6 Ridge of Capard 1,584.6 ft (483.0 m)
7 Carroll's Hill 1,581.4 ft (482.0 m)
8 Farbreague 1,410.8 ft (430.0 m)
9 Castleconor 1,335.3 ft (407.0 m)
10 Garraunbaun 1,332.0 ft (406.0 m)


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