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Post details Post   (Expand pics)
pdtempan
2007-09-06 11:51:53
"The Devil
The Devil's Coachroad on Slieve Beg, Co. Down (Expand pics)
Devil's Coachroad
The Devil's Coachroad is a scree-strewn gully on Slieve Beg in the Mourne Mountains. Satanic names are common in mountain landscapes and are usually of a humorous or ironic nature. Often it is possible to imagine the story that might have prompted the name just from the name itself and a knowledge of the topography. In the case of the Devil's Coachroad, it no doubt comes from the infeasibility of driving any vehicle up this exhausting scree-slope. The Devil is well provided for in the mountains of Ireland. He has a punchbowl on Mangerton, a ladder and a looking glass below Carrauntoohil, and there is the Devil's Bit near Templemore in Co. Tipperary. He even has his mammy on hand in Connacht (The Devilís Mother). I wonder does he go home to her at weekends with a big bag of washing? Britain also has a share of diabolical paraphernalia. In Snowdonia the Prince of Darkness does his own cooking in the Devilís Kitchen below the Glyders. Further south in Wales, near Aberystwyth, is Devilís Bridge, noted for the spectacular waterfalls. The Devilís Chair is the summit of the Stiperstones in Shropshire, while the Devilís Elbow was a bend (now straightened) at the summit of the road through the Cairngorms from Braemar to Glen Shee. Scotland is particularly rich in such associations: here you can find the Devilís Cauldron, the Devilís Beeftub, the Devilís Thrashing Floor and the Devilís Barn Door, to name but a few. See Peter Drummond's "Scottish Hill and Mountain Names", now re-published as "Scottish Hill Names: Their Origin and Meaning". Perhaps the most bizarre of these fiendish names lies outside Europe altogether. On the salt flats of Death Valley in California is a rough, ankle-twisting terrain resembling a giant rockery. It is appropriately named the Devilís Golf Course. Paul
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