Given that this was my last MV top in my local area of the Antrim Hills I wanted to make more of the walk than just a quick peak bag. The starting point was from the west at the entrance to Craigs Wood at C (C98642 15750)
. As forecast, the sun was shining nicely and my mood was high setting off. I followed the forest track until it came to an end at D (C99792 16487)
. From here I had to pick my way through recent forestry operations to emerge from Craigs Wood onto open mountain. I then made my way E towards my first point of interest which was a mass rock at ‘Rabbit’s Rock’, at E (D00754 16456)
. Nearby there is a small rocky ridge known as the ‘Lough Rock’ on OS maps, to the south of Lough Nacroon. I set off in this direction. This ridge and a further ridge to the north, known as Craignamallaboy, made for a very pleasant walk with nice views over the shimmering lough. At the highest point on this ridge, it was time to stop for lunch.
Afterwards I set off N down the ridge, and on reaching a red dirt track, headed east towards the Long Mountain MV high point. Rather than make directly for the high point I followed a quad track which left the dirt road NW at F (D00432 18128)
. I followed this NW to G (D00606 18371)
. At this point to my surprise, I noticed a triangulation pillar laying on its side, with flush bracket marking `OSNI BM 2056’. I wasn’t aware of a trig pillar on Long Mountain and there is none marked on any OS map. A short distance from the pillar there is also a small moss and heather-covered rocky mound which may be an overgrown cairn. I then set off towards the MV high point which was nearby.
From the MV high point I made my way from back along the dirt road to the cave, mentioned by Wilderness. From the cave I then walked to the corner of a small plantation where a stile at H (C99882 17886)
made an easy crossing. I then made my way along the northern edge of Craigs Wood. The going was very easy underfoot all the way to I (C98810 17408)
where there are two raths about 100m apart, each circle surrounded perfectly by faerie thorns. From there I made my way to J (C97918 17554)
, which is the location of the very impressive Broad Stone court tomb. The way back into Craigs wood was made at K (C98305 17162)
where I joined up with a forest road to make my way back to my starting point. All in all, 12.5km distance at a leisurely 4 hours and a great afternoon’s walking.
I checked the Trigpointing Ireland website on my return and there was no record of a trig pillar on Long Mountain. I left a forum post on Trigpointing UK and they had a record of a ‘Dunloy 2056’ and that it had been destroyed. They said it must have fallen a long time ago if there was no recording of it on the OSNI map. I informed them of the grid reference so they could add it to their database. Interestingly, the area of the trig pillar is marked as the mountain top in the oldest OS first edition map and was named ‘Ballymacaldrack’. Linkback: mountainviews.ie/summit/1272/comment/23050/