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Mourne Mountains Area
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Slieve Donard Mountain Sliabh Dónairt A name in Irish
(Ir. Sliabh Dónairt [PNNI], 'mountain of (St.) Domhangart') County Highpoint of Down, in County Highpoint, Arderin, Vandeleur-Lynam, Irish Highest Hundred Lists, Granite granophyre Bedrock

Height: 850m OS 1:50k Mapsheet: 29 Grid Reference: J35796 27690
Place visited by 1280 members. Recently by: Hjonna, mwalimu2, spailpin, doogleman, cactustravelfan, Grimsbyforever, conororourke, dunphymgt, Pikes, justynagru, Fenton, schwann10, Andy1287, Patrickdoyle, chelman7
I have visited this place: NO (You need to be a logged-in member to change this.)

Longitude: -5.920976, Latitude: 54.180221 , Easting: 335796, Northing: 327690 Prominence: 822m,  Isolation: 1km,   Has trig pillar
ITM: 735710 827693,   GPS IDs, 6 char: SlvDnr, 10 char: SlvDnrd
Bedrock type: Granite granophyre, (Mourne Mountains granite)

Slieve Donard is the highest mountain in Northern Ireland and in 9-county Ulster. St. Domhangart (modern form Dónart), a contemporary of St. Patrick, founded a monastery at Maghera north of Newcastle. According to tradition he was appointed by St. Patrick to guard the surrounding countryside from the summit of Slieve Donard. He is supposed not to have died, but to be a 'perpetual guardian' (see MacNeill, 84-96). In pagan times this mountain was known as Sliabh Slainge. Slainge, the son of Partholon, was the first physician in Ireland. According to the Annals of the Four Masters, he died in Anno Mundi 2533 (2533 years after the creation of the world according to Irish mythology) and was buried here in a cairn. On the top of Slieve Donard there are two cairns, one on the very summit and the other, called the 'Lesser Cairn', on the Ordnance Survey maps, some eight hundred feet to the north-east. Both of them have been much disturbed. The Summit Cairn has been tampered with by sappers and water commissioners: the Lesser cairn has small piles of stones about it, but it is difficult to say whether these are ancient structures or just re-arrangements by modern hands. Dr. Estyn Evans, who calls the Summit Cairn 'the oldest mark of man in the Mournes', says that it is a 'corbelled passage grave of the early Bronze Age.' The Lesser Cairn, he points out, is visible from the sandhills of the shore, although the Summit Cairn is not (MacNeill, 85).   Slieve Donard is the highest mountain in the Mourne Mountains area and the 19th highest in Ireland. Slieve Donard is the highest point in county Down.

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Donard from Sliabh Muck .. by kernowclimber   (Show all for Slieve Donard)
I just thought I would share an interesting story .. by tony   (Show all for Slieve Donard)
Inspired by David Kirk’s excellent book “The Moun .. by GWPR   (Show all for Slieve Donard)
Sunday, I took myself, non-detoxed grey face and .. by Bleck Cra   (Show all for Slieve Donard)
David Kirk (19.02.05) By accident (embarassingly .. by David Kirk   (Show all for Slieve Donard) Picture about mountain Slieve Donard in area Mourne Mountains, Ireland
darrenf on Slieve Donard, 2010
by darrenf  7 Jan 2010
While enjoying a few days break in Newcastle over the new year period we decided to spend a couple of days trekking across the mournes. First on the list was Slieve Donard, an obvious choice perhaps but it was new years day and what better way to kick start the new year!! Given the icy weather conditions we decided to stick with the well trodden Glen River approach and parked in the spacious Donard Park car park located at J 376 307 A (for those new to the area simply enter Newcastle via the B180, pass the well known Slieve Donard Hotel and continue through the seaside town along the coastline where you will easily spot the well signposted Donard carpark - alternatively in the unlikely event the carpark is full there is also plenty of carparking on the coast line in the 'Glen River' carpark or 'The Rock' carpark).

The inital part of this walk leads you gently up through Donard Forest Park along the banks of the Glen River. It is a well established track and navigation could not be simplier. You will encounter three bridges along the course of this stage of the walk. Along the river bank itself you will also encounter the ice house which is an interesting historical feature and its worth pausing to read the information board at this point.

Eventually the mountain opens up before you and it is also possible to get a glimpse of the infamous mourne wall, while behind you expansive views across Newcastle and Dundrum Bay can be enjoyed. Navigation (even in the snow!) is straight forward and there is a track, including granite steps at some stages, right up to the mourne wall and stile at the coll between Donard and Commedagh. Once the stile is reached you have two choices...Donard to your left or Commedagh to your right. Donard was on the agenda today so a left turn was taken and the mourne wall used as a handrail right to the summit of Donard. It really is that simple! We were surprised how high the snow had drifted along the mourne wall which was totally ovetaken at some points! The pull up from the stile to the summit tower really gets the heart pumping and is tough in places but short lived and soon enough the tower comes into view...along with some breathtaking views across the mourne range and bays below.

Given the weather conditions we returned by the same route. A lovely little walk 5.5hrs in total. As you can see from the photo the snow made the walk that bit more memorable! Linkback:
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Some mapping:
Open Street Map
(Various variations used.)
British summit data courtesy:
Database of British & Irish Hills
(Creative Commons Licence), a Hill-walking Website for the island of Ireland. 1100+ Visitors per day, 2100 Summiteers, 1300 Contributors.