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Acorns to Ancients in Northern Ireland

Here's a list of our favourite trees in Ireland:

  • Tree 3594, Antrim; This tree is described in the Ordnance Survey of Ireland Revision Name Book in 1858 as follows; '...a very ancient and conspicuous ash tree' named Doss Tree. The Name Book goes on to remark that it is of great height but 'its top branches are decayed and ere many years the trunk will present a similar appearance.' The tree stands on the shores of Lough Neagh in the townland of Doss, near Toome.
  • Tree 302, Down; One of the many fabulous trees to be found in Belvoir Park Forest – as Nikki Williams from the ATH confirms: “This is an amazing experience, coming across this tree. Barely visible from the trodden path way, you make your way behind a large veteran tree and there it sits, like a throne in the middle of all the other trees. Well worth hunting out!” At 500 years old it is possibly the oldest known tree in Northern Ireland.
  • Tree 9118, Armagh; A hawthorn located on the outskirts of Clontygora Court. The Court Tomb is reputed to be over 6,000 years old. During excavation of the tomb in 1937 small fragments of human bone were recovered from the burial chambers, with Neolithic pottery and flint, including three fine leaf-shaped arrowheads. The fairy thorn is some 200 metres to the south of the Court Tomb, and marks the scant remains of another tomb.
  • Tree 8322, Fermanagh; This oak, with a girth of over 5 metres, is one of many notable and veteran trees in the grounds of Necarne Castle. Necarne Castle, managed by CAFRE, was built in the 17th century. Situated in an area of great beauty, it lies just north of Enniskillen, close to Irvinestown. The immediate surroundings of the castle comprise of over 200 acres of pasture and a similar area of woodland.
  • Tree 2741, Londonderry; One of many notable and veteran trees to be found at the Boom Hall Estate, near the Foyle Bridge, in Londonderry. This oak has a girth of over 6 metres and is estimated to be over 250 years old. Peter Archdale who came across and subsequently recorded oaks and chestnuts at Boom Hall says: “I was just driving over the Foyle Bridge, when I happened to look to my right and caught sight of these wonderful old trees. A direct link to the past, they have survived the Famine years, two world wars and the Troubles.” The land, known as Gunsland on which Boom Hall was built is reputed to be a ghostly visiting place of a Captain Browning. When a mist lies over the water there have been sightings of a tall, erect figure, which is said to have an almost transparent form; although other recordings say that the man is wearing a dark blue tailcoat with gold braid.
  • Tree 11922, Tyrone; This veteran oak, with a girth of over 4 metres, is one of several mighty oaks at Dungannon Park, owned by Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council. The oak is easy to find, as it is close to the Visitor Centre. It is estimated to be over 250 years old. Dungannon Park is a seventy-acre oasis centred round a beautiful lake. The magnificent scenery makes it well worth a visit.
Tree 320, Belvoir Forest. Photo ATH/Gregor Fulton.