About Carrick a Rede

Spanning a chasm some eighty feet deep is the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, it's construction once consisted of  a single  rope hand rail and widely spaced slats which the fishermen would traverse across with salmon caught off the island. The single handrail was subsequently replaced by a two hand railed bridge, the current, caged  bridge was installed by the National Trust during Easter of 2000 as a further safety measure. Although no-one has ever been injured falling off the old bridge, there have been many instances of visitors being unable to face the return walk back across the bridge, resulting in them  being taken off the island by boat. A collection of old photographs in Sheep Island View Hostel show a local man doing various stunts on the bridge which include riding a bicycle across it  and performing handstands on a chair in the middle.   Primarily a 'seasonal' working bridge for the fishermen, since the demise of salmon fishing along the coast,  the bridge is nowadays more widely used by passing visitor's and marketed as a tourist attraction.  The area is exceptional in is natural beauty,  to the left as you come down the steep hill is Larrybane headland  which once stretched out towards Sheep Island and had a promontory fort on the top dating to 800AD, underneath large caves once served as home to boat builders and a safe resting place from winter storms. During the 1950's blasting, quarrying and shipping of limestone removed most of Larrybane Head,  it is well worth a walk down to the old quarry area as some incredible views can be enjoyed from here.

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