BALLINTOY HARBOUR

The Outer and Inner Harbour Boat House

During the late nineteenth century the harbour  was extensively used for the shipping of sett stones, a small rail track existed for moving the piles of sett stones and limestone to the quayside. At Brockie Quarry near Larry Bane over one hundred men were employed chipping and shaping sett stones that went to pave the streets of cities such as Dublin, Cork, Wexford, Limerick and Glasgow. The well built lime kiln stands as a testament to the harbour's industrial past, burnt lime would have been drawn away by horse and cart to help build the numerous stone cottage and rural halls in the district. Ballintoy is still a working harbour for local fishermen who continue a tradition that goes back to when man first arrived, it naturally produces good boatmen due to the dangerous waters which they and their father's have come to understand, respect and work upon. The large boat cave to the right of the car park would have been used to repair, lay over and build boats inside. Though the scores of basalt islands act to shelter the harbour from prevailing storms, it can still on occasions get battered, for me it is one of the best and most awesome location to watch a full blown Atlantic storm from, I have seen waves riding up the armour walling and washing over the footpath at the left hand side of O'Rourke's Kitchen. The area of rocks nearer White Park Bay and overlooked by Dundriff  is known locally as the Park End, this spot can pick up some of the biggest swell waves along the north coast. The harbour mouth looks out to Sheep Island and Rathlin. In October, 1906 the 'City of Bristol'  a steam powered Fleetwood trawler homebound from Iceland ran aground on the reef that runs between Larry Bane and  Sheep Island - there was thick fog at the time and the Captain mistook Sheep Island for Bull Point on Rathlin.

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