A Little History...

 

 A ‘Mr David Stewart Ker’ of Red Hall Estate erected the harbour in 1850 for the exportation of limestone quarried from the surrounding headland, then in later years for                  red clay bricks made in the Brickworks adjacent to the harbour. 

 

          These two local industries provided employment for a small but thriving hamlet surrounding the harbour & quarry which had it's own shop, public house, post office and                 even it's own school. Traces of the hamlet buildings still remain in the surrounding slopes overlooking the sea.

 

                    Mr David Stewart Ker was the owner of the townlands ‘White Head’ & ‘Knocknagullagh’; as demand for limestone was great, Ker was persuaded to commence work                             constructing the harbour pier. Ker ordered that a pier be built from the limestone in his quarries. He had his harbour completed by 1850. The harbour would                                          accommodate ships exporting to Scotland, Belfast & County Down - an area deficient in lime.

 

                                         In later years a gap was cut in the main harbour wall and a larger wooden pier extension was constructed seaward into deeper water to allow paddle                                                                 steamers &  other larger vessels access. This wooden extension can be seen in the photo below to the right of the railway.

 

                                                                            Limestone exportation ceased in 1880 due to competition and low demand, but the limestone quarried was still used locally                                                                                                        for uses such as road construction. Wooden boat building took the interest of the local fishermen: with the original harbour office                                                                                                 building being adapted and extended for this - their tools and machinery remain in place to this day.

 

                                                                                                                                                           Major works, additions & dredging since new ownership in 2013 has brought the harbour                                                                                                                                                                         back into the modern day whilst preserving the history & charm that has                                                                                                                                                                                                          earned it a place in the hearts of many. 

 

 

 

Tel:   028 93382549

Mob: 07470392553

Email: Terence_stitt@hotmail.com

Whitehead

Co.Antrim

 

 

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