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For the place in Adelaide, South Australia, see Rostrevor, South Australia.
Rostrevor (elevated view) - - 278010.jpg
Rostrevor seen from Kilbroney Forest
Rostrevor is located in County Down
Rostrevor shown within County Down
Population 2,433 (2001 Census)
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town NEWRY
Postcode district BT34
Dialling code 028, +44 28
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
UK Parliament
NI Assembly
List of places
Northern Ireland
DownCoordinates: 54°06′04″N 6°12′04″W / 54.101°N 6.201°W / 54.101; -6.201
Rostrevor seen from Rostrevor Forest in 2010 (Carlingford Lough is to the left of the picture)
Rostrevor welcome sign in Irish and English, with Slieve Meen in the background
Kilfeaghan dolmen

Rostrevor is a village and townland in County Down, Northern Ireland. It is within Newry, Mourne and Down District. It lies at the foot of Slieve Martin on the coast of Carlingford Lough. The Kilbroney River flows through the village.

Rostrevor had a population of 2,433 in the 2001 Census.[1] The village is known for its folk music festival, Fiddler's Green Festival.


Rostrevor was named by Sir Edward Trevor from Denbighshire, who settled in the area in the early 17th century[2] and was succeeded by his son Marcus Trevor, who became Viscount Dungannon. While it is accepted that the trevor part of the name derives from Edward's surname, there is confusion over the first element ros.[2] Walter Harris writing in 1744 and Samuel Lewis writing in 1838 both attest the ros element as deriving from the name of Edward Trevor's wife Rose, a daughter of Henry Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh, whom he married in 1612.[2] Hamilton, writing in 1915, discounts both and claims that Edward Trevor adopted the word ros (from Irish: rois) meaning "wood", as it was very suitable for the area.[2] Harold O'Sullivan states that Trevor named the area after he got married to his second wife Rose Trevor, and that the name was corrupted over time into Rostrevor.[3] Adding to the confusion is the usage in the past of Rostrevor, Rosstrevor, and Rosetrevor to refer to the area.[2]

Today the spelling Rostrevor is used for the village, while the spelling Rosstrevor is used for the townland the village resides in. Before Edward Trevor's renaming of the area it was formerly known as Caisleán Ruairí (English: Rory's castle).[2]

Places of interest[edit]

Nearby Cloughmore is a 50-ton granite boulder perched on the slopes of Slieve Meen, 1,000 ft above the village of Rostrevor, and known locally as 'the big stone'. It was deposited there by retreating glaciers during the Last Glacial Maximum. However, local legend says that the stone was thrown by a giant from the Cooley Mountains, on the other side of Carlingford Lough. Walking around the stone seven times will allegedly bring good luck. On top of this the views from the stone are stunning looking out over County Louth and Armagh and, of course, Carlingford Lough.

Kilfeaghan Dolmen is situated on the main Kilkeel to Newry road about three and three-quarter miles from Rostrevor. It is a prehistoric dolmen and the site is dated between 2000 and 1000 BC. The capstone is said to be one of the biggest in Ireland and is estimated to weigh between 35 and 40 tons. Excavations at the site earlier this century unearthed various bones and pottery.

The old church, supposedly built on an original site established by St Brónach, stands in the graveyard on the Kilbroney road. It became a listed building in 1983.

In the village's Catholic church is the bell of Bronach, dating from around 900 A.D. There are many stories of how the bell used to scare locals walking past St Bronach's church on stormy nights. All they could hear was a mighty sound and did not know the source; many believed it to be a calling from God.

The village has two rivers, the Ghan and the fairy Glen so named because many fairies are suspected of living along the banks of the river.

The Troubles[edit]

For more information see The Troubles in Rostrevor, which includes a list of incidents in Rostrevor during the Troubles resulting in two or more fatalities.


  • Rostrevor was the birthplace of Major General Robert Ross-of-Bladensburg, a British commander during the War of 1812. Ross's Monument stands above the Warrenpoint Road on the edge of the village. It is a tall granite obelisk erected to his memory in 1826.
  • Rostrevor is also the birthplace of Ben Dunne, founder of the chain store Dunnes Stores.
  • Sir Francis Stronge lived in Kilbroney House.
  • Former Irish President Mary McAleese and her family lived in Rostrevor village centre before she was elected to office in 1997.
  • Internationally acclaimed Irish Folk group The Sands Family live in Rostrevor and the group's independent record label, Spring Records has its recording studio there.
  • Another famous resident of Rostrevor for a time was Eurovision winner, Dana.
  • T. K. Whitaker, renowned economist and a pivotal figure in the development of the Republic of Ireland was born in Rostrevor.
  • Jim Clerkin, President and CEO of Moët Hennessy USA and former President of Allied Domecq Spirits & Wine Americas, Inc.
  • Pete McGrath, who managed County Down to All Ireland minor success in 1987 and the senior title in 1991 and 1994 is also a Rostrevor native. Pete currently manages the Fermanagh Senior Gaelic Football Team. He also managed the Irish International Rules teams and had additional spells with Down Minors, Down U21's and club teams Cooley Kickhams, An Riocht and Bryansford.


Horse Tram[edit]

Rostrevor Tram station opened on 1 August 1877 with an horse-drawn tram service to Warrenpoint. It closed in February 1915.[4]

2001 Census[edit]

Rostrevor is classified as an intermediate settlement by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA)[5] (i.e., population between 2,250 and 4,500). On Census day (30 April 2001) there were 2,433 people living in Rostrevor. Of these:

  • 25.7% were aged under 16 years and 17.8% were aged 60 and over
  • 48.7% of the population were male and 51.3% were female
  • 92.5% were from a Catholic background and 6.1% were from a Protestant background
  • 5.1% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.


St. Bronagh's GAA, Rostrevor[edit]

The club have won the Down Senior Football Championship on two occasions, 1976 and 1998 with wins over Warrenpoint and Mayobridge respectively, the Down GAA Division One league title in 2005, and the Down Junior Hurling Championship on one occasion in 1994. Rostrevor GAA have also enjoyed a rich history in underage football with seven minor championship successes, including three back-to-back wins in 2003, 2004 and 2005 with further wins in 1992, 2007, 2013 and 2015. The club have also won the Ulster Minor Club Tournament at St. Paul's GAC defeating Derry club Kilrea by two points in the 2004 final. Rostrevor have also enjoyed success in Scór and Scór na nÓg with Ulster titles in Scór Ballad Group in 1978 and Scór na nÓg Novelty Act in 2004 and 2012, as well as multiple county wins. Ladies Football in the club is developing with many teams beginning to grow along with the winning of the Intermediate Championship in 2011.[citation needed]

Rostrevor also has two soccer clubs competing in the Newry and Mourne District Leagues, the most successful of the two being Killowen Celtic[citation needed] who play in the Premier Division and in 2010 were winners of the Kehoe Cars Bessbrook Cup, defeating one of the most successful teams in the area, Windmill Stars, by a winning margin of five goals to two. The other club, named after the village is Rostrevor Rovers who were founded in 2009l claiming the Premier Division in the Carnbane League in 2016.[citation needed] Rostrevor is also home to St Bronagh's Amateur Boxing Club.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rostrevor (Newry and Mourne, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom) - population statistics, map and location". Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Placenames NI: Rostrevor
  3. ^ "Raymonds County Down". Retrieved 18 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Rostrevor station" (PDF). Railscot - Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  5. ^

External links[edit]