Slieve Bloom Mountains

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Slieve Bloom Mountains
Sliabh Bladhma
A view of the Slieve Blooms from the Glinsk Castle Hiking Loop
Highest point
Elevation527 m (1,729 ft)
Prominence197 m (646 ft)
LocationLaois/Offaly, Ireland
Designated31 July 1986
Reference no.335[1]

Coordinates: 53°06′N 7°34′W / 53.100°N 7.567°W / 53.100; -7.567

The Slieve Bloom Mountains (Irish: Sliabh Bladhma) are a mountain range in Ireland. They rise from the central plain of Ireland to a height of 527 metres. While not very high, they are extensive by local standards. The highest points are Arderin (527 m) at the southwestern end of the range and Baunreaghcong (511 m) at the end of the Ridge of Capard.

The Slieve Bloom Mountains stretch from near Roscrea in the south west to Rosenallis in the north west forming a link between County Laois and County Offaly. Access to the mountains and the most popular attractions is easiest by taking Exit 18 off the M7 for Mountmellick and following the R422 for Rosenallis, Clonaslee, Cadamstown, and Kinnitty. There are 3 routes which cross the mountain. From Clonaslee here it is very easy to follow the mountain road over 'the Cut' towards Mountrath. From Kinnitty take the road from the centre of the village opposite the Catholic Church past Longford Church to Glendine Gap near Ard Erin the highest point in the mountain. For some splendid views turn left onto the R440 towards Kinnitty one of the small villages nestled at the foot of the mountains.

Looped walking trails have been developed at 6 trail heads in the Slieve Blooms, Glenbarrow, Clonaslee, Cadamstown, Kinnitty, Glenafelly Forest Car Park and Glen Monicknew. Walking trails are colour-coded green easy, blue moderate, and red most difficult. The 84 km Slieve Bloom Way colour-coded yellow can be accessed from any of these trailheads. In Cadamstown take time to walk the Silver River Eco Trail.

Glenbarrow waterfalls are located just a few miles from Rosenallis. Some scenic looped walks will take you to the falls and up onto the Ridge of Capard. There is a significant population of red grouse in the hills.

The Slieve Bloom, along with the Massif Central in France, are one of the oldest mountains in Europe; they were once also the highest at 3,700m. Weathering has reduced them to 527m. On a clear day, one can see the high points of the four ancient provinces of Ireland.


According to the Bodleian Dinnshenchas, here are two theories of how the mountains were given their name:

[11. SLIAB BLADMA.] Bladma or Blod, son of Cú, son of Cass Clothmín, killed the cowherd of Bregmael, the smith of Cuirche, son of Snithe, King of Húi Fuatta. Then he went in his little boat till he set up at Ross Bladma — Ross n-Áir, “Wood of Slaughter,” was its name at first. Thence he went to the mountain. Hence is “Sliab Bladma” (Bladma’s Mountain). Whence the poet said:‘Blod, son of Cú, son of Cass Clothmín,
Killed the cowherd of fair Bregmael,
The smith of Cuirche Mór, son of Snithe:
He set up at Ross Tíre ind Áir.’Or it is Blod, son of Breogan, that died there; and from him the mountain of Bladma was named.[2]

Edward J. Gwynn’s The Metrical Dindshenchas give a longer account and another origin story (bleda mara “sea-monsters”[3] cf. Modern Irish bleidhmhíol “monster; whale”[4]):

Sliab Bladma Blod, son of Cu, son of Cass the renowned,son of Uachall the many-shaped,killed Bregmael the famous smith of Cuirche, son of Snithe the swimmer. Curche Cendmar was a daring king over Medraige and over Herot; through him Blod, son of Cass Clothmin,found never sure protection. He fared in his ship–clear purpose from the Bottom of pure-cold Galway, from Ath Cliath in wide Herot to Ath Cliath in Cualu. Thence he came after many a turn to the Point of Nar, son of Edliuc,and possessed, as his special portion, the mountain whose name derives from Blod. A valiant man who used to wage battle died at Sliab Bladma–vast renown even Blad, son of Bregon, with troops of warriors, died of disease in the monster-haunted Sliab Blod.

Or, it is from the son of Bregon the wrathful that it is named Sliab Bladma, with onsets of women their increase is not far from the cattle was the mountain where it happened through strong Blad.

Or the monsters of the sea that was not calm, beasts–ruisenda was their name–came throughout the land of the tribes, so that from them is named Sliab Bled. Blod, son of Cu, son of Cass Clothmin, slew the herd of Bregmael the smith of Curche, son of Snithe, he settled at Ross Tire Nair.


The Modern Irish meaning of bladhm is “flame; flare up”, bladhma being the genitive case.[6]


The mountains formed the northern border of the kingdom of Osraige, and later Upper Ossory.


Fionn Mac Cumhaill was brought up in Sliabh Bladhma by his aunts, his mother's sisters the poets Bovmall and Lia Luachra, [7] so that he would be safe from Clann Morna, who had killed his father.

Highest Points[edit]

The following table lists the 10 highest major mountain peaks of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, all with a topographic elevation of at least 406 metres (1,332 ft).

Rank Mountain peak Elevation
1 Arderin 527 m (1,729 ft)
2 Stillbrook Hill 514 m (1,686 ft)
3 Baunreaghcong 509 m (1,670 ft)
4 Wolftrap Mountain 487 m (1,598 ft)
5 Ridge of Capard 483 m (1,585 ft)
6 Barcam 482 m (1,581 ft)
7 Carroll's Hill 482 m (1,581 ft)
8 Farbreague 430 m (1,410 ft)
9 Castleconor 407 m (1,335 ft)
10 Garraunbaun 406 m (1,332 ft)

Other projects[edit]

Media related to Slieve Bloom Mountains at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ "Slieve Bloom Mountains". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ Unknown. "The Bodleian Dinnshenchas". Thesaurus Linguae Hibernicae. Translated by Stokes, Whitley. School of Irish, Celtic Studies, Irish Folklore & Linguistics, University College Dublin. p. 479, section 11. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  3. ^ Unknown. Gwynn, Edward J., ed. "The Metrical Dindshenchas". CELT: The Corpus of Electronic Texts (in Irish). University College Cork. p. 53, poem 10. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  4. ^ Ó Dónaill, Niall. "Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla: bleidhmhíol". Leabharlann Teanga agus Foclóireachta. Foras na Gaeilge. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  5. ^ Unknown. "The Metrical Dindshenchas". CELT: The Corpus of Electronic Texts. Translated by Gwynn, Edward J. University College Cork. p. 53, poem 10. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  6. ^ Ó Dónaill, Niall. "Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla: bladhm". Leabharlann Teanga agus Foclóireachta. Foras na Gaeilge. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  7. ^

External links[edit]