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Annalong Harbour

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Overview





Annalong Harbour is located on the northeastern coast of Ireland at the mouth of the Annalong River, approximately eight miles northeast of the entrance to Carlingford Lough. It is a small tidal boat harbour used by small fishing boats. It is small, space-constrained and subject to silting and best suited to medium to small shallow draft vessels. Larger vessels can anchor outside in settled conditions and land at a nearby slipway.

Annalong Harbour is located on the northeastern coast of Ireland at the mouth of the Annalong River, approximately eight miles northeast of the entrance to Carlingford Lough. It is a small tidal boat harbour used by small fishing boats. It is small, space-constrained and subject to silting and best suited to medium to small shallow draft vessels. Larger vessels can anchor outside in settled conditions and land at a nearby slipway.

The harbour offers good protection in offshore winds but there can be a surge in strong onshore winds. Access is subject to space and tidal constraints but outside of these limitations is straightforward.
Please note

A vessel should not approach Annalong Harbour in any developed onshore conditions.




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Keyfacts for Annalong Harbour
Facilities
Water available via tapMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableShore power available alongsideShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Dangerous to enter when it is Beaufort force 4 or more from NE, ENE, E, ESE, SE and SSE.Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierRestriction: may only reasonably accommodate vessels less than a specific lengthNote: can get overwhelmed by visiting boats during peak periods

Protected sectors

Current wind over the protected quadrants
Minimum depth
1 metres (3.28 feet).

Approaches
4 stars: Straightforward; when unaffected by weather from difficult quadrants or tidal consideration, no overly complex dangers.
Shelter
4 stars: Good; assured night's sleep except from specific quarters.



Last modified
September 17th 2022

Summary* Restrictions apply

A good location with straightforward access.

Facilities
Water available via tapMini-supermarket or supermarket availableSlipway availableShore power available alongsideShowers available in the vicinity or by arrangementPublic house or wine bar in the areaMarked or notable walks in the vicinity of this locationPost Office in the areaDoctor or hospital in the areaPharmacy in the areaShore based family recreation in the area


Nature
Marina or pontoon berthing facilitiesQuick and easy access from open waterNavigation lights to support a night approachScenic location or scenic location in the immediate vicinitySet near a village or with a village in the immediate vicinityHistoric, geographic or culturally significant location; or in the immediate vicinity

Considerations
Dangerous to enter when it is Beaufort force 4 or more from NE, ENE, E, ESE, SE and SSE.Restriction: shallow, drying or partially drying pierRestriction: may only reasonably accommodate vessels less than a specific lengthNote: can get overwhelmed by visiting boats during peak periods



HM  +44 28 4376 8123      Ch.12, 14
Position and approaches
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Haven position

54° 6.494' N, 005° 53.771' W

This is the position of the narrow 9-metre wide entrance to the basin.

What is the initial fix?

The following Annalong Harbour Initial Fix will set up a final approach:
54° 6.485' N, 005° 52.847' W
Half a mile east of the harbour entrance, in the middle of the white light sector.


What are the key points of the approach?

Offshore details are available in eastern Ireland’s Coastal Overview for Strangford Lough to Dublin Bay Route location.
  • Contact the harbour master to ascertain current depths and berth availability.

  • Approach the harbour from the east with the south wall of the pier and channel just open.

  • Slowly proceed in and swing hard to port to enter the basin.


Not what you need?
Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Below are the ten nearest havens to Annalong Harbour for your convenience.
Ten nearest havens by straight line charted distance and bearing:
  1. Kilkeel Harbour - 4.5 nautical miles SW
  2. Newcastle Harbour - 5.4 nautical miles N
  3. Greencastle - 8.4 nautical miles WSW
  4. Dundrum Harbour - 9.1 nautical miles NNE
  5. Killowen - 10.5 nautical miles W
  6. Rostrevor - 10.6 nautical miles W
  7. Carlingford Harbour - 10.8 nautical miles WSW
  8. Carlingford Marina - 10.9 nautical miles WSW
  9. Greer’s Quay - 12.1 nautical miles W
  10. Omeath - 12.5 nautical miles W
These havens are ordered by straight line charted distance and bearing, and can be reordered by compass direction or coastal sequence:
  1. Kilkeel Harbour - 4.5 miles SW
  2. Newcastle Harbour - 5.4 miles N
  3. Greencastle - 8.4 miles WSW
  4. Dundrum Harbour - 9.1 miles NNE
  5. Killowen - 10.5 miles W
  6. Rostrevor - 10.6 miles W
  7. Carlingford Harbour - 10.8 miles WSW
  8. Carlingford Marina - 10.9 miles WSW
  9. Greer’s Quay - 12.1 miles W
  10. Omeath - 12.5 miles W
To find locations with the specific attributes you need try:

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Chart
Please use our integrated Navionics chart to appraise the haven and its approaches. Navionics charts feature in premier plotters from B&G, Raymarine, Magellan and are also available on tablets. Open the chart in a larger viewing area by clicking the expand to 'new tab' or the 'full screen' option.

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What's the story here?
Annalong Harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


Annalong is a small town and harbour at the mouth of the Annalong River that hosts several small lobster boats. It has a population of between 1,500 and 2,000 people and lies within the Newry and Mourne District Council area. The harbour consists of a drying inner basin excavated into the shore adjacent to the mouth of a mountain stream. The basin is accessed and protected by an outer channel that is enclosed by a pier extending the southern shore and a breakwater from the northern shore. The river exits too the sea through this outer channel adjacent to the basin.

Analong's inner boat harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


Annalong is dry at three-quarters ebb, space-constrained, only suitable for vessels of less than 10 metres LOA and, ideally, shallow draft vessels that can take to the bottom. Anything larger will find it difficult to manoeuvre within its tight turns and confines. The approach channel has 0.1 to 0.3 metres and the basin dries to very soft mud. Nevertheless, at half tide, a depth of more than 2 metres can be found throughout and the tidal range here is Springs 5.3 – 0.7 metres, Neaps 4.4 - 1.9 metres.
Please note

There was a pontoon in the southeast corner of the basin but that has been removed after the storm gates failed in 2013. The remnants of the gates were dismantled and there are no plans to replace them or the pontoon.




Local boats in the harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


However, the harbour is subject to silting and only occasionally dredged. Dredging can be subject to the local council’s fiscal constraints so depths may vary and it would be best to appraise the conditions as they are experienced at the time of the visit, or contact the HM in advance Landline+44 28 4376 8123.


Local lobster boat exiting Annalong Harbour
Image: Eric Jones via CC BY-SA 2.0


Vessels of a draft of 1.5 metres, or more, should not enter the harbour until at least 2 hours after low water. Larger vessels will be better off planning to anchor off outside in settled conditions which vessels frequently do.


How to get in?
The southern approached to Annalong from Carlingford Lough
Image: Michael Harpur


Convergance Point Seaward approaches are detailed in eastern Ireland’s coastal overview for Strangford Lough to Dublin Bay Route location. Annalong lies about eight miles northeast of the entrance to Carlingford Lough and about ¾ mile southward of Mullartown Point. The offshore approaches are largely clear with no outlying dangers existing 150 metres off the shoreline or within soundings of 5 metres or above.


The northern approaches past Mullartone Point
Image: Michael Harpur


Initial fix location From the Annalong Harbour initial fix, track into the harbour from the east. On closer approach, the short breakwater will be seen extending seaward from the northeast corner of the basin. At night a light stands at the head of the breakwater with a sectored light Oc.WRG.5s.8m9M. SS.(Int).


Local boat passing Annalong's pierhead
Image: Eric Jones via CC BY-SA 2.0


On closer approaches, from about 200 metres offshore, keep the north face of the outer pier wall just open to avoid the rocky shores north and south of the entrance. Proceed slowly, as manoeuvrability is highly constrained, along as close as possible to the north side of the outer pier and passing inside the outer breakwater extending from the north shore.


The breakwater extending from the north shore (under repair)
Image: Michael Harpur


Continue alongside the basin wall’s outer, or north face, where there is a little more space too the inner basin’s entrance. This is entered through a narrow 9-metre wide entrance gap at the basin’s northern end. This requires a hard swing to port turning the vessel due south to enter.


Annalong Harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


Haven location Once inside the inner harbour basin come alongside a wall to dry over soft mud. There is limited space as the basin is 90 metres long and 25 metres wide.


Local boats alongside in Annalong Harbour
Image: Michael Harpur


Those anchoring off should note that the rocky foreshore dries nearly 200 metres from the entrance of the harbour. The Spring range is 3.9 metres here and Neaps 2.6m.


Why visit here?
Annalong's name is thought to have been derived from the Irish 'Áth na Long' meaning 'ford of the ships'. This dates back to raiding Viking longboats. In the early Christian period, the raiders would have been able to land and shelter their boats in the coastal cut formed by the original river mouth.


The pretty harbour dates back to the early 1800s
Image: Michael Harpur


The current harbour dates back to the early 1800s and was built to support the exportation of dressed Mourne Mountain granite. Local masons built up such expertise that in time different types of granite were imported to be cut and polished by the stone masons of Annalong. Consequently, the harbour was enlarged to receive schooners carrying granite back and forth to English cities. Between 1904 and 1922 the harbour was the base that was used by the Belfast Water Commissioners to import materials for the construction of the nearby Silent Valley Reservoir.

The Silent Valley Reservoir
Image: Ania via CC BY 2.0


The Silent Valley Reservoir was built to gather water from the Mourne Mountains and remains to this day the main water supply source for most of County Down and a large part of Belfast. This was an enormous undertaking and a purpose-built standard-gauge railway was built from Annalong to the dam to transport the reservoir’s construction material. The project included the construction of the spectacular drystone Mourne Wall which took 18 years to complete and is an engineering phenomenon in itself.


The Mourne Wall marching across its peaks
Image: Peter Adamson via CC BY-SA 3.0


The wall was created to stop livestock from reaching the reservoir's catchment area of the Rivers Kilkeel and Annalong. In the event, poor geological conditions meant the Annalong River couldn’t be dammed, and its waters were diverted to the Silent Valley Reservoir via a 3.6km tunnel beneath Slieve Binnian.


The Mourne Wall ascending
Image: Tourism Ireland


The Mourn Wall marches for more than 35 KM (22 miles) and crosses the summits of fifteen surrounding peaks including the highest, Slieve Donard (853m). Entirely crafted from natural granite stone, using traditional dry stone walling techniques, it has an average width of 0.8 to 0.9 metres and a height of 1.5 metres.


Slieve Commedagh, Summit Shelter on the Mourne Wall (built 1913)
Image: Nick via CC BY 3.0


But the mariners who supported these craftsmen did so at their peril. This is a dangerous coast as is indicated by the construction of the coastguard house and rocket tower situated on the Kilkeel side of Annalong. Its tower once housed pigeons which were used as couriers between the coastguard stations. The garage housed a rocket launcher which fired ropes to boats which all too often ran aground during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The old derelict Coastguard Station
Image: Eric Jones via CC BY-SA 2.0
Sadly it was not just passing coasters that lost their lives immediately offshore here. In January 1843 a fleet of 16 small fishing local boats from Annalong and Newcastle were caught in a gale. In this single instance, 14 boats were lost in the heavy seas plus another boat which had gone to the rescue. Only two boats came back and a total of 76 men perished, 30 of whom were from Annalong, and they left 27 widows, 118 children, and 21 dependents behind. Today, despite being derelict, the rocket tower is a listed building and it is believed to be the only rocket station remaining in Ireland.

The old Coastguard Station Pidgeon loft
Image: Eric Jones via CC BY-SA 2.0
One of Annalong's attractions is the old and highly picturesque corn mill on the quayside. Built during the early 1800s and operated until the 1960s, the complex contains a grain-drying kiln and three pairs of millstones. Utilising technology two centuries old, it is powered by a wooden and iron breast water wheel 4.3 metres in diameter and 1.2 metres wide plus a 1920's Marshall 'hot-bulb' 20hp engine.

When operations ceased in the 1960s the mill was abandoned and fell into disrepair. In 1983 it was acquired by Newry and Mourne District Council who restored and reopened it to the public in 1985. It is now one of Ulster's last working watermills that features a guided tour and an exhibition on windmills and waterpower. Visitors can see the production of flour and oatmeal and grind their own corn or have a browse at the exhibition on milling.


Annalong's picturesque corn mill on the quayside
Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating point of view, Annalong is the domain of a moderate-sized vessel that can take to the bottom. Those who venture in will find a pretty and secure harbour situated at the foot of the awe-inspiring Mourne Mountains. Those who venture in will find plenty to experience with the mill, its many old cottages and houses in the harbour area. Beyond I there are beautiful walks through the surrounding countryside where hedgerows have long since given way to stone walls.


What facilities are available?
The town of Annalong lies mostly south of the harbour and has a population of almost 2,000. Hence almost all basic provisions and necessities are immediately available including a post office and fuel. There is also a pub overlooking the harbour aptly named the 'Harbour Inn'. There is a small launching slip 200 metres north of the harbour.


Any security concerns?
Annalong Quay has a security gate.


With thanks to:
Thomas Cunningham - Harbour Master for Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission.







A film of Spegla Dam, Kilkeel, Annalong at 5minutes 15 seconds in and Newcastle.




A short view of the harbour.




Annalong harbour at low water


About Annalong Harbour

Annalong's name is thought to have been derived from the Irish 'Áth na Long' meaning 'ford of the ships'. This dates back to raiding Viking longboats. In the early Christian period, the raiders would have been able to land and shelter their boats in the coastal cut formed by the original river mouth.


The pretty harbour dates back to the early 1800s
Image: Michael Harpur


The current harbour dates back to the early 1800s and was built to support the exportation of dressed Mourne Mountain granite. Local masons built up such expertise that in time different types of granite were imported to be cut and polished by the stone masons of Annalong. Consequently, the harbour was enlarged to receive schooners carrying granite back and forth to English cities. Between 1904 and 1922 the harbour was the base that was used by the Belfast Water Commissioners to import materials for the construction of the nearby Silent Valley Reservoir.

The Silent Valley Reservoir
Image: Ania via CC BY 2.0


The Silent Valley Reservoir was built to gather water from the Mourne Mountains and remains to this day the main water supply source for most of County Down and a large part of Belfast. This was an enormous undertaking and a purpose-built standard-gauge railway was built from Annalong to the dam to transport the reservoir’s construction material. The project included the construction of the spectacular drystone Mourne Wall which took 18 years to complete and is an engineering phenomenon in itself.


The Mourne Wall marching across its peaks
Image: Peter Adamson via CC BY-SA 3.0


The wall was created to stop livestock from reaching the reservoir's catchment area of the Rivers Kilkeel and Annalong. In the event, poor geological conditions meant the Annalong River couldn’t be dammed, and its waters were diverted to the Silent Valley Reservoir via a 3.6km tunnel beneath Slieve Binnian.


The Mourne Wall ascending
Image: Tourism Ireland


The Mourn Wall marches for more than 35 KM (22 miles) and crosses the summits of fifteen surrounding peaks including the highest, Slieve Donard (853m). Entirely crafted from natural granite stone, using traditional dry stone walling techniques, it has an average width of 0.8 to 0.9 metres and a height of 1.5 metres.


Slieve Commedagh, Summit Shelter on the Mourne Wall (built 1913)
Image: Nick via CC BY 3.0


But the mariners who supported these craftsmen did so at their peril. This is a dangerous coast as is indicated by the construction of the coastguard house and rocket tower situated on the Kilkeel side of Annalong. Its tower once housed pigeons which were used as couriers between the coastguard stations. The garage housed a rocket launcher which fired ropes to boats which all too often ran aground during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The old derelict Coastguard Station
Image: Eric Jones via CC BY-SA 2.0
Sadly it was not just passing coasters that lost their lives immediately offshore here. In January 1843 a fleet of 16 small fishing local boats from Annalong and Newcastle were caught in a gale. In this single instance, 14 boats were lost in the heavy seas plus another boat which had gone to the rescue. Only two boats came back and a total of 76 men perished, 30 of whom were from Annalong, and they left 27 widows, 118 children, and 21 dependents behind. Today, despite being derelict, the rocket tower is a listed building and it is believed to be the only rocket station remaining in Ireland.

The old Coastguard Station Pidgeon loft
Image: Eric Jones via CC BY-SA 2.0
One of Annalong's attractions is the old and highly picturesque corn mill on the quayside. Built during the early 1800s and operated until the 1960s, the complex contains a grain-drying kiln and three pairs of millstones. Utilising technology two centuries old, it is powered by a wooden and iron breast water wheel 4.3 metres in diameter and 1.2 metres wide plus a 1920's Marshall 'hot-bulb' 20hp engine.

When operations ceased in the 1960s the mill was abandoned and fell into disrepair. In 1983 it was acquired by Newry and Mourne District Council who restored and reopened it to the public in 1985. It is now one of Ulster's last working watermills that features a guided tour and an exhibition on windmills and waterpower. Visitors can see the production of flour and oatmeal and grind their own corn or have a browse at the exhibition on milling.


Annalong's picturesque corn mill on the quayside
Image: Michael Harpur


From a boating point of view, Annalong is the domain of a moderate-sized vessel that can take to the bottom. Those who venture in will find a pretty and secure harbour situated at the foot of the awe-inspiring Mourne Mountains. Those who venture in will find plenty to experience with the mill, its many old cottages and houses in the harbour area. Beyond I there are beautiful walks through the surrounding countryside where hedgerows have long since given way to stone walls.

Other options in this area


Click the 'Next' and 'Previous' buttons to progress through neighbouring havens in a coastal 'clockwise' or 'anti-clockwise' sequence. Alternatively here are the ten nearest havens available in picture view:
Coastal clockwise:
Kilkeel Harbour - 2.8 miles SW
Greencastle - 5.2 miles WSW
Killowen - 6.5 miles W
Rostrevor - 6.6 miles W
Warrenpoint - 7.8 miles W
Coastal anti-clockwise:
Newcastle Harbour - 3.3 miles N
Dundrum Harbour - 5.6 miles NNE
Killough Harbour - 7.8 miles NE
Ardglass Harbour (Phennick Cove Marina) - 8.5 miles NE
Kilclief Bay - 11.5 miles NE

Navigational pictures


These additional images feature in the 'How to get in' section of our detailed view for Annalong Harbour.










































A film of Spegla Dam, Kilkeel, Annalong at 5minutes 15 seconds in and Newcastle.




A short view of the harbour.




Annalong harbour at low water



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