It is one of the many smooth and beautiful small hills (drumlins) that bubble up across our countryside, as if giant moles were crouching beneath the green, waiting. It is covered with a thick and maturing second growth of silage, thanks to the recent rains. My nephew and I climbed it last weekend. (For me, a slight incline is a climb!) The view from the summit is stunning. Knocklayde and Slieveanorra mountains bordering our view on the right, the lake and grounds of Lissanoure Castle sparkling in the dappled sunshine before us and miles of undulating farmland all around. A pretty picture indeed.
But I couldn't help wondering... The glimpse of castle ruins, the site of the Battle of Orra, the tiny island which, it is said, held prisoners in bygone days - reminders of troubled history, of our uneasy relationship with the landscape and with each other. And the trees at the top of the hill. Five still standing amongst a scattering of stumps. What stories they could tell. It seemed fitting that dark rain clouds moved in overhead. For Tulach-na-Croch is Gallows Hill.
Keywords: Gallows Hill, Loughguile, County Antrim
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