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Rostrevor is a village in County Down, Northern Ireland. It is within the Newry and Mourne District Council area. It lies at the foot of Slieve Martin on the coast of Carlingford Lough. The Kilbroney River flows through the village.
Rostrevor was named by Edward Trevor who settled in the area in the early 17th century. Whilst it is accepted that the trevor part of the name derives from Edward's surname, there is confusion over the first element ros. 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, whom he married in 1612. 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. Harold O'Sullivan states that Edward Trevor named the area after he got married to his second wife Rose Trevor, and that the name was corrupted over time into Rostrevor. Adding to the confusion is the usage in the past of Rostrevor, Rosstrevor, and Rosetrevor to refer to the area.
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).
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Nearby Cloughmore is a 30-ton granite boulder perched on the slopes of Slieve Meen, 1000 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.
In the villages 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 Bronachs 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 2 rivers, the Ghan and the fairy Glen so named because many fairies are suspected of living along the banks of the river.
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 is classified as an intermediate settlement by the NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (i.e. population between 2,250 and 4,500). On Census day (30 April 2001) there were 2,444 people living in Rostrevor. Of these:
For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service
St. Bronagh's GAA club, have won the Down Senior Football Championship on two occasions, 1976 and 1998 and the Down Junior Hurling Championship on one occasion in 1994. Rostrevor also has two soccer clubs competing in the Newry and Mourne District Leagues, the most successful of the two being Killowen Celtic 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 5 goals to two. Rostrevor is also home to St Bronagh's Amateur Boxing Club.