JUST WHAT IS THAT BIG STONE ?
With the new Boardwalk in place many more people are visiting
the big stone on the warren, so what is it?
The granite stone is a monument to the men of the Cloughey
Lifeboat who risked their lives to save those in peril on the sea.
The monolith was erected in 2001 to mark the 175th Aniversary
of the foundation of the RNLI. It shows from the bottom the
passage of time from the Lifeboat having to be rowed out to sea
to the modern time when motorized Lifeboats replaced the older
rowed craft. The Lifeboat station in Cloughey was closed but during 80 years of service the Lifeboat was called out on one
hundred and fifty two rescue missions on which a total of
three hundred and eleven lives were saved. Our history of
Cloughey web page goes into some detail of the work of the Lifeboat.
The original village of Cloughey (or Cloghy as it is shown on old maps )was at the South end of the beach. Here there was a row of Coastguard cottages and a lifeboat station. A mile to the North was Kirtistown Castle, one of the stone castles along the County Down coast built by the Normans in the 12th century. In the 1920's & 30's Cloughey became a popular holiday location and many of the houses along the Main Road and Quarter Road (close to the golf course and the beach ) were built as holiday homes in this period. The golf course was a draw for the weekend and holiday visitors.
In the Second World War 1935-45, several airfields were developed on the Ards Peninsula used mainly by the American Air Force for training. One of these airfields was at Kirkistown and after the war it was converted to use as a motor racing track.
Detailed account of History of Cloughey - For a more detailed account of the history of Cloughey (file provided by RL Young of the Ladyisle.com website -This is a large file and may take time to download click here ....)
Maritime aspects of local history
Cloughey Lifeboat Station - for a detailed account of the history of Cloughey Lifeboat click here - Lifeboat story
Cloughey Coastguard Station ( Manse Road Cloughey ). For the story of Irish Coastguard Stations go to www.coastguardsofyesteryear.org where among other things there are photos of most of the surving stations including Cloughey ( or Cloghy as it is spelt there ). To see the photos of the Cloughey coastguard station and cottages click here...
Marine disasters on North and South Rocks click on link below - Extract from "Shipwrecks on the Ulster Coast"
Loss of the Wild Deer - in 1883, this ship with 300 emigrants bound foe New Zealand foundered on North Rock off Cloughey. To read the story of how the passengers and crew were rescued clink on the above link.( Lifeboat Story )
Development of the Golf Course - In the centre of the village is an excellent golf course ( Kirkistown Castle Golf Course ) founded in 1901, The course is mainly flat but contains 2 mounds -one is the remains of a Norman motte & bailey fort and the other is topped by a stone windmill stump. In the low lying terrain of the surrounding countryside, the windmill stump and the Castle are prominent landmarks. More information and photographs can be found on the Kirkistown Castle Golf Club website......