“Muds, Mountains and Magma – Carlingford's 450 Million Year History” will be hosted by Dr Sadhbh Baxter, a geologist from NUI Galway’s Department of Earth & Ocean Sciences (and originally from Rostrevor, just across Carlingford Lough, so she is a local really).  The talk will deal with the town’s geological past.


The area that is now Carlingford was caught up in events that shaped the world as we know it: the destruction of an ancient ocean, the creation of a new one and a journey across the equator in the intervening years. The rocks near King John’s Castle tell part of this story.


“These rocks can tell the history of this area of Ireland in a series of snapshots.  We can compare them with rocks in the rest of Ireland and other countries to discover how the earth was shaped millions of years ago,


“The Cooley peninsula was once joined to what its now North America along with the rest of the northern half of Ireland.  The other half or Ireland – south of a line joining Dundalk and Limerick, was part of an ancient continent now represented by the UK and the rest of Europe.


“At the time, Ireland was located in the southern hemisphere and has therefore crossed the Equator since then – some of the rocks in Carlingford tell us we experienced tropical seas with corals and other warm water creatures.  Later the area saw the birth of the Atlantic Ocean and volcanic activity associated with that, as well as being covered in ice in the more recent geological past.  There are lots of stories in this small area of Ireland.


Anyone interested in the walk and talk is invited to come along to the guided walk and see how geologists unlock the secrets held by these silent witnesses to our planet’s history. 


Meeting point: 1.00pm, Tourist Office, Carlingford. The route will include steps and some walking on rough seashore, so please wear suitable footwear.  It will last approximately 1 ½ hours. 


Booking: Please contact the Tourist Office at 042 937 3033 or email info@carlingford.ie


This event is organised by the heritage office of Louth County Council, in association with the Geological Survey of Ireland, as part of the International Year of Planet Earth.