Port Oriel Harbour, County Louth (Minor Harbours of Ireland) - UCD Digital Library

Port Oriel Harbour, County Louth (Minor Harbours of Ireland)

Clogherhead Harbour, County Louth

Abstract: This collection contains files which describe the construction and evolution of Port Oriel Harbour, County Louth, from its earliest structure to its current form.

Is part ofMinor Harbours of Ireland

This visualisation provides an interactive view of the LiDAR associated with this collection. It is also equipped with measurement tools to calculate distances or areas and profile or clipping tools for close-up inspections.

Link to full screen visualisation: https://dataviz.ucd.ie/harbours/c0137_portal/

Origin information
Dublin, Ireland : University College Dublin
Date created:
Type of Resource
still image
mixed material
Physical description
4 items
Physical description: Files include LiDAR point cloud data, and a bibliography of materials such as manuscripts, images, and printed materials relating to Port Oriel Harbour.
Biographical/historical information
The first documented promoter of Clogher Head Harbour, Wallop Brabazon (1770-1831), described the natural basin on this site as first being enlarged as a haven for local fishermen by James Ussher (1581-1656), Archbishop of Armagh and Lord Primate of Ireland (1625-1656) prior to his departure from Ireland in 1640 (OPW 1827-1885). Though no evidence of this has been found, the land was in the ownership of the Lord Primate until the late 19th century, which lends the tale some credibility (Anon. 1869). Clogher Head was also marked on sea charts in the 18th century suggesting the basin was use by local fishermen at this time (Pratt 1760). From 1825 to 1831, Brabazon promoted the enlargement of the basin, first through private subscription from local gentry including the Newcomen and Foster families, then by a grant from the Commissioners of Irish Fisheries in 1827 (OPW 1827-1885). These works deepened the entrance and basin and extended the basin eastward through excavation of the bedrock. Plans by James Donnell for the Irish Fisheries included a proposal for a future pier and breakwater, which Brabazon chose to complete in 1829 using unmortared vertically set greywacke stone and funded by private subscription, which included donations from the Lord Primate, John Godley, principal tenant on the land and the Foster family in addition to others (ibid). Based on this private subscription Brabazon petitioned for an additional grant for further excavation work in 1830 but, despite support from Donnell, it was 17 years before the work was finally funded and undertaken by the Board of Public Works under the authority of Richard Griffith in 1847 (OPW, 1847-1883). The works in 1847, instigated by a petition by the local community and gentry, followed in principle Brabazon's last petition, consisting of further excavations at the entrance as well as widening and extending the basin southward and eastward. The gentry who had sponsored the petition supported a change of name to Port Oriel, in honour of Baron Oriel, and, though challenged by the local community it was ultimately passed (ibid). The final comprehensive excavations in 1874-78, which included substantial excavations to the west of 180 feet, were designed by William Forsyth C.E., Chief Engineer to the OPW, and undertaken by Martin Farrell and, latterly, Robert Manning of the OPW (ibid). The original 'pier' built by Brabazon remains largely intact, though covered in part by later works in concrete from the 20th century. This structure was not a pier, but rather a quay. The first true pier built at Clogherhead was sponsored by a petition of 1879, inspired by a proposal by Richard Griffith in 1827 for an extensive pier (ibid). Though unsuccessful, it led to the design for a concrete pier by Robert Manning, Chief Engineer of the OPW, in 1885 which included additional excavation works to the basin (ibid). By 1935 Louth County Council had built a form of gate to the basin entrance to secure the boats during storms, and concrete was cast against much of the basin walls to regularise their surface and provide quays (Louth County Council, 1935). In the 1960s the Council demolished part of the original east slip in the basin to extend a concrete quay (Louth County Council, 1938 - 1968). In 2007 a new pier, designed by RPS Engineers, was built over the existing pier using sheet steel piling finished with a concrete deck and parapet wall, with X-Bloc armour on seaward face (Van Den Berge et al., 2007).
Site information
Alternative Names: Clogher Head.
Site information
County: Louth.
Site information
Irish National Grid Coordinates: 317231, 284709.
Site information
National Monuments Service/National Inventory of Architectural Heritage reference: 13902209.
Site information
Geomorphological: Intermittent rocky foreshore.
Site information
Date of Construction: Excavation of Basin [1825-30; 1847; 1874; 1885; 1920; 1940?], Pier [1885; 2007].
Site information
Form: Pier, quay, slip.
Site information
Builder: Wallop Brabazon [1825-30]; Martin Farrell [1874-77]; Lagan Construction [2007].
Site information
Engineer: James Donnell, Irish Fisheries [1825-30]; Richard Griffith, OPW [1847]; William Forsyth, OPW [1874]; Robert Manning, OPW [1885]; RPS Engineers [2007].
Site information
Ownership: See of Armagh [pre-1825]; HM Treasury [?-1879]; Louth County [1879-1898]; Louth County Council [1898-present].
Site information
Building Material: Basin excavated from bedrock, later partially encased in concrete; Original pier adjacent to basin entrance [1829] built of unmortared vertically set slabs of greywacke stone; Pier [1885] principally precast concrete blockwork for foundations surmounted by mass concrete cast-in-situ. Pier construction included rubble stone hearting, granite coping stones at edge and concrete deck. Pier [2007] built over and extending existing concrete pier, of sheet steel piling finished with concrete deck and parapet wall.
Harbours, Ireland, Maritime, Engineering, Heritage at Risk, LiDAR, Transportable Data, Port Oriel, Clogher Head, Louth, 19th century, 21st century, Wallop Brabazon, Martin Farrell, Lagan Construction, James Donnell, Irish Fisheries, Richard Griffith, OPW, William Forsyth, RPS Engineers, See of Armagh, HM Treasury, Louth, Louth County Council, excavated basin, concrete.
Map centre point
53.79886119,-6.221565015 (WGS84 (EPSG:4326))
Map bounding box
southlimit=53.797035; westlimit=-6.224013; northlimit= 53.799756; eastlimit=-6.220558 (WGS84 (EPSG:4326))
Remote sensing image Photographs   linked data (gmgpc) Dataset   linked data (dct)
Port Oriel Harbour (Ireland)
Hydraulic engineering--Ireland
Hydraulic structures--Protection--Ireland
Historic sites--Ireland
Optical radar
Ireland--Remote-sensing images
Harbors--Ireland--Louth (County)
Building material
Building material
Vertically set stone
Building material
Precast concrete
Building material
Mass concrete cast-in-situ
Building material
Steel piling
Building material
Reinforced concrete cast-in-situ
Rocky foreshore
Rock cutting
Stone type
Stone type
University College Dublin, School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy. Elizabeth Shotton . MHI/PORTORIEL
Suggested credit
"Port Oriel Harbour, County Louth (Minor Harbours of Ireland)," held by Elizabeth Shotton. © University College Dublin; and Elizabeth Shotton. Digital content by University College Dublin; and Elizabeth Shotton, published by UCD Library, University College Dublin <http://digital.ucd.ie/view/ucdlib:255881>
Funder: Irish Research Council ; funder identifier: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100002081 ; award number: R15353.

Part of
Minor Harbours of Ireland (2019-02-19) (2015) –
Record source
Descriptions created by staff of UCD Library, University College Dublin based on information provided by the Minor Harbours project team. — Metadata creation date: 2017-11-29

Rights & Usage Conditions

Creative Commons License
Port Oriel Harbour, County Louth (Minor Harbours of Ireland) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright of the original resource: University College Dublin and Elizabeth Shotton

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