The Big Stone & other paintings


Coastal redwoods in Kilbroney Forest Park

When asked to paint An Cloch Mór, or ‘The Big Stone’ as it is known locally, I panicked at the thought of making a huge granite boulder in the Mourne Mountains the subject of a painting. The client, who had moved to England some years ago, wanted some scenes to remind him of home and this was one of several he suggested. It’s easy to see why he chose this iconic image with the surrounding views of Rostrevor forest, Warrenpoint, Carlingford Lough and beyond.  In fact, it really is a stunning vista from up there.

Carlingford Lough, Warrenpoint and the Cooley Peninsula in summer

Located on a slope of Slieve Martin, 300 metres above the village of Rostrevor, County Down, I remember believing the story that the boulder was thrown in a fight between the mythical giants Fionn MacCumhaill (aka Finn McCool) and Cú Chulainn. However, geologists explain its presence by suggesting that it was deposited by a glacier during the Ice Age.

The Big Stone was a large feature in my childhood and later youth.  When we were very young, my father would take us up there at Easter. He would find a whin/gorse bush and put a handful of the yellow flowers along with some eggs into a saucepan, and boil these on a camping stove. The yellow gorse would colour the eggs and, once cooked, we would roll them down a slope. The winner was the child whose egg was still intact at the bottom, although from memory very few ever were!

In later years, as a teenager, every Easter Monday saw a pilgrimage of young people walk the few miles from Warrenpoint and up through Kilbroney Forest Park to the famous granite boulder. At the top, we would lark about with friends, usually with a beverage (and not always a soft one) until sundown.


The lough at sunset

As an adult, I have taken visiting friends to the spot many times and I never tire of the walk. The area has been declared a National Nature Reserve and an Area of Special Scientific Interest.

Bluebells in ‘The Big Wood, Warrenpoint

Finally, here is my finished ‘portrait’ of The Big Stone, painted in acrylic on canvas. I hope you like it. 🙂

Cloch Mór and surroundings—Rostrevor Forest, Carlingford Lough, Warrenpoint & the Cooley Peninsula, County Louth

About seaviewwarrenpoint

I am a writer, poetry facilitator and artist from Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland. My blog is Twitter @MarionSClarke
This entry was posted in Ireland, Mountains of Mourne, Original Irish Art, Rostrevor and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Big Stone & other paintings

  1. Marie Sutcliffe says:


  2. jennyangyal says:

    Love the painting and the stories behind it!

  3. Bobby says:

    The movement in the sky is stunning.


  4. Patsy says:

    Lovely picture – and I enjoyed hearing about your egg rolling. Sounds like fun.

  5. ꧁Willő꧂ says:

    I am deeply impressed by this portrait. You have captured a spirit of place. Here I am on the island of Tasmania, destined never to see in person the home of my ancestors. Imbibing the view through your artestry however, I feel the magic and history of the place. Thank you!
    (It is obvious it landed there fresh from the clutch and hurl of Finn Mac Cool.)

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