Corn Hill Walking Trail
Corn Hill, also called Cairn Hill or Carn Clonhugh, is a hill in County Longford between Drumlish and Ballinalee, in the parish of Killoe. Corn Hill Walking Trail is a lovely hill walk of mixed terrain of both stone path and dirt track, short but steep in places with rough stone, remote and offering spectacular views of the county. Distance 3km out and back. The views from the summit of Corn Hill are spectacular where nine counties are visible, at 278 metres tall it is the highest point in Longford.
The route is quite steep at times, but once you get over this stretch, the gradient isn’t as bad. The surface is paved for the first 0.7km. However, the next segment of the walk is a rough stone surface. Parking is available and there are picnic benches dotted along the route. The location of the start of the walk is here at this link.
A cairn is a stone passage tomb consisting of a narrow passage leading to a roofed chamber. The roofs were mainly corbelled and the structure was covered in a circular-shaped mound of stone often edged with kerbstones. Many cairns occur in a cluster of two or more monuments. The most famous example of an Irish passage tomb is Newgrange, which dates to c.3,000BC, however it is likely that the Corn Hill cairns are earlier in date.
There are two cairns on the summit of Corn Hill. The larger of the two has been damaged by a trigonometical station. The smaller, second cairn is situated 50m to the west. One legend suggests that one of the cairns was the burial place of Furbuidhe, slain by the followers of Queen Meabh of Connacht, after he slew her following the epic Táin Bó Cualaigne/ Cattle Raid of Cooley. Local lore also states that the larger cairn was called ‘Carn Caille’, after an ancient witch ‘Cailleach a Bheara’, who dropped stones from her apron as she flew over the hill.
Please note that there is a telecommunications mast on the hill, which must not be accessed.
The details in this post were kindly shared with me by Longford County Council. They have a number of other great trails on their website www.longford.ie/en/visit/trails/
Points of Interest:
The nearby village of Killoe is home to the Tudor-Gothic style House, Carriglas Manor. This was built in 1837 as home to The Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, Thomas Langlois Lefroy. The Lefroy family also had literary connections with Jane Austen, the novelist, as it is believed that she based the character of Mr. Darcy (in Pride and Prejudice) on Thomas Lefroy.
Drumlish Mill – Leaving Drumlish in the direction of Arva, you see a mill on your right-hand side on the outskirts of the town. There has been a mill at this location for 200 years or more, though the earlier one may have been on the site of the nearby dwelling house. It dates from at least 1854, but it may be considerably older.
The Titanic Memorial and Garden in nearby Ennybegs, Killoe, is a poignant monument to Killoe’s connection with the Titanic disaster. Opened on 15th April 2012, precisely 100 years after the ship sank, the centrepiece is an anchor donated by Belfast Harbour Commissioners. The memorial is dedicated to James Farrell of Clonee, one of three young people from Killoe parish who sailed on Titanic. Sadly he was lost, but he helped to save his friends Kate Gilnagh and Kate Mullen, who were neighbours from the townland of Rhyne.