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Folklore of the Forest

  • Folklore
  • Folklore
  • Folklore

The tranquil forest of Dún a Rí possesses a mysterious charm and is rich in local folklore.

The "Romantic Glen" of the Cabra River, stretches the full length of the Park and it is said that the fearless Cúchulainn camped here at night while by day conducting his single-handed defence of Ulster against the armies of Queen Maeve of Connacht.

Sarah's Bridge was built in 1801 in memory of Sarah Mountmorris who married into the Pratt family. Local legend, however, prefers to associate it with a more romantic, fictitious Sarah who has been meeting the same boyfriend on the bridge for nearly thirty years. One evening her hitherto non-committal companion popped the important question without warning, whereupon Sarah promptly fell into the river and drowned. For the romantically inclined side walls were erected on the bridge which should prevent any recurrence of this unhappy event.

On the 14th January 2009 a purported sighting of Sarah was reported in the Anglo Celt. A photograph was taken by a Mr. Clarke from nearby Drumconrath who was visiting Dún a Rí with some friends. It was meant to be of two of the friends standing on the Rabbit Bridge. However, when the picture was looked at more closely over the Christmas holiday period, it was discovered that there was a third person in it - a young lady with long black hair, dressed in a slip type garment with bare legs and bare feet clearly visible.

The photograph was taken during daylight hours and weather conditions were good at the time. The Rabbit Bridge is a stone built bridge about two feet wide. The two people photographed by Mr. Clarke are pictured with their hands on the railing but when the pictured was processed on the computer it revealed the third person, thought to be the ghost of Sarah.

The name "Lady's Lake" is said to derive from frequent sightings of the ghost of a lady at the lakeside. It is in fact an artificial lake which was fed from water passing through the old flax mill at Cabra. The water was conveyed in aqueducts from a point on the Cabra River higher up the glen.

Many forests have an associated folklore, the most pervasive in terms of scope and influence is The Green Man.

Other popular stories inspired by the magic of a forest include:

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