Stay up to date with the Ring of Gullion

Sign up to ensure that you don't miss out on any Ring of Gullion news and events!

Camlough and Bessbrook heritage trails

Camlough and Bessbrook heritage trails

Bessbrook and Camlough Heritage BrochureThe Camlough and Bessbrook heritage trails project is implemented through The Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership Scheme. The LPS is part of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s programme to conserve and enhance some of the region’s most treasured landscapes. The LPS runs from September 2015 until August 2018.

The total budget for this project is £119,750

This project aims to establish a network of trails to interpret the rich landscape heritage of the Ring of Gullion and to provide high quality interpretation on trails; improving the visitor experience in the area and better informing locals of their history. This project aims to create a path along the river from Camlough to Bessbrook; Place artwork in the two villages to interpret the shared industrial heritage; Erect interpretation along the Camlough village trail along with a self-guided brochure; Provide a brochure to take the user along the edges of Camlough Lake by boat. Each stop on the boat trail will interpret the rich landscape heritage of the area; Acquire boats for a group of ten people, a mix of single and double sit-on-top kayaks and all associated safety equipment; Provide a safe and secure location to store the boats and provide an efficient easy to use booking system.

To view the full project plan please download the Ring of Gullion Landscape Conservation Action Plan below.

Project Updates

Bessbrook Art Schools Work Finished

Update published on: November 27, 2015


This is the final piece in the community engagement. These copper pieces were made by the school children from the three local primary schools. When they come together they form one piece. It will be displayed in Bessbrook library next week, and after the exhibition the pieces will be displayed n their respective schools. Gallery – click here.

Bessbrook and Camlough Art Promo Videos Released

Update published on: October 9, 2015

Slack Press were commissioned to make two videos to showcase the public art at Bessbrook and Camlough.

Bessbrook Art Launched Today

Update published on: October 9, 2015


At the launch Chairperson Councillor Naomi Bailie said, “It’s said that Art has the ability to reach across boundaries, inspiring, teaching and bringing people together, this project has shown that is true with people from all ages and backgrounds coming together for these two pieces of art in Bessbrook and Camlough. We know that art makes a positive difference to communities and I am very happy to be here today to launch the latest, and hopefully not the last, public art for Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.”

Read the full press release here.

Bessbrook Public Art 'The Flax Flower' Installed

Update published on: September 15, 2015


Alan Burke and his team erect the Bessbrook Art today! We watched on as the crane lifted the huge sculture into place while workers secured it under the surface of the water. It now looks like it is ‘growing’ out of the water like a flax flower. Check out images of the whole process here –

Building Peace through the Arts Promo Video

Update published on: September 3, 2015

This is a short film which provides a comprehensive overview of the Building Peace through the Arts – Re-Imaging Communities 2013-2015 programme. The video features the key accomplishments of the programme and highlights the newly developed and installed pieces of public artwork.

Bessbrook and Camlough Brochure published

Update published on: August 3, 2015


You can pick up a brochure at one of the local Visitor Information Centres or download the brochure for your walk around these two neighbouring villages. You can download the brochure by clicking here.

Camlough Art Launched

Update published on: July 31, 2015


Today saw the launch of the Camlough Art Con-Flux, Chairperson Councillor Naomi Bailie said, “It’s great to get such an iconic and contemporary piece of public art in Camlough and the district. It certainly has people discussing it, exactly what art should be doing.”

Des Murphy, Chairperson of the Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership Scheme said, “When I started this particular project about a year ago, I didn’t know much about art, but this process has really broadened my views. It’s great hearing people in Camlough talking about this public art. It has created conversation in the area because it’s significant and unique.”

Read the full press release here.

Planning permission has been granted for both the Bessbrook and Camlough Art work

Update published on: June 12, 2015

Adverts went into the papers for a response, local homes and businesses were consulted; It was a nervous few weeks waiting on planning approval but both pieces of art passed, so its full steam ahead now!

Workshop In St Pauls School for Camloughs Public Art

Update published on: June 5, 2015


The school workshop at St. Paul’s school in Camlough, making a large cloud mobile took place last week. After a development session, everyone made a series of small mesh clouds that then were linked with steel strands of the Camlough public artwork. The work will be installed in the school for the new term.

The base is almost fininshed for the Camlough Public Art

Update published on: May 8, 2015


First images of the base for Camlough! Don and Moss did a great job of fabricating the base for the cloud. The surface of the 316 marine stainless is still raw, it will be shot peened with a line from The Ballad of Camlough. The channel in the gap will receive a bronze insert with wave patterns to represent the lough, the vertical gap an insert to represent the river. The cloud mesh has been woven (mainly by hand!) from 2mm stainless steel wire at Graepels in Kinsale. Click here for the latest images and more images soon…

Camlough Public Art gets it's own Facebook page

Update published on: April 24, 2015


A chance for the local community to engage with the public art – Holger Lönze has created a new Facebook page to allow everyone to see the progress of the Camlough Art. The sculpture is being fabricated by Graepel Ltd. together with sculptor Don Cronin in Co. Cork to be installed in June.

Bessbrook pond public arts commission - Building peace through the arts

Update published on: March 23, 2015


“know ye the fame of the brilliant little river, Which floweth through Bessbrook from moorland and lea, Between blue waving flax-flowers and rushes which quiver, He runs his short course from the lake to the sea.”

This is the opening verse of “The Ballad of Camlough River”, by James N Richardson, which was used as inspiration when designing the sculpture for the mill pond.

This opening verse sets the scene of the origins of Camlough river. The river that flows from Camlough lake, born of fire and ice, to be harnessed at Bessbrook pond to power the mill in Bessbrook, which in turn drove the local economy, forging communities and a social scene that survives to this day.

Key to this all is the flax plant. Without it, the river may have ran its course to the sea largely unmentioned. The production, processing and eventual weaving of the fibre from this plant is why the river rose to fame. The geography of the area, the quality of the water and the ability to grow flax locally, conspired to grow the linen industry in the locality of Bessbrook.

The flax plant and flower is the form used in the design of the proposed sculpture for Beesbrook pond. It will consist of a single stem of flax rising up 6 meters from the water, to be produced in stainless steel. The flower is to be mirror finished in a blue PVD coating to resemble the actual colour of a flax flower; which would have been common place in the local area in times past.

The artwork will also have a woven pattern fabricated into its structure representative of the linen industry which used the flax as its raw material. This will also be used to form the basis of a community project to be undertaken with local schools that highlights the woven and intertwined nature of different communities within the area. Reminding each other of the common ground of a shared history and heritage.

Camlough public arts commission - Building peace through the arts

Update published on: March 23, 2015


The element of water is one of Camlough’s key assets which will be marked through a new public sculpture, entitled Conflux, outside the village. The 4m high artwork expresses the dynamic energy and complexity of the natural water cycle from cloud to lough, from river to mill pond and its eventual evaporation. The starting point for this concept was taken from a children’s drawing made during an initial community engagement workshop.

The work will use a spectacular visual effect created by shaping and layering of stainless steel mesh into the form of an evolving cloud that represents the water cycle. Placed within a rectangular mesh container, it is mounted onto a stainless steel base with lines of Richardson’s Ballad of Camlough. The upper surface of the base, like an additional in-ground element, is forged into rippled water texture. For passing traffc, the mesh creates a moiré effect of the cloud during daytime, while internal lighting creates spectacular illuminations of the cloud at night.

The work was designed by West Cork-based sculptor Holger Lonze and is currently being fabricated by Graepel Ltd. together with sculptor Don Cronin in Co. Cork to be installed in June.

Community consultation phase a huge success!

Update published on: April 30, 2014


There has been extensive consultation over the last few months about what public art the villages of Camlough and Bessbrook would like to see.

The ideas have been flooding in!

All the groups that were consulted also had the chance to work up 3d and 2d models, and these were put on public exhibition in Bessbrook town hall, there was great feedback and some more great ideas too. In total there was 59hrs 30 mins of community consultation between February and April and over 160 people attended group or public sessions. All the parents with students in the local schools were also invited along to the public exhibition in Bessbrook Town Hall.

Click here to read the full artists report.

Lottery Funded
NIEA DoE N&M DC Biodiversity

Quick Contact

Ring of Gullion AONB
Crossmaglen Community Centre,
O’Fiaich Square,
BT35 9AA.

Tel: +44 (0)330 137 4898


Visitor Servicing and Attractions: 0330 137 4046

for any visitor servicing questions.

Latest Tweets

Photo Galleries & Videos

Click to access the login or register cheese