The Dark Hedges

The Dark Hedges

The Dark Hedges, near Armoy and Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland. The Dark Hedges is a relatively short avenue (about half a mile long) in Northern Ireland’s county Antrim, and about two centuries old. The 150 trees – beech trees – were planted in the 18th century by James Stuart to impress those who came to visit them in or at their home, Gracehill House – which, by the way, was named after James’s wife Grace Lynd. The trees are now protected by the Northern Ireland planning service. However, it is said that the beauty of the avenue is somewhat disturbed by the sheep wire fence that was planted on both sides recently.

Legend goes that the Dark Hedges is haunted by a “Grey Lady”. One story says the lady is the ghost of a maid who died under mysterious circumstances centuries ago, another story says she is a lost spirit from a nearby hidden graveyard. She appears at dusk and glides along the trees, only to disappear as she passes the last tree.

About CJ Murdoch

Looking For "Dead People"! My Journey Back In Time - Tracing my ancestors and researching the counties, cities and towns where they resided. Taking a “Glimpse” into their lives and stories and the times in which they lived; all in an effort to learn about their “Dash”! “I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of his friend. He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning – to the end. He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the second with tears, but he said that what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.” I have always been interested in researching my family tree and “hanging out” in cemeteries. Like most of us... I didn't ask enough questions when elderly family were still living. Oh, what I would give for 24 hours and a camera with my ancestors… just to sit and listen! I'm researching many family lines, including: Murdoch, Wilson, Berry, Love, Scott, Beattie/Beatty, Hendren, Sweeney, Robinson and Elvin; just to name a few. My families are predominantly from counties Antrim, Donegal and Londonderry. However, it seems that many of them, both maternal and paternal lines, originally hailed from Co. Donegal. I was born and raised in Northern Ireland and now live in Ottawa, Canada, making frequent trips back home to visit with my family. Of course those visits also include treks to the many burial grounds of my ancestors. My most recent trip back home was during the summer of 2019! Looking forward to August of 2020 when I will return. If you are interested in help tracing your ancestors I’d love to hear from you!
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