Dunabrattin Head, Co. Waterford

From Tramore I traveled to The Copper Coast which stretching for 25 km between Tramore and Dungarvan in County Waterford.

The Copper Coast is now a UNESCO Global Geopark which gets its name from the 19th Century copper mines that lie at its heart. It comprises some 25 kilometres of spectacular coastline consisting of scalloped beaches and coves buttressed and enclosed by rocky headlands.

First place we stopped was Dunabrattin Head which offers a spectacular views of the Waterford coastline.

Dunabrattin Bay is a rugged stretch of the Copper Coast in County Waterford. Several small rock formations rise up from the floods off the coast. A very special example is located between Dunabrattin Head and Boastrand – here stands a large sea arch.

The headland here is home to fossils and prehistoric forts. The rocks at Dunabrattin Head formed about 460 millions years ago.

Most of the headland here is made of calcareous (calcium-rich) mudstones and sildstones rocks that were laid down in a seafloor environment betwen violent volcanic events. The rocks here have yielded a collection of fossils, particularly triolobites, for collection in the 19th century, such as those of the Geological Survey of Ireland. Fossils of Bryozoa and shellfish can also be found here.

The headland is particularly renowned for one trilobite species Illaenus bowmanni.

The headlands at Dunabrattin is also home to a ragged promontory that has been severed from the mainland with a ditch and bank, creating a large promontory fort. Iside a fort a smaller area has been isolated with a ditch and bank.

Small promontory forts can be found perched along the cliffs of the Waterford coast. They were long thought to be refuges for late prehistoric farmers, escaping warring neighbors and pirates, but they may have been also been pens for animals or more permanent settlements. The small concrete building on the headland of Dunabrattin was built as a coastal lookout in the 20th century, during the Second World War.

The place name (Dún na mBreatan) means “Fort of the Britons” which is unusual. In the mid-first millenium AD, there were strong links across the Irish Sea. The Irish were responsible for often raiding the Roman province and were probably invited by the Roman`s to settle and defend West Wales, where Irish inscriptions and Irish personal and tribal name appear.

Source: Information board at Dunabrattin Head.

Nordwest of Dunabrattin Head, close to Boat Strand is situated Kilmurrin Cove.

Location of Dunabrattin Head:

Below my photos taken in July 2021.


Blogger. Volunteer. Enthusiast of photography, nature, architecture, and cultural events. Since 2014 living in County Carlow in Ireland.

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