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Slieve Bloom Mountains

Beautiful, surprising, haunting and peaceful, Ireland's Slieve Bloom Mountains are a hillwalker's paradise. The mountain range forms a broad elongated dome, extending for almost 25km in a north-easterly/south-westerly direction on the Laois/Offaly border, near the centre of the Irish Republic. Rising from a flat central plain, the mountains provide great panoramic views of the surrounding midlands, though the range never exceeds 610m. Now a Government-protected area, the bog-covered Slieve Bloom National Nature Reserve extends some 2100 hectares over the peaks of Arderin (the highest), Wolftrap, Carnahinch, Barna and Knockachorra mountains and the Ridge of Capard. The mountains are named after an ancient

Rising from a flat central plain, the mountains provide great panoramic views of the surrounding midlands, though the range never exceeds 610m. Now a Government-protected area, the bog-covered Slieve Bloom National Nature Reserve extends some 2100 hectares over the peaks of Arderin (the highest), Wolftrap, Carnahinch, Barna and Knockachorra mountains and the Ridge of Capard. The mountains are named after an ancient

The mountains are named after an ancient mythical Connacht hero, Bladhma, who is said to have taken refuge in the mountains. Archaeological exploration of the region has produced evidence of several phases of human settlement, dating back to the Stone Age (around 4,500 years ago). The Stone Age finds include a javelin head found at Glenkitt and a cist burial located near Clonaslee. Bronze age settlements include several burial mounds, passage graves and standing stones, with many bronze axeheads having been recovered from these sites. The area also has many

Bronze age settlements include several burial mounds, passage graves and standing stones, with many bronze axeheads having been recovered from these sites. The area also has many paths or ring forts, which date to the Iron Age Ecclesiastical relics include a small monastic settlement at Kilmanman, a 10th century high cross at Kinnitty (in front of Castle Bernard), and grave slabs at St Chiaran's Church near Clareen, which has examples of early Christian and Medieval decorations. Originally divided among several local clans -- including the O Carrolls, who controlled the southern regions, and the O’ Dunns, who

Originally divided among several local clans -- including the O Carrolls, who controlled the southern regions, and the O’ Dunns, who controlled the northern territory -- the Slieve Booms were taken by the Normans in the 12th Century, who founded a strategically important town at Ballybritt. Ruins of O’Dunn castles can still be found at Castlecuff, Brittas, Tinnahinch and Castlebrack.

The mountins were formed during the last ice age, 400 million years ago, from siltstones and sandstones. A blanket bog now covers the landscape, which is the source of many rivers, including the Camcor River, Delour River, Silver River and the River Barrow. Since 1911, Government-funded conifer plantation has taken place on the sides of the mountains below 450m. The area is tranquil and peaceful, and offers a wide and varied selection of wildlife, flora & fauna, such as Silka Deer, wild goats, foxes, badgers and other animals. It is one of the few remaining areas in Ireland where the Grouse can still commonly be seen in the summer. The area is becoming increasingly popular with walkers, and there are many mapped trails through the region, with varying levels of difficulty and distance.

The area is becoming increasingly popular with walkers, and there are many mapped trails through the region, with varying levels of difficulty and distance.

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