Turbet Island, Belturbet

Turbet Island is located on the northwest side of Belturbet town just across the bridge on the River Erne. The castle is believed to be one of the first major settlements at the site of Belturbet. Turbet island and the Motte and Bailey is a wonderful place to go for a relaxing walk, have a picnic, and get lost in the beauty of nature. It is easily accessible by car or by foot and all trails are fully accessible for wheelchairs.

Facilities: Car parking, interpretation and the Turbet Island Walk. Shops, restaurants/cafes and accommodation are all available in the village of Belturbet.

Getting Here

Turbet Island, Belturbet

  • Main Car Park
  • Bridge Street
  • Belturbet
  • Cavan
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Main Car Park
  • Bridge Street
  • Belturbet
  • Cavan
  • Republic of Ireland
  • 54.1013781, -7.449507

Walking Trail

Cavan Drumlins

  • Distance: 1.6 km
  • Time: 20 mins
  • Grade: Easy
  • Terrain: Forest tracks and lakeside tracks
  • Route: Circular
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • Dogs: Dogs must be kept under control and waste disposed of.

Downloadable Map

Turbet Island Map

Turbet Island Map

Heritage

The site has a motte, a steep sided mound of earth with a flat top, and a bailey, an attached enclosed area that would have contained houses and other buildings. The remains of a small sub circular stone structure can be seen from the summit of the mot

The motte was one of seven fortifications built to secure a roadway that would isolate the section of the Ulster province that was still under indigenous Irish control.

Turbet Island motte and bailey had been abandoned by the Anglo-Normans before 1233. After this, the O’Reilly’s took the site over. It is believed that once the O’Reilly’s took ownership of the site, they continued to construct a castle. The site can be accessed via a footbridge which is located beside the main bridge over the River Erne.

This site is highly valued by local communities, as a place of incredible historical significance. It is believed that it may be the first ever settlement established in this area, making it an incredible display of Ireland’s history.

It is also true that Turbet Island was the home of an exciting discovery. The first ever remnants in Europe of the prehistoric Woolly Mammoth were discovered here, which is truly incredible!

This site is also home to some magnificent bird species, and the River Erne has the pleasure of hosting protected species such as the Whooper Swan and the Greenland White-Fronted Goose.

Itineraries

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Distances are from Turbet Island, Belturbet