“The Long Woman’s Grave or “The Cairn of Cauthleen” is the grave of a Spanish noble woman who married Lorcan O’Hanlon, the youngest son of the “Cean” or Chieftain of Omeath. On the death of the Cean he ordered that his lands be divided between his two sons, Conn óg and Lorcan. However Conn óg tricked his brother Lorcan by bringing him up to the Lug or hollow in the mountains at Aenagh, telling him that he would give him the land” as far as he could see”. The mist and the bleakness of the hollow was Loracan’s only legacy. However Lorcan owned a ship and begun trading in the East, making his fortune and becoming prosperous. On one of his voyages to Cadiz, Spain he bravely saved the lives of a Spanish nobleman and his daughter. Lorcan was enchanted by Cauthleen, a descendent of the great O’ Donnells’ of Ulster and fell in love with her. The pair made a handsome couple; she was 7ft tall, only three inches smaller than Lorcan. Cauthleen was already engaged to be married but was wooed by Lorcan’s professions of love and the promises of the good life that they would have back in Omeath. The pair eloped when the couple arrived in Carlingford Lough the locals were enchanted by this tall beauty adorned with jewels. The couple set along the mountain path until they came to the Lug or Hollow in the rocks. Lorcan bade his bride to stand in the centre and look around as far as she could see as he “Was Lord of all she could survey”. Cauthleen looked around, so great was her disappointment and the realisation of what she had left behind in Spain, she fell to the ground and died. Lorcan was horrified that his duplicity had caused his bride to die and flung himself into the murky waters of the marsh at the crossroads. His body was never recovered. The locals found the long womans’ body, and dug a grave for Cauthleen in the “Lug Bhan Fada” (Long woman’s hollow) where she lay. Each person laid a stone on the grave to raise her burial cairn and here she sleeps today in the hollow of her disappointment and unfilled promises.”
This is the story I heard of when I was introduced to a beautiful mountain area near to Carlingford. I was one day out with a long time friend visiting in the north of Ireland a little wonderful town. It is one of the most beautiful places in Ireland, so I was told. And I can confirm.
But outside in the nearby mountains there is an incomparable nature as well. The soft hilly mountains are grown with heather, that wonderful pink flower bush that grows in many places like this.
And there was a special place, called the Grave of the Long Lady. This tall Spanish lady impressed the (I guess must shorter) Irish people when she came as wife back to her husbands home place. Unfortunately she did what most people still do today: they expect something. And are disappointed when they don’t get the expected. That’s what happened to the tall Spanish woman when she saw the whole land of his husband. She expected to see what I saw – until the horizon. But she came here on a day full of mist and so she could see barely more than the hill itself. Her disappointment cost her life – most of the people today will get only angry and claim for refund.
I don’t think that the woman was tall as the grave long, but the place is amazing and the story heartbreaking. So I had a nice romantic story in an amazing surrounding out of Carlingford. Who knows the truth of this story? Please tell me though…
For further information:
Carlingford and Mourne