Thursday, 28 June 2018

Island 413 - Roman Island, Westport, County Mayo

Roman Island is located immediately to the west of Westport Quay.  It is no longer an island, as it is now linked by a causeway to the mainland at Westport Quay.  It is shown as an island on an Ordnance Survey map of c1837-42 but sometime before 1913 a causeway was built out to it and the whole island was enlarged on its north side.  Some time after 1913 more land was added on the north west side.    The causeway acts as a quay and there were several large boats there when I visited.

Roman Island isn't the most attractive island in the world, as it has a large dry pet food factory in the middle of it, which opened in 2016.  However the western end of the island has a large free car park and several footpaths, which seem to be popular with local people.  The original island is easy to spot, as it is a low hill while the more recent land that has been added is very flat.  There is a small wood on the highest part of the island, which had lots of bluebells flowering in it when I visited in early May 2018.

Roman Island also currently has a coastguard station, a sports pitch and the Clew Bay Heritage Centre, all located on the north west side. 

On a 25" scale Ordnance Survey map of 1888-1913 a bathing house and Bath Hotel are shown in the south west of the island.  The bathing house offered hot salt water seaweed baths.  The Bath Hotel closed in the late 1950s and had been demolished by the late 1990s. The stone jetty marked on the map 1888-1913 map is still there. 

Looking east from the car park towards the pet food factory

Looking east from the car park towards the pet food factory

Heritage Centre

Coastguard Station

Original Roman Island

Looking west from the top of the hill towards the car park

Wood with bluebells on the original Roman Island

Looking east down the south coast

Old jetty - looking west from the site of the old bath house

Looking north towards the original Roman Island

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