Council hoping Ulster-Scots heritage trail will attract visitors

Councillor Tim Morrow, Chairman of the council's Leisure & Community Development Committee, unveils the Edward Bruce Commemorative Boulder at Moat Park with Catriona Holmes from the Ulster Scots Agency.
Councillor Tim Morrow, Chairman of the council's Leisure & Community Development Committee, unveils the Edward Bruce Commemorative Boulder at Moat Park with Catriona Holmes from the Ulster Scots Agency.

The council is hoping the ‘Edward Bruce 700 Heritage Trail’ - an initiative put forward by the Ulster Scots Agency to commemorate shared Ulster-Scottish history - will attract tourists to Lisburn and Castlereagh.

The Edward Bruce Commemorative Boulder, which is made of Mourne granite, was recently unveiled at Moat Park by Councillor Tim Morrow and Catriona Holmes from the Ulster Scots Agency.

Councillor Morrow, Chairman of the council’s Leisure & Community Development Committee, speaking about the initiative, said: “The council is delighted to be part of this Heritage Trail that identifies links between the historical locations of battles, sieges and coronations across Scotland, Ulster and Ireland, of which Moat Park is one.

“The brief inscription on this commemorative boulder details the significance of this location in Dundonald. A church, fort and moat were constructed in the 12th century by the Anglo-Normans. During an invasion by Edward Bruce of Scotland from 1315-1318 the church and fort were destroyed. The Moat remained after the battle and today can be accessed through routes in Moat Park and along the Enler River.”

He added: “Through the joint working of local community groups and the Ulster Scots Agency there are a number of strong links and projects in place between Northern Ireland and Scotland. It is very important that all generations gain knowledge of the local heritage and what better way than through the placement of commemorative boulders in locations of significant historical importance, regularly visited by residents and visitors alike such as Moat Park.

“It is hoped that tourists from Scotland and further afield will follow the Edward Bruce Heritage Trail to the Lisburn Castlereagh area as part of their trip, during which they may also be tracing their ancestry.”

The other sites on the Edward Bruce 700 Heritage Trail are located at: Carrickfergus; Mounthill; Olderfleet; Connor and Kells; Greencastle, Co Down; Rathlin; Faughart, Co Louth and Northburgh Castle, Greencastle, Co Donegal.

To commemorate the crowning of Edward Bruce as King of Ireland in 1315, the Ulster Scots Agency has developed a booklet telling the story of Edward Bruce’s campaign in Ireland and a heritage trial map outlining a number of the significant sites associated with Edward Bruce and his time in Ireland.