HISTORIC TIMELINE

William Dargan constructs the first commuter railway line in Ireland between Dublin and Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire).

William Dargan

© Mary Evans Picture Library

The Belfast and
Ballymena Railway
Company (BBRC),
which commissions
The Gobbins path, is
founded.

The railway companies
organised excursion
trips to beauty spots like
Whitehead, where they
developed attractions to
lure visitors.

With the arrival of the steam train in the 19th century it became possible to move large amounts of people and goods in relatively short times.

Above
Boyne Viaduct, Drogheda (1878) by Henry Roper-Curzon (1822-1892)
Presented by Mrs Montgomery Bealieu House, 1948. Drogheda Municipal Art Collection, Highlanes Gallery

Construction begins on the Boyne Viaduct, an engineering marvel that completes the railway connection between Belfast and Dublin.

Berkeley Deane Wise, the
visionary engineer who
creates The Gobbins path,
is born in Wexford.

Below
The house where Wise was born in New Ross, Co Wexford.
Courtesy of Berkeley Forest House

BBRC, now the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway Company, extends the railway line to Larne, making it Ireland's major port for Scottish visitors.

Above
Company seal of the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway Company.
From The Northern Counties Railway by J R L Currie (drawings by J D C
Charlton and E N Calvert-Harrison)

BERKELEY DEANE WISE

The man who masterminded The Gobbins path

Following his apprenticeship on the challenging Bray Head Line on the coast south of Dublin, Berkeley Deane Wise becomes an assistant engineer with the Dublin, Wicklow and Wexford Railway Company at just 22 years old.

Above
The coastal line near Bray Head claimed two lives when this viaduct collapsed in 1867 - just a few years before Wise began designing bridges and tunnels on the same stretch.
From The Illustrated London News, 24 August 1867

Berkeley Deane Wise is appointed Chief Engineer of the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway (BNCR) and is soon designing new railway stations at Larne, Portrush, Carrickfergus and elsewhere.

Below
Railway Station at Portrush designed by Wise, around 1900.
Photograph © National Museums Northern Ireland Collection Ulster Folk & Transport Museum



Wise completes a scenic path with bridges at Blackhead. Was this the inspiration for his more ambitious path at The Gobbins?

Wise's dream is about
to be realised:

Work starts on
the first path
at The Gob

Above
Poster advertising The Gobbins from 1954.
Courtesy of the Hawkins family, The Rinkha



Wise's path is promoted as having, 'No parallel in Europe as a marine cliff walk'. Thousands of visitors testify to its unique appeal.

The Gobbins path is opened for the first time




Above
Postcard of Man O'War.
Courtesy of PJ O'Donnell

 

Booking is OPEN now

 

Following the new government restrictions The Gobbins will be closed as of 27th November 2020. We will reopen again on the 11th of December 2020 (subject to any new restrictions) and look forward to welcoming you back. You are however still able to book online for tours running after the 11th December

We are delighted to announce that The Gobbins Cliff Path is now OPEN. There will be a number of changes both prior to and during your visit. Your safety and that of our staff is paramount and we are proud that The Gobbins has been awarded the ‘We’re Good To Go’ certificate which is the official UK mark to signal that a tourism or hospitality business is following Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, putting in place processes to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing. For more details on these changes please Click Here



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