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

 

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the decision has been made to close The Gobbins Cliff Path. There will be no further tours and the Visitor Centre will be closed from Friday 20 March 2020, until further notice.

At this time, the health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff is of paramount importance and this decision has been made in line with the UK Government and Public Health Agency guidance.

If you have booked a tour online, this will be refunded within the next 7 days. Please contact the Guest Relations team if you made an offline booking, or if you have any other queries:

E: info@thegobbinscliffpath.com
T: 028 9337 2318

We would like to thank all our followers for your support and we look forward to showcasing this amazing experience again in the future, once the situation improves.

For the very latest coronavirus advice, please follow the guidance from the UK Government: bit.ly/2wWU9Wq and Public Health Agency: bit.ly/2WgKzbv.

 



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