The Bellew family has lived at Barmeath, County Louth since the 12th century, although the castle at the centre of the estate only assumed its present appearance in the 1830s. However, the romantic gardens are earlier, having been designed by the English architect, landscape gardener and astronomer Thomas Wright during a visit he paid to Ireland in 1746-47 at the invitation of James Hamilton, Viscount Limerick who owned the town of Dundalk in the same county. Wright was responsible for creating Barmeath’s ornamental lake which at one point narrows to allow for passage over his delectable rock bridge.
There is a similar bridge at Ravensdale Forest Park, now, sadly, shorn of its superstructure but with the substructure still intact.
Thank you for getting in touch with this information – I must try to visit Ravensdale – and it makes sense since Wright spent time further north in County Down at Tollymore where he is believed to have been responsible for several other similar rustic structures…
Let me know if you are visiting Ravensdale. You won’t find the bridge on your own!