L’ Armour’s Hole

In 1701, James L’Armour reportedly killed his father (Edward) & pushed the body into the chasm known as L’Armour’s Hole.

L’Armour’s Hole is situated along the cliffs which form the North Eastern boundary of the parish of Kilkeel. L’Armour’s Hole forms a long cavity, extremely narrow, no more than 3 or 4 feet broad and about 40 feet deep. The waves beat in with a fury against the bottom. The following story in the 1836 Ordnance Survey Memoirs is how the cave got its name;

A son requested his father to proceed by and refresh themselves; they were

driving cattle at the time for shipping. Having left them at the side of the road

they retired to the place, the son assuring the father that the hole was worth

seeing, told him to lie on his stomach, so as he might see it to perfection. As

soon as the father did so, the inhuman wretch pushed him down; there are at

present several red marks on the rocks to been seen yet… It is also said that the

body floated to Newcastle where it was discovered before the son arrived. The

cause of his committing such a crime was in order that he might get his

father’s land; it is reported that he met the fate he justly deserved.’

Another version of the tale tells us that Kilkeel woman Mary O’Hagan caught the attentions of James. James’ father apparently disapproved of the relationship which is why he met the fate he did. When Mary found out what James had done she went mad & died a few months after his execution in c.1744.

The chasm is also known as Maggie’s Leap, named after a woman who used to jump across with a basket of eggs on her head.