County Down Wildlife

Pearls have been found in the bed of the Bann river. Fossil remains of moose deer have been found at different places; and various kinds of trees are frequently discovered imbedded in the bogs. This county is remarkable as being the first place in Ireland in which frogs were seen: they appeared first near Moira, in a western and inland district, but the cause or manner of their introduction is wholly unknown. The Cornish chough and the king-fisher have been occasionally met with near Killough; the bittern is sometimes seen in the marshes on the sea-coast; the ousel and the eagle have been observed in the mountains of Mourne; and the cross-bill at Waringstown. Barnacles and widgeons frequent Strangford lough and Carrickfergus bay in immense numbers during winter; but they are extremely wary. A marten, as tall as a fox, but much longer, was killed several years since at Moira, and its skin preserved as a curiosity. Horse-racing is a favourite amusement with all classes, and is here sanctioned by royal authority; James II. having granted a patent of incorporation to a society to be called the Royal Horsebreeders of the county of Down, which is still kept up by the resident gentry, and has produced a beneficial effect in improving the breed of race-horses. Downshire gives the title of Marquess to the family of Hill, the descendants of one of the military adventurers who came to Ireland in the reign of Elizabeth.

County Down | English Settlement of County Down | County Down Baronies and Towns | County Down Topography | County Down Soil | County Down Agriculture | County Down Livestock | County Down Geology | County Down Linen | County Down Fisheries | County Down Rivers | County Down Antiquities | County Down Monasteries and Castles | County Down Mineral Springs | County Down Wildlife

Search Topographical Dictionary of Ireland »