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A menacing cliff in ancient woodland


Hanging Rock
Salt Man's Stone
Rossaa Forest
Hanging Rock looks like it might not be able to hang on much longer. This tall limestone cliff leans over alarmingly but, then again, it's been like that for thousands of years, so perhaps it won't topple over just yet. Nevertheless, standing underneath it still feels like tempting fate.
If you raise your voice it echoes dramatically off the rocks, highlighting the eerie atmosphere. The ash woodland at the base of the cliff rustles its leaves in the wind. Steam floats out of the ground, as if from nowhere. It comes from a water source deep underground, but nobody's quite sure where it is.

Hanging Rock.
Photo Northern Ireland Tourist Board
Worryingly, one piece of folklore suggests that Hanging Rock might have lashed out against an unlucky passer by. As the story goes, a large boulder fell from the cliff and crushed him. He was a salt merchant, travelling from the village of Florencecourt. The rock was so big that no trace of the body could be seen underneath it. All that remained was a circle of salt, surrounding the place where the salesman took his last step. You can still see this unusual grave on the roadside. It has been known as the Salt Man's Stone ever since its discovery.
Bordering onto the Hanging Rock is Rossaa Forest, where hundreds of full-grown trees jostle for prominence. Beneath their lofty branches, the floor is covered with green grasses and brightly coloured flowers. Red squirrels and pine martens hide among the leaves. The ancient lichen growing even deeper in the shadows prove that these woods have covered the area since olden times.
Together, the two places make up the Hanging Rock and Rossaa Forest Nature Reserve. Aside from a limited amount of car parking, the place is unchanged from its natural appearance.
Visitor Information
Hanging Rock can be found by taking the road towards Blacklion from Florencecourt for approximately 4 miles. Hanging Rock is on the left. There is car parking on the roadside next to the phone box.

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