trove for nature lovers
Crom Castle is one of the best estates in Great Britain. Set on the shores
of the Upper Lough Erne, Crom is one of Northern Ireland's most important conservation
areas and was gifted by the present Lord Erne to the National Trust in 1987.
|Bat adventure at Crom|
The original Crom
Castle was built in 1611, surviving two Jacobite sieges before being destroyed
in 1764 by a domestic fire.
Almost 100 years passed before a new castle
was built in 1840, which is now a private home and thus closed to the public.
Visitors can still enjoy the ruins of the old castle, as well as the
remains of a late 17th century formal garden and bowling green to the south of
Wildlife lovers visiting the estate can explore the romantic
landscape of islands and ancient woodland in one of the Trust's most important
The 1,900-acre estate
includes the largest surviving area of oak woodland in Northern Ireland and one
of the most important and relatively unspoilt freshwater habitats anywhere in
the British Isles.
Crom is also home to some the oldest yew trees in
Ireland, and possibly Europe, at the entrance to the Old Castle Garden.
trees are reputed to be more than 800 years old and were nominated as one of the
50 Greatest British Trees for the Queen's Jubilee in 2002.
The two entwined
old Yews with their twisted branches are male and female - the male is characterised
by its small, yellow flowers whilst the female has green flowers which turn to
bright red berries.
Batman at Crom
Crom is also home to bats and
is a great place to watch these nocturnal creatures.
As the light fades,
the Pipistrelle bats make social calls to each other before streaming out of their
This natural spectacle as noisy and fascinating to watch,
especially if you have a bat detector to amplify their echoes.
bats weigh as little as a two pence piece, but eat as many as 3,000 insects per
Look out for bat watching events throughout the summer months.
The wealth of wildlife at Crom is exemplified by the presence of
two rare butterflies - the purple hair-streak and the wood white - and also boasts
the largest heronry in Ireland.
Other species to be found here include
a small herd of Fallow Deer which can be seen grazing in the Estate's 24-acre
deer park, as well as cattle and sheep elsewhere in the grounds.
to the Estate in May and June each year can also enjoy a guided walk through the
magical Culliagh Wood to see the flowering rhododendrons blooming there.
The award-winning Visitors Centre currently houses an exhibition on the history
and wildlife of the estate, as well as a lecture room, a small shop, slipway and
seven self-catering cottages.