Summary of site:
The glacial landforms in the Bloody Bridge river valley and the adjacent areas relate events in the final stages of the last major glaciation in Ireland (the Midlandian).
During the main glaciation of the central Mournes, a substantial glacier flowed eastwards over the col between Slieve Donard and Chimney Rock Mountain, down the Bloody Bridge valley. At the foot of the valley its ice merged with the great regional ice sheet flowing round the Mournes from the north, roughly following the line of the present coast. In the early stages of the Midlandian the bulk of this ice originated in the west of Scotland but later, as cold intensified, the ice centre in the Lough Neagh Basin became the dominant supply.
The deposits in the area record the retreat of the glacier westwards up the valley and finally over the col into the higher valleys of the central Mournes beyond. There is also clear evidence of a later, short period of intense cold when local valley glaciers again formed. In the Bloody Bridge area this later glacier originated in the newly created corrie on the north east face of Chimney Rock Mountain. There is a river fan and outwash deposits in the last 1.5km at the foot of the valley associated with the melting of these valley glaciers.
Details of the sites are described under site records: ‘Bloody Bridge River Valley Ridges’; ‘Bloody Bridge River Outwash’; and ‘Bloody Bridge River Fan’.