The Drum, County Antrim

Angel of the Drum


Angel of the Drum8.5 hecatres (21 acres) of gently sloping pasture. The sloping fields that make up the new woodland, ‘the Drum’, can be found just above Cargan village. The village sits at the foot of Slievenanee Mountain in Glenravel – one of the Glens of Antrim. Now, amidst the mix of oak, ash and birch, we have our very own 'Angel of the Drum'. Our 'angel', created by Ned Jackson Smyth, is designed to reflect the site’s rather interesting history.

Stepping back to the 1800s, Cargan village was known as Fisherstown. The original name comes from the man who, in 1866, developed an iron ore mine within the village - the largest iron ore mine in Northern Ireland! In the 1860s the now tranquil village was said to be 'like a wild west town', with its very own complimentary poteen still! The iron ore was mined from an area just above the Drum and, today, the red pockmarks can still be seen in the earth, serving as a reminder of this past activity. The ore was shipped to Barrow in Furness, at first by horse and cart to the dock, then from 1875 a railway took it to Ballymena and onwards. The railway closed in 1937, but the earth banks still remain next to the base of the woodland.

‘The Drum’ takes its name from the winding gear used for taking the iron ore down to the railway. The steel centrepiece, 'Angel of the Drum', was created after much discussion with locals and historians. The human outline within the rust-coloured steel, together with the image of the winding wheel, symbolises man’s connection with the rust-coloured earth.