C.S. Lewis spent summer holidays at Castlerock with his brother Warren and parents. He was fascinated by the steam trains coming through the tunnel gushing steam as they slowed to a halt at the station. He would explore the pathways that lead to Downhill Castle and the Lion's Gate, play in the rock pools near the Castle Rock, visit Dunluce Castle and walk on the Causeway Stones, all of these childhood experiences which left an indelible impression in his imagination which found their way into his writings in later life.
The magical seashore in Prince Caspian echoing those childhood days and tidal pools, Cair Paravel in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe reminding us of Dunluce Castle, Aslan the great lion from the Lions Gate at Downhill and the door handle on the manse at St. Marks Church in Belfast.
The house where he stayed is still here, shamefully though, there is nothing done to recognise or celebrate this important and now popular scholar and author who took a part of this landscape away in his young mind and created a world of wonder in his books.
The Castle Rock which gave the village its name was the location of a tragic shipwreck, 'The Trader' from Greenock ran into a severe gale and after hours of fighting to keep offshore she foundered on the rock during the night of 24th November 1826 with the loss of the crew of eight. The bodies of the sailors were taken from the shore and buried in St Paul's Church at Articlave. You can see the gravestone just through the main gates and against the wall on the left hand side, this was the closest graveyard at the time.
Castlerock, Articlave and Downhill are all in the Parish of Dunboe, an area steeped in history. The name Dunboe means 'Fort of the Cow', tradition says that in the reign of King Art, there was a famine in the district. A famous cow called Glasgavlin was stolen from Ballynascreen and tethered to a rock at Downhill known as 'The Tether Rock'. She is said to have saved the lives of the people with a constant supply of milk.
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