Five Facts To Know On The Cliffs Of Moher

Written by Brian Leonard on December 5, 2019

Cliffs of Moher Facts – Facts you should know before you travel on our tour!

On the west coast of Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher are one of the most outstanding coastal features of Ireland and we have a list of facts you should know before taking a trip to the breath-taking Cliffs of Moher.

Fact 1 – The Cliffs of Moher are over 300 million years old.

The Cliffs are located at the south-western edge of the Burren region in County Clare, Ireland. They rise to 120 meters (390 feet) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head and reach their maximum height of 214 meters (702 feet) just north of O’Brien’s Tower, eight kilometers to the north.

It is believed that the Cliffs of Moher formed 320 million years ago during the upper Carboniferous period, you will see layers of Namurian sandstone, siltstone, and shale. The oldest rocks being at the bottom, which is why you see so many varied colours.

 

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Fact 2 – Tourism at the famous cliffs is nothing new

At the start of the existence of the cliffs of Moher its vantage point was used as a lookout post, a place for quarrying, fishing, collecting birds’ eggs and feathers, with evidence dating back to the 1st century BC.

Towards the 16th century, tourism was generated largely by travel writers (similarly to today really). With the location in Europe at the time, Ireland was less popular with tourism. However, some old travel journals of Ireland have been found in the 1780s, where the beauty and ferocity of the cliffs were described.

O’Brien’s tower, just south of today’s visitor centre, was built in 1835 by the local landowner, Cornelius O’Brien. His entrepreneurial mind built the tower in response to a visibly growing tourism market. He thought it might benefit the local economy and help to release people from poverty.

 

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Fact 3 – The Cliffs are popular movie scenery

The Cliffs of Moher are a recognizable landmark on the big screen for many movies, TV series, music videos and adverts. One of the biggest and most recent movies filmed at the Cliffs of Moher are Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, The Princess Bride, The Yank, Into the West and The Mackintosh Man.

Let’s face it… the Cliffs of Moher are rather photogenic!

 

Fact 4 – Rich with wildlife

The area of the Cliffs of Moher is protected by Irish and EU legislation due to a significant presence of bird species. It is a breeding site for over 30,000 seabirds and was classified as a Refuge for Fauna in 1988. Cliffs of Moher are home to large numbers of Guillemot and Razorbills, but also Atlantic Puffins, Peregrine Falcon, Kittiwake and Fulmar. Some endangered bird species like Choughs also live in the area.

 

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Fact 5 – Named after an old fort

The Cliffs of Moher are named after an old fort called, Mothar or Moher, which was at Hag’s Head. It was demolished in 1808 to supply material for a lookout tower (Moher tower), which was intended to warn of a French invasion.

 

Thinking of doing the tour, then book with us!

Book your tickets here today and save 15% in November 2019!