Newcastle is a small town with a long beach to the Irish Sea and bordered by the Mourne Mountains. The area has a special beauty, painted by artists and written about by poets. Known worldwide for the popular song by Percy French 1954-1920 "The Mountains of Mourne".
The name Newcastle is thought to come from a castle built by Felix Magennis cited in the centre of the town beside the Shimna river on what today is the Newcastle Centre.
In 1820's the harbour pier was created as a loading point for the famous Mourne granite extracted from the hills above. One of the most famous pieces of stone is the Albert Memorial in London. At one time the harbour was the centre focus of the town exporting not only granite but potatoes and timber and landing coal and fish. Today it is used mainly for recreational purposes.
In 1824 John Lynn opened a quarry on Millstone Mountain with a mineral railway line to King Street. By 1859 production was moved to Thomas's Mountain and the granite trail follows the route of its funicular railway known locally as the Bogie Line. In 1800's thousands of tonnes of granite were produced here every year.