The Tops of the Ox Mountains overlooking Carradoogan are inhospitable, waterlogged and full of Bogs. Hundreds of Years ago they would have been “cut” for Turf. The “saved” Turf would have to transported down to the village 800 feet below Initially on our fore bearers backs and later using ass and creels. To make their hard life easier they built the Staighre (Stairs)
They were used by the thronging population to access the mountain plateau to reach bog plots. Great care was taken in constructing them. Flagged stones set carefully, they zigzag upward, presenting a stepped flat surface for the walker. Here and there they bridge rivulets and in places are obviously terraced to accommodate steep ground. Folk memory recalls donkeys with their ‘creels’ of turf making their way down these stairs. On other occasions the stairs were the footpaths used by those going across the mountain to church at Attymass or visiting relations in one of the villages along the foot of the mountain.
While they are used by sheep farmers today, they are also becoming the walking routes for new generations whose interest is more pleasure and discovery than toil and survival.