A Brief History of the Man O`War

Situated on a hill on the original Dublin to Belfast Road, the Man O’War Public House has been recorded in deeds dating back to 1595.

In 1732 an Act of Parliament established the tolled Coach Road called the Dublin to Dunleer Turnpike (1732—1855) and a turnpike (toll booth) was situated at the Man O’War Pub.

Weary travellers stopped at the Man O’War for refreshments as it was halfway along the turnpike route. Wolfe Tone had his breakfast here in July 1792. Other famous visitors include Dr. John Gamble and Austin Cooper who both wrote about their stay at the Man O’War.

Various highwaymen plied their trade along the route, the most famous of these being “Collier the Highway man” (1780—1849).

The origin of the name “Man O’War” is the subject of much speculation. Its location on a hill (mean bharr, meaning “middle height”) is an obvious answer, but more romantic views have been put forward. One is that the area was once covered by trees which were felled and used to construct British Man O’War ships. Another theory is that the name arose because of the cavalry barracks which was situated at nearby Malhenry.

However, the most popular story concerns the “Turks Head” — a massive wooden carving depicting a Turks Head which for ages adorned the pillar outside the pub. It was thought that this unusual figurine which came from a shipwrecked Man O’War ship, may have lent its name to the area.

This year, 2014, marks the four hundred and nineteenth year of the Man O’War Pub serving fine food and beverages in a lively and traditional Irish atmosphere.