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Coordinates: 54°48′00″N 7°04′59″W / 54.8°N 7.083°W / 54.8; -7.083
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The Sperrins
Sliabh Speirín (Irish)[1]
Looking towards Sawel and Dart mountains
Highest point
PeakSawel Mountain
Elevation678 m (2,224 ft)
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryNorthern Ireland
CountiesCounty Tyrone, County Londonderry
Range coordinates54°48′00″N 7°04′59″W / 54.8°N 7.083°W / 54.8; -7.083
OrogenyCaledonian orogeny
Type of rockSchist, quartzite,[2] granite, basalt, rhyolite

The Sperrins or Sperrin Mountains (Irish: Sliabh Speirín)[3] are a mountain range in Northern Ireland. The range stretches from Strabane and Mullaghcarn in the west, to Slieve Gallion and the Glenshane Pass in the east, in the counties of Tyrone and Londonderry. The landscape is mostly moorland and blanket bog. The region has a population of some 150,000 and is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


It has a distinctive glaciated landscape. The mountains mostly have rounded summits and the landscape is mainly moorland and blanket bog. The Glenshane Pass, part of the A6 Belfast to Derry road, is in the mountains and has notoriously bad weather in winter. Sawel Mountain is the highest peak in the Sperrins, and the seventh highest in Northern Ireland. Its summit rises to 678 m (2,224 ft). Another of the Sperrins, Carntogher (464 m), towers over the Glenshane Pass.[4]

Geologically, the Sperrins are formed mostly from Precambrian metamorphic rocks, with some younger Ordovician igneous rocks in the southern flank of the range. The Mountains are very sparsely populated and provide habitat for a diverse range of birds and mammals. Red fox, Sika Deer, Pine Marten and Red Squirrels are commonly found there alongside Peregrine Falcons, Buzzards and Sparrowhawks. Visiting Golden Eagles from the neighbouring reintroduced Donegal population have been sighted across the range from Strabane to Draperstown although no breeding population has yet been established. The Mountains also provide one of the last refuges of Red Grouse in Northern Ireland.


Rank Name Irish name[5] Height[6] Prominence[6]
1 Sawel Mountain Samhail Phite Méabha ("likeness of Méabh's vulva") 678 m (2,224 ft) 657 m (2,156 ft)
2 Mullaghclogha Mullach Clocha ("summit of the stone") 635 m (2,083 ft) 207 m (679 ft)
3 Mullaghaneany Mullach an Ionaidh ("summit of the wonder") 627 m (2,057 ft) 302 m (991 ft)
4 Meenard Mín Ard ("high mountain pasture") 620 m (2,030 ft) 85 m (279 ft)
5 Dart Mountain An Dairt ("the lump") 619 m (2,031 ft) 89 m (292 ft)
6 Mullaghasturrakeen Mullach an Starraicín ("summit of the steeple") 581 m (1,906 ft) 46 m (151 ft)
7 Mullaghclogher Mullach Clochair ("summit of the stony patch") 572 m (1,877 ft) 127 m (417 ft)
8 Oughtmore Ucht Mór ("big mountain breast") 569 m (1,867 ft) 104 m (341 ft)
9 Spelhoagh Speilg Chuach ("cuckoo rock") 568 m (1,864 ft) 20 m (66 ft)
10 Mullaghdoo Mullach Dubh ("black summit") 568 m (1,864 ft) 20 m (66 ft)
11 Carnanelly Carnán Aichle ("little cairn of the lookout") 562 m (1,844 ft) 307 m (1,007 ft)
12 Mullaghmore Mullach Mór ("big summit") 550 m (1,800 ft) 235 m (771 ft)
13 Mullaghcarn Mullach Cairn ("summit of the cairn") 542 m (1,778 ft) 377 m (1,237 ft)
14 White Mountain Sliabh Bán ("white mountain") 537 m (1,762 ft) 42 m (138 ft)
15 Slieve Gallion Sliabh gCallann ("mountain of the heights") 528 m (1,732 ft) 333 m (1,093 ft)
16 Crockbrack Cnoc Breac ("speckled hill") 526 m (1,726 ft) 151 m (495 ft)
17 Mullaghcarbatagh Mullach Carbadach ("boulder-strewn summit") 517 m (1,696 ft) 32 m (105 ft)


Sperrin was the name of a proposed United Kingdom constituency in the Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies.[7]

See also[edit]

Slieve Gallion in the snow


  1. ^ "Sperrin Mountains/Sliabh Speirín". Placenames Database of Ireland.
  2. ^ "The Rock Cycle, Schist, Co Tyrone, The Geological Society". Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  3. ^ Northern Ireland Place-Name Project
  4. ^ "Glenshane Slopes Landscape". Environment and Heritage Service. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2008.
  5. ^ Paul Tempan (February 2012). "Irish Hill and Mountain Names" (PDF). MountainViews. Archived (PDF) from the original on 31 October 2020. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  6. ^ a b and Arderin Begs Archived 26 September 2021 at the Wayback Machine. MountainViews.
  7. ^ "Final electoral boundary proposals published". BBC News. 10 September 2018. Archived from the original on 15 April 2021. Retrieved 5 March 2021.

External links[edit]

  • Landscapes Unlocked - Aerial footage from the BBC Sky High series explaining the physical, social and economic geography of Northern Ireland.