Finn McCool an Irish Giant lived on the Antrim headland. One day when going about his daily business a Scottish Giant named Fingal began to shout insults and hurl abuse from across the channel. In anger Finn lifted a clod of earth and threw it at the giant as a challenge, the earth landed in the sea.
Fingal retaliated with a rock thrown back at Finn and shouted that Finn was lucky that he wasn’t a strong swimmer or he would have made sure he could never fight again.
Finn was enraged and began lifting huge clumps of earth and rocks from the shore, throwing them so as to make a pathway for the Scottish giant to come and face him. However by the time he finished making the crossing he had not slept for a week and so instead devised a cunning plan to fool the Scot.
Finn disguised himself as a baby in a cot and when his adversary came to find him Finn’s wife told the giant that Finn was away but showed him his son sleeping in the cradle. The Scottish giant was amazed when he saw how huge Finn’s son was – whatever size would the father be?
In haste to escape Fingal sped back along the causeway Finn had built, tearing it up as he went. He is said to have fled to a cave on the Isle of Staffa which is to this day named ‘Fingals Cave’.
Fingal’s boot as he fled from Ireland back to Scotland
Fingal’s Cave the other end of the causeway in Scotland
Since the 18th century the Giant’s Causeway has often been described as ‘The Eighth Wonder of the World’.
The headland bay on the beautiful Antrim coast looking across the sea to the isles of Scotland consists of approximately 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns, which were formed during a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago.
Strangely, the Causeway is thought to have lain undiscovered by the outside world until a visit in 1692 from the Bishop of Derry (Londonderry). The Bishop alerted authorities in Dublin, who then notified learned circles in London. Many papers were produced and many theories on how it had been formed were put forward.