Copyright © 2015 Leslie Hanthorne, Mourne Mountain Photography, Portadown, Northern Ireland
Long before the linen industry developed in the Upper Bann Valley, the area nestled between the mountains of Pigeon, Cock and Spelga was known variously as the Deer’s Meadow or the King’s Meadow. Whatever it was called it was used as summer grazing and whole families would decamp to the area to live in Booley Huts while their livestock grazed. The remains of some of these Booley Huts can still be found although most of them are now under the water that floods the former meadow. The dam, which takes it name from the aforementioned Spelga Mountain, was built to catch the water of the nascent River Bann, which arises on the slopes of Slieve Muck.