This is the biggest oak in Northern Ireland, one of the largest in Ireland. It is a magnificent towering specimen, large in trunk (25’6”) and branches; even its leaves are especially big.
At least two massive branches have already fallen, one the size of an oak tree in itself. Some timber was sawn but proved almost impossible to burn, it was so dense.
The branches have been lost in spite of attempts to secure the tree over 100 years ago, when great metal bolts were driven through trunk and branches to try to hold it all together: draconian measures which did not succeed.
The oak claims seventeenth century origins because it was said that King William tied his horse to it. Certainly he stayed at his host’s castle, Killymoon, when it was already a sizeable tree.
The tree is in rich soil and a sheltered location, on a steep bank above the lovely Ballinderry River between Cookstown and Stewartstown: the river divides counties Tyrone and Londonderry in this area.
Across the vast walled field are two sweet chestnut trees, the most venerable 20’ 11” around. Cattle nibble it, rub against it, trample around it so that roots are partly exposed. It has a hard time, but it is certainly not giving up.
The Drumin oak is named after the townland – Drumin, Cookstown. It is not accessible, growing within part of the walled demesne of Killymoon castle, and not visible from the road. The chestnuts overhang the ‘red wall’ by the `red bridge’ over the Ballinderry: this wall is another story altogether, built as famine relief work in the 1840’s, part grey stone, part deep red local sandstone, it is a work of art.