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of land and water. We have Cashla Bay, and Great “I have, indeed, come a greater distance from Man's Bay, and Carraveg Bay, and Kilkieran Bay, and Dublin." Casheen Bay, besides countless creeks not distinguished “Oh, a thousand murders! and is it not a wonder on our maps by any particular names : and then, among you have any Irish ?” the islands, the larger ones, in the order in which they “ But very little, as you perceive." present themselves, are Annaghbane, Lettermore, Go- “Och! sure, if a man had all the learning in the numna, and Lettermulien ; the last-named extending world, it would do him no harm to have a little Irish farthest to the S.W., and its extreme point being only into the bargain. But sure, there were people here yesseven miles from Portinurvy, in Aranmore.
terday measuring the new road they are talking about." The portion of my journey yet before me was the “I have nothing to do with the new road, I assure most arduous of all. At a few perches froin Derrylea you.” Lodge the road abruptly terminated, and henceforth I “ They say that something will be done for the poor had to traverse a terra incognita, through which no road people, and that the Queen sent some gentlemen to inof even the rudest kind had ever, up to that time, ex- quire about the land ?" isteil. Alone and gnideless I had to make my way over I assured my interrogator that I was neither a royal pathless bogs, often finding my route suddenly inter- commissioner nor a road engineer. rupted by the jagged arm of a bay, lined with black “ Musba, sir, we don't know what you are," was the rocks, which ran across my intended path and compelled rejoinder, with a further effort to penetrate my inme to make detours that seemed to have no end ; and cognito. my landmark was very frequently only some rick of “ I have only come to see the country from curiosity, peat turf, which like Don Quixote's windmill, would and I want to know the way to B-al-an-Daingean," I assume gigantic proportions as it stood against the sky replied. on the horizon of the bog.
“Then it is a poor country you have to sce, and a But if there were no roads there were plenty of vil- long way you came to see it,” was the natural rejoinder. lages in that cheerless region. The cabins were congre- " That is quite true, I am sorry ; but now will you gated at the heads of creeks, or strewn along the show me the way to Beal-an-Daingean?” shore, or on the sides of hillocks, and on the verges of Musha, how is the counsellor (O'Connell) going shaking bogs, with patches of sickly vegetation around We heir the king of France is coming over 10 them; and the population was numerous in proportion, join him, and that we are going to have the war at but, alas ! most wretched in appearance. How could last." it have been otherwise? The existence of these poor “We'l, I don't think the king of France will come people was a dismal one, and knew no hope of ameli- over this year, and there is not much sign of war at oration. Their lives, from infancy to the grave, were present;" I replied, “and who knows now but you would spent in labour, yet their utmost exertions could scarcely show me the way to Beal-an-Daingean?” procure the necessaries of life in the most wretched and Ultimately I used to succeed in obtaining the re. comfortless shape. Nor were they, I could perceive, quired information, but each time I made any inquiry I insensible to their misery. They could even feel it had to undergo an examination somewhat similar to the acutely, but knowing no remedy, the natural buoyancy above. And now I must tell the reader where this of their character prevented them from sinking under Beal-an-Daingean, which was the object of my init; and while a deep sense of religion, a resignation to quiries, and which I did not succeed in reaching until God's will, and a confidence in His future mercies, sus- a late hour in the third evening of my journey, is situtained them on one side, a yearning love of their ated. The name literally signifies “the month of the wretched homes, and of their companions in misery, fort, or stronghold,” so that the place may have been curbed any thought of seeking for a less hard fortune the site of some ancient fortification, although I could elsewhere. It is the more comfortable portions of Ire- hear of no vestige of antiquity now iemaining there. It land that have freighted our emigrant ships, and crowded is situated at the tracht or strand which separates the England with labourers ; for in these barren wilds which most northern of the islands I have already mentioned I now describe, the people have neither the means nor from the mainland, and where the sides of Great Man's the courage to attempt bettering their condition by Bay and Kilkieran Bay daily struggle for superiority. change of place—yet are they cheerful, polite, obliging, I was prepared, by all I had heard of it from the coun.. and even generous.
try people, for the superlative wildness of this place. I soon perceived that I was an object of curiosity in Some of them told me that it was the most horrible these unfrequented bogs. And a conversation like the spot in the whole world ;” and a story was current following, in very indifferent Irish on my part, often ac- among them that somebody having been fortunate companied my inquiries :
enough, long ago, to get back to this world after a brief “ Will
show me the way to Beal-an Daingean, if sojourn in the infernal regions, and happening t) see you please?"
Beal-an-Daingean, was struck by its similarity to the “ You don't Lelong to these parts, sir?"
nameless place from which he had escaped. “ You are quite right, I do not.”
The channel at this point is the most rugged I hil * Thei!, :.'e you came iz09 Gala?!?"
yet seen, and is fringed by jet-black rocks, while hiyo
granite boulders are piled up or cast together in chaotic confusion on the shore, as if fresh froin sone terrible convulsion of na-ure. Everything around is suvage in the extreme. Bog, granit”, dark and troubled waters, monuments of human misery in the shape of most wretched hovels, are all huddled together in horrible disorder, and form, on the whole, one of the most dismal pieces of scenery which I have ever beheld, either in nature or in the painted creations of art. And this is Beal-an-Daingean!
It was high-water when I reached this gloomy spot, and I gladly accepted the services of two men who, for a sixpence, ferried me across to Anna zhbane; but my position was not much improved by this step, for I found myself in an island, which then appeared to be upinhabited; with night approaching, and a rough sea running between me and the island of Lettermore, where alone I expected to find the shelter of a roof. Here, then, I sat me down at the foot of a huge rock, to await the ebb-tide, with the feelings of a man utterly forlorn. The dusk was already closing in when I was able to cross the bed of the channel into Illann-natrachta, or the Island of the Passes, on traversing which, to the next channel where the strand was also left dry, I was at length able to penetrate to the island of Lettermore, where the hospitality of Mrs. O'Flaherty, the venerable proprietress of the island, permitted me to repose in comfort after the fatigues of the day.
The prosecution of my journey on the following day through the remainder of the group of islands was not without its adventures, though it might be presumptuous to detain the reader with a narrative of them, or with a discussion as to whether Great Man's Bay, along the shore of which my way lay for some time, derives its name from a giant of old, as popular opinion will have it, or whe.her, according to some etymologists, its Iri-h name of Cuan-an-ir-more might not be more correctly translated “the bay of the great waters.” Certain it is that the former opinion is supported, not only by the most venerable tradition, but by the fact that a large höllow rock in the bay is still called “the Great Man's Churn,” and that three other rocks are pointed out as the supports of the cauldron, although the sea now runs several fathoms deep between them! Such “facts” ought to be quite conclusive in the matter, but, in addition, it may be mentioned that Roderick O'Flaherty, who surely knew the meaning of the Irish name, called it “Great Man's Haven,” in his Description of West Connaught, two hundred years ago.
The centre of Lettermore swells into a hill, from which a view of singular grandeur and wildness may be obtained. The blackened shores of the island, and those of Annazhbane, Goromna, and Lettermullen, are visible, with the tortuous labyrinth of rocky channels flowing between; to the south lies the ocean, with numerous jutting headlands fringed by white lines of breakers, and on the north, a vast tract of savage moorland stretches away to the foot of the majestic chain of mountains, whose blue indented outline extends as far as the eye can reach to the N.E, and N.W. In the south and S.E.
may be seen Aran-of-the-Saints, with the hills of Barren faintly traced in the distance. The dark crest of Errisbeg Mountain forms a prominent feature in the 03posite direction, lowering over some Dw hills on the s'ore; and Slyne Heal, and the fairy-hill of Errism ure, running far into the Atlantic, terminate the view where it meets the horizon of the ocean in the west,
Fron Lettermore I was ferried in the coast-guard boat to Gorumna, an island of considerable extent, ibe eastern part of which is called Tirance, and the southern, Learchoill, or Elm-wood. Wherefore the latter denomination was bestowed, it would be hard to say, seeing that no plant bigger thau a blackberry bush or a tuft of furze, now grows upon the island. making my way along the shore of Tirance a dol.ta cry broke upon my ear. It was the keena, and the mournfulness of its notes was encreased as they were echoer by the rocks on that wild coast. Having an proached the spot whence the heart-piercing sounds proceeded, I saw two boats filled with peo:le lure the shore. At the stern of one of them a cotiin yis placed, rolled up in a white sheet, and with a groue women seated on the benches near it, giving yeni to loud and sorrowful lamentations, and clapping their hands in grief; and by the coffin stood a man embrieing it, and pouring out upon it tears of anguish. On inquiry, I found that it was the funeral of a young woman from the mainland, who was married in this island, and who died in giving birth to her first child. The man who embraced the coflin, in an agony of grief, was her young widower, who now accompanied her remains blick to the spot whence he had taken her as his bride, osly twelve months before. “It is just beyond there she live!, sir," said
informant; 6 and, sure enough, her mother could see, every morning, across the bay, the very house where her own calleen was living ; but not ’tis a black sight the shore of Tiranee will be to her ould eyes, mornin' and evenin' while she lives."
A great portion of the surface of Gorumna is coven! by small lakes, in one of which, called Luci-av-vala. may be seen one of the stockaded islan:ls, ellel Cranogues; and detached masses of granite, some of enormous size and fantastic shape, lie about the island i'n wild disorder, or stand piled upon each other on the brows of hillocks—all just as they were left when tiis great globe of ours first emerged from chaos. Near the ford or pass of Coogallia, by which I entered Lettermullen, there stood, on a small eminence in the latti island, the ruins of a castle, which, according to the Irish annalists, was inhabited by one Morogb Machiaghi, nearly three hundred years ago.
Tradition says it was the haunt of pirates, and the scene of many crimes. Formerly the island was scarcely inhabited, except by persons who had fled thither in what the peasantry call am sir-na-ruuig, or the time of persecution—a period of indefinite date and duration in their minds—but recently it had passed into the possession of Mr. Comerford, of Galway, whose fostering care and encouragement bad rendered its people models of comfort and successful industry for the wbole of that west country.
BY W. F. WAKEMAN.
The warm-hearted hospitality of the priest made a ality of this exquisite church. It was built years bevery agreeable termination to these wanderings the fore the Norman had stood on Irish soil. The general night I reached Lettermullen; and the next morning, style, no doubt, bad travelled to Ireland, as it had done the sou’-wester having at length blown out, and the sky to other parts of Europe, from Italy, where it may be being once more serene and sunny, I obtained a passage traced, step by step, to the classic architecture of aninto Aran in a boat, steered by the identical Shawn tiquity. Crossagh whom I had left behind on the quays of Gal- The decorations, particularly the tracery upon the way five days before, and who had been compelled by founder's tomb, is characteristically Irish. Had Corthe weather to adopt a similar course to my own to get mac's chapel, or the almost equally richly ornamented back to his island home. • Faith, sir," he observed, church of Killeshin, near Carlow, been the work of “I thought you were one of the jumpers when I first foreign builders, it would be difficult to account for the seen you looking for a boat to go to Aran, but when I particularly native character of much of the ornamenseen you yesterday with Father Frank, I knew you were tation, the style of which is very old, and appears to all right.” Thus Shawn explained what, to say the have flourished chiefly anterior to the ninth century. least of it, was a want of courtesy on his part at our It is found in greatest force in the MS. gospels of the first interview.
M. H. early Irish church, but it is also constantly found in
works of metal, wood and stone.
Mr. Digby Wyatt, in a piper read before the Royal THE MEDIÆVAL HOUSES OR
Iustitute of British Architects, declares, speaking of this
elaborate style of ornament: “ That in delicacy of CASTLES OF IRELAND.
handling, and minnteness of fiultless execution, the whole range of palæography offers nothing comparable to the
early Irish and British manuscrips. When in Dublin, ONE result of the attention which has recently been some years ago, he had had the opportunity of studying given to the study of the architectural works of the very carefully the most marvellous of all, the Book of middle ages remaining in these islands, and upon the Kells, some of the ornaments of which he attempted to continent of Europe, is that the buildings of each coun- copy, but broke down in despair. Of this very book try, or even large province, have been found to exlubit Mr. Westwood examined the pages, as he did for hours to a greater or less degree certain national or pro- together, without ever detecting a false linc, or an irregular vincial distinctions, which owe their orizin either to interlacement. In one space of about a quarter of an local circumstances or to the peculiar habits and genius inch superacial, he counted with a magnifying glass of the people who designed them.
no less than one hundred and fifty-cight interlacements, That the ancient edifices of Ireland, whether lay or of a slender ribbon pattern, formel of while lines ecclesiastical, bear a strong national character, there euged with black ones, and upon a black ground. No can be no doubt. An Irish castle or tower bouso wonder that tra lition should allege that these unerring of the thirteenth cenzury, for instance, is a 3
lines should have been traced by angels.” like an English edifice of the same period and character, Another ish peculi rity
the door and other as the me:liæval Celt from the Anglo-Norman settler. openings of the early Irish churches, is the inclined At the same time in Ireland, as elsewhere, the work of sides which they almost invariably present, a fashion no each century can be dis.inctly traced in the mouldings doubt continued from the cahers and bee-hive houseg and decorations, or other features of the building, of a pre-historic age. If, as Dr. Petrie has so well whether it be found in the old district of the Pale, on shown in his work upon the Ecclesiastical Architecture in the remote islands of the western coast. It was the of Ireland, our early churches exhibit a distinctly Irish fashion not very long ago, even amongst Irishmen, to style, the medieval tower liouses or castles are po less ascribe all the rough and clumsy. work remaining in remarkable for a marked national character. the c untry from old times, to native workmen, while At what time the native Irish in general began to crect the glorious cdifices of the twelfth and thirteenth cen- fortified dwellings of a plan different from the ciber or turies, such as Jerpoint Abbey, or Knockmoy, though earthen fort, is not clearly known. Towers and castles, admittedly founded by native princes, must, according properly speaking, were most likely introduced 10 Ireto their theory, have been erected by foreign architects land by the Scandinavians, as we find tlat at the time and builders.
of the Anglo-Norman invasion several cities, then held At Cashel, Cormac's chapel, consecrated A.D. 1134, by the Northmen-Dublin for instance—was defended stands one of tie most beautiful churches in the em- by walls and towers. The first great impulse to castle pire. The carvings of the capitals, mouldings, ribs, building in Ireland, sprang no doubt from the requirebases and doorways, and the scultures in the tympanum ments of the great lords, who wished to hold, in some are, according to Mr. Parker, (a very high authrity,) degree of security, the lands which their swords, aided equal to anything ili England or Normandy of the same by native treach ry, had won from the Gael, during the period. Looking at the circunstance of its erection and period of John's loidship of Ireland. The castles of consecration, and at its architectural decoration and Ardfiunan, Dunl.ram, Carlingford and Tiim, belong to arrangement, there can be no question of the nation- this period, and are of a size and extent which, at the
time of their erection, would render them important in any part of Europe.
These castles, and several others of their class, were in fact great military fortresses, capable of ebeltering several thousands of men, with stores and provi:ions for a siege of many months. They stand grim witnesses of Norman power and rapacity, and, notwithistanding their age, would still be formidable, but for the improvements in artillery, against which engineers tell us only walls of mud have a chance of re. sisting
The twelfth or thirteenth century castle in Ireland, though strictly speaking Norman, not untiequently ex. hibits details which are rarely, if ever, found in other countries, from which we may suppose that they had been built in part at least by Irish hands. That the Anglo-Normans in Ireland, in a few generations, become more or less Hibervicised, is rery well known. It is possible that, along with ihe Irish dress and language they adopted the usual Irish way of living in structures of wood, built after the fashion of the country. The answer of an early chieftain of the Ards, a district in the county Down, to some friends who recommended him to crict a castle in his newly-acquired possession, which had been recently snatched from its rightful owner, was, as he pointed to his followers, “ A castle of bones is better than a castle of stones."
No doubt, in times of sudden predatory incursion, the great castle would often protect the lives and property, such as it was, of the neighbouring people. That besides being great military strongholds, they were generally used as regular habitations, is proved by many relercnces to sieges they have suffered, and of the loot” they container. Hulinshed thus speaks of the great castle of Maynooth, after its capture in the time of Henry VIII. “Great and rich was the spoile, such store of beddes, so many goodly hangings, so rich a wardrob, such brave funiture, is truly it was accompted, for householde stuffe and utensils, one of the richest earle bis bouses linder the crowne of Englande.” The Lord Deputy, Sir William Skoffington, in bis account of the siege sent to the king, says : “ There were within the castle above one hundred able men, whereof above sixty were gunners. Of the garrison sixty were killed in the assault, and thirty-seven taken prisoners, twenty-six of the latter, after a court-martial, were executed in cold blood two days afterwards.
The tower house of the lesser nobility or gentry of Ireland, whether native or of Anglo-Norman origin, is very raiely foud of earlier daic than the middle of the thirteenth century. In the better ex. amples, a regular castle is found with outer and innercourt, or baily, barbacan and fosse. The keep or principal tower is usually quadrangular, as at Athenry, or circular, as at Shanet, County Limerick. The circular form was probably suggested by ihe (cclesiastical towers, of which a very great number must have existed at the close of the iwelfth century
Athenry Castle, County Galway, a very fine example of the lesser castle, or greater livu:e, of about tl:is date.
In its capitals, and in the decoration of its doorway, i: presents several beautiful examples of the interlacing work so peculiar to this country.
We now come to the ordinary kcep, used alike by the better class of Irishmen and Englishmen in Ireland, as every-day dwellings, during a period of about four liundred years from the beginning of the thirteentlı century. It almost invariably consists of a tali quadrangular tower, with or without outworks ani ditch. At first sight, they would seem all to bave been built upon the same plan, but, in point of fact, no 194 are exactly alike. The entrance, which is almost itvariably small and pointed, was defended in a very ingenious way. The external doorway leads into a kin) of inner porch, generally eight or ten feet broad, by twelve feet long. Right in front stands ibe true dowway, which has usually been armed with p rtcullis ;
the left, another doorway leading to a small lodge or guard-room, and on ile right the doorway giving access to the stairs.
All these openings were strongly secured by sliding bars, while over head, in the arched roof, a quadrangular hole, popularly called the “murthuring hole," is usually found the porch. A man knecking at the inner door of the porch could be easily viewed through the “murthuring hole,” or through the windows in the porch, or side walls. Should he prove a suspicious character the portculls conld be at once lowered, and the stranger would find himself in a cage, and at the mercy of the guards in :be chambers, above and at the sides. The outer doorway was protected by a small turret or bartizan, placcd directly over it, generally at the tip of the wall, through which molten lead, scalding water or stones, could be poured with deadly effect upon the heads of assailants, while the defenders could not even be seen. Similar bartizans command the doorways of pearly all the modern martello towers.
According to Mr. Parker, who has made the anciers domestic architecture of England and the continent bis peculiar study, this arrangement for the defence of the doorway is rarely if crer found out of Ireland. Jo some instances, as at Lady Island, Co. Wexford, and at Athenry, the docrway is placed at a considerable dis. tance from the ground. The idea was probably taken from the ecclesiastical round towers,
From one side of inner poreli, a stair, constructed in the thickness of the wall, usually leads to the first sterey, the floor of which is almost invariatly supported by a strong semicircular arch of stone. The stune arch would most effectually prevent the spread of fire should an enemy bave succeeded in forcing the lowest apartment of the tower, and tired the stores which were usually deposited there. The first floor was generally the chief apartment of the house. A parlour is, in most cases, partitioned off to serve as Led chambers for the master, and perhaps for a few principal guests. A gardrobe is usually found in a passage between the chanbers or at the angle of the stairs. The windows of the grand-room are often decorated with banded shafts and beautifully designed capitals, and have stone seats in the
jambs, which are sometimes approached by steps. Ercept in later examples fire places are very rare, and when they do occur they generally exhibit some moulding or other decoration, by which their date is indicated. In towers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the arch of the fire-place is frequently sculptured with the arms of a chief to whom the place belonged, and those of his wife with, their names in full or initialled, generally with a date, as for instance
Coat of) Margaret Lynch arms here Nicholas Darcy
| 1601. In some instances a lavatory with a drain through the wall is found in the principal room. From old authorities we learn that the floors were anciently covered with rnshes instead of carpets, and that the walls, at least of the richer sort of people, were hung with tapestries. From some specimens of the tower-house still inhabited and properly cared for, it will be found that tley were not such uncomfortable places to live in, as many might suppose, presuming always that an enemy was not expected, or had not recently lifted a prey or creight from the neighbouring lands.
The second storey, from greater thinness of the walls, is generally somewhat larger than the first. When not the principal room it is frequently partitioned into a number of small apartments. It is approached from below either by a spiral stair in a separate turret, or by a passage in the thickness of the wall, lighted at intervals by a loophole splaying internally. The floor was usually of timber, but the apartment was generally arched like the ground floor with a strong stone vault, by which fire from above was cut off.
In the upper floor of all, a small oblong: dimly-lighted room, to be entered only by a hole, a kind of trap in the arched roof, is generally supposed to have been used as a prison. From the alure or gutter, flights of stone steps lead to two or more towers which rise higher than the rest of the building, and which quite command the roof. The towers and side walls are almost invariably surmounted by a very picturesque parapet, of a kind which might be styled Irislı, as it is scarcely known out of Ireland. The parapet is divided by battlements usually pierced for arrows, and with sides cut into the form of a series of steps, the top of which is finished off quite sharp like a roof ridge.
The battlement nearly always projects, and is usually sustained by corbels of a peculiar tongue-shaped pattern, which is quite Irish. The roof, though sometimes of thatch, was generally composed of large slates or flags, many of which are often found at the bottom of the towers where they had fallen.
We have only described the ordinary Irishman's or Englisl: man's house of the mediæval ages as found in Ireland. Many examples are surrounded by outworks, defended by towers, and enclosing buildings of a domestic character. At Aughnanure, Co. Galway, for instance, we find the remains of a noble banquetting hall, the windows
of which are on the interior richly decorated with flowery interlacing patterns, probably intended to represent the tendrils of the vine. The kitchen is often found detached from the tower, and may generally be identified by the oven formed in the thickness of the wall. Indeed our ancestors, in times of peace at least, seem not to have been unmindful of the creature comforts of this life. The tower house is usually surrounded by land of the richest quality. Generally it is placed upon the edge of a river or lake, and in several instances an arrangement had been made for the trapping of fish, with which our waters during the middle ages, even more than at present, abounded. In many instances tradition points to an apparatus by which the salmon, in passing through a certain trap arranged for the purpose, immediately beneath or beside the wall of the tower, was made to announce his arrival and capture by the ringing of a bell. In the kitchen at Ros3 Abbey, Co. Galway, a fine stone reservoir, with a pipe comiccting it with the neighbouring river, and used, no doubt, for the purpose of keeping fish alive, may still be seen in a perfect state.
That the old chieftains or gentry of the better class, when at liome, kept great state, we may inser from many notices in the annals and other authorities. The following is a list of the hereditary offices of O'Flaherty's household as given in an ancient MS. preserved in the library of Trivity College, Dublin. His physicians were O'Canavan and O’Lca; his master of the horse, Mac Gilly-Gannon ; his standartl-bearer, OʻColgan; his brehon or judge, Lavello; his historians and poet-, the Mackillikellys ; his stewarıl, OʻCiahran; and his keeper of the bees, O'Conlaghta. His army was probably quartered like that of Roderick Dhu, in the heath, or in cabins scattered over the territory. A beacon lighted upon the lofty tower of Aughnamore would soon bring the light-footed clansmeu together. That the tower-houses of our ancestors were carefully watched against snprise, there can be no doubt. On the groundfloor where windows occur, they are mere loopholes. The dcorway was ingeniously guarded, as we bave shown, by a portcullis and “murthering" hole; the first was generally fire-proof. The stair was steep, and so narrow, that onc resolute man might defend it against a duzen, unless the assailants bad time to smoke out the garrison, a mode of proceeding not unfrequently resorted to, as old authors inform u;. The stairs and even the roof gained, there was still hope for the defouders, who, from the elevated towers which 11-ually commanded the whole of the roof, might shower down missiles at their foe.:. In some instance, we real, az a last resource, of the tower batilements being throun upon the enemy. Indeed, fairly provisioned and defendcd, these towers must have been all but impregnable before the introduction of artillerie The process of mining, so commonly used by attacking parties duing the middle ages, could not have often been undertaken against Irish casiles, u lich usually stand upon solid rock.
The following somewhat curtailed account of the siego