Cargin Castle, from the shores of Lough Corrib

Artist(s) : John Barrow (Draughtsman), James Lee (Engraver)

Woodcut. Image of the ruin of Cargin Castle, much overgrown, with two windows and a doorway visible. There is one donkey grazing in the right foreground, indicating the scale of the ruin. The engraver's name (Lee) is included within the image plate.

Inscribed in Image

  • Signature – Lee

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Technique Woodcuts
Subject(s) Antiquities and archaeological sites, Architecture
Geographical Location
  • Cargin Castle - Castle
  • Galway - County
  • Connaught - Province
Keywords(s) Antiquities, Archaeological sites, Castles, Donkeys, Ruins
Colour Monochrome
Published / created 1836

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account A Tour round Ireland [Barrow]
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy p. 252
Source copy National Library of Ireland Ir 9141 b 3

Related text from travel account

Though the dwelling house in which Mr. Lynch resides is called Clydagh, the name of the estate is Cargin, so called from one of those numerous old castles, now in ruins, which are generally [p. 252] found standing on slight eminences, overlooking a great extent of country. Such is the case with Cargin; it is one of those strongholds, which in feudal times enabled the chief of the clan and his followers to defend themselves from any sudden attack of a neighbouring chief, with whom he might not be on terms of good fellowship, the duration of which, even where it existed, was generally of an uncertain and precarious tenure. The Castle of Cargin is now a complete ruin, covered with ivy, as the annexed sketch, which I took from the shore of the lake, will show.
This moderate estate of Cargin, belonging to Sir George Staunton, is under the excellent management of Mr. Lynch, who, being a near relative, takes so great an interest in all that concerns it, that Sir George can scarcely be deemed an absentee. The property consists of between eleven and twelve hundred English acres. They are of an excellent quality, partly arable and partly pasturable. On this property there are three large farms, held by opulent graziers residing thereon; and a considerable part is let to an industrious and respectable class of peasantry, who reside also on their respective little farms, not exceeding from ten to twenty acres of land each. On every farm is built, by the proprietor, a neat and comfortable dwelling, with some detached offices; and in front of each house, flowers and shrubs are planted, indicating the comfort of the tenant and the fostering care of the landlord. There are thirty of these dwellings, built at the expense of Sir George Staunton, and the cleanliness of their appearance is maintained by premiums bestowed on the most deserving. Every tenant has his own farm, distinct and separated from his neighbour, and all who can spare time from the management of their land, get employment in the varied improvements making on the estate. The rents of the farms vary [p. 254] a little, but they average about fifteen shillings an acre. The tenants, when employed, are paid eight-pence a day all the year round, which is the highest rate of labour in this part of Ireland. They are contented and independent—and any permanent improvement of the land, which is agreed on by both parties, is paid for by the landlord. The tenantry are never permitted, on any account, to subdivide their farms or share them between the different members of their families. The father may will his land to whichever of his sons he pleases (should his character be unobjectionable), but the rest must be portioned off. As no leases are granted, this rule is strictly enforced, and the independent state of the tenantry, caused by constant employment, enables them to adhere to it. Thus is Sir George Staunton here, no less than he is at Leigh Park, a benefactor to the poor. This is as it should be; and if landlords in general would adopt the plan of Sir George Staunton and Mr. St. George, we should hear no more of the wretched tenantry, reduced to beggary by the vile system so much followed by many landlords and land jobbers. [pp. 251-254]
Cargin Castle, from the shores of Lough Corrib