[Missionary settlement, Achill]

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

Line or woodcut. Image of a missionary settlement in Achill, close to Dugort. The settlement buildings are numbered 1-7. There are two silhouetted figures on the far right, positioned in front of the inlet, and at some distance from the settlement itself. In front of the buildings is a very orderly walled garden, and behind them very orderly fields of crops, and the entire settlement is located on the lower slope of a mountain (Slievemore). Other mountains beyond the water emphasize the contrast between nature and order. The text indicates that this image shows 'what is to be rather than what actually exists'.

Inscribed in Image

  • Signature – Lee sc

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Subject(s) Agriculture, Architecture, Horticulture, Nature, Rural life
Geographical Location
  • Dugort - Named locality
  • Achill - Island
  • Mayo - County
  • Connaught - Province
Keywords(s) Bays (Bodies of water), Buildings, Farming, Gardens & parks, Lands, Mountains, People, Seas, Ships
Colour Monochrome
Published / created 1836

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account A Tour round Ireland [Barrow]
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy 'Appendix', opposite p. 24
Source copy National Library of Ireland Ir 9141 b 3

Related text from travel account

I should mention that, during our last day’s visit, while we were absent on an excursion in the mountains, the foundation stone was laid by Mrs. Nangle and her sister, of a house for Dr. Adams, a physician in Stephen’s Green, Dublin, who, with his wife, is about to devote the remainder of his days to this interesting colony; an event more propitious to the interests of the mission could scarcely have occurred. Dr. Adams’s house forms one of those five buildings in a line, which are represented in the cut (page 24): it will not differ in external appearance from the others. The central building, somewhat larger than the rest, is inhabited by Mr. Nangle and his family, and is intended to be divided with the assistant-clergyman, when Mr. Nangle can meet with one. Of the other buildings, one is divided between the steward and the schoolmaster; another is for the two scripture-readers, an the last is for a temporary chapel, so arranged as to be easily turned into two dwellings, whenever the funds and prospects of the colony shall admit of a more convenient church. The cottages now building or completed are at the back of the mission houses, where is also a small enclosed space, used for a cemetery. The only deaths which had taken place in the colony, when we were there, were the child of one of the scripture-readers, and a new-born infant of Mr. Nangle’s, which he buried with his own hand. Their graves are marked by two lowly headstones.
There are now from 170 to 180 Protestants in the island, including the coast-guard*. Mr. Nangle brought [p. 24: image] [p. 25] in with him six Protestant families, and there was one native family of the same persuasion on the island, when he arrived. The entire population of the island was supposed to be from 3000 to 3500; that of the whole parish, which includes part of the main land on the peninsula of Corraan, is 5739. The tract of land laid out in squares, which slopes up the lower side of Slievemore, as seen in the engraving, shows what is to be, rather than what actually exists, A ‘mearing,’ or boundary of turf-sods, with an external trench, is carried however round the whole of this district; the high road from the strand and village of Dugurth on the one side to the village and bay of Keel on the other, passing along its foot. The land, consisting of 130 acres, is held at the nominal rent of 1l. per annum for three lives, or thirty-one years, of Sir Richard O’Donnell Bart., who is unable either to sell, or grant a longer lease, in consequence of the estate being strictly entailed, and in Chancery. The whole island is in his property, with the exception of two comparatively insignificant portions belonging to Lord Sligo, and to Mr. McLoughlin, of Tirinar. The land in Achill is generally held on a tenure of three lives or thirty-one years. It would not be possible to say how much the tenants pay per acre, as it is let in holdings, which have never been surveyed. Probably ninepence per acre may be the average, taking the waste land into account, which amounts perhaps to the proportion of 150 to 1.
[footnote p. 24] * The Coast or Water-Guard, as it is commonly called in Ireland, to the great annoyance of the naval ear of such Englishmen as are employed in it, is distributed at some six or eight stations in different parts of the island, in parties of from two to seven or eight men. They are regarded here and every where else in Ire- [footnote p. 25] land, as a safeguard, a blessing, and an example to the country; and though the present parish-priest of Achill laid an official complaint against the chief-officer at one of the stations, as being a disturber of the public peace, and petitioned for his removal, the Court of Inquiry which sat upon his conduct was perfectly satis fled of the charges being utterly groundless, and he of course remains at his post.
[Appendix 1, pp. 23-25: extract from a letter dated 22 Jan. 1836, from an unidentified lady, relating to the establishment of the Achill Missionary Society at Dugurth and local reaction]
Missionary settlement, Achill