The old castle in the lake at Ballynahinch

Artist(s) : Thomas Colville Scott (Draughtsman)

View of castle ruin in the lake at Ballynahinch, standing upon a rocky base.
The present remains of this O’Flaherty tower house, built on what may be in part an artificial island, are substantially the same as in this sketch, although more densely clad in ivy.
Archaeological Survey of Ireland, at, record GA036-001002. Accessed 21.11.2014.
Tim Robinson, Connemara: Listening to the wind (Penguin Ireland, 2006).

Inscribed in Image

  • Caption outside of boundaries of image – The old castle in the Lake at Ballynahinch

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Technique Pencil works
Subject(s) Antiquities and archaeological sites, Architecture, Forts and fortifications
Geographical Location
  • Castle island, Ballynahinch - Island
  • Connemara - Region
  • Galway - County
  • Connaught - Province
Keywords(s) Archaeological sites, Castles, Islands, Lakes & ponds, Ruins, Towers
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 9.5 cm x 8.2 cm
Published / created 1853

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Ireland: Journal of a visit to Connemara
Note Thomas Colville Scott
Print or manuscript Manuscript
Location of image in copy p. 48
Source copy National Library of Ireland MS 49525
Rights Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Related text from travel account

It is a standard tradition in this part, and it is no doubt founded on fact, that the Dominican Friars, who founded the Monastery and village of ‘Toombeola’ in 1427, and resided in it, were subsequently compelled by the Chief of the then all powerful tribe of the ‘O’Flahertys’, – probably about three hundred years ago, – to pull down these sanctuaries of musty Christianity; and carry the stones upon their backs, – a distance of two miles, – to build a castle in the Lake of Ballynahinch. These ill used Monks predicted, or prophesied, that the Owners of the Estate, would, – as a punishment, see much trouble and care, and finally become extinct, and their successors whoever they might be, after them. This has been more than realized by the fate of the ‘O’Flahertys’, and subsequently of the ‘Martins’, and though one would think the curse amply fulfilled and satisfied, as no individual now owns the Estate; yet we returned to the Castle with a feeling akin to superstition, – for the scenes we had to-day witnessed, made us think that the very poorest of the poor were still under this dreadful anathema; and when we looked upon the ruins of the old Castle in the middle of the Lake, with the dark shadows of the mountain ‘Benlettery’, resting upon, and all around it, and saw incipient decay, laying its stealthy but unmistakable hand upon the new mansion which we were about to enter, our hearts were heavy, and even sorrowful. – [pp. 46-47]
The old castle in the lake at Ballynahinch