Carrick A Rede

View of Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge and surrounding landscape. A figure is walking on the bridge, on the left-hand side of the image, and two others are visible on the right, near a small building.

Inscribed in Image

  • Caption outside of boundaries of image – Carrick A Rede.

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Technique Engravings
Subject(s) Marines, Nature
Geographical Location
  • Antrim - County
  • Ulster - Province
  • Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge - Named locality
Keywords(s) Bridges, Cliffs, Islands, People, Seas
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 5.7 cm x 10.4 cm
Published / created 1839

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Letters concerning the northern coast of the county of Antrim
Note William Hamilton
Print or manuscript Manuscript
Location of image in copy opp. p. 71
Source copy National Library of Ireland Dix Coleraine 1839
Alternative source

This is a link to a digital copy hosted by an external website.
Rights Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Related text from travel account

Portrush, August 3, 1784. / Deak Sir, IN riding from Ballycastle to Portrush, I went a short way off the beaten road, to see a whimsical little fishing rock, connected to the main land by a very extraordinary flying bridge; it is called Carrick-a-rede, (or the rock in the road) and lies somewhat eastward from Ballintoy, on an abrupt and romantic shore. I was quite delighted with the picturesque appearance of this fanciful fishery, of which I must beg leave to give you a short account: However, as I am a great advocate in favour of Mr. Locke's system of a dictionary of pictures, in preference to a dictionary of tedious descriptions, I shall enclose you a drawing of Carrick-a-rede, from a sketch which my draftsman made on the spot. At a particular season of the year, the salmon come along the coast in quest of the different rivers in which they annually cast their spawn.—In // this expedition the fish generally swim pretty close to the shore, that they may not miss their port; and the fishermen, who are well aware of this coasting voyage of the salmon, take care to project their nets at such places as may be most convenient for intercepting them in their course. It so happens that Carrick-a-rede is the only place on this abrupt coast which is suited for the purpose.—Here then or no where must be the fishery—but how to get at the rock is the question.—A chasm full sixty feet in breadth, and of a depth frightful to look at, separates it from the adjacent land; at the bottom of this the sea usually breaks with an uninterrupted roar among the rocks: the island itself is inaccessible on every side except one spot, where, under the shelter of an impending rock, a luxuriant herbage flourishes, and a fisherman's little cot is built; but the wildness of the coast, and the turbulence of the sea, make it difficult to land here, unless the weather be extremely calm. In this perplexity there is really no resource, except in attempting to throw a bridge of ropes from the main land to the island, which accordingly the fishermen every year accomplish in a very singular manner. Two strong cables are extended across the gulph by an expert climber, and // fastened firmly into iron rings, mortised into the rock on either side; between these ropes a number of boards, about a foot in breadth, are laid in succession, supported at intervals by cross cords,—and thus the pathway is formed, which, though broad enough to bear a man's foot with tolerable convenience, does by no means hide from view the rocks and raging sea beneath, which in this situation exhibit the fatal effects of a fall, in very strong colouring: while the swingings and undulations of the bridge itself, and of a single hand rope, which scarce any degree of tension can prevent in so great a length, suggest no very comfortable feeling to persons of weak nerves.—Upon the whole it is a beautiful bridge in the scenery of a landscape, but a frightful one in real life. [pp. 71-73]
Carrick A Rede