Benmore or Fairhead, County of Antrim

View of Fair Head, in Co. Antrim, looking south-west to north-east. The coast and cliffs stretch out into the distance, along the right-hand side of the image. In the foreground, a man holding a rod or pole is looking up at a woman standing on a rock just above him. She is wearing a knee-length skirt and a bonnet or hat. She appears to be barefoot. Further along the rocky shore, three figures can be seen. Other details include birds in the sky and sailing boats on the sea.

Inscribed in Image

  • Signature – Geo Petrie del. / Geo Cooke fc.
  • Caption outside of boundaries of image – Benmore or Fairhead, County of Antrim. / Published by Baldwin Cradock & Joy. 1823

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Technique Wood engravings
Subject(s) Marines, Nature
Geographical Location
  • Benmore or Fair Head - Named locality
  • Antrim - County
  • Ulster - Province
Keywords(s) Beaches, Boats, Cliffs, Fishing, Headgear, Men, People, Rock formations, Seas, Skirts, Women
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 7.8 cm x 11.8cm
Published / created 1823

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Notes of a journey in the north of Ireland, in the summer of 1827
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy opp. p. 8
Source copy National Library of Ireland J 91411
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

What a succession of sublime and varied scenery does this magnificent coast present to the view! Its bold columnar rocks, expanding their gigantic forms along the brink of ocean—here projecting far into the impetuous flood, and there impending over it in haughty and terrific majesty—bid defiance to its rage, as it foams and bellows at their foot in tremendous but impotent fury. But it was not until we arrived at the Promontory of Fairhead, that we were really astounded at the wonders of this mountainous shore. "This headland rises abruptly to six hundred and thirty feet above the level of the sea. It is composed of columnar
[p. 8] basalt, huge masses of which, during a course of ages, have fallen down, and lie in tremendous heaps around the base of the cliffs, like the wreck of a former world. The wild aspect of this point is peculiarly striking. Desolation and barrenness are its appropriate characteristics. Nature seems here to have exhausted her powers of devastation, to render this scene the most awful and sublime that imagination can conceive.”

“Proud, towering o'er the angry main,
Bleak Fairhead frowns in high disdain;
And throws aloft his savage front,
As daring heaven's empyreal brunt.
Against his scarr'd and cragged breast
A thousand fractured columns rest;
But not a plant that drinks the air
Relieves their greyness chill and bare.
Beneath, his steady feet sustain
An everlasting hurricane:
For there, in wildest fury frantic,
For ever roars the vast Atlantic."
[Footnote] "QUILLINAN'S "Dunluce Castle," a privately-printed poem."
[pp. 7-8]

Benmore or Fairhead, County of Antrim