Lough Dan, Co. of Wicklow

Artist(s) : John Kirkwood (Draughtsman), John Kirkwood (Engraver)

View of Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow. In the foreground, an angler with his back to the viewer is fishing from a rock in the lake. Nearby is a boat with two oarsmen and a second angler, who is in the process of landing a fish. Another small boat is just visible in the distance. The lake is surrounded by mountains.

Inscribed in Image

  • Signature – Drawn and Engraved by J. Kirkwood 11 Crow Street
  • Caption outside of boundaries of image – Lough Dan, Co. of Wicklow. / Published by Grant & Bolton Dublin

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Technique Engravings
Subject(s) Nature, Rural life
Geographical Location
  • Lough Dan - Lake
  • Wicklow - County
  • Leinster - Province
Keywords(s) Boats, Fishing, Lakes & ponds, Mountains, People, Sports & recreation
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 5.9 cm x 9.6 cm
Published / created 1832

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account The angling excursions of Gregory Greendrake, Esq.
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy opp. title page
Source copy National Library of Ireland J 39511
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

Having breakfasted, we proceeded to Loch-Dan, by a pleasant road, of a mile and a half distance. On the way we perceived some comfortable farm-houses and well disposed farms, and I learn that the mountain or hill farmers throughout Ireland are, in general, the most thriving and comfortable: they get the land cheaper, and on longer tenures, than the rich low lands are set for; they are, in consequence, enabled to improve their farms and their houses, and have an interest in the improvements. On the contrary, where the soil is rich, and abundantly productive, the avaricious and improvident landlord taxes, in more than a proportionate degree, the bounty of nature; and the man who works the soil, pines, exhausted and spiritless, amidst the plenty which he raises around him. At the lake we were obligingly accommodated with a boat, the joint property of two reverend gentlemen, good and genuine brothers' of the angle; the one of the established, the other of the church of Rome. I am decidedly of opinion, that, above all other amusements, angling, from its quiet, innocent, and reflective nature, tends to allay the unkind propensities of the human mind, and disposes the affections to general benevolence and philanthropy, and to that tolerant and charitable spirit, always the result of deep and just habits of thinking. The trout in Loch-dan are somewhat // larger, and of better quality, than those of Luggela, and are taken with the same flies; there are no char in it, although the waters of the one lake flow into the other. The cause I assign for this is, that Lough-dan, in no part of it, approaches to the great depth of Lough-tay. Lough-dan is quite of a different character from the other lake, being in no part so wide, but three times the length. One of the mountains, in which it is embosomed, forms, at about two-thirds of its line, a head-land, which must be doubled before the remainder of the water becomes visible. The scene is peculiarly wild, and, with the exception of one small farm, Carrick-a-duff, smiling in contrasted comfort and cultivation on one side of the lake, and a little patch of oak wood on the other, it frowns in rude and sterile uncultivation. The mountains are bare to their summits, sloping in some parts to the water's edge, in others rising abruptly out of the deep, and projecting over it huge masses of rock, furrowed with the trickling moisture of vegetable morasses, patched with moss and lichen, and presenting, here and there, a solitary ash or holly growing from its fissures. The base of those rocks are, in some places, hollowed into caverns by the action of the waters, which, on this lake, become at times violently agitated, as being more open to the prevailing winds than those of Luggela. The surrounding mountains, although destitute of the ornament of wood, present the animating view of numerous herds of a small breed of horned cattle, spread over their sides, and occasionally feeding securely upon the // highest crags, from whence you would expect to see them every moment precipitated into the abyss below: this breed of mountain cattle are as tenacious in their footing as the goat. Sheep and lambs sometimes get into situations from which they cannot retrace their steps, and when discovered by their piteous bleatings, they are extricated with great difficulty and personal hazard to the peasantry engaged in their preservation. This, although a merry lake, is not equally so with the other, as I have already noticed. Lough-dan receives the waters of Luggela, and both combine to give birth to the river Avonmore, which, with many accessions, in its course, loses its name in the Avoca, below the town of Rathdrum. Were Lough-dan tastefully planted, it would be very handsome, but it would lose the features of sublimity by which it is distinguished. Our rowman, Carr, assured us, that the sides of these mountains were once richly planted, and there exists some evidence of the fact, and showing that the lake has usurped a part of the shore once covered with fine wood. On a shoal near to where the Cloghogue (the stream from Lough-tay) flows into the lake, we plainly perceived, under the boat, the bottom thickly covered with roots and stumps of very large trees, and these, occasionally, form the haunt of the best trout in the lake. The angler, however, fishes it at great hazard to his tackle, as the fish, after being struck, is apt to shoot downward, and getting amidst this subaqueous wood, generally extricates himself at the expense of the fly, and often the whole of the // line. Our sport was not near so good as on the preceding day, and we reached our quarters at Round-wood just in time to escape a very heavy shower of rain, which approached from the direction of Luggela. [p. 48-51]
Lough Dan, Co. of Wicklow