Darrynane Abbey - Co. of Kerry

Darrynane, or Derrynane, in Caherdaniel, Co. Kerry, the ancestral seat of the O'Connells, seen against a backdrop of mountains, with woodland surrounding the substantial main buildings which face the sea. There are other buildings to the right, and, further away to the left, what appears to be a steeple or tower. In the foreground, near a gateway, several figures and a dog are walking in the direction of the house.

Inscribed in Image

  • Text within boundaries of image – Darrynane Abbey –Co. of Kerry. The Seat of D. O'Connell, Esqre. M.P. London, Saunders & Otley, 1839. Day and Haghe, Lithrs to the Queen.

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Geographical Location
  • Darrynane - Named locality - Darrynane according to logainm.ie. Frequently called Derrynane.
  • Kerry - County
  • Munster - Province
Keywords(s) Children, Dogs, Gates, Mountains, People, Seas, Steeples, Towers, Trees
Colour Monochrome
Published / created 1839

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Rambles in the South of Ireland
Note The ruined abbey visited by Chatterton, and which cannot be seen in the image, is Ahamore Abbey on nearby Ahamore Island. When a chapel was added to Derrynane House in 1844 it was modelled on Ahamore Abbey and from then on the house was also known as Derrynane Abbey, though not an abbey in the strict sense. In 1838, when Georgiana Chatterton visited it, the house was the home of Daniel 'The Liberator' O'Connell (1775-1847).
The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (http://www.buildingsofireland.ie/Surveys/Buildings/);
Mark Bence-Jones, A Guide to Irish Country Houses (London: Constable Press, 2nd ed., 1988).
Archaeological Survey of Ireland, at http://webgis.archaeology.ie/NationalMonuments/FlexViewer/, record KE106-074----Accessed 03.10.2017
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy Vol. 1, opposite p. 276
Source copy James Hardiman Library, National University of Ireland Galway Special Collections: 914.190481 CHA
Rights James Hardiman Library

Related text from travel account

On our descent, we passed a perfect Pagan Altar, which we examined and sketched. After the great pass was effected, we had a smaller hill to cross before Darrynane became visible. At last we reached an entrance to the grounds, and saw the old grey house, amid a grove of trees, near the sandy shore of a beautiful little bay. This apparent entrance to the place is not however the real one; it is the approach to a public road by which funerals pass to the old Abbey.
As the sun had not yet gone down, we went direct to the ruins of the Abbey. It is situated in a sunny and well-protected nook on a peninsula, which is, I believe, occasionally an island. The pasture of this peninsula is excellent, and our guide told us it is intended soon to be used [p. 275] as a deer path: "He will only," said our guide, "have to build a wall across here; as on the other three sides, it is walled in by the sea." The Abbey was built in a most retired, lovely spot, close to the sea; a part of the walls still remains, and within these is a large monument of the O'Connell family. By the inscription on this tomb, we learnt that Dan. O'Connell and his wife, who died in 1770, were interred here by their son Maurice O'Connell, the uncle of the present possessor, from whom he inherits the estate; there is also an epitaph on Maurice O'Connell, which I regret that I did not copy, as we were afterwards told that it was written by the present proprietor, at his uncle's request, during the old gentleman's lifetime, whose motive was, to prevent the fulsome compliments which otherwise might have been paid him.
Darrynane house is situated in a beautiful spot, facing the south, and overlooking a little bay, where the waves come rolling upon the smooth sands. The plantations near seem to thrive, well protected as they are from the northern blast, by a fine range of rocky heights. The house is an irregular pile of building, having [p. 276] received variorus additions at different times; the interior is most comfortable, and affords the extensive accommodation which the hospitality of its proprietor renders necessary.
The drawing-room is a spacious apartment, on each side of which is a row of windows commanding beautiful views. It is well furnished, and adorned by a fine bust of the owner's lovely daughter. The tables are covered with the latest publications, and numerous good prints and caricatures. Near this room is the library, full of well chosen books.
The walls of the dining room are covered with family portraits; and on a slab at the end opposite the fire place, are some old spear and hatchet heads, of a mixed metal, which were dug up not far from Darrynane.
The next morning I took a delightful walk before breakfast on the sand hills, at whose base the house is situated, and whose slope, covered with fine grass, forms the grounds beyond the plantation.
The view over the bay is beautiful:—its fine sandy beach—the rocky mountain which forms its western boundary—the magnificent sea breaking in heavy billows against it—the indented
[Image: Darrynane Abbey]
[p. 277] shore of Darrynane—the Islands at its entrance, and ocean beyond, create a splendid landscape. The enjoyment of such a scene was rendered perfect by the sunshine and brilliancy of the finest day we have had this year. [Vol. 1, p. 274-277]
[This passage is preceded by description of the distant approach to Darrynane, coming from Waterville, and followed by a description of outings from Derrynane during a visit of a few days; see also p. 317 for some minor details]
Darrynane Abbey - Co. of Kerry