Donegal Castle

Artist(s) : Thomas Creswick (Draughtsman), Edward Radclyffe (Engraver)

View of Donegal Castle, seen across the River Eske. A man stands in the foreground facing the viewer, in the centre of the image, with a fishing rod on his shoulder. The ruin stand directly above him. Two bridges, one to right and one to the left of the castle, join it with the opposite side of the river. In the distance, houses are visible on the left-hand side of the image, and the spire of a church emerges on the right.

Inscribed in Image

  • Signature – T. Creswick. / E. Radclyffe.
  • Caption outside of boundaries of image – Donegal Castle. County Donegal.
  • Text outside of boundaries of image – London, Published for the Proprietor, by Longman & Co. Paternoster Row.

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Technique Etchings
Subject(s) Antiquities and archaeological sites, Architecture, Cities and towns, Forts and fortifications, Rural life
Geographical Location
  • Donegal Castle - Castle
  • Donegal - Town or city
  • Donegal - County
  • Ulster - Province
Keywords(s) Archaeological sites, Bridges, Castles, Churches, Fishing, Hats, People, Rivers, Ruins, Steeples, Trees
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 10.5 cm x 11.8 cm
Published / created 1838

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Ireland Picturesque and Romantic
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy Vol. II, facing p. 158
Source copy National Library of Ireland Ir 9141 r 15
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

The only attraction to the tourist in Donegal is the old castle, once the residence of the O'Donnells. This ruin stands on the margin of the river, and is somewhat peculiar in form. It is inclosed by the river on one side, and on the others by an almost semicircular wall, where was probably the entrance. The edifice consists of an oblong building of three stories, and a vast pile of five stories, connected with the northern end of the former at right angles. The oblong has now neither roof nor floor above the ground; but its windows (of the square gothic kind) and chimneys are sufficiently entire. The square pile is composed, on the ground floor, of a vast vaulted apartment; from one corner of which rises a narrow spiral staircase, communicating with what was, no doubt, the banquetting hall, by a small arched door-way of sculptured stone. The principal access to this story, however, seems to have been by a stair ascending from the interior of the oblong building. There are now no vestiges of the steps, but the door-way into the hall, which is arched with cut stone, is entire. The hall appears to have been a magnificent room, with a noble bay window at one end, and an immense chimney, richly adorned with the O'Donnell arms, and other sculpture. The chimney is not in the middle of the wall, but nearer the bay // window; while at the other end there is a smaller chimney, which leads one to suppose that that which seems now one vast apartment was formerly divided into a larger and a smaller one. The rooms above, being without floor or roof can be distinguished only by their windows and chimneys. There is no door-way leading directly into the square pile, which may be called the keep. One with a Saxon arch — the only specimen of this arch in the edifice — enters the oblong building close by the keep, and was intended no doubt to communicate with the vaulted story ; but another, and evidently the principal entrance, is situated near the farther end of the same building, so that the guests going to the banquetting hall would have to pass through a suite of rooms. Upon the whole this is one of the most beautiful ruins of the kind I have seen. At the end of the oblong, opposite to the keep, there is another mass of buildings, of which it is impossible to tell what was the extent; although, from the less careful architecture, it is probable that they contained the offices and servants' rooms. In the annexed beautiful view, the spectator is supposed to stand on the opposite side of a bridge, which here spans the river. [Vol. II, p. 157-158]
Donegal Castle