Artist(s) : Thomas Creswick (Draughtsman), Robert William Wallis (Engraver)

View of Glengarriff Bay, at the north-east end of Bantry Bay, Co. Cork. In the foreground, turned towards the viewer, are two women, one seated, the other standing, holding a walking stick and a basket, and with a shawl draped over her head and shoulders. The seated woman’s head dress appears to be a voluminous cap or highland bonnet. Near them a tall vessel has been placed on the ground. Buildings resembling those of Glengarriff Castle are depicted on a small island, rather than in their true location on the mainland overlooking the harbour. Sailing boats on the bay. Majestic mountains in the background.

Inscribed in Image

  • Signature – T. Creswick. / R. Wallis.
  • Caption outside of boundaries of image – Glengarriff.
  • Text outside of boundaries of image – London, Published 1837, for the Proprietor, by Longman & Co. Paternoster Row.

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Technique Etchings
Subject(s) Marines, Nature, Rural life
Geographical Location
  • Glengarriff - Town or city
  • Cork - County
  • Munster - Province
Keywords(s) Boats, Castles, Harbours, Hats, Mountains, Peasants, People, Seas, Towers, Trees, Women
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 10.5 cm x 14.1 cm
Published / created 1837

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Ireland Picturesque and Romantic
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy Vol. II, facing p. 253
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

Notwithstanding Smith's praise of the hobbies, the traveller will not find the instinct of his pony of such momentous consequence as he will be led to expect. The route across the mountain to Glengariff is steep, it is true, but that is more the pony's affair than his; and, unless he is very nervous indeed, he will not be sufficiently incommoded by the idea of danger to prevent his enjoying some rock scenery of a very picturesque character, Glengariff is described in the annexed engraving; and I cannot do better than present the reader with the following pen and ink sketch, by the author of "Sketches in the North and South of Ireland," a book which the tourist will do well to take with him, "A bay runs in at right angles from the east and west direction of Bantry Bay, This bay is sheltered entirely at its entrance by an island, on which a Martello tower is erected. Thus the landlocked estuary looks to be a lake. In no respect it [p. 254] differs from a lake, save that is superior. Here no ugly strand, muddy and foetid, left bare by the receding tide: here no deposit of filth and ooze. No; the only thing that marks the ebb is a line of dark demarcation that surrounds the bay, and gives a curious sort of relief (somewhat like the black frame of a brilliant picture) to the green translucent waters of this gem of the ocean. No fresh water lake can be at all compared to it; not even the upper lake of Killarney can stand the competition. Here is the sea — the green, variable, ever changing sea — without any of its defects or deformities. * * * Hungry Mountain, with its cataract of eight hundred feet falling from its side; Sugar-loaf, so conical, so bare, so white in its quartzose formation; Slieve Goul, the pathway of the fairies; and Esk Mountain, over which I was destined to climb my toilsome way: every hill had its peculiar interest, and each, according to the time of the day or the state of the atmosphere, presented a picture so mutable — or bright or gloomy, or near or distant — valleys laughing in sunshine, or shrouded in dark and undefined masses of shade; and so deceptive, so variable were the distances and capabilities of prospect, that in the morning you could see a hare bounding along on the ranges of those hills, that, at noonday, were lost in the grey indistinctness of distant vision. Then the glen itself, unlike other glens and valleys that interpose between ranges of moun- [p. 255] tains, was not flat, or soft, or smooth — no meadow, no morass, nor bog — but the most apparently tumultuous, yet actually regular, congeries of rocks that ever was seen, * * * * It appears as if the stratifications of the rock were forced up by some uniform power from the central abyss, and there left to stand at a certain and defined angle, a solidified storm. And now suppose, that in every indenture, hole, crevice, and inflexion of those rocks, grew a yew or holly; there the yew, with its yellower tinge; and here the arbutus with its red stem and leaf of brighter green, and its rough, wild, uncontrolled growth, adorning, and at the same time disclosing the romantic singularity of the scene, I know not that ever I read of such a place, so wild and so beautiful." This is not much exaggerated; for in fact Glengariff is one of the most romantic spots in Ireland. Romantic I think is the word to use; for it is not merely beautiful, but fantastic, and occasionally extravagant. It is finer than any fresh water lake, and it is so precisely because it is not a fresh water lake. It is an inlet of the sea, disposed so as to resemble in form an inland lake, yet surrounded by the coast scenery peculiar to the borders of the ocean, Glengariff is a place that we cannot readily forget. It captivates the imagination; and, even after a lapse of time, we continue to hang upon its beauties, and vindicate its reputation, as if it were a human mistress. [Vol. II, p. 253-255]