Cairn on Slieve Guillien

Artist(s) : Jonathan Binns (Draughtsman), Louis Haghe (Lithographer), William Day (Lithographer)

View of cairn on Slieve Gullion, Co. Armagh. The pile of stones is in the centre of the image, being inspected by two figures part way up its base. Below it is the opening of the circular chamber of a passage tomb, surrounded by scattered loose stones.

Inscribed in Image

  • Signature – Sketched by Jonathan Binns. / Day & Haghe, Lithrs. to the Queen.
  • Caption outside of boundaries of image – Cairn on Slieve Guillien.

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Technique Lithographs
Subject(s) Antiquities and archaeological sites, Architecture
Geographical Location
  • Slieve Gullion - Mountain
  • Armagh - County
  • Ulster - Province
Keywords(s) Archaeological sites, Cairns, Caves, Hats, People
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 9.4 cm x 14.1 cm
Published / created 1837

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account The Miseries and Beauties of Ireland
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy opp. p. 204
Source copy National Library of Ireland J 9141
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

Not having seen what are here termed the mountain-farms, we travelled up the high grounds beyond Belleek, near the Tully Galleon and Fork Hill Mountains, with the intention of examining // several of Lord Gosford's farms in that neighbourhood, as well as some belonging to other proprietors. The famous mountain Slieve Guillien, near Belleek, is too interesting an object to go unnoticed. Belleek, I may observe en passant, is a small town of one street, situated at the base of the mountains, and was once a place of consequence. A large fair was formerly held there, but the "country boys" evinced such a boisterous disposition, and fought so desperately, that it was obliged to be discontinued. Having passed the mountain house and Leslea Chapel, we put up our horse at Mullabran School-house, the master of which appeared a superior man. He informed me that four Protestant schools were established in the neighbourhood, free to all parties, but that the priests objected to the Catholic children attending them. Here we engaged a guide (who, according to custom, professed to know every thing relating to the mountains), and commenced our ascent by a very rugged path—enlivened, however, by innumerable plants of the heather (the flowers of both the // tetralix and the cineria being perfectly white) and refreshed by the fruit of the bleaberry, which grew there in great abundance. On gaining the summit of this mountain I was indeed richly rewarded. The cairn which renders it so celebrated, instead of being a mere rude heap of stones, as I had expected to find it, contained a circular chamber, with which a passage under long flat stones communicated; but of what length this passage has originally been, it is difficult now to ascertain, as it is filled up with earth and stones, which obstruct any further progress to what is supposed to be a large apartment. The entrance, which is now filled with rubbish, appears to have been covered with a roof of large stones, capable of supporting a great weight. The cairn of stones, which has covered the chamber, is nearly 40 feet in diameter at the base. A little lower down the hill, and in front of this cairn, is a flat stone supported by many uprights, and has the appearance of a cromlech. The mountain is of primitive formation, and composed of granite argillite. Its summit commands a // most extensive view. Newtown Hamilton, Rathfriland, Rostrevor, the Bay of Dundalk, Castle Blaney, Ravensdale, Jonesborough, Forkhill, and old Barracks, Lough Neagh, Camloch, and several of the Monaghan Lakes, were visible; and the county of Armagh seemed almost one continuous patchwork of corn fields, ripe for the harvest. The mountain is cultivated as near its summit as food for man will grow; and the potato and corn fields are in some places so steep, and apparently so perpendicular, as to resemble, when viewed from the road, pictures in square frames hanging against the walls of a room. Slieve Guillien, and the lake near the summit, afford fruitful materials for the romantic tales of which the Irish are so passionately fond. On the side of the hill are bold rocky cliffs and caverns, formerly the safe retreat of robbers, who plundered the surrounding country at their pleasure. Of these, Redman O' Hanlan was pre-eminently distinguished for his nightly maraudings, and was long the terror of the neighbourhood. [pp. 202-205]
Cairn on Slieve Guillien