Round Tower, Antrim

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

View of Antrim Round Tower. The tower stands on a grassy field, with two cows near its base, to the left, and woods in the background.

Inscribed in Image

  • Signature – Sketched by Jonathan Binns. / Day and Haghe, to the Queen.
  • Caption outside of boundaries of image – Round Tower, Antrim.

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Technique Lithographs
Subject(s) Antiquities and archaeological sites, Architecture, Forts and fortifications
Geographical Location
  • Antrim Round Tower - Named locality
  • Antrim - County
  • Ulster - Province
Keywords(s) Archaeological sites, Lands, Livestock, Round towers, Towers, Trees
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 9.4 cm x 14.2 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. 188, vol. 2.
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

At Dublin I obtained my release from the Board, and had an opportunity of making myself more particularly acquainted with some of the details of that interesting city. I was fortunate also in being introduced to several scientific and well-informed persons of different professions, one of // whom, George Petrie, Esq., a celebrated artist and antiquary, has imposed upon me a debt of gratitude which I cannot easily discharge. This gentleman, who possesses a valuable museum consisting of numerous specimens of ancient Hiberno-Phcenician weights and money, musical instruments, weapons of war, rings, urns, &c, gained the prize offered by the Dublin Society for the best essay on Round Towers. This essay, I am sorry to say, is not yet published. According to Ledwich, Ireland contains sixty-five of these remarkable structures; but several others, which he has not particularized, might be added to the number. They are from 70 to 130 feet in height, and from 41 to 55 feet in circumference, outside; the thickness of the walls varying from 3 to nearly 5 feet. The doors are generally from 10 to 20 feet from the ground, and cannot be entered without stooping. Volumes have been written upon the subject of these extraordinary enigmas; each writer starting his own favourite conjecture, pursuing it with zealous enthusiasm, and surrounding it with as much learning and in- // genuity as he was able to bring to the investigation of the topic. Hitherto, with the exception of Mr. Petrie's researches, the learning and labour bestowed upon what may be called "The Irish Puzzle," have failed to discover a satisfactory solution. The learned and accomplished author of the prize essay alluded to, is understood to have clearly ascertained that the Round Towers are of Christian origin, and designed for the two-fold purpose of belfries, and towers, in which were deposited the books, sacred vessels, and other property, of the religious communities which erected them. The names of the builders of several are known: they are of various styles of architecture, and of similar workmanship to the adjoining churches; and the date of their erection is ascribed to the period included between the sixth and the twelfth centuries. That of Clones, the most ancient of any, is of the sixth century. The current assertion, that they invariably contain four windows at the top, and that these windows correspond with the cardinal points of the compass, is altogether a mistake; the fact being, // that the number varies from three to eight. The top windows, (for there are occasionally others) are the largest, and are six feet in length. The towers had always floors—frequently possessed double doors—and some of them were capable of containing one hundred and eighty persons. They were sometimes set fire to, and the inmates burnt. The Round Towers at Abernethy and Brechin in Scotland, resemble those of Ireland, and are of corresponding date. [pp. 187-190]
Round Tower, Antrim