|On leaving Bally castle the road for some way diverges considerably from the shore. The first object of particular interest in this route is the remarkable rock called Carrick-a-Rede. The road runs at the distance of a quarter of a mile, nor can a carriage get up to it; but it well repays the trouble of walking over two or three enclosures. It is an entire mass of basalt, separated from the coast by a chasm sixty feet in breadth and eighty-four in depth. Over this is thrown a bridge of a peculiar construction, to facilitate the communication with the rock, which is much frequented at the time of the salmon-fishery. Vast iron rings are morticed into the rocks on each side, to which are fastened two ropes running parallel to each other, connected together with cross bars of rope at equi-distances, in the manner of a ladder, and over these boards are tied; a railing of rope to hold by, runs along one side*;—a frail species of machinery to all appearance for crossing a chasm of so formidable a depth; yet during the season it is crossed and recrossed fifty times in the day, with perfect unconcern, by men, women, and children, carrying heavy baskets upon their heads: its undulating motion under the feet adds not a little to the feeling of insecurity which the contemplation of it necessarily inspires; and indeed, though generally crossed with safety, dreadful accidents have sometimes happened. I felt no disposition to go over it; yet a boy often or twelve years of age, who had followed us from the road, ran backwards and forwards several times with perfect unconcern // The bridge is taken down in winter, when from the turbulence of the sea the fisheries are entirely stopped.
*An engraving of this rock and bridge is given in plate 4; with Doon-point in the island of Rathlin. [pp. 128-9]