Basaltic Rock at Port Coane

Artist(s) : Thomas Hare (Draughtsman)

View of a little bay (Portcoon), to the west of the Giant’s Causeway, with a high, isolated rock towering above the water. The image is framed by cliffs on both sides. To the right, two figures are standing on rocks projecting towards the bay; one of them is pointing towards the isolated rock. On top of the cliffs to the left, there are two small quadrupeds, probably goats. A boat with sail and four passengers is visible on the sea, in the gap between the rock and the cliffs on the left.

Inscribed in Image

  • Caption outside of boundaries of image – Basaltic Rock at Port Coane.
    London, Published by Henry Colburn, Conduit Street, 1816.

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Technique Aquatints
Subject(s) Marines, Nature
Geographical Location
  • Portcoon - Bay
  • Antrim - County
  • Ulster - Province
Keywords(s) Bays (Bodies of water), Boats, Cliffs, Passengers, People, Rock formations, Seas
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 14.6 cm x 23 cm
Published / created 1816

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Narrative of a Residence in Ireland
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy opp. p. 140
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

There are no less than twelve whin dykes in the short space between the mouth of the river Bush west of the Causeway, and Port-na-Spania east. This port sweeps round eastward from the Chimney-tops. After the dispersion of the Spanish Armada, one of the vessels is said to have wandered about till at length it was driven into this port and there wrecked; hence it has its name. Two whin dykes have been already mentioned as separating the different divisions of the Causeway. Another is to be seen at Port-na-Baw, the next port westward of Port Noffer, and divided from it by some, not very high, rocks covered with green sod, called the Stookans. It takes a remarkable form here, a large piece of wall standing detached from the adjacent rocks, and it is composed of horizontal prisms having an axe-like form: about this mass the iron pyrites are principally found. But the most remarkable of the whin dyes is at Port Coane, the next port westward of Port-na-Baw. An engraving of it is annexed: the sketch was taken on the spot by Mr. Hare, who kindly obliged me with the use of it. From this a very accurate idea of its singular appearance may be obtained: seen at a distance it has very much the appearance of a ship with all the sails up. Sir R. C. Hoare, after expressing his disappointment from not finding all the picturesque beauty he expected at the Causeway, goes on to say:—" We afterwards visited a cavern in a little bay to the westward: here the artist will find a grand subject for his pencil, which I was prevented taking by a violent and dangerous fall in getting into the cavern." Port Coane is the bay here alluded to; and this rock, or whin dyke, may fairly be pronounced the subject which he recommends so strongly to the artist's pencil. The cavern of which he speaks could not be introduced in the plate; it lies behind the projecting rock to the right, and is consequently not in sight at the point of view whence the sketch is taken; indeed there is no point from // which the rock and cavern could both be included, so as to give an adequate idea of the rock. The rocks round this bay, except the whin dyke, are principally composed of globular laminated concretions of basalt, which from their figure and construction are called provincially onion-stones. The dyke exhibits horizontal fissures. [pp. 140-141]
Basaltic Rock at Port Coane