Glendalough, or the Seven Churches

Artist(s) : John Carr (Draughtsman), Thomas Medland (Engraver)

View of Glendalough. The round tower is on the left, with two figures at its feet, one sitting and one standing. A ruined building is on the left-hand side, opposite the tower. Two other figures are in the foreground. One in on horseback, and the other has dismounted, and is pointing a whip towards the tower. Rocky cliffs are on either side of the valley, behind the buildings, and a lake is visible in the distance at the centre of the valley. Cliffs are in the background.

Inscribed in Image

  • Signature – Drawn by Jn. Carr Esq.r / Engraved by T. Medland
  • Caption outside of boundaries of image – Glendalough, or the Seven Churches / Published June 2, 1806 by R. Phillips. No. 6, New Bridge Street, Black fryars

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Technique Aquatints
Subject(s) Antiquities and archaeological sites, Nature
Geographical Location
  • Glendalough - Named locality
  • Wicklow - County
  • Leinster - Province
Keywords(s) Archaeological sites, Buildings, Cabins, Churches, Cliffs, Hats, Hills, Horses, Lakes & ponds, Lands, Men, People, Round towers, Ruins, Steeples, Towers
Colour Coloured
Dimensions 13.5 cm x 20.6 cm
Published / created 1806

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account The stranger in Ireland
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy opp. p. 197
Source copy National Library of Ireland LO 2699 Dir. Off.
Rights Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Related text from travel account

Passing // the barrack, which is stuccoed white, and is wholly out of unison with the dusky scenery in which it is placed, the dark and lofty round tower of Glendaloch, which means the valley of the two lakes, just appeared rising from a plain; whilst behind were stupendous mountains, half covered with mist and cloud. This awful spot was formerly an episcopal see, and a well-inhabited city, till about 1214, when it was annexed to the diocese of Dublin. Upon its religious edifices falling into decay, it became a place of refuge to outlaws and robbers; and it was not until 1472, that a peaceable and perfect surrender was made of it to the Archbishop of Dublin by friar Dennis White, who had long usurped that see in opposition to the regal authority. Since that period Glendaloch has become a dreary desert. The venerable remains of this city reminded me of the words of Ossian. “Why dost thou build the hall, son of the winged days? Thou look'st from thy towers to-day; yet a few years, and the blast of the desart comes: it howls in thy empty court." Stupendous mountains enclose this place on all sides, except to the east. On the south are the mountains of Lugduff and Derrybawn, divided only by a small cataract: on the other side of a gloomy dark lake, and opposite to Lugduff, is Kemyderry; between which and Broccagh, on the north side, is a road leading from Hollywood to Wick- // low. A cascade called Glaneola-brook descends from a hill at the west end of the upper lake. This brook, Glendasan-river, St. Kevin's-keeve, and other cataracts, form a junction in the valley, called Avonmore, which is frequently swelled by torrents. The two lakes in the vale are divided from each other by a rich meadow; the rest of the soil is nearly sterile. Here and there are some scanty crops of rye and oats. The names Derry-bawn, Kemyderry, and Kyle, denote that great forests of oaks, and other timber, clothed the mountains. There is a group of thorns, of a great size, between the cathedral and upper lake, which St. Kevin is said to have planted. It is supposed, from what can now be discovered of the ancient city of Glendaloch, by its walls above, and foundations below, the surface of the earth, it probably extended from the Refeart-church to the Ivy-church, on both sides of the river. The only street now remaining is the road leading from the market-place into the county of Kildare: it is in good preservation, being paved with stones placed edgeways, and ten feet in breadth. A small stream, called St. Kevin's-keeve, runs on the north side of the Seven Churches to Arklow, and, in its course, falls into Glendaloch. In this stream weak and sickly children are dipped every Sunday and Thursday before sun-rise, and on St. Kevin's day, on the 3d of June, // The tall brown Round Tower, the ivied churches which occupy a level in the valley, the distant sound of cataracts, the stupendous mountains midway magnified by mist, a few miserable cabins crouching at their base, the deep shade upon the valley, are all well calculated to inspire the imagination with religious dread and horror. [pp. 175-178]
Glendalough, or the Seven Churches