The Reeks, from the Purple Mountain

Artist(s) : John Barrow (Draughtsman), James Lee (Engraver)

A vista of peaks (Macgillacuddy's Reeks) receding into the distance, with two figures in the foreground, apparently on the edge of a precipice, one gesturing towards the view. The highest peak, Carrauntoohil, is identified by the letter r near the centre of the image.

Inscribed in Image

  • Signature – Lee
  • Caption outside of boundaries of image – The Reeks, from the Purple Mountain.
  • Text within boundaries of image – r
  • Text outside of boundaries of image – r Carran Tual, three thousand three hundred and ninety-four feet, the highest in Ireland.

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Technique Woodcuts
Subject(s) Nature
Geographical Location
  • Purple Mountain - Mountain
  • MacGillycuddy's Reeks - Mountain
  • Kerry - County
  • Munster - Province
Keywords(s) Mountains, People
Colour Monochrome
Published / created 1836

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account A Tour round Ireland [Barrow]
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy p. 306
Source copy National Library of Ireland Ir 9141 b 3

Related text from travel account

Crossing an old bridge over this river [the Laune], I skirted the base of the Tomies mountain, and its adjoining one of Glenaa on the left, with the east end of McGillicuddy’s Reeks on my right, and soon reached the entrance of the Gap of Dunlow, a narrow and deep irregular defile between the Reeks and the Purple Mountain. Being determined to ascend this latter mountain for the sake of a view,—for here the sight of all the lake is intercepted,—I dismounted and sent my pony on to wait for me at Brandon Lodge, once the seat of Lord Brandon, which is near the end of the Gap, and close to the upper end of the upper lake. In the mean time I ascended the "Purple Mountain," so called from the large loose fragments of stone about its summit, the debris of the rugged cliffs, of a dark purplish clay-slate, which give to the mountain that hue when viewed from a distance in the valley. Being somewhat, as you know, of the ποδοζ ωχυζ family, I made the ascent in about an [p. 306] hour. The day was as fine as ever shone from the heavens; it was one day in a hundred, as the guide remarked, not a cloud to interrupt the view, and the whole range of McGillicuddy’s reeks, with their peaked and jagged summits, lay beautifully before me, the loftiest point of which, called Carran Tual, is stated to be the highest in all Ireland, measuring, according to the trigonometrical survey, three thousand three hundred and ninety-four feet. The prospect was varied, extensive, and grand. On the west was the silver stream of the Laune, meandering into Dingle Bay, and a little to the left the great cluster of the Iveragh Mountains; on the south-west the river and bay of Kenmare; on the south, and close at hand, the rounded and [image: The Reeks from the Purple Mountain] [p. 307] unsightly summit of Mangerton, boasting an elevation of about two thousand five hundred and fifty feet; and on the east the grounds and abbey of Muckross; but Ross Castle, with its well-planted island, and beyond it the town of Killarney, were from this point hidden from the sight. On the summit of the Purple Mountain a heap of stones was piled up, in which, I suppose, the officers employed in the trigonometrical survey of Ireland had fixed their staffs, as these piles are observable on all the highest points in the island. [pp. 305-307]
The Reeks, from the Purple Mountain