[Gigantic brooch dug up at Rathkeale]

Image of a large brooch.

The item drawn by Chatterton is a Viking period penannular thistle brooch, with brambled spherical terminals and cartouche in the pin head. It is similar to the Ballynolan Thistle brooch found near Pallaskenry, Co Limerick, in 1836 (Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge), and the silver-gilt thistle brooch found in 1868 at Ardagh Fort, approximately 10 kilometres from Rathkeale (National Museum of Ireland).

Image Details

Genre Scientific or Technical illustration
Subject(s) Antiquities and archaeological sites
Geographical Location
  • Rathkeale - Town or city
  • Limerick - County
  • Munster - Province
Keywords(s) Antiquities, Jewellery, Silver
Colour Monochrome
Published / created 1839

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Rambles in the South of Ireland
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy Vol. 2, p. 110
Source copy James Hardiman Library, National University of Ireland Galway Special Collections: 914.190481 CHA

Related text from travel account

The more I see of Ireland, the more convinced I am of the truth of what is said as to the ancient refinement and learning of the Irish. Mr. A—— showed me to-day, a beautiful silver ornament, a sort of gigantic clasp or brooch, which had been dug up at Rathkeale; and which was used to fasten the heavy cloaks formerly worn. It is very massive, and the workmanship beautifully finished on both sides. I have made a drawing of it, which is just one-third of the original size, and is here inserted.
[Image: Gigantic brooch]
[p. 111] Mr. A. has seen many ornaments of gold also inlaid with precious stones
There is, unfortunately, a strange indifference in the higher orders of Irish, relative to the ancient condition of their country. They are a people who live so much in the present, as to have but little taste for the past. I have met with but few who sympathize with my love for old buildings, castles, and relics of former greatness. Many of the ornaments, coins, and musical instruments which are often dug up in various parts of Ireland, find purchasers only in the silversmiths, and are unfortunately melted down before any antiquarian who could appreciate their value, has an opportunity of seeing them. [Vol. 2, p. 110-11]
[Continues with account of trumpets found in a bog near Carrig O’Gunniel]
Gigantic brooch dug up at Rathkeale