The South-East Prospect of Ballicar Castle

Artist(s) : Thomas Dineley (Draughtsman)

South-east prospect of Ballycar Castle (no longer extant), in the barony of Bunratty Lower, Co. Clare. A substantial tower house occupies the centre of the image, with smoke issuing from its two chimneys. There are three cabins nearby, and what appears to be part of a bawn wall. A narrow body of water [Ballycar Lough] is seen behind the castle; on it are seven swans and a rowing boat with a single occupant. On an eminence beyond the river, on the left-hand side of the image, stands a tower marked with the letter D and indexed as ‘Rathfoelane’ [Rathfolan]. The drawing is enclosed within an oval border.
Rathfolan Castle stood north-east of Ballycar Castle, in the parish of Kilnasoolagh. The original location of Ballycar Castle and the reutilization of its masonry nearby is discussed by W.G. Ryan, who indicates that its location is often erroneously given. The coordinates indicated here are based on the grid reference provided by the Archaeological Survey of Ireland.

The Archaeological Survey of Ireland, at, record no. CL042-111----. Accessed 26.10.2014.
William Gerrard Ryan, A survey of monuments of archaeological and historical interest in the barony of Bunratty Lower, Co. Clare (M.A. thesis, University College Cork, 1980), at Accessed 26.10.2014.

Inscribed in Image

  • Caption within boundaries of image – The South-East Prospect of Ballicar Castle
  • Text within boundaries of image – D
  • Text outside of boundaries of image – D Rathfoelane

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Technique Pen and ink drawings
Subject(s) Antiquities and archaeological sites, Architecture, Forts and fortifications
Geographical Location
  • Ballycar Castle - Castle
  • Clare - County
  • Munster - Province
Keywords(s) Archaeological sites, Birds, Boats, Buildings, Cabins, Castles, Cottages, Hills, Lands, People, Rivers, Towers, Trees
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 8 cm x 6.4 cm
Published / created 1681

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Observations in a Voyage through the Kingdom of Ireland
Print or manuscript Manuscript
Location of image in copy p. 154
Source copy National Library of Ireland MS 392
Rights Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Related text from travel account

Three miles from six mile Bridge, 9. from Limerick, and 7 from Ennis, neer the road Between Limerick and Galloway wch city stands 27 miles off, is
Ballicar Castle, belonging to John Colpoys Esqr whose prospect I have sketcht off on the other side, this is part of the Estate of ye Rt Honble Henry Earle of Thomond. in the Barony of Bunratty in the Parish of Tomenlagh.
In Boggs here as in most parts of Ireland, in digging for Turf are found large firr Trees, and particulalry in the Bishoprick of Cloyne in the county of Cork and Province of munster in the Boggs are found such quantities of Firr timber trees that they make benches tables, wainscoat and floor Roomes therewith they use it also so much for fewell that the town smells of Turpentine.
Ballicarr Lough aboundes in Eeles and Trouts especially of a Stupendious largenes for such as Trouts of 30 and 24 Inches in length, which very commenly have bin tooke here
[p. 154]
[image: The South-East Prospect of Ballicar Castle]
It is discoursed also, and by very credible persons that at Muyree castle in this county of Clare towards Galloway side was taken a prodigious large Pike with two Ducks in its Gorge or Belly. One whereof was so fresh, that took out and roasted prov’d a very good dish.
And that upon the riseing of the water of a lough, & overflowing some meadowes: 3 Pikes were shott at once grazeing.
That at such times they do eat grass, is very certein and observed by severall.
The larger the Pike the courser the food, the smaller being the best, contrary to the nature of Eeles which improve their goodness by their bulk and age. Du Bartas takes notice of another fish which comes on shore upon another account, (viz) A Sargus that when he cannot satisfy his lust in the sea, he will land and cuckold a Goat, thus,
Goes courting She-Goats on the grassie shore
Horning their Husbands that had Horns before
[pp. 153-154]
The South-East Prospect of Ballicar Castle