Clare Castle

Artist(s) : Thomas Dineley (Draughtsman)

View of Clare Castle, now a ruin in the town of Clarecastle, Co. Clare. A bridge with five arches connects the castle to the opposite bank of the River Fergus. The castle complex, in the centre of the image and beyond the bridge, comprises several buildings and towers. A courtyard with two cannons lies to the right of the castle. In the foreground, a figure is fishing on the river bank close to the viewer, and on the right a road leads towards the castle. A bird of prey is diving towards two apparently dead or exhausted animals, one a large rodent, the other a frog. This small drama is represented by two fragments of printed plate pasted on the drawing; a third printed fragment is used to suggest a distant view of hills. The image is partly enclosed in an ovoid frame, with the bridge, the road and the castle walls extending beyond it.

Dineley may have taken the dead animals from the same plate that he cut into pieces to embellish his view of ‘The North Prospect of Bunratty Castle’ (q.v.). They appear to belong to an illustration of either the Battle of Frogs and Mice (or Rats), recounted in the Batrachomyomachia (5th century BC), or Aesop’s fable of ‘The Kite, the Frog and the Mouse’. In the latter case, the bird of prey may be from the same plate.

Inscribed in Image

  • Text within boundaries of image – Clare Castle / The Road

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Technique Collages, Engravings, Pen and ink drawings
Subject(s) Antiquities and archaeological sites, Architecture, Forts and fortifications
Geographical Location
  • Clare Castle - Castle
  • Clarecastle - Town or city
  • Clare - County
  • Munster - Province
Keywords(s) Archaeological sites, Birds, Bridges, Buildings, Cannons, Castles, Fishing, Mountains, People, Rivers, Ruins, Towers
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 13 cm x 7.5 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. 155
Source copy National Library of Ireland MS 392
Rights Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Related text from travel account

The Prospect of ye Castle of Clare towards the Town of Clare in the sayd county, and from the Road leading to Ennish Town. [p. 155]
Clare Castle