"A huge quarry"
"A huge quarry"
An account of Lough Derg from a late-nineteenth-century pilgrim.
Matthew Russell, 1834-1912
'Lough Derg: By a Recent Pilgrim', The Irish Monthly: A Magazine of General Literature Sixth Yearly Volume, p.22
M.H. Gill & Son, Dublin
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"Pettigoe, 'the honestest little town in all the North,' said a commercial traveller to me — snuggly nestles between three of those low, round, fertile hills so characteristic of Ulster scenery. The road thence runs nearly due north, for four miles, to Lough Derg. I started from the village early and walked to the lake. As you advance into Donegal, the lands looks colder and more barren, the houses grow less frequent, cultivation is confined to scanty patches of potatoes and oats that seemed in no hurry to ripen, even in mid-September. A little further on there are no houses to be seen, and moorland hills rise threateningly in advance, as if to bar the traveller's further progress. You have, however, all the way the companionship of a turbulent and tortuous stream, that plays some curious pranks in its downward journey from its home in the mountains — now running along the road, two or three times crossing it, then receding and disappearing, only to show its noisy and turbid waters a few moments afterwards. At length the traveller reaches the crest of the hill and the end of the road ; the remainder of the way, be he prince or peasant, he must trudge on foot through the mud to the margin of the lake. Sir John Leslie is land- lord, and not a bad one, they say, of all the ancient territory of Termon Dabeog, and receives £50 a year for permitting the pilgrims to be ferried over the lake — a beautiful remnant of our feudal land laws ; but, it seems, he will neither make the road to the lake's margin him- self nor permit the grand jury to do it, lest, I presume, it might interfere with his proprietary right in the ferry : so he puts on the crowd of benighted Papists who visit the place every summer the additional penance of walking a mile through the mud to the lake's margin."
Matthew Russell, 1834-1912, “"A huge quarry",” Digital Derg: A Deep Map, accessed February 24, 2024, https://digitalderg.eu/items/show/453.