Carrigart, County Donegal

Samuel Gamble Bayne
Port Salon to Dunfanaghy (4) | Start of Section

After a pleasant drive we reached Carrigart and had a good lunch there; we tried the Carrigart "perfectos" afterwards, and their memory clings to us still! We then started for the Rosapenna Hotel, which was not far distant—less than two miles. This hotel was built of wood, after the Scandinavian fashion, by the trustees of the late Earl of Leitrim, and opened in 1893. It was designed in Stockholm, whence the timber was shipped to Mulroy. It stands at the base of Ganiamore Mountain, on the narrow neck of the Rossgull peninsula, between Mulroy Bay and Sheephaven. Fine golf links have been laid out with eighteen holes, the circuit being three miles and a half. For visitors there is excellent fishing in the adjacent waters, by permission of the Countess of Leitrim, and good bathing on the strands of Sheephaven, which afford a smooth promenade of six miles. From the top of Ganiamore a good view is obtained of the coast from Horn Head round to Inishowen peninsula, and from its hills a fine sweep inland to Errigal Mountain. At Downing's Bay there is one of the finest views in Donegal, looking up and down Sheephaven, the woods of Ards and the tower of Doe Castle backed up in the distance by the ponderous mass of Muckish. Within a short distance of the hotel are three caves which can be entered, one from the brow of the hill and the others at low water. Near it also is Mulroy House, the residence of the Countess of Leitrim.

Dunree Fort, Lough Swilly, County Donegal

Dunree Fort, Lough Swilly, County Donegal

From Rosapenna we drove to Doe Castle, built on the shores of Sheephaven. This was a stronghold of the McSweenys, which has been, to a certain extent, modernized and rendered habitable by a late owner, who in doing so pulled down some of the walls. It consists of a lofty keep with massive walls, which enclose passages and stone stairs. It is surrounded by a "bawn," or castle-yard, defended by a high wall, with round towers at intervals. The rock on which it stands is not very high, but from its almost insulated position it was difficult to approach. It was garrisoned by Captain Vaughan for Queen Elizabeth, but was betrayed to the followers of Sir Cahir O'Doherty. It was besieged in 1608, and Davis says: "Being the strongest in Tyrconnell, it endured one hundred blows of the demi-cannon before it surrendered."

Read "On an Irish Jaunting Car through Donegal and Connemara" at your leisure

On an Irish jaunting Car through Donegal and Connemara

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Samuel Gamble Bayne was born in Ramelton, County Donegal, and educated at Queen's University in Belfast. At the age of twenty-five he left for America with a view to making his fortune. He invested in an oil well in Pennsylvania and later founded a bank which subsequently came to be the JP Morgan Chase bank in New York. By the time this book was written he was wealthy enough to be referred to as a billionaire. His account of the tour through the north, west and south of Ireland is a pleasant snapshot of how that part of the country was in the early part of the 20th century. He describes what is to be seen, gives some background history and, through the illustrations especially, provides wonderful glimpses of the area's social history.

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