The Scenery and Antiquities of South-Western Donegal

Pdf Illustrated handbook of the scenery and antiquities of south-western Donegal. Dublin: McGlashan & Gill, 1872.
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Illustrated handbook of the scenery and antiquities of south-western Donegal published in 1872 is a tourist guide for the County Donegal region. The guide describes local antiquities and their history in an area 'studded over with old ruined abbeys, and churches and castles.'

The monastic and early Christian remnants are evidence of the region's partial role as the refuge of the faith as 'the land of saints and scholars'†following the collapse of the Roman Empire . In the wake of barbarian invasions Britain and Continental Europe had reverted to paganism and Irish missionary monks are credited in the guide with their conversion back to Christianity. The Abbey of Donegal is described as containing 'the largest collection of national, civil, military and family history ever brought together in this, or, perhaps, in any other country, dating from the deluge to A.D. 1616.'

Also included in the guide are the ruins of the strongholds of the 'MacSwynes, O'Donnells, O'Clerys and O'Doghertys,' the ancient Gaelic clans who rule the region before their downfall from the 16th century onward. After Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell fled to the Continent in 1607, the final barrier to the Protestant colonisation of Ulster was removed when plantations were begun in 1609.

Notable examples of the Gaelic past include the hilltop Griannen of Ailech, a stone fortress which was the seat of the 'Northern Hy Niall.' Others include Druidic remains and pillar stones at Raphoe and Culdaff, old stone crosses and holy wells situated in each parish in honor of local saints which is speculated to be a thinly disguised remnant of pagan worship of local deities. The guide describes how pagan traditions were seamlessly Christianised and integrated into the religious calender. Doire Calcaich, an ancient monastery iis to have given the ' Maiden City ' of Derry its name.

The guide describes rail and road links to Donegal, the best routes around the region and recommended hotels and guest houses for tourists.† Attractions described include salmon rivers, coastal fishing in Killybegs,†beautiful scenery in the mountains and highlands and flora and fauna. Interspersed throughout the guide are Irish poetry, laments, ballads about historical events, personalities and localities which give the guide a distinctly Irish nationalist tone.


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