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into an examination of them,—and indeed to attempt | sun began to touch with a straggling ray upon the to do so would involve an amount of antiquarian detail loftiest points, and then as the eilect of his beams bethat would be quite out of place here. We may just came felt, the mists seemed to sink into the gloomy notice in a few words the Round Tower, as that is a hollow, a darker and heavier shadow settled on the kind of structure always regarded with curiosity. This valley, the mists steamed upwards, just catching as tower is fifteen feet in diameter at the base, and tapers they ascended a momentary glance of the sun, and then very gradually to the summit; it is 110 feet high. vanishing; the tops of the precipices became tenderly Originally it was crowned by a conical roof, but that illuminated-and suddenly the glen was spanned by a is gone. The entrance is by a narrow arched doorway, rainbow that seemed melting into the tinted haze that the bottom of which is eleven feet from the ground. clung about it. All the forms of the hills and cliffs and The upper windows are very narrow. It is constructed of lakes were there, but all evanescent. It was one of the rubble stones of different sizes, but arranged in regular marvellous pictures of Turner changed into reality. courses. The question, What could these towers have The visitor may not see it thus, but he may see it been intended for? has always been a hard problem for under some equally grand effect of sun and shadow. antiquaries. Many solutions have been proposed, but Lough Dan and Lough Tay, two of the largest of none is yet admitted as demonstrable. It has been the Wicklow lakes, are usually visited from the Roundsuggested that they were beacons, dwelling-places for wood Inn at Togher,—a house much frequented by anchorites, sepulchres, and many other things even tourists, on account of its serving as a convenient centre stranger than these, till some were ready to believe, as from which to visit, besides Luggala and the Loughs, an Irishman hinted, that they were just built “ to puzzle the Devil's Glen and the Seven Churches. But we posterity.” The opinion that seemed most to prevail may proceed to the Loughs direct from Glendalough. among the learned was, that they were · Fire-towers,' The way thither is by the rough mountain road which where the sacred fire was kept alive : and it has been at Laragh turns northward behind the barracks. As said that this opinion is countenanced by vague tradi- there is a meeting of roads at Laragh, the pedestrian tions still existing among the peasantry. But since the must be careful not to take the wrong, which it is very publication of Mr. Petrie's Essay on the Round Towers easy to do, as the right one hardly looks like a road, of Ireland, that hypothesis is less stoutly maintained, and one or two of the others seem to lie nearly in the and there is a growing belief that they were erected by required direction. Laragh, we may remark in passing, the Christian ecclesiastics who were settled in Ireland. is a rude, poor village, but not unpicturesque; and its at a very early period. Mr. Petrie thinks they were cabins and their inhabitants would supply some good intended to serve at once for keeps, or places of security studies to a sketcher. from marauders, and for belfries. That they were meant At Oldbridge, just at the foot of Lough Dan, will be to serve as strongholds we have very little doubt. seen a small farm-house with an uncommon cheerful Their position, too, always in connection with an English 'well-to-do' aspect; here a boat may be hired ecclesiastical establishment, would seem to indicate to carry you over the Lough: it is only by means of a that they were used as places of refuge by the eccle- boat that Lough Dan can be properly seen. Lough siastics. The character and style of construction of Dan is not very large, being only a mile and three the buildings prove, as we think, that they are of a quarters long, and nowhere half-a-mile across : but it later date than the worship of Baal. In a word, we is set within a frame of ruiged mountains, which imbelieve that they were certainly the keeps of religious part to it a sufficiently wild character. Sliere Bukh is establishments ; but of their other use or uses we are its boundary on the eastern side, the Scar Mountain not so well satisfied. Mr. Petrie has laboriously and on the west, while directly in front rises the broken with great acumen investigated the matter, and he is peak of the lofty Knocknacloghole. From the comconvinced that they are belfries; and his opinion is parative narrowness of the Lough and its winding entitled to the greatest respect.
course, it has somewhat the character of a broad, still If the visitor is disposed to stay here a day or two river. The sides of the mountains, except at the to examine these various objects at leisure, and to Oldbridge end, are bare, rugged, and steep. Masses explore the neighbourhood (which is very grand), he of blue crag project boldly from among the furze-clad will find decent accommodation at the little inn just by wastes and the broken and scattered grassy slopes, the church. It is well to spend a night here. The where a few sheep find scanty pasturage. As you sail gloomy lake, grand as it appears in the day, becomes in the morning over the black water, while the mists infinitely more so as the sun is sinking behind the hills, are slowly breaking away from the mountain sides, all just glancing upon their summits, and leaving in deepest seems to wear an air of desolate majesty. gloom the glen and the lakes. Ilaving stayed at In order to visit Luggala you land where the Aronnight in the glen as long as we could discern an more enters the Lough ; but you should not land witholject, we resolved to see it by the earliest dawn in the out first rowing to the head of the lake, as that is per. morning. Long before the sun we were there, and haps, the very finest part of it. Let us add, for the sake truly the spectacle that greeted us was a glorious one. of Waltonian tourists, that although the trout are not The atmosphere was charged with a heavy mist, which large, there are plenty of them in Lough Dan, and settled low and thick in the glen ; but by-and-by the some good fishing may be had there. A narrow wind
ing valley, about two miles long, with the Avonmore mountain summits, their peaks rising in grand perflowing through it, lies between Lough Dan and Lough spective behind each other, and displaying as they Tay. We will not stay to describe this pleasant vale, recede the richest aërial effects. These mountains are but we must, in passing, call attention to the spirited entirely desolate. In the maps they are marked as the improvements that are being effected by the owner of “uninhabited mountains.” So wild, desolate, and little this tract of country. The whole valley is being known were they, that after the rebellion in 1798 a drained, the river turned into a more direct course, number of the rebels were able to maintain themselves and an excellent road has been formed along the pass. among them for some years, under the leadership of one Were there many such landlords in Ireland, we might Dwyer. It was not till the Military Road was conhope for better days there yet.
structed through the district, after the outbreak in 1803, Lough Tay (Cut, No. 9) is much smaller than Lough that there could be said to be any road over these Dan, being less than a mile long, and nowhere half a mountains. This wild pass of Sally Gap, where we
but it is more compact and lake-like, and now are, Wicklow Gap, and Glenmalure, were the only it is generally regarded as the more beautiful. We practicable entrances. confess to not sharing in this opinion. But Lough Tay The Lough Brays (or Breagh) lie both of them high is certainly very beautiful. It is encircled by lofty up among the mountains, the one being 1,423 and the mountains, which in places rise almost precipitously other 1,225 feet above the sea. Both lie in deep glens, from the water. The extensive plantations however and both are very fine. Upper Lough Bray is the lonetake off much of the natural grandeur it would other lier, and perhaps the grander; the Lower Lough is the wise possess; and the prevalence of spiry firs not only more cheerful. The scenery around both is exceeddestroys the beauty which foliage might impart, but ingly beautiful. After visiting the Loughs, the pretty very materially injures the picturesqueness of the scene. village of Enniskerry will be the object to be atLough Tay lies wholly within the extensive and beauti- tained ; and Glencree might be seen on the way. Then ful demesne of Luggala, of which it is of course the from Enniskerry, by the Scalp, to Dublin. chief feature.
There is another route through which we intended to From Luggala, the Military Road will lead, by way lead the tourist. That, namely, from Laragh or Glenof Sally Gap, to a couple more of the Loughs that are dalough up Glendassan, by Wicklow Gap, and along among the notabilities of Wicklow: they are well worth the desolate mountain roads to Polaphuca Waterfall, visiting. The road will afford some noble mountain and thence to Blessington, returning in another direcviews. From some of the heights on either hand, which tion. But we do not recommend it unless our waymay easily be ascended, will be seen a long range of farer have a superabundance of time on hand.