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The ancient Castle of Carrickfergus stands in a commanding position on the northern shore of Belfast Lough, in the county of Antrim, in Ireland.
A small and safe harbour just beneath the walls, floating from which, the flag of the fortress has
“ Braved for a thousand years the battle and the breeze,”
affords the needful shelter to shipping navigating the Lough; while the town of Carrickfergus is placed, as if for security, behind the fortification ; a site to which, in days gone by, it owed its safety from the attacks of foes by land or sea.
The gallant Sir Henry Sydney is said to have founded the Castle of Carrickfergus, which has, ever since his time, been conspicuous in the military history of Ireland. During the Great Rebellion it fell into the hands of the Roundheads; who held it out during several of the sieges which marked that unhappy period. Here too, it was, or at least in the immediate neighbourhood of the fortress, that King William III. of glorious memory, landed, after the Revolution of 1688; and here, our then national enemies, the French, made a hostile descent in the year 1760; a year memorable as that of the accession of "good old George III.”
The external appearance of the ancient Castle of Carrickfergus is venerable and picturesque; its interior is in a state of complete preservation, and is regularly used as a garrison. To the tourist in Ireland, this fortress, associated as it is with the memory of many important events in our national history, must ever be an object of peculiar interest; an interest which is enhanced by the striking character of the scenery in its vicinity.
LISMORE CASTLE, COUNTY WATER FOR D.
The county of Waterford is remarkable for the vast variety of scenery which it comprises. Few counties in England or Ireland present a greater diversity of soil and prospect, than that which here meets the eye of the traveller ; some portions of this generally fertile county being richly wooded and highly cultivated; while others are barren, mountainous, and rocky. The principal rivers of Waterford are the Suir, and the Blackwater; the latter of which, after flowing through the county of Cork, by Millstrut, Mallow, and Fermoy, to Lismore and Cappoquin, takes a southward direction, and empties itself into Youghall Bay.
Among the various noble seats, which, appertaining respectively to the great landed proprietors of Ireland, adorn the banks of this fine river, few, if any, are more distinguished by magnificence and picturesque position than is the Castle of Lismore, one of the residences of the Duke of Devonshire. In fact, the name of this Castle sufficiently indicates its majestic character; Lis more signifying the Great Fort. The city of Lismore was anciently called by the Irish, Mag-sciath ; viz., the Field of the Shield.
From whatever point it may be viewed, Lismore Castle presents great and various beauties; but its northern front is doubtless that which par excellence attracts the spectator's admiration. This front is founded upon a rock which rises perpendicularly from the water, and which is overshadowed by a noble wood of ancient ash; the river, in the foreground, being spanned by a bridge well suited to the picturesque character of the scene.
In times gone by, Lismore was a place of considerable importance. King John erected a fortress on a site not far from that of the present Castle. This structure, however, which occupied a bold and commanding position, was destroyed by the Irish soon after its erection. Some years later, it was rebuilt ; and became, till the year 1589, an episcopal see. About that year, Miler Magrath, archbishop of Cashel, and bishop of this see, granted the manor of Lismore to Sir Walter Raleigh, of chivalrous (memory. From Sir Walter, the castle and lands passed into the hands of Sir Richard Boyle, by whom the domain was enlarged and beautified by planting and other improvements.
During the Great Rebellion, Lismore Castle being besieged, in the year 1641, by Sir Richard Beling, under whose command were five thousand men, was gallantly defended by the third son of the Earl of Cork, the young Lord Broghill, who compelled the assailants to raise the siege. In 1645, the Castle being garrisoned by a party of the Earl of Cork's tenantry, under the command of Major Power, was again besieged ; and after a desperate struggle,-during which the small garrison, consisting only of one