The Letters Of
The Letters Of "Norah" On Her Tour Through Ireland By Margaret Dixon Mcdougall - Page 230 of 404 - First - Home

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I Cannot Describe It As An Architect Or Antiquarian, And These Classes Know All About It Better Than I Do, But I Want To Convey As Far As I Can The Impression It Made Upon Me To Others As Delightfully Ignorant On The Subject.

The roof is made in the same way as all arched roofs of old castles which I have yet seen, of thin stones laid edge-wise to form the arch and cemented together.

The country people tell me that a frame of wood was made over which they formed the arch and then poured among the stones thin mortar boiling hot. On the inside of the arch run along ribs of hewn stone cemented into their places, running up to meet in a carved point at the extreme top. These groinings spring from short pillars of hewn stone that only reach part way down the wall to the floor and run to a point. These consoles are highly ornamented with sculpture. The mouldings round the doors, and the stone window frames and sashes, are wonderfully well done, and would highly ornament a church of the nineteenth century.

I think we undervalue the civilization of the far past of Connaught. Those who erected such churches, such abbeys and such castles were both intelligent and possessed of wealth in no small degree. The ingenuity of the cut stone hinge on the stone that closes the tomb in the chancel, the carving on the tomb of the Prince of the O'Connor line, the staunch solidness of every wall, the immense strength of every arched roof, show skilled builders, whether they worked under the direction, of the Gobhan Saer or another man.

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