Portpatrick to Donaghadee

THE southern portion of Ireland has already furnished us with many beautiful subjects for illustration; but while dilating upon the romantic scenery of this portion, of the island, it would be a great injustice to overlook the claims of the north, and in that direction we must now endeavour to lead our readers, satisfied that in the wonders of the "Causeway" and the wilds of Connemara, they will find sources of delight in no way inferior to those supplied by the lakes of Killarney and the glens of Wicklow.

We started for our northern tour from a Scottish port, and after a short sea-passage we ran into the little harbour of Donaghadee, and were rather surprised to find it a very neat Scotch-looking town: the streets clean, the inn tidy, and not a beggar to welcome us to Ireland. The harbour was designed by Sir John Rennie; the piers are of white granite, and a couple of towers crowning an abrupt mound, give the port a picturesque and important air. Off the opposite side of the lough stands Carrickfergus, so celebrated in Irish history. Its castle is strongly situated on a rock, and commands the best harbour on the north-east coast of Ireland. It was built on the site of an ancient fort, by John de Courcey, who received from Henry II. a grant of all the land he might conquer in Ulster.

In 1315, Lord Edward Bruce, with an army of six thousand men, landed from Scotland for the purpose of conquering Ireland, and forced the garrison of Carrickfergus to surrender, after an obstinate defence. He was shortly after defeated and slain near Dublin, this place then fell into the hands of the English, and continued for many years to be their stronghold. The importance which Carrickfergus once enjoyed as a trading port has been transferred to Belfast; but it still possesses the honour of being the county-town where the assizes are held.