Rathlin Island, County Antrim

In all the views between Ballycastle and Dunluce, the Island of Rathlin (or Rathkerry), is one of the most conspicuous features, stretching its length along the shore within six miles of the cliffs, and backed by the misty tops of the far-seen Scotch coast. Raghery is about five English miles in length by three and a half in breath. It contains about three thousand acres, one quarter of which grows corn, &c. There are three town-lands, called Shandra, Alla, and Knockard, upon which the majority of the inhabitants, generally about one thousand, reside. It appears from a late census that its population is not increasing, and varies very little. There are two places of worship here, a Protestant church and a Roman Catholic chapel.

The extreme western end of the island is called Kenramer, and is three hundred and fifty-two feet above the ocean. Formerly, distinctions existed between the inhabitants of each end of the island, and the qualifications of each were looked upon as totally dissimilar.

Near Ushet, at a place called Doon Point, the disposition of the basaltic columns is very remarkable, some being perpendicular, others horizontal, others curved. The base of this little promontory is a natural pier or mole. Above this is a collection of columns of a curved form, apparently assumed in conformity with the surface on which they rest, and inducing a belief that they were so moulded when in a state of softness; and above both these arrangements, there is a variety of differently disposed columns, partaking of every position in which basalt has been discovered in other places. The form of Raghery Island is that of a right-angle, whose sides or legs are Kenramer and Ushet Points.

END OF CHAPTER IV.


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