Hazlewood and Lough Gill

We must also quote Mr. Inglis's account of his visit to LOCH GILL (or Gilly). "The chief object of attraction in the neighbourhood of Sligo, is Loch Gilly; a lake which is not sufficiently known to enjoy the reputation it deserves. I hired a boat at Sligo, and ascended the river, through a succession of beautiful scenery, to the domain of Hazlewood, the property of Mr. Wynn. This is a very lovely spot; the views of the lake, from a hundred points, are enchanting; and, in the disposition of lawn, wood, and shrubbery, taste and art have taken ample advantage of the gifts of nature. Finer evergreens I never saw in the most southern countries. The laurels and bays—grown into groat trees—rivalled, if they did not surpass, those of Woodstock or Curraghmore; and here I again found the arbutus, not, indeed, quite equal in its perfections to the arbutus of Killarney, but not greatly its inferior; and giving to the scenery all that advantage of colouring, which is the boast of Killarney. The timber, too, on this domain is equal to almost any I have seen; and I have often found myself pausing before some magnificent ash, oak, elm, or lime, throwing its deep shade across the green amphitheatre, which it seemed to have made for itself.

Hazlewood and Lough Gill

Hazlewood and Lough Gill

"But I must not forget Loch Gilly, which indeed it would be difficult to do. The domain of Hazlewood extends over that part of the banks of the river where it widens into the lake, and forms the first promontory. I embarked on the lake on the other side. Loch Gilly is about eight miles long, and from one to two broad, and in the character of beauty, will bear a comparison with any lake in Ireland. Its scenery is not stupendous—scarcely even anywhere bold; but it is 'beautiful exceedingly.' Its boundaries are not mountains, but hills of sufficient elevation to form a picturesque and striking outline. The hill-sides, which in some places rise abruptly from the water, and which, in others, slope more gently, are covered to a considerable elevation with wood; and the lake is adorned with twenty-three islands, almost every one of them finely wooded. Here, too, as well as on Hazlewood domain, I found that the arbutus is not confined to Killarney. The extent of Loch Gilly is highly favourable to its beauty. The eye embraces at once its whole length and breadth; the whole circumference of its shores; all their varieties and contrasts at once; all its islands. One charm is not lost in the contemplation of another, as in a greater lake: the whole is seen at once and enjoyed. I remained many hours on Loch Gilly, rowing here and there, or not moving at all; landing on its islands, two of which—Church Island and Cottage Island—are full of beauty; putting ashore in little coves and inlets: and visiting a holy well, two or three hundred yards from the banks, where I saw eleven devotees, four of whom went from station to station on their knees. I also visited a house of public resort near the lake, which the citizens of Sligo frequent on Sundays: and tasted their favourite beverage, called scolteen; composed of the following elegant ingredients—whiskey, eggs, sugar, butter, caraway-seeds, and beer."


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