Cove of Cork

[From the Dublin Penny Journal, Vol. 1, No. 8, August 18, 1832]

Not very many years ago, cove was merely a fishing village, and residence of Custom-house officers. Its natural advantages have now rendered it an important place; for its harbour is undoubtedly the noblest asylum for shipping in Europe. Nothing can be conceived more enchanting than to proceed either by land or water from Cork to Cove: more especially when there is a king's fleet in the harbour. It is worth taking a journey from Dublin to Cork to see it; and it may be made a question, whether even Killarney, with all its lakes, mountains, woods, and waterfalls, is calculated to fill the mind with nobler or sublimer thoughts, or lovelier images, than the scenery ot land and river, as you proceed to the harbour from the city. When the tide is in the Lee, it looks a fine river: as indeed it is, for it almost rivals the Blackwater in the romantic beauties of its course, from its source in the sublime and sacred lake of Gougane Barra, until it mingles its waters with the sea, in Cork harbour.

Suppose you depart from Cork for Cove, by water-on the left, as you proceed down the river, are the wooded heights of Glenmire, crowned with numerous villas and mansions.- On the right, the almost equally rich grounds leading to Blackrock Castle and Monkstown. The great interest of the passage by water to Cove, arises from the sinuous winding of the estuary of the Lee, by which rapid changes of scenery are presented to your view, embellished by a succession of woods, ships, castles and villages. Blackrock Castle is fine-the reach at Passage, where merchant vessels usually ride at anchor, is beautiful; but when you turn Battery Point, and see the noble harbour of Cork spreading its broad bosom before you, with its fortified isles, and a large fleet riding securely under their shelter, you feel that it is at once lovely and magnificent.

Cove certainly is a delightful sea shore residence. The town is situated on the steep side of the hill, with a southern exposure; beneath it, and around it extends the noble landlocked harbour, surrounded by fine demesnes; it is clean, from the steepness of the hill on which it is built: and dry, from its southern exposure. It is deservedly considered a place favorable to invalids; and we believe no situation in Ireland enjoys so mild and genial a climate; perhaps the air may be rather moist for some constitutions; but if that is found to be no objection, let those in search of a milder climate, try Cove; in the spring of the year more especially it is not subjected to those keen withering easterly winds, that are so detrimental to weakly frames, and under which many still suffer who seek for health in the south of France, and the shores of the Mediterranean. Let any one read Starke's Travels in France and Italy, and they will find that Montpelier, Nice, Genoa, and Naples, all suffer under distressing winds in the spring season-that the Vent de Bize, or the Sirocco winds, blowing from the parched shores of Africa, are intolerable to any delicate constitution, and many only proceed to those boasted southern shores to live with less comfort, and die the sooner-far from friends, and all those accommodations, and associations that smooth the pillow, and alleviate the sufferings of the invalid. We have seen a residence in Cove restore many to health; and even to those who need no physician, Cove, for a great part of the year, must be a delightful residence. Not only the beauty of the surrounding country-the lively society afforded by the shipping in the harbour-the ready and rapid communication with the city of Cork; the cheapness of all sorts of provisions, and the abundant supply of the best fish, render it a very attractive place of resort; and we only regret that certain circumstances have, for the present, diminished its importance.