Lake and Precipice at Coumshenane

[From the Dublin Penny Journal, Vol. 1, No. 17, October 20, 1832]

The Lake and Precipice at Coumshenane, County of Waterford.

The above engraving is intended to convey some idea of a lake of considerable extent, and its surrounding scenery, situated in a stupendous chasm on the south east side of one of the highest parts of the Cummeragh mountains, in the county of Waterford. The precipice of solid rock which forms the back ground in our sketch, is upwards of eleven hundred feet in height! and, (comparatively speaking) perpendicular, except where it recedes a few feet occasionally as it rises, presenting the appearance of a succession of gigantic steps, on which the debris from the rocks above has, in the course of ages become changed with mould, and covered with verdure ; forming a pleasing contrast with the brown conglomerate of the precipice. From either end of this immense wall of living rock, the precipitous banks decline away gradually, at each side of the lake, until at, or immediately below its level, having merged into the surface of the mountain they again become united. The view, (reverse to that above) from the foot of the precipice, and looking out over the lake, is truly magnificent—the greater part of the county of Waterford appears as an immense map spread out below the mountain, and in clear weather a line of sea coast of thirty to forty miles in extent is particularly visible.

The lake is of great depth, and from this circumstance, and the prodigious height and gloomy character of the surrounding cliffs, assumes, except just around the margin, an almost inky hue; an insignificant stream issues from it, and after descending the mountain, joins the river Clodagh before its passage through the magnificent demesne of Curraghmore, or its far more useful operation of giving impulse to the machinery of Mayfield Cotton Factory.

This solitary spot, secluded in awful solitude, high amidst the wildest parts of the Cummeragh range of mountains, was little known or heard of until of later years - it has now, however, become an object of much and increasing interest. Perhaps, with the exception of the Gap of Dunloe at Killarney, the south of Ireland can boast of no scene of this character, so stupendous and magnificent.

Coumshenane is distant from Waterford about fourteen miles nearly due west; and from Clonmel nine miles south east.