Fingal's Cave, Staffa
Photographer: Wilson, George Washington
Medium: Photographic print
"On rounding a projecting part of the cliff, the august vestibule of the Great Cave is presented to the view. The exquisite symmetry of the arch at the entrance is seen to mosst advantage from the steamboat at a little distance; and such an opportunity of viewing it is usually afforded to visitors on the vessel's quitting the island. It is 70 feet in height and about 230 feet in length. Its sides are like the front columns, and in a general sense perpendicular. Its columns are frequently broken and irregularly grouped so as to catch a variety of direct and reflected tints, mixed with unexpected shadows, that produce a picturesque effect which no regularity could have given. 'Compared to this, what are the cathedrals or palaces built by man? Mere models of play things, imitations as diminutive as his works will always be when compared to those of Nature. Where is now the boast of the architect? Regularity, the only part in which he fancied himself to exceed his mistress Nature, is here found in her possession, and here it has been for ages undescribed.'
'O, for those motions only that invite
The ghost of Fingal to his tuneful cave
By the breeze entered, and wave after wave
Softly embosoming the timid light!'
Descriptive letterpress from the book 'Photographs of English and Scottish Scenery' by G W Wilson