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The Great Causeway

The Great Causeway

Photographer: Hudson, John

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1867

Shelfmark: 1782.a.19

Item number: 3

Length: 17.7

Width: 11.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

The Giant's Causeway is a mass of over 40,000 basalt columns on the NW coast of Ireland, between Portrush & Ballycastle; formed by a rapid cooling of lava hitting the sea. Folklore ascribes the formation to a mythical race of giants who laid down the rock on the sea floor as a roadway connecting the Scottish Hebridean islands with Northern Ireland.

"The Little Causeway is first approached from the west; next is the Middle Causeway, to which the guides have given the name of Honeycomb, a name which aptly explains its character. The Great Causeway is, however, the leading object of attraction. The visitor usually ascends it from the west, and descends it to the east. On the eastern side of the Great Causeway is a pillar with thirty-eight joints, and two have been broken off. The length of the pillars vary from five feet to four inches. There is only one triangular pillar throughout the whole extent of the three Causeways; it stands near the east side of the Great Causeway. There are but three pillars of nine sides, one of them situated in the Honeycomb, and the others not far from the triangular pillar just noticed. The total number of four and eight sides bear but a small proportion to the entire mass of pillars, of which it may be safely computed that ninety-nine out of one hundred have either five, six, or seven sides. The contiguous sides of the several pillars are always of equal dimensions, although two sides of the same pillar will seldom or never be found equal. In one instance a pillar, with eight sides, has been surrounded by those with six sides. The lowest ranges of pillars are always most sharp in their angles, and close and uniform in their grain."

Descriptive letterpress from the book 'Photographs of the Giant's Causeway.'

Author not stated.

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