The Vale Of Ovoca
Photographer: Mares, Frederick H
Medium: Photographic print
"On leaving Rathdrum, keeping the demesne of Avondale and Kingstown about a mile to the left, and winding over a considerable height, from whence a magnificent view of the mountains to the south and west is obtained, we descend to the Vale of Ovoca. At the foot of this hill the rivers Avonbeg and Avonmore unite, forming what is called the 'First Meeting of the Waters,' and hence the united streams, under the name of Ovoca, flow peacefully down to the ocean at Arklow. From the elevated ground near the 'First Meeting of the Waters' a striking view of Castle Howard is obtained. The demesne is approached by the Lion Arch, a picturesque structure which crosses the Avonmore River a little above its junction with the Avonbeg, and harmonizes well with the pleasing rural character of the place. The Castle stands upwards of 200 feet above the river, and commands a magnificent view of the Vale of Ovoca, a part of Glenmalure, and the mountains and country around...
The Vale is about eight miles in length; in no place, except near the esturary, is it more than a quarter of a mile in breadth; and the banks, which are covered with natural wood, rise to an elevation of from 300 to 500 feet above the level of the river."
Descriptive letterpress from the book 'Photographs of Co. Wicklow' by F H Mares