The walled city of Galway stands at the centre of this King’s Topographical Collection prospect by Thomas Phillips, a military engineer posted to Ireland between 1684 and 1685. The view was taken at the point where Galway Bay and the River Corrib meet, and looks towards the fortified city, with St Nicholas’ Church and O’Brien Bridge at left.

A second, almost identical version of this view entitled ‘Prospect of Galway’ is also held in the King’s Topographical Collection (Maps K.Top.53.40.a.). Both are either related to or after two works depicting Galway by Philips in the National Library of Ireland, Dublin (MS 2557/24 and MS 3137/29). Perhaps these were drafts for a print design or presentation drawing.

Phillips likely produced this view of Galway after August 1684, when he began a project to survey, record and appraise the fortifications and harbours of Ireland.