An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 eBook

Mary Frances Cusack
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 946 pages of information about An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800.

[Illustration:  FERRITER’S CASTLE.]


[245] Day.—­Wilkinson’s Geology and Architecture of Ireland, p. 59.

[246] Celt.—­Catalogue of R.I.A. p. 43.  This celt is the largest discovered in Ireland, and is formed of coarse clay-slate.  It is 22 inches long, 1 inch thick, and 3-3/4 broad at the widest part.  It was found in the bed of the river Blackwater, two miles below Charlemont, county Armagh.

[247] Axe.—­Catalogue of R.I.A. p. 80.  Sir W. Wilde pronounces this to be one of the most beautiful specimens of the stone battle-axe which has been found in Ireland, both for design and execution.  It is composed of fine-grained remblendic sylicite, and is highly polished all over.  It was found in the river at Athlone.

[248] Wright.—­History of Domestic Manners and Sentiments, p. 11.

[249] Hall.—­Hence the term “hall” is still used to denote mansions of more than ordinary importance.  The hall was the principal part of the ancient Saxon house, and the term used for the part was easily transferred to the whole.

[250] Discovery.—­Ulster Arch.  Journal, vol. v. p. 83.

[251] Assigned.—­Petrie’s Tara, p. 200.

[252] Smith.—­The animals were brought to the smith, who knocked them down with his big hammer:  hence, probably, the name of Smithfield for a cattle market.  He was an important personage in the olden time.  In the Odyssey, as armourer, he ranks with the bard and physician.

[253] Tinnes.—­Dr. Petrie does not give the meaning of this word, but Dr. O’Donovan supplies the deficiency in the Book of Rights, where he explains it to mean a salted pig, or in plain English, bacon.

[254] Table.—­In the earliest ages of Tara’s existence, the household may have been served as they sat on the benches round the hall.  The table was at first simply a board:  hence we retain the term a hospitable board; a board-room, a room where a board was placed for writing on.  The board was carried away after dinner, and the trestles on which it stood, so as to leave room for the evening’s amusements.

[255] Cooked.—­Wright’s Domestic Manners, p. 87.  The knights in this engraving are using their shields as a substitute for a table.  At p. 147 there is an illustration of the method of cooking on a spit; this is turned by a boy.  The Irish appear to have had a mechanical arrangement for this purpose some centuries earlier.  Bellows, which are now so commonly used in Ireland, and so rare in England, appear to have been a Saxon invention.

[256] Poems.—­Ulster Arch.  Journal, vol. i. p. 108.  It would appear as if corn had been eaten raw, or perhaps partly scorched, at an early period, as was customary in eastern countries.  Teeth have been found in crania taken from our ancient tombs, quite worn down by some such process of mastication.

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