At last we came in sight of Loughveigh lying cradled among the rocks, and got a glimpse of the white tower of Glenveigh Castle. There is a small skirting of wood near the castle where the silver barked birch prevails from which the glen takes its name, interspersed with holly trees, which grow here in profusion, and some dark yews, prim and stately, drawn up like sentinels to guard the demesne.
No place could be imagined more utterly alone than Glenveigh Castle. The utter silence which Mr. Adair has created seems to wrap the place in an invisible cloak of awfulness that can be felt. Except a speculative rook or a solitary crane sailing solemnly toward the mountain top, I saw no sign of life in all the glen. Owing to the windings of the road it seemed quite a while after we sighted the top of the tower before we entered the avenue which sweeps round the edge of the lake shore, and finally brought us to the castle. The castle stands on a point stretching out into the lake. Opposite, on the other side of the lake, a steep, bare, dark rock rises up to the dizzy height. It is the kind of rock that makes one think of fortified castles, and cities built for defence, that ought to be perched on a summit, but Glenveigh Castle should be a lady’s bower, instead of a fortalice. Behind the castle the mountain slopes are clothed with young trees. The castle itself is a very imposing building from the outside; grand, strong, rather repellant; inside it has a comfortless; ill-planned, unfinished appearance. The mantel-piece of white marble with the Adair arms carved on it - the bloody hand, the motto valor au mort, the supporters two angels - lies in the hall cracked in two. A very respectable Scotchman, a keeper, I suppose, showed me over the building. He must enjoy a very retired life there, for in all the country for miles there is not a human habitation except the police barrack that looms up like a tall ghost at the other end of the lake.
As we drove home through the mountains I noticed that Mukish wrapped herself in the misty folds of her veil. Soon after the storm rolled down the mountain sides and chased us home.
Letters of “Norah”
On Her Tour Through Ireland
By Margaret Dixon McDougall