Travellers, now and in the past, often make a record of their journeys, whether through letters, journals or published travel guides. Others capture their experiences through sketches, paintings and photographs.
Such accounts can be a useful source for understanding Ireland’s past communities and landscapes. However, travellers’ accounts must be interpreted with caution. The accounts will reflect the opinions, perspectives, interests and concerns of the individual that wrote them, and so for this reason it is important to understand who wrote the account, and the purpose of their journey.
Our study of travellers’ accounts focuses on individuals who visited the West Cork coast between 1700 and 1920, stretching from Timoleague to Bantry Bay. We have created a storymap of West Cork Travellers’ Accounts which gives an overview of travel to West Cork during this period, through the lenses of three different travellers. We have identified more than 40 accounts that refer to West Cork between these dates. Where their works are available online, we have provided links to them.