Saturday, May 01, 2010

The blue-eyed, sandy coloured, Ulster-Scots of the Ards, 1840

(NB: If you're reading this on Facebook, you can read this post in full on my blog). Samuel Carter Hall and Anna Maria Hall were great travel writers of the 1800s. Here's a description of their observations of the people of the Ards Peninsula:

"...Mr and Mrs Hall, who toured Ireland in 1840, described the people of the coastal areas of County Down as being quite different because of the close approximation of the Scottish coast. The faces they met had a "square, stolid and "look forward" sort of expression, the cheek bones were high and broad, the eyes somewhat sunk and blue rather than black and grey, the complexions were still what they call "sandy" in Ireland. A Scotch-Irish dialect was, and still is today, particularly strong in the Middle Ards in and above the saltwater marsh..."

The three volumes they wrote were Ireland, its Scenery, Character & C, Mr & Mrs C Hall, 1843. PDF downloads here

(ps - how long do you think it will be before some moron sends me a "Seig heil" type comment?....)