Giant's Causeway, Ireland

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Between the northeastern coast of Ireland and the rough western shore of Scotland is North Channel. North Channel connects the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. On this North Channel, about 40 miles northeast of Londonberry, is the Giant's Causeway. It is a remarkable group of rocks as you see. They are really columns standing on end. They are regular, five-and six-sided stones that look as if they had been chiseled out and set down here for a road. There are about 40,000 of these columns fitted together nicely. The Irish have a tale to explain how these stones came to be there. The story goes that one Finn M'Coul or Fingal, a giant of Ireland, once bridged the North Channel to Scotland. A part of his highway still remains on the Irish coast. One tale goes that Finn built it so the giants of Scotland could come over to Ireland dry shod. Another story relates that Finn had quarreled with a Scotch giant and built this road to go back to Scotland to fight him. The story probably comes about because there is a cave with fine columns of Staffa Island off Scotland. This cave is called Fingal's cave. The highway between the two would account for the likeness of the rocks and of the names. But the real reason is quite different. The stones are lava, called basalt. The Causeway was once a hot lava sheet. When the lava cooled it cracked in regular forms as lava does when evenly spread. What is lava? What must have been here at one time? Groups of the stones have been named by the Irish. One bunch is called the Giant's Organ; another, Giant's Loom; another, Lady's Fan; etc. What great Firth empties into the North Channel? What large Scotch city sends its ships through the North Channel not far from the Causeway? Keystone ID: 6854 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.