Godwin Swift letters Crookhaven 1757

Extract from letter of Godwin Swift (Customs Man), 16th May 1757 from Crookhaven

‘Now with regard to the place and provisions: you are to know that you see nothing here but mountains of rock (not cliffs) and yet those rocks are more dear to poor people or strangers as the lands within 2 miles of Dublin.  There is here undoubtedly great plenty of fish, yet the people are so lazy they’d rather live on salt mackerel and potatoes then give themselves the trouble to take fresh fish.  There is no garden stuff here, very bad mutton and lamb, and no beef, not a tree or even a shrub within 8 miles of the place….

30th June 1757  ‘…nothing but rocky mountains around us for 20 miles, where not even a slide car can go the road, nor any other cattle than little horses bred and used to this country….you can’t conceive the wretchedness of it.  We have neither bread to eat nor malt liquor wine or cider to drink, nor meat except a little mutton and bad lamb.  Our liquor a bad toddy, our victuals potatoes and fish and lie in a cottage..

Toby Bernard, Mizen Journal 2004

Richard Griffith built the road to Skibbereen in the 1820s


Cork Customs Personnel: