The Sugar Loaf Rock...
The above picture appeared in a published explanation to the mid 19th century Ordnance Survey six inch maps. It shows a rocky outcrop in Knockeen townland, north of Tramore, that is now not as visible as it once was, due to the growth of trees that were planted in the 1960s. Knockeen Dolmen, a Portal Tomb of New Stone Age (Neolithic) date is just one kilometre away to the east-south-east. Given the proven relationships of some Neolithic monuments to features on horizons, it is tempting to ask just how forested Ireland was in ancient times. How much did Stone Age cattle grazing keep trees down?
The artist was George Victor du Noyer, a Huguenot (descendent of French Protestant refugees) Irishman who lived from 1817 to 1869. From 1834 to around his rather early death, he was a draughtsman with the Geological Survey of Ireland. He did hundreds of landscape drawings to illustrate geological structures and he often exaggerated the rocks a bit; sometimes so much so that he could be called a geological caricaturist. He might even have left out any bushes and trees that he felt were in the way. The Romantic Movement in art and literature was very much alive then; Romantics liked crags to be craggy and this drawing of the Sugar Loaf is certainly that.
There are hundreds of steeply conical hills in countries that use the English language-all named after the then familiar shape of sugar loaves. An example on the internet is to be seen at http://www.mawer.clara.net/loaf.html
It would be interesting if anyone had pre-1960s photos that show the Sugar Loaf from the East before the trees were planted. They might show how much the artist exaggerated the cragginess.
Du Noyer also produced paintings and drawings of other Waterford views: Mount Misery; Ballyvoyle Head; Coum Mahon; Waterford Harbour; Coumshingaun from half a parish away; and he did a nice sketch of Cloughlowrish; the Speaking Stone in Durrow at the bridge over the River Deehil.