The Hollybrook Harp

Hollybrook Harp

Photograph from The Irish and Highland Harps
by Robert Bruce Armstrong

Feature Detail
Date 18th century
String Count 37
Height 125 cm (49 inches)
Soundbox Made-up box from several pieces of wood, maximum width is 24 cm (9½ inches)
Current Location The National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, Dublin.

Follow this link for The Hollybrook Harp - The Harp of “Robin” Adair of Hollybrooke, its construction, capability and history, by Michael Billinge. It is also available, via this link here, as a PDF download.

For Robert Bruce Armstrong’s account of this harp, see The Irish and Highland Harps pages 96 through 100. These pages include the photograph reproduced above, as well as some line drawings, detailed description, measurements and observations on this harp.

Armstrong notes that it is “the only known specimen of considerable antiquity the box of which is not cut out of a solid block”. However, since Armstrong wrote these words, further old harps whose soundboxes were constructed from pieces have come to light and a different picture is emerging. It would now appear that harps with made-up soundboxes were more numerous than had previously been acknowledged.