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´╗┐Title: Handbook to the Severn Valley Railway - Illustrative and Descriptive of Places along the Line from Worcester to Shrewsbury
Author: Randall, John, 1810-1910
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Handbook to the Severn Valley Railway - Illustrative and Descriptive of Places along the Line from Worcester to Shrewsbury" ***

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Transcribed from a facsimile of the original printing and design of 1863


Illustrative and Descriptive of Places along the Line,


[Title page illustration: title.jpg]


(_See Illustration on the Cover_.)

The Welsh are justly proud of their hills and their rivers; they
frequently personify both, and attribute to them characters corresponding
with their peculiar features.  Of the Severn, the Wye, and the Rheidol,
they have an apologue, intended to convey an idea of their comparative
length, and also of the character of the districts through which they
flow.  It is called "The Three Sisters," and in substance is as
follows:--In some primitive period of the earth's history, Father
Plinlimmon promised to these nymphs of the mountain as much territory as
they could compass in a day's journey to the sea, by way of dowry upon
their alliance with certain marine deities they should meet there.  Sabra,
goddess of the Severn, being a prudent, well-conducted maiden, rose with
the first streak of morning dawn, and, descending the eastern side of the
hill, made choice of the most fertile valleys, whilst as yet her sisters
slept.  Vaga, goddess of the Wye, rose next, and, making all haste to
perform her task, took a shorter course, by which means she joined her
sister ere she reached the sea.  The goddess Rhea, old Plinlimmon's pet,
woke not till roused by her father's chiding; but by bounding down the
side of the mountain, and selecting the shortest course of all, she
managed to reach her destination first.  Thus the Cymric proverb, "There
is no impossibility to the maiden who hath a fortune to lose or a husband
to win."


The Severn, like other English rivers, may be said to have been the
pioneer of railways along its banks: first, in having done much to
correct the inequalities of the surface; secondly, in having indicated
the direction in which the traffic flowed; so that early in the history
of railway enterprise eminent engineers, like the late Robert Stephenson,
saw the desirability of following its course, and thus meeting the wants
of towns that had grown into importance upon its banks, wants which the
river itself was unable to supply.  In 1846 the route was finally
surveyed by Robert Nicholson, with a view to a through traffic in
connection with other railways.  The scheme met with opposition from
advocates of rival lines.  Ultimately, however, the Bill passed the
committees of the two Houses, and the promoters were successful, whilst
the expenses of counsel and witnesses were enormous.  The original
estimate for the line was 600,000 pounds: 110,000 pounds for land, and
490,000 pounds for works.  8,500 pounds was down for a girder bridge at
Arley, 8,000 pounds for one near Quatford, 9,000 pounds for one above
Bridgnorth, and 10,000 pounds for one at Shrewsbury.  The two bridges
near Bridgnorth and the one near Shrewsbury were abandoned, and a
considerable saving was effected by shortening the line at Hartlebury, by
a junction, with the Oxford, Wolverhampton, and Worcester higher up than
was originally intended.  The estimated cost of the works, in consequence
of these reductions, and of the determination of the company to make it a
single line, was thus reduced to nearly one-half the original sum.

Although the Severn Valley Railway joins the Main Trunk line at
Hartlebury, Worcester is regarded as its proper terminus; and at that
point we commence our description.


[Illustration of Worcester: 4.jpg]

Population, 31,123.  Returns two Members to Parliament

Market days--Wednesdays and Saturdays Fair days--Saturday before Palm
Sunday, Saturday before Easter Day, August 15th, September 19th, and
first Monday in December.

Our engraving represents the "faithful city" as it appears from a point
between the bridges, with the Cathedral rising from an eminence above the
river.  The venerable pile was raised by the brave and pious bishop
Wulstan, upon the site of an earlier edifice, formerly the church of a
priory founded by one of the Saxon kings.  Recent restorations, carried
on under the direction of the Dean and Chapter, have led to the
correction of defects, resulting from time, and ignorance on the part of
past builders, and have disclosed features which add much to the grandeur
of the edifice; so that in addition to impressions its magnificence
creates upon the mind of the general visitor, it now affords a rich treat
to all who delight to trace the boundary lines of ecclesiastical
architecture, as they approach or recede from the present time.  First,
there is the Norman or Romanesque of the period of its erection, of which
the crypt and part of the central transept are specimens; secondly, the
First Pointed or Early English, as seen in the eastern transept; thirdly,
the Middle Pointed or Decorated, as in the tower, guesten hall, and
refectory; and, fourthly, the Third Pointed or Perpendicular, as in the
north porch, in the cloisters, and Prince Arthur's Chapel.  Amongst
ancient mural monuments, covering the dust or commemorating the virtues
of the great, will be found King John's tomb, in the centre of the choir;
one in white marble of Prince Arthur; and those of bishops Sylvester,
Gauden, Stillingfleet, Thornborough, Parry, and Hough, the latter a _chef
d'oeuvre_ of Roubilliac's; also that of Judge Lyttleton, "the father of
English law;" and others of men renowned for learning, piety, or bravery.
Near this fine old ecclesiastical edifice once stood the feudal
stronghold that protected it, the only remaining portion of which is a
crumbling mass of stone known as Edgar's Tower.  From standing in the
college precincts it is sometimes mistaken for a portion of the
cathedral; it is, however, a relic of the old castle, the keep of which
rested on a mound of sand and gravel, which was found to contain, upon
its removal in 1833, Roman remains of the reigns of Augustus, Nero,
Vespasian, and Constantine.  In High Street, leading from the Cathedral
to the Cross, is the Guildhall, erected from a design by a pupil of the
great Sir Christopher Wren, and considered to be one of the most handsome
brick-fronted structures in the kingdom.  It is decorated with statues of
Charles I., Charles II., Queen Anne, and with emblematic figures of
Justice, Peace, Labour, &c.; whilst over the doorway is the city coat of
arms, with the motto, "_Floreat semper fidelis civitas_."  The lower hall
contains a collection of interesting specimens of ancient armour, gleaned
from the battlefields of Worcester, and one of those quaint old
instruments of punishment formerly used for scolds, called a "brank."  In
the municipal hall, on the second floor, is a portrait of George III.,
who presented it to the inhabitants, and others of citizens who have done
good service to the town, or in some way distinguished themselves, the
last added being that of Alderman Padmore, one of the members for the

The churches are fifteen in number, some being ancient edifices, others
recent erections built on the sites of older structures, whilst a few are
copies of the originals.  There are nearly as many dissenting and other
chapels, several of which are handsome specimens of modern architectural
skill.  Among instances of domestic architecture of past centuries may be
mentioned, "The Old House" in "New Street," from which Charles II.
escaped after the battle of Worcester.  It was the house also in which
Judge Berkeley was born, and has over the door the inscription, "Love God
(W. B. 1557, R. D), Honor the King."

Worcester is rich in schools, almshouses, and institutions, whose united
incomes, representing a total of 4,000 pounds, speak much for the public
spirit and large-hearted benevolence of the inhabitants.

The Museum and Natural History Society, in Foregate Street, to which
visitors are admitted on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, {6} with its
collection of antiquities, fossils, and objects of natural history,
should be visited.  Also, the Arboretum and Public Pleasure Grounds, near
Sansome Walk, where fetes are given and bands frequently play.  The
grounds are tastefully laid out, portions being set apart for games of
archery, cricket, bowls, and quoits.  The usual admission fee is
sixpence, but on Mondays they are free to the inhabitants.

In describing Worcester it would be unpardonable not to allude to its
hops, from 2,000 to 3,000 pockets of which, it is said, not unfrequently
change hands, in the market in the Foregate, during the season.

Glove making also is still one of the staple trades, nearly half a
million being annually manufactured by Messrs. Dent and others.

Worcester is celebrated for Porcelain of a very superior kind; and
facilities are afforded to strangers visiting the manufactory, both in
Diglis, and in Lowesmoor.  The productions of the former are highly
esteemed by connoisseurs.  The works have the good fortune to receive
distinguished and even royal patronage; and the show-rooms form one of
the attractions of the city.

The Iron trade, so far as regards the manufacture of bridges, machinery,
and general castings, notwithstanding the distance from the iron making
districts, is well represented by the Vulcan Works, and those of Messrs.
Padmore and Hardy.  Other establishments on a large scale have sprung
into existence in the city and its suburbs, in which chemistry and
machinery, singly or combined, produce results the most astounding.  Among
them are those of Hill, Evans, and Co., where the visitor wanders amidst
enormous vats, from which as many as 1,208,600 gallons of vinegar have
been produced in a single year; and those of Lewis, Watkins, and Co.,
where a large portion of the vinegar is used in preparing pickles, and
where hundreds of tons of preserved fruits and jam are annually produced
for sale.  There are also those of the well-known firm of Lea and Perrin;
the chemical works of Webb; the extensive carriage manufactory of
McNaught and Smith, and others upon which space forbids us to dwell.

[Old waterworks: 7.jpg]

The Severn supplies the inhabitants with water, which is purified by
means of extensive filter-beds at the upper end of Pitchcroft, and then
thrown by machinery to the top of Rainbow Hill, a position sufficiently
elevated to ensure its distribution over the upper stories of the highest
houses.  The "Old Waterworks" remain, and, as will be seen from our
sketch, form a picturesque object in the landscape.  The Severn is,
however, no longer the fast-flowing stream poets have described it, but
what it has lost in speed it has gained in depth, breadth, and majesty;
the locks and weirs at Diglis--the former two abreast, and the latter
stretching 400 feet across the stream--giving to it the aspect of a lake,
an aspect aided by the appearance upon its surface of a number of swans.
Its contrast with itself, whilst yet in its rocky cradle on Plinlimmon,
will be seen from the accompanying sketch of _Blaen Hafren_, or the "Head
of the River," two miles from its source.  Anglers will find pleasant
spots at which to indulge in the "gentle art," near Henwick, where the
old Worcester monks had weirs; also near Bevere Island, and Holt Castle;
at the confluence of the Severn with the Teme (two miles

[Blaen Hafren: 8.jpg]

below Worcester), thence to the tail of Kempsey Lake; and still better
near the Rhydd (the seat of Sir E. A. H. Lechmere, Bart.).  Worcester is
surrounded by very many spots of interest to lovers of natural scenery,
to archaeologists, botanists, and geologists.  Among those within easy
reach, and deserving of special notice, may be mentioned Croome Court,
the seat of the Earl of Coventry (nine miles); and Witley Court, backed
by the Abberley and Woodbury hills, (ten miles); also Madresfield Court,
the seat of the Earl of Beauchamp (six miles); Cotheridge Court, the seat
of W. Berkeley, Esq. (four miles); and Strensham village, the birthplace
of Butler, the author of "Hudibras" (three miles from Duffore station, on
the Bristol line).  Leaving Worcester at Shrub Hill--a portion of a long
natural terrace commanding pleasing views of the city and of the Malvern
range of hills--we pass the cemetery; then Hindlip Hall, the residence of
Henry Alsop, Esq., a handsome modern mansion standing in the midst of a
very pleasant country on the left, and approached by an avenue of trees
nearly a mile in length.  The "Old Hall," upon the site of which the
present one is built, was constructed by some quaint architect having
less peaceful times in view, who contrived numerous secret chambers, of
which the conspirators Garnet and Oldcorn are known to have availed
themselves.  Here also lived the sister of Lord Monteagle, whose letter
to her brother is said to have led to the discovery of Gunpowder Plot.
Near the hall is the old ivy-towered church of the hamlet, with its
rustic graveyard.  At a distance of six miles from Worcester is the
borough town of


Population, 3,123

Market day--Friday.  Fairs--Friday in Easter week, June 18th, September
24th, and December 18th.

The town, which lies beneath the embankment of the railway, in the valley
of the river Salwarp, on the right, is on weekdays so enveloped in steam,
that little beyond its stacks, and the murky tower of St. Andrew's
Church, are seen.  Its staple trade is salt, for the export of which the
canal, the Severn, and modern railways offer great facilities.  From
early times, the subterranean river beneath the town has yielded an
uninterrupted supply of the richest brine in Europe; and it is curious to
observe how the vacuum created by the amount raised has caused the ground
to collapse and crack, as shown by the decrepit state of the buildings,
many of which are broken-backed, twisted, and contorted--although the
intermediate earth is about 200 feet in thickness.  The place, therefore,
has a sort of downcast look, and the streets have a melancholy
appearance; whilst the sheds of the brine works, made to appear more
murky by contrast with heaps of white salt refuse, suggest the thought
that the town has gone into mourning.  Exception must be taken to St.
Peter's Church, which stands outside the town, and is surrounded by green
fields, with no building near, except an exceedingly dilapidated half-
timbered mansion, the property of Lord Somers.  Tradition says that this
church once adjoined the town, but that the latter shifted in the
direction of the springs; if so, the injunction over the doorway, to
"Remember Lot's wife," seems a strange rebuke, if intended for the
inhabitants.  The building has many features of interest, the Norman, the
Transition, and subsequent styles of architectural decoration being

[Westwood house: 10.jpg]

The old town has an interesting charity, founded by Lord Coventry, for
the support of poor people, and the education of poor children.  The
almshouses, which have recently been rebuilt, and are eighteen in number,
are commodious and convenient, with garden plots at the back; whilst the
inmates have 3_s_. 6_d_. per week, or 5_s_. if upwards of 70 years of
age, beside clothing.  Connected with these is an infirmary, in which at
the time of our visit were three old ladies, who looked particularly
clean and comfortable, and whose ages were respectively 83, 89, and 93.

On a red marlstone cliff, {11} rising above the river Salwarp, and
overlooking the town of Droitwich, is the church of Dodderhill, belonging
to the parish of that name.  It gave shelter to the Royalists during the
civil wars, and suffered much from an attack of the Parliamentary forces,
who battered down its nave and tower.  The former has never been rebuilt,
and the latter, instead of being placed in the position it formerly held,
has been made to fill up the south transept.

On the left of the line is the seat of Sir John Packington, the present
member for Droitwich.  It may be reached from the town by a pleasant
walk; first by the side of the canal and river, and then through the
park.  Westwood was given by Henry VIII. to an ancestor of the present
baronet, in consequence of his residence at Hampton Lovett having been
injured during the civil wars; and the house is one of the most
interesting specimens of Elizabethan architecture in the kingdom.  The
railway passes Hampton Lovett church, near which are neat model cottages
erected by Sir John; and at a distance of eleven miles from Worcester we
arrive at


Hartlebury, which is about a mile from the station, has been for a
thousand years the residence of the bishops of Worcester; the old castle
having remained entire until the middle of the 17th century, when, from
having given shelter to the Royalists, it became a heap of ruins, and the
present palace was erected in its stead.  It is approached by a noble
avenue of limes, and is surrounded by pleasure-gardens, fashioned out of
its ancient moat, one portion of which is still a quiet lake.  It has a
park with well-timbered tracts adjoining, one of which is called the
Bishop's Wood, and near which is the famous Mitre Oak.


Derives its name from the great basins constructed by Brindley upon the
canal, and also from the river Stour, which here enters the Severn.  The
advantages of position led to the erection of large manufacturing
establishments on the spot.  Steam has been brought to aid the Stour,
whose waters are pounded back to create a capital of force to turn great
wheels that spin, and weave, and grind; whilst iron works, vinegar works,
and tan works, upon a large scale, have also sprung into existence.  On
the opposite bank of the Severn, about three-quarters of a mile from
Stourport, is Arley Kings, or Lower Arley; and about a mile lower down
the river is Redstone Cliff, in which is the famous hermitage of Layamon,
a monkish historian of the 13th century, who is said to have composed a
"Chronicle of Britain," embracing that mythical period extending from
Brute to Cadwallader.

On leaving Stourport, the traveller passes Burlish Common, and plunging
into a deep cutting, terminated by a dark tunnel, emerges in sight of the
little town of


Population, 2,900.

Market day--Saturday.  Fair days--Last Tuesday in February, April 23rd,
the Monday before St. Ann's, second Tuesday in October, and December

Principal Hotels--The George, and the Wheatsheaf.

Bewdley is an ancient borough town, corporate and parliamentary,
returning one member.  The place long ago obtained the appellation
"beautiful."  Leland says, "because of its present site men first began
to resort there;" adding, "the towne itself of Bewdley is sett on the
side of a hille, so comely that a man cannot wishe to see a towne better.
It riseth from Severne banke by east, upon the hille by west, so that a
man standing on the hille _trans-pontem_ by east may discern almoste
every house in the towne; and att the rising of the sun from east, the
whole towne glittereth, being all of new building, as it were of gould."
Bewdley has been said to resemble the letter Y in form--the foot in the
direction of the river being more modern, and the extremities stretching
out against the hills the more ancient, portions.  It was privileged as a
place of sanctuary when Wyre Forest was infested by men who lived merry
lives, and who did not refuse to shed their brothers' blood.  It had the
privilege of taxing traders upon the Severn, as appears from a petition
presented by "the men of Bristowe and Gloucester" in the reign of Henry
IV., praying for exemption.  It obtained its charter of incorporation
from Edward IV., and one granting the elective franchise from James I.

[Bewdley: 13.jpg]

Wribbenhall, on the same side the river as the station, is a hamlet
belonging to Kidderminster, from which town it is distant about three
miles.  Bewdley and Wribbenhall are surrounded by pleasant spots, not a
few of which are occupied by mansions, handsome villas, and gentlemen's
seats, seen from the line.

Winterdyne is one of these; from dark rocks above the Severn it overlooks
the valley, and is surrounded by walks and grounds commanding magnificent
prospects, the one from the Fort being perhaps the most romantic.  Lovers
of quiet rambles, anglers, or botanists, would do well to take up their
quarters at Bewdley, as a centre from which to explore the neighbourhood.
There are few more charming spots than Ribbesford, a mile lower down the
river; it is a sylvan bit of landscape, with grassy flats and weathered
cliffs, the latter, rising abruptly from the stream, being delicately
tinted into harmony with the boles, and foliage of the trees above them.
Opposite is Burlish Deep, noted for its pike.

[Pike: 14.jpg]

As at Worcester, the Severn here is a quiet, slow-flowing river.  From
Gloucester to Bewdley the old gravelly fords and sandy shallows have
disappeared, and the "gentle art" has had to adapt itself to these
changes; fish once familiar to anglers are now strangers, rarely, if ever
seen on this side Gloucester; but the regulations enforced by the Severn
Fisheries Commission, and the vigilance of local associations, will, it
is hoped, soon be the means of repeopling the Severn with those members
of the finny tribe once common to its waters.  Steam-tugs and trows,
propelled by screw or paddle, now navigate the river, each with a dozen
old-fashioned barges at its stern; but this portion of the Severn being
comparatively free, it is a favourite breeding place with pike, who for
reproductive purposes seek the stillest portions of the stream.  Dowles
Ford, at the mouth of the brook of that name, which enters the river a
little above Bewdley, also Laxlane Ford, and Folly's Ford, are each
famous for their trout.

Leaving Bewdley, we pass the line of railway to Tenbury, but confine
ourselves to the Valley of the Severn, along which the river and the rail
are now close companions nearly all the way to Shrewsbury.  The elevation
of the embankment above the river affords glimpses of Bewdley Forest, or,
as Drayton calls it, the Stately Wyre.

   "These scenes are desert now and bare,
   Where nourished once a forest fair;
   When these waste glens with copse were lined,
   And peopled with the hart and hind."

But portions of the district still are wooded, affording famous fields
for botanists.  Seckley Wood comes down to meet the bold projecting rocks
above the river; and we have Eyemoor Wood and others right and left on
approaching Upper or Over Arley.


Twenty miles from Worcester, is one of the sweetest little villages along
the line.  Its ferry on the river, its timbered cottages, partially
concealed in green indentations of the hill, its grey church tower, and
those of the castle near, are a picture of themselves; but when showers
of blossoms crown the orchard trees in spring, or ruddy fruits hang ripe
in autumn, the scene is more enchanting still.

The castle tower is 120 feet in height, and commands an extensive sweep
of country, through which the Severn in the distance winds its way, in
and out, like a silver thread.  The gardens and grounds contain rare
shrubs and trees, imported by the late Earl Mountnorris; to visit which
R. Woodward, Esq., the present proprietor, like the late earl, very
rarely refuses his permission.

The railway having crossed the Severn by the Victoria Bridge, an iron
structure, 200 feet in span, now continues its course along the right
bank of the stream, disclosing glimpses now and then of gentle sweeps and
undulating lines of wood and field, where quiet tones of light and shade,
with sweet harmonious tints, refresh and please.  Wandering at its own
sweet will, the river here goes freely on its way, bubbling and brawling
at the fords, gathering itself up into deep, dark lakes carved out of the
softer rocks over which it flows, or dividing to embrace some
willow-covered island in its course.  Between Arley and Bewdley it is
well stocked with grayling, dace, and that king of Severn fish, the
salmon which is often taken hero; also with that "queen of fresh-water
fish" the carp, speaking of which an old distich says:--

   "Hops and turkeys, carps and beer,
   Came into England all in one year."

Like pike, they are long-lived; referring to which, Ben Jonson says:--

   "Fat, _aged carps_, that run into thy net,
   And pikes, now weary their own kind to eat."

During the winter months carp are caught in broad, quiet parts of the
river; in summer, in holes and reaches, under hollow banks, and near beds
of weeds or flags.  All kinds of bait are recommended, but a well-scoured
worm is often best.

[Crap: 16.jpg]


Or Higley, as it is commonly called, is two and a half miles from Arley.
The village is situated high upon the hill, and consists of scattered
cottages, with a sprinkling of goodly houses, some half timbered, after
the quaint fashion of former times.  The church has an ancient chancel
window, and in the graveyard is an old cross, elaborately carved in
freestone, a material found very extensively in the neighbourhood.
Highley was an old Saxon manor, which, with Chetton, belonged to the
widow of Leofric--Godiva, of Coventry celebrity.  Kinlet, four miles
distant, occupies a picturesque eminence of a horse-shoe form; the church
is an ancient structure, containing noble altar tombs, one of which has a
rich canopy, with the figure of a knight and lady kneeling.


Lode was a Saxon term for ford, and the name here, as elsewhere, denotes
an ancient passage of the Severn.  In this case, it was one by which the
inhabitants of Highley, Billingsley, and Chelmarsh formerly passed to
Quatt and Alveley.  A ferry has long been substituted, but the old load
still winds along the hillside, past an old stone cross, in the direction
of Alveley, an old Saxon manor.  The tall grey tower of the old church is
seen from the line, occupying a high position on the right.  The building
is an ancient and interesting structure, with many Norman features, and
is greatly admired by antiquarians.  Judging from the materials used in
older portions of the building, the first church would appear to have
been built of travertine.  Above Hampton's Loade, the wooded heights of
Dudmaston and of Quatford, with the red towers of Quatford Castle, come
into view; but a deviation of the line, and a deep cutting through the
Knoll Sands, prevent more than a passing glimpse.  _Quat_ is an old
British word for wood, and refers to a wide stretch of woodland once
included in the great Morfe Forest; and _ford_ to an adjoining passage of
the river--one, half a mile higher up, being still called _Danes' Ford_.
On a bluff headland, rising perpendicularly 100 feet above the Severn,
close by, the hardy Northerners, who thus left their name in connection
with the Severn, established themselves in 896, when driven by Alfred
from the Thames; and on the same projecting rock, defended on the land
side by a trench cut in the solid sandstone, Roger de Montgomery
afterwards built himself a house.

And tradition adds that, in consequence of a vow made by his second wife,
Adeliza, the church close by was built upon the borders of the forest,
then the favourite hunting-ground of the Norman earl.  The church, like
other neighbouring structures of ancient date, was built of tuffa, or
travertine, a material found in the beds of brooks in the district, and
portions of the chancel, including its fine Norman arch and pillars, are
still composed of the same.  Among old endowments of the church, is one,
from a source unknown, of a piece of land, the proceeds of which defray
the expense of ferrying persons attending church across the Severn.

The old man at the ferry is a fisherman, who knows well where to get "a
rise" of trout, or to hook a grayling, and where to look for pike, or
perch, or gudgeon.

[Perch and Gudgeon: 18.jpg]

In the parish of Quatford is Eardington, celebrated for the manufacture
of iron for guns, wire, and horse nails; and parochially and manorially
combined with Eardington is the More, the ancient tenure of which
indicates the manufacture of iron here at a very early period.  By it the
tenant was required to appear yearly in the Exchequer, with a hazel rod
of a year's growth, and two knives, the treasurer and barons being
present.  The tenant was to attempt to sever the rod with one of the
knives, the other knife was to do the same work at one stroke, and then
be given up to the king's chamberlain; a custom which was continued until


[Bridgnorth: 19.jpg]

Population, 6,569.

Market day--Saturday.  Fairs--January 20th, February 17th, May 1st, June
9th, July 14th, August 18th, September 15th, October 29th, December 28th.

Principal Hotel--The Crown, for which, as well as for the Swan, the
Raven, and the George, see Advertisements.

The station, at the southern termination of the tunnel, is a chaste
building of freestone, and forms an additional ornament to the town.  It
occupies a position from which its two divisions come pleasantly into
view, the Low Town lying peacefully in the valley by the Severn, the High
Town dotting the terraced sides, and crowning the bold impending rocks
that give it, in the eyes of travellers, such an eastern aspect.  Caverned
in the hill, at many stages from its foot, and reached by winding walks,
are picturesque holes and habitations--happily now no longer used,
excepting in very few instances indeed--where the first settlers crowded
when the ruthless Dane perched himself like a famished eagle on the rocks
of Quatford down below.  In the foreground are the time-worn relics of
its two castles, to which the little colony was indebted for protection
from fierce and threatening foes.  The one opposite is Pampudding Hill, a
smooth, grassy mound, on which the daughter of the great Alfred, Queen
Ethelfleda, built a fortress.  According to Florence of Worcester, what
we now call Bridgnorth was then _Brycge_.  In his time, as in that of
Leland, who so well described its position, the Severn ran nearer to the
frowning cliffs on which the town is built than at present.

The discriminating eye of the outlawed Belesme was not slow to perceive
the advantages nature had given to the place, when he sought to raise a
fortress that should shield him from the wrath of his royal master, and
he removed the materials, it is said, of his house at Quatbrigia--a
bridge having, it is supposed, succeeded the ford--to _Brycge_,
afterwards Bridgnorth, or the bridge north of the one at Quatford.
Florence of Worcester says: "Earl Robert carried on the works night and
day, exciting Welshmen to the speedy performance of his wishes by
awarding them horses, lands, asses, and all sorts of gifts."  With such
aids, and advantages of site, the Norman earl erected a castle that held
out three weeks against a large force marshalled by Henry, who, as an old
Saxon chronicle states, came here "with all his army" to besiege it.  It
stood a second siege when Hugh de Mortimer espoused the cause of Stephen,
and was attacked by Henry II., whose life was saved by the zeal of an
attendant, who received a well-aimed arrow intended for the king.  It was
taken by the confederate barons, and retaken by Edward II., who
afterwards marched to Shrewsbury, where the proud Mortimers humbled
themselves and sued for mercy.  It served not only as a garrison and a
prison, but, from its position on the frontier of Wales, very often as a
royal residence.  King John came with a splendid retinue, of which the
bishops of Lincoln and Hereford, the earls of Essex, Pembroke, Chester,
Salisbury, Hereford, and Warwick formed part; upon which occasion the
entertainment is said to have cost, for the three days it lasted, a sum
equal to 2,000 pounds of modern currency.  Prince Edward was a visitor
after the battle of Evesham; and the second Edward too--the first time at
the head of his army, the second, as a fugitive, crossing the Severn in a
small boat at nightfall.  Henry IV. was here:

   "On Wednesday next, Harry, thou shall set forward;
   On Tuesday, we ourselves will march.
   Our meeting is Bridgnorth; and, Harry, you
   Shall march through Gloucester; by which account
   Our general forces at Bridgnorth shall meet."

Charles I. arrived here from Shrewsbury, October, 1642, when he remained
three days and gave expression to the eulogium, which townsmen quote for
the benefit of strangers, respecting the beauty of the castle walk.  It
was garrisoned for this unfortunate monarch, too, in the struggle which
cost him his head, upon which occasion the town was stormed by three
divisions of the Parliamentary army, March, 1646.  The fight waxed
hottest near the north gate, and in the old churchyard, where the leader
of the loyalists fell.  That the adherents of the king were not "all on
one side," would appear from the fact that the town's defenders were
pelted upon retiring to the castle by the inhabitants, treatment which
they seem to have deserved in setting fire to the town, bombarding St.
Leonard's, burning the adjoining buildings and driving the wretched
population in search of such shelter as the rocks and woods afforded.

The garrison capitulated on the 26th of April, 1646, in consequence of a
mine, by which the Parliamentary leader proposed to blow up the castle
and set fire to their magazine, then in St. Mary's Church, which stood
within the castle walls.  Ecclesiastical dignitaries often then wore
coats of mail as well as cassocks, and daggers in addition to their
girdles; and this old church being collegiate, had for one of its deans
Rivallis, who forged the charter and seal of Henry III., by which the
Irish possessions of the Earl of Pembroke were invaded, and that nobleman
cruelly treated and killed.  The more distinguished William of Wykeham,
who held the Great Seal in the reign of Edward III., and exercised
considerable influence in his day, both in church and state, was also a
dean of St. Mary's.

St. Leonard's occupies a position at the opposite extremity of the town.
Its crumbling tower, shattered by the cannon of Charles' army, remains,
but the nave and side aisles have recently been restored--that on the
south side at the sole expense of John Pritchard, Esq., M.P., in memory
of his brother.  The celebrated divine, Richard Baxter, began his
ministry at St. Leonard's, apparently with little success, as he is said
to have shook the dust from his feet upon leaving, declaring the hearts
of the inhabitants to have been harder than the rock on which their town
was built.  Nevertheless, he afterwards dedicated his well-known book,
"The Saint's Rest," to them.  Adjoining the churchyard is a hospital for
ten poor widows, built and endowed, as a brass plate over the entrance
informs us, by a relative of Colonel Billingsly, who fell in the service
of "King Charles ye First," and whose sword is said now to be in the
possession of a descendant of the family, in the parish of Astley Abbots.

[Old House, Bridgnorth: 22.jpg]

Like other ancient towns, Bridgnorth had places founded for the relief of
the poor, the destitute, and the diseased.  The house of the monks of the
"Friars of the Order Grey," stands near where a dilapidated sign of the
Preaching Friar still swings over the entrance of a public-house.  It
forms part of the carpet works of Mr. Martin Southwell, who uses its oak
panelled hall, and a number of cells carved out of the solid rock, as
storerooms.  In making some alterations recently the little cemetery was
disturbed, and skeletons of several of the monks, embedded in spaces cut
out of the rock, in the form of a sarcophagus, were exposed.  In the
Cartway is the "Old House" in which Bishop Percy, author of the "Relics
of Ancient English Poetry," was born, a fine specimen of the domestic
architecture of the 16th century; and in the entrance-hall of which are
the following words in large letters in relief, "Except the Lord BVILD
THE OWSE The Labourers Thereof Evail Nothing.  Erected by R. For * 1580."
Another of these quaint old structures, called Cann Hall, contains some
curious unlighted double dormitories in the roof; one is called King
Charles' Room, and another is pointed out as that in which his nephew,
Prince Rupert, is said to have slept.  The house is supposed to be
haunted, and the present tenant is not loth to admit that he sometimes
hears strange noises, a fact, if such it be, at which one can scarcely
wonder, seeing that the wind and the bats have undisputed sway.  The
Townhall, in the Market Square, built in the place of the one destroyed
during the civil wars, is thus noticed in the "Common Hall Order Book" of
the Corporation: "The New Hall set up in the Market Place of the High
Street of Bridgnorth was begun, and the stone arches thereof made, when
Mr. Francis Preen and Mr. Symon Beauchamp were Bayliffs, in Summer, 1650;
and the timber work and building upon the same stone arches was set up
when Mr. Thomas Burne and Mr. Roger Taylor were Bayliffs of the said town
of Bridgnorth, in July and August, 1652."  The new Market Hall, with the
Assembly Room, the rooms of the Mechanics' Institution, &c., is a
handsome building, situated at the lower end of the same large open

The grand promenade round the Castle Hill, which King Charles pronounced
the finest in his dominion, commands a prospect that cannot fail to
interest.  Below, the river winds like a thing of life; around, are wave-
like sweeps of country, red and green, broken by precipitous rocks into a
succession of natural terraces, many of which, being higher than the town
itself, afford the most enchanting views.

The Hermitage is one of these, the prospect from which, on a clear, sunny
day, is such as to commend the choice of the anchorite, who is said to
have exchanged the excitements of a court for retirement in such a spot.
The tradition is, that Ethelwald, brother of King Athelstan, who
succeeded his father, Edward (924), retired here to escape the perils of
the period; a tradition which receives support from the following royal
presentations found on the rolls of Edward: "On the 2nd of February,
Edward III., 1328, John Oxindon was presented by the king to the
hermitage of Athelardestan, near Bridgnorth.  On 7 Edward III., Andrew
Corbriggs was similarly presented to the hermitage of Adlaston, near
Bridgnorth.  On 9 Edward III., 1335, Edmund de la Marc was presented to
the hermitage of Athelaxdestan," a name signifying the stone or rock of

The Cemetery lies embosomed in a sunny opening of the rocks below the
Hermitage, where nature and art combined--the former predominating so
much by means of a noble amphitheatre of rocks--have given to the spot a
quiet, pleasing interest.  Outside the Cemetery, a winding path leads to
the High Rocks, the road to which the inhabitants have recently improved.
This elevated position above the Severn well deserves a visit, commanding
as it does the Vale, through which the river winds amidst alluvial lands,
bounded by the heights of Apley and Stanley, the hills of the Wrekin and
Caradoc, and those of the Brown and Titterstone Clees, with the Abberley
and Malvern hills in the distance.  The castellated structure at the foot
of the High Rocks, now used for manufacturing purposes, occupies the site
of the Old Town's Mills, given by Henry III. to the inhabitants, and out
of which he made provision for the hermit of Mount St. Gilbert.


On leaving Bridgnorth the scenery becomes exceedingly interesting.  On
the left is Hoard Park, Severn or Sabrina Hall, and Little Severn Hall.
Astley Abbots and Stanley lie higher up on the hill on the same side;
whilst on the right, rocks, crowned by trees, rise from the river in
undulating lines, and introduce us to the picturesque grounds of Apley.
The house is a castellated structure of fine freestone, with a domestic
chapel on the north side; it occupies a slight elevation above the river,
where it is thrown into pleasing relief by woods that crown still greater
heights.  The park is diversified by clumps of noble trees, by projecting
rocks, pleasing glades, and grassy flats, on which groups of browsing
deer are seen; and the terrace is one of the finest and most extensive in
England.  From its great elevation it commands pleasing views of the
park, of the Severn, and of wide, undulating districts on either side,
rich in sylvan beauty.  The proprietor is T. C. Whitmore, High Sheriff of
the county, whose ancestors, from the time of Sir William Whitmore
(1620), have occasionally enjoyed that honour.  Opposite to Apley is


The angler, desirous of a few hours' amusement, may here find good sport
at the fords, where the brooks come down and enter the river.  Grayling
and trout are often caught, and chub, less in favour with fishermen, of
large size.

[Chub: 25.jpg]

If the tourist be a geologist he will find it pleasant to follow the
course of Linley Brook, on the banks of which he may find fish of ancient
date, in beds forming a passage from the Upper Ludlow to the Old Bed
Sandstone.  He will be interested, too, in noticing the angles at which
the latter dip beneath the carboniferous strata, and these again beneath
the overlying permians.

A series of interesting dingles now occur, where the nightingale is heard
in May and June, through which whimpering streams come down, and where
Tom Moody hunted with the famous "Willey Squire."  Tom's exploits have
been immortalised by Dibden in the song,--

   "You all knew Tom Moody, the whipper-in, well,
   The bell that's done tolling is honest Tom's knell."

A plain slab in Barrow churchyard covers Tom's remains, and simply
records the date at which he died.  At


Seven miles from Bridgnorth, and thirty-six from Worcester, the Severn is
crossed by a handsome iron bridge, at the opposite extremity of which is
the London and North-Western Company's line to the Shropshire Union at

The China Works are about five minutes' walk from the station; they are
extensive, and were established during the latter half of the last
century, at which time they were removed here from Caughley.  The
productions are of a high order of merit, and combine those distinctive
characters for which Caughley and Nantgarw were celebrated.  They were
successful, some years ago, in obtaining a medal awarded by the Society
of Arts; in obtaining a First Class Exhibition Medal in 1851, also in
1855, and again in 1862.  The works are very advantageously situated,
having the river, the canal, and two railways adjoining.

The _Art-Journal_, in giving the history of these works, thus speaks of
them: "The productions of the Coalport Works at the present day, thanks
to the determination, energy, and liberality of the proprietor, take rank
with the very best in the kingdom, both in body, in potting, in design,
and in decoration; and there can be no doubt, from what is now actively
in progress, that the stand taken by Coalport is one of enviable eminence
among the ceramic manufactories of the world."

Edge and Son's chain and wire rope works are situated not far from these;
and between the two, at the foot of the inclined plane, an ingenious
device for transferring boats from one canal to the other, is the
celebrated "Tar Tunnel," driven into the coal measures, from which
petroleum was formerly exported on a large scale, under the name of
Betton's British Oil.

Our view of the Valley of the Severn, with Ironbridge in the distance, is
from the hill overlooking the handsome mansion of John Anstice, Esq.

[Ironbridge: 27.jpg]

Coalport is in the parish of Madeley, the village of which is now looped
in by railways.  Madeley is one of those names or word-pictures by which
our ancestors, with a touch alike of poetry and feeling, were wont to
convey their meaning.  The place, however, has lost those sylvan features
that distinguished it when described in Domesday, as part of the
possessions of St. Milburgh; and the old Court House, surrounded by its
park, where the prior of that monastery received his perquisites, is
strangely changed in aspect.  Although little beyond the foundations
exist to show where the hall stood from whence the house derives its
name--where festivals were held, suitors heard, or penalties
inflicted--the present edifice has many points of interest.  The arms of
the Ferrers family, in a shield, over the principal doorway, may still be
seen, indicating the proprietorship at one time of some member of that
family.  It was also the residence of Sir Basil Brooke, fourth in descent
from a noble knight of that name; a zealous royalist in the time of
Charles I.  The substantial, roomy, and well-panelled apartments, and the
solid trees, one upon the other, forming a spiral staircase, are objects
of interest.  Ascending these stairs, the visitor finds himself in the
chapel, the ceiling of which is of fine oak, richly carved, with the
_fleur-de-lis_ and other devices.  In the garden, which formed an
enclosed court, upon an elegant basement approached by a circular flight
of steps--the outer one being seven feet in diameter and the inner one
about three--is a very curious planetarium, or horological instrument,
serving the purpose of a sun dial, and that of finding the position of
the moon in relation to the planets.  In niches outside the parish church
are finely sculptured, full-length figures of some of the early
proprietors of the Court House; and in the register is an entry dated
April, 1645, stating that the edifice was at that time garrisoned by a
Parliamentary regiment, commanded by Captain Harrington.  Six years later
than the event recorded, we have the story of King Charles' visit to the
village in disguise, after the battle of Worcester, and of his being
lodged in a barn belonging to Mr. Wolfe.  At the Restoration the king did
not forget his host, but presented him with a very handsome tankard, with
the inscription, "Given by Charles II., at the Restoration, to F. Wolfe,
of Madeley, in whose barns he was secreted after the defeat at
Worcester."  The tankard is now in the possession of W. Rathbone, Esq.,
and a print of it hangs in the old house, now the possession of C. J.
Ferriday, Esq.  The tankard has upon the cover a coat of arms; the crest
is a demi-wolf supporting a crown.  In the hall there is also an old
panel, containing the initials F. W. W. Mr. and Mrs. Wolfe, with the date

[Ironbridge: 28.jpg]

Madeley is also celebrated as the scene of the labours of the venerated
Fletcher, so much so, that admirers of his life and writings come long
distances to visit his tomb, a plain brick structure, with a simple
inscription upon an iron plate.


Is nine miles from Bridgnorth, and thirteen and a half from Shrewsbury.
From the disposition of the buildings on the hill side, it has a novel
and romantic aspect, whilst the high grounds adjoining afford varied
views of interesting scenery.  Underneath the lofty ridge of limestone,
the higher portion of which is planted with fir and other trees, are
extensive caverns, which are open to visitors, who will find these
fossiliferous rocks, rising immediately from beneath the coal measures,
highly instructive.


Is celebrated all the world over for its pipes, a branch of manufacture
for which it is now as famous as of yore.  Partly in this parish and
partly in that of Benthall, and only about 300 yards from the station,
are the geometrical, mosaic, and encaustic tile works of the Messrs. Maw.
They were removed here a few years since from Worcester, the better to
command the use of the Broseley clays, since which they have attained to
considerable importance, and now rival the great house of Minton.

On leaving Ironbridge, the line passes by a sea wall the foot of Benthall
Edge--a limestone ridge, continuous with that of Wenlock, so famous for
that class of silurian fossils to which the town of Wenlock has lent its

Benthall is a name significant of its elevated position--_Bent_, meaning
the brow, and _al_ or _hal_, a hill.

Benthall Hall, the property of Lord Forester, and in the occupation of
George Maw, Esq., F.L.S., F.S.A., is a fine specimen of Elizabethan
architecture, built by William Benthall in 1535, on the site of a former


[Benthall Hall: 30.jpg]

At the foot of Benthall Edge the Wellington and Severn Junction railway
crosses the river by a bridge 200 feet in span, and brings before us, at
a glance, this interesting little valley, with its church, its schools,
and its palatial-looking Literary and Scientific Institution.  The name
has long been famous, as well for its romantic scenery as for its iron
works.  Notices of these occur from the reigns of Henry VIII. and Edward
VI., down to the period of 1711, when the Darby family first settled
here.  It was here that the first iron bridge--the elegant structure that
gave both name and existence to the little town adjoining--was cast in
1779; the first iron rails were laid here in 1768, and the first
successful use of mineral fuel for smelting iron was introduced in 1718.
For metal castings these works were celebrated as early as the time of
Boulton and Watt, when those for their early engines were produced here;
whilst the Exhibitions of London and Paris show that they have lost none
of their prestige.  The brook from which the place derives its name, and
which was formerly of more importance than at present, is still a
pleasing feature in the landscape, swelling out into shining sheets, or
forming pleasant waterfalls as at _La Mole_, from which our view is

[Waterfall: 31.jpg]

The Wellington and Severn Junction line through Coalbrookdale is joined
by the branch line to


one of the oldest borough towns in the kingdom.  Its chief attraction is
the Abbey, founded by St. Milburgh, a Saxon saint, and daughter of Penda,
one of the last and fiercest of the Saxon heathen kings.  It fell before
the Danes, but was rebuilt by Earl Leofric and his wife Godiva.  A second
time it fell, and was again rebuilt; this time by Norman masons, in
greater splendour than before.  Of the architecture of this period the
present ruins show some fine examples, and none finer than the chapter-
house, the clustering arches of which are shown in our engraving.

The south transept, with a portion of the nave, of the Early English
style of architecture, remind the visitor of the stately grandeur of the
church, which was upwards of 400 feet in length.  The house of the prior,
which communicated with the chapter-house, is now the private residence
of J. M. Gaskell, Esq., M.P., the present proprietor of the estate.  The
parish church has several points of interest, one of which is its fine
Norman front, hidden from the street by the present tower.  To this may
also be added the arches which separate the nave and side aisles, rising
from clustering pillars of great beauty; also the one dividing the nave
from the chancel, where there is an elegant sedilia.  Wenlock grew up
beneath the patronage and protection of its Priory, by means of which it
received many royal favours, and was protected by many royal charters,
one of which conferred the right, at a very early period, of
representation in the Commons House of Parliament.

[The Chapter-House of Wenlock Abbey: 32.jpg]

The Guildhall is an ancient building of timber and plaster, with a
projecting upper story resting on piazzas.  The room used for quarter
sessions has the arms of Charles II. over the recorder's chair, and the
Inner or Municipal Court is beautifully furnished with elaborately-carved
oak panellings and furniture.  The borough is nearly the same now as
formerly, the modern franchise extending over the ancient possessions of
the church, wherein the prior of the monastery had jurisdiction over
eighteen parishes.


In descending the dingle between Wenlock and Buildwas, at a point
described by an old writer as the boundary of the domains of the two
abbeys, is Lawless Cross, formerly one of those ancient sanctuaries, the
resort of outlaws who, having committed crime, availed themselves of that
security from punishment such places afforded.  The monks, in the
exercise of that excessive influence they had in those days, provided
places, deemed sacred, which should serve for refuge for criminals.  A
cross was erected for the _lawless_; from which even the monarch had no
power to take them.  Villains doubly dyed in crime were wont to rush out
from such hiding-places, commit crimes with impunity, and return.  The
evil, indeed, had become so great, that the Courts of Westminster, in
Hilary Term, 1221, were employed in considering the expediency of
altering "a certain _pass_ in the Royal Forest near to Buldewas," from
its having become "the haunts of malefactors, and from its notoriety for
the constant commission of crime."  Below this is the Abbey Mill, and
lower still is the Abbey.  The line passes through what was once the
cemetery, and over ground formerly occupied by the industrial courts of
the establishment.  A fine view is obtained of the church, which presents
a good specimen of a Cistercian edifice, every part of the original
arrangement being distinctly traceable.

The massive proportions of its arcades, and the scolloped capitals of
their columns, indicate the Norman style of architecture; whilst the
pointed arches show an approach towards that which superseded it, which
began about the year 1150.  The clerestory remains entire on both sides,
with round arched windows throughout.  Between the columns are
indications of a screen, which shut off the eastern aisles; at the end of
the fifth arch from the west, the choir, or portion devoted to the monks,
commences; and at the intersection of the transepts still stands the
tower, resting on four pointed arches.  At the eastern end, beneath long
windows, which at some period or other have been formed out of smaller
ones, stood the altar, and near it the sedilia; whilst on the south side
are the doorways which led to the dormitories of the monks engaged in the
night services of the church.  On the side next the river, a long line of
building forms the eastern cloister and the crypt; on the same side is a
handsome archway leading into the chapter-house, the roof of which is
vaulted, groined, and supported by beautiful slender columns.  Beyond are
the remains of the refectory, and the room of audience--the only place
where, according to the strict rules of the order, the monks were
permitted to converse; and here also was the warm-room, kitchen, and
lavatory.  On the same side are remains of a string of offices for
novices, and for scribes employed in multiplying copies of the Scriptures
and other books.

[Buildwas Abbey: 34.jpg]

Our engraving represents the church as seen by moonlight, when strong
lights and shadows bring to mind the well-known lines of Sir Walter

   "If thou wouldst view fair Melrose aright,
   Go visit it by the pale moonlight.
   For the gay beams of lightsome day
   Gild but to flout the ruins gray:
   When the broken arches are black in night,
   And each shafted oriel glimmers white;
   When the cold light's uncertain shower
   Streams on the ruin'd central tower;
   When buttress and buttress alternately
   Seem framed of ebon and ivory."

The traveller by the Severn Valley Railway can scarcely fail to notice
here, and at other points along the line, beds of sand and gravel at
levels above the highest points now reached by the river; wave-like
sweeps of water-worn materials still higher up are no less conspicuous.
In both these are found the _Turritella terebra_, and other shells of
modern seas, identifying them with the period when a marine strait
extended the whole distance from the Dee to the Bristol Channel.  The
cutting near Coalbrookdale has yielded a rich harvest of these marine
remains, sufficient satisfactorily to indicate the true position of the
beds, and to associate them with others of great interest elsewhere.
Along one of the ancient estuaries of this recent sea, now the Vale of
Shrewsbury, the Severn winds in curious curves, and almost meets in
circles, imparting a pleasing aspect to the valley.  On leaving Buildwas,
Buildwas Park is passed on the left, and Leighton Hall and church are
seen on the opposite side of the river; while on the left again are
Shineton, Shinewood, and Bannister's Coppice; the latter famous as the
hiding-place of the Duke of Buckingham, when unable to cross the river
with his army at its mouth.  Shakspere alludes to the event, in "King
Richard," thus:--

   "The news I have to tell your majesty
   Is, that by sudden flood and fall of waters,
   Buckingham's army is dispersed and scatter'd,
   And he himself _wandered away alone_,
   _No man knows whither_."

Tradition says that the fallen nobleman was betrayed by an old servant to
whom the wood belonged, named Bannister; and an old writer thus records
the curses which he says befel the traitor: "Shortly after he had
betrayed his master, his sonne and heyre waxed mad, and dyed in a bore's
stye; his eldest daughter, of excellent beautie, was sodaynelie stryken
with a foulle leperze; his seconde sonne very mervalously deformed of his
limmes; his younger sonne in a smal puddell was strangled and drowned;
and he, being of extreme age, arraigned and found gyltie of a murther,
was only by his clergye saved; and as for his thousand pounde, Kyng
Richard gave him not one farthing, saying that he which would be untrew
to so good a master would be false to al other; howbeit some saie that he
had a smal office or a ferme to stoppe his mouthe withal."

[The Lady Oak: 36.jpg]


Is forty-three miles from Worcester, and eight and a half from
Shrewsbury.  The name is an abbreviation of Christsache, _ache_ been the
old Saxon term for oak.  The folk-lore of the district is, that the old
tree was one under which the early Christian missionaries preached, that
it stood in the centre of the village, and that upon its decay it was
supplanted by a market cross, which cross itself has disappeared.  Our
engraving represents another of these venerable trees standing a quarter
of a mile from the village, known as the Lady Oak.

[The Nddel's Eye: 37.jpg]

Before the railway caused a deviation in the road, it stood by the
wayside, where it was regarded with veneration by the inhabitants, who
cramped it with iron, and propped it with blocks of wood to preserve it;
they also planted an acorn within its hollow trunk, from which, as will
be seen by our engraving, a young tree mingles its foliage with that of
the parent oak.  About a mile from Cressage is Belswardine, the seat of
Sir George Harnage, an old border estate, in possession of the same
family which received it from the Conqueror.  Cressage station is the
nearest and most convenient on the Severn Valley line from which to reach
the Wrekin.  The distance is three miles.  The road crosses the river by
an ancient wooden bridge, and at Eaton Constantine passes the house in
which Richard Baxter lived when a boy; and which the great Puritan divine
describes as "a mile from the Wrekin Hill."  The visitor, in his ascent
of the hill, passes a conical knoll of deep red syenite, clothed with
verdure, and known as Primrose Hill.  The summit is 1,320 feet above the
level of the sea, and commands a prospect embracing a radius of seventy
miles.  Our engraving represents a severed cliff of greenstone at the
top, called the Needle's Eye, and which tradition alleges to have been
riven at the Crucifixion.  Near it is a culminating boss of pinkish
felspar known as the Bladder Stone, a name derived, it is supposed, from
Scandinavian mythology; whilst at a short distance is the Ravens' Bowl, a
basin in the hard rock, always containing water.  On its sides are
stratified rocks which the trap has pierced in its ascent; and which, by
the action of heat, have been changed into a white crystalline substance.
At the northern termination is an entrenched fortification called Heaven
Gate, supposed to be of British origin; and near it is another, called
Hell Gate, with what is supposed to be a tumulus.  In the valley at the
foot of the hill, on the eastern side, tumuli have been opened, in which
hundreds of spear heads and other broken weapons have been found.  Here

   "Unknown to public view,
   From youth to age a reverend hermit grew.
   The moss his bed, the cave his humble cell,
   His food the fruit, his drink the crystal well.
   Remote from man, with God he passed his days,
   Prayer all his business--all his pleasure praise."

Henry III., in order to afford the said anchorite, Nicholas de Denton,
greater leisure for holy exercises, and to support him during his life,
or so long as he should be a hermit on the aforesaid mountain, granted
him six quarters of corn, to be paid by the Sheriff of Shropshire out of
the Town's Mills of Bridgnorth.

On leaving Cressage, Eyton-upon-Severn is seen on the right, and on an
eminence close by is the "Old Hall," built by Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas
Bromley.  It was the birthplace of Lord Herbert of Chirbury, of whom Ben
Jonson wrote:--

   "If men get fame for some one virtue, then
   What man art thou that art so many men,
   All virtuous Herbert! on whose every part
   Truth might spend all her voice, Fame all her art?"

The railway now passes Cound Hall, Cound Church, and Cound Mill, a manor
which Henry III. gave to his brother-in-law, Llewellyn, and which was
afterwards held by Walter Fitz-Alan, who entered the service of David,
King of Scotland, and became head of the royal house of Stuart.  It
crosses the Devil's Causeway, and passes Venus Bank, with Pitchford and
Acton Barnell on the left; the latter celebrated for the ruins of the old
castle where Edward I. held his parliament, the Commons sitting in a

Berrington, forty-seven miles from Worcester, and four and a half from
Shrewsbury, lies a short distance from the station.  Its church has many
points of interest, being of Anglo-Norman and Early English architecture;
it also possesses a fine Norman font, and a curious monumental figure of
a cross-legged knight, carved in wood.

[Atcham Church: 39.jpg]

The little village of Atcham may be reached from here by a very pleasant
foot walk of about a mile through the fields.  It is celebrated as the
birthplace of Ordericus Vitalis, chaplain to William the Conqueror, and a
famous historian of that time.  The church is an ancient structure reared
on the little grassy flat round which the river bends; tresses of
luxuriant ivy conceal its walls, in which are found sections of a Roman
arch and a sculptured Roman column, part of the spoil of the city of
Uriconium.  Among its relics is a reading-desk, carved, it is supposed,
by Albert Durer, with panels representing passages in the parable of the
Prodigal Son.

Lord Berwick's park adjoins the village, and in front of the mansion the
Tern comes down to join the Severn.  From the Bridge it is one and a half
miles to


[Uriconium: 40.jpg]

Where the ruins of Uriconium are still exposed to view.  Here, after a
lapse of 1,500 years, the visitor may tread the streets and pavements,
handle the implements which the old Romans used, admire their well-turned
arches, and see the paint and plaster upon the walls of their apartments.
The "Old Wall," so long a sphinx by the roadside, suggesting enigmas to
passers-by, has found an interpreter in revelations which the spade and
pickaxe have made within its shadow.  From the time when its walls first
fell down, it has furnished plunder to the country round.  The old monks,
finding it easier to take down its stones than to quarry now ones, built
their churches with its spoil, whilst the "old wall" left standing served
as an advertisement of the treasures buried around it.  The Romans who
selected the spot no doubt did so on military grounds; but, looking at
its position on the river, and the scenery surrounding it, one can
readily imagine that an eye for the beautiful, and a love of nature, had
some influence in the choice.

[Trout: 41.jpg]

The Severn, near Wroxeter, is famous for grayling, which seldom exceed
three-quarters of a pound, but which have here been caught two pounds and
a half in weight.  The ford has a marly or shaly bottom, and the stream
is quick and clear, conditions such as this famous fish, described by Dr.
Fleming as the "grey salmon," has a liking for.  It has grey longitudinal
lines--hence its name--and a violet-coloured dorsal fin barred with
brown; it is best in the winter and early spring months, and spawns in
those of April and May.  The French, who denounce the chub as "_un
villain_," pronounce the grayling "_un chevalier_."  And Gesner says,
that in his country, which is Switzerland, it is accounted the choicest
fish in the world.  As bait, grass-hoppers or large dun flies are used,
and hooks covered with green or yellow silk; in July, black and red
imitation palmer worms are recommended; in August, the artificial house
fly, or blue-bottle; and in winter, black or pale gnats are often used.
The fords, too, from here to Buildwas are good for trout, that near
Cound, from the entrance of Cound Brook into the Severn, being best.

On leaving Berrington, we come in sight of the wooded steep of Haughmond,
Shakspere's "bosky hill."  It commands the field where Falstaff fought
"an hour by the Shrewsbury clock;" and has still a thicket, called the
Bower, from which Queen Eleanor is said to have watched the battle in
which the fortunes of her husband were involved.  A castellated turret
crowns the summit of the rock next the Severn; beyond, is Sundorne Castle
and the ruins of Haughmond Abbey.


[Shrewsbury: 42.jpg]

The Severn Valley Railway affords a very interesting approach to the old
Salopian capital, by bringing before the traveller its striking features,
its singular situation, and its most pleasing aspect.  On one side are
groups of villa-looking residences, the little church of St. Giles, the
column raised to Lord Hill, and the Abbey Church and buildings.  On the
other is the town, with its spires and towers and red-stone castle rising
from an eminence above the river.  The station occupies a narrow isthmus
of the latter within the precincts of the castle, and is a handsome
structure, of the Gothic style of architecture.  The castle was built by
the first Earl of Shrewsbury, who obtained so many favours of a like kind
from the Conqueror.  Among portions which the old Norman masons raised,
is the inner gateway, through which, it is said, the last Norman earl, in
token of submission, carried the keys to Henry I.  From its position upon
a troubled frontier, it changed masters many times, and suffered much
from the attacks of assailants.  It was fortified by William Fitz-Alan
when he espoused the cause of the Empress Maude; and in favour of Henry
IV., in his quarrel with the Earl of Northumberland, when the Shrewsbury
abbot went forth from its gates to offer pardon to Hotspur, on condition
that he would lay down his arms; and it was taken by storm by the
Parliamentary army in 1644.  It now belongs to the Duke of Cleveland, and
has been converted into a dwelling-house, the present drawing-room having
been the guard chamber in the reign of Charles.  To the right of the
castle gates is the Royal Grammar School, founded in 1551 by King Edward
VI., and subsequently endowed with exhibitions, fellowships, and
scholarships connected with Oxford and Cambridge, to the number of twenty-
six.  A little higher is the Chapel of St. Nicholas, an old Norman
structure, which belonged to the outer court of the castle, but is now
used as a coach-house and stable.

[Shrewsbury: 43.jpg]

Close by is a highly ornamental timber gateway, erected in 1620, leading
to the Council House, the temporary residence, during feudal times, of
the Lords President of the Marches.  Continuing along this street, we
pass the Raven Hotel, recently rebuilt at a cost of nearly 20,000 pounds.
It was here George Farquhar wrote his comedy of the "Recruiting Officer,"
which he dedicated to "All friends round the Wrekin."  Descending Pride
Hill, the eye rests upon a number of rare old specimens of domestic
architecture, which, like those in High Street and others, were the homes
of the ancient burghers; mansions here and there of more pretension are
also to be seen, mingling an air of antiquity with one of comfort.  The
town is rich in specimens of ecclesiastical architecture, and possesses
some very handsome churches.  Of the four whose towers and spires are
seen within the circle of the Severn, St. Mary's is the most interesting.
Its site is 100 feet above the river, and its tall and graceful spire is
a landmark seen for many miles.  The lower portion of the tower, the
nave, transepts, and doorway, are of the 12th century, whilst other
portions are of the 15th and 16th.  The interior, with its clustered
columns, decorated capitals, moulded arches, and its oak-panelled
ceiling, ornamented with foliage, has a fine effect; added to which, the
exquisitely-sculptured pulpit, given in memory of a former minister, and
the still more recently erected screen, in memory of another, with
numerous mural monuments, in stone and marble, are of peculiar interest.
The windows are of stained glass, some being very ancient, and most of
them elaborately and beautifully painted, and highly deserving of

Near to St. Mary's are the churches of St. Alkmund and St. Julian, the
former indebted for its foundation to the piety of Ethelfleda, daughter
of Alfred; the latter, also of Saxon origin, to Henry IV., who in 1410,
attached it to his new foundation of Battlefield College, raised in
memory "of the bloody rout that gave to Harry's brow a wreath--to
Hotspur's heart a grave."

The old collegiate church of St. Chad, founded, it is supposed, soon
after the subjugation of the country by Offa, and transformed, as
tradition alleges, out of one of the palaces of the Kings of Powis, is
now a ruin.  The modern one, dedicated to the same saint, of whom there
is an ancient carved figure in the vestry, is now the fashionable church
of the town.

The Abbey Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, built upon the site of a
Saxon one of wood, with the abbey ruins and the famous old stone pulpit
of the refectory, should also be visited.

In the centre of the Market Square still stands the old Market House,
erected in 1595 by the corporation.  It has a statue of Richard, Duke of
York, father of Edward IV., in an embattled niche in front, and a
surcoat, with armorial bearings, moved from the tower of the old Welsh
Bridge; also the arms of the town, sculptured in relief.

In the immediate neighbourhood of these relics of antiquity is the
recently-erected statue to the great Lord Clive, the Townhall, the
Working Man's Hall, the Music Hall, the public news-room, and a group of
other handsome buildings.  A passage near the Music Hall leads to the
Museum of the Shropshire and North Wales Natural History and Antiquarian
Society, which no visitor with time on his hands should neglect to visit.
In addition to objects of natural history, it contains others of interest
obtained from Wroxeter, and is open daily from ten to four to visitors
upon payment of twopence.  Portions of the town walls, erected in the
reign of Henry III., with one of the ancient towers, are still standing,
and form a pleasant walk.  But the grand promenade is the Quarry Avenue,
which, with Kingsland on the opposite side, is the common property of the
inhabitants.  The former is a sloping piece of meadow land, intersected
by limes, whose intertwining branches make a fretted archway of living
green, whilst the latter is the spot where the trade pageant, called
Shrewsbury Show, is held.  In addition to objects of interest which we
have enumerated, our readers will find materials for observation and
study for themselves; as a further aid to which, we would commend them to
"Sandford's Guide to Shrewsbury."



We glanced in passing at some few features which could scarcely fail to
attract the attention of the tourist, and a brief notice only of others
will be needed for the geologist.  In ascending the river we descend,
geologically speaking, from an upper to a lower series of rocks, which
rocks, in many instances, are covered over by fluviatile and marine
deposits of sand and gravel, containing shells of fish inhabiting our
modern seas.  These show how recently the sea must have retired from a
surface so covered with its remains; whilst their position low down in
the valley, and but a little way above the present bed of the Severn,
proves how much more recently the arm of the sea, known as the Severn
Sraits, must have been succeeded by the river.  The best places for
collecting these remains along the railway will be found to be in
embankments and cuttings near Buildwas and Coalbrookdale, the latter
having yielded as many as twenty-two distinct species.  In cuttings along
the railway, and in their immediate vicinity, will also be found sections
of rocks, from the variegated marls of the New Red Sandstone, of the
Mesozoic, to the silurians, of the Palaeozoic, or Primary Formations.  The
coal measures of Coalbrookdale, with their alternating beds of coal,
clay, and iron ore, are rich in specimens of the fauna and flora of the
carboniferous age; the best places for discovering them being the spoil
banks of the mines, where shale, and ironstone nodules, will be found the
most productive.  One of the richest beds yielding fossils is the
Penneystone, which may be seen on the surface near Coalbrookdale and
Ketley; remains of the Megalicthys, Gyracanthus, and Holoptychus being
occasionally found there, whilst Conularias, Nautili, Spirifers aviculus,
Bellerophons, and others are numerous.  The sand rock overlying it
contains Calamites, Lepidodendrons, Ulodendrons, Sigillarias, &c., &c.
Benthall Edge and Lincoln Hill yield characteristic fossils of the
Wenlock limestone and Wenlock shales in great numbers and variety, corals
being most abundant.  Between the Severn and the Acton Burnell hills
fossils of the Caradoc may be found in drift, in old walls by the
wayside, and in strata dipping praidly beneath the Wenlock shales.


In shallow portions of the Severn, we have several varieties of the River
Crowfoot (_Ranunculus fluitans_), which, with their long slender stems
and pure white blossoms, form a conspicuous feature; also the Canadian
Water-weed (_Anacharis alsinastrum_), which has found its way as high up
as Shrewsbury.  In marshy flats bordering on the river, are found the
Yellow Flag (_Iris pseud-acorus_), the Water-dock, (_Rumex
Hydrolapathum_), the Water Drop-wort, Soap-wort, Frog-bit-water-lily, and
the creeping Yellow Cress; whilst the little Lily of the Valley, the
Giant Bell-flower, the Spreading Bell-flower, the rare Reed Fescue-grass,
and the tall, handsome Fox-glove, which,

   "On fair Flora's hand is worn,"

adorn the woods along the slopes.

Other plants are found as follows:--

Ranunculus parviflorus (Small-flowered Crowfoot) . . . Stagborough.

Cardamine impatiens (Narrow-leaved Bittercress) . . . Stagborough.

Poterium sanguisorba . . . Stagborough.

Campanula latifolia . . . Owton and Stagborough.

Campanula patula . . . Owton and Stagborough.

Vinca minor (Lesser Periwinkle) . . . Arley Wood and Stagborough.

Heleborus foetidus (Stinking Hellebore) . . . Farlow.

Geranium phseum (Dusky Crane's-bill) . . . Farlow.

Rhamnus catharticus (Common Buckthorn) . . . Farlow.

Prunus padus (Bird Cherry) . . . Farlow.

Geum rivale . . . Farlow.

Artemisia Absinthium (Common Wormwood) . . . Farlow.

Artemisia campestris . . . Farlow.

Habenaria viridis . . . Farlow.

Lathraea squamaria . . . Ribbesford Wood.

Orobanche minor . . . Ribbesford Wood.

Mentha piperita (Peppermint) . . . Near Horshill, Ribbesford.

Thymus serpyllum and T. glandulosus . . . Near Horshill, Ribbesford.

Calamintha Nepeta and officinalis . . . About Ribbesford.

Daphne Laureola (Spurge Laurel) . . . About Ribbesford.

Fagus sylvatioa (Common Beech) . . . About Ribbesford.

Paris quadrifolia . . . About Ribbesford.

Cardamine amara (Bitter Ladies' Smock) . . . Blackstone.

Cerastium arvense (Field Chick-weed) . . . Blackstone.

Hypericum montanum (Mountain St. John's-wort) . . . Blackstone.

Sedum dasyphyllum . . . Blackstone.

Viola canina (Dog's Violet) . . . Hartlebury Common.

Radiola millegrana (Thyme-leaved Flax-seed) . . . Hartlebury Common.

Comarum palustre (Purple Marsh Cinquefoil) . . . Hartlebury Common.

Menyanthes trifoliata (Buck-bean) . . . Hartlebury Common.

Chenopodium ficifolium . . . About Bewdley.

Chenopodium polyspermum . . . About Bewdley.

Chenopodium urbicum . . . About Bewdley.

Chenopodium Bonus Henricus . . . About Bewdley.

Rumex sanguineus . . . About Bewdley.

Bryonia dioica . . . About Bewdley.  (In hedges.)

Anacharis alsinastrum . . . In the Severn, near Bewdley.

Habenaria viridis . . . About Bewdley.

Spiranthes autumnalis . . . About Bewdley.

Cephalanthera ensifolia . . . About Bewdley.

Tulipa sylvestris (Wild Tulip) . . . About Bewdley.

Ornithogalum umbellatum (Star of Bethlehem) . . . About Bewdley.

Hieracium vulgatum . . . Bewdley and Broseley.

Papaver Argemone (Prickly-headed Poppy) . . . Corn-fields, near Bewdley.

Turritis glabra (Tower Mustard) . . . Near Bewdley.

Sisymbrium Sophia (Flax weed) . . . Near Bewdley.

Hypericum Androsoemum (St. John's-wort) . . . Woods around Bewdley.

Vicia sylvatica (Wood Vetch) . . . Woods about Bewdley.

Prunus Cerasus (Wild Cherry) . . . About Bewdley and Norton Prescot.

Potentilla argentea (Hairy Cinquefoil) . . . About Bewdley.

Epilobium angustifolium . . . Near Bewdley.

Myrrhis odorata . . . Between Brosely and Ironbridge.

Artemisia Absinthium (Common Wormwood) . . . About Bewdley.

Doronicum Pardalianches . . . About Bewdley.

Hieracium umbellatum . . . About Bewdley.

Campanula latifolia . . . Ditto, and Coalport Dingle.

Nepeta Cataria (Cat Mint) . . . . Fields about Bewdley and Stourport.

Leonurus Cardiaca (Mother-wort) . . . Occasionally found about Bewdley.

Thalictrum flavum (Meadow Rue) . . . Banks of Severn.

Nasturtium sylvestre (Creeping Nasturtium) . . . Banks of Severn.

Sinapis nigra (Common Mustard) . . . Banks of Severn.

Saponaria officinalis . . . Banks of Severn.

Malachium aquaticum (Water Chick-weed) . . . Banks of Severn.

Geranium pratense (Blue Crane's Bill) . . . Banks of Severn.

Astragalus glyciphyllus (Sweet Milk Vetch) . . . Banks of Severn about

OEnanthe crocata (Hemlock Water Drop-wort) . . . Banks of Severn.

Inula Helenium meinlen (Elecampane) . . . Near the Severn, below Quatford
Low, near Clee Hills.

Campanula latifolia . . . Banks of Severn.

Lysimachia vulgaris (Yellow Loose Strife) . . . Banks of Severn.

Scirpus sylvaticus . . . Banks of Severn.

Juniperus communis (Common Juniper) . . . Wyre Forest, near Furnaw Mill.

Gymnadenia conopsea . . . Wyre Forest.

Habenaria bifolia (Small Butterfly Orchis) . . . Wyre Forest.

Habenaria chlorantha (Yellow Butterfly Habenaria) . . . Wyre Forest.

Neottia Nidus-avis (Common Bird's Nest) . . . Wyre Forest.

Epipactis latifolia . . . In plantations at Willey, and in Wyre Forest.

Epipactis palustris . . . In plantations at Willey, and in Wyre Forest.

Cephalanthera ensefolia . . . In plantations at Willey, and in Wyre
Forest.  (Abundant.)

Convallaria magalis . . . In plantations at Willey, and in Wyre Forest.

Narthecium ossifragum (Bog Ashphodel) . . . In plantations at Willey, and
in Wyre Forest.

Luzula sylvatica (Great Hairy Woodrush) . . . In plantations at Willey,
and in Wyre Forest.  (Abundant.)

L. pilosa (Broad-leaved Wood-rush) . . . In plantations at Willey, and in
Wyre Forest.

Triglochin palustre (Marsh Arrow-grass) . . . In plantations at Willey,
and in Wyre Forest.

Eriophorum angustifolium (Cotton-grass) . . . In plantations at Willey,
and in Wyre Forest.

Eriophorum latifolium . . . In plantations at Willey, and in Wyre Forest.

Carex muricata, C. vulpina, C. teretiuscula . . . In plantations at
Willey, and in Wyre Forest.

C. ovalis, C. pendula, C. pilulifera . . . In plantations at Willey, and
in Wyre Forest.

C. fulva . . . Wyre Forest.

Melica nutans and uniflora . . . Wyre Forest.

Equisetum sylvaticum and E. hyemale . . . Wyre Forest.

Lycopodium clavatum and L. inundatum . . . Wyre Forest.

Thalictrum minus . . . Wyre Forest.

Aquilegia vulgaris (Common Columbine) . . . Wyre Forest.

Rhamnus catharticus and R. Frangula . . . Wyre Forest and Farlow.

Sanguisorba officinalis (Great Burnet) . . . Wyre Forest.

Rubus saxatilis, and most of the other species of Rubi . . . Wyre Forest.

Rosa spinosissima (Burnet-leaved Rose) . . . Wyre Forest and Weldon.

R. villosa and R. tomentosa . . . Wyre Forest.

Pyrus Malus, P. Aria and P. aucuparia, and P. torminalis . . . Wyre

Epilobium angustifolium (Rose bay Willow) . . . Wyre Forest.

Gnaphalium sylvaticum (Highland Cudweed) . . . Wyre Forest.

Serratula tinctoria (Saw-wort) . . . Wyre Forest.

Hieracium murorum . . . Wyre Forest.

Pyrola minor, and P. media . . . Wyre Forest.

Gentiana Amarella (Autumnal Gentian) . . . Wyre Forest.

Lithospermum officinale (Grey Millet) . . . Wyre Forest.

Pedicularis palustris (Marsh Louse-wort) . . . Wyre Forest.

Scutellaria minor and galericulata . . . Wyre Forest.

Anagallis tenella (Bog Pimpernel) . . . Wyre Forest.

Daphne Laureola . . . Wyre Forest.

Populus tremula (Aspen) . . . Abundant over the Forest.

Fagus sylvatica (Common Beech) . . . Abundant over the Forest.

Quercus Robur and Q. intermedia.  (Two very distinct species, Q.
intermedia occupies almost exclusively the whole of Wyre forest.) . . .
Abundant over the Forest.

Polemonium caeruleum (Jacob's Ladder) . . . Bridgnorth.

Campanula patula, or spreading bell flower . . . Bridgnorth and near

Sambucus Ebulus (Dwarf Elder) . . . Bridgnorth.

Lathraea squammaria (Greater Tooth-wort) . . . Bridgnorth.

Camelina sativa (Common Gold of Pleasure) . . . Bridgnorth.

Vicia sylvatica (Wood Vetch) . . . Bridgnorth.

Astragalus glycpyhyllus . . . Bridgnorth.

Parietaria officinalis . . . Bridgnorth.

Lactuca virosa (Strong-scented Lettuce) . . . Bridgnorth.

Scirpus sylvaticus . . . Bridgnorth.

Erigeron acris (Blue Fleabane) . . . Bridgnorth.

Adonis autumnalis (Pheasant's Eye) . . . Coalport.

Monotropa Hypopitys (Yellow Bird's nest) . . . Coalport.

Ligustrum vulgare (Privet) . . . Benthall Edge.

Erigeron acris . . . Benthall Edge.

Bee Orchis (Ophrys apifera) . . . Benthall Edge.

Pinguicula vulgaris (Common Butter-wort) . . . Wrekin.

Vaccinium myrtillus (Bilberry) . . . Wrekin.

Danthonia decumbens . . . Wrekin.

Eriophorum angustifolium . . . Wrekin.

Isolepis setacea (Bristle-stalked Moor-rush) . . . Wrekin.

Myosotis collina (Early Field Scorpion grass) . . . Wrekin.

Polypodium dryopteris . . . Wrekin.

Amongst the ferns of the district may be mentioned--the Royal fern
(_Osmunda regalis_), which has been found sparingly at Shirlett, in
Willey Park, and in Dairley Dingle; the beautiful Beech fern (_Polypodium
Phegopteris_), which grows in the greatest luxuriance in Dairley Dingle,
also in a wood in Willey Park; and the Hay fern (_Lastrea faenisecii_),
in Coalbrookdale, and upon Shirlett.  Also several other commoner
species, as _Lastrea Oreopteris, Lastrea spinosa, Lastrea dilatata_, and
its variety _glandulosa, Lastrea filix mas_, and its variety _Borreri_;
_Aspidium aculeatum_, and _Aspidium augulare_.

In giving the above list, I willingly acknowledge the assistance of my
friends, Messrs. Baugh, Jordin, and Maw.


In 1 volume, crown 8vo., handsomely bound in cloth, and gilt, price 7_s_.
6_d_.; or in cloth, and not gilt (Second Edition), price 5_s_. 6_d_.,

The Severn Valley; A Series of Sketches.  Descriptive and Pictorial, of
the entire Course of the Severn, containing Notices of its Topographical,
Industrial, and Geological Features, with Glances at its Historical and
Legendary Associations.  By JOHN RANDALL, F.G.S.

"This work will be an admirable guide-book for the tourist, and is so
beautifully printed as to be worthy of a place on any drawing-room table,
although the price is modestly fixed at 7_s_. 6_d_. only.  Mr. Randall
sketches landscapes with artistic taste, lingers here and there for
anecdote, drops in at the wayside hostelry, and picks up pleasant chit-
chat on angling and other subjects.  He is evidently a lover of nature,
and possesses a pleasing style of demonstrating his devotion in
print."--_Worcester Herald_.

"Mr. Randall's style is pure and unaffected; it flows equably and
cheerfully along as the river he so lovingly describes.  To tourists this
elegant and interesting book will prove an invaluable companion, and as
such we cordially commend _it_."--_Eddowes's Journal_.

"This is a valuable addition to the story of literary information
connected with this and neighbouring counties, and we doubt not the work
will prove as popular as undoubtedly it is interesting."--_Worcestershire

"The author has made judicious selection of the abundant materials
presented, and draws a series of graphic and pleasing pictures of all the
more noticeable features of the country which are to be found along the
extensive and meandering course of the Severn."--_Gloucester Journal_.

"The book which has furnished our theme is perhaps the best account of
the Severn and the Severn Valley in existence."--_Gloucester Chronicle_.

"Always easy and flowing, and sometimes approaching almost to the force
of poetry in its simple elegance of expression, the legendary and
historical associations which belong to the scenery of the Severn blend
naturally with the most glowing pictures of descriptive beauty, and there
is never any appearance of labour or constraint."--_Shrewsbury

"The ground--which to the great majority of tourists must be
comparatively new--presents some of the finest scenery in the kingdom.
Its antiquities, its historical and legendary associations, are full of
interest; whilst to the student of nature, whether his special subject be
geology or botany, it is no less rich and attractive.  On all these
subjects, as well as on the industrial features of the district, Mr.
Randall is at home."--_Shropshire News_.

"Mr. Randall is a good guide.  He is thoroughly acquainted with his
subject.  He has long been familiar with the Severn Valley, and knows its
geology, its traditions, its historic records, its myths, its poetry, and
its loveliest scenes.  On all these topics he dilates with the freshness
which ever arises from deep love."--_Literary Companion_.

"An itinerary abounding with interesting material of a very varied kind,
of which the author has availed himself to write a most agreeable guide-

"We can most conscientiously recommend it to our readers, for there is
food for all tastes and temperaments in its ever-varying pages.  For a
day's out to any place on the Severn, we do not know a better
guide."--_Birmingham Post_.

"The wood-cuts, though small, are artistically drawn and neatly
engraved."--_Army and Navy Gazette_.



{6}  Upon payment of one shilling.

{11}  The geological features of the district are readily recognised.  The
great magazine of salt at Droitwich is sufficiently indicative of the red
marls observed in the cutting at Shrub Hill, and which rise, by means of
passage shales, into the lias on one side, and descend, by means of other
members of the New Red Sandstone, into the permians on the other.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Handbook to the Severn Valley Railway - Illustrative and Descriptive of Places along the Line from Worcester to Shrewsbury" ***

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