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Title: A Month in Yorkshire
Author: White, Walter
Language: English
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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 "A Month in Yorkshire" ***


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[Illustration: YORKSHIRE.]




     "Know most of the rooms of thy native country, before thou
     goest over the threshold thereof; especially, seeing England
     presents thee with so many observables."--FULLER.


[_The right of Translation is reserved._]

By the same Author.

     ISLES. _Second Edition._




     ALL ROUND THE WREKIN. _Second Edition._


The first two editions of this work had not long been published when I
was pelted with animadversions for the "scandalous misrepresentation"
conveyed in my report of a conversation held with a villager at
Burnsall; which conversation may be read in the twenty-second chapter.
My reply was, that I had set down less than was spoken--that I had
brought no accusation, not having even mentioned the "innocent-looking
country town" as situate in any one of the three Ridings--that what I
had seen, however, in some of the large towns, led me to infer that the
imputation (if such it were) would hardly fail to apply; and, moreover,
if the Yorkshire conscience felt uneasy, was I to be held responsible?

My explanation that the town in question was not in Yorkshire, was
treated as of none effect, and my censors rejoined in legal phrase, that
I had no case. So I went about for awhile under a kind of suspicion, or
as an unintentional martyr, until one day there met me two gentlemen
from Leeds, one of whom declared that he and others, jealous of their
county's reputation, and doubting not to convict me of error, had made
diligent inquiry and found to their discomfiture, that the assemblages
implied in the villager's remark, did actually take place within
Yorkshire itself. The discovery is not one to be proud of; but, having
been made, let the county strive to free itself from at least that

Another censurable matter was my word of warning against certain inns
which had given me demonstration that their entertainment, regulated by
a sliding scale, went up on the arrival of a stranger. Yorkshire wrote
a flat denial of the implication to my publishers, and inclosed a copy
of what he called "his tariff," by way of proof, which would have been
an effectual justification had my grievance been an invention; but, as
it happened, the tariff presented testimony in my favour, by the
difference between its prices and those which I had been required to

I only notice this incident because of the general question, in which
all who travel are more or less interested. Why should an Englishman,
accustomed to equitable dealings while staying at home, be required to
submit so frequently to the reverse when journeying in his own country?
Shopkeepers are ready to sell socks, or saddles, or soap without an
increase of price on the plea that they may never see you again, and
without expecting you to fee their servants for placing the article
before you; and why should innkeepers claim a privilege to do otherwise?
The numerous complaints which every season's experience calls forth from
tourists, imply a want of harmony between "travelling facilities" and
the practice of licensed victuallers; and if English folk are to be
persuaded to travel in their own country, the sooner the required
harmony is established, the better. It would be very easy to exhibit a
table of charges and fees by which a tourist might ascertain cost
beforehand, and choose accordingly. Holland is a notoriously dear and
highly-taxed country, yet fivepence a day is all the charge that Dutch
innkeepers make for "attendance."

In one instance the discussion took a humorous turn:--the name of a
certain jovial host, with whom I had a talk in Swaledale, appeared
subscribed to a letter in the _Richmond Chronicle_, and as it furnishes
us with a fresh specimen of local dialect, I take leave to quote a few
passages therefrom. After expostulating with the editor for "prentan" a
letter which somebody had written in his "neame," the writer says, "but
between ye an' me, I believe this chap's been readin' a buke put out by
yan White, 'at was trailin' about t' Deales iv hay-time, an' afoare he
set off to gang by t' butter-tubs to t' Hawes, he ast me what
publick-house he was to gang te, an' I tell't him t' White Hart; an'
becoz he mebby fand t' shot rayther bigger than a lik'd, he's gi'en t'
landlord a wipe iv his buke aboot t' length of his bill, an' me aboot t'
girth o' me body--pity but he'd summat better to rite aboot; but nivver
heed, it nobbut shows 'at my meat agrees wi' me, an' 'at t' yal 'at I
brew 's naythur sour ner wake, an' 'at I drink my shar' on't mysel: but
if I leet on him, or can mak' oot t' chap 'at sent ye t' letter, I'll
gi' 'em an on-be-thinkin."

Sheffield, too, has not yet ceased to reprove me for having published
the obvious fact, that the town is frightfully smoky, and unclean in
appearance and in its talk. If I were to make any alteration in this
particular, it would be to give emphasis, not to lighten the
description. A town which permits its trade to be coerced by ignorance,
and where the ultimate argument of the working-classes is gunpowder or a
knock on the head, should show that the best means have been taken to
purify morals as well as the atmosphere and streets, before it claims to
be "nothing like so bad as is represented." But, the proverb which
declares that "people who eat garlic are always sure it doesn't smell,"
will perhaps never cease to be true.

Of the £14,000,000 worth of woollen and worsted goods exported in 1859,
Yorkshire supplied the largest portion; and still maintains its
reputation for "crafty wit and shrinking cloth," as shewn by the
increase in the manufacture of shoddy. One of the manufacturers at
Batley has made known in a printed pamphlet, that 50,000,000 pounds of
rags are at the present time annually converted into various kinds of
so-called woollen goods. We walk on shoddy as it covers our floors; and
we wear shoddy in our stockings and under-garments, as well as in capes
and overcoats. Turning to mineral products, we find that in 1859,
Yorkshire raised 1,695,842 tons of ironstone, and 8,247,000 tons of
coal, worth in round numbers £3,573,000. And with all this there is an
increase in the means and results of education, and an abatement of
pauperism: in 1820, the poor's-rate in Hull was seven shillings and
eightpence in the pound, in 1860, not more than eightpence.

And to mention facts of another kind:--by the digging of a drain on
Marston Moor, a heap of twenty-five or thirty skeletons was discovered,
around which the clay retained the form of the bodies, like a mould; a
bullet fell from one of the skulls, and in some the teeth were perfectly
sound, 213 years after the battle. At Malton, during a recent excavation
of the main street, one hundred yards of the Roman highway leading from
Derby to York were laid bare, three feet below the present surface.
Scarborough is building new batteries on her castled cliff, and
replacing old guns by new ones; and Hull is about to add to its
resources by the construction of a new dock. The much-needed harbour of
refuge is, however, not yet begun, as wrecks along the coast after
easterly storms lamentably testify.

This _Month in Yorkshire_ was the second of my books of home-travel; and
it was while rambling along the cliffs and over the hills of the famous
county, that I conceived it possible to interest others as well as
myself in the Past and the Present, in the delightful natural aspects
and the wonderful industry of our native country to a yet wider extent;
and therein I have not been disappointed. To the objection that my works
are useless as guide-books, I answer, that no intelligent reader will
find it difficult to follow my route: distances are mentioned with
sufficient accuracy, the length of my longest day's walk is recorded,
whereby any one, who knows his own strength, may easily plan each day's
journey in anticipation. By aid of the map which accompanies the present
volume either planning or reference will now be facilitated.

Next to ourselves, there is perhaps nothing so interesting to us as our
own country, which may be taken as a good reason why a book about
England finds favour with readers. For my part let me repeat a passage
from the foreword to the second edition:--"I know that I have an earnest
love for my subject; feeling proud of the name of Englishman, and the
freedom of thought, speech, and action therein involved; loving our
fields and lanes, our hills and moorlands, and the shores of our sea,
and delighting much to wander among them. Happy shall I be if I can
inspire the reader with the like emotions."

W. W

_London, March, 1861._




 A SHORT CHAPTER TO BEGIN WITH                                         1


 Estuary of the Humber--Sunk Island--Land _versus_ Water--Dutch
 Phenomena--Cleathorpes--Grimsby--Paul--River Freaks--Mud--
 Stukeley and Drayton--Fluvial Parliament--Hull--The Thieves'
 Litany--Docks and Drainage--More Dutch Phenomena--The High Church
 --Thousands of Piles--The Citadel--The Cemetery--A Countryman's
 Voyage to China--An Aid to Macadam                                    5


 A Railway Trip--More Land Reclamation--Hedon--Historical
 Recollections--Burstwick--The Earls of Albemarle--Keyingham--The
 Duke of York--Winestead--Andrew Marvell's Birthplace--A Glimpse
 of the Patriot--Patrington--A Church to be proud of--The Hildyard
 Arms--Feminine Paper-hangers--Walk to Spurn--Talk with a Painter
 --Welwick--Yellow Ochre and Cleanliness--Skeffling--Humber Bank--
 Miles of Mud--Kilnsea--Burstall Garth--The Greedy Sea--The
 Sandbank--A Lost Town, Ravenser Odd--A Reminiscence from
 Shakspeare--The Spurn Lighthouse--Withernsea--Owthorne--Sister
 Churches--The Ghastly Churchyard--A Retort for a Fool--A Word for
 Philologists                                                         14


 Northern Manners--Cottingham--The Romance of Baynard Castle--
 Beverley--Yorkshire Dialect--The Farmers' Breakfast--Glimpses of
 the Town--Antiquities and Constables--The Minster--Yellow Ochre--
 The Percy Shrine--The Murdered Earl--The Costly Funeral--The
 Sisters' Tomb--Rhyming Legend--The Fridstool--The Belfry             27


 A Scotchman's Observations--The Prospect--The Anatomy of Beverley
 --Historical Associations--The Brigantes--The Druids--Austin's
 Stone--The Saxons--Coifi and Paulinus--Down with Paganism--A Great
 Baptism--St. John of Beverley--Athelstan and Brunanburgh--The
 Sanctuary--The Conqueror--Archbishop Thurstan's Privileges--The
 Sacrilegious Mayor--Battle of the Standard--St. John's Miracles--
 Brigand Burgesses--Annual Football--Surrounding Sites--Watton and
 Meaux--Etymologies--King Athelstan's Charter                         33


 The Great Drain--The Carrs--Submerged Forest--River Hull--Tickton
 --Routh--Tippling Rustics--A Cooler for Combatants--The Blind
 Fiddler--The Improvised Song--The Donkey Races--Specimens of
 Yorkshiremen--Good Wages--A Peep at Cottage Life--Ways and Means--
 A Paragraph for Bachelors--Hornsea Mere--The Abbots' Duel--Hornsea
 Church--The Marine Hotel                                             40


 Coast Scenery--A waning Mere, and wasting Cliffs--The Rain and the
 Sea--Encroachment prevented--Economy of the Hotel--A Start on the
 Sands--Pleasure of Walking--Cure for a bad Conscience--Phenomena
 of the Shore--Curious Forms in the Cliffs--Fossil Remains--Strange
 Boulders--A Villager's Etymology--Reminiscences of "Bonypart" and
 Paul Jones--The last House--Chalk and Clay--Bridlington--One of
 the Gipseys--Paul Jones again--The Sea-Fight--A Reminiscence of
 Montgomery                                                           48


 What the Boarding-House thought--Landslips--Yarborough House--The
 Dane's Dike--Higher Cliffs--The South Landing--The Flamborough
 Fleet--Ida, the Flamebearer--A Storm--A talk in a Limekiln--
 Flamborough Fishermen--Coffee before Rum--No Drunkards--A
 Landlord's Experiences--Old-fashioned Honesty                        56


 Men's and Women's Wages--The Signal Tower--The passing Fleet--The
 Lighthouse--The Inland View--Cliff Scenery--Outstretching Reefs--
 Selwick's Bay--Down to the Beach--Aspect of the Cliffs--The Matron
 --Lessons in Pools--Caverns--The King and Queen--Arched
 Promontories--The North Landing--The Herring-Fishers--Pleasure
 Parties--Robin Lyth's Hole--Kirk Hole--View across little Denmark
 --Speeton--End of the Chalk--Walk to Filey                           60


 Old and New Filey--The Ravine--Filey Brig--Breaking Waves--Rugged
 Cliffs--Prochronic Gravel--Gristhorp Bay--Insulated Column--Lofty
 Cliffs--Fossil Plants--Red Cliff--Cayton Bay--Up to the Road--Bare
 Prospect--Cromwell Hotel and Oliver's Mount--Scarborough--The
 Esplanade--Watering-Place Phenomena--The Cliff Bridge--The Museum
 --The Spa--The Old Town--The Harbour--The Castle Rock--The Ancient
 Keep--The Prospect--Reminiscences: of Harold Hardrada; of
 Pembroke's Siege; of the Papists' Surprise; of George Fox; of
 Robin Hood--The One Artilleryman--Scarborough Newspapers--
 Cloughton--The Village Inn, and its Guests--Tudds and Pooads         66


 From Cloughton to Haiburn Wyke--The embowered Path--Approach to
 the Sea--Rock, Water, and Foliage--Heavy Walking--Staintondale
 Cliffs--The Undercliff--The Peak--Raven Hall--Robin Hood's Bay--A
 Trespass--Alum Works--Waterfalls--Bay Town--Manners and Customs of
 the Natives--Coal Trade--The Churchyard--Epitaphs--Black-a-moor--
 Hawsker--Vale of Pickering--Robin Hood and Little John's Archery--
 Whitby Abbey--Beautiful Ruin--St. Hilda, Wilfrid, and Coedmon--
 Legends--A Fallen Tower--St. Mary's Church--Whitby--The Vale of
 Esk--Specimens of Popular Hymns                                      78


 Whitby's Attractions--The Pier--The River-Mouth--The Museum--
 Saurians and Ammonites--An enthusiastic Botanist--Jet in the
 Cliffs, and in the Workshop--Jet Carvers and Polishers--Jet
 Ornaments--The Quakers' Meeting--A Mechanics' Institute--Memorable
 Names--A Mooky Miner--Trip to Grosmont--The Basaltic Dike--
 Quarries and Ironstone--Thrifty Cottagers--Abbeys and Hovels--A
 Stingy Landlord--Egton Bridge--Eskdale Woods--The Beggar's Bridge    89


 To Upgang--Enter Cleveland--East Row--The first Alum-Maker--
 Sandsend--Alum-Works--The huge Gap--Hewing the Alum Shale--
 Limestone Nodules: Mulgrave Cement--Swarms of Fossils--Burning the
 Shale--Volcanic Phenomena--From Fire to Water--The Cisterns--
 Soaking and Pumping--The evaporating Pans--The Crystallizing
 Process--The Roching Casks--Brilliant Crystals--A Chemical Triumph
 --Rough Epsoms                                                       97


 Mulgrave Park--Giant Wade--Ubba's Landing-place--The Boggle-
 boggarts--The Fairy's Chase--Superstitions--The Knight of the Evil
 Lake--Lythe--St. Oswald's Church--Goldsborough--Kettleness--Rugged
 Cliffs and Beach--Runswick Bay--Hob-Hole--Cure for Whooping-cough
 --Jet Diggers--Runswick--Hinderwell--Horticultural Ravine--
 Staithes--A curious Fishing-town--The Black Minstrels--A close-
 neaved Crowd--The Cod and Lobster--Houses washed away--Queer
 back Premises--The Termagants' Duel--Fisherman's Talk--Cobles and
 Yawls--Dutch and French Poachers--Tap-room Talk--Reminiscences
 of Captain Cook                                                     104


 Last Day by the Sea--Boulby--Magnificent Cliffs--Lofthouse and
 Zachary Moore--The Snake-killer--The Wyvern--Eh! Packman--
 Skinningrave--Smugglers and Privateers--The Bruce's Privileges--
 What the old Chronicler says--Story about a Sea-Man--The Groaning
 Creek--Huntcliff Nab--Rosebury Topping--Saltburn--Cormorant
 Shooters--Cunning Seals--Miles of Sands--Marske--A memorable Grave
 --Redcar--The Estuary of Tees--Asylum Harbour--Recreations for
 Visitors--William Hutton's Description--Farewell to the Sea         115


 Leave Redcar--A Cricket-Match--Coatham--Kirkleatham--The Old
 Hospital--The Library--Sir William Turner's Tomb--Cook, Omai, and
 Banks--The Hero of Dettingen--Yearby Bank--Upleatham--Guisborough
 --Past and Present--Tomb of Robert Bruce--Priory Ruins--
 Hemingford, Pursglove, and Sir Thomas Chaloner--Pretty Scenery--
 The Spa--More Money, Less Morals--What George Fox's Proselytes did
 --John Wesley's Preaching--Hutton Lowcross--Rustics of Taste--
 Rosebury Topping--Lazy Enjoyment--The Prospect: from Black-a-moor
 to Northumberland--Cook's Monument--Canny Yatton--The Quakers'
 School--A Legend--Skelton--Sterne and Eugenius--Visitors from
 Middlesbro'--A Fatal Town--Newton--Digger's Talk--Marton, Cook's
 Birthplace--Stockton--Darlington                                    123


 Locomotive, Number One--Barnard Castle--Buying a Calf on Sunday--
 Baliol's Tower--From Canute to the Duke of Cleveland--Historic
 Scenery--A surprised Northumbrian--The bearded Hermit--Beauty of
 Teesdale--Egliston Abbey--The Artist and his Wife--Dotheboys Hall
 --Rokeby--Greta Bridge--Mortham Tower--Brignall Banks--A
 Pilgrimage to Wycliffe--Fate of the Inns--The Felon Sow--A Journey
 by Omnibus--Lartington--Cotherstone--Scandinavian Traces--
 Romaldkirk--Middleton-in-Teesdale--Wild Scenery--High Force Inn--
 The voice of the Fall                                               136


 Early Morn--High Force--Rock and Water--A Talk with the Waitress--
 Hills and Cottages--Cronkley Scar--The Weel--Caldron Snout--
 Soothing Sound--Scrap from an Album--View into Birkdale--A Quest
 for Dinner--A Westmoreland Farm--Household Matters--High Cope Nick
 --Mickle Fell--The Boys' Talk--The Hill-top--Glorious Prospect--A
 Descent--Solitude and Silence--A Moss--Stainmore--Brough--The
 Castle Ruin--Reminiscences                                          146


 Return into Yorkshire--The Old Pedlar--Oh! for the Olden Time--
 "The Bible, indeed!"--An Emissary--Wild Boar Fell--Shunnor Fell--
 Mallerstang--The Eden--A Mountain Walk--Tan Hill--Brown Landscape
 --A School wanted--Swaledale--From Ling to Grass--A Talk with Lead
 Miners--Stonesdale--Work for a Missionary--Thwaite--A Jolly
 Landlord--A Ruined Town--The School at Muker--A Nickname--
 Buttertubs Pass--View into Wensleydale--Lord Wharncliffe's Lodge--
 Simonstone--Hardraw Scar--Geological Phenomenon--A Frozen Cone--
 Hawes                                                               157


 Bainbridge--"If you had wanted a wife"--A Ramble--Millgill Force--
 Whitfell Force--A Lovely Dell--The Roman Camp--The Forest Horn,
 and the old Hornblower--Haymaking--A Cockney Raker--Wensleydale
 Scythemen--A Friend indeed--Addleborough--Curlews and Grouse--The
 First Teapot--Nasty Greens--The Prospect--Askrigg--Bolton Castle--
 Penhill--Middleham--Miles Coverdale's Birthplace--Jervaux Abbey--
 Moses's Principia--Nappa Hall--The Metcalfes--The Knight and the
 King--The Springs--Spoliation of the Druids--The great Cromlech--
 Legend--An ancient Village--Simmer Water--An advice for Anglers--
 More Legends--Counterside--Money-Grubbers--Widdale--Newby Head      165


 About Gimmer Hogs--Gearstones--Source of the Ribble--Weathercote
 Cave--An Underground Waterfall--A Gem of a Cave--Jingle Pot--The
 Silly Ducks--Hurtle Pool--The Boggart--A Reminiscence of the
 Doctor--Chapel-le-Dale--Remarkable Scenery--Ingleborough--Ingleton
 --Craven--Young Daniel Dove, and Long Miles--Clapham--Ingleborough
 Cave--Stalactite and Stalagmite--Marvellous Spectacle--Pillar Hall
 --Weird Music--Treacherous Pools--The Abyss--How Stalactite forms
 --The Jockey Cap--Cross Arches--The Long Gallery--The Giant's Hall
 --Mysterious Waterfall--A Trouty Beck--The Bar-Parlour--A Bradford
 Spinner                                                             177


 By Rail to Skipton--A Stony Town--Church and Castle--The Cliffords
 --Wharfedale--Bolton Abbey--Picturesque Ruins--A Foot-Bath--Scraps
 from Wordsworth--Bolton Park--The Strid--Barden Tower--The Wharfe
 --The Shepherd Lord--Reading to Grandfather--A Cup of Tea--
 Cheerful Hospitality--Trout Fishing--Gale Beck--Symon Seat--A Real
 Entertainer--Burnsall--A Drink of Porter--Immoralities--
 Threshfield--Kilnsey--The Crag--Kettlewell--A Primitive Village--
 Great Whernside--Starbottom--Buckden--Last View of Wharfedale--
 Cray--Bishopdale--A Pleasant Lane--Bolton Castle--Penhill--
 Aysgarth--Dead Pastimes--Decrease of Quakers--Failure of a Mission
 --Why and Wherefore--Aysgarth Force--Drunken Barnaby--Inroad of
 Fashion                                                             191


 A Walk--Carperby--Despotic Hay-time--Bolton Castle--The Village--
 Queen Mary's Prison--Redmire--Scarthe Nick--Pleasing Landscape--
 Halfpenny House--Hart-Leap Well--View into Swaledale--Richmond--
 The Castle--Historic Names--The Keep--St. Martin's Cell--Easby
 Abbey--Beautiful Ruins--King Arthur and Sleeping Warriors--Ripon--
 View from the Minster Tower--Archbishop Wilfrid--The Crypt--The
 Nightly Horn--To Studley--Surprising Trick--Robin Hood's Well--
 Fountains Abbey--Pop goes the Weasel--The Ruins--Robin Hood and
 the Curtall Friar--To Thirsk--The Ancient Elm--Epitaphs             206


 Sutton: a pretty Village--The Hambleton Hills--Gormire Lake--
 Zigzags--A Table-Land--Boy and Bull Pup--Skawton--Ryedale--
 Rievaulx Abbey--Walter L'Espec--A Charming Ruin--The Terrace--The
 Pavilion--Helmsley--T' Boos--Kirkby Moorside--Helmsley Castle--A
 River swallowed--Howardian Hills--Oswaldkirk--Gilling--Fairfax
 Hall--Coxwold--Sterne's Residence--York--The Minster Tower--Yorke,
 Yorke, for my monie--The Four Bars--The City Walls--The Ouse
 Legend--Yorkshire Philosophical Society--Ruins and Antiquities--
 St. Mary's Lodge                                                    217


 By Rail to Leeds--Kirkstall Abbey--Valley of the Aire--Flight to
 Settle--Giggleswick--Drunken Barnaby again--Nymph and Satyr--The
 astonished Bagman--What do they Addle?--View from Castleber--
 George Fox's Vision on Pendle Hill--Walk to Maum--Companions--
 Horse versus Scenery--Talk by the Way--Little Wit, muckle Work--
 Malham Tarn--Ale for Recompense--Malham--Hospitality--Gordale Scar
 --Scenery versus Horse--Trap for Trout--A Brookside Musing--Malham
 Grove--Source of the Aire--To Keighley                              226


 Keighley--Men in Pinafores--Walk to Haworth--Charlotte Brontë's
 Birthplace--The Church--The Pew--The Tombstone--The Marriage
 Register--Shipley--Saltaire--A Model Town--Household Arrangements
 --I isn't the Gaffer--A Model Factory--Acres of Floors--Miles of
 Shafting--Weaving Shed--Thirty Thousand Yards a Day--Cunning
 machinery--First Fleeces--Shipley Feast--Scraps of Dialect--To
 Bradford--Rival Towns--Yorkshire Sleuth-hounds--Die like a
 Britoner                                                            235


 Bradford's Fame--Visit to Warehouses--A Smoky Prospect--Ways and
 Means of Trade--What John Bull likes--What Brother Jonathan likes
 --Vulcan's Head-quarters--Cleckheaton--Heckmondwike--Busy Traffic
 --Mirfield--Robin Hood's Grave--Batley the Shoddyopolis--All the
 World's Tatters--Aspects of Batley--A Boy capt--The Devil's Den--
 Grinding Rags--Mixing and Oiling--Shoddy and Shoddy--Tricks with
 Rags--The Scribbling Machine--Short Flocks, Long Threads--Spinners
 and Weavers--Dyeing, Dressing, and Pressing--A Moral in Shoddy--A
 surprise of Real Cloth--Iron, Lead, and Coal--To Wakefield--A
 Disappointment--The Old Chapel--The Battle-field--To Barnsley--
 Bairnsla Dialect--Sheffield                                         245


 Clouds of Blacks--What Sheffield was and is--A detestable Town--
 Razors and Knives--Perfect Work, Imperfect Workmen--Foul Talk--How
 Files are made--Good Iron, Good Steel--Breaking-up and Melting--
 Making the Crucibles--Casting--Ingots--File Forgers--Machinery
 Baffled--Cutting the Teeth--Hardening--Cleaning and Testing--
 Elliott's Statue--A Ramble to the Corn-Law Rhymer's Haunt--Rivelin
 --Bilberry gatherers--Ribbledin--The Port's Words--A Desecration--
 To Manchester--A few Words on the Exhibition                        256


 A SHORT CHAPTER TO END WITH                                         266




I had cheerful recollections of Yorkshire. My first lessons in
self-reliance and long walks were learned in that county. I could not
forget how, fresh from the south, I had been as much astonished at the
tall, stalwart forms of the men, their strange rustic dialect and rough
manners, as by their hearty hospitality. Nor could I fail to remember
the contrast between the bleak outside of certain farm-houses and the
rude homely comfort inside, where a ruddy turf fire glowed on the
hearth, and mutton hams, and oaten bread, and store of victual burdened
the racks of the kitchen ceiling. Nor the generous entertainment of more
than one old hostess in little roadside public-houses, who, when I
arrived at nightfall, weary with travel, would have me sit at the end of
the high-backed settle nearest the fire, or in the 'neukin' under the
great chimney, and bustle about with motherly kindness to get tea ready;
who, before I had eaten the first pile of cakes, would bring a second,
with earnest assurance that a "growing lad" could never eat too much;
who talked so sympathisingly during the evening--I being at times the
only guest--wondering much that I should be so far away from home: had I
no friends? where was I going? and the like; who charged me only
eighteenpence for tea, bed, and breakfast, and once slily thrust into my
pocket, at parting, a couple of cakes, which I did not discover till
half way across a snow-drifted moor, where no house was in sight for
many miles. All this, and much more which one does not willingly
forget, haunted my memory.

The wild scenery of the fells, the tame agricultural region, and the
smoky wapentakes, where commerce erects more steeples than religion,
were traversed during my rambles. While wandering in the neighbourhood
of Keighley, I had seen Charlotte Brontë's birthplace, long before any
one dreamed that she would one day flash as a meteor upon the gaze of
the "reading public." Rosebury Topping had become familiar to me in the
landscapes of Cleveland, and now a desire possessed me to get on the top
of that magnificent cone. In the villages round about its base I had
shared the pepper-cake of Christmas-tide; and falling in with the
ancient custom prevalent along the eastern coast from Humber to Tyne,
had eaten fried peas on Carlin Sunday--Mid-Lent of the calendar--ere the
discovery of that mineral wealth, now known to exist in such astonishing
abundance, that whether the British coal-fields will last long enough or
not to smelt all the ironstone of Cleveland, is no longer a question
with a chief of geologists. I had mused in the ruin where Richard the
Second was cruelly murdered, at Pontefract; had looked with proper
surprise at the Dropping Well, at Knaresborough, and into St. Robert's
Cave, the depository of Eugene Aram's terrible secret; had walked into
Wakefield, having scarcely outlived the fond belief that there the Vicar
once dwelt with his family; and when the guard pointed out the summits
as the coach rolled past on the way from Skipton to Kirkby Lonsdale, had
no misgivings as to the truth of the saying:

    "Penigent, Whernside, and Ingleborough,
    Are the three highest hills all England thorough."

Unawares, in some instances, I had walked across battlefields, memorable
alike in the history of the county, and of the kingdom; where marauding
Scots, dissolute Hainaulters, Plantagenets and Tudors, Cavalier and
Roundhead had rushed to the onslaught. Marston Moor awoke the proudest
emotions, notwithstanding my schoolboy recollections of what David Hume
had written thereupon; while Towton was something to wonder at, as
imagination flew back to the time when

    "Palm Sunday chimes were chiming
      All gladsome thro' the air,
    And village churls and maidens
      Knelt in the church at pray'r;
    When the Red Rose and the White Rose
      In furious battle reel'd;
    And yeomen fought like barons,
      And barons died ere yield.
    When mingling with the snow-storm,
      The storm of arrows flew;
    And York against proud Lancaster
      His ranks of spearmen threw.
    When thunder-like the uproar
      Outshook from either side,
    As hand to hand they battled
      From morn to eventide.
    When the river ran all gory,
      And in hillocks lay the dead,
    And seven and thirty thousand
      Fell for the White and Red.

           *       *       *       *       *

    When o'er the Bar of Micklegate
      They changed each ghastly head,
    Set Lancaster upon the spikes
      Where York had bleached and bled.

           *       *       *       *       *

    There still wild roses growing--
      Frail tokens of the fray--
    And the hedgerow green bear witness
      Of Towton field that day."

Did the decrepit old shambles, roofed with paving-flags, still encumber
the spacious market-place at Thirsk? Did the sexton at Ripon Minster
still deliver his anatomical lecture in the grim bone-house, and did the
morality of that sedate town still accord with the venerable adage, "as
true steel as Ripon rowels?" Was York still famous for muffins, or
Northallerton for quoits, cricket, and spell-and-nurr? and was its beer
as good as when Bacchus held a court somewhere within sight of the three
Ridings, and asked one of his attendants where that new drink, "strong
and mellow," was to be found? and

    "The boon good fellow answered, 'I can tell
    North-Allerton, in Yorkshire, doth excel
    All England, nay, all Europe, for strong ale;
    If thither we adjourn we shall not fail
    To taste such humming stuff, as I dare say
    Your Highness never tasted to this day.'"

Hence, when the summer sun revived my migratory instinct, I inclined to
ramble once more in Yorkshire. There would be no lack of the freshness
of new scenes, for my former wanderings had not led me to the coast, nor
to the finest of the old abbeys--those ruins of wondrous beauty, nor to
the remote dales where crowding hills abound with the picturesque. Here
was novelty enough, to say nothing of the people and their ways, and the
manifold appliances and results of industry which so eminently
distinguish the county, and the grand historical associations of the
metropolitan city, once the "other Rome," of which the old rhymester

    "Let London still the just precedence claim,
    York ever shall be proud to be the next in fame."

I was curious, moreover, to observe whether the peculiar dialect or the
old habits were dying out quite so rapidly as some social and political
economists would have us believe.

Quaint old Fuller, among the many nuggets imbedded in his pages, has one
which implies that Yorkshire being the biggest is therefore the best
county in England. You may take six from the other thirty-nine counties,
and put them together, and not make a territory so large as Yorkshire.
The population of the county numbers nearly two millions. When within it
you find the distances great from one extremity to the other, and become
aware of the importance involved in mere dimensions. In no county have
Briton, Roman, and Dane left more evident traces, or history more
interesting waymarks. Speed says of it: "She is much bound to the
singular love and motherly care of Nature, in placing her under so
temperate a clime, that in every measure she is indifferently fruitful.
If one part of her be stone, and a sandy barren ground, another is
fertile and richly adorned with corn-fields. If you here find it naked
and destitute of woods, you shall see it there shadowed with forests
full of trees, that have very thick bodies, sending forth many fruitful
and profitable branches. If one place of it be moorish, miry, and
unpleasant, another makes a free tender of delight, and presents itself
to the eye full of beauty and contentive variety."

Considering, furthermore, that for two years in succession I had seen the
peasantry in parts of the north and south of Europe, and had come to the
conclusion (under correction, for my travel is brief) that the English
labourer, with his weekly wages, his cottage and garden, is better off
than the peasant proprietor of Germany and Tyrol,--considering this, I
wished to prove my conclusion, and therefore started hopefully for

And again, does not Emerson say, "a wise traveller will naturally choose
to visit the best of actual nations."


     Estuary of the Humber--Sunk Island--Land _versus_ Water--Dutch
     Phenomena--Cleathorpes--Grimsby--Paul--River Freaks--Mud--
     Stukeley and Drayton--Fluvial Parliament--Hull--The Thieves'
     Litany--Docks and Drainage--More Dutch Phenomena--The High
     Church--Thousands of Piles--The Citadel--The Cemetery--A
     Countryman's Voyage to China--An Aid to Macadam.

As the _Vivid_ steamed past the Spurn lighthouse, I looked curiously at
the low sandy spit on which the tall red tower stands, scarcely as it
seems above the level of the water, thinking that my first walk would
perhaps lead thither. At sight of the Pharos, and of the broad estuary
alive with vessels standing in, the Yorkshiremen on board felt their
patriotism revive, and one might have fancied there was a richer twang
in their speech than had been perceptible in the latitude of London. A
few who rubbed their hands and tried to look hearty, vowed that their
future travels should not be on the sea. The _Vivid_ is not a very
sprightly boat, but enjoys or not, as the case may be, a reputation for
safety, and for sleeping-cabins narrower and more stifling than any I
ever crept into. But one must not expect too much when the charge for a
voyage of twenty-six hours is only six and sixpence in the chief cabin.

Not without reason does old Camden remark of the Humber, "it is a common
rendezvous for the greatest part of the rivers hereabouts," for it is a
noble estuary, notwithstanding that water and shore are alike muddy. It
is nearly forty miles long, with a width of more than two miles down to
about three leagues from the lighthouse, where it widens to six or seven
miles, offering a capacious entrance to the sea. The water has somewhat
of an unctuous appearance, as if overcharged with contributions of the
very fattest alluvium from all parts of Yorkshire. The results may be
seen on the right, as we ascend. There spreads the broad level of Sunk
Island, a noteworthy example of dry land produced by the co-operation of
natural causes and human industry. The date of its first appearance
above the water is not accurately known; but in the reign of Charles II.
it was described as three thousand five hundred acres of "drowned
ground," of which seven acres were enclosed by embankments; and was let
at five pounds a year. A hundred years later fifteen hundred acres were
under cultivation, producing a yearly rental of seven hundred pounds to
the lessee; but he, it is said, made but little profit, because of the
waste and loss occasioned by failure of the banks and irruptions of the
tides. In 1802 the island reverted to the Crown, and was re-let on
condition that all the salt marsh--nearly three thousand acres--which
was "ripe for embankment," should be taken in, and that a church and
proper houses should be built, to replace the little chapel and five
cottages which ministered as little to the edification as to the comfort
of the occupants. In 1833 the lease once more fell in, and the Woods and
Forests, wisely ignoring the middlemen, let the lands directly to the
'Sunk farmers,' as they are called in the neighbourhood, and took upon
themselves the construction and maintenance of the banks. A good road
was made, and bridges were built to connect the Island with the main,
and as the accumulations of alluvium still went on, another 'intake'
became possible in 1851, and now there are nearly 7000 acres, comprising
twenty-three farms, besides a few small holdings, worth more than
12,000_l._ of annual rent. It forms a parish of itself, and not a
neglected one; for moral reclamation is cared for as well as
territorial. The clergyman has a sufficient stipend; the parishioners
supplemented the grants made by Government and the Council of Education,
and have now a good schoolhouse and a competent schoolmaster.

The Island will continue to increase in extent and value as long as the
same causes continue to operate; and who shall set limits to them?
Already the area is greater than that described in the last report of
the Woods and Forests, which comprehends only the portion protected by
banks. The land when reclaimed is singularly fertile, and free from
stones, and proves its quality in the course of three or four years, by
producing spontaneously a rich crop of white clover. Another fact,
interesting to naturalists, was mentioned by Mr. Oldham in a report read
before the British Association, at their meeting in Hull. "When the
land, or rather mud-bank, has nearly reached the usual surface
elevation, the first vegetable life it exhibits is that of samphire,
then of a very thin wiry grass, and after this some other varieties of
marine grass; and when the surface is thus covered with vegetation, the
land may at once be embanked; but if it is enclosed from the tide before
it obtains a green carpet, it may be for twenty years of but little
value to agriculture, for scarcely anything will grow upon it."

This is not the only place on the eastern coast where we may see
artificial land, and banks, dikes, and other defences against the water
such as are commonly supposed to be peculiar to the Netherlands.

The windows of Cleathorpes twinkling afar in the morning sun, reveal the
situation of a watering-place on the opposite shore much frequented by
Lincolnshire folk. Beyond rises the tall and graceful tower of Grimsby
Docks, serving at once as signal tower and reservoir of the water-power
by which the cranes and other apparatus are worked, and ships laden and
unladen with marvellous celerity. These docks cover a hundred acres of
what a few years ago was a great mud-flat, and are a favourable specimen
of what can be accomplished by the overhasty enterprise of the present
day. Grimsby on her side of the river now rivals Hull on the other, with
the advantage of being nearer the sea, whereby some miles of navigation
are avoided.

Turning to the right again we pass Foul Holme Sand, a long narrow spit,
covered at half-tide, which some day may become reclaimable. A little
farther and there is the church of Paghill or Paul, standing on a low
hill so completely isolated from the broken village to which it belongs,
that the distich runs:

    "High Paul, and Low Paul, Paul, and Paul Holme,
    There was never a fair maid married in Paul town."

The vessel urges her way onwards across swirls and eddies innumerable
which betray the presence of shoals and the vigorous strife of opposing
currents. The spring tides rise twenty-two feet, and rush in with a
stream at five miles an hour, noisy and at times dangerous, churning the
mud and shifting it from one place to another, to the provocation of
pilots. It is mostly above Hull that the changes take place, and there
they are so sudden and rapid that a pilot may find the channel by which
he had descended shifted to another part of the river on his return a
few days afterwards. There also islands appear and disappear in a manner
truly surprising, and in the alternate loss or gain of the shores may be
witnessed the most capricious of phenomena. Let one example suffice: a
field of fourteen acres, above Ferriby, was reduced to less than four
acres in twenty years, although the farmer during that time had
constructed seven new banks for the defence of his land.

Some notion of the enormous quantity of mud which enters the great river
may be formed from the fact that fifty thousand tons of mud have been
dredged in one year from the docks and basins at Hull. The steam-dredge
employed in the work lifts fifty tons of mud in an hour, pours it into
lighters, which when laden drop down with the tide, and discharge their
slimy burden in certain parts of the stream, where, as is said, it
cannot accumulate.

Stukely, who crossed the estuary during one of his itineraries, remarks:
"Well may the Humber take its name from the noise it makes. My landlord,
who is a sailor, says in a high wind 'tis incredibly great and terrible,
like the crash and dashing together of ships." The learned antiquary
alludes probably to the bore, or ager as it is called, which rushes up
the stream with so loud a _hum_ that the popular mind seeks no other
derivation for Humber. Professor Phillips, in his admirable book on
Yorkshire, cites the Gaelic word _Comar_, a confluence of two or more
waters, as the origin; and Dr. Latham suggests that Humber may be the
modified form of Aber or Inver. Drayton, in _Polyolbion_, chants of a
tragical derivation; and as I take it for granted, amicable reader, that
you do not wish to travel in a hurry, we will pause for a few minutes to
listen to the debate of the rivers, wherein "thus mighty Humber speaks:"

    "My brave West Riding brooks, your king you need not scorn,
    Proud Naiades neither ye, North Riders that are born,
    My yellow-sanded Your, and thou my sister Swale
    That dancing come to Ouse, thro' many a dainty dale,
    Do greatly me enrich, clear Derwent driving down
    From Cleveland; and thou Hull, that highly dost renown,
    Th' East Riding by thy rise, do homage to your king,
    And let the sea-nymphs thus of mighty Humber sing;
    That full an hundred floods my wat'ry court maintain
    Which either of themselves, or in their greater's train
    Their tribute pay to me; and for my princely name,
    From Humber king of Hunns, as anciently it came,
    So still I stick to him: for from that Eastern king
    Once in me drown'd, as I my pedigree do bring:
    So his great name receives no prejudice thereby;
    For as he was a king, so know ye all that I
    Am king of all the floods, that North of Trent do flow;
    Then let the idle world no more such cost bestow,
    Nor of the muddy Nile so great a wonder make,
    Though with her bellowing fall, she violently take
    The neighbouring people deaf; nor Ganges so much praise,
    That where he narrowest is, eight miles in broadness lays
    His bosom; nor so much hereafter shall be spoke
    Of that (but lately found) Guianian Oronoque,
    Whose cataract a noise so horrible doth keep
    That it even Neptune frights: what flood comes to the deep,
    Than Humber that is heard more horribly to roar?
    For when my Higre comes, I make my either shore
    Even tremble with the sound, that I afar do send."

The view of Hull seen from the water is much more smoky than
picturesque. Coming nearer we see the _Cornwallis_ anchored off the
citadel, looking as trim and earnest as one fancies an English
seventy-four ought to look, and quite in keeping with the embrasured
walls through which guns are peeping on shore. The quay and
landing-places exhibit multifarious signs of life, especially if your
arrival occur when the great railway steam-ferry-boat is about to start.
There is, however, something about Hull which inspires a feeling of
melancholy. This was my third visit, and still the first impression
prevailed. It may be the dead level, or the sleepy architecture, or the
sombre colour, or a combination of the three, that touches the dismal
key. "Memorable for mud and train oil" was what Etty always said of the
town in which he served an apprenticeship of seven weary years; yet in
his time there remained certain picturesque features which have since
disappeared with the large fleet of Greenland whale-ships whereof the
town was once so proud:--now migrated to Peterhead. However, we must not
forget that Hull is the third port in the kingdom; that nearly a hundred
steamers arrive and depart at regular intervals from over sea, or
coastwise, or from up the rivers; that of the 4000 tons of German yeast
now annually imported, worth nearly £200,000, it receives more than
two-thirds; that it was one of the first places to demonstrate the
propulsion of vessels by the power of steam. Nor will we forget that we
are in one of the towns formerly held in wholesome dread by evil-doers
when recommendation to mercy was seldom heard of, as is testified by the
thieves' litany of the olden time, thus irreverently phrased:

    "From Hull, Hell, and Halifax,
    Good Lord deliver us."

Halifax, however, stood pre-eminent for sharp practice; a thief in that
parish had no chance of stealing twice, for if he stole to the value of
thirteenpence halfpenny, he was forthwith beheaded.

Andrew Marvell need not have been so severe upon the Dutch, considering
how much there was in his native county similar in character and aspect
to that which he satirised. You soon discover that this character still
prevails. Is not the southern landing place of the steam-ferry named New
Holland? and here in Hull, whichever way you look, you see masts, and
are stopped by water or a bridge half open, or just going to open,
whichever way you walk. It is somewhat puzzling at first; but a few
minutes' survey from the top of the High Church affords an explanation.

Following the line once occupied by the old fortifications--the walls by
which Parliament baffled the king--the docks form a continuous
water-communication from the river Hull on one side to the Humber on the
other, so that a considerable portion of the town has become an island,
and the sight of masts and pennons in all directions, some slowly
moving, is accounted for. At the opening of the Junction Dock in 1829,
whereby the desired connection was established, the celebration included
circumnavigation of the insular portion by a gaily decorated steamer.

The amphibious Dutch-looking physiognomy thus produced is further
assisted by the presence of numerous windmills in the outskirts, and the
levelness of the surrounding country. A hundred years ago, and the view
across what is now cultivated fields would have comprehended as much
water as land, if not more. Should a certain popular authoress ever
publish her autobiography, she will, perhaps, tell us how Mr. Stickney,
her father, used when a boy to skate three or four miles to school over
unreclaimed flats within sight of this church tower of Hull, now rich
in grass and grain. Only by a system of drainage and embankment on a
great scale, and a careful maintenance, has the reclamation of this and
other parts of Holderness been accomplished. Taylor, the water-poet, who
was here in 1632, records,

    "It yearly costs five hundred pounds besides
    To fence the towne from Hull and Humber's tydes,
    For stakes, for bavins, timber, stones, and piles,
    All which are brought by water many miles;
    For workmen's labour, and a world of things,
    Which on the towne excessive charges brings."

British liberty owes something to this superabundance of water. Hull was
the first town in the kingdom to shut its gates against the king and
declare for the people, and was in consequence besieged by Charles. In
this strait, Sir John Hotham, the governor, caused the dikes to be cut
and sluices drawn, and laid the whole neighbourhood under water, and
kept the besiegers completely at bay. The Royalists, to retaliate, dug
trenches to divert the stream of fresh water that supplied the town,--a
means of annoyance to which Hull, from its situation, was always liable.
In the good old times, when the neighbouring villagers had any cause of
quarrel with the townsfolk, they used to throw carrion and other
abominations into the channel, or let in the salt-water, nor would they
desist until warned by a certain Pope in an admonitory letter.

The church itself, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is a handsome specimen
of florid Gothic, dating from the reign of Edward II. You will perhaps
wish that the effect of the light tall columns, rising to the blue
panelled roof, were not weakened by the somewhat cold and bare aspect of
the interior. If you are curious about bells, there are inscriptions to
be deciphered on some of those that hang in the tower; and in the belfry
you may see mysterious tables hanging on the wall of 'grandsire bobs,'
and 'grandsire tripples;' things in which the ringers take pride, but as
unintelligible to the uninitiated as Babylonish writing. There, too,
hangs the ringers' code of laws, and a queer code it is! One of the
articles runs:--"Every Person who shall Ring any Bell with his Hat or
Spurs on, shall Forfeit and Pay Sixpence, for the Use of the Ringers."
And the same fine is levied from "any Person who shall have Read Any of
these Orders with his Hat upon his Head;" from which, and the
characteristic touches in the other "orders," you will very likely come
to some strange conclusions respecting the fraternity of ringers.

The market-place is in the main street, where a gilt equestrian statue
of William III. looks down on stalls of fruit, fish, and seaweed, and
the moving crowd of townsfolk and sailors. By the side of the Humber
dock rises the Wilberforce monument, a tall column, bearing on its
capital a statue of the renowned advocate of the negroes. And when you
have looked at these and at the hospital, and walked through the
garrison, you will have visited nearly all that is monumental in Hull.

At low water, the little river Hull is a perfect representation of a
very muddy ditch. While crossing the ferry to the citadel, the old
boatman told me he could remember when every high tide flowed up into
the streets of the town, but the new works for the docks now keep the
water out. Hundreds of piles were driven into the sandy bank to
establish a firm foundation for the massive walls, quays, and abutments.
At the time when timber rose to an enormous price in consequence of
Napoleon's continental blockade, the piles of the coffer-dam which had
been buried seven years, were pulled up and sold for more than their
original cost. Government gave the site of some old military works and
10,000_l._ towards the formation of the first dock, on condition that it
should be made deep enough to receive ships of fifty guns.

In records of the reign of Henry VIII. there appears--"Item: the Kinges
Ma'tes house to be made to serve as a Sitidell and a speciall kepe of
the hole town." The present citadel has an antiquated look, and quiet
withal, for the whole garrison, at the time I walked through it,
numbered only twenty-five artillerymen. Judging from my own experience,
one part of the sergeant's duty is to shout at inquisitive strangers who
get up on the battery to look through an embrasure, and the more
vehemently as they feign not to hear till their curiosity is satisfied.
There is room in the magazines for twenty thousand stand of arms, and
ordnance stores for a dozen ships of the line. A ditch fed from the Hull
completely separates the fortifications from the neighbouring

Half a day's exploration led me to the conclusion that the most
cheerful quarter of Hull is the cemetery. I was sitting there on a
grassy bank enjoying the breeze, when a countryman came up who perhaps
felt lonely, for he sat down by my side, and in less than a minute
became autobiographical. He was a village carpenter, "came forty mile
out of Lincolnshire" for the benefit of his health; had been waiting
three days for his brother's ship, in which he meant to take a voyage to
China, and feeling dull walked every day to the cemetery; for, he said,
"It's the pleasantest place I can find about the town." I suggested
reading as a relief; but he "couldn't make much out o'readin'--'ud
rather work the jack-plane all day than read." The long voyage to China
appeared to offer so good an opportunity for improving himself in this
particular that I urged him to take a few books on board, and gave an
assurance that one hour's study every day would enable him to read with
pleasure by the time he returned.

"Oh, but we be on'y three days a-going," he answered.

I had played the part of an adviser to no purpose, for it appeared, on
further questioning, that his brother's ship was a small sloop trading
to some port beyond the North Sea about three days distant; he did not
know where it was, but was sure his brother called it China. I mentioned
the names of all the ports I could think of to discover the real one if
possible, but in vain; nor have I yet found one that has the sound of

One thing I saw on my way back to the town, which London--so apt to be
self-conceited--might adopt with signal advantage. It was a huge iron
roller drawn by horses up and down a newly macadamised road. Under the
treatment of the ponderous cylinder, the broken stone, combined with a
sprinkling of asphalte, is reduced to a firm and level surface, over
which vehicles travel without any of that distressing labour and loss of
time and temper so often witnessed in the metropolis, where a thousand
pair of wheels produce less solidity in a week than the roller would in
a day; especially on the spongy roads presided over by St. Pancras.

Late in the evening, while walking about the streets, even in the
principal thoroughfares, I saw evidences enough of--to use a mild
adjective--an unpolished population. The northern characteristics were
strongly marked.


     A Railway Trip--More Land Reclamation--Hedon--Historical
     Recollections--Burstwick--The Earls of Albemarle--Keyingham--
     The Duke of York--Winestead--Andrew Marvell's Birthplace--A
     Glimpse of the Patriot--Patrington--A Church to be proud of--
     The Hildyard Arms--Feminine Paper-hangers--Walk to Spurn--Talk
     with a Painter--Welwick--Yellow Ochre and Cleanliness--
     Skeffling--Humber Bank--Miles of Mud--Kilnsea--Burstall Garth--
     The Greedy Sea--The Sandbank--A Lost Town, Ravenser Odd--A
     Reminiscence from Shakspeare--The Spurn Lighthouse--Withernsea
     --Owthorne--Sister Churches--The Ghastly Churchyard--A Retort
     for a Fool--A Word for Philologists.

By the first train on the morrow I started for Patrington. The windmills
on the outskirts of the town were soon left behind, and away we went
between the thick hedgerows and across the teeming fields, which,
intersected by broad deep drains, and grazed by sleek cattle, exhibit at
once to your eye the peculiarities of Holderness. All along between the
railway and the river there are thousands of acres, formerly called the
'out-marshes,' which have been reclaimed, and now yield wonderful crops
of oats. After the principal bank has been constructed, the tide is let
in under proper control to a depth of from three to five feet, and is
left undisturbed until all the mud held in suspension is deposited. The
impoverished flood is then discharged through the sluices, and in due
time, after the first has stiffened, a fresh flow is admitted. By this
process of 'warping,' as it is called, three or four feet of mud will be
thrown down in three years, covering the original coarse, sour surface
with one abounding in the elements of fertility. Far inland, even up the
Trent, and around the head of the Humber within reach of the tide, the
farmers have recourse to warping, and not unfrequently prefer a fresh
layer of mud to all other fertilisers.

About every two miles we stop at a station, and at each there is
something to be noted and remembered. Hedon, a dull decayed town, now
two miles from the river, once the commercial rival of Hull, has
something still to be proud of in its noble church, "the pride of
Holderness." Here, too, within a fence, stands the ancient cross, which,
after several removals, as the sea devoured its original site--a royal
adventurer's landing-place--found here a permanent station. At
Burstwick, two miles farther, lay the estates, the _caput baroniæ_, of
the renowned Earls of Albemarle. A few minutes more and another stop
reminds us of Keyingham bridge, where a party of the men of Holderness
opposed the passage of Edward IV. with his three hundred Flemings, some
carrying strange fire-weapons, until he replied to their resolute
question that he had only come to claim his dukedom of York. A "dukedom
large enough" for a wise man. And, as tradition tells, Keyingham church
was the scene of a miracle in 1392, when all the doors were split by a
lightning-stroke, and the tomb of Master Philip Ingleberd, formerly
rector, sweated a sweetly-scented oil, perhaps out of gratitude to the
patron saint for the escape of thirteen men who fell all at once with
the ladder while seeking to put out the fire in the steeple, and came to
no harm. Then Winestead, which was, if the parish-register may be
believed, the birthplace of Andrew Marvell--not Hull, as is commonly
reported of the incorruptible Yorkshire man. His father was rector here,
but removed to Hull during the poet's infancy, which may account for the
error. The font in which he was christened having fallen into neglect,
was used as a horse-trough, until some good antiquary removed it into
the grounds of Mr. Owst, at Keyingham, where it remains safe among other
relics. Andrew represented Hull in parliament for twenty years, and was
the last member who, according to old usage, received payment for his
services. One's thought kindles in thinking of him here at this quiet
village, as a friend of Milton, like him using his gifts manfully and
successfully in defence of the Englishman's birthright. What a happy
little glimpse we get of him in the lines--

    "Climb at court for me that will--
    Tottering favour's pinnacle;
    All I seek is to lie still,
    Settled in some secret nest,
    In calm leisure let me rest,
    And far off the public stage,
    Pass away my silent age.
    Thus, when without noise, unknown,
    I have lived out all my span,
    I shall die without a groan,
    An old honest countryman."

Then Patrington--erst Patrick's town--one of those simple-looking places
which contrast agreeably with towns sophisticated by the clamour and
bustle of trade; and although a few gas-lamps tell of innovation, a
market not more than once a fortnight upholds the authority of ancient
usage. You see nearly the whole of the town at once; a long, wide, quiet
street, terminated by a graceful spire, so graceful, indeed, that it
will allure you at once to the church from which it springs; and what a
feast for the eye awaits you! Truly the "pride of Holderness" is not
monopolised by Hedon. The style is that which prevailed in the reign of
Edward II., and is harmonious throughout, from weathercock to door-sill.
You will walk round it again and again, admiring the beauty of its
design and proportion, pausing oft to contemplate the curious carvings,
and the octagonal spire springing lightly from flying buttresses to a
height of one hundred and ninety feet. The gargoyles exhibit strange
conceits; chiselled to represent a fiddler--a bagpiper--a man holding a
pig--a fiend griping a terrified sinner--a lion thrusting his tongue
out--and others equally incongruous. How I wished the architect would
come to life for an hour to tell me what he meant by them, and by
certain full-length figures carved on the buttresses, which accord so
little with our modern sense of decency, much less with the character of
a religious house! Inside you find a corresponding lightness and
gracefulness, and similarly relieved by a sprinkling of monsters. The
east or 'Ladye aisle' contains three chantry chapels; the 'Easter
sepulchre' is a rare specimen of the sculptor's art, and the font hewn
from a single block of granite displays touches of a master hand. St.
Patrick's church at Patrington is an edifice to linger in; an example of
beauty in architecture in itself worth a journey to Yorkshire.

There are relics, too, of an earlier age: embankments discovered some
feet below the present surface, fragments of buildings, an altar, and
other objects of especial interest to the antiquary, for they mark
Patrington as the site of a Roman station. An important station, if the
supposition be correct that this was the Prætorium of Antoninus--the
place where some of the legions disembarked to subjugate the Brigantes.

To eat breakfast under the sign of the _Hildyard Arms_--a name, by the
way, which preserves in a modified form the old Saxon _Hildegarde_--seemed
like connecting one's-self with remote antiquity. The ancestors of the
Hildyards were here before the Conquest. One of the family, Sir
Christopher, is commemorated by a handsome monument in Winestead church.
The landlord, willing to entertain in more ways than one, talked of the
improvements that had taken place within his remembrance. The railway was
not one of them, for it took away trade from the town, and deadened the
market. Visitors were but few, and most of those who came wondered at
seeing so beautiful a church in such an out-of-the-way place. He could
show me a garden near the churchyard which was said to be the spot where
the building-stone was landed from boats; but the water had sunk away
hundreds of years ago. Patrington haven--a creek running up from the
Humber--had retreated from the town, and since the reclamation of Sunk
Island, required frequent dredging to clear it of mud. The farmers in the
neighbourhood were very well content with the harvests now yielded by the
land. In 1854 some of them reaped "most wonderful crops."

I had seen a woman painting her door-posts, and asked him whether that
was recognised as women's work in Patrington. "Sure," he answered, "all
over the country too. Women do the whitewashing, and painting, ay, and
the paper-hanging. Look at this room, now! My daughter put that up."

I did look, and saw that the pattern on the walls sloped two or three
inches from the perpendicular, whereby opposite sides of the room
appeared to be leaning in contrary directions. However, I said nothing
to disparage the damsel's merits.

From Patrington to Spurn the distance is thirteen miles. Hoping to walk
thither and back in the day, I snapped the thread of the landlord's
talk, and set out for the lighthouse. Presently I overtook a man, and we
had not walked half a mile together before I knew that he was a
master-painter in a small way at Patrington, now going to paper a room
at Skeffling, a village five miles off. To hear that he would get only
sixpence a piece for the hanging surprised me, for I thought that
nowhere out of London would any one be silly enough to hang paper for a
halfpenny a yard.

"You see," he rejoined, "there's three in the trade at Patrington, and
then 'tis only the bettermost rooms that we gets to do. The women does
all the rest, and the painting besides. That's where it is. But 'taint
such a very bad job as I be going to. They finds their own paste, and
there's nine pieces to hang: that'll give me four and sixpence; and
then I shall get my dinner, and my tea too, if I don't finish too soon.
So it'll be a pretty fair day's work." And yet the chances were that he
would have to wait six months for payment.

We passed through Welwick--place of wells--a small, clean village, with a
small, squat church, with carvings sadly mutilated on the outside, and
inside, a handsome tomb. At Plowland, near this, lived the Wrights,
confederates in the Gunpowder Plot. Nearly all the cottages are models of
cleanliness; the door-sill and step washed with yellow ochre, and here
and there you see through the open door that the walls of the room inside
are papered, and the little pictures and simple ornaments all in keeping.
You will take pleasure in these indications, and perhaps believe them to
be the result of an affection for cleanliness. The walls of some of the
houses and farm-yards are built of pebbles--'sea-cobbles,' as they are
called--placed zigzag-wise, with a novel and pretty effect: and the
examples multiply as we get nearer the sea, where they may be seen in the
walls of the churches.

At Skeffling the painter turned into a farm-house which looked
comfortably hospitable enough to put him at ease regarding his dinner,
and as if it had little need to take six months' credit for four and
sixpence, while I turned from the high-road into a track leading past
the church--which, by the way, has architectural features worthy
examination--to the coarse and swarthy flats where the distant view is
hidden by a great embankment that runs along their margin for miles.
Once on the top of this 'Humber-bank,' I met a lusty breeze sweeping in
from the sea, and had before me a singular prospect--the bank itself
stretching far as the eye can see in a straight line to the east and
west, covered with coarse grass and patches of gray, thistle-like,
sea-holly--_Eryngo maritima_. Its outer sloop is loose sand falling away
to the damp line left by the tide, beyond which all is mud--a great
brown expanse outspread for miles. The tide being at its lowest, only
the tops of the masts of small vessels are to be seen, moving, as it
seems, mysteriously: the river itself is hardly discernible. In places
the mud lies smooth and slimy; in others thickly rippled, or tossed into
billows, as if the water had stamped thereon an impression of all its
moods. Fishermen wade across it in huge boots from their boats to the
firm beach, and dig down through it two or three feet to find stiff
holding-ground for their anchors.

Yonder rises the lighthouse, surprisingly far, as it seems, to seaward,
at times half hidden by a thin, creeping haze. And from Spurn to Sunk
Island this whole northern shore is of the same brown, monotonous
aspect: a desert, where the only living things are a few sea-birds,
wheeling and darting rapidly, their white wings flashing by contrast
with the sad-coloured shore.

I walked along the top of the bank to Kilnsea, deceived continually in
my estimate of distance by the long dead level. Here and there a drain
pierces the bank, and reappears on the outer side as a raised sewer,
with its outlet beyond high-water mark; and these constructions, as well
as the waifs and strays--old baskets and dead seagulls--cheat the eye
strangely as to their magnitude when first seen. At times, after a
lashing storm has swept off a few acres of the mud, the soil beneath is
found to be a mixture of peat and gravel, in which animal and vegetable
remains and curious antiquities are imbedded. Now and then the relics
are washed out, and show by their character that they once belonged to
Burstall Priory, a religious house, despoiled by the sea before King
Harry began his Reformation. Burstall Garth, one of the pastures
traversed by the bank, preserves its name: the building itself has
utterly disappeared.

Suddenly a gap occurs in the bank, showing where the unruly tide has
broken through. For some reason the mischief was not repaired, but a new
bank was constructed of chalk and big pebbles, about a stone's throw to
the rear. A green, slimy pool still lies in a hollow between the two.

The entertainment at the _Crown and Anchor_ at Kilnsea by no means
equals the expectations of a stranger who reads the host's aristocratic
name--_Metforth Tennison_--over the door. I found the bread poor; the
cheese poorer; the beer poorest; yet was content therewith, knowing that
vicissitude is good for a man. The place itself has a special interest,
telling, so to speak, its own history--a history of desolation. The
wife, pointing to the road passing between the house and the beach, told
me she remembered Kilnsea church standing at the seaward end of the
village, with as broad a road between it and the edge of the cliff. But
year by year, as from time immemorial the sea advanced, the road,
fields, pastures, and cottages were undermined and melted away. Still
the church stood, and though it trembled as the roaring waves smote the
cliff beneath, and the wind howled around its unsheltered walls, service
was held within it up to 1823. In that year it began to yield, the walls
cracked, the floor sank, the windows broke; sea-birds flew in and out,
shrieking in the storm, until, in 1826, one-half of the edifice tumbled
into the sea, and the other half followed in 1831. The chief portion of
the village stands on and near the cliff, but as the waste appears to be
greater there than elsewhere, houses are abandoned year by year. In
1847, the _Blue Bell Inn_ was five hundred and thirty-four yards from
the shore; of this quantity forty-three yards were lost in the next six
years. Kilnsea exists, therefore, only as a diminished and diminishing
parish, and in the few scattered cottages near the bank of the Humber.
The old font was carried away from the church to Skeffling, where it is
preserved in the garden of the parsonage.

Her reminiscences ended, the good woman talked of the rough walking that
lay before me. It was a wild place out there, not often visited by
strangers; but sometimes "wagon loads o' coontra foak cam' to see t'
loights." At one time, as I have heard, a stage-coach used to do the
journey for the gratification of the curious.

A short distance beyond the _Crown and Anchor_ stands a small lone
cottage built of sea-cobbles, with a sandy garden and potato-plot in
front, and a sandy field, in which a thin, stunted crop of rye was
making believe to grow. Once past this cottage, and all is a wild waste
of sand, covered here and there with reedy grass, among which you now
and then see a dusty pink convolvulus, struggling, as it were, to keep
alive a speck of beauty amid the barrenness. Here, as old chronicles
tell, the king once had 'coningers,' or rabbit-warrens, and rabbits
still burrow in the hillocks. Presently, there is the wide open sea on
your left, and you can mark the waves rushing up on either side, hissing
and thundering against the low bank that keeps them apart.

"A broad long sand in the shape of a spoon," is the description given of
Spurn in a petition presented to parliament nearly two hundred years
ago; and, if we suppose the spoon turned upside down, it still answers.
It narrows and sinks as it projects from the main shore for about two
miles, and this part being the weakest and most easily shifted by the
rapid currents, is strengthened every few yards by rows of stakes
driven deeply in, and hurdle work. You see the effect in the smooth
drifts accumulated in the space between the barriers, which only require
to be planted with grass to become fixed. As it is, the walking is
laborious: you sink ankle-deep and slide back at every step, unless you
accept the alternative of walking within the wash of the advancing wave.
For a long while the lighthouse appears to be as far off as ever.

A little farther, and we are on a rugged embankment of chalk: the ground
is low on each side, and a large pond rests in the hollow between us and
the sea on the left, marking the spot where, a few years ago, the sea
broke through and made a clean sweep all across the bank. Every tide
washed it wider and deeper, until at last the fishing-vessels used it as
a short cut in entering or departing from the river. The effect of the
breach would, in time, had a low-water channel been established, have
seriously endangered the shore of the estuary, besides threatening
destruction to the site of the lighthouse. As speedily, therefore, as
wind and weather would permit, piles and stakes were driven in, and the
gap was filled up with big lumps of chalk brought from the quarry at
Barton, forming an embankment sloped on both sides, to render the shock
of the waves as harmless as possible. The trucks, rails, and sleepers
with which the work had been accomplished were still lying on the sand,
awaiting removal. Henceforth measures of precaution will be taken in
time, for a conservator of the river has been appointed.

The depth of the bay formed by the spoon appears to increase more and
more each time you look back. How vast is the curve between this bank of
chalk and the point where we struck the shore from Skeffling! The
far-spreading sands--or rather mud--are known as the Trinity Dry Sands.
At this moment they are disappearing beneath the rising tide, and you
can easily see what thousands of acres might be reclaimed were a barrier
erected to keep out the water. "Government have been talkin' o' doing it
for years," said a fisherman to whom I talked at Kilnsea, "but 'taint
begun yet."

Desolate as is now the scene, it was once enlivened by the dwellings of
men and the stir of commerce. Off the spot where we stand, there lay,
five hundred years ago, a low islet, accessible by a flat ridge of sand
and yellow pebbles, known as Ravenser Odd, or Ravensrode, as some write
it. "Situate at the entry to the sea," it was a port regarded with envy
and fear by the merchants of Grimsby and Hull, for its pilots were
skilful, and its traders enterprising. For a time it flourished; but
while the rival Roses wasted the realm, the sea crept nearer, and at
length, after an existence of a century and a half, distinctly traceable
in ancient records and old books, a high tide, enraged by a storm, ended
the history of Ravenser Odd with a fearful catastrophe. A gravelly bank,
running outwards, still discoverable by excavation, is believed to be
the foundation of the low, flat ridge of sand and yellow pebbles along
which the folk of the little town passed daily to and fro; among them at
times strange seamen and merchants from far-away lands, and cowled monks
and friars pacing meekly on errands of the Church.

And yonder, near the bottom of the curve, stood the town variously
described as Ravenser, Ravenspurne, and Ravenspurg--a town that sent
members to parliament in the reigns of the first two Edwards, and was
considered of sufficient importance to be invited to take part in the
great councils held in London, when the "kinge's majestie" desired to
know the naval forces of the kingdom. Now, twice a day, the tide rolls
in triumphantly over its site.

    "The banish'd Bolingbroke repeals himself,
    And with uplifted arms is safe arriv'd
    At Ravenspurg,"

writes Shakspeare, perpetuating alike the name of the place and the
memory of the Duke of Lancaster's adventure,--an adventure brought
before us in an invective by the fiery Hotspur, which I may, perhaps, be
pardoned for introducing here:

    "My father, my uncle, and myself,
    Did give him that same royalty he wears:
    And,--when he was not six and twenty strong,
    Sick in the world's regard, wretched and low,
    A poor unminded outlaw, sneaking home,--
    My father gave him welcome to the shore:
    And,--when he heard him swear a vow to God,
    He came but to be Duke of Lancaster,
    To sue his livery, and beg his peace;
    With tears of innocency and terms of zeal,--
    My father, in kind heart and pity mov'd,
    Swore him assistance, and performed it too.
    Now, when the lords and barons of the realm
    Perceived Northumberland did lean to him,
    The more and less came in with cap and knee;
    Met him in boroughs, cities, villages;
    Attended him on bridges, stood in lanes,
    Laid gifts before him, proffered him their oaths,
    Gave him their heirs; as pages follow'd him,
    Even at the heels, in golden multitudes.
    He presently,--as greatness knows itself,--
    Steps me a little higher than his vow
    Made to my father, while his blood was poor,
    Upon the naked shore at Ravenspurg."

The cross set up to commemorate the landing was shifted from place to
place when endangered by the sea, and lastly to Hedon, where it still
remains, as already mentioned. It was at the same port that Edward IV.
landed, with an excuse plausible as that of the duke whose exploit he

Though it be "naked" still, and toilsome to walk on, the shore is by no
means barren of interest. By-and-by we come to firm ground, mostly
covered with thickly-matted grass; a great irregular, oval mound, which
represents the bowl of the spoon reversed. Near its centre is a fenced
garden and a row of cottages--the residence of the life-boat crew. A
little farther, on the summit of the ridge, stands the lighthouse, built
by Smeaton, in 1776, and at the water's edge, on the inner side, the
lower light. The principal tower is ninety feet in height, and from the
gallery at the top you get an excellent bird's-eye view over sea and
land. Most remarkable is the tongue of sand along which we have walked,
now visible in its whole extent and outline. It is lowest where the
breach was made, and now that the tide has risen higher, the chalk
embankment seems scarcely above the level of the water. Beyond that it
broadens away to the shore of the estuary on one side, and the coast of
Holderness on the other--low, sweeping lines which your eye follows for
miles. By the waste of that coast the Spurn is maintained, and the
Trinity Sands are daily enlarged, and the meadows fattened along Ouse
and Trent. First the lighter particles of the falling cliffs drift round
by the set of the current, and gradually the heavier portions and
pebbles follow, and the supply being inexhaustible, a phenomenon is
produced similar to that of the Chesil Bank, on the coast of
Dorsetshire, except that here the pebbles are for the most part masked
by sand.

I looked northwards for Flamborough Head, but Dimlington Hill, which
lies between, though not half the height, hides it completely. Beyond
Dimlington lies Withernsea, a small watering-place, the terminus of the
Hull and Holderness Railway, to which the natives of the melancholy town
betake themselves for health and recreation, tempted by a quadrille band
and cheap season-tickets. Adjoining Withernsea is all that remains of
Owthorne, a village which has shared the doom of Kilnsea. The churches
at the two places were known as 'sister churches;' that at Withernsea
yet stands in ruins; but Owthorne church was swept into the sea within
the memory of persons now living. The story runs that two sisters living
there, each on her manor, in the good old times, began to build a church
for the glory of God and the good of their own souls, and the work went
on prosperously until a quarrel arose between them on the question of
spire or tower. Neither would yield. At length a holy monk suggested
that each sister should build a church on her own manor; the suggestion
was approved, and for long years the Sister Churches resounded with the
voice of prayer and praise, and offered a fair day-mark to the mariner.

But, as of old, the devouring sea rushed higher and higher upon the
land, and the cliff, sapped and undermined, fell, and with it the church
of Owthorne. In 1786, the edge of the burial-ground first began to fail;
the church itself was not touched till thirty years later. It was a
mournful sight to see the riven churchyard, and skeletons and broken
coffins sticking out from the new cliff, and bones, skulls, and
fragments of long-buried wood strewn on the beach. One of the coffins
washed out from a vault under the east end of the church contained an
embalmed corpse, the back of the scalp still bearing the gray hairs of
one who had been the village pastor. The eyes of the villagers were
shocked by these ghastly relics of mortality tossed rudely forth to the
light of day; and aged folk who tottered down to see the havoc, wept as
by some remembered token they recognised a relative or friend of bygone
years, whom they had followed to the grave--the resting place of the
dead, as they trusted, till the end of time. In some places bodies still
clad in naval attire, with bright-coloured silk kerchiefs round the
neck, were unearthed, as if the sea were eager to reclaim the
shipwrecked sailors whom it had in former time flung dead upon the

But, to return to the lighthouse. According to Smeaton's survey this
extremity of the spoon comprehends ninety-eight acres. It slopes gently
to the sea, and is somewhat altered in outline by every gale. At the
time of my visit, rows of piles were being driven in, and barriers of
chalk erected, to secure the ground on the outer side between the tower
and the sea; and a new row of cottages for the life-boat crew, built
nearer to the side where most wrecks occur than the old row, was nearly
finished. Beyond, towards the point, stands a public-house, in what
seems a dangerous situation, close to the water. There was once a garden
between it and the sea; now the spray dashes into the rear of the house;
for the wall and one-half of the hindermost room have disappeared along
with the garden, and the hostess contents herself with the rooms in
front, fondly hoping they will last her time. She has but few guests
now, and talks with regret of the change since the digging of ballast
was forbidden on the Spurn. Then trade was good, for the diggers were
numerous and thirsty. That ballast-digging should ever have been
permitted in so unstable a spot argues a great want of forethought

The paved enclosure around the tower is kept scrupulously clean, for the
rain which falls thereon and flows into the cistern beneath is the only
drinkable water to be had. "It never fails," said the keeper, "but in
some seasons acquires a stale flavour." He was formerly at Flamborough,
and although appointment to the Spurn was promotion, he did not like it
so well. It was so lonesome; the rough, trackless way between, made the
nearest village seem far off; now and then a boat came across with
visitors from Cleathorpes, a seven miles' trip; there had been one that
morning, but not often enough to break the monotony. And he could not
get much diversion in reading, for the Trinity Board, he knew not why,
had ceased to circulate the lighthouse library.

The lesser tower stands at the foot of the inner slope, where its base
is covered by every tide. Its height is fifty feet, and the entrance,
approached by a long wooden bridge, is far above reach of the water.
This is the third tower erected on the same spot; the two which preceded
it suffered so much damage from the sea that they had to be rebuilt.

About the time that ambitious Bolingbroke landed, a good hermit, moved
with pity by the number of wrecks, and the dangers that beset the mouth
of the estuary, set up a light somewhere near Ravenser. But finding
himself too poor to maintain it, he addressed a petition to the "wyse
Commons of Parliament," for succour, and not in vain. The mayor of Hull,
with other citizens, were empowered "to make a toure to be up on
daylight and a redy bekyn wheryn shall be light gevyng by nyght to alle
the vesselx that comyn into the seid ryver of Humbre."

In the seventeenth century, Mr. Justinian Angell, of London, obtained a
license to build a lighthouse on the Spurn. It was an octagonal tower of
brick, displaying an open coal fire on the top, which in stormy weather
was frequently blown quite out, when most wanted. Wrecks were
continually taking place; and it is only since Smeaton completed his
tower, and the floating-light was established in the offing, and the
channel was properly buoyed, that vessels can approach the Humber with
safety by night as well as by day.

It was full tide when I returned along the chalky embankment, and the
light spray from the breakers sprinkled my cheek, giving me a playful
intimation of what might be expected in a storm.

I was passing a tilery near Welwick, when a beery fellow, who sat in the
little office with a jug before him and a pipe in his mouth, threw up
the window and asked, in a gruff, insolent tone, "A say, guvner, did ye
meet Father Mathew?"


"What did he say to ye?"

"He told me I should see a fool at the tileworks."

Down went the window with a hearty slam, and before I was fifty yards
away, the same voice rushed into the road and challenged me to go back
and fight. And when the owner of the voice saw that the stranger took no
heed thereof, he cried, till hidden by a bend in the road, "Yer nothin'
but t' scram o' t' yerth!--yer nothin' but t' scram o' t' yerth!"

Thinking _scram_ might be the Yorkshire for _scum_, I made a note of it
for the benefit of philologists, and kept on to Patrington, where I
arrived in time for the last train to Hull, quite content with
six-and-twenty miles for my first day's walk.


     Northern Manners--Cottingham--The Romance of Baynard Castle--
     Beverley--Yorkshire Dialect--The Farmers' Breakfast--Glimpses
     of the Town--Antiquities and Constables--The Minster--Yellow
     Ochre--The Percy Shrine--The Murdered Earl--The Costly Funeral
     --The Sister's Tomb--Rhyming Legend--The Fridstool--The Belfry.

Journeying from Hull to Beverley by 'market-train' on the morrow, I had
ample proof, in the noisy talk of the crowded passengers, that Yorkshire
dialect and its peculiar idioms are not "rapidly disappearing before the
facilities for travel afforded by railways." Nor could I fail to notice
what has before struck me, that taken class for class, the people north
of Coventry exhibit a rudeness, not to say coarseness of manners, which
is rarely seen south of that ancient city. In Staffordshire, within
twenty miles of Birmingham, there are districts where baptism, marriage,
and other moral and religious observances considered as essentials of
Christianity, are as completely disregarded as among the heathen. In
some parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire similar characteristics prevail;
but rude manners do not necessarily imply loose morality. Generally
speaking the rudeness is a safety-valve that lets off the faults or
seeming faults of character; and I for one prefer rudeness to that
over-refinement prevalent in Middlesex, where you may not call things by
their right names, and where, as a consequence, the sense of what is
fraudulent, and criminal, and wicked, has become weakened, because of
the very mild and innocent words in which 'good society' requires that
dishonesty and sin should be spoken of.

If we alight at Cottingham and take a walk in the neighbourhood we may
discover the scene of a romantic incident. There stood Baynard Castle, a
grand old feudal structure, the residence of Lord Wake. When Henry VIII.
lay at Hull, he sent a messenger to announce a royal visit to the
castle, anticipating, no doubt, a loyal reception; but the lord instead
of pride felt only alarm, for his wife, whom he loved truly, was very
beautiful, and he feared for the consequences should the amorous monarch
set eyes on her beauty. He resolved on a stratagem: gave instructions to
his confidential steward; departed at dead of night with his wife; and
before morning nothing of the castle remained but a heap of smoking
ruins. The king, on hearing of the fire, little suspecting the cause,
generously sent a gift of two thousand pounds, with friendly words, to
mitigate the loss; but the wary lord having evaded the visit, refused
also to receive the money. And now, after lapse of centuries, there is
nothing left but traces of a moat and rampart, to show the wayfarer
where such an ardent sacrifice was made to true affection.

Even among the farmers, at whose table I took breakfast at the
_Holderness Hotel_, at Beverley, there was evidence that broad Yorkshire
is not bad Dutch, as the proverb says:

    "Gooid brade, botter, and cheese,
    Is gooid Yorkshire, and gooid Friese."

The farmers talked about horses, and, to my surprise, they ate but
daintily of the good things, the beef, ham, mutton, brawn, and other
substantial fare that literally burdened the table. Not one played the
part of a good trencherman, but trifled as if the victim of dinners
fashionably late; and still more to my surprise, when the conversation
took a turn, they all spoke disdainfully of walking. That sort of
exercise was not at all to their liking. "I ha'n't walked four mile I
don't know when," said one; and his fellows avowed themselves similarly
lazy. My intention to walk along the coast to the mouth of the Tees
appeared to them a weakminded project.

Beverley has a staid, respectable aspect, as if aware of its claims to
consideration. Many of the houses have an old-world look, and among them
a searching eye will discover unmistakable bits of antiquity. A small
columnar building in the market-place is called the market-cross; beyond
it stands a rare old specimen of architecture, St. Mary's church, the
scene of the accident recorded by the ancient rhymer:--

    "At Beverley a sudden chaunce did falle,
      The parish chirche stepille it fell
    At evynsonge tyme, the chaunce was thralle,
      Ffourscore folke ther was slayn thay telle."

Beyond the church, one of the old town gates, a heavy stone arch,
bestrides the street. At the other end of the town, screened by an
ancient brick wall, you may see the house of the Black Friars--more
venerable than picturesque--besides little glimpses of the middle ages
on your straggling saunter thither. Among these are not a few of that
sort of endowments which give occasion for abuses, and perpetuate
helplessness. And of noticeable peculiarities you will perhaps think
that one might be beneficially imitated in other towns. A CONSTABLE
LIVES HERE is a notification which you may read on sundry little boards,
topped by a royal crown, nailed here and there over the doors.

But the minster is the great attraction, rich in historical associations
and architectural beauty. The edifice, as it now appears, has all been
built since the destruction by fire, in 1138, of an older church that
stood on the same spot. The style is diverse, a not uncommon
characteristic of ancient churches: Early English at the east end,
Decorated in the nave, and Perpendicular in the west front and some
minor portions. This western front is considered the master-work, for
not one of its features is out of harmony with the others--a specimen of
the Perpendicular, so Rickman signifies, not less admirable than the
west front of York Minster of the Decorated. The effect, indeed, is
singularly striking as you approach it from a quiet back street. I found
a seat in a favourable point of view, and sat till my eye was satisfied
with the sight of graceful forms, multiplied carvings, the tracery and
ornament from base to roof, and upwards, where the towers, two hundred
feet in height, rise grandly against the bright blue sky.

However much you may admire yellow ochre on door-steps, door-posts, and
in the passages and on the stairs of dwelling-houses, you will think it
out of place when used to hide the natural colour of the masonry in a
noble church. For me, the effect of the interior was marred by the
yellow mask of the great pillars. The eye expects repose and harmony,
and finds itself cheated. Apart from this, the lofty proportions, the
perspective of the aisles, the soaring arches, the streaming lights and
tinted shadows, fail not in their power to charm. Your architect is a
mighty magician. All the windows, as is believed, were once filled with
stained glass, for the large east window was glazed in 1733 with the
numerous fragments that remained after the destroyers of ecclesiastical
art had perpetrated their mischief. The colours show the true old tone;
and the effect, after all, is not unpleasing.

The Percy shrine on the north side of the choir is one of the monuments
to which, after viewing the carved stalls and the altar screen, the
sexton will call your special attention. It is a canopied tomb of
exquisite workmanship, enriched with various carvings, figures of
knights and angels, crockets and finials; marking the resting-place, as
is supposed, of the Lady Idonea Clifford, wife of the second Lord Percy
of Alnwick. The Percys played a conspicuous part in Yorkshire history.
Another of the family, grandson of Hotspur, reposes, as is said, under a
tomb in the north transept. He was not a warrior, but a prebend of
Beverley. Then, at the east end, the Percy chapel, which has lost its
beauty through mutilation, commemorates Henry, the fourth Earl of
Northumberland, who was massacred at his seat, Maiden Bower, near
Topcliffe, in 1489. Authorized by Henry VII. to answer the appeal of the
leading men of his neighbourhood against a tax which levied one-tenth of
their property, by a declaration that not one penny would be abated, he
delivered his message in terms so haughty and imperious, that the chiefs
losing patience, brought up their retainers, sacked the house and
murdered the earl. The corpse was buried here in the minster; and the
funeral, which cost a sum equivalent to 10,000_l._ present value, is
described as of surpassing magnificence. Among the numerous items set
down in the bill of charges is twopence a piece for fourteen thousand
"pore folk" at the burial.

In the south aisle of the nave stands another canopied tomb, an altar
tomb of elegant form, covered by a slab of Purbeck marble, which appears
never to have had a word of inscription to tell in whose memory it was
erected. Neither trace nor record: nothing but tradition, and Venerable
Bede. St. John of Beverley had only to send a cruse of water into which
he had dipped his finger to a sick person to effect a cure. He once
restored the wife of Earl Puch, who lived at Bishop Burton, a few miles
distant. The lady drank a draught of holy water, and recovered forthwith
from a grievous sickness. She had two daughters who, overawed by the
miracle, entered the nunnery at Beverley, where they won a reputation
for holiness and good works. It was they who gave the two pastures on
which freemen of the town still graze their cattle. The rest of their
story is told in the ballad: it was Christmas-eve, says the rhymer, the
customary service had been performed in the chapel; the abbess and her
nuns slowly retired to pursue their devotions apart in their cells, all
save two, who lingered and went forth hand in hand after the others.
Whither went they? On the morrow they were missing; and

    "The snow did melt, the Winter fled
      Before the gladsome Spring,
    And flowers did bud, the cuckoo piped,
      And merry birds did sing:

    "And Spring danced by, and crowned with boughs
      Came lusty Summer on:
    And the bells ring out, for 'tis the eve,
      The eve of blessed St. John.

    "But where bide they, the sisters twain?
      Have the holy sisters fled?
    And the abbess and all her nuns bewail'd
      The sisters twain for dead.

    "Then walk they forth in the eventide,
      In the cool and dusky hour;
    And the abbess goes up the stair of stone
      High on the belfry tower,

    "Now Christ thee save! thou sweet ladye,
      For on the roof-tree there,
    Like as in blessed trance y-rapt,
      She sees the sisters fair.

    "Whence come ye, daughters? long astray:
      'Tis but an hour, they tell,
    Since we did chant the vesper hymn,
      And list the vesper bell.

    "Nay, daughters, nay! 'tis months agone:
      Sweet mother, an hour we ween;
    But we have been in heaven each one,
      And holy angels seen."

A miracle! cries the rhymer; and he goes on to tell how that the nuns
repair to the chapel and chant a hymn of praise, after which the two
sisters, kneeling, entreat the abbess for her blessing, and no sooner
has she pronounced _Vade in pace_, than drooping like two fair lilies,
two pale corpses sink to the floor. Then the bells break into a chime
wondrously sweet, rung by no earthly hand; and when the sisters are
laid in the tomb, they suffer no decay. Years passed away, and still no
change touched those lovely forms and angelic features:

    "And pilgrims came from all the land,
      And eke from oversea,
    To pray at the shrine of the sisters twain,
      And St. John of Beverley."

Another noteworthy object is King Athelstan's _Fridstool_, or chair of
peace; the centre of a sanctuary which extended a mile from the minster
in all directions. Any fugitive who could once sit therein was safe,
whatever his crime. When Richard II. encamped at Beverley, on his way to
Scotland, his half-brother, Sir John Holland, having aided in the
atrocious murder of Lord Ralph Stafford, fled to the _Fridstool_, nor
would he leave it until assured of the king's pardon. "The Countess of
Warwick is now out of Beverley sanctuary," says Sir John Paston, writing
to his brother in June, 1473--the days of Edward IV. The chair, hewn
from a single block of stone, is very primitive in form and appearance;
and as devoid of beauty as some of the seats in the Soulages collection.
Athelstan was a great benefactor to the church. You may see his effigy,
and that of St. John, at the entrance to the choir and over a door in
the south transept, where he is represented as handing a charter to the
holy man, of which one of the privileges is recorded in old English

    #Als Fre make I The
    As hert may thynke or Egh may see.#

Such a generous giver deserved to be held in honour, especially if the
eye were to see from the height of the tower, to the top of which I now
mounted by the narrow winding-stair. While stopping to take breath in
the belfry, you will perhaps be amused by a table of ringer's laws, and
a record of marvellous peals, the same in purport as those exhibited at
Hull. You can take your time in the ascent, for sextons eschew climbing,
at least in all the churches I visited in Yorkshire.


     A Scotchman's Observations--The Prospect--The Anatomy of
     Beverley--Historical Associations--The Brigantes--The Druids--
     Austin's Stone--The Saxons--Coifi and Paulinus--Down with
     Paganism--A Great Baptism--St. John of Beverley--Athelstan and
     Brunanburgh--The Sanctuary--The Conqueror--Archbishop
     Thurstan's Privileges--The Sacrilegious Mayor--Battle of the
     Standard--St. John's Miracles--Brigand Burgesses--Annual
     Football--Surrounding Sites--Watton and Meaux--Etymologies--
     King Athelstan's Charter.

"On my first coming to England I landed at Hull, whose scenery
enraptured me. The extended flatness of surface--the tall trees loaded
with foliage--the large fat cattle wading to the knees in rich
pasture--all had the appearance of fairy-land fertility. I hastened to
the top of the first steeple--thence to the summit of Beverley Minster,
and wondered over the plain of verdure and rank luxury, without a heathy
hill or barren rock, which lay before me. When, after being duly sated
into dulness by the constant sight of this miserably flat country, I saw
my old bare mountains again, my ravished mind struggled as if it would
break through the prison of the body, and soar with the eagle to the
summit of the Grampians. The Pentland, Lomond, and Ochil hills seemed to
have grown to an amazing size in my absence, and I remarked several
peculiarities about them which I had never observed before."

This passage occurs in the writings of the late James Gilchrist, an
author to whom I am indebted for some part of my mental culture. I quote
it as an example of the different mood of mind in which the view from
the top of the tower may be regarded. To one fresh from a town it is
delightful. As you step on the leads and gaze around on what was once
called "the Lowths," you are surprised by the apparently boundless
expanse--a great champaign of verdure, far as eye can reach, except
where, in the north-west, the wolds begin to upheave their purple
undulations. The distance is forest-like: nearer the woods stand out as
groves, belts, and clumps, with park-like openings between, and
everywhere fields and hedgerows innumerable. How your eye feasts on the
uninterrupted greenness, and follows the gleaming lines of road running
off in all directions, and comes back at last to survey the town at the
foot of the tower!

Few towns will bear inspection from above so well as Beverley. It is
well built, and is as clean in the rear of the houses as in the streets.
Looking from such a height, the yards and gardens appear diminished, and
the trim flower-beds, and leafy arbours, and pebbled paths, and angular
plots, and a prevailing neatness reveal much in favour of the domestic
virtues of the inhabitants. And the effect is heightened by the green
spaces among the bright red roofs, and woods which straggle in patches
into the town, whereby it retains somewhat of the sylvan aspect for
which it was in former times especially remarkable.

Apart from its natural features, the region is rich in associations. The
history of Beverley, an epitome of that of the whole county, tempts one
to linger, if but for half an hour. It will not be time thrown away, for
a glimpse of the past may beneficially influence our further wanderings.

Here the territory of the Brigantes, which even the Romans did not
conquer till more than a hundred years after their landing in Kent,
stretched across the island from sea to sea. Here, deep in the great
forest, the Druids had one of their sacred groves, a temple of living
oaks, for their mysterious worship and ruthless sacrifices. Hundreds of
tumuli scattered over the country, entombing kysts, coffins, fragments
of skeletons, and rude pottery, and not less the names of streets and
places, supply interesting testimony of their existence. Drewton, a
neighbouring village, marks, as is said, the site of Druid's-town, where
a stone about twelve feet in height yet standing was so much venerated
by the natives, that Augustine stood upon it to preach, and erected a
cross thereupon that the worshipper might learn to associate it with a
purer faith. It is still known as Austin's Stone.

The Saxon followed, and finding the territory hollow between the cliffs
of the coast and the wolds, named it Höll-deira-ness, whence the present
Holderness. It was in the forest of Deira that the conference was held
in presence of Edwin and Ethelburga, between the missionary Paulinus and
Coifi, the high-priest of Odin, on the contending claims of Christianity
and Paganism. The right prevailed; and Coifi, convinced by the arguments
he had heard, seized a spear, and hurrying on horseback to the temple at
Godmanham, cursed his deity, and hurled the spear at the image with such
fury that it remained quivering in the wall of the sacred edifice. The
multitude looked on in amazement, waiting for some sign of high
displeasure at so outrageous a desecration. But no sign was given, and
veering suddenly from dread to derision, they tore down the temple, and
destroyed the sacred emblems. Edwin's timorous convictions were
strengthened by the result, and so great was the throng of converts to
the new faith, that, as is recorded, Paulinus baptized more than ten
thousand in one day in the Swale. According to tradition, the present
church at Godmanham, nine miles distant, a very ancient edifice, was
built from the ruins of the Pagan temple.

St. John of Beverley was born at Harpham, a village near
Driffield--Deirafeld--in 640. Diligent in his calling, and eminently
learned and conscientious, he became Archbishop of York. In 700 he
founded here an establishment of monks, canons, and nuns, and rebuilt or
beautified the church, which had been erected in the second century; and
when, after thirty-three years of godly rule over his diocese, he laid
aside the burden of authority, it was to the peaceful cloisters of
Beverley that he retired. "He was educated," says Fuller, "under
Theodorus the Grecian, and Archbishop of Canterbury, yet was he not so
famous for his teacher as for his scholar, Venerable Bede, who wrote
this John's life, which he hath so spiced with miracles, that it is of
the hottest for a discreet man to digest into his belief." He died in
721, and was buried in his favourite church, with a reputation for
sanctity which eventually secured him a place in the calendar.

Was it not to St. John of Beverley that Athelstan owed the victory at
Brunanburgh, which made him sole monarch of Northumbria? The fame of the
"great battle" remains, while all knowledge of the site of Brunanburgh
has utterly perished, unless, as is argued in the Proceedings of the
Literary and Historical Society of Liverpool, it was fought near
Burnley, in Lancashire. It was celebrated alike in Anglo-Saxon song and
history. Greater carnage of people slain by the edge of the sword, says
the ancient chronicle, had never been seen in this island, since Angles
and Saxons, mighty war-smiths, crossed the broad seas to Britain.
Athelstan, in fulfilment of his vow, laid up his sword at the shrine of
St. John, and added largely to the revenues and privileges of the
church. A stone cross, erected on each of the four roads, a mile from
the minster, marked the limits of the sanctuary which he conferred. One
of these yet remains, but in a sadly mutilated condition.

When the Conqueror came and laid the country waste from Humber to Tees,
trampling it into a "horrible wilderness," he spared Beverley and the
surrounding lands, yielding, as was believed, to the miraculous
influence of the patron saint. One of his soldiers, who entered the town
with hostile intent, became suddenly paralysed, and smitten with
incurable disease; and a captain falling, by accident, as it seemed,
from his horse, his head was turned completely round by the shock. These
were warnings not to be disregarded; and Beverley remained a scene of
fertile beauty amid the desolation.

One of John's successors, Archbishop Thurstan, took pleasure also in
fondling Beverley. He cut the canal, a mile in length, from the river
Hull to the town: he gave to the inhabitants a charter of incorporation
conferring similar privileges to those enjoyed by the citizens of York,
whereby they were free from all fines and dues in England and Normandy;
had the right to pontage--that is, a toll on all the barges and boats
that passed under a bridge, as well as on the vehicles over it; and to
worry debtors as rigorously as they chose, without fear of retaliation.
In these anti-church-rate days it is surprising enough to read of the
power exercised by an archbishop in the twelfth century. Thurstan had
rule over the baronies of Beverley and five other places, with power to
try and execute criminals, and punish thieves without appeal. In all the
baronies the prisons were his; to him belonged the gibbet, pillory, and
cucking-stool in the towns; the assize of bread and beer; waifs and
wrecks of the sea; the right to 'prises' in the river Hull, diligently
enforced by his watchful coroners; besides park and free warren, and all
his land released from suit and service.

That taking of prises, by the way, was a standing cause of quarrel
between the burghers of Hull and Beverley. The right to seize two casks
of wine from every vessel of more than twenty tons burthen that entered
the river, one before, the other behind the mast, was a grievance too
much akin to robbery to be borne with patience. The merchants, wise in
their generation, tried to save their casks by discharging the cargoes
into smaller vessels before entering the port; but the coroners detected
the evasion, and took their prises all the same. Hence bitter quarrels;
in which the Beverley ships, dropping down the stream to pursue their
voyage, were many times barred out of the Humber by the men of Hull.
Once, when the archbishop appeared at the port to defend his right, the
mayor, losing temper, snatched the crosier from the dignitary's hand,
and, using it as a weapon, actually spilt blood with the sacred

Never was the saint's influence more triumphantly felt than when
Thurstan's fiery eloquence roused the citizens of York to march against
David of Scotland. The Scottish king, to support Maud's claim against
Stephen, ravaged Northumbria with such ferocious devastation, that it
seemed but a repetition of the Norman havoc, and provoked the Saxon part
of the population to join in repelling the invader. After threatening
York, David moved northwards, followed by the Yorkshire army, which had
rendezvoused at the castle of Thirsk. To inspire their patriotism, a
great pole, topped by a crucifix, and hung with the standards of St.
John of Beverley, St. Peter of York, and St. Wilfred of Ripon, was
mounted on wheels, and placed where every eye could behold it. The
Scottish army was overtaken three miles beyond Northallerton, on the
22nd of August, 1138. The king, seeing the threefold standard from afar,
inquires of a deserter what it means; whereupon he replies, in the words
of the ballad:

    "A mast of a ship it is so high,
      All bedeck'd with gold so gay;
    And on its top is a Holy Cross,
      That shines as bright as day.

    "Around it hang the holy banners
      Of many a blessed saint:
    St Peter, and John of Beverley,
      And St. Wilfrid there they paint."

The king begins to have misgivings, and rejoins:

    "Oh! had I but yon Holy Rood
      That there so bright doth show,
    I would not care for yon English host,
      Nor the worst that they could do."

But in vain: the Yorkshire blood was up, no quarter was given, and ten
thousand Scotchmen bit the dust. So complete was the victory, that the
oppressed Saxons boasted of it as an indemnity for their former
sufferings; and the Battle of the Standard remains memorable among the
greatest battles of Yorkshire, and the Standard Hill among her
historical places.

Was it not the same St. John who afterwards appeared in full pontificals
to Stephen, and warned him to stay his purpose of building a castle at
Beverley? and was it not again his banner, saved from the fire when the
town and minster were burnt in 1186, which rendered Edward I. victorious
in his invasion of Scotland? Did not his tomb sweat blood on that famous
day of Agincourt, and the rumour thereof bring Henry V. and his lovely
Kate hither on a pilgrimage?

Then the chronicler tells us that one while the provost and burgesses,
resolving to enlarge and beautify the minster, brought together the best
workmen from all parts of England; and later, that the corporation
repaired the edifice with stones taken from the neighbouring abbey of
Watton. And so bitter became the quarrels between Hull and Beverley,
that some of the chief men encouraged the insurrectionary movements
known as the _Rising of the North_ and the _Pilgrimage of Grace_, with
no other purpose than to damage their rivals. The burgesses of Beverley,
not having the fear of the marshal before their eyes, were accused of
unfair trading: of keeping two yard measures and two bushels: unlawfully
long and big to buy with--unlawfully short and small to sell with. And
when in process of time the trade of the town decayed, evil-minded
persons looked on the change as a judgment. At present there is little
of manufacture within it besides that of the implements which have made
the name of Crosskill familiar to farmers.

Some old customs lingered here obstinately. The cucking-stool was not
abolished until 1750, which some think was a hundred years too soon.
Ducking-stool-lane preserves its memory. And down to 1825, an annual
match at football was played on the Sunday before the races, to which
there gathered all the rabble of the town and adjacent villages, who for
some years successfully resisted the putting down of what had become a
nuisance. Instead of abolishing the game, it would have been better to
change the day, and hold weekly football matches on the race-course.

From the tower-top the eye takes in the site of Leckonfield, where the
Percys had a castle; of Watton Abbey, where an English Abelard and
Heloise mourned and suffered; of the scanty remains of Meaux Abbey,
founded about 1140, by William le Gros, Earl of Albemarle. Concerning
this nobleman, we read that he had vowed a pilgrimage to the Holy Land,
but grew so fat as to be detained at home against his will. Feeling
remorse, he consulted his confessor, who advised him to establish a
convent of Cistercians. A monk from Fountains, eminent alike for piety
and skill in architecture, was invited to choose a site. He selected a
park-like tract commanding a view of the Humber. The earl, loving the
place, bade him reconsider his choice; but the monk, striking his staff
into the ground, replied, "This place shall in future be called the door
of life, the vineyard of heaven, and shall for ever be consecrated to
religion and the service of God." The abbey was built and tenanted by
cowls from Fountains, and flourished until floods and high tides wasted
the lands, and the Reformation destroyed the house.

But though one man may write a poem while "waiting on the bridge at
Coventry," another may hardly, without presumption, write a long chapter
on the top of a tower. Let me end, therefore, while descending, with a
scrap of etymology. Beaver lake, that is, the lake of floating islands,
sacred to the Druids, is said by one learned scribe to be the origin of
the name Beverley. Another finds it in the beavers that colonized the
river Hull, with lea for a suffix, and point to an ancient seal, which
represents St. John seated, resting his feet on a beaver. Did not the
wise men of Camelford set up the figure of a camel on the top of their
steeple, as a weathercock, because their river winds very much, and
camel is the aboriginal British word for crooked? Other scholars trace
Beverley through Bevorlac, back to _Pedwarllech_--the four stones.

And here, by way of finish, are a few lines from Athelstan's charter:

    "Yat witen all yat ever been
    Yat yis charter heren and seen
    Yat I ye King Athelstan
    Has yaten and given to St. John
    Of Beverlike yat sai you
    Tol and theam yat wit ye now
    Sok and sake over al yat land
    Yat is given into his hand."


     The Great Drain--The Carrs--Submerged Forest--River Hull--
     Tickton--Routh--Tippling Rustics--A Cooler for Combatants--The
     Blind Fiddler--The Improvised Song--The Donkey Races--Specimens
     of Yorkshiremen--Good Wages--A Peep at Cottage Life--Ways and
     Means--A Paragraph for Bachelors--Hornsea Mere--The Abbots'
     Duel--Hornsea Church--The Marine Hotel.

About a mile from the town on the road to Hornsea, you cross one of the
great Holderness drains, broad and deep enough for a canal, which,
traversing the levels, falls into the sea at Barmston. It crosses the
hollow lands known as 'the Carrs,' once an insalubrious region of swamp
and water covering the remains of an ancient forest. So deep was the
water, that boats went from Beverley to Frothingham, and some of the
farmers found more profit in navigating to and fro with smuggled
merchandise concealed under loads of hay and barley than in cultivating
their farms. For years a large swannery existed among the islands, and
the "king's swanner" used to come down and hold his periodical courts.
The number of submerged trees was almost incredible: pines sixty feet in
length, intermingled with yew, alder, and other kinds, some standing as
they grew, but the most leaning in all directions, or lying flat. Six
hundred trees were taken from one field, and the labourers made good
wages in digging them out at twopence a piece. Some of the wood was so
sound that a speculator cut it up into walking sticks. Generally, the
upper layer consists of about two feet of peat, and beneath this the
trees were found densely packed to a depth of twenty feet, and below
these traces were met with in places of a former surface: the bottom of
the hollow formed by the slope from the coast on one side, from the
wolds on the other, to which Holderness owes its name. The completion of
the drainage works in 1835 produced a surprising change in the
landscape; green fields succeeded to stagnant water; and the islands are
now only discoverable by the 'holm' which terminates the name of some of
the farms.

A little farther, and there is the river Hull, flowing clean and
cheerful to the muddy Humber. Then comes Tickton, where, looking back
from the swell in the road, you see a good sylvan picture--the towers of
the minster rising grand and massy from what appears to be a great wood,
backed by the dark undulations of the wolds.

In the public-house at Routh, where I stayed to dine on
bread-and-cheese, the only fare procurable, I found a dozen rustics
anticipating their tippling hours with noisy revelry. The one next whom
I sat became immediately communicative and confidential, and, telling me
they had had to turn out a quarrelsome companion, asked what was the
best cure "for a lad as couldn't get a sup o' ale without wanting to
fight." I replied, that a pail of cold water poured down the back was a
certain remedy; which so tickled his fancy that he rose and made it
known to the others, with uproarious applause. For his own part he burst
every minute into a wild laugh, repeating, with a chuckle, "A bucket o'

There was one, however, of thoughtful and somewhat melancholy
countenance, who only smiled quietly, and sat looking apparently on the
floor. "What's the matter, Massey?" cried my neighbour.

"Nought. He's a fool that's no melancholy yance a day," came the reply,
in the words of a Yorkshire proverb.

"That's you, Tom! Play us a tune, and I'll dance."

"Some folk never get the cradle straws off their breech," came the ready
retort with another proverb.

"Just like 'n," said the other to me. "He's the wittiest man you ever
see: always ready to answer, be 't squire or t' parson, as soon as look
at 'n. He gave a taste to Sir Clifford hisself not long ago. He can make
songs and sing 'em just whenever he likes. I shouldn't wunner if he's
making one now. He's blind, ye see, and that makes 'n witty. We calls 'n
Massey, but his name's Mercer--Tom Mercer. Sing us a song, Tom!"

True enough. Nature having denied sight to him of the melancholy visage,
made it up with a rough and ready wit, and ability to improvise a song
apt to the occasion. He took his fiddle from the bag and attempted to
replace a broken string; but the knot having slipped two or three times,
three or four of his companions offered their aid. The operation was,
however, too delicate for clumsy fingers swollen with beer and rum, and
as they all failed, I stepped forward, took the fiddle in hand, and soon
gave it back to the minstrel, who, after a few preliminary flourishes,
interrupted by cries of "Now for 't!" struck up a song. With a voice not
unmusical, rhythm good, and rhyme passable, he rattled out a lively
ditty on the incidents of the hour, introducing all his acquaintances by
name, and with stinging comments on their peculiarities and weaknesses.
The effect was heightened by his own grave demeanour, and the fixed grim
smile on his face, while the others were kicking up their heels, and
rolling off their seats with frantic laughter.

"Didn't I tell ye so!" broke in my neighbour, as he winced a little
under a shaft unusually keen from the singer's quiver.

I was quite ready to praise the song, which, indeed, was remarkable. The
cleverest 'Ethiopian minstrel' could not chant his ditty more fluently
than that blind fiddler caught up all the telling points of the hour. He
touched upon the one who had been turned out, and on my hydropathic
prescription, and sundry circumstances which could only be understood by
one on the spot. Without pause or hesitation, he produced a dozen
stanzas, of which the last two may serve as a specimen:

    "Rebecca sits a shellin' peas, ye all may hear 'em pop:
    She knows who's comin' with a cart: he won't forget to stop:
    And Frank, and Jem, and lazy Mat, got past the time to think,
    With ginger-beer and rum have gone and muddled all their drink.
                        With a fol lol, riddle, liddle, lol, lol, lol!

    "Here's a genelman fro' Lunnon; 'tis well that he cam' doun;
    If he'd no coom ye rantin' lads would happen had no tune:
    Ye fumbled at the fiddle-strings; he screwed 'em tight and strong;
    Success to Lunnon then I say, and so here ends my song.
                        With a fol lol, riddle, liddle, lol, lol, lol!"

Lusty acclamations and a drink from every man's jug rewarded the
fiddler, and a vigorous cry was set up for "The Donkey Races," another
of his songs, which, as lazy Mat told me, "had been printed and sold by
hundreds." The blind man, nothing loth, rattled off a lively prelude,
and sang his song with telling effect. The race was supposed to be run
by donkeys from all the towns and villages of the neighbourhood: from
Patrington, Hedon, Hull, Driffield, Beverley, and others, each possessed
of a certain local peculiarity, the mention of which threw the company
into ecstacies of merriment. And when the "donkey from York" was
introduced along with his "sire Gravelcart" and his "dam Work," two of
the guests flumped from their chairs to laugh more at ease on the floor.
The fiddler seemed to enjoy the effect of his music; but his grim smile
took no relief; the twinkle of the eye was wanting. He was now sure of
his game, for the afternoon at least.

While looking round on the party, I had little difficulty in discerning
among them the three principal varieties of Yorkshiremen. There was the
tall, broad-shouldered rustic, whose stalwart limbs, light gray or blue
eyes, yellowish hair, and open features indicate the Saxon; there was
the Scandinavian, less tall and big, with eyes, hair, and complexion
dark, and an intention in the expression not perceptible in the Saxon
face; and last, the Celt, short, swarthy, and Irish looking. The first
two appeared to me most numerous in the East and North Ridings, the last
in the West.

On the question of wages they were all content. Here and there a man got
eighteen shillings a week; but the general rate was fifteen shillings,
or "nine shill'n's a week and our meat" (diet), as one expressed it.
Whatever folk might do in the south, Yorkshire lads didn't mean to work
for nothing, or to put up with scanty food. "We get beef and mutton to
eat," said lazy Mat, "and plenty of it."

The road continues between fat fields and pastures, skirts a park
bordered by noble trees, or tall plantations, in which the breeze
lingers to play with the branches: here and there a few cottages, or a
hamlet, clean in-doors, and pretty out of doors, with gay little
flower-gardens. Frequent thunder-showers fell, and I was glad to shelter
from the heaviest under a roof. Always the same cleanliness and signs of
thrift, and manifest pleasure in a brief talk with the stranger. And
always the same report about wages, and plenty of work for men and boys;
but a slowness to believe that sending a boy to school would be better
than keeping him at work for five shillings a week. I got but few
examples of reading, and those far from promising, and could not help
remembering how different my experiences had been the year before in

One of the cottages in which I took shelter stands lonely in a little
wood. The tenant, a young labourer, who had just come home from work,
"not a bit sorry," as he said, "that 'twas Saturday afternoon," entered
willingly into conversation, and made no secret of his circumstances.
His testimony was also favourable as regards wages. He earned fifteen
shillings a week, and didn't see any reason to complain of hard times,
for he paid but three pounds a year for his cottage, which sum he
recovered from his garden in vegetables and flowers, besides sundry
little advantages which at times fall to the lot of rustics. He eat
meat--beef or mutton--"pretty well every day," and was fully persuaded
that without enough of good food a man could not do a fair day's work.

While we talked his wife was putting the finishing touch to the day's
cleaning by washing the brick floor, and without making herself unclean
or untidy, as many do. Her husband had shown himself no bad judge of
rustic beauty when he chose her as his helpmate, and her good looks were
repeated in their little daughter, who ran playfully about the room. I
suggested that the evening, when one wished to sit quiet and
comfortable, was hardly the time to wet the floor. "I'd rather see it
wet than mucky" (_mooky_, as he pronounced it), was the answer; and
neither husband nor wife was ready to believe that the ill-health too
plainly observable among many cottagers' children arises from avoidable
damp. To wash the floor in the morning, when no one had occasion to sit
in the room, would be against all rule.

"Stay a bit longer," said the young man, as I rose when the shower
ceased; "I like to hear ye talk."

And I liked to hear him talk, especially as he began to praise his wife.
It was such a pleasure to come home when there was such a lass as that
to make a man comfortable. Nobody could beat her at making a shirt or
making bread, or cooking; and he opened the oven to show me how much
room there was for the loaves. Scarcely a cottage but has a grate with
iron oven attached, and in some places the overpowering heat reminded me
of my friend's house in Ulrichsthal. Then we had a little discourse
about books. He liked reading, and had a Bible for Sundays, and a few
odd volumes which he read in the evenings, but not without difficulty;
it was so hard to keep awake after a day out of doors.

Meanwhile I made enticing signs to the merry little lassie, and at last
she sat without fear on my knee, and listened with a happy smile and
wondering eyes to my chant of the pastoral legend of _Little Bopeep_.
Such good friends did we become, that when at length I said "good-bye,"
and shook hands, there was a general expression of regret, and a hope
that I would call again. I certainly will the next time I visit

Often since has this incident recurred to my mind, and most often when
the discussion was going on in the newspapers concerning the impropriety
of marriage on three hundred a year. I wished that the writers,
especially he who sneered at domestic life, could go down into
Yorkshire, and see how much happiness may be had for less than fifty
pounds a year. As if any selfish bachelor enjoyments, any of the talk of
the clubs, were worth the prattle of infancy, the happy voices of
childhood, the pleasures and duties that come with offspring! Sandeau
deserved to be made _Académicien_, if only for having said that "un
berceau est plus éloquent qu'une chaire, et rien n'enseigne mieux à
l'homme les côtés sérieux de sa destinée."

A mile or two farther and water gleams through the trees on the right.
It is Hornsea Mere, nearly two miles in length, and soon, when the road
skirts the margin, you see reedy shallows, the resort of wild-fowl, and
swans floating around the wooded islands; and at the upper end the belts
and masses of trees under which the visitors to Hornsea find pleasant
walks while sauntering out to the sylvan scenery of Wassand and
Sigglesthorne. The lake, said a passing villager, averages ten feet in
depth, with perhaps as much more of mud, and swarms with fish, chiefly
pike and perch. He added something about the great people of the
neighbourhood, who would not let a poor fellow fish in the mere, and
ordered the keeper to duck even little boys poaching with stick and
string. And he recited with a gruff chuckle a rhyming epitaph which one
of his neighbours had composed to the memory of a clergyman who had made
himself particularly obnoxious. It did not flatter the deceased.

In Henry the Third's reign, as may be read in the _Liber Melsæ_, or
Chronicle of the Abbey of Meaux, the Abbot of St. Mary's at York
quarrelled with him of Meaux, about the right to fish in the mere, and
not being able to decide the quarrel by argument, the pious churchmen
had recourse to arms. Each party hired combatants, who met on the
appointed day, and after a horse had been swum across the mere, and
stakes had been planted to mark the Abbot of St. Mary's claim, they
fought from morning until nightfall, and Meaux lost the battle, and with
it his ancient right of fishery.

In Elizabeth's reign, the Countess of Warwick granted to Marmaduke
Constable the right to fish and fowl for "the some of fyftye and five
pounds of lawful English money." This Marmaduke, who thus testified his
love of fin and feather, was an ancestor of Sir Clifford Constable, the
present "Lord Paramount," upon whom the blind fiddler exercised his wit.

Hornsea church stands on an eminence at the eastern end between the mere
and the village. Its low square tower once bore a tall spire, on which,
as is said, the builder had cut an inscription:--

    Hornsea steeple, when I built thee,
    Thou was 10 miles off Burlington,
    Ten miles off Beverley, and 10 miles off sea;

but it fell during a gale in 1773. The edifice is a specimen of
fifteenth-century architecture, with portions of an earlier date. The
crypt under the chancel was at one time a receptacle for smuggled goods,
and the clerk was down there doing unlawful work when the tempest smote
the spire, and frightened him well-nigh to death. The memory of the last
rector is preserved by an altar tomb of alabaster, and of William Day,
gentleman, who "dyed" in 1616, by a curious epitaph:

    If that man's life be likened to a day,
    One here interr'd in youth did lose a day
    By death, and yet no loss to him at all,
    For he a threefold day gain'd by his fall;
    One day of rest in bliss celestial,
    Two days on earth by gifts terrestryall--
    Three pounds at Christmas, three at Easter Day,
    Given to the poure until the world's last day.
    This was no cause to heaven; but, consequent,
    Who thither will, must tread the steps he went.
    For why? Faith, Hope, and Christian Charity,
    Perfect the house framed for eternity.

Hornsea village is a homely-looking place, with two or three inns, a
post-office, and little shops and houses furbished up till they look
expectant of customers and lodgers. Many a pair of eyes took an
observation of me as I passed along the street, and away up the hill,
seeking for quarters with an open prospect. Half a mile farther, the
ground always rising, and you come to the edge of a clay cliff, and a
row of modern houses, and the _Marine Hotel_ in full view of the sea.

Even at the first glance you note the waste of the land. As at Kilnsea,
so here. A few miles to the south, between us and Owthorne, stands the
village of Aldborough, far to the rear of the site once occupied by its
church. The sea washed it away. That church was built by Ulf, a mighty
thane, in the reign of Canute. A stone, a relic of the former edifice,
bearing an inscription in Anglo-Saxon, which he caused to be cut, is
preserved in the wall of the present church. This stone, and Ulf's horn,
still to be seen in York Minster, are among the most venerable
antiquities of the county.

Hornsea is a favourite resort of many Yorkshire folk who love quiet;
hence a casual traveller is liable to be disappointed of a lodging on
the shore. There was, however, a room to spare at the hotel--a top room,
from which, later in the evening, I saw miles of ripples twinkling with
moonlight, and heard their murmur on the sand through the open window
till I fell asleep.


     Coast Scenery--A waning Mere, and wasting Cliffs--The Rain and
     the Sea--Encroachment prevented--Economy of the Hotel--A Start
     on the Sands--Pleasure of Walking--Cure for a bad Conscience--
     Phenomena of the Shore--Curious Forms in the Cliffs--Fossil
     Remains--Strange Boulders--A Villager's Etymology--
     Reminiscences of "Bonypart" and Paul Jones--The last House--
     Chalk and Clay--Bridlington--One of the Gipseys--Paul Jones
     again--The Sea-Fight--A Reminiscence of Montgomery.

I was out early the next morning for a stroll. The upper margin of the
beach, covered only by the highest tides, is loose, heavy sand, strewn
with hardened lumps of clay, fatiguing to walk upon; but grows firmer as
you approach the water. The wheels of the bathing-machines have broad
wooden tires to prevent their sinking. The cliffs are, as we saw near
the Spurn, nothing but clay, very irregular in profile and elevation,
resembling, for the most part, a great brown bank, varying in height
from ten feet to forty. The hotel stands on a rise, which overtops the
land on each side and juts out farther, commanding a view for miles,
bounded on the north by that far-stretching promontory, Flamborough
Head; and to the south by the pale line, where land and water meet the
sky. The morning sun touching the many jutting points, while the
intervals lay in thin, hazy shadow, imparted something picturesque to
the scene, which vanished as the hours drew on, and the stronger light
revealed the monotonous colour and unclothed surface of the cliffs.
Towards evening the picturesque reappears with the lights falling in the
opposite direction.

A short distance south of the hotel, a stream runs from the mere to the
sea. The land is low here, so low that unusually high tides have forced
their way up the channel of the stream to the lake, and flooded the
grounds on both sides; and the effect will be, as Professor Phillips
says, the entire drainage of the mere, and production of phenomena
similar to those which may be seen on the other parts of the coast of
Holderness: a depression in the cliffs exposing a section of deposits
such as are only formed under a large surface of standing water. The
result is a mere question of time; and if it be true that Hornsea church
once stood ten miles from the sea, within the historical period, the
scant half-mile, which is now all that separates it from the hungry
waves, has no very lengthened term of existence before it. More than a
mile in breadth along the whole coast from Bridlington to Spurn has been
devoured since the Battle of the Standard was fought.

An old man of eighty who lives in the village says there are no such
high tides now as when he was a boy; and if he be not a romancer, the
low ground from the sea to the mere must, at least once, have presented
the appearance of a great lake. But the wasting process is carried on by
other means than the sea. I saw threads of water running down the
cliffs, produced by yesterday's rain, and not without astonishment at
the great quantities of mud they deposit at the base, forming in places
a narrow viscous stream, creeping in a raised channel across the sand,
or confused pasty heaps dotted with pools of liquid ochre. Mr. Coniton,
the proprietor of the hotel, told me that he believed the rain had more
influence than the sea in causing the waste of land, and he showed me
the means he employed to protect his territory from one and the other.
To prevent the loss by rain, which he estimates, where no precautions
are taken, at a foot a year, he at first sloped his cliff at such an
angle that the water runs easily down and with scarcely appreciable
mischief. Then, to protect the base, he has driven rows of piles through
the sand into the clay beneath, and these, checking the natural drift of
the sand to the southward, preserve the under stratum. Where no such
barrier exists, the waves in a winter storm sweep all the sand clean
off, and lay bare the clay, and tumbling upon it with mighty shocks,
sometimes wear it down a foot in the course of a tide. By this lowering
of the base, the saturated soil above, deprived of support, topples
over, leaving a huge gap, which only facilitates further encroachments;
and in the course of a few tides the fallen mass is drifted away to
enlarge the shoals in the estuary of the Humber.

Mr. Coniton entered into possession fifteen years ago, and in all that
time, so effectual are the safeguards, has lost none of his land. The
edge, he says, has not receded, and, to show what might be, he points to
his neighbour's field, which has shrunk away some yards to the rear.

The space between the hotel and the edge of the cliff is laid out as a
lawn, which, sheltered by a bank on the north, forms an agreeable
outlook and lounging-place, while gravelled paths lead to an easy
descent to the sands at each extremity of the premises. The house is
well arranged; there is no noise, no slackness in the service; and
families may live as privately as in a private residence. The charge for
adults is four shillings a day; for young children, half a guinea a
week, without stint as to the number of meals: to which must be added
the cost of rooms and attendance. The charges to casual guests are as
reasonable as could be desired, contrasting favourably in this
particular with my experiences at Hull and in certain of the inland
towns and villages. Ninepence a day for service and boots is charged in
the bill; hence you can depart without being troubled to "remember"
anybody. An omnibus arrives every day from Beverley during the
season--May to November. The distance is thirteen miles.

The falling tide had left a breadth of comparatively firm sand by the
time I was ready to start, and along that I took my way to Bridlington:
another stage of thirteen miles. The morning was bounteous in elements
of enjoyment: a bright sun, great white clouds sailing high across the
blue, a south-westerly breeze, which made the sea playful and murmurous:
all gratifying to the desire of a wayfarer's heart. I could not help
pitying those farmers at Beverley, who saw no pleasure in walking. No
pleasure in the surest promotion of health and exercise! No pleasure in
the steady progressive motion which satisfies our love of change without
hindering observation! No pleasure in walking, that strengthens the
limbs and invigorates the lungs! No pleasure in arming the sling against
the giant! No pleasure in the occasion of cheerful thoughts and manifold
suggestions which bring contentment to the heart! Walking is an exercise
which in our days might replace, more commonly than it does, the rude
out-door recreations of former times; and if but a few of the many
hundreds who put on their Sunday clothes to lounge the hours away at the
corner of a street, would but take a ten miles' walk out to the country
lanes or breezy moorlands, they would find benefit alike to their
manhood and morals. If I remember rightly, it is one of the old Greeks
who says that walking will almost cure a bad conscience; and, for my
part, I am never so ready to obey the precept of neighbourly love as
when my sentiments are harmonized by walks of seven or eight leagues a

The sands are of varying consistency. In some places you leave deep
footprints; and nowhere is the firmness equal to that we shall find
farther north, except on the wet border from which the wave has just
retired. Mile after mile it stretches before you, a broad slope of sand,
sparely roughened here and there by pebble drifts. At times you see
numerous rounded lumps lying about of many sizes, which at a distance
resemble sleeping turtles, and on a nearer view prove to be nothing but
masses of hardened clay, water-worn, and as full of pebbles as a canon's
pudding is of plums. These are portions of the bottoms of lakes overrun
by the sea; stubborn vestiges, which yield but slowly. At times the
shortest route takes you through watery flats, or broad shallow streams,
where little rivers are well-nigh swallowed by the sand as they run
across to the sea. A little farther and you come to a low bank,
everywhere cut up by glistening ripple-marks, or to a bare patch of
clay, which feels like india-rubber under your foot.

And the cliffs taken thus furlong by furlong offer a greater variety
than appears at first sight. Here, the clay is cracked in such a way as
to resemble nothing so much as a pile of huge brown loaves; now it falls
away into a broken hollow patched with rough grass; now it juts again so
full of perpendicular cracks that you liken it to a mass of starch; now
it is grooved by a deep gully; now a buttress terminates in a crumbling
pyramid--umber mottled with yellow; now it is a rude stair, six great
steps only to the summit; now a point, of which you would say the
extremity has been shaped by turf-cutters; now a wall of pebbles,
hundreds of thousands of all sizes, the largest equal in bigness to a
child's head; now a shattered ruin fallen in a confused heap. Such are
some of the appearances left by the waves in their never-ending

In one hollow the disposition of the clay was so singular, and
apparently artificial, and unlike anything which I had ever seen, that I
could only imagine it to be a recess in which a party of Assyrian
brickmakers had been at work and left great piles of their bricks in
different degrees of finish. It was easier to imagine that than to
believe such effects could be produced by the dash of the sea.

The greatest elevation occurs about Atwick and Skirlington, places
interesting to the palæontologist, on account of fossils--an elephant's
tusk, and the head and horns of the great Irish elk--found in the
cliffs. Farther on the cliff sinks to a mere bank, six feet in height,
but, whether high or low, you need not fear a surprise by the rising
tide, for you can scramble up anywhere out of reach of the water.
Looking inland from these points you see always the same character of
scenery, and where a path zigzags up you will notice large trays used
for carrying up the heaps of pebbles there accumulated, for the
construction of drains, fences, and walls. Among remarkable curiosities
are two large boulders--one of a slaty rock, the other of granite half
embedded in the sand. From what part of the country were they drifted to
their present position?

Here and there I fell in with a villager taking a quiet walk on the
beach, and leading two or three little children. One of them told me
that the Stricklands, a well-known family in Holderness, derived their
name from Strikeland; that is, they were the first to _strike_ the
_land_ when they came over. Collectors of folk-lore will perhaps make a
note of this rustic etymology. He remembered hearing his father talk of
the alarm that prevailed all along the coast when there was talk of
"Bonypart's" invasion; and how that Paul Jones never sailed past without
firing a ball at Rolleston Hall, that stood on a slope in sight of the
sea, where dwelt Mr. Brough, who, as Marshal to the Court of Admiralty,
had to direct the proceedings on the trial of Admiral Byng.

Here and there are parties of country lads bathing; or trying which can
take the longest jump on the smooth sand; or squatting in soft places
idly watching the waves, and exasperating their dogs into a fight.

After passing Skipsea, and the northern end of the Barmston drain, the
lone house in the distance catches your eye; the last house of Auburn, a
village devoured by the sea. The distance is deceptive along the level
shore; but when at length you come to the spot, you see a poor
weather-beaten cottage on the top of the cliff, and so close to the edge
that the eastern wall forms but one perpendicular line with the cliff
itself. You can hardly help fancying that it will fall at any moment,
even while you are looking; but so it has stood for many years; a fact
the more remarkable, as in this place the cliff projects as if in
defiance of the ruthless waters. Look at the old maps, and you will
read: "Here Auburn washed away by the sea;" and the lone house remains a
melancholy yet suggestive monument of geological change.

Now Bridlington comes in sight, and immediately beyond you see a change
in the aspect of the cliffs. The chalk formation which stretches across
England from Hampshire to Yorkshire, makes its appearance here as a thin
white band under the clay, becoming thicker and thicker, till at length
the whole cliff is chalk from base to summit, and the great promontory,
of snowy whiteness, gleams afar in the sunlight along the shores and
across the sea. The chalk opposes a barrier, which, though far less
stubborn than the volcanic rocks of Cornwall, is yet more enduring than
the clay: hence the land rushes proudly out on the domain of ocean.
Nearness, however, while it shows you the mouths of caverns and gullies,
like dark shades in the chalk, markedly shortens the headland to the

The last mile of cliff, as you approach Bridlington is diversified by a
pale chalky stratum, about four feet thick along the top. It dips down
in places basin-like, and contrasts strangely with the clay.

Bridlington Quay, as the seaward part of the town is named, though
situated at the very rear of the Head, is, as I saw on turning the last
point, not safe from the sap and shock of the breakers. The cliff,
sunken in places, exhibits the effect of landslips in rough slopes and
ugly heaps. Two legs of the seat fixed at the corner overhang the edge
and rest upon nothing, and you see that the remainder are doomed to
follow, notwithstanding the numerous piles driven in for protection.

The two arms of the pier enclose a small harbour, one of the few places
of refuge for vessels caught by easterly gales on the Yorkshire coast--a
coast deficient in good and easily-accessible harbours. A chalybeate
spring bursts from the cliff on the northern side; and near the middle
of the port an artesian well throws up a constant stream, varying with
the rise and fall of the tide. The noisy brook which you cross, on
entering the principal street, has its sources in those remarkable
springs which, known as 'the Gipseys,' gush out from the foot of the

Bridlington attracts numbers of that class of visitors for whom Hornsea
is too quiet and Scarborough too gay. In fine weather, steamers arrive
with pleasure parties from Hull and Whitby, Flamborough Head being the
great attraction. The boatmen ask fifteen shillings a day for a boat to
sail round the Head, and give you opportunity to peer into caverns, or
to shoot seafowl should your desire be for "sport." And besides their
pay, the tough old fellows like to have a voice in provisioning the
boat, resolute to demonstrate how much your pleasure depends on "laying
in plenty of bottled porter."

The church, situate in the town about half a mile from the Quay, was at
one time as large and handsome as the minster of Beverley; but of late
years the visitor has only been able to see the remains of beauty
through grievous dilapidations, in which the hand of man was more
implicated than the weather. Paul Jones is still held responsible for
some of the mischief. Now, however, the work of restoration is
commenced, and ere long the admirable details and proportions of the
edifice will reappear.

Here it was that, attended by a convoy of seven Dutch vessels of war,
commanded by Van Tromp, Queen Henrietta Maria landed in 1643; and there
are people yet living who remember the terror inspired by the
redoubtable privateer aforementioned, while the North-American colonies
were battling for their liberties. On the 20th of September, 1779, a
messenger came in hot haste from Scarborough to Bridlington with news
that an enemy had been espied off the coast, and in the evening of the
same day the Yankee squadron was in sight from Flamborough Head.
Preparations were at once made to send the women and children into the
interior; money and valuables were hastily packed, and some of the
inhabitants, panic-stricken, actually fled. The drum beat to arms; the
Northumberland militia, then quartered in the neighbourhood, were called
out; and all the coasting-vessels bore up for Bridlington Bay, and
crowded for protection into the little harbour. Scarcely a town or
village on the Yorkshire coast but has its story of alarms and unwelcome
visitations from the American privateers.

On the 24th the timid population witnessed a sea-fight from the cliffs.
Jones, with the _Bonhomme Richard_, and the _Pallas_ and _Alliance_
frigates, intercepted the _Serapis_, of forty-four, and _Countess of
Scarbro'_, of twenty-two guns, convoying a fleet of merchant-vessels,
and at once commenced action. The two largest ships grappled, and fired
into each other for two hours, the two frigates meanwhile sailing round,
and doing their best to cripple the Englishman. The American at length
struck; but only as a feint, for when the crew of the _Serapis_ boarded,
they fell into an ambush prepared for them, and suffered so much loss,
that the _Serapis_ hauled down her colours, and the _Countess of
Scarbro'_ was taken by the _Pallas_. The victory, however, was dearly
won: the _Bonhomme Richard_ lost three hundred men in killed and
wounded, and was so grievously cut up in her hull, that the next day she
went to the bottom. Captain Pearson, of the _Serapis_, in his despatch
to the Admiralty announcing the capture of his ship, had good reason to
write, "I flatter myself with the hopes that their lordships will be
convinced that she has not been given away."

The scene of three of Montgomery's sonnets is laid at Bridlington. Turn
to the volume and read them, before you go farther.


     What the Boarding-House thought--Landslips--Yarborough House--
     The Dane's Dike--Higher Cliffs--The South Landing--The
     Flamborough Fleet--Ida, the Flamebearer--A Storm--A talk in a
     Limekiln--Flamborough Fishermen--Coffee before Rum--No
     Drunkards--A Landlord's Experiences--Old-fashioned Honesty.

The party--four gentlemen and one lady--at the boarding-house where I
tarried to dine, agreed unanimously that to pass a whole Sunday morning
in walking, was especially blameworthy. Besides being wrong in itself,
it was "setting such a bad example;" nor would they hear reason on the
question. With them, indeed, it was no question: they quoted the fourth
commandment, and that settled it. Any departure from that was decidedly
wrong, if not sinful. And then, perhaps out of a benevolent desire for
my spiritual welfare, they urged me to stay till the morrow, when I
might join them in a boat-trip to the Head and help to fire guns at the
seafowl. It surprised me somewhat to hear them discuss their project
with as much animation as if they had not just administered a homily to
me, or the day had not been Sunday. The possibilities of weather, the
merits of cold pies, sandwiches, and lively bottled drinks, powder and
shot moreover, and tidal contingencies, were talked about in a way that
led me to infer there was nothing at all wrong in consuming the holy day
with anticipations of pleasure to come in the days reckoned unholy. Then
one of the party set off to walk to a village three miles distant; and
presently, when I started for Flamborough, the other three accompanied
me as far as the path along the cliff was easy to the foot. So I could
only infer again that there is nothing wrong in short walks on a Sunday.
It is simply the distance that constitutes the difference between good
and evil. Some folk appear to believe that if they only sit under a
pulpit in the morning, they have earned a dispensation for the rest of
the day.

The cliffs now are sixty feet in height, broken by frequent slips in the
upper stratum of clay, and numerous cracks running along the path marks
the limits of future falls. One of the slips appeared to be but a few
hours old, and the lumps, of all dimensions, with patches of grass and
weeds sticking out here and there, lying in a great confused slope,
suggested the idea of an avalanche of clay. Ere long you come to
Yarborough House, a stately mansion standing embowered by trees about a
furlong from the shore. Holding that an Englishman has an inherent right
of way along the edge of his own country, I gave no heed to the usual
wooden warning to trespassers, erected where the path strikes inland at
the skirt of the grounds, and kept along the pathless margin of the
cliff. Nothing appeared to be disturbed by my presence except a few
rabbits, that darted as if in terror to their burrows. Once past the
grounds you come into large fields, where the grain grows so close to
the brink of the precipice, that you wonder alike at the thrift of the
Yorkshire farmers, and the skill with which they drive their ploughs in
critical situations.

As you proceed, the cliffs rise higher, interrupted in places by narrow
gullies, one of which is so deep and the farther bank so high as to
appear truly formidable, and shut out all prospect to the east. After a
difficult scramble down, and a more difficult scramble up, you find
yourself on the top of a ridge, which, stretching all across the base of
the headland from sea to sea, along the margin of a natural ravine,
remains a monument, miles in length, of the days

    "When Denmark's Raven soar'd on high,
    Triumphant through Northumbrian sky."

It is the "Dane's Dike," a barrier raised by our piratical Scandinavian
forefathers to protect their settlements on the great promontory. With
such a fence, they had always a refuge to fall back upon where they
could hold their own, and command the landing-places till more ships and
marauders arrived with succours. As the eye follows the straight line of
the huge grass-grown embankment, you will feel something like admiration
of the resolute industry by which it was raised, and perhaps think of
the fierce battles which its now lonely slopes must have once witnessed.

Still the cliffs ascend. Farther on I came to a broader and deeper
ravine, at the mouth of which a few boats lay moored; and others hauled
up on the beach, and coming nearer, I saw boat after boat lodged here
and there on the slopes, even to the level ground above, where, judging
from the number, the fleet found its rendezvous. It was curious to see
so many keels out of their element, most of them gay with stripes of
blue and red, and bearing the names of the wives and daughters of
_Flambro'_. The little bay, however, known as the South Landing, is one
of the two ports of Flamborough: the other, as we shall see after
passing the lighthouse, is similar in formation--a mere gap in the
cliffs. They might be called providential landing-places, for without
them the fishermen of Flamborough would have no access to the sea,
except by ladders down the precipice. As it is, the declivity is very
steep; and it is only by hauling them up to every available spot, that
room is found for the numerous boats.

Here it was that Ida, the Flamebearer, is supposed to have landed, when
he achieved the conquest of Northumbria; and here the galleys of the
Sea-Kings found a precarious shelter while the daring Northmen leapt on
shore to overrun the land in later centuries, when tradition alone
preserved the remembrance of the former invaders and their warlike

I was prowling hither and thither in the ravine, entertained with the
Present while imagining the Past, when the clouds, grown every minute
blacker since noon, let fall their burden with something like tropical
vehemence. For some time there was no perceptible pause in the lightning
or thunder, and against the accompanying rain an umbrella was but as
gauze. I rushed into the arch of a neighbouring limekiln, and once in,
was kept there two hours by the roaring storm. Presently two fishermen,
speeding up from the landing, made for the same shelter, and of course,
under the circumstances, we fraternised at once, and talked the time

Clean and well clad, they were favourable--and as I afterwards saw--not
exceptional specimens of their class. In their opinion the Flamborough
fishermen bear as good a character as any in Yorkshire--perhaps better.
About seven years ago they all resolved to work but six days a week, and
on no account to go to sea on Sundays. They held to their resolve, and,
to the surprise of most, found themselves the better. They earn quite as
much as before, if not more, and go to work with better spirit. During
the herring season it is a common practice with them to put into
Scarborough on Saturday evening, and journey home by rail for the
Sunday, taking advantage of the very low fares at which return tickets
are issued to fishermen. And as for diet, they take a good store of
bread and meat, pies even, in their boats, seeing no reason why they
should not live as well as their neighbours. A glass of rum was
acceptable, especially in cold and blowing weather: but so far as they
knew, there were very few fishermen who would not "choose hot coffee
before rum any day."

There was none of that drinking among fishermen now as there used to be
formerly. You could find some in Flamborough "as liked their glass," but
none to be called drunkards. There is a national school in the village;
but not so well attended as it might be, and perhaps would be if they
had a better schoolmaster. The people generally had pretty good health,
which is possibly the occasion why the last two doctors, finding time
hang heavy on their hands, drank themselves to death. There is, or
rather was in July, 1857, an opening for a doctor in Flamborough.

The rain still fell heavily when we left our shelter, and it kept on
till past midnight. Luckily the village was not a mile distant, and
there I took a comfortable chair by the kitchen fire of _The Ship_. The
landlord corroborated all that the fishermen had told me, with the
reservation that he found it difficult to clear his room of tipplers on
Saturday night, although none could be set down as drunkards. At times
he put on his clock ten minutes, to ensure a clearance before the Sunday
morning, resolutely refusing to refill the glasses after twelve. The
guests would go away growling out a vow never to return to such an
inhospitable house; but not one kept the vow more than a fortnight.
When, nineteen years ago, he determined not to open his house on Sunday
to any but strangers who might chance to arrive from a distance, the
village thought itself scandalized, and the other public-houses
predicted his ruin. They were, however, mistaken. _The Ship_ still
flourishes; and the host and his family "find themselves none the worse
for going to a place of worship, and keeping the house quiet one day in

"Sometimes," he ended, "we don't think to fasten the front door when we
go to bed; but it's all the same; nobody comes to disturb us." Which may
be taken as an indication that honesty has not yet abandoned


     Men's and Women's Wages--The Signal Tower--The passing Fleet--
     The Lighthouse--The Inland View--Cliff scenery--Outstretching
     Reefs--Selwick's Bay--Down to the Beach--Aspect of the Cliffs--
     The Matron--Lessons in Pools--Caverns--The King and Queen--
     Arched Promontories--The North Landing--The Herring-Fishers--
     Pleasure Parties--Robin Lyth's Hole--Kirk Hole--View across
     little Denmark--Speeton--End of the Chalk--Walk to Filey.

A fresh, bright morning succeeded the stormy night, and it was but a few
hours old when, after a look at the old Danish tower at the west of the
village, I walked across the fields to the lighthouse. A woman trudging
in the same direction with a hoe on her shoulder said, after I had asked
her a few questions, she wished she were a man, for then she would get
nine shillings a week and her meat, instead of one shilling a day and
feeding herself, as at present. However, 'twas better than nothing.
Presently her daughter came up, a buxom maiden, wearing her bonnet in a
way which saved her the affliction of shrugs and the trouble of tying.
It was front behind: a fashion which leaves no part of the head exposed,
shelters the poll, and looks picturesque withal. It prevails, as I
afterwards noticed, among the rustic lasses everywhere.

As I passed the old stone tower near the coast-guard station, the
signal-man was busy raising and lowering his flag, for a numerous fleet
of coasting-vessels was running by to the southward, each telling its
name as it came within signal distance. The man sends a daily list of
the names to London for publication, whereby coal-merchants and others
hear of cargoes on the way, and calculate the time of their arrival. It
is a peculiarity of Flamborough Head, an enlivening one, that ships can
keep so close in that the men on their decks are distinctly seen, and
their voices heard by one standing on the cliff.

The lighthouse, a circular white tower, eighty-two feet in height,
stands on the verge of the cliff, displaying inside and out all that
admirable order and cleanliness characteristic of British lighthouses.
There is no difficulty in obtaining admittance; you sign your name in a
book, and are forthwith conducted up to the lantern by the chief or one
of his aids. The light is revolving, alternately white and red, and can
be seen at a distance of thirty miles. But here, elevated two hundred
and fifty feet above the sea, you feel most interested in the prospect.
No "shadowy pomp of woods" arrests the eye looking landwards, but a
region bleak and bare in aspect rolling away to the distant wolds, the
line of uplands which, sweeping round, approaches the coast about
Scarborough. The village with its windmill, and the few farms that are
in sight, look naked and comfortless: not an inviting territory for an
invader given to the picturesque. But seawards, and along the rugged
front of the cliffs, grandeur and variety exert their charm. Here the
up-piled chalk flings out a bold perpendicular buttress, solid from base
to summit; there the jutting mass is isolated by yawning cracks and
chasms, and underneath, as we shall presently see, is fretted into
fantastic shapes, pierced through and through, or worn into caverns by
the headlong billows. In places a broken slope of rocky hummocks and
patches of grass, weeds, and gravel descends, more or less abruptly, to
the beach, opening a view of the long weed-blackened reefs that,
stretching out from the Head, afford a measure of the amazing
encroachments of the sea. Northwards, the bluff crowned by Scarborough
Castle, backed by higher elevations, closes the view; to the south you
have the low, fading coast of Holderness; and all the while brigs,
ships, and schooners are sailing past, more than a hundred in sight,
some of them so near that you fancy they will hardly escape the lurking
points of the dark reef. One small vessel, the keeper told me, had
touched the day before, and lay fast and helpless till, the weather
being calm, she floated off by the succeeding tide. You can look down
into Selwicks Bay, and see men and boys quarrying chalk, and donkeys
laden with heavy panniers of the lumps, toiling painfully up the steep
winding road which forms the only approach. The farther horn of the
little bay is arched and tunnelled, and, taken with the waterfall
plunging down in its rear and the imposing features of the points
beyond, invites to further exploration.

The residents at the lighthouse enjoy an abundant supply of water from a
spring within their enclosure: their garden produces cabbages and
potatoes; the neighbours are friendly, and visitors numerous. Hence life
is more cheerful to them than to the amphibious hermits who dwell at the

While looking for a practicable descending-place, I noticed many tufts
of thrift as thick with flowers as in an antiquated garden where the old
favourites are still cherished.

    "Even here hath Nature lavished hues, and scent,
      And melody; born handmaids of the ocean:
    The frowning crags, with moss and rock-flowers blent,
      Dazzle the eyes with sunlight, while the motion
    Of waves, the breezes fragrant from the sea,
      And cry of birds, combine one glorious symphony!"

The time--dead low water--being favourable for a stroll on the beach, I
scrambled down a rough slope to the south of the lighthouse, and across
the rougher beach to the rocks beyond the outmost point, where, turning
round, I could view the cliffs in either direction. And a striking scene
it is! A wild beach, as rugged with water-worn lumps of chalk as any
lover of chaos could desire. Here the cliff jutting proudly, the white
patches gleaming brightly where masses of chalk have recently fallen,
and the harder portions presenting a smooth, marble-like appearance;
there receding into the shade, and terminating in darksome hollows, the
mouths of gullies and caverns; and everywhere broken up with buttresses,
piers, and columnar projections, the bases of which are garnished with a
belt of shelly incrustation, and a broad brown fringe of weed. Above,
the white surface is varied by streaks and stains of yellow and green;
and seafowl innumerable crowd on all the ledges, or wheel and dart in
restless flight, as if proud to show their white wings to the sun.

The reef stretches out a quarter of a mile, as one may guess, worn here
and there with channels narrow and deep, along which the water rolls
with intermittent rush and roar, reminding the loiterer here in the
slumberous July weather of tremendous energies lulled to repose. I
walked round the Matron--an isolated pyramid of chalk--and patted her on
the back; and strode from one little pool to another, taking an
unscientific lesson in natural history while watching the animal and
vegetable occupants, and those that seemed to be as much one as the

I picked up a fine specimen of the hermit crab, and proved the strength
of local attachment: it would not be coaxed from its hermitage--the
shell of a whelk. I saw a limpet give its shell half a rotation, then
grow tall for an instant, and then shut itself snugly down upon the
rock. At times, while I stood quite still, 'ninnycocks,' that is, young
lobsters, would venture out from their crevices, and have a frolic in
their weedy basin; but they would tolerate no intruder, and darted into
undiscoverable retreats on my slightest movement. And the animated
flowers that displayed their orange and crimson petals at the bottom of
the basin were equally mistrustful, and shut themselves up if I did but
put my hand in the water, even after they had looked on without winking
at the gambols of the ninnycocks.

There are times when ignorance has a charm, and this was one of them.
How much happier to sit and watch a crowd of weeds, a very forest in
miniature, tenanted by creeping things innumerable, and to have your
faculty of wonder excited as well as admiration while observing them in
full liberty, than to come prepared to call one an ascidian, another an
entomostracan, and so on, and to assign to each its place in the
phycological handbook, or the zoological catalogue!

In some of the smallest and deepest caverns which curve as they enter
the cliff, you get effects of cross lights from their inner extremity,
and see the glistening of the walls, which, worn smooth by the water,
appear to be varnished. In all the floor rises more or less rapidly; and
in one, a hundred paces deep, the rush and roar of the surge outside
comes only as a gentle murmur, and a slow drip-drip from the crevices
has an impressive sound there in the gloom where the entrance cannot be

I took advantage of the opportunity, and explored most of the openings,
catching sight now and then of belemnites and other curious fossils in
the chalk, wading at times knee-deep in weed, and scrambled round the
bays on each side of the point, and failed not to salute the venerable
King and Queen.

Having rambled about till the rising tide began to cut off the way round
the promontories, and the crabbers came in from their raid on the reefs,
I climbed the rough slope, and paced away for the North Landing. Beyond
Selwicks Bay the cliff is more broken and cut up into romantic coves and
bays, with confused landslips here and there, and in places the green
turf rushing half way down masks the chalk; and everywhere are thousands
of birds, with their ceaseless cry and clang. Isolated masses are
numerous; and from one point I could count eight headlands, each pierced
by an arch. And here the water, no longer stained with clay, shows green
and bright along the base of the cliff, beautifully pellucid where it
rolls over a bottom of chalk, contrasting strangely with darksome gulfs
and broad beds of weed. And mingling with the cry of birds, there comes
from time to time to your ear the noisy report of the guns, or the chant
of the fishermen, as rocked on the swell, they sit watching their nets.

The North Landing is a gap similar to the South, but broader, and with
an outlet wide enough to be described as a bay. Here I saw some sixty or
eighty boats perched from top to bottom of the steep slope; and groups
of fishermen with their families, men, women, and children, all busy
with preparations for the herring fishery. While some sorted the nets,
others lifted in big stones for ballast, or set up the masts, and others
pushed their boats down to meet the tide, and all in high good humour;
while all about there prevailed a strong fishy smell. And besides the
fishermen, there were parties of young men with their guns embarking for
a sporting cruise; some armed only with parasols and accompanied by
ladies, setting off for a sail round the Head; for this is the chief
port of Flamborough, and the _North Star_, a public-house at the top of
the hill, is convenient for victual.

The advance of the tide prevented my seeing Robin Lyth's Hole, a cavern
on the eastern side of the Landing; named, as some say, after a certain
smuggler who kept his unlawful merchandise therein; or to commemorate
the name of a man who was caught in the cavern by the tide, and saved
his life by clinging to the topmost ledge till the water fell. Another
cavern is known as the Dovecote; another as Kirk Hole, and of this the
tradition runs that it extends far underground to the village

I climbed up the western side of the gap, and continued my way along the
cliffs, which maintain their elevation. Soon I came to the northern end
of the Dike, a height of three hundred feet, and from the top beheld the
whole territory of Little Denmark, and the sea all the way round to the
lighthouse, and the southern end of the Dike. According to Professor
Phillips, this remarkable bank was probably already in existence when
the Danes landed: "perhaps earlier than the Anglian invasion," he says;
"perhaps it is a British work, like many other of the entrenchments on
these anciently peopled hills."

A mile farther, and the cliff rises to a height of more than four
hundred feet. In some places the bank which encloses the fields is broad
enough for a footpath; but you must beware of the landslips. The fences,
which are troublesome to climb, project beyond the edge of the cliff to
keep the cows, as an old farmer said, "from persevering after the grass
and tumbling over." Then at Speeton the chalk turns inland away from the
coast, and the cliff makes a deep hollow curve, chiefly gravel and dark
blue clay, abounding in fossils. To avoid the curve, I zigzagged down to
the beach; but was presently stopped by a point against which the waves
were dashing breast high. I scrambled over it, and was struck by its
curious appearance. It seemed to be a high clay buttress, which had
fallen perhaps within a few weeks, and was broken up into masses of
somewhat regular form, resembling big loaves, and the long grass that
had once waved on the surface now looked like dishevelled thatch. It was
an interesting example of the way in which the sea commences its

Farther on the cliffs diminish in height, and are furrowed by numerous
streamlets, and the rugged, stony beach changes to smooth, yielding
sand. Filey comes in sight, and Filey Brig, a long black bar stretching
into the sea from the extreme point of the great bay, half concealed at
times by a quivering ridge of foam. Then we pass from the East to the
North Riding, and ere long we look up at Filey--a _Royal Hotel_, a
crescent, and rows of handsome houses, coldish of aspect, a terrace
protected by a paved slope, and gravelled paths and a stair for easy
access to the beach. The terrace commands a view over the bay, and of
the cliffs all the way to Flamborough.


     Old and New Filey--The Ravine--Filey Brig--Breaking Waves--
     Ragged Cliffs--Prochronic Gravel--Gristhorp Bay--Insulated
     Column--Lofty Cliffs--Fossil Plants--Red Cliff--Cayton Bay--Up
     to the Road--Bare Prospect--Cromwell Hotel and Oliver's Mount--
     Scarborough--The Esplanade--Watering-Place Phenomena--The Cliff
     Bridge--The Museum--The Spa--The Old Town--The Harbour--The
     Castle Rock--The Ancient Keep--The Prospect--Reminiscences: of
     Harold Hardrada; of Pembroke's Siege; of the Papists' Surprise;
     of George Fox; of Robin Hood--The One Artilleryman--Scarborough
     Newspapers--Cloughton--The Village Inn, and its Guests--Tudds
     and Pooads.

Here at Filey you begin to see a special characteristic of these
sea-side resorts;--the contrast between the new and old--the nineteenth
century looking proudly across a narrow debatable ground at the
sixteenth and seventeenth, putting even still earlier periods out of
countenance. Were it not for its churches, the olden time would on
occasions be made to feel ashamed of itself.

A breezy commanding outlook in front; a large handsome church, with low
square tower, in the rear; a few shops trying to reconcile themselves to
the new order of things while supplying the wants of fifteen hundred
inhabitants; more than a few true to the old order, and here and there
behind the dim panes, eggs of sea-birds, and shells, and marine stores,
in the literal sense; and two or three quiet-looking, respectable inns,
open to visitors whom the style of the _Royal Hotel_ intimidates; the
new town on the south, and a wooded ravine on the north; and such is old

Into this ravine I descended from the church. Heavy rain had fallen
nearly all night, and the paths were so sticky and slippery, that I
wondered so pretty a spot, so capable with bushes and trees and a little
brook of contributing to recreation, should not be better kept. There is
no lack of material for solid paths in the neighbourhood; but judging
from appearances the ravine gets none of it. The path follows the course
of the brook, and brings you out upon a beach where fishing-boats, and
nets, and lobster-pots, and heaps of ballast, and a smoky fire, and
fishy refuse and a smell of tar, and sturdy men and women, make up
divers pictures for the eye, and odours for the nostrils.

As, on approaching Flamborough, we saw the chalk begin to appear at the
base of the cliff, so here we see a stratum of sandstone slanting up
beneath the clay, rising higher towards the northern horn of the bay,
and thence stretching out for three furlongs into the sea, forming the
remarkable reef known as Filey Brig. Camden describes it as "a thin slip
of land, such as the old English called File; from which the little
village Filey takes its name." We may suppose that the cliff once
projected as far, sheltering an indentation so deep that Ptolemy might
well call it the _well-havened bay_; though on this particular there are
different opinions among the learned. Even now, stripped of its cap of
clay, the reef forms a natural breakwater, of which the effect is best
seen in the quiet of the small vessels at anchor behind it.

I was fortunate in the time, for a strong north wind was blowing, and
the great waves, checked in their career, dashed headlong against the
stony barrier, and broke into little mountains of foam, bursting up here
and there in tall white intermittent jets as from a geyser; here one
solid surge tumbling over another, mingling with rush and roar in a wide
drift of spume; there flinging up gauzy whiffs of spray as if mermaids
in frolic were tossing their veils. So mighty were the shocks at times
as to inspire a feeling of insecurity in one who stood watching the
magnificent spectacle.

You can walk out to the end of the reef, and get good views of
Scarborough, about six miles distant in one direction, and away to
Flamborough on the other. The floor is generally level, interrupted in
places by great steps, channels, and boles; and by huge blocks of many
tons' weight scattered about, testifying mutely to the tremendous power
of the sea.

It is a wild scene, and wilder beyond the point, where the whole beach
is strewn with broken lumps, and ledge succeeds to ledge, now high, now
low, compelling you to many an up-and-down, stooping under a rude
cornice, or scrambling over a slippery ridge. In places the cliff
overhangs threateningly, or, receding, forms an alcove where you may sit
and feast your eye with the wondrous commotion, and your ear with the
thundering chorus of many waters.

The upper stratum of clay is worn by the twofold action of rain and
spray into singularly fantastic forms, and where it has been deeply
excavated, there, kept in by the rim of stone, lies a salt-water pool so
bright and pellucid that the temptation to bathe therein is
irresistible. I thought to get round to Gristhorp Bay, but came
presently to a recess where the breakers rushing half way up the cliff
barred all further progress. To lean against the rocky wall and feel it
throb with the shock within the shower of spray, produced an almost
painful emotion; and it seemed to me that the more tumultuous the sea
the better did it harmonize with a promontory so rugged and grim.

I retraced my steps to a stair that zigzags up the cliff on the inner
side of the point. Near this certain visitors have cut their initials in
the hard rock floor, of such dimensions that you can only imagine a day
must have been spent in the task with mallet and chisel. Vain records!
The sea will wash them out some day. When on the summit I was struck
more than before by the contrast between the rage and uproar on the
outside of the ridge, and the comparative calm inside; nor was it easy
to leave a view to which, apart from all the features of the shore, the
restless sea added touches of the sublime, wherein wrought fascination.
And all the while men, looking like pigmies in the distance, were
groping for crabs along each side of the far-stretching reef.

A little way north of the point a rustic pavilion standing in a naked
garden indicates where the visitor will find a jutting buttress whence
to contemplate the scene below. More exposed on this side, the cliff is
more cut up and broken in outline, jutting and receding in rugged
ledges, and in every hollow rests one of those limpid pools, so calm and
clear that you can see the creeping things moving between the patches of
weed at the bottom. And the beach is thickly strewn with boulders of a
size which perhaps represents the gravel of the "prochronic" era.

The elevation increases as we advance, and by-and-by looking round on
Filey, we see how it lies at the mouth of a broad vale which it requires
no great effort of imagination to believe may have been an estuary at
some very remote period, near to the time

    "When the Indian Ocean did the wanton play
    Mingling its billows with the Balticke sea,
    And the whole earth was water."

And far as you can see inland the prospect is bare, even to the distant
hills and wolds which loom large and mountainous through the hazy

Now the cliff shows bands of colour--brown, gray, and ochre, and the
lower half capped by a green slope forms a thick projecting plinth to
the perpendicular wall above. Scarborough begins to be visible in
detail, and soon we descend into Gristhorp Bay, where rough walking
awaits us. At its northern extremity stands an insulated columnar mass,
somewhat resembling the Cheesewring, on a rude pedestal shaped by the
waves from the rocky layers. Situate about fifty yards from the point,
it marks the wear of the cliff from which it has been detached, while
the confused waste of rocks left bare by the ebb suggests ages of
destruction prior to the appearance of the stubborn column.

The cliffs are of imposing height, nearly three hundred feet: a
formidable bulwark. It is heavy walking along their base, but as
compensation there are strata within reach in which you may find
exhaustless deposits of fossil plants, giant ferns, and others. And so
the beach continues round Red Cliff into Cayton Bay, where another chaos
of boulders will try your feet and ability to pick your way. To vary the
route, I turned up at Cayton Mill, past the large reservoir from which
Scarborough is supplied with water, along the edge of the undercliff to
the high road, leaving Carnelian Bay unvisited. At the hill-top you come
suddenly upon a wide and striking prospect--a great sweep of hilly
country on one hand, on the other the irregular margin of the cliffs all
the way to the town, and a blue promontory far beyond the castle bluff,
which marks our course for the morrow.

The road is good and the crops look hopeful; but the hedgerows are
scanty and stunted, and not improved by the presence of a few miserable
oaks; nor do the plantations which shelter the farm-houses and stingy
orchards appear able to rejoice though summer be come. In some places,
for want of better, the banks are topped by a hedge of furze. On the
left of the road, long offshoots from the bleak uplands of the interior
terminate with an abrupt slope, presenting the appearance of artificial
mounds. Another rise, and there is Scarborough in full view, crowding
close to the shore of its bay, terminated by the castle rock, the most
striking feature. Bright, showy houses scattered on the south and west
indicate the approaches to the fashionable quarter, and of those
farthest from the sea you will not fail to notice the _Cromwell
Hotel_--a new building in Swiss-like style of architecture, at the foot
of Oliver's Mount. The Mount--so named from a tradition that the
Protector planted his cannon there when besieging the castle--is another
of those truncated offshoots, six hundred feet in height, and the
summit, which is easily accessible and much visited, commands an
interesting prospect. You see the tree-tops in the deep valley which
divides the New Town from the Old, and rearwards, broken ground
sprinkled with wood, imparting some touches of beauty to the western

Then, turning to the right, you come upon a stately esplanade, and not
without a feeling of surprise after a few days' walking by yourself. For
here all is life, gaiety, and fashion. Long rows of handsome houses, of
clean, light-coloured sandstone, with glittering windows and ornamental
balconies, all looking out on the broad, heaving sea. In front, from end
to end, stretches a well-kept road, where seats, fixed at frequent
intervals, afford a pleasurable resting-place; and from this a great
slope descends to the beach, all embowered with trees and shrubs,
through which here and there you get a glimpse of a gravelled path or
the domed roof of a summer-house. And there, two hundred feet below, is
the Spa--a castellated building protected by a sea-wall, within which a
broad road slopes gently to the sands. You see visitors descending
through the grove for their morning draught of the mineral water, or
assisting the effect by a 'constitutional' on the promenade beneath;
while hundreds besides stroll on the sands, where troops of children
under the charge of nursemaids dig holes with little wooden spades. And
here on the esplanade elegant pony barouches, driven by natty little
postilions, are starting every few minutes from the aristocratic looking
hotel to air gay parties of squires and dames around the neighbourhood.
And turning again to the beach, there you see rows of bathing-machines
gay with green and red stripes, standing near the opening of the valley,
and now and then one starts at a slow pace laden with bathers to meet
the rising tide. And beyond these the piers stretch out, and the harbour
is crowded with masts, and two steamers rock at their moorings, waiting
for 'excursionists:' the whole backed by the houses of the Old Town
rising picturesquely one above the other, and crowning the castle

Nearly an hour passed before I left that agreeable resting-place, whence
you get the best view of Scarborough and its environment. Of all the
strollers I saw none go beyond what appeared to be a conventional limit;
Nature without art was perhaps too fatiguing for them. In the whole of
my walk along the coast, I met but two, and they were young men, who had
ventured a few miles from head-quarters for a real walk on the cliffs.

A bridge, four hundred feet long and seventy-five high, offers a level
crossing for foot passengers from the esplanade to the opposite side of
the deep valley above mentioned, on payment of a toll. It is at once
ornamental and convenient, saving the toil of a steep ascent and
descent, and combining the advantage of an observatory. From the centre
you get a complete view of the bay, one which the eye rests on with
pleasure, though you will hardly agree with a medical author, that it is
a "Bay of Naples." In the other direction, you look up the wooded
valley, and down upon the Museum, a Doric rotunda, built by the members
of the Scarborough Philosophical Society, for the preservation of
geological specimens. The contents are admirably classified, rocks and
fossils in their natural order; amid them rests the skeleton of an
ancient British chief; and near the entrance you may see the clumsy oak
coffin in which it was found, about twenty-five years ago, in a barrow
at Gristhorp.

Descend into the valley, and you will find pleasure in the sight of the
bridge, and miles of water seen through the light and graceful arches.
Then take a walk along the sands, and look up at the leafy slope,
crowned by the esplanade, and you will commend the enterprise which
converted an ugly clay cliff into a hanging wood. And enterprise is not
to stop here: Sir Joseph Paxton, as I heard, has been consulted about
the capabilities of the cliff to the south. Some residents, however,
think that Scarborough is already overdone.

In a small court within the Spa you may see the health-giving waters
flowing from two mouths, known from their position as North Well and
South Well. The stream is constant, and, after all the wants of the
establishment are supplied, runs across the sand to the sea. The water
has a flavour of rusty iron and salt, differing in the two wells,
although they are but a few feet apart; and the drinkers find it
beneficial in cases of chronic debility and indigestion with their
remorseless allies.

The contrast is more marked between New and Old than at Filey. There is,
however, a good, respectable look about the streets of the Old Town, and
signs of solid business, notwithstanding the collections of
knick-knackery and inharmonious plate-glass. From the broad main street
you descend by a narrow crooked street--from old through oldest to the
harbour, where old anchors, old boats, old beams and buttresses dispute
possession with the builders of new boats, who make the place noisy with
their hammering. Here as a Yorkshireman would say, were assembled all
the 'ragabash' of Scarborough, to judge by what they said and did. Boys
and men were fishing from the pier-head under the lighthouse, watched by
grizzly old mariners, who appeared to have nothing better to do than to
sit in the sun; children paddled in the foamy shallows of the heavy
breakers; carts rumbled slowly to and from the coal brigs, followed by
stout fellows carrying baskets of fish; a sight which might have shamed
the dissolute throng into something like industry.

Enclosed by the three piers which form the harbour stands a detached
pile of masonry, seemingly an ancient breakwater--all weather-beaten,
weedy, and grass-grown, with joints widely gaping, looking as if it had
stood there ever since Leland's day--a remarkable object amid the stir
of trade and modern constructions, but quite in harmony with the old
pantile-roofed houses that shut in the port. Among these you note
touches of the picturesque; and your eye singles out the gables as
reminiscences of the style which, more than any other, satisfies its

But let us go and look down on the scene from the castle rock. The
ascent is steep, yet rich in recompense. St. Mary's church, near the
summit, and the fragments of old walls standing amidst the graves,
remind us of its former dimensions, and of the demolitions it suffered
during the siege. And there rises in massive strength, to a height of
ninety feet, a remnant of the castle keep--an imposing ruin full before
us, as we cross the drawbridge, pass under the barbican, and along the
covered way, to the inner court. But the court is a large, rough
pasture, fenced on the north and east, where the cliff is bare and
perpendicular, and towards the town shut in by a range of old wall,
pierced by a few embrasures, some low buildings, and the remains of an
ancient chapel. There is no picturesque assemblage of ruins; but little
indeed besides the shattered keep, and that appears to best effect from
without. Near the chapel, Our Lady's Well, a spring famous from time
immemorial, bubbles silently up in a darksome vault.

Northwards the view extends along the rugged coast to the Peak, a lofty
point that looks down on Robin Hood's Bay, and to hazy elevations beyond
Whitby. To get a sight of the town you must return to the barbican,
where you can step up on the wall and securely enjoy a bird's-eye view:
from the row of cannon which crown the precipice sheer down to the port
and away to the Spa, all lies outspread before the curious eye.

A great height, as we have already proved, appears to be favourable to
musing, especially when the sun shines bright. And here there is much to
muse about. Harold Hardrada, when on his way to defeat and death at
Stamford Brig, landed here, and climbing the "Scarburg" with his wild
sea-rovers, lit a huge bonfire, and tossed the blazing logs over the
cliff down upon the town beneath. The burg, or fortress, was replaced in
the reign of Stephen by a castle, which, renewed by Henry II., became
one of the most important strongholds of the kingdom. Piers Gavestone
defended it vigorously against the Earl of Pembroke, but was starved
into a surrender, with what result we all know. The Roman Catholics
attempted it during their Pilgrimage of Grace, but were beaten off. In
1554, however, when Queen Mary was trying to accomplish the Pilgrims'
work, a son of Lord Stafford and thirty confederates, all disguised as
rustics, sauntered unsuspected into the outer court, where on a sudden
they surprised the sentries, and immediately admitting a reserve party
carrying concealed arms, they made themselves masters of the place. The
success of this surprise is said to have given rise to the adage
"Scarborough warning; a word and a blow, and the blow first." But after
three days the Earl of Westmoreland regained possession, and Mr.
Stafford underwent the same sharp discipline as befel Edward the
Second's favourite. At length came the struggle between Prerogative and
People, and in the triumph of the right the castle was well-nigh
demolished; and since then, time and tempest have done the rest.

Among the unfortunates who suffered imprisonment here, George Fox, the
aboriginal Quaker, has left us a most pathetic account of his
sufferings. Brought hither from Lancaster Castle, he was put into a
chamber which he likened to purgatory for smoke, into which the rain
beat, and after he had "laid out about fifty shillings" to make it
habitable, "they removed me," he writes in his _Journal_, "into a worse
room, where I had neither chimney nor fireplace. This being to the
sea-side and lying much open, the wind drove in the rain forcibly, so
that the water came over my bed and ran about the room, that I was fain
to skim it up with a platter. And when my clothes were wet, I had no
fire to dry them; so that my body was benumbed with cold, and my fingers
swelled, that one was grown as big as two." For more than a year did the
resolute Peacemaker endure pain and privation, and vindicate his
principles on this tall cliff; and when three years later, in 1669, he
again went preaching in Yorkshire, he revisited Scarborough, and "the
governor hearing I was come," he writes, "sent to invite me to his
house, saying, 'surely I would not be so unkind as not to come and see
him and his wife.' So after the meeting I went up to visit him, and he
received me very courteously and lovingly."

Five hundred years earlier, and, as the ballad tells, the merry outlaw,
Robin Hood, who

    "The Yorkshire woods frequented much,"

being a-weary of forest glades and fallow deer, exclaimed,

    "The fishermen brave more money have
      Than any merchants two or three;
    Therefore I will to Scarborough go,
      That I a fisherman brave may be."

But though the "widow woman" in whose house "he took up his inn," lent
him a stout boat and willing crew, he caught no fish, and the master
laughed at him for a lubber. However, two or three days later, he
espied a ship of war sailing proudly towards them, and then it was the
master's turn to lament, for the French robbers spared no man. To him
then Robin:

    "'Master, tye me to the mast,' saith he,
      'That at my mark I may stand fair,
    And give me my bent bow in my hand,
      And never a Frenchman will I spare.'

    "He drew his arrow to the very head,
      And drew it with all might and maine,
    And straightway, in the twinkling of an eye,
      To the Frenchman's heart the arrow's gane.

           *       *       *       *       *

    "Then streight they boarded the French ship
      They lyeing all dead in their sight;
    They found within that ship of warre
      Twelve thousand pound of mony bright."

The castle is national property, and as the bluff affords a good site
for offence and defence, a magazine and barracks for a company of men
have been built. For all garrison, at the time of my visit, there was
but one invalid artilleryman, who employs his leisure in constructing
models of the ruins for sale along with bottles of ginger beer. He will
talk to you about the nice water of Our Lady's Well; the cavern in the
cliff, where the officers once dined; of the cannon balls that Cromwell
sent across from Oliver's Mount; about the last whale caught on the
shore, and about the West Indies, where he lost his health; but he
remembers little or nothing of Piers Gavestone or George Fox, and is not
quite sure if he ever heard that Robin Hood went a-privateering. His
duties, he told me, were not heavy; he did not even lock the gate at
night, because folk came very early in the morning to fetch their cows
from the pasture.

Since then, that is, in the autumn of 1857, the rains occasioned a
landslip, which nearly obliterated the cavern; a whale thirty feet long
was caught floundering in the shallows; and on Seamer Moor, about three
miles distant, ancient gold and silver rings and ornaments, beads and
broken pottery, and implements of bronze and iron and a skeleton, were
found on excavating a chalky knoll.

Of course, a town of thirteen thousand inhabitants must have its
newspapers. The _Scarborough Gazette_ is a curiosity for its long list
of visitors, filling sometimes two pages. A cheap paper--the title of
which I have lost--was a curiosity to me in another way, for I could not
have believed that Yorkshire folk would read anything so stupid as the
wordy columns therein passed off for politics.

The shadows were lengthening towards the east when, after satisfying
myself with another look at the coast to the north, I took the road for
Cloughton, leaving the town by the north esplanade, where
Blenheim-terrace shows the sober style of the first improvements. Many
visitors, however, prefer the view from those plain bay-windows to that
seen from the stately houses to the south.

Cloughton is a small quiet village, with a _Red Lion_ to match, where
you may get good rustic fare--cakes, bacon, and eggs--and a simple
chamber. The landlord, a patriarch of eighty-five, still hale, and
active, who sat warming his knees at the turf fire, opened his budget of
reminiscences concerning Scarborough. The change from what it was to
what it is, was wonderful. He went there at election times. Had once
been to vote at York, years ago, "when there was a hard fight betuxt a
Milton and a Lascelles." Had never been to London, but his niece went up
to the Great Exhibition. While we talked, in came a shabby-looking
fellow with a six days' beard, for a pint of beer. He had been
trout-fishing all day on the moors--one of his means of living. He
stayed but a few minutes, and as he went out the patriarch said, "He's a
roughish one to look at, but he can make powetry." It was too late to
call him back, or I might perhaps have got a specimen.

Then came in the rustics in twos and threes for their evening pint and
pipe, most of them preferring hard porter to the ale, which was really
good. Not one had a complaint to make of hard times: wages were one and
sixpence a day, and meat, and good meat, too--beef and mutton and
pies--as much as they could eat. They didn't want to emigrate; Yorkshire
was quite good enough for them. While talking to them and listening to
their conversation among themselves, my old conviction strengthened that
the rural folk are not the fools they are commonly taken to be. Choose
such words as they are familiar with--such as John Bunyan uses--and you
can make them understand any ordinary subject and take pleasure in it.
And how happy they are when you can suggest an illustration from
something common to their daily life! I would have undertaken to give an
hour's lecture on terrestrial magnetism even, to that company; and not
one should have wished it shorter. And once having broken through their
crust of awkwardness, you find them possessed of a good fund of common
sense, quick to discern between the plausible and what they feel to be
true. Flattering speeches made at hay-homes and harvest-homes are taken
for what they are worth; and the sunburnt throng are everywhere ready to
applaud the sentiment conveyed in a reaper's reply to a complimentary

    "Big bees fly high;
    Little bees make the honey:
    Poor men do the work;
    Rich men get the money."

One of the party, lively enough to have lived when the island was "merry
England," hearing that I intended to walk through Bay Town on the
morrow, said, laughingly, "You'll find nought but _Tudds_ and _Pooads_
down there;" meaning that Todd and Poad were the prevalent names.


     From Cloughton to Haiburn Wyke--The embowered Path--Approach to
     the Sea--Rock, Water, and Foliage--Heavy Walking--Staintondale
     Cliffs--The Undercliff--The Peak--Raven Hall--Robin Hood's Bay
     --A Trespass--Alum Works--Waterfalls--Bay Town--Manners and
     Customs of the Natives--Coal Trade--The Churchyard--Epitaphs--
     Black-a-moor--Hawsker--Vale of Pickering--Robin Hood and Little
     John's Archery--Whitby Abbey--Beautiful Ruin--St. Hilda,
     Wilfrid, and Coedmon--Legends--A Fallen Tower--St. Mary's
     Church--Whitby--The Vale of Esk--Specimens of Popular Hymns.

The next morning looked unpromising; the heavy rain which began to fall
the evening before had continued all night, and when I started, trees
and hedges were still dripping and the grass drooping, overburdened with
watery beads. Bye-paths are not enticing under such circumstances:
however, the range of cliffs between Haiburn Wyke and Robin Hood's Bay
is so continuously grand and lofty that I made up my mind to walk along
their summit whether or not.

About half an hour from Cloughton brought me to a 'crammle gate,' as the
natives call it; that is, a rustic gate with zigzaggy rails, from which
a private road curves down through a grove to a farm-house on the right.
Here, finding no outlet, I had to inquire, and was told to cross the
garden. All praise to the good-nature which trusts a stranger to lift
the "clinking latch" and walk unwatched through a garden so pretty,
teeming with fruit, flowers, and vegetables; where a path overarched by
busy climbers leads you into pleasing ins and outs, and along blooming
borders to the edge of a wooded glen, and that is Haiburn Wyke. The
path, not trimly kept as in the garden, invites you onwards beneath a
thick shade of oak, ash, and hazel; between clumps of honeysuckle and
wild roses, and broken slopes hung with ferns and ivy, and a very forest
of grasses; while, to heighten the charm, a little brook descends
prattling confidingly to the many stones that lie in its crooked
channel. The path winds, now steep, now gradual, and at the bends a seat
offers a resting-place if you incline to pause and meditate.

There was another charm: at first a fitful murmur which swelled into a
roar as I sauntered down and came nearer to the sea. The trees grow so
thickly that I could see but a few yards around, and there seemed
something almost awful in the sound of the thundering surge, all the
heavier in the damp air, as it plunged on the rugged beach: so near, and
yet unseen. But after another bend or two it grows lighter overhead,
crags peep through the foliage on both sides, and then emerging on a
level partly filled by a summer-house, you see the narrow cove, the
jutting cliffs that shelter it, and every minute the tumultuous sea
flinging all round the stony curve a belt of quivering foam.

I could not advance far, for the tide had but just begun to fall;
however, striding out as far as possible, I turned to look at the glen.
It is a charming scene: the leafy hollow, the cliffs rounding away from
the mantling green to present a bare front to the sea, yet patched and
streaked with gray and yellow and white and brown, as if to make up for
loss of verdure. There the brook, tumbling over stony ledges, shoots
into a cascade between huge masses of rock, and hurries still with
lively noise across the beach, talking as freely to boulders of five
tons' weight as to stones of a pound; heedless, apparently, that its
voice will soon be drowned for ever in the mighty voice of the sea. It
is a charming scene, truly, even under a gloomy sky: you will see none
fairer on all the coast. On a sunshiny day it should attract many
visitors from Scarborough, when those able to walk might explore
Cloughton Wyke--less beautiful than this--on the way.

To get up the steep clay road all miry with the rain on the northern
side of the glen, was no easy task; but the great ball of clay which
clung to each of my feet was soon licked off by the wet grass in the
fields above. I took the edge of the cliffs, and found the ascent to the
Staintondale summit not less toilsome. There was no path, and wading
through the rank grass and weeds, or through heavy wheat and drenched
barley on ground always up-hill, wetted me through up to the hips in a
few minutes, and gave me a taste of work. For the time I did not much
admire the Yorkshire thriftiness which had ploughed and sown so close
to the bank leaving no single inch of space. However, I came at times to
a bare field or a pasture, and the freshening breeze blew me almost dry
before climbing over awkward fences for another bath of weeds and grain.
And besides, a few faint watery gleams of sunshine began to slant down
upon the sea, and the increasing height of the cliffs opened wide views
over land and water--from misty hills looming mountainous on one side,
to the distant smoke of a coasting steamer on the other. And again there
are two or three miles of undercliff, a great slope covered with a dense
bush threaded here and there by narrow paths, and forming in places an
impenetrable tangle. To stand on the highest point, five hundred and
eighty-five feet above the sea, and look down on the precipitous crags,
the ridges and hollows and rounded buttresses decked with the mazy bush
where birds without number haunt, is a sight that repays the labour. At
the corner of one of the fields the bushes lean inwards so much from the
wind, that the farmer has taken advantage of the overshoot to construct
a bower wherein to sit and enjoy the prospect.

These tall cliffs are the sudden termination of a range of hills
stretching from the interior to the coast. Taken with the undercliff,
they present many combinations which would delight the eye and employ
the pencil of an artist. And to the geologist they are of abounding
interest, exhibiting shale, shelly limestone, sandstones of various
qualities in which belemnites and ferns, and other animal and vegetable
fossils, are embedded in surprising quantities. You can descend here and
there by a zigzag path, and look up at the towering crags, or search the
fallen masses, or push into the thicket; that is, in dry weather. After
about two miles the bush thins off, and gives place to gorse, and reedy
ponds in the hollows, and short turf on which cattle and sheep are

The range continues for perhaps five miles and ends in a great
perpendicular bluff--a resort of sea-birds. Here on getting over the
fence I noticed that the pasture had a well-kept, finished appearance;
and presently, passing the corner of a wall, I found myself on a lawn,
and in front of Raven Hall--a squire's residence. An embrasured wall
built to represent bastions and turrets runs along the edge of the
cliff, and looking over, you see beneath the grand sweep of Robin Hood's
Bay backed by a vast hollow slope--a natural amphitheatre a league in
compass, containing fields and meadows, shaly screes and patches of
heath, cottages, and the Peak alum-works. We are on the Peak, and can
survey the whole scene, away to Bay Town, a patch of red capped by
pale-blue smoke just within the northern horn of the bay.

A lady and gentleman were trying in defiance of the wind to haul up a
flag on the tall staff erected at the point, to whom I apologised for my
unintentional trespass. They needed no apology, and only wondered that
any one should travel along the cliffs on such a morning. "Did you do it
for pleasure?" asked the lady, with a merry twinkle in her eye, as she
saw how bedraggled I looked below the knees.

The gentleman left the flapping banner, and showed me from the rear of
the premises the readiest way down to the beach--a very long irregular
descent, the latter portion across the alum shale, and down the abrupt
slope of Cinder Hill, where the buildings are blackened by smoke. At
first the beach is nothing but a layer of small fragments of shale, of a
dark slate-colour, refuse from the works; and where the cliffs reappear
there you see shale in its natural condition, and feel it beneath your
feet while treading on the yielding sand. Numerous cascades leap down
from these cliffs; at the time I passed swollen by the rain, and well
set off by the dark precipice. One of them was a remarkably good
representation of the _Staubbach_ on a small scale.

About half way I met a gig conveying visitors to the Hall at a walking
pace, for the wheels sank deep. It was for them that the flag was to be
raised, as a signal of welcome; and looking back I saw it flying
proudly, on what, seen from below, appeared a castle on the cliff. At
this moment the sun shone out, and lit up the Peak in all its
magnificent proportions; and the effects of my trudge through drip and
mire soon disappeared. Another mile and the rocks are thickly strewn
with periwinkles, and great plashy beds of seaweed must be crossed, and
then we see that the outermost houses rest on a solid weather-stained
wall of boulders, through which descends a rugged incline of big
stones--the foot of the main street of Bay Town.

There is no lack of quarters, for within a few yards you may count seven
public-houses. It is a strange place, with alleys which are stairs for
side streets, and these leading into queer places, back yards and
pigstyes, and little gardens thriving with pot-herbs. Everything is on
a slope, overtopped by the green hill behind. Half way up the street, in
what looks like a market-place, lie a number of boats, as if for
ornament. You can hardly imagine them to have been hauled up from the
beach. Some of the shops are curiosities in their appearance and display
of wares; yet there are traders in Bay Town who could buy up two or
three of your fashionable shopkeepers in the watering-places.

"Yer master wants ye," said a messenger to a young fellow who sat
smoking his pipe in the _King's Head_, while Martha, the hostess, fried
a chop for my dinner.

"Tell him I isn't here: I isn't a coomin'," was the answer, with a touch
of Yorkshire, which I heard frequently afterwards.

From the talk that went on I gathered that Bay Town likes to amuse
itself as well as other places. All through the past winter a ball or
dance had been held nearly every evening, in the large rooms which, it
appears, are found somewhere belonging to the very unpretending
public-houses. On the other hand, church and chapel are well attended,
and the singing is hearty. Weddings and funerals are made the occasion
of festivals, and great is the number of guests. Martha assured me that
two hundred persons were invited when her father was buried; and even
for a child, the number asked will be forty or fifty; and all get
something to eat and drink. It was commonly said in the neighbourhood
that the head of a Bay Town funeral procession would be at the church
before the tail had left the house. The church is on the hill-top,
nearly a mile away. A clannish feeling prevails. Any lad or lass who
should chose to wed with an outsider, would be disgraced. Ourselves to
ourselves, is the rule. On their way home from church, the young couple
are beset by invitations to drink at door after door, as they pass, and
jugs of strong liquor are bravely drained, and all the eighteen hundred
inhabitants share in the gladness. Hence the perpetuation of Todds and
Poads. However, as regards names, the most numerous which I saw were
Granger and Bedlington, or Bettleton, as the natives call it.

The trade in fish has given place to trade in coal; and Bay Town owns
about eighty coal brigs and schooners, which sail to Edinburgh, to
London, to ports in France, and one, which belongs to a man who a few
years ago was a labourer, crosses the ocean to America. There are no
such miserable paupers as swarm in the large towns. Except the collier
crews, the folk seldom leave the parish; and their farthest travel is to
Hartlepool in the steamer which calls in the bay on her way from

I chose to finish the walk to Whitby by the road; and in a few minutes,
so steep is the hill, was above Bay Town, and looking on the view
bounded by the massy Peak. Near where the lane enters the high road
stands the church, a modern edifice, thickly surrounded with tombstones.
Black with gilt letters, appears to be the favourite style; and among
them are white stones, bearing outspread gilt wings and stars, and an
ornamental border. The clannish feeling loves to keep alive the memory
of the departed; and one might judge that it has the gift of "powetry,"
and delights in epitaphs. Let us read a few: we shall find "drowned at
sea," and "mariner," a frequent word in the inscriptions:

    Partner dear my life is past,
    My love for you was to the last;
    Therefore for me no sorrow take,
    But love my children for my sake.

An old man of eighty-two is made to say:

    From raging storms at sea
    The Lord he did me save,
    And here my tottering limbs is brought
    To moulder in the grave.

Lancelot Moorsom, aged seventy-four, varies the matter thus:

    Tho' boreas blast and neptune waves
      Hath toss'd me too and fro',
    By God's decree you plainly see,
      I'm harbour'd here below,
    But here I do at anchor ride
      With many of our fleet,
    And once again I must set sail,
      My Saviour Christ to meet.

Of a good old wife, we read something for which the sex would be the
better were it true of all:

    She was not puff'd in mind,
      She had no scornful eye,
    Nor did she exercise herself
      In things that were too high.

Childhood claims a tender sentiment; and parents mourn thus for their
little ones:

    One hand they gave to Jesus, one to Death,
    And looking upward to their Father's throne,
    Their gentle spirits vanish'd with their breath,
    And fled to Eden's ever blooming zone.

The road runs along the high ground near enough to the sea for you to
hear its roar, and note the outline of the cliffs, while inland the
country rolls away hilly to the dreary region described by old writers
as "Black-a-moor." Another half-hour, and having passed through Hawsker,
you see a strange-looking building a long way off. It is the Abbey of
Whitby. And now a view opens into the Vale of Pickering; and there, in
the fields on the left, are the stones which mark where the arrows fell,
when Robin Hood and Little John, who had been treated to a dinner at the
Abbey, went up on the roof to gratify the monks with a specimen of their
skill, and proved the goodness of their bows, and their right to rank as
foremost of English archers. As your eye measures the distance, more
than a mile, your admiration of the merry outlaws will brighten up,
unless like the incredulous antiquary, you consider such stories as only
fit to be left "among the lyes of the land."

Seen from the road, over the wall-top, the abbey reveals but few of the
beautiful features which charm your eye on a nearer view. To gain
admission you have to pass through an old mansion belonging to the
Cholmley family, in which, by the way, there are rooms, and passages,
and a stair, weapons, furniture, and tapestry that remind you of the
olden time; and in the rear a delightful garden, with a prospect along
the vale of Esk. From the garden you enter a meadow, and may wander at
will about the ruin.

I saw it to perfection, for the sky had cleared, and the evening sun
touched the crumbling walls and massy columns and rows of graceful
arches with wondrous beauty, relieved by the lengthening shadows. The
effect of the triple rows of windows is singularly pleasing, and there
are carvings and mouldings still remaining that will bear the closest
inspection, although it was a mason of the thirteenth century who cut
them. Three distinct styles are obvious, and you will notice that the
whitest stone, which is the oldest, is the least decayed. An aisle
still offers you the shelter of its groined roof, the transept still
shows the corbels and niches, and carved roses that fed the eyes of
Robin Hood's entertainers, and on the sedilia where they sat you may now
repose. Every moment you discover some new beauty, something to increase
your admiration, and wonder that so much should be left of a building
which has not a tree to shelter it from the storms of the sea.

For twelve hundred years the ground has been consecrated. Here the
blessed St. Hilda founded a monastery, and dedicated it to St. Peter, in
658. Here it was that the famous debate was held concerning the proper
time of Easter between the Christians who were converted by Culdee
missionaries from Ireland before St. Augustine's visit, and those of the
later time. It was St. John and the practice of the Eastern Church
against St. Peter and the Western; and through the eloquent arguments of
Wilfrid of Ripon, the latter prevailed.

Here Coedmon, one of the menial monks, was miraculously inspired to
write the poem which immortalises his name; and here St. John of
Beverley was educated. Then came the Danish pirates under Ubba, and
destroyed the monastery, and the place lay waste till one of William the
Conqueror's warriors, grieved to the heart on beholding the desolation,
exchanged his coat of steel for a Benedictine's gown, and rebuilt the
sacred house.

Few who come hither will need to be reminded of that inspiriting voyage
along the coast, when

    "The Abbess of St. Hilda placed
    With five fair nuns the galley graced,"

nor of the sisters' evening talk, while

    "--Whitby's nuns exulting told,
    How to their house three barons bold
      Must menial service do;
    While horns blow out a note of shame,
    And monks cry 'Fye upon your name!
    In wrath, for loss of sylvan game,
      St. Hilda's priest ye slew.'--
    This on Ascension day, each year,
    While labouring on our harbour-pier,
    Must Herbert, Bruce, and Percy hear.--
    They told how in their convent cell
    A Saxon princess once did dwell,
      The lovely Edelfled;
    And how of thousand snakes, each one
    Was changed into a coil of stone
      When holy Hilda pray'd;
    Themselves, within their holy bound,
    Their stony folds had often found.
    They told how seafowls' pinions fail,
    As over Whitby's towers they sail,
    And sinking down, with flutterings faint,
    They do their homage to the saint."

The stately tower, the glory of the ruin, fell in 1830, at the close of
a reign, during which things good and beautiful were unhappily but too
much neglected. A rugged heap, with lumps of stone peeping out from
tufts of coarse grass, marks the spot where the fall took place; the
last, it is to be hoped, that will be permitted in so striking a
memorial of the architecture of the past. Standing in private grounds
and surrounded by a light iron fence, it is now safe from the intrusion
of cattle and from wanton spoilers.

A few yards beyond the abbey, you cross St. Mary's churchyard to the top
of a long flight of steps, where a remarkable scene opens suddenly
beneath. Whitby, lying on each side of the Esk, the river winding from a
wooded vale, expanding to receive the numerous vessels of the inner
harbour, and flowing away between the houses and the two piers to the
sea. The declivity is so abrupt, that the houses appear strangely
huddled together, tier above tier, in irregular masses, as if resting
one on the other, and what with the colour and variety of forms, the
shipping, the great depth of the valley, the great bluffs with which it
terminates, and line upon line of breakers beginning to foam at two
furlongs from the shore, make up a scene surpassingly picturesque; one
that you will be in no hurry to lose sight of. If the Whitby
church-goers find it toilsome to ascend nearly two hundred steps every
Sunday, they have a goodly prospect for recompense, besides the service.

One wall of the church is said to be older than any portion of the
abbey; but the edifice has undergone so many alterations, that
meritorious architecture is not now to be looked for. A more breezy
churchyard it would not be easy to find. Opposite, on the farther cliff,
is a cluster of new stone houses, including a spacious hotel, built to
attract visitors; an enterprise promoted by King George Hudson in his
palmy days.

I lingered, contemplating the view, till it was time to look for an
inn; I chose the _Talbot_, and had no reason to repent my choice. On the
way thither, I bought two religious ballads at a little shop, the
mistress of which told me she sold "hundreds of 'em," and that they were
printed at Otley. As specimens of a class of compositions which are
relished and sung as hymns by a numerous section of the community, they
are eminently suggestive. Do they supply a real want? Are they harmless?
Are they edifying? Can they who find satisfaction therein be led up to
something better? To close this chapter, here follows a quotation from
_The Railway to Heaven_:

    "O! what a deal we hear and read
    About Railways and railway speed,
    Of lines which are, or may be made;
    And selling shares is quite a trade.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Allow me, as an old Divine,
    To point you to another line,
    Which does from earth to heaven extend,
    Where real pleasures never end.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Of truth divine the rails are made,
    And on the Rock of Ages laid;
    The rails are fix'd in chairs of love,
    Firm as the throne of God above.

           *       *       *       *       *

    One grand first-class is used for all,
    For Jew and Gentile, great and small,
    There's room for all the world inside,
    And kings with beggars here do ride.

           *       *       *       *       *

    About a hundred years or so
    Wesley and others said they'd go:
    A carriage mercy did provide,
    That Wesley and his friends might ride.

    'Tis nine-and-thirty years, they say,
    Whoever lives to see next May,
    Another coach was added then
    Unto this all important train.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Jesus is the first engineer,
    He does the gospel engine steer;
    We've guards who ride, while others stand
    Close by the way with flag in hand.


    "My son, says God, give me thy heart;
    Make haste, or else the train will start."

The other, entitled _Daniel the Prophet_, begins with:

    "Where are now the Hebrew children?
    Where are now the Hebrew children?
    Where are now the Hebrew children?
      Saved into the promised land;"

and after enumerating the prophet, the fiery furnace, the lion,
tribulation, Stephen, and the Great Apostle, in similar strain, ends:

    "Where is now the patriarch Wesley?
    Where is now the patriarch Wesley?
    Where is now the patriarch Wesley?
      Saved into the promised land."


    "When we meet we'll sing hallelujah,
    When we meet we'll shout hosannah,
    When we meet we'll sing for ever,
      Saved into the promised land."

Though good taste and conventionality may be offended at such hymns as
these, it seems to me that if those who sing them had words preached to
them which they could understand and hearken to gladly, they would be
found not unprepared to lay hold of real truth in the end.


     Whitby's Attractions--The Pier--The River-Mouth--The Museum--
     Saurians and Ammonites--An enthusiastic Botanist--Jet in the
     Cliffs, and in the Workshop--Jet Carvers and Polishers--Jet
     Ornaments--The Quakers' Meeting--A Mechanics' Institute--
     Memorable Names--A Mooky Miner--Trip to Grosmont--The Basaltic
     Dike--Quarries and Ironstone--Thrifty Cottagers--Abbeys and
     Hovels--A Stingy Landlord--Egton Bridge--Eskdale Woods--The
     Beggar's Bridge.

Whitby, and not Scarborough, would be my choice had I to sojourn for a
few weeks on the Yorkshire coast. What it lacks of the style and show
which characterize its aristocratic neighbour, is more than made up by
its situation on a river and the beauty of its neighbourhood; and I
regretted not having time to stay more than one day in a place that
offers so many attractions. Woods and waterfalls beautify and enliven
the landscape; shady dells and rocky glens lie within an easy walk, and
the trip by rail to Pickering abounds with "contentive variety." And for
contrast there is always the wild Black-a-moor a few miles inland; and
beyond that again the pleasant hills and vales of Cleveland.

And few towns can boast so agreeable a promenade as that from the
bridge, along the spacious quay, and out to the pier-head, a distance of
nearly half a mile. Thence can be seen all the life and movement on the
river, all the picturesque features of the heights on each side crowded
with houses, and to seaward the foaming crests of waves chasing one
another towards the land. You can see how, after rolling and plunging on
the rocky bar, they rush up the stream with a mighty swell even to the
bridge. In blowing weather their violence is such that vessels cannot
lie safely in the lower harbour, and must shift to the upper moorings
above the bridge. On the pier-head stands a lighthouse, built in the
form of a fluted Doric column, crowned by a gallery and lantern; and
here, leaning on the encircling parapet, you can admire the solid
masonry, or watch the furious breakers, while inhaling the medicinal
breath of the sea. The pier on the opposite side is more exposed,
serving the purpose of a breakwater; and at times clouds of spray leap
high from its outer wall, and glisten for an instant with rainbow hues
in the sunshine.

It surprises a stranger on first arrival to hear what seems to him the
south bank of the river spoken of as the east bank, and the north bank
as the west; and it is only by taking into account the trend of the
coast, and the direction of the river's course, that the cardinal points
are discovered to be really in their true position, and you cease to
look for sunrise in the west.

One of the buildings at the rear of the quay contains the Baths, and on
the upper floor the Museum, and a good Subscription Library. The Museum,
which belongs to the Literary and Philosophical Society, dates from
1823, a time when Whitby, with the sea on one side and wild tracts of
moorlands on the other, was in a manner shut out from the rest of the
world, and compelled to rely on its own resources. Not till 1759 was any
proper road made to connect it with neighbouring towns. Warm hospitality
was thereby nourished, and, as regards science, the result is highly
meritorious. To say nothing of the collections which represent
antiquity, ethnology, natural history, and mineralogy, the fossil
specimens are especially worth attention. Side by side with a section of
the strata of the coast from Bridlington to Redcar is a collection of
the fossils therein contained; among which those of the immediate
neighbourhood, such as may be called Whitby fossils, occupy the chief
place, all classed and labelled in a way that shows how much may be done
with small means when the curator is in earnest. There are saurians in
good preservation, one of which was presented to the Museum for 150_l._,
by the nobleman on whose estate it was found embedded in lias. The
number of ammonites of all sizes is surprising. These are the headless
snakes of St. Hilda's nuns, and the "strange frolicks of Nature," of
philosophers in later days, who held that she formed them "for diversion
after a toilsome application to serious business." Perhaps it is to some
superstitious notion connected with the snake-stones that the town owes
the three ammonites in its coat of arms. In all, the fossil specimens in
the Museum now amount to nearly nine thousand.

I had the advantage of explanations from Mr. Simpson, the curator,
during my visit, and afterwards of accompanying him and some of his
friends on a walk. One of the party, a botanist, was the first to
discover the _Epilobium alpinum_ (alpine willow herb) in England, while
walking one day on the hills near Whitby. No sooner did he set eyes on
it, than, as his companions said, they thought he had taken leave of his
senses, for he leaped, shouted, danced, sang, and threw his hat up in
the air, and made other enthusiastic demonstrations around the plant,
which, up to that time, was believed not to exist south of the Tweed. I
asked him if he would have exchanged his emotions for California.

"No," he answered, "that I wouldn't! At all events, not for the first
three minutes."

Besides its traffic in ship-building, alum, and stone, Whitby has a
trade in works of art which makes at least its name known to fashionable
society; and for this, as for its fossils, it depends on the
neighbouring cliffs. For many miles along the shore, and at places
inland, jet is found embedded with other formations. Drayton makes
mention of it:

    "The rocks by Moulgrave too, my glories forth to set,
    Out of their crany'd cleves can give you perfect jet."

And the shaping of this remarkable substance into articles for ornament
and use gives employment to five hundred men, women, and children in
Whitby. I was favoured with a sight of Mr. Greenbury's manufactory, and
saw the processes from beginning to end. There is nothing mysterious
about them. The pattern of the desired object, a scroll, leaf, flower,
or whatever else, is scratched with a steel point on a piece of jet sawn
to the required dimensions; the workman then with a knife cuts away the
waste portions, brings out the rude form, and by using various knives
and chisels, according to the delicacy of the design, he in no long time
has the article ready for the polisher. The work looks very easy, as you
watch the men cutting, apparently with less concern than some folk
bestow on the whittling of a stick, and making the chips fly in little
heaps. The nature of the jet favours rapidity of hand. It has somewhat
the appearance of compressed pitch, and when under the knife sends off a
shower of chips and splinters as hard pitch does. Some specimens have
been found with fossils so embedded therein, as to confirm the opinion
of those who hold jet to be a species of petroleum, contrary to the
common belief that it is wood partly converted into coal.

After the knives, the grindstones come into play, to work up and smooth
all the accessible surfaces; and next swift-whirling wheels encircled
with list, which give the polish. The deep incisions and hollows which
cannot be touched by the wheel are polished on narrow slips of list.
This is the work of boys: the slips of list are made fast by one end to
the bench, and taking hold of the other, and shifting or tightening as
the work may require, the boys rub the deep parts of the ornaments
backwards and forwards till the polish is complete. The finishing touch,
which imparts the brilliance, is given by a sprinkling of rouge, and a
light hand with the rubber.

Armlets and bracelets composed of several pieces are cemented together,
forming a complete hoop, while in course of manufacture, to ensure
accuracy of workmanship, and are separated at last for the drilling of
the holes for the elastic cord whereby they are held together in the
finished state. The drilling of these holes through each separate piece
is a nice operation, for any departure from the true line would appear
as an imperfection in the ornament.

What with the drilling lathes, the rapid grindstones and
polishing-wheels, and the busy artificers, from those who cut up the
jet, to the roughers-out, the carvers, the polishers in their order, to
the boys with their list rubbers, and the finishers, the factory
presented a busy scene. The boys earn from three-and-sixpence to five
shillings a week; the men from three to four times as much. I made an
inquiry as to their economical habits, and heard in reply that the
landlord of the _Jetmen's Arms_ could give the surest information.

No means have yet been discovered of working up the chips and splinters
produced in cutting the jet, so as to form solid available blocks, as
can be done with black-lead for pencils; there is, therefore, a
considerable amount of waste. The value of jet varies with the quality;
from ten to eighteen shillings a pound. According to the report on
mineral products, by Mr. Robert Hunt, the value of the jet dug and
manufactured in England is twenty thousand pounds a year. Some of the
best shops in Whitby and Scarborough are those where jet is sold; and
not the least attractive of the displays in Regent-street, is that
labelled _Finest Whitby Jet_, and exhibited as vases, chains, rings,
seals, brooches, taper-stands, and obelisks. Here in Whitby you may buy
a small ammonite set in jet.

Jet is not a new object of luxury. It was used for ornamental purposes
by the ancient Britons, and by their conquerors, as proved by articles
found in their tombs. A trade in jet is known to have existed in Whitby
in 1598. Camden, translating from an old _Treatise of Jewels_, has

    "Jeat-stone almost a gemm, the Lybians find,
    But fruitful Britain sends a wondrous kind;
    'Tis black and shining, smooth, and ever light,
    'Twill draw up straws if rubb'd till hot and bright,
    Oyl makes it cold, but water gives it heat."

The amber mines of Prussia yield a species of jet which is burnt as a

Whitby presents signs of a social phenomenon which is observable in
other places: the decline of Quakerism. I was invited to look at the
Mechanics' Institute, and found it located in the Quakers' Meeting
House. The town was one of George Fox's strongholds, and a considerable
number of Quakers, including some of the leading families, remained up
to the last generation. Death and secession have since then brought
about the result above-mentioned. Is it that Quakerism has accomplished
its work? or that it has been stifled by the assiduous painstaking to
make itself very comfortable?

I went up once more to the Abbey, and to enjoy the view from the
churchyard steps. The trouble of the ascent is abundantly repaid by such
a prospect: one should never tire of it. On moonlight nights, and in a
certain state of the atmosphere, there is another attraction. It is a
sight of Saint Hilda. Incredulous as you may be, there are maidens in
Whitby who will tell you that the famous Abbess is still to be seen
hovering near the Abbey she loved so well. And when the moon is in the
right place, and a thin, pale mist floats slowly past, then, in one of
the windows, appears the image of the saintly lady. Scott and other
writers mention it; and Professor Rymer Jones tells me that he once saw
it, and with an illusion so complete, as might easily have deceived a
superstitious beholder.

While looking down on the river you will hardly fail to remember that
Cook sailed from it, to begin his apprenticeship to a seafaring life;
and profiting in later years by his early experience, he chose
Whitby-built ships for his memorable voyage of discovery. And from the
Esk sailed the two Scoresbys, father and son--two of the latest names on
the list of Yorkshire Worthies.

During the summer many an excursion train, or 'chape trip,' as the
natives say, brings thousands of the hardworking population of the West
Riding, to enjoy a brief holiday by the sea. There once arrived a party
of miners two of whom hastened down to the beach to bathe. As they
undressed one said to the other "Hey, Sam, hoo mooky thou is!" "Aw
miss'd t' chape trip last year," was the laconic and significant reply.

Towards evening I took a trip by railway to Grosmont (six miles), or the
Tunnel Station as it is commonly called, for a glance at the pretty
scenery of the lower part of Eskdale. The river bordered by rocks and
wooded hills enlivens the route. From the Tunnel I walked about half a
mile down the line to a stone quarry, where a section of that remarkable
basaltic dike is exposed, which, crossing the country in a
north-westerly direction for about seventy miles, impresses the observer
with a sense of wonder at the tremendous force by which such a mass was
upheaved through the overlying strata. Here it has the form of a great
wedge, the apex uppermost; and the sandstone, which it so rudely
shouldered aside, is scorched and partially vitrified along the line of
contact. The labourers, who break up the hard black basalt for
macadamising purposes, call it 'chaney metal.'

This is a pleasant spot to loiter in; but its sylvan character is marred
by the quarrying, and by the great excavations where busy miners dig the
ironstone which abounds in the district, after the rate, as is
estimated, of twenty-two thousand tons to the acre; no unimportant item
in the exports of Whitby, until blast furnaces shall be built to make
the iron on the spot.

"The path 'll tak' ye up to a laan," said the quarryman, with a Dutch
pronunciation of lane; "and t' laan 'll bring ye doon to Egton, if ye
don't tak' t' wrang turning." So up through the wood I went, and came
presently to the lane, where seeing a lonely little cottage, and a woman
nursing a few flowers that grew near the door, I tarried for a short
talk. 'Twas but a poor little place, she said, and vera lonesome; and
she thought a few flowers made it look cheerful-like. The rent for the
house and garden was but a pound a year; but 'twas as much as she could
afford, for she had had ten children, and was thankful to say, brought
'em all up without parish help. 'Twas hard work at times; but folk
didn't know what they could do till they tried. It animated me to hear
such honest words.

A little farther there stands a long low cottage with a garden in front,
an orchard at the side, and a row of beehives in a corner, presenting a
scene of rural abundance. I stopped to look at the crowding flowers, and
was drawn into another talk by the mistress, who came out on seeing a
stranger. I could not help expressing my surprise at the prosperous look
of the garden, and the shabby look of the house, which appeared the
worse from a narrow ditch running along the front. "'Tis a miserable
house," she answered, "damp and low; but what can we do? It's all very
well, sir, to talk about the beautiful abbeys as they used to build in
the old days, but they didn't build beautiful cottages. I always think
that they built the wall till they couldn't reach no higher standing on
the ground, and then they put the roof on. That's it, sir; anything was
good enough for country-folk in them days." Some modern writers contend
that the abbeys and cathedrals were but the highest expression of an
architecture beautiful and appropriate in all its degrees; but I doubt
the fact, and hold by the Yorkshirewoman's homely theory.

I suggested that the landlord might be asked to build a new house. "Ah,
sir, you wouldn't say that if you knew him. Why, he won't so much as
give us a board to mend the door; he'll only tell us where to go and buy
one." I might have felt surprised that any landlord should be willing to
allow English men and women to dwell in such a hovel; but she told me
his name, and then there was no room for surprise.

Ere long the view opens over the valley, and a charming valley it is;
hill after hill covered with wood to the summit. Then the lane descends
rapidly, and we come to the romantically situated hamlet of Egton
Bridge. This is a place which, above all others, attracts visitors and
picnic parties from Whitby, and the _Oak Tree_ is the very picture of a
rustic hostelry. Here you may fancy yourself in a deep wooded glen; and,
if limited for time, will have an embarrassing choice of walks.
Arncliffe woods offer cool green shades, and a fine prospect from the
ridge beyond, with the opportunity to visit an ancient British village.
But few can resist the charm of the Beggar's Bridge, a graceful
structure of a single arch, which spans the Esk in a sequestered spot
delightful to the eye and refreshing to the ear, with the gurgling of
water and rustling of leaves. There is a legend, too, for additional
charm: how that a young dalesman, on his way to say farewell to his
betrothed, was stopped here by the stream swollen with a sudden flood,
and, spite of his efforts to cross, was forced to retrace his steps and
sail beyond the sea to seek fortune in a distant land. He vowed, if his
hopes were gratified, to build a bridge on his return; and, to quote
Mrs. George Dawson's pretty version of the legend,

    "The rover came back from a far distant land,
    And he claimed of the maiden her long-promised hand;
    But he built, ere he won her, the bridge of his vow,
    And the lovers of Egton pass over it now."

A pleasant twilight walk among the trees, within hearing of the rippling
Esk, brought me back to the Tunnel in time for the last train to


     To Upgang--Enter Cleveland--East Row--The first Alum-Maker--
     Sandsend--Alum-Works--The huge Gap--Hewing the Alum Shale--
     Limestone Nodules: Mulgrave Cement--Swarms of Fossils--Burning
     the Shale--Volcanic Phenomena--From Fire to Water--The Cisterns
     --Soaking and Pumping--The evaporating Pans--The Crystallizing
     Process--The Roching Casks--Brilliant Crystals--A Chemical
     Triumph--Rough Epsoms.

It was yet early the next morning when I descended from the high road to
the shore at Upgang, about two miles from Whitby. Here we approach a
region of manufacturing industry. Wagons pass laden with Mulgrave
cement, with big, white lumps of alum, with sulphate of magnesia; the
kilns are not far off, and the alum-works at Sandsend are in sight,
backed by the wooded heights of Mulgrave Park, the seat of the Marquis
of Normanby. Another half-hour, and crossing a beck which descends from
those heights, we enter Cleveland, of which the North Riding is made to

    "----If she were not here confined thus in me,
    A shire even of herself might well be said to be."

Hereabouts, in the olden time, stood a temple dedicated to Thor, and the
place was called Thordisa--a name for which the present East Row is a
poor exchange. The alteration, so it is said, was made by the workmen on
the commencement of the alum manufacture in 1620. The works, now grimy
with smoke, are built between the hill-foot and the sea, a short
distance beyond the beck.

The story runs that the manufacture of alum was introduced into
Yorkshire early in the seventeenth century by Sir Thomas Chaloner, who
had travelled in Italy, and there seen the rock-beds from which the
Italians extracted alum. Riding one day in the neighbourhood of
Guisborough, he noticed that the foliage of the trees resembled in
colour that of the leaves in the alum districts abroad; and afterwards
he commenced an alum-work in the hills near that town, sanctioned by a
patent from Charles I. One account says that he smuggled over from the
Papal States, concealed in casks, workmen who were acquainted with the
manufacture, and was excommunicated by the Pope for this daring breach
of his own monopoly. The Sandsend works were established a few years
later. Subsequently certain courtiers prevailed on the king to break
faith with Sir Thomas, and to give one-half of the patent to a rival,
which so exasperated the knight that he became a Roundhead, and one of
the most relentless foes of the king. A great monopoly of the alum-works
was attempted towards the end of the last century by Sir George
Colebroke, who, being an East India director, got the name of Shah
Allum. His attempt failed.

My request for permission to view the works was freely granted, and I
here repeat my acknowledgments for the favour. The foreman, I was told,
took but little pains with visitors who came, and said, "Dear me! How
very curious!" and yawned, and wanted to go away at the end of ten
minutes; but for any one in earnest to see the operations from beginning
to end, he would spare no trouble. Just the very man for me I thought;
so leaving my knapsack at the office, I followed the boy who was sent to
show me the way to the mine. Up the hill, and across fields for about
half a mile, brought us to the edge of a huge gap, which at first sight
might have been taken for a stone quarry partially changed into the
crater of a volcano. At one side clouds of white sulphureous smoke were
rising; within lay great heaps resembling brick rubbish; and heaps of
shale, and piles of stony balls, and stacks of brushwood; and while one
set of men were busily hacking and hewing the great inner walls, others
were loading and hauling off the tramway wagons, others pumping, or
going to and fro with wheelbarrows.

There was no proper descent from the side to which we came, and to
scramble down three or four great steps, each of twenty feet, with
perpendicular fronts, was not easy. However, at last I was able to
present to the foreman the scrap of paper which I had brought from the
office, and to feel sure that such an honest countenance and bright eye
as his betokened a willing temper. Nor was I disappointed, for he at
once expressed himself ready to show and explain everything that I might
wish to see.

"Let us begin at the beginning," I said; and he led me to the cliff,
where the diggers were at work. The formation reminded me of what I had
seen in the quarries at Portland: first a layer of earth, then a hard,
worthless kind of stone, named the 'cap' by the miners; next a deposit
of marlstone and 'doggerhead,' making altogether a thickness of about
fifty feet; and below this comes the great bed of upper lias, one
hundred and fifty feet thick; and this lias is the alum shale. Where
freshly exposed, its appearance may be likened to slate soaked in
grease: it has a greasy or soapy feel between the fingers, but as it
oxidises rapidly on exposure to the air, the general colour of the cliff
is brown. Here the shale is not worked below seventy-five feet; for
every fathom below that becomes more and more bituminous, and more
liable to vitrify when burnt, and will not yield alum. At some works,
however, the excavation is continued down to ninety feet. Embedded in
the shale, most abundant in the upper twenty-five feet, the workmen find
nodules of limestone, the piles of balls I had noticed from above, about
the size of a cricket-ball; and of these the well-known Mulgrave cement
is made. The Marquis, to whom all the land hereabouts belongs, requires
that his lessees shall sell to him all the limestone nodules they find.
The supply is not small, judging from the great heap which I saw thrown
aside in readiness for carting away. Alum shale prevails in the cliffs
for twenty-seven miles along the coast of Yorkshire, in which are found
one hundred and fifty kinds of ammonites.

Besides balls of limestone, the shale abounds in fossils. It was in
this--the lias--that nearly all the specimens, including the gigantic
reptiles of the ancient world which we saw in the Museum at Whitby were
found. Every stroke of the pick brings them out; and as the shale is
soft and easily worked, they are separated without difficulty. You might
collect a cartload in half a day. For a few minutes I felt somewhat like
a schoolboy in an orchard, and filled my pockets eagerly with the best
that came in my way. But ammonites and mussels, when turned to stone,
are very heavy, and before the day was over I had to lighten my load:
some I placed where passers-by could see them; then I gave some away at
houses by the road, till not more than six remained for a corner of my
knapsack. And these were quite enough, considering that I had yet to
walk nearly three hundred miles.

After the digging comes the burning. A layer of brushwood is made ready
on the ground, and upon this the shale is heaped to the height of forty
or fifty feet until a respectable little mountain is formed, comprising
three thousand tons, or more. The rear of the mass rests against the
precipice, and from narrow ledges and projections in this the men tilt
their barrow-loads as the elevation increases. The fire, meanwhile,
creeps about below, and soon the heap begins to smoke, sending out white
sulphureous fumes in clouds that give it the appearance of a volcano.

Such a heap was smouldering and smoking at the mouth of the great
excavation, the sulphate of iron, giving off its acid to the clay,
converting it thereby into sulphate of alumina. All round the base, and
for a few feet upwards, the fire had done its work, and the mass was
cooling; but above the creeping glow was still active. The colour is
changed by the burning from brown to light reddish yellow, with a streak
of darker red running along all the edges of the fragments; and the
progress of combustion might be noted by the differences of colour: in
some places pale; then a mottled zone, blending upwards with the
sweating patches under the smoke. Commonly the heap burns for three
months; hence a good manager takes care so to time his fires that a
supply of _mine_--as the calcined shale is technically named--is always
in readiness. Fifty tons of this burnt shale are required to make one
ton of alum.

We turned to the heap which I have mentioned as resembling a mound of
brick rubbish at a distance. One-third of it had been wheeled away to
the cisterns, exposing the interior, and I could see how the fire had
touched every part, and left its traces in the change of colour and the
narrow red border round each calcined chip. The pieces lie loosely
together, so that on digging away below, the upper part falls of itself.
The man who was filling the barrows had hacked out a cavernous hollow;
it seemed that a slip might be momentarily expected, for the top
overhung threateningly, and yet he continued to hack and dig with
apparent unconcern, and replied to the foreman's caution, "Oh! it won't
come down afore to-morrow. It'll give warning."

Now for the watery ordeal. On the sloping ground between the cliffs and
the sea, shallow pits or cisterns are sunk, nearly fifty feet long and
twenty wide, and so placed, with a bottom sloping from a depth of one
foot at one end to two feet at the other, as to communicate easily with
one another by pipes and gutters. Whether alum-works shall pay or not,
is said to depend in no small degree on the proper arrangement of the
pits. Each pit will contain forty wagon-loads of the mine. As soon as it
is full, liquor is pumped into it from a deep cistern covered by a shed,
and this at the end of three days is drawn off by the tap at the lower
end, and when drained the pit is again pumped full and soaked for two
days. Yet once more is it pumped full, but with water--producing first,
second, and third run, and sometimes a fourth--but the last is the
weakest, and is kept to be pumped up as liquor on a fresh pit for first
run. It would be poor economy to evaporate so weak a solution. Each pit
employs five men.

All this is carried on in the open air, with the sea lashing the shore
but a few yards off, and all around the signs of what to a stranger
appears but a rough and ready system. And in truth there must be
something wasteful in it, for all the alum is never abstracted. After
the third or fourth washing, the mine is shovelled from the pits and
flung away on the beach, where the sea soon levels it to a uniform
slope. In one of the so-called exhausted pits I saw many pieces touched,
as it were, by hoar frost, which was nothing but minute crystals of alum
formed on the surface, strongly acid to the taste.

The rest of the process was to be seen down at the works, so thither we
went; not by the way I came, for the foreman, scrambling up the side of
the gap, conducted me along the ledge at the top of the burning heap. He
walked through the stifling fumes without annoyance, while on me they
produced a painful sense of choking, with an impulse to run. Before we
had passed, however, he pushed aside a few of the upper pieces, and
showed me the dull glow of the fire beneath. Then we had more ledges
along the face of the cliff, and now and then to creep and jump; and we
crossed an old digging, which looked ugly with its heaps of waste and
half-starved patches of grass. All the way extends a course of long
wooden gutters, in which the first-run liquor was flowing in a
continuous stream to undergo its final treatment--another trial by fire.

Then into a low, darksome shed, where from one end to the other you see
nothing but leaden evaporating pans and cisterns, some steaming, and all
containing liquor in different states of preparation. That from which
the most water has been evaporated--the concentrated solution--has a
large cistern to itself, where its tendency to crystallize is assisted
by an admixture of liquor containing ammonia in solution, and
immediately the alum falls to the bottom in countless crystals. The
liquor above them, now become 'mother liquor,' or more familiarly
'mothers,' is drawn off, the crystals are washed clean in water, are
again dissolved, and once more boiled, mixed with gallons of mothers
remaining from former boilings. When of the required density, the liquor
is run off from the pan to the 'roching casks'--great butts rather, big
as a sugar hogshead, and taller; and in these is left to cool and
crystallize after its manner, from eight to ten days, according to the
season. The butts are constructed so as to take to pieces easily, and at
the right time the hoops are knocked off, the staves removed, and there
on the floor stands a great white cask of alum, solid all over, top,
bottom, and sides, except in its centre a quantity of liquor which has
not crystallized. This having been drawn off by a hole driven through,
the mass is then broken to pieces, and is fit for the market; and for
the use of dyers, leather-dressers, druggists, tallow-chandlers; for
bakers even, and other crafty traders.

Looked at from the outside, there is no beauty in the cask of alum; but
as soon as the interior is exposed, then the numberless crystals
shooting from every part, glisten again as the light streams in upon
them; and you acknowledge that the cunning by which they have been
produced from the dull slaty shale is a happy triumph of chemical
art--one that will stand a comparison with a recent triumph, the
extraction of brilliantly white candles from the great brown peat-bogs
of Ireland, or from Rangoon tar. Perhaps some readers will remember the
beautiful specimen of alum crystals--an entire half-tun that stood in
the nave of the Great Exhibition.

Alum is made near Glasgow from the shale of abandoned coal mines, soaked
in water without burning. After the works had been carried on for some
years, and the heap of refuse had spread over the neighbourhood to an
inconvenient extent, it was found that on burning this waste shale, it
would yield a second profitable supply of alum. Moreover, artificial
alum is manufactured in considerable quantities from a mixture of clay
and sulphuric acid.

In going about the works it was impossible not to be struck by the
contrast between the sooty aspect of the roofs, beams, and gangways, and
the whiteness of the crystal fringes in the pans, and the snowy patches
here and there where the vapour had condensed. And in an outhouse
wagon-loads of 'rough Epsoms' lay in a great white heap on the black
floor. This rough Epsoms, or sulphate of magnesia, is the crystals
thrown down by the mother-liquor after a second boiling.

In our goings to and fro, we talked of other things as well as alum; of
that other mineral wealth, the ironstone, to which Cleveland owes so
important a development of industry within the past fifteen years. The
existence of ironstone in the district had long been known; but not till
the foreman--jointly with his father--discovered a deposit near
Skinningrave, and drew attention to it, was any attempt made to work it.
Geologically the deposit is known as clayband ironstone; hence clay will
still make known the fame of this corner of Yorkshire, as when the old
couplet was current--

    "Cleveland in the clay,
    Carry in two shoon, bring one away."

If I liked the foreman at first sight, much more did I like him upon
acquaintance. He won my esteem as much by his frank and manly bearing,
as by his patient attentions and intelligent explanations; and I shook
his hand at parting with a sincere hope of having another talk with him
some day.


     Mulgrave Park--Giant Wade--Ubba's Landing-place--The Boggle-
     boggarts--The Fairy's Chase--Superstitions--The Knight of the
     Evil Lake--Lythe--St. Oswald's Church--Goldsborough--Kettleness
     --Rugged Cliffs and Beach--Runswick Bay--Hob-Hole--Cure for
     Whooping-cough--Jet Diggers--Runswick--Hinderwell--
     Horticultural Ravine--Staithes--A curious Fishing-town--The
     Black Minstrels--A close-neaved Crowd--The Cod and Lobster--
     Houses washed away--Queer back Premises--The Termagants' Duel--
     Fisherman's Talk--Cobles and Yawls--Dutch and French Poachers--
     Tap-room Talk--Reminiscences of Captain Cook.

I shouldered my knapsack, and paced once more up the hill: a long and
toilsome hill it is; but you can beguile the way nevertheless. Behind
the hedge on the left stretches Mulgrave Park, hill and dale, and
running brooks, and woods wherein the walks and drives extend for twenty
miles. I had procured a ticket of admission at Whitby; but having spent
so much time over the alum, had none to spare for the park, with its
Gothic mansion, groves and gardens, and fragment of an old castle on an
eminence surrounded by woods; and the Hermitage, the favourite resort of
picnic parties. According to hoary legend, the original founder of the
castle was giant Wade, or Wada, a personage still talked of by the
country-folk, who give his name to the Roman Causeway which runs from
Dunsley to Malton, and point out certain large stones at two villages a
few miles apart as Wade's Graves. It was in Dunsley Bay, down there on
the right, that Ubba landed with his sea-rovers in 867, and the hill on
which he planted his standard is still called Ravenhill.

And here were the haunts of the boggle-boggarts--a Yorkshire fairy
tribe. At Kettleness, whither we shall come by and by, they used to wash
their linen in a certain spring, named Claymore Well, and the noise of
their 'bittle' was heard more than two miles off. Jeanie, one of these
fairies, made her abode in the Mulgrave woods, and one day a young
farmer, curious to see a bogle, mounted his horse, rode up to her bower,
and called her by name. She obeyed the call, but in a towering rage at
the intrusion, and the adventurer, in terror, turned and fled, with the
nimble sprite close at his heels. At length, just as he was leaping a
brook, she aimed a stroke with her wand and cut his horse in two; but
the fugitive kept his seat, and fell with the foremost half on the
farther bank, and the weird creature, stopped by the running water,
witnessed his escape with an evil eye.

We may remember, too, that Cleveland, remote from great thoroughfares,
was a nursery of superstitions long after the owlish notions died out
from other places. Had your grandmother been born here she would have
been able to tell you that to wear a ring cut from old, long-buried
coffin-lead, would cure the cramp; that the water from the leaden roof
of a church, sprinkled on the skin, was a specific for sundry
diseases--most efficacious if taken from over the chancel. Biscuits
baked on Good Friday would keep good all the year, and a person ill with
flux had only to swallow one grated in milk, or brandy-and-water, and
recovery was certain. Clothes hung out to dry on Good Friday would, when
taken down, be found spotted with blood. To fling the shirt or shift of
a sick person into a spring, was a sure way to foreknow the issue of the
malady: if it floated--life; if it sank--death. And when the patient was
convalescent, a small piece was torn from the garment and hung on the
bushes near the spring; and springs thus venerated were called

The lands of Mulgrave were given by King John to Peter de Malolacu as a
reward for crime--helping in the cruel murder of Prince Arthur. By this
Knight of the Evil-lake--evil heart, rather--the castle was rebuilt;
and, pleased with the beauty of the sight, he named it Moult Grace; but
because that he was hard-hearted and an oppressor, the people changed
the _c_ into _v_; whence, says tradition, the origin of the present

On the crown of the hill we come to Lythe, which--to borrow a term from
Lord Carlisle--is a "well-conditioned" village, adorned with honeysuckle
and little flower-gardens. The elevation, five hundred feet, affords an
agreeable view of Whitby Abbey, and part of the intervening coast and
country. The church is dedicated to St. Oswald, the royal Northumbrian
martyr; and inside you may see a monument to Constantine John, Baron
Mulgrave, who as Captain Phipps sailed to Spitzbergen in 1773, on one of
those arctic explorations to which, from first to last, England owes no
small share of her naval renown.

Here I struck into a lane for Goldsborough, the village which claims one
of Wade's graves; and along byeways down to the shore at Kettleness--a
grand cliff nearly four hundred feet high, so named from hollows or
'kettles' in the ground near it.

Here, descending the steep road to the beach, you pass more alum-works,
backed by the precipitous crags. Everywhere you see signs of fallen
rocks and landslips. In a slip which happened in 1830, the labourers'
cottages were carried down and buried; but with sufficient warning to
enable the inmates to escape. Once the cliff took fire and burned for
two years. From this point the way along the shore is wilder and
rougher--more bestrewn with slabs and boulders than any we have yet
seen. Up and down, in and out; now close under the cliff; now taking to
the weedy rocks to avoid an overhanging mass that seems about to fall.
Here and there jet-diggers and quarrymen are busy high above your head,
and make the passage more difficult by their heaps of rubbish. Among the
boulders you will notice some perfectly globular in form, as if finished
in a lathe. One that I stooped to examine was a singular specimen of
Nature's handiwork. It proved to be a hemisphere only, smooth and highly
polished, so exact a round on one side, so true a flat on the other,
that no artificer could have produced better. In appearance it resembled
quartz. I longed to bring it away; but it was about the bigness of half
an ordinary Dutch cheese, and weighed some five or six pounds. All I
could do was to leave it in a safe spot for some after-coming geologist.

Having passed the bluff, we see to the bottom of Runswick Bay, and the
village of Runswick clustered on the farther heights. A harbour of
refuge is much wanted on this shelterless coast, and some engineers show
this to be the best place for it; others contend for Redcar, at the
mouth of the Tees. Here, again, the cliff diminishes in elevation, and
the ground slopes upwards to higher land in the rear. About the middle
of the bay is Hob-Hole, a well-known cave, once more than a hundred feet
deep, but now shortened by two-thirds, and in imminent danger of
complete destruction by jet-diggers. Cattle used to come down from the
pastures and betake themselves to its cool recesses in hot summer days,
and if caught by the tide instinctively sought the inner end, which, as
the floor rose by a gentle acclivity, was above the reach of the water.
I could scarcely help fancying that the half-dozen cows standing up to
their knees in a salt-water pool were ruminating sadly over their lost

What would the grandmothers say if they could return and see the
spoiling of Hob's dwelling-place: Hob, whose aid they used to invoke for
the cure of whooping-cough? Standing at the entrance of the cave with
the sick child in their arms, they addressed him thus:

          "Hob-hole Hob!
    My bairn's gotten t'kin cough:
        Tak 't off--tak 't off!"

If Hob refused to be propitiated, they tried another way, and catching a
live hairy worm, hung it in a bag from the child's neck, and as the worm
died and wasted away so did the cough. If this failed, a roasted mouse,
or a piece of bread-and-butter administered by the hands of a virgin,
was infallible; and if the cough remained still obstinate, the child, as
a last resort, was passed nine times under the belly of a donkey. To
avoid risk of exposure, it was customary to lead the animal to the front
of the kitchen fire.

I found a party of jet-diggers at work in the low cliff near the cave,
and stayed to watch their proceedings. Eleven weeks had they been
labouring, and found nothing. It was astonishing to see what prodigious
gaps they had made in that time, and the heap of refuse, which appeared
twice as big as all the gaps put together. I thought the barrow-man gave
himself too little trouble to wheel the waste out of the way; but he,
who knew best, answered, "Bowkers! why should I sweat for nothin'? The
sea'll tak 't all away the fust gale."

Judging from what they told me, jet-digging is little, if any, less
precarious than gold-digging. Their actual experience was not uncommon;
and at other times they would get as much jet in a week as paid them
for six months' labour. Then, again, after removing tons of
superincumbent rock, the bed of jet would be of the hard stony-kind,
worth not more than half-a-crown a pound; or a party would toil
fruitlessly for weeks, losing heart and hope, and find themselves
outwitted at last by another crafty digger, who, scanning the cliff a
few yards off with a keen eye, would discover signs, and setting to
work, lay bare a stratum of jet in a few days. The best kind is
thoroughly bitumenized, of a perfect uniform black, and resembles
nothing so much as a tree stem flattened by intense pressure, while
subjected to great heat without charring.

If Bay Town be remarkable, much more so is Runswick, for the houses may
be said to hang on the abrupt hill-side, as martens' nests on a wall,
among patches of ragwort, brambles, gorse, elders, and bits of brown
rock, overtopped by the summit of the cliff. Boats are hauled up on the
grass, near the rivulet that frolics down the steep; balks of pine and
ends of old ship timbers lie about; clothes hung out to dry flutter in
the breeze; and the little whitewashed gables, crowned by thatch or red
tiles, gleam in the sunshine. There is no street, nothing but footpaths,
and you continually find yourself in one of the little gardens, or at
the door of a cottage, while seeking the way through to the heights
above. Two public-houses offer very modest entertainment, and _The Ship_
better beer than that at Kilnsea. About the end of the seventeenth
century the alum shale, on which the village is built, made a sudden
slip, and with it all the houses but one. Since then it has remained
stationary; but with a rock so liable to decomposition as alum shale, a
site that shall never be moved cannot be hoped for.

The view from the brow in the reverse direction, after you have climbed
the rough slope of thorns and brambles above the village, is striking.
Kettleness rears its head proudly over the waters; and looking inland
from one swelling eminence to another, till stopped by a long bare hill,
which in outline resembles the Hog's-back, your eye completes the circle
and rests at last on the picturesque features of the bay beneath. There
is no finer cliff scenery on the Yorkshire coast than from Kettleness to
Huntcliff Nab.

Then turning my face northwards, I explored the shortest way to
Staithes, now on the edge of the cliff, now cutting across the fields,
and leaving on the left the village of Hinderwell--once, as is said, St.
Hilda's well, from a spring in the churchyard which bore the pious
lady's name. About four miles of rough walking brought me to a bend in
the road above a deep ravine, which, patched or fringed with wood
towards its upper end, submits its steep flanks to cultivation on
approaching the sea. Garden plots, fenced and hedged, there chequer the
ground; and even from the hither side you can see how well kept they
are, and how productive. Facing the south, and sheltered from the bitter
north-easters, they yield crops of fruit and vegetables that would
excite admiration anywhere, and win praise for their cultivators. In
some of the plots you see men at work with upturned shirt-sleeves, and
you can fancy they do their work lovingly in the golden evening light.
The ravine makes sharp curves, each wider than the last, and the brook
spreads out, with a few feet of level margin in places at which boats
are made fast, and you wonder how they got there. Then the slope, with
its gardens, elders, and flowers, merges into a craggy cliff, near which
an old limekiln comes in with remarkably picturesque effect.

A few yards farther and the road, descending rapidly, brings you in
sight of the sea, seemingly shut in between two high bluffs, and at your
feet, unseen till close upon it, lies the little fishing-town of
Staithes. And a strange town it is! The main street, narrow and
painfully ill-paved, bending down to the shore of a small bay; houses
showing their backs to the water on one side, on the other hanging
thickly on a declivity so steep that many of the roofs touch the ground
in the rear: frowsy old houses for the most part, with pantile roofs, or
mouldy thatch, from which here and there peep queer little windows. Some
of the thatched houses appear as if sunk into the ground, so low are
they, and squalid withal. Contrasted with these, the few modern houses
appear better than they are; and the draper, with his showy shop,
exhibits a model which others, whose gables are beginning to stand at
ease, perhaps will be ambitious to follow. Men wearing thick blue
Guernsey frocks and sou'-westers come slouching along, burdened with
nets or lobster-pots, or other fishing gear; women and girls,
short-skirted and some barefooted, go to and from the beck with 'skeels'
of water on their head, one or two carrying a large washing-tub full,
yet talking as they go as if the weight were nothing; and now and then a
few sturdy fellows stride past, yellow from head to foot with a thick
ochre-like dust. They come from the ironstone diggings beyond Penny
Nab--the southern bluff. Imagine, besides, that the whole place smells
of fish, and you will have a first impression of Staithes.

The inns, I thought, looked unpromising; but the _Royal George_ is
better than it looks, and if guests are not comfortable the blame can
hardly lie with Mrs. Walton, the hostess--a portly, good-humoured dame,
who has seen the world, that is, as far as London, and laughs in a way
that compels all within hearing to laugh for company. Though the
tap-room and parlour be sunk some three feet below the roadway, making
you notice, whether or not, the stout ankles of the water-bearers, you
will find it very possible to take your ease in your inn.

I was just sauntering out after tea when a couple of negro minstrels,
with banjo and tambourine, came down the street, and struck up one of
their liveliest songs. Instantly, and as if by magic, the narrow
thoroughfare was thronged by a screeching swarm of children, who came
running down all the steep alleys, and from nooks and doorways in the
queerest places, followed by their fathers and mothers. I stepped up the
slope and took a survey of the crowd as they stood grinning with delight
at the black melodists. Good-looking faces are rare among the women; but
their stature is remarkably erect--the effect probably of carrying
burdens on the head. How they chattered!

"Eh! that caps me!" cried one.

"That's brave music!" said another.

And a third, when Tambourine began his contortions, shrieked, "Eh!
looky! looky! he's nobbut a porriwiggle;" which translated out of
Yorkshire into English, means, "nought but a tadpole." And to see how
the weather-beaten old fishermen chuckled and roared with laughter,
showing such big white teeth all the while, was not the least amusing
part of the exhibition. Such lusty enjoyment I thought betokened an open
hand; but when the hat went round the greater number proved themselves
as 'close-neaved,' to use one of their own words, as misers.

Near the end of the street, and under the shadow of Penny Nab, there is
an opening whence you may survey the little bay, or rather cove, which
forms the port of Staithes, well protected by the bluff above-named,
and Colburn Nab on the north. Here the _Cod and Lobster_ public-house,
with a small quay in front, faces the sea, as if indifferent to
consequences, notwithstanding that the inmates are compelled from time
to time to decamp suddenly from threatened drowning. Even as I stood
there I was fain to button my overcoat against the spray which swept
across and sprinkled the windows, for there was a heavy 'lipper' on, and
huge breakers came tumbling in with thunderous roar. You see piles
driven here and there, and heaps of big stones laid for protection; and
not without need, you will think, while looking at the backs of the
houses huddling close around the margin of the tide. In the month of
February, twenty-seven years ago, thirteen houses were swept away at
once, and among them the one in which Cook was first apprenticed.
Judging from what Staithes is now, it must have been a remarkably
primitive and hard-featured place in his day.

Then, crossing over, I threaded the narrow alleys and paths to look at
the backs of the houses from the hill-side. You never saw such queer ins
and outs, and holes and corners as there are here. Pigstyes, little back
yards, sheds, here and there patches of the hill rough with coarse grass
and weeds, and everywhere boat-hooks and oars leaning against the walls,
and heaps of floats, tarred bladders, lobster-pots and baskets, and nets
stretched to dry on the open ground above. If you wished to get from one
alley to another without descending the hill, it would not be difficult
to take a short cut across the pantiles. Indeed, that seems in some
places the only way to extrication from the labyrinth.

I was on my way to look at the cove from the side of Colburn Nab, when a
woman, rushing from a house, renewed a screeching quarrel with her
opposite neighbour, which had been interrupted by the negro interlude.
The other rushed out to meet her, and there followed a clamour of
tongues such as I never before heard--each termagant resolute to
outscold the other. They stamped, shook their fists and beat the air
furiously, made mouths at one another, yelled bitter taunts, and at last
came to blows. The struggle was but short, and then the weaker, not
having been able to conquer by strength of arm, screamed hoarsely,
"Never mind, Bet--never mind, you faggot! I can show a cleaner shimmy
than you can." And, turning up her skirt, she showed half a yard of
linen, the cleanness of which ought to have made her ashamed of her
tongue. A loud laugh followed this sally, and the men, having maintained
their principle that "it's always best to let t' women foight it out,"
straggled away to their lounging-places.

The beck falls from the ravine into the cove at the foot of the Nab,
having a level wedge of land between it and the cliff. This was more
than half covered by fishing-boats and the carts of dealers, who buy the
fish here and sell it in the interior, or convey it to the Tunnel
Station for despatch by railway. Two smoke houses for the drying of
herrings are built against the cliff, and in one of these a man was
preparing for the annual task, and shovelling his coarse-grained salt
into tubs. "The coarser the better," he said, "because it keeps the fish
from layin' too close together." A fisherman, who seemed well pleased to
have some one to talk to, assured me that I was a month too soon: the
middle of August was the time to see the place as busy as sand-martens.
And with an overpowering smell of fish, he might have added. Six score
boats of one kind or another sailed from the cove, and they took a good
few of fish. Some boats could carry twenty last, and at times a last of
herrings would fetch ten or eleven pounds. In October, '56, the boats
were running down to Scarbro', when they came all at once into a shoal,
and was seven hours a sailin' through 'em. One boat got twelve lasts in
no time, came in on Sunday, cleared 'em out, sailed again, and got back
with twelve more lasts on Wednesday. That was good addlings (_i. e._
earnings). He knowed the crew of one boat who got sixty pound a man that

Some liked cobles, and some liked yawls. A coble wanted six men and two
boys to work her: a yawl would carry fifty tons, and some were always
out a fishin'. Now and then they went out to the Silver Pit, an
oyster-bed about twenty-five miles from the coast. He thought the French
and Dutch were poachers in the herring season, especially the French.
They'd run their nets right across the English nets, and pretend they
didn't know or didn't understand; and though the screw steamer from
Dunkirk kept cruising about to warn 'em not to come over the line, the
English fishermen thought 'twas only to spy out where the most fish was,
and then let the foreign boats know by signal. Yorkshire can't a-bear
such botherments, and retaliates between whiles by sinking the buoy

This is an old grievance. In former times, no Dutchmen were permitted to
fish without a license from Scarborough Castle, yet they evaded the
regulation continually; "for," to quote the old chronicler, "the English
always granted leave for fishing, reserving the honour to themselves,
but out of a lazy temper resigning the gain to others."

He remembered the gale that swallowed the thirteen houses. 'Twas a
northerly gale, and that was the only quarter that Staithes had to
trouble about. Whenever the wind blew hard from the north, the _Cod and
Lobster_ had to get ready to run. But the easterly gales, which made
everything outside run for shelter, never touched the place, and you
might row round the port in a skiff when collier ships were carrying
away their topmasts in the offing, or drifting helplessly ashore. He saw
the thirteen houses washed away, and at the same time a coble carried
right over the bridge and left high and dry on the other side.

The mouth of the beck would make a good harbour for cobles were it not
for the bar, a great heap of gravel 'fore-anenst' us, which, by the
combined action of the stream and tide, was kept circling from side to
side, and stopping the entrance. It would be all right if somebody would
build a jetty.

Of the two hundred and fifty species of fish known to inhabit the rivers
and shores of Britain, one hundred and forty have been found in and
around Yorkshire.

Returned to my quarters, I preferred a seat in the tap-room to the
solitude of the parlour. The hour to "steck up" shops had struck, and a
few of the "bettermy" traders had come in for their evening pipe and
glass of ale. The landlord, who is a jet-digger, confirmed all that the
three men had told me at Runswick: jet-digging was quite a lottery, and
not unattended with danger. In some instances a man would let himself
half way down the cliff by a rope to begin his work. And the doctor--a
talkative gentleman--corroborated the old fisherman's statements. In an
easterly gale the little port was "as smooth as grease," and, if it were
only larger, would be the best harbour on the eastern coast. He, too,
remembered the washing away of the thirteen houses, and the
consternation thereby created. Would the sea be satisfied with that one
mouthful? was a terrible question in the minds of all.

I had heard that among the few things saved from the house in which Cook
was apprenticed, was the till from which he stole the shilling; but
although I met with persons who thought the relic was still preserved
somewhere in the town, not one could say that he had ever seen it. As
regards the story of the theft, the popular version is that Cook, after
taking the coin, ran away from Staithes. But, according to another
version, there was no stealing in the case. Tempted by the sight of a
bright new South-Sea Company's shilling in the till, he took it out, and
substituted for it one from his own pocket; and his master, who combined
the trades of haberdasher and grocer, was satisfied with the boy's
explanation when the piece was missed. Cook, however, fascinated by the
sight of the sea and of ships, took a dislike to the counter, and,
before he was fourteen, obtained his discharge, and was learning the
rudiments of navigation on board the _Freelove_, a collier ship, owned
by two worthy Quakers of Whitby.


     Last Day by the Sea--Boulby--Magnificent Cliffs--Lofthouse and
     Zachary Moore--The Snake-killer--The Wyvern--Eh! Packman--
     Skinningrave--Smugglers and Privateers--The Bruce's Privileges
     --What the old Chronicler says--Story about a Sea-Man--The
     Groaning Creek--Huntcliff Nab--Rosebury Topping--Saltburn--
     Cormorant Shooters--Cunning Seals--Miles of Sands--Marske--A
     memorable Grave--Redcar--The Estuary of Tees--Asylum Harbour--
     Recreations for Visitors--William Hutton's Description--
     Farewell to the Sea.

It is the morning of our last day by the sea; and a glorious morning it
is, with a bright sun, a blue sky, and a cool, brisk breeze, that
freshens still as the hours glide on to noon. It is one of those days
when merely to breathe, to feel that you are alive, is enjoyment enough;
when movement and change of scene exert a charm that grows into
exhilaration, and weariness, the envious thief, lags behind, and tries
in vain to overtake the willing foot and cheerful heart. In such
circumstances it seems to me that from all around the horizon the
glowing sunlight streams into one's very being laden with the
delight-fullest influences of all the landscapes.

Though the hill be steep and high by which we leave Staithes, there are
gaily painted boats lying on the grass at the top. You might almost
believe them to be placed there as indications that the town, now hidden
from sight, really exists below. Northwards, the cliffs have a promising
look, for they rise to a higher elevation (six hundred and sixty feet)
than any we have yet trodden on this side of Flamborough. Again we pass
wagon-loads of alum and sulphate, and come to the Boulby alum-works,
beyond which a wild heathery tract stretches sharply upwards from the
edge of the cliff, and shuts out the inland prospect. Up here the breeze
is half a gale, and the sea view is magnificent. More than a hundred
vessels of different sizes are in sight, the greater number bowling
along to the southward, with every stitch of canvas spread, and so near
the shore that you can see plainly the man at the wheel, and the
movements of the crew on deck.

By the roadside runs a stream of alum liquor along the wooden trough,
and on rounding the bluff, we discover more alum-works on a broad
undercliff, with troughs, diggings, and refuse heaps, extending farther
than you can see. You may continue along the broken ground below, or
mount to the summit by a rude stair chopped in the face of the cliff.
The higher the better, I thought, and scrambled up. It is a strange
scene that you look down upon: a few lonely cottages, patches of garden,
and a chaos of heaps, some grass-grown, with numerous paths winding
among them. And now the view opens towards the west, great slopes of
fields heaving up as waves one beyond the other, till they blend with
the pale blue hill-range in the distance; and glimpses of Hartlepool and
Tynemouth can be seen in the north.

The Earl of Zetland is the great proprietor hereabouts: the alum-works
are his, and to him belongs the estate at Lofthouse--a village about two
miles inland--once owned by the famous Zachary Moore, whose lavish
hospitality, and eminent qualities of mind and heart, made him the theme
for tongue and pen when Pitt was minister:

    "What sober heads hast thou made ache!
      How many hast thou kept from nodding!
    How many wise ones for thy sake
      Have flown to thee and left off plodding!"

and who, having spent a great fortune, discovered the reverse side of
his friends' characters, accepted an ensign's commission, and died at
Gibraltar in the prime of his manhood.

And it was near Lofthouse that Sir John Conyers won his name of
Snake-killer. A sword and coffin, dug up on the site of an old
Benedictine priory, were supposed to have once belonged to the brave
knight who "slew that monstrous and poysonous vermine or wyverne, an
aske or werme which overthrew and devoured many people in fight; for
that the scent of that poison was so strong that no person might abyde
it." A gray stone, standing in a field, still marks the haunt of the
worm and place of battle.

Tradition tells, moreover, of a valiant youth, who killed a serpent and
rescued an earl's daughter from the reptile's cave, and married her; in
token whereof Scaw Wood still bears his name.

As I went on, past Street Houses, diverging hither and thither, a woman
cried, from a small farm-house, "Eh! packman, d'ye carry beuks?" She
wanted a new spelder-beuk[A] for one of her children. We had a brief
talk together. She had never been out of Yorkshire, except once across
the Tees to Stockton, twenty-two miles distant. That was her longest
journey, and the largest town she had ever seen. 'Twas a gay sight; but
she thought the ladies in the streets wore too many danglements. She
couldn't a-bear such things as them, for she was one of the
audfarrand[B] sort, and liked lasty[C] clothes.

[A] Spelling Book.

[B] Old-fashioned.

[C] Lasting.

While talking, she continued her preparations for dinner, and set one of
her children to polish the "reckon-crooks." The "reckon" is the crane in
the kitchen fireplace, to which pots and kettles are suspended by the
"crooks." In old times, when a pot was lifted off, the maid was careful
to stop the swinging of the crook, because, whenever the reckon-crooks
swung the blessed Virgin used to weep.

Skinningrave--a few houses at the mouth of a narrow valley, a brook
running briskly to the sea, a coast-guard station on the green shoulder
of the southern cliff--makes up a pleasing scene as you descend to the
beach. The village gossips can still talk on occasion about the golden
age of smugglers, and a certain parish-clerk of the neighbourhood, who
used to make the church steeple a hiding-place for his contraband goods.
Smuggling hardly pays now on this coast. They can repeat, too, what they
heard in their childhood concerning Paul Jones; how that, as at Whitby,
the folk kept their money and valuables packed up, ready to start for
the interior, watching day and night in great alarm, until at length the
privateers did land, and fell to plundering from house to house. But
when the fugitives returned they found nothing disturbed except the
pantries and larders.

This was one of the places where the Bruce, proudest of the lords of
Cleveland, had "free fisheries, plantage, floatage, lagan, jetsom,
derelict, and other maritime franchises." And an industrious explorer,
who drew up a report on the district for Sir Thomas Chaloner, in that
quaint old style which smacks of true British liberty, gives us a
glimpse of Skinningrave morals in his day. The people, he says, with all
their fish, were not rich; "for the moste parte, what they have they
drinke; and howsoever they reckon with God, yt is a familiar maner to
them to make even with the worlde at night, that pennilesse and
carelesse they maye go lightly to their labour on the morrow morninge."
And, relating a strange story, he tells us that about the year 1535,
certain fishers of the place captured a sea-man, and kept him "many
weekes in an olde house, giving him rawe fish to eate, for all other
fare he refused. Instead of voyce he skreaked, and showed himself
courteous to such as flocked farre and neare to visit him; faire maydes
were wellcomest guests to his harbour, whome he woulde beholde with a
very earnest countenaynce, as if his phlegmaticke breaste had been
touched with a sparke of love. One day when the good demeanour of this
newe gueste had made his hosts secure of his abode with them, he privily
stole out of doores, and ere he could be overtaken recovered the sea,
whereinto he plunged himself; yet as one that woulde not unmannerly
depart without taking of his leave, from the mydle upwardes he raysed
his shoulders often above the waves, and makinge signes of
acknowledgeing his good entertainment to such as beheld him on the
shore, as they interpreted yt. After a pretty while he dived downe, and
appeared no more."

Give me leave, reader, to quote one more passage, in which our narrator
notices the phenomenon now known as the calling of the sea. "The little
stream here," he says, "serveth as a trunke or conduite to convey the
rumor of the sea into the neighbouring fieldes; for when all wyndes are
whiste, and the sea restes unmoved as a standing poole, sometimes there
is such a horrible groaninge heard from that creake at the least six
myles in the mayne lande, that the fishermen dare not put forth, thoughe
thyrste of gaine drive them on, houlding an opinion that the sea, as a
greedy beaste raginge for hunger, desyers to be satisfyed with men's

I crossed the beach where noisy rustics were loading carts from the
thick beds of tangle, to the opposite cliff, and found a path to the top
in a romantic hollow behind the point. Again the height increases, and
presently you get a peep at Handale, traceable by its woods; and
Freeburgh Hill, which was long taken for a tumulus, appears beyond.
After much learned assertion in favour of its artificial formation, the
question was settled by opening a sandstone quarry on its side. Still
higher, and we are on Huntcliff Nab, a precipice of three hundred and
sixty feet, backed by broad fields and pastures. Farther, we come to
broken ground, and then to a sudden descent by a zigzag path at the
Saltburn coast-guard station; and here the noble range of cliffs sinks
down to one of the pleasantest valleys of Cleveland--an outlet for
little rivers. Pausing here on the brow we see the end of our coast
travel, Redcar, and the mouth of the Tees five miles distant, and all
between the finest sandy beach washed by the North Sea: level and smooth
as a floor. The cliff behind is a mere bank, as along the shore of
Holderness, and there is a greater breadth of plain country under our
eye than we have seen for some days past.

Among the hills, picturesquely upheaved in the rear of the plain, I
recognized the pointed summit of Rosebury Topping; and with almost as
much pleasure as if it had been the face of a friend, so many
recollections did the sight of the cone awaken of youthful days, and of
circumstances that seemed to have left no impression. And therewith came
back for a while the gladsome bounding emotions that consort with
youth's inexperience.

Some time elapsed before I could make up my mind to quit the turfy seat
on the edge of the cliff, and betake myself to the nether ground. The
path zigzags steeply, and would be dangerous in places were it not
protected by a handrope and posts. At the public-house below the
requisites of a simple dinner can be had, and excellent beer. While I
ate, two men were busy casting bullets, and turning them out to cool in
the middle of the floor. They were going to shoot cormorants along
Huntcliff Nab, where the birds lodge in the clefts and afford good
practice for a rifle.

Concerning the Nab, our ancient friend describes it as "full of craggs
and steepe rocks, wherein meawes, pidgeons, and sea-fowle breade
plentifully; and here the sea castinge up peble-stones maketh the coaste
troublesome to passe." And seals resorted to the rocks about its base,
cunning animals, which set a sentry to watch for the approach of men,
and dived immediately that the alarm was given. But "the poore women
that gather cockles and mussels on the sandes, by often use are in
better credyte with them. Therefore, whosoe intends to kill any of them
must craftely put on the habyte of a woman, to gayne grounde within the
reache of his peece."

The sands at the mouth of the valley are furrowed and channeled by the
streams that here find their outlet; and you will get many a splash in
striding across. The view of the valley backed by hills and woods is a
temptation, for yonder lie fair prospects, and the obscure ruins of
Kilton Castle; but the sea is on the other side, and the sands stretch
away invitingly before us. Their breadth, seen near low water, as when I
saw them, may be guessed at more than half a mile, and from Saltburn to
Redcar, and for four or five miles up the estuary of the Tees they
continue, a gentle slope dry and firm, noisy to a horse's foot, yet
something elastic under the tread of a pedestrian. At one time the
Redcar races were always held on the broad sands, and every day the
visitors to the little town resort to the smooth expanse for their
exercise, whether on foot or on wheels. For my part, I ceased to regret
leaving the crest of the cliffs, and found a novel sense of enjoyment in
walking along the wide-spread shore, where the surface is smooth and
unbroken except here and there a solitary pebble, or a shallow pool, or
a patch left rough by the ripples. And all the while a thin film, paler
than the rest, as if the surface were in motion, is drifting rapidly
with the wind, and producing before your eyes, on the margin of the low
cliff, some of the phenomena of blown sands.

Smugglers liked this bit of the coast, because of the easy access to the
interior; and many a hard fight has here been had between them and the
officers of the law in former times, and not without loss of life. The
lowlands, too, were liable to inundation. Marske, of which the church
has been our landmark nearly all the way from Saltburn, was once a
marsh. If we mount the bank here we shall see the marine hotel, and the
village, and the mansion of Mr. Pease, who is the railway king of these
parts. And there is Marske Hall, dating from the time of Charles the
First, which, associated with the names of Fauconberg and Dundas, has
become historical. In the churchyard you may see the graves of
shipwrecked seamen, and others indicated by a series of family names
that will detain you awhile. Here in April, 1779--that fatal year--was
buried James Cook, the day-labourer, and father of the illustrious
navigator. And truly there seems something appropriate in laying him to
rest within hearing of that element on which his son achieved lasting
renown for himself and his country. Providence was kind to the old man,
and took him away six weeks after that terrible massacre at Owhyhee,
thereby saving his last days from hopeless sorrow.

Numerous are the parties walking, riding, and driving on the sands
within a mile of Redcar; but so far as a wayfarer may judge, liveliness
is not one of their characteristics. Now, the confused line of houses
resolves itself into definite form; and, turning the point, you find the
inner margin of the sand loose and heavy, a short stair to facilitate
access to the terrace above, all wearing a rough makeshift appearance:
the effect, probably, of the drift. There is no harbour; the boats lie
far off in the shallow water, where embarkation is by no means
convenient. Once arrived at the place, it appeared to me singularly

Wide as the estuary looks, its entrance is narrowed by a tongue of sand,
Seaton-Snook, similar to the Spurn, but seven miles long, and under
water, which stretches out from the Durham side; and on the hither side,
off the point where we are standing, you can see the long ridges of lias
which are there thrust out, as if to suggest the use that might be made
of them. Twenty years ago Mr. Richmond drew up a report on what he names
an "Asylum Harbour" at Redcar, showing that at that time forty thousand
vessels passed in a year, and that of the wrecks, from 1821 to 1833,
four hundred and sixty-two would not have happened had the harbour then
existed. "To examine and trace," he remarks, "during a low spring-ebb,
the massive foundations, which seem laid by the cunning hand of Nature
to invite that of man to finish what has been so excellently begun, is a
most interesting labour. In their present position they form the basis
on which it is projected to raise those mounds of stone by whose means,
as breakwaters, a safe and extensive harbour will be created, with
sufficient space and depth of water for a fleet of line-of-battle ships
to be moored with perfect security within their limits, and still leave
ample room for merchant vessels." There is no lack of stone in the
neighbourhood; and seeing what has been accomplished at Portland and
Holyhead, there should be no lack of money for such a purpose.

Cockles and shrimps abound along the shore: hence visitors may find a
little gentle excitement in watching the capture of these multitudinous
creatures, or grow enthusiastic over the return of the salmon-fishers
with their glistening prey. And in fine weather there are frequent
opportunities for steam-boat trips along the coast. But the charm of the
place consists in the broad, flat shore, and, looking back along the way
you came, you will find an apt expression in the lines:

    "Next fishy Redcar view Marske's sunny lands,
    And sands, beyond Pactolus' golden sands;
    Till shelvy Saltburn, clothed with seaweed green,
    And giant Huntcliff close the pleasing scene."

William Hutton, at the age of eighty-five, journeyed hither for a summer
holiday, and wrote a narrative of his adventures, from which we may get
an idea of the place as he saw it. "The two streets of Coatham and
Redcar," he says, "are covered with mountains of drift sand, blown by
the north-west winds from the shore, which almost forbid the foot; no
carriage above a wheelbarrow ought to venture. It is a labour to walk.
If a man wants a perspiring dose, he may procure one by travelling
through these two streets, and save his half-crown from the doctor. He
may sport white stockings every day in the year, for they are without
dirt; nor will the pavement offend his corns. The sand-beds are in some
places as high as the eaves of the houses. Some of the inhabitants are
obliged every morning to clear their doorway, which becomes a pit,
unpleasant to the housekeeper and dangerous to the traveller."

I saw no sand-beds up to the eaves, but there were indications enough
that the sand-drift must be a great annoyance. The town is comprised
chiefly in one long, wide street, which looks raw and bleak, even in the
summer. There are a few good shops at the end farthest from the sea; and
if you ask the bookseller to show you the weekly list of visitors, it
will perhaps surprise you to see the number so great. The church was
built in 1829; before that date church-goers had to walk three miles to

And now my travel from Humber to Tees is accomplished, and I must say
farewell to the wide rolling main with its infinite horizon--to the
ships coming up from the unseen distance, and sailing away to the unseen
beyond--to the great headlands, haunted by swift-winged birds, which,
when winds are still, behold a double firmament, stars overhead and
stars beneath; and so, not without reluctance, I turn my back on what
the rare old Greek calls

    "The countless laughter of the salt-sea waves."


     Leave Redcar--A Cricket-Match--Coatham--Kirkleatham--The Old
     Hospital--The Library--Sir William Turner's Tomb--Cook, Omai,
     and Banks--The Hero of Dettingen--Yearby Bank--Upleatham--
     Guisborough--Past and Present--Tomb of Robert Bruce--Priory
     Ruins--Hemingford, Pursglove, and Sir Thomas Chaloner--Pretty
     Scenery--The Spa--More Money, Less Morals--What George Fox's
     Proselytes did--John Wesley's Preaching--Hutton Lowcross--
     Rustics of Taste--Rosebury Topping--Lazy Enjoyment--The
     Prospect: from Black-a-moor to Northumberland--Cook's Monument
     --Canny Yatton--The Quakers' School--A Legend--Skelton--Sterne
     and Eugenius--Visitors from Middlesbro'--A Fatal Town--Newton--
     Digger's Talk--Marton, Cook's Birthplace--Stockton--Darlington.

However, we will be of good cheer, for Nature forsakes not the trustful
heart. Hill and dale, breezy moorland, craggy mountains, and lovely
valleys stretch away before us well-nigh to the western tides; and there
we shall find perennial woods, where rustling leaves, and rushing
waterfalls will compensate us for the loss of the voice of the sea.

I started for Guisborough, taking a short cut across the fields to
Kirkleatham. In the first field, on the edge of the town, I saw what
accounted to me for the lifelessness of Redcar--a cricket-match. As well
might one hope to be merry at a funeral as at a game of cricket,
improved into its present condition; when the ball is no longer bowled,
but pelted, and the pelter's movements resemble those of a jack-pudding;
when gauntlets must be worn on the hands and greaves on the shins; and
other inventions are brought into use to deprive pastime of anything
like enjoyment. That twenty-two men should ever consent to come together
for such a mockery of pleasure, is to me a mystery. Wouldn't Dr.
Livingstone's Makalolo laugh at them! The only saving point attending it
is, that it involves some amount of exercise in the open air. No wonder
that the French duchess, who was invited to see a game, sent one of her
suite, after sitting two hours, to enquire, "vhen the creekay vas going
to begin." The Guisborough band was doing its best to enliven the
field; but I saw no exhilaration. Read Miss Mitford's description of a
cricket-match on the village green; watch a schoolboys' game, consider
the mirth and merriment that they get out of it, and sympathise with
modern cricket if you can.

The fields are pleasant and rural; haymakers are at work; we cross a
tramway, one of those laid to facilitate the transport of Cleveland
ironstone; we get glimpses of Coatham, and come nearer to the woods, and
at length emerge into the road at Kirkleatham. Here let us turn aside to
look at the curious old hospital, built in 1676 by Sir William Turner,
citizen and woollen-draper of London, and lord mayor, moreover, three
years after the Great Fire. There it stands, a centre and two wings,
including a chapel, a library and museum, and a comfortable lodging for
ten old men, as many old women, and the same number of boys and girls.
The endowment provides for a good education for the children, and a
benefaction on their apprenticeship; and the services of a chaplain.
Among the curiosities shown to visitors are a waxen effigy of Sir
William, wearing the wig and band that he himself once wore; the
likeness of his son and heir in the stained glass of one of the windows;
St. George and the Dragon, singularly well cut out of one piece of
boxwood; the fragment of the tree from Newby Park, presented by Lord
Falconberg, on which appears, carved:--

    This Tre long time witnese beare
    Of toww lovrs that did walk heare.

It was no random hand that selected the library; some of the books are
rare. One who loves old authors, will scan the shelves with pleasure. "I
could easily have forgotten my dinner in this enchanting room," says
William Hutton. Interesting in another way is the ledger of the worthy
citizen and woollen-draper here preserved: it shows how well he kept his
accounts, and that he was not vain-glorious. On one of the pages, where
the sum of his wealth appears as 50,000_l._, he has written, "Blessed be
the Almighty God, who has blest me with this estate."

The church, not far from the hospital, is worth a visit. Conspicuous in
the chancel are the monuments of the Turners, adorned with sculptures
and long inscriptions. Of Sir William, we read that he lies buried
"amongst the poor of his hospital--the witnesses of his piety,
liberality, and humility." There is the mausoleum erected by Cholmley
Turner, in 1740, to the memory of his son, who died at Lyon, of which
Schumacher was the sculptor, and near it the tomb of Sir Charles Turner,
the last of the family. Cook, accompanied by Omai and Sir Joseph Banks,
paid him a visit in 1775. Some of the church plate was presented by Sir
William; but that used for the communion was thrown up by the sea about
a century ago, within the privilege of the lord of the manor.

This quiet little village of Kirkleatham was the birthplace of Tom
Browne the famous dragoon, who at the battle of Dettingen cut his way
single-handed into the enemy's line, recovered the standard of the troop
to which he belonged, and fought his way back in triumph; by which
exploit he made his name ring from one end of England to the other, and
won a place for his likeness on many a sign-board. You may see his
portrait here if you will, and his straight basket-hilted sword.

After a glance at the hall, a handsome building, we return to the road,
and ascend Yearby bank--a bank which out of Yorkshire would be called a
hill. Look back when near the top, and you will have a pleasing
prospect: Kirkleatham nestled among the trees, the green fields
refreshing to the eye; Eston Nab and the brown estuary beyond. Here we
are on the verge of the Earl of Zetland's richly wooded estate--

    "Behold Upleatham, slop'd with graceful ease,
    Hanging enraptur'd o'er the winding Tees"--

and the breeze makes merry among the branches that overhang us on both
sides till a grand fragment of a ruin appears in sight--the tall east
window of a once magnificent Priory--rising stately in decay from amidst
the verdure of a fertile valley, and we enter the small market-town of

Having refreshed myself at _The Buck_, I took an evening stroll, not a
little surprised at the changes which the place had undergone since I
once saw it. Then it had the homely aspect of a village, and scarce a
sound would you hear after nine at night in its long wide street: now at
both ends new houses intrude on the fields and hedgerows, the side lanes
have grown into streets lit by gas and watched by policemen. Tippling
iron-diggers disturb the night with noisy shouts when sober folk are
a-bed, and the old honest look has disappeared for ever. In the olden
time it was said, "The inhabitants of this place are observed by
travellers to be very civil and well bred, cleanly in dressing their
diet, and very decent in their houses." The old hall is gone, but the
gardens remain: you see the ample walnut-trees and the primeval yew
behind the wall on your way to the churchyard. Seven centuries have
rolled away since that Norman gateway was built, and it looks strong
enough to stand another seven. Under the shadow of those trees was a
burial-place of the monks: now the shadow falls on mutilated statues and
other sculptured relics, and on the tomb of Robert Brus, one of the
claimants of the Scottish throne and founder of the abbey, who was
buried here in 1294. Even in decay it is an admirable specimen of
ancient art.

From the meadow adjoining the churchyard you get a good view of the
great east window, or rather of the empty arch which the window once
filled; and looking at its noble dimensions, supported by buttresses,
flanked by the windows of the aisles, and still adorned with crumbling
finials, you will easily believe what is recorded of Guisborough
Priory--that it was the richest in Yorkshire. It was dedicated to St.
Augustine, and when the sacred edifice stood erect in beauty, the tall
spire pointing far upwards, seen miles around, many a weary pilgrim must
have invoked a blessing on its munificent founder--a Bruce of whom the
Church might well be proud.

Hemingford, whose chronicle of events during the reigns of the first
three Edwards contains many curious matters of ecclesiastical history,
was a canon of Guisborough; and among the priors we find Bishop
Pursglove, him of whom our ancient gossip Izaak makes loving mention.
Another name associated with the place is Sir Thomas Chaloner, eminent
alike in exercises of the sword, and pen, and statesmanship. It was here
in the neighbourhood that he discovered alum, as already mentioned, led
thereto by observing that the leaves of the trees about the village were
not so dark a green as elsewhere, while the whitish clay soil never
froze, and "in a pretty clear night shined and sparkled like glass upon
the road-side."

Skeletons and stone coffins have been dug up from time to time, and
reburied in the churchyard. On one occasion the diggers came upon a
deposit of silver plate; and from these and other signs the presence of
a numerous population on the spot in former days has been inferred. Our
quaint friend, who has been more than once quoted, says: "Cleveland hath
been wonderfully inhabited more than yt is nowe ... nowe all their
lodgings are gone; and the country, as a widow, remayneth mournful." And
among the local traditions, there is the not uncommon one, which hints
obscurely at a subterranean passage, leading from the Priory to some
place adjacent, within which lay a chest of gold guarded by a raven.

Situate near the foot of a finely-wooded range of hills, the ruin shows
effectively with the green heights for a background. More delightful
than now must the prospect have been in the early days, and even within
the present century, when no great excavations of ironstone left yellow
blots in the masses of foliage.

The sun went down while I sauntered about, and when I took my last look
at the great east window the ruddy blaze streamed through its lofty
space, and as each side grew dark with creeping glooms, filled it with
quivering beams whereunto all the glory of glass would be but a mockery.

Guisborough may claim to rank among watering-places, for it has a spa,
with appliances for drinking and bathing, down in a romantic nook of Spa
Wood, watered by Alumwork beck. The walk thither, and onwards through
Waterfall wood to Skelton, is one of the prettiest in the neighbourhood.
And on the hill-slopes, Bellman bank--formerly Bellemonde--still claims
notice for pleasing scenery. The medicinal properties of the spring were
discovered in 1822. The water, which is clear and sparkling, tastes and
smells slightly of sulphur and weak alkaline constituents, and is
considered beneficial in diseases of the skin and indigestion. And in
common with other small towns in Yorkshire, Guisborough has a free
grammar-school, which, at least, keeps alive the memory of its founder.

Mine host of _The Buck_ said, as we talked together later in the evening
about the changes that had taken place, that although more money came
into the town than in years gone by, he did not think that better habits
or better morals came in along with it. A similar remark would be made
wherever numbers of rude labourers earn high wages. Even in the good old
times there was something to complain of. George Fox tells us,
concerning his proselytes in Cleveland, that they fell away from their
first principles and took to ranting; and at the time of his later
visits "they smoked tobacco and drank ale in their meetings, and were
grown light and loose." And John Wesley, on his first visit to
Guisborough, in 1761, found what was little better than practical
heathenism. He preached from a table standing in the market-place, where
"there was," as he writes, "so vehement a stench of stinking fish as was
ready to suffocate me." The people "roared;" but as the zealous apostle
of Methodism went on in his sermon they gradually became overawed, and
listened in silence. Did their forefathers ever roar when Paulinus
preached to them from a mossy rock, or under the shadow of a spreading
oak? Wesley, however, made an impression, and followed it up by visits
in four subsequent years.

At any rate, there was no noise to disturb the Sunday quiet when I went
forth on the morrow. While passing along the street I noticed many
cottagers reading at their doors, and exposing a pair of clean white
shirt-sleeves to the morning sun. Turning presently into a road on the
left, which rises gently, you get an embowered view of the town,
terminated by the soaring arch. Then we come to Hutton Lowcross, a
pleasant hamlet, which suggests a thought of the days of old, for it
once had an hospital and a Cistercian nunnery. Hutton joined to the name
of a village is a characteristic of Cleveland. In one instance--a few
miles from this--it helps out an unflattering couplet:

    "Hutton Rudby, Entrepen,
    Far more rogues than honest men."

We cross the railway near a station, which, as a cottager told me is
"Mr. Pease's station; built for hisself, and not for everybody;" and
take a bridle road leading to the hill. I fell in with a couple of
rustics, who were able to enjoy the scenery amid which they had lived
for years. They lay under a tree, at a spot open to the prospect down
the valley; and as I commended their choice, one replied "I do like to
come and set here of a Sunday better than anything else. 'Tis so nice to
hear the leaves a-rustlin' like they do now." But the view there was
nothing to what I should see from the hill-top: there couldn't be a
prettier sight in England than that.

I felt willing to believe them; and a few minutes later strode from the
steep, narrow lane, where ferns, foxgloves, wild roses, and elders
overhang the way, to the open expanse of Guisborough moors. Here a track
runs along the undulating slope to the foot of the hills, which roll
away on the left to the wild region of Black-a-moor, with many a
pleasant vale and secluded village between, while on the right spreads
the cultivated plain, of which, ere long, we shall get a wider view; for
now Rosebury Topping comes clear in sight, from gorse-patched base to
rocky apex, and your eye begins to select a place for ascent. It is
approachable on all sides; no swamp betrays the foot, but the steepness
in some places compels you to use hands as well as feet. The morning was
already hot, and I was fain to sit down in the belt of bracken above the
gorse and breathe awhile, glad to have climbed beyond reach of the
flies. From the fern you mount across clean, soft turf to the bare wall
of rock which encircles the northern half of the summit, where the
breeze of the plain is a brisk wind, cooling and invigorating as it
sweeps across. I threw off my knapsack, and choosing a good
resting-place, lay down in idle enjoyment of being able to see far

Who that has travelled knows not what an enjoyment it is to recline at
length on a hill-top, the head reposing on a cushion of moss, and to
have nothing to do but let the eye rove at will over the wide-spread
landscape below? Sheltered by the rock, you breathe the coolness of
upper air without its rapid chill, and indulge for a while in lazy
contemplation. It is the very luxury of out-door existence. Perhaps you
are somewhat overcome by the labour of the ascent, and unconsciousness
steals gently on you; and a snatch of slumber in such a spot, while the
winds whisper of gladness in your ear, and a faint hush floats to and
fro among the blades of grass, is a pleasure which can be imagined only
by one who beholds at his awaking the blue sky and the broad earth of
the great Giver.

At length curiosity prevails. Here we are a thousand and twenty-two feet
above the sea--an elevation that sounds small after Switzerland and
Tyrol; but a very little experience of travelling convinces one that the
highest hills are not those which always command the most pleasing
views. Standing on the top of the crag you may scan the whole ring of
the horizon, from the sea on the east to the high summits of the west;
from the bleak ridges of Black-a-moor to the headlands of
Northumberland, seen dimly through the smoky atmosphere of the Durham

Considering, reader, that I may please myself at times, as well as you,
I borrow again from our honest friend, whose admiration of the
picturesque appears to have equalled his ability to note the useful.
"There is," he says, "a most goodly prospecte from the toppe of thys
hyll, though paynefully gayned by reason of the steepnesse of yt....
There you may see a vewe the like whereof I never saw, or thinke that
any traveller hath seen any comparable unto yt, albeit I have shewed yt
to divers that have paste through a greate part of the worlde, both by
sea and land. The vales, rivers, great and small, swelinge hylls and
mountaynes, pastures, meadows, woodes, cornefields, parte of the
Bishopricke of Durham, with the newe porte of Tease lately found to be
safe, and the sea replenyshed with shippes, and a most pleasant flatt
coaste subjecte to noe inundation or hazarde make that countrye happy if
the people had the grace to make use of theire owne happinesse, which
may be amended if it please God to send them trafique and good example
of thrifte." All this is still true; but Tees has now other ports, and
Middlesborough, which has grown rapidly as an American town, and the
iron furnaces, spread a smoky veil here and there across the landscape,
which, when our narrator looked down upon it, lay everywhere clear and
bright in the sunshine.

The name of the hill is said to be derived from _Ross_, a heath or moor;
_Burg_, a fortress; and _Toppen_, Danish for apex. If you incline to go
back to very early days--as the Germans do--try to repeople the rows of
basin-like pits which, traceable around the slope of the hill, are, so
the students of antiquity tell us, the remains of ancient British
dwellings. Were they inhabited when the Brigantes first mustered to
repel the Romans? Rebuild the hermitage which, constructed once by a
solitary here in the rock, was afterwards known as the smith's forge or
cobbler's shop; and restore the crevice which, far-famed as Wilfrid's
needle, tempted many a pilgrim to the expiatory task of creeping through
the needle's eye. No traces of them are now left, for the remains which
Time respected were destroyed some years ago by quarrymen, and with them
the perfect point of the cone.

Rosebury Topping was once talked of as the best site for a monument to
the memory of Cook, where it would be seen from his birthplace and for
miles around. But another spot was chosen, and looking to the south-east
you see the tall, plain column on Easby heights, about three miles
distant. It was erected in 1827, at the cost of Mr. Robert Campion, of
Whitby. At the foot of the hill, in the same direction, partly concealed
by trees, and watered by the river Leven, lies the village of Great
Ayton--canny Yatton--where Cook went to school after finishing his
course of Mary Walker's lessons. In the churchyard is a stone, which
records the death of Cook's mother, and of some of his brothers and
sisters, supposed to have been wrought by his father, who was a working
mason. It is said, however, that the old man was unable to read until
the age of seventy-five, when he learned in order that he might have the
pleasure of reading the narrative of his son's voyages of discovery. Of
other noteworthy objects in the village are a monument to Commodore
Wilson in the church; a Chapel-well of the olden time; and an
agricultural school, with seventy-five acres of good land attached,
belonging to the Quakers. Farming work and in-doors work are there
taught to boys and girls in a thoroughly practical way, carrying out the
intentions of the chief promoter, who gave the land and 5000_l._ to
establish the institution.

A few yards below the rocks a spring trickles slowly into a hollow under
a stone, but the quantity of water is too small to keep itself free from
the weeds and scum which render it unfit for drinking. It can hardly be
the fatal spring of the tradition, wherein is preserved the memory of a
Northumbrian queen and Prince Oswy, her son. Soothsayers had foretold
the boy's death by drowning on a certain day: the mother, to keep him
from harm, brought him to this lofty hill-side early on the threatened
day, where, at all events, he would be in no danger from water. Fondly
she talked with him for a while and watched his play: but drowsiness
stole over her and she fell asleep. By-and-by she woke, and looked
hastily round for her darling. He was nowhere to be seen. She flew
hither and thither, searching wildly, and at last found him lying dead,
with his face in the spring.

Looking to the north-east we see Skelton, backed by the Upleatham woods.
Though but a speck in the landscape, it has contributed more to history
than places which boast acres of houses. "From this little nook of
Cleveland," says the local historian, "sprang mighty monarchs, queens,
high-chancellors, archbishops, earls, barons, ambassadors, and knights,
and, above all, one brilliant and immortal name--Robert Bruce." We hear
of a Robert de Brus, second of the name, trying to dissuade David of
Scotland from awaiting the attack of the English army near
Northallerton: but the king chose to fight, and lost, as we have already
read, the Battle of the Standard. And the sixth baron, Peter de Brus,
was one of the resolute band who made his mark at Runnymede, and helped
to wrest the right of Liberty from a royal craven.

Then taking a stride to later years, we find the author of _Crazy
Tales_, John Hall Stephenson, the occupant of Skelton Castle, an esquire
hospitable and eccentric, the Eugenius of Sterne, who was his willing

    "In this retreat, whilom so sweet,
    Once Tristram and his cousin dwelt."

There it was that Sterne bribed a boy to tie the weathercock with its
point to the west, hoping thereby to lure the host from his chamber; for
Eugenius would never leave his bed while the wind blew from the east,
even though good company longed for his presence.

In one of his poems the "crazy" author describes the hill country such
as we see it stretching away beyond Cook's monument:

    "Where the beholder stands confounded
    At such a scene of mountains bleak;
        Where nothing goes
    Except some solitary pewit,
        And carrion crows,
    That seem sincerely to rue it:
        Where nothing grows,
        So keen it blows,
    Save here and there a graceless fir,
      From Scotland with its kindred fled,
    That moves its arms and makes a stir,
      And tosses its fantastic head."

On Eston Nab, that bold hill between us and the Tees, is an ancient
camp, and graves supposed to be two thousand years old. Kildale, in the
opposite direction, had once a diabolical notoriety; for there the devil
played many a prank, and drank the church-well dry, so that the priest
could get no holy water. Ingleby Manor, an antique Tudor house, belonged
to the Foulis family, who gave a noteworthy captain to the army of the
Parliament. And other historic names--the D'Arcys, Eures, Percys, and
Baliols--all had estates overlooked by Rosebury. Wilton Castle, not far
from the foot of Eston Nab, was built by Sir John Lowther, about fifty
years ago, on the site of a fortress once held by the Bulmers.

Now to return for a moment to the hill itself: the topmost rocks are of
the same formation as those we saw stretching into the sea at Redcar,
uptilted more than a thousand feet in a distance of ten miles. And lower
down, as if to exemplify the geology of the North Riding in one spot, a
thick stratum of alum-rock is found, with ironstone, limestone, jet and
coal, and numerous fossil shells. And it illustrates meteorological
phenomena, for, from time immemorial, weatherwise folk have said,

    "When Rosebury Topping wears a cap,
    Let Cleveland then beware a clap."

More than an hour slipped away while I lounged and loitered, making the
round of the summit again and again, till it seemed that the landscape
had become familiar to me. Then the solitude was broken by the arrival
of strangers, who came scrambling up the hill, encouraging one another,
with cheerful voices. They gained the rocks at last, panting; two
families from Middlesborough, husbands, wives, boys and girls, and a
baby, with plenty to eat and drink in their baskets, come from the murky
town to pass the Sunday on the breezy hill-top. How they enjoyed the
pure air and the wide prospect; and how they wondered to find room for a
camp-meeting on a summit which, from their homes, looked as if it were
only a blunt point! They told me that a trip to Rosebury Topping was an
especial recreation for the people of Middlesborough--a town which, by
the way, is built on a swampy site, where the only redeeming feature is
ready access to a navigable river. I remember what it was before the
houses were built. A drearier spot could not be imagined: one of those
places which, as _Punch_ says, "you want never to hear of, and hope
never to see."

"'Tis frightful to see how fast the graves do grow up in the new
cemetery," said one of the women, whose glad surprise at the contrast
between her home and her holiday could hardly express itself in words.
"It can't be a healthy place to bring up a family in. That's where we
live, is it--down there, under all that smoke? Ah! if we could only come
up here every day!"

Middlesborough, as we can see from far off, is now a large town,
numbering nearly 8000 inhabitants in 1851, and owes its sudden growth to
coal and iron. There the smelting furnaces, roaring night and day,
convert hundreds of tons of the Cleveland hills every week into tons of
marketable iron. The quantity produced in 1856 in the Cleveland district
was 180,000 tons. And there is the terminus of the "Quakers' Railway;" a
dock, of nine acres, where vessels can load at all times of the tide; an
ingenious system of drops for the coal; branch railways running in all
directions; and a great level of fifteen acres, on which three thousand
wagons can stand at once.

I stayed two hours on the hill-top, then taking a direct line down the
steepest side, now sliding, now rolling, very few minutes brought me to
the village of Newton at the foot. With so sudden a change, the heat
below seemed at first overpowering. In the public-house, which scrupled
not to open its door to a traveller, I found half a dozen miners, who
had walked over from a neighbouring village to drink their pint without
molestation. Each recommended a different route whereby the ten miles to
Stockton might be shortened. One insisted on a cut across the fields to

My ear caught at the sharp twang of the _ar_--a Yorkshire man would have
said Nunthurp--and turning to the speaker I said, "Surely that's

"Ees, 'tis. I comes not fur from Read'n'."

True enough. Tempted by high wages in the north, he had wandered from
the neighbourhood of _Our Village_ up to the iron-diggings of Cleveland.
I took it for granted that, as he earned more than twice as much as he
did at home, he saved in proportion. But no; he didn't know how 'twas;
the money went somehow. Any way he didn't save a fardin' more than he
did in Berkshire. I ventured to reply that there was little good in
earning more if one did not save more, when a tall brawny fellow broke
in with, "Look here, lad. I'd ruther 'arn fifty shillin's a week and
fling 'em right off into that pond there, than 'arn fifteen to keep."

Just the retort that was to be expected under the circumstances. It
embodies a touch of proud sentiment in which we can all participate.

I found the short cut to Nunthorp, struck there the high road, and came
in another hour to Marton--the birthplace of Cook. It is a small
village with a modernised church, and a few noble limes overshadowing
the graves. The house where the circumnavigator was born was little
better than a clay hovel of two rooms. It has long since disappeared;
but the field on which it stood is still called "Cook's Garth." The
parish register contains an entry under the date November 3rd, 1728:
"James, ye son of James Cook, day-labourer, baptized." The name of Mary
Walker, aged 89, appears on one of the stones in the churchyard; she it
was who taught the day-labourer's son to read while he was in her
service, and who has been mistakenly described as Dame Walker the

I caught the evening train at Stockton, which travelling up the Durham
side of the Tees--past Yarm, where Havelock's mother was born--past the
"hell kettles" and Dinsdale Spa, where drinking the water turns all the
silver yellow in your pockets--and so to Darlington, where I stayed for
the night.


     Locomotive, Number One--Barnard Castle--Buying a Calf on
     Sunday--Baliol's Tower--From Canute to the Duke of Cleveland--
     Historic Scenery--A surprised Northumbrian--The bearded Hermit
     --Beauty of Teesdale--Egliston Abbey--The Artist and his Wife--
     Dotheboys Hall--Rokeby--Greta Bridge--Mortham Tower--Brignall
     Banks--A Pilgrimage to Wycliffe--Fate of the Inns--The Felon
     Sow--A Journey by Omnibus--Lartington--Cotherstone--
     Scandinavian Traces--Romaldkirk--Middleton-in-Teesdale--Wild
     Scenery--High Force Inn--The voice of the Fall.

Facing the entrance to the railway station, elevated on a pedestal of
masonry, stands the first locomotive--_Number One_. With such machines
as that did the Quakers begin in 1823 to transport coal from the mines
near Darlington to Middlesborough along their newly-opened railway.
Compared with the snorting giants of the Great Western, its form and
dimensions are small and simple. No glittering brass or polished steel
bedeck its strength; it is nothing but a black boiler, mounted on
wheels, with three or four slender working-rods standing up near one
end, and the chimney with its saw-toothed top at the other. Yet, common
as it looks, it is one of George Stephenson's early triumphs: one of the
steps by which he, and others after him, established more and more the
supremacy of mind over mere brute matter. It was a happy thought to
preserve _Number One_ on the spot where enlightened enterprise first
developed its capabilities.

Tees is one of those streams--the "silly few"--which owe a divided
allegiance, watering two counties at once. Rising high amidst the
wildest hills of the north-west, it takes a course of eighty-three miles
to the sea through many scenes of romantic beauty. Yesterday we looked
down from Rosebury on the last two or three leagues of its outfall;
to-day if all go well we shall see the summit from which it springs. It
is a glorious morning; the earliest train arrives, interrupts our
examination of the old locomotive, and away we go to breakfast at
Barnard Castle, on the Durham side of the river.

There is so much of beautiful and interesting in the neighbourhood,
scenes made classic by the pen of Scott, that I chose to pass the day in
rambling, and journey farther in the evening. The town itself,
old-fashioned in aspect, quiet enough for grass to grow here and there
in the streets, was one of the ancient border-towns, and paid the
penalty of its position. It has a curious market-cross, and touches of
antiquity in the byeways; and owing to something in its former habits or
history, is a butt for popular wit. "Barney-Cassel, the last place that
God made," is one way of mentioning the town by folk in other parts of
the county; if you meet with a fellow more uncouth than usual, he is
"Barney-Cassel bred;" any one who shoots with the long bow is silenced
with "That wunna do, that's Barney-Cassel;" and as Barney-Cassel farmers
may be recognised by the holes in their sacks, so may the women by holes
in their stockings.

One Sunday morning, a farmer, while on his way to chapel, noticed a fine
calf in his neighbour's field, and when seated in his pew, was overheard
to ask the owner of the animal, "Tommy, supposin' it was Monday, what
wad ye tak' for yer calf?" To which Tommy replied in an equally audible
whisper, "Why, supposin' it was Monday, aw'd tak' two pun' fifteen."
"Supposin' it was Monday aw'll gie two pun' ten." "Supposin' it was
Monday, then ye shall hev't." And the next day the calf was delivered to
the scrupulous purchaser.

The pride of the town is the castle--ruined remains of the stronghold
erected by Bernard Baliol to protect the lands bestowed on him by
William the Red. Seen from the bridge, the rocky height, broken and
craggy, and hung with wood, crowned by Baliol's Tower, is remarkably
picturesque. The Tees sweeps round the base, as if impatient to hide
itself once more under green woods, to receive once more such
intermingled shadows of rock and leafage as fell on it through Marwood
Chase, and where Balder rushes in about a league above. A mile of
sunlight, and then the brawling stream will play with the big stones and
crowd its bed all through the woods of Rokeby.

Let us mount the hill and ascend the tower. The bearded hermit who
inhabits therein points the way to the stone stair constructed within
the massive wall, and presently we come to the top, where, although
there is no parapet, the great thickness admits of your walking round in
safety. The view is a feast for the eye--thick woods marking the course
of the river, the trees thinning off as they meet the uplands, where
fields and hedgerows diversify the landscape away to the hills; while in
the distance the sight of dark, solemn moorlands serves but to heighten
the nearer beauty. We can see lands once held by King Canute, now the
property of the Duke of Cleveland: we passed his estate, the park and
castle of Raby, about six miles distant on our way hither; and whichever
way we look there is something for memory to linger on:

    "Staindrop, who, from her sylvan bowers,
    Salutes proud Raby's battled towers;
    The rural brook of Egliston,
    And Balder, named from Odin's son;
    And Greta, to whose banks ere long
    We lead the lovers of the song;
    And silver Lune, from Stanmore wild,
    And fairy Thorsgill's murmuring child,
    And last and least, but loveliest still,
    Romantic Deepdale's slender rill."

Barnard Castle was lost to the Baliol family by the defeat of John
Baliol's pretensions to the crown of Scotland. Later it was granted,
with the adjoining estates, to the Earls of Warwick, and on the marriage
of Anne Neville with royal Gloucester, the Duke chose it as his
favourite residence. You may still see his cognizance of the boar here
and there on the walls, and on some of the oldest houses in the town.
The Earl of Westmoreland had it next, but lost it by taking part in _The
Rising of the North_. The couplet:--

    "Coward, a coward, of Barney Castel,
    Dare not come out to fight a battel,"

is said to have its origin in the refusal of the knight who held the
castle, to quit the shelter of its walls and try the effect of a combat
with the rebels. And so the game went on, the Crown resuming possession
at pleasure, until the whole property fell by purchase, in 1629, to an
ancestor of the present owner--the Duke of Cleveland.

"Whoy! 'tis but a little town to ha' such a muckle castle," exclaimed
one of three men who had just arrived with a numerous party by excursion
train from Newcastle, and ventured to the top of the tower. "Eh! the
castle wur bigger nor the town."

Whatever may have been, the thick-voiced Northumbrian was wrong in his
first conclusion, for the town has more than four thousand inhabitants.
But, looking down, we can see that the castle with its outworks and
inner buildings must have been a fortress of no ordinary dimensions.
Nearly seven acres are comprehended within its area, now chiefly laid
out in gardens, where, sheltered by the old gray stones, the trees bear
generous fruit. If you can persuade the hermit to ascend, he will point
out Brackenbury's Tower, a dilapidated relic, with dungeons in its base,
now used as stables; and near it a cow-stall, which occupies the site of
the chapel. Examine the place when you descend, and you will discover,
amid much disfigurement, traces of graceful architecture.

The hermit himself--a man of middle age--is a subject for curiosity. So
far as I could make him out, he appeared to be half misanthropist, half
misogynist. He quarrelled with the world about eighteen years ago, and,
without asking leave, took possession of a vault and a wall-cavity at
the foot of the great round tower, and has lived there ever since,
supporting himself by the donations of visitors, and the sale of rustic
furniture which he makes with his own hands. His room in the wall is
fitted with specimens of his skill, and it serves as a trap, for you
have to pass through it to ascend the tower. He showed me his workshop,
and pointed out a spot under the trees at the hill-foot where flows the
clear cold spring from which he draws water. The Duke, he said,
sometimes came to look at the ruin, and gave him a hint to quit; but he
did not mean to leave until absolutely compelled. I heard later in the
day that he had been crossed in love; and that, notwithstanding his love
of solitude, he would go out at times and find a friend, and make a
night of it. But this may be scandal.

I went down and took a drink at the spring which, embowered by trees and
bushes, sparkles forth from the rocky brink of the river; and rambled
away to Rokeby. There are paths on both sides of the stream, along the
edge of the meadows, and under the trees past the mill, past cottages
and gardens, leading farther and farther into scenes of increasing
beauty. Then we come to the Abbey Bridge, whence you get a pleasing
view of a long straight reach of the river, terminated by a glimpse of
Rokeby Hall, a charming avenue, so to speak, of tall woods, which, with
ferns, shrubs, and mazy plants, crowd the rocky slopes to the very edge
of the water. From ledge to ledge rushes the stream, making falls
innumerable, decked with living fringes of foam, and as the noisy
current hurries onward it engirdles the boulders with foamy rings, or
hangs upon them a long white train that flutters and glistens as
sunbeams drop down through the wind-shaken leaves. Strong contrasts of
colour enrich the effect:

    "Here Tees, full many a fathom low,
    Wears with his rage no common foe;
    For pebbly bank, nor sand-bed here,
    Nor clay-mound, checks his fierce career,
    Condemn'd to mine a channell'd way,
    O'er solid sheets of marble gray."

On the Yorkshire side, a few yards above the bridge, the remains of
Egliston or Athelstan Abbey crown a pleasant knoll surrounded by wood.
They are of small extent, and, on the whole, deficient in the
picturesque; but as an artist said who sketched while his wife sat
sewing by his side, "There are a few little bits worth carrying away."
The east window, in which the plain mullions still remain, is of unusual
width, the chancel exhibits carvings of different styles; two or three
slabs lying on the grass preserve the memory of an abbot, and of a
Rokeby, who figures in the still legible inscription as #Bastard;# and
the outbuildings are now occupied as a farm. Some years hence, when the
ivy, which has begun to embrace the eastern window, shall have spread
its evergreen mantle wider and higher, the ruins will be endowed with a
charm wherein their present scanty nakedness may be concealed. Yet apart
from this the place has natural attractions, a village green, noble
trees, Thorsgill within sight; and just beyond the green a mill of
cheerful clatter.

The artist and his wife were enjoying a happy holiday. They had come
down into Yorkshire with a fortnight's excursion ticket, and a scheme
for visiting as many of the abbeys and as much picturesque scenery as
possible within the allotted time. Sometimes they walked eight or ten
miles, or travelled a stage in a country car, content to rough it, so
that their wishes should be gratified. They had walked across from
Stainmoor the day before, and told me that in passing through Bowes
they had seen the original of Dotheboys Hall, now doorless, windowless,
and dilapidated. Nicholas Nickleby's exposure was too much for it, and
it ceased to be a den of hopeless childhood--a place to which heartless
fathers and mothers condemned their children because it was cheap.

What a contrast! Wackford Squeers and the Thracian cohort. Bowes, under
the name of Lavatræ, was once a station on the great Roman road from
Lincoln to Carlisle. Ere long it will be a station on the railway that
is to connect Stockton with Liverpool.

Now, returning to the bridge, we plunge into the woods, and follow the
river's course by devious paths. Gladsome voices and merry laughter
resound, for a numerous detachment of the excursionists from Newcastle
are on their way to view the grounds of Rokeby. Delightful are the
snatches of river scenery that we get here and there, where the jutting
rock affords an outlook, and the more so as we enjoy them under a cool
green shade. Leaving the Northumbrians at the lodge to accomplish their
wishes, I kept on to Greta Bridge, and lost myself in the romantic glen
through which the river flows. It will surprise you by its manifold
combinations of rock, wood, and water, fascinating the eye at every step
amid a solitude profound. This was the route taken by Bertram and
Wilfrid when the ruthless soldier went to take possession of Mortham.
You cannot fail to recognize how truly Scott describes the scenery; the
"beetling brow" is there, and the "ivied banners" still hang from the
crags as when the minstrel saw them. We can follow the two to that

    "----grassy slope which sees
    The Greta flow to meet the Tees:"

and farther, where

    "South of the gate, an arrow flight,
    Two mighty elms their limbs unite,
    As if a canopy to spread
    O'er the lone dwelling of the dead;
    For their huge boughs in arches bent
    Above a massive monument,
    Carved o'er in ancient Gothic wise,
    With many a scutcheon and device."

You will long to lengthen your hours into days for wanderings in this
lovely neighbourhood. You will be unwilling to turn from the view at
Mortham Tower--one of the old border peels, or fortresses on a small
scale--or that which charms you from the Dairy Bridge. Then if the risk
of losing your way does not deter, you may ramble to "Brignall Banks"
and Scargill, having the river for companion most part of the way. And
should you be minded to pursue the road through Richmondshire to
Richmond, the village and ruins of Ravensworth will remind you of

    "The Baron of Ravensworth prances in pride,
    And he views his domains upon Arkindale side.
    The mere for his net and the land for his game,
    The chase for the wild, and the park for the tame;
    Yet the fish of the lake, and the door of the vale,
    Are less free to Lord Dacre than Allen-a-Dale!"

Or, if inspired by a deeper sentiment, you prefer a pilgrimage to a spot
of hallowed memory to every Englishman, choose the river-side path to
Wycliffe, and see how ever new beauties enchant the way, and say on
arrival if ever you saw a prettier village church or a more charming
environment. Shut in by woods and hills here, as some writers show, is
the birthplace of John Wycliffe, to whom freedom of conscience is
perhaps more indebted than to Luther. One may believe that Nature
herself desires to preserve from desecration the cradle of him who
opened men's hearts and eyes to see and understand the truth in its
purity; cleansed from the adulterations of priestcraft; stripped of all
the blinding cheats of papistry; who died faithful to the truth for
which he had dared to live; who bequeathed that truth to us, and with
God's blessing we will keep it alive and unblemished, using it manfully
as a testimony against all lies and shams whatsoever and wheresoever
they may be found.

The church was restored, as one may judge, in a loving spirit in 1850.
It contains a few interesting antiquities, and is fraught with memories
of the Wycliffes. One of the brasses records the death of the last of
the family. Sir Antonio a-More's portrait of the great Reformer still
hangs in the rectory, where it has been treasured for many generations.

You may return from this pilgrimage by the way you went, or walk on
through Ovington to Winston, and there take the train to Barnard Castle.
I preferred the banks of Tees, for their attractions are not soon
exhausted. One of the houses at Greta, which was a famous hostelry in
the days of stage-coaches, is now a not happy-looking farm-house. It has
seen sore changes. Once noise and activity, and unscrupulous profits,
when the compact vehicles with the four panting horses rattled up to the
door at all hours of the day or night, conveying passengers from London
to Edinburgh. Now, a silence seldom disturbed save by the river's voice,
and time for reflection, and leisure to look across to its neighbour,
wherein the wayfarer or angler may still find rest and entertainment.
From Greta Bridge to Boroughbridge was considered the best bit of road
in all the county. Now it is encroached on by grass, and the inns which
are not shut up look altogether dejected, especially that one where the
dining-room has been converted into a stable.

If you have read the ballad of _The Felon Sow_, we will remember it
while repassing the park:

    "She was mare than other three,
    The grisliest beast that e'er might be,
      Her head was great and gray:
    She was bred in Rokeby wood,
    There were few that thither goed,
      That came on live away.

    "Her walk was endlong Greta side,
    There was no bren that durst her bide,
      That was froe heaven to hell;
    Nor ever man that had that might,
    That ever durst come in her sight,
      Her force it was so fell.

           *       *       *       *       *

    "If ye will any more of this,
    In the Fryers of Richmond 'tis
      In parchment good and fine;
    And how Fryar Middleton that was so kend,
    At Greta Bridge conjured a feind
      In likeness of a swine."

I got back to Barnard Castle in time for the omnibus, which starts at
half-past five for Middleton-in-Teesdale, nine miles distant on the road
to the hills. I was the only passenger, and taking my seat by the side
of the driver, found him very willing to talk. The road ascends
immediately after crossing the bridge to a finely-wooded district, hill
and dale, rich in oak, ash, and beech. Deepdale beck yawns on the left,
and every mile opens fresh enjoyment to the eye, and revives
associations. Lartington is a pretty village, which hears night and morn
and all day long the tremulous voice of innumerable leaves. "Them's all
Roman Catholics there," said the driver, as we left it behind; and
by-and-by, when we came to Cotherstone--Cuthbert's Town--"Here 'tis
nothin' but cheese and Quakers." There is, however, something else, for
here it was

    "----the Northmen came,
    Fix'd on each vale a Runic name,
    Rear'd high their altar's rugged stone,
    And gave their gods the land they won.
    Then, Balder, one bleak garth was thine,
    And one sweet brooklet's silver line,
    And Woden's Croft did title gain
    From the stern Father of the Slain;
    But to the Monarch of the Mace,
    That held in fight the foremost place,
    To Odin's son, and Sifia's spouse,
    Near Stratforth high they paid their vows,
    Remembered Thor's victorious fame,
    And gave the dell the Thunderer's name."

A delightful day might be spent hereabouts in exploring the glen of the
Balder, and the romantic scenery where it flows into Tees; the Hagg
crowned by fragments of a stronghold of the Fitzhughs; and the grand
rock on the river's brink known as Pendragon Castle. The whole region
for miles around was once thickly covered by forest.

The pace is sober, for some of the hills are steep. We come to
Romaldkirk, and the folk, as everywhere else along the road, step from
their houses to inquire for parcels or replies to messages, and the
driver has a civil word for all, and discharges his commissions
promptly. He is an important man in the dale, the roving link between
the villagers and the town--"Barn'd Cas'l'," as they say, slurring it
into two syllables. It does one good to see with how much good-nature
the service can be performed.

Hill after hill succeeds, the woods are left behind, the country opens
bare and wild, rolling away to the dark fells that look stern in the
distance. Big stones bestrew the slopes; here and there a cottage seems
little better than a pile of such stones covered with slabs of slate or
coarse thatch. "Poorish wheat hereabouts," says the driver, as he points
to the pale green fields. The farms vary in size from seventy to one
hundred and fifty acres; and he thinks it better to grow grass than
grain. Then we come in sight of Middleton, and presently he pulls up,
while a boy and girl get inside, and he tells me they are his children,
who have come out half a mile to meet him.

Middleton, with its eighteen hundred inhabitants, has the appearance of
a little metropolis. There are inns and shops which betoken an active
trade, maintained probably by the lead mines in the neighbourhood. I
did not tarry, for we had spent two hours on the journey, and I wished
to sleep at the _High Force Inn_, nearly five miles farther. We are
still on the Durham side of the Tees, with the river now in sight,
winding along its shallow, stony bed. The road is an almost continuous
ascent, whereby the landscape appears to widen, and every minute the
shadows grow broader and darker across the vale. At last the sun drops
behind the hill-top, and the lights playing on the summits of the fells
deepen into purple, umber, and black, darkest where the slopes and
ridges intersect. Cliffs topped with wood break through the acclivities
on the left, and here and there plantations of spruce and larch impart a
sense of shelter. Every step makes us feel that we are approaching a
region where Nature partakes more of the stern than the gentle.

There is room for improvement. I interrupted three boys in their pastime
of pelting swallows, to examine them in reading; but they only went
"whiles to skule," and only one could read, and that very badly, in the

I left Winch Bridge and the cascade which it bestrides about three miles
from Middleton, unvisited, for I was tired with much rambling. The clean
white front of _High Force Inn_ gleaming at last through the twilight
was a welcome sight; and not less so the excellent tea, which was
quickly set before me. Cleanliness prevails, and unaffected civility;
and the larder, though in a lone spot a thousand feet above the sea,
contributes without stint to the hungry appetite.

It happened that I was the only guest: hence nothing disturbed the
tranquil hour. Ere long I was looking from my chamber window on the dim
outlines of the hills, and the thick wood below that intercepts the view
of the valley beneath. Then I became aware of a solemn roar--the voice
of High Force in its ceaseless plunge. Fitfully it came at times, now
fuller, now weaker, as the night breeze rose and fell, and the tree-tops
whispered in harmony therewith.

I listened awhile, sensible of a charm in the sound of falling water;
then pushing the sash to its full height, the sound still reached me on
the pillow. Strange fancies came with it: now the river seemed to utter
sonorous words; anon the hills talked dreamily one with another, and the
distant sea sent up a reply; and then all became vague--and I slept the
sleep of the weary.


     Early Morn--High Force--Rock and Water--A Talk with the
     Waitress--Hills and Cottages--Cronkley Scar--The Weel--Caldron
     Snout--Soothing Sound--Scrap from an Album--View into
     Birkdale--A Quest for Dinner--A Westmoreland Farm--Household
     Matters--High Cope Nick--Mickle Fell--The Boys' Talk--The
     Hill-top--Glorious Prospect--A Descent--Solitude and Silence--A
     Moss--Stainmore--Brough--The Castle Ruin--Reminiscences.

The next day dawned, and a happy awaking was mine, greeted by the same
rushing voice, no longer solemn and mysterious, but chanting, as one
might imagine, a morning song of praise. I looked out, and saw with
pleasurable surprise the fall full in view from the window: a long white
sheet of foam, glistening in the early sunbeams.

All the slope between the inn and the fall is covered by a thick
plantation of firs, ash, hazel, and a teeming undergrowth, and through
this by paths winding hither and thither you have to descend. Now the
path skirts precipitous rocks, hung with ivy, now drops gently among
ferns to an embowered seat, until at a sudden turn the noise of the fall
bursts grandly upon you. A little farther, and the trees no longer
screening, you see the deep stony chasm, and the peat-stained water
making three perpendicular leaps down a precipice seventy feet in
height. It is a striking scene, what with the grim crags, the wild
slopes, and the huge masses lying at the bottom and in the bed of the
stream; and the impressive volume of sound.

We can scramble down to the very foot of the limestone bluff that
projects in the middle, leaving a channel on each side, down one of
which a mere thread of water trickles; but in time of flood both are
filled, and then the fall is seen and heard in perfection. Now we can
examine the smooth water-worn cliff, and see where something like
crystallization has been produced by a highly-heated intrusive rock.
And here and there your eye will rest with pleasure on patches of moss
and fern growing luxuriantly in dripping nooks and crannies.

You see how the water, rebounding from its second plunge, shoots in a
broken mass of foam into the brown pool below, and therein swirls and
swashes for a while, and then escapes by an outlet that you might leap
across, talking to thousands of stones as it spreads itself out in the
shallow bed. Standing with your back to the fall, and looking down the
stream, the view, shut in by the trees on one side, by a rough grassy
acclivity on the other, is one that lures you to explore it, striding
along the rugged margin, or from one lump of rock to another.

Then returning to the diverging point in the path, we mount to the top
of the fall. Here the scene is, if possible, wilder than below. The
rock, as far as you can see, is split into a thousand crevices, and
through these the river rushes to its leap. Such a river-bed you never
saw before. The solid uprising portions are of all dimensions, and you
step from one to the other without first feeling if they are steady.
Here and there you climb, and coming to the top of the bluff you can
look over and watch the water in its headlong plunge. The brown tinge
contrasts beautifully with the white foam; and lying stretched on the
sun-warmed rock, your eye becomes fascinated by the swift motion and the
dancing spray. Then sit awhile on the topmost point and look up stream,
and enjoy the sight of the rapids, and the multitudinous cascades.
Though the rocks now lift their heads above water you will notice that
all are smoothly worn by the floods of ages. The view is bounded there
by a mighty high-backed fell; and in the other direction brown moorlands
meet the horizon, all looking glad in the glorious sunshine.

I loitered away two hours around the fall in unbroken solitude, and
returned to the inn to breakfast before all the dew was dry. The house
was built about twenty-five years ago, said the waitress, when the road
was made to connect the lead mines of Alston Moor, in Cumberland, with
the highways of Durham. There was not much traffic in the winter, for
then nobody travelled but those who were compelled--farmers,
cattle-dealers, and miners; but in summer the place was kept alive by
numerous visitors to the fall. Most were contented with a sight of High
Force; but others went farther, and looked at Caldron Snout and High
Cope Nick. Sometimes a school came up for a day's holiday; they had
entertained one the day before--two wagon-loads of Roman Catholic
children. True enough, our omnibus had met them returning.

The house looks across the valley to Holwick Fell, and were it not for
the trees in front, would have but a bare and, at times, desolate
prospect. The whole premises are as clean as whitewash can make them;
even the stone fences are whitewashed. The Duke of Cleveland is
proprietor: he ought to be proud of his tenants.

How glad the morning seemed when I stepped forth again into the sunshine
to travel a few miles farther up the Tees. The road still ascends and
curves into the bleak and lonely fells, which stretch across the west of
Durham and into Cumberland. In winter they are howling wastes, and in
snow-storms appalling, as I remember from painful experience. But in
summer there is a monotonous grandeur about them comparable only with
that of the ocean.

Just beyond the sixteenth milestone from Alston I got over the fence,
and followed a path edging away on the left towards the river. It
crosses pastures, little meadows, coarse swampy patches sprinkled with
flowers; disappears in places; but while you can see the river or a
cottage you need not go astray. There is something about the cottages
peculiar to a hill-country: the ground-floor is used as a barn and
stable, and the dwelling-rooms are above, approached by a stone stair on
the outside. With their walls freshly whitewashed, they appear as bright
specks widely scattered in the wilderness; and though no tree adorns or
shelters them, they betoken the presence of humanity, and there is
comfort in that. And withal they enjoy the purest breezes, the most
sparkling water, flowery meadows, and hills purple with heather when
summer is over. If you go to the door the inmates will invite you to
sit, and listen eagerly to the news you bring. Meanwhile you may note
the evidences of homely comfort and apparent contentment. A girl who was
pulling dock-leaves--"dockans," as she called them--told me they were to
be boiled for the pig.

Ere long Cronkley Scar comes in sight--a tremendous sombre precipice of
the rock known to geologists as greenstone, in which, if learned in such
matters, you may peruse many examples of metamorphic phenomena. And
hereabouts, as botanists tell us, there are rare and interesting plants
to be discovered. The Scar is on the Yorkshire side; but the stream is
here so shallow and full of stones, that to wade across would only be an
agreeable footbath.

Now the stream makes a bend between two hills, and looking up the vale
we see the lower slopes of Mickle Fell--the highest mountain in
Yorkshire. We shall perhaps climb to its summit ere the day be many
hours older.

From the last dwelling--a farm-house--I mounted the hill, and followed a
course by compass to hit the river above the bend. Soon all signs of
habitation were left behind, and the trackless moorland lay before me,
overspread with a dense growth of ling, wearisome to walk through. And
how silent! A faint sound of rushing water comes borne on the breeze,
and that is all.

Then we come to the declivity, and the view opens to the north-west,
swell beyond swell, each wilder in aspect, as it seems, than the other.
And there beneath us glisten the shining curves of the Tees. The compass
has not misled us, and we descend to the Weel, as this part of the river
is called, where for about a mile its channel deepens, and the current
is so tranquil that you might fancy it a lengthened pool. We go no
higher, but after gazing towards the fells in which the river draws its
source, we turn and follow the Weel to a rift in the hill-side. The
current quickens, the faint sound grows louder, and presently coming to
the brink of a rocky chasm we behold the cataract of Caldron Snout. The
Tees here makes a plunge of two hundred feet, dashing from rock to rock,
twisting, whirling, eddying, and roaring in its dark and tortuous
channel. The foam appears the whiter, and the grass all the greener, by
contrast with the blackness of the riven crags, and although no single
plunge equals that at High Force, you will perhaps be more impressed
here. You are here shut out from the world amid scenes of savage beauty,
and the sense of isolation begets a profounder admiration of the natural
scene, and enjoyment of the manifold watery leaps, as you pause at each
while scrambling down the hill-side.

About half-way down the fall is crossed by a bridge--a rough beam only,
with a rude hand-rail--from which you can see the fall in either
direction and note the stony bends of the river below till they
disappear behind the hill. From near its source to Caldron the Tees
divides Durham from Westmoreland, and in all its further downward course
from Yorkshire.

Let me sit for an hour by the side of a fall, and watch the swift play
of the water, and hear its ceaseless splash and roar, and whatever
cobwebs may have gathered in my mind, from whatever cause, are all swept
clean away. Serenity comes into my heart, and the calm sunshine pervades
my existence for months--nay, years afterwards. And what a joy it is to
recall--especially in a London November--or rather to renew, the happy
mood inspired by the waterfall among the mountains!

I have at times fancied that the effect of the noise is somewhat similar
to that described of narcotics by those who indulge therein. The mind
forgets the body, and thinks whatsoever it listeth. Whether or not, my
most various and vivid day-dreams have been dreamt by the side of a

It seems, moreover, at such times, as if memory liked to ransack her old
stores. And now I suddenly recollected Hawkeye's description of the
tumbling water at Glenn's Falls, as narrated in _The Last of the
Mohicans_, which I had read when a boy. Turn to the page, reader, and
you will admire its faithfulness. Anon came a rhyme which a traveller
who went to see the falls of the Clyde sixty years ago, tells us he
copied from the album at Lanark:

    "What fools are mankind,
    and how strangely inclin'd,
    to come from all places
    with horses and chaises,
    by day and by dark,
    to the Falls of Lanark.

    "For good people after all,
    what is a waterfall?
    It comes roaring and grumbling,
    and leaping and tumbling,
    and hopping and skipping,
    and foaming and dripping,
    and struggling and toiling,
    and bubbling and boiling,
    and beating and jumping,
    and bellowing and thumping--
    I have much more to say upon
    both Linn and Bonniton;
    but the trunks are tied on,
    and I must be gone."

Southey, who read everything, perhaps saw this before he wrote his _Fall
of Lodore_.

And we, too, must be gone; and now that we have seen

    "Where Tees in tumult leaves his source
    Thund'ring o'er Caldron and High Force,"

we will gather ourselves up and travel on.

But whither? I desired a public-house; but no house of any sort was to
be seen--nothing but the scrubby hill-side, and mossy-headed rocks
peeping out with a frown at the mortal who had intruded into their
dominion. The end of a a meadow, however, comes over the slope on the
other side of the bridge; perhaps from the top of the slope something
may be discerned. Yes, there was a cottage. I hastened thither, but it
proved to be an old tenement now used as a byre. I looked farther, and,
about a mile distant, saw two farm-houses. The view had opened into
Birkdale, and there, on the left, rose the huge, long-backed form of
Mickle Fell, whose topmost height was my next aim, and I could test the
hospitality of the houses on the way thither.

We are now in a corner of Westmoreland which, traversed by Birkdale,
presents diversified alpine features. The valley is green; the meadows
are flowery and dotted with cattle; the hills, stern and high, are
browsed by sheep; and Maize Beck, a talkative mountain stream, flows
with many a stony bend along the bottom--the dividing line between
Westmoreland and Yorkshire. There are no trees; and for miles wide the
only building is here and there a solitary byre.

My inquiry for dinner at the first of the two houses was answered by an
invitation to sit down, and ready service of bread, butter, milk, and
cheese. I made a capital repast, and drank as much genuine milk at one
sitting as would charge a Londoner's supply for two months. The father
was out sheep-shearing, leaving the mother with a baby and four big
children at home. But only the eldest boy looked healthy; the others had
the sodden, unwashed appearance supposed to be peculiar to dwellers in
the alleys of large towns. No wonder, I thought, for the kitchen, the
one living room, was as hot and stifling as a Bohemian cottage. The
atmosphere was close and disagreeably odorous; a great turf fire burned
in the grate, and yet the outer door was kept as carefully shut as if
July breezes were hurtful. I tried to make the good woman aware of the
ill consequences of bad air; but old habits are not to be changed in an
hour. She didn't think that overmuch wind could do anybody good, and it
was best for babies to keep them warm. They managed to do without the
doctor: only fetched him when they must. There was none nearer than
Middleton. Six weeks previously, when baby was born, they had to send
for him in a hurry; but Tees was in flood, and Caldron Snout so full
that the water ran over the bridge; her boy, however, got across, and
rode away the nine miles at full speed on his urgent errand.

What with chairs and tables, racks and shelves, the dresser, the clock,
the settee under the window, three dogs, a cat, and a pigeon--to say
nothing of the family--the room was almost as crowded as the steerage of
a ship. The pigeon--the only one in the dale--had come from parts
unknown a few weeks before of its own accord, and was now a household
pet, cooing about the floor, and on civil terms with the cat. But the
children feared it would die in winter, as they had no peas in those
parts, nothing but grass. Sixty acres of "mowing grass" and a run for
sheep comprise the farm.

While the Ordnance Survey was in Westmoreland, two sappers lodged in the
house for months; and the eldest son, an intelligent lad, had much to
tell concerning their operations. What pains they took; how many times
they toiled to the top of Mickle Fell only to find that up there it was
too windy for their observations, and so forth. Sometimes a stranger
came and wanted a guide to High Cope Nick, and then he went with his
father. Two photographers had come the preceding autumn, and took views
of the Nick on pieces of paper with a box that had a round glass in it;
but the views wasn't very good ones.

High Cope Nick, as its name indicates, is a deep notch or chasm in the
hills overlooking the low country of Westmoreland about four miles from
this Birkdale farm. "It's nigh hand as brant[D] as a wall," said the
boy; "you can hardly stand on't." It is one of the scenes which I
reserve for a future holiday.

[D] Steep.

The woman could not hear of taking more than sixpence for my dinner, and
thought herself overpaid with that. The two boys were going up the fell
to look after sheep, so we started together, crossed the beck on
stepping-stones, followed by two dogs, and soon began the long ascent.
There is no path: you stride through the heather, through the tough
bent, across miry patches, and stony slopes, past swallow-holes wherein
streams of water disappear in heavy rains; and find at times by the side
of the beck a few yards of smooth sweet turf. The beck is noisy in its
freakish channel, yet pauses here and there and fills a sober pool,
wherein you may see fish, and perchance a drowned sheep. I saw four on
the way upwards, and the sight of the swollen carcases made me defer
drinking till nearer the source. I could hardly believe the lads' word
that fifteen hundred sheep were feeding on the hill, so few did they
appear scattered over the vast surface.

"How many sheep do you consider fair stock to the acre?" asked Sir John
Sinclair during one of his visits to the hills.

"Eh! mun, ye begin at wrang end," was the answer. "Ye should ax how
many acres till a sheep." Of such land as this the North Riding contains
four hundred thousand acres.

Besides the sheep, added the youth, "there's thirty breeding galloways
on the hill. There's nothing pays better than breeding galloways. You
can sell the young ones a year or year and a half old for eight pounds
apiece, and there's no much fash wi' 'em."

When the time came to part, I sat down and tried to give the boys a peep
at their home through my telescope. But in vain; they could distinguish
nothing, see nothing but a haze of green or brown. On the other hand,
they could discern a sheep or some moving object at a great distance
which I could not discover at all with the glass. They turned aside to
their flock, and I onwards up the hill. The beck had diminished to a
rill, and presently I came to its source--a delicious spring bubbling
from a rock, and took a quickening draught.

At length the acclivity becomes gentle, the horizon spreads wider and
wider, and we reach the cairn erected by the sappers on the summit of
Mickle Fell, 2580 feet above the sea--the highest, as before remarked,
of the Yorkshire mountains. Glorious is the prospect! Hill and dale in
seemingly endless succession--there rolling away to the blue horizon,
here bounded by a height that hides all beyond. In the west appears the
great gathering of mountains which keep watch over the Lake country,
there Skiddaw, there Helvellyn, yonder Langdale Pikes, and the Old Man
of Coniston; summit after summit, their outlines crossing and recrossing
in picturesque confusion. Conspicuous in the north Cross Fell--in which
spring the head-waters of Tees--heaves his brown back in majestic
sullenness some three hundred feet higher than the shaggy brow we stand
on. Hence you can trace the vale of Tees for miles. Then gazing
easterly, we catch far, far away the Cleveland hills, and, following
round the circle, the blue range of the Hambletons, then Penyghent,
Whernside, and Ingleborough, with many others, bring us round once more
to the west. Again and again will your eye travel round the glorious

Mickle Fell is one of the great summits in the range described by
geologists as the Pennine chain--the backbone of England. Its outline is
characteristic of that of the county; bold and abrupt to the west;
sloping gradually down to the east. Hence the walk up from High Force or
Birkdale calls for no arduous climbing, it is only tedious. From the
western extremity you look down into the vale of the Eden, where the
green meadows, the broad fields of grain, dotted with trees and bordered
with hedgerows, appear the more beautiful from contrast with the brown
tints of the surrounding hills.

Now for the descent. I scanned the great slope on the south for a
practicable route, and fixed beforehand on the objects by which to
direct my steps when down in the hollows--where scant outlook is to be
had. Lowest of all lies what appears to be a light green meadow; beyond
it rises a Mickle Fell on a small scale: I will make my way to the top
of that, and there take a new departure. All between is a wild expanse
of rock and heather. A sober run soon brought me to the edge of a beck,
and keeping along its margin, now on one side, now on the other,
choosing the firmest ground, I made good progress; and with better
speed, notwithstanding the windings, than through the tough close
heather. Every furlong the beck grows wider and fuller, and here and
there the banks curve to the form of an oval basin smooth with short
grass; favourite haunts for the sheep. The silly creatures take to
flight nimbly as goats at the appearance of an intruder, and I lie down
to enjoy the solitude. The silence is oppressive--almost awful. Shut in
already by the huge hill-sides, I am still more hidden in this hollow.
The beck babbles; the fugitive sheep all unseen bleat timidly; a curlew
comes with its melancholy cry wheeling round and round above my head;
but the overwhelming silence loses nothing of its force. At times a
faint hollow roar, as if an echo from the distant ocean, seems to fill
all the air for an instant, and die mysteriously away. It is a time to
commune with one's own heart and be still: to feel how poor are
artificial pleasures compared to those which are common to all--the
simplest, which can be had for nothing--namely, sunshine, air, and
running water, and the fair broad earth to walk upon.

Onwards. The beck widens, and rushes into a broad stony belt to join a
stream hurrying down the vale from the west. I crossed, and came
presently to the supposed bright green meadow. It was a swamp--a great
sponge. To go round it would be tedious: I kept straight on, and by
striding from one rushy hummock to another, though not without
difficulty in the middle, where the sponge was all but liquid, and the
rushes wide apart, I got across. Then the smaller hill began: it was
steep, and without a break in the heather, compelling a toilsome climb.
However, it induces wholesome exercise. From the top I saw Stainmoor,
and as I had anticipated, the road which runs across it from Barnard
Castle into Westmoreland. I came down upon it about four miles from

It is a wild region. A line of tall posts is set up along the way, as in
an alpine pass, suggestive of winter snows deep and dangerous. By-and-by
we come to a declivity, and there far below we see the vale of Eden, and
descend towards it, the views continually changing with the windings of
the road. Then a hamlet, with children playing on the green, and geese
grazing among the clumps of gorse, and trees, and cultivation; and all
the while the hills appear to grow more and more mountainous as we
descend. Then Brough comes in sight--the little hard-featured
Westmoreland town--whitewashed walls, blue slate roofs, the church a
good way off on an eminence, and beyond that, on a grassy bluff, the
ruins of a castle partly screened by trees.

I wanted rest and refreshment, and found both at the _Castle Inn_. An
hour later I strolled out to the ruin. The mount on which it stands
rises steeply from the Helbeck, a small tributary of the Eden, and
terminates precipitously towards the west. The keep still rears itself
proudly aloft, commanding the shattered towers, the ancient gateway, the
dismantled walls and broken stair, and the country for miles around.
Fallen masses lie partly buried in the earth, and here and there above
the rough stonework overhangs as if ready to follow. While sauntering
now within, now without, you can look across the cultivated landscape,
or to the town, and the great slope of Helbeck Fell behind it; and you
will perhaps deem it a favourable spot to muse away the hour of sunset,
when the old pile is touched with golden light. Thick as the walls are,
Time and dilapidations have made them look picturesque. One of the
spoilers was William the Lion of Scotland, who finding here a Norman
fortress in 1174, took it, along with other Westmoreland strongholds;
and was taken himself in the course of the same year at Alnwick. The Rey
Cross on Stainmoor--still a monumental site--marked the southern limit
of the Scottish principality of Cumberland; hence, the hungry reivers
north of Tweed had always an excuse for crossing over to beat the bounds
after their manner. Twice afterwards was Brough Castle repaired, and
burnt to a shell. The second restoration was carried out in 1659 by the
Lady Anne Clifford, Countess Dowager of Pembroke, who recorded the fact
on a stone over the entrance, enumerating all her titles, among which
were "High Sheriffess by inheritance of the county of Westmoreland, and
Lady of the Honour of Skipton," and ending with a text of
Scripture--Isaiah lviii, 12. After the last fire, whosoever would
pillaged the castle; the stone bearing the Countess's inscription was
taken down, and used in the repair of Brough mill, and the ruins became
a quarry, out of which were built sheds and cottages. The large masses
of masonry, which now lie embedded in the earth, fell in 1792.

According to antiquaries the castle occupies the centre of what had been
a Roman station; for Brough was the ancient Verteræ, where coins of the
emperors have been dug up, and the highway along which the legions
marched to and from Carlisle, or the Picts' Wall, is still traceable,
known in the neighbourhood as the Maiden Way.

It was a lovely evening. The sun went down in splendour behind the
Cumbrian hills, and when the radiance faded from the topmost summits,
and gave place to dusky twilight, I went back to mine inn.


     Return into Yorkshire--The Old Pedlar--Oh! for the Olden Time--
     "The Bible, indeed!"--An Emissary--Wild Boar Fell--Shunnor Fell
     --Mallerstang--The Eden--A Mountain Walk--Tan Hill--Brown
     Landscape--A School wanted--Swaledale--From Ling to Grass--A
     Talk with Lead Miners--Stonesdale--Work for a Missionary--
     Thwaite--A Jolly Landlord--A Ruined Town--The School at Muker--
     A Nickname--Buttertubs Pass--View into Wensleydale--Lord
     Wharncliffe's Lodge--Simonstone--Hardraw Scar--Geological
     Phenomenon--A Frozen Cone--Hawes.

My next morning's route took me back into Yorkshire by a way which,
leaving the road to Kirkby Stephen on the right, approaches Nine
Standards, High Seat, and the other great summits which guard the head
of Swaledale. The sight of these hills, and the gradual succession of
cultivation and woods by untilled slopes patched with gorse and bracken,
impart an interest to the walk. A modern battlemented edifice--Hougill
Castle--appears on the left, the residence of a retired physician, and
beyond it the wild region of Stainmoor Forest; and here even upon its
outskirts we can see how appropriate is the name Stonymoor.

When near the hills I overtook an old pedlar, and slackened my pace to
have a talk with him. At times I had fancied my knapsack, of less than
ten pounds' weight, a little too heavy; but he, though aged sixty,
carried a pack of forty pounds, and when in his prime could have borne
twice as much. He took matters easily now; walked slowly and rested
often. From talking about schools, he began to contrast the present time
with the past. Things were not half so good now as in the olden time,
when monasteries all over the land took proper care alike of religion
and the poor. Where was there anything like religion now-a-days, except
among the Roman Catholics? Without them England would be in a miserable
plight; but he took comfort, believing from certain signs that the old
days would return--that England would once more acknowledge the
supremacy of the Pope.

"Never," I replied; "that's not possible in a country where the Bible
circulates freely; and where all who will may read it."

"The Bible!" he answered sneeringly--"the Bible! What's the Bible? It's
a very dangerous and improper book for the people to read. What should
they know about it? The Church is the best judge. The Bible, indeed!"

Such talk surprised me. I had heard that the Papists employ emissaries
of all degrees in the endeavour to propagate their doctrines; but never
met with one before who spoke out his notions so unreservedly; and I
could have imagined myself thrown back some five hundred years, and the
old fellow to be the spokesman in the Somersetshire ballad:

    "Chill tell thee what good vellowe,
    Before the vriers went hence,
    A bushell of the best wheate
    Was zold for vourteen pence,
    And vorty egges a penny,
    That were both good and newe:
    And this che zay my zelf have zeene,
    And yet ich am no Jewe.

           *       *       *       *       *

    "Ich care not for the bible booke,
    'Tis too big to be true.
    Our blessed Ladyes psalter
    Zhall for my money goe;
    Zuch pretty prayers, as therein bee,
    The bible cannot zhowe."

I began to defend the rights of conscience, when, as we came to the foot
of the first great hill, the old packman advised me to reconsider my
errors, bade me good day, and turned into a cottage; perhaps to sell
calico; perhaps to sow tares for the keeper of the keys at Rome.

I made a cut-off, and came upon the road half way up the hill, leaving
sultriness for a breezy elevation. Soon wide prospects opened all around
me: vast green undulations, dotted with sheep and geese, swelling up
into the distant hills and moorlands. That great group of heights on the
right--Wild Boar Fell and Shunnor Fell--wherein Nature displays but few
of her smiles, is the parent of not a few of Yorkshire's dales, becks,
and waterfalls. In those untrodden solitudes rise Swale and Ure; there
lurks the spring from which Eden bursts to flow through gloomy
Mallerstang, and transfer its allegiance, as we have seen, to other
counties, and the fairest of Cumbrian vales. Our topographical bard,
makes the forest of the darksome glen thus address the infant stream:

    "O, my bright lovely brook whose name doth bear the sound
    Of God's first garden-plot, th' imparadised ground,
    Wherein he placed man, from whence by sin he fell:
    O, little blessed brook, how doth my bosom swell
    With love I bear to thee, the day cannot suffice
    For Mallerstang to gaze upon thy beauteous eyes."

Talk of royal tapestries, what carpet can compare with the springy turf
that borders the road whereon you walk with lightsome step, happier than
a king, and having countless jewels to admire in the golden buds of the
gorse? It is a delightful mountain walk, now rising, now falling, but
always increasing the elevation; so cool and breezy in comparison with
the sultry temperature of the road we left below. And the grouping of
the summits around the broad expanse changes slowly as you advance, and
between the shades of yellow and green, brown and purple, the darker
shadows denote the courses of the dales. Wayfarers are few; perhaps a
boy trudges past pulling a donkey, which drags a sledge laden with turf
or hay; or a pedlar with crockery; but for miles your only living
companions are sheep and geese.

With increasing height we have less of grass and more of ling, and at
ten miles from Brough we come to the public-house on Tan Hill, situate
in the midst of a desolate brown upland, in which appear the upreared
timbers of coalpits, some abandoned, others in work. The house shows
signs of isolation in a want of cleanliness and order; but you can get
oaten bread, cheese, and passable beer, and have a talk with the pitmen,
and the rustics who come in for a drink ere starting homewards with
cartloads of coal. Seeing the numerous family round the hostess, I
inquired about their school; on which one of the black fellows--a rough
diamond--took up the question. There had been a dame school in one of
the adjacent cottages, but the old 'oman gave it up, and now the bairns
was runnin' wild. 'Twasn't right of Mr. ----, the proprietor of the
mines, to take away 5000_l._ a year, and not give back some on't for a
school. It made a man's heart sore to see bairns wantin' schoolin' and
no yabble to get it. 'Twasn't right, that 't wasn't.

Apparently an honest miner lived beneath that coaly incrustation,
possessed of good sense and sensibility. I quite agreed with him, and
recommended him to talk about a school whenever he could get a listener.

About a mile from the public-house the road leaves the brown region, and
descends rapidly to the Swale, crossing where the stream swells in rainy
weather to a noisy cataract, and Swaledale stretches away before us, a
grand mountain valley, yet somewhat severe in aspect. Gentle, as its
name imports, appears misapplied to a rushing stream; but a long course
lies before it: past Grinton, past picturesque Richmond, ancient ruins,
towers of barons, and cloisters of monks, and to the broad Vale of York,
where, calmed by old experience, it flows at Myton gently into the Ure.
And not only gentle but sacred, for Swale has been called the Jordan of
Yorkshire, because of the multitudinous baptism of the earliest converts
therein by Paulinus; "above ten thousand men, besides women and
children, in one day," according to the chronicler, who, perhaps to
disarm incredulity, explains that the apostle having baptized ten, sent
them into the stream to baptize a hundred, and so multiplied his
assistants as the rite proceeded, while he prayed on the shore.

By-and-by we meet signs of inhabitants--a house or two; a few fields of
mowing grass; the heaps of refuse at lead-mines, and our walk derives a
pleasurable interest from the hourly change, the bleak, barren, and
lonely, for the sheltered, the cultivated, and inhabited. More and more
are the hill-sides wavy with grass as we descend, field after field shut
in by stone fences, and the dalesmen are beginning to mow. The time of
the hay harvest has come for the mountains: a month later than in the
south. How beautifully the bright green contrasts with the dark purple
distances, and softens the features of the dale! And as I looked from
side to side, or around to the rear, as the fallen road made the hills
seem higher, and saw how much Swaledale has in common with a valley of
the Alps, I felt that here the desire for mountain scenery might be
satisfied; and I found myself watching for the first field of grain with
as much interest as I had watched for vines in the Val Mont Joie.

I overtook a party of lead-miners, boys and men, going home from work.
The boys could read; but there was only one of them who really liked
reading. "He's a good quiet boy," said the father; "likes to set down
wi' his book o' evenin's; t'others says they is tired. He can draw a
bit, too; and I'd like well to send'n to a good skule; but I only gets
two pounds a month, and that's poor addlings." And one of the young men
wished that digging for lead didn't make him so tired, for readin' made
him fall asleep, and yet he wanted to get on with his books. "It don't
seem right," he added, "that a lad should want a bit o' larnin' and not
get it." I said a few words about the value of habit, the steady growth
of knowledge from only half an hour's application continued day after
day at the same hour, and the many ways of learning offered to us apart
from books. The whole party listened with interest, and expressed their
thanks when we parted at the hamlet of Stonesdale. The lad thought he'd
try. He'd emigrate, only his wage was too low for saving.

If I had the missionary spirit, I would not go to Patagonia or Feejee;
but to the out-of-the-way places in my own country, and labour
trustfully there to remove some of the evils of ignorance. Any man who
should set himself to such a work, thinking not more highly of himself
than he ought to think, would be welcomed in every cottage, and become
assured after a while, that many an eye would watch gladly for his
coming. One of my first tasks should be to go about and pull up that old
pedlar's mischievous tares, and plant instead thereof a practical
knowledge of common things.

With unlimited supplies of stone to draw on, the houses of Stonesdale
are as rough and solid as if built by Druids. Every door has a porch for
protection against storms, and round each window a stripe of whitewash
betrays the rudimentary ornamental art of the inmates. A little farther,
and coming to the village of Thwaite, I called at the _Joiners' Arms_
for a glass of ale. The landlord, mistaking my voice for that of one of
his friends, came hastily into the kitchen with a jovial greeting, and
apparently my being a stranger made no difference, for he sat down and
began a hearty talk about business; about his boyhood, when he used to
run after the hounds; about his children, and the school down at Muker.
I laughed when he mentioned running after the hounds, for, as I saw him,
he was, as Southey has it, "broad in the rear and abdominous in the
van." His agility had been a fact, nevertheless. I praised the beer.
That did not surprise him; he brewed it himself, out of malt and hops,
too; not out of doctor's stuff. I asked a question about Hawes, to which
I was going over the Pass. "Oh!" said he, "it's terribly fallen off for
drink. I used to keep the inn there. A man could get a living in that
day by selling drink; but now the Methodists and teetotallers have got
in among 'em, and the place is quite ruined." Manifestly my heavy friend
looked at the question from the licensed victualler's point of view.
Concerning the school down at Muker, however he was not uncharitable.
'Twas a good school--a church school. There was a chapel of ease there
to Grinton. Mr. Lowther did the preaching and looked after the school,
and the people liked his teaching and liked his preaching. He brought
the children on well, gals as well as the boys; that he did.

If, reader, you should go to Thwaite, and wish to have a chat with a
jolly landlord, enquire for Matty John Ned, the name by which he is
known in all the country round; remembering what happened in my
experience. For when, late in the evening, I intimated to mine host of
the _White Hart_ at Hawes that Mr. Edward Alderson had recommended me to
his house, he replied, doubtfully, "Alderson--Alderson at Thwaite do you

"Yes, Alderson at Thwaite: a big man."

"O-o-o-o-h! You mean Matty John Ned."

Below Thwaite the dale expands; trees appear; you see Muker about three
miles distant, the chief village of Upper Swaledale: still nothing but
grass in the fields; and the same all the way to Reeth, ten miles from
Muker. There you would begin to see grain. Not far from Thwaite I turned
up a very steep, stony road on the right, which leads over the
Buttertubs Pass into Wensleydale, and soon could look down on the
village, and miles of Swaledale, and the hills beyond. Among those hills
are glens and ravines, and many a spot that it would be a pleasure to
explore, to say nothing of the lead mines, and the 'gliffs' of primitive
manners; and any one who could be content with homely head-quarters at
Muker or Thwaite might enjoy a roaming holiday for a week or two. And
for lovers of the angle there are trout in the brooks.

The ascent is long as well as steep, and rough withal; but the views
repay you every time you pause with more and more of the features of a
mountain pass. There are about it touches of savage grandeur, and the
effect of these was heightened at the time I crossed by a deep dark
cloud-shadow which overspread a league of the hills, and left the lower
range of the dale in full sunshine. For a while the road skirts the edge
of a deep glen on the left; it becomes deeper and deeper; there are
little fields, and haymakers at work at the bottom; then the slopes
change; the heather creeps down; the beck frets and foams, sending its
noise upward to your ear; screes and scars intermingle their rugged
forms and variations of colour; a waterfall rushes down the crags; and
when these have passed before your eyes you find yourself on a desolate

More desolate than any of the heights I had yet passed over. A broad
table-land of turf bogs, coffee-coloured pools, stacks of turf, patches
of rushes, and great boulders peeping everywhere out from among the
hardy heather. The dark cloud still hung aloft, and the wind blew chill,
making me quicken my pace, and feel the more pleasure when, after about
half an hour, the view opened into Wensleydale. A valley appears on the
right, with colts and cattle grazing on the bright green slopes; the
road descends; stone abounds; fences, large gate-posts, all are made of
stone; the road gets rougher; and by-and-by we come to Shaw, a little
village under Stag Fell, by the side of a wooded glen, from which there
rises the music of a mountain brook. On the left you see Lord
Wharncliffe's lodge, to which he resorts with his friends on the 12th of
August, for the hills around are inhabited by grouse. Yonder the walls
and windows of Hawes reflect the setting sun, and we see more of
Wensleydale, where trees are numerous in the landscape.

Then another little village, Simonstone, where, passing through the
public-house by the bridge, we find a path that leads us into a rocky
chasm, about ninety feet deep and twice as much in width, the limestone
cliffs hung with trees and bushes, here and there a bare crag jutting
out, or lying shattered beneath; while, cutting the grassy floor in two,
a lively beck ripples its way along. A bend conceals its source; but we
saunter on, and there at the end of the ravine, where the cliffs advance
and meet, we see the beck making one leap from top to bottom--and that
is Hardraw Scar. The rock overhangs above, hence the water shoots clear
of the cliff, and preserves an irregular columnar form, widening at the
base with bubbles and spray. You can go behind it, and look through the
falling current against the light, and note how it becomes fuller and
fuller of lines of beads as it descends, until they all commingle in the
flurry below. Dr. Tyndall might make an observatory of this cool nook,
the next time he investigates the cause of the noise in falling water,
with the advantage of looking forth on the romantic and pleasing scene
beyond. The geologist finds in the ravine a suggestive illustration on a
small scale of what Niagara with thunderous plunge has been
accomplishing through countless ages--namely, wearing away the solid
rock, inch by inch, foot by foot, until in the one instance a river
chasm is formed miles in length, and here, in the other, a pretty glen a
little more than a furlong deep.

At the time I saw it, the quantity of water was probably not more than
would fill a twelve-inch tube; but after heavy rains the upper stream
forms a broad horseshoe fall as it rushes over the curving cliff. In the
severe frost of 1740, when the Londoners were holding a fair on the
Thames, Hardraw Scar was frozen, and, fed continually from the source
above, it became at last a cone of ice, ninety feet in height, and as
much in circumference at the base: a phenomenon that was long remembered
by the gossips of the neighbourhood.

Hawes cheats the eye, and seems near, when by the road it is far off. On
the way thither from Simonstone we cross the Ure, the river of
Wensleydale, a broad and shallow, yet lively stream, infusing a charm
into the landscape, which I saw at the right moment, when the evening
shadows were creeping from the meadows up the hill-sides, and the water
flashed with gold and crimson ripples. I lingered on the bridge till the
last gleam vanished.

So grim and savage are the fells at the head of Wensleydale, that the
country folk in times past regarded them with superstitious dread, and
called the little brooks which there foster the infancy of Ure,
'hell-becks'--a name of dread. But both river and dale change their
character as they descend, the one flowing through scenes of exquisite
beauty ere, united with the Swale, it forms the Ouse; and the dale
broadens into the richest and most beautiful of all the North Riding.


     Bainbridge--"If you had wanted a wife"--A Ramble--Millgill
     Force--Whitfell Force--A Lovely Dell--The Roman Camp--The
     Forest Horn, and the old Hornblower--Haymaking--A Cockney Raker
     --Wensleydale Scythemen--A Friend indeed--Addleborough--Curlews
     and Grouse--The First Teapot--Nasty Greens--The Prospect--
     Askrigg--Bolton Castle--Penhill--Middleham--Miles Coverdale's
     Birthplace--Jervaux Abbey--Moses's Principia--Nappa Hall--The
     Metcalfes--The Knight and the King--The Springs--Spoliation of
     the Druids--The great Cromlech--Legend--An ancient Village--
     Simmer Water--An advice for Anglers--More Legends--Counterside
     --Money-Grubbers--Widdale--Newby Head.

Four miles from Hawes down the dale is the pleasant village of
Bainbridge, where the rustic houses, with flower-plots in front and
roses climbing on the walls, and yellow stonecrop patching the roofs and
fences, look out upon a few noble sycamores, and a green--a real village
green. The hills on each side are lofty and picturesque; at one end, on
a flat eminence, remains the site of a Roman camp; the Bain, a small
stream coming from a lake some three miles distant, runs through the
place in a bed of solid stone, to enter Ure a little below, and all
around encroaching here and there up the hill-sides spread meadows of
luxuriant grass. The simple rural beauty will gladden your eye, and--as
with every stranger who comes to Bainbridge--win your admiration.

Wensleydale enjoys a reputation for cheese and fat pastures and wealth
above the neighbouring dales, and appears to be fully aware of its
superiority. The folk, moreover, consider themselves refined, advanced
in civilization in comparison with the dwellers on the other side of
Buttertubs: those whom we talked with yesterday. "Mr. White, if you had
wanted a wife, do you think you could choose one out of Swaledale?" was
the question put to me by a strapping village lass before I had been
three hours in Bainbridge.

Fortune favoured me. I found here some worthy Quaker friends of mine,
who had journeyed from Oxfordshire to spend the holidays under the
paternal rooftree. It was almost as if I had arrived at home myself; and
although I had breakfasted at Hawes, they took it for granted that I
would eat a lunch to keep up my strength till dinner-time. They settled
a plan which would keep me till the morrow exploring the
neighbourhood--a detention by no means to be repined at--and introduced
me to a studious young dalesman, the village author, who knew every nook
of the hills, every torrent and noteworthy site, and all the legends
therewith associated for miles round, and who was to be my guide and

Away we rambled across the Ure to a small wooded hollow at the foot of
Whitfell, in the hills which shut out Swaledale. It conceals a Hardraw
Scar in miniature, shooting from an overhanging ledge of dark shale, in
which are numerous fossil shells. From this we followed the hill upwards
to Millgill Force, a higher fall, on another beck, overshadowed by firs
and the mountain elm, and which Nature keeps as a shrine approachable
only by the active foot and willing heart. Now you must struggle through
the tall grass and tangle on the precipitous sides high among the trees;
now stride and scramble over the rocky masses in the bed of the stream.
To sit and watch the fall deep under the canopy of leaves, catching
glimpses of sunshine and of blue sky above, and to enjoy the delicious
coolness, was the luxury of enjoyment. I could have sat for hours.
Wordsworth came here during one of his excursions in Yorkshire; and if
you wish to know what Millgill Force is, as painted by the pen, even the
minute touches, read his description.

But there is yet another--Whitfell Force--higher up, rarely visited, for
the hill is steep and the way toilsome. My guide, however, was not less
willing to lead than I to follow, and soon we were scrambling through
the deepest ravine of all, where the sides, for the most part, afford no
footing, not even for a goat, but rise in perpendicular walls, or lean
over at the top. Here again the lavish foliage is backed by the dark
stiff spines of firs, and every inch of ground, every cranny, all but
the impenetrable face of the rock, is hidden by rank grasses, trailing
weeds, climbers, periwinkle, woodbine, and ferns, among which the
hart's-tongue throws out its large drooping clusters of graceful fronds.
For greater part of the way we had to keep the bed of the stream; now
squeezing ourselves between mighty lumps of limestone that nearly barred
the passage, so that the stream itself could not get through without a
struggle; now climbing painfully over where the crevices were too
narrow; now zigzagging from side to side wherever the big stones
afforded foothold, not without slips and splashes that multiplied our
excitement; now pausing on a broad slab to admire the narrowing chasm
and all its exquisite greenery. My companion pointed out a crystal pool
in which he sometimes bathed--a bath that Naiads themselves might envy.
In this way we came at length to a semicircular opening, and saw the
fall tumbling from crag to crag for sixty feet, and dispersing itself
into a confused shower before it fell into the channel beneath. We both
sat for a while without speaking, listening to the cool splash and busy
gurgle as the water began its race down the hill; and, for my part, I
felt that fatigue and labour were well repaid by the sight of so lovely
a dell.

Then by other paths we returned to the village, and mounted to the
flat-topped grassy mound, which Professor Phillips says, is an ancient
gravel heap deposited by the action of water. The Romans, taking
advantage of the site, levelled it, and established thereon a small
camp. A statue and inscription and some other relics have been found,
showing that in this remote spot, miles distant from their main highway,
the conquerors had a military station, finding it no doubt troublesome
to keep the dalesmen of their day in order.

Then we looked at a very, very old millstone, which now stands on its
edge at the corner of a cottage doing motionless duty as one end of a
kennel. The dog creeps in through the hole in the middle. There it
stands, an unsatisfactory antique, for no one knows anything about it.
Of two others, however, which we next saw, something is known--the old
horn and the old hornblower. Bainbridge was chief place of the forest of
Wensleydale--of which the Duke of Leeds is now Her Majesty's Ranger, and
at the same time hereditary Constable and Lord of Middleham Castle--and
from time immemorial the "forest horn" has been blown on the green,
every night at ten o'clock, from the end of September to Shrovetide, and
it is blown still; for are not ancient customs all but immortal in our
country? The stiff-jointed graybeard hearing that a curious stranger
wished to look at the instrument, brought it forth. It is literally a
horn--a large ox-horn, lengthened by a hoop of now rusty tin, to make
up for the pieces which some time or other had been broken from its
mouth. He himself had put on the tin years ago. Of course I was invited
to blow a blast, and of course failed. My companion, however, could make
it speak lustily; but the old man did best, and blew a long-sustained
note, which proved him to be as good an economist of breath as a
pearl-diver. For years had he thus blown, and his father before him. I
could not help thinking of the olden time ere roads were made, and of
belated travellers saved from perishing in the snow by that nightly

Now it was tea-time, and we had tea served after the Wensleydale
manner--plain cakes and currant cakes, cakes hot and cold, and butter
and cheese at discretion, with liberty to call for anything else that
you like; and the more you eat and drink, the more will you rise in the
esteem of your hospitable entertainers. And after that I went down to
the hay-field, for it was a large field, and the farmer longed to get
the hay all housed before sunset. They don't carry hay in the dales,
they 'lead' it; and the two boys from Oxfordshire were not a little
proud in having the 'leading' assigned to them, seeing that they had
nothing to do but ride the horse that drew the hay-sledge to and fro
between the barn and the 'wind-rows.' Another difference is, that forks
are not used except to pitch the hay from the sledge to the barn, all
the rest--turning the swath, making into cocks--is done with the rake
and by hand. So I took a rake, and beginning at one side of the field at
the same time with an old hand, worked away so stoutly, that he had much
ado to keep ahead of me. And so it went on, all hands working as if
there were no such thing as weariness, load after load slipping away to
the barn; and I unconsciously growing meritorious. "You're the first
cockney I ever saw," said the stalwart farmer, "that knew how to handle
a rake." Had I stayed with him a week, he would have discovered other of
my capabilities equally praiseworthy. We should have accomplished the
task and cleared the field; but a black cloud rose in the west, and soon
sent down a heavy shower, and compelled us to huddle up the remaining
rows into cocks, and leave them till morning.

Must I confess it? Haymaking with the blithesome lasses in Ulrichsthal
is a much more sprightly pastime than haymaking with the Quakers in

The hay harvest is an exciting time in the dales, for grass is the only
crop, and the cattle have to be fed all through the long months of
winter, and sometimes far into the backward spring. Hence every thing
depends on the hay being carried and housed in good condition; and many
an anxious look is cast at passing clouds and distant hill-tops to learn
the signs of the weather. The dalesmen are expert in the use of the
scythe; and numbers of them, after their own haymaking is over, migrate
into Holderness and other grain-growing districts, and mow down the
crops, even the wheat-fields, with remarkable celerity.

Many a hand had I to shake the next morning, when the moment came to say
farewell. The student would not let me depart alone; he would go with me
a few miles, and show me remarkable things by the way; and what was
more, he would carry my knapsack. "You will have quite enough of it," he
said, "before your travel is over." So I had to let him. We soon
diverged from the road and began the ascent of Addleborough
(_Edel-burg_,) that noble hill which rises on the south-east of
Bainbridge, rearing its rocky crest to a height of more than fifteen
hundred feet. We took the shortest way, climbing the tall fences,
struggling through heather, striding across bogs, and disturbing the
birds. The curlews began their circling flights above our heads, and the
grouse took wing with sudden flutter, eight or ten brace starting from a
little patch that, to my inexperience, seemed too small to hide a couple
of chickens.

My companion talked as only a dalesman can talk--as one whose whole
heart is in his subject. None but a dalesman, he said, could read
Wordsworth aright, or really love him. He could talk of the history of
the dale, and of the ways of the people. His great-grandmother was the
first in Bainbridge who ever had a teapot. When tea first began to be
heard of in those parts, a bagman called on an old farmer, and
fascinated him so by praising the virtues of the new leaf from China,
that with his wife's approval he ordered a 'stean' to begin with. The
trader ventured to suggest that a stone of tea would be a costly
experiment, and sent them only a pound. Some months afterwards he called
again for "money and orders," and asked how the worthy couple liked the
tea. "Them was the nastiest greens we ever tasted," was the answer. "The
parcel cam' one morning afore dinner, so the missus tied 'em up in a
cloth and put 'em into t' pot along wi' t' bacon. But we couldn't abear
'em when they was done; and as for t' broth, we couldn't sup a drop on

Having climbed the last steep slope, we sat down in a recess of the
rocky frontlet which the hill bears proudly on its brow, and there,
sheltered from the furious wind, surveyed the scene below. We could see
across the opposite fells, in places, to the summits on the farther side
of Swaledale, and down Wensleydale for miles, and away to the blue range
of the Hambleton hills that look into the Vale of York. Bainbridge
appears as quiet as if it were taking holiday; yonder, Askrigg twinkles
under a thin white veil of smoke; and farther, Bolton Castle--once the
prison of the unhappy Queen of Scots--shows its four square towers above
a rising wood: all basking in the glorious sunshine. Yet shadows are not
wanting. Many a dark shade marks where a glen breaks the hill-sides:
some resemble crooked furrows, trimmed here and there with a dull green
fringe, the tree-tops peeping out, and by these signs the beck we
explored yesterday may be discerned on the opposite fell. Wherever that
little patch of wood appears, there we may be sure a waterfall, though
all unseen, is joining in the great universal chorus. Ure winds down the
dale in many a shining curve, of which but one is visible between bright
green meadow slopes, and belts, and clumps of wood, that broaden with
the distance; and all the landscape is studded with the little white
squares--the homes of the dalesmen.

Four miles below the stream rushes over great steps of limestone which
traverse its bed at Aysgarth Force, and flows onwards past Penhill, the
mountain of Wensleydale, overtopping Addleborough by three hundred feet;
past Witton Fell and its spring, still known as Diana's Bath; past
Leyburn, and its high natural terrace--the Shawl, where the 'Queen's gap'
reminds the visitor once more of Mary riding through surrounded by a
watchful escort; past Middleham, where the lordly castle of the
King-maker now stands in hopeless ruin, recalling the names of Anne of
Warwick, Isabella of Clarence, Edward IV., and his escape from the
haughty baron's snare; of Richard of Gloucester, and others who figure in
our national history; past Coverdale, the birthplace of that Miles
Coverdale whose translation of the Bible will keep his memory green
through many a generation, and the site of Coverham Abbey, of which but
a few arches now remain. It was built in 1214 for the Premonstratensians,
or White Canons, who never wore linen. Where the Cover falls into the
Ure, spreads the meadow Ulshaw, the place from which Oswin dismissed his
army in 651. Tradition preserves the memory of Hugh de Moreville's seat,
though not of the exact site, and thus associates the neighbourhood with
one of the slayers of Becket. And at East Witton, beyond Coverham, are
the ruins of the Cistercian Abbey of Jervaux--Jarvis Abbey, as the
country folk call it--a relic dating from 1156. Plunderers and the
weather had their own way with it until 1805, when the Earl of Aylesbury,
to whom the estate belongs, inspired by his steward's discovery of a
tesselated pavement, stayed the progress of dilapidation, and had the
concealing heaps of grass-grown rubbish dug away. Old Jenkins, who died
in 1670, remembered Jervaux as it stood in its prime: he had shared the
dole given by the monks to poor wayfarers. He remembered, too, the
mustering of the dalesmen under the banner of the good Lord Scroop of
Bolton for the battle of Flodden, when

    "With him did wend all Wensleydale
      From Morton unto Morsdale moor;
    All they that dwell by the banks of Swale
      With him were bent in harness stour."

At Spennithorne, a village over against Coverham, were born John
Hutchinson, the opponent of Newton, and Hatfield the crazy, who fired at
George III. The philosopher--who was a yeoman's son--made some stir in
his day by publishing _Moses's Principia_, in opposition to Sir Isaac's,
and by his collection of fossils, out of which he contrived arguments
against geologists. This collection was bequeathed to Dr. Woodward, and
eventually became part of the museum in the University of Cambridge.

Looking across the dale, somewhat to the right of Bainbridge, we see
Nappa Hall, long the seat of the Metcalfes. In Queen Mary's time, Sir
Christopher Metcalfe was sheriff, and he met the judges at York at the
head of three hundred horsemen, all dressed alike, and all of his own
name and family. The name is still a common one in the North Riding, as
you will soon discover on the front of public-houses, over the door at
toll-bars, and on the sides of carts and wagons. The present Lord
Metcalfe had a Guisborough man for his father. A Metcalfe, born at
Coverhead, is said to have made Napoleon's coffin at St. Helena. One of
the fighting men who distinguished themselves at Agincourt was a
Metcalfe. The Queen of Scots' bedstead is still preserved at Nappa.
Raleigh once visited the Hall, and brought with him--so the story
goes--the first crayfish ever seen in the dale. Another visitor was that
cruel pedant, Royal Jamie, who scrupled not to cut off Raleigh's head--a
far better one than his own--and concerning him we are told that he rode
across the Ure on the back of one of the serving-men. Perhaps the poor
serving-man felt proud all his life after.

If to dream about the Past by the side of a spring be one of your
pleasures, you may enjoy it here in Wensleydale with many a change of
scene. Besides Diana's Bath, already mentioned, St. Simon's Spring still
bubbles up at Coverham, St. Alkelda's at Middleham, and the Fairies'
Well at Hornby. To this last an old iron cup was chained, which a late
local antiquary fondly thought might be one of those which King Edwin
ordered to be fastened to running springs throughout his territories.

Celt and Northman have left their traces. The grandmothers of the
children who now play in the village could remember the Beltane
bonfires, and the wild dances around them. The Danes peopled the gloomy
savage parts of the glen with their imaginary black alfs. An old couplet

    "Druid, Roman, Scandinavia
    Stone Raise, on Addleboro'."

So we sat and talked, and afterwards scrambled up the rocks to the
summit. Here is, or rather was, a Druid circle of flat stones: but my
companion screamed with vexation on discovering that three or four of
the largest stones had been taken away, and were nowhere to be seen. The
removal must have been recent, for the places where they lay were
sharply defined in the grass, and the maze of roots which had been
covered for ages was still dense and blanched. And so an ancient
monument must be destroyed either out of wanton mischief, or to be
broken up for the repair of a fence! Whoever were the perpetrators, I

    "Oh, be their tombs as lead to lead!"

We walked across the top to Stain-Ray, or Stone Raise, a great cromlech
or cairn 360 feet in circumference. You would perhaps regard it as
nothing more than a huge irregular mound of lumps of gritstone bleached
by the weather, with ferns and moss growing in the interstices, but
within there are to be seen the remains of three cysts, of which only
one retains a definite form. It is said that a skeleton was discovered
therein. Tradition tells of a giant who once travelling with a chest of
gold on his back from Skipton Castle to Pendragon, felt weary while
crossing Addleborough, and let his burden slip, but recovering himself,
he cried,

    "Spite of either God or man,
    To Pendragon castle thou shalt gang."

when it fell from his shoulders, sank into the earth, and the stones
rose over it. There the chest remained, and still remains, only to be
recovered by the fortunate mortal to whom the fairy may appear in the
form of a hen or an ape. He has then but to stretch forth his arm, seize
the chest, and drag it out, in silence if he can, at all events without
swearing, or he will fail, as did that unfortunate wight, who, uttering
an oath in the moment of success, lost his hold of the treasure, and saw
the fairy no more as long as he lived.

We descended into the hollow between Addleborough and Stake Fell,
crossing on the way the natural terrace that runs along the southern and
western sides of the hill, to look at a cluster of heaps of stone, and
low, irregular walls or fences, the plan of which appears to show a
series of enclosures opening one into the other. My friend had long made
up his mind that these were the remains of an ancient British village.
For my part, I could not believe that a village old as the Roman
conquest would leave vestiges of such magnitude after the lapse of
nearly two thousand years; whereupon, arguments, and learned ones, were
adduced, until I half admitted the origin assigned. But a few days later
I saw an enclosure in Wharfedale identical in form with any one of
these, used as a sheepfold, and all my doubts came back with renewed
force. In the ordnance maps, the description is "ancient enclosures;"
and, to give an off-hand opinion, it appears to me probable that this
outlying hollow may have been chosen as a safe place for the flocks in
the troublous days of old.

Stake Fell is 1843 feet in height, rising proudly on our left. Beneath
us, in the valley Ray or Roedale, a branch of Wensleydale, spreads
Simmer Water, a lake of one hundred and five acres. Shut in by hills,
and sprinkled with wood around its margin, it beautifies and enlivens
the landscape. It abounds in trout, moreover, and bream and grayling,
and any one who chooses may fish therein, as well as in the Ure, all the
way down to Bainbridge, and farther. The river trout are considered far
superior to those of the lake. We made haste down, after a pause to
observe the view, for dinner awaited us in a pleasant villa overlooking
the bright rippling expanse.

When we started anew, some two hours later, our hospitable entertainer
would accompany us. We walked round the foot of the lake, and saw on the
margin, near the break where the Bain flows out, two big stones which
have lain in their present position ever since the devil and a giant
pelted one another from hill to hill across the water. To corroborate
the legend, there yet remain on the stones the marks--and prodigious
ones they are--of the Evil One's hands. To me the marks appeared more
like the claws of an enormous bird, compared with which Dr. Mantell's
_Dinornis_ would be but a chicken.

Long, long ago, while the Apostles still walked the earth, a poor old
man wandered into Raydale, where a large city then stood, and besought
alms from house to house. Every door was shut against him, save one, an
humble cot without the city wall, where the inmates bade him welcome,
and set oaten bread and milk cheese before him, and prepared him a
pallet whereon to sleep. On the morrow the old man pronounced a blessing
on the house and departed; but as he went forth, he turned, and looking
on the city, thus spake:

    "Semer Water rise, Semer Water sink,
        And swallow all the town
        Save this little house
    Where they gave me meat and drink."

Whereupon followed the roar of an earthquake, and the rush of water; the
city sank down and a broad lake rolled over its site; but the charitable
couple who lodged the stranger were preserved, and soon by some
miraculous means they found themselves rich, and a blessing rested on
them and their posterity.

Besides the satanic missiles, there are stones somewhere on the brink of
the lake known as the 'Mermaid Stones,' but not one of us knew where to
look for them, so we set our faces towards Counterside, the hill on the
northern side of the vale and trudged patiently up the steep ascent in
the hot afternoon sun, repaid by the widening prospect. We could see
where waterfalls were rushing in the little glens at the head of the
dale, and the shadow of hills in the lake, and the remotest village,
Stalling Busk, said to be a place of unusual thrift. Even in that remote
nook, you would find the dalesmen's maxim kept from rusting, as well in
the villages lower down and nearer the world: it is--"I don't want to
chate, or to be chated; but if it must be one or t'other, why, then, I
wouldn't be chated." It is no scandal to say that money-grubbing in the
dale is proverbial. "Look at that man," said my Quaker friend at
Bainbridge, pointing out what looked like a labourer driving a cart;
"that man is worth thousands." I did not hear, however, that he made an
offensive use of his talent, as certain money-grubbers do in the
neighbourhood of large towns. "He's got nought," exclaimed a coarse,
rich man near Hull, slapping his pocket, of a poor man who differed from
him in opinion: "he's got nought--what should he know about it?"

We went down on the other slope of Counterside with Hawes in sight, and
Cam Fell, a long ridgy summit more than 1900 feet high. I preferred to
double it rather than go over it, and having shifted the knapsack to my
own shoulders, shook hands with my excellent friends, and choosing short
cuts so as to avoid the town, came in about an hour to the steep lonely
road which turns up into Widdale, beyond the farther end of Hawes.

We shall return to Wensleydale a few days hence; meanwhile, good-natured
reader, Widdale stretches before us, the road rising with little
interruption for miles. Two hours of brisk walking will carry us through
it between great wild hill slopes, which are channeled here and there by
the dry, stony bed of a torrent. The evening closes in heavy and
lowering, and Cam Fell and Widdale Fell uprear their huge forms on the
right and left in sullen gloom, and appear the more mountainous. Ere
long thick mists overspread their summits, and send ragged wreaths down
the hollows, and much of the landscape becomes dim, and we close our day
with a view of Nature in one of her mysterious moods. We ascend into the
bleak region, pass the bare little hamlet of Redshaw, catch a dull
glimpse of Ingleborough, with its broad flat summit, and then at six
miles from Hawes, come to the lonesome public-house at Newby Head.

Of such wild land as that we have traversed. Arthur Young once bought a
large tract, having in view a grand scheme of reclamation, but was
diverted therefrom by his appointment as Secretary to the Board of
Agriculture. "What a change," he says, "in the destination of a man's
life! Instead of entering the solitary lord of four thousand acres, in
the keen atmosphere of lofty rocks and mountain torrents, with a little
creation rising gradually around me, making the desert smile with
cultivation, and grouse give way to industrious population, active and
energetic, though remote and tranquil; and every instant of my
existence, making two blades of grass to grow where not one was found
before--behold me at a desk, in the smoke, the fog, the din of

The public-house is a resort for cattle-dealers from Scotland, and
head-quarters for shepherds and labourers. The fare is better than the
lodging. Three kinds of cakes, eggs, and small pies of preserved
bilberries, were set before me at tea; but the bed, though the sheets
were clean, had a musty smell of damp straw.


     About Gimmer Hogs--Gearstones--Source of the Ribble--
     Weathercote Cave--An Underground Waterfall--A Gem of a Cave--
     Jingle Pot--The Silly Ducks--Hurtle Pool--The Boggart--A
     Reminiscence of the Doctor--Chapel-le-Dale--Remarkable Scenery
     --Ingleborough--Ingleton--Craven--Young Daniel Dove, and Long
     Miles--Clapham--Ingleborough Cave--Stalactite and Stalagmite--
     Marvellous Spectacle--Pillar Hall--Weird Music--Treacherous
     Pools--The Abyss--How Stalactite forms--The Jockey Cap--Cross
     Arches--The Long Gallery--The Giant's Hall--Mysterious
     Waterfall--A Trouty Beck--The Bar-Parlour--A Bradford Spinner.

On the way hither, I had noticed what was to me a novel mode of
bill-sticking; that is, on the sharp spines of tall thistles by the
wayside. The bills advertised _Gimmer Hogs_ for sale, a species of
animal that I had never before heard of, and I puzzled myself not a
little in guessing what they could be. For although _Gimmer_ is good
honest Danish, signifying a ewe that has not yet lambed, the connexion
between sheep and swine is not obvious to the uninitiated. However, it
happened that I sat down to breakfast with a Scottish grazier who had
arrived soon after daybreak, and he told me that sheep not more than one
year old are called Gimmer Hogs; but why the word hogs should be used to
describe ewes he could not tell.

The morning was dull and drizzly, and by the time I had crossed to
Ingleton Fell, from the North to the West Riding, a swift, horizontal
rain came on, laborious to walk against, and drove me for shelter into
the _Gearstones Inn_. Of the two or three houses hereabouts, one is a
school; and in this wild spot a Wednesday market is held. Ingleborough
is in sight; the hills around form pleasing groups, and had we time to
explore them, we should find many a rocky glen, and curious cave,
Catknot Hole, Alum Pot, Long Churn, and Dicken Pot; and many a sounding
ghyll, as the folk here call it--that is, a waterfall. Not far from the
inn is Gale beck, the source of the Ribble; and as we proceed down the
now continuous descent, so do the features of the landscape grow more

For more than an hour did the rain-storm sweep across the hills, holding
me prisoner. At length faint gleams of sunshine broke through; I started
afresh, and three miles farther was treading on classic
ground--Chapel-le-Dale. Turn in at the second gate on the right beyond
the public-house, and you will soon have speech with Mr. Metcalfe, who
keeps the key of Weathercote cave. Standing on a sheltered valley slope,
with a flower-garden in front and trees around, his house presents a
favourable specimen of a yeoman's residence. No lack of comfort here, I
thought, on seeing the plenteous store of oaten bread on the racks in
the kitchen. Nor is there any lack of attention to the visitor's wishes
on the part of Mr. Metcalfe. He unlocks a door, and leads the way down a
steep, rude flight of steps into a rocky chasm, from which ascends the
noise of falling water. A singularly striking scene awaits you. The
rocks are thickly covered in places with ferns and mosses, and are
broken up by crevices into a diversity of forms, rugged as chaos. A few
feet down, and you see a beautiful crystalline spring in a cleft on the
right, and the water turning the moss to stone as it trickles down. A
few feet lower and you pass under a natural bridge formed by huge fallen
blocks. The stair gets rougher, twisting among the big, damp lumps of
limestone, when suddenly your guide points to the fall at the farther
extremity of the chasm. The rocks are black, the place is gloomy,
imparting thereby a surprising effect to the white rushing column of
water. A beck running down the hill finds its way into a crevice in the
cliffs, from which it leaps in one great fall of more than eighty feet,
roaring loudly. Look up! the chasm is so narrow that the trees and
bushes overhang and meet overhead; and what with the subdued light, and
mixture of crags and verdure, and the impressive aspect of the place
altogether, you will be lost in admiration.

To descend lower seems scarcely possible, but you do get down,
scrambling over the big stones to the very bottom, into the swirling
shower of spray. Here a deep recess, or chamber at one side, about eight
feet in height, affords good standing ground, whence you may see that
the water is swallowed up at once, and disappears in the heap of pebbles
on which it falls. Conversation is difficult, for the roar is
overpowering. After I had stood some minutes in contemplation, Mr.
Metcalfe told me that it was possible to get behind the fall and look
through it, taking care to run quickly across the strong blast that
meets you on starting from the recess. I buttoned my overcoat to my
chin, and rushed into the cavity, and looked upwards. I was in a pit 120
feet deep, covered by a tumultuous curtain of water, but had to make a
speedy retreat, so furiously was I enveloped by blinding spray. To make
observations from that spot one should wear a suit of waterproof.

Through the absence of sunshine I lost the sight of the rainbow which is
seen for about two hours in the middle of the day from the front of the
fall. It is a horizontal bow with the convex side towards the water,
shifting its position higher or lower as you mount or descend.

Although it might now be properly described as a pit, the chasm gives
you the impression of a cave of which the roof has fallen in. If this be
so, the fall was once entirely underground, roaring day and night in
grim darkness. It may still be regarded as an underground fall, for the
throat from which it leaps is more than thirty feet below the surface.
In the cleft above this throat a thick heavy slab is fixed in a singular
position, just caught, as it seems, by two of its corners, so that you
fancy it ready to tumble at any moment with the current that shoots so
swiftly beneath it. As you pause often on returning to look back at the
roaring stream, and up to the impending crags, you will heartily confirm
Professor Sedgwick--who by the way is a Yorkshireman--in his opinion,
that if Weathercote Cave be small, it is a very gem. Nor will you grudge
the shilling fee for admission.

The extreme length of the pit is about 180 feet. In rainy weather it
becomes a sink-hole into which the streams pour from all the slopes
around, at times filling it to the brim and running over. Mr. Metcalfe
shewed me the stem of a tree entangled in the crevices near the top,
which had been floated there by the floods of the previous winter. While
coming slowly up, I could not fail to notice the change of temperature,
from the chill damp that made me shiver, to a pleasant warmth, and then
to the heavy heat of a dull day in July.

A little way below the house, going down the narrow dale, you come to
another mossy crevice in the rocks among the trees to which the country
folk have given the name of Gingle, or Jingle Pot, because of a certain
jingling sound produced by stones when thrown therein. To my ear there
was no ring in the sound. It is quite dry, with a bottom sloping steeply
and making a sudden turn to a depth of eighty feet. Mr. Metcalfe had let
himself down into the Pot by a rope, two days before my arrival, to look
for a young cow that had fallen in while on the gad, and disappeared in
the lowest hole. He saw the animal dead, and so tightly wedged in under
the rock, that there he left it. This was his second descent. The first
was made in winter some years ago to rescue his ducks, which, perhaps
deceived by the dark crevice, that looked like a deep narrow pond when
all the ground was white with snow, took all together a sudden flight to
settle on it, and of course went to the bottom. Mr. Metcalfe was driving
them home at the time; he looked over the edge of the Pot, and invited
the silly birds to fly out. But no, they would not be persuaded to use
their wings, and remained crowded together on the highest part of the
slope, stretching their necks upwards. So there was nothing for it but
to fetch them out. Their owner let himself down; yet after all his
trouble the ungrateful creatures refused as long as possible to be put
into the bag.

Farther down again, and you come to Hurtle Pot, a gloomy cavity overhung
by trees, and mantled with ivy, ferns, and coarse weeds. At the bottom
rests a darksome pool, said to be twenty-seven feet deep, which contains
small trout, and swallows up rocks and stones, or whatever may be thrown
into it, without any perceptible diminution of the depth. You can get
down to the edge of the water by an inconvenient path, and feel the
gloom, and find excuses for the rustics who believe in the existence of
the Hurtle Pot Boggart. In olden time his deeds were terrible; but of
late years he only frightens people with noises. Both this and Jingle
Pot are choked with water from subterranean channels in flood time, and
then there is heard here such an intermittent throbbing, gurgling noise,
accompanied by what seem dismal gaspings, that a timorous listener might
easily believe the Boggart was drowning his victims. One evening a
loving couple, walking behind the trees above the Pot, heard most
unearthly noises arise from the murky chasm; never had the like been
heard before. Surely, thought the turtle-doves, the Boggart is coming
forth with some new trick, and they fled in terror. A friend of Mr.
Metcalfe's was playing his flute down on the edge of the pool.

Again farther, and there is the little chapel from which the dale takes
its name. As I have said, we are here on classic ground. That is the
edifice, and this is the place described by Southey. Here dwelt that
worthy yeoman, Daniel Dove's father, and his fathers before him, handing
down their six-and-twenty acres, and better yet, an honest name, from
one to the other through many generations--yea, from time immemorial.
One of those good old families which had ancestors before the Conquest.
Give me leave, good-natured reader, to complete my sketch by the
description as it appears, with masterly touches, in _The Doctor_.

"The little church called Chapel-le-Dale, stands about a bowshot from
the family house. There they had all been carried to the font; there
they had each led his bride to the altar; and thither they had, each in
his turn, been borne upon the shoulders of their friends and neighbours.
Earth to earth they had been consigned there for so many generations,
that half of the soil of the churchyard consisted of their remains. A
hermit who might wish his grave to be as quiet as his cell, could
imagine no fitter resting-place. On three sides there was an irregular
low stone wall, rather to mark the limits of the sacred ground, than to
enclose it; on the fourth it was bounded by the brook, whose waters
proceed by a subterraneous channel from Weathercote Cave. Two or three
alders and rowan-trees hung over the brook, and shed their leaves and
seeds into the stream. Some bushy hazels grew at intervals along the
lines of the wall; and a few ash-trees as the winds had sown them. To
the east and west some fields adjoined it, in that state of half
cultivation which gives a human character to solitude: to the south, on
the other side the brook, the common with its limestone rocks peering
everywhere above ground, extended to the foot of Ingleborough. A craggy
hill, feathered with birch, sheltered it from the north.

"The turf was as soft and fine as that of the adjoining hills; it was
seldom broken, so scanty was the population to which it was
appropriated; scarcely a thistle or a nettle deformed it, and the few
tombstones which had been placed there, were now themselves half buried.
The sheep came over the wall when they listed, and sometimes took
shelter in the porch from the storm. Their voices and the cry of the
kite wheeling above, were the only sounds which were heard there, except
when the single bell which hung in its niche over the entrance tinkled
for service on the Sabbath day, or with a slower tongue gave notice that
one of the children of the soil was returning to the earth from which he

Is not that charming?--a word-picture, worthy of a master's pen. One
error, however, has slipped in. There is no porch, nor any sign that one
has ever been. The chapel will hold eighty persons, and is, as Mr.
Metcalfe, informed me, "never too small."

A week or more might be spent in explorations in this neighbourhood.
Five miles down towards Kirkby Lonsdale, there is Thornton Force. Near
it is Yordas Cave--once the haunt of a giant; Gatekirk Cave is distant
about half an hour's walk; Douk Hole is in the neighbourhood of
Ingleton; and in all the region, and over the Westmoreland border, there
is a highly picturesque succession of caves, ravines, glens, and
torrents dashing through rocky chasms, and of all the magnificent
phenomena only to be seen amid the limestone. Many a tourist hurries
past on his way to the Lakes all unmindful of scenery which, in its
kind, surpasses any that he will see between Windermere and

I went up to the public-house and dined with the haymakers, and enjoyed
the sight of sunburnt rustics eating smoking mutton-pie without stint,
as much as I did my own repast. The host's daughter brought me a book,
which had only recently been provided to receive the names of visitors.
Among them was the autograph of a Russian gentleman who had called
within the week, and who, as I heard, did nothing but grumble at English
customs, yet could not help praising the scenery. He was on foot, and
with knapsack on shoulder. I crossed his track, and heard of him sundry
times afterwards, and hoped to meet him, that I might ask leave to
enlighten him on a few points concerning which he appeared to be
distressingly ignorant.

I had planned to ascend and cross Ingleborough, and drop down upon
Clapham from its southern side; but when a hill is half buried in mist,
and furious scuds fly across its brow, it is best to be content with the
valley. So I took up my route on the main road, and continued down the
dale, where the limestone crags breaking out on each side form a series
of irregular terraces, intermingled green and gray, pleasing to the eye.
In the bottom, on the right, the subterranean river bursts forth which
Goldsmith mentions in his _Natural History_.

The height of Ingleborough is 2361 feet. Its name is supposed to be
derived from _Ingle-burg_--a word which embodies the idea of fire and
fortress. It is a table-mountain, with a top so flat and spacious that
an encampment of more than fifteen acres, of which the traces are still
visible, was established thereon, probably by the Brigantes, if not by
an earlier race. It is a landmark for vessels on the coast of
Lancashire. St. George's Channel is visible from the summit; and one who
has looked on the eastern sea from Flamborough Head may find it
convenient to remember that Yorkshire, on its westernmost extremity, is
but ten miles from the western sea.

In a short hour from Weathercote you come to the end of the fells, an
abrupt descent, all rough with crags and boulders, where the view opens
at once over the district of Craven, and the little town of Ingleton is
seen comfortably nestled under the hill. Craven lies outspread in
beauty--woods, hills, fields, and pastures charming the eye of one who
comes from the untilled moors, and suggestive of delightful rambles in
store. The Ribble flows through it, watering many a romantic cliff and
wooded slope. And for the geologist, Craven possesses especial interest,
for it is intersected by what he calls a 'fault,' on the southern side
of which the limestone strata are thrown down a thousand feet.

I left Ingleton on the right, and turned off at the cross-roads for
Clapham, distant four miles. Here, as in other parts of my travel, the
miles seemed long--quite as long as they were found to be years ago. We
are told that when young Daniel Dove walked dutifully every day to
school, "the distance was in those days called two miles; but miles of
such long measure that they were for him a good hour's walk at a
cheerful pace." On the way from Mickle Fell to Brough I met with a more
unkindly experience; and that was an hour's walking for a single mile.

The road undulating along the hill-side commands pleasing views, and for
one on foot is to be preferred to the new road, which winds among the
fields below. And with a brightening evening we come to Clapham--a
cheerful, pretty village, adorned with flowers, and climbers, and
smooth grass plots, embowered by trees, and watered by a merry brook,
lying open to the sun on the roots of Ingleborough. Looking about for an
inn, I saw the _Bull and Cave_, and secured quarters there by leaving my
knapsack, and set out to seek for the guide, whom I found chatting with
a group of loungers on the bridge. Bull and Cave seemed to me such an
odd coupling, that I fancied cave must be a Yorkshire way of spelling
calf; but it really means that which it purports, and the two words are
yoked together in order that visitors, who are numerous, may be easily

Here in Clapdale--a dale which penetrates the slopes of Ingleborough--is
the famous Ingleborough Cave, the deepest and most remarkable of all the
caves hitherto discovered in the honeycombed flanks of that remarkable
hill. Intending to see this, I left unvisited the other caves which have
been mentioned as lying to the right and left of the road as you come
down from _Gearstones_.

The fee for a single person to see the cave is half-a-crown; for a party
of eight or ten a shilling each. The guide, who is an old soldier, and a
good specimen of the class, civil and intelligent, called at his house
as we passed to get candles, and presently we were clear of the village,
and walking up-hill along a narrow lane. Below us on the right lay
cultivated grounds and well-kept plantations, through which, as the old
man told me, visitors were once allowed to walk on their way to the
cave--a pleasing and much less toilsome way than the lane; but the
remains of picnics left on the grass, broken bottles, orange-peels,
greasy paper and wisps of hay, became such a serious abuse of the
privilege, that Mr. Farrer, the proprietor, withdrew his permission.
"It's a wonder to me," said the guide, "that people shouldn't know how
to behave themselves."

In about half an hour we came to a hollow between two grassy
acclivities, out of which runs a rapid beck, and here on the left, in a
limestone cliff prettily screened by trees, is the entrance to the cave,
a low, wide arch that narrows as it recedes into the gloom. We walked in
a few yards; the guide lit two candles, placed one in my hand and
unlocked the iron gate, which, very properly, keeps out the perpetrators
of wanton mischief. A few paces take us beyond the last gleam of
daylight, and we are in a narrow passage, of which the sides and roof
are covered with a brown incrustation resembling gigantic clusters of
petrified moss. Curious mushroom-like growths hang from the roof, and
throwing his light on these, the guide says we are passing through the
Inverted Forest. So it continues, the roof still low, for eighty yards,
comprising the Old Cave, which has been known for ages; and we come to a
narrow passage hewn through a thick screen of stalagmite. It was opened
twenty years ago by Mr. Farrer's gardener, who laboured at the barrier
until it was breached, and a new cavern of marvellous formation was
discovered beyond. An involuntary exclamation broke from me as I entered
and beheld what might have been taken for a glittering fairy palace. On
each side, sloping gently upwards till they met the roof, great bulging
masses of stalagmite of snowy whiteness lay outspread, mound after mound
glittering as with millions of diamonds. For the convenience of
explorers, the passage between them has been widened and levelled as far
as possible, wherein the beck that we saw outside finds a channel after
unusual rains. You walk along this passage now on sand, now on pebbles,
now bare rock. All the great white masses are damp; their surfaces are
rough with countless crystallized convolutions and minute ripples,
between which trickle here and there tiny threads of water. It is to the
moisture that the unsullied whiteness is due, and the glistening effect;
for wherever stalactite or stalagmite becomes dry, the colour changes to
brown, as we saw in the Old Cave. A strange illusion came over me as I
paced slowly past the undulating ranges, and for a moment they seemed to
represent the great rounded snow-fields that whiten the sides of the

The cavern widens: we are in the Pillar Hall; stalactites of all
dimensions hang from the roof, singly and in groups. Thousands are mere
nipples, or an inch or two in length; many are two or three feet; and
the whole place resounds with the drip and tinkle of water. Stalagmites
dot the floor, and while some have grown upwards the stalactites have
grown downwards, until the ends meet, and the ceaseless trickle of water
fashions an unbroken crystal pillar. Some stalactites assume a spiral
twist; and where a long thin fissure occurs in the roof they take the
form of draperies, curtains, and wings--wings shaped like those of
angels. The guide strikes one of the wings with a small mallet, and it
gives out a rich musical note; another has the deep sonorous boom of a
cathedral bell, another rings sharp and shrill, and a row of stalactitic
sheets answers when touched with a gamut of notes. Your imagination
grows restless while you listen to such strange music deep in the heart
of a mountain.

And there are pools on the floor, and in raised basins at the
side--pools of water so limpid as to be treacherous, for in the
uncertain light all appears to be solid rock. I stepped knee deep into
one, mistaking it for an even floor. Well for me it was not the Abyss
which yawns at the end of Pillar Hall. The guide, to show the effect of
light reflected on the water, crawls up to the end of one of the basins
with the two candles in his hand, while you standing in the gloom at the
other end, observe the smooth brilliant surface, and the brightness that
flashes from every prominence of roof or wall.

Although geologists explain the process of formation, there is yet much
food for wonder in remembering that all these various objects were
formed by running water. The water, finding its way through fissures in
the mighty bed of limestone overhead, hangs in drops, one drop pushes
another off, but not idly; for while the current of air blowing through
carries off their carbonic acid, they give up the salt of lime gathered
during percolation, and form small stony tubes. And these tubes, the
same cause continuing to operate, grow in course of ages to magnificent
stalactites; and where thin, broad streams have appeared, there the
draperies and wings and the great snow-fields have been fashioned. The
incrustation spreads even over some of the pools: the film of water
flowing in deposits its solid contents on the margin, and these,
crystallizing and accumulating, advance upon the surface, as ice forms
from the edge towards the centre of a pond, and in time bridge it over
with a translucent sheet.

Among the stalagmites are a few of beehive shape; but there is one named
the Jockey Cap, an extraordinary specimen for bigness. Its base has a
circumference of ten feet, its height is two feet, all produced by a
succession of drops from one single point. Advantage has been taken of
this circumstance to measure the rate of its growth. Mr. Farrer
collected a pint of drops, and ascertained the fall to be one hundred
pints a day, each pint containing one grain of calcareous matter; and
from this daily supply of a hundred grains the Jockey Cap was built up
to its present dimensions in two hundred and fifty-nine years. In six
years, from 1845 to 1851, the diameter increased by two, and the height
by three inches. Probably owing to the morning's rain, the drops fell
rapidly while I stood looking at the cap--splash--splash--splash--into a
small saucer-like depression in the middle of the crown, from which with
ceaseless overflow the water bathes the entire mass. Around it is the
most drippy part of the cave.

In places there are sudden breaks in the roof at right angles to the
passage--cracks produced by the cooling of this great limestone bubble
in the primeval days--which look as if Nature had begun to form a series
of cross aisles, and then held her hand. Some of these are nests of
stalactites; one exhibits architectural forms adorned with beads and
mouldings as if sculptured in purest marble. The farther you penetrate
the loftier do they become; impressing you with the idea that they are
but the ante-chambers of some majestic temple farther within. The Abyss
appears to be a similar arch reversed in the floor.

Then we came to a bend where the roof rushing down appears to bar all
further advance, but the guide puts a thing into your hand which you
might take to be a scrubbing-brush, and telling you to stoop, creeps
into a low opening between the rising floor and descending roof, and you
discover that the scrubbing-brush is a paddle to enable you to walk on
three legs while crouching down. It keeps your right hand from the
slippery rock; and your left has always enough to do in holding the
candle. The creeping continues but for a few yards, and you emerge into
one of the cross vaults, and again sand and pebbles form the floor. Then
comes the Cellar Gallery, a long tunnel-like passage, the sides
perpendicular, the roof arched, which, like all the rest, has been
shaped by currents of water, aided in this case by the grinding action
of sand and pebbles. Continuing through thousands of years, the result
is as we behold it. The tunnel appears the more gloomy from the absence
of ornament: no stalactites, no wings, reflect the dim candle-flame; for
which reason, as well as to avoid the creeping, many visitors refuse to
advance beyond the entrance of the Long Gallery. But the tunnel leads
you into the Giant's Hall, where stalactites and draperies again meet
your eye, and where your light is all too feeble to illumine the lofty
roof. And here is the end, 2106 feet from the entrance--nearly half a
mile. From the time that the gardener broke through the barrier in the
Old Cave, two years were spent in gradual advances till the Giant's Hall
was reached. The adventurous explorers endeavoured to get farther, for
two small holes were discovered leading downwards from one side of the
Hall to a lower cave, through which arose the sound of falling water.
They braved the danger, and let themselves down to a level, where they
were stopped by a deep pool--the receiver of the fall. It must have
looked fearfully dismal. Yet might there not be caverns still more
wonderful beyond? Fixing a candle to his cap and with a rope round his
body, Mr. James Farrer swam across the murky lake, and found it closed
in by what appeared to be an impassable wall of limestone--the heart of
Ingleborough. It was a courageous adventure.

I stretched out my candle and peered down the two holes. One is dry and
sandy, the other slimy with a constant drip. I heard the noise of the
fall, the voice of the water plunging for ever, night and day, in deep
darkness. It seemed awful. A current of air blows forth continually,
whereby the cave is ventilated throughout its entire length, and the
visitor, safe from stagnant damps and stifling vapours, breathes freely
in a pure atmosphere.

I walked once more from end to end of the Hall; and we retraced our
steps. In the first cross aisle the guide made me aware of an echo which
came back to the ear as a hollow moan. We crept through into Pillar
Hall, and I could not help lingering once more to admire the brilliant
and delicate incrustations, and to scramble between or over the great
stalagmitic barriers to see what was in the rear. Here and there I saw a
mass resembling a font, filled with water of exquisite purity, or raised
oval or oblong basins representing alabaster baths, wherein none but
vestal virgins might enter.

Except that the path has been levelled and widened, and openings
enlarged, and planks laid in one place to facilitate access to a change
of level, the cave remains as when first discovered. Mr. Farrer's
precautions against mischief have prevented that pillage of the interior
so much to be deplored in other caves of this region, where the
first-comers made prize of all the ornaments within reach, and left
little but bare walls for those who follow. Yet even here some of the
smaller stalactites, the size of a finger, have been missed after a
party has gone through; and once a man struck a group of stalactites and
broke more than a foot off the longest, in sheer wantonness, as it
seemed, for the fragment was too heavy to carry away. And there the
mutilation remains, a lasting reproach to a fool.

My candle burnt out, and the other flickered near its end, but the old
man had two halves which he lit, and these more than sufficed for our
return. The red light of sunset was streaming into the entrance when we
came forth after a sojourn of nearly two hours in the bowels of the
mountain. The guide had been very indulgent with me; for most visitors
stay but an hour. Those who merely wish to walk through, content with a
hasty glance, will find little to impede their movements. There is
nothing, indeed, which need deter a woman, only she must leave her hoop
at home, wear thick boots, and make provision for looping-up her skirts.
Many an English maiden would then enjoy a visit to Ingleborough Cave.

The beck flows out from under the cliff a few yards above the entrance
through a broad low vault. I crept in for some distance, and it seemed
to me that access to the cave might be gained by wading up the stream.
Then as we went down the hill, the old soldier thought that as there
were but two of us, we might venture to walk through the grounds, where
we saw the lake, the bridge, and the cascade, on our way to the village.

Delicious trout from the neighbouring brook, and most excellent beer,
awaited me for supper, and made me well content with the _Bull and
Cave_. Afterwards I joined the party in the little bar-parlour, where
among a variety of topics, the mountain was talked about. The landlord,
a hale old fellow of sixty, said that he had never once been on the
summit, though he had lived all his life at the base. A rustic, though a
two years' resident in Clapham, had not been up, and for a reason: "You
see," he said, "if a man gets on a high place, he isn't satisfied then;
he wants to get higher. So I thinks best to content myself down here."

Then spoke another of the party, a man well dressed, in praise of rural
quiet, and the enjoyment of fresh air, contrasting the tranquillity of
Clapham at that hour with the noise and confusion at Bradford, where the
streets would be thronged till after midnight. He was an 'operative'
from Bradford, come as was his wont, to spend Sunday in the country. He
grew eloquent on the subject of masters and men, averring that masters,
as a body, would never do anything for the benefit of workmen unless
compelled thereto by act of Parliament. Well might he say so. Would the
mills be ventilated; would dangerous machinery be boxed off; would
schools have been interposed between children and slavery, had
Parliament not interfered? The number of Yorkshire factory children at
school on the last day of October, 1857, was 18,000, from eight to
thirteen years of age. On this latter particular our spinner could not
say enough in praise of the House of Commons: there was a chance for the
bairns now that the law punished the masters who did not allow time for
school as well as for work. "It's one of the grandest things," he said,
"Parliament ever did for the factory hands."

He had too much reason to speak as he did; but we must not suppose that
the great millowners are worse than other masters. Owing to the large
numbers they employ, the evils complained of appear in a violent and
concentrated form; but we have only to look at the way in which
apprentices and domestic servants are treated everywhere, especially in
large towns (with comparatively few exceptions,) to become aware that a
want of fair-play is by far too prevalent. No wonder that Dr.
Livingstone finds reason to say we are not model Christians.


     By Rail to Skipton--A Stony Town--Church and Castle--The
     Cliffords--Wharfedale--Bolton Abbey--Picturesque Ruins--A
     Foot-Bath--Scraps from Wordsworth--Bolton Park--The Strid--
     Barden Tower--The Wharfe--The Shepherd Lord--Reading to
     Grandfather--A Cup of Tea--Cheerful Hospitality--Trout Fishing
     --Gale Beck--Symon Seat--A Real Entertainer--Burnsall--A Drink
     of Porter--Immoralities--Threshfield--Kilnsey--The Crag--
     Kettlewell--A Primitive Village--Great Whernside--Starbottom--
     Buckden--Last View of Wharfedale--Cray--Bishopdale--A Pleasant
     Lane--Bolton Castle--Penhill--Aysgarth--Dead Pastimes--Decrease
     of Quakers--Failure of a Mission--Why and Wherefore--Aysgarth
     Force--Drunken Barnaby--Inroad of Fashion.

The railway station at Clapham, as well as others along the line, is
built in the old timbered style, and harmonizes well with the landscape.
A railway hotel stands close by, invitingly open to guests who dislike
the walk of a mile to the village; and the landlord, as I was told,
multiplies his profits by renting the Cave.

A short flight by the first train took me to breakfast at Skipton, all
through the pretty country of Craven, of which the town is the capital.
The houses are built of stone taken from the neighbouring hills. The
bells were just beginning their chimes as I passed the church, and,
seeing the door open, I went in and looked at the stained glass and old
monuments, the shields and sculptures which commemorate the
Cliffords--Lords of the Honour of Skipton--the Lady Ellinor, of the
house of Brandon; the Earls of Cumberland, one of whom was Queen
Elizabeth's champion against the Spaniard, as well as in tilt and

The castle, which has played a conspicuous part in history, stands
beside the church, and there, over the gateway, you may still see the
shield bearing two griffins, and the motto #Desormais#. Within, you view
the massive, low, round towers from a pleasant garden, where but few
signs of antiquity are to be seen; for modern restorations have masked
the old grim features. Here dwelt the Cliffords, a proud and mighty
family, who made a noise in the world, in their day. Among them was Lord
John, or Black Clifford, who did butcher-work at the battle of
Wakefield, and was repaid the year after at Towton. In the first year of
Edward IV. the estates were forfeited because of high treason, and
Henry, the tenth Lord of the Honour of Skipton, to escape the ill
consequence of his father's disloyalty, was concealed for twenty-five
years among the shepherds of Cumberland. Another of the line was that
imperial-minded Countess, the Lady Anne Clifford, who, when she repaired
her castle of Skipton, made it known by an inscription in the same terms
as that set up on her castle at Brough, and with the same passage of
Scripture. Now it is a private residence; and the ancient tapestries and
pictures, and other curiosities which are still preserved, can only be
seen after due pains taken by the inquiring visitor.

The life of the Shepherd Lord, as he was called, is a touching episode
in the history of the Cliffords; heightened by the marked contrast
between the father and son--the one warlike and revengeful, the other
gentle and forgiving. We shall come again on the traces of the pastoral
chief ere the day be over.

There is a long stretch of the old castle wall on the left as you go up
the road towards Knaresborough. From the top of the hill, looking back
about a mile and a half distant, you get a pleasing view of Skipton,
lying in its cheerful green valley; and presently, in the other
direction, you see the hills of Wharfedale. Everywhere the grass is
waving, or, newly-mown, fills all the air with delightful odour. I
walked slowly, for the day was hot--one of the hottest of that fervid
July--and took till noon to accomplish the seven miles to Bolton Abbey.
The number of vehicles drawn up at the _Devonshire Arms_--a good inn
about two furlongs from the ruin--and the numerous visitors, betokened
something unusually attractive.

Since Landseer painted his picture, Bolton Abbey has become a household
word. It seems familiar to us beforehand. We picture it to our minds;
and your imagination must be extravagant indeed if the picture be not
realized. It is a charming scene that opens as you turn out of the road
and descend the grassy slope: the abbey standing, proud and beautiful
in decay, in a green meadow, where stately trees adorn the gentle
undulations; the Wharfe rippling cheerfully past, coming forth from
wooded hills above, going away between wooded hills below, alike

    "With mazy error under pendent shades;"

the bold perpendicular cliff opposite, all purple and gray, crowned and
flanked with hanging wood; the cascade rushing down in a narrow line of
foam; the big mossy stones that line the bank, and the stony islets in
the bed of the stream; and, looking up the dale, the great sweeps of
wood in Bolton Park, terminated by the wild heights of Symon Seat and
Barden Fell. All around you see encircling woods, and combinations of
rock, and wood, and water, that inspire delightful emotions.

But you will turn again and again to the abbey to gaze on its tall
arches, the great empty window, the crumbling walls, over which hang
rich masses of ivy, and walking slowly round you will discover the
points whence the ruins appear most picturesque. And within, where
elder-trees grow, and the carved tombstones of the old abbots lie on the
turf, you may still see where the monks sat in the sanctuary, and where
they poured the holy water. And whether from within or without, you will
survey with reverent admiration. A part of the nave is used as a church
for the neighbourhood, and ere I left, the country folk came from all
the paths around, summoned by the pealing bell. I looked in and saw
richly stained windows and old tombs.

On the rise above the abbey stands a castellated lodge, embodying the
ancient gate-house, an occasional resort of the late Duke of Devonshire,
to whom the estate belonged. Of all his possessions this perhaps offered
him most of beauty and tranquillity.

You may ramble at will; cross the long row of stepping-stones to the
opposite bank, and scramble through the wood to the top of the cliff; or
roam over the meadows up and down the river, or lounge in idle enjoyment
on the seats fixed under some of the trees. After strolling hither and
thither, I concealed myself under the branches overhanging the stream,
and sat there as in a bower, with my feet in the shallow water, the
lively flashing current broad before me, and read,

    "From Bolton's old monastic tower
    The bells ring loud with gladsome power;
    The sun shines bright; the fields are gay
    With people in their best array
    Of stole and doublet, hood and scarf,
    Along the banks of crystal Wharfe,
    Through the Vale retired and lowly,
    Trooping to that summons holy.
    And, up among the moorlands, see
    What sprinklings of blithe company!"

And while I read, the bell was ringing, and the people were gathering
together, and anon the priest

                      "all tranquilly
    Recites the holy liturgy,"

but no White Doe of Rylstone came gliding down to pace timidly among the
tombs, and make her couch on a solitary grave.

And reading there on the scene itself, I found a new charm in the
pages--a vivid life in the old events and old names:

    "Pass, pass who will, yon chantry door;
    And through the chink in the fractured floor
    Look down, and see a grisly sight;
    A vault where the bodies are buried upright!
    There, face by face, and hand by hand,
    The Claphams and Mauleverers stand;
    And, in his place, among son and sire,
    Is John de Clapham, that fierce Esquire,
    A valiant man, and a name of dread
    In the ruthless wars of the White and Red;
    Who dragged Earl Pembroke from Banbury church,
    And smote off his head on the stones of the porch!
    Look down among them, if you dare;
    Oft does the White Doe loiter there."

And here, as at Skipton, we are reminded of the Cliffords, and of the
Shepherd Lord, to whom appeared at times the gracious fairy,

    "And taught him signs, and showed him sights,
    In Craven's dens, on Cumbrian heights;
    When under a cloud of fear he lay,
    A shepherd clad in homely gray."

I left my mossy seat and returned to the bank, thoroughly cooled, on
coming to the end of the poem, and started for a travel up the dale. The
road skirts the edge of Bolton Park; but the pleasantest way is through
the park itself, for there you have grand wooded slopes on each side,
and there the river rushing along its limestone bed encounters the
far-famed Strid. A rustic, however, told me that no one was allowed to
cross the park on Sunday; but having come to see a sight, I did not like
to be disappointed, and thought it best to test the question myself. I
kept on, therefore, passing from the open grounds to delightful paths
under the woods, bending hither and thither, and with many a rise and
fall among rocks and trees. Presently, guided by the roar, I struck
through the wood for the stony margin of the river. Here all is rock:
great hummocks, ledges and tables of rock, wherein are deep basins,
gullies, bays, and shallow pools; and the water makes a loud noise as it
struggles past. Here and there a rugged cliff appears, its base buried
in underwood, its front hung with ivy; and there are marks on the trees,
and portentous signs on the drifted boulders, which reveal the swollen
height of floods. There are times when all these Yorkshire rivers become
impetuous torrents, roaring along in resistless might and majesty.

A little farther and the rocks form a dam, leaving but a narrow opening
in the centre, across which a man may stride, for the passage of the
stream--and we behold the Strid. Piling itself up against the barrier,
the water rushes through, deep, swift and ungovernable, and boils and
eddies below with never-ceasing tumult. The rock on each side of the
sluice is worn smooth by the feet of many who have stridden across,
caring nothing for the tales that are told of terrible accidents from a
slip of the foot or from giddiness. Once a young lady, fascinated by the
rapid current, fell in and was drowned in sight of her friends. And

    "----mounting high
    To days of dim antiquity;
    When Lady Aaliza mourned
    Her son, and felt in her despair
    The pang of unavailing prayer;
    Her son in Wharfe's abysses drowned,
    The noble Boy of Egremound.
    From which affliction--when the grace
    Of God had in her heart found place--
    A pious structure, fair to see,
    Rose up, the stately Priory!"

For about a mile upwards the river-bed is still rocky, and you see many
a pretty effect of rushing water, and perhaps half a dozen strids, but
not one with only a single sluice, as the first. No one stopped or
turned me back; no peremptory shout threatened me from afar; and truly
the river is so shut in by woods, that intruders could only be seen by
an eye somewhere on its brink. Not a soul did I meet, except three
countrymen, who, when I came suddenly upon them on doubling a crag,
seemed ready to take to flight, for instead of coming the beaten way to
view the romantic, they had got over the fence, and scrambled down
through the wood. They soon perceived that I was very harmless.

A little farther and we leave the rocks; the woods recede and give place
to broad grassy slopes; high up on the right stands the keeper's house;
higher on the left the old square block of Barden Tower peeps above the
trees; before us a bridge spans the river, and there we pass into the
road which leads through the village of Barden to Pateley Bridge and

The Wharfe has its source in the bleak moorlands which we saw flanking
Cam Fell during our descent from Counterside a few days ago. Rocks and
cliffs of various formations beset all its upper course, imparting a
different character to the dale every few leagues--savage, romantic,
picturesque, and beautiful. No more beautiful scenery is to be found
along the river than for some miles above and below Bolton Abbey. Five
miles farther down, the stream flows past those two delightful inland
watering-places, Ilkley and Ben Rhydding, and onwards between thick
woods and broad meadows to Wetherby, below which it is again narrowed by
cliffs, until leaving Tadcaster, rich in memories of Rome, it enters the
Ouse between Selby and York.

The sight of Barden Tower reminds us once more of the Shepherd Lord, for
there he oft did sojourn, enjoying rural scenes and philosophical
studies, even after his restoration to rank and estate in his
thirty-second year.

    "I wish I could have heard thy long-tried lore,
      Thou virtuous Lord of Skipton! Thou couldst well
      From sage Experience, that best teacher, tell
      How far within the Shepherd's humble door
    Lives the sure happiness, that on the floor
      Of gay Baronial Halls disdains to dwell,
      Though decked with many a feast, and many a spell
      Of gorgeous rhyme, and echoing with the roar
    Of Pleasure, clamorous round the full-crowned bowl!
      Thou hadst (and who had doubted thee?) exprest
      What empty baubles are the ermined stole,
    Proud coronet, rich walls with tapestry drest,
      And music lulling the sick frame to rest!
      Bliss only haunts the pure contented soul!"

But the blood of his ancestors flowed in his veins, and on the royal
summons to arm and array for Flodden, he, at the age of sixty, led his
retainers to the field:

    "From Penigent to Pendle Hill,
    From Linton to Long Addingham,
    And all that Craven coasts did till,
    They with the lusty Clifford came."

I crossed the bridge and went up the hill for a view of the ruin. At the
top, a broken slope, sprinkled with trees, serves as village green to
the few houses which constitute the place known as Barden Tower. Near
one of these houses I saw a pretty sight--a youth sitting on a bench
under a shady tree reading to his old grandfather from one of those
venerable folios written by divines whose head and heart were alike full
of their subject--the ways of God towards man, and man's duty. Wishing
to make an inquiry concerning the road, I apologized for my
interruption, when both graybeard and lad made room for me between them
on the bench, and proffered all they knew of information. But it soon
appeared that the particulars I wanted could only be furnished by
"uncle, who was up-stairs a-cleaning himself;" so to improve the time
until he was ready I passed round the end of the house to the Tower in
the rear. The old gateway remains, and some of the ancient timbers; but
the upper chambers are now used as lofts for firewood, and the
ground-floor is a cow-stall. The external walls are comparatively but
little decayed, and appear in places as strong as when they sheltered
the Cliffords.

Uncle was there when I returned to the front. He knew the country well,
for in his vocation as a butcher he travelled it every week, and enabled
me to decide between Kettlewell and Pateley Bridge for my coming route.
And more, he said he would like to walk a mile or two with me; he would
put on his coat, and soon overtake me. I walked slowly on, and was out
of sight of the house, when he came running after me, and cried, "Hey!
come back. A cup o' tea 'll do neither of us any harm, so come back and
have a cup afore we start."

I went back, for such hospitality as that was not to be slighted; and
while we sipped he talked about the pretty scenery, about the rooms
which he had to let, and the lodgers he had entertained. Sometimes there
came a young couple full of poetry and sentiment, too much so, indeed,
to be merry; sometimes a student, who liked to prowl about the ruin,
explore all its secrets, and wander out to where

    "High on a point of rugged ground,
    Among the wastes of Rylstone Fell,
    Above the loftiest ridge or mound
    Where foresters or shepherds dwell,
    An edifice of warlike frame
    Stands single--Norton tower its name--
    It fronts all quarters, and looks round
    O'er path and road, and plain and dell,
    Dark moor, and gleam of pool and stream,
    Upon a prospect without bound."

And he talked, too, about the trout in the river, and the anglers who
came to catch them. But the fishing is not unrestricted; leave must be
obtained, and a fee paid. Anyone in search of trout or the picturesque,
who can content himself with rustic quarters, would find in Mr.
Williamson, of Barden Tower, a willing adviser.

Presently we took the road, which, with the river on the right, runs
along the hill-side, sheltered by woods, high above the stream. A few
minutes brought us to a gate, where we got over, and went a little way
down the slope to look at Gale beck, a pretty cascade tumbling into a
little dell, delightfully cool, and green with trees, ferns, and mosses.
My companion showed that he used his eyes while driving about in his
cart, and picked out the choice bits of the scenery; and these he now
pointed out to me with all the pride of one who had a personal interest
in their reputation. Ere long we emerged from the trees, and could
overlook the pleasing features of the dale; fields and meadows on each
side of the stream, bounded by steep hills, and crags peeping out from
the great dark slopes of firs. The rocky summit of Symon Seat appeared
above a brow on the left bank, coming more and more into view as we
advanced, till the great hill itself was unveiled. From those rocks, on
a clear day, you can see Rosebury Topping, and the towers of York and

For four miles did my entertainer accompany me, which, considering the
fierce heat of the evening, I could only regard as an honest
manifestation of friendliness--to me very gratifying. We parted in sight
of Burnsall, a village situate on the fork of the river, where the
Littondale branch joins that of Wharfedale proper.

A man who sat reading at his door near the farther end of the village
looked up as I passed, and asked, "Will ye have a drink o' porter?" Hot
weather justified acceptance; he invited me to sit while he went to the
barrel, and when he came forth with the foaming jug, he, too, must have
a talk. But his talk was not what I expected--the simple words of a
simple-minded rustic; he craved to know something, and more than was
good, concerning a certain class of publications sold in
Holywell-street; things long ago condemned by the moral law, and now
very properly brought under the lash of the legal law by Lord Campbell.
Having no mission to be a scavenger, I advised him not to meddle with
pitch; but he already knew too much, and he mentioned things which help
to explain the great demand for the immoral books out of the metropolis.
One was, that in a small northern, innocent-looking country town, Adam
and Eve balls regularly take place, open to all comers who can pay for

From Burnsall onwards we have again the grass country, the landscape
loses the softened character of that in our rear; we follow a bad
cross-road for some miles, passing wide apart a solitary farm or
cottage, and come into a high-road a little to the right of Threshfield.
Here and there a group of labourers are lounging on a grassy bank,
smoking, talking quietly, and enjoying the sunset coolness; and I had
more than one invitation to tarry and take a friendly pipe.

Louder sounds the noise of the river as the evening lengthens; the dark
patches of firs on the hill-sides grow darker; the rocks and cliffs look
strange and uncertain; the road approaches a foaming rapid, where
another strid makes the water roar impatiently; and so I completed the
ten miles from Harden Tower, and came in deep twilight to the _Anglers'
Inn_ at Kilnsey as the good folk were preparing for bed.

As its name denotes, the house is frequented by anglers, who, after
paying a fee of half-a-crown a day, find exercise for their skill in the
rippling shallows and silent pools of the river which flows past not
many yards from the road. I am told that the sport is but indifferent.

A short distance beyond the inn there rises sheer from the road a grand
limestone cliff, before which you will be tempted to pause. A low grassy
slope, bordered by a narrow brook, forms a natural plinth; small trees
and ivy grow from the fissures high overhead, and large trees and bush
on the ledges; the colony of swallows that inhabit the holes flit
swiftly about the crest, and what with the contrast of verdure and
rock, and the magnitude of the cliff, your eye is alike impressed and
gratified. By taking a little trouble you may get to the top, and while
looking on the scene beneath, let your thoughts run back to the time
when Wharfedale was a loch, such as Loch Long or Loch Fyne, into which
the tides of the sea flowed twice a day, beating against the base of the
Kilnsey Crag, where now sheep graze, and men pass to and fro on business
or pleasure.

To take my start the next morning from so lofty a headland: to feel new
life thrill through every limb from the early sun; to drink of the
spring which the cliff overshadows where it gushes forth among mossy
stones at the root of an ash; to inhale the glorious breeze that
tempered the heat, was a delightful beginning of a day's walk. Soon we
cross to the left bank of Wharfe, and follow the road between the river
and a cliffy range of rocks to Kettlewell, enjoying pleasing views all
the way. And the village itself seems a picture of an earlier age--a
street of little stone cottages, backed by gardens and orchards; here
and there a queer little shop; the shoemaker sitting with doors and
windows open looking out on his flowers every time he lifts his eyes;
the smith, who has opened all his shutters to admit the breeze,
hammering leisurely, as if half inclined for a holiday with such a
wealth of sunshine pouring down; and _Nancy Hardaker, Grocer and
Draper_, and dealer in everything besides, busying herself behind her
little panes with little preparations for customers. It is a simple
picture: one that makes you believe the honest outward aspect is only
the expression of honesty within.

For one who had time to explore the neighbourhood, Kettlewell would be
good head-quarters. It has two inns, and a shabby tenement inscribed
_Temperance Hotel_. Hence you may penetrate to the wild fells at the
head of the dale; or climb to the top of Great Whernside; or ramble over
the shoulder of the great mountain into Coverdale, discovering many a
rocky nook, and many a little cascade and flashing rill. Great
Whernside, 2263 feet high, commands views into many dales, and affords
you a glimpse of far-off hills which we have already climbed. The Great
one has a brother named Little Whernside, because he is not so high by
nearly three hundred feet. The "limestone pass" between Great Whernside
and Buckden Pike is described as a grand bit of mountain scenery.

From Kettlewell the road still ascends the dale, in sight of the river
which now narrows to the dimensions of a brook. Crags and cliffs still
break out of the hill-slopes, and more than any other that we have
visited, you see that Wharfedale is characterized by scars and cliffs.
The changing aspect of the scenery is manifest; the grass is less
luxuriant than lower down, and but few of the fields are mown.
Starbottom, a little place of rude stone houses, with porches that
resemble an outer stair, reminds us once more of a mountain village; but
it has trim flower-gardens, and fruit-trees, and a fringe of sycamores.

I came to Buckden, the next village, just in time to dine with the
haymakers. Right good fare was provided--roast mutton, salad, and rice
pudding. Who would not be a hay-maker! Beyond the village the road turns
away from the river, and mounts a steep hill, where, from the top of the
bend, we get our last look down Wharfedale, upwards along
Langstrothdale, and across the elevated moorlands which enclose
Penyghent. Everywhere the gray masses of stone encroach on the waving
grass. Still the road mounts, and steeply; on the left, in a field, are
a few small enclosures, all standing, which, perhaps, represent the
British dwellings at the foot of Addleborough. Still up, through the
hamlet of Cray, with rills, rocks, and waterfalls on the right and left,
and then the crown of the pass, and a wide ridgy hollow, flanked by
cliffs, the outliers of Buckden Pike, which rears itself aloft on the
right. Then two or three miles of this breezy expanse, between Stake
Fell on one side and Wasset Fell on the other, and we come to the top of
Kidstone bank, and suddenly Bishopdale opens before us, a lovely sylvan
landscape melting away into Wensleydale. It will tempt you to lie down
for half an hour on the soft turf and enjoy the prospect at leisure.

The descent is alike rough and steep, bringing you rapidly down to the
first farm. A cliff on the right gradually merges into the rounded swell
of a green hill; we come to a plantation where, in the open places by
the beck, grow wild strawberries; then to trees on one side--ash, holly,
beech, and larch, the stems embraced by ivy, and thorns and wild roses
between; then trees on both sides, and the narrow track is beautiful as
a Berkshire lane--and that is saying a great deal--and the brook which
accompanies it makes a cheerful sound as if gladdened by the quivering
sunbeams that fall upon it. Everywhere the haymakers are at work, and
with merry hearts, for the wind blows lustily and makes the whole dale

By-and-by the lane sends off branches, all alike pretty, one of which
brings us down into the lowest meadows, and on the descent we get
glimpses of Bolton Castle, and on the right appears Penhill, shouldering
forward like a great promontory. A relic of antiquity may yet be seen on
its slopes--obscure remains of a Preceptory of the Knights Templars. The
watcher on Penhill was one of those who helped to spread the alarm of
invasion in the days of Napoleon the Great, for he mistook a fire on the
eastern hills for the beacon on Rosebury Topping, and so set his own
a-blaze. We come to Thoralby, a village of comfortable signs within, and
pleasant prospects without; and now Wensleydale opens, and another
half-hour brings us to Aysgarth, a large village four miles below

A tall maypole stands on the green, the only one I remember to have seen
in Yorkshire. It is a memorial of the sports and pastimes for which
Wensleydale was famous. The annual feasts and fairs would attract
visitors from twenty miles around. Here, at Aysgarth, not the least
popular part of the amusements were the races, run by men stark naked,
as people not more than forty years old can well remember. But times are
changed; and throughout the dale drunkenness and revelry are giving way
to teetotalism, lectures, tea-gatherings, and other moral recreations.
And the change is noticeable in another particular: the Quakers, who
were once numerous in the dale, have disappeared too.

Some two or three years ago a notion prevailed in a certain quarter that
the time was ripe for making proselytes, and establishing a meeting once
more at Aysgarth. The old meeting-house, the school-room, and
dwelling-house, remained; why should they not be restored to their
original uses? Was it not "about Wensleydale" that George Fox saw "a
great people in white raiment by a river-side?" Did he not, while on his
journey up the dale, go into the "steeple-house" and "largely and freely
declare the word of life, and have not much persecution," and afterwards
was locked into a parlour as "a young man that was mad, and had run away
from his relations?" From certain indications it seemed that a
successful effort might be made; an earnest and active member of the
society volunteered to remove with his family from London into Yorkshire
to carry out the experiment; and soon the buildings were repaired, the
garden was cultivated anew, the doors of the meeting-house were opened;
the apostle went about and talked to the people, and gave away tracts
freely. The people listened to him, and read his tracts, and were well
content to have him among them; but the experiment failed--not one
became a Quaker.

At the beginning of the present year (1858) an essay was advertised for,
on the causes of the decline of Quakerism, simultaneously with a great
increase in the population at large. It appears to me that the causes
are not far to seek. One of them I have already mentioned: others
consist in what Friends call a "guarded education," which seeks rather
to ignore vice than to implant abhorrence of it; in training children by
a false standard: "Do this; don't do that;" not because it is right or
wrong, but because such is or is not the practice of Friends, so that
when the children grow old enough to see what a very foolish Mrs. Grundy
they have had set before them as a model, they naturally suspect
imposition, become restive, and kick over the traces. Moreover, to set
up fidgetty crotchets as principles of truth, whereby the sense of the
ludicrous is excited in others, and not reverence, is not the way to
increase and multiply. Many Quakers now living will remember the earnest
controversy that once stirred them as to whether it might be proper to
use umbrellas, and to wear hats with a binding round the edge of the
brim; and the anxious breeches question, of which a ministress said in
her sermon, that it was "matter of concern to see so many of the young
men running down into longs, yet the Lord be thanked, there was a
precious remnant left in shorts." And again, silent worship tends to
diminish numbers, as also the exceeding weakness--with rare
exceptions--of the words that occasionally break the silence; and the
absence of an external motive to fix the attention encourages roving
thoughts. Hence Darlington railway-shares, and the shop-shelves, and
plans for arbours and garden-plots, employ the minds of many who might
have other thoughts did they hear--"Be not deceived, God is not mocked;
for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

There is my essay. It is a short one, freely given; for I must confess
to a certain liking for the Quakers, after all. Their charities are
noble and generous; their views on many points eminently liberal and
enlightened; and though themselves enslaved to crotchets, they have
shown bravely and practically that they abhor slavery; and their recent
mission to Finland demonstrates the bounty and tenderness with which
they seek to mitigate the evils of war. There is in Oxfordshire a little
Quaker burial-ground, on the brow of a hill looking far away into the
west country, where I have asked leave to have my grave dug, when the
time comes: that is, if the sedate folk will admit among them even a
dead Philistine.

       *       *       *       *       *

I saw the Quaker above-mentioned standing at his door: we were total
strangers to each other, but my Bainbridge friend had told him there was
a chance of my visiting Aysgarth, and he held out his hand. Soon tea was
made ready, and after that he called his son, and led me across the
hill-slopes to get the best views, and by short cuts down to Aysgarth
Force, a mile below the village, where the Ure rushes down three great
breaks or steps in the limestone which stretch all across the river. The
water is shallow, and falling as a white curtain over the front of each
step, shoots swiftly over the broad level to the next plunge, and the
next, producing, even in dry weather, a very pleasing effect. But during
a flood the steps disappear, and the whole channel is filled by one
great rapid, almost terrific in its vehemence. The stony margin of the
stream is fretted and worn into many curious forms, and for a mile or
more above and below the bed is stone--nothing but stone--while on each
side the steep banks are patched and clothed with trees and bush. The
broken ground above the Force, interspersed with bush, is a favourite
resort of picnic parties, and had been thronged a few days before by a
multitude of festive teetotallers.

The bridge which crosses the river between the Force and the village,
with its arch of seventy-one feet span springing from two natural piers
of limestone, is a remarkably fine object when viewed from below. Above,
the river flows noisily from ledge to ledge down a winding gorge.

Drunken Barnaby, who, by the way, was a Yorkshireman, named Richard
Braithwaite, came to Wensleydale in one of his itineraries. "Thence,"
says the merry fellow--

    "Thence to Wenchly, valley-seated,
    For antiquity repeated;
    Sheep and sheep-herd, as one brother,
    Kindly drink to one another;
    Till pot-hardy, light as feather,
    Sheep and sheep-herd sleep together.

           *       *       *       *       *

    "Thence to Ayscarthe from a mountaine,
    Fruitfull valleys, pleasant fountaine,
    Woolly flocks, cliffs steep and snewy,
    Fields, fens, sedgy rushes, saw I;
    Which high mount is called the Temple,
    For all prospects an example."

The church stands in a commanding position, whence there is a good
prospect down the dale. Besides the landscape, there are times when the
daring innovations made by fashion on the old habits may be observed.
Wait in the churchyard on Sunday when service ends, and you will see
many a gay skirt, hung with flounces and outspread by crinoline, come
flaunting forth from the church. And in this remote village, Miss
Metcalfe and Miss Thistlethwaite must do the bidding of coquettish
Parisian milliners, even as their sisters do in May Fair.


     A Walk--Carperby--Despotic Hay-time--Bolton Castle--The Village
     --Queen Mary's Prison--Redmire--Scarthe Nick--Pleasing
     Landscape--Halfpenny House--Hart-Leap Well--View into Swaledale
     --Richmond--The Castle--Historic Names--The Keep--St. Martin's
     Cell--Easby Abbey--Beautiful Ruins--King Arthur and Sleeping
     Warriors--Ripon--View from the Minster Tower--Archbishop
     Wilfrid--The Crypt--The Nightly Horn--To Studley--Surprising
     Trick--Robin Hood's Well--Fountains Abbey--Pop goes the Weasel
     --The Ruins--Robin Hood and the Curtall Friar--To Thirsk--The
     Ancient Elm--Epitaphs.

My friend had for some time wished to look into Swaledale; he therefore
accompanied me the next morning, as far as the route served, through the
village of Carperby, where dwells a Quaker who has the best grazing farm
in the North Riding. We passed without calling, for he must be a
philosopher indeed, here in the dales, who can endure interruptions in
hay-time, when all who can work are busy in the fields. Ask no man to
lend you a horse or labourer in hay-time. Servants give themselves leave
in hay-time, and go toiling in the sunshine till all the crop is led,
earning as much out of doors in three or four weeks as in six months
in-doors. What is it to them that the mistress has to buckle-to, and be
her own servant for a while, and see to the washing, and make the bread?
as I saw in my friend's house, knowing that in case of failure the
nearest place where a joint of meat or a loaf of bread can be got is at
Hawes, eight miles distant. What is it to them? the hay must be made,
whether or not.

A few light showers fell, refreshing the thirsty soil, and making the
trees and hedgerows rejoice in a livelier green. It was as if Summer
were overjoyed:

    "Even when she weeps, as oft she will, though surely not for grief,
    Her tears are turned to diamond drops on every shining leaf."

so our walk of four miles to Bolton Castle was the more agreeable. The
old square building, with its four square towers rising above a mass of
wood, looks well as you approach from the road; and when you come upon
the eminence on which it stands, and see the little village of Bolton,
little thatched cottages bordering the green, as old in appearance as
the castle, it is as if you looked on a scene from the feudal ages--the
rude dwellings of the serfs pitched for safety beneath the walls, as in
the days of Richard Lord Scrope, who built the castle four hundred years
ago. A considerable portion of the edifice is still habitable; some of
the rooms look really comfortable; others are let as workshops to a
tinker and glazier, and down in the vaults you see the apparatus for
casting sheet-lead. We saw the room in which the hapless Mary was
confined, and the window by which, as is said, she tried, but failed, to
escape. We went to the top, and looked over into the inner court; and
got a bird's-eye view of the village and of Bolton Park and Hall, amid
the wooded landscape; and then to the bottom, down damp stone stairs, to
what seemed the lowest vault, where, however, there was a lower
depth--the dungeon--into which we descended by a ladder. What a dismal
abode! of gloom too dense for one feeble candle to enliven. The man who
showed the way said there was a well in one corner; but I saw nothing
except that that spot looked blacker than the rest. To think that such a
prison should have been built in the "good old times!"

On leaving the village, an old woman gave me a touch of the broadest
dialect I had yet heard: "Eh! is ye boun into Swawldawl?" she exclaimed,
in reply to my inquiry. We were going into Swaledale, and, taking a
byeway above the village of Redmire, soon came to a road leading up the
dale to Reeth, into which my friend turned, while I went on to the
northern slope of Wensleydale. You ascend by a steep, winding road to
Scarthe Nick, the pass on the summit, and there you have a glorious
prospect--many a league of hill and hollow, of moor and meadow. From
Bolton Castle and its little dependency, which lie well under the eye,
you can look down the dale and catch sight of the ruined towers of
Middleham; Aysgarth Force reveals itself by a momentary quivering flash;
and scattered around, seven churches and eight villages, more or less
environed by woods, complete the landscape. The scene, with its wealth
of quiet beauty, is one suggestive of peace and well-being, dear to the
Englishman's heart. To one coming suddenly upon it from the dreary
moorlands which lie between Wensleydale and Richmond, there would be
something of enchantment in the far-spreading view.

I turned my back on it at last, and followed the road across the moors,
where the memory of what you have just left becomes fairer by contrast.
The route is solitary, and apparently but little frequented, for in ten
miles I met only a man and a boy; and the monotony is only relieved
after a while by a falling away of the brown slopes on the right,
opening a view of the Hambleton Hills. There is one public-house on the
way, the _Halfpenny House_, down in a hollow, by no means an agreeable
resting-place, especially for a hungry man with a liking for
cleanliness. Not far from it is Hart-Leap Well, sung by Wordsworth:

    "There's neither dog nor heifer, horse nor sheep,
    Will wet his lips within that cup of stone;
    And oftentimes when all are fast asleep,
    This water doth send forth a dolorous groan."

By-and-by, perhaps, ere you have done thinking of the poem, you come to
the brow of a long declivity, the end of the moors, and are rewarded by
a view which rivals that seen from Scarthe Nick. Swaledale opens before
you, overspread with waving fields of grain, with numerous farmsteads
scattered up and down, with a long range of cliff breaking the opposite
slope, and, about four miles distant, Richmond on its lofty seat,
crowned by the square castle-keep, tall and massive. I saw it lit by the
afternoon sun, and needed no better invitation for a half-hour's halt on
the heathery bank.

You descend to the wheat-fields, and see no more of the town until close
upon it. Swale, as you will notice while crossing the bridge, still
shows the characteristics of a mountain stream, though broader and
deeper than at Thwaite, where we last parted company with it. Very steep
is the grass-grown street leading from the river up to the main part of
the town, where, having found a comfortable public-house, I went at once
to the castle. It occupies the summit of a bluff, which, rising bold and
high from the Swale, commands a noble prospect over what Whitaker calls
"the Piedmont of Richmondshire." On the side towards the river, the
walls are all broken and ruinous, with here and there a loophole or
window opening, through which you may look abroad on the landscape, and
ponder on the changes which have befallen since Alan the Red built a
fortress here on the lands given to him in reward for prowess by the
Conqueror. It was in 1071 that he began to fortify, and portions of his
masonry yet remain, fringed with ivy and tufts of grass, and here and
there the bugloss growing from the crevices. Perhaps while you saunter
to and fro in the castle-garth the keeper will appear and tell
you--though not without leave--his story of the ruins. If it will add to
your pleasure, he will show you the spot where George IV. sat when
Prince of Wales, and declared the prospect to be the finest he had ever
beheld. You will be told which is Robin Hood's Tower, which the Gold
Tower--so called because of a tradition that treasure was once
discovered therein--and which is Scolland's Hall, where knights, and
nobles, and high-born dames held their banquets. And here you will be
reminded of Fitzhughs and Marmions, Randolph de Glanville, and William
the Lion, of Nevilles and Scropes, and of the Lennox--a natural son of
Charles II.--to whom the dukedom of Richmond was given by the merry
monarch, and to whose descendants it still belongs.

One side of the garth is enclosed by a new building to be used as
barracks or a military depôt, and near this, at the angle towards the
town, rises the keep. What a mighty tower it is! ninety-nine feet high,
the walls eleven feet thick, strengthened on all sides by straight
buttresses, an impressive memorial of the Normans. It was built by Earl
Conan, seventy-five years after Red Alan's bastions. The lowest chamber
is dark and vaulted, with the rings still remaining to which the lamps
were hung, and a floor of natural rock pierced by the old well. The
chief entrance is now on the first floor, to which you mount by an outer
stair, and the first things you see on entering are the arms and
accoutrements of the Yorkshire militia, all carefully arranged. The view
from the top delights your eye by its variety and extent--a great sweep
of green hills and woods, the winding dale, and beyond, the brown
heights that stretch away to the mountains. You see the town and all its
picturesque features: the towers of St. Mary's and of the old Gray
Friars' monastery, and Trinity Chapel at one side of the market-place,
now desecrated by an intrusion of petty merchandise. And, following the
course of the river downwards, you can see in the meadows among the
woods the ruins of the Abbey of St. Agatha, at Easby. A few miles
farther, and the stream flows past Catterick, the Cattaractonium of the
Romans; and Bolton-on-Swale, the burial-place of old Jenkins.

On leaving the castle, make your way down to the path which runs round
the face of the precipice below the walls, yet high enough above the
river for pleasing views: a good place for an evening stroll. Then
descend to a lower level, and look back from the new bridge near the
railway station; you will be charmed with the singularly picturesque
view of the town, clustered all along the hill-top, and terminated by
the imposing mass of ruins and the lordly keep. And there is something
to be seen near at hand: the station, built in Gothic style, pleasantly
situate among trees; St. Martin's Cell, founded more than seven hundred
years ago, now sadly dilapidated, and used as a cow-stall. Beyond, on
the slope of the hill, stands the parish church, with a fine lofty
tower; and near it are the old grammar school, famous for good scholars;
and the Tate Testimonial, a handsome Gothic edifice, with cloisters,
where the boys play in rainy weather. It was in that churchyard that
Herbert Knowles wrote the poem

    "Methinks it is good to be here,"

which has long kept his name in memory.

Turn into the path on the left near the bridge, follow it through the
wood which hangs on the slope above the river, then between the meadows
and gardens, and past the mill, and you come to Easby Abbey, a charming
ruin in a charming spot. You see a gentle eminence, rich in noble
trees--the "abbot's elm" among them--with a mansion on the summit, and
in the meadow at the foot the group of ruins, not so far from the river
but that you can hear it murmuring briskly along its stony channel. They
occupy a considerable space, and the longer you wander from kitchen to
refectory, from oratory to chapter-house, under broken arches, from one
weedy heap of masonry to another, the more will you become aware of
their picturesque beauties. The effect is heightened by magnificent
masses of ivy, and trees growing out from the gaping stones, and about
the grounds, screening and softening the ancient walls with quivering
verdure. Here, for centuries, was the burial-place of the Scropes, that
powerful family who became possessors of Easby not long after the death
of Roald, constable of Richmond, founder of the abbey in 1152. Hence the
historical associations impart a deeper interest to the loveliness of
nature and the beauty of architecture.

The gate-house, also mantled with ivy, stands isolated in the meadow
beyond, and Easby church between it and the ruins. And a pretty little
church it is--a very jewel. Ivy creeps over it, and apparently through
it, for a thick stem grows out of the wall three feet from the ground.
Above the porch you may see three carved shields, time-worn memorials of
Conyers, Aske, and Scrope.

To linger here while the sun went down, and the shadows darkened behind
the walls, and the glory streamed through the blank windows, was a rare
enjoyment. It was dusk when I returned to the town, and there I finished
with another stroll on the path under the castle, thinking of the
ancient legend, and wishing for a peep at the mysterious vault where
King Arthur's warriors lie asleep. Long, long ago, a man, while
wandering about the hill, was conducted into an underground vault by a
mysterious personage, and there he saw to his amazement a great
multitude lying in deep slumber. Ere he recovered, his guide placed in
his hands a horn and a sword; he drew the blade half out of the sheath,
when lo! every sleeper stirred as if about to awake, and the poor
mortal, terror-stricken, loosed his hold, the sword slid back, and the
opportunity of release was lost, to recur no more for many a long day.
The unlucky wight heard as he crept forth a bitter voice crying:

    "Potter, Potter Thompson!
    If thou had either drawn
    The sword or blown that horn,
    Thou'd been the luckiest man
    That ever was born."

By nine o'clock the next morning I was in Ripon, having been obliged to
content myself with a glimpse of Northallerton from the railway; and to
forego a ramble to the Standard Hill. I was soon on the top of the
minster tower looking abroad on the course of the Ure, no longer a dale,
as where we last saw it, but a broad vale teeming with corn, and adorned
with woods, conspicuous among which are the broad forest-like masses of
Studley Royal--the site of Fountains Abbey. Norton Conyers, the seat of
the Nortons, whose names figure in Wordsworth's poem, lies a few miles
up the stream; and a few miles in the other direction are Boroughbridge
and Aldborough, once important British and Roman stations. There the
base Cartismandua, betrayer of Caractacus, held her court? there the
vast rude camp of the legions grew into a sumptuous city; and there was
fought one of the battles of the Roses, fatal to Lancaster; and there
for years was a stronghold of the boroughmongers. The horizon no longer
shows a ring of bleak moorlands, but green swells and wood all round to
the east, where the hills of Cleveland terminate the view.

Then, while sauntering on the floor of the stately edifice we may
remember that in 661 the King of Northumbria gave a piece of land here
to one of his abbots for the foundation of a religious house: that
Wilfrid, the learned bishop, replaced the first modest structure by a
magnificent monastery, which the heathen Danes burnt and wasted in 860;
but Wilfrid, who was presently created Archbishop of York, soon rebuilt
his church, surpassing the former in magnificence, and by his learning
and resolute assertion of his rights won, for himself great honour, and
a festival day in the calendar. The anniversary of his return from Rome
whither he went to claim his privileges, is still celebrated in Ripon,
by a procession as little accordant with modern notions as that which
perpetuates Peeping Tom's infamous memory at Coventry. The present
edifice was built by Roger of Bishopbridge, Archbishop of York in the
twelfth century, and renowned for his munificence; but the variations of
style--two characters of Norman, and Perpendicular, and a medley in the
window, still show how much of the oldest edifice was incorporated with
the new, and the alterations at different times.

The crypt is believed to be a portion of the church built by Wilfrid; to
reach it you must pass through narrow, darksome passages, and when
there, the guide will not fail to show you the hole known as Wilfrid's
needle--a needle of properties as marvellous as the garment offered to
the ladies of King Arthur's court--for no unchaste maiden can pass
through the eye. The bone-house and a vault, walled and paved with human
bones, still exists; and the guide, availing himself of a few
extraordinary specimens, still delivers his lecture surrounded by
ghastly accompaniments.

Without seeing the minster, you would guess Ripon to be a cathedral
town; it has the quiet, respectable air which befits the superiorities
of the church. The market cross is a tall obelisk, and if you happen to
be near it at nine in the evening, you will, perhaps, think of the
sonorous custom at Bainbridge, for one of the constables blows three
blasts on the horn every night at the mayor's door, and three more by
the market cross. And so the days of Victoria witness a custom said to
have been begun in the days of Alfred. The horn is an important
instrument in Ripon; it was brought out and worn on feasts and
ceremonial days by the "wakeman," or a serjeant; certain of the mayors
have taken pride in beautifying it, and supplying a new belt, and the
town arms show a golden horn and black belt ornamented with silver.

At Beverley there are few signs of visitors; here, many, attracted by
Fountains Abbey. Carriage after carriage laden with sight-seers rattled
past as I walked to Studley, a distance of nearly three miles. Even at
the toll-bar on the way you can buy guide-books, as well as ginger-beer.
Beyond the gate you may leave the road for a field-path, which crosses
the street of Studley, and brings you to a short cut through the park.
Soon we come to the magnificent beechen avenue, and standing at the
upper end we see a long green walk, with the minster in the distance,
and beyond that the dark wold. Then by another avenue on the left we
approach the lake and the lodge, where you enter your name in a book,
pay a shilling, and are handed over, with the party that happens to be
waiting, to the care of a guide. He leads you along broad gravelled
paths, between slopes of smooth green turf, flower-beds, shrubberies,
rock work, and plantations, to vistas terminated by statues, temples,
and lakes filled with coffee-coloured water. To me, the trees seemed
more beautiful than anything else; and fancy architecture looked poor by
the side of tall beeches, larches, and magnificent Norway pines. And I
could not help wishing that Earl de Grey, to whom the estate belongs,
would abolish the puerile theatrical trick called _The Surprise_.
Arrived on the brow of an eminence, which overlooks the valley of the
little river Skell, you are required to stand two or three yards in the
rear of a wooden screen. Then the guide, with a few words purporting,
"Now, you shall see what you shall see," throws open the doors of the
screen, and Fountains Abbey appears in the hollow below. As if the view
of such a ruin could be improved by artifice!

Then a descent to Robin Hood's Well--a spring of delicious water, which
you will hardly pass without quaffing a draught to the memory of the
merry outlaw. And now we are near the ruin, and, favoured by the
elevation of the path, can overlook at once all the ground plan, the
abbot's quarters--under which the Skell flows through an arched
channel--the dormitory, the refectory, the lofty arches of the church,
and the noble tower rising to a height of one hundred and sixty-six

We were admiring the great extent and picturesque effects of the ruins,
when a harsh whistle among the trees on the left struck up _Pop goes the
Weasel_; singularly discordant in such a place. I could not help saying
that the whistler deserved banishment, to the edge of the park at
least--when the guide answered, "Yes, but he blows the whistle with his
nose." If Earl de Grey would abolish that nosing of a vulgar melody, as
well as _The Surprise_, many a visitor would feel grateful.

Presently we cross the bridge, and there are the yew-trees, one of which
sheltered the pious monks, who, scandalized by the lax discipline of the
brethren in the Benedictine Abbey of St. Mary's, at York, separated from
them, migrated hither in December, 1132, and lived for some months,
enduring great privations, with no other roof but the trees. Skelldale
was then a wild and desolate spot; but the Cistercians persevered;
Thurstan befriended them, and in course of years one of the grandest
monastic piles that England could boast arose in the meadow bordering
the narrow stream. Its roll of abbots numbers thirty-nine names, some of
high distinction, whose tombs may yet be seen.

After taking you aside to look at Fountains Hall, a Tudor mansion, the
guide leads the way to the cloisters, and, unlocking a door, admits you
to the interior of the ruins. The view of the nave, with its Norman
pillars and arches extending for nearly two hundred feet, is remarkably
imposing; and as you pace slowly over the soft green carpet into the
transept, thence to the choir and Lady chapel, each more beautiful than
the last, you experience unwonted emotions of delight and surprise.
Once within the Lady chapel, you will hardly care to leave it for any
other portion of the ruins, until the door is unlocked for departure.

The return route is on the opposite side of the valley to that by which
you approach. From a hollow in the cliff, a little way on, you may, on
turning to take a last look of the ruins, waken a clearly articulate
echo; but, alas! the lurking voice is made to utter overmuch nonsense.
What would the devout monks say could they hear it? However, if history
is to be depended on, even they were not perfect; for towards the close
of their career, they fell into evil ways, and became a reproach. As we

    "In summer time, when leaves grow green,
      And flowers are fresh and gay,
    Robin Hood and his merry men
      Were disposed to play."

And when Robin, overjoyed at Little John's skill, exclaims that he would
ride a hundred miles to find one to match him,

    "That caused Will Scadlocke to laugh,
      He laught full heartily:
    There lives a curtall fryer in Fountaines Abbey
      Will beate both him and thee."

A right sturdy friar, who with his fifty dogs kept Robin and his fifty
men at bay, until Little John's shooting brought him to terms:

    "This curtall fryer had kept Fountaines dale
      Seven long yeares and more,
    There was neither knight, lord, nor earle
      Could make him yeeld before."

Of old Jenkins, it is recorded that he was once steward to Lord Conyers,
who used to send him at times with a message to the Abbot of Fountains
Abbey; and that the abbot always gave him, "besides wassel, a quarter of
a yard of roast beef for his dinner, and a great black jack of strong
beer." The Abbot of Fountains was one of three Yorkshire abbots beheaded
on Tower-hill for their share in the _Pilgrimage of Grace_.

Judging from the one to whom we were allotted, the guides are civil, and
not uninformed as to the traditions and history of Studley Royal and its
neighbourhood. They are instructed not to lose sight of their party, and
to conduct them only by the prescribed paths. So there is no
opportunity for wandering at will, or a leisurely meditation among the

I walked back to the railway-station at Ripon, and journeyed thence to
Thirsk, where a pleasant stroll finished the evening. Of the castle of
the Mowbrays--the rendezvous of the English troops when marching to the
Battle of the Standard--the site alone remains on the south-west of the
town. The chantry, founded by one of the Mowbrays in Old Thirsk, has
also disappeared. And the great tree that stood on the green in the same
suburb has gone too. It was under the tree on Thirsk green, and not at
Topcliffe, as some say, that the fourth Earl Percy was massacred;
certain it is, that the elections of members to serve in Parliament were
held under the wide-spreading branches even from the earliest times. It
was burnt down in 1818 by a party of boys who lit a fire in the hollow
trunk. But the ugly old shambles had not disappeared from the
market-place: their destruction, however, so said the bookseller, was

The church, dating from the fifteenth century, has recently been
restored, and well repays an examination. Among the epitaphs on the
tombstones, I noticed a variation of the old familiar strain:

    Afflictions sore he long time bore,
      Which wore his strength away,
    That made him long for heavenly rest
      Which never will decay.

And another, a curiosity in its way:

    Corruption, Earth, and worms,
      Shall but refine this flesh,
    Till my triumphant spirit comes
      To put it on A fresh.


     Sutton: a pretty Village--The Hambleton Hills--Gormire Lake--
     Zigzags--A Table-Land--Boy and Bull Pup--Skawton--Ryedale--
     Rievaulx Abbey--Walter L'Espec--A Charming Ruin--The Terrace--
     The Pavilion--Helmsley--T' Boos--Kirkby Moorside--Helmsley
     Castle--A River swallowed--Howardian Hills--Oswaldkirk--Gilling
     --Fairfax Hall--Coxwold--Sterne's Residence--York--The Minster
     Tower--Yorke, Yorke, for my monie--The Four Bars--The City
     Walls--The Ouse Legend--Yorkshire Philosophical Society--Ruins
     and Antiquities--St. Mary's Lodge.

The morning dawns with promise of a glorious day, and of glad enjoyment
for us in our coming walk. Our route will lead us through a rich and
fertile region to the Hambleton Hills--the range which within the past
two weeks has so often terminated our view with its long blue
elevations. We shall see another ruin--Rievaulx Abbey, and another old
castle at Helmsley--and if all go well, shall sleep at night within the
walls of York.

A few miles on the way and we come to Sutton, a pretty village, where
nearly every house has its front garden bright with flowers, with tall
proud lilies here and there, and standard roses. And every lintel and
door-sill is decorated with yellow ochre, and a border of whitewash
enlivens even the humblest window. And the inside of the cottages is as
clean as the outside, and some have the front room papered. It is truly
an English village, for no other country can show the like.

Now the hills stand up grandly before us, showing here and there a scar
above the thick woods that clothe their base. The road rises across the
broken ground: we come to a lane on the left, marked by a limekiln, and
following it upwards between ferny banks and tangled hedges, haunted by
the thrush, we arrive presently at Gormire Lake, a pretty sheet of
water, reposing in a hollow at the foot of Whitstoncliffe. It is best
seen from the bold green bank at the upper end, for there you face the
cliff and the hill which rises behind it, covered with copse and
bracken. The lake is considerably above the base of the hill, and
appears to have been formed by a landslip; it is tenanted by fish, and
has, as I heard subsequently at York, a subterranean outlet somewhere
among the fallen fragments at the foot of the cliff.

Returned to the road, we have now to ascend sharp alpine zigzags, for
the western face of Hambleton is precipitous; and within a short
distance the road makes a rise of eight hundred feet. The increasing
ascent and change of direction opens a series of pleasing views, and as
you look now this way, now that, along the diversified flanks of the
hills, you will wish for more time to wander through such beautiful
scenery. All that comparatively level country below was once covered by
a sea, to which the hills we now stand on opposed a magnificent
shore-line of cliffs; some of their summits more than a thousand feet in

Great is the contrast when you arrive on the brow: greenness and
fertility suddenly give place to a bleak table-land, where the few
patches of cultivation appear but meagre amid acres of brown ling. We
have taken a great step upwards into a shrewish region. That white patch
seen afar is a hunting and training colony, and there go two grooms
riding, followed by a pack of hounds. What a chilly-looking place! A
back settlement in Michigan could hardly be more lonely. The boys may
well betake themselves for amusement to the education of dogs. Was it
here, I wonder, that the Yorkshire boy lived who had a bull pup, in the
training of which he took great delight? One day, seeing his father come
into the yard, the youngster said, "Father, you go down on your hands
and knees and blare like a bull, and see what our pup'll do." The parent
complied; but while he was doing his best to roar like a bull, the dog
flew at him and seized him by the lip. Now the man roared in earnest,
and tried to shake off his tormentor, while the boy, dancing in ecstacy,
cried, "Bear it, father! bear it! It'll be the makin' o' t' pup."

By-and-by comes a descent, and the road drops suddenly into a deep glen,
crowded with luxuriant woods. Many a lovely view do we get here, as the
windings of the road bring us to wider openings and broader slopes of
foliage. We pass the hamlet of Skawton; a brook becomes our companion,
and woods still shut us in when we cross the Rye, a shallow, lively
stream, and get a view from the bridge up Ryedale.

A short distance up the stream brings us to the little village of
Rivas--as the country folk call it--and to Rievaulx Abbey. The civil old
woman who shows the way into the ruin, will tell you that Lord Feversham
does not like to see visitors get over the fence; and then, stay as long
as you will, she leaves you undisturbed. What a pleasure awaits you!--a
charm which Bolton and Fountains failed alike to inspire: perhaps
because of the narrowness of the dale, and the feeling of deep seclusion
imparted by the high thickly wooded hills on each side, the freedom
allowed to vegetation in and around the place, and to your own
movements. The style is Early English, and while surveying the massive
clustered columns that once supported the tower, the double rows of
arches, and the graceful windows now draped with ivy of the nave, you
will restore the light and beautiful architecture in imagination, and
not without a wish that Time would retrace his flight just for one hour,
and show you the abbey in all its primitive beauty, when Ryedale was "a
place of vast solitude and horror," as the old chronicler says.

Walter L'Espec, Lord of the Honour of Helmsley, a baron of high renown
in his day, grieving with his wife, the Lady Adeline, over the death of
their only son by a fall from a horse, built a priory at Kirkham, the
scene of the accident, and in 1131 founded here an abbey for Cistercian
monks. And here after some years, during which he distinguished himself
at the Battle of the Standard, he took the monastic vows, and gave
himself up to devout study and contemplation until his death in 1153.
And then he was buried in the glorious edifice which he had raised to
the service of God, little dreaming that in later days when, fortress
and church would be alike in ruins, other men would come with different
thoughts, though perhaps not purer aims, and muse within the walls where
he had often knelt in prayer, and admire his work, and respect his

Much remains to delight the eye; flying buttresses, clerestory windows,
corbels, capitals, and mouldings, some half buried in the rank grass and
nettles. And how the clustering masses of ivy heighten the beauty! One
of the stems, that seems to lend strength to the great column against
which it leans, is more than three feet in circumference, and bears
aloft a glorious green drapery. An elder grows within the nave,
contributing its fair white blossoms to the fulness of beauty. The
refectory, too, is half buried with ivy, and there you walk on what was
once the floor of the crypt, and see the remains of the groins that
supported the floor above: and there at one side is the recess where one
of the monks used to read aloud some holy book while the others sat at
dinner. Adjoining the refectory is a paddock enclosed by ash-trees,
which appears to have been the cloister court. Now the leaves rustle
overhead, and birds chirrup in the branches, and swallows flit in and
out, and through the openings once filled by glass that rivalled the
rainbow in colour.

For two hours did I wander and muse; now sitting in the most retired
nook, now retreating to a little distance to find out the best points of
view. And my first impression strengthened; and I still feel that of all
the abbeys Rievaulx is the one I should like to see again. But the day
wore on, and warned me, though reluctant, to depart.

A small fee to the quiet old woman makes her thankful, and prompts her
to go and point out the path by which you mount zigzagging through the
thick wood to the great terrace near the summit of the hill. It will
surprise you to see a natural terrace smooth and green as a lawn, of
considerable width, and half a mile in length; that is, the visible
extent, for it stretches farther round the heights towards Helmsley. At
one end stands a pavilion, decorated in the interior with paintings, at
the other a domed temple, and from all the level between you get a
glorious prospect up Ryedale--up the dale by which we came from Thirsk,
and over leagues of finely-wooded hills, to a rim of swarthy moorland.
And beneath, as in a nest, the ancient ruin and the little village
repose in the sunshine, and the rapid river twinkles with frequent
curves through the meadows.

The gardener who lives in the basement of the pavilion will show you the
paintings and a small pamphlet, in which the subjects are described; and
perhaps tell you that the family used to come over at times from
Duncombe Park and dine in the ornamented chamber. He will request you,
moreover, to be careful to shut the gate by which you leave the terrace
at a break in the shrubbery.

The road is at the edge of the next field, and leads us in about an hour
to Helmsley, a quiet rural town very pleasantly situated beneath broad
slopes of wood. It has a good church, a few quaint old houses, some
still covered with thatch, a brook running along the street, a market
cross, and a relic of the castle built by De Roos, when Yorkshire still
wept the Conquest.

It had surprised me while on the way from Thirsk to find more difficulty
in understanding the rustic dialect than in the remoter parts of the
north and west. The same peculiarities prevail here in the town; and the
landlord's daughter, who waited on me at the house where I dined,
professed a difficulty in understanding me. My question about the
omnibus for Gilling completely puzzled her for a few minutes, until
light dawned on her, and she exclaimed joyfully, "Oh! ye mean t' boos!"

A few miles east of Helmsley is Kirkby Moorside, where the proud Duke of
Buckingham died, though not "in the worst inn's worst room;" and near it
is Kirkdale, with its antiquated church, and the famous cave in which
the discovery of the bones of wild animals some thirty years ago
established a new epoch for geologists. From Kirkby you can look across
to the hilly moors behind Whitby; and if you incline to explore farther,
Castle Howard will repay a visit, and you may go and look into the gorge
through which the Derwent flows, at Malton, keeping in mind what
geologists tell us, that if the gorge should happen to be closed by any
convulsion, the Vale of Pickering would again become a sea.

Of Helmsley Castle the remains are but fragmentary; a portion of the
lofty keep stands on an eminence, around which you may still trace the
hollows once filled by the triple moat. The gateway is comparatively
sound, the barbican is sadly dilapidated; and within other parts of the
old walls which have been repaired, Lord Feversham's tenants assemble
once a year to pay their rents. The ruin is so pleasantly embowered by
trees and ivy, so agreeable for a lounge on a July day, that I regretted
being summoned away too soon by "t' boos" driver's horn. There was no
time for a look at Feversham House, about half a mile distant, nor for a
few miles' walk to Byland Abbey--another Cistercian edifice--founded in
1143 by Roger de Mowbray. I could only glance at the skirts of the park,
where preparations were making for a flower-show, and at the shield on
the front of the lodge, bearing the motto, _Deo, Regi, Patriæ_.

The Rye here is a smaller stream than at Rievaulx, owing to the loss of
water by the 'swallows' in Duncombe Park; half a mile lower down it
reappears in full current. But the driver is impatient; we shall be too
late for the train at Gilling, and the steep Howardian Hills are to be
crossed on the way. Fine views open over the woods; then we leave the
trees for a while; a vast prospect appears of the Vale of York, and at
Oswaldkirk--a picturesque village--the road falling rapidly brings us
once more into a wooded region, and in due time we come to Gilling, on
the branch railway to Malton.

There was not time, or I would have run up the hill behind the station
to look at the noble avenue of beeches that forms a worthy approach to
Fairfax Hall--the home of a family venerated by all who love liberty. I
felt an emotion of regret when the station-clerk told me that the
present Fairfax is an aged man and childless; for ere long the name will
disappear, and the estate become a possession of the Cholmleys.

The train arrives; five miles on it stops at Coxwold, where Sterne
passed seven years of his life; then two leagues more, and we have to
wait ninety minutes for a train down from the north, at Pilmoor
junction--a singularly unattractive spot. Luckily I had a book in my
knapsack, and so beguiled the time till the bell rang that summoned us
to York.

In my wanderings I have sometimes had the curiosity to try a _Temperance
Hotel_, and always repented it, because experience showed that
temperance meant poor diet, stingy appliances, and slovenly
accommodations. So it was not without misgivings that I resolved to make
one more experiment, and see what temperance meant in the metropolis of
Yorkshire. The _Hotel_, which did not displease me, looks into
Micklegate, not far from the Bar on which the heads of dukes and nobles
were impaled, as mentioned in the _Lay of Towton Field_.

Considering how many quartos have been filled with the history and
description of York, into how many little books the big books have been
condensed, every traveller is supposed to know as much as he desires
concerning the ancient city, ere he visits it. For one who has but a day
to spare, the best way of proceeding is of course to get on the top of
the minster tower, and stay there until his memory is refreshed by the
sight of what he sees below. At a height of two hundred feet above the
pavement you can overlook the great cluster of clean red roofs, and
single out the twenty-five churches that yet remain of the fifty once
visible from this same elevation. Clifford's Tower, a portion of the old
castle, stands now within the precincts of the gaol; the line of the
city walls can be seen, and the situation of the four Bars; there, by
the river, is the Guildhall where King Charles was purchased from the
Scots; there the small river Foss, that rises in the Howardian Hills,
and once filled the Roman ditches, joins the Ouse. Outside the walls,
Severus Hill marks the spot where the emperor, who died here in 210, was
burnt on his funeral pile with all the honours due to a wearer of the
purple; another hill shows where Scrope was beheaded. To the south lies
Bishopthorpe, the birthplace of Guy Fawkes, and residence of the
bishops. Eastward is Stamford Brig, where the hard Norwegian king,
flushed with victory, lost the battle and his life--where the spoil in
gold ornaments was so great, "that twelve young men could hardly carry
it upon their shoulders"--whence the victor Harold marched to lose in
turn life and crown at Hastings. On the west lies Marston Moor, and
farther to the south-west the field of Towton. And then, from wandering
afar over the broad vale, your eye returns to the minster itself, and
looks down on all its properties, and comfortable residences, snug
gardens, and plots of greenest turf, all covering ground on which the
Romans built their camp, and where they erected a temple for the worship
of heathen deities.

As regards the interior, whatever may have been your emotions of
admiration or wonder in other cathedrals, they become fuller and deeper
in this of York. After two long visits, I still wished for more time to
pace again the lofty aisles, to hear the organ's rolling notes, while
marvelling at the glory of architecture.

In Roger North's time, as he relates, the interior of the cathedral was
the favourite resort of fashionable strollers: in an earlier time, when
archery was practised keenly as rifle-shooting in our day, and the
prophecy as to the pre-eminence of York was not yet forgotten, a ballad
was written in praise of the city: thus

    "The Maior of Yorke, with his companie,
    Were all in the fieldes, I warrant ye,
    To see good rule kept orderly,
      As if it had been at London.

    Which was a dutifull sight to see
    The Maior and Aldermen there to bee
    For the setting forth of Archerie,
      As well as they doe at London.

    "Yorke, Yorke, for my monie,
      Of all the citties that ever I see,
    For mery pastime & companie,
      Except the cittie of London."

From the minster walk as far as may be along the city walls: you will
see the four Bars--Monk, Micklegate, Walmgate, and Bootham; the
first-named still retaining the barbican. In some of the narrow lanes
near the water-side you may discover old mansions, the residences of the
magnates of York two hundred years ago, now tenanted by numbers of
working-people, and grand staircases and panelled rooms, looking dingy
and squalid. Then go forth and take a turn under the trees of the New
Walk on the bank of the Ouse, and see a much-frequented resort of the
citizens, who certainly cannot boast that their environs are romantic.
You would hardly believe that the stream flowing so placidly by embosoms
the rapid rivers we crossed so often while in the mountains. If legends
deceive not, any one who came and threw five white pebbles into a
certain part of the Ouse as the hour of one struck on the first morning
of May, would then see everything he desired to see, past, present, and
to come, on the surface of the water. Once a knight returning from the
wars desired to see how it fared with his lady-love: he threw in the
pebbles, and beheld the home of the maiden, a mansion near Scarborough,
and a youth wearing a mask and cloak descending from her window, and the
hiding of the ladder by the serving-man. Maddened by jealousy, he
mounted and rode with speed; his horse dropped dead in sight of the
house; he saw the same youth ascending the ladder, rushed forward, and
stabbed him to the heart. It was his betrothed. She was not faithless;
still loved her knight, and had only been to a masquerade. For many a
day thereafter did the knight's anguish and remorse appear as the
punishment of unlawful curiosity in the minstrel's lay and gestour's

Return, and take a walk in that pleasant ground, half park, half garden,
which we saw from the tower, and see how enviable a site has fallen to
the Yorkshire Philosophical Society for their museum. To have such a
scope of smooth green turf, flower-beds, shrubs, and trees in the heart
of a city, as the shelter of remarkable antiquities and scientific
collections, is a rare privilege. At one side stand the remains of St.
Leonard's Hospital--Norman and early English--sheltering, when I saw it,
something far, far more ancient than itself--a huge fossil saurian. The
ruins of St. Mary's Abbey appear on the other side; and between the two
the Doric edifice, containing the museum, library, and offices of the
Society. In another part of the grounds, the Hospitium of the monks,
which in a country village would pass for a mediæval barn, now contains
the admirable collection of Roman and British antiquities for which York
is celebrated. Seeing the numerous tiles stamped with Latin words and
numerals, the tombs and altars, the household utensils, and personal
ornaments, your idea of the Roman occupation will, perhaps, become more
vivid than before; and again, while you examine the fragment of the wall
and tower, supposed to have been built by Hadrian, strong and solid even
after the lapse of nineteen centuries. And when you look once more at
the Abbey and the Hospital, you will regret the ravages of plunderers.
For years the ruins were worked as a quarry by all who wanted stone for
building purposes, and, as if to accelerate the waste, great heaps were
burnt in a limekiln erected on the spot; and it is said that stone
pillaged from St. Mary's at York was used for the repair of Beverley

However, the spirit of preservation has prevented further dilapidation,
and old Time himself is constrained to do his wasting imperceptibly. St.
Mary's Lodge, adjoining the abbey, long neglected, and degraded into a
pothouse, was restored some years ago, and occupied as a residence by
Professor Phillips, whose connexion with the Society will not soon be
forgotten. A charming residence it is; and an evening and a morning
spent within it, enable me to affirm that its chambers, though clothed
in a modern dress, witness hospitality as generous as that of the monks
of the olden time.


     By Rail to Leeds--Kirkstall Abbey--Valley of the Aire--Flight
     to Settle--Giggleswick--Drunken Barnaby again--Nymph and Satyr
     --The astonished Bagman--What do they Addle?--View from
     Castleber--George Fox's Vision on Pendle Hill--Walk to Maum--
     Companions--Horse versus Scenery--Talk by the Way--Little Wit,
     muckle Work--Malham Tarn--Ale for Recompense--Malham--
     Hospitality--Gordale Scar--Scenery versus Horse--Trap for Trout
     --A Brookside Musing--Malham Cove--Source of the Aire--To

On the second morning of my stay in York, after a farewell visit to the
minster, I travelled by rail to Leeds. I had little time, and,
remembering former days, less inclination to tarry in this great,
dismal, cloth-weaving town; so after a passing glance at the new
town-hall, and some other improvements, I walked through the long,
scraggy suburb such as only a busy manufacturing town can create, to
Kirkstall Abbey. This also was an abode of the Cistercians, founded in
1152 by Henry de Lacy; and they who can discourse learnedly on such
subjects pronounce it to be, as a ruin, more perfect than some which we
have already visited. But it stands only a few yards from a black,
much-frequented road, and within sight and hearing of a big forge, and
the Aire flows past, not pellucid, but stained with the refuse liquor of
dye-works. Still the site is not devoid of natural beauty; and an hour
may be agreeably passed in sauntering about the ruin. It must have been
a delightful haunt when Leeds was Loidis in Elmete.

I had expected to see the valley of the Aire sprinkled with the villa
residences of the merchants of Leeds; but the busy traders prefer to
live in the town, and in all the nine miles on the way to Bradford, you
have only a succession of factories, dye-works, and excavations,
encroaching on and deforming the beauty of the valley, while the
vegetation betrays signs of the harmful effect of smoke.

As the afternoon drew on, I bethought myself that it was the last day of
the week, and a desire came over me for one more quiet Sunday among the
hills. So I turned aside to Newlay station, and took flight by the first
train that came up for Settle, retracing part of my journey through
Craven of the week before.

On the way from the station to the town, I made a détour to Giggleswick,
a village that claims notice for its grammar-school, a fine cliff--part
of the Craven fault--and a remarkable spring. Of his visit to this place
Drunken Barnaby chants:

    "Thence to Giggleswick most steril,
    Hem'd with shelves and rocks of peril,
    Near to th' way, as a traveller goes,
    A fine fresh spring both ebbs and flows;
    Neither know the learn'd that travel
    What procures it, salt or gravel."

Drayton helps us to a legend which accounts for the origin of the
spring. Suppose we pause for a few minutes to read it. Coming to this
place, he says:

    "At Giggleswick where I a fountain can you show,
    That eight times in a day is said to ebb and flow,
    Who sometime was a nymph, and in the mountains high
    Of Craven, whose blue heads for caps put on the sky,
    Amongst th' Oreads there, and sylvans made abode
    (It was ere human foot upon those hills had trod),
    Of all the mountain kind and since she was most fair,
    It was a satyr's chance to see her silver hair
    Flow loosely at her back, as up a cliff she clame,
    Her beauties noting well, her features, and her frame,
    And after her he goes; which when she did espy,
    Before him like the wind the nimble nymph doth fly,
    They hurry down the rocks, o'er hill and dale they drive,
    To take her he doth strain, t' outstrip him she doth strive,
    Like one his kind that knew, and greatly fear'd his rape,
    And to the topick gods by praying to escape,
    They turn'd her to a spring, which as she then did pant,
    When wearied with her course, her breath grew wondrous scant:
    Even as the fearful nymph, then thick and short did blow,
    Now made by them a spring, so doth she ebb and flow."

It was supper-time when I came to the _Lion_ at Settle. A commercial
traveller, who was in the town on his first visit, looked up from his
accounts while I sat at table to tell me of a strange word which he had
heard during the day, and with as much astonishment as if it had been
Esquimaux. Indeed, he had not recovered from his astonishment, and could
not help having a good laugh when he thought of the cause. Seeing a
factory on the outskirts of the town, he asked a girl, "What do they
make in that factory?"

"What do they addle?" replied the girl, inquiringly. And ever since he
had been repeating to himself, "What do they addle?" and always with a
fresh burst of laughter.

"Pretty outlandish talk that, isn't it?" he said, as he finished his

Settle is a quiet little town, built at the foot of Castleber, another
of the grand cliffs of Craven. To the inhabitants the huge rock is a
recreative resort: seats are placed at its base; a zigzag path leads to
the summit, whence the views over the valley of the Ribble are very
picturesque and pleasing. On the north-west the broad top of
Ingleborough is seen peeping over an intervening height; Penyghent
appears in the north; and southerly, Pendle Hill rises within the
borders of Lancashire. Very beautiful did the dewy landscape seem to me
the next morning as I sat on the cliff top while the sunlight increased
upon the green expanse.

"As we travelled," says George Fox in his _Journal_, "we came near a
very great hill, called Pendle Hill, and I was moved of the Lord to go
up to the top of it; which I did with difficulty, it was so very steep
and high. When I was come to the top, I saw the sea bordering upon
Lancashire. From the top of this hill the Lord let me see in what places
he had a great people to be gathered. As I went down, I found a spring
of water in the side of the hill, with which I refreshed myself, having
eaten or drunk but little for several days before." The spring is still
there, and known in the neighbourhood as George Fox's Well.

After breakfast I set out to walk to Malham, about seven miles distant,
and was mounting the hill at an easy pace behind the town, when two men
came up, and presently told me they also were going to Maum--as they
pronounced it. So we joined company, all alike strangers to the road,
and came soon to the bye-path of which the ostler at the _Lion_ had
advised me: "It would save a mile or more if I could only find the way."
A greater attraction for me was, that it led across the silent pastures
on the top of the hills. As I got over the stile, an old man who was
passing strongly urged us to keep the road; we should be sure to lose
ourselves, and happen never to get to Maum at all. To which I replied,
that if a Londoner and two Yorkshiremen could not find their way across
six miles of hill-country they deserved to lose it; and away we went
across the field. Ere long we were on breezy slopes, which, opening here
and there on the left, revealed curious rocky summits beyond, and as we
trod the springy turf, my companions told me they had come by rail from
Bentham, and were going to Malham for no other purpose than to see a
horse which one of them had sent there "to grass" a few weeks
previously. They were as much amused at my admiration of the scenery as
I was at their taking so long a journey to look at a quadruped. They
would not go out of their way to see Malham Cove, or Gordale Scar, not
they: a horse was worth more than all the scenery. And yet, judging by
their dress and general conversation, they were men in respectable
circumstances. Presently, as we passed a rocky cone springing all yellow
and gray from a bright green eminence, I stopped and tried to make them
understand why it was admirable, pointing out its form, the contrasts of
colour, and its relation to surrounding objects: "Well!" said one, "I
never thought of that. It do make a difference when you look at it in
that way."

Neither of them had ever been to London, and what pleased them most was
to hear something about the great city. They were as full of wonder, and
as ready to express it, as children; and not one of us found the way
wearisome. We had taken a new departure when in sight of Stockdale, a
solitary farm-house down in a hollow, as instructed, and gained a
rougher elevation, when the track, which had become faint, disappeared
altogether, and at a spot where no landmark was in sight to guide us.
"The old man was right," said the Yorkshiremen; "we have lost the way;"
and they began a debate as to the course now to be followed. At length
one strode off in a direction that would have taken him in time to the
top of Penyghent. I looked at the sun, and declared for the east. But
no, the other remained resolute in his opinion, and would not be
persuaded. "Let him go," I said to his companion, who sided with me;
"little wit in the head makes muckle work for the heels;" and we took a
course to the east.

After a while the other repented, and came panting after us; and before
we had gone half a mile we saw Malham Tarn, broad and blue, at a
distance on the left; then the track reappeared; then Malham came in
sight, lying far down in a pleasant valley; and then we came into a
rough, narrow road, descending steeply, and the Yorkshireman
acknowledged his error.

"Eh! that's Maum Cove, is it?" he said, as a turn in the road showed us
the head of the valley; "that's what we've heard so much talk about.
Well, it's a grand scar." He seemed to repent of even this morsel of
admiration, and helped his neighbour with strong resolutions not to turn
aside and look up at the cliff from its base.

We each had a glass of ale at the public-house in the village. Before I
was aware, one of my companions paid for the three, nor would he on any
terms be persuaded otherwise.

"Hoot, lad," he rejoined, "say nought about it. I'd pay ten times as
much for the pleasure of your talk." And with that he silenced me.

Although Gordale Scar is not more than a mile from Malham, they refused
to go and see it. However, when we came to the grazier's house, and they
heard that the Scar lay in the way to the pasture where the horse was
turned out, they thought they wouldn't mind taking a look just, as they
went. The good wife brought out bread, cheese, butter, and a jug of
beer, and would have me sit down and partake with the others; regarding
my plea that I was a stranger, and had just taken a drink, as worthless.
A few minutes sufficed, and then her son accompanied us, for without him
the horse would never be found. We followed a road running along the
base of the precipitous hills which cross the head of the valley, to a
rustic tenement, dignified with the name of Gordale House; and there
turned towards the cliffs by the side of a brook. At first there is
nothing to indicate your approach to anything extraordinary: you enter a
great chasm, where the crags rise high and singularly rugged, sprinkled
here and there with a small fir or graceful ash, where the bright green
turf, sloping up into all the ins and outs of the dark gray cliff, and
the little brook babbling out towards the sunshine, between great masses
of rock fallen from above, enliven the otherwise gloomy scene. You might
fancy yourself in a great roofless cave; but, ascending to the rear, you
find an outlet, a sudden bend in the chasm, narrower, and more rocky and
gloomy than the entrance. The cliffs rise higher and overhang fearfully
above, appearing to meet indeed at the upper end; and there, from that
grim crevice, rushes a waterfall. The water makes a bound, strikes the
top of a rock, and, rushing down on each side, forms an inverted /\ of
splash and foam. And now you feel that Gordale Scar deserves all the
admiration lavished upon it.

"Well!" exclaimed one of the Yorkshiremen, "who'd ha' thought to see
anything like this? And we living all our life within twenty mile of it!
'Tis a wonderful place."

"So, you do believe at last," I rejoined, "that scenery is worth looking
at, as well as a horse?"

"That I do. I don't wonder now that you come all the way from London to
see our hills."

We crossed the fall, climbed up the rock into another bend of the chasm,
where the water makes its first plunge, unseen from below, shut in by
crags that wear a sterner frown. You look up to the summit and see the
water tumbling through a ring of rock, so strangely has the disruptive
shock there broken the cliff. The effect both on ear and eye as the
torrent breaks into spray and dashes downwards in fantastic channels, is
surprisingly impressive.

Only on one side is the pass accessible, and there so steep that your
hands must aid in the ascent. We scrambled to the top and found
ourselves on the margin of a table-land sloping gently upwards from the
edge of the precipice, so bestrewn with upheaved rocks and lumps of
stone, that but for the grass which grows rich and sweet between,
whereof the sheep bite gladly, the aspect would indeed be savage. Along
an irregular furrow, as it may be called, which deepens as it nears the
precipice, flows the beck--coming, as the boy told us, from Malham Tarn.
There was another small stream, he said, which disappeared in a
'swallow' on his father's pasture; and in that swallow he had many times
found large trout, struggling helplessly in their unexpected trap. And,
pointing to the highest shoulder of the cliff, he said that a fox, once
hard pressed by the hounds, had leaped over, followed by a dog, and both
were killed by the fall.

After a few minutes of admiration, the Yorkshiremen and their guide
began to move off across the fell, in search of the horse. One of them
hoped we should meet again on the way back. The other said, "Not much
hope o' that; for he won't go away from this till he have learnt it all
by heart." Then we shook hands, and they promised to set up a pile of
stones at a certain gate on their return, as a signal to me that they
had passed through.

True enough, I was in no haste to depart, and there was much to admire
as well as "to learn." The sight of the innumerable shelves, with their
fringe of grass, the diversity of jagged rocks thrusting their gray
heads up into the sunlight, of the rugged and broken slopes, set me
longing for a scramble. Hither and thither I went; now to a point where
I could see miles of the cliffs, and mark how, in many places, owing to
the splitting and shivering, the limestone wall resembles a row of organ
pipes. Now into a gap all barren and stony with immemorial screes;
where, however, you could hear the faint tinkle of hidden water, and
pulling away the stones, discover small ferns and pale blades of grass
along the course of the tiny current. Anon, returning to the Scar, I
climbed to the top of the crag that juts midway in the rear of the
chasm, surveying the scene below; then selecting a nook by the side of
the beck, a little above its leap through the ring, I lay down and
watched the water as it ran with innumerable sparkling cascades from the
rise of the fell. Here the solitude was complete, and the view limited
to a few yards of the hollow water-course patched with green and gray,
and the bright blue sky above.

And while I lay, soothed by the murmur of the water, looking up at the
great white clouds floating slowly across the blue, certain thoughts
that had haunted me for some days shaped themselves in order in my
brain; and with your permission, gracious reader, I here produce them:

    A cloud of care had come across my mind;
      Ill-balanced hung the world: here pleasure all;
    There hopeless toil, and cruel pangs that fall
      On Poverty, to which but death seemed kind.
    And so, with heart perplexed, I left behind
      The crowd of men, the town with smoky pall,
      And sought the hills, and breathed the mountain wind.
      Hath God forgotten then the mean and small?
    I mused, and gazed o'er purple fells outroll'd;
      When, lo! beneath an old thatched roof a gleam
      That kindled soon with sunset's gorgeous gold:
      Broad panes, nor fretted oriel brighter beam.
    If glories thus on lattice rude unfold,
      Of life unlit by Heaven we may not deem.

The sun was beginning to drop towards the west before I left the
pleasant hollow; and then with reluctance, for my holiday was near its
close, and months would elapse before I should again hear the voice of a
mountain brook, and slake myself in sunshine. Having returned to the
village, I kept along the river bank to the head of the valley, where
copse and enormous boulders, scattered about the narrow grassy level and
in the bed of the stream, make a fine foreground to the magnificent
limestone cliff of Malham Cove. Rising sheer to a height of nearly three
hundred feet, the precipice curving inwards, buttressed on each side by
woody slopes, realizes Wordsworth's description--"semicirque profound;"
and while you look up at its pale marble-like surface, broken only by a
narrow shelf--a stripe of green--accessible to goats and adventurous
boys, you will be ready to say with the bard,

    "Oh, had this vast theatric structure wound
    With finished sweep into a perfect round,
    No mightier work had gained the plausive smile
    Of all-beholding Phoebus!"

At a distance you might well imagine it to be a towering ruin, from
which Time has not yet gnawed the traces of fallen chambers and
colonnades. And perhaps yet more will you desire to see the cataract
which once came rushing down in one tremendous plunge from the summit,
as is said, owing to some temporary stoppage of the underground
channels. What a glorious fall that must have been! more than twice the
height of Niagara.

From a low flat arch at the base of the cliff, about twenty feet in
width, the river Aire rushes out, copiously fed by a subterranean
source. The water sparkles as it flows forth into the light of day, and
begins its course clear and bright as truth, yet fated to receive many a
defilement ere it pours into the Ouse. Could the Naiads forsee what is
to befall, how piteous would be their lamentations! The stream is at
once of considerable volume, inhabited by trout, and you may fish at the
very mouth of the arch.

Here, too, I scrambled up and down, crossed and recrossed the stream, to
find all the points of view; then ascending to the hill-top I traced the
line of cliff from the Cove to Gordale. It is a continuation of that
great geological phenomenon already mentioned--the Craven fault--which,
extending yet farther, terminates near Threshfield, the village by which
we passed last Sunday on our way to Kettlewell.

My return walk was quiet enough, and favourable to meditation. The
Yorkshiremen had set up the preconcerted signal by the gate. I hope the
horse did not drive the Scar quite out of their memory. Perhaps a
lasting impression was made; for "Gordale-chasm" is, as Wordsworth says,

    "----terrific as the lair
    Where the young lions couch."

I left Settle by the last evening train, journeying for the third time
over the same ground, and came to the _Devonshire Arms_ at Keighley just
before the doors were locked for the night.


     Keighley--Men in Pinafores--Walk to Haworth--Charlotte Brontë's
     Birthplace--The Church--The Pew--The Tombstone--The Marriage
     Register--Shipley--Saltaire--A Model Town--Household
     Arrangements--I isn't the Gaffer--A Model Factory--Acres of
     Floors--Miles of Shafting--Weaving Shed--Thirty Thousand Yards
     a Day--Cunning Machinery--First Fleeces--Shipley Feast--Scraps
     of Dialect--To Bradford--Rival Towns--Yorkshire Sleuth-hounds--
     Die like a Britoner.

Keighley is not pronounced Kayley, as you might suppose, but Keatley, or
Keithley, as some of the natives have it, flinging in a touch of the
guttural. Like Skipton, it is a stony town; and, as the tall chimneys
indicate, gets its living by converting wool into wearing apparel of
sundry kinds. You meet numbers of men clad in long blue pinafores, from
throat to instep; wool-sorters, who thus protect themselves from fluff.

The factory people were going to work next morning--the youngsters
clattering over the pavement in their wooden clogs--as I left the town
by the Halifax road, for Haworth, a walk of four miles, and all the way
up-hill. The road runs along one side of a valley, which, when the
houses are left behind, looks pretty with numerous trees and fields of
grass and wheat, and a winding brook, and makes a pleasing foreground to
the view of the town. The road itself is neither town nor country; the
footpaths, as is not uncommon in Yorkshire, are paved nearly all the
way; and houses are frequent, tenanted by weavers, with here and there a
little shop displaying oaten bread. An hour of ascent and you come to a
cross-road, where, turning to the right for about a furlong, you see
Haworth, piled from base to summit of a steep hill, the highest point
crowned by the church. The road makes a long bend in approaching the
acclivity, which, if you choose, may be avoided by a cut-off; but coming
as a pilgrim you will perhaps at first desire to see all. You pass a
board which notifies _Haworth Town_, and then begins the ascent
painfully steep, bounded on one side by houses, on the other--where you
look into the valley--by little gardens and a line of ragged little
sheds and hutches. What a wearisome hill; you will half doubt whether
horses can draw a load up it. Presently we have houses on both sides,
and shops with plate-glass and mahogany mouldings, contrasting strongly
with the general rustic aspect, and the primitive shop of the _Clogger_.
Some of the windows denote an expectation of visitors; the apothecary
exhibits photographs of the church, the parsonage, and Mr. Brontë; and
no one seems surprised at your arrival.

The _Black Bull_ stands invitingly on the hill-top. I was ready for
breakfast, and the hostess quite ready to serve; and while I ate she
talked of the family who made Haworth famous. She knew them all, brother
and sisters: Mr. Nicholls had preached the day before in the morning;
Mr. Brontë in the afternoon. It was mostly in the afternoon that the old
gentleman preached, and he delivered his sermon without a book. The
people felt sorry for his bereavements; and they all liked Mr. Nicholls.
She had had a good many visitors, but expected "a vast" before the
summer was over.

From the inn to the churchyard is but a few paces. The church is ugly
enough to have had a Puritan for architect; and there, just beyond the
crowded graves, stands the parsonage, as unsmiling as the church. After
I had looked at it from a distance, and around on the landscape, which,
in summer dress, is not dreary, though bounded by dark moors, the sexton
came and admitted me to the church. He points to the low roof, and
quotes Milton, and leads you to the family pew, and shows you the corner
where _she_--that is, Charlotte--used to sit; and against the wall, but
a few feet from this corner, you see the long plain memorial stone, with
its melancholy list of names. As they descend, the inscriptions crowd
close together; and beneath the lowest, that which records the decease
of her who wrote _Jane Eyre_, there remains but a narrow blank for those
which are to follow.[E]

[E] This stone, as stated in the newspapers, has since been replaced by
a larger one, with sculptured ornaments.

Then the sexton, turning away to the vestry, showed me in the marriage
register the signatures of Charlotte Brontë, her husband, and father;
and next, his collection of photographs, with an intimation that they
were for sale. When he saw that I had not the slightest inclination to
become a purchaser, to have seen the place was quite enough; he said,
that if I had a card to send in the old gentleman would see me. It
seemed to me, I replied, that the greatest kindness a stranger could
show to the venerable pastor, would be, not to intrude upon him.

On some of the pews I noticed small plates affixed, notifying that Mr.
Mudbeck of Windytop Farm, or some other parishioner of somewhere else,
"hath" three sittings, or four and a quarter, and so forth; and this
invasion by 'vested rights' of the house of prayer and thanksgiving,
appeared to me as the finishing touch of its unattractive features.

The sexton invited me to ascend the tower, but discovered that the key
was missing; so, as I could not delay, I made a brief excursion on the
moor behind the house, where heather-bloom masked the sombre hue; and
then walked back to Keighley, and took the train for Shipley, the
nearest station to Saltaire.

It was the day of Shipley feast, and the place was all in a hubbub, and
numbers of factory people, leaving for a while their habitual
manufacture of woollen goods out of a mixture of woollen and cotton, had
come together to enjoy themselves. But no one seemed happy except the
children; the men and women looked as if they did not know what to do
with themselves. I took the opportunity to scan faces, and could not
fail to be struck by the general ill-favoured expression. Whatever
approach towards good looks that there was, clearly lay with the men;
the women were positively ugly, and numbers of them remarkable for that
protruding lower jaw which so characterizes many of the Irish peasantry.

Saltaire is about a mile from Shipley. It is a new settlement in an old
country; a most noteworthy example of what enterprise can and will
accomplish where trade confides in political and social security. Here,
in an agreeable district of the valley of the Aire--wooded hills on both
sides--a magnificent factory and dependent town have been built, and
with so much judgment as to mitigate or overcome the evils to which
towns and factories have so long been obnoxious. The factory is built of
stone in pure Italian style, and has a truly palatial appearance. What
would the Plantagenets say, could they come back to life, and see trade
inhabiting palaces far more stately than those of kings? The main
building, of six stories, is seventy-two feet in height, and five
hundred and fifty feet in length. In front, at some distance, standing
quite apart, rises the great chimney, to an elevation of two hundred and
fifty feet; a fine ornamental object, built to resemble a campanile.

The site is well chosen on the right bank of the Aire, between the Leeds
and Liverpool canal, and the Leeds and Lancaster railway. Hence the
readiest means are available for the reception and despatch of
merchandise. A little apart, extending up the gentle slope, the young
town of Saltaire is built, and in such a way as to realize the
aspirations of a sanitary reformer. The houses are ranged in
parallelograms, of which I counted sixteen, the fronts looking into a
spacious street; the backs into a lane about seven feet in width, which
facilitates ventilation, admits the scavenger's cart, and serves as
drying-ground. Streets and lanes are completely paved, the footways are
excellent; there is a pillar post-office, and no lack of gas-lamps. The
number of shopkeepers is regulated by Messrs. Salt, the owners of the
property; and while one baker and grocer suffices to supply the wants of
the town others will not be allowed to come in. A congregational chapel
affords place for religious worship, and a concert-hall for musical
recreation, or lectures, The men who wish to tipple must go down to
Shipley, for Saltaire, as yet, has no public-house. If I mistake not,
the owners are unwilling that there shall be one.

My request for leave to look in-doors was readily granted. The ordinary
class of houses have a kitchen with oven and boiler, a sink and copper;
a parlour, or 'house' in the vernacular, two bedrooms, and a small
back-yard, with out-offices. The floors, mantlepiece, and stairs, are of
stone. The rent is 3s. 1d. a week. Gas is laid on at an extra charge,
and the tenant finds burners. The supply of water is ample, but the
water is hard, and has a smack of peat-bog in its flavour. A woman whom
I saw washing, told me the water lost much of its hardness if left to
stand awhile. Each house has a back-door opening into the lane; and
every stercorarium voids into the ash-pit, which is cleared out once a
week at the landlord's cost. The pits are all accessible by a small
trap-door from the lane; hence there is no intrusion on the premises in
the work of cleansing. The drainage in other respects is well cared
for; and the whole place is so clean and substantial, with handsome
fronts to the principal rows, that you feel pleasure in observing it.

The central and corner houses are a story higher than the rest, and what
with these and the handsome rows above referred to, there is
accommodation for all classes of the employed--spinners, overlookers,
and clerks. After building two or three of the parallelograms, it was
discovered that cellars were desirable, and since then every house has
its cellar, in which, as the woman said, "we can keep our meat and milk
sweet in hot weather." What a contrast, I thought, to the one closet in
a lodging in some large town, where the food is kept side by side with
soap and candles, the duster, and scrubbing-brush! And though the stone
floors look chilly, coal is only fivepence-halfpenny a hundred-weight.

No one is allowed to live in the town who is not in some way employed by
the firm. Most of the tenants to whom I spoke, expressed themselves well
satisfied with their quarters, but two or three thought the houses dear;
they could get a place down at Shipley, or Shipla, as they pronounced
it, for two-and-sixpence a week. I put a question to the baker: "I isn't
the gaffer," he answered.

"Never mind," I replied; "if you are not the master, we can talk all the

He thought we could; and he too was one of those who did not like the
new town. 'Twas too dear. He lived at Shipla, and paid but four pounds a
year for a house with a cellar under it, and a garden behind; and there
he kept a pig, which was not permitted at Saltaire. There was "a vast"
worked in the mill who did not live under Mr. Salt; they came from
Bradford, and a train, called the Saltaire train, "brought 'em in the
morning, and fetched 'em home at night."

The railway runs between the town and the factory. You cross by a
handsome stone bridge, quite in keeping with the prevalent style of
architecture. The hands were returning from dinner as I approached after
my survey of the colony, and the prodigious clatter of clogs was
well-nigh deafening. My letter of introduction procured me the favour of
Mr. George Salt's guidance. First, he showed me a model of the premises,
by which I saw that a six-story wing, if such it may be called,
comprising the warehouses, projects at a right angle from the rear of
the main building, with the combing-shed on one side, the weaving-shed
on the other. In that combing-shed 3500 persons sat down in perfect
comfort to a house-warming dinner. The weaving-shed is twice as large.
Then there are the workshops of the smiths, machinists, and other
artisans; packing, washing, and drying-rooms, and a gasometer to
maintain five thousand lights; so that in all the buildings cover six
acres and a half. Include the whole of the floors, and the space is
twelve acres. Rails are laid from the line in front into the
ground-floor of the building; hence there is no porterage, no loading
and unloading except by machinery; and the canal at the back is equally
convenient for water-carriage. In front the ground is laid out as an
ornamental shrubbery, terminated at one corner by the graceful

Then I was conducted to the boilers, a row of ten, sunk underground in
the solid rock, below the level of the shrubbery. They devour one
hundred and twenty tons of coal in a week; but with economy, for the
tall chimney pours out no clouds of dense black smoke. The prevention is
accomplished by careful feeding, and leaving the furnace-door open half
an inch, to admit a full stream of air. I was amazed at the sight of
such a range of boilers, and yet they were not enough, and an excavation
was making to receive others.

Then to the engine-room, where the sight of the tremendous machinery was
a fresh surprise. Here are erected two separate pairs of engines,
combining 1250-horse power, by Fairbairn, of Manchester. You see how
beauty of construction consorts with ponderous strength. Polished iron,
glittering brass, and shining mahogany, testify to the excellence of
Lancashire handicraft in 1853, the date of the engines. The mahogany is
used for casing; and here, as with the boilers, every precaution is used
to prevent the escape of heat. As you watch the great cogged fly-wheels
spinning round with resistless force, you will hardly be surprised to
hear that they impart motion to two miles of 'shafting,' which weighs in
all six hundred tons, and rotates from sixty to two hundred and fifty
times a minute. And this shafting, of which the diameter is from two to
fourteen inches, sets twelve hundred power-looms going, besides
fulfilling all its other multifarious duties.

Then we went from one noisy floor to another among troops of spinners,
finding everywhere proofs of the same presiding judgment. All is
fire-proof; the beams and columns are of cast-iron; the floors rest on
arches of hollow bricks; and the ventilation, maintained by inlets a few
inches above the floor, and outlets near the ceiling, where hot-water
pipes keep up a temperature of sixty degrees, is perfect, without
draughts. The top room in the main building, running from end to end for
five hundred and fifty feet without a break, said to be the largest room
in Europe, is an impressive sight, filled with ranks of busy machines
and busy workers.

In the weaving-shed, all the driving gear is placed beneath the floor,
so that you have a clear prospect over the whole area at once,
uninterrupted by the usual array of rapid wheels and flying straps. Vast
as is the appetite of those twelve hundred looms for warp and weft, it
is kept satisfied from the mill's own resources; and in one day they
deliver thirty thousand yards of alpaca, or other kinds of woollen
cloth. Multiply that quantity, reader, by the number of working days in
a year, and you will discover to what an amazing extent the markets of
the world are supplied by this one establishment of Titus Salt and Co.

Some portions of the machinery do their work with marvellous precision
and dexterity,

    "----as if the iron thought!"

and it seemed to me that I could never have tired of watching the
machine that took the wool, one fringe-like instalment after another,
from assiduous cylinders, and delivered it to another series of
movements which placed the fibres all in one direction, and produced the
rough outline of the future thread. Another ingenious device weaves two
pieces at once all in one width, and with four selvages, of which two
are, of course, in the middle of the web, and yet there is no difference
in appearance between those two inner ones and those on the outer edges.
The piece is afterwards divided along the narrow line left between them.
Even in the noisome washing-room there was something to admire. The
wool, after a course of pushing to and fro in a cistern of hot water by
two great rakes, is delivered to an endless web by a revolving cylinder.
This cylinder is armed with rows of long brass teeth, and as they would
be in the way of the web on their descent, they disappear within the
body of the cylinder at the critical moment, and come presently forth
again to continue their lift.

In the warehouse, I was shown that the wool is sorted into eight
qualities, sometimes a ninth; and the care bestowed on this preliminary
operation may be judged of from the fact, that every sorting passes in
succession through two sets of hands. There, too, I learned that the
first fleece of Gimmer hogs is among the best of English wool; and,
indeed, it feels quite silky in comparison with other kinds. The quality
loses in goodness with every subsequent shearing. The clippings and
refuse are purchased by the shoddy makers, those ingenious converters of
old clothes into new.

Where alpaca and other fine cloths are so largely manufactured, the
question as to a continuous supply of finest wool becomes of serious
importance. Mr. Salt has done what he can to provide for a supply by
introducing the alpaca sheep into Australia and the Cape of Good Hope.

On my coming, I had thought the counting-house, and offices, and
visitors' room too luxurious for a mere place of business; but when I
returned thither to take leave, with the impression of the enormous
scale of the business, and the means by which it is accomplished fresh
on my mind, these appeared quite in harmony with all the rest. And when
I stood, taking a last look around, on the railway bridge, I felt that
he whose large foresight had planned so stately a home for industry, and
set it down here in a sylvan valley, deserved no mean place among the
Worthies of Yorkshire.

I walked back to Shipley, and there spent some time sauntering to and
fro in the throng, which had greatly increased during the afternoon.
There was no increase of amusement, however, with increase of numbers;
and the chief diversion seemed to consist in watching the swings and
roundabouts, and eating gingerbread. Now and then little troops of
damsels elbowed their way through, bedizened in such finery as would
have thrown a negro into ecstacies. "That caps me!" cried a young man,
as one of the parties went past, outvying all the rest in staring

"There's a vast of 'em coom t' feast, isn't there?" replied his
companion; "and there 'll be more, afore noight."

"Look at Bobby," said an aunt of her little nephew, who had been
disappointed of a cake; "Look at Bobby! He's fit to cry."

"What's ta do?" shouted a countryman, as he was pushed rudely aside;
"runnin' agean t' foaks! What d'ye come poakin yer noase thro' here

"Ah'm puzzeld wi' t' craad" (crowd), answered the offender.

After hearing many more fragments of West Riding dialect, I forced my
way to the railway-station, and went to Bradford. Few towns show more
striking evidences of change than this; and the bits of old Bradford,
little one-story tenements with stone roofs, left standing among tall
and handsome warehouses, strengthen the contrast. Bradford and Leeds,
only nine miles apart, have been looked upon as rivals; and it was said
that no sooner did one town erect a new building than the other built
one larger or handsomer; and now Bradford boasts its St. George's Hall,
and Leeds its Town Hall, crowned by a lofty tower. But what avails a
tower, even two hundred and forty feet high, when a letter was once
received, addressed, "_Leeds, near Bradford!_"

Your Yorkshireman of the West Riding is, so Mrs. Gaskell says, "a
sleuth-hound" after money. As there is nothing like testimony, let me
end this chapter with a brace of anecdotes, and you, reader, may draw
your own inference.

Not far from Bradford, an old couple lived on their farm. The good man
had been ill for some time, when the practitioner who attended him
advised that a physician should be summoned from Bradford for a
consultation. The doctor came, looked into the case, gave his opinion;
and descending from the sick-room to the kitchen, was there accosted by
the old woman, with,

"Well, doctor, what's your charge?"

"My fee is a guinea."

"A guinea,--doctor! a guinea! And if ye come again will it be another

"Yes; but I shall hardly have to come again. I have given my opinion,
and leave the patient in very good hands."

"A guinea, doctor! Hech!"

The old woman rose, went upstairs to her husband's bedside, and the
doctor, who waited below, heard her say, "He charges a guinea. And if he
comes again, it'll be another guinea. Now what do ye say?--If I were ye,
I'd say no, like a Britoner; and I'd die first!"

Though very brief, the other illustration is not less demonstrative. A
friend of mine, whose brother had just been married, happening to
mention the incident to a friend of his, during a visit to the town, was
immediately met by the question:--



"Fool!" was Bradford's reply.


     Bradford's Fame--Visit to Warehouses--A Smoky Prospect--Ways
     and Means of Trade--What John Bull likes--What Brother Jonathan
     likes--Vulcan's Head-quarters--Cleckheaton--Heckmondwike--Busy
     Traffic--Mirfield--Robin Hood's Grave--Batley the Shoddyopolis
     --All the World's Tatters--Aspects of Batley--A Boy capt--The
     Devil's Den--Grinding Rags--Mixing and Oiling--Shoddy and
     Shoddy--Tricks with Rags--The Scribbling Machine--Short Flocks,
     Long Threads--Spinners and Weavers--Dyeing, Dressing, and
     Pressing--A Moral in Shoddy--A Surprise of Real Cloth--Iron,
     Lead, and Coal--To Wakefield--A Disappointment--The Old Chapel
     --The Battle-field--To Barnsley--Bairnsla Dialect--Sheffield.

"What is Bradford famous for?" was the question put at a
school-examination somewhere within the West Riding.

"For its shoddy," answered one of the boys. An answer that greatly
scandalized certain of the parents who had come from Bradford; and not
without reason, for although shoddy is manufactured within sight of the
smoke of the town, Bradford is really the great mart for stuffs and
worsted goods, as Leeds is for broadcloth.

I had seen how stuffs were made, and wished now to see in what manner
they were sent into the market. A clerk who came to the inn during the
evening for a glass of ale and gossip, invited me to visit the warehouse
in which he was employed, on the following morning. I went, and as he
had not repented of his invitation, I saw all he had to show, and then,
at his suggestion, went to the 'crack' warehouse of Bradford, where
business is carried on with elegant and somewhat luxurious appliances. I
handed my card to a gentleman in the office, and was not surprised to
hear for answer that strangers could not be admitted for obvious
reasons, and was turning away, when he said, musingly, that my name
seemed familiar to him, and after a little reflection, he added: "Yes,
yes--now I have it. It was on the title-page of _A Londoner's Walk to
the Land's End_. How that book made me long for a trip to Cornwall! And
you are the Londoner! Well, of course you shall see the warehouse."

So I was introduced into the lift, and away we were hoisted up to the
fifth or sixth story, when I was first led to the gazebo on the roof,
that I might enjoy the prospect of the town and neighbourhood. What a
prospect! a great mass of houses, and rounded heights beyond, dimly seen
through a rolling canopy of smoke. The sky of London is brilliant in
comparison. May it never be my doom to live in Bradford, or Leeds, or
Sheffield, or Manchester!

We soon exchanged the dismal outlook for the topmost floor, where I saw
heaps of 'tabs,' stacks of boards, boxes, and paper for packing. The
tabs, which are the narrow strips that hang out from the ends of the
pieces while on show, are kept for a time as references. The number and
variety of the boards, on which the pieces are wound, are surprising:
some are thick, to add bulk and weight to the piece of stuff in which it
is to be enveloped; some thin, to save cost in transport; some broad,
some narrow, so that every market may have its whims and wants
gratified. The Germans who pay heavily for carriage, prefer thin boards:
Brother Jonathan as well as John Bull, likes the sight of a good
pennyworth, and gets a thick board. The preparation of these boards
alone must be no insignificant branch of trade in Bradford; and
remembering how many warehouses in other towns use up stacks of boards
every month, we see a large consumption of Norway timber at once
accounted for.

I saw the press cutting the slips of white paper in which the pieces are
tied, and tickets and fancy bands and labels intended to tickle the eyes
of customers, without end. A peculiar kind of embossed paper, somewhat
resembling a rough towel, is provided to wrap up the American purchases;
and Brother Jonathan requires that his pieces should be folded in a
peculiar way, so that he may show the quality without loss of time when
selling to his own impatient countrymen. Nimble machines measure the
pieces at the rate of a thousand yards an hour, and others wind the
lengths promptly on the boards; and, judging from appearances, clerks,
salesmen, and porters work as if they too were actuated by the steam.
And then, while descending from floor to floor, to see the prodigious
piles of pieces on racks and shelves, or awaiting their turn in the
hydraulic press which packs them solid as a bastion, was a wonder. There
were moreen, bombazine, alpaca, camlet, orleans, berége, Australian
cord, cable cord, and many kinds as new to me as they would have been to
a fakir. One heavy black stuff was pointed out as manufactured purposely
for the vestments of Romish priests. And running through each room I saw
a small lift, in which account books, orders, patterns, and such like,
are passed up and down, and now and then a signal to a clerk to be
cautious of pushing sales. And, lastly, on the ground-floor I saw the
handsome dining-room, wherein many a customer had enjoyed the
hospitality of the firm, and drunk the generous sherry that inspired him
to buy up to a thousand when he purposed only five hundred.

This brief sketch includes the two warehouses; one, however--the elegant
one--confines itself to the home trade. I made due acknowledgments for
the favour shown to me, and hastening to the railway-station, took the
train for Mirfield. The line passes the great Lowmoor iron-works, where
furnaces, little mountains of ore, coal, limestone, and iron, and cranes
and trucks, and overwhelming smoke, and a general blackness, suggest
ideas of Vulcan and his tremendous smithy. And besides there is a stir,
and a going to and fro, that betoken urgent work; and you will believe a
passenger's remark, that "Lowmoor could of itself keep a railway going."
We pass Cleckheaton and Heckmondwike, places that have something sylvan
in the sound of their names; but although the country if left to itself
would be pretty enough, it is sadly disfigured by smoke and the
remorseless inroads of trade. Yet who can travel here in the West Riding
and not be struck by the busy traffic, the sight of chimneys, quarries,
canals, and tramways, and trains heavy laden, coming and going
continually! And connected with this traffic there is one particular
especially worthy of imitation in other counties: it is, that nearly
every train throughout the day has third-class carriages.

Mirfield is in the pleasant valley of the Calder. While waiting for a
train to Batley, I walked along the bank of the stream thinking of Robin
Hood, who lies buried at Kirklees, a few miles up the valley, where a
treacherous hand let out his life:

    "Lay me a green sod under my head,
      And another at my feet;
    And lay my bent bow by my side,
      Which was my music sweet;
    And make my grave of gravel and green,
      Which is most right and meet.

    "Let me have length and breadth enough,
      With a green sod under my head;
    That they may say when I am dead,
      Here lies bold Robin Hood."

The object of my visit to Batley was to see the making of shoddy. To
leave Yorkshire ignorant of one of our latest national institutions
would be a reproach. We live in an age of shoddy, in more senses than
one. You may begin with the hovel, and trace shoddy all through society,
even up to the House of Peers. I had not long to wait: there was a
bird's-eye view of Dewsbury in passing, and a few minutes brought me to
Batley, the head-quarters of shoddy. On alighting at the station, the
sight of great pockets or bales piled up in stacks or laden on trucks,
every bale branded _Anvers_, and casks of oil from _Sevila_, gave me at
once a proof that I had come to the right place; for here were rags
shipped at Antwerp from all parts of northern Europe. Think of that.
Hither were brought tatters from pediculous Poland, from the gipsies of
Hungary, from the beggars and scarecrows of Germany, from the frowsy
peasants of Muscovy; to say nothing of snips and shreds from monks'
gowns and lawyers' robes, from postilions' jackets and soldiers'
uniforms, from maidens' bodices and noblemen's cloaks. A vast medley,
truly! and all to be manufactured into broadcloth in Yorkshire. No
wonder that the _Univers_ declares England is to perish by her commerce.

The walk to the town gives you such a view as can only be seen in a
manufacturing district: hills, fields, meadows, and rough slopes, all
bestrewn with cottages, factories, warehouses, sheds, clouded here and
there by smoke; roads and paths wandering apparently anywhere; here and
there a quarry, and piles of squared stone; heaps of refuse;
wheat-fields among the houses; potato-plots in little levels, and
everything giving you the impression of waiting to be finished. Add to
all this, troops of men and women, boys and girls--the girls with a
kerchief pinned over the head, the corner hanging behind--going home to
dinner, and a mighty noise of clogs, and trucks laden with rags and
barrels of oil, and you will have an idea of Batley, as I saw it on my

Having found the factory of which I was in search, I had to wait a few
minutes for the appearance of the principal. A boy, who was amusing
himself in the office, remarked, when he heard that I had never yet seen
shoddy made: "Well, it'll cap ye when ye get among the machinery; that's
all!" He himself had been capt once in his life: it was in the previous
summer, when his uncle took him to Blackpool, and he first beheld the
sea. "That capt me, that did," he said, with the gravity of a

Seeing that the principal hesitated, even after he had read my letter, I
began to imagine that shoddy-making involved important secrets. "Come to
see what you can pick up, eh?" he said. However, when he heard that I
was in no way connected with manufactures, and had come, not as a spy,
but simply out of honest curiosity, to see how old rags were ground into
new cloth, he smiled, and led me forthwith into the devil's den. There I
saw a cylinder revolving with a velocity too rapid for the eye to
follow, whizzing and roaring, as if in agony, and throwing off a cloud
of light woolly fibres, that floated in the air, and a stream of flocks
that fell in a heap at the end of the room. It took three minutes to
stop the monster; and when the motion ceased, I saw the cylinder was
full of blunt steel teeth, which, seizing whatever was presented to them
in the shape of rags, tore it thoroughly to pieces; in fact, ground it
up into flocks of short, frizzly-looking fibre, resembling negro-hair,
yet soft and free from knots. The cylinder is fed by a travelling web,
which brings a layer of rags continually up to the teeth. On this
occasion, the quality of the grist, as one might call it, was
respectable--nothing but fathoms of list which had never been defiled.
So rapidly did the greedy devil devour it, that the two attendant imps
were kept fully employed in feeding; and fast as the pack of rags
diminished, the heap of flocks increased. And so, amid noise and dust,
the work goes on day after day; and the man who superintends, aided by
his two boys, earns four pounds a week, grinding the rags as they come,
for thirty shillings a pack.

The flocks are carried away to the mixing-house. As we turned aside, the
devil began to whirl once more; and before we had entered the other
door, I heard the ferocious howl in full vigour. The road between the
buildings was encumbered with oil-casks, pieces of cloth, lying in the
dust, as if of no value, and packs of rags. "It will all come right
by-and-by," said the chief, as I pointed to the littery heaps; and,
pausing by one of the packs which contained what he called 'mungo,' that
is, shreds of such cloth as clergymen's coats are made of, he made me
aware that there is shoddy and shoddy. That which makes the longest
fibre is, of course, the best; and some of the choice sorts are worked
up into marketable cloth, without a fresh dyeing.

Great masses of the flocks, with passage-ways between, lay heaped on the
stone floor of the mixing-house. Here, according to the quality
required, the long fibre is mixed in certain proportions with the short;
and to facilitate the subsequent operations, the several heaps are
lightly sprinkled with oil. A dingy brown or black was the prevalent
colour; but some of the heaps were gray, and would be converted into
undyed cloth of the same colour. It seemed to me that the principal
ingredient therein was old worsted stockings; and yet, before many days,
those heaps would become gray cloth fit for the jackets and mantles of
winsome maidens.

I asked my conductor if it were true, as I had heard, that shoddy-makers
purchased the waste, begrimed cotton wads with which stokers and
'engine-tenters' wipe the machinery, or the dirty refuse of
wool-sorters, or every kind of ragged rubbish. He did not think such
things were done in Batley; for his part, he used none but best rags,
and could keep two factories always going. He had heard of the man who
spread greasy cotton-waste over his field, and who, when the land had
absorbed all the grease, gathered up the cotton, and sold it to the
shoddy-makers; but he doubted the truth of the story. True or not, it
implies great toleration among a certain class of manufacturers. Rags,
not good enough for shoddy, are used as manure for the hops in Kent; so
we get shoddy in our beer as well as in our broadcloth.

In the next process, the flocks are intimately mixed by passing over and
under a series of rollers, and come forth from the last looking
something like wool. Then the wool, as we may now call it, goes to the
'scribbling-machine,' which, after torturing it among a dozen rollers of
various dimensions, delivers it yard by yard in the form of a loose
thick cable, with a run of the fibres in one direction. The
carding-machine takes the cable lengths, subjects them to another course
of torture, confirms the direction of the fibres, and reduces the cable
into a chenille of about the thickness of a lady's finger. This chenille
is produced in lengths of about five feet, across the machine, parallel
with the rollers, and is immediately transferred to the piecing-machine,
by a highly ingenious process. Each length, as it is finished, drops
into a long, narrow, tin tray; the tray moves forward; the next behind
it receives a chenille; then the third; then the fourth; and so on, up
to ten. By this time, they have advanced over a table on which lies what
may be described as a wooden gridiron; there is a momentary pause, and
then the ten trays, turning all at once upside down, drop the chenilles
severally between the bars of the gridiron. At one side of the table is
a row of large spindles, or rollers, on which the chenilles--cardings,
is the factory word--are wound, and the dropping is so contrived that
the ends of those which fall overlap the ends of the lengths on the
spindles by about an inch. Now the gridiron begins to vibrate, and by
its movement beats the ends together; joins each chenille, in fact, to
the one before it; then the spindles whirl, and draw in the lengths,
leaving only enough for the overlap; and no sooner is this accomplished
than the ten trays drop another supply, which is treated in the same
expeditious manner, until the spindles are filled. No time is lost, for
the full ones are immediately replaced by empty ones.

Now comes the spinners' turn. They take these full spindles, submit them
to the action of their machinery by dozens at a time, and spin the
large, loose chenilles into yarns of different degrees of strength and
fineness, or, perhaps one should say, coarseness, ready for the weavers.
And in this way those heaps of short, uncompliant negro-hair, in which
you could hardly find a fibre three inches long, are transformed into
long, continuous threads, able to bear the rapid jerks of the loom. I
could not sufficiently admire its ingenuity. Who would have imagined
that among the appliances of shoddy! Moreover, wages are good at Batley,
and the spinners can earn from forty to forty-five shillings a week. The
women who attend the looms earn nine or eighteen shillings a week,
according as they weave one or two pieces.

Next comes the fulling process: the pieces are damped, and thumped for a
whole day by a dozen ponderous mallets; then the raising of the pile on
one or both sides of the cloth, either by rollers or by hand. In the
latter case, two men stretch a piece as high as they can reach on a
vertical frame, and scratch the surface downwards with small hand-cards,
the teeth of which are fine steel wire. Genuine broadcloth can only be
dressed by a teazel of Nature's own growing; but shoddy, far less
delicate, submits to the metal. So the men keep on, length after length,
till the piece is finished. Then the dyers have their turn, and if you
venture to walk through their sloppy, steamy department, you will see
men stirring the pieces about in vats, and some pieces hanging to
rollers which keep them for a while running through the liquor. From the
dye-house the pieces are carried to the tenter-ground and stretched in
one length on vertical posts; and after a sufficient course of sun and
air, they undergo the finishing process--clipping the surface and

From what I saw in the tenter-ground, I discovered that pilot cloth is
shoddy; that glossy beavers and silky-looking mohairs are shoddy; that
the Petershams so largely exported to the United States are shoddy; that
the soft, delicate cloths in which ladies feel so comfortable, and look
so graceful, are shoddy; that the 'fabric' of Talmas, Raglans, and
paletots, and of other garments in which fine gentlemen go to the Derby,
or to the Royal Academy Exhibition, or to the evening services in
Westminster Abbey, are shoddy. And if Germany sends us abundance of
rags, we send to Germany enormous quantities of shoddy in return. The
best quality manufactured at Batley is worth ten shillings a yard; the
commonest not more than one shilling.

Broadcloth at a shilling a yard almost staggers credibility. After that
we may truly say that shoddy is a great leveller.

The workpeople are, with few exceptions, thrifty and persevering. Some
of the spinners take advantage of their good wages to build cottages and
become landlords. A walk through Batley shows you that thought has been
taken for their spiritual and moral culture; and in fine weather they
betake themselves for out-doors recreation to an ancient manor-house,
which I was told is situate beyond the hill that rears its pleasant
woods aloft in sight of the factories.

The folk of the surrounding districts are accustomed to make merry over
the shoddy-makers, regarding them as Gibeonites, and many a story do
they tell concerning these clever conjurors, and their transformations
of old clothes into new. Once, they say, a portly Quaker walked into
Batley, just as the 'mill-hands' were going to dinner: he came from the
west, and was clad in that excellent broadcloth which is the pride of
Gloucestershire. "Hey!" cried the hands, as he passed among them--"hey!
look at that now! There's a bit of real cloth. Lookey, lookey! we never
saw the like afore:" and they surrounded the worthy stranger, and kept
him prisoner until they had all felt the texture of his coat, and
expressed their admiration.

       *       *       *       *       *

Again, while waiting at Mirfield, was I struck by the frequency of
trains, and counted ten in an hour and a half. In 1856, a million and
quarter tons of iron ore were dug in the Cleveland and Whitby districts;
and the quantity of pig-iron made in Yorkshire was 275,600 tons, of
which the West Riding produced 96,000. In the same year 8986 tons of
lead, and 302 ounces of silver were made within the county; and
Yorkshire furnished 9,000,000 towards the sixty millions tons and a half
of coal dug in all the kingdom.

I journeyed on to Wakefield; and, as it proved, to a disappointment. I
had hoped for a sight of Walton Hall, and of the well-known naturalist,
who there fulfils the rites of hospitality with a generous hand. Through
a friend of his, Mr. Waterton had assured me of a welcome; but on
arriving at Wakefield, I heard that he had started the day before for
the Continent. So, instead of a walk to the Hall, I resolved to go on to
Sheffield, by the last train. This left me time for a ramble. I went
down to the bridge, and revived my recollections of the little chapel
which for four hundred years has shown its rich and beautiful front to
all who there cross the Calder, and I rejoiced to see that it had been
restored and was protected by a railing. It was built--some say
renewed--by Edward the Fourth to the memory of those who fell in the
battle of Wakefield--a battle fatal to the House of York--and fatal to
the victors; for the cruelties there perpetrated by Black Clifford and
other knights, were repaid with tenfold vengeance at Towton. The place
where Richard, Duke of York, fell, may still be seen: and near it, a
little more than a mile from the town, the eminence on which stood
Sandal Castle, a fortress singularly picturesque, as shown in old

After a succession of stony towns and smoky towns, there was something
cheerful in the distant view of Wakefield with its clean red brick. It
has some handsome streets; and in the old thoroughfares you may see
relics of the mediæval times in ancient timbered houses. Leland
describes it as "a very quick market town, and meatly large, the whole
profit of which standeth by coarse drapery." You will soon learn by a
walk through the streets that "very quick" still applies.

Signs of manufactures are repeated as Wakefield, with its green
neighbourhood, is left behind, and at Barnsley the air is again darkened
by smoke. We had to change trains here, and thought ourselves lucky in
finding that the Sheffield train had for once condescended to lay aside
its surly impatience, and await the arrival from Wakefield. As we pushed
through the throng on the platform, I heard many a specimen of the
vernacular peculiar to Bairnsla, as the natives call it. How shall one
who has not spent years among them essay to reproduce the sounds?
Fortunately there is a _Bairnsla Foaks' Almanack_ in which the work is
done ready to our hand; and here is a passage quoted from _Tom
Treddlehoyle's Peep at T' Manchister Exhebishan_, giving us a notion of
the sort of dialect talked by the Queen's subjects in this part of

Tom is looking about and "moralizin'," when "a strange bussal cum on all
ov a sudden daan below stairs, an foaks hurryin e wun dereckshan! 'Wot's
ta do?' thowt ah; an daan t' steps ah clattard, runnin full bump agean
t' foaks a t' bottom, an before thade time to grumal or get ther faces
saard, ah axt, 'Wot ther wor ta do?'--'Lord John Russel's cum in,' sed
thay. Hearin this, there diddant need anuther wurd, for after springin
up on ta me teppytoes ta get t' lattetude az ta whereabaats he wor, ah
duckt me head underneath foaks's airms, an away a slipt throo t' craad
az if ide been soapt all ovver, an gettin as near him az ah durst ta be
manardly, ah axt a gentleman at hed a glass button stuck before his ee,
in a whisperin soart of a tone, 'Which wor Lord John Russel?' an bein
pointed aght ta ma, ah lookt an lookt agean, but cuddant believe at it
wor him, he wor sich an a little bit ov an hofalas-lookin chap,--not
much unlike a horse-jocky at wun's seen at t' Donkister races, an wot
wor just getherin hiz crums up after a good sweatin daan for t'
Ledger,--an away ah went, az sharp az ah cud squeaze aght, thinkin to
mesen, 'Bless us, what an a ta-do there iz abaght nowt! a man's but a
man, an a lord's na more!' We that thowt, an hevin gottan nicely aght a
t' throng, we t' loss a nobbat wun button, an a few stitches stretcht a
bit e t' coit-back, ah thowt hauf-an-haar's quiat woddant be amiss."

We went on a few miles to a little station called Wombwell, where we had
again to change trains. But the train from Doncaster had not arrived; so
while the passengers waited they dispersed themselves about the sides of
the railway, finding seats on the banks or fences, and sat talking in
groups, and wondering at the delay. The stars shone out, twinkling
brightly, before the train came up, more than an hour beyond its time,
and it was late when we reached Sheffield. I turned at a venture into
the first decent-looking public-house in _The Wicker_, and was rewarded
by finding good entertainment and thorough cleanliness.


     Clouds of Blacks--What Sheffield was and is--A detestable Town
     --Razors and knives--Perfect Work, Imperfect Workmen--Foul Talk
     --How Files are Made--Good Iron, Good Steel--Breaking-up and
     Melting--Making the Crucibles--Casting--Ingots--File Forgers--
     Machinery Baffled--Cutting the Teeth--Hardening--Cleaning and
     Testing--Elliott's Statue--A Ramble to the Corn-law Rhymer's
     Haunt--Rivelin--Bilberry-gatherers--Ribbledin--The Poet's Words
     --A Desecration--To Manchester--A few Words on the Exhibition.

When I woke in the morning and saw what a stratum of 'blacks' had come
in at the window during the night, I admired still more the persevering
virtue which maintains cleanliness under such very adverse
circumstances. We commonly think the London atmosphere bad; but it is
purity compared with Sheffield. The town, too, is full of strange,
uncouth noises, by night as well as by day, that send their echo far. I
had been woke more than once by ponderous thumps and sounding shocks,
which made me fancy the Cyclops themselves were taking a turn at the
hammers. Sheffield raised a regiment to march against the Sepoys; why
not raise a company to put down its own pestiferous blacks?

Who would think that here grew the many-leagued oak forests in which
Gurth and Wamba roamed; that in a later day, when the Talbots were lords
of the domain, there were trees in the park under which a hundred horses
might find shelter? Here lived that famous Talbot, the terror of the
French; here George, the fourth Earl, built a mansion in which Wolsey
lodged while on his way to die at Leicester; here the Queen of Scots was
kept for a season in durance; here, as appears by a Court Roll, dated
1590, the Right Honorable George Earl of Shrewsbury assented to the
trade regulations of "the Fellowship and Company of Cutlers and Makers
of Knives," whose handicraft was even then an ancient one, for Chaucer
mentions the "Shefeld thwitel." Now, what with furnaces and forges,
rolling mills, and the many contrivances used by the men of iron and
steel, the landscape is spoiled of its loveliness, and Silence is driven
to remoter haunts.

On the other hand, Sheffield is renowned for its knives and files all
over the world. It boasts a People's College and a Philosophical
Society. With it are associated the names of Chantrey, Montgomery, and
Ebenezer Elliott. When you see the place, you will not wonder that
Elliott's poetry is what it is; for how could a man be expected to write
amiable things in such a detestable town?

Ever since my conversation with the _Mechaniker_, while on the way to
Prague, when he spoke so earnestly in praise of English files, my desire
to see how files were made became impatiently strong. Sheffield is
famous also for razors; so there was a sight of two interesting
manufactures to be hoped for when I set out after breakfast to test my
credentials. Fortune favoured me; and, in the works of Messrs. Rodgers,
I saw the men take flat bars of steel and shape them by the aid of fire
and hammer into razor-blades with remarkable expedition and accuracy. So
expert have they become by long practice, that with the hammer only they
form the blade and tang so nicely, as to leave but little for the
grinders to waste. I saw also the forging of knife-blades, the making of
the handles, the sawing of the buckhorn and ivory by circular saws, and
the heap of ivory-dust which is sold to knowing cooks, and by them
converted into gelatine. I saw how the knives are fitted together with
temporary rivets to ensure perfect action and finish, before the final
touches are given. And as we went from room to room, and I thought that
each man had been working for years at the same thing, repeating the
same movements over and over again, I could not help pitying them; for
it seemed to me that they were a sacrifice to the high reputation of
English cutlery. Something more than a People's College and Mechanics'
Institute would be needed to counteract the deadening effect of
unvarying mechanical occupation; and where there is no relish for
out-door recreation in the woods and on the hills, hurtful excitements
are the natural consequence.

I had often heard that Sheffield is the most foul-mouthed town in the
kingdom, and my experience unfortunately adds confirmation. While in
the train coming from Barnsley, and in my walks about the town, I heard
more filthy and obscene talk than could be heard in Wapping in a year.
Not to trust to the impressions of the day, I inquired of a resident
banker, and he testified that the foul talk that assailed his ears, was
to him, a continual affliction.

On the wall of the grinding-shop a tablet, set up at the cost of the
men, preserves the name of a grinder, who by excellence of workmanship
and long and faithful service, achieved merit for himself and the trade.
At their work the men sit astride on a low seat in rows of four, one
behind the other, leaning over their stones and wheels. For razors, the
grindstones are small, so as to produce the hollow surface which favours
fineness of edge. From the first a vivid stream of sparks flies off; but
the second is a leaden wheel; the third is leather touched with crocus,
to give the polish to the steel; and after that comes the whet. To carry
off the dust, each man has a fan-box in front of his wheel, through
which all the noxious floating particles are drawn by the rapid current
of air therein produced. To this fan the grinders of the present
generation owe more years of health and life than fell to the lot of
their fathers, who inhaled the dust, earned high wages, and died soon of
disease of the lungs. I was surprised by the men's dexterity; by a
series of quick movements, they finished every part of the blade on the
stone and wheels.

From the razors I went to the files, at Moss and Gamble's manufactory,
in another part of the town. There is scarcely a street from which you
cannot see the hills crowned by wood which environ the town--that is, at
intervals only, through the thinnest streams of smoke. The town itself
is hilly, and the more you see of the neighbourhood, the more will you
agree with those who say, "What a beautiful place Sheffield would be, if
Sheffield were not there!"

My first impression of the file-works, combined stacks of Swedish iron
in bars; ranges of steel bars of various shape, square, flat,
three-cornered, round, and half-round; heaps of broken steel, the fresh
edges glittering in the sun; heaps of broken crucibles, and the roar of
furnaces, noise of bellows, hammer-strokes innumerable, and dust and
smoke, and other things, that to a stranger had very much the appearance
of rubbish and confusion.

However, there is no confusion; every man is diligent at his task; so if
you please, reader, we will try and get a notion of the way in which
those bars of Swedish iron are converted into excellent files. Swedish
iron is chosen because it is the best; no iron hitherto discovered
equals it for purity and strength, and of this the most esteemed is
known as 'Hoop L,' from its brand being an =L= within a hoop. "If you
want good steel to come out of the furnace," say the knowing ones, "you
must put good iron in;" and some of them hold that, "when the devil is
put into the crucible, nothing but the devil will come out:" hence we
may believe their moral code to be sufficient for its purpose. The bars,
at a guess, are about eight feet long, three inches broad, and one inch
thick. To begin the process, they are piled in a furnace between
alternate layers of charcoal, the surfaces kept carefully from contact,
and are there subjected to fire for eight or nine days. To enable the
workmen to watch the process, small trial pieces are so placed that they
can be drawn out for examination through a small hole in the front of
the furnace. In large furnaces, twelve tons of iron are converted at
once. The long-continued heat, which is kept below the melting-point,
drives off the impurities; the bars, from contact with the charcoal,
become carbonized and hardened; and when the fiery ordeal is over, they
appear thickly bossed with bubbles or blisters, in which condition they
are described as 'blistered steel.'

Now come the operations which convert these blistered bars into the
finished bars of steel above-mentioned, smooth and uniform of surface,
and well-nigh hard as diamond. The blistered bars are taken from the
furnace and broken up into small pieces; the fresh edges show
innumerable crystals of different dimensions, according to the quality
of the iron, and have much the appearance of frosted silver. The pieces
are carefully assorted and weighed. The weighers judge of the quality at
a glance, and mix the sorts in due proportion in the scales in readiness
for the melters, who put each parcel into its proper crucible, and drop
the crucibles through holes in a floor into a glowing furnace, where
they are left for about half a day.

The making of the crucibles is a much more important part of the
operation than would be imagined. They must be of uniform dimensions and
quality, or the steel is deteriorated, and they fail in the fire. They
are made on the premises, for every melting requires new crucibles. In
an underground chamber I saw men at work, treading a large flat heap of
fire-clay into proper consistency, weighing it into lumps of a given
weight; placing these lumps one after the other in a circular mould, and
driving in upon them, with a ponderous mallet, a circular block of the
same form and height as the mould, but smaller. As the block sinks under
the heavy blows, the clay is forced against the sides of the mould; and
when the block can descend no further, there appears all round it a
dense ring of clay, and the mould is full. Now, with a dexterous turn,
the block is drawn out; the crucible is separated from the mould, and
shows itself as a smooth vase, nearly two feet in height. The mouth is
carefully finished, and a lid of the same clay fitted, and the crucible
is ready for its further treatment. When placed in the furnace, the lids
are sealed on with soft clay. The man who treads the clay needs a good
stock of patience, for lumps, however small, are fatal to the crucibles.

When the moment arrived, I was summoned to witness the casting. The men
had tied round their shins pieces of old sacking, as protection from the
heat; they opened the holes in the floor, knocked off the lid of the
crucible, and two of them, each with tongs, lifted the crucible from the
intensely heated furnace. How it quivered, and glowed, and threw off
sparks, and diffused around a scorching temperature! It amazed me that
the men could bear it. When two crucibles are lifted out, they are
emptied at the same time into the mould; not hap-hazard, but with care
that the streams shall unite, and not touch the sides of the mould as
they fall. Neglect of this precaution injures the quality. Another
precaution is to shut out cold draughts of air during the casting. To
judge by the ear, you would fancy the men were pouring out gallons of

The contents of two crucibles form an ingot, short, thick, and heavy. I
saw a number of such ingots in the yard. The next process is to heat
them, and to pass them while hot between the rollers which convert them
into bars of any required form. I was content to forego a visit to the
rolling-mill--somewhere in the suburbs--being already familiar with the
operation of rolling iron.

We have now the steel in a form ready for the file-makers. Two forgers,
one of whom wields a heavy two-handed hammer, cut the bars into
lengths, and after a few minutes of fire and anvil, the future file is
formed, one end at a time, from tang to point, and stamped. For the
half-round files, a suitable depression is made at one side of the
anvil. Then comes a softening process to prepare the files for the men
who grind or file them to a true form, and for toothing. To cut the
teeth, the man or boy lays the file on a proper bed, takes a short, hard
chisel between the thumb and finger of his left hand, holds it leaning
from him at the required angle, and strikes a blow with the hammer. The
blow produces a nick with a slight ridge by its side; against this ridge
the chisel is placed for the next stroke, and so on to the next, until,
by multiplied blows, the file is fully toothed. The process takes long
to describe, but is, in reality, expeditious, as testified by the rapid
clatter. Some of the largest files require two men--one to hold the
chisel, the other to strike. For the teeth of rasps, a pyramidal punch
is used. The different kinds of files are described as roughs, bastard
cut, second cut, smooth, and dead smooth; besides an extraordinary heavy
sort, known as rubbers. According to the cut, so is the weight of the
hammer employed. Many attempts have been made to cut files by machinery;
but they have all failed. There is something in the varying touch of
human fingers imparting a keenness to the bite of the file, which the
machine with its precise movements cannot produce--even as thistle
spines excel all metallic contrivances for the dressing of cloth. And
very fortunate it is that machinery can't do everything.

After the toothing, follows the hardening. The hardener lays a few files
in a fire of cinders; blows the bellows till a cherry-red heat is
produced; then he thrusts the file into a stratum of charcoal, and from
that plunges it into a large bath of cold water, the cleaner and colder
the better. The plunge is not made anyhow, but in a given direction, and
with a varying movement from side to side, according to the shape of the
file. The metal, as it enters the water, and for some seconds
afterwards, frets and moans piteously; and I expected to see it fly to
pieces with the sudden shock. But good steel is true; the man draws the
file out, squints along its edge, and if he sees it too much warped,
gives it a strain upon a fulcrum, sprinkling it at the same time with
cold water. He then lays it aside, takes another from the fire, and
treats it in a similar way.

The hardened files are next scrubbed with sand, are dried, the tangs are
dipped into molten lead to deprive them of their brittleness; the files
are rubbed over with oil, and scratched with a harder piece of metal to
test their quality--that is, an attempt is made to scratch them. If the
files be good, it ought to fail. They are then taken between the thumb
and finger, and rung to test their soundness; and if no treacherous
crack betray its presence, they are tied up in parcels for sale.

I shall not soon forget the obliging kindness with which explanations
were given and all my questions answered by a member of the firm, who
conducted me over the works. When we came to the end, and I had
witnessed the care bestowed on the several operations, I no longer
wondered that a Bohemian _Mechaniker_ in the heart of the Continent, or
artisans in any part of the world, should find reason to glory in
English files. Some people are charitable enough to believe that English
files are no unapt examples of English character.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sheffield is somewhat proud of Chantrey and Montgomery, and honours
Elliott by a statue, which, tall of stature and unfaithful in likeness,
sits on a pedestal in front of the post-office. I thought that to ramble
out to one of the Corn-Law Rhymer's haunts would be an agreeable way of
spending the afternoon and of viewing the scenery in the neighbourhood
of the town. I paced up the long ascent of Broome Hill--a not unpleasing
suburb--to the Glossop road, and when the town was fairly left behind,
was well repaid by the sight of wooded hills and romantic valleys.
Amidst scenery such as that you may wander on to Wentworth, to
Wharncliff, the lair of the Dragon of Wantley, to Stanedge and
Shirecliff, and all the sites of which Elliott has sung in pictured
phrase or words of fire. We look into the valley of the Rivelin, one of

    "Five rivers, like the fingers of a hand,"

that converge upon Sheffield; and were we to explore the tributary
brooks, we should discover grinding wheels kept going by the current in
romantic nooks and hollows. What a glorious sylvan country this must
have been

                    "----in times of old,
    When Locksley o'er the hills of Hallam chas'd
    The wide-horn'd stag, or with his bowmen bold
    Wag'd war on kinglings."

Troops of women and girls were busy on the slopes gathering bilberries,
others were washing the stains from their hands and faces at a roadside
spring, others--who told me they had been out six miles--were returning
with full baskets to the town. How they chattered! About an hour's
walking brings you to a descent; on one side the ground falls away
precipitously from the road, on the other rises a rocky cliff, and at
the foot you come to a bridge bestriding a lively brook that comes out
of a wooded glen and runs swiftly down to the Rivelin. This is the "lone
streamlet" so much loved by the poet, to which he addresses one of his

    "Here, if a bard may christen thee,
    I'll call thee Ribbledin."

I turned from the road, and explored the little glen to its upper
extremity; scrambling now up one bank, now up the other, wading through
rank grass and ferns, striding from one big stone to another, as
compelled by the frequent windings, rejoiced to find that, except in one
particular, it still answered to the poet's description:

    "Wildest and lonest streamlet!
      Gray oaks, all lichen'd o'er!
    Rush-bristled isles, ye ivied trunks
      That marry shore to shore!

    And thou, gnarl'd dwarf of centuries,
      Whose snak'd roots twist above me!
    Oh, for the tongue or pen of Burns,
      To tell ye how I love ye!"

The overhanging trees multiply, and the green shade deepens, as you
ascend. At last I came to the waterfall--the loneliest nook of all, in
which the Rhymer had mused and listened to the brook, as he says:

    "Here, where first murmuring from thine urn,
      Thy voice deep joy expresses;
    And down the rock, like music, flows
      The wildness of thy tresses."

It was just the place for a day-dream. I sat for nearly an hour, nothing
disturbing my enjoyment but now and then the intrusive thought that my
holiday was soon to end. However, there is good promise of summers yet
to come. I climbed the hill in the rear of the fall, where, knee-deep in
heath and fern, I looked down on the top of the oaken canopy and a
broad reach of the valley; and intended to return to the town by another
road. But the attractions of the glen drew me back; so I scrambled down
it by the way I came, and retraced my outward route.

The one particular in which the glen differs from Elliott's description
is, that an opening has been made for, as it appeared to me, a quarry or
gravel-pit, from which a loose slope of refuse extends down to the
brook, and encroaches on its bed, creating a deformity that shocks the
feelings by what seems a desecration. I thought that Ribbledin, at
least, might have been saved from spade and mattock; and the more so as
Sheffield, poisoned by smoke, can ill afford to lose any place of
recreative resort in the neighbourhood. It may be that I felt vexed; for
after my return to London, I addressed a letter on the subject to the
editor of the _Sheffield Independent_, in the hope that by calling
public attention thereto, the hand of the spoiler might be stayed.

As I walked down to the railway-station the next morning in time for the
first train, many of the chimneys had just began to vent their murky
clouds, and the smoke falling into the streets darkened the early
sunlight; and Labour, preparing to "bend o'er thousand anvils," went
with unsmiling face to his daily task.

Away sped the train for Manchester; and just as the Art Treasures
Exhibition was opening for the day, I alighted at the door.

Less than half an hour spent in the building sufficed to show that it
was a work of the north, not of the south. There was a manifest want of
attention to the fitness of things, naturally to be looked for in a
county where the bulk of the population have yet so much to learn; where
manufacturers, with a yearly income numbered by thousands, can find no
better evening resort than the public-house; where so much of the
thinking is done by machinery, and where steam-engines are built with an
excellence of workmanship and splendour of finish well-nigh incredible.

For seven hours did I saunter up and down and linger here and there, as
my heart inclined--longest before the old engravings. And while my eye
roved from one beautiful object to another, I wondered more and more
that the _Times_ and some other newspapers had often expressed surprise
that so few comparatively of the working-classes visited the Manchester
Exhibition. Those best acquainted with the working-classes, as a mass,
know full well how little such an exhibition as that appeals to their
taste and feelings. To appreciate even slightly such paintings and
curiosities of art as were there displayed, requires an amount of
previous cultivation rare in any class, and especially so in the
working-classes. For the cream of Manchester society, the Exhibition was
a fashionable exchange, where they came to parade from three to five in
the afternoon--the ladies exhibiting a circumference of crinoline far
more ample than I have ever seen elsewhere; and of them and their
compeers it would be safe to argue that those attracted by real love of
art were but tens among the thousands who went for pastime and fashion.

To me it seems, that of late, we have had rather too much talk about
art; by far too much flattery of the artist and artificer, whereby the
one with genius and the one with handicraft feel themselves alike
ill-used if they are not always before the eyes of the world held up to
admiration. And so, instead of a heart working inspired by love, we have
a hand working inspired by hopes of praise. The masons who carved those
quaint carvings at Patrington worked out the thought that was in them
lovingly, because they had the thought, and not the mere ambitious
shadow of a thought. And their work remains admirable for all time, for
their hearts were engaged therein as well as heads and hands. But now
education and division of labour are to do everything; that is, if
flattery fail not; and in wood-engraving we have come to the pass that
one man cuts the clouds, another the trees, another the buildings, and
another the animal figures; while on steel plates the clouds are
"executed" by machinery. For my part, I would be willing to barter a
good deal of modern art for the conscience and common honesty which it
has helped to obscure.

We are too apt to forget certain conclusions which ought to be
remembered; and these are, according to Mr. Penrose, that "No
government, however imperial, can create true taste, or combine
excellence with precipitation; that money is lavished in vain where good
sense guides neither the design nor the execution; and that art with
freedom, of which she is one manifestation, will not condescend to visit
the land where she is not invited by the spontaneous instincts, and
sustained by the unfettered efforts of the people."



Here, reader, we part company. The last day of July has come, and
whatever may be my inclinations or yours, I must return to London, and
report myself to-morrow morning at head-quarters. There will be time
while on the way for a few parting words.

If the reading of my book stir you up to go and see Yorkshire with your
own eyes and on your own legs, you will, I hope, be able to choose a
centre of exploration. For the coast, Flamborough and Whitby would be
convenient; for Teesdale, Barnard Castle; for Craven, with its
mountains, caves, and scars, Settle; and for the dales, Kettlewell and
Aysgarth. Ripon is a good starting-point for Wensleydale; and York,
situate where the three Ridings meet, offers railway routes in all
directions. My own route, as you have seen, was somewhat erratic, more
so than you will perhaps approve; but it pleased me, and if a man cannot
please himself while enjoying a holiday, when shall he?

A glance at the map will show you how large a portion of the county is
here unnoticed; a portion large enough for another volume. The omissions
are more obvious to you than to me, because I can fill them up mentally
by recollections of what I saw during my first sojourn in Yorkshire. A
month might be well spent in rambles and explorations in the north-west
alone, along the border of Westmoreland; Knaresborough and the valley of
the Nidd will generously repay a travel; Hallamshire, though soiled by
Sheffield smoke, is full of delightful scenery; and if it will gratify
you to see one of the prettiest country towns in England, go to
Doncaster. And should you desire further information, as doubtless you
will, read Professor Phillips's _Rivers, Mountains, and Sea Coast of
Yorkshire_--a book that takes you all through the length and breadth of
the county. It tells you where to look for rare plants, where for
fossils; reveals the geological history; glances lovingly at all the
antiquities; and imparts all the information you are likely to want
concerning the inhabitants, from the earliest times, the climate, and
even the terrestrial magnetism. I am under great obligations to it, not
only for its science and scholarship, but for the means it afforded me,
combined with previous knowledge, of choosing a route.

As regards distances, my longest walk, as mentioned at the outset, was
twenty-six miles; the next longest, from Brough to Hawes, twenty-two;
and all the rest from fourteen to eighteen miles. Hence, in all the
rambles, there is no risk of over-fatigue. I would insert a table of
distances, were it not best that you should inquire for yourself when on
the spot, and have a motive for talking to the folk on the way. As for
the railways, buy your time-table in Yorkshire; it will enlighten you on
some of the local peculiarities, and prove far more useful than the
lumbering, much-perplexed _Bradshaw_.

Of course the Ordnance maps are the best and most complete; but
considering that the sheets on the large scale, for Yorkshire alone,
would far outweigh your knapsack, they are out of the question for a
pedestrian. Failing these, you will find Walker's maps--one for each
Riding--sufficiently trustworthy, with the distances from town to town
laid down along the lines of road, and convenient for the pocket withal.

Much has been said and written concerning the high cost of travelling in
England as compared with the Continent, but is it really so? Experience
has taught me that the reverse is the fact, and for an obvious
reason--the much shorter distance to be travelled to the scene of your
wanderings. In going to Switzerland, for example, there are seven
hundred and fifty miles to Basel, before you begin to walk, and the
outlay required for such a journey as that is not compensated by any
trifling subsequent advantage, if such there be. Some folk travel as if
they were always familiar with turtle and champagne at home, and
therefore should not complain if they are made to pay for the
distinction. But if you are content to go simply on your own merits,
wishing nothing better than to enjoy a holiday, it is perfectly
possible, while on foot, to travel for four-and-sixpence a day,
sometimes even less. And think not that because you choose the
public-house instead of the hotel you will suffer in regard to diet, or
find any lack of comfort and cleanliness. The advantage in all these
respects, as I know full well, is not unfrequently with the house of
least pretension. Moreover, you are not looked on as a mere biped, come
in to eat, drink, and sleep, by a waiter who claims his fee as a right;
but a show of kindly feeling awaits you, and the lassie who ministers to
your wants accepts your gift of a coin with demonstrations of
thankfulness. And, again, the public-house shows you far more variety of
unsophisticated life and character than you could ever hope to witness
in an hotel. Certain friends of mine, newly-wedded, passed a portion of
their honeymoon at the _Jolly Herring_ at Penmaenmawr, with much more
contentment to themselves than at the large hotels they afterwards
visited in the Principality, and at one-half the cost.

The sum total of my walking amounts to three hundred and seventy-five
miles. If you go down to Yorkshire, trusting, as I hope, to your own
legs for most of your pleasure, you will perhaps outstrip me. At any
rate, you will discover that travelling in England is not less enjoyable
than on the Continent; maybe you will think it more so, especially if,
instead of merely visiting one place after another, you really do
travel. You require no ticket-of-leave in the shape of a passport from
cowardly emperor or priest-ridden king, and may journey at will from
county to county and parish to parish, finding something fresh and
characteristic in each, and all the while with the consciousness that it
is your own country:

    "Our Birth-land this! around her shores roll ocean's sounding waves;
    Within her breast our fathers sleep in old heroic graves;
    Our Heritage! with all her fame, her honour, heart, and pow'rs,
    God's gift to us--we love her well--she shall be ever ours."


Addleborough, 169, 173

Aire, river, 226

---- source of, 233

Aldborough, 47

Alum, manufacture of, 98;
  hewing, 99;
  roasting, 100;
  soaking, 101;
  crystallizing, 102

Alum Shale Cliffs, 99

Arncliffe, 95

Askrigg, 170

Atwick, 52

Auburn, 52

Austin's Stone, 34

Aysgarth, 202

---- Force, 170, 204

Bain, river, 165, 174

Bainbridge, 165, 170

Balder, river, 137, 144

Barden Fell, 193

---- Tower, 196

Barmston, 40, 52

Barnard Castle, 137

Barnsley, 254

Batley, 248

Bay Town, 81

Beverley, 28, 34, 39

Birkdale, 151

Bishopdale, 201

Bishopthorpe, 223

Black-a-moor, 84

Bolton Abbey, 192

---- Castle, 170, 202, 207

Boroughbridge, 143

Boulby, 115

Bowes, 141

Bradford, 243

Bridlington, 53

Brignall Banks, 142

Brough, 155

Brunanburgh, 35

Buckden, 201

---- Pike, 200

Burnsall, 198

Burstall Garth, 19

Burstwick, 15

Buttertubs Pass, 163

Byland Abbey, 221

Calder, river, 247, 253

Caldron Snout, 149

Cam Fell, 175

Carnelian Bay, 69

Carperby, 206

Carrs, the, 40

Cayton Bay, 69

Chapel-le-dale, 178, 181

Clapdale, 184

Clapham, 183

Cleathorpes, 7, 25

Cleckheaton, 217

Cleveland, 89, 97, 119, 127, 212

Cloughton, 76

Coatham, 122, 124

Cotherstone, 144

Cottingham, 27

Counterside, 175

Coverdale, 170

Coverham Abbey, 171

Coxwold, 222

Craven, 183, 191, 227

Cray, 201

Cronkley Scar, 148

Cross Fell, 154

Dane's Dike, 57, 64

Darlington, 135

Deira, 35

Derwent, river, 221

Dewsbury, 248

Dimlington, 23

Dinsdale Spa, 135

Drewton, 34

Driffield, 35

Dunsley, 104

Easby heights, 131

---- Abbey, 210

East Row, 97

---- Witton, 171

Eden, river, 154, 159

Egliston Abbey, 140

Egton, 94

---- Bridge, 95

Esk, Vale of, 84, 86, 96

Eston Nab, 125, 132

Filey, 65, 68

---- Brig, 65, 67

Flamborough, 59, 64

---- Head, 48, 54, 60

---- Lighthouse, 61

---- North Landing, 64

---- South Landing, 58

Fountains Abbey, 214

Freeburgh Hill, 118

Frothingham, 40

Gatekirk Cave, 182

Gearstones, 177

George Fox's Well, 228

Giggleswick, 227

Gilling, 222

Godmanham, 35

Goldsborough, 106

Gordale Scar, 231

Gormire Lake, 217

Great Ayton, 131

Greta Bridge, 141

Grimsby, 7

Grinton, 160, 162

Gristhorp Bay, 69

Grosmont, 94

Guisborough, 125

---- Moors, 129

---- Priory, 126

Haiburn Wyke, 78

Hambleton Hills, 154, 170, 208, 218

Handale, 118

Hardraw Scar, 163

Harpham, 35

Hart-Leap Well, 208

Hawes, 163, 164, 175

Haworth, 235

Hawsker, 84

Heckmondwike, 247

Hedon, 14

Helbeck, the, 155

Helmsley, 220

High Cope Nick, 152

High Force, 146

High Seat, 157

Hinderwell, 109

Holderness, 11, 14, 23, 34, 40

Holwick Fell, 148

Hornby, 172

Hornsea, 46

---- Mere, 45

Howardian Hills, 222

Hull, 9

---- river, 10, 12, 41

Humber, the, 5, 8, 18

Huntcliff Nab, 119

Hurtle Pot, 180

Hutton Lowcross, 128

---- Rudby, 128

Ingleborough, 154, 175, 183, 228

---- Cave, 184

---- Giant's Hall, 188

Ingleton, 183

---- Fell, 177

Ironstone, 94, 103, 134, 253

Jervaux Abbey, 171

Jet, 91
  manufacture of, 92
  ---- diggers, 107

Jingle Pot, 180

Keighley, 235

Kettleness, 104, 106

Kettlewell, 200, 233

Keyingham, 15

Kildale, 132

Kilnsea, 19

Kilnsey, 199

Kilton, 120

Kirkby Moorside, 221

Kirkdale, 221

Kirkleatham, 124

Kirklees, 247

Kirkstall Abbey, 226

Langstrothdale, 201

Lartington, 143

Leeds, 226, 243

Leyburn, 170

Lofthouse, 116

Lowmoor, 247

Lowths, the, 33

Lythe, 105

Maiden Way, the, 156

Maize Beck, 151

Malham, 228

---- Cove, 233

---- Tarn, 231

Mallerstang, 159

Malton, 104, 221

Marske, 120

Marston Moor, 223

Marton, 134

Marwood Chase, 137

Meaux, 39

Mickle Fell, 149, 151, 153

Middleham, 170, 207

Middlesborough, 133

Middleton-in-Teesdale, 144

Millgill Force, 166

Mirfield, 247, 253

Mortham, 141

Muker, 162

Mulgrave, 97, 104

---- Cement, 99

Nappa, 171

Newby Head, 176

Newlay, 227

Newton, 134

Nine Standards, 157

Northallerton, 211

Nunthorp, 134

Oswaldkirk, 222

Ouse, river, 224

Ovington, 142

Owthorne, 24, 47

Patrington, 16

Paul, 7

Peak, the, 81

Pendle Hill, 228

Pendragon Castle, 144

Penhill, 170, 202

Penyghent, 154, 201, 228

Pickering, vale of, 84, 221

Pilmoor, 222

Plowland, 18

Raby, 138

Raven Hall, 80

Ravenhill, 104

Ravenser Odd, 22

Ravensworth, 142

Raydale, 173

Redcar, 121

Red Cliff, 69

Redmire, 207

Redshaw, 175

Reeth, 162

Rey Cross, the, 156

Ribble, river, 178, 183, 228

Ribbledin, the, 263

Richmond, 142, 208

Rievaulx Abbey, 219

Ripon, 211

Rivelin, the, 262

Robin Hood, 74, 84

---- Hood's Bay, 73, 78

Rokeby, 140

Rolleston Hall, 52

Romaldkirk, 144

Rosebury Topping, 119, 129

Routh, 41

Runswick, 106, 108

Rye, river, 219, 222

Ryedale, 220

Sandsend, 97

---- Alum-works, 98

Saltaire, 237

Saltburn, 119

Scarborough, 61, 67
  Spa, 71
  Castle, 73

Scarthe Nick, 207

Seamer Moor, 75

Selwicks Bay, 61, 63

Settle, 227

Shaw, 163

Sheffield, 255

Shipley, 237, 242

Shirecliff, 262

Shunnor Fell, 158

Sigglesthorne, 45

Simmer Water, 174

Simonstone, 163

Skawton, 218

Skeffling, 18

Skelton, 127, 131

Skinningrave, 117

Skipsea, 52

Skipton, 191

Skirlington, 52

Speeton, 65

Spennithorne, 171

Spurn, the, 20, 23

---- Lighthouse, 5, 25

Stainmoor, 141, 155, 157

Staintondale Cliffs, 79

Staithes, 109

Stake Fell, 173, 201

Stalling Busk, 175

Stamford Brig, 223

Standard Hill, 38, 211

Stanedge, 262

Starbottom, 201

Stockdale, 229

Stockton, 135

Stonesdale, 161

Street Houses, 117

Strid, the, 195

Studley, 213

Sunk Island, 6, 17

Sutton, 217

Swale, river, 159, 160

Swaledale, 157, 160, 162, 208

Symon Seat, 193, 198

Tan Hill, 159

Tees, river, 119, 121, 130, 136, 140, 145, 149

Thirsk, 216

Thoralby, 202

Thornton Force, 182

Thorsgill, 140

Threshfield, 199, 233

Thwaite, 161

Tickton, 41

Topcliffe, 30, 216

Towton, 223

Ulshaw, 171

Upgang, 97

Upleatham, 125, 131

Ure, river, 159, 164, 170, 204, 211

Wakefield, 253

Wassand, 45

Watton, 39

Weathercote Cave, 178

Welwick, 18

Wensleydale, 163, 167, 170, 201, 207

Wentworth, 262

Wharfe, river, 193, 196

Wharfedale, 192, 201

Wharncliff, 262

Whernside, Great and Little, 154, 200

Whitby, 73, 86

---- Abbey, 84

Whitfell, 166

Whitfell Force, 166

Widdale, 175

Wild Boar Fell, 158

Winch Bridge, 145

Winestead, 15

Winston, 142

Withernsea, 23

Witton Fell, 170

Wombwell, 255

Wycliffe, 142

Yarborough House, 57

Yarm, 135

Yearby bank, 125

Yordas Cave, 182

York, 222

York, Vale of, 222




Page xv: Bronte's standardised to Brontë's in chapter XXVI description
  for consistency

Page 3: bonehouse standardised to bone-house after "lecture in the grim"
  for consistency

Page 10: half-penny standardised to halfpenny after "to the value of
  thirteenpence" for consistency

Page 10: wind-mills standardised to windmills after "presence of
  numerous" for consistency

Pages 14, 268: unfrequently as in the original

Page 16: weather-cock standardised to weathercock after "harmonious
  throughout, from" for consistency

Page 18: "Its outer sloop is loose sand" as in the original

Page 19: re-appears standardised to reappears after "pierces the bank,
  and" for consistency

Page 22: skilful as in the original

Page 24: grey standardised to gray after "still bearing the" for

Page 25: . added after "that they had to be rebuilt"

Page 28: Ffourscore as in the original

Page 31, 166: Inconsistent hyphenation of roof-tree left as in the
  original as part of a quotation

Page 43: ecstasies standardised to ecstacies after "which threw the
  company into" for consistency

Page 44: "He eat meat" as in the original

Page 48: re-appears standardised to reappears after "evening the
  picturesque" for consistency

Page 53: . added after "strangely with the clay"

Page 66: seabirds standardised to sea-birds after "eggs of" for

Page 68: harmonise changed to harmonize after "the better did it" for

Page 72: weatherbeaten standardised to weather-beaten after "an ancient
  breakwater--all" for consistency

Page 74: befel as in the original

Page 78: Byepaths changed to Bye-paths before "are not enticing" for

Page 80: seabirds standardised to sea-birds after "a resort of" for

Page 82: "should chose to wed" as in the original

Page 88: enumerationg corrected to enumerating before "the prophet, the
  fiery furnace"

Page 89: wonld corrected to would after "Whitby, and not Scarborough,"

Page 89: characterise standardised to characterize after "and show
  which" for consistency

Page 92: . added after "could give the surest information"

Page 111: course corrected to coarse before "grass and weeds,"

Page 123: water-falls standardised to waterfalls after "rustling leaves,
  and rushing" for consistency

Page 126: inconsistent hyphenation of road-side left as in the original
  as part of a quotation

Page 129: widespread standardised to wide-spread after "rove at will
  over the" for consistency

Page 131: , corrected to . after "Prince Oswy, her son"

Page 141: out-look standardised to outlook after "rock affords an" for

Page 142: reedom corrected to freedom after "John Wycliffe, to whom"

Page 149: grasss corrected to grass after "The foam appears the whiter,
  and the"

Page 151: Duplicate a removed before "meadow, however, comes"

Page 155: a corrected to an after "a good way off on"

Page 166: inpenetrable corrected to impenetrable after "cranny, all but

Page 167: gray-beard standardised to graybeard after "The stiff-jointed"
  for consistency

Page 170: inconsistent non-hyphenation of abear left as in the original
  as part of a quotation

Page 172: , corrected to . after "was a Metcalfe"

Page 177: betweeen corrected to between after "not yet lambed, the

Page 177: Galebeck standardised to Gale Beck after "Not far from the inn

Page 184: uphill standardised to up-hill after "village, and walking"
  for consistency

Page 188: were corrected to where after "let themselves down to a

Page 192: unusally corrected to unusually after "betokened something"

Page 193: gatehouse standardised to gate-house after "embodying the
  ancient" for consistency

Page 197: inconsistent hyphenation of up-stairs left as in the original
  as part of a quotation

Page 199: plinthe corrected to plinth after "forms a natural"

Page 213: minister corrected to minster after "Without seeing the"

Page 215: over-much standardised to overmuch after "voice is made to

Page 233: forsee as in the original

Page 235: Bronte's standardised to Brontë's in heading for consistency

Page 236: Bronte standardised to Brontë three times for consistency

Page 248: boddices corrected to bodices after "from maidens'"

Page 271: Shirecliffe standardised to Shirecliff

Page 271: Shunner standardised to Shunnor

General: Spelling of Cleathorpes as in the original

General: The musician normally called Caedmon is rendered as Coedmon as
  in the original

General: Punctuation and formatting of the index has been standardised;
  changes have not been individually noted

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Month in Yorkshire" ***

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