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Title: Yorkshire Dales and Fells
Author: Home, Gordon
Language: English
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                               YORKSHIRE

                            DALES AND FELLS



                          A COMPANION VOLUME
                          BY THE SAME AUTHOR

                               YORKSHIRE

                       COAST AND MOORLAND SCENES

                            BY GORDON HOME

                 CONTAINING 32 FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS
                               IN COLOUR

                         PRICE =7s.= =6d.= NET

_The Pall Mall Gazette_ says: “We must express our real regret that it
is materially impossible to reproduce some specimens of the charming
illustrations, which are at least as great an attraction as the writing
of Mr. Home’s book. Of these there are thirty-two, among which it would
be invidious to select any for special commendation when all are
delightful. Let it suffice to say that they bring the water of envy into
the mouth of the Londoner who can only ‘babble o’ green fields,’ while,
beyond the range of his opportunities, the Yorkshire moors are clothing
themselves in all the glory of their vernal beauty. Perhaps Mr. Home’s
pen and pencil may tempt some of us to spend the summer holidays in the
county of the White Rose, where he has gathered so fragrant a posy.”

                            _Published by_

                A. & C. BLACK, SOHO SQUARE, LONDON, W.

                           AGENTS IN AMERICA

                         THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

                    64 & 66 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK

[Illustration: FOUNTAINS ABBEY

IS one of the finest ruined monasteries in England, and its wonderfully
rich setting in the sylvan splendours of Studley Royal make it still
more noteworthy. The velvet turf, the rushing waters of the Skell, the
magnificent trees, and the solemnity of the ruins, combine in producing
an ineffaceable memory.]



                               YORKSHIRE

                            DALES AND FELLS

                               PAINTED &
                               DESCRIBED

                                  BY

                              GORDON HOME

                       [Illustration: colophon]

                         PUBLISHED BY A. & C.
                          BLACK·LONDON·MCMVI



Preface


This book is a companion volume to that entitled ‘Yorkshire Coast and
Moorland Scenes,’ which was published in 1904.

It describes a tract of country that is more full of noble and imposing
scenery than the north-eastern corner of the county, although it has
none of the advantages of a coast-line. Beyond this, the area covered by
the present volume is larger than that of the earlier one, and the
historic events connected with its great over-lords and their castles,
with the numerous monasteries and ancient towns, are so full of
thrilling interest that it has only been possible to sample here and
there the vast stores of romance that exist in some hundreds of volumes
of early and modern writings.

GORDON HOME.


EPSOM,

  _April, 1906_.



Contents


CHAPTER I
                                                                    PAGE

THE DALE COUNTRY AS A WHOLE                                            1

CHAPTER II

RICHMOND                                                              13

CHAPTER III

SWALEDALE                                                             47

CHAPTER IV

WENSLEYDALE                                                           71

CHAPTER V

RIPON AND FOUNTAINS ABBEY                                            115

CHAPTER VI

KNARESBOROUGH AND HARROGATE                                          125

CHAPTER VII

WHARFEDALE                                                           139

CHAPTER VIII

SKIPTON, MALHAM, AND GORDALE                                         149

CHAPTER IX

SETTLE AND THE INGLETON FELLS                                        165

INDEX                                                                173



List of Illustrations


1.   Fountains Abbey                                       _Frontispiece_

                                                             FACING PAGE

2. Richmond Castle from the River                                     20

3. Richmond from the West                                             30

4. Swaledale in the Early Autumn                                      48

5. Downholme Moor, above Swaledale                                    56

6. Muker on a Stormy Afternoon                                        64

7. Twilight in the Butter-tubs Pass                                   72

8. Hardraw Force                                                      78

9. A Rugged View above Wensleydale                                    82

10. A Jacobean House at Askrigg                                       90

11. Aysgarth Force                                                    98

12. Bolton Castle, Wensleydale                                       104

13. View up Wensleydale from Leyburn Shawl                           110

14. Ripon Minster from the South                                      18

15. Knaresborough                                                    126

16. Bolton Abbey, Wharfedale                                         142

17. Hubberholme Church                                               144

18. The Courtyard of Skipton Castle                                  150

19. Gordale Scar                                                     160

20. Settle                                                           166



THE DALE COUNTRY AS A WHOLE



CHAPTER I

DESCRIBES THE DALE COUNTRY AS A WHOLE


When in the early years of life one learns for the first time the name
of that range of mountains forming the backbone of England, the youthful
scholar looks forward to seeing in later years the prolonged series of
lofty hills known as the ‘Pennine Range.’ His imagination pictures
Pen-y-ghent and Ingleborough as great peaks, seldom free from a mantle
of clouds, for are they not called ‘mountains of the Pennine Range,’ and
do they not appear in almost as large type in the school geography as
Snowdon and Ben Nevis? But as the scholar grows older and more able to
travel, so does the Pennine Range recede from his vision, until it
becomes almost as remote as those crater-strewn mountains in the Moon
which have a name so similar.

This elusiveness on the part of a natural feature so essentially static
as a mountain range is attributable to the total disregard of the name
of this particular chain of hills. In the same way as the term
‘Cumbrian Hills’ is exchanged for the popular ‘Lake District,’ so is a
large section of the Pennine Range paradoxically known as the ‘Yorkshire
Dales.’

It is because the hills are so big that the valleys are deep, and it is
owing to the great watersheds that these long and narrow dales are
beautified by some of the most copious and picturesque rivers in
England. In spite of this, however, when one climbs any of the fells
over 2,000 feet, and looks over the mountainous ridges on every side,
one sees, as a rule, no peak or isolated height of any description to
attract one’s attention. Instead of the rounded or angular projections
from the horizon that are usually associated with a mountainous
district, there are great expanses of brown tableland that form
themselves into long parallel lines in the distance, and give a sense of
wild desolation in some ways more striking than the peaks of Scotland or
Wales. The thick formations of millstone grit and limestone that rest
upon the shale have generally avoided crumpling or distortion, and thus
give the mountain views the appearance of having had all the upper
surfaces rolled flat when they were in a plastic condition. Denudation
and the action of ice in the glacial epochs have worn through the hard
upper stratum, and formed the long and narrow dales; and in Littondale,
Wharfedale, Wensleydale, and many other parts, one may plainly see the
perpendicular wall of rock sharply defining the upper edges of the
valleys. The softer rocks below generally take a gentle slope from the
base of the hard gritstone to the river-side pastures below. At the
edges of the dales, where waterfalls pour over the wall of limestone--as
at Hardraw Scar, near Hawes--the action of water is plainly
demonstrated, for one can see the rapidity with which the shale
crumbles, leaving the harder rocks overhanging above.

Unlike the moors of the north-eastern parts of Yorkshire, the fells are
not prolific in heather. It is possible to pass through Wensleydale--or,
indeed, most of the dales--without seeing any heather at all. On the
broad plateaux between the dales there are stretches of moor partially
covered with ling; but in most instances the fells and moors are grown
over at their higher levels with bent and coarse grass, generally of a
browny-ochrish colour, broken here and there by an outcrop of limestone
that shows gray against the swarthy vegetation.

In the upper portions of the dales--even in the narrow river-side
pastures--the fences are of stone, turned a very dark colour by
exposure, and everywhere on the slopes of the hills a wide network of
these enclosures can be seen traversing even the most precipitous
ascents. Where the dales widen out towards the fat plains of the Vale of
York, quickset hedges intermingle with the gaunt stone, and as one gets
further eastwards the green hedge becomes triumphant. The stiles that
are the fashion in the stone-fence districts make quite an interesting
study to strangers, for, wood being an expensive luxury, and stone being
extremely cheap, everything is formed of the more enduring material.
Instead of a trap-gate, one generally finds an excessively narrow
opening in the fences, only just giving space for the thickness of the
average knee, and thus preventing the passage of the smallest lamb. Some
stiles are constructed with a large flat stone projecting from each
side, one slightly in front and overlapping the other, so that one can
only pass through by making a very careful S-shaped movement. More
common are the projecting stones, making a flight of precarious steps on
each side of the wall.

Except in their lowest and least mountainous parts, where they are
subject to the influences of the plains, the dales are entirely innocent
of red tiles and haystacks. The roofs of churches, cottages, barns and
mansions, are always of the local stone, that weathers to beautiful
shades of green and gray, and prevents the works of man from jarring
with the great sweeping hillsides. Then, instead of the familiar
gray-brown haystack, one sees in almost every meadow a neatly-built
stone house with an upper story. The lower part is generally used as a
shelter for cattle, while above is stored hay or straw. By this system a
huge amount of unnecessary carting is avoided, and where roads are few
and generally of exceeding steepness a saving of this nature is a
benefit easily understood. Any soldier who served in South Africa during
the latter part of the war would be struck with the advantages that
these ready-made block-houses would offer if it were ever necessary to
round up a mobile enemy who had taken refuge among the Yorkshire fells.
Barbed-wire entanglements, and a system of telephones to link them
together, would be all that was required to convert these stone barns
into block-houses of a thoroughly useful type, for they are already
loopholed.

The villages of the dales, although having none of the bright colours
of a level country, are often exceedingly quaint, and rich in soft
shades of green and gray. In the autumn the mellowed tints of the stone
houses are contrasted with the fierce yellows and browny-reds of the
foliage, and the villages become full of bright colours. At all times,
except when the country is shrivelled by an icy northern wind, the
scenery of the dales has a thousand charms. By the edge of fine rivers
that pour downwards in terraced falls one finds hamlets with their
church towers, gray and sturdy, and the little patch of green shaded by
ash-trees, all made diminutive by the huge and gaunt hillsides that
dominate every view. Looking up the dales, there are often glimpses of
distant heights that in their blue silhouettes give a more mountainous
aspect to the scenery than one might expect.

In some of the valleys, such as Swaledale, the nakedness of the
yellow-brown hills is clothed with a mantle of heavy woods--but enough
has been said by way of introduction to give some notion of the general
aspect of the dales, and in the succeeding chapters a closer scrutiny
can be made.

The ways of approaching the Dale Country from the south are by means of
the Great Northern, Midland, or Great Central routes to York, where one
has all the North-Eastern service to choose from. Ribblesdale is
traversed by the Midland Main Line, so that those who wish to commence
an exploration of these parts of Yorkshire from Settle, Skipton, or
Hawes, must travel from St. Pancras Station.



RICHMOND



CHAPTER II

RICHMOND


For the purposes of this book we may consider Richmond as the gateway of
the dale country. There are other gates and approaches, some of which
may have advocates who claim their superiority over Richmond as
starting-places for an exploration of this description, but for my part,
I can find no spot on any side of the mountainous region so entirely
satisfactory. If we were to commence at Bedale or Leyburn, there is no
exact point where the open country ceases and the dale begins; but here
at Richmond there is not the very smallest doubt, for on reaching the
foot of the mass of rock dominated by the castle and the town, Swaledale
commences in the form of a narrow ravine, and from that point westwards
the valley never ceases to be shut in by steep sides, which become
narrower and grander with every mile.

The railway that keeps Richmond in touch with the world does its work in
a most inoffensive manner, and by running to the bottom of the hill on
which the town stands, and by there stopping short, we seem to have a
strong hint that we have been brought to the edge of a new element in
which railways have no rights whatever. This is as it should be, and we
can congratulate the North-Eastern Company for its discretion and its
sense of fitness. Even the station is built of solid stonework, with a
strong flavour of medievalism in its design, and its attractiveness is
enhanced by the complete absence of other modern buildings. We are thus
welcomed to the charms of Richmond at once. The rich sloping meadows by
the river, crowned with dense woodlands, surround us and form a
beautiful setting of green for the town, which has come down from the
fantastic days of the Norman Conquest without any drastic or unseemly
changes, and thus has still the compactness and the romantic outline of
feudal times.

By some means Richmond avoided the manufactories that have entirely
altered the character of such places as Skipton and Durham, but if we
wish to see what might have happened or what may still befall this town,
it is only necessary for us to go a little way above the new bridge,
and there, beneath the castle heights, see one of the most conspicuously
and unnecessarily ugly gasworks that was ever dumped upon a fair scene.
I suppose a day will arrive when the Mayor and Corporation will lay
their heads together with the object of devising a plan for the removal
of these dismal buildings to some site where they will be less
offensive, but until that day they will continue to mar the charms of a
town whose situation is almost unequalled in this island.

From whatever side you approach it, Richmond has always some fine
combination of towers overlooking a confusion of old red roofs and of
rocky heights crowned with ivy-mantled walls, all set in the most
sumptuous surroundings of silvery river and wooded hills, such as the
artists of the age of steel-engraving loved to depict. Every one of
these views has in it one dominating feature in the magnificent Norman
keep of the castle. It overlooks church towers and everything else with
precisely the same aloofness of manner it must have assumed as soon as
the builders of nearly eight hundred years ago had put the last stone in
place. Externally, at least, it is as complete to-day as it was then,
and as there is no ivy upon it, I cannot help thinking that the Bretons
who built it in that long-distant time would swell with pride were they
able to see how their ambitious work has come down the centuries
unharmed.

We can go across the modern bridge, with its castellated parapets, and
climb up the steep ascent on the further side, passing on the way the
parish church, standing on the steep ground outside the circumscribed
limits of the wall that used to enclose the town in early times. Turning
towards the castle, we go breathlessly up the cobbled street that climbs
resolutely to the market-place in a foolishly direct fashion, which
might be understood if it were a Roman road. There is a sleepy quietness
about this way up from the station, which is quite a short distance, and
we look for much movement and human activity in the wide space we have
reached; but here, too, on this warm and sunny afternoon, the few folks
who are about seem to find ample time for conversation and loitering. At
the further end of the great square there are some vast tents erected
close to the big obelisk that forms the market-cross of the present day.
Quantities of straw are spread upon the cobbles, and the youth of
Richmond watches with intense interest the bulgings of the canvas walls
of the tents. With this they are obliged to be content for a time, but
just as we reach this end of the square two huge swaying elephants issue
forth to take their afternoon stroll in company with their son, whose
height is scarcely more than half that of his parents. The children have
not waited in vain, and they gaze awe-struck at the furrowed sides of
the slate-gray monsters as they are led, slowly padding their way,
across the square. We watch them as they pass under the shadow of Holy
Trinity Church, then out in the sunshine again they go lurching past the
old-fashioned houses until they turn down Frenchgate and disappear, with
the excited but respectful knot of children following close behind.

On one side of us is the King’s Head, whose steep tiled roof and square
front has just that air of respectable importance that one expects to
find in an old-established English hotel. It looks across the cobbled
space to the curious block of buildings that seems to have been intended
for a church but has relapsed into shops. The shouldering of secular
buildings against the walls of churches is a sight so familiar in parts
of France that this market-place has an almost Continental flavour, in
keeping with the fact that Richmond grew up under the protection of the
formidable castle built by that Alan Rufus of Brittany who was the
Conqueror’s second cousin. The town ceased to be a possession of the
Dukes of Brittany in the reign of Richard II., but there had evidently
been sufficient time to allow French ideals to percolate into the minds
of the men of Richmond, for how otherwise can we account for this
strange familiarity of shops with a sacred building which is unheard of
in any other English town? Where else can one find a pork-butcher’s shop
inserted between the tower and the nave, or a tobacconist doing business
in the aisle of a church? Even the lower parts of the tower have been
given up to secular uses, so that one only realizes the existence of the
church by keeping far enough away to see the sturdy pinnacled tower that
rises above the desecrated lower portions of the building. In this tower
hangs the curfew-bell, which is rung at 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., a custom,
according to one writer, ‘that has continued ever since the time of
William the Conqueror.’ The bell, we know, is not Norman, and the tower
belongs to the Perpendicular period, but the church is referred to in
Norman times, and Leland, writing in the reign of Henry VIII., suggests
an earlier survival. He may, of course, be describing Norman grotesque
carvings, but, on the other hand, he may be recording some relics of a
more barbarous age when he writes: ‘There is a Chapel in _Richemont_
Toune with straung Figures in the Waulles of it. The Peple there dreme
that it was ons [a temple of] Idoles.’ I wonder if those carved figures
were entirely destroyed in the days of the Commonwealth, or whether they
were merely thrown aside during some restoration, and are waiting for
digging or building operations to bring them to light.

All the while we have been lingering in the market-place the great keep
has been looking at us over some old red roofs, and urging us to go on
at once to the finest sight that Richmond can offer, and, resisting the
appeal no longer, we make our way down a narrow little street leading
out to a walk that goes right round the castle cliffs at the base of the
ivy-draped walls. If this walk were at Harrogate or Buxton, we can
easily imagine that its charms would be vitiated by some evidences of a
popular recognition of its attractiveness. There would be a strong
ornamental iron railing on the exposed side of the path; there would
probably be an automatic-machine waiting to supply a souvenir picture
post-card of the view; there would be notices--most excellent where they
are needed--requesting visitors not to throw paper or orange-peel
anywhere but in the receptacle supplied; and, besides all this, there
would, I have no doubt, be ornamental shrubberies, and here and there a
few beds of flowers, kept with all the neatness of municipal
horticulture. Such efforts would meet with some sort of response on the
part of the public, and the castle walk would be sufficiently populous
to prevent anyone from appreciating its charms. No; instead of all this
we find a simple asphalt path without any fence at all. There are two or
three seats that are perfectly welcome, but there is a delightful
absence of shrubberies or flower-beds, and the notices to the public
fixed to the castle walls are weathered and quite inconspicuous. Beyond
all this, the castle walk is generally a place in which one can be
alone, and yet

    ‘This is not solitude; ’tis but to hold
     Converse with Nature’s charms, and see those charms unfold.’

From down below comes the sound of the river, ceaselessly chafing its
rocky bottom and the big boulders that lie in the way. You can
distinguish the hollow sound of the waters as they fall over ledges into
deep pools, and you can watch the

[Illustration: RICHMOND CASTLE FROM THE RIVER

THIS well-known view of the castle from the banks of the Swale is only
one of the numerous romantic pictures that can be found in Richmond. The
great Norman keep, built about the year 1150, forms the dominating
feature of every aspect of the town.]

silvery gleams of broken water between the old stone bridge and the dark
shade of the woods. The masses of trees clothing the side of the gorge
add a note of mystery to the picture by swallowing up the river in their
heavy shade, for, owing to its sinuous course among the cliffs, one can
see only a short piece of water beyond the bridge.

The old corner of the town at the foot of Bargate appears over the edge
of the rocky slope, but on the opposite side of the Swale there is
little to be seen beside the green meadows and shady coppices that cover
the heights above the river.

There is a fascination in this view in its capacity for change. It
responds to every mood of the weather, and every sunset that glows
across the sombre woods has some freshness, some feature that is quite
unlike any other. Autumn, too, is a memorable time for those who can
watch the face of Nature from this spot, for when one of those opulent
evenings of the fall of the year turns the sky into a golden sea of
glory, studded with strange purple islands, there is unutterable beauty
in the flaming woods and the pale river.

On the way back to the market-place we pass a decayed arch that was
probably a postern in the walls of the town. There can be no doubt
whatever of the existence of these walls, for Leland begins his
description of the town with the words ‘_Richemont_ Towne is waullid,’
and in another place he says: ‘Waullid it was, but the waul is now
decayid. The Names and Partes of 4 or 5 Gates yet remaine.’ He also
tells us the names of some of these gates: ‘_Frenchegate_ yn the North
Parte of the Towne, and is the most occupied Gate of the Towne.
_Finkel-streate Gate, Bargate_, all iii be downe.’ Leland also details
how the wall enclosed little beside the market-place, the houses
adjoining it, and the gardens behind them, and that the area occupied by
the castle was practically the same as that of the town. We wonder why
Richmond could not have preserved her gates as York has done, or why she
did not even make the effort sufficient to retain a single one, as
Bridlington and Beverley did. The two posterns--one we have just
mentioned, and the other in Friar’s Wynd, on the north side of the
market-place, with a piece of wall 6 feet thick adjoining--are
interesting, but we would have preferred something much finer than these
mere arches; and while we are grumbling over what Richmond has lost, we
may also measure the disaster which befell the market-place in 1771,
when the old cross was destroyed. Before that year there stood on the
site of the present obelisk a very fine cross which Clarkson, who wrote
about a century ago, mentions as being the greatest beauty of the town
to an antiquary. A high flight of steps led up to a square platform,
which was enclosed by a richly ornamented wall about 6 feet high, having
buttresses at the corners, each surmounted with a dog seated on its
hind-legs. Within the wall rose the cross, with its shaft made from one
piece of stone. There were ‘many curious compartments’ in the wall, says
Clarkson, and ‘a door that opened into the middle of the square,’ but
this may have been merely an arched opening. The enrichments, either of
the cross itself or the wall, included four shields bearing the arms of
the great families of Fitz-Hugh, Scrope (quartering Tibetot), Conyers,
and Neville. From the description there is little doubt that this cross
was a very beautiful example of Perpendicular or perhaps Decorated
Gothic, in place of which we have a crude and bulging obelisk bearing
the inscription: ‘Rebuilt (!) A.D. 1771, Christopher Wayne, Esq.,
Mayor’; it should surely have read: ‘Perpetrated during the Mayoralty of
Christopher Wayne, Goth.’ The old cross was pulled down ‘for particular
reasons,’ says Clarkson, but, even if those reasons had been valid, the
stones might have been carefully marked, and the whole structure could
have been rebuilt in some other part of the market-place.

Although, as we have seen, Leland, who wrote in 1538, mentions
Frenchgate and Finkel Street Gate as ‘down,’ yet they must have been
only partially destroyed, or were rebuilt afterwards, for Whitaker,
writing in 1823, mentions that they were pulled down ‘not many years
ago’ to allow the passage of broad and high-laden waggons. There can be
little doubt, therefore, that, swollen with success after the demolition
of the cross, the Mayor and Corporation proceeded to attack the
remaining gateways, so that now not the smallest suggestion of either
remains. But even here we have not completed the list of barbarisms that
took place about this time. The Barley Cross, which stood near the
larger one, must have been quite an interesting feature. It consisted of
a lofty pillar with a cross at the top, and rings were fastened either
on the shaft or to the steps upon which it stood, so that the cross
might answer the purpose of a whipping-post. The pillory stood not far
away, and the may-pole is also mentioned.

But despite all this squandering of the treasures that it should have
been the business of the town authorities to preserve, the tower of the
Grey Friars has survived, and, next to the castle, it is one of the
chief ornaments of the town. Whitaker is by no means sure of the motives
that led to its preservation--perhaps because he knew the Richmond
people too well to expect much of them--for he writes: ‘Taste, however,
or veneration, or lucky accident, has preserved the great tower of the
“Freres” of Richmond.’ Certainly none of these causes saved any other
portions of the buildings, for the beautiful Perpendicular tower stands
quite alone. It is on the north side of the town, outside the narrow
limits of the walls, and was probably only finished in time to witness
the dispersal of the friars who had built it. It is even possible that
it was part of a new church that was still incomplete when the
Dissolution of the Monasteries made the work of no account except as
building materials for the townsfolk. The actual day of the surrender
was January 19, 1538, and we wonder if Robert Sanderson, the Prior, and
the fourteen brethren under him, suffered much from the privations that
must have attended them at that coldest period of the year. At one time
the friars, being of a mendicant order, and inured to hard living and
scanty fare, might have made light of such a disaster, but in these
later times they had expanded somewhat from their austere ways of
living, and the dispersal must have cost them much suffering. Almost in
this actual year Leland writes of ‘their Howse, Medow, Orchard, and a
litle Wood,’ which he mentions as being walled in, and, seeing that the
wall enclosed nearly sixteen acres, it appears probable that the
gray-cloaked men can scarcely have been ignorant of all the luxuries of
life. Notwithstanding this, they stoutly refused to acknowledge the
King’s supremacy, and suffered accordingly.

Going back to the reign of Henry VII. or thereabouts, we come across the
curious ballad of ‘The Felon Sow of Rokeby and the Freres of Richmond’
quoted from an old manuscript by Sir Walter Scott in ‘Rokeby.’ It may
have been as a practical joke, or merely as a good way of getting rid of
such a terrible beast, that

    ‘Ralph of Rokeby, with goodwill,
     The fryers of Richmond gaver her till.’

Friar Middleton, who with two lusty men was sent to fetch the sow from
Rokeby, could scarcely have known that she was

    ‘The grisliest beast that ere might be,
     Her head was great and gray:
     She was bred in Rokeby Wood;
     There were few that thither goed,
     That came on live [= alive] away.

    ‘She was so grisley for to meete,
     She rave the earth up with her feete,
     And bark came fro the tree;
     When fryer Middleton her saugh,
     Weet ye well he might not laugh,
     Full earnestly look’d hee.’

To calm the terrible beast when they found it almost impossible to hold
her, the friar began to read ‘in St. John his Gospell,’ but

    ‘The sow she would not Latin heare,
     But rudely rushed at the frear,’

who, turning very white, dodged to the shelter of a tree, whence he saw
with horror that the sow had got clear of the other two men. At this
their courage evaporated, and all three fled for their lives along the
Watling Street. When they came to Richmond and told their tale of the
‘feind of hell’ in the garb of a sow, the warden decided to hire on the
next day two of the ‘boldest men that ever were borne.’ These two,
Gilbert Griffin and a ‘bastard son of Spaine,’ went to Rokeby clad in
armour and carrying their shields and swords of war, and even then they
only just overcame the grisly sow. They lifted the dead brute on to the
back of a horse, so that it rested across the two panniers,

    ‘And to Richmond they did hay:
     When they saw her come,
     They sang merrily _Te Deum_,
     The fryers on that day.’

If we go across the river by the modern bridge, we can see the humble
remains of St. Martin’s Priory standing in a meadow by the railway. The
ruins consist of part of a Perpendicular tower and a Norman doorway.
Perhaps the tower was built in order that the Grey Friars might not
eclipse the older foundation, for St. Martin’s was a cell belonging to
St. Mary’s Abbey at York, and was founded by Wyman, steward or dapifer
to the Earl of Richmond about the year 1100, whereas the Franciscans in
the town owed their establishment to Radulph Fitz-Ranulph, a lord of
Middleham in 1258. The doorway of St. Martin’s, with its zigzag
mouldings, must be part of Wyman’s building, but no other traces of it
remain. Having come back so rapidly to the Norman age, we may well stay
there for a time while we make our way over the bridge again and up the
steep ascent of Frenchgate to the castle.

On entering the small outer barbican, which is reached by a lane from
the market-place, we come to the base of the Norman keep. Its great
height of nearly 100 feet is quite unbroken from foundations to summit,
and the flat buttresses are featureless. The recent pointing of the
masonry has also taken away any pronounced weathering, and has left the
tower with almost the same gaunt appearance that it had when Duke Conan
saw it completed. Passing through the arch in the wall abutting the
keep, we come into the grassy space of over two acres, that is enclosed
by the ramparts. There are some modern quarters for soldiers on the
western side which we had not noticed before, and the grass is levelled
in places for lawn tennis, but we had not expected to discover imposing
views inside the walls, where the advantage of the cliffs is lost. We do
find, however, architectural details which are missing outside. The
basement of the keep was vaulted in a massive fashion in the Decorated
period, but the walls are probably those of the first Earl Alan, who was
the first ‘Frenchman’ who owned the great part of Yorkshire which had
formerly belonged to Edwin, the Saxon Earl. It is not definitely known
by what stages the keep reached its present form, though there is every
reason to believe that Conan, the fifth Earl of Richmond, left the tower
externally as we see it to-day. This puts the date of the completion of
the keep between 1146 and 1171. The floors are now a store for the
uniforms and accoutrements of the soldiers quartered at Richmond, so
that there is little to be seen as we climb a staircase in the walls, 11
feet thick, and reach the battlemented turrets. Looking downwards, we
gaze right into the chimneys of the nearest houses, and we see the old
roofs of the town packed closely together in the shelter of the mighty
tower. A few tiny people are moving about in the market-place, and there
is a thin web of drifting smoke between us and them. Everything is
peaceful and remote; even the sound of the river is lost in the wind
that blows freely upon us from the great moorland wastes stretching away
to the western horizon. It is a romantic country that lays around us,
and though the cultivated area must be infinitely greater than in the
fighting days when these battlements were finished, yet I suppose the
Vale

[Illustration: RICHMOND FROM THE WEST

FROM this point of view, a great stretch of fertile and richly wooded
country is seen. The mediæval-looking town, perched on its rocky height
above one of the deep windings of the Swale, plainly shows how its name
of the Rich Mount suggested itself. The castle keep shows most
prominently, but to the left of it can be seen the Grey Friar’s Tower
and those of the two churches.]

of Mowbray which we gaze upon to the east must have been green, and to
some extent fertile, when that Conan who was Duke of Brittany and also
Earl of Richmond looked out over the innumerable manors that were his
Yorkshire possessions. I can imagine his eye glancing down on a far more
thrilling scene than the green three-sided courtyard enclosed by a
crumbling gray wall, though to him the buildings, the men, and every
detail that filled the great space, were no doubt quite prosaic. It did
not thrill him to see a man-at-arms cleaning weapons, when the man and
his clothes, and even the sword, were as modern and everyday as the
soldier’s wife and child that we can see ourselves, but how much would
we not give for a half an hour of his vision, or even a part of a
second, with a good camera in our hands?

Instead of wasting time on vain thoughts of this character, it would
perhaps be wiser to go down and examine the actual remains of these
times that have survived all the intervening centuries.

In the lower part of what is called Robin Hood’s Tower is the Chapel of
St. Nicholas, with arcaded walls of early Norman date, and a long and
narrow slit forming the east window. More interesting than this is the
Norman hall at the south-east angle of the walls. It was possibly used
as the banqueting-room of the castle, and is remarkable as being one of
the best preserved of the Norman halls forming separate buildings that
are to be found in this country. The hall is roofless, but the corbels
remain in a perfect state, and the windows on each side are well
preserved. The builder was probably Earl Conan, for the keep has details
of much the same character. It is generally called Scolland’s Hall,
after the Lord of Bedale of that name, who was a sewer or dapifer to the
first Earl Alan of Richmond. Scolland was one of the tenants of the
Earl, and under the feudal system of tenure he took part in the regular
guarding of the castle.

There is probably much Norman work in various parts of the crumbling
curtain walls, and at the south-west corner a Norman turret is still to
be seen.

Unless the Romans established at Catterick had a station there, it seems
very probable that before the Norman Conquest the actual site of
Richmond was entirely vacant; for, though the Domesday Survey makes
mention of one or two names that indicate some lost villages in the
neighbourhood, there are no traces in the town of anything earlier than
the Norman period. No stones of Saxon origin, so far as evidence exists,
have come to light during any restorations of the churches, and the only
suggestion of anything pre-Norman is Leland’s mention of those ‘idoles’
that were in his time to be seen in the walls of Holy Trinity Church.

For some reason this magnificent position for a stronghold was
overlooked by the Saxons, the seat of their government in this part of
Yorkshire being at Gilling, less than three miles to the north. The
importance of this place, which is now nothing more than a village, is
shown by the fact that it gave its name to the Gillingshire of early
times as well as to the wapentakes of Gilling East and Gilling West.
There was no naturally defensive site for a castle at Gilling, and the
new owners of the land familiar with the enormous advantages of such
sites as Falaise and Domfront were not slow to discover the bold cliff
above the Swale just to the south. Alan Rufus, one of the sons of the
Duke of Brittany, who received from the Conqueror the vast possessions
of Earl Edwin, was no doubt the founder of Richmond. He probably
received this splendid reward for his services soon after the
suppression of the Saxon efforts for liberty under the northern Earls.
William, having crushed out the rebellion in the remorseless fashion
which finally gave him peace in his new possessions, distributed the
devastated Saxon lands among his supporters; thus a great part of the
earldom of Mercia fell to this Breton.

The site of Richmond was fixed as the new centre of power, and the name,
with its apparently obvious meaning, may date from that time, unless the
suggested Anglo-Saxon derivation which gives it as Rice-munt--the hill
of rule--is correct. After this Gilling must soon have ceased to be of
any account. There can be little doubt that the castle was at once
planned to occupy the whole area enclosed by the walls as they exist
to-day, although the full strength of the place was not realized until
the time of the fifth Earl, who, as we have seen, was most probably the
builder of the keep in its final form, as well as other parts of the
castle. Richmond must then have been considered almost impregnable, and
this may account for the fact that it appears to have never been
besieged. In 1174, when William the Lion of Scotland was invading
England, we are told in Jordan Fantosme’s Chronicle that Henry II.,
anxious for the safety of the honour of Richmond, and perhaps of its
custodian as well, asked: ‘Randulf de Glanvile est-il en Richemunt?’ The
King was in France, his possessions were threatened from several
quarters, and it would doubtless be a relief to him to know that a
stronghold of such importance was under the personal command of so able
a man as Glanville. In July of that year the danger from the Scots was
averted by a victory at Alnwick, in which fight Glanville was one of the
chief commanders of the English, and he probably led the men of
Richmondshire.

It is a strange thing that Richmond Castle, despite its great
pre-eminence, should have been allowed to become a ruin in the reign of
Edward III.--a time when castles had obviously lost none of the
advantages to the barons which they had possessed in Norman times. The
only explanation must have been the divided interests of the owners,
for, as Dukes of Brittany, as well as Earls of Richmond, their English
possessions were frequently endangered when France and England were at
war. And so it came about that when a Duke of Brittany gave his support
to the King of France in a quarrel with the English, his possessions
north of the Channel became Crown property. How such a condition of
affairs could have continued for so long is difficult to understand, but
the final severing came at last, when the unhappy Richard II. was on the
throne of England. The honour of Richmond then passed to Ralph Neville,
the first Earl of Westmoreland, but the title was given to Edmund Tudor,
whose mother was Queen Catherine, the widow of Henry V. Edmund Tudor, as
all know, married Margaret Beaufort, the heiress of John of Gaunt, and
died about two months before his wife--then scarcely fourteen years
old--gave birth to his only son, who succeeded to the throne of England
as Henry VII. He was Earl of Richmond from his birth, and it was he who
carried the name to the Thames by giving it to his splendid palace which
he built at Shene. Even the ballad of ‘The Lass of Richmond Hill’ is
said to come from Yorkshire, although it is commonly considered a
possession of Surrey.

Protected by the great castle, there came into existence the town of
Richmond, which grew and flourished. The houses must have been packed
closely together to provide the numerous people with quarters inside the
wall which was built to protect the place from the raiding Scots. The
area of the town was scarcely larger than the castle, and although in
this way the inhabitants gained security from one danger, they ran a
greater risk from a far more insidious foe, which took the form of
pestilences of a most virulent character. After one of these visitations
the town of Richmond would be left in a pitiable plight. Many houses
would be deserted, and fields became ‘overrun with briars, nettles, and
other noxious weeds.’

There is a record of the desolation and misery that was found to exist
in Richmond during the reign of Edward III. A plague had carried off
about 2,000 people; the Scots, presumably before the building of the
wall, had by their inroads added to the distress in the town, and the
castle was in such a state of dilapidation as to be worth nothing a
year. In the thirteenth century Richmond had been the mart of a very
large district. It was a great centre for the distribution of corn, and
goods were brought from Lancashire, Westmoreland, and Cumberland to be
sold in the market on Saturdays. Such an extensive trade produced a
large class of burgesses, merchants, and craftsmen, who were
sufficiently numerous to form themselves into no less than thirteen
separate guilds. There were the mercers, grocers, and haberdashers
united into one company; the glovers and skinners, who combined under
the name of fellmongers. There were the butchers, tailors, tanners,
blacksmiths, and cappers, who kept themselves apart as distinct
companies; and the remaining nineteen trades were massed together in six
guilds, such ill-assorted people as drapers, vintners, and surgeons
going together. With various charters, giving all sorts of rights and
immunities, these companies survived the disasters which befell the
place, although the growth of other market towns, such as Bedale,
Masham, and Middleham, undermined their position, and sometimes gave
rise to loud complaints and petitions to be eased of the payments by
which the citizens held their charter. With keen competition to contend
against, the poor Richmond folk must have thought their lot a miserable
one when a fresh pestilential scourge was inflicted upon them.

The first death took place on August 17, 1597, when Roger Sharp
succumbed to a disease which spread with such rapidity that by December
15 in the following year 1,050 had died within the parish, and
altogether there were 2,200 deaths in the rural deanery of Richmond.
This plague was by no means confined to Richmond, and so great was the
mortality that the assizes at Durham were not held, and business
generally in the northern parts of England was paralyzed.

In the Civil War the town was spared the disaster of a siege, perhaps
because the castle was not in a proper state for defence. If fighting
had occurred, there is little doubt that the keep would have been
partially wrecked, as at Scarborough, and Richmond would have lost the
distinction of possessing such an imposing feature.

As soon as one digs down a little into the story of a town with so rich
a history as this, it is tantalizing not to go deeper. One would like to
study every record that throws light on the events that were associated
with the growth of both the castle and the town, so that one might
discard the mistakes of the earlier writers and build up such a picture
of feudal times as few places in England could equal. Richmond of to-day
is so silent, so lacking in pageantry, that one must needs go to some
lonely spot, and there dream of all the semi-barbarous splendours that
the old walls have looked down upon when the cement between the great
stones still bore the marks of the masons’ trowels. One thinks of the
days when the occupants of the castle were newly come from Brittany,
when an alien tongue was heard on this cliff above the Swale, even as
had happened when the riverside echoes had had to accustom themselves to
an earlier change when Romans had laughed and talked on the same spot.
The men one dreams of are wearing suits of chain mail, or are in the
dress so quaintly drawn in the tapestry at Bayeux, and they have brought
with them their wives, their servants, and even their dogs. Thus
Richmond began as a foreign town, and the folks ate and drank and slept
as they had always done before they left France. Much of this alien
blood was no doubt absorbed by the already mixed Anglo-Saxon and Danish
population of Yorkshire, and perhaps, if his descent could be traced,
one would find that the passer-by who has just disturbed our dreaming
has Breton blood in his veins.

Easby Abbey is so much a possession of Richmond that we cannot go
towards the mountains until we have seen something of its charms. The
ruins slumber in such unutterable peace by the riverside that the place
is well suited to our mood to go a-dreaming of the centuries which have
been so long dead that our imaginations are not cumbered with any of the
dull times that may have often set the canons of St. Agatha’s yawning.
The walk along the steep shady bank above the river is beautiful all
the way, and the surroundings of the broken walls and traceried windows
are singularly rich. There is nothing, however, at Easby that makes a
striking picture, although there are many architectural fragments that
are full of beauty. Fountains, Rievaulx and Tintern, all leave Easby far
behind, but there are charms enough here with which to be content, and
it is, perhaps, a pleasant thought to know that, although on this sunny
afternoon these meadows by the Swale seem to reach perfection, yet in
the neighbourhood of Ripon there is something still finer waiting for
us. Of the abbey church scarcely more than enough has survived for the
preparation of a ground-plan, and many of the evidences are now
concealed by the grass. The range of domestic buildings that surrounded
the cloister garth are, therefore, the chief interest, although these
also are broken and roofless. We can wander among the ivy-grown walls
which, in the refectory, retain some semblance of their original form,
and we can see the picturesque remains of the common-room, the
guest-hall, the chapter-house, and the sacristy. Beyond the ruins of the
north transept, a corridor leads into the infirmary, which, besides
having an unusual position, is remarkable as being one of the most
complete groups of buildings set apart for this object. A noticeable
feature of the cloister garth is a Norman arch belonging to a doorway
that appears to be of later date. This is probably the only survival of
the first monastery founded, it is said, by Roald, Constable of Richmond
Castle in 1152. Building of an extensive character was, therefore, in
progress at the same time in these sloping meadows, as on the castle
heights, and St. Martin’s Priory, close to the town, had not long been
completed. Whoever may have been the founder of the abbey, it is
definitely known that the great family of Scrope obtained the privileges
that had been possessed by the constable, and they added so much to the
property of the monastery that in the reign of Henry VIII. the Scropes
were considered the original founders. Easby thus became the stately
burying-place of the family, and the splendid tombs that appeared in the
choir of their church were a constant reminder to the canons of the
greatness of the lords of Bolton. Sir Henry le Scrope was buried beneath
a great stone effigy, bearing the arms--azure, a bend or--of his house.
Near by lay Sir William le Scrope’s armed figure, and round about were
many others of the family buried beneath flat stones. We know this from
the statement of an Abbot of Easby in the fourteenth century; and but
for the record of his words there would be nothing to tell us anything
of these ponderous memorials, which have disappeared as completely as
though they had had no more permanence than the yellow leaves that are
just beginning to flutter from the trees. The splendid church, the
tombs, and even the very family of Scrope, have disappeared; but across
the hills, in the valley of the Ure, their castle still stands, and in
the little church of Wensley there can still be seen the parclose screen
of Perpendicular date that one of the Scropes must have rescued when the
monastery was being stripped and plundered.

The fine gatehouse of Easby Abbey, which is in a good state of
preservation, stands a little to the east of the parish church, and the
granary is even now in use.

On the sides of the parvise over the porch of the parish church are the
arms of Scrope, Conyers, and Aske; and in the chancel of this extremely
interesting old building there can be seen a series of wall-paintings,
some of which probably date from the reign of Henry III. This would make
them earlier than those at Pickering.



SWALEDALE



CHAPTER III

SWALEDALE


There is a certain elevated and wind-swept spot, scarcely more than a
long mile from Richmond, that commands a view over a wide extent of
romantic country. Vantage-points of this type, within easy reach of a
fair-sized town, are inclined to be overrated, and, what is far worse,
to be spoiled by the litter of picnic parties; but Whitcliffe Scar is
free from both objections. In magnificent September weather one may
spend many hours in the midst of this great panorama without being
disturbed by a single human being, besides a possible farm labourer or
shepherd; and if scraps of paper and orange-peel are ever dropped here,
the keen winds that come from across the moors dispose of them as
efficaciously as the keepers of any public parks.

The view is removed from a comparison with many others from the fact
that one is situated at the dividing-line between the richest
cultivation and the wildest moorlands. Whitcliffe Scar is the Mount
Pisgah from whence the jaded dweller in towns can gaze into a promised
land of solitude,

    ‘Where things that own not man’s dominion dwell,
     And mortal foot hath ne’er or rarely been.’

The eastward view of green and smiling country is undeniably beautiful,
but to those who can appreciate Byron’s enthusiasm for the trackless
mountain there is something more indefinable and inspiring in the
mysterious loneliness of the west. The long, level lines of the moorland
horizon, when the sun is beginning to climb downwards, are cut out in
the softest blue and mauve tints against the shimmering transparency of
the western sky, and the plantations that clothe the sides of the dale
beneath one are filled with wonderful shadows, which are thrown out with
golden outlines. The view along the steep valley extends for a few
miles, and then is suddenly cut off by a sharp bend where the Swale, a
silver ribbon along the bottom of the dale, disappears among the sombre
woods and the shoulders of the hills.

In this aspect of Swaledale one sees its mildest and most civilized
mood; for beyond the purple

[Illustration: SWALEDALE IN THE EARLY AUTUMN

THE view is taken from a spot just above Richmond, known as Willance’s
Leap. One is looking due west, with the high mountains of Craven just
beyond the blue plateau.]

hillside that may be seen in the illustration, cultivation becomes more
palpably a struggle, and the gaunt moors, broken by lines of precipitous
scars, assume control of the scenery.

From 200 feet below, where the river is flowing along its stony bed,
comes the sound of the waters ceaselessly grinding the pebbles, and from
the green pastures there floats upwards a distant ba-baaing. No railway
has penetrated the solitudes of Swaledale, and, as far as one may look
into the future in such matters, there seems every possibility of this
loneliest and grandest of the Yorkshire dales retaining its isolation in
this respect. None but the simplest of sounds, therefore, are borne on
the keen winds that come from the moorland heights, and the purity of
the air whispers in the ear the pleasing message of a land where
chimneys have never been.

Besides the original name of Whitcliffe Scar, this remarkable view-point
has, since 1606, been popularly known as ‘Willance’s Leap.’ In that year
a certain Robert Willance, whose father appears to have been a
successful draper in Richmond, was hunting in the neighbourhood, when he
found himself enveloped in a fog. It must have been sufficiently dense
to shut out even the nearest objects; for, without any warning,
Willance found himself on the verge of the scar, and before he could
check his horse both were precipitated over the cliff. We have no
detailed account of whether the fall was broken in any way; but,
although his horse was killed instantly, Willance, by some almost
miraculous good fortune, found himself alive at the bottom with nothing
worse than a broken leg. Such a story must have been the talk of the
whole of the Dale Country for months after the event, and it is in no
way surprising that the spot should have become permanently associated
with the rider’s name. He certainly felt grateful for his astonishing
escape, despite the amputation of the broken limb; for, besides the
erection of some inscribed stones that still mark the position of his
fall from the cliff, Willance, in order to further commemorate the
event, presented the Corporation of Richmond with a silver cup, which
remains in the possession of the town.

Turning back towards Richmond, the contrast of the gently-rounded
contours and the rich cultivation gives the landscape the appearance of
a vast garden. One can see the great Norman keep of the castle dwarfing
the church towers, and the red-roofed houses that cluster so
picturesquely under its shelter. The afternoon sunlight floods
everything with its generous glow, and the shadows of the trees massed
on the hill-slopes are singularly blue. At the bottom of the valley the
Swale abandons its green meadows for a time, and disappears into the
deep and leafy gorge that adds so much to the charm of Richmond. Beyond
the town the course of the river can be traced as it takes its way past
Easby Abbey and the sunny slopes crowned with woods that go down on
either side to its sparkling waters, until the level plain confuses
every feature in a maze of hedgerow and coppice that loses itself in the
hazy horizon.

It is a difficult matter to decide which is the more attractive means of
exploring Swaledale; for if one keeps to the road at the bottom of the
valley many beautiful and remarkable aspects of the country are missed,
and yet if one goes over the moors it is impossible to really explore
the recesses of the dale. The old road from Richmond to Reeth avoids the
dale altogether, except for the last mile, and its ups and its downs
make the traveller pay handsomely for the scenery by the way. But this
ought not to deter anyone from using the road; for the view of the
village of Marske, cosily situated among the wooded heights that rise
above the beck, is missed by those who keep to the new road along the
banks of the Swale. The romantic seclusion of this village is
accentuated towards evening, when a shadowy stillness fills the hollows.
The higher woods may be still glowing with the light of the golden west,
while down below a softness of outline adds beauty to every object. The
old bridge that takes the road to Reeth across Marske Beck needs no such
fault-forgiving light, for it was standing in the reign of Elizabeth,
and, from its appearance, it is probably centuries older. There used to
be a quaint little mill close to the bridge, but this was,
unfortunately, swept away when some alterations were being made in the
surroundings of Marske Hall, a seat of the Huttons. It was one of this
family, in whose hands the manor of Marske has remained for over 300
years, to whom the idea occurred of converting what was formerly a
precipitous ravine, with bare rocky scars on either side, into the
heavily wooded and romantic spot one finds to-day. Beyond the
beautifying of this little branch valley of Swaledale, the Huttons are a
notable family in having produced two Archbishops. They both bore the
same name of Matthew Hutton. The first, who is mentioned by Thomas
Fuller in his ‘Worthies’ as ‘a learned Prelate,’ was raised to the
Archbishopric of York from Durham in 1594. This Matthew Hutton seems to
have found favour with Elizabeth, for, beyond his rapid progress in the
Church, there is still preserved in Marske Hall a gold cup presented to
him by the Queen.[A] The second Archbishop was promoted from Bangor to
York, and finally to Canterbury in 1757.

 [A] Murray.

Rising above the woods near Marske Hall there appears a tall obelisk,
put up to the memory of Captain Matthew Hutton about a century ago, when
that type of memorial had gained a prodigious popularity. An obelisk
towering above a plantation can scarcely be considered an attractive
feature in a landscape, for its outline is too strongly suggestive of a
mine-shaft; but how can one hope to find beauty in any of the
architectural efforts of a period that seems to have been dead to art?

The new road to Reeth from Richmond goes down at an easy gradient from
the town to the banks of the river, which it crosses when abreast of
Whitcliffe Scar, the view in front being at first much the same as the
nearer portions of the dale seen from that height. Down on the left,
however, there are some chimney-shafts, so recklessly black that they
seem to be no part whatever of their sumptuous natural surroundings, and
might almost suggest a nightmare in which one discovered that some of
the vilest chimneys of the Black Country had taken to touring in the
beauty spots of the country.

As one goes westward, the road penetrates right into the bold scenery
that invites exploration when viewed from ‘Willance’s Leap.’ There is a
Scottish feeling--perhaps Alpine would be more correct--in the
steeply-falling sides of the dale, all clothed in firs and other dense
plantations; and just where the Swale takes a decided turn towards the
south there is a view up Marske Beck that adds much to the romance of
the scene. Behind one’s back the side of the dale rises like a dark
green wall entirely in shadow, and down below, half buried in foliage,
the river swirls and laps its gravelly beaches, also in shadow. Beyond a
strip of pasture begin the tumbled masses of trees which, as they climb
out of the depths of the valley, reach the warm, level rays of sunlight
that turns the first leaves that have passed their prime into the fierce
yellows and burnt siennas which, when faithfully represented at
Burlington House, are often considered overdone. Even the gaunt obelisk
near Marske Hall responds to a fine sunset of this sort, and shows a
gilded side that gives it almost a touch of grandeur.

Evening is by no means necessary to the attractions of Swaledale, for a
blazing noon gives lights and shades and contrasts of colour that are a
large portion of Swaledale’s charms. If instead of taking either the old
road by way of Marske, or the new one by the riverside, one had crossed
the old bridge below the castle, and left Richmond by a very steep road
that goes to Leyburn, one would have reached a moorland that is at its
best in the full light of a clear morning. The road goes through the
gray little village of Hudswell, which possesses some half-destroyed
cottages that give it a forlorn and even pathetic character. As one goes
on towards the open plateau of Downholme Moor, a sense of keen regret
will force itself upon the mind; for here, in this gloriously healthy
air, there are cottages in excess of the demand, and away in the great
centres of labour, where the atmosphere is lifeless and smoke-begrimed,
overcrowding is a perpetual evil. Perhaps the good folks who might have
been dwelling in Hudswell, or some other breezy village, prefer their
surroundings in some gloomy street in Sheffield; perhaps those who lived
in these broken little homes died long ago, and there are none who sigh
for space and air after the fashion of caged larks; perhaps---- But we
have reached a gate now, and when we are through it and out on the bare
brown expanse, with the ‘wide horizons beckoning’ on every side, the
wind carries away every gloomy thought, and leaves in its place one vast
optimism, which is, I suppose, the joy of living, and one of God’s best
gifts to man.

The clouds are big, but they carry no threat of rain, for right down to
the far horizon from whence this wind is coming there are patches of
blue proportionate to the vast spaces overhead. As each white mass
passes across the sun, we are immersed in a shadow many acres in extent;
but the sunlight has scarcely fled when a rim of light comes over the
edge of the plain, just above the hollow where Downholme village lies
hidden from sight, and in a few minutes that belt of sunshine has
reached some sheep not far off, and rimmed their coats with a brilliant
edge of white. Shafts of whiteness, like searchlights, stream from
behind a distant cloud, and everywhere there is brilliant contrast and a
purity to the eye and lungs that only a Yorkshire moor possesses.

Making our way along a grassy track, we cross the heather and bent, and
go down an easy

[Illustration: DOWNHOLME MOORE, ABOVE SWALEDALE]

    “Wide horizons beckoning, far beyond the hill,

           *       *       *       *       *

     Greatness overhead,
     The flock’s contented tread
     An’ trample o’ the morning wind adown the open trail.”
                      H. H. BASHFORD.


slope towards the gray roofs of Downholme. The situation is pretty, and
there is a triangular green beyond the inn; but, owing to the church
being some distance away, the village seems to lack in features.

A short two miles up the road to Leyburn, just above Gill Beck, there is
an ancient house known as Walburn Hall, and also the remains of the
chapel belonging to it, which dates from the Perpendicular period. The
buildings are now used as a farm, but there are still enough suggestions
of a dignified past to revivify the times when this was a centre of
feudal power. Although the architecture is not Norman, there is a
fragment in one of the walls that seems to indicate an earlier house
belonging to the Walburns, for one of them--Wymer de Walburn--held a
certain number of oxgangs of land there in 1286.

Turning back to Swaledale by a lane on the south side of Gill Beck,
Downholme village is passed a mile away on the right, and the bold
scenery of the dale once more becomes impressive. The sunshine has
entirely gone now, and, although there are still some hours of daylight
left, the ponderous masses of blue-gray cloud that have slowly spread
themselves from one horizon to the other have caused a gloom to take the
place of the morning’s dazzling sunshine. When we get lower down, and
have a glimpse of the Swale over the hedge, a most imposing scene is
suddenly visible. We would have illustrated it here, but the Dale
Country is so prolific in its noble views that a selection of twenty
pictures must of pure necessity do injustice to the many scenes it
omits.

Two great headlands, formed by the wall-like terminations of Cogden and
Harkerside Moors, rising one above the other, stand out magnificently.
Their huge sides tower up nearly a thousand feet from the river, until
they are within reach of the lowering clouds that every moment threaten
to envelop them in their indigo embrace. There is a curious rift in the
dark cumulus revealing a thin line of dull carmine that frequently
changes its shape and becomes nearly obliterated, but its presence in no
way weakens the awesomeness of the picture. The dale appears to become
huger and steeper as the clouds thicken, and what have been merely woods
and plantations in this heavy gloom become mysterious forests. The
river, too, seems to change its character, and become a pale serpent,
uncoiling itself from some mountain fastness where no living creatures,
besides great auks and carrion birds, dwell.

In such surroundings as these there were established in the Middle Ages
two religious houses, within a mile of one another, on opposite sides of
the swirling river. On the north bank, not far from Marrick village, you
may still see the ruins of Marrick Priory in its beautiful situation
much as Turner painted it a century ago. Leland describes Marrick as ‘a
Priory of Blake Nunnes of the Foundation of the Askes.’ It was, we know,
an establishment for Benedictine Nuns, founded or endowed by Roger de
Aske in the twelfth century. At Ellerton, on the other side of the river
a little lower down, the nunnery was of the Cistercian Order; for,
although very little of its history has been discovered, Leland writes
of the house as ‘a Priori of White clothid Nunnes.’ After the Battle of
Bannockburn, when the Scots raided all over the North Riding of
Yorkshire, they came along Swaledale in search of plunder, and we are
told that Ellerton suffered from their violence. The ruins that
witnessed these scenes remain most provokingly silent, and Heaven knows
if they ever echoed to the cries of the defenceless nuns or the coarse
laughter of the Scots, for the remains tell us nothing at all.

Where the dale becomes wider, owing to the branch valley of
Arkengarthdale, there are two villages close together. Grinton is
reached first, and is older than Reeth, which is a short distance north
of the river. The parish of Grinton is one of the largest in Yorkshire.
It is more than twenty miles long, containing something near 50,000
acres, and according to Mr. Speight, who has written a very detailed
history of Richmondshire, more than 30,000 acres of this consist of
mountain, grouse-moor, and scar. For so huge a parish the church is
suitable in size, but in the upper portions of the dales one must not
expect any very remarkable exteriors; and Grinton, with its low roofs
and plain battlemented tower, is much like other churches in the
neighbourhood. Inside there are suggestions of a Norman building that
has passed away, and the bowl of the font seems also to belong to that
period. The two chapels opening from the chancel contain some
interesting features, which include a hagioscope, and both are enclosed
by old screens.

Leaving the village behind, and crossing the Swale, you soon come to
Reeth, which may, perhaps, be described as a little town. It must have
thrived with the lead-mines in Arkengarthdale and along the Swale, for
it has gone back since the period of its former prosperity, and is glad
of the fact that its splendid situation, and the cheerful green which
the houses look upon, have made it something of a holiday resort,
although it still retains its grayness and its simplicity, both of which
may be threatened if a red-roofed hotel were to make its appearance, the
bare thought of which is an anxiety to those who appreciate the soft
colours of the locality.

When Reeth is left behind, there is no more of the fine ‘new’ road which
makes travelling so easy for the eleven miles from Richmond. The surface
is, however, by no means rough along the nine miles to Muker, although
the scenery becomes far wilder and more mountainous with every mile. The
dale narrows most perceptibly; the woods become widely separated, and
almost entirely disappear on the southern side; and the gaunt moors,
creeping down the sides of the valley, seem to threaten the narrow belt
of cultivation, that becomes increasingly restricted to the river
margins. Precipitous limestone scars fringe the browny-green heights in
many places, and almost girdle the summit of Calver Hill, the great bare
height that rises a thousand feet above Reeth. The farms and hamlets of
these upper parts of Swaledale are of the same grays, greens, and browns
as the moors and scars that surround them. The stone walls, that are
often high and forbidding, seem to suggest the fortifications required
for man’s fight with Nature, in which there is no encouragement for the
weak. In the splendid weather that so often welcomes the mere summer
rambler in the upper dales the austerity of the widely scattered farms
and villages may seem a little unaccountable; but a visit in January
would quite remove this impression, though even in these lofty parts of
England the worst winter snowstorm has, in quite recent years, been of
trifling inconvenience. Bad winters will, no doubt, be experienced again
on the fells; but leaving out of the account the snow that used to bury
farms, flocks, roads, and even the smaller gills, in a vast smother of
whiteness, there are still the winds that go shrieking over the desolate
heights, there is still the high rainfall, and there are still
destructive thunderstorms that bring with them hail of a size that we
seldom encounter in the lower levels. Mr. Lockwood records a remarkable
storm near Sedbergh in which there were only three flashes. The first
left senseless on the ground two brothers who were tending sheep, the
second killed three cows that were sheltering under an oak, and the
third unroofed a large portion of a barn and split up two trees. In
this case the ordinary conditions of thunderstorms would seem to have
been reversed, the electric discharge taking place from the earth to the
clouds; otherwise, it is hard to account for such destruction with each
flash.

The great rapidity with which the Swale, or such streams as the Arkle,
can produce a devastating flood can scarcely be comprehended by those
who have not seen the results of even moderate rainstorms on the fells.
When, however, some really wet days have been experienced in the upper
parts of the dales, it seems a wonder that the bridges are not more
often in jeopardy. Long lines of pale-gray clouds, with edges so soft
that they almost coalesce, come pressing each other on to the bare
heights, and, almost before one mass has transformed itself into silvery
streaks on the fellsides, there are others pouring down on their
emaciated remains.

Of course, even the highest hills of Yorkshire are surpassed in wetness
by their Lakeland neighbours; for whereas Hawes Junction, which is only
about seven miles south of Muker, has an average yearly rainfall of
about 62 inches, Mickleden, in Westmoreland, can show 137, and certain
spots in Cumberland aspire towards 200 inches in a year. No figures
seem to exist for Swaledale, but in the lower parts of Wensleydale the
rainfall is only half of what has been given for Hawes, which stands at
the head of that valley.

The weather conditions being so severe, it is not surprising to find
that no corn at all is grown in Swaledale at the present day. Some
notes, found in an old family Bible in Teesdale, are quoted by Mr.
Joseph Morris. They show the painful difficulties experienced in the
eighteenth century from such entries as: ‘1782. I reaped oats for John
Hutchinson, when the field was covered with snow,’ and: ‘1799, Nov. 10.
Much corn to cut and carry. A hard frost.’

Muker, notwithstanding all these climatic difficulties, has some claim
to picturesqueness, despite the fact that its church is better seen at a
distance, for a close inspection reveals its rather poverty-stricken
state. The square tower, so typical of the dales, stands well above the
weathered roofs of the village, and there are sufficient trees to tone
down the severities of the stone walls, that are inclined to make one
house much like its neighbour, and but for natural surroundings would
reduce the hamlets to the same uniformity. At Muker, however, there is a
steep

[Illustration: MUKER ON A STORMY AFTERNOON

THIS is a typical village of the dales, with its simple square-towered
church and its greeny-grey roofs. The hill on the left is Kisdon, and
one is looking up the narrowest portion of Swaledale.]

bridge and a rushing mountain stream that joins the Swale just below.
The road keeps close to this beck, and the houses are thus restricted to
one side of the way. There is a bright and cheerful appearance about the
Farmers’ Arms, the small inn that stands back a little from the road
with a cobbled space in front. Inside you may find a grandfather clock
by Pratt of Askrigg in Wensleydale, a portrait of Lord Kitchener, and a
good square meal of the ham and eggs and tea order.

Away to the south, in the direction of the Buttertubs Pass, is Stags
Fell, 2,213 feet above the sea, and something like 1,300 feet above
Muker. Northwards, and towering over the village, is the isolated mass
of Kisdon Hill, on two sides of which the Swale, now a mountain stream,
rushes and boils among boulders and ledges of rock. This is one of the
finest portions of the dale, and, although the road leaves the river and
passes round the western side of Kisdon, there is a path that goes
through the glen, and brings one to the road again at Keld.

Just before you reach Keld, the Swale drops 30 feet at Kisdon Force, and
after a night of rain there are many other waterfalls to be seen in this
district. These are not to me, however, the chief attractions of the
head of Swaledale, although without the angry waters the gills and
narrow ravines that open from the dale would lose much interest. It is
the stern grandeur of the scarred hillsides and the wide mountainous
views from the heights that give this part of Yorkshire such a
fascination. If you climb to the top of Rogan’s Seat, you have a huge
panorama of desolate country spread out before you. The confused jumble
of blue-gray mountains to the north-west is beyond the limits of
Yorkshire at last, and in their strong embrace those stern Westmoreland
hills hold the charms of Lakeland. Down below is the hamlet of Keld,
perched in an almost Swiss fashion on a sharply-falling hillside, and
among the surrounding masses of heaving moor are the birthplaces of the
dozen becks that supply the headwaters of the Swale. These nearer hills,
which include High Seat and the Lady’s Pillar, form the watershed of
this part of the Yorkshire border; for on the western slopes are to be
found the sources of the river Eden that flows through the beautiful
valley, which is one of the greatest charms of the Midland route to
Scotland.

If one stays in this mountainous region, there are new and exciting
walks available for every day. There are gloomy recesses in the
hillsides that encourage exploration from the knowledge that they are
not tripper-worn, and there are endless heights to be climbed that are
equally free from the smallest traces of desecrating mankind. Rare
flowers, ferns, and mosses flourish in these inaccessible solitudes, and
will continue to do so, on account of the dangers that lurk in their
fastnesses, and also from the fact that their value is nothing to any
but those who are glad to leave them growing where they are. You can
look down into shadowy chasms in the limestone, where underground waters
fall splashing with a hollow sound upon black shimmering rocks far
below, or, stranger still, into subterranean pools from which the waters
overflow into yet greater depths. You can follow the mountain streams
through wooded ravines, and discover cascades and waterfalls that do not
appear in any maps, and you may leave them by the rough tracks that
climb the hillsides when you, perchance, have a longing for space and
the sparkling clearness of the moorland air.



WENSLEYDALE



CHAPTER IV

WENSLEYDALE


The approach from Muker to the upper part of Wensleydale is by a
mountain road that can claim a grandeur which, to those who have never
explored the dales, might almost seem impossible. I have called it a
road, but it is, perhaps, questionable whether this is not too
high-sounding a term for a track so invariably covered with large loose
stones and furrowed with water-courses. At its highest point the road
goes through the Butter-tubs Pass, taking the traveller to the edge of
the pot-holes that have given their name to this thrilling way through
the mountain ridge dividing the Swale from the Ure.

Such a lonely and dangerous road should no doubt be avoided at night,
but yet I am always grateful for the delays which made me so late that
darkness came on when I was at the highest portion of the pass. It was
late in September, and it was the day of the feast at Hawes, which had
drawn to that small town farmers and their wives, and most, if not all,
the young men and maidens within a considerable radius. I made my way
slowly up the long ascent from Muker, stumbling frequently on the loose
stones and in the waterworn runnels that were scarcely visible in the
dim twilight. The huge, bare shoulders of the fells began to close in
more and more as I climbed. Towards the west lay Great Shunnor Fell, its
vast brown-green mass being sharply defined against the clear evening
sky; while further away to the north-west there were blue mountains
going to sleep in the soft mistiness of the distance. Then the road made
a sudden zigzag, but went on climbing more steeply than ever, until at
last I found that the stony track had brought me to the verge of a
precipice. There was not sufficient light to see what dangers lay
beneath me, but I could hear the angry sound of a beck falling upon
quantities of bare rocks. At the edge of the road the ground curved away
in an insidious manner without any protecting bank, and I instinctively
drew towards the inner side of the way, fearing lest a stumble among the
stones that still covered the road might precipitate me into the gorge

[Illustration: TWILIGHT IN THE BUTTER-TUBS PASS

THE Butter-tubs are some deep pot-holes in the limestone that lie just
by the high stony road that goes from Hawes in Wensleydale to Muker in
Swaledale.]

below, where, even if one survived the fall, there would be every
opportunity of succumbing to one’s injuries before anyone came along the
beck side. The place is, indeed, so lonely that I can quite believe it
possible that a man might die there and be reduced to a whitened
skeleton before discovery. Of course, one might be lucky enough to be
found by a shepherd, or some sheepdog might possibly come after
wanderers from a flock that had found their way to this grim recess; but
then, everyone is not equally on good terms with that jade Fortune, and
to such folk I offer this word of caution. But here I have only
commenced the dangers of this pass, for if one does not keep to the
road, there is on the other side the still greater menace of the
Buttertubs, the dangers of which are too well known to require any
emphasis of mine. Those pot-holes which have been explored with much
labour, and the use of winches and tackle and a great deal of stout
rope, have revealed in their cavernous depths the bones of sheep that
disappeared from flocks which have long since become mutton. This road
is surely one that would have afforded wonderful illustrations to the
‘Pilgrim’s Progress,’ for the track is steep and narrow and painfully
rough; dangers lie on either side, and safety can only be found by
keeping in the middle of the road.

What must have been the thoughts, I wonder, of the dalesmen who on
different occasions had to go over the pass at night in those still
recent times when wraithes and hobs were terrible realities? In the
parts of Yorkshire where any records of the apparitions that used to
enliven the dark nights have been kept, I find that these awesome
creatures were to be found on every moor, and perhaps some day in my
reading I shall discover an account of those that haunted this pass.
Perhaps a considerate Providence has kept me from the knowledge of the
form these spirits assume in this particular spot, for the reason I will
recount. I had reached the portion of the road where it goes so
recklessly along the edge of the precipitous scars, when, far away on
the gloomy fell-side ahead of me, there glimmered a strange little light
that disappeared for a moment and then showed itself again. Soon
afterwards it was hidden, I supposed by some hollow in the ground. Had I
been bred in the dales in the time of our grandfathers, I should have
fled wildly from such a sight, and probably found an early grave in the
moist depths of one of the Buttertubs. As it was, although quite alone
and without any means of defence, I went on steadily, until at last, out
of the darkness, I heard a laugh that sounded human enough, and then
came to me the sound of a heavy cart lumbering slowly over the stones.
The breeze wafted to me a suggestion of tobacco, and in a moment my
anxiety had gone. The cart contained two girls, and by the horse’s head
walked a man, while another followed on horseback. One of the men lit
his pipe again, and in the momentary flare I could see his big, genial
face, the farm-horse, and the two happy maidens. We said ‘Good-night’ to
prove each other’s honesty, and after a while the sound of the cart died
away, as it went slowly along the windings of the pass. After this I was
seldom alone, for I had fallen in with the good folks who had gone over
to the feast at Hawes, and were now homeward bound in the darkness.

Although there are probably few who care for rough moorland roads at
night, the Buttertubs Pass in daylight is still a memorable place. The
pot-holes can then be safely approached, and one can peer into the
blackness below until the eyes become adapted to the gloom. Then one
sees the wet walls of limestone and the curiously-formed isolated pieces
of rock that almost suggest columnar basalt. In crevices far down
delicate ferns are growing in the darkness. They shiver as the cool
water drips upon them from above, and the drops they throw off fall down
lower still into a stream of underground water that has its beginnings
no man knows where. On a hot day it is cooling simply to gaze into the
Buttertubs, and the sound of the falling waters down in these shadowy
places is pleasant after gazing on the dry fell-sides.

Just beyond the head of the pass, where the descent to Hawes begins, the
shoulders of Great Shunnor Fell drop down, so that not only straight
ahead, but also westwards, one can see a splendid mountain view.
Ingleborough’s flat top is conspicuous in the south, and in every
direction there are indications of the geology of the fells. The hard
stratum of millstone grit that rests upon the limestone gives many of
the summits of the hills their level character, and forms the
sharply-defined scars that encircle them. Lower down the hills are
generally rounded. It used to puzzle Dr. Whitaker, the historian of
these parts, ‘how, upon a surface which must at first have consisted of
angles and right lines only, nothing but graceful curves should now
appear, as if some plastic hand had formed the original surface over
again for use and beauty at once.’ Then, with the blankest pessimism,
he goes on to say that ‘these are among the many questions relating to
the theory of the earth which the restless curiosity of man will ever be
asking without the hope or possibility of a solution’! The exclamation
mark is mine, for I cannot restrain my feelings of astonishment that a
learned man writing in 1805 should deny to us the knowledge we have of
the action of ice and the other forces of denudation, by which we are
able to understand to such a very great extent the agencies that have
produced the contours of the Yorkshire mountains. The sudden changes of
weather that take place among these watersheds would almost seem to be
cause enough to explain the wearing down of the angularities of the
heights. Even while we stand on the bridge at Hawes we can see three or
four ragged cloud edges letting down on as many places torrential rains,
while in between there are intervals of blazing sunshine, under which
the green fells turn bright yellow and orange in powerful contrast to
the indigo shadows on every side. Such rapid changes from complete
saturation to sudden heat are trying to the hardest rocks, and at
Hardraw, close at hand, there is a still more palpable process of
denudation in active operation.

Such a morning as this is quite ideal for seeing the remarkable
waterfall known as Hardraw Scar or Force. The footpath that leads up the
glen leaves the road at the side of the ‘Green Dragon’ at Hardraw, where
the innkeeper hands us a key to open the gate we must pass through.
Being September, and an uncertain day for weather, we have the whole
glen to ourselves, until behind some rocks we discover a solitary
angler. There is nothing but the roughest of tracks to follow, for the
carefully-made pathway that used to go right up to the fall was swept
away half a dozen years ago, when the stream in a fierce mood cleared
its course of any traces of artificiality. We are deeply grateful, and
make our way among the big rocks and across the slippery surfaces of
shale, with the roar of the waters becoming more and more insistent. The
sun has turned into the ravine a great searchlight that has lit up the
rock walls and strewn the wet grass beneath with sparkling jewels. On
the opposite side there is a dense blue shadow over everything except
the foliage on the brow of the cliffs, where the strong autumn colours
leap into a flaming glory that transforms the ravine into an astonishing
splendour. A little more careful scrambling by the side of the stream,
and

[Illustration: HARDRAW FORCE

THIS fall of water on a tributary of the Ure is generally considered to
be the finest in Yorkshire. The water comes over a lip of overhanging
rock, and drops sheer into a pool 80 feet below. It is a most romantic
spot at all times, but it is seen at its best after a heavy rainfall. It
is possible to walk behind the fall on a slippery spray-drenched
path.]

we see a white band of water falling from the overhanging limestone into
the pool about ninety feet below. Off the surface of the water drifts a
mist of spray, in which a soft patch of rainbow hovers until the sun
withdraws itself for a time and leaves a sudden gloom in the horseshoe
of overhanging cliffs. The place is, perhaps, more in sympathy with a
cloudy sky, but, under sunshine or cloud, the spout of water is a
memorable sight, and its imposing height places Hardraw among the small
group of England’s finest waterfalls. Everyone, however, realizes the
disappointment so often experienced in visiting such sights in dry
weather, and the water at Hardraw sometimes shrinks to a mere trickle,
leaving only the rock chasm to tell the traveller what can happen in
really wet weather. The beck that takes this prodigious leap rises on
Great Shunnor Fell, and if that mountain has received the attentions of
some low clouds during the night, there is generally a gushing stream of
water pouring over the projecting lip of hard limestone. The shale that
lies beneath this stratum is soft enough to be worked away by the water
until the limestone overhangs the pool to the extent of ten or twelve
feet, so that the water falls sheer into the circular basin, leaving a
space between the cliff and the fall where it is safe to walk on a
rather moist and slippery path that is constantly being sprayed from the
surface of the pool.

In hard winters, such as that of 1881, the waters freeze up into a great
mass of ice, through which the fall makes its way by keeping an open
pipe down the centre. It is recorded that in the winter of 1739-40 the
fall began to freeze at the top and bottom, and that it eventually met,
making ‘one hollow column which was seventy-two yards and three-quarters
in circumference.’

As we turn away from the roar of the waters the sun comes through the
clouds once more and illuminates the glen with such a generous light
that we long to be in the open again, so that we may see all the play of
the sweeping shadows along the slopes of Wensleydale. As we cross the
Ure we have a view of the wet roofs of Hawes shining in dazzling light.
The modern church-tower, with a pinnacle at one corner only, stands out
conspicuously, but the little town looks uninteresting, although it does
not spoil the views of the head of the dale. The street is wide and
long, and would be very dull but for the splendid surroundings which the
houses cannot quite shut out. As we are here for pleasure, and not to
make an examination of every place in the dale country, we will hurry
out of the town at once, making our way southwards to the little hamlet
of Gayle, where old stone cottages are scattered on each side of the
Duerley Beck. Dodd Fell, where the beck has its source, is mantled by a
cloud that is condensing into rain with such rapidity that, if we wait
on the bridge for a time, we shall be able to see the already swollen
waters rise still higher as they come foaming over the broad cascades.
The stream has much the colour of ale, and the creamy foam adds to the
effect so much that one might imagine that some big brew-house had
collapsed and added the contents of its vats to the stream. But we have
only to realize that, as upper Wensleydale produces no corn and no hops,
breweries could scarcely exist. When Leland wrote, nearly four hundred
years ago, he said: ‘_Uredale_ veri litle Corne except Bygg or Otes, but
plentiful of Gresse in Communes,’ so that, although this dale is so much
more genial in aspect, and so much wider than the valley of the Swale,
yet crops are under the same disabilities. Leaving Gayle behind, we
climb up a steep and stony road above the beck until we are soon above
the level of green pasturage. The stone walls still cover the hillsides
with a net of very large mesh, but the sheep find more bent than grass,
and the ground is often exceedingly steep. Higher still climbs this
venturesome road, until all around us is a vast tumble of gaunt brown
fells, divided by ravines whose sides are scarred with runnels of water,
which have exposed the rocks and left miniature screes down below. At a
height of nearly 1,600 feet there is a gate, where we will turn away
from the road that goes on past Dodd Fell into Langstrothdale, and
instead climb a smooth grass track sprinkled with half-buried rocks
until we have reached the summit of Wether Fell, 400 feet higher. There
is a scanty growth of ling upon the top of this height, but the hills
that lie about on every side are browny-green or of an ochre colour, and
there is little of the purple one sees in the Cleveland Hills.

The cultivated level of Wensleydale is quite hidden from view, so that
we look over a vast panorama of mountains extending in the west as far
as the blue fells of Lakeland. I have painted the westward view from
this very summit, so that any written description is hardly needed; but
behind us, as we face the scene illustrated here, there is a wonderful
expanse that includes the

[Illustration: A RUGGED VIEW ABOVE WENSLEYDALE

THE picture shows the mountains to the north-west of Wether Fell (2,015
feet), the heathery summit of which appears in the foreground. Hawes
lies to the right, hidden by the steep sides of the dale.]

heights of Addlebrough, Stake Fell, and Penhil Beacon, which stand out
boldly on the southern side of Wensleydale. I have seen these hills
lightly covered with snow, but that can give scarcely the smallest
suggestion of the scene that was witnessed after the remarkable
snowstorm of January, 1895, which blocked the roads between Wensleydale
and Swaledale until nearly the middle of March. Roads were cut out, with
walls of snow on either side from 10 to 15 feet in height, but the wind
and fresh falls almost obliterated the passages soon after they had been
cut. In Langstrothdale Mr. Speight tells of the extraordinary
difficulties of the dalesfolk in the farms and cottages, who were faced
with starvation owing to the difficulty of getting in provisions. They
cut ways through the drifts as high as themselves in the direction of
the likeliest places to obtain food, while in Swaledale they built
sledges. It is difficult to imagine such scenes after a hot climb on a
warm afternoon, even though great white masses of cumulus are lying in
serried ridges near the horizon; but, having seen the Lake District
under a thick mantle of snow from the top of Helvellyn, I have some idea
of the scene in Wensleydale after that stupendous fall.

When we have left the highest part of Wether Fell, we find the track
taking a perfectly straight line between stone walls. The straightness
is so unusual that there can be little doubt that it is a survival of
one of the Roman ways connecting their station on Brough Hill, just
above the village of Bainbridge, with some place to the south-west. The
track goes right over Cam Fell, and is known as the Old Cam Road, but I
cannot recommend it for any but pedestrians. When we have descended only
a short distance, there is a sudden view of Semmerwater, the only piece
of water in Yorkshire that really deserves to be called a lake. It is a
pleasant surprise to discover this placid patch of blue lying among the
hills, and partially hidden by a fellside in such a way that its area
might be far greater than 105 acres. Those who know Turner’s painting of
this lake would be disappointed, no doubt, if they saw it first from
this height. The picture was made at the edge of the water with the
Carlow Stone in the foreground, and over the mountains on the southern
shore appears a sky that would make the dullest potato-field thrilling.

A short distance lower down, by straying a little from the road, we get
a really imposing view of Bardale, into which the ground falls suddenly
from our very feet. Sheep scamper nimbly down their convenient little
tracks, but there are places where water that overflows from the pools
among the bent and ling has made blue-gray seams and wrinkles in the
steep places that give no foothold even to the toughest sheep. Raydale
and Cragdale also send down becks that join with Bardale Beck just
before they enter Semmerwater. Just now the three glens are particularly
imposing, for some of the big clouds that have been sweeping across the
heavens all day are massing themselves on the edges of the heights, and
by eclipsing themselves have assumed an angry indigo hue that makes the
scene almost Scottish.

Perhaps it is because Yorkshire folk are so unused to the sight of lakes
that both Semmerwater and Gormire, near Thirsk, have similar legends
connected with their miraculous origin. Where the water now covers the
land, says the story, there used to stand a small town, and to it there
once came an angel disguised as a poor and ill-clad beggar. The old man
slowly made his way along the street from one house to another asking
for food, but at each door he met with the same blank refusal. He went
on, therefore, until he came to a poor little cottage outside the town.
Although the couple who lived there were almost as old and as poor as
himself, the beggar asked for something to eat as he had done at the
other houses. The old folk at once asked him in, and, giving him bread,
milk, and cheese, urged him to pass the night under their roof. Then in
the morning, when the old man was about to take his departure, came the
awful doom upon the inhospitable town, for the beggar held up his hands,
and said:

    ‘Semmerwater, rise! Semerwater, sink!
     And swallow the town, all save this house,
     Where they gave me meat and drink.’

Of course, the waters obeyed the disguised angel; and, for proof, have
we not the existence of the lake, and is there not also pointed out an
ancient little cottage standing alone at the lower end of the lake?

We lose sight of Semmerwater behind the ridge that forms one side of the
branch dale in which it lies, but in exchange we get beautiful views of
the sweeping contours of Wensleydale. High upon the further side of the
valley Askrigg’s gray roofs and pretty church stand out against a steep
fellside; further down we can see Nappa Hall, surrounded by trees, just
above the winding river, and Bainbridge lies close at hand. We soon come
to the broad and cheerful green, surrounded by a picturesque scattering
of old but well preserved cottages; for Bainbridge has sufficient charms
to make it a pleasant inland resort for holiday times that is quite
ideal for those who are content to abandon the sea. The overflow from
Semmerwater, which is called the Bain, fills the village with its music
as it falls over ledges of rock in many cascades along one side of the
green. There is a steep bridge, which is conveniently placed for
watching the waterfalls; there are white geese always drilling on the
grass, and there are still to be seen the upright stones of the stocks.
The pretty inn called the ‘Rose and Crown,’ overlooking a corner of the
green, states upon a board that it was established in 1445. This date at
one time appeared in raised letters upon a stone over the doorway,
which, Mr. Speight tells us, ‘had formerly a good Norman arch.’ Anything
of that period would, of course, carry the origin of the building back
some centuries earlier than the year claimed for the establishment of
the inn. The great age of the village, owing to its existence in Roman
times, as well as the importance it gained through being not only
situated at important cross-roads, but also on the edge of the forest of
Wensleydale, would account for the early establishment of some sort of
hostelry for the entertainment of travellers. Even at the present day a
horn-blowing custom has been preserved at Bainbridge. It takes place at
ten o’clock every night between Holy Rood (September 27) and Shrovetide,
but somehow the reason for the observance has been forgotten. The
medieval regulations as to the carrying of horns by foresters and those
who passed through forests would undoubtedly associate the custom with
early times, and this happy old village certainly gains our respect for
having preserved anything from such a remote period. When we reach
Bolton Castle we shall find in the museum there an old horn from
Bainbridge.

Besides having the length and breadth of Wensleydale to explore with or
without the assistance of the railway, Bainbridge has as its particular
possession the valley containing Semmerwater, with the three romantic
dales at its head. Counterside, a hamlet perched a little above the
lake, has an old hall, where George Fox stayed in 1677 as a guest of
Richard Robinson. The inn bears the date 1667 and the initials ‘B. H.
J.,’ which may be those of one of the Jacksons, who were Quakers at that
time.

On the other side of the river, and scarcely more than a mile from
Bainbridge, is the little town of Askrigg, which supplies its neighbour
with a church and a railway-station. There is a charm in its breezy
situation that is ever present, for even when we are in the narrow
little street that curves steeply up the hill there are peeps of the
dale that are quite exhilarating. The square-topped Addlebrough is
separated from us by a great airy space, and looking up and down the
broad dale which widens eastwards and becomes narrower and more rugged
to the west, there appears to be a vastness lying around us which no
plain can suggest. We can see Wether Fell, with the road we traversed
yesterday plainly marked on the slopes, and down below, where the Ure
takes its way through bright pastures, there is a mist of smoke
ascending from Hawes. Blocking up the head of the dale are the spurs of
Dodd and Widdale Fells, while beyond them appears the blue summit of Bow
Fell. We find it hard to keep our eyes away from the distant mountains,
which fascinate one by appearing to have an importance that is perhaps
diminished when they are close at hand. All the big clouds that
yesterday could scarcely hold up their showers for the shortest
intervals have disappeared; perhaps they have now reached the river in
liquid form, and are sparkling in the sunshine that now comes, without
interruption, from their spotless cenotaph. We will follow Shelley’s
metaphor no further, for there is water enough everywhere to fill the
dales with all the roarings and murmurings that the forces and gills can
supply, and we would gladly forget the cloud’s ‘silent laugh’ as it
begins to unbuild the blue dome of heaven.

We find ourselves halting on a patch of grass by the restored
market-cross to look more closely at a fine old house overlooking the
three-sided space. There is no doubt as to the date of the building, for
a plain inscription begins ‘Gulielmus Thornton posuit hanc domum
MDCLXXVIII.’ The bay windows, as may be seen in the illustration, have
heavy mullions and transoms, and there is a dignity about the house
which must have been still more apparent when the surrounding houses
were lower than at present. The wooden gallery that is constructed
between the bays was, it is said, built as a convenient place for
watching the bull-fights that took place just below. In the grass there
can still be seen the stone to which the bull-ring was secured. The
churchyard runs along the west side of the little market-place, so

[Illustration: A JACOBEAN HOUSE AT ASKRIGG

THE village of Askrigg, perched picturesquely on the northern slopes of
Wensleydale, possesses this imposing stone house. It overlooks the open
space by the church, where bull-fights took place in the early part of
last century. The ring is still to be seen in the patch of grass, and
the wooden balcony between the projecting bays of the house was a
favourite position for watching the contests.]

that there is an open view on that side, made interesting by the
Perpendicular church. The simple square tower and the unbroken
roof-lines are battlemented, like so many of the churches of the dales;
inside we find Norman pillars that are quite in strange company, if it
is true that they were brought from the site of Fors Abbey, a little to
the west of the town. The greater part of the church dates from 1466,
and shortly after this reconstruction of the thirteenth-century building
a chantry in the south aisle, dedicated to St. Anne, was founded by one
of the Metcalfes of Nappa Hall, which we shall pass on our way to
Aysgarth.

Wensleydale generally used to be famed for its hand-knitting, but I
think Askrigg must have turned out more work than any place in the
valley, for the men as well as the womenfolk were equally skilled in
this employment, and Mr. Whaley says they did their work in the open air
‘while gossiping with their neighbours.’ This statement is,
nevertheless, exceeded by what appears in a volume entitled ‘The Costume
of Yorkshire.’ In that work of 1814, which contains a number of George
Walker’s quaint drawings, reproduced by lithography, we find a picture
having a strong suggestion of Askrigg in which there is a group of old
and young of both sexes seated on the steps of the market-cross, all
knitting, and a little way off a shepherd is seen driving some sheep
through a gate, and he also is knitting. The letterpress describes how a
woman named Slinger, who lived in Cotterdale, used to walk to and from
Hawes Market with her goods on her head, knitting steadily all the way.
Knitting-machines have long since killed this industry, but Askrigg has
somehow survived the loss. Grandfather-clocks are still made in the
little town, as they have been for a great number of years. We have
already noticed an old Askrigg clock at Muker, and if we keep our eyes
open we shall come across others, as well as examples from Leyburn,
Middleham, and other places in the dale that possessed a clock-maker.

It is interesting to those who wish to get a correct idea of a place
before visiting it to know that they may easily be led astray by even
the best guides. When we read in Murray that Askrigg is a ‘dull little
town of gray houses,’ we are at once predisposed against the place,
although we might know that all the houses in the dales are gray. No
suggestion is given of the splendid situation, and one might imagine
that all the houses, with the exception of the one near the church, are
featureless and quite uninteresting. This, of course, would be a total
misapprehension, for many of the buildings are old, with quaint doorways
and steps, and there are mossy roofs that add colour to the stone, which
is often splashed with orange and pale emerald lichen. In writing of
Hawes, on the other hand, Murray omits to mention the lack of
picturesqueness in its really dull street, merely saying that ‘the town
itself is growing and improving.’ Not content, however, with this
approval of the place, the guide goes still further astray by stating
that the dale in the neighbourhood of Hawes ‘is broad and open, and not
very picturesque’! I cannot help exclaiming at such a statement,
although I may be told that all this is a mere matter of individual
opinion, for is not Wensleydale broad and open from end to end, and is
not Hawes situated in the midst of some of the wildest and noblest fells
in Yorkshire? It is true that the town lies on the level ground by the
river, and thus the views from it do not form themselves into such
natural pictures as they do at Askrigg, but I am inclined to blame the
town rather than the scenery.

From Askrigg there is a road that climbs up from the end of the little
street at a gradient that looks like 1 in 4, but it is really less
formidable. Considering its steepness the surface is quite good, but
that is due to the industry of a certain roadmender with whom I once had
the privilege to talk when, hot and breathless, I paused to enjoy the
great expanse that lay to the south. He was a fine Saxon type, with a
sunburnt face and equally brown arms. Road-making had been his ideal
when he was a mere boy, and since he had obtained his desire he told me
that he couldn’t be happier if he were the King of England. And his
contentment seemed to me to be based largely upon his intense pleasure
in bringing the roads to as great a perfection as his careful and
thinking labour could compass. He did not approve of steamrollers, for
his experience had taught him that if the stones were broken small
enough they bound together quickly enough. Besides this, he disapproved
of a great camber or curve on the road which induces the traffic to keep
in the middle, leaving a mass of loose stones on either side. The result
of his work may be seen on the highway from Askrigg to Bainbridge, where
a conspicuous smoothness has come to a road that was recently one of
the most indifferent in the district. Perhaps he may eventually be given
the maintenance of the way over the Buttertubs Pass; and if he ever
induces that road to become a little more civilized, this enthusiastic
workman will gain the appreciation of the whole neighbourhood. The road
where we leave him, breaking every large stone he can find, goes on
across a belt of brown moor, and then drops down between gaunt scars
that only just leave space for the winding track to pass through. It
afterwards descends rapidly by the side of a gill, and thus enters
Swaledale.

There is a beautiful walk from Askrigg to Mill Gill Force. The distance
is scarcely more than half a mile across sloping pastures and through
the curious stiles that appear in the stone walls. So dense is the
growth of trees in the little ravine that one hears the sound of the
waters close at hand without seeing anything but the profusion of
foliage overhanging and growing among the rocks. After climbing down
among the moist ferns and moss-grown stones, the gushing cascades appear
suddenly set in a frame of such lavish beauty that they hold a high
place among their rivals in the dale, and the particular charms of this
spot are hardly surpassed by any others in the whole county. Higher up
there is Whitfield Force, which has a fall of nearly 50 feet. Its
setting, too, among great rock walls and an ancient forest growth, is
most fascinating, especially when one finds that very few go beyond the
greater falls below.

Keeping to the north side of the river, we come to Nappa Hall at a
distance of a little over a mile to the east of Askrigg. It is now a
farmhouse, but its two battlemented towers proclaim its former
importance as the chief seat of the family of Metcalfe. The date of the
house is about 1459, and the walls of the western tower are 4 feet in
thickness. The Nappa lands came to James Metcalfe from Sir Richard
Scrope of Bolton Castle shortly after his return to England from the
field of Agincourt, and it was probably this James Metcalfe who built
the existing house. We are told something about the matter by Leland,
who says: ‘_Knappey_ in _Yorkshire_, now the chifest House of the
_Metecalfes_, was boute by one _Thomas Metcalfe_, Sunne to _James
Metecalfe_, of one of the Lordes _Scropes_ of _Bolton_.’ He also says
that ‘on it was but a Cotage or litle better House, ontille this
_Thomas_ began ther to build, in the which Building 2 Toures be very
fair, beside other Logginges.’ Mr. Speight thinks that Leland made some
mistake as to the Metcalfe who purchased the estate, and also as to the
builder of the house; and in his account of Nappa the author of
‘Romantic Richmondshire’ has, with the aid of the Metcalfe Records, been
able to correct several inaccuracies which have been written about this
distinguished and numerous family.

Until the year 1880 there was still kept at Nappa Hall a fine old
four-post bedstead, which was, according to tradition, the one slept in
by Mary Queen of Scots when she is said to have stayed in the house.
Nothing exists, however, to give the slightest colour to this story, but
the bed, now somewhat altered, is still in existence at Newby Hall, near
Ripon.

The road down the dale passes Woodhall Park, and then, after going down
close to the Ure, it bears away again to the little village of Carperby.
It has a triangular green surrounded by white posts. At the east end
stands an old cross, dated 1674, and the ends of the arms are ornamented
with grotesque carved heads. The cottages have a neat and pleasant
appearance, and there is much less austerity about the place than one
sees higher up the dale. A branch road leads down to Aysgarth Station,
and just where the lane takes a sharp bend to the right a footpath goes
across a smooth meadow to the banks of the Ure. The rainfall of the last
few days, which showed itself at Mill Gill Force, at Hardraw Scar, and a
dozen other falls, has been sufficient to swell the main stream at
Wensleydale into a considerable flood, and behind the bushes that grow
thickly along the river-side we can hear the steady roar of the cascades
of Aysgarth. The waters have worn down the rocky bottom to such an
extent that in order to stand in full view of the splendid fall we must
make for a gap in the foliage, and scramble down some natural steps in
the wall of rock forming low cliffs along each side of the flood.
Although it is still September, the rocks are overhung with the most
brilliant autumn foliage. The morning sunlight coming across a dark
plantation of firs on the southern bank lights up the yellow and red
leaves, and turns the foaming waters into a brilliant white where they
are not under the shadow of the trees. The water comes over three
terraces of solid stone, and then sweeps across wide ledges in a
tempestuous sea of waves and froth, until there come other descents
which alter the course of parts of the stream, so that as we look across
the riotous flood we can

[Illustration: AYSGARTH FORCE

THE beautiful river Ure that flows through Wensleydale falls over a
series of rocky ledges close to the village of Aysgarth. The picture
shows the lower series of falls on the morning following a wet
night.]

see the waters flowing in many opposite directions. Lines of
cream-coloured foam spread out into chains of bubbles which join
together, and then, becoming detached, again float across the smooth
portions of each low terrace. Where the water is smooth and shaded by
the overhanging mass of trees it assumes a dark green-brown colour, and
shows up the chains and necklaces of sportive bubbles which the cascades
produce. I suppose it was because Leland did not see the other great
falls in Wensleydale that he omits any mention of High Force on the Tees
and Hardraw Scar, but yet mentions ‘where _Ure_ Ryver faullethe very
depe betwixt 2 scarry Rokks.’

Besides these lower falls, we can see, if we go up the course of the
river towards Aysgarth, a single cascade called the Middle Force, and
from the bridge which spans the river with one great arch we have a
convenient place to watch the highest series of falls. But neither of
these have half the grandeur of the lowest of the series which is
illustrated here. There is a large mill by the bridge, and, ascending
the steep roadway that goes up to the village, we soon reach the pathway
to the church. Perhaps because Aysgarth Force is famous enough to
attract large crowds of sightseers on certain days throughout the
summer, the church is kept locked, and as we wish to see the splendid
Perpendicular screen, saved from the wreck of Jervaulx Abbey, we must
make our way to the Vicarage, and enter the church in the company of a
custodian who watches us with suspicious eyes, fearing, no doubt, that
if he looks away or waits in the churchyard we may feel anxious to leave
our initials on the reading-desk. Apart from the screen, the choir
stalls, and the other woodwork of the choir, there is very little
interest in the church owing to the rebuilding that has taken place, and
left few traces of antiquity beyond suggestions of Early English work in
the tower. There is a short-cut by some footpaths that brings us to
Aysgarth village, which seems altogether to disregard the church, for it
is separated from it by a distance of nearly half a mile. There is one
pleasant little street of old stone houses irregularly disposed, many of
them being quite picturesque, with mossy roofs and ancient chimneys.
This village, like Askrigg and Bainbridge, is ideally situated as a
centre for exploring a very considerable district. There is quite a
network of roads to the south, connecting the villages of Thoralby and
West Burton with Bishop Dale, and the main road through Wensleydale.
Thoralby is very old, and is beautifully situated under a steep
hillside. It has a green overlooked by little gray cottages, and lower
down there is a tall mill with curious windows built upon Bishop Dale
Beck. Close to this mill there nestles a long, low house of that
dignified type to be seen frequently in the North Riding, as well as in
the villages of Westmoreland. The huge chimney, occupying a large
proportion of one gable-end, is suggestive of much cosiness within, and
its many shoulders, by which it tapers towards the top, make it an
interesting feature of the house. The lower part of Bishop Dale is often
singularly beautiful in the evening. If we stop and lean over a gate, we
can see Stake Fell towering above us--an indistinct blue wall with a
sharply-broken edge. Above appears a pale-yellow sky, streaked with
orange-coloured clouds so thin as to look almost like smoke. The intense
silence is broken by the buzz of a swift-flying insect, and then when
that has gone other sounds seem to intensify the stillness. Suddenly a
shrill bellow from a cow echoes through the valley, a sheep-dog barks,
and we can hear the distant cough of cattle, which are quite invisible
in the gathering twilight. A farmer in his cart drives slowly by up the
steep lane, and then the silence becomes more complete than before, and
the fells become blue-black against a sky which is just beginning to be
spangled with the palest of stars. They seem to flicker so much that the
soft evening breeze threatens to blow them out altogether.

The dale narrows up at its highest point, but the road is enclosed
between gray walls the whole of the way over the head of the valley. A
wide view of Langstrothdale and upper Wharfedale is visible when the
road begins to drop downwards, and to the east Buckden Pike towers up to
his imposing height of 2,302 feet. We shall see him again when we make
our way through Wharfedale, but we could go back to Wensleydale by a
mountain-path that climbs up the side of Cam Gill Beck from Starbottom,
and then, crossing the ridge between Buckden Pike and Tor Mere Top, it
goes down into the wild recesses of Waldendale. So remote is this valley
that wild animals, long extinct in other parts of the dales, survived
there until almost recent times.

When we have crossed the Ure again, and taken a last look at the Upper
Fall from Aysgarth Bridge, we betake ourselves by a footpath to the main
highway through Wensleydale, turning aside before reaching Redmire in
order to see the great castle of the Scropes at Bolton. It is a vast
quadrangular mass, with each side nearly as gaunt and as lofty as the
others. At each corner rises a great square tower, pierced, with a few
exceptions, by the smallest of windows. Only the base of the tower at
the north-east corner remains to-day, the upper part having fallen one
stormy night in November, 1761, possibly having been weakened during the
siege of the castle in the Civil War. We go into the courtyard through a
vaulted archway on the eastern side. Many of the rooms on the side
facing us are in good preservation, and an apartment in the south-west
tower, which has a fireplace, is pointed out as having been used by Mary
Queen of Scots when she was imprisoned here after the Battle of Langside
in 1568. It was the ninth Lord Scrope who had the custody of the Queen,
and he was assisted by Sir Francis Knollys. Mary, no doubt, found the
time of her imprisonment irksome enough, despite the magnificent views
over the dale which her windows appear to have commanded; but the
monotony was relieved to some extent by the lessons in English which she
received from Sir Francis, whom she describes as ‘her good
schoolmaster.’ While still a prisoner, Mary addressed to him her first
English letter, which begins: ‘Mester Knoleis, I heve sum neus from
Scotland’; and half-way through she begs that he will excuse her
writing, seeing that she had ‘neuur vsed it afor,’ and was ‘hestet.’ The
letter concludes with ‘thus, affter my commendations, I prey God heuu
you in his kipin. Your assured gud frind, MARIE R.’ Then comes a
postscript: ‘Excus my iuel writin thes furst tym’--‘iuel’ being no doubt
intended for ‘evil.’

Another relic of the Queen’s captivity at Bolton was a pane of glass,
upon which she had scratched ‘Marie R.’ with a diamond ring; but it was
damaged during the execution of some repairs to the castle, and in
removing the glass for greater security from the castle to Bolton Hall
it was hopelessly smashed.

The stories of Mary’s attempts at escape have long been considered mere
fabrications, for, despite many intimate details of the months spent at
Bolton, no reference to such matters have been discovered. In the face
of this denial on the part of recorded history, Leyburn Shawl still
holds affectionately to the story that Mary Stuart did leave the castle
unobserved, and that she was overtaken there in the place called the
Queen’s Gap.

[Illustration: BOLTON CASTLE, WENSLEYDALE

IN this feudal stronghold Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned for six
months in 1568. She was brought from Carlisle by Lord Scrope, the owner
of Bolton Castle. The building forms a gaunt square, lofty and almost
featureless, except for the broken towers which rise at each of the four
corners. Lord Chancellor Scrope built the castle in the reign of Richard
II., and his descendants occupied it for three centuries.]

As we leave the grim castle, so full of memories of a great family and
of a lovely Queen, we turn back before it is hidden from our gaze, and
see the towers silhouetted against a golden sky much as it is depicted
in these pages. We think of all the Scropes who have come and gone since
that Lord Richard received license in 1379 to crenellate the fortress he
had built, and we regret again the disappearance of all those sumptuous
tombs that once adorned the choir of Easby Abbey. However, there are
memorials to members of the family in Wensley Church lying a little to
the east beyond the wooded park of Bolton Hall, and we shall arrive
there before long if we keep to the right at the turning beneath the
height known as Scarth Nick. On the opposite side of the dale Penhill
Beacon stands out prominently, with its flat summit reflecting just
enough of the setting sun to recall a momentous occasion when from that
commanding spot a real beacon-fire sent up a great mass of flame and
sparks. It was during the time of Napoleon’s threatened invasion of
England, and the lighting of this beacon was to be the signal to the
volunteers of Wensleydale to muster and march to their rendezvous. The
watchman on Penhill, as he sat by the piled-up brushwood, wondering, no
doubt, what would happen to him if the dreaded invasion were really to
come about, saw, far away across the Vale of Mowbray, a light which he
at once took to be the beacon upon Roseberry Topping. A moment later
tongues of flame and smoke were pouring from his own hilltop, and the
news spread up the dale like wildfire. The volunteers armed themselves
rapidly, and with drums beating they marched away, with only such delay
as was caused by the hurried leave-takings with wives and mothers, and
all the rest who crowded round. The contingent took the road to Thirsk,
and on the way were joined by the Mashamshire men. Whether it was with
relief or disappointment I do not know; but when the volunteers reached
Thirsk they heard that they had been called out by a false alarm, for
the light seen in the direction of Roseberry Topping had been caused by
accident, and the beacon on that height had not been lit. After all, the
scare did no harm, for it showed the mettle of the Dalesmen, and they
were afterwards thanked by Parliament for their prompt response to the
signal.

On the side of Penhill that looks full towards Bolton Castle there still
remain the foundations of the chapel of the Knight Templars, who must
have established their hospital there soon after 1146, when the Order
was instituted in England.

Wensley stands just at the point where the dale, to which it has given
its name, becomes so wide that it begins to lose its distinctive
character. The village is most picturesque and secluded, and it is small
enough to cause some wonder as to its distinction in naming the valley.
It is suggested that the name is derived from _Wodenslag_, and that in
the time of the Northmen’s occupation of these parts the place named
after their chief god would be the most important. In its possession of
a pleasant sloping green, dominated by a great elm, round whose base has
been built a circular platform, Wensley is particularly happy. The Ure,
flowing close at hand, is crossed by a fine old bridge, whose pointed
arches must have survived many centuries; for Leland says that it was
built by ‘_Alwine_, Parson of _Wencelaw_,’ ‘200 Yer ago and more,’ that
statement being made about the year 1538.

In the little church standing on the south side of the green there is so
much to interest us that we are almost unable to decide what to examine
first, until, realizing that we are brought face to face with a
beautiful relic of Easby Abbey, we turn our attention to the parclose
screen. It surrounds the family pew of Bolton Hall, and on three sides
we see the Perpendicular woodwork fitted into the east end of the north
aisle. The side that fronts the nave has an entirely different
appearance, being painted and of a classic order, very lacking in any
ecclesiastical flavour, an impression not lost on those who, with every
excuse, called it ‘the opera box.’ In the panels of the early part of
the screen are carved inscriptions and arms of the Scropes covering a
long period, and, though many words and letters are missing, it is
possible to make them more complete with the help of the record made by
the heralds in 1665.

On the floor of the chancel is the brass to Sir Simon de Wenselawe, a
priest of the fourteenth century. There is no trace of any inscription,
and the name was only discovered by a reference to the brass in the will
of Oswald Dykes, a rector who died in Jacobean times, and desired that
he might be buried under the stone which now bears his name above the
figure of the priest. This brass is the best in the North Riding, and it
closely resembles the one to Abbot de la Mare in St. Albans Abbey.

A charming lane, overhung by big trees, runs above the river-banks for
nearly two miles of the way to Middleham; then it joins the road from
Leyburn, and crosses the Ure by a suspension bridge, defended by two
very formidable though modern archways. Climbing up past the church, we
enter the cobbled market-place, which wears a rather decayed appearance
in sympathy with the departed magnificence of the great castle of the
Nevilles. It commands a vast view of Wensleydale from the southern side,
in much the same manner as Bolton does from the north; but the castle
buildings are entirely different, for Middleham consists of a square
Norman keep, very massive and lofty, surrounded at a short distance by a
strong wall and other buildings, also of considerable height, built in
the Decorated period, when the Nevilles were in possession of the
stronghold. The Norman keep dates from the year 1190, when Robert Fitz
Randolph, grandson of Ribald, a brother of the Earl of Richmond, began
to build the Castle. It was, however, in later times, when Middleham had
come to the Nevilles by marriage, that really notable events took place
in this fortress. It was here that Warwick, the ‘King-maker,’ held
Edward IV. prisoner in 1467, and in Part III. of the play of ‘King Henry
VI.,’ Scene V. of the fourth act is laid in a park near Middleham
Castle. Richard III.’s only son, Edward Prince of Wales, was born here
in 1476, the property having come into Richard’s possession by his
marriage with Anne Neville. The tower in which the boy was born is
pointed out to-day, but how the knowledge has been preserved I am quite
unable to say. When he was only eight years old, this little Prince died
in the castle in which he had first seen the light.

The efforts to blow up the projecting towers of the Norman portion of
the castle are most plainly visible, but the splendid masonry, like that
of Corfe, in the Isle of Purbeck, has held together, although great gaps
have been torn out below, so that one can scarcely understand why the
upper part has not collapsed. The church contains some interesting
details, but they are not very apparent to the uninformed, to whom the
building might appear somewhat dull. All can, however, be interested in
the old cross in the market-place, and also in the Swine Cross in the
upper market, which shows the battered shape of some animal, carved
either in the form of the boar of Richard III. or the bear of Warwick.

We have already seen Leyburn Shawl from near Wensley, but its charm can
only be appreciated by seeing the view up the dale from its
larch-crowned

[Illustration: THE VIEW UP WENSLEYDALE FROM LEYBURN SHAWL

THIS is one of the spots in this beautiful dale that repays a visit a
thousandfold. The effects are best on a clear day, when sunlight and
shadows are chasing one another over the hills and woodlands.]

termination. Perhaps if we had seen nothing of Wensleydale, and the
wonderful views it offers, we should be more inclined to regard this
somewhat popular spot with greater veneration; but after having explored
both sides of the dale, and seen many views of a very similar character,
we cannot help thinking that the vista is somewhat overrated. Leyburn
itself is a cheerful little town, with a modern church and a very wide
main street which forms a most extensive market-place. There is a
bull-ring still visible in the great open space, but beyond this and the
view from the Shawl Leyburn has few attractions, except its position as
a centre or a starting-place from which to explore the romantic
neighbourhood.

As we leave Leyburn we get a most beautiful view up Coverdale, with the
two Whernsides standing out most conspicuously at the head of the
valley, and it is this last view of Coverdale, and the great valley from
which it branches, that remains in the mind as one of the finest
pictures of this most remarkable portion of Yorkshire.



RIPON AND FOUNTAINS ABBEY



CHAPTER V

RIPON AND FOUNTAINS ABBEY


We have come out of Wensleydale past the ruins of the great Cistercian
abbey of Jervaulx, which Conan, Earl of Richmond, moved from Askrigg to
a kindlier climate, and we have passed through the quiet little town of
Masham, famous for its fair in September, when sometimes as many as
70,000 sheep, including great numbers of the fine Wensleydale breed, are
sold, and now we are at Ripon. It is the largest town we have seen since
we lost sight of Richmond in the wooded recesses of Swaledale, and
though we are still close to the Ure, we are on the very edge of the
dale country, and miss the fells that lie a little to the west. The
evening has settled down to steady rain, and the market-place is running
with water that reflects the lights in the shop-windows and the dark
outline of the obelisk in the centre. This erection is suspiciously
called ‘the Cross,’ and it made its appearance nearly seventy years
before the one at Richmond. Gent says it cost £564 11s. 9d., and that it
is ‘one of the finest in England.’ I could, no doubt, with the smallest
trouble discover a description of the real cross it supplanted, but if
it were anything half as fine as the one at Richmond, I should merely be
moved to say harsh things of John Aislabie, who was Mayor in 1702, when
the obelisk was erected, and therefore I will leave the matter to
others. It is, perhaps, an un-Christian occupation to go about the
country quarrelling with the deeds of recent generations, though I am
always grateful for any traces of the centuries that have gone which
have been allowed to survive. With this thought still before me, I am
startled by a long-drawn-out blast on a horn, and, looking out of my
window, which commands the whole of the market-place, I can see beneath
the light of a lamp an old-fashioned figure wearing a three-cornered
hat. When the last quavering note has come from the great circular horn,
the man walks slowly across the wet cobblestones to the obelisk, where I
watch him wind another blast just like the first, and then another, and
then a third, immediately after which he walks briskly away and
disappears down a turning. In the light of morning I discover that the
horn was blown in front of the Town Hall, whose stucco front bears the
inscription: ‘Except ye Lord keep ye cittie, ye Wakeman waketh in vain.’
The antique spelling is, of course, unable to give a wrong impression as
to the age of the building, for it shows its period so plainly that one
scarcely needs to be told that it was built in 1801, although it could
not so easily be attributed to the notorious Wyatt. There are still a
few quaint houses to be seen in Ripon, and there clings to the streets a
certain flavour of antiquity. It is the minster, nevertheless, that
raises the ‘city’ above the average Yorkshire town. The west front, with
its twin towers, is to some extent the most memorable portion of the
great church. It is the work of Archbishop Walter Gray, and is a most
beautiful example of the pure Early English style. Inside there is a
good deal of transitional Norman work to be seen. The central tower was
built in this period, but now presents a most remarkable appearance,
owing to its partial reconstruction in Perpendicular times, the arch
that faces the nave having the southern pier higher than the Norman one,
and in the later style, so that the arch is lopsided. As a building in
which to study the growth of English Gothic architecture, I can scarcely
think it possible to find anything better, all the periods being very
clearly represented. The choir has much sumptuous carved woodwork, and
the misereres are full of quaint detail. In the library there is a
collection of very early printed books and other relics of the minster
that add very greatly to the interest of the place.

The monument to Hugh Ripley, who was the last Wakeman of Ripon and first
Mayor in 1604, is on the north side of the nave facing the entrance to
the crypt, popularly called ‘St. Wilfrid’s Needle.’ A rather difficult
flight of steps goes down to a narrow passage leading into a
cylindrically vaulted cell with niches in the walls. At the north-east
corner is the curious slit or ‘Needle’ that has been thought to have
been used for purposes of trial by ordeal, the innocent person being
able to squeeze through the narrow opening. In reality it is probably
nothing more than an arrangement for lighting two cells with one lamp.
The crypt is of such a plainly Roman type, and is so similar to the one
at Hexham, that it is generally accepted as dating from the early days
of Christianity in Yorkshire, and there can be little doubt that it is a
relic of Wilfrid’s church in those early times.

At a very convenient distance from Ripon, and

[Illustration: RIPON MINSTER FROM THE SOUTH

IN its outline Ripon suggests Westminster, although the west front with
its twin towers is Early English and not classic. Underneath the present
building is the Saxon crypt of Wilfrid’s church, dating from the seventh
century.]

approached by a pleasant lane, are the lovely glades of Studley Royal,
the noble park containing the ruins of Fountains Abbey. The surroundings
of the great Cistercian monastery are so magnificent, and the roofless
church is so impressively solemn, that, although the place is visited by
many thousands every year, yet, if you choose a day when the weather or
some other circumstances keep other people away, you might easily
imagine that you were visiting the park and ruins as a special
privilege, and not as one of the public who, through Lord Ripon’s
kindness, are allowed to come and go with very few restrictions beyond
the payment of a shilling.

Just after leaving the lodge there appears on the right a most seductive
glade, overhung by some of the remarkable trees that give the park its
great fascination. The grassy slopes disappear in shadowy green recesses
in the foliage, in much the fashion of the forest scenes depicted in
tapestries. It is just such a background as the Elizabethans would have
loved to fill with the mythological beings that figured so largely in
their polite conversation. Down below the beautifully-kept pathway runs
the Skell, but so transformed from its early character that you would
imagine the crescent-shaped lakes and the strip of smooth water were in
no way connected with the mountain-stream that comes off Dallowgill
Moor. It is particularly charming that the peeps of the water, bordered
by smooth turf that occupies the bottom of the steep and narrow valley,
are only had at intervals through a great hedge of clipped yew. The
paths wind round the densely-wooded slopes, and give a dozen different
views of each mass of trees, each temple, and each bend of the river. At
last, from a considerable height, you have the lovely view of the abbey
ruins illustrated here. At every season its charm is unmistakable, and
even if no stately tower and no roofless arches filled the centre of the
prospect, the scene would be almost as memorable. It is only one of the
many pictures in the park that a retentive memory will hold as some of
the most remarkable in England.

Among the ruins the turf is kept in perfect order, and it is pleasant
merely to look upon the contrast of the green carpet that is so evenly
laid between the dark stonework. The late-Norman nave, with its solemn
double line of round columns, the extremely graceful arches of the
Chapel of the Nine Altars, and the magnificent vaulted perspective of
the dark cellarium of the lay-brothers, are perhaps the most
fascinating portions of the buildings. I might be well compared with the
last abbot but one, William Thirsk, who resigned his post, foreseeing
the coming Dissolution, and was therefore called ‘a varra fole and a
misereble ideote,’ if I attempted in the short space available to give
any detailed account of the abbey or its wonderful past. I have perhaps
said enough to insist on its charms, and I know that all who endorse my
statements will, after seeing Fountains, read with delight the books
that are devoted to its story.



KNARESBOROUGH AND HARROGATE



CHAPTER VI

KNARESBOROUGH AND HARROGATE


It is sometimes said that Knaresborough is an overrated town from the
point of view of its attractiveness to visitors, but this depends very
much upon what we hope to find there. If we expect to find lasting
pleasure in contemplating the Dropping Well, or the pathetic little
exhibition of petrified objects in the Mother Shipton Inn, we may be
prepared for disappointment. It seems strange that the real and lasting
charms of the town should be overshadowed by such popular and
much-advertised ‘sights.’ The first view of the town from the ‘high’
bridge is so full of romance that if there were nothing else to interest
us in the place we would scarcely be disappointed. The Nidd, flowing
smoothly at the foot of the precipitous heights upon which the church
and the old roofs appear, is spanned by a great stone viaduct. This
might have been so great a blot upon the scene that Knaresborough would
have lost half its charm. Strangely enough, we find just the reverse is
the case, for this railway bridge, with its battlemented parapets and
massive piers, is now so weathered that it has melted into its
surroundings as though it had come into existence as long ago as the
oldest building visible. The old Knaresborough kept well to the heights
adjoining the castle, and even to-day there are only a handful of later
buildings down by the river margin. The view, therefore, is still
unspoiled, and its appearance when the light is coming from the west can
be seen in the illustration given here.

When we have crossed the bridge, and have passed along a narrow roadway
perched well above the river, we come to one of the many interesting
houses that help to keep alive the old-world flavour of the town. Only a
few years ago the old manor-house had a most picturesque and rather
remarkable exterior, for its plaster walls were covered with a large
black and white chequer-work, and its overhanging eaves and trailing
creepers gave it a charm that has since then been quite lost. The
restoration which recently took place has entirely altered the character
of the exterior, but inside everything

[Illustration: KNARESBOROUGH

IS one of the most fortunate of towns in having in its railway bridge a
bold and decorative feature rather than an eyesore. The stranger
scarcely realizes as he stands on the road bridge from which the picture
is taken, that the big battlemented structure spanning the river is a
railway viaduct.]

has been preserved with just the care that should have been expended
outside as well. There are oak-wainscoted parlours, oak dressers, and
richly-carved fireplaces in the low-ceiled rooms, each one containing
furniture much of the period of the house. Upstairs there is a beautiful
old bedroom lined with oak, like those on the floor below, and its
interest is greatly enhanced by the story of Oliver Cromwell’s residence
in the house, for he is believed to have used this particular bedroom.
Slight alterations have taken place, but the oak bedstead which he is
said to have occupied, minus its tester and with its posts cut down to
half their height, still remains to carry us swiftly back to the last
siege of the castle. A very curious story is told in the _Gentleman’s
Magazine_ of March, 1791. It gives an anecdote of Oliver Cromwell which
Sir John Goodricke used to relate. When he was quite a small boy, he was
told by a very old woman who had formerly attended his mother, Lady
Goodricke, how Oliver Cromwell came to lodge at this house when she was
but a young girl. ‘Having heard so much talk about the man,’ she said,
‘I looked at him with wonder. Being ordered to take a pan of coals and
air his bed, I could not, during the operation, forbear peeping over my
shoulder several times to observe this extraordinary person, who was
seated at the fireside of the room untying his garters. Having aired the
bed, I went out, and, shutting the door after me, stopped and peeped
through the keyhole, when I saw him rise from his feet, advance to the
bed and fall on his knees, in which attitude I left him for some time.
When I returned again I found him still at prayer, and this was his
custom every night so long as he stayed at our house, from which I
concluded he must be a good man, and this opinion I always maintained
afterwards, though I heard him very much blamed and exceedingly abused.’

Higher up the hill stands the church with a square central tower
surmounted by a small spike. It still bears the marks of the fire made
by the Scots during their disastrous descent upon Yorkshire after Edward
II.’s defeat at Bannockburn. Led by Sir James Douglas, the Scots poured
into the prosperous plains and even the dales of Yorkshire. They burned
Northallerton and Boroughbridge, and then came on to Knaresborough. When
the town had been captured and burnt, the savage invaders endeavoured to
burn out the inhabitants who had taken refuge in the church-tower, but
the stoutness of the stone walls prevented their efforts to destroy the
building. It is quite possible that the roofs at that time were
thatched, for some years ago much partially-burnt straw was discovered
in the roof. The chapel on the north side of the chancel contains the
interesting monuments of the old Yorkshire family of Slingsby. The
altar-tomb in the centre bears the recumbent effigies of Francis
Slingsby, who died in 1600, and Mary his wife. Another monument shows
Sir William Slingsby, who accidentally discovered the first spring at
Harrogate. The Slingsbys, who were cavaliers, produced a martyr in the
cause of Charles I. This was the distinguished Sir Henry, who, in 1658,
‘being beheaded by order of the tyrant Cromwell, ... was translated to a
better place.’ So says the inscription on a large slab of black marble
in the floor of the chapel. The last of the male line of the family was
Sir Charles Slingsby, who was most unfortunately drowned by the
upsetting of a ferry-boat in the Ure in February, 1869.

We can wander through the quaint little streets above the church and
find much to interest us, particularly in the market-place, although
quite a number of the really ancient little houses that had come down to
quite recent years have now passed away. On one side of the
market-place stands a most curious little chemist’s shop, with two
small-paned windows, very low and picturesque, that slightly overhang
the footway. There seems to be small doubt that this is the oldest of
all the long-established chemists’ shops that exist in England. It dates
from the year 1720, when John Beckwith started the business, and the
conservatism of the trade is borne out by the preservation of some
interesting survivals of those early Georgian days. There are
strangely-shaped old shop-bottles, mortars, and strips of leather that
were used for quicksilver in the days when it was worn as a charm
against some forms of disease.

Just above the manor-house there is still to be seen one of the last of
the thatched houses, at one time common in the town. It is the old
Vicarage, and it still contains oak beams and some good panelling. When
we get beyond the market-place, we come out upon an elevated grassy
space upon the top of a great mass of rock whose perpendicular sides
drop down to a bend of the Nidd. Around us are scattered the ruins of
Knaresborough Castle--poor and of small account if we compare them with
Richmond, although the site is very similar; where before the siege in
1644 there must have been a most imposing mass of towers and curtain
walls. Of the great keep, only the lowest story is at all complete, for
above the first-floor there are only two sides to the tower, and these
are battered and dishevelled. The walls enclosed about the same area as
Richmond, but they are now so greatly destroyed that it is not easy to
gain a clear idea of their position. There were no less than eleven
towers, of which there now remain fragments of six, part of a gateway,
and behind the old courthouse there are evidences of a secret cell. An
underground sally-port opening into the moat, which was a dry one, is
reached by steps leading from the castle yard. The passage was opened
out in 1890, and in it were discovered a considerable number of stone
balls, probably used for the ‘balistas’ mentioned in one of the castle
records. It is a dismal fact to remember that, despite the perfect
repair of the castle in the reign of Elizabeth, and the comparatively
small amount of destruction caused during the siege conducted by
Lilburne and Fairfax, Knaresborough’s great fortress was reduced to
piles of ruins as the result of an order of the Council of State not
many years after its capture. Subsequently, as in the case of such
splendid structures as Richard I.’s Château Gaillard, the broken
remains were cheap building stone for the townsfolk, and seeing that in
those days archæological societies had yet to be instituted, who can
blame the townsfolk?

Lord Lytton gives a story of the siege that we may recall, seeing that
there is so little to vividly bring to mind the scene during the
strenuous defence of the castle by the plucky townsfolk. ‘A youth,’ we
are told, ‘whose father was in the garrison, was accustomed nightly to
get into the deep, dry moat, climb up the glacis, and put provisions
through a hole where the father stood ready to receive them. He was
perceived at length; the soldiers fired on him.’ The poor lad was made
prisoner, and sentenced to be hanged in quite medieval fashion within
sight of the garrison. There was, however, a certain lady who, with
great difficulty, prevented this barbarous order from being carried out,
and when the castle had capitulated and the soldiers had left the boy
was released.

The keep is in the Decorated style, and appears to have been built in
the reign of Edward II. Below the ground is a vaulted dungeon, dark and
horrible in its hopeless strength, which is only emphasized by the tiny
air-hole that lets in scarcely a glimmering of light, but reveals a
thickness of 15 feet of masonry that must have made a prisoner’s heart
sick. It is generally understood that Bolingbroke spared Richard II.
such confinement as this, and that when he was a prisoner in the keep he
occupied the large room on the floor above the kitchen. It is now a mere
platform, with the walls running up on two sides only. The kitchen
(sometimes called the guard-room) has a perfectly preserved roof of
heavy groining, supported by two pillars, and it contains a collection
of interesting objects, rather difficult to see, owing to the poor light
that the windows allow. The small local guide-book gives us a thrill by
stating that a very antique-looking chest is ‘said to have been the
property of William the Conqueror.’ We hope it was, but long for some
proofs. The spring mantrap is of no great age, and it was in use not
many years ago, when the owner was in the habit of exhibiting it on
market days with a notice upon it to inform the public that every night
he adjusted its deadly jaws in some part of his orchard. There is much
to interest us among the wind-swept ruins and the views into the wooded
depths of the Nidd, and we would rather stay here and trace back the
history of the castle and town to the days of that Norman Serlo de
Burgh, who is the first mentioned in its annals, than go down to the
tripper-worn Dropping Well and the Mother Shipton Inn.

When we have determined to see what these ‘sights’ have to offer, we
find that the inn is a fairly picturesque one, but with scarcely a
quarter of the interest of the old chemist’s shop we saw in the
market-place. The walk along the river bank among a fine growth of
beeches is pleasant enough, and would be enjoyable if it were not for
the fact that it leads to a ‘sight’ which has to be paid for. Under the
overhanging edge of the limestone crag hang a row of eccentric objects
constantly under the dripping water that trickles down the face of the
rock, which is itself formed entirely by the petrifying action of the
spring some yards away from the river. The water being strongly charged
with lime, everything within its reach, including the row of
‘curiosities’ in course of manufacture, are coated over and finally
reduced to limestone, the process taking about two years. When we have
come away from the well we feel we have seen all the sights we are equal
to, and gladly leave St. Robert’s Chapel and the other caves to be seen
at some more convenient season. The story of Eugene Aram and the murder
of Daniel Clark is a page in the history of Knaresborough that may
perhaps add interest to the town, but it is certainly likely to rob the
place of some of its charm, so without wasting any time on a visit to
the cave where the murdered man’s body was buried, we go out on the road
to Harrogate.

The distance between the towns is short, and soon after passing Starbeck
we come to Harrogate’s extensive common known as the Stray. We follow
the grassy space, when it takes a sharp turn to the north, and are soon
in the centre of the great watering-place. Among the buildings that rise
up in imposing masses on each side of us we can see no traces of
anything that is not of recent date, and we find nothing at all to
suggest that the place really belongs to Yorkshire.

Walking or being pulled in bath-chairs along the carefully-made paths
are all sorts and conditions of invalids, and interspersed among them
are numbers of people who, if they have any ailments curable by the
waters, are either in very advanced stages of convalescence or are
extremely expert in hiding any traces of ill-health.

There is one spot in Harrogate that has a suggestion of the early days
of the town. It is down in the corner where the valley gardens almost
join the extremity of the Stray. There we find the Royal Pump Room that
made its appearance in early Victorian times, and its circular counter
is still crowded every morning by a throng of water-drinkers. We wander
through the hilly streets and gaze at the pretentious hotels, the baths,
the huge Kursaal, the hydropathic establishments, the smart shops, and
the many churches, and then, having seen enough of the buildings, we
find a seat supported by green serpents, from which to watch the
passers-by. A white-haired and withered man, having the stamp of a
military life in his still erect bearing, paces slowly by; then come two
elaborately dressed men of perhaps twenty-five. They wear brown suits
and patent boots, and their bowler hats are pressed down on the backs of
their heads. Then nursemaids with perambulators pass, followed by a lady
in expensive garments, who talks volubly to her two pretty daughters.
When we have tired of the pavements and the people, we bid farewell to
them without much regret, being in a mood for simplicity and solitude,
and go away towards Wharfedale with the pleasant tune that a band was
playing still to remind us for a time of the scenes we have left
behind.



WHARFEDALE



CHAPTER VII

WHARFEDALE


Otley is the first place we come to in the long and beautiful valley of
the Wharfe. It is a busy little town where printing machinery is
manufactured and worsted mills appear to thrive. Immediately to the
south rises the steep ridge known as the Chevin. It answers the same
purpose as Leyburn Shawl in giving a great view over the dale; the
elevation of over 900 feet, being much greater than the Shawl, of course
commands a far more extensive panorama, and thus, in clear weather, York
Minster appears on the eastern horizon and the Ingleton Fells on the
west.

Farnley Hall, on the north side of the Wharfe, is an Elizabethan house
dating from 1581, and it is still further of interest on account of
Turner’s frequent visits, covering a great number of years, and for the
very fine collection of his paintings preserved there. The oak-panelling
and coeval furniture are particularly good, and among the historical
relics there is a remarkable memento of Marston Moor in the sword that
Cromwell carried during the battle.

A few miles higher up the dale stands the big ‘hydropathic,’ and the
station of Ben Rhydding. The name sounds very Scottish, and the man who
started the establishment came from beyond the Border. He found that the
site he had selected was marked in the Ordnance maps as a ‘bean
rhydding,’ or fallow land, so he decided to drop the ‘a’ in ‘bean,’ and
in that way get a good Scottish flavour into the name, and now its
origin is being quite forgotten. Only a short distance beyond is the
considerable town of Ilkley, where hotels and vast hydropathic
establishments flourish exceedingly, and villas are constantly adding to
the size of the place, which had a population of only 500 half a century
ago. Ilkley has an old well-house, where the water’s purity is its chief
attraction. The church contains a thirteenth-century effigy of Sir
Andrew de Middleton, and also three pre-Norman crosses without arms. On
the heights to the south of Ilkley is Rumbles Moor, and from the Cow and
Calf rocks there is a very fine view. Ilkley is particularly well
situated for walks up the dales and over the moors, as a glance at the
map at the end of this volume will show.

About six miles still further up Wharfedale Bolton Abbey stands by a
bend of the beautiful river. The ruins are most picturesquely placed on
ground slightly raised above the banks of the Wharfe. Of the domestic
buildings practically nothing remains, while the choir of the church,
the central tower, and north transepts are roofless and extremely
beautiful ruins. The nave is roofed in, and is used as a church at the
present time, and it is probable that services have been held in the
building practically without any interruption for 700 years. Hiding the
Early English west end is the lower half of a fine Perpendicular tower,
commenced by Richard Moone, the last Prior. Followers of Ruskin speak of
this as a disfigurement, and I imagine that they also despise the tower
of Fountains Abbey because it belongs to the same period. The taste
displayed in the architecture and decoration of Brantwood does not
encourage me to accept Ruskin’s pronouncements on the latest phase of
Gothic development, and I need only point to the splendid western towers
of Beverley Minster in support of my intense admiration for the dispised
Perpendicular style.

The great east window of the choir has lost its tracery, and the
Decorated windows at the sides are in the same vacant state, with the
exception of the one that appears in the illustration given here. It is
blocked up to half its height, like those on the north side, but the
flamboyant tracery of the head is perfect and very graceful. Lower down
there is some late-Norman interlaced arcading resting on carved corbels.

There is something singularly attractive in the views of the woods that
overhang the river when we see them framed by the great stone arches and
fluted piers. We can hear the rich notes of a blackbird, and the gentle
rush of the river where it washes the stony beach close at hand, and
there is present that wonderful silence that broods over ruined
monasteries.

From the abbey we can take our way by various beautiful paths to the
exceedingly rich scenery of Bolton woods. Some of the reaches of the
Wharfe through this deep and heavily-timbered part of its course are
really enchanting, and not even the knowledge that excursion parties
frequently traverse the paths can rob the views of their charm. It is
always possible, by taking a little trouble, to choose occasions for
seeing these

[Illustration: BOLTON ABBEY, WHARFEDALE

FROM under the arches of the central tower one is looking out over the
course of the river Wharfe. The abbey was founded in the twelfth century
for monks of the Order of St. Augustine.]

beautiful but very popular places when they are unspoiled by the sights
and sounds of holiday-makers, and in the autumn, when the woods have an
almost undreamed-of brilliance, the walks and drives are generally left
to the birds and the rabbits. At the Strid the river, except in
flood-times, is confined to a deep channel through the rocks, in places
scarcely more than a yard in width. It is one of those spots that
accumulate stories and legends of the individuals who have lost their
lives, or saved them, by endeavouring to leap the narrow channel. That
several people have been drowned here is painfully true, for the
temptation to try the seemingly easy but very risky jump is more than
many can resist.

Higher up, the river is crossed by the three arches of Barden Bridge, a
fine old structure bearing the inscription: ‘This bridge was repayred at
the charge of the whole West R ... 1676.’ To the south of the bridge
stands the picturesque Tudor house called Barden Tower, which was at one
time a keeper’s lodge in the manorial forest of Wharfedale. It was
enlarged by the tenth Lord Clifford--the ‘Shepherd Lord’ whose strange
life-story is mentioned in the next chapter in connection with
Skipton--but having become ruinous, it was repaired in 1658 by that
indefatigable restorer of the family castles, the Lady Anne Clifford.

At this point there is a road across the moors to Pateley Bridge, in
Nidderdale, and if we wish to explore that valley, which is now
partially filled with a lake formed by the damming of the Nidd for
Bradford’s water-supply, we must leave the Wharfe at Barden. If we keep
to the more beautiful dale we go on through the pretty village of
Burnsall to Grassington, where a branch railway has recently made its
appearance from Skipton.

The dale from this point appears more and more wild, and the fells
become gaunt and bare, with scars often fringing the heights on either
side. We keep to the east side of the river, and soon after having a
good view up Littondale, a beautiful branch valley, we come to
Kettlewell. This tidy and cheerful village stands at the foot of Great
Whernside, one of the twin fells that we saw overlooking the head of
Coverdale when we were at Middleham. Its comfortable little inns make
Kettlewell a very fine centre for rambles in the wild dales that run up
towards the head of Wharfedale.

Buckden is a small village situated at the

[Illustration: HUBBERHOLME CHURCH

IS one of the quaintest in Yorkshire. It has Norman features, but dates
chiefly from the thirteenth century. The situation on the banks of the
Wharfe in Langstrothdale Chase is most beautiful.]

junction of the road from Aysgarth, and it has the beautiful scenery of
Langstrothdale Chase stretching away to the west. About a mile higher up
the dale we come to the curious old church of Hubberholme standing close
to the river, and forming a most attractive picture in conjunction with
the bridge and the masses of trees just beyond. At Raisgill we leave the
road, which, if continued, would take us over the moors by Dodd Fell,
and then down to Hawes. The track goes across Horse Head Moor, and it is
so very slightly marked on the bent that we only follow it with
difficulty. It is steep in places, for in a short distance it climbs up
to nearly 2,000 feet. The tawny hollows in the fell-sides, and the utter
wildness spread all around, are more impressive when we are right away
from anything that can even be called a path. The sheep just remind us
of the civilization that endeavours to make what use it can of these
desolate places, and when none are in sight we are left alone with the
sky and the heaving brown hills.

When we reach the highest point before the rapid descent into Littondale
we have another great view, with Pen-y-ghent close at hand and Fountains
Fell more to the south. At the bottom of the dale flows the Skirfare,
and we follow it past the gray old village of Litton down to Arncliffe,
where there is a nice inn by such a pleasant green that we are tempted
to stay there rather than hurry on to Skipton.



SKIPTON, MALHAM AND GORDALE



CHAPTER VIII

SKIPTON, MALHAM AND GORDALE


When I think of Skipton I am never quite sure whether to look upon it as
a manufacturing centre or as one of the picturesque market towns of the
dale country. If you arrive by train, you come out of the station upon
such vast cotton-mills, and such a strong flavour of the bustling
activity of the southern parts of Yorkshire, that you might easily
imagine that the capital of Craven has no part in any holiday-making
portion of the county. But if you come by road from Bolton Abbey, you
enter the place at a considerable height, and, passing round the margin
of the wooded Haw Beck, you have a fine view of the castle, as well as
the church and the broad and not unpleasing market-place. Beyond these
appear the chimneys and the smoke of the manufacturing and railway side
of the town, almost entirely separate from the old world and historic
portion on the higher ground. When you are on the castle ramparts the
factories appear much less formidable--in fact, they seem to shrink into
quite a small area owing to the great bare hills that rise up on all
sides.

On this sunny morning, as we make our way towards the castle, we find
the attractive side of Skipton entirely unspoiled by any false
impression given by the factories. The smoke which the chimneys make
appears in the form of a thin white mist against the brown moors beyond,
and everything is very clean and very bright after heavy rain. The
gateway of the castle is flanked by two squat towers. They are circular
and battlemented, and between them upon a parapet, which is higher than
the towers themselves, appears the motto of the Cliffords, ‘Desormais’
(hereafter), in open stone letters. Beyond the gateway stands a great
mass of buildings with two large round towers just in front; to the
right, across a sloping lawn, appears the more modern and inhabited
portion of the castle. The squat round towers gain all our attention,
but as we pass through the doorways into the courtyard beyond, we are
scarcely prepared for the astonishingly beautiful quadrangle that awaits
us. It is small, and the centre is occupied by a great yew-tree, whose
tall, purply-red trunk goes up to

[Illustration: THE COURTYARD OF SKIPTON CASTLE

THE buildings of this portion of the castle, although in such good
preservation, are not occupied.]

the level of the roofs without any branches or even twigs, but at that
height it spreads out freely into a feathery canopy of dark green,
covering almost the whole of the square of sky visible from the
courtyard. The base of the trunk is surrounded by a massive stone seat,
with plain shields on each side. The sunlight that comes through this
green network is very much subdued when it falls upon walls and the
pavement, which becomes strewn over with circular splashes of whiteness.
The masonry of the walls on every side, where not showing the original
red of the sandstone, has been weathered into beautiful emerald tints,
and to a height of two or three feet there is a considerable growth of
moss on the worn mouldings. The general appearance of the courtyard
suggests more that of a manor-house than a castle, the windows and
doorways being purely Tudor. The circular towers and other portions of
the walls belong to the time of Edward II., and there is also a
roundheaded door that cannot be later than the time of Robert de
Romillé, one of the Conqueror’s followers. The rooms that overlook the
shady quadrangle are very much decayed and entirely unoccupied. They
include an old dining-hall of much picturesqueness, kitchens, pantries,
and butteries, some of them only lighted by narrow windows on the outer
faces of the wall. There are many large bedrooms and other dark
apartments in the towers. Only a little restoration would be required to
put a great portion of these into habitable condition, for they are
structurally in a good state of repair, as may be seen to some extent
from the picture of the courtyard reproduced here. The destruction
caused during the siege which took place during the Civil War might have
brought Skipton Castle to much the same condition as Knaresborough but
for the wealth and energy of that remarkable woman Lady Anne Clifford,
who was born here in 1589. She was the only surviving child of George,
the third Earl of Cumberland, and grew up under the care of her mother,
Margaret, Countess of Cumberland, of whom Lady Anne used to speak as ‘my
blessed mother.’ Her reverence for the memory of this admirable parent
is also shown in the feeling which prompted her to put up a pillar by
the roadside, between Penrith and Appleby, to commemorate their last
meeting, and, besides this, the Lady Anne left a sum of money to be
given to the poor at that spot on a certain day every year. After her
first marriage with Richard Sackville, Earl of Dorset, Lady Anne
married the profligate Philip, Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery. She was
widowed a second time in 1649, and after that began the period of her
munificence and usefulness. With immense enthusiasm, she undertook the
work of repairing the castles that belonged to her family, Brougham,
Appleby, Barden Tower, and Pendragon being restored as well as Skipton.
We can see in the towers where the later work begins, and the custodian
who shows us through the apartments points out many details which are
invisible without the aid of his candle.

Besides attending to the decayed castles, the Countess repaired no less
than seven churches, and to her we owe the careful restoration of the
parish church of Skipton. She began the repairs to the sacred building
even before she turned her attention to the wants of the castle. In her
private memorials we read how, ‘In the summer of 1665 ... at her own
charge, she caus’d the steeple of Skipton Church to be built up againe,
which was pull’d down in the time of the late Warrs, and leaded it over,
and then repaired some part of the Church and new glaz’d the Windows, in
every of which Window she put quaries, stained with a yellow colour,
these two letters--viz., A. P., and under them the year 1655....
Besides, she raised up a noble Tomb of Black Marble in memory of her
Warlike Father.’ This magnificent altar-tomb still stands within the
Communion rails on the south side of the chancel. It is adorned with
seventeen shields, and Whitaker doubted ‘whether so great an assemblage
of noble bearings can be found on the tomb of any other Englishman.’
This third Earl was a notable figure in the reign of Elizabeth, and
having for a time been a great favourite with the Queen, he received
many of the posts of honour she loved to bestow. He was a skilful and
daring sailor, helping to defeat the Spanish Armada, and building at his
own expense one of the greatest fighting ships of his time,
Elizabeth--who, like the present German Emperor, never lost an
opportunity of fostering the growth of her navy--being present at the
launching ceremony.

The memorials of Lady Anne give a description of her appearance in the
manner of that time: ‘The colour of her eyes was black like her
Father’s,’ we are told, ‘with a peak of hair on her forehead, and a
dimple in her chin, like her father. The hair of her head was brown and
very thick, and so long that it reached to the calf of her legs when
she stood upright; and when she caused these memorials of herself to be
written (she had passed the year 63 of her age), she said _the
perfections of her mind were much above those of her body_; she had a
strong and copious memory, a sound judgment, and a discerning spirit,
and so much of a strong imagination in her as that at many times even
her dreams and apprehensions beforehand proved true.’ The Countess died
at the great age of eighty-seven at Brougham Castle in Westmoreland, and
was buried in the Church of St. Lawrence at Appleby.

We cannot leave these old towers of Skipton Castle without going back to
the days of John, the ninth Lord Clifford, that ‘Bloody Clifford’ who
was one of the leaders of the Lancastrians at Wakefield, where his
merciless slaughter earned him the title of ‘the Butcher.’ He died by a
chance arrow the night before the Battle of Towton, so fatal to the
cause of Lancaster, and Lady Clifford and the children took refuge in
her father’s castle at Brough. For greater safety Henry, the heir, was
placed under the care of a shepherd whose wife had nursed the boy’s
mother when a child. In this way the future baron grew up as an entirely
uneducated shepherd lad, spending his days on the fells in the
primitive fashion of the peasants of the fifteenth century. When he was
about twelve years old Lady Clifford, hearing rumours that the
whereabouts of her children had become known, sent the shepherd and his
wife with the boy into an extremely inaccessible part of Cumberland. He
remained there until his thirty-second year, when the Battle of Bosworth
placed Henry VII. on the throne. Then the shepherd lord was brought to
Londesborough, and when the family estates had been restored, he went
back to Skipton Castle. The strangeness of his new life being irksome to
him, Lord Clifford spent most of his time in Barden Forest at one of the
keeper’s lodges, which he adapted for his own use. There he hunted and
studied astronomy and astrology with the canons of Bolton.

At Flodden Field he led the men-at-arms from Craven, and showed that by
his life of extreme simplicity he had in no way diminished the
traditional valour of the Cliffords. When he died they buried him at
Bolton Abbey, where many of his ancestors lay, and as his successor died
after the dissolution of the monasteries, the ‘Shepherd Lord’ was the
last to be buried in that secluded spot by the Wharfe.

Skipton has always been a central spot for the exploration of this
southern portion of the dales, and since the Midland Railway has lately
put out an arm to the north, there are lines going in five directions.
The new branch that goes into Wharfedale stops just before it reaches
Grassington, and has an intermediate station with a triple name in
consideration of the fact that it is placed at almost exactly the same
distance from the three villages of Hetton, Rylstone, and Cracoe.
Whether we go by road or rail, we have good views of Flasby and Rylstone
Fells as we pass along the course of Eller Beck to the romantically
situated village made famous by Wordsworth’s ballad of ‘The White Doe of
Rylstone.’ The site of the old manor-house where the Nortons lived may
still be seen in a field to the east of the church. Owing to the part
they took in the Rising of the North in 1569 the Nortons lost all their
property in Yorkshire, and among the humble folk of Rylstone who shared
in the rebellion there was Richard Kitchen, Mr. Norton’s butler, who
lost much more, for he was executed at Ripon. From Hetton we follow a
road to the west, and passing the hamlet of Winterburn, come to Airton,
where there are some interesting old houses, one of them dating from
the year of the Great Fire of London. Turning to the north, we come to
Kirby Malham, less than two miles off. It is a pretty little village
with green limestone hills rising on all sides; a rushing beck coming
off Kirby Fell takes its way past the church, and there is an old
vicarage as well as some picturesque cottages.

We find our way to a decayed lych-gate, whose stones are very black and
moss-grown, and then get a close view of the Perpendicular church. The
interior is full of interest, not only on account of the Norman font and
the canopied niches in the pillars of the nave, but also for the old
pews. The Malham people seemingly found great delight in recording their
names on the woodwork of the pews, for carefully carved initials and
dates appear very frequently. All the pews have been cut down to the
accepted height of the present day with the exception of some on the
north side which were occupied by the more important families, and these
still retain their squareness and the high balustrades above the
panelled lower portions. One of the parish registers has the rare
distinction of containing Oliver Cromwell’s signature to a marriage.
There is also the entry of the baptism on November 7, 1619, of John
Lambert, who became famous as Major-General in the Roundhead army.

Just under the moorland heights surrounding Malham Tarn is the other
village of Malham. It is a charming spot, even in the gloom of a wintry
afternoon. The houses look on to a strip of uneven green, cut in two,
lengthways, by the Aire. We go across the clear and sparkling waters by
a rough stone footbridge, and, making our way past a farm, find
ourselves in a few minutes at Gordale Bridge. Here we abandon the
switchback lane, and, climbing a wall, begin to make our way along the
side of the beck. The fells drop down fairly sharply on each side, and
in the failing light there seems no object in following the stream any
further, when quite suddenly the green slope on the right stands out
from a scarred wall of rock beyond, and when we are abreast of the
opening we find ourselves before a vast fissure that leads right into
the heart of the fell. The great split is S-shaped in plan, so that when
we advance into its yawning mouth we are surrounded by limestone cliffs
more than 300 feet high. If one visits Gordale Scar for the first time
alone on a gloomy evening, as I have done, I can promise the most
thrilling sensations to those who have yet to see this astonishing
sight. It almost appeared to me as though I were dreaming, and that I
was Aladin approaching the magician’s palace. I had read some of the
eighteenth-century writers’ descriptions of the place, and imagined that
their vivid accounts of the terror inspired by the overhanging rocks
were mere exaggerations, but now I sympathize with every word. The scars
overhang so much on the east side that there is not much space to get
out of reach of the water that drips from every portion. Great masses of
stone were lying upon the bright strip of turf, and among them I noticed
some that could not have been there long; this made me keep close under
the cliff in justifiable fear of another fall. I stared with
apprehension at one rock that would not only kill, but completely bury,
anyone upon whom it fell, and I thought those old writers had underrated
the horrors of the place. Through a natural arch in the rocks that faced
me came a foaming torrent broken up below into a series of cascades, and
the roar of the waters in the confined space added much to the fear that
was taking possession of me. It was owing to the curious habit that
waterfalls have of seeming to become suddenly louder that I must own to
that sense of fearfulness, for at one moment the noise

[Illustration: GORDALE SCAR

THIS is one of the most astonishing sights in Yorkshire. The gorge is a
result of the Craven Fault--a geological dislocation that has also made
the huge cliffs of Malham Cove. The stream is the Aire. It can be seen
coming through a natural arch high up among the rocks.]

sounded so suddenly different that I was convinced that a considerable
fall of stones had commenced among the crags overhead, and that in a
moment they would crash into the narrow cleft. Common-sense seemed to
urge an immediate retreat, for there was too much water coming down the
falls to allow me to climb out that way, as I could otherwise have done.
The desire to carry away some sort of picture of the fearsome place was,
however, triumphant, and the result is given in this chapter.

Wordsworth writes of

    ‘Gordale chasm, terrific as the lair
     Where the young lions couch,’

and he also describes it as one of the grandest objects in nature.

A further result of the Craven fault that produced Gordale Scar can be
seen at Malham Cove, about a mile away. There the cliff forms a curved
front 285 feet high, facing the open meadows down below. The limestone
is formed in layers of great thickness, dividing the face of the cliff
into three fairly equal sections, the ledges formed at the commencement
of each stratum allowing of the growth of bushes and small trees. A
hard-pressed fox is said to have taken refuge on one of these
precarious ledges, and finding his way stopped in front, he tried to
turn, and in doing so fell and was killed.

At the base of the perpendicular face of the cliff the Aire flows from a
very slightly arched recess in the rock. It is a really remarkable
stream in making its début without the slightest fuss, for it is large
enough at its very birth to be called a small river. Its modesty is a
great loss to Yorkshire, for if, instead of gathering strength in the
hidden places in the limestone fells, it were to keep to more rational
methods, it would flow to the edge of the Cove, and there precipitate
itself in majestic fashion into a great pool below. There is some reason
for believing that on certain occasions in the past the stream has taken
the more showy course, and if sufficient cement could be introduced into
some of the larger fissures above, a fall might be induced to occur
after every period of heavy rain. All the romance would perhaps
disappear if we knew that the effect was artificial, and therefore we
would no doubt be wiser to remain content with the Cove as it is.



SETTLE AND THE INGLETON FELLS



CHAPTER IX

SETTLE AND THE INGLETON FELLS


The track across the moor from Malham Cove to Settle cannot be
recommended to anyone at night, owing to the extreme difficulty of
keeping to the path without a very great familiarity with every yard of
the way, so that when I merely suggested taking that route one wintry
night the villagers protested vigorously. I therefore took the road that
goes up from Kirby Malham, having borrowed a large hurricane lamp from
the ‘Buck’ Inn at Malham. Long before I reached the open moor I was
enveloped in a mist that would have made the track quite invisible even
where it was most plainly marked, and I blessed the good folk at Malham
who had advised me to take the road rather than run the risks of the
pot-holes that are a feature of the limestone fells. This moor is on the
range of watersheds of Northern England, for it sends streams east and
west that find their way into the Irish Sea and German Ocean.

With the swinging lantern throwing vast shadows of my own figure upon
the mist, and the stony road under my feet, I at length dropped down the
steep descent into Settle, having seen no human being on the road since
I left Kirby Malham. Even Settle was almost as lonely, for I had nearly
reached a building called The Folly, which is near the middle of the
town, before I met the first inhabitant.

In the morning I discovered that The Folly was the most notable house in
the town, for its long stone front dates from the time of Charles II.,
and it is a very fine example of the most elaborate treatment of a house
of that size and period to be found in the Craven district. Settle has a
most distinctive feature in the possession of Castleberg, a steep
limestone hill, densely wooded except at the very top, that rises
sharply just behind the market-place. Before the trees were planted
there seems to have been a sundial on the side of the hill, the
precipitous scar on the top forming the gnomon. No one remembers this
curious feature, although a print showing the numbers fixed upon the
slope was published in 1778. The market-place has lost its curious old
tollbooth, and in its place stands a town hall of good Tudor design.
Departed also is much of the charm of the old Shambles that occupy a

[Illustration: SETTLE

THIS grey old town in Ribblesdale is one of the quaintest in this part
of Yorkshire.]

central position in the square. The lower story, with big arches forming
a sort of piazza in front of the butcher’s and other shops, still
remains in its old state, but the upper portion has been restored in the
fullest sense of that comprehensive term.

In the steep street that we came down on entering the town there may
still be seen a curious old tower, which seems to have forgotten its
original purpose. Some of the houses have carved stone lintels to their
doorways and seventeenth-century dates, while the stone figure on ‘The
Naked Man’ Inn, although bearing the date 1663, must be very much older,
the year of rebuilding being probably indicated rather than the date of
the figure.

The Ribble divides Settle from its former parish church at Giggleswick,
and until 1838 the townsfolk had to go over the bridge and along a short
lane to the village which held its church. Settle having been formed
into a separate parish, the parish clerk of the ancient village no
longer has the fees for funerals and marriages. Although able to share
the church, the two places had stocks of their own for a great many
years. At Settle they have been taken from the market square and placed
in the court-house, and at Giggleswick one of the first things we see on
entering the village is one of the stone posts of the stocks standing
by the steps of the market cross. This cross has a very well preserved
head, and it makes the foreground of a very pretty picture as we look at
the battlemented tower of the church through the stone-roofed lichgate
grown over with ivy. The history of this fine old church, dedicated,
like that of Middleham, to St. Alkelda, has been written by Mr. Thomas
Brayshaw, who knows every detail of the old building from the chalice
inscribed ‘✠ THE. COMMVNION. CVPP. BELONGINGE. TO. THE. PARISHE. OF.
IYGGELSWICKE. MADE. IN. ANO. 1585.’ to the inverted Norman capitals now
forming the bases of the pillars. The tower and the arcades date from
about 1400, and the rest of the structure is about 100 years older.

‘The Black Horse’ Inn has still two niches for small figures of saints,
that proclaim its ecclesiastical connections in early times. It is said
that in the days when it was one of the duties of the churchwardens to
see that no one was drinking there during the hours of service the
inspection used to last up to just the end of the sermon, and that when
the custom was abolished the church officials regretted it exceedingly.
Giggleswick is also the proud possessor of a school founded in 1512. It
has grown from a very small beginning to a considerable establishment,
and it possesses one of the most remarkable school chapels that can be
seen anywhere in the country. It was built between 1897 and 1901, as a
memorial of Queen Victoria’s ‘Diamond Jubilee,’ by Mr. Walter Morrison,
who spared no expense in clothing it with elaborate decoration, executed
by some of the most renowned artists of the present day. The design of
the building is by Mr. T. G. Jackson, R.A.

The museum is of more than ordinary interest on account of the very fine
collection of prehistoric remains discovered in the Victoria Cave two
miles to the north-east of Settle. Besides bones of such animals as the
cave bear, bison, elephant, and grisly bear, fragments of pottery were
discovered, together with bronze and silver coins dating from the Roman
period.

An ebbing and flowing well, which has excited the admiration of all the
earlier writers on this part of Yorkshire, can be seen at about the
distance of a mile to the north of Giggleswick. The old prints show this
as a most spectacular natural phenomenon; but whatever it may have been
a century or more ago, it appears at the present day as little more than
an ordinary roadside well, so common in this neighbourhood. In very dry
or very wet weather the well remains inactive, but when there is a
medium supply of water the level of the water is constantly changing.
Giggleswick Tarn is no longer in existence, for it has been drained, and
the site is occupied by pastures. The very fine British canoe,
discovered when the drainage operations were in progress, is now
preserved in the Leeds Museum.

The road that goes northward from Settle keeps close to the Midland
Railway, which here forces its way right through the Dale Country, under
the very shoulders of Pen-y-ghent, and within sight of the flat top of
Ingleborough. The greater part of this country is composed of limestone,
forming bare hillsides honeycombed with underground waters and
pot-holes, which often lead down into the most astonishing caverns. In
Ingleborough itself there is Gaping Gill Hole, a vast fissure nearly 350
feet deep. It was only partially explored by M. Martel in 1895.
Ingleborough Cave penetrates into the mountain to a distance of nearly
1,000 feet, and is one of the best of these limestone caverns for its
stalactite formations. Guides take visitors from the village of Clapham
to the inmost recesses and chambers that branch out of the small
portion discovered in 1837.

The fells contain so many fissures and curious waterfalls that drop into
abysses of blackness, that it would take an infinite time to adequately
describe even a portion of them. The scenery is wild and gaunt, and is
much the same as the moors at the head of Swaledale, described in an
earlier chapter. In every direction there are opportunities for splendid
mountain walks, and if the tracks are followed the danger of hidden
pot-holes is comparatively small. From the summit of Ingleborough, and,
indeed, from most of the fells that reach 2,000 feet, there are
magnificent views across the brown fells, broken up with horizontal
lines formed by the bare rocky scars. Bowfell, Whernside, Great Shunnor
Fell, High Seat, and a dozen other heights, dominate the lower and
greener country, and to the west, where the mountains drop down towards
Morecambe Bay, one looks all over the country watered by the Lune and
the Kent, the two rivers that flow from the seaward side of these lofty
watersheds.



INDEX


Addlebrough, 83, 89

Agincourt, Battle of, 96

Aire, river, 159, 162

Airton, 157

Aislabie, John, 116

Alan Rufus of Brittany, first Earl of Richmond, 18, 29, 32, 33

Alnwick, 35

Alwine, Parson of Wencelaw, 107

Anglo-Saxon population of Yorkshire, 40

Appleby, 152
  Castle, 153
  Church of St. Lawrence, 155

Aram, Eugene, 134

Arkengarthdale, 60

Arkle Beck, 63

Armada, Spanish, 154

Arncliffe, 146

Aske, family of, 43
  Roger de, 59

Askrigg, 65, 86, 89-96, 100, 115

Aysgarth, 91, 97, 100, 102, 145
  Force, 98, 99, 102


Bain, River, 87

Bainbridge, 84, 86, 87, 88, 89, 94, 100

Bangor, Matthew Hutton, Bishop of, 53

Bannockburn, Battle of, 59, 128

Bardale, 84
  Beck, 85

Barden Bridge, 143, 144,
  Forest, 143, 156
  Tower, 143, 144, 153, 156

Baugh or Bow Fell, 89

Bayeux tapestry, 40

Beaufort, Margaret, 36

Beckwith, John, 130

Bedale, 13, 32, 38
  Scolland Lord of, 32

Ben Rhydding, 140

Benedictine nuns at Marrick, 59

Beverley, 22
  Minster, 141

Bishop Dale, 100, 101
  Beck, 101

Bolingbroke, 133

Bolton Abbey, 141, 142, 149, 156
  Canons of, 156
  Castle, 88, 103, 104, 106
  lords of, 42, 96, 103
  Hall, 104, 105, 108
  Woods, 142

Boroughbridge, 128

Bosworth, Battle of, 156

Bow or Baugh Fell, 89, 171

Bradford, water supply of, 144

Brantwood, Coniston, 141

Brayshaw, Thomas, 168

Bretons, 16, 34, 39, 40

Bridlington, 22

British canoe, early, 170

Brittany, Dukes of, 18, 31, 35

Brough Castle, 153
  Hill, 84

Brougham Castle, 153, 155

Buckden, 144
  Pike, 102

Buonaparte, Napoleon, 105, 106

Burgh, Serlo de, 133

Burnsall, 144

Buttertubs Pass, 65, 71-76

Buxton, 19

Byron, Lord, 48


Calver Hill, 61

Cam Fell, 84
  Gill Beck, 102

Canterbury, Matthew Hutton, Archbishop of, 53

Carlow Stone, Semmerwater, 84

Carperby, 97

Castleberg Settle, 166

Catherine, Queen, widow of Henry V., 36

Catterick, 32

Charles I., 129
  II., time of, 166

Château Gaillard, 131

Chemist’s shop, old, at Knaresborough, 130

Chevin, The, 139

Christianity, early, in Yorkshire, 118

Cistercian abbeys, 115, 119
  Nuns at Ellerton, 59

Civil War, the, of Charles I., 39, 103, 127, 129, 152, 153, 158

Clapham, 170

Clark, Daniel, 134

Clarkson, C., 23, 24

Cleveland Hills, 82

Clifford, family of, 150, 156
  the ninth Lord, 155
  Lady, 155, 156
  the tenth Lord, 143, 155, 156
  the Lady Anne, 144, 152-155

Clock-making in Wensleydale, 65, 92

Cogden Moor, 58

Commonwealth, time of, 19

Conan, fifth Earl of Richmond, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 115

Conyers, arms of, 23, 43

Corfe Castle, Dorsetshire, 110

Corn, lack of, in dales, 64, 81

Cotterdale, 92

Counterside, 88

Coverdale, 111, 144

Cow and Calf Rocks, Rumbles Moor, 140

Cracoe, 157

Cragdale, 85

Craven Fault, the, 161
  district, 149, 166
  men of, 156

Cromwell, Oliver, 127, 128, 129, 140, 158

Cumberland, 37, 156
  George, third Earl of, 152, 154
  Margaret, Countess of, 152

Cumbrian Hills, 4


Dalesmen, 74, 106

Dallowgill Moor, 120

Danish population of Yorkshire, 40

De Burgh, Serlo, 133

De la Mare, Abbot, 108

Decorated Gothic Period, 23, 29, 109, 132, 142

Diamond Jubilee, the, of Queen Victoria, 169

Dissolution of the Monasteries, 25, 26, 121

Dodd Fell, 81, 82, 89, 145

Domesday Book, 32

Domfront, Normandy, 33

Dorset, Richard Sackville, Earl of, 152, 153

Douglas, Sir James, 128

Downholme, 56, 57
  Moor, 55

Dropping well, Knaresborough, 125, 134

Duerley Beck, 81

Durham, 14, 38, 53

Dykes, Oswald, 108


Early English, period of Gothic, 117, 141

Easby Abbey, 40-43, 51, 105, 107

Ebbing and flowing well at Giggleswick, 169

Eden, River, 66

Edward II., 128
  reign of, 132, 151
  III., reign of, 35, 37
  IV., 109
  Prince of Wales, only son of Richard III., 110

Edwin, Earl, 30, 33

Eller Beck (Skipton), 157

Ellerton, 59

Elizabeth, Queen, 53, 154
  reign of, 131, 154

Eugene Aram, 134


Fairfax, Thomas, Lord, 131

Falaise, Normandy, 33

Fantosme, Jordan, chronicle of, 34

Farmhouse, the, of the North Riding, 101

Farnley Hall, 139

‘Felon Sow of Rokeby, The,’ 26, 27, 28

Fences, stone, 6

Fitz-Hugh, arms of, 23

Fitz-Randolph, Robert, 109

Fitz-Ranulph, Radulph, 28

Flasby Fell, 157

Flodden Field, 156

Fors Abbey (Jervaulx), 91

Fountains Abbey, 41, 119, 121, 141
  Fell, 145

Fox, George, 88

Franciscans at Richmond, 25, 26, 28


Gaping Gill Hole, 170

Gaunt, John of, 36

Gayle, 81

Gent, Thomas, 116

_Gentleman’s Magazine_, The, 127

Geology, 45, 76, 77

German Emperor, William II.,
  III, 144

German Ocean, 166

Giggleswick, 167, 168, 169
  School, 168, 169

Giggleswick Tarn, 169

Gill Beck (Swaledale), 47

Gilling, 33, 34
  East, wapentake of, 33
  West, wapentake of, 33

Gillingshire, 33

Glacial Epochs, 5, 77

Glanville or Glanvile,   Randulf de, 35

Goodricke, Sir John, 127

Gordale Bridge, 159
  Scar, 159, 160, 161

Gormire (Thirsk), 85

Grandfather-clocks, 65, 92

Grassington, 144, 157

Gray, Archbishop Walter, 117

Great Central Railway, 8
  Northern Railway, 8

Great Shunnor Fell, 72, 76, 79, 171

Great Whernside, 111, 144

Greyfriars, Richmond, 25, 26, 28

Griffin, Gilbert, 28

Grinton, 60

Guilds, trade, at Richmond, 37, 38


Hardraw Scar (or Force), 5, 77, 78, 79, 80, 98, 99

Harkerside Moor, 58

Harrogate, 19, 129, 135, 136

Haw Beck, Skipton, 149

Hawes, 5, 9, 64, 72, 75, 76, 77, 80, 89, 92, 93, 145

Hawes Junction, 63

Heather on the fells, 5

Helvellyn, 83

Henry II., 34
  III., reign of, 43
  V., Catherine widow of, 36
  VI., play of, 109
  VII., 36, 156
    reign of, 26
  VIII., reign of, 18, 42

Hetton, 157

Hexham, 118

High Seat, 66, 171

Hobs and wraithes, 74

Holy Rood (September 27), custom
  commencing at, 88

Hornblower, the, of Ripon, 116

Horse Head Moor, 145

Houses (farms) of the North Riding, 101

Hubberholme, 145

Hudswell, 55

Hutchinson, John, 64

Hutton, Matthew, Archbishop of York (1594), 52

Hutton, Matthew, Archbishop of Canterbury (1757), 53

Hutton, Captain Matthew, 53


Ice action, 5

Ilkley, 140

Ingleborough, 3, 76, 170, 171
  Cave, 170

Ingleton Fells, the, 139, 170, 171

Irish Sea, 166


Jackson family of Counterside, 88
  T. G., R.A., 169

Jervaulx Abbey, 100, 115

John of Gaunt, 36

Jyggelswicke. See Giggleswick


Keld, 65, 66

Kent River, 171

Kettlewell, 144

Kirby Fell, 158
  Malham, 158, 165, 166

Kisdon Force, 65
  Hill, 65

Kitchen, Richard, 157

Kitchener, Lord, 65

Knappey, 96. See Nappa Hall

Knaresborough, 125-135
  Castle, 130-133, 152
  Manor House, 126, 130

Knight Templars, chapel of, 106, 107

Knitting in Wensleydale, 91, 92

Knollys, Sir Francis (1568), 103, 104


Lady’s Pillar, 66

Lake District, 4, 63, 66, 82, 83

Lambert, Major-General John, 158, 159

Lancashire, 36

Lancastrians, 155

Langside, Battle of, 103

Langstrothdale, 82, 83, 102, 145

‘Lass of Richmond Hill, The,’ ballad of, 36

Lead mines, 60

Leeds Museum, 170

Leland, John, 18, 22, 24, 26, 33, 59, 81, 97, 99

Leyburn, 13, 55, 57, 92, 104, 109, 111, 139

Leyburn Shawl, 104, 110, 111

Lilburne, of Cromwellian army, 131

Ling, growth of, on the fells, 82

Litton, 146

Littondale, 5, 144, 145

Londesborough, 156

Lune River, 171

Lytton, Lord, 132


Malham, 159, 165
  Cove, 161, 162, 165
  Tarn, 159

Mare, Abbot de la, brass of, 108

Marrick, 59
  Priory, 59

Marske, 51, 52, 55
  Beck, 52, 54
  Hall, 52, 53, 54
    obelisk at, 53, 54

Marston Moor, Battle of, 140

Martel, M., 170

Mary Queen of Scots, 97, 103, 104, 105

Masham, 38, 115

Mashamshire Volunteers, 106

Mercia, 34

Metcalfe family, 91, 96, 97
  James, 96
  Thomas, 96

Mickleden, 63

Middleham, 28, 38, 92, 109, 110, 144, 168

Middleton, Friar of Richmond, 26, 27

Middleton, Sir Andrew de, 140

Midland Railway, 9, 66, 159, 170

Mill Gill Force, 95, 98

Monasteries, Dissolution of, 25, 26

Moone, Richard, Prior of Bolton, 141

Morecambe Bay, 171

Morris, Joseph E., 64

Morrison, Walter, 169

Mowbray, Vale of, 30, 31, 106

Muker, 61, 63, 64, 65, 71, 72, 92

Murray’s ‘Guide to Yorkshire,’ 92, 93


Napoleon’s threatened invasion of England, 105

Nappa Hall, 86, 91, 96, 97

Navy, British, 154

Neville, Anne, 110
  arms of, 23
  family of, 109
  Ralph, first Earl of Westmoreland, 36

Newby Hall, Ripon, 97

Nidd River, 125, 130, 133, 144

Nidderdale, 144

Norman Conquest, 14, 32
  period and architecture, 18, 19,
     28, 29, 31, 32, 33, 42, 50, 57, 87, 91, 109, 110,
     117, 120, 142, 158, 168

Northallerton, 128

North-Eastern Railway, 9, 14

North Sea, 166

Norton family of Rylstone, 157


Obelisk at Marske, 53
  Richmond, 23
  Ripon, 116

Old Cam Road, 84

Otley, 139


Parliament, the English, 106

Pateley Bridge, 144

Pembroke and Montgomery, Lady Anne, Countess of, 144, 152-155

Pembroke and Montgomery, Philip, Earl of, 153

Pendragon Castle, 153

Penhill Beacon, 83, 105, 106

Pennine Range, 3, 4

Penrith, 152

Pen-y-ghent, 3, 145, 170

Perpendicular Period, 18, 23, 25, 28, 43, 91, 100, 108, 117, 141, 158

Pickering, 43

Pisgah, Mount, 48

Plagues at Richmond, 37

Potholes, 67, 71, 74, 75

Pratt, clock-maker at Askrigg, 65

Prehistoric remains, 169

Purbeck, Corfe Castle in Isle of, 110


Quakers at Counterside, 88

Queen’s Gap, The, at Leyburn Shawl, 104


Railways in the Dale Country, 8

Rainfall in the dales, 63

Raisgill, 145

Ralph of Rokeby, 26

Randolph, Robert Fitz-, 109

Ranulph, Radulph Fitz-, 28

Raydale, 85

Redmire, 103

Reeth, 51, 52, 53, 60, 61

Ribald, brother of a Norman Earl of Richmond, 109

Ribble, River, 167

Ribblesdale, 9, 167-171

Richard I., 131
  II., 133
      reign of, 18, 36
  III., only son of, 110
      arms of, 110

Richmond, 13-42, 49, 55, 61, 115, 116
  Barley Cross, the, 24

Richmond Castle, 15, 29-37, 39, 42, 130, 131
  walk, 19
  curfew-bell, 18
  Earls of, 18, 29, 31, 32, 35, 36, 109, 115
  gates and walls, 21, 22, 24
  Holy Trinity Church, 17, 33
  King’s Head Hotel, 17
  market-place, 16, 19, 21, 22, 30
  may-pole, 24
  Mayor and Corporation of, 15, 24, 50
  obelisk, 16, 23
  old cross, the, 23, 24
  pillory, 24
  plagues at, 37
  Rural Deanery of, 38
  Trade Guilds of, 37, 38
  whipping-post, 24

‘Richmondshire, History of,’ by H. Speight, 60, 97
  men of, 35

Rievaulx Abbey, 41

Ripley, Hugh, of Ripon, 118

Ripon, 41, 97, 115-118, 157
  Lord (1906), 119
  Minster, 117, 118

Rising of the North, the, 157

Road-making, 94

Roald, Constable of Richmond Castle, 42

Robin Hood’s Tower, Richmond Castle, 31

Robinson, Richard, of Counterside, 88

Rogan’s Seat, 66

Rokeby, Ralph of, 26
  ‘The Felon Sow of,’ 26

Roman type of crypt at Ripon, 118

Romans at Bainbridge, 84, 87
  at Catterick, 32

Romans at Richmond, 40
  near Settle, 169

Romillé, Robert de, 151

Roseberry Topping, 106

Rumbles Moor, 140

Ruskin, John, 141

Rylstone, 157
  ballad of the White Doe of, 157
  Fell, 157


Sackville, Richard, Earl of Dorset, 152, 153

Sanderson, Prior Robert, 25

Saxon remains, lack of, at Richmond, 33
  or pre-Norman crosses, 140

Scarborough, 39

Scarth Nick, 105

Scolland, Lord of Bedale, 32

Scolland’s Hall, Richmond Castle, 32

Scots, defeat of, at Alnwick, 35
  raids of the, 36, 37, 59, 128

Scott, Sir Walter, ballad of ‘The Felon Sow of Rokeby,’ 26

Scrope, arms of, 23, 108
  family of, 42, 43, 96, 103, 105, 108
  Richard, Lord of Bolton, 105
  Sir Henry le, 42
  Sir William le, 42
  ninth Lord, 103
  tombs, 42

Sedbergh, 62

Semmerwater, 84-88

Settle, 9, 165-167, 169

Shakespeare’s play of ‘Henry VI.,’ 109

Shambles at Settle, 166

Sharp, Roger, 38

Sheep, Wensleydale, 115

Shelley, Percy B., 90

Shene, Surrey, 36

Shrovetide, 88

Simon de Wenselawe, Sir, 108

Skell, River, 119

Skipton, 9, 14, 143, 144, 146, 149-157
  Castle, 150-156

Skirfare, River, 146

Slinger, a woman of Cotterdale, 92

Slingsby, family of, 129
  Francis, 129
  Mary, 129
  Sir Charles, 129
  Sir Henry, 129

Snowstorms in the dales, 83

South Africa, 7

Spanish Armada, 154

Speight, Harry, 83, 87, 97

St. Agatha’s Abbey, Easby, 40

St. Alban’s Abbey, 108

St. Alkelda, churches dedicated to, 110, 168

St. Anne, chantry to, at Askrigg, 91

St. Martin’s Priory at Richmond, 28, 42

St. Mary’s Abbey at York, 28

St. Nicholas, Chapel of, in Richmond Castle, 31

St. Pancras Station, London, 9

St. Robert’s Chapel, Knaresborough, 134

St. Wilfrid’s Needle, Ripon, 118

Stag’s Fell, 65

Stake Fell, 83

Starbeck, 135

Starbottom, 102

Storms in the dales, 62, 63, 83

Stray, the, at Harrogate, 135

Strid, the, 143

Studley Royal, 119

Swale, River, 20, 21, 41, 48-67

Swaledale, 8, 13, 47-64, 83

Swine Cross, Middleham, 110


Tees, high force on the, 99

Teesdale, 64

Templars, Knight, chapel of, 106

Thames River, 36

Thirsk, 106
  William, last Abbot of Fountains Abbey, 121

Thoralby, 100, 101

Thornton, William (Askrigg), 90

Tibetot, arms of, 23

Tintern Abbey, 41

Tor Mere Top, 102

Towton, Battle of, 155

Tudor, Edmund, 36

Turner, J. W. M., 59, 84, 139


Ure, River and Valley of, 43, 71, 80, 89,
     97-99, 102, 107, 109, 115, and see Wensleydale

Uredale, 81, and see Wensleydale


Vale of Mowbray, 31, 106
  of York, 6

Victoria Cave, 169
  Queen, 169

Volunteers, Wensleydale, etc., 105, 106

Wakefield, Battle of, 155

Wakemen, the, of Ripon, 117, 118

Walburn Hall, 57
  Wymer de, 57

Waldendale, 102

Walker, George, 91

Warwick, arms of, 110
  the King-maker, 109

Watershed of England, 166, 171

Watling Street, 27

Wayne, Christopher, 23

Wencelaw. See Wensley

Wenselawe. See Wensley

Wensley, 105, 107, 110

Wensleydale, 5, 43, 64, 65, 71-111, 115
  Forest of, 87

West Burton, 100

Westmoreland, 37, 63, 66, 101, 155
  Ralph Neville, first Earl of, 36

Wether Fell, 82-84, 89

Whaley, Mr., of Askrigg, 91

Wharfe, River, 139, 141, 142, 144, 156

Wharfedale, 5, 102, 136, 139-146
  Forest of, 143

Whernside, 171
  Great and Little, 111

Whitaker, Dr., Historian of Craven and Richmondshire, 24, 25, 76, 154

Whitcliffe Scar, 47-49, 53

Whitfield Force, 96

Widdale Fell, 89

Wilfrid, 118

Willance, Robert, 49, 50

Willance’s Leap, 49, 54

William the Conqueror, 18, 33, 34, 133, 151
  the Lion of Scotland, 34

Winterburn, 157

Wodenslag. See Wensley

Woodhall Park, 97

Wordsworth, William, 157, 161

Wraithes and hobs, 74

Wyatt, the architect, 117

Wyman, dapifer to the Earl of Richmond, 28


York, 22, 28
  Archbishopric of, 53
  Minster, 139
  Vale of, 6

THE END

BILLING AND SONS, LIMITED, PRINTERS, GUILDFORD





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