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Title: The Cambrian Directory [1800]
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Cambrian Directory [1800]" ***

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Transcribed from the 1800 J. Easton edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org

                          [Picture: Book cover]



                                   THE
                           CAMBRIAN DIRECTORY,


                             CURSORY SKETCHES
                                  OF THE
                            WELSH TERRITORIES.

                             _WITH A CHART_,

                        Comprehending at one View,

     _The advisable Route_—_Best Inns_—_Distances_—_and Objects most_
                          _worthy of Attention_.

                                * * * * *

                     Authors, you know, of greatest fame,
                      Thro’ modesty suppress their name;
                       And, wou’d you with me to reveal
                      What these superior Wits conceal?
                                . . . . . . .
                                . . . . . . .
                          All my ambition is, I own,
                      To profit, and to please, unknown.

                                                       _Visions in Verse_.

                                * * * * *

                                Salisbury:
    Printed and sold by J. EASTON, High-street: Sold also by T. HURST,
       Pater-Noster-Row, _London_; L. BULL, and J. BARRATT, _Bath_;
      J. NORTON, and W. BROWN, _Bristol_; and O. TUDOR, _Monmouth_.

                                * * * * *

                                  1800.

                                * * * * *

                                  TO THE
                      FRIENDLY AND TRULY HOSPITABLE
                               INHABITANTS
                                  OF THE
                          PRINCIPALITY OF WALES,
                                  THESE
                            Cursory Sketches,
                             ARE RESPECTFULLY
                       AND GRATEFULLY DEDICATED, BY

                                  [Picture: Handwritten text “The Author”]

                                * * * * *



TO THE
INHABITANTS
OF THE
PRINCIPALITY OF WALES.


AS Dedications and Prefaces are considered proper _avant couriers_ to a
Work, the omission of either might be deemed an essential breach of
literary decorum:—I profess myself an Old Bachelor, and am consequently
anxious every minutiæ should be properly attended to.

It is generally customary in Dedications, to solicit the patronage of an
individual; but, as these _Cursory Sketches_ will fully prove, I by no
means always pursue the common beaten track, trust it will not be thought
too presumptuous, addressing myself to _Pluralities_, and humbly
requesting permission, that the CAMBRIAN DIRECTORY may be looked upon as
a Ward of the Welsh in general: for I can with safety affirm, in no
country will the Tourist experience more true hospitality and friendly
attention, than in the Principality of Wales: I therefore with true
respect and gratitude, beg leave to subscribe myself,

                                GENTLEMEN,

                            Your much obliged

                            And most obedient

                                                           Humble servant,

                                                               THE AUTHOR.



PREFACE.


FAULTS, in the following Work, I readily allow, there are many, many;
but, flatter myself, those who are best able to discover, will be most
ready to pardon them.  Tours or Journals, are now hackneyed subjects; and
though this may be considered as a trite apology, and (if I may so
express myself) an Author’s loop-hole, yet I can most truly assert, the
present Observations were by no means at first, ever intended to be
scanned by the public eye; but merely for my own private amusement, as a
memento, to have access to, when I wished to breathe delight from
Recollection’s power; my Remarks, therefore, were only such as any
Traveller, an admirer of Nature, would with a pencil briefly put down;
and I must beg leave again to repeat, I had not then the most distant
thought of appearing at the bar of the Public: on my return, I naturally
placed my Observations in a more connected form; and _some time
afterwards_, accidentally conversing with my Bookseller, on the romantic
beauties of Wales, and shewing him a few of my Notes, was persuaded to
prepare them for the press; in consequence of which, I am now embarking
on the literary ocean; and, as a candid behaviour ought to be preferred
to all other considerations, before I sail on my cruize, beg leave to
declare, that it is not the intention of the following sheets, either to
rival the lively and impressive descriptions of a WYNDHAM or a WARNER,—to
contend with the literary and historical anecdotes of a PENNANT,—or to
equal the mineralogical studies of an AIKIN: and here I candidly
acknowledge, when attempting a description of Monmouthshire, I found
myself not a little intimidated, by the intended, and anxiously expected
publication of that county, by a Gentleman, {x} highly classed in the
literary world, for many celebrated productions; conscious of my own
inability to do ample justice to that picturesque county, and
particularly the rich scenery of the Wye, when it is already in such able
hands: I beg from true respect and esteem, to apply to him the following
passage:

    Oh, while along the stream of time, thy name
    Expanded flies, and gathers all its fame.
    Say, shall my little bark attendant sail,
    Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale?

                                                                     POPE.

The CAMBRIAN DIRECTORY, is therefore given to the Public, as a _common
Itinerary_; nor does it presume to have discovered any thing unknown to
the sage Antiquarian,—the deep Mineralogist,—and the bustling Traveller:
still, however, the Author flatters himself, it may be so far useful to
the Public, that the Traveller will find it a convenient Pocket
Companion; it will tell him the _best Inns_, and lay before him in one
view, the _distances_; the Mineralogist may occasionally learn, what
Rocks will most deserve his attention; and it will point out to the
Antiquarian, every venerable Ruin, that seems to tell the religious or
military history of the country.  Such is the “plain unvarnish’d tale:”
in addition to which, I solicit permission to address my Readers with a
line from a favourite Author:

             “Laugh where you _Must_, be candid where you _Can_.”



THE
CAMBRIAN DIRECTORY.


    THESE ARE THE HAUNTS OF MEDITATION, THESE
    THE SCENES WHERE ANCIENT BARDS TH’ INSPIRING BREATH
    EXTATIC FELT!

                                                                  Thomson.

TWO Friends, equally admirers of Nature’s landscapes, and attached to
pedestrian independence, agreed to visit the wild and impressive scenery
of the Cambrian Mountains; and the outlines of their Route being
arranged, sallied forth in the month of July, 1798, from



CHELTENHAM,


a place much resorted to during the summer months, and celebrated for its
Mineral Waters, is composed of one street, in almost a straight line,
nearly the length of a mile.  Since it has become a place of fashion, the
lodging houses have been considerably improved, and rendered comfortable
for the company, who make this place their summer residence.  The season
usually commences about May, and frequently continues till the beginning
of November.  The majority of the company who frequent Cheltenham, resort
here not so much for the purpose of water-drinking, as to enjoy the
delightful walks and rides, and partake of the sociability of the
neighbourhood.

The Walk at the Pump-room, well planned, and kept in excellent order, is
planted on each side with limes; at the end is a small square, where the
Pump is situate, with a room on the left for the accommodation of the
company to promenade, measuring sixty-six feet by twenty-three;—on the
opposite side a reading-room, with a billiard-table over, and a house,
the residence of the attendant at the Spa; beyond that, is a similar walk
of three hundred and twelve feet, which leads to another serpentine walk;
from the end of this, the Spire of Cheltenham Church forms a beautiful
object.  Near these walks, stands, on an eminence, the Seat of the Earl
of Fauconberg: this was the Royal residence during their Majesties stay
at this place, from July 12th to August 16, 1788.

In respect to the rides, Cleave-hill, Dowdeswell, &c.  Tewkesbury and
Gloucester, are most admired.

Speaking of the History of the place, we find Cheltenham was a town in
the reign of William the Conqueror: Edward likewise is supposed to have
marched through it, before he encamped his army on the field of
Tewkesbury, previous to the battle of the Houses of York and Lancaster.

Of the efficacy of the Water, to which this town is indebted for its
present celebrity, I refer my readers to a Treatise, published by Dr.
Fothergill, of Bath.



GLOUCESTER.


The Pin Manufactory was established here, by John Tisley, in the year
1626, and the business is now become so extensive, that the returns from
London alone are estimated at near 20,000_l._ _per ann._  Before the
introduction of Pins into England (1543) skewers of brass, silver, and
gold, and likewise thorns curiously scraped, called by the Welch women
_pin-draen_, were used.  Though the Pins themselves are apparently
simple, yet their manufacture is not a little curious and complex.  The
wire in its most rough state is brought from a wire company in the
neighbourhood of Bristol: till the year 1563, English iron wire was drawn
out by manual strength.  The first operation attending this curious
process, is the fixing the circular roll of wire to the circumference of
a wheel, which in its rotation throwing the wire against a board, with
great violence, takes off the black external coat: vitriol is next
applied to bring the brass to its common colour.  The brass wire being
too thick for the purpose of being cut into Pins, is reduced to any
dimension the workman pleases, by forcibly drawing it through an orifice
in a steel plate, of a smaller diameter.  The wire, being thus reduced to
its proper dimensions, is next straightened: it is then cut into portions
of six inches in length, and afterwards to the size of the Pin, and each
piece respectively sharpened on a grinding-stone, turned by a wheel.  We
now come to a distinct branch of the manufactory: the forming the heads,
or, as the workmen term it, _head spinning_: this is accomplished by
means of a spinning-wheel, which, with astonishing rapidity winds the
wire round a small rod: this, when drawn out, leaves a hollow tube
between the circumvolutions; every two circumvolutions, or turns, being
cut with sheers, form one head.  The heads, thus formed, are distributed
to children, who, with great dexterity, by the assistance of an anvil, or
hammer, worked by the foot, fix the point and the head together.  The
Pins, thus formed, are boiled in a copper, containing a solution of
block-tin pulverized, and the lees of Port; and by this last process, it
changes its yellow brassy colour, and assumes the appearance of silver,
or tin.  The labourers are all paid according to the weight of their
work.

Near Gloucester, at the small island of Alney, formed by the river
Severn, historians relate, that Canute and Edmund, after many bloody
engagements in Essex, determined to prevent a farther effusion of blood
by a single combat.  Neither, however, as the story relates, obtaining a
victory, peace was concluded, and the kingdom divided between them.  We
paid, however, little regard to the supposed place of this contest, as it
was not for us, puisne antiquarians, to discuss points, on which the
greatest historians had so materially differed.

I forbear to make any remarks on the Cathedral and Gaol of Gloucester, as
much has already been done towards their illustration; and as ample
accounts of them are given in the Gloucester Guide, which the Tourist
will meet with on the spot.

The Walk from hence to



WESTBURY,


is by no means uninteresting; the country is studded with half-seen
villas, and animated with churches, whilst the retrospect commands a fine
view of Robin-hood’s Hill, with the dark Tower of Gloucester Cathedral,
just rising in the perspective.

At Westbury is the Seat of Maynard Colchester, Esq.  The Church, with a
detached Spire, stands close to the house.  Near this place mineralogists
will be highly gratified by visiting a Cliff, called _Garden_, or _Golden
Cliffe_; which is most beautifully encrusted with mundic and crystals.
This rock, standing close to the Severn, is only accessible at the reflux
of the tide; and when illuminated by the sun wears a most beautiful
appearance.

Between Westbury and Newnham, in an extremely delightful valley,
bordering on the Forest of Deane, is situate



FLAXLEY ABBEY,


the Seat of Sir Thomas Crawley Bovey.  This valley was formerly called
_Castiard_, or the _Happy Valley_; and a Monastery, for Cistercian Monks,
was founded here by Roger, the second Earl of Hereford, and the charter
confirmed by Henry II.  The Abbey was standing till the year 1777, when
part of it was unfortunately consumed by fire; since that a considerable
portion of building has been added, and is become a very desirable summer
residence.  The Views from the park, behind the house, are very
extensive, commanding the Vale of Gloucester, and the River Severn, gay
with vessels, whilst the extensive Forest of Dean, and Flaxley Abbey,
form nearer objects for admiration.  This wood abounds with the most
charming walks; and, while it affords refreshing shelter from a summer’s
sun, admits partial views of the adjacent country.  Camden, in speaking
of the Forest of Dean, derives its name from Ardene, a wood in the Gaulic
and British languages.  It lies between the two rivers Severn and Wye,
and contains thirty thousand acres.  The soil is well adapted for the
growth of oaks, and forest timber; and the situation particularly
commodious for exporting it for ship-building, and other purposes.  The
immense quantities of wood annually felled for the use of the navy, have
so thinned this wood of its timber, that it is now preserved till a
certain growth by act of parliament.  Camden observes, that the oak of
this Forest was so considerable, that the Spanish Armada had orders to
destroy the timber of it in 1588: it suffered considerably in the great
rebellion.

The Iron Manufactory has long been carried on in this Forest; and to this
day immense beds of iron cinders are found, the reliques of the Romans.
These cinders are not half exhausted of their ore, and are consequently
worked over again: a proof that the Romans knew only the weak power of
the foot blast.

As we drew near



NEWNHAM,


the Severn became more considerable.  The town, situated on the banks of
the river, and backed by the Forest of Dean, is very ancient, and in 1018
this manor was granted by King Canute to the Benedictine Abbey of
Pershore, in Worcestershire. {8}

The Church-yard affords a variety of objects worthy the attention of the
passing stranger, amongst which the Church of Westbury forms the most
conspicuous feature in the landscape.

The View, previous to our descending the hill to



LIDNEY,


is extensive and beautiful.  In this place Iron Works are carried on by a
Mr. Pitchcock.—About a mile from Lidney, the Old Passage,—King’s-road,
with the merchant ships lying off Bristol,—Gloucestershire and
Somersetshire hills, studded with gentlemens’ seats, churches, and
half-seen cottages, formed a cheerful landscape.



CHEPSTOW.


The weather prevented our seeing the celebrated Walks of Piercefield, but
we promised ourselves the pleasure of visiting them on our return down
the Wye.  The Castle of Chepstow, called Kaswent, or Castelk Gwent,
stands on a rock washed by the river Wye, near its influx into the
Severn.  Topographical writers differ in their accounts concerning the
antiquity of the Castle, but it is generally supposed to have been built
at the same time with the town, appearing at that period to have been a
kind of citadel to Chepstow. {9}  The Castle was formerly of great
extent, as, according to Leland’s account, the “waulles began at the end
of the great bridge over Wy,” yet “in the castel ys one tower, as I heard
say, by the name of Langine.”  Little now remains of its former grandeur:
but, impelled by an irresistible curiosity, we ascended the decayed steps
of the tower, from whence the eye traced with pleasure the windings of
the Wye, till it was at last lost in its conjunction with the Severn.
With horror we examined the dark dungeon, where Henry Martin, one of the
twelve judges, who sat to condemn Charles I. was confined seven and
twenty years.

Grand views of the Bristol Channel still continued to form interesting
objects from the road; but about three miles from Chepstow, we turned
into some fields on the right, to examine the Ivy-mantled walls of



CALDECOT CASTLE.


On our first entrance we gazed with that wrapt astonishment, that fears
to disturb, or be disturbed by the mutual communication of thought.—Mr.
Warner, in his survey of this ruin, was much disappointed; but I cannot
help allowing, although the view from it was inferior to Chepstow, yet
its antiquated walls wear a nobler appearance; and the gloom that reigns
around it, forces a sigh, and evinces the transitory nature of sublunary
greatness.  The antiquity of the building is very obscure: it is situate
on a flat, and memorable for the birth of Henry VII.  Passing through the
village of Caldecot, we soon entered



CAERWENT,


on the Western side, through the broken fragments of its walls, of which
one immense mass has recently fallen.  This ancient town is now little
more than a village, with a few scattered cottages, but formerly
celebrated, under the auspices of Agricola, for its temples, theatre,
porticos, and baths; few vestiges of its former splendour are now extant.
A few fragments of loose stones only remain to point out its former
extent.  In an orchard, adjoining a farm-house belonging to Mr. Lewis, is
the beautiful tessalated Roman Pavement, discovered in the year 1777.
The tesserale or dies, about an inch in breadth, and half in depth, are
nearly cubical, consisting of four colours, red, yellow, blue, and white,
{11} which are still in great preservation; the whole is surrounded with
a border, much resembling a Turkey carpet.  The daily depredations on
these curious remains of antiquity are greatly to be lamented.

In the road from Caerwent, amongst other objects for admiration, the
Mansion of Sir Robert Salisbury, on the left, commanding an extensive
view, attracted our notice.  Passing through the neat village of
Christchurch, animated with white-washed cottages, and graced with its
simple Church, which stands on an eminence, we left the turnpike road, at
the 13th mile stone; and following a footpath through some fields, near
the banks of the Uske, soon entered the ancient city of



CAERLEON,


over a wooden bridge, built on the same plan as Chepstow.  This city was
formerly a metropolitan see, but St. David, the national saint of Wales,
thinking the noisy intercourse of a populous city, like Caer-Lleon, ill
adapted for contemplation, or the solitary cast of his mind, removed it
to Menevia, which from that period has been called Ty Dewi by the Welch,
and St. David by the English. {12}  The remains of its ancient grandeur
are still discernible.  Whilst tracing the extent of its amphitheatre,
surrounded by a circular entrenchment, and the grandeur of its porticoes,
we took a retrospect on the exertions of man, the fate of kingdoms, and
of rulers; and, marking the grand destruction of ages, it seemed to
convince us of the transientness of human worth and happiness!  The ships
in the Bristol Channel, with Flat and Steep Holmes rising in the midst of
the sea, formed pleasing objects in the distant view, whilst the mellow
green of nearer woods, and meadows watered by the Uske, made a
combination of hues gay and beautiful.

Near



NEWPORT


a new stone bridge is erecting by contract for 10,165_l._ by Mr. Edwards,
son to the Edwards, who built the famous Pont y Pridd.  It is to consist
of five arches.

Newport Castle, standing on the bank of the river Uske, is a small
distance from the bridge: it evidently appears to have been once a place
of considerable extent, and built for the defence of the passage over the
river; three strong towers commanded the Uske, but towards the town a
common wall, without any flanks, seems to have been its sole defence.
Some of the windows still remain, the relics of Gothic architecture, and
appear to have been elegantly decorated.  From the tower is a fine view
of the Uske.  Between Newport and



CARDIFF


we crossed the little stream of Ebwith, near the park of Tridegar House,
belonging to Sir Charles Morgan.  The grounds are well planned, and
command the hills of Machan and Tombalœ, with the church of Passaness
rising in the centre, on an eminence.  The whole valley, indeed, is
prettily situated.  Passing through the villages of Pediston and
Castletown, we soon reached the bridge of two arches, over the river
Romney, which divides England from Wales.

The situation of Cardiff is on a low flat, near the mouth of the Taafe,
over which has lately been thrown a new Bridge, built by Mr. Parry in
1796: it consists of three large and two smaller arches.  The tower of
the church is very light, and of elegant workmanship; but nothing in the
inside is worthy of inspection.

The Castle derives its name from the river Taff, which washes its walls;
_Caertaph_ signifying the Town or Castle upon Taff.  Robert Fitzham
having conquered Glamorganshire, divided the country into different
portions, among the twelve Norman Knights, as a reward for their service,
and took for his own share the Town of Cardiff; and erected, in the year
1110, this Castle, in which he generally resided, and held his court of
chancery and exchequer.  In the beginning of May 1645, during the
troubles under Charles I. it was in the possession of the Royalists, but
it was surrendered to Parliament before August 1646.

We entered the Castle by two strong gates, which still remain in great
preservation, but we were disgusted with the modern architecture of the
new-built mansion, erected by the late Marquis of Bute: the neat shorn
grass, the gravel walk, were circumstances that ill accorded with the
mutilated walls of an ancient ruin, which has braved the storms of so
many centuries.  The circumstance that tends to render this Castle a
melancholy place in history, is the unjust confinement of Robert Duke of
Normandy, brother to William Rufus and Henry I.  The accounts, however,
of his confinement have been greatly exaggerated by historians; and a
dark vaulted room, beneath the level of the ground, measuring nearly a
square of fifteen feet and a half, is still pointed out as the place of
his confinement; a small crevice in the top, about half a yard in length,
and three inches wide, was the only place to admit the air.  He was
buried in Gloucester Cathedral, where his effigy as big as life, carved
in Irish oak, and painted, is yet shewn.  The Keep, which is still very
perfect, of an octagon shape, stands on an eminence in the centre of a
large square.  Having walked round the ramparts, which command extensive
views of the adjacent country, we visited the Castle itself, which has,
within these few years, been repaired, but still remains in an unfinished
state.  In the Dining-room are some portraits, in length, of the Windsor
family: the most striking are,

1st.  Sir William, who first raised forces for Queen Mary.

2d.  Sir Edward, who first entered the breach at the taking of St.
Quintin, in Flanders, where the famous Constable de Montmorency was taken
prisoner.

In the Breakfast-parlour is a family piece, consisting of seven figures:
it was painted in the year 1568.  Holbein, I rather imagine, was the
painter: it consists of two Sisters playing at Cards, and two Brothers at
Drafts, with Edward Earl of Windsor and his lady looking on.  The style
is stiff, with ruffs, small black caps and feathers.

Andrew Windsor, to the right of the fire-place;   _Kneller_.
general in the reign of Queen Ann, serving in
the 28th regiment of foot
Thomas Windsor, to the left, who served in        _Kneller_.
several wars of William and Queen Ann, and was
Colonel of the 3d regiment of Dragoon Guards,
in the reign of George I.
Lady Ursula Windsor                               _ibid_.
Hon. Matter Windsor                               _Painter unknown_.
A good painting of Ursula Countess of Windsor,    _Kneller_.
with her grand-daughter Ursula Windsor
Thomas Lord Windsor, Governor of Jamaica          _Vandyke_.
Hon. Charlotta Windsor                            _Dahl_.
Hon. Ursula Windsor                               _Dahl_.
Hon. Dixia Windsor, storekeeper of the
ordnance, and for six successive parliaments
member for Cambridge.

This Castle belongs to a grandson of the Marquis of Bute.

In this place, Robert Earl of Gloucester founded a Priory of
White-friars, and another of Black, which continued till the reign of
Henry VIII.  Only the shell of the White-friars is now extant, and the
ruins of the Black-friars are inhabited by fishermen.

From hence we walked to inspect the remains of that once celebrated city



LANDAFF;


the ruins of the old Cathedral are very beautiful, the door cases are all
Norman architecture elegantly moulded; two of which, on the North and
South sides, are fine specimens of that æra.  All the other parts are
Gothic: the nave is unroofed.  Within these ruins we entered the
Cathedral, which carries with it more the appearance of a modern theatre,
than a place of divine worship, so erroneous was the taste of the
architect, in combining with the sacred Gothic, a fantastical work of his
own.  Among several ancient monuments, are two very elegant ones of the
Mathews family, {18a} whose descendants own the scite of the Bishop’s
Castle, of which only the gate remains: the rest, with the Archdeacon’s
house, was destroyed by Owen Glendour. {18b}  There are likewise the
monuments of two bishops, with another, and the figure of Lady Godiva,
full length, carved in marble on it.

Landaff stands on a small eminence, commanding a view of Cardiff, and the
surrounding country.—We returned again to Cardiff: and the first six
miles of our road to



CAERPHILY


were not very interesting, till ascending Thorn Hill, the beauties of the
vale below, with Flat and Steep Holmes rising in the distant prospect,
the ruins of Cardiff Castle, and the ivy-mantled walls of Landaff
Cathedral, amply compensated for the trouble of climbing this eminence.
A little farther on, Caerphily Castle burst upon our sight, and

    —“seem’d to frown,
    In awful majesty on all around.”

The founder, and the time of its erection are very uncertain; but I refer
my readers to the first volume of the _Archæologia_; to an ingenious
Dissertation, by Daines Barrington, where it is satisfactorily proved to
have been the work of Edward I.  This Castle is one of the noblest ruins
of ancient architecture now remaining in the kingdom, and exceeds all in
bigness, except that of Windsor.  The Hall and the Chapel may still be
traced; the former measures about seventy feet in length, thirty-four in
breadth, and seventeen in height.  The roof is vaulted about eight feet
high, and supported by twenty arches.  On the North side is a chimney,
ten feet wide, with two windows on each side, extending down to the
floor, and carried above the supposed height of this room.  At each angle
was originally a round tower of four stories, communicating with each
other by a gallery.  On the West side of the Hall stairs, is a low round
tower, of one story, called the Mint-house, with three painted arches on
the South side, and a square well on the West.  The leaning tower,
towards the East end, more particularly engaged our notice: it is divided
into two separate parts, by a large fissure, which runs from the top down
almost to the middle.  Its lineal projection is supposed to be on the
outer side, about eleven feet and a half.  On the West and North are
visible vestiges of a draw-bridge.  The East wall, on the South side of
the principal entrance, is fluted between the buttresses, with
battlements on their tops, to protect the intermediate walls.

At Caerphily we perceived a great change in the manners of the people; in
the whole village, scarcely one person was capable of speaking English.

We now came to the celebrated vale of Glamorganshire, so justly styled
the _Garden of South-Wales_; the rapid Taafe forms an almost continued
uproar for many miles; on the opposite side the mountains rose almost
perpendicularly in a massy wall, and sometimes to the water’s edge,
finely clothed with wood.  Every circumstance conspired to heighten the
solitary grandeur of the scene, and to prolong the luxurious melancholy,
which the views inspired.  In this celebrated vale is found the famous
Pont y Pridd, or New Bridge, about three quarters of a mile from the Duke
of Bridgewater’s Arms, a comfortable inn, and far surpassing our
miserable quarters at Caerphily.  This wonderful bridge, of one arch, is
the segment of a circle; the chord of it is one hundred and forty feet,
and the heighth of the key-stone, from the spring of the arch, thirty-two
feet and a half.  It was erected, in the year 1750, by William Edwards, a
country mason, who failed in his attempt three times, till, by lightening
the abutments, it has resisted, for many years, the torrents of the
Taafe.

The intrusion of art in this romantic valley, where nature has been so
lavish of her beauties, is much to be lamented: a canal, for the purpose
of conveying the iron from the Myther Works to Cardiff, renders it a
place of frequent business and confusion; a place originally so well
adapted to retirement and reflection.



MYTHER TIDVIL,


is a most miserable dirty place; the soil and the inhabitants both
partook of a dark dingy colour: the women destitute of shoes and
stockings, the men and boys the slaves of Vulcan.  The Iron-works, under
the direction of Mr. Cramshaw, are the largest in the kingdom; not less
than one thousand hands are employed by this gentleman, who allows the
person who inspects the machinery one-eighth of the profits, to keep them
in repair.  Four large blast furnaces, with a number of a smaller size,
besides a row of forges, are continually in use.  An enormous wheel has
lately been constructed, with several inferior ones, acting in contrary
directions, which pumps the air into a large space, from whence it is
distributed, through various tubes, to each separate furnace.  This wheel
is fifty feet one inch in diameter, and six feet eight inches in width.
The whole weight rests on gudgeons, of one hundred tons.  The gudgeons of
all the wheels, and of such parts of the machine where there is any
friction, have water continually running over them, to prevent their
taking fire.  It is the particular office of one man to grease every part
of the machine, whilst in motion; to accomplish which, he is frequently
obliged to ride on an iron bar, similar to the lever of a pump when in
motion, a considerable way from the ground.  The whole of this machinery
is worked by water, not more than a foot deep, which is conveyed by a
long spout to the top of the wheel, where it discharges itself.  The ore,
flux, {23} and coals, which they use to promote the fusion of the ore,
are all found on the spot.  The ore, previous to its being thrown into
the furnace, is burnt in a common lime-pit, the goodness of it afterwards
proved, by its adhesion to the tongue; the coal is all charked, and
continually put in the furnace, with certain proportions of ore.  From
the pigs, the iron is rolled into flat plates by a cylinder; this is
performed with the greatest dispatch.  The gaunt figures of the workmen
excite both pity and terror, and the sallow countenances and miserable
air of the people, prove it is a labour very prejudicial to their health.
From hence we travelled the road to



PONT NEATH VECHAN,


inaccessible for carriages, indifferent for pedestrians, and affording
nothing worthy our attention.  It lay over a barren heath, with mountains
on one side, and a dreary waste of land before us.  About a mile and a
half from Vechan, we unexpectedly descended through a wood into a rich
romantic valley, watered by Neath River.  In this retired situation we
found the Angel Inn, of Pont Neath Vechan.  Description can scarcely
suggest the full grandeur and magnificence of this valley: woods, rocks,
and waterfalls, all unite, to render it _beautiful_.  Our Ciceroni first
conducted us to the fall of Scotenogam, on the river Purthen, about a
mile and a half from the house: this fall we saw to great advantage, the
river having gathered in its course the accumulation of many torrents
after the rain, precipitates itself in one majestic expanse of water,
near seventy feet high; whilst the dark lowering rocks, on each side,
contrasted finely with the varied vegetation around us.  The descent is
by no means easy, but the grandeur of the scene amply compensated for all
difficulties.  Our Ciceroni next conducted us to a very inferior one,
called the Lady’s Cascade, on the river Neath; but of this we caught a
very indifferent prospect, the ascent of the mountain being inaccessible,
and the water too high to admit of our obtaining a due inspection of it.
We then returned to our inn, and set out a different road, in quest of
nature’s landscapes.—Having walked about three miles, we heard the angry
roar of small cascades; this we considered as preludes of scenes, where
the water-fall swells into a torrent; and we soon found ourselves near
the fall of Lower Culhepste.  The character of this cataract differs very
much from that of Scotenogam; being broken in its descent from projecting
rocks, of an immense size.  About a quarter of a mile from hence, we
descended a rugged and steep rock to examine the fall of Upper-Culhepste,
about fifty feet high.  The singularity of this fall invites the
curiosity of the traveller more than any other in Wales: the whole river
precipitates itself with such violence, as to leave a space between the
rock and the fall sufficiently wide for a horse path.  Though in less
than two minutes we were completely wet by the spray, yet the effect was
awful and sublime; and it was necessary to remember the fixed foundation
of the rocks above our heads, to soften the awe they inspired.  Near this
fall is Porthogo Cavern, through which the river Vendre runs.  The water
was too high to admit our entrance; our Conductor, however, informed us,
he had penetrated about half a mile, but found the river wind so many
ways, he judged it safer to return, lest he should share the fate of a
poor man, who lost himself in this Cavern for the space of three days.
On our return, a very intelligent gentleman, staying in the
neighbourhood, strenuously recommended us to descend a steep mountain, on
our left, to survey a curious quadrangular strata of marble in the rock
below.  With some difficulty we effected our purpose, having waded twice
through the river.  This strata in Welch is called _Bwr Maen_, which
signifies a Stone Bow: it is situated close to the river Dynnas, which,
forcing its way through some broken fragments of the rock, forms a
cascade a little above.  The price offered for this grey marble, in
London, is fifteen shillings a foot square.

About five miles from Vechan is the Seat of Mrs. Holbrow, on the right.
We were prevented visiting the water-falls of Melincourt and Aperdulas,
the river, owing to the late floods, being too deep to ford.  Our route
still continued through the valley we had so much admired the evening
before.  As we drew near



NEATH,


the Tower of Knole Castle had a pleasing effect from a distance: it was
built by Sir Herbert Mackworth, and is at present in the possession of
Lady Mackworth.  The windows from the banqueting-room comprehend a circle
of many miles diameter, composed of Neath Valley and River, with the
smoky Town of Neath,—the Mumbles Point—Swansea, and the Channel.  The
artificial cascade is well contrived, but, after the foaming torrents of
Scotenogam and Culhepste, appears very tame.

The scite of the Refectory, the Chapel, the Hall, and several other rooms
in the ruins of Neath Abbey, may still be traced.  It stands on the East
of the river, and was formerly, by Leland’s account, the “fairest abbay
of all Wales;” but in his _Collecteana_ {27} he seems to give Margam the
preference of all the Cistercian houses in these parts.  It was founded
for White Monks by Richard Granville.  In this Abbey, the unfortunate
Edward II. secreted himself till he was taken.  Near the ruins are the
Copper-works.  The ore is chiefly imported from Cornwall, and Wicklow in
Ireland; being calcined, and thereby losing its sulphur, it is refined by
the simple process of frequent melting, and taking off the dross, which
forms a scum; lastly, being moulded into small plates, or pigs, it is
shipped for the market.  The method of reducing the metal, when melted
into small particles, is by pouring it into water, and, when thus
reduced, it is called _Copper Shot_.  Brass is a compound of copper thus
reduced, and _lapis calaminaris_, pulverized in crucibles, and moulded or
cast into plates.  _Lapis calaminaris_ is dug in great quantities near
Holywell, in Flintshire.

The Town of Neath is very unpleasantly situated, and generally covered
with the smoke of the Copper-works; a circumstance which I should imagine
renders it an unhealthy spot.  On that account it is advisable, both for
horsemen and pedestrians, in their way to Swansea, to take the road by
Britton Ferry, in preference to the turnpike, which the smoke always
renders offensive.



BRITTON FERRY.


This village is much resorted to, on account of its beautiful situation;
and many a white-washed cottage straggles through the hamlet.  The
plantations of Lord Vernon are well disposed, and edge the water’s brink:
the river is constantly filled with vessels, whose gay streamers
glittering to the sun-beam, present to the eye a constant moving object.
Having crossed the Ferry, we proceeded on the sands to



SWANSEA.


The whole of this walk commanded a boundless view of the ocean to the
West, whilst to the South the faint hues of Somersetshire coast skirted
the horizon.

Swansea is a well-built sea-port town, on the river Tawe, much resorted
to during the summer months.  The machines for bathing are kept about
half a mile from the town, under the direction of Mrs. Landey, who
likewise keeps a lodging-house near the place: the charges are
twenty-five shillings a week, board and lodging, and ten shillings and
six-pence a week for a private parlour.  The Castle is supposed to have
been erected by Henry Earl of Warwick, in the reign of Henry I.: the
small arches round the top of it are exactly similar to the building of
Lantphey Castle, and King John’s Hall, St. David’s, Pembrokeshire.  This
Castle is now turned into a goal and workhouse.  The Market-place is said
to be covered with the lead of St. David’s Cathedral, given by Cromwell
to a gentleman of Swansea.

The clay used for the Pottery, long carried on in this place, is brought
from Corfe, in Dorsetshire; having been mixed with finely-ground flint,
and dissolved in water, it is passed through sieves, till it has lost all
its coarser particles, then exposed to heat, which evaporates the water,
and leaves the clay of a consistency sufficient for working.  The vessel
is first rudely formed by the hand, the clay being stuck to a circular
board, which has an horizontal rotation.  The other operation consists in
the more perfect forming of the work by various processes, and the
colouring, glazing, painting, and stamping, drying and baking kilns
complete the work.



OYSTERMOUTH CASTLE,


about five miles from Swansea, is finely situated on an eminence,
commanding a delightful prospect of the surrounding country, and the
Mumbles’ Bay.  The ivy-mantled walls of this Castle are sufficiently
perfect, to distinguish what the apartments were originally designed for.
It formerly belonged to the lords of Gower, but is now in the possession
of the Duke of Beaufort.  Our curiosity being satisfied, we hastened to
the



MUMBLES,


celebrated far and near for the goodness and abundance of its oysters.
This village stands at the extremity of Swansea Bay, on a vast mass of
splinter’d rock: from this elevation, the wide expanse of the ocean and
Swansea Bay are viewed to great advantage.  These rocks are inaccessible
at high-water, except in a boat; on the farthest is erected a
light-house.

At Pennard, we descended some immense sand-banks, which led us into
Oxwich Bay: at the head of the sand-banks are the small remains of an old
castle, {30} scarcely worthy of observation.  The sands in this bay are
extremely fine, and the bold projections of the rock exhibit nature in
her most awful and impressive attitudes.  To the right of Oxwich Bay is
situate, at Penrice, the Seat of Mr. Talbot: the grounds are well
planned, and command extensive views of the sea: the old Castle rising
behind the house gave the whole a fine effect.

Between Penrice and the neat village of



CHERITON,


we observed to our right, on a hill, a large flat stone, several tons
weight, resting on about six smaller ones, placed perpendicularly, and
standing about five feet high: this is vulgarly called _King Arthur’s
Stone_.  It is here proper to forewarn both Tourists and Travellers, not
to fix on Pennard, Penrice, or Cheriton, as places for a night’s abode,
as they cannot possibly be comfortably accommodated.  This advice I
mention from experience, for at the latter place, we were under the
necessity of contenting ourselves with tables or chairs, as substitutes
for beds, and even destitute of necessary provisions.  On a hill,
opposite our inn, we discovered evident vestiges of a Roman encampment;
from this elevation the eye caught a fine view of Carmarthen Bay, and the
bold promontory of Worm’s Head, to the South-west: this rock is only
accessible at low water.

The country through which we traversed for the four or five last miles,
is inhabited by a colony of Flemings, who settled here in the reign of
Henry I.  In the reign of this King’s Father, a great number of Flemings,
having been driven out of their habitations, by a very extraordinary
inundation of the sea, sought protection in England, where they were
cordially received.  But so many of these people being dispersed in
different parts of the kingdom, began, by increase of their numbers, to
create some uneasiness; which Henry I. removed, by settling them as a
colony in South Wales, and gave them the country adjoining to Tenby and
Haverfordwest.  By this wise policy, the King rid his own dominions of an
incumbrance, and curbed the insolence of the then rebellious Cambrians.
{32}  The little territory they inhabit is called _Gwyr_, and by the
English, _Little England beyond Wales_, because their manners and
language are still distinguishable from the Welsh, and, in point of
speech, assimilate the English.  These Flemings, to this day, seldom or
never intermarry with the Welsh: they speak good English, and are very
much averse to the manners and language of the country they inhabit; both
sexes generally distinguish themselves by wearing a short cloak, called
_Gowyr Wittle_.

In preference to a long walk, of near thirty miles, we crossed the River
Bury, as the pleasantest and most expeditious way to



LLANELLY,


a miserable, dirty place, filled with miners and sailors.  From hence to



KIDWELY,


the road leads over the Penbree Hills; and from this elevation, the
Scenery is viewed to great advantage.

The Castle of Kidwely, otherwise, _Cathweli_, was formerly, I imagine, of
great extent, and is still the most perfect we had hitherto met with in
Wales, The extent of the apartments are distinguishable; some of the
staircases accessible; and the four round towers, keep, gateway, and
yard, spread an awful gloom around, whose beauties time had just
sufficiently impaired, to heighten its grandeur and sublimity.  Our Guide
expatiated much on the History and Events of the Castle, and told the
story with as much agitation and interest, as if it had happened
yesterday.

The road to



CAERMARTHEN,


we found unpleasantly hilly, but occasional Vallies to our left enlivened
our walk.  Near Caermarthen we crossed a Bridge of free-stone over the
Towy.  This River, running through the middle of this shire, falls into
the British Sea at Caermarthen Bay, and is navigable for small vessels as
far as the Bridge.  Immediately over it, upon a hanging rock, stand the
remains of a once renowned Castle.  This Town, according to Giraldus’s
authority, was anciently a place of great strength, and fortified with
brick walls, which are yet partly extant, near the river.  This place,
now considered as the Capital of the county, was formerly the residence
of the Prince of South-Wales; and the Ancient Britons here held their
Parliaments.  The Chancery likewise, and Exchequer for South-Wales, were
kept here, when this territory was first erected into a Principality, by
the crown of England.  In the thirty-eighth year of Henry VIII. it was
created a borough-town.

This place is famous for being the birth-place of Merlin, who is styled,
by an ancient author, “the sonne of a badde angell, or of an incubus
spirit, the Britaine’s great Apollo, whom Geoffrey ap Arthur would ranke
with the South-saying Seer, or rather with the true Prophets themselves;
being none other than a meere seducer, and phantasticall vizard.”  He
flourished in the year 480.

At the Inn (Old Ivy-Bush) Sir Richard Steel composed his celebrated Play,
called the _Conscious Lovers_.

From Caermarthen, we were recommended to go to



LAUGHARNE,


in order to see the Castle, but it by no means answered our expectation:
little part of it now remains; and the neat gravel-walk, in the garden,
but ill accords with the mutilated walls of an ancient ruin.  From the
garden walks, grand and extensive Sea-prospects interest the traveller.
About five miles from Laugharne, we passed a small place, called



GREEN BRIDGE.


It derives its name from an excavation in the rock, through which a
little rivulet runs for a mile and a half.  This cavity is completely
concealed from the road, and impossible to be discovered, unless pointed
out by some neighbouring inhabitant.  Let me, however, advise all
Tourists to be cautious in their excursions to this natural curiosity, as
it is a place evidently calculated for plunder, stratagems, and murder;
and is now infested by an unawed banditti of smugglers, who have
frequently practised the barbarous scheme of decoying vessels by false
lights; and by whom we ourselves were insulted.  Indeed, I would advise
Travellers to alter their route from Swansea, and pursue the straight
road to Caermarthen, and so to Tenby, by Narbeth.  By these means they
escape the unpleasant roads, (and almost, indeed, inaccessible for
carriages,) leading from Oystermouth to Cheriton, and likewise from
Llaugharne to Tenby.  But should the Tourist be led by an invincible
curiosity to inspect the Ruins of Kidwely Castle, it may easily be
accomplished, by pursuing the Turnpike-road to Kidwely, and from thence
to Caermarthen: in this last route you only omit visiting the Seat of Mr.
Talbot, of Penrice; though an object highly worthy of inspection.

At Saunders’ Foot is a small Bay, formed on one side by a rock called the
Monkstone, and on the other by the Caermarthenshire coast.  Near this
place is situate the Seat of Capt. Ackland; and from thence to Tenby, the
dark lowering rocks rose perpendicularly to a considerable height, and
then branched out into overhanging crags.  It was now dusk;—and at this
transforming hour, the bold promontories became shaded with unreal
glooms,—the projecting cliffs assumed a more terrific aspect,—and the
wild, overhanging underwood,

                   “Wav’d to the gale in hoarser murmurs.”



TENBY,


is much resorted to, during the summer months, for bathing.  It stands on
a rock facing Caermarthen Bay: the bold Promontory of the Monkstone Head
to the North, and St. Catherine’s Point, to the South, form a fine
Amphitheatre.  The shore is well adapted for bathing, the machines
excellent, and a singular rock, rising in the sea, close to the shore,
shelters the bathing machines, even in the most boisterous weather.  On
the South of Tenby, at the extremity of the small Island of St.
Catherine’s, attainable at low water, are the remains of a Roman Catholic
Chapel.  Entirely through this Island is a singular perforation, which,
without any difficulty, may be penetrated at the reflux of the tide.  The
Views from the South Sands are remarkably beautiful; the character of the
rocks is here awfully wild, craggy, and impending; and the distant
fishing-boats with their white sails, and the voices of the fishermen,
who constantly frequent this coast, borne at intervals on the air, are
circumstances which animate the scene: whilst the islands of Caldy and
St. Margaret’s opportunely rise, to render the terrific ocean beautiful.
The retrospect is equally interesting; the neat town of Tenby, with the
mutilated walls of its Castle, closes this charming scene.

The ancient walls of Tenby are still sufficiently perfect, to shew its
former strength and extent; and the four round towers, standing on the
extremity of the rock, point out the situation of its Castle.  Near this
is a ruinous building, supposed to be the remains of a Flemish
manufactory, probably woollen.  On the North Sands is likewise another
walk, equally beautiful, commanding the whole extent of Caermarthen Bay.
On the summit of the rocks, over these sands, is the walk, called the
_Croft_: on this eminence is situated the Hotel kept by Mr. Shaw; the
accommodations are very good: the charges _per_ week are eighteen
shillings board, finding your own tea, sugar, wine, and porter; six
shillings for a bed-room, and at the same rate a private parlour.

This place, from the vast quantity of fish caught near the coast is
called _Tenby-y-Piscoid_.

If the Tourist has leisure and opportunity, many excursions may be made
during his stay at Tenby.  The first, and most important is, to Pembroke
and Milford-Haven.  The road affords many grand and extensive Sea Views,
with a faint prospect of Lundy Isle.  About four miles from Tenby, stand
the ruins of Mannorbeer Castle, supposed to have been erected about the
time of William Rufus.  A little farther on, the ivy-mantled walls of
Carew Castle {39} burst upon us; and about three miles from Pembroke, the
decayed and broken walls of Llanfeth, or Lantphey Castle, attracted our
notice, once the residence of the Bishops of St. David’s, but now a
monument of desolation.  The three buildings of Swansea Castle, Lantphey
Court, and King John’s Hall, St. David’s, are very similar in their
workmanship.  We now arrived at



PEMBROKE,


Mr. Wyndham has so minutely delineated the Present State of this Castle,
that I cannot do better than transcribe his account.

    “The approach (says this Author) to Pembroke from the River, shews
    the Town and Castle to the most beautiful advantage.  The Town is
    situated upon the ridge of a long and narrow rock, gradually
    ascending to the highest point, on which stands the Castle, at the
    brink of the precipice.  If I may compare small things with great, it
    much resembles the situation of Edinburgh.

    “The Castle is of Norman architecture, mixed with early Gothic.  The
    principal tower, which is uncommonly high and perfect, has even its
    stone vaulted roof remaining.  The walls of this tower are fourteen
    feet in thickness, the diameter of the space within is twenty-five,
    and the heighth, from the ground to the crown of the dome, is
    seventy-five feet; but visible marks appear within, that its heighth
    was originally divided by four floors.

    “Henry VII. was born in the present Castle.  The natural Cavern,
    called the Wogan, lies immediately under the Chapel, and opens with a
    wide mouth towards the river.  A communication from the Cavern to the
    Castle, was made by a stair-case, on the outside of the rock; the
    entrance was barricaded with a strong wall, partly remaining, through
    which there is now a large door-way opened to the shore of the river.
    The Cavern appears nearly circular; its diameter is fifty-three feet;
    and its height is proportionable to the diameter.

    “In the Civil War this Castle was a garrison for the Crown, and being
    besieged, made a gallant defence.”

At Pembroke we hired a boat, {41} intending to sail round the extensive
Haven of Milford; and, as we retired from the shore, we took a retrospect
of the dilapidated walls of the Castle, once the terror, and even in
ruins the pride of the scene.  It is most advisable to make this
excursion at high water, as it adds much to the picturesque scenery of
the _tout ensemble_.



MILFORD HAVEN,


is justly compared to “an immense lake; for the mouth not being at any
distance visible, the whole Haven seems land-locked.  Though it is a mile
and three quarters wide, it could not be defended against an enemy, nor
is there a sufficiency of timber in the neighbourhood. {42a}  This Haven
is formed by a great advance of the sea into the land, it being above ten
miles from the Southernmost point at Nangle to Pembroke, beyond which the
tide comes up to and beyond Carew Castle.  It is capable of holding the
whole navy of England, and the same is said of Cork Harbour. {42b} The
spring tides rise thirty-six feet, the neap above twenty-six.  Ships may
be out of this Haven in an hour’s time, and in eight or ten hours over at
Ireland, or at the Land’s End, and this with almost any wind, by day or
night.”  Our reception at the miserable place of



HUBBERSTON,


did not induce us to stay longer than was sufficient to recruit
ourselves.  We found the dirty Inn pre-occupied by unfortunate Irish
refugees: their situation was indeed melancholy;—driven from their
country, their friends, and all most dear to them!—And, wishing to forget
their past sufferings, the following lines seem applicable to their
situation:

    “Oh! cou’d oblivion’s friendly draught
       Sooth all our sorrows to repose;
    Nor that intruder, restless thought,
       Renew our agonizing woes!

    “Then all, unconscious of the past,
       The present hour might calmly glide;
    Keen retrospect no more be cast
       O’er life’s tempestuous, changeful tide:

    “Yet Heaven, to all its creatures kind,
       With peace can gild the deepest gloom;
    And, mid misfortune’s wrecks, the mind
       May sweet serenity assume.”

Having refreshed ourselves, we walked to Milford, a small Village,
opposite Hubberston: several comfortable houses are situated on the Hill,
commanding a delightful View of the Haven.  Being satisfied with our
day’s excursion, we again returned to our comfortable quarters at



TENBY,


which we left with regret a few days afterwards.—We again pursued the
Pembroke road; and, about two miles from Tenby, the neglected walls of
Carew Castle invited curiosity;—and,

    Deep struck with awe, we marked the dome o’erthrown,
    Where once the Beauty bloom’d, the Warrior shone;
    We saw the Castle’s mouldering tow’rs decay’d,
    The loose stone tott’ring o’er the trembling shade.

This Castle, I imagine, was intended more for a noble residence, than a
place of defence.  The walls of this building are very thick, and
constructed with stones, of a large size, strongly cemented with mortar.
It is situated on a branch of Milford Haven, and consists of a range of
apartments built round a quadrangle, with a circular tower at each
corner.  The South wall is entirely demolished; but the North consists of
a spacious hall, measuring one hundred and two feet by twenty, supposed
to have been built by Sir John Perrot: above and under this hall, are
noble apartments, and extensive offices.  This Castle appears to have
been erected at different times, if we may judge from the architecture.
Every ledge of the walls of the towers, denoting the different stories,
were embossed with vegetation, which seemed to grow from the solid stone.
Over the gate-way, at the West side, are the arms of England, Duke of
Lancaster, and Carew; and contiguous to this entrance, is another
spacious room, measuring eighty feet by thirty.

In the Farm-yard, adjoining the Church, which has a lofty square Tower,
is a dilapidated stone-building, called the Parsonage.

Leaving Carew, we crossed a small Bridge over an arm of Milford Haven,
and continued our route across a barren and uninteresting heath; till,
descending to the Village of



CRESSELEY,


the luxuriant Plantation of Firs, belonging to Sir William Hamilton,
attracted our attention.  Small vessels constantly frequent this quay,
from whence a quantity of small coal is shipped to different parts.  From
hence the road is extremely barren and unpicturesque; but, about three
miles from



LANDSHIPPING,


an arm of Milford Haven again burst upon our sight.—Near it is situated
the uninhabited house of Sir William Owen.  In crossing the Ferry, Picton
Castle, the property of Lord Milford, formed a prominent feature in the
gay scene; and Slebitch, the Seat of Mr. Philips, standing at the end of
the Haven, contributes considerably to this picturesque prospect.

The grounds of



PICTON,


through which we passed, about five miles in extent, seemed to be well
planned, and kept in excellent order.

This Castle has always been inhabited; and having escaped the fate of all
other Castles in Wales, during the civil wars, it retained, till very
late, much of its original external form.  It is now occupied by Lord
Milford, and rendered a very comfortable summer residence.  At the
extremity of the Park, a good turnpike-road soon conducted us to



HAVERFORD-WEST,


which is considered as one of the largest Towns in South-Wales.  It is
very irregularly built, on the declivity of a hill, which is, in some
parts, so very steep, that the ground-rooms frequently overlook the
neighbouring roofs; yet there are some good houses.  It is considered as
a County of itself, and sends one Member to Parliament.  The Town was
formerly fortified by a strong wall, or rampart, on the Western summit:
the shell of a once-extensive Castle, is still remaining; this is now
converted into a goal.

The Parade, commanding a cheerful View of the neighbouring Country, and
the ruins of an ancient Abbey, extends for a considerable way, by the
side of a hill.  At the extremity of this Walk, stand the ruins of an
ancient Priory of Black Canons: the remains are now very inconsiderable,
but we easily traced the Chapel, over one end of which is an arch, still
in good preservation, and beautifully enwreathed with the rich drapery of
ivy.

Haverford is called by the Welch, _Hwlfordh_. {47}  Having finished our
survey of Haverford, we started early the next morning, purporting to
breakfast at



NEWGIN BRIDGE,


where we understood we should meet with every thing comfortable; but, to
our disappointment, we found a most miserable, dirty pot-house, destitute
of even the common comforts of life.  We were literally obliged to stoop,
in order to gain access to the Kitchen, which contained a small bed, and
a few chairs; through this an elderly woman conduced us to what she
distinguished by the name of a Parlour: in this room the furniture
consisted of two beds, a dirty table, and a few chairs.  With disgust we
left this miserable hovel, and contented ourselves with a bason of milk:
we declined eating the bread, or rather oatmeal cake, which was of the
coarsest and hardest nature.  I here recollected Shenstone’s
complimentary lines on an Inn, but could not apply them on the present
occasion:

    “Whoe’er has travell’d life’s dull round,
       Where’er his stages may have been,
    May sigh to think that he has found
       The warmest welcome at an Inn.” {49}

The road from Haverford to Newgin we found very uninteresting; and the
shell of



ROACH CASTLE


did not detain us long.  It stands on a rocky eminence, now completely in
ruins, with only one tower remaining.  “Roach Castle (says Leland) in
Rouseland, to the right of the road to St. David’s, shews a round and
some double out-works, visible at a great distance.  It belonged to the
Lords Ferrars and old Langeville, Knt. of Bucks.”

In descending the hill to Newgin, the dark lowering rocks, which form
that fine Bay, called St. Bride’s, exhibited a grand prospect.  In the
centre of this Bay is situated Newgin, bounded on the South by the Island
of Skomar, and on the North by Ramsay.  The fields adjacent to this place
have been frequently inundated, by extraordinary overflowings of the sea:
at the reflux of the tide, the sands admit of most excellent walking.

The saunter from hence to the City of



ST. DAVIDS,


now properly deserving the name of a Village, was rather more captivating
than our walk before breakfast: it was occasionally enlivened by the
prospect of the wide ocean, boundless to our view on one side, whilst
before us the fantastic shapes of the rocks off St. David’s Head,
exhibited Nature, in her most awful and striking attitudes.  Above the
rest, Caern Thydy lifted its bold promontory, as if to give effect to the
rude landscape.  About half way between Newgin and St. Davids, the
beautiful little Village of Solva unexpectedly burst upon our view;
studded with neat white-washed cottages, and enclosed on each side with
lofty rocks, which here form a picturesque and interesting chasm.  These
rocks, indeed, I could almost imagine, were torn asunder by some
convulsive rent of the earth.  The Cathedral, and dilapidated ruins of
the episcopal Palace, are situated at the bottom of a steep hill, and
scarcely visible in the town: these, and the prebendal houses, were
formerly enclosed by a strong stone wall, with four gates, computed at
eleven hundred yards in circuit.  David, {51} the national saint of
Wales, with the consent of King Arthur, is said to have removed the
Metropolitan See from Cær Lleon to Menevia, which has ever since been
called _Ty Dewi_, by the Welch, and St. David, by the English.  What was
the condition and extent of this town formerly, is difficult to say,
having been so frequently destroyed.  At present it is a very small city,
and has nothing to boast, but its ruined palace, and old cathedral,
dedicated to St. Andrew and St. David, which has often been demolished,
but rebuilt, in its present form, by Bishop Peter, according to Giraldus,
in the reign of Henry II. or as Willis, 1110, in Rhos Vale, below the
town.  It is still esteemed a noble pile, consisting of two transepts,
measuring in length, from East to West, three hundred feet, and the body,
with the aisles, seventy-six feet broad.

    “Behind the choir is a most beautiful chapel, with a rich roof of
    carved stone, built by Vaughan, in the time of Henry VIII. as a kind
    of presbytery, between the choir and Lady chapel.  In the last, whose
    roof, as well as those of the ailes of the choir and transepts, have
    been down ever since the civil war, are monuments for three bishops,
    and in the nave, &c. four or five more.  In the North wall of the
    choir is the shrine of St. David, a kind of altar tomb, with a canopy
    of four pointed arches, and in front four quatrefoil holes, into
    which the votaries put their offerings, which were taken out by the
    Monks at two iron doors behind.  In the choir are also the monuments
    of Owen Tudor, second husband of Queen Catharine, Rhys ap Tudor,
    {52a} Bishops Jorwerth and Anselm, in the 13th century, and Edmund
    Earl of Richmond, father of Henry VII.  This last monument is said to
    have prevented Henry VIII. from removing the see to Caermarthen.
    Giraldus Cambrensis, who was Archdeacon of Brecon, canon of Hereford,
    and Rector of Chesterton, Oxford, was buried here 1213. {52b}  On the
    North side of the church are some walls of St. Mary’s College,
    founded by Bishop Houghton, and John of Gaunt, 1365, valued at
    106_l._ _per annum_.” {52c}

It is much to be regretted, that so little regard has been paid to the
internal appearance of this noble pile; the whole of it has lately been
white-washed, which gives it too much the air of a modern building: the
external part, I am sorry to add, has been equally neglected; and the
chapels and monuments exposed to the wanton mischief of boys and idle
people.  The West front of the Cathedral has very lately been repaired by
a Mr. Nash, {53} who has endeavoured, with bad success, to imitate the
beautiful circular window remaining in the ruins of the Bishop’s Palace.
The stone, likewise, with which it is built, is of so soft a substance,
that it even moulders with the touch of the finger; but possibly it may,
by being exposed to the air, like the Bath stone, become more solid; and,
when by time it shall have acquired a darker hue, may then better
correspond with the original building.

The Bishop’s Palace now stands a monument of desolation;—and as we walked
over the loose fragments of stone, which are scattered through the
immense area of the fabric, the images of former times rose to
reflection,—when the spacious hall stood proudly in their original
splendour; when the long ailes of the chapel were only responsive to the
solemn, slow-breathed chaunt.  In this Palace is a very long room,
purposely erected for the reception of King John: at the extremity of it
is a circular window, of very elegant and curious workmanship.

Giraldus gives us a true description of the county round St. Davids,
representing it “as a stony, barren, unimprovable territory, undecked
with woods, undivided by rivers, unadorned with meadows, exposed only to
wind and storms.”  Such, indeed, is the state and situation of St.
Davids; and, the environs having no hedges to divide the property of the
farmers, the sheep, and even the geese, are all tethered together.

The walk to St. David’s Head, though barren, represents a view striking
and awful: sublimity gives place to elegance: yet what is it to view?—a
boundless waste of ocean;—not a glimpse of smiling nature,—not a patch of
vegetation, to relieve the aching sight, or vary the objects of
admiration.  The rocks on this shore, are shook into every possible shape
of horror; and, in many parts, resemble the convulsions of an earthquake,
splintered, shivered, and amassed.  On these rocks stood the famous
rocking stone, or _Y mean sigl_, which, “though twenty yoke of oxen could
not move it, might be shaken with the slightest touch.”  We understood it
was thrown off its balance, by order of the farmer, to prevent the
curious from trampling on his grounds.  “A mile strait West from St.
David’s, betwixt Portclais and Porthmaur,” {55} is the shell of Capel
Stinen, St. Stinan’s, or St. Justinian’s Chapel.

From this spot is an extensive View of Whitsand Bay, called by the Welsh
_Porth Maur_, or the Great Bay; in which stand the six Rocks, called _The
Bishop and his Clerks_.  Half a league from hence is



RAMSEY ISLE,


half a mile long, and three quarters broad, and divided into two
considerable farms.  The whole island is well stocked with rabbits; and,
during the Spring, the Razorbill, Puffin, and Harry Birds, resort here in
flocks.

Our walk, from St. Davids to



FISHGUARD,


afforded us little room for observation; the eye, however, kept in view a
wide range of the unbounded ocean, till, dim with exertion, it by degrees
reposed on the dark lowering rocks, which, disregarding the angry roar of
the waves, seemed to project their broad sides, to augment the idle
tumult.  Quitting the turnpike road, in search of the place where the
French effected their landing in 1797, we passed a neat house, called
Caergwent, belonging to Mrs. Harris.  The kind attentions of a farmer, in
the neighbourhood of this memorable spot, claim our warmest
acknowledgments.  Having finished a most comfortable meal at Mr.
Mortimer’s house, (which, during the confusion was considered the
head-quarters of the French, commanded by General Tate) he explained
every minutiæ respecting this circumstance; and very obligingly pointed
out the situation of their camp, and related many entertaining and
interesting anecdotes.  Deeply impressed with gratitude towards Mr. M.
for his civilities, we soon arrived at Goodric Sands.  This spot was very
judiciously selected by Lord Cawdor, as a proper place for the French to
lay down their arms; for, had they resisted, a cannonade of grape-shot,
from a neighbouring fortress, would have instantly played upon them.
Fishguard stands on a steep rock, with a convenient harbour, formed by
the river Gwain; though its situation and Bay are interesting, it is by
no means a desirable place to remain long at.

Several Druidical Monuments {56} engaged our attention, as we drew near



NEWPORT,


Called by Giraldus Llanhever, or The Town on the River Nevern.  The
fragments of the Castle are too insignificant to invite the curiosity of
the passing traveller: it was demolished by Llewellyn, Prince of
South-Wales, when possessed by the Flemings.

The country beyond Newport presented a more pleasing countenance; wood,
water, hill, and vale, all unite, even to induce the plodding citizen to
pause, and wish to spend the evening of his days in the vicinity of its
enchantment.  In this interesting situation, we found the Village of
Velindre:—we here particularly observed the slaty quality of the hills,
and could not avoid condemning the folly of the inhabitants of Velindre,
in building their cottages of mud, and sparingly covering them with
straw, when Nature herself seemed to place comforts, if not luxuries,
before their view.  But, perhaps, these reproaches were ill-grounded:
for, thus veiled in obscurity, they were happy, as they knew not enough
of the world seriously to regret the want of these conveniencies: their
situation, indeed, seemed to verify the philosophical sentiment of Gray;

    “Since ignorance is bliss,
    ’Tis folly to be wise.”

For though they suffer the extremes of filth and penury, yet they enjoy
the two inestimable blessings, health and felicity.

The broken towers of



KILGERRAN CASTLE,


soon attracted our notice.  The relicks of this ruin stand on a point of
rock, impending over the river Tyvi, whose beauty time had only impaired,
to heighten its grandeur.  Two imperfect circular towers, and the
fragments of a wall, now only remain.  The river Tyvi, I imagine, abounds
with fish, as we observed at every door, in the village of Kilgerran, a
coracle. {58}  The construction of this little water conveyance is
remarkably simple, and intended solely for the use of fishing: a thick
skin, or coarse pitched canvas, is stretched over _wicker-work_.  This
singular fishing-boat only conveys one man, who manages it with the
greatest adroitness imaginable; the right hand being employed in using
the paddle, the left in conducting the net, and the teeth in holding the
line.  Two coracles generally co-operate, to assist each other in
fishing: they usually measure about five feet long, and four broad, and
rounded at the corners; and, after the labours of the day, are conveyed,
on the back, to the little cot of the fisherman, which is looked upon as
a necessary appendage to the cottage door.

Description can scarcely suggest the full magnificence and beauty of the
saunter from hence to Cardigan: the valley, about two miles in extent,
seemed to possess all that Nature inherits; sloping hills, two hundred
feet high, covered with wood, from the water’s edge, to their highest
summit, and at the most acceptable distances, and truly happy situations,
interrupted by a bold, naked, and projecting rock: whilst the broad and
translucid stream of the Tyvi reflects, as in a mirror, the blackness of
the impending shades.  The retrospect commands the romantic ruins of
Kilgarran Castle, whose mutilated walls close this delicious landscape.
The whole valley bears a strong resemblance to the situation of the
celebrated Piercefield.  As this spot is entirely lost, by keeping the
turnpike road, it is advisable for travellers, in general, to hire a boat
from Cardigan to Kilgarran: this, our humble and less-encumbered mode of
travelling rendered unnecessary.

At Llechryd, not far from Kilgerran, extensive Tin-works are carried on
by Sir Benjamin Hamet.  Having already examined works of this nature at
Neath, we preferred the romantic vale of Kilgerran; as to accomplish
both, would have occupied too much time.

We entered the town of



CARDIGAN,


over a handsome stone-bridge, built over the Tyvi, which is here of
considerable width.  In front of this stands, on a steep eminence, the
Castle, consisting chiefly of its outer walls, which prove it to have
been once a considerable building.  This place, considered the principal
town of the county, is called by the Britons _Abertuvi_; which name it
receives from standing near the _Mouth of the River Tyvi_.  It was
fortified, together with the Castle, by Gilbert, son of Richard Clare,
and demolished by Rhees ap Gryffith.

The town is large, and regular; its chief trade consisting in lead,
exported to Ireland.  The Church is large, and well-built, with a
handsome tower.  The new gaol, finished in 1797, is conveniently
situated, and appears to be a well-planned building.

One mile West from Cardigan is



ST. DOGMAEL’s ABBEY,


called, by Leland, {61} a “Priory of Bonhommes.”  The Monasticon places
this house amongst the Benedictines; but it was that strict and reformed
sort of Benedictines, called the order of _Tiron_, founded by _Martin of
Tours_, who conquered the country of Cemmeis, about the time of King
William the Conqueror.  Part of the ruins is now converted into a chapel,
for the convenience of the vicinity.

At the second mile stone, in our road from Cardigan, to the village of



LLANARTH,


we halted a short time, to take a retrospect of the country we had
passed.  From this spot, the Town and Castle of Cardigan, standing on an
eminence, in the centre of a broad valley, and encircled with hills,
beautifully introduced themselves to our view.  From hence to



ABERAERON,


grand Sea prospects continued to enliven our route;—whilst the faint and
still fainter hues of the coast of Ireland appeared just visibly skirting
the distant horizon.

Aberaeron is situated in a vale, near the conflux of the river Aeron with
the sea: from whence it receives its name; _Aber_ signifying the _mouth_
of any thing.

The entrenchment, mentioned by Sael, in his _Collection of Tours_, about
a mile from Aberaeron, is now almost washed away, by the daily
encroachments of the sea.  We lamented, that the Druidical sepulchral
monuments, mentioned by the same Author, were inadvertently passed
unnoticed by us.

In this day’s journey, we still continued to indulge the sublime
emotions, which an unconfined view of the ocean always inspires; a serene
day, with partial gleams of sunshine, gave magical effects to the
scenery; and the sea was enlivened with many a vessel, whose gay
streamers, glittering to the sun-beams, presented to the eye a constant
moving scene, and rendered the terrific ocean beautiful.  Before us, the
towering mountains of Merionethshire glittered in all those colours of
beauty, which constitute the sublime; and we appeared only to climb one
hill, to view still others rising in endless perspective: over the whole
was diffused the rich glow of even; and the distant mountains were
variegated by the parting tinge of lingering day.  A neat Church, backed
by romantic hills, animated the village of Llanrysted.  Three miles from



ABERYSTWITH,


we paused at Llanryan Bridge, to admire the rich banks rising on each
side of the river Ystwith, over which this bridge is thrown; it is built
in the style of the celebrated Pont y Prydd, in the vale of
Glamorganshire.  We entered the town of Aberystwith, over a temporary
wooden bridge. {63}  In the year 1796, a stone bridge experienced the
same fate with many others in Wales, occasioned by a sudden thaw: Mr.
Edwards, from Dolgelly is now engaged in erecting another, by contract,
consisting of six arches.

Aberystwith, partaking much of the dirt of sea-ports in general, is
situated at the termination of the vale of Rhydol, in the Bay of
Cardigan, and open to St. George’s Channel.  The environs are stony and
rugged; the coast affords indifferent bathing, being much exposed; and
the shore rough and unpleasant.  In fine, it is, in almost all respects,
the reverse of Tenby, except it has the advantage in the number of
houses, and, consequently, more company.  At the extremity of the town,
upon an eminence, stand the ruins of an ancient castle, of which little
now remains but a solitary tower, overlooking a wide expanse of sea.  It
was rendered famous, by being, at one time, the residence of the great
Cadwalader, and in all the Welch wars considered as a fortress of great
strength: it was built by Gilbert Strongbow, 1107, and rebuilt by Edward
I. in 1277, a few years before his complete conquest of Wales.  The ruin
of the castle now affords a pleasant walk.

But what formerly rendered this town more considerable, were the rich
Lead Mines in its vicinity.  These mines are said to have yielded near a
hundred ounces of silver from a ton of lead, and to have produced a
profit of two thousand pounds a month.  Sir Hugh Middleton here made the
vast fortune, which he afterwards expended on the New River, constructed
for the purpose of supplying the Northern side of London with water.  But
Thomas Bushell raised these mines to their greatest height: an indenture
was granted to him by Charles I. for the coining of silver pieces, to be
stamped with ostrich feathers, on both sides, for the benefit of paying
his workmen.  This gentleman was afterwards appointed Governor of Lundy
Isle.  The most considerable lead mine was that of Bwlch-yr-Eskir-his,
discovered in 1690.  The ore was here so near the surface, that the moss
and grass in some places just covered it.

Close to the scite of the old Castle, Mr. Uvedale Price, of Foxley in
Herefordshire, has erected a fantastic house, in the castellated form,
intended merely as a summer residence.  Mr. Nash, of Caermarthen, was the
architect: it consists of three octagon towers, with a balcony towards
the sea.  The rooms are well contrived, and elegantly furnished: the
windows command an unlimited View of St. George’s Channel; and the
dilapidated fragments of the Castle, are from hence viewed to great
advantage.

We determined to pursue the Banks of the meandering Rhyddol, in
preference to the turnpike road, in our way to Havod.

This valley comprehends every thing that constitutes the beautiful; it is
enclosed by high mountains on each side, vegetating to their summits;
indeed, all the tints of verdure, and diversity of foliage, here
introduce themselves in one view; the Rhyddol struggling with the huge
masses of rock,—its never-ceasing, tumultuous motion,—its sparkling
foam;—in fine, every thing that can be imagined, by the most enthusiastic
admirer of nature is blended in this short excursion:—

    —“_is not this vale_
    More free from peril than the envious courts?
    Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
    The season’s difference, as the icy fang
    And churlish chiding of the Winter’s wind.”

                                                               SHAKSPEARE.

To the inquisitive pedestrian, for this vale is inaccessible for
carriages, the old Church of Llanbadern Vawr, which signifies _The Church
of Great Paternus_, a native of Bretagne, is particularly interesting;
who, as the writer of his Life expresses it, “by feeding governed, and by
governing fed the Church of Ceretica.”  To his memory this Church, and
formerly an Episcopal See was founded: but the Bishopric, as Roger
Hovedan writes, “early declined, because the parishioners slew their
pastor.” {66}

As we drew near the



DEVIL’s BRIDGE,


a long chain of mountains excited our admiration, encircled half way down
with a thick mist, similar in appearance to a girdle: this circumstance
seems to justify the bold imagery, and beautiful description of a
mountain given by the Poet:

    “As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form
    Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm;
    Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
    Eternal sunshine settles on its head.”—GOLDSMITH.

The comfortable Inn, situated near this romantic spot, stands in front of
the river Rhyddol, and commanding the most picturesque view fancy can
paint, is built by the respectable and truly hospitable owner of Havod.

This celebrated Bridge, so much the object of curiosity and admiration,
is so completely environed with trees, that many travellers, not intent
upon deep investigation, or in pursuit of nature’s landscapes, may pass
over it, without the least suspicion of the dreadful aperture, or the
ancient structure, that conveys them over the gulf.  On the Eastern side
we descended a precipitous, and treacherous bank, consisting of slate
rock, or _laminac_, I should imagine, near a hundred feet: this is the
computed measurement; but the eye, confused by the awfulness of the
scene, loses its faculty of judging.  From this spot, the vast chine, or
chasm, over which the bridge is thrown, is seen to great advantage: the
whole of this fissure was probably occasioned by some convulsion of
nature, as each indenture seems to correspond with the opposite
protuberance.  Under the bridge, the river Mynach, in its confined
course, meeting with obstructions of massy rock, and fragments of
prodigious size, rushes through the chasm with irresistible violence.

This bridge is called in Welsh _Pont-ar-Fynach_, or Mynach Bridge: it
consists of two arches, one thrown over the other.  The foundation of the
under one is of great antiquity, and vulgarly attributed to the invention
of the Devil: it is supposed to have been erected as far back as the year
1087, in the reign of William II., by the Monks of Strata Florida Abbey,
the ruins of which are still visible, about ten miles from hence.  Gerald
mentions his passing over it, when he accompanied Baldwin, Archbishop of
Cambray, at the time of the crusades, in the year 1188, and in the reign
of Richard I.  The original arch being suspected to be in a ruinous
condition, the present bridge was built over it, at the expence of the
county, in the year 1753.—The width of the chasm is estimated at about
thirty feet.

Our Ciceroni first conducted us to a fall on the river Rhyddol,
unobserved in Walker’s _Description of the Devil’s Bridge_, and unnoticed
by Warner.  The character of this fall is remarkably singular: a huge
fragment of rock, projecting over the river for a considerable way,
precipitates the water in a singular, and almost inexpressible direction;
the rocks are occasionally variegated by the dark foliage of underwood,
and sometimes barren, rugged, and impending.

Description cannot suggest the full magnificence of the prospect which
spread before us, on our arrival at the grand fall of the Mynach; for
though it may paint the grandeur of the elegance of outline, yet it
cannot equal the archetypes in nature, or draw the minute features, that
reward the actual observer, at every new choice of his position:
reviewing this thundering cataract, in the leisure of recollection, these
nervous lines of Thomson seem to describe much of the scene:

    “Smooth to the shelving brink a copious flood
    Rolls fair and placid, where collected all
    In one impetuous torrent, down the steep
    It thundering shoots, and shakes the country round.
    At first an azure sheet, it rushes broad;
    Then whitening by degrees, as prone it falls,
    And from the loud-resounding rocks below
    Dash’d in a cloud of foam, it sends aloft
    A hoary mist, and forms a ceaseless shower.
    Nor can the tortur’d wave here find repose:
    But raging still amid the shaggy rocks,
    Now flashes o’er the scatter’d fragments, now
    Aslant the hollow channel rapid darts;
    And falling fast from gradual slope to slope,
    With wild infracted course, and lessen’d roar,
    It gains a safer bed, and steals, at last,
    Along the mazes of the quiet vale.”

The following Table, taken from Walker’s _Description of the Devil’s
Bridge_, gives the exact height from the top of the bridge, to the water
underneath, and the different falls from thence, till the Mynach delivers
itself into the Rhyddol below:

                 FALLS, &c.
                                      Feet.
From the Bridge to the Water              114
  First Fall                               18
  Second ditto                             60
  Third ditto                              20
  Grand Cataract                          110
From the Bridge to the Rhyddol            322

The rocks on each side of the fall rise perpendicularly to the height of
eight hundred feet, and finely clothed with the richest vegetation, to
its highest summit.

Near the bason of the first fall from the bridge we entered a dark
cavern, formerly inhabited by a set of robbers, two brothers and a
sister, called _Plant Mat_, or _Plant Fat_, signifying Matthew’s
Children.  Tradition reports, that they committed various depredations in
the neighbourhood, and lived concealed in this “_specus horrendum_” for
many years, from the keen research of “day’s garish eye.”  The entrance
just admits sufficient light to make “darkness visible.”

With regret we left this romantic spot; where, if Retirement ever had
“local habitation,” this was her “place of dearest residence.”  “One
excursion (says Mr. Cumberland) to this place will not suffice common
observers; nor indeed many, to the lovers of the grand sports of Nature.”
The Mynach (in another place he describes) coming down from beneath the
Devil’s Bridge, has no equal for height or beauty that I know of; for
although a streamlet, to the famous fall of Narni in Italy, yet it rivals
it in height, and surpasses it in elegance.

“After passing deep below the bridge, as through a narrow firth, with
noises loud and ruinous, into a confined chasm, the fleet waters pour
headlong and impetuous, and leaping from rock to rock, with fury,
literally lash the mountain’s sides; sometimes almost imbower’d among
deep groves, and flashing, at last, into a fan-like form, they fall
rattling among the loose stones of the Devil’s Hole—where, to all
appearance, it shoots into a gulf beneath, and silently steals away: for
so much is carried off in spray, during the incessant repercussions it
experiences, in this long tortuous shoot, that, in all probability, not
half the water arrives at the bottom of its profound and sullen grave.”

Four miles from hence, on the Llandiloe’s road, is situated



HAVOD,


the celebrated Seat of Mr. Johnes.  The former, part of the road is
barren and uninteresting: but on our first entrance into the grounds, all
our past complaints were lost in expressions of admiration.  The mansion
is a very elegant piece of architecture built of Portland stone, and the
plan entirely novel, being a mixture of the Moorish and Gothic, with
turrets and painted windows.  The whole of it indeed does great credit to
the architect, Mr. Baldwyn of Bath.  It is situated near the banks of the
river Ystwith, and beautifully environed by lofty hills, clothed with
oak.  The interior of the house corresponds in elegance with the
exterior.  From the hall we were conducted through a suite of elegant
apartments, very judiciously fitted up with paintings, statues, and
antiques; but the Library more particularly engaged our notice,
containing a choice and valuable collection of books: this octagonal room
is built in the form of a dome, with a gallery round it, supported by a
colonade of variegated marble pillars, of the ancient Doric order, with a
circular window at top, for the admission of light.  We entered through a
handsome door, inlaid with a large reflecting mirror; immediately
opposite is another door, of transparent plate-glass, leading to the
Conservatory, three hundred feet in length, and containing a number of
curious, and rare exotics, with a walk down the centre of the building.
In fine, the effect of the _tout ensemble_ can better be imagined than
described.  Amongst the other things worthy of admiration, a handsome
statue, in the Library, of Thetis dipping Anchises in the river Styx more
particularly detains attention.  We next passed through the
Billiard-room, and were conducted to the top of the stair-case, to admire
two elegant paintings, the subjects taken from Capt. Cook’s Voyages: the
painter is unknown.  Many of the rooms are beautifully furnished with
rich Gobelin tapestry.

To give my readers a just conception of the beauties of Havod, I shall
beg leave to borrow the elegant description of it, drawn by the masterly
pen of Mr. Cumberland.

    “Havod,” says Mr. Cumberland, “is a place in itself so pre-eminently
    beautiful, that it highly merits a particular description.  It stands
    surrounded with so many noble scenes, diversified with elegance, as
    well as with grandeur; the country on the approach to it is so very
    wild and uncommon, and the place itself is now so embellished by art,
    that it will be difficult, I believe, to point out a spot that can be
    put in competition with it, considered either as the object of the
    Painter’s eye, the Poet’s mind, or as a desirable residence for those
    who, admirers of the beautiful wildness of nature, love also to
    inhale the pure air of aspiring mountains, and enjoy that _santo
    pacê_ (as the Italians expressively term it,) which arises from
    solitudes made social by a family circle.

    “From the portico, it commands a woody, narrow, winding vale; the
    undulating forms of whose ascending, shaggy sides, are richly clothed
    with various foliage, broken with silver water-falls, and crowned
    with climbing sheep-walks, reaching to the clouds.

    “Neither are the luxuries of life absent; for, on the margin of the
    Ystwith, where it flows broadest through this delicious vale, we see
    hot-houses, and a conservatory; beneath the rocks, a bath; amid the
    recesses of the woods, a flower-garden; and within the building,
    whose decorations, though rich, are pure and simple, we find a mass
    of rare and valuable literature, whose pages here seem doubly
    precious, where meditation finds scope to range unmolested.

    “In a word, so many are the delights afforded by the scenery of this
    place, and its vicinity, to a mind imbued with any taste, that the
    impression on mine was increased, after an interval of ten years from
    the first visit, employed chiefly in travelling among the Alps, the
    Appenines, the Sabine Hills, and the Tyrollese; along the shores of
    the Adriatic, over the Glaciers of Switzerland, and up the Rhine;
    where, though in search of beauty, I never, I feel, saw any thing so
    fine—never so many pictures concentred in one spot; so that, warned
    by the renewal of my acquaintance with them, I am irresistibly urged
    to attempt a description of the hitherto almost virgin-haunts of
    these obscure mountains.

    “Wales, and its borders, both North and South, abound, at intervals,
    with fine things: Piercefield has grounds of great magnificence, and
    wonderfully picturesque beauty.  Downton Castle has a delicious woody
    vale, most tastefully managed; Llangollen is brilliant; the banks of
    the Conway savagely grand; Barmouth romantically rural; the great
    Pistill Rhayader is horribly wild; Rhayader Wennol, gay, and
    gloriously irregular—each of which merits a studied description.

    “But, at Havod, and its neighbourhood, I find the effects of all in
    one circle; united with this peculiarity, that the deep dingles, and
    mighty woody slopes, which from a different source, conduct the
    Rhyddol’s never-failing waters from Plynlimmon, and the Fynach, are
    of an unique character, as mountainous forests, accompanying gigantic
    size with graceful forms; and, taken altogether, I see the ‘sweetest
    interchange of hill and valley, rivers, woods, and plains, and falls,
    with forests crowned, rocks, dens, and caves;’ insomuch, that it
    requires little enthusiasm there to feel forcibly with Milton, with

            “All things that be, send up from earth’s great altar
                               Silent praise!”

    “There are four fine walks from the house, chiefly through ways
    artificially made by the proprietor; all dry, kept clean, and
    composed of materials found on the spot; which is chiefly a course
    stone, of a greyish cast, friable in many places, and like slate, but
    oftener consisting of immense masses, that cost the miner, in making
    some part of these walks, excessive labour; for there are places,
    where it was necessary to perforate the rock many yards, in order to
    pass a promontory, that, jutting across the way, denied further
    access; and to go round which, you must have taken a great tour, and
    made a fatiguing descent.  As it is, the walks are so conducted, that
    few are steep; the transitions easy, the returns commodious, and the
    branches distinct.  Neither are they too many, for much is left for
    future projectors; and if a man be stout enough to range the
    underwoods, and fastidious enough to reject all trodden paths, he
    may, almost every where, stroll from the studied line, till he be
    glad to regain the friendly conduct of the well-known way.

    “Yet one must be nice, not to be content at first to visit the best
    points of view by the general routine; for all that is here done, has
    been to remove obstructions, reduce the materials, and conceal the
    art; and we are no where presented with attempts to force these
    untamed streams, or indeed to invent any thing, where nature, the
    great mistress, has left all art behind.”

We now for many miles passed a barren, dreary country, completely
encircled with hills, and we only climbed one, to observe still others
rising in the distant perspective: not even a house or tree appeared to
interrupt the awfulness of the mountains, which after the copious fall of
rain in the night, teemed with innumerable cataracts.  According to our
directions, we enquired at the foot of Plinlimmon for Rhees Morgan, as a
proper man to be our conductor over the heights of the “fruitful father
of rivers.”  This man being absent, the whole family appeared
thunderstruck at our appearance, and run with all haste imaginable into
their miserable cot, or which might rather be dignified with the
appellation of a pig-stye; as that _filthy animal_ seemed to claim, with
the wretched family, an equal right to a share of the hovel.  One
apartment served for the inhabitants of every description, with only one
small hole to admit the light; the entrance unprotected by a door, but
with a blanket as a substitute, was exposed to the pitiless blast of the
winter’s storm.  Reviewing this despicable hovel, I recalled to my mind a
very just observation of Goldsmith’s, “That one half of the world are
ignorant how the other half lives.”

    “Ah! little think the gay licentious proud
    Whom pleasure, power, and affluence surround;
    They, who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth,
    And wanton, often cruel, riot waste;
    Ah! little think they, while they dance along,
    . . . . . .
    . . . how many drink the cup
    Of baleful grief, or eat the bitter bread
    Of misery.  Sore pierc’d by wintry winds,
    How many shrink into the sordid hut
    Of cheerless poverty.”—THOMPSON.

With some difficulty we prevailed on the female part of the family to
give us proper directions to the source of the meandering Wye, {79} and
rapid Severn.  The latter they only understood by the name of _Halfren_,
its original British name; it is likewise called in Latin _Sabrina_.
From the top of Plinlimmon we, for the first time, discovered the shaggy
summit of Cader Idris, and the spiral head of Snowdon.  There is nothing
particularly engaging in the character of this mountain, except to its
giving rise to no less than six or eight rivers, and on this account has
frequently been celebrated by the Poet.  Though its summit commands a
circle of many miles diameter, yet the prospect by no means answered our
expectations.  We descended into a swampy bottom, which afforded us
unpleasant walking for two or three miles, when a most delightful and
well-cultivated valley unexpectedly enlivened our spirits.  The sun was
making

    —“a golden set,
    And by the bright track of his fiery car
    Gave signal of a goodly day to-morrow,”

just as we entered this interesting vale: the hay-makers, in the coolness
of the evening, were returning to their homes,

    “Each by the lass he loved.”

In short, the whole valley breathed delicious fragrance: add to this,
innumerable cataracts rushed from the mountain’s summits, occasioned by
the late copious rains.

From hence a good turnpike-road soon conducted us to the romantic town of



MACHYNLLETH,


considered as the center of the woollen manufactory in this part of the
country, principally of the _strong cloth_, or _high country cloth_. {81}
The situation of Machynlleth, (or as it is pronounced by the Welch,
_Mahunthleth_) is extremely romantic, stupendous mountains forming a
natural rampart round the town.  We here visited the neglected Mansion,
where Owen Glendwr assembled the States of the Principality, in 1402, and
accepted from their hands the crown of Wales.  Part of the house is now
allotted for the purpose of a stable, the remainder is turned into a
butcher’s shop:—

                        “_Sic transit gloria mundi_!”

In fine, the only evident remains of its ever having been celebrated in
the annals of history, is a spacious door way.  The town itself, in many
parts, bears the appearance of antiquity; the streets are considerably
wider than Welch towns in general, and the market-place is well built.

As we entered Machynlleth, being the first town in North Wales, we were
in a manner instinctively induced to reflect on the various incidents
that had befallen us from our first sallying forth on our pedestrian
excursion.  We took a retrospect on all our little troubles, with equally
as much delight, as the sailor, who, by the blessing of Providence, has
escaped the most imminent dangers: all our past imaginary dangers (for
imaginary evils are frequently worse than real ones) were overbalanced
with reflections on the many hours of pleasure that were flown unheeded
by: these reflections brought to my recollection some interesting lines
in Bowles’s Sonnets, which I involuntarily exclaimed aloud,

    “Fair scenes ye lend a pleasure long unknown
    To him who passes weary on his way;
    The farewell tear, which now he turns to pay
    Shall thank you; and whene’er of pleasures flown,
    His heart some long-lost image would renew,
    Delightful haunts! he will remember you.”

The sublimity of the walk from hence to _Talylyn_, literally “beggars
description.”  Having crossed a bridge of eight arches, thrown over the
river Dovey, high mountains closed us on every side, shook into every
possible form of horror; huge masses of rock hung over the road, and it
seemed necessary to remember their firm basis, to soften the terror they
inspired; whilst other mishapen fragments lie scattered at the side of
the road.  The transparent Dyflas, whose clear surface reflected the
tremulous picture in all its colours, forms one continued cataract for
five or six miles, overflowing with the innumerable tributary torrents,
which hurry themselves down from the highest summit of the surrounding
rocks; whilst to give effect to the whole prospect, the shaggy head of
Cader Idris towers the majestic sentinel of the scene, whose “cloud
cap’d” summit the eye aches in surveying.  To our great disappointment,
the weather prevented our ascending this celebrated mountain giant.
Cader Idris is esteemed, in height, the second mountain in all Wales,
rising two thousand eight hundred and fifty feet above the green of
Dolgelly. {83}

If the weather proves favourable to ascend Cader Idris, travellers may be
very comfortably accommodated with beds at



TALYLYN;


a small village, situated at the foot of the mountain; and where they
will likewise meet with a conductor, in every respect suited for this
Alpine excursion.  Mr. Jones, the landlord of the Blue Lion, used all his
influence to persuade us, by largely expatiating on the comforts of his
accommodations, to detain us till the weather wore a more favourable
aspect, but knowing the uncertainty of his conjectures, we determined to
make Barmouth our head quarters.  Quitting therefore our officiously
polite landlord, we soon arrived at the Pool of Three Grains, which,
though of inferior size, yet is generally credited to be unfathomable; it
abounds in fish, and derives its name from three immense stones, or
rather fragments of rock near it, which the common people confidently
assert, and believe, the giant Idris took out of his shoes as he passed
this pool.

Having ascended several hills, a quick descent of three or four miles,
soon brought us to



DOLGELLY;


surrounded with “a tempestuous sea of mountains,” and watered by the
rapid current of the river Avonvawr, over which is thrown a large and
handsome stone bridge, at the entrance of the town.

In the neighbourhood of this romantic spot, and indeed in many parts of
Merionethshire, the manufacture of strong cloth has long been carried on.
{84}

We were reluctantly necessitated to leave this interesting town of
Dolgelly, much sooner than we wished, had we obeyed our own inclinations.
No one can picture to themselves a more picturesque situation than that
of Dolgelly:—an enclosed vale, encircled with the craggy and subject
mountains of Cader Idris, forming an amphitheatre,—watered by the Alpine
torrent of the Maw,—and richly clothed with wood.  But necessity has no
law; the best Inn was pre-occupied, and no comfortable accommodations
could be found, and though drenched with rain, we were compelled to
quicken our pace to the well-known bathing place of



BARMOUTH.


It is advisable for all travellers, pedestrians not excepted, to leave
Dolgelly at high water, as without that, the scenery loses much of its
beauty; if convenient, it is certainly preferable to hire a boat, at the
Stoves; the charge is three shillings and sixpence; by this you will save
a walk of eight miles, and both from your situation, and from being more
at your ease, will better admit of your observing the surrounding
scenery, with which you cannot fail to be highly gratified.

This short excursion of eight miles, is truly grand, awful, and sublime;
and though many parts of this striking valley are richly cultivated, yet,
by the side of the road, enormous mountains, formed into the most
capricious shapes, shoot into the clouds, and sometimes projecting so far
over the road, as seeming to impede our farther progress: the wide
expanse of the ocean, in front, with the arm of the sea running up the
country in the centre of the valley; in fine, the _tout ensemble_ claimed
our highest admiration.

Barmouth, though considered as a bathing-place, is very inferior to
Tenby, yet its situation for grandeur of rocks, has been frequently
compared, by many Tourists, to Gibraltar; and by others, esteemed not
unlike St. Kitts, in the West Indies.  The vast sand banks, formed by the
tides immediately in front of the town, are the only barriers which
protect it from the inundations of the sea.  The shore is extremely
level, and affords, for many miles, excellent riding.  In respect to the
bathing, little can be said to recommend it; the machines are not drawn
into the water, and by this palpable inconvenience, you are under the
disagreeable necessity of walking a considerable way in, before the water
is sufficiently deep for “plunging headlong in the briny flood.”  During
our stay here, two gentlemen perceiving that the water was very much
alloyed by a fresh water stream disemboguing itself into the sea, at
Barmouth, persuaded Mrs. Lewis, the obliging landlady of the Cors-y-gedol
Arms, to remove the machines farther from the town; and from them we were
informed, that though the salt water was purer, yet they found it
impossible to draw them sufficiently deep for good bathing: the machines
being stationary on the sands, the ladies likewise find it remarkably
inconvenient, being equally compelled to walk in.  The folly of this
method seems to be more striking, as the objection might be so easily
obviated.  The lower class here, as in many other parts of Wales,
indiscriminately dress and undress on the sands, and pay very little
distinction to their sex.

The board and lodging is regulated on the same excellent plan here as at
Tenby, with very little difference in respect to the expence.  The town
itself is very dirty, and so irregularly built, on the declivity of a
rock, that the windows of one house not uncommonly look down on the
neighbouring chimney.  We could not avoid observing the number of pigs,
which are esteemed in this part of the country far superior to any in
England, lying in every corner of the street; and these pigs, I rather
imagine, consider themselves, during the night, inmates of the peasant’s
cottage: yet these hardships, if they may be distinguished by that name,
the inhabitants of the hovel suffer without complaint, and deem
themselves perfectly happy as long as they possess a pile of turf to keep
off the inclemency of the winter’s blast, a small strip of ground, well
stocked with potatoes, some poultry, and a fat pig; though one hovel
protects them all.  Though to appearance, their situation is most
miserable, yet it has no effect on their tempers and dispositions; their
hospitality, and indeed kindness, towards strangers in distress, is an
interesting trait in their character: to instance this, I am induced to
mention an anecdote, which took place at Hubberstone, not long ago.  A
lady anxiously waiting the arrival of her husband, from Ireland, at the
miserable village of Hubberstone, soon interested even the meaner
inhabitants of the place in her behalf; who willing to render her
situation as comfortable as possible, seemed to vie with each other in
producing the most delicious fruits, and the choicest garlands of
flowers, to present them to the unhappy consort; and not content alone
with this, she was generally greeted in the streets, with the phrase,
“There goes poor Mrs. L—.”  The lady, at last, impatient for the arrival
of her husband, determined to sail for Ireland.  The faithfulness of the
little group that accompanied her to the shore, can better be imagined
than described; the last farewell, with tears of artless innocence, and
the beseeching that Providence “who governs the waves, and stills the
raging of the sea,” to grant her a prosperous voyage; all this seemed to
come so thoroughly from the bottom of their hearts, that we cannot avoid
feeling ourselves interested in their behalf.

The road from hence to



HARLECH,


is stony and uninteresting; to the left an unbounded view of the wide
ocean, and in front, the steep mountains of North Wales rose in endless
perspective.  About four miles from Barmouth, we passed the two lodges at
Tal-y-bont, leading to Cors-y-gedol, the seat of Sir Thomas Mostyn.  It
is practicable to go by the sands, but we were given to understand, by
Mrs. Lewis, that the turnpike was, if any thing, shorter, the scenery
more pleasing, and the guides necessary for crossing those dangerous
sands, in general, most complete villains.

Harlech, though formed by Edward I. into a borough, can now be esteemed
little more than a dirty village: the present castle, one of the most
entire in Wales, is founded on a very high rock, projecting in the Irish
Sea, and defended by a deep foss on the east side; below it is a marsh of
considerable extent, occasionally overflowed by the sea; from the top of
the walls to this marsh the height is very considerable, and from thence
the Bay of Cardigan is seen to great advantage; in addition to this, the
shagged summits of Cader Buchan and Snowdon, in Caernarvonshire, being
enveloped in clouds, appear scarcely visible.

At the public-house, we accidentally met with a well-informed man, who
minutely delineated every part of the castle; beginning with the founder,
in the true characteristic style of a Welchman, run through his pedigree
several generations: this, however, did not interest us, cursory
pedestrians; and with little persuasion we soon induced him to write
down, in as concise a manner as possible, any information he was
acquainted with respecting the castle: “The founder of Harlech Castle,
A.D. 552, was Maclegwynn; Gwynead made Caer Dugoll (Shrewsbury;) Caer
Gyffin (Aber Conway;) Caer Gollwyn (Harleck) supposed to be buried in
Cirester, and reigned thirty-four years.”  Whether this information is
correct, I will not take upon me to assert; but meeting with a Welchman,
in this part of the country, capable of writing, rather surprised us, and
induced me to transcribe this short paragraph.

The double gate-way, with four strong towers, is still very perfect; and
the whole in sufficient repair, to form a conjecture of its ancient
extent and grandeur.  It was originally supposed to have been a Roman
town, a conjecture founded on the great number of coins, and other pieces
of antiquity, which have been found here, and in the neighbourhood.

In 1408 it was taken by the Earl of Pembroke; and afforded likewise
shelter to Margaret of Anjour, after the battle of Northampton, 1460, and
was the last in North-Wales, which held out for the King, being
surrendered to General Mytton, 1647.

In a garden near this castle was dug up, in the year 1692, an ancient
golden torques, of a round form, an inch in circumference, and weighing
eight ounces.  This curious relick of British antiquity, exhibited in a
drawing by Mr. Pennant, still continues in the possession of the Mostyn
family.  As we had not an opportunity of examining the original, this
account can only be gathered from the information of former authors, who
represent it, as “a wreathed bar, or rather three or four rods twisted
together, about four feet long, flexible, but bending naturally only one
way, in form of a hat-band: it originally had holes at each end, not
twitted or sharp, but plain, and cut even.”

In 1694, the prodigious phenomenon of fire, or kindled exhalation, which
disturbed the inhabitants of this neighbourhood, is both singular and
extraordinary; sixteen ricks of hay, and two barns, were burnt by a
kindled exhalation, or blue weak flame, proceeding from the sea: this
lasted about a fortnight or three weeks, poisoning the grass, and firing
it for the space of a mile.  It is extraordinary, that it had no effect
on the men, who interposed their endeavours to save the ricks from
destruction, even by running into it.  For a more accurate account of
this singular phenomenon, I refer my readers to the _Philosophical
Transactions_, No. 208, and likewise to the Addenda, in Cambden: suffice
it to say, that the air and grass was so infected, that it occasioned a
great mortality of cattle, horses, sheep, and goats.  The various
conjectures that have been formed, to account for this kindled
exhalation, seem to be very unsatisfactory; something similar to this,
both in the appearance and in the effect, happened in France in the year
1734.

As, from the unfavourableness of the weather, we had not contemplated the
rich scenery between Barmouth and Dolgelly, with that nice investigation
which it deserved, we determined, by again returning to our obliging
landlady at the Cors-y-gedol Arms, to seize the opportunity of again
admiring its beauties; and, by taking a more circuitous route to the Vale
of Festiniog, pay that attention to the Falls of Doll-y-mullin, Moddach,
and Caen, which they so deservedly require.

This second saunter we found by no means tedious: the scene seemed
perpetually changing at every unexpected curvature of the road; and the
rude features of the mountains appeared to assume new forms, as the
winding presented them to the eye in different attitudes, whilst the
shifting vapours, which partially concealed their minuter grandeur,
assisted the illusions of the sight.  Amidst new woods, rising in the
majesty of foliage, the scattered cottage, with its bluish smoke curling
high in the air, was frequently rendered interesting by its neat
simplicity: and served to constitute the romantic beauties of this
picturesque saunter.

This pleasing scenery varied little till we arrived within two miles of
Dolgelly, when several gentlemens’ seats burst upon our sight; and
leaving that enchanting spot to the left, at the Laneltyd turnpike, a
different object presented itself to our view.  For four miles we walked
by the side of a hill, the most translucent stream attending us the whole
way; for though the road was situated so much above it, yet the sandy
bottom, with the finny tribe, in considerable numbers, sporting in this
transparent element, were easily descried.  On each side, the mountains
rose to a considerable height, with the craggy summit of Cader Idris
claiming the pre-eminence.  We soon arrived at the small ale-house
(Traveller’s Rest) where we met the labourer of Mr. Madox, whom we were
recommended to enquire for, as a proper ciceroni to the water-falls in
his vicinity.  Having finished our scanty but wholesome repast, we
repaired with an old woman, the labourer being confined to the house by
indisposition, to the fall of Doll-y-mullin.  There appeared to be
something singular in the appearance of this “mountain elf;” destitute of
shoes and stockings, in the true Cambrian stile, she trip’d it,
occasionally singing, and sometimes discontented with the world, herself,
and every thing, uttering a most dismal groan.  This excited our
curiosity; but to learn much of her situation we soon found
impracticable; her knowledge of the English language was very trivial;
and as she seemed not much inclined to give us any information respecting
the adjacent country, we found it useless to make enquiries concerning
her condition in life.

Our surly conductress first led us through Mr. Madox’s grounds; to the
left of the Tan-y-bwlch road, by a most delightful walk cut through the
wood, we now soon reached the falls of Doll-y-mullin, the roaring of
which had a long time announced its vicinity.  This cataract, though
considered only as a prelude to the grand falls of the Cayne and Moddach,
is still worthy the attention of the passing traveller; for though the
river precipitates itself not more than fifty feet, yet the projection
and situation of the rocks, and the thick oak, carelessly throwing its
broad brown arms across the troubled waters, is singularly pleasing.  We
had hitherto only contemplated this scene from the foot of the fall; but
how noble the effect, when we began to wind up the steep ascent, and
paused at every bason, which the water had formed in the excavated rock.

By a retrograde saunter we soon gained the Tan-y-bwlch road, and passing
over the romantic bridge of Pont ar Garfa, beautifully entwined with the
rich drapery of ivy, we ascended a steep path over the slaty mountain of
Tylyn Gwladys, two miles in extent.—Sublimity, indeed, gave place to
elegance; behind us, the huge steeps of Cader Idris, lifting high above
the rolling clouds its shaggy head, of which at intervals, we caught a
glance through the thick mist which enveloped it; in front Snowdon,
conscious of pre-eminence, rose in the distant perspective; these were
the boundaries of our view.  On the opposite side a barren mountain,
dignified by the name of Prince of Wales, appeared scarcely accessible,
but to the steps of the enthusiast; this formerly afforded a vast
quantity of ore, but it has lately so much failed, as not to produce even
a sufficiency to remunerate the miners.  While traversing these barren
mountains, it is not less singular than interesting, occasionally to meet
the most delicious vallies, watered by some foaming river; these
literally surcharged

    “With weighted rains, and melted Alpine snows.”

Such is the true characteristic of the Welch scenery: the finest verdure,
and the most enchanting vallies are discovered in the bosom of sterility,
where natural cascades, precipitating themselves from their rude
pinnacles, alone disturb the silence which reigns in that asylum, only to
render it more enchanting to the inquisitive pedestrians, for these
landscapes are only accessible to their steps: the distant swell of the
cataract had now long proclaimed our proximity to the object in pursuit.
The falls of the Cayne and the Moddach are at no great distance from one
another, being only separated by a thick wood.  Crossing a small bridge,
above fifty feet from the water, formed only by the trunk of an oak,
which has accidentally fallen across the rapid torrent; our conductress
very judiciously selected the latter as the first object for our
admiration.  The computed measurement of this fall is estimated between
seventy and eighty feet, dividing itself into three distinct parts, each
finely broken by the projected rocks: the quantity of water is very
inconsiderable; but the whole is admirably presented to the eye in one
view.  The first fall, about twenty feet, precipitates itself into a deep
pool, thirty feet diameter; from thence over a second ledge, thirty feet
high; and, lastly, it discharges itself into a pool of considerable
dimensions.  The declivities of the rocks are luxuriantly clothed with
wood; the oak more particularly spreading its gigantic arms across the
foaming torrent: a variety of trees, indeed, profusely embellish the
whole of this glen, which are finely contrasted with the dark brown
rocks; constituting so finished a picture, and representing such a
variety of colours, that their beauties the imagination can better
conceive, than the pen describe.

We now returned to the fall of the Cayne, infinitely superior to any in
Wales, being two hundred feet perpendicular, uninterrupted by rocks, and
not intercepted by the thick wood which encircles it.  For a considerable
time we both of us gazed with that wrapt admiration, which loathes to be
disturbed by the mutual exchange of our ideas; and stunned with the
continual uproar, and never-ceasing tumultuous motion of the sparkling
foam, we silently admired the grandeur of the landscape.  On each side
the horrific crags seemed to bid defiance to the goat’s activity.  The
Cayne, after this stunning cataract, throws its troubled waters over a
rocky bed, till it unites itself with the Moddach below.

With reluctance we left this romantic situation; and, according to the
directions of our conductress, soon found ourselves in the turnpike road
to Tan-y-bwlch, understanding that Mr. Warner’s route to Pen-street
afforded indifferent walking.  Stupendous mountains attended us some way;
and, to borrow a description from a celebrated author, they “looked like
the rude materials of creation, forming the barrier of unwrought space.”
The sun was now making a “golden set;” the mountains were thrown together
in noble masses, appearing to scale the heavens, to intercept its rays,
and emulous to receive the parting tinge of lingering day.  We were
watching with admiration the mild splendour of its light, fading from the
distant landscape, when we perceived the rich vale of Festiniog suddenly
open itself to our view: we observed the busy group of haymakers, who had
completed their day’s labour, returning to their homes:

       “While heard from dale to dale,
    Waking the breeze, resounds the blended voice
    Of happy labour, love and social glee.”

Pleased with this rustic scene, we caught the cheerful song, which was
wafted on the gentle breeze.  With pleasure we anticipated a saunter
through this vale, early the ensuing morning; for one tint of sober gray
had now covered its various coloured features, and the sun had now
gleamed its last light upon the rivulet which winds through the bottom.



TAN-Y-BWLCH.


The “rich-hair’d youth of morn” had not long left its saffron bed, and
the very air was balmy as it freshened into morn, when we hurried from
our Inn to enjoy the luxuries of the Vale of Festiniog, so well
celebrated by the pen of Lord Littleton.  “With the woman one loves, with
the friend of one’s heart, (says his Lordship) and a good study of books,
one may pass an age there, and think it a day.  If one has a mind to live
long, and renew his youth, let him come and settle at Festiniog.”  These
are the sentiments of Lord Littleton, in which seemed to be verified the
situation of Mr. Oakley, who has selected this spot for his residence.
Tan-y-bwlch Hall, (for by that name is Mr. Oakley’s Seat dignified) is
environed by a thick wood, which climbs the steep mountains behind his
mansion.  We followed the meandering and translucent waters of the river
Dryryd, till we arrived at the Village of Maentwrog, situated about the
middle of this Paradise.  Passing through the village, we observed a
small but neat cottage, which was rendered interesting to the way-farer
by its neat simplicity.  Perceiving a stand of fruit at the door, we were
enticed to enter the cottage, where we found the interior of the house as
comfortable, as the situation was interesting.  A large old-fashioned
chimney corner, with benches to receive a social party, formed a most
enviable retreat from the rude storms of winter, and defied alike the
weather and the world:—with what pleasure did I picture,

    “A smiling circle, emulous to please,”

gathering round a blazing pile of wood on the hearth, free from all the
vicissitudes and cares of the world, happy in their own home, blessed in
the sweet affections of kindred amity, regardless of the winter blast
that struggled against the window, and the snow that pelted against the
roof.  On our entering, the wife who possessed “the home of happiness, an
honest breast,” invited us “to take a seat” under the window, which
overlooking the village, and the dark tower of the church, offered the
delights of other seasons.  The sweets of a little garden, joined its
fragrance to the honeysuckle, which enwreathed with rich drapery the
windows; and here too lay the old family Bible, which had been put aside
on our first entrance; we regretted, not having an opportunity of seeing
the husband, whom, I make no doubt

    “Envied not, and never thought of kings,
    Nor from those appetites sustain’d annoy,
    That chance may frustrate, or indulgence cloy;
    Each season look’d delightful as it past,
    To the fond husband, and the faithful wife.”

Our intended route for this day being very short, we did not leave
Tan-y-bwlch till after breakfast, and even then lingered through the
valley, to take one last adieu of this paradisiacal spot; the Dryryd
serpentizing through the meadows, and the lively green of the swelling
declivities on each side, beautifully contrasted with the ripening corn.
From the vast quantity of ore we discovered, I am inclined to believe,
that any spirited speculator would find it amply repay him for the
expences and labour attending his speculations.  The vale of Festiniog,
not exceeding three miles long, and one in breadth, is a very rich tract
of land.

An extremely rough, rocky, and unpleasant road, with nothing to engage
our attention; and the country uncultivated, and diverted of every thing
that gives, even the shadow of civilization, brought us to the far-famed
Pont Aber-glaslyn, or, _The Bridge of the Harbour of the Blue Lake_; and
not uncommonly styled, the _Devil’s Bridge_.  This last appellation has
very frequently misled strangers, who, confounding it with the well-known
bridge at Havod, have been much disappointed, their expectations being
raised very high, from the general descriptions of that place.  Of this,
indeed, we found an instance on the very spot.  This bridge connects the
two counties of Merionethshire and Caernarvonshire; being, from the
parapet to the water, forty feet.  From the description of former
tourists, it did not answer our expectations; but the salmon-leap is an
interesting object from the bridge: the height is about fifteen feet; and
though we observed very many attempt this surprising feat of agility, not
one succeeded.  Some fishermen below soon excited our curiosity, and
salmon was here offered for sale at three-pence per pound.

An intelligent man here offered himself as our guide to the rich
Copper-mines, in the vicinity of Pont Aber-Glaslyn.  This miner, having
worked both here and at the Paris mountain, confidently asserted, that
one pound of this ore was now esteemed equivalent to twice the quantity,
produced in Anglesea.  Stupendous cliffs, by the road side, literally
rise eight hundred and sixty feet perpendicularly, and hang in the most
capricious forms over the torrent, which, straggling amongst the recesses
of stone, is hastening forward to disembogue itself into the estuary of
Traeth Mawr.  The pass is not more than seventy feet; after much rain it
is entirely inundated by the overflowings of the Glaslyn, which
reflected, as in a mirror, the blackness of the impending cliffs.  On the
Caernarvonshire side are several lead mines; but they have not proved
sufficiently rich, to reward the labour of working.

The situation of our Inn at



BEDDGELERT,


is very romantic, and would form an interesting drawing, by taking in a
small bridge of two arches below the house.  It is completely encircled
by lofty mountains, which may be considered as subject to the “cloud-capt
Snowdon.”

How often has the idea of this stupendous mountain filled my heart with
enthusiastic rapture!  Every time I cast my eyes on that solemn, that
majestic vision, it is not without the most powerful emotion; it excites
that tender melancholy, which exalts, rather than depresses the mind!
How delightful, to bid adieu to all the cares and occupations of the
world, for the reflection of those scenes of sublimity and grandeur,
which forms such contrast to the transientness of sublunary greatness!
With what anxiety have we watched the setting sun, loitering just below
the horizon, and illuminating the highest summit of Snowdon with a golden
tinge, and we still watch the passing clouds of night, fearing lest the
morning should prove unfavourable for our Alpine excursion.



SNOWDON.


We engaged the Miner, as our Conductor over the mountain, who entertained
us much with displaying, in strong colours, the tricks and impositions of
his brother guides, and more particularly of the methodistical Landlord
of our Inn, who is generally employed on these occasions.  His pride too
is not a little elevated, by having conducted _The Great Doctor_ to its
highest summit; this seemingly ridiculous phrase for some time puzzled
us; but we have since found out, that our guide was talking of no less a
man, than the present respectable and learned Dean of Christchurch, who
ascended this mountain last year.  Though our guide {105} was pompous,
and rather too partial to the marvellous, yet I strenuously recommend him
to all tourists.

At half past twelve, we started from our Inn, determined to see the sun
rise from its highest summit.  The night was now very dark, and we could
just discover, that the top of Snowdon was entirely enveloped in a thick,
impenetrable mist: this unpropitious omen staggered our resolutions; and
we for some time hesitated respecting our farther progress; but our guide
assuring us, that his _comfortable_ cottage was not far distant, we again
plucked up resolution; and quitting the highway about two miles on the
Caernarvon road, we turned to the right, through a boggy unpleasant land,
and in danger of losing our shoes every step we took.  This soon brought
us to the _comfortable cot_, the filth and dirtiness of which can better
be imagined than described; a worm-eaten bed, two small stools, and a
table fixed to the wall, composed the whole of his furniture,—two
fighting cocks were perched on a beam, which Thomas seemed to pride
himself in the possession of; the smoke of the fire ascended through a
small hole in the roof of this _comfortable mansion_, the door of which
did not appear proof against the “churlish chiding of the winter blast.”

Such, indeed, was the situation of this Cambrian mountaineer; and though,
in our own opinion, misery, poverty, and dirt personified, seemed to be
the real inhabitants of this cottage, yet there was something
prepossessing in his character; for frequently, with the greatest
vehemence imaginable, and in the true stile of an anchorite, he declared,
that “though he boasted not riches, yet he boasted of independence; and
though he possessed not wealth, yet he possessed the home of happiness,
an honest breast.”

The morning appearing to wear a more favourable aspect, we again sallied
forth; the bogs, however, still rendered it extremely unpleasant.  But
this inconvenience was only temporary: we soon came to a part of the
mountain, entirely composed of loose stones, and fragments of rock,
which, by affording a very treacherous footing, you are liable to
perpetual falls.  The mountain now became much steeper, the path less
rocky, and our mountaineer, the higher we proceeded, more induced to
exhibit feats of his agility, by occasionally running down a short
precipice, and then, by a loud shout or vociferation, shewing us the
obedience of the sheep, who instantaneously flocked round him, at the
sound of his voice: it is singular, the caution implanted in this animal,
by instinct, for the mutual protection of each other; from the liberty
they enjoy, they seldom congregate in one flock, but are generally
discovered grazing in parties from six to a dozen, one of which is
regularly appointed centinel, to watch the motions of their inveterate
enemies (foxes and birds of prey), which infest this mountain.  A wider
expanse of the hemisphere disclosed itself, and every object below us
gradually diminished, as we ascended.  The freshness of the mountain
_whetted_ our appetites; and our conductor, with very little persuasion,
soon influenced us to open our little basket of provisions.  The sun, the
“rich-hair’d youth of morn,” was just peeping from its bed; and having
refreshed ourselves, with eager impatience we again climbed the rugged
precipice, for we had still a considerable height to ascend.  We now
descended several steep declivities, by a narrow path, not more than
three yards wide, with a dreadful perpendicular on each side, the sight
of which almost turned us giddy.  As we were passing this hazardous path,
a thick mist enveloped us, and an impenetrable abyss appeared on both
sides; the effect, indeed, can scarcely be conceived; our footing to us,
puisne mountaineers, seemed very insecure; and a total destruction would
have been the consequence of one false step.  The air grew intensely
cold, and by our guide’s recommendation, we a second time produced our
pistol of rum, diluted with milk; but this cordial must be used with
caution, as a very small quantity of strong liquor affects the head,
owing to the rarification of the air.  On our reaching the summit, all
our difficulties were forgotten, and our imaginary complaints overborne
with exclamations of wonder, surprise, and admiration.  The light thin
misty cloud, which had for some time enveloped us, as if by enchantment,
suddenly dispersed; the whole ocean appeared illuminated by a fiery
substance, and all the subject hills below us, for they resembled
_mole-hills_, were gradually tinged by the rich glow of the sun; whose
orb, becoming at length distinctly visible, displayed the whole island of
Anglesea so distinctly, that we descried, as in map, its flat and
uncultivated plains, bounded by the rich and inexhaustible Paris
Mountains, in the vicinity of Holyhead.  The point on which we were
standing, did not exceed a square of five yards, and we sickened almost
at the sight of the steep precipices which environed us; round it is a
small parapet, formed by the customary tribute of all strangers, who
visit this summit, and to which we likewise contributed, by placing a
large stone on its top: this parapet, indeed, sheltered us from the
chilly cold, and protected us from the piercing wind, which this height
must naturally be exposed to.

We remained in this situation for a considerable time, and endeavoured,
without success, to enumerate the several lakes, forest, woods, and
counties, which were exposed to us in one view; but, lost and confounded
with the innumerable objects worthy of admiration, and regardless of the
chilling cold, we took a distinct survey of the Isle of Man, together
with a faint prospect of the highlands in Ireland, which appeared just
visibly skirting the distant horizon; but another object soon engrossed
all our attention;

    “The wide, the unbounded prospects lay before us;
    But shadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it:”

For we unexpectedly observed long billows of vapour tossing about, half
way down the mountain, totally excluding the country below, and
occasionally dispersing, and partially revealing, its features, while
above, the azure expanse of the heavens remained un-obscured by the
thinnest mist.  This, however, was of no long continuance: a thick cloud
presently wet us through; and the point on which we were standing could
alone be distinguished.  As there appeared little or no chance of the
clouds dispersing, we soon commenced our descent.—Respecting this Alpine
excursion, suffice it to say, that though our expectations were raised
exceedingly high, it infinitely surpassed all conception, and baffled all
description; for no colour of language can paint the grandeur of the
rising sun, observed from this eminence, or describe the lakes, woods,
and forests, which are extended before you; for description, though it
enumerates their names, yet it cannot draw the elegance of outline,
cannot give the effect of precipices, or delineate the minute features,
which reward the actual observer, at every new choice of his position,
and by changing their colour and form in his gradual ascent, till at last
every object dwindles into atoms: in short, this interesting excursion,
which comprehends every thing that is awful, grand, and sublime,
producing the most pleasing sensations, has left traces in the memory,
which the imagination will ever hold dear.

Various have been the conjectures on the definition of this mountain;
some authors affirm, that the Welch name of Snowdon signifies the
_Eagle’s Rocks_, deducing it from the number of those birds that formerly
haunted these rocks; but the most simple conjecture seems to be, that
this name alludes to the frequency of the snow on the highest peaks.
This mountainous tract was formerly celebrated for its fertility and
woods; and Leland affirms, that all Crigereri was forest.  It now yields
no corn; and its produce consists in cattle and black sheep, with large
flocks of goats.  “Its height (says Pennant) has been variously reported.
Mr. Caswell, who was employed by Mr. Adams, in a survey of Wales, 1682,
measured it by instruments, made by the direction of Mr. Flamstead, and
asserts it to have been one thousand two hundred and forty.  Mr. Lluyd
says, its perpendicular height is about one thousand three hundred yards
above the sea level; but later experiments have ascertained it at one
thousand one hundred and eighty-nine yards, reckoning from the quay at
Caernarvon, to the highest peak.”  The ascent is computed three miles;
the extremity, or summit, three quarters of a mile perpendicular.  By the
inhabitants of the country it is called Moel-y-Wydva, _i.e._ _The
Conspicuous Hill_; and sometimes Krag Ey reri; and in the old English
maps it is always spelt _Snawdon_.  The lakes in this tract amount to a
considerable number, and abound with trout, eels, gwyniadd, and some of
them well-stored with char.  The most noted peaks of this mountain are
distinguished by the names Moel-y-Wydva, y-Glyder, Karmedh Dhavidh, and
Karmedh Llewelyn.—These hills are, in a manner, heaped on one another,
near the summit; and we only climbed one rock, to see three or four more;
between each is a _cwm_, or valley, generally with a lake.  We made
particular enquiries concerning y-Glyder-Bach, and found that the
description of it is by no means exaggerated.  Several columnar stones,
of enormous size, formed into the most fantastical shapes, and lying in
several directions, with many of their tops crowned with stones, placed
horizontally on them.  One we observed rocked with the slightest touch.
In the fissures of the rock, _cubic pyritæ_, are not uncommonly found;
the _saxifraga nivalis_, and the species called by Linnæus _æthereal_, in
great abundance.

The first two miles of our descent, we by no means found difficult, but
wishing to take a minute survey of the picturesque pass of Llanberris, we
changed the route generally prescribed to strangers, and descended a
rugged and almost perpendicular path, in opposition to the proposals of
our guide, who strenuously endeavoured to dissuade us from the attempt,
alleging the difficulty of the steep, and relating a melancholy story of
a gentleman, who many years back had broken his leg.  This had no effect.
We determined to proceed; and the vale of Llanberris amply rewarded us
for the trouble.  It is bounded by the steep precipices of Snowdon, and
two large lakes, communicating by a river.  It was formerly a large
forest, but the woods are now entirely cut down.  We here dismissed our
Cambrian mountaineer, and easily found our way to Dolbadern (pronounced
_Dolbathern_) Castle, situated between the two lakes, and now reduced to
one circular tower, thirty feet in diameter, with the foundations of the
exterior buildings completely in ruins; in this, Owen Gough, brother to
Llewellin, last prince, was confined in prison.  From hence a rugged
horse-path brought us to the Caernarvon turnpike-road, about six miles
distant; the high towers of the castle, the very crown and paragon of the
landscape, at last pointed out the situation of



CAERNARVON;


and having crossed a handsome modern stone-bridge, thrown over the river
Rhydol, and built by “Harry Parry, the modern Inigo, _Anno Domini_ 1791,”
we soon entered this ancient town, very much fatigued with our long
excursion.  The Hotel, newly built by Lord Uxbridge, for the convenience
of strangers, at the end of the town, commands a fine prospect of the
Strait of Menai.  The view was bounded by the flat Isle of Anglesea;
while the light vessels, skimming before the wind, gave the whole a
lively and pleasing variety.

The city of Caernarvon, beautifully situated, and regularly built, is in
the form of a square, enclosed on three sides, with thick stone walls;
and on the south side, defended by the castle;—the old town-hall is now
falling to ruin.

With respect to the castle, we by no means agree with Mr. Warner, that
“its high antiquity and ancient splendour is interrupted and destroyed by
the patch-work of modern separation, and the littleness of a cottager’s
domestic œconomy seen within its walls;” as it is only repaired, where
necessity required it, to prop up its crumbling ruins; neither could we
discover any cottage within its walls.  The towers are extremely elegant;
but not being entwined with ivy, do not wear that picturesque appearance,
which castles generally possess.  Over the principal entrance, which
leads into an oblong court, is seated, beneath a great tower, the statue
of the founder, holding in his left hand a dagger: this gate-way was
originally fortified with four portcullises.  At the west end, the eagle
tower, remarkably light and beautiful, in a polygon form; three small
hexagon turrets rising from the middle, with eagles placed on their
battlements; from thence it derives its name.  In a little dark room
{114} in this tower, measuring eleven feet by seven, was born Edward the
Second, April 25, 1204.  The thickness of the wall is about ten feet.  To
the top of the tower we reckoned one hundred and fifty-eight steps, from
whence an extensive view of the adjacent country is seen to great
advantage.  On the south are three octagonal towers with small turrets,
with similar ones on the north.  All these towers communicate with each
other by a gallery, both on the ground, middle, and upper floor, formed
within the immense thickness of the walls, in which are cut narrow slips,
at convenient distances, for the discharge of arrows.

This building, founded on a rock, is the work of Edward I. the conqueror
of the principality; the form of it is a long irregular square, enclosing
an area of about two acres and a half.  From the information of the
Sebright manuscript, Mr. Pennant says, that by the united efforts of the
peasants, it was erected within the space of one year.

Having spent near three hours surveying one of the noblest castles in
Wales, we walked round the environs of the town: the terrace round the
castle walls is exceedingly pleasing, being in front of the Menai, which
is here upwards of a mile in breadth, forming a safe harbour for craft of
five or six tons, and generally crowded with vessels, exhibiting a
picture of national industry; whilst near it a commodious quay presents
an ever-bustling scene, from whence a considerable quantity of slate, and
likewise copper from the Llanberris mine, is shipped for different parts
of the kingdom.

Caernarvon may certainly be considered as one of the handsomest and
largest towns in North-Wales; and under the patronage of Lord Uxbridge
promises to become still more populous and extensive: his Lordship, we
were given to understand by our landlord, intends to erect sea-baths; and
by this well-planned improvement, induce company to resort here during
the summer months.

Several excursions may be made from Caernarvon with great satisfaction to
the Tourist; the principal of which is a visit to



PLAS-NEWYDD,


the elegant seat of Lord Uxbridge, situated in the Isle of Anglesey, and
distant about six miles from Caernarvon: if the wind and tide prove
favourable, the picturesque scenery of the Menai, will be viewed to great
advantage, by hiring a boat at the quay. {116}  But if this most
advisable plan should not be approved of, the walk to the Mol-y-don
Ferry, about five miles on the Bangor road, will prove highly gratifying:
the Menai, whose banks are studded with gentlemens’ seats, appearing
scarcely visible between the rich foliage of the oak, which luxuriates to
the water’s brink, is filled with vessels, whose gay streamers,
glittering to the sun-beam, present to the eye a constant, moving object;
whilst the voice of the sailors, exchanging some salute with the passing
vessel, is gently wafted on the breeze.

Crossing the ferry, we soon reached the ancient residence of the
Arch-Druid of Britain, and where was formerly stationed the most
celebrated of the ancient British Academies; from this circumstance, many
places in this island still retain their original appellation, as
_Myfyrim_, the Place of Studies; _Caer Edris_, the City of Astronomy;
_Cerrig Boudyn_, the Astronomer’s Circle.  The shore to the right soon
brought us to the Plantations of Plâs-Newydd, consisting chiefly of the
most venerable oaks, and noblest ash in this part of the country.

    “—Superior to the pow’r
    Of all the warring winds of heaven they rise;
    And from the stormy promontory tower,
    And toss their giant arms amid the skies;
    While each assailing blast increasing strength supplies.”

                                                     BEATTIE’S _MINSTREL_.

Beneath their “broad brown” branches, we discovered several _cromlechs_,
the monuments of Druidical superstition; several stones of enormous size
support two others placed horizontally over them. {118}  For what purpose
these ancient relicks were originally erected, it was not for us puisne
antiquarians to discuss, and with eager impatience we hurried to visit
the noble mansion, which has not yet received the finishing stroke of the
architect; sufficient however is accomplished to form a conjecture of its
intended splendour and magnificence.  The whole is built, stables
included, in a Gothic castellated form, of a dark slate-coloured stone;
on entering the vestibule, we, for a short time, imagined ourselves in
the chapel, a mistake, though soon discovered, yet liable to happen to
any visitor; the ceiling having Gothic arches, with a gallery suitable to
it, and several niches cut in the side walls: we were next conduced
through a long suite of apartments, the design of them all equally
convenient and elegant.  The landscape from the Gothic windows is both
beautiful and sublime; a noble plantation of trees, the growth of
ages—the winding strait of the Menai, gay with vessels passing and
repassing; and beyond this tranquil scene, the long range of the Snowdon
mountains shooting into the clouds, the various hues of whose features
appear as beautiful, as their magnitude is sublime.  The house is
protected from the encroachment of the sea, by a strong parapet embattled
wall; in fine, this magnificent seat of Lord Uxbridge, seems to possess
many conveniencies peculiar to its situation: the warm and cold baths,
constantly filled by the Menai, are sequestered and commodious, and every
apartment of the house is abundantly supplied with water. {119a}

Being unavoidably prevented visiting the celebrated Paris mountain, the
property of Lord Uxbridge and the Rev. Mr. Hughes, we again returned to
the Hotel, at Caernarvon, purporting to stay the following day, (Sunday)
for the purpose of making a strict enquiry into the religious sect,
settled here, and in many parts of Wales, called _Jumpers_. {119b}  The
account we had received from our landlord, we imagined was exaggerated,
and this more strongly induced us to visit the chapel, that we might be
enabled, in future, to contradict this ridiculous report.

At six in the evening the congregation assembled, and on our entrance
into the chapel, we observed on the north side, from a sort of stage or
pulpit, erected on the occasion, a man, in appearance, a common
day-labourer, holding forth to an ignorant and deluded multitude.  Our
entrance at first, seemed to excite a general dissatisfaction; and our
near neighbours, as if conscious of their eccentricities, muttered bitter
complaints against the admittance of strangers.  The chapel, which was
not divided into pews, and even destitute of seats, contained near an
hundred people; half way round was erected a gallery.  The preacher
continued raving, and, indeed, foaming at the mouth, in a manner too
shocking to relate:—he allowed himself no time to breathe, but seemingly
intoxicated, uttered the most dismal howls and groans imaginable, which
were answered by the congregation, so loud, as occasionally to drown even
the voice of the preacher.  At last, being nearly exhausted by continual
vociferation, and fainting from exertion, he sunk down in the pulpit: the
meeting, however, did not disperse; a psalm was immediately sung by a
man, who, we imagine, officiated as clerk, accompanied by the whole
congregation.  The psalm had not continued long, before we observed part
of the assembly, to our great surprise, _jumping_ in small parties of
three, four, and sometimes five in a set, lifting up their hands, beating
their breasts, and making the most horrid gesticulations.  Each
individual separately jumped, regularly succeeding one another, while the
rest generally assisted the jumper by the help of their hands.  The women
always appeared more vehement than the men, and infinitely surpassed them
in numbers; seeming to endeavour to excel each other in jumping,
screaming, and howling.  We observed, indeed, that many of them lost
their shoes, hats, and bonnets, with the utmost indifference, and never
condescended to search after them; in this condition, it is not unusual
to meet them jumping to their homes.  Their meetings are twice a week,
Wednesdays and Sundays.  Having accidentally met with a gentleman, at the
Hotel, a native of Siberia, we invited him to our party, and, induced by
curiosity, he readily accompanied us to the chapel.  On the commencement
of the _jumping_, he intreated us to quit the congregation, exclaiming,
“Good God! I for a moment forgot I was in a Christian country; the dance
of the Siberians, in the worship of the Lama, with their shouts and
gesticulations, is not more horrid!”  This observation so forcibly struck
me, that I could not avoid inserting it in my note-book.

With disgust we left the chapel, and were given to understand, by our
landlord, they celebrate a particular day every year, when instances have
been known of women dying by too great an exertion; and fainting is
frequently the consequence of their excessive jumping.

This sect is by no means confined to the town of Caernarvon, but in many
villages, and in several market towns, both in North and South Wales,
{122a} they have established regular chapels.  “They have” (says a
correspondent to the Gentleman’s Magazine, {122b}) “periodical meetings
in many of the larger towns, to which they come from thirty to forty
miles round.  At one, held in Denbigh, about last April, there were, I
believe, upwards of four thousand people, from different parts.  At
another, held in Bala, soon afterwards, nearly double that number were
supposed to be present.”  The last number appears rather to be
exaggerated, though the latter, being dated from Denbigh, should be
considered as authoritative.

Another correspondent to the Gentleman’s Magazine, gives the following
information respecting the sect: “That they are not a distinct sect, but
_Methodists_, of the same persuasion as the late Mr. Whitfield; for
though there are several congregations of _Wesleyan Methodists_, in this
country, there is no such custom amongst them.  But jumping during
religious worship is no new thing amongst the other party, having (by
what I can learn) been practised by them for many years past.  I have
seen some of their pamphlets, in the Welch language, in which this custom
is justified by the example of David, who danced before the ark; and of
the lame man, restored by our blessed Saviour, at the gate of the Temple,
who leaped for joy.”  How far this gentleman’s account may be accurate, I
leave for others to decide; it is certainly to be lamented, in a country
where the Christian Religion is preached in a stile of the greatest
purity and simplicity, that those poor ignorant deluded wretches should
be led to a form of worship so dissonant to the Established Church of
England, and, indeed, by a poor ignorant fellow, devoid of education, and
devoid of sense.

The same road we had so much admired the preceding Saturday, soon brought
us to



BANGOR,


the supposed scite of the Bovium, or Bonium, a Roman station, and
celebrated for the most ancient British monastery, which contained two
thousand four hundred monks: it has long retained its British name,
_Bangor_, or _Bancher_, signifying “a beautiful quire;” an appellation it
justly merits.  The situation is deeply secluded, “far from the bustle of
a jarring world,” and must have accorded well with monastic melancholy;
for the Monks, emerging from their retired cells, might here indulge in
that luxurious melancholy, which the prospect inspires, and which would
sooth the asperities which the severe discipline of superstition
inflicted on them.  The situation of Banchor appears more like a scene of
airy enchantment, than reality, and the residences of the canons are
endeared to the votaries of landscape by the prospect they command.  On
the opposite shore, the town of Beaumaris is straggling up the steep
declivity, with its quay crowded with vessels, and all appeared bustle
and confusion; the contrast which the nearer prospect inspired, was too
evident to escape our notice, where the

    Oak, whose boughs were moss’d with age,
    And high top bald with dry antiquity,

afforded a seat for the contemplation of the wide expanse of the ocean,
which is seen beyond the little Island of Puffin, or Priestholm; so
called, from the quantity of birds of that species, which resort here in
the summer-months.

The cathedral has been built at different times, but no part very
ancient; it was made an episcopal see, about the time of the conquest:
the church was burnt down by Owen Glendwr, in the reign of Henry IV. the
choir was afterwards built by Bishop Henry Dene, {125a} between 1496 and
1500; the tower and nave by Bishop Skevington, 1532.  The whole is Gothic
architecture, with no other particular ornament to distinguish it from a
common English parish church.  There are, however, several bishops {125b}
buried in the choir.  I could dwell with pleasure on the picturesque
beauties of this little episcopal see; but a repetition of the same
epithets _grand_, _beautiful_, _sublime_, _fine_, with a long catalogue,
which must necessarily occur, would appear tautologous on paper, though
their archetypes in nature would assume new colours at every change of
position of the beholder.  From this retirement, a ferry-boat soon
conveyed us to



BEAUMARIS,


the largest and best built town in Anglesea, where the same busy scene
occurred.  Having taken a short survey of Baron Hill, the seat of Lord
Bulkley, commanding a fine prospect of the ocean, with the huge
promontory of Pen-mawn-maur, we were soon convinced, that there was
nothing to require a longer stay; and returning to Bangor, we pursued the
road to Conway.  About two miles on our left, we parted the Park and
Castle of Penrhyn, the seat of Lord Penrhyn: this has lately been
considerably enlarged and repaired, under the judicious direction of Mr.
Wyat.  The entrance is remarkably elegant, resembling a triumphal arch.
This mansion enjoys a boundless prospect of the ocean on one side,
appearing but feebly restrained by a long tract of scarcely visible coast
on the other; in front, the flat Island of Anglesea, the lofty
Pen-mawn-mawr, and the extensive point of Caernarvonshire: whilst the
neat Church of Landegai forms a nearer object for admiration.  We soon
reached the dark lowering promontory of Pen-mawn-mawr, about eight miles
from Bangor, rising perpendicularly, in a massy wall, to the height of
one thousand four hundred feet: huge fragments of shattered rock are
scattered by the side of the road, and a wall, scarcely five feet high,
alone protects a carriage from the steep precipice; which, from the
slightness of the foundation, has even fallen down in many parts.  In
this awfully sublime situation we remained for some time, astonished at
the bold protuberance of the rocks, which seemed to project their dark
sides, to augment the idle roar of the waves.

Pursuing a good turnpike-road, we soon came in sight of the hoary towers
of



CONWAY CASTLE.


An air of proud sublimity, united with singular wildness, characterises
the place.  The evening was far advanced; and part of its ruins were
shining with the purple glow of the setting sun, whose remaining features
stood in darkened majesty, when we entered this monument of desolation.
Passing over a plank, originally the scite of the draw-bridge, we came
into the outward court, strongly defended with battlements; from thence
we examined the grand entrance of the castle, with several abutments
projecting forward, similar in stile to Caernarvon.  On the south side of
the court is the grand hall, measuring an hundred and thirty feet by
thirty-two, with eight light Gothic arches, five of which are still in
good condition.  On one end is the chapel with a large window, a
beautiful specimen of Gothic architecture.  It is founded on the solid
rock, by Edward I. in the year 1284: the walls are from eleven to fifteen
feet thick: all the towers are defended by smaller round ones, projecting
two or three feet over, with a regular communication round the whole
castle by galleries, on the same plan as at Caernarvon.  The steps are
decayed and broken, and the looseness of the stones rendered a footing
very insecure; but, impelled by an irresistible curiosity, we ascended
the most perfect tower, and an extensive prospect presented itself to our
view.  The foundation of one of the principal towers, looking towards a
small river, which here joins the Conway, has lately given way, and torn
down with it part of the building; the remainder now hangs in an
extraordinary manner.  The whole town is enclosed within strong walls,
and defended by a number of towers, which communicate with the castle by
a gallery; there are likewise several gate-ways, at certain distances.

The ancient Church next attracted our attention; but did not detain us
long, as the monuments for the Wynnes, are the only things worthy of
inspection.  From thence we surveyed the remains of the College, which in
the reign of Edward I. was intended for the instruction of youth: it is
now in complete ruins: the workmanship curious, with several sculptured
arms.  In this town is an ancient house, built in the form of a
quadrangle, by the Wynnes, in the time of Elizabeth, now inhabited by
poor families.  This house is adorned, after the fantastical fashion of
the times, in which it was erected; the roof is singularly carved, and
the front decorated with the arms of England, with several curious
crests, birds, and beasts: it bears the date of 1585.  The arms of
Elizabeth are carved over the door, fronting the street.

The trade of Conway consists in the exportation of slate, and copper from
the Llandidno mines, from whence the finest specimens of the Malachite
copper is brought.  The town and castle of Conway are seen to great
advantage in crossing the river, which is here nearly a mile over, and at
high water washes the walls of that massy ruin: in the middle of the
channel is a small rocky island.  We observed, from this situation, the
two castles, called Bodscaleen and Dyganwy; the small remains of the
latter stand on a high rock above the river; the former is a beautiful
seat of the Mostyns.

We were soon transported into Denbighshire; an extensive prospect of the
ocean presented itself before us, and we discovered the mountains of the
Isle of Man, which could scarcely be distinguished from the clouds of
Heaven, and the waves of the sea.  In descending a hill, about two miles
from the neat bathing-town of



ABERGELE,


we observed, on our right, two immense caverns, about half way up the
mountain; they are called Cavern-arogo, and run four or five hundred
yards into the ground; but their real extent has never yet been
ascertained with accuracy.  From these mountains, vast quantities of lime
are shipped for Liverpool, and many parts of England; they are said to be
inexhaustible.

Abergele, situated on the edge of Rhuddlan Marsh, is a small neat town,
of one street, resorted to in the summer-season for bathing.  The sands
afford excellent walking; in the evening we lingered on the beach for a
considerable time, enjoying the calm, but cheerful beauty of Nature, and
inhaling the pure sea-breeze—for,

    “—The wind was hush’d,
    And to the beach each slowly-lifted wave,
    Creeping with silver curl, just kist the shore,
    And slept in silence.”—

                                                         MASON’S _Garden_.

With pleasure, mixed with reverential awe, we trod Rhuddlan Marsh, so
celebrated in the annals of history.  Here the ill-fated Richard the
Second was betrayed into the hands of Bolinbroke, and taken prisoner to
Flint: here the famous King {131} of Mercia met his untimely death: here
the Welsh, under the command of Caradoc, in the year 795, were defeated
in a conflict with the Saxons, and their leader slain in the action.
This memorable and tragical event is handed down to posterity, by an
ancient celebrated ballad, called _Morva Rhuddlan_, or the Marsh of
Rhuddlan, composed by the bards on the death of Prince Caradoc.

The ground we trod, connected with so many events, revived in our minds,
the memory of past ages, a series of historical events came to our
recollection; events, that are now so distant, as almost to be
obliterated from the page of history.  Passing over a bridge of two
arches, thrown over the river Clwyd, we entered



RHUDDLAN,


once the largest and most respectable town in North-Wales.  Walking over
the ruins of the castle, I recurred, by a natural association of ideas,
to the times, when the Parliament-house, the balls, and courts echoed
with the voices of those, who have long since been swept from the earth,
by the unerring hand of death.  One solitary Gothic window is now only
remaining, to distinguish the old Parliament-house, where Edward the
First instituted that famous code of laws, under the title of the
_Statute of Rhuddlan_, from a neighbouring barn; and, what once contained
the Parliament of England, now contains nothing but bark for the supply
of a tan-yard.

The old castle is built of red stone; it consists of a square area,
strongly fortified with a wall: this court we entered through the grand
gate-way, between two round towers: the opposite side corresponds.  The
whole is encircled by a deep entrenchment, faced with stone on the river
side, with two square towers, one of which still remains.

The road from hence to



ST. ASAPH,


affords a most rich and beautiful walk, extending along the celebrated
vale of Clwyd.  This rich tract of land, called, _The Eden of
North-Wales_, extends in length about twenty-five miles, and in breadth
about eight.  The neighbourhood of Ruthin afford the best view of this
vale: though it is by no means so interesting and romantic, as the vale
of Glamorganshire, yet its high cultivation, and picturesque, but
moderate height of the hills, rising on each side of the river Clwyd,
renders the scenery pleasing: its chief produce is corn.  Both these
vales claim the attention of the traveller; and both have to boast of
particular beauties.  One mile from St. Asaph, we passed, on our right,
the elegant seat of Sir Edward Lloyd.  We still followed the banks the
Clwyd, and at the farthest extremity a light elegant bridge, of seven
arches, with the dark Tower of St. Asaph’s Cathedral, rising on an
eminence just over it, gave a picturesque effect to the whole scenery.

The town itself is built on a hill, in one strait line, with a few neat
houses.  The Cathedral naturally demands attention; the inside is
remarkably neat and elegant, entirely Gothic, with the ceiling of
chesnut, and open ribs, like the skeleton of a ship: it has lately been
repaired by Mr. Turner, architect of Whitchurch, at the great expence of
two thousand four hundred pounds.  The monument of David ap Owen, Bishop
of this diocese, was particularly pointed out to us.  The Bishop’s Palace
has been entirely rebuilt by the present diocesan.  The Choir consists of
a Bishop, Dean, six Canons, seven Prebends, and four Vicars.  There are
no monuments in the church-yard, and few of any importance within its
venerable walls.

St. Asaph receives its derivation from its patron, who established a
Bishop’s see here, in the year 590: but in British it is named
_Llan-Elwy_, on account of the conflux of the Elwy with the Clywd.  It is
singular, that the Bishop’s jurisdiction extends over no entire county,
but part of Flintshire, Denbighshire, Montgomeryshire, Merionethshire,
and Shropshire.

The tract of land extending from hence to



DENBIGH,


is extremely rich in wood, pasture, and corn, but very deficient in
water; directly contrary to the rugged scenes of Caernarvonshire; the
summits of whose mountains appeared still visible in the distant
retrospect, mingling with the clouds.  About a mile from St. Asaph, we
were particularly pleased with an old oak, whose arms extending entirely
across the road, formed a most elegantly shaped arch.

Denbigh, situated nearly in the centre of the vale of Clwyd, is a
well-built town, standing on the declivity of a hill.  A large
manufactory of shoes and gloves is here carried on, and annually supplies
London with a vast quantity.  The ruins of the castle, still remaining on
a rock, commanding the town, are too celebrated in history, and too
cruelly shattered by the ravages of war, to be passed unnoticed.  The
principal entrance forms a fine Gothic arch, with the statue of King
Edward the First its founder, above it, in an elegant nich, curiously
carved, encircled with a square stone frame.  No part of this castle is
perfect; but the huge thick fragments, which are scattered in the most
extraordinary and fantastical manner, seem to tell its former
magnificence; and a present view of things, such as they are, with a
retrospect of what they originally were, spreads a gloom over the mind,
and interrupts the pleasure of contemplation; yet still, the singular
character of this ruin is particularly interesting.  Masses of wall still
remain, the proud effigies of sinking greatness; and the shattered tower
seems to nod at every murmur of the blast, and menace the observer with
immediate annihilation.  Amongst these ruins we lingered till the whole
was silvered by the pale rays of the moon.  To form a conjecture, on the
extent of its apartments, is now impossible; but it is thus described by
Leland, in his _Itinerary_:

    “The castelle is a very large thinge, and hath many toures yn it; but
    the body of the worke was never finished.

    “The gate-house is a marvellous strong and great peace of work, but
    the fastigia of it were never finished.  If they had beene, it might
    have beene countid among the most memorable peaces of workys in
    England.  It hath diverse wardes and dyverse portcolicis.  On the
    front of the gate is set the image of Henry Lacy, earl of Lincoln, in
    his stately long robes.

    “There is another very high towre, and larg, in the castelle caullid
    the Redde Towre.

    “Sum say, that the erle of Lincoln’s sunne felle into the castelle
    welle, and ther dyed; whereupon he never passid to finisch the
    castelle.

    “King Edward the Fourth was besieged in Denbigh castelle, and ther it
    was pactid between king Henry’s men and hym that he should with life
    departe the reaulme, never to returne.  If they had taken king
    Edwarde there debellatum fuisset.”

The parish church stands within the walls of the original town.  Below
the castle are the fragments of an old church, which for particular
reasons, that cannot now be ascertained, was never finished: it contains
nine windows on two sides, with a large and handsome one on the east.

The vale of Clwyd still retains the character of luxuriant fertility;
about two miles from hence, in our way to



RUTHIN,


“Denbigh, fair empress of the vale,” with its tottering towers, formed a
most beautiful landscape; whilst the neat little hamlet of Whitchurch
peeped from among the pomp of groves.  At the small village of St. Fynnon
St. Dyfnog, this curious inscription over a door,

    “Near this place, within a vault,
       There is such liquor fix’d,
    You’ll say that water, hops, and malt,
       Were never better mix’d;”

invited the “weary-way wanderer,” to partake of the _good things_ within:
this inclined us to be better acquainted with the author of this
_extraordinary_ stanza; and we intreated the Landlord to be our director
to the much-esteemed well of St. Dyfnog.  Passing through the
church-yard, and from thence through the passage of an alms’-house, we
reached a plantation of trees, with a broad gravel-walk, almost concealed
from day’s garish light, by the thick foliage: this brought us to the
fountain, enclosed in an angular wall, which forms a bath of considerable
size; and so

       —“far retir’d
    Among the windings of a woody vale,
    By solitude and deep surrounding shades,
    But more by bashful modesty, conceal’d;”

that the “lovely young Lavinia” might here plunge into the flood, secure
from the intrusion of Palemon.  Many wonderful qualities are attributed
to this fountain; but it is more particularly celebrated for the cure of
the rheumatism: the water has no peculiar taste.  We returned by a
subterraneous path under the road, which led to the pleasure-grounds,
adjoining the seat of Major Wylyn.

Several seats were beautifully dispersed on each side of the vale; among
which, Lord Bagot’s and Lord Kirkwall’s formed the most prominent
features in the landscape.

Ruthin is a large neat town, only divided from the parish of Llanruth, by
a strong stone bridge: the scite of the church is extremely pretty, and
is a handsome modern edifice: here is a monument to Dr. Gabriel Goodman,
Dean of Westminster, in the time of Elizabeth, and likewise a native of
this place.  A new gaol has lately been built here by Mr. Turner.  The
remains of the castle, at the southern extremity of the town, are
scarcely worthy a moment’s observation; and the scite of the old chapel
is now converted into a bowling-green.  Owen Glendwr demolished this town
by fire, September 20, 1400.  In the last century, the loyalists
fortified the castle, and sustained a long siege in 1646.

We still continued skirting the rich vale of Clwyd; but winding up a
steep hill, overlooking the whole of it, from one extremity to the other,
we were reluctantly compelled to bid a final adieu to all its vistas,
hamlets, steeples; the whole prospect, glowing with luxuriance, seemed to
assume fresh beauties, at this our farewell view: the cattle, which were
grazing in the shorn meadows, and beautifully contrasted with the
ripening corn, appeared more animated; and we discovered, or thought we
discovered, an additional number of villages, peeping from the woody
skirts of the sloping hills.  From this point the vale is certainly seen
to great advantage.  To give a still greater effect, a thunder-storm came
rolling on; and the clouds were

    “Silent borne along, heavy and slow,
    With the big stores of steaming oceans charg’d.”

This storm compelled us to seek for a shelter, in a miserable pot-house;
but the civility of the landlady fully compensated for its want of
accommodations.  The effects of the storm rendered the remainder of our
journey much more agreeable, and the heat less oppressive: a dull,
uninteresting road continued, till we arrived within four or five miles
of



WREXHAM.


The contrast was too striking to escape our notice; but having climbed a
steep eminence, the eye commanded an almost boundless range of land; and
the faint colour of the hills, retiring in the distance, was beautifully
combined with the mellow green of nearer woods.  The counties of
Cheshire, Shropshire, and a considerable part of Wales, were extended,
like a map, for our inspection; the town of Wrexham, rising in the
bottom, animated the scene, with its noble tower, overtopping the
numberless little steeples near it.  Close to the road, we observed
several coal and lead mines, and a melting house for forming lead into
pigs; these works belong to Mr. Wilkinson.

The dirty out-skirts of Wrexham, by no means prepossessed us in favor of
the town, but viewing it more leisurely, we can safely affirm, that it is
not only the largest, but the best built town in Wales.

To the kind attentions of a clergyman in the neighbourhood of Wrexham, we
are much indebted, and under his directions, we surveyed the lions with
great advantage.  Our friendly Ciceroni first conducted us to the church,
an elegant building of the reign of Henry VII.  The tower is an hundred
and forty feet high, and esteemed “a beautiful specimen of the florid, or
reformed Gothic, which prevailed about that time;” all the figures and
ornaments are well designed, and still in high preservation.  The inside
is not less elegant; it has lately been neatly repaired, with a good
gallery and organ: the painted altar piece is well executed.  On the
left, facing the altar, is a very handsome monument by Roubilliac, to the
memory of Mrs. Mary Middleton; both the design, and execution, reflect
the highest credit on the sculptor; the subject is the last day; at the
sound of the trumpet, a tomb of black marble bursts open, and a beautiful
female figure, clothed in white, appears rising from it, just awoke from
the sleep of death; her form dignified; candour, innocence, and celestial
joy shine in her countenance, and gives it the most feeling and animated
expression: in the back ground, an obelisk, supposed to be erected to her
memory, is rent asunder; above, an angel, enveloped in a cloud, is
pointing to brighter scenes.  In this church are two other monuments,
executed by the same celebrated master, in memory of some of the
Middletons; their designs, though striking, cannot be compared to his
last day.  Our worthy conductor, perceiving we were great amateurs of
paintings, and careful that nothing of consequence should be passed
unnoticed by us, particularly wished us to examine the performance of a
young artist, then at Wrexham: a copy amongst others, of a painting of
Rembrant’s, taken by Mr. Allen, from a celebrated picture, in the
possession of Lord Craven, was most ingenuously executed; the subject is
an old man, instructing a young boy; the attention of the latter, most
admirably preserved; the head of the former, and the hand particularly,
most highly finished.  Without any exaggeration, this painting would do
credit to the most scientific painter, and be esteemed invaluable; it is
therefore to be hoped, from the hands of so young an artist as Mr. Allen,
that this performance will be disposed of, where judges of painting may
view it with a critic’s eye, and recommend its merits to those who can
afford to encourage industry and ingenuity.

Our friend’s invitation to his hospitable parsonage, and agreeable
family, was too kindly urged, possibly to be refused, and in our way to



MARCH WIEL,


we visited the seat of P. York, Esq.  The grounds and plantations, are
very extensive; and the bowery walk, while they afford refreshing shelter
from a summer’s sun, allow partial views of the counties of Cheshire and
Shropshire; with the Weeakin and Brydyork hills: in short, through these
groves

    “How long so e’er the wanderer roves, each step
    Shall wake fresh beauties, each short point presents
    A different picture; new, and yet the same.”

The tower of Wrexham, and the town itself, as occasion offers, is a
nearer, and an additional charming object.  In an alteration of the walks
a few years since, were discovered below the surface of the ground, the
shattered walls of an ancient castle; these fragments Mr. Yorke has left
unimpaired, and they remain a momento of the vicissitudes of fortune.
The entrenchments round the castle, and likewise the original scite of
the keep, are still very apparent.

The house itself is very indifferent: Watt’s dyke runs through part of
the grounds.  In a parlour opposite the garden, we observed some fine
paintings of the Hardwick family.  Mr. Yorke has dedicated another room
to the royal tribes of Wales, {144} where the arms and lines of the
descent, as far as they can be traced, are emblazoned and hung up.

In the coolness of the evening, our hospitable host, conducted us to the
neat and elegant little country church of March Wiel, lately cased with
stone; and in the year 1788, ornamented with a new painted window by Mr.
Eginton, of Birmingham; the twenty-one compartments contain the arms and
crests of the Middletons and Yorks, with rich transparent borders.  This
window is undoubtedly very elegant, but the subject in my own opinion,
more adapted to a hall, than an ornament to a church window.  The high
tower appears not in proportion with the body of the church.

Deeply impressed with sentiments of gratitude towards our Reverend
friend, and sensible of his hospitality and kind intentions, we took
leave of him early the next morning, and pursued our route to



RUABON,


purporting to visit Wynstay Park, the much admired seat of Sir Watkin
Williams Wynne.  On leaving Marchwiel, a most delightful prospect spread
before us; in the retrospect, the tower of Wrexham Church brought to our
recollection the views of Magdalen College Tower, in the vicinity of
Oxford.

The park of Wynstay is well stocked with red deer; excellent plantations;
and the house is an elegant modern structure, but nothing in the inside
particularly deserving the attention of the traveller.  In the grounds,
the chief object, worthy of inspection, is a very elegant obelisk, now
erecting to the memory of the present Sir Watkin’s father.  The height is
an hundred and one feet; the base of it sixteen, and the top nine, built
with free-stone, and fluted: round the top is formed a gallery, with a
handsome urn in bronze, after an elegant design, cast in London; round
the base of the column, are wreaths of oak leaves, in the beaks of four
eagles, cast in the same metal.  On the south-west side is a door, with a
stair-case within the obelisk leading to the top: we regretted that the
key could not be procured, as the prospect from that eminence must be
extremely fine.  On the other three sides, an appropriate inscription, in
English, Welch, and Latin, is to be carved.

Through this park runs Offa’s Dyke, thrown up by the great King of
Mercia, from whence it derives its name, to check the irruptions of the
Welch, mark the confines of each country, and give greater security to
his own.  It begins at Basingwerk, in Flintshire, and ends at Chepstow,
in Monmouthshire; extending a line of not less than one hundred and fifty
miles, over rocks and mountains.  This great undertaking still retains
the ancient name of _Clawdh Offa_, or Offa’s Dyke.

Passing through the little village of Ruabon, situated at the extremity
of Sir Watkin’s Park, a very interesting and picturesque country,
composed of rich vallies, and gently sloping hills, presented itself to
our view; and, at some distance, we soon caught a glimpse of Chirk
Castle, a noble seat of the family of the Myddleton’s, standing on an
eminence.  Four miles from Llangollen, we enquired for the wonderful



PONTCYSYLLTY, {147}


(pronounced _Pont y Casulte_) or famous aqueduct, now erecting over the
river Dee, and found ourselves within half a mile of this great and
astonishing undertaking.  It is not yet finished; eleven pillars are
already completed, built of sandy stone, which is dug on the spot; they
are fifteen yards asunder, and their height, from the bed of the river,
one hundred and twenty feet: over the whole is to run an iron trough,
sufficiently deep for barges of considerable burthen.  On the middle
column is the following inscription:

                         “The nobility and gentry of
                            The adjacent counties,
                       Having united their efforts with
                The great commercial interest of this country,
                 In creating an intercourse and union between
                              England and Wales,
              By a navigable communication of the three rivers,
                           Severn, Dee, and Mercey;
               For the mutual benefit of agriculture and trade,
                  Caus’d the first stone of this aqueduct of
                                 PONTCYSYLLTY
                To be laid on the 25th day of July, M.DCC.XCV.
                 When Richard Myddleton, of Chirk, Esq. M.P.
                      One of the original patrons of the
                               Ellesmere canal,
                           Was lord of this manor,
                      And in the reign of our Sovereign
                              George the Third;
                       When the equity of the laws, and
                          The security of property,
                 Promoted the general welfare of the nation;
                    While the arts and sciences flourish’d
                            By his patronage, and
                    The conduct of civil life was improv’d
                               By his example.”

This wonderful aqueduct reflects great honour to the undertakers of so
admirable, as well as valuable enterprize; and, should their hazardous
scheme succeed, the whole nation must indubitably reap great advantages:
several columns must still be erected, before the level can be
accomplished.  It is forming over the most beautiful and romantic part of
the river Dee; a bridge likewise, not far from this spot, adds
considerably to the beauty of the scene.  Wood, water, and sloping hills,
all combine to render this vale interesting; several detached cottages,
are sprinkled through its wooded declivities, and here and there a
gentleman’s seat, “embosomed high in tufted trees,” makes a pleasing
feature, in the fascinating landscape.  Returning to the turnpike-road, a
short saunter soon brought us to the romantically-situated town of



LLANGOLLEN,


(pronounced _Llangothlen_) completely environed with mountains, with a
high hill to our right, bearing on its narrow peak the small remains of
Castel Dinas Bran.  The bridge, adjacent to the town, thrown over the
rapid Dee, consisting of six arches, and formerly esteemed _One of the
principal Wonders of Wales_, by no means answered our expectations.  Some
difficulty, no doubt, attended its first erection, as the foundation is
built on the solid rock: it is now repairing.

The elegant description of the valley in the kingdom of Amhara, by Dr.
Johnson, is very applicable to Llangollen; for “all the blessings of
nature seemed here to be collected, and its evils extracted and
excluded.”  Without a sigh of regret, not like the discontented Rasselas,
I could here pass the remainder of my days, “in full conviction, that
this vale contains within its reach all that art or nature can bestow; _I
could_ pity those, whom fate had excluded from this seat of tranquillity,
as the sport of chance, and the slaves of misery.”  Such is the enviable
situation of Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Ponsonby, who thus veiled in
obscurity have fitted up, in a true characteristic stile, an elegant
little cottage, at the west extremity of the town, situated on a knole:
the two rooms, which are allotted for the inspection of strangers, are
very handsomely furnished; the dining-room is ornamented with drawings,
the most favourite spots in the vicinity being selected as the subjects.
The window commands a prospect of the mountains, which awfully rise in
front.  The study, looking on the well-arranged plantations of the
garden, was appropriately furnished with a choice collection of books: we
regretted, in the absence of the gardener, that we could not gain
admittance to the grounds.  The vale of Llangollen, and this enviable
retreat, have been the subject of much admiration both in verse and
prose; and highly deserve the praises, which have been lavished upon it.

    “Say, ivy’d Valle Crucis; time delay’d
       Dim on the brink of Deva’s wand’ring floods,
    Your iv’d arch glitt’ring thro’ the tangled shade,
       Your grey hills tow’ring o’er your night of woods;
    Deep in the vale recesses as you stand,
    And, desolately great, the rising sigh command;
    Say, lovely ruin’d pile, when former years
       Saw your pale train at midnight altars bow;
    Saw superstition frown upon the tears
       That mourn’d the rash, irrevocable vow;
    Wore one young lip gay Eleanora’s {151a} smile?
    Did Zara’s {151b} look serene one tedious hour beguile?”

The bridge of Llangollen is thus described by the elegant pen of Mr.
Pennant:

    “The bridge, which was founded by the first _John Trevor_, bishop of
    _St. Asaph_, {151c} who died in 1357, is one of the _Tri Thlws
    Cymru_, or three beauties of _Wales_: but more remarkable for its
    situation than structure.  It consists of five arches; whose widest
    does not exceed twenty-eight feet in diameter.  The river usually
    runs under only one; where it has formed a black chasm of vast depth,
    into which the water pours with great fury, from a high broken ledge,
    formed in the smooth, and solid rock, which composes the whole bed of
    the river.  The view through the arches, either upwards or downwards,
    is extremely picturesque.”

Having satisfied our curiosity, Dinas Bran, or Crow Castle, next invited
our attention, and having attained the summit of a steep and craggy hill,
commanding a pleasing view of Llangollen, we arrived at the ruins, which
crest this precipice.  The remains of this castle are now so trifling,
that it scarcely repays even the enthusiast the trouble of ascending; its
appearance is by no means picturesque, not a tree to give effect to the
crumbling walls; nor has time spared one of the towers.

It was formerly the residence of Myfanwy Vechan, so celebrated in verse.
The castle is built of the stone which composes the hill, on which it is
erected.  The prospect is very pleasing.  Chirk Castle, Wynstay Park,
{152} and many other seats of respectability, more particularly
conspicuous; great part of the vale, and the meandering course of the
Dee, may here be traced; whilst the opposite hills are shelved off in an
extraordinary and unusual manner, resembling so many walls, or
fortifications.  Having descended this steep eminence, we continued our
route to Valle Crucis Abbey, about two miles distant from Llangollen.  It
would be advisable for strangers first to visit Valle Crucis, and take
Dinas Bran Castle in their way back to their inn.  The transmutations of
time are frequently ridiculous: the long aisles of this monastery, which
were once only responsive to the slow-breathed chaunt, now repeat the
rude dissonance of ducks, cows, and all manner of poultry.  Instead of
these emblems of rusticity, the mind’s eye is more accustomed to
appropriate these antique edifices to the midnight procession of monks
issuing from their cells, to perform the solemn service.  These neglected
walls are too deeply-shrouded in their melancholy grove of ash-trees, to
be seen to advantage; an axe, judiciously used, would be of service to
the ruin, as the elegant window of the chapel is completely concealed by
the luxuriant vegetation around; still, however, a pleasing melancholy
pervades the whole scene.  The abbey is beautifully skreened, on all
sides, by woody hills, which entirely protect it from the inclemency of
the winter.

This ancient cistertian monastery was founded by Madoc ap Griffith
Maylor, in the year 1200, and is sometimes called Llan-Egwiste, or
Llanegwast.  In this vale is the pillar of Eglwyseg; but the country
people appeared quite ignorant of its situation.  Returning to
Llangollen, we pursued the turnpike road to the neat village of



CHIRK.


For some way we followed the strait and formal course of a canal, near
this, communicating with the Pont-y-Casulte; we again paused to survey
this wonderful design.  The vale, on our left, was indescribably
beautiful; and over the whole was diffused the purple glow of the even.
The prospect was composed of the miniature parts of the immense landscape
we had viewed from Dinas Bran Hill, each of which we now contemplated
separately as a scene.  The moon’s checkered gleam besilvered the walls
of Chirk Castle, just as we entered the Hand Inn, where, after the
fatigues of a long walk, we met with excellent accommodations, when
considered as a village.

After breakfast the next morning, we endeavoured to obtain admission to
see the inside of Chirk Castle, but without success, though now only
inhabited by servants, who were peremptorily commanded to admit no
strangers.  It is situated on an eminence, surrounded by a park, and fine
plantations, which are very judiciously laid out; this elegant mansion
has been in the possession of the Myddleton family, ever since the year
1614.  Having gratified ourselves with a survey of this noble park, we
returned to the Oswestry road.  Leaving the village of Chirk, we crossed
a new bridge, of one arch, elegantly constructed: near is another
aqueduct, of considerable extent, now erecting over this river and
valley, which, though very inferior to the Pont-y-Casulte, is still a
great undertaking: it is several hundred yards in length, and the brick
piers rise fifty or sixty feet above the level of the water.  Near this
is a rich coal mine, lately discovered.  From hence to Oswestry, we
traversed a rich enclosed country, and enjoyed a scene particularly
pleasing: all the inhabitants were collected, to gather in the produce of
the ripened field; and

    “Thro’ their cheerful band the rural talk
    The rural scandal, and the rural jest,
    Fled harmless.”

To the traveller and the poet, such scenes afford an ample field for
amusement; but waving corn is ill adapted to the canvass of the painter.
About two miles from Oswestry, we passed through the little town of



WHITTINGTON.


At this place was fought the battle between Oswald, the Christian King of
the Northumbrians, and Pènda, the Pagan King of the Mercians, in which
the former lost his life.  An easy walk soon brought us to



OSWESTRY.


Its only relicks now remaining are the ruins of a chapel, built over a
remarkably fine spring of water; to this was formerly attributed the cure
of various diseases, incident both to man and beast; and though its
miracles have long ceased, yet it still bears the name of the saint.  The
remains of the castle, supposed to have been built at the time of the
conquest, are now almost too trivial to be noticed.  This town was
garrisoned by the King, in the beginning of the civil wars, but captured
in June, 1644, by the Earl of Denbigh and General Mytton.

In passing through the town of Oswestry, we noticed the church, as being
a very neat building; but either from our own neglect, or imagining it
not to be ancient, we did not inspect the interior.  Oswestry suffered
greatly by fire, in the year 1542, and likewise in 1567.

    “The chirk of St. Oswalde (says Leland) is a very faire leddid chirch
    with a great tourrid steple, but it standith without the New Gate; so
    that no chirch is there within the towne.  This chirch was some time
    a monasterie, caullid the _White Minster_.  After turnid to a paroche
    chirch, and the personage impropriate to the abbey of Shreusbyri.
    The cloister stoode in hominum memoria ubi monumenta monachorum.  The
    place and streate wer the chirch standithe is caullid Stretllan.”

From this place to



LLANYMYNACH,


a continuation of the rich enclosed country, shewing to advantage the
agriculture of these parts, attended us, till we reached the foot of the
hill of Llanymynach.  From the summit of this we enjoyed a most beautiful
and boundless prospect, commanding the whole dome of the sky: all
individual dignity was overpowered by the immensity of the whole view,
which consisted more particularly of the rivers Virnwy and Tannad,
joining their waters with the Severn; the lofty water-fall of Pistyll
Rhaiadr—the Breddin hills—and the Ferwyn mountains.  The geological
observations on Llanymynach hill, by Mr. Aikin, are so accurate, that to
attempt any further description would be deemed highly presumptuous in
me; I shall therefore avail myself of an account, so ably delineated:

    “The hill of Llanymynach, is not only remarkable for the fine
    prospect from its top, it is still more worthy notice, as containing
    by far the most extensive _lime-works_ of any in this part of the
    country.  The lime of Llanymynach rock is in high request as a
    manure, and is sent by land carriage as far as Montgomery, New-town,
    and even Llanidloes: it sells at the kilns for seven-pence a bushel,
    and from thirty to thirty-six bushels, are reckoned a waggon-load;
    the coal with which it is burnt, is brought partly from the
    neighbourhood of Oswestry, and partly from Sir Watkin Williams
    Wynne’s pits, near Ruaben.  The lime lies in strata, parallel to the
    horizon, varying in thickness from three inches to five feet; it is
    of an extraordinary hardness, with but little calcarious spar, and
    few shells, or other marine exuvial; its colour reddish brown,
    burning to almost white.  Between the strata of lime, we found a very
    tenacious smooth clay, orange coloured ochre, and green plumose
    carbonate of copper, or malachite.  It was in search of this copper,
    that the Romans carried on here such extensive works, of which the
    remains are still very visible: they consist of a range of from
    twenty to thirty shallow pits, the heaps of rubbish from the mouths
    of which, abound with small pieces of copper ore, and a cave of
    considerable dimensions, terminating in an irregular winding passage,
    of unknown length, connected with which, are two air shafts still
    remaining open, and the appearances of several others, now filled up:
    in some of these caverns are found, large and beautiful specimens of
    stalactite.  One of the levels was explored some years ago, and in it
    was discovered a skeleton, with mining tools, and some Roman copper
    coins.  The whole mass of the hill, seems more or less impregnated
    with copper: whenever the surface is uncovered, there are evident
    marks of the presence of this metal, and the stones composing the
    rampart of Offa’s Dyke, which encompasses two sides of the hill, are
    in many parts quite covered with _cupreous efflorenscences_.  Between
    the village and the rock, passes a branch of the Ellesmere canal,
    which, when navigable, will add much to the value of these works, by
    rendering them more accessible to the surrounding country, and may
    induce some spirited adventurer, to recommence a search after copper,
    which, it is evident, was formerly prosecuted with considerable
    success.”

This description of Llanymynach hill, we pronounce from our own
observation, to be so very accurate, that the length of the quotation
will be readily excused.  Leaving the pretty village of Llanymynach,
situated on the banks of the Virnwy, we resumed our journey to Welch
Pool; the face of the country was pleasing, and we soon reached the
Breddin hills, on whose summit a column is erected to commemorate the
victory of Admiral Lord Rodney over the French, in the year 1782.  Not
far from hence, we passed a handsome aqueduct, admirably constructed over
the river Virnwy, of great strength and stability.  The vale of the
Severn affords much picturesque scenery, and we at length arrived at



WELCH POOL


Quay, about three miles from that place; several vessels were lying here,
which carry on a constant traffic with Worcester, and the towns situated
on the banks of this noble river.  Before our entrè into Pool, Powis
Castle appeared on an eminence, immediately rising behind the town, and
beautifully backed with a large plantation of trees.

Welch Pool derives its name from a black pool in its neighbourhood; its
Welch appellation signifying, a quagmire or pool, and is one of the five
boroughs in Montgomeryshire, which jointly send a member to parliament.
The town is by no means neat; it stands on a low hill, and consists of
one principal street; in which are situated the new county hall, and
market-places.  The Severn is navigable within three quarters of a mile
of this town, and computed not less than two hundred miles from its
juncture with the Bristol Channel.  It is the great market for the Welch
flannel, called _gwart_, or webb, prepared in many parts of
Merionethshire, and generally used for soldiers’ clothes.  This trade,
however, has of late been very inconsiderable.

Powis Castle lies to the right, about one mile from Pool, on the ridge of
a rock, retaining a mixture of castle and mansion: it is built of red
stone, and originally contained within its walls two castles: the
entrance is between two round towers.  There are several family portraits
in a long gallery, measuring one hundred and seventeen feet by twenty:
{161a} it was formerly one hundred and sixty-seven feet long, but an
apartment has been taken out of one end. {161b}  The gardens still retain
that stiff formality, so much in vogue many years ago; but the curious
water-works, in imitation of the wretched taste of St. Germain’s en Laye,
are now destroyed.  The prospect from the castle is very extensive,
comprehending a view of Welch Pool, Vale, and Freiddin Hills.

From hence to



MONTGOMERY,


the Ellesmere Canal accompanied us part of the way; and at length, after
a fatiguing walk, we reached the Green Dragon, a small and comfortable
inn.  The scite of Montgomery is very pleasing, on a gentle ascent, and
backed by a steep hill, beautifully clothed with the rich plantations
belonging to Lord Powis.  The town itself is a straggling place, and
little to recommend it.  The remains of the castle are now too trifling,
to interest the passing traveller.

In the year 1094, this castle was gallantly defended by the Normans; but
the Welch, at last, finding meant to undermine the walls, took it by
storm; and, after putting the garrison to the sword, levelled that
fortress to the ground.  It was afterwards rebuilt by Henry III. in the
year 1221, as a check to the incursions of the Welch; but a second time
razed to the ground by Llewellyn the Great, Prince of Wales; it
afterwards became the seat of the Lords Herbert of Cherbury, and their
ancestors, till reduced to its present ruinous condition by the civil
wars.

The road to



BISHOPS CASTLE,


brought us through a very rich country; and on ascending a hill, about
five miles from Montgomery, a retrospect of the far distant mountainous
country of Wales, to which we were now bidding a last adieu, irresistibly
brought on a train of serious reflections.  In a retrospect like this,
where the subject and the scene must inspire serious thoughts, such
traces are not unpleasing; they tend to promote one general effect—the
love of contemplation.  We enumerated the little incidents which had
taken place, indulging reflections on scenes for ever past:—we erected,
on the spot which we esteemed most adapted to retirement, the visionary
cottage: our schemes were instantly arranged,—fancy fashioned its
ornaments, adapted its appendages;—and fancy will ever exceed realities.
But all our air-built plans of future happiness soon vanished:—and alas!
when

    —“fancy scatters roses all around,
    What blissful visions rise!  In prospect bright
    Awhile they charm the foul: but scarce attain’d,
    The gay delusion fades.  Another comes,
    The soft enchantment is again renew’d,
    And youth again enjoys the airy dreams
    Of fancied good.”—

Bishops Castle is situated in a bottom: we found it a more extensive
place than we had any idea of expecting; but being shortly convinced,
that there was nothing particular to require a long stay, and having
recruited ourselves at the Castle Inn, we hastened to leave the town.
The road, for the first seven miles, continually dipped into shallow
vallies, well wooded, affording cursory views, with many a substantial
farmer’s habitation lurking amongst the trees.  At length, a rich and
noble vale, with extensive woods, on our right, animated with several
gentlemen’s seats, and watered by an overflowing stream, running
immediately close to the road, accompanied us to



LUDLOW;


situated on an eminence, in the midst of this most luxuriant country.
After the many indifferent Welch towns which we had passed through, since
the commencement of our pedestrian excursion, we felt ourselves not a
little chagrined at our uncouth appearance, in entering so gay a place.
The streets are commodious, and the houses and public buildings extremely
neat.  The gravel walks round the castle are extensive, and command, at
occasional points, distinct prospects of the gentlemen’s seats, in the
neighbourhood, with their grounds, and noble plantations.  The river Teme
gives additional beauty to this fascinating spot; the new bridge,
recently erected a little below the castle, forms likewise, from this
spot, by no means an uninteresting object; add to this, at suitable
distances, the river, by means of dams, is formed into small artificial
cascades.  At the extremity of the town, is another bridge, separating
the counties of Shropshire and Hereford.  These walks were laid out in
the year 1772, by the Countess of Powis, at a great expence.  The
overshadowing trees not only afford refreshing shelter from a summer’s
sun, but are likewise a protection from the piercing winter’s wind:
indeed,

       —“I cou’d rove
    At morn, at noon, at eve, by lunar ray,
    In each returning season, through your shade,
    Ye reverend woods; cou’d visit ev’ry dell,
    Each hill, each breezy lawn, each wand’ring brook,
    And bid the world admire; each magic spot again
    Cou’d seek, and tell again of all its charms.”

Towards the North, the mazy course of the Teme.—Oakley Park, the elegant
seat of the Dowager Lady Clive.—The Clee Hills.—The celebrated Caer
Caradoc, with the other eminences, near Stretton, terminating the view,
present a most fascinating landscape.  Towards the West, a combination of
rock, wood, and water, gratifies the warmest wish of fancy.

The Whitecliffe, opposite to the castle, and Hackluyt’s Close, near the
Leominster road, are the two other most favourite walks; but that round
the castle is resorted to, as the most fashionable promenade.

The town of Ludlow has been calculated to contain seven hundred and two
houses, and nearly three thousand five hundred and sixty-five persons.
{166}  The public buildings are, the Market-house, the Guildhall, the
Prison, called Goalford’s Tower, and the Cross: the rooms over the
latter, are dedicated for the instruction of thirty poor boys, and
fifteen poor girls; and the former, at a proper age, are apprenticed out.
The town enjoys no particular manufactory, but its chief trade consists
in the article of gloves.

The castle, the palace of the Prince of Wales, in right of his
principality, is now entirely in ruins, except Mortimer’s tower, which
was repaired by Sir Henry Sidney, during his presidency: it is now
inhabited by an old servant of Lord Powis’s, a very civil and intelligent
man, who related, with the utmost concern, the sad vicissitudes this
castle had experienced; he insisted on our entering the tower of his
habitation, and ascending the crumbling stairs, for a full display of the
various beauties in the vicinity of Ludlow, he expatiated much on a
valuable diamond ring, which he had discovered _himself_, when attempting
to drain a cellar; the inscription of Hebrew characters, round the gold,
within the ring, was interpreted by the _larned_, “A good heart;” this,
and several coins of silver and gold, which were found at the same time,
are now in the possession of Lord Powis: near the same spot, a number of
skeletons were likewise dug up.  He next conducted us to a small room in
this tower, to observe an old stone placed over the fire-place, with a
cross; the letters W. S. and the date 1575, engraven on it.

Over the South-east gateway, leading into the interior of the castle, are
the arms of Elizabeth, Queen of England, and beneath, those of the Sydney
family, with the following inscription:

                         HOMINIBUS INGRATIS LOQUIMINI
                          LAPIDES—ANN, REGNI REGINÆ
                         ELIZABETHAE 23.—THE 28 YEAR
                           COPLET OF THE RESIDENCE
                          OF SYR HENRY SYDNEY KNIGHT
                        OF THE MOST NOBLE ORDER OF THE
                                GARTER, 1581.

This castle, founded by Roger de Montgomery, on a rock, in the North-east
angle of the town, supposed to be in the year 1112, was considerably
enlarged by Sir Henry Sydney.  Its ancient British name, _Dinan Llys
Tywysog_, signifies the _Prince’s Palace_.  The vicissitudes of war have
frequently been exemplified in this castle; it has had its Lords and its
Princes; it has been plundered, captured, dismantled, and repaired, in
those periods of civil warfare, which this unfortunate country, in former
times, continually experienced.  Philips, in “ The History and
Antiquities of Shrewsbury,” during those melancholy troubles, gives some
account of this castle.  Some historians affirm, that Edward V. and his
brother, were born in Ludlow Castle; but others, not crediting this
assertion, attribute their birth to Wigmore: certain, however, it is,
that during their minority, they here held their court, under the tuition
of Lord Anthony Woodville, and Lord Scales, till they were removed to
London, and soon after smothered in the Tower, by the command of their
cruel and ambitious uncle, the Duke of Gloucester.  Here, likewise,
Prince Arthur, the eldest son of Henry VII. celebrated his marriage with
the virtuous Catharine of Arragon; and in 1502, he here paid the debt of
nature, and was buried in the cathedral church of Worcester.

The account of the representation, at Ludlow, of Milton’s celebrated Mask
of Comus, is thus mentioned in the Life of that poet, prefixed to
Newton’s edition: “It was in the year 1634, that his Mask was presented
at Ludlow Castle.  There was formerly a president of Wales, and a sort of
a court kept at Ludlow, which has since been abolished; and the
president, at that time, was the Earl of Bridgwater, before whom Milton’s
Mask was presented, on Michaelmas night; and the principal parts, those
of the Two Brothers, were performed by his Lordship’s sons, the Lord
Brackly, and Mr. Thomas Egerton; and that of the Lady, by his Lordship’s
daughter, the Lady Alice Egerton.”

In the first year of William and Mary, the presidency was dissolved by
act of parliament, “being a great grievance to the subject, and a means
to introduce an arbitrary power, especially in the late reign, when a new
convert family were at the head of it.”

The church next demanded our attention, the only one belonging to this
town.  The time of the foundation of this ancient and elegant structure
cannot now be strictly ascertained: it is situated on an eminence, in the
centre of the town.  The square tower is lofty, and of very light
architecture, but the upper part suffered much, by the all-destroying
hand of Oliver Cromwell.  The highly-finished statues round the
battlements, are much mutilated, and many entirely destroyed.  On
entering the church, six light Gothic fluted arches on each side, with
four similar ones of larger dimensions, supporting the tower, are
strikingly grand.  Under the organ-loft, we passed into the chancel, now
only made use of, for the administration of the sacrament.  This is a
most elegant building, with thirteen stalls on each side, similar, in
stile, to the generality of cathedrals; the seats of the stalls, all of
which turn back, exhibit specimens of curious workmanship, with strange
devices, and ridiculous conceits.  Some of the glass painted windows are
still in good preservation; the large one, over the altar-piece,
represents the History of St. Lawrence, to whom this church is dedicated,
in fifty-four compartments.  The other windows of the chancel are much
mutilated, collected from different parts of the church, and several
panes broken, by the unmeaning idleness of boys;—regardless of these
valuable relicks of antiquity.—In the side of the wall, near the altar,
are two stone stalls, with a piscina opposite.

In this chancel is a handsome monument, erected to the memory of Robert
Townsend, and his wife, with several figures of their sons and daughters
carved round the bottom: over them are the arms of their family and
connexions: it bears the date of 1581.

A modern monument to Theophilus Solway, Esq.

An ancient one to Ambrosia Sydney, who died at Ludlow Castle.  This lady
was daughter to Sir Henry Sidney, who attained the important situation of
the Presidency of Wales, in the year 1564.  He died at Bewdley, 1584, and
left this singular injunction to his executors: “that his heart should be
buried at Shrewsbury, his bowels at Bewdley, and his body at Ludlow, in
the tomb of his favourite daughter Ambrosia:” this order was punctually
executed; and the leaden urn, containing his heart, was six inches deep,
and five inches in diameter at the top, with this inscription carved
three times round it:

    HER LITH THE HARTE OF SYR HENRYE SYDNEY L. P.  _Anno Domini_, 1586.

For an engraving of this urn, taken from a drawing of Mr. S. Nicholas,
see the Gentleman’s Magazine for September, 1794.

Another monument {172a} to Edward Wetson, and his wife, kneeling opposite
to each other.

In a small chapel, to the left of the chancel, are three very handsome
painted glass-windows, containing the history of the Apostles, in
eighteen compartments; there is also a rosary.

In this chapel is an elegant marble tomb, to Sir Thomas Bridgeman,
serjeant at law.  In this church is likewise buried Sir John Bridgeman,
the last president but one of Ludlow Castle.  He was extremely rigid in
his office: and one Ralph Gittins, who had probably experienced his
severity, composed the following epitaph on him:

    “Here lies Sir John Bridgeman, clad in his clay;
    God said to the Devil, sirrah, take him away.” {172b}

A chapel corresponding on the opposite side, contains the royal arms of
Charles, and several old iron armoury.

Should the tourist find time to make any stay at Ludlow, several
excursions in the neighbourhood, will prove highly gratifying.  Oakley
Park, the elegant seat of the Dowager Lady Clive, claims the greatest
attention; it is situated about two miles from Ludlow, on the banks of
the Teme river; just beyond this, is a seat of — Walpole, Esq.  About
five miles is Downton Castle; the noble mansion, and fine walks of
Richard Payne Knight, Esq. one of the representatives in Parliament for
the borough of Ludlow.  Being necessitated to leave this charming country
by a particular day, we had no opportunity of visiting these celebrated,
and much admired seats.

With regret we left the fascinating situation of Ludlow, and crossing
Lawford’s Bridge, we ascended an eminence, along a fine beautiful
terrace, commanding a most charming, and pleasant country to our left,
with the fertile county of Hereford, abundant with orchards, which were
all bending with the produce of the year.  About two miles from Ludlow on
the right, we paused to admire the delightful seat of Theophilus Richard
Solway, Esq. situated on an eminence, and skirted by a rich plantation of
wood, towards the West: it is called the Lodge.  Descending into a
bottom, a rich country, studded with farm-houses, soon brought us to the
town of



LEOMINSTER,


or Lemister, consisting of one long street; the Market-place in the
centre, bearing a very old date, and likewise the church, are both
deserving of the traveller’s notice.  It is situated in a flat, and the
country round it not particularly interesting.

From hence, a turnpike-road, shewing to advantage, the rich culture of
the country, soon brought us within sight of the venerable cathedral of



HEREFORD,


backed by a sloping eminence just rising behind, and beautifully clothed
with wood.  Being under a particular engagement to meet a party at Ross,
to accompany us down the Wye the following day, time would not allow us
to investigate this respectable city, so minutely, as it deserves.  Our
observations therefore, were so cursory, that “The Hereford Guide,” must
supply the deficiences in this part of our journal; this neglect, the
tourist must attribute to our delay at the engaging town of Ludlow.

At Hereford, we for some time hesitated respecting the hire of a boat to
convey us to Ross; but the exorbitant demand of the boatmen soon
determined us to pursue the turnpike-road, and follow, as near as
possible, the course of the Wye.  The orchards were overcharged with
“bending fruit,” and seemed to prognosticate a more favourable cyder
season, than has of late been experienced.  The retrospect of the city,
with its ancient cathedral, formed a most attracting view; and about
three miles, a most lovely vale, bounded by the hills of South Wales,
arrested our attention.  A continuation of the same scenery of orchards,
in which Herefordshire so peculiarly abounds, with the road continually
dipping into shallow vallies, attended us within five miles of Ross,
when, ascending a steep hill, a view of that town, or, rather, of its far
conspicuous spire, broke in upon the reposing character of the scene.
This presently conducted us to Wilton Bridge, thrown over the Wye, about
half a mile from the town; and, leaving the castle of Wilton to the left,
ascended the town of



ROSS,


to the inn, so celebrated as the original habitation of Mr. Kyrle; but
more generally known by the name of “The Man of Ross.”  The landlord
seems rather to depend upon the custom of strangers, from this
circumstance, than the accommodations the inn offers.  On the bridge we
paused a short time, to take a view of the meandering Vaga, which here
considerably widens; several pleasure-boats, of various construction,
were riding at anchor, and united to enliven the watry scene, whilst its
smooth tranquil surface, reflected and reverted every object situated on
the bank.

The life and character of Mr. Kyrle has too often been insisted on, and
too frequently celebrated in verse, to be again repeated, unless to
“point its moral to the heart;” teaching us, that self-approbation can
confer an inward happiness, superior to all worldly applause; for,

    “What nothing earthly gives, or can destroy;
    The soul’s calm sunshine, and the heart-felt joy,
    Is virtue’s prize.”—

Such a bustle pervaded the whole town, of parties assembling here, for an
aquatic expedition to Monmouth, the following day, that with difficulty
we obtained a small room: from this circumstance, it would be advisable
for parties to secure themselves accommodations during the summer-months,
a considerable time beforehand, such is the continued assemblage of
parties forming for the Wye: a boat likewise should be hired, and by
mentioning the number of your party, the landlord will be a proper judge,
respecting the size.  Strangers may pass, with pleasure, the greatest
part of a day, in surveying the views in the vicinity of Ross; views,
which must gratify the most superficial observer; but more particularly
from the church-yard.  A walk through the latter place to “The Prospect,”
so called from the profuse variety of objects, in the beautiful, and the
sublime, which are presented from this spot.  The sudden burst of such a
collection of beauties, the eye, indeed, cannot contain without
gratification.  The river below bends itself, in the whimsical and
fantastical shape of a horse-shoe: this singular wind of the river—the
ruins of Wilton Castle—the luxuriant counties of Hereford and Monmouth,
and the beautiful Chase Woods, all combine to promote one peculiarly
grand and beautiful effect.  To enter into a minute description of
objects, so various and extensive, is impossible: in fine, to delineate
the beauties of the Vaga, with all its accompaniments, would be
enumerating every object that is interesting in Nature.  Having
sufficiently pored over the view from the Prospect, a ramble through the
meadows will next prove highly pleasing.

The situation of Ross, though exceedingly beautiful, has nothing in
itself to detain attention: the streets narrow, dirty, and inconvenient.
The castle of Wilton, situated on the banks of the Wye, was founded in
the reign of Henry I.; it was formerly a nunnery, from whence the Greys
de Wilton derive their title.

Early in the morning, we congratulated each other on the favourableness
of the weather, and with good spirits provided all the necessaries
requisite for our water expedition; the enjoyment of which depends much
on the season.  The hire of the boat to Monmouth, by water, is one pound
eleven shillings and six-pence, not including ten shillings for
provisions for the men, who likewise expect an additional small sum,
after the fatigues of the day.  The boat, navigated by three men, will
contain ten or twelve people, without any inconvenience, and is properly
protected by an awning, from the heat of the sun.  The distance from Ross
to Chepstow, by water, is more than forty miles, which strangers
occasionally accomplish in one day; but this hurrying method will not
allow them an opportunity of inspecting, with proper attention, the
various objects which deserve to be noticed; and they cannot possibly
find time to leave their boat, and climb the rugged, steep banks of the
Wye, in search of views, which, though visited by the discerning few, yet
merit the regard of every amateur of nature’s landscapes: and here it may
not be improper to mention, the boatmen, from laziness, too frequently
suffer these most interesting spots to be passed unnoticed by strangers,
merely to avoid the delay of a few minutes.  Gilpin, in his excellent
treatise, “The Observations on the River Wye,” thus analyzes, in the
second section, the beauties of the “echoing Vaga,” and divides its
constituent parts into—the _steepness_ of its banks—its _mazy_ course—the
_ground_, _woods_, and _rocks_, which are its native ornaments—and,
lastly, the _buildings_.  To this he might with propriety have added, its
_echoes_—the _variety of views_ from its banks—the fishing _coracles_,
which are continually on the river; for all these contribute to form one
pleasing and interesting effect.

We embarked on board our boat, a little below the town; and the first
object which drew our attention, was the ivy-mantled walls of Wilton: the
annual growth of the few trees which encircle it, will, in time, render
it a more picturesque object; it is at present so sufficiently seen from
the water, as not to require the stranger to disembark for farther
inspection.  A few yards below, we passed under Wilton Bridge,
communicating the roads from Hereford to Ross: it is an elegant
structure, of several arches.  From hence, for four or five miles, the
banks are tame and uninteresting, and so high above the river, as to
prevent a prospect of the adjacent country; but a group of cattle, some
ruminating on the brink, some browzing on the ashlings, which overhung
the stream, and others

    —“from their sides,
    The troublous insects lashing with their tails;
    Returning still,”—

formed a “rural confusion.”  The velocity of the stream shortly brought
us to that noble scenery, about four miles from Ross, which so eminently
distinguishes and constitutes the beauty of the Wye; before us, the noble
remains of Goodrich Castle, cresting a steep eminence, enveloped with
trees, presented themselves; behind, the thick foliage of Chase Woods
closed the picture.  The happiest gradation of tints, and the liveliest
blending of colours, was here conspicuous.  On the right hand we landed
on the shore, in order to make a minute investigation of the castle: it
is certainly a grand ruin, and stands on an eminence, naturally so steep,
as to render it, in former times, capable of some resistance against a
formidable enemy.  On our first entrance into the ruin, we naturally
indulged reflections on past scenes, contemplated the traces of ancient
splendour; and connecting what remains, with what is destroyed; we
pondered on the vanity of human art, and the ravages of time, which
exhibit, in this ruin, their compleatest triumph.  The warrior, who
strove to preserve its original grandeur against the attacks of Cromwell,
is buried in Walford church, situated on the opposite side of the river,
and seen from the castle.  The different parts of the building, bear
evident marks of its having been erected at various times; from a seat in
the castle-yard is the most advantageous spot for surveying, in one view,
the whole of this ruin: an octagon pillar, of light and elegant
workmanship, is seen to great advantage through the gate-way, and adds
considerably to the magnificence of this ancient pile: it now belongs to
Dr. Griffin, of Hadnuck, the lord of the manor.  To return to our boat:
we took a different and more circuitous route, for the purpose of
inspecting the remains of Goodrich Priory, now converted into a farm.
The chapel has experienced the same vicissitude; and those walls, which
formerly re-echoed with the chaunting of voices, and the solemn peal, now
repeat the continued strokes of the flail; in many parts of the walls,
the initials of names of persons, who have long since paid the debt of
nature, and left behind no other memorial, are carved with characteristic
rudeness, shewing, to every passing stranger, the prevalency of that
universal passion—the love of fame.  The Gothic windows, and the cross,
erected on each end of the building, shew evident marks of its former
purpose.  The boat usually meets the passengers at another reach of the
river; but it is a plan by no means to be pursued; since, by missing a
circuit round the castle, its different tints, and variety of attitudes,
occasioned by one of the boldest sweeps of the Wye, are entirely lost.  A
short time after we had taken our last retrospect of Goodrich Castle, the
spire of Ruredean church appeared in front, just peeping from among the
woody skirts of the Forest of Dean: a little below, Courtfield House,
belonging to Mr. Vaughn, was seen, in a very picturesque point of view,
with the ruins of the chapel, forming the back ground.  In Courtfield
House, tradition reports, the warlike Henry V. was nursed; and in the
church of Welch Buckner, situated to the right, in a noble amphitheatre,
enclosed with rocks, first embraced the Christian religion.  A busy
scene, of craft loading and unloading, and coals shipping for various
parts from the quay at Lidbroke, presents a picture of cheerful activity,
and forms a pleasing contrast to the quiet, rich, and retired spots, we
had left behind us; such spots, as were well adapted to form the mind of
Britain’s glory—the virtuous Henry.  The banks now became richly clothed
with wood, from the summits of the highest rocks to the water’s edge; and
a hill in front, called Rosemary Topping, from the mellow luxuriance of
its sides, closed the prospect.  Almost every sweep presents a new
object, to strike the admiration of the spectator: the transitions are
sudden, but never so harsh as to disgust; even the contrast between the
embellishments of art we had just left, and the wild rocks, which here
exhibit nature in her most striking attitudes, give an additional
impression to each other.

We now reached those fine mass of rocks, called Coldwell, one of which,
Symond’s Yatch, to the left, it is customary for company to ascend, in
order to view the mazy and circuitous course of the river, and the
extensive prospect around.  The Forest of Dean, the counties of Monmouth,
Hereford, and Gloucester, were extended before us, studded with villages,
diversified with clusters of half-visible farm houses; with many a grey
steeple, “embosomed high in tufted trees.”  In painting the several views
from this summit, the happiest description would fail; the impression can
only be conveyed by the eye.  The river here makes a most extraordinary
winding round the promontory, and having completed a circuit of more than
five miles, flows a second time immediately under Symond’s Yatch.  The
whole of this mazy course may be traced from this eminence.  From hence
we discovered a very remarkable polysyllabical articulate echo, and we
reckoned twelve distinct reverberations from the explosion of a gun,
fired on this spot.  It is here again customary for the boatmen to impose
on strangers, and if they can prevail on them, during their walk to
Symond’s Yatch, will take the boat round the circuit of five miles, and
meet them at New Wier, in order that no time should be lost; but this
laziness we by no means encouraged, and the whole course of this
extraordinary and romantic sweep proved highly gratifying.  Goodrich
spire, which we again wound round, presented itself; huge fragments of
massy rocks which have rolled down from the precipices, opposite Manuck
Farm, here almost choaked up the course of the stream.  The changing
attitudes and various hues of Symond’s Yatch, lifting its almost spiral
head high above the other rocks, as we receded and drew near it, supplied
a combination of tints surprisingly gay and beautiful; and having
accomplished a sweep of five miles, we reached, within a quarter of a
mile, the spot where we began our ascent to this steep eminence.

The view, at New Wier, next unfolded itself; but a disagreeable scene
here generally occurs, and interrupts the pleasure of contemplation: a
large assemblage of beggars, men, women, and children, on the banks,
bare-footed, and scarcely a rag to cover them, followed our boat,
imploring charity; and several almost throwing themselves into the water,
to catch your money, which, every now and then, the bigger seize from the
less.  This idle crew subsist on the trifles they obtain from strangers;
and as beggary is their professed trade, if their wants are not
satisfied, they generally add insolence, with an oath, to their demands.

But I have omitted to mention, that before we reached the New Wier, the
spire of Haunton on Wye, cresting a hill at the extremity of a long
reach, and a fantastic barren rock, jutting out from the green foliage
which encircles it, presenting itself bold and conspicuous, formed
prominent and interesting features in the landscape: this is called
“Bearcroft,” receiving its appellation from the very respectable and
learned counsellor of that name.  Several rocks indeed, particularly in
this part of the river, are named by the Council, who have long made it a
practice of exploring the rich and bold scenery of the Wye, on their
assize circuit.  Gilpin, considering New Wier as the second grand scene
on the Wye, thus describes it: “The river is wider than usual in this
part, and takes a sweep round a towering promontory of rock, which forms
the side screen on the left, and is the grand feature of the view.—On the
right side of the river, the bank forms a woody amphitheatre, following
the course of the stream round the promontory: its lower skirts are
adorned with a hamlet, in the midst of which, volumes of thick smoke,
thrown up at intervals, from an iron forge, as its fires receive fresh
fuel, add double grandeur to the scene.  But what peculiarly marks this
view, is a circumstance on the water: the whole river, at this place,
makes a precipitate fall; of no great height, indeed, but enough to merit
the name of a cascade, though to the eye, above the stream, it is an
object of no consequence.  In all the scenes we had yet passed, the water
moving with a slow and solemn pace, the objects around kept time, as it
were, with it; and every steep, and every rock, which hung over the
river, was solemn, tranquil, and majestic.  But here, the violence of the
stream, and the roaring of the waters, impressed a new character on the
scene: all was agitation and uproar; and every steep, and every rock,
stared with wildness and terror.”  The accuracy and elegancy of this
description, drawn by so masterly a pen, I hope, will amply compensate
for the length of this quotation.  The extensive iron-works, mentioned in
this passage, belong to Mr. Partridge.  Below the New Wier, a
continuation of the same rich scenery still arrested our attention, and
rocks and wood seemed to contend, which should be most conspicuous; till
the winding of the river, round Doward’s Rock, on which was formerly a
Roman station, brought us under the house of Mr. Hatley, which commands a
view of the river as far as Monmouth, when it is terminated by the town,
and bridge of six arches.  As we drew near



MONMOUTH,


the house of Dr. Griffins, situated on an eminence, and a banqueting
room, erected by the inhabitants of the place, appeared above the town,
on the left.

The town of Monmouth lies too low, to form a grand appearance from the
water, but is, in itself, neat and well-built, and pleasantly situated on
the banks of the Wye.

As we repaired to our inn, we were both involuntarily led to take a
retrospect of the past amusements of the day.  The partial gleams of
sunshine had given additional tints to the rich and bold scenery, and
every thing had conspired to render it a most interesting aquatic
excursion.  The variety of scenes which Claude would have selected, had
he now existed, for his canvas; with rapture, too, would he have caught
the tints; and, with the happiest effect, combined the objects into a
picture, kept up our attention, and removed that monotony which too often
accompanies water excursions.  Such has been the pleasure of our first
day’s water expedition; and, from the impression it made on us, we
eagerly look forward to some future period, when we may again retrace
views, which memory will ever hold dear, and the pleasure be then
redoubled, with the remembrance of past occurrences.

The evening we dedicated to the survey of Monmouth.—Opposite the Beaufort
Arms, the most convenient inn in the town, is the town-house, handsomely
built, with a full length statue on the outside, facing the street, with
this inscription under it: “Henry the Fifth, born at Monmouth, August the
ninth, 1387.”  On the birth of this warlike and virtuous prince, the
charter was granted to the town of Monmouth: it is governed by a mayor,
two bailiffs, fifteen aldermen, nine constables, two serjeants, and two
beadles.  The castle now bears few vestiges of its former grandeur; and
of the regal dome, scarcely a wreck has escaped, through the long lapse
of years, the ravages of time: where a mighty king once gave audience,
and where vassals knelt, now assemble the animate appendages of a
farm-yard.

Near the castle is a very antiquated house, now converted into a school,
the property of the Duke of Beaufort.  To this town Wihenoc de Menemuc,
or Monmouth, in the reign of Henry I. brought over a convent of black
Monks from St. Florence, and placed them first in the church of St.
Cadoc, near the castle, and after, in the church of St. Mary.  It was
among other ancient priories, and seized by the crown, during the wars
with France; but was restored again, made denison, and continued till the
general suppression, in the reign of Henry VIII. {189}  From hence we
walked to the church-yard; close to which is the room where Geoffry of
Monmouth composed his well-known History: this is now a day-school.
Monmouth has likewise to boast of a free-school, founded here, from the
following curious circumstance: Mr. Jones, a native of Newland, being in
distress, left his parish and went to London, where he engaged himself as
servant to a Hamburgh merchant, and proving trusty in his office, he was
by degrees advanced, till at length he attained a fortune of his own;
willing to prove how far the charity of his native place would extend
towards him, in disguise, he applied for that relief, which he was
enabled to shew towards others, but his parish taking no notice of him,
referred him to Monmouth, and would not redress his pretended complaints:
the latter however, being more charitably disposed, relieved him
according to his wishes.  Having thus proved their generosity, he
acquainted them of his real situation, and promised to repay their
kindness, by obliging them in any demand, they should request.  On this,
they solicited the foundation of a free-school, which he immediately
built, liberally endowed, and which from that time has been well
supported.  The walk to the Folly, we were informed, would have afforded
us some beautiful and extensive prospects; the whole of this information
we should probably have found true, but the evening closing, we were very
reluctantly necessitated to return to our inn.

Early in the morning we renewed our survey of Monmouth: the church first
demanded notice: it is a handsome structure, but the inside offers
nothing remarkable for the inspection of the antiquarian.  The gaol,
built after the plan of the benevolent Howard, is situated in a healthy
spot, and, in every respect, rendered as commodious and comfortable, as
such a place will allow, for the unfortunate inhabitants.  Monmouth,
indeed, contains several good houses, and the neighbourhood is
respectable.  A bridge at the extremity of the town, with the ancient
gateway, bears every mark of antiquity.

The hire of the boat, from Monmouth to Chepstow, is on the same plan as
from Ross to Monmouth, the distance being nearly equal.  Nothing now
remained, but to recommence our water excursion; and we accordingly
embarked a quarter of a mile below the town, where the river Monnow joins
itself with the Wye; from hence Monnow-mouth, or Monmouth.  The weather
still continued favourable for our schemes: the banks on the left, were,
at first, low; but as we receded from the town, the spire of Monmouth in
the retrospect, with the Kemmin woods, rising from a rock of great
height, on our left, under which the river meanders, engaged our
attention; and to our right, Pen-y-van hill, was the bold and rich
scenery we enjoyed, on our first re-embarkation.

The same scenery of rock, wood, and water, which so captivated us
yesterday, still continued, occasionally diversified by light vessels
skimming by our boat, and increasing in number, as we approached nearer
the sea.  The rude hail of the boatmen, as they passed, was re-echoed by
the rocks, and the dingy white sails of the vessels, which soon
disappeared round some bold promontory, were particularly picturesque.
Coleman’s Rocks appeared alternately, mantled with underwood, and pointed
crags; large fragments scattered in the river, here divide the counties
of Monmouth and Gloucester.  At Redbrooke Hills, the curling smoke
issuing from the iron-works, formed a pleasing-accompaniment to the
scenery, and the whole exhibited a picture of industrious labour.  These
works belong to Mr. Turner: the wood and meadow land of Whitebrook Hills,
were finely contrasted with the busy scene at Redbrooke.  From hence a
long reach, with Fidenham Chase Hill rising conspicuously in the front,
brought us to the village of



LLANDOGO;


diversified with cottages, from the base to the highest summit of the
sloping eminence.  This village is about nine miles from Monmouth, and
arrests particular observation; here vessels of considerable burden were
loading with iron, and other commodities, for various ports.  The
appearance of the river, here, changed; the translucent stream, which had
hitherto alternately reflected, as in a mirror, the awful projection of
the rocks, and the soft flowery verdure of its banks, was affected, by
the influence of the tide, and rendered turbid and unpleasant to the
sight.

A turn of the river soon brought us to the village of



TINTERN:


we here observed the ruins of an old mansion, belonging to Mr. Farmer, of
Monmouth; this house appears of an old date, and might probably claim the
attention of the curious antiquary, was he not so wrapt up in
contemplating the venerable Abbey, which presents its Gothic pile, in
solemn majesty.  This august building, great in ruins, and awfully grand
in appearance, impels the stranger, as it were, imperceptibly, to land
and inspect its noble arches, its tottering pillars, and its highly
finished windows; the specimens of ancient architecture, which formerly
were delicately wrought by the hand of art, are now finely decked by that
of nature.  On our first entrance, our attention was too much engrossed,
to exchange the mutual communication of thought; but the care which has
been officiously taken to remove every fragment, lying scattered through
the immense area of the fabric, and the smoothness of the shorn grass,
which no scythe should have dared to clip, in a great measure perverts
the character of the ruin: these circumstances but ill accord with the
mutilated walls of an ancient ruin, which has braved the pitiless storms
of so many centuries.  In this respect, we by no means agreed with
Gilpin, who thus describes it: “We excuse—perhaps we approve—the neatness
that is introduced within.  It _may_ add to the _beauty_ of the scene—to
its _novelty_ it undoubtedly _does_.”  But when this disgust was a little
abated, we indulged those reflections, which scenes of ancient grandeur
naturally recall.

This beautiful ruin is cruciform, measuring two hundred and thirty feet
in length, and thirty-three in breadth; the transept stretches north and
south, one hundred and sixty feet. {194}  This cistertian abbey was
founded by Walter de Clare, in the year 1131, and dedicated to St. Mary,
in the reign of Henry VIII.  It experienced the same fate with many other
monasteries, and was granted, at its dissolution, to the Earl of
Worcester, in the year 1537.

As we receded from the banks, Tintern Abbey, with the Gothic fret-work of
the eastern window, seemingly bound together by the treillage of ivy,
appeared in the most pleasing point of view; sloping hills and rich woods
forming a fine back-ground.  As we drew nearer



CHEPSTOW,


some most noble rocks, “nature’s proud bastions,” opened upon us, to the
left, grander than any we had hitherto admired, and which, we had
previously determined, were inconceivably fine, and surpassed any idea we
had formed of the channel of this romantic river: to add to the
magnificence of the whole, the setting sun tinged the rocks with the most
resplendent colours, and the dewy freshness of the evening improved the
charm of the scene; the one enchanting the sense, the other refreshing
it.  The lofty Wine Cliff, to the right, and Piercefield, with the
curious projecting rocks, called the Twelve Apostles, and Peter’s Thumb,
heighten, to the very extent of beauty, this noble scene, gratifying,
beyond measure, to the admirer of nature.  Another reach brought us in
sight of Chepstow Castle, on a prominent rock, of which it seemed to form
a part; noble in situation, and grand in appearance.  The singular
constructed bridge, the rocks, and the scarce visible town, here made a
most charming picture: this we enjoyed exceedingly, but regretted a few
more minutes would set us on shore, and conclude our excursion on the
Wye; an excursion which, the farther we proceeded, the more we were
interested; and so much so, as to determine a renewal of this pleasing
tour, another summer.  The wooden bridge thrown over the Wye, at this
place, is of very singular construction; the boards forming the flooring
are all designedly loose, but prevented, by pegs fattened at the
extremity of them, from being carried away by the tide, and by that
ingenious contrivance gradually rise and fall with it, which is here
frequently known to rise to the extraordinary height of seventy feet.

Not having visited the church, in consequence of the bad weather, at the
commencement of our tour, we determined now to inspect it.  The entrance,
through the western door, is an elegant specimen of Saxon architecture,
richly wrought, with three arches; in the inside is the monument of Sir
Henry Martin, one of the twelve judges, who presided at the condemnation
of Charles I. and was confined in the castle seven and twenty years.

A curious carved one to the Marquis of Worcester and Lady, though not
buried here; and another, of the date 1620, to the memory of Mrs. Clayton
and her two husbands, both kneeling.

This church originally belonged to the alien Benedictine priory of
Strigule, but converted, at the reformation, into the parish church of
Chepstow.

Admittance to the celebrated walks of Piercefield can only be obtained on
Tuesdays and Fridays.  To survey these with that attention which they
deserve, occupy several hours; the liveliest description cannot do
justice to the rich and bold scenery, with all its accompaniments; the
eye can alone receive the impression, for,

    “How long so e’er the wanderer roves, each step
    Shall wake fresh beauties, each short point presents
    A different picture; new, and yet the same.”

“The winding of the precipice, (says Gilpin) is the magical secret, by
which all these enchanting scenes are produced.”  At one point, both
above and below, as far as the eye can reach, rolls in majestic windings,
the river Wye; at another, the Severn, hastening to meet “its sister
river,” is discovered, till at last they are both lost in the Bristol
Channel; at another, these scenes are concealed, and thick woods,
apparently coeval with time itself, and a long range of rock, burst upon
“the wanderer,” with irresistible beauty and attraction.  The occasional
recurrence also of the rude bench, overshadowed by some umbrageous tree,
and concealed from the steep precipice below, by thick underwood, allow
only glimpses of the surrounding scenery.

The house has received great repairs, and elegantly furnished by the
present possessor, Colonel Wood.  Every apartment, indeed, has its
appropriate embellishments.

                                * * * * *

I have thus brought my Tour to a conclusion; a Tour, which has been
productive of much amusement, and, I hope, not entirely devoid of
advantage: it only remains, therefore, for me to add, that the Two
Friends, having completed a pedestrian circuit of near eight hundred
miles, parted with mutual regret, jointly exclaiming,

    “_Cambria_, as thy romantic vales _we_ leave,
    And bid farewell to each retiring hill,
    Where fond attention seems to linger still,
    Tracing the broad bright landscape; much _we_ grieve,
    That, mingled with the toiling croud, no more
    _We may_ return thy varied views to mark,”



ADDENDA.


_Page_ 44.  The church of Tenby is a large, handsome, and antique
edifice, and several monuments, bearing an ancient date, worthy of
notice.

On the left of the altar, is one to William Rifam, with the following
inscription:

    Two hundred pounds
       and 50 more
    He gave this towne
       to help the poore.

    The use of one on cloth
       and coles bestowe
    For twelve decrepid mean
       and lowe.

    Let 50 pounds to five
       be yearly lent
    The other’s use on Burges’
       sonne’s be spent.

On the same side, is a monument to the memory of John Moore, Esq. who, at
the age of fifty-eight, and having by his first wife six sons and ten
daughters, fell desperately in love, which not being returned, he died of
a consumption, at Tenby: the following epitaph is very allusive to his
unfortunate catastrophe:

    He that from home for love
       was hither brought,
    Is now brought home, this God
       for him hath wrought.

Another monument to Morgan Williams:

                                Igne probatur
                      En animus rurfus clare in corpore
                               Morgan Williams
                        descended from the heiress of
                     Robert Ferrar, Bishop of St. Davids
                     Burnt alive by bigots under Q. Mary;
                          was lately chief of Gargam
                           and senior in council at
                                   Madras.
                      Where Oct. 27, 1690, aged 49 years
                      He resign’d the President’s chair
                           and his breath together.
                        An employment of full 30 years
                           chronicles the continual
                          approbation of his conduct
                               particularly as
                      chief commissioner of the circuit.



SONNETS.


ADVERTISEMENT.


_THE following_ SONNETS, _the joint production of two Friends_, _were
sent to the Author_, _as considered applicable to his Tour_; _it is
therefore hoped_, _they may not be unacceptable to the Reader_.



SONNET I.


                              TO FRIENDSHIP.
                 _Addressed to the Companion of my Tour_.

   O BALMY comfort thro’ this varied maze
   Of life! thou best physician to the breast,
   With deep affliction’s venom’d sting opprest,
   A thousand arts, a thousand winning ways
   Are thine, to smooth the rugged brow of care,
   And mitigate misfortune’s keenest hour:
   Yes, A—, partner of my Cambrian Tour,
   Friend of my heart, how gladly do I share
   Thy confidence; whate’er my part may be
   Hereafter on this shifting stage of life,
   This busy theatre of jarring strife,
   May health and happiness attend both thee
   And thine!—on ONE, thy Heav’nly Guardian trust,
   Nor doubt protection—all HIS ways are just.



SONNET II.


_The Contrast of Yesterday_, _and To-day_; _supposed to be written on the
Summit of_ SNOWDON.

   HOW gay was yesterday!—no storm was heard
   To mutter round thy steep! yon sun arose
   With golden splendour, and in still repose
   Nature majestic thro’ her works appear’d.
   To-day, how chang’d!—loud howls the hollow blast!
   The thin mists undulate! thy tow’ring height
   Is veil’d in tempest, and eternal night!
   So ’tis with man! contrasting prospects past
   With dreams of future happiness—to-day
   In gallant trim his little bark may glide,
   On the smooth current of the tranquil tide:
   To-morrow comes!—the gathering storms display
   A sad vicissitude—the whirlwind’s sweep,
   Grasps at his prey, and whelms it in the deep.



SONNET III.


                           _On leaving_ WALES.

   WHY bursts the tear, as Cambria, now I leave
   Thy wild variety of hill and dale,
   Where fancy, fond intruder, lingers still?
   Why do these parting sighs my bosom heave?
   ’Tis, that alas!  I ne’er may view again
   Those haunts, those solitary scenes I love;
   But thro’ this vale of tears forsaken rove,
   And taste the sad vicissitude of pain?
   ’Tis, that I sadly breathe a warm adieu,
   To long-lost scenes of mutual amity;
   ’Tis, that I turn, my absent friend, to thee,
   “Think on past pleasures, and solicit new!”
   For thee my fervent pray’rs to Heav’n ascend,
   And may we meet again as friend to friend.



SONNET IV.


                           _To the Welsh Harp_.

   LOV’D instrument! again repeat those sounds,
   Those plaintive airs, that thro’ my senses steal,
   With melancholy sweet.  Their pow’r I feel
   Soothing my sadness, healing sorrow’s wounds.
   Gently thou lull’st my sufferings to repose,
   Inclin’st my heart to ev’ry virtuous deed,
   Removing from my mind each dark’ning shade
   That clouds my days, increasing all my woes.
   Now swelling with the breeze, along thy vales,
   Romantic Cambria! the strain I hear,
   Then dying soft away, comes o’er my ear
   In whispers soft, still wafted by thy gales!
   Lov’d instrument! again repeat those sounds,
   Soothing my sadness, healing sorrow’s wounds.



SONNET V.


_Supposed to be written by Moon-light_, _on the Sea-shore_, _at_ TENBIGH.

   I LOVE to mark the silver-curling spray,
   Just kiss the pebbled shore; the zephyr blows,
   And ocean slumbers in serene repose;
   While the moon’s beams in quiv’ring radiance play
   Upon its surface: yet ere long, that tide
   May heave its foaming billows to the shore,
   And the sea boil in one tempestuous roar.
   See here thy picture, man! reason, thy guide,
   Can lull each gust of passion into rest;
   Her aid divine, her energy once lost,
   In what a sea of angry tumults tost,
   Raves the mad whirlwind of thy troubled breast!
   Blind passion then can reason’s aid refute,
   And degradate the man to worse than brute.



SONNET VI.


                       _On seeing_ LLANGOLLEN VALE.

   O THOU, too captious of each airy scheme,
   Fancy! thou dear delusive traitor, say,
   Are not thy charms the phantoms of a day,
   That mock possession, like a fleeting dream?
   Here could I spend, if such had been my lot,
   Quiet my life; nor should the shiv’ring poor
   Depart unfed, unaided, from my door.
   “Content is wealth,” the emblem of my cot.
   Here, by the brook, that gently babbles by,
   Should stand my garden; there the blushing rose
   And woodbine should their sweetest scent disclose.
   But ah! farewell these dreams;—my big full eye
   Swells with the bursting tear—I think, how few
   The road to real happiness pursue!



SONNET VII.


                   _Prospect of Sun-rise from_ SNOWDON.

   HOW grand the scene from this stupendous height!
   How awfully sublime! the king of day
   Flames in the east; old ocean’s waves display
   One globe of fire! one boundless flood of light!
   With what unclouded lustre blaze the skies!
   While {209} Mona’s flats, ting’d with a golden hue,
   Burst with transcendent beauty on the view;
   And, Man, thy scarce seen mountains proudly rise.
   Nature, beneath, seems prostrate! and my sight
   Can hardly grasp the vast immensity!
   Can then the muse attempt to sing of thee,
   Nature’s great God!  Father of life and light!
   Who bade the sun his annual circle roll,
   Who guides, directs, and animates the whole.



SONNET VIII.


                               _To my Dog_.

   YES, thou hast been companion of my Tour,
   And partner of my toils! hast rov’d with me,
   Thro’ Cambria’s rude and wild variety,
   And often sooth’d the solitary hour
   With thy caresses; yet false man can claim
   Superior reason, claim a mind endued
   With love, with faithfulness, and gratitude;
   Love, a mere sound, and gratitude, a name.
   Yes, faithful creature! and when thou art gone,
   With fond attention shall thy bones be laid,
   And a small tribute to thy mem’ry paid,
   In these few words, engraven on thy stone:
   “Here let in peace the faithful Sylvio lie,
   The truest picture of fidelity!”

                                * * * * *

                                 _FINIS_.

                                * * * * *



CHART.

_Route_.                       _Counties_.       _Miles_.    _Best Inns_.      _Objects most     _Page_.
                                                                               worth
                                                                               Attention_.—
                                                                               _Rivers and
                                                                               noted Bridges_.
Cheltenham Spa to                _Gloucester_                Plough Hotel      Pump-room-walk—           1
                                                                               Seat of Earl of
                                                                               Fauconberg—
                                                                               Cleave
                                                                               Hill—Dowdswell
Gloucester                            —                   8  King’s Head       Cathedral—Goal—           5
                                                                               Pin
                                                                               manufactory—
                                                                               Isle of
                                                                               Alney—Severn—
                                                                               Drawbridge,
                                                                               called Westgate
Newnham                               —                  12  Bear              Garden Cliff,           6–8
                                                                               at
                                                                               Westbury—
                                                                               Flaxley
                                                                               Abbey—Church
                                                                               yard view from
Lidney                                —                   8  White Swan        Iron works—Mrs.           9
                                                                               Bathurst’s
Chepstow                          _Monmouth_              8  Beaufort Arms     Castle—Church—        9–195
                                                                               Piercefield,
                                                                               one mile from
                                                                               Chepstow—
                                                                               Llanconb
                                                                               Cliffs—Wye—
                                                                               Wooden bridge
Newport                               —                  16  King’s Head       (Between C. and       10–13
                                                                               N. Caldecot
                                                                               Castle—Caerwent
                                                                               pavement—Ruins
                                                                               of Caerleon)
                                                                               Uske—New
                                                                               bridge—Castle
Cardiff                          _Glamorgan_             12  Angel             Castle—Goal—             14
                                                                               Bridge—Taff
Landaff                               —                   3         —          Ruins of the             18
                                                                               Cathedral
Cardiff to Caerphily                  —                   7  Boar’s Head       Castle                   19
Myther Tidvil                         —                  17  Star              Iron works, the          22
                                                                               largest in the
                                                                               kingdom—
                                                                               (Between C. and
                                                                               M. Pont-y-prid)
Pont Neath Vechan                     —                  14  Angel             Falls of                 23
                                                                               Scotenogam—
                                                                               Lower and Upper
                                                                               Culhepste—
                                                                               Lady’s
                                                                               Cascade—
                                                                               Porthogo
                                                                               Cavern—Bwr
                                                                               Mean—Parthen
                                                                               and Neath
                                                                               rivers
Neath                                 —                  11  Ship and Castle   (Between P. and          26
                                                                               N. Aperdulas
                                                                               and Melincourt
                                                                               waterfalls—The
                                                                               Knole)
                                                                               Abbey—Castle—
                                                                               Copper-works
Swansea                               —                   9  Mackworth Arms    View at Britton          28
                                                                               Ferry—Castle—
                                                                               Pottery—Tawe
By Oystermouth and Penrice            —                  20  A poor            Situated on the          32
to Cheriton                                                  Pot-house         Bury—In your
                                                                               way see
                                                                               Oystermouth
                                                                               Castle—Oxwich
                                                                               Bay—Penrice—
                                                                               King Arthur’s
                                                                               stone
Llanelly cross the Bury         _Caermarthen_             7  —                 Church                   33
Kidwely                               —                   9  Pelican           Castle                   33
Caermarthen                           —                  10  Ivy Bush          Castle—Tin               34
                                                                               works—Bridge
                                                                               over the Towy
Llaugharne                            —                  12  Castle            Castle—                  35
                                                                               Caermarthen Bay
Tenby                             _Pembroke_             16  White Lion        (Between L. and          37
                                                                               T. Green
                                                                               bridge, a
                                                                               curious
                                                                               excavation in
                                                                               the rock)
                                                                               Castle—Church—
                                                                               Rocks—Walk on
                                                                               the sands and
                                                                               croft
Pembroke                              —                  10  Green Dragon      Castle—Bridge—           40
                                                                               Sail round
                                                                               Milford Haven
                                                                               to Hubberstone,
                                                                               sixteen
                                                                               miles—Bush, Mr.
                                                                               Meredith’s
Returned to Tenby                     —                   —  —                 —
Haverfordwest                         —                  20  Castle            (Between T. and          47
                                                                               H. Carew
                                                                               Castle—
                                                                               Landshipping
                                                                               Ferry—Picton
                                                                               Castle)
                                                                               Castle—Priory
                                                                               at the
                                                                               extremity of
                                                                               the Parade
St. Davids                            —                  16  Black Lion        (Between H. and          52
                                                                               St. Roach
                                                                               Castle—St.
                                                                               Bride’s Bay)
                                                                               Cathedral—
                                                                               Bishop’s
                                                                               Palace—Rocking
                                                                               stone two miles
                                                                               from St. Davids
Fishguard                             —                  16  —                 (In your way             53
                                                                               take the place
                                                                               where the
                                                                               French landed)
                                                                               Gwain river
Newport                               —                   7  —                 Two miles from           57
                                                                               N. Druidical
                                                                               monuments
Cardigan                          _Cardigan_             11  Black Lion        (Velindre—At             60
                                                                               Lechryd bridge,
                                                                               tin
                                                                               works—Kilgerran
                                                                               Castle—Follow
                                                                               the Tyvi to
                                                                               Cardigan)
                                                                               Castle—Goal—
                                                                               Church—St.
                                                                               Dogmael’s
                                                                               Abbey, one mile
                                                                               from Cardigan
Aberaeron                             —                  22  Good              Druidical                62
                                                             accommodations    monuments—
                                                                               Castle
Aberystwith                           —                  15  Talbot            (Between A. and          63
                                                                               A. Llanwryan
                                                                               bridge) Walk
                                                                               round the
                                                                               Castle—Lead
                                                                               mines
Havod                                 —                  12  Havod Arms        Devil’s                  67
                                                                               bridge—Fall of
                                                                               the Rhyddol—Of
                                                                               the
                                                                               Mynach—Havod
                                                                               house and
                                                                               grounds
Machynlleth over Plinlimnon      _Montgomery_            27  Eagles            The house where          80
                                                                               Owen Glyndwr
                                                                               assembled his
                                                                               parliament—
                                                                               Dovey
                                                                               river—Bridge
Talylyn                          _Merioneth_             10  Blue Lion         (Between M. and          83
                                                                               T. Dyflas
                                                                               river) Cader
                                                                               Idris—Pool of
                                                                               Three Grains
Dolgelly                              —                  16  Golden Lion       Beautiful                84
                                                                               situation—
                                                                               Avonvawr river
Barmouth                              —                   8  Corsy Gedol       From D. to B.            85
                                                             Arms              extremely
                                                                               interesting—
                                                                               Pleasant walk
                                                                               on the sands,
                                                                               and likewise on
                                                                               the hills over
                                                                               the town
Harlech                               —                  10         —          Castle—A golden          89
                                                                               torques dug up
                                                                               here, in the
                                                                               year 1692
Returned to Barmouth                  —                   —         —                 —
Tan-y-bwlch by Dolgelly and           —                  28  Tan-y-bwlch       (Between                 99
Falls                                                                          Dolgelly and
                                                                               Tan-y-bwlch,
                                                                               the falls of
                                                                               Doll-y-mullin—
                                                                               Cayne—Moddach)
                                                                               Vale of
                                                                               Festiniog—Tan-
                                                                               y-bwlch
                                                                               hall—River
                                                                               Dryryd
Beddgelert                       _Caernarvon_             8  Tolerable         (Between T. and         103
                                                             accommodations    B.
                                                                               Pont-aber-
                                                                               glaslyn—Copper
                                                                               mines) River
                                                                               Glaslyn
Llanberris over Snowdon               —                  16         —          Pass of                 104
                                                                               Llanberris—
                                                                               Dolbadern
                                                                               Castle—Two
                                                                               lakes
Caernarvon                            —                   9  Hotel             Near C.—River           115
                                                                               Rhyddol—Bridge—
                                                                               Castle—Wythwar
                                                                               mountain—
                                                                               Religious sect
                                                                               called Jumpers
Plas-Newydd                       _Anglesey_              6  —                 The Menai—Lord          116
                                                                               Uxbridge—
                                                                               Cromlechs
Bangor                           _Caernarvon_             4  George and        View from the           123
                                                             Dragon            church-yard—
                                                                               Cathedral—Cross
                                                                               the Menai to
                                                                               Beaumaris—Baron
                                                                               Hill
Conway                                —                 11½  Bull and Harp     (Between C. and         127
                                                                               B. Castle of
                                                                               Penrhyn—Pen-
                                                                               mawn-mawr)
                                                                               Castle—Church—
                                                                               College
Abergele                          _Denbigh_              11  Tolerable         (Between C. and         130
                                                             accommodations    A. Llandidno
                                                                               mines—Cavern-
                                                                               ar-ogo) Walk on
                                                                               the sands
St. Asaph                        _Flintshire_             7  White Lion        (Between A. and         133
                                                                               St. Rhuddlan
                                                                               Marsh—Castle—
                                                                               River Clwyd)
                                                                               Vale of
                                                                               Clwyd—Cathedral
Denbigh                           _Denbigh_               6  Bull              Castle—Ruins of         134
                                                                               an old
                                                                               church—Vale of
                                                                               Clwyd
Ruthin                                —                   8  Cross Keys        (Between D. and         136
                                                                               R. Well of St.
                                                                               Dysnog)
                                                                               Castle—Church—
                                                                               Gaol—Bowling
                                                                               green—Vale of
                                                                               Clwyd
Wrexham                               —                  16  Eagles            Church—Offa’s           140
                                                                               Dyke—Erthig,
                                                                               the seat of P.
                                                                               York,
                                                                               Esq.—Church of
                                                                               Marchwiel
Ruabon                                —                   6  —                 Wynstay                 143
                                                                               park—Obelisk—
                                                                               Offa’s Dyke
Llangollen                            —                   8  Hand              (Between R. and         149
                                                                               L.
                                                                               Ponteysyllty—
                                                                               River Dee)
                                                                               Bridge over the
                                                                               Dee—Castle
                                                                               Dinas Bran—Lady
                                                                               E. Butler’s
                                                                               Cottage—Valis
                                                                               Crucis—Pillar
                                                                               of Ellseg
Oswestry                         _Shropshire_            12  Cross Keys        (Between L. and         156
                                                                               O. Chirk
                                                                               Castle—
                                                                               Whittington)
                                                                               Ruins of a
                                                                               chapel—Castle
Welch Pool                       _Montgomery_            18  Royal Oak         (Between O. and         160
                                                                               W. Llanymynach
                                                                               Hill—Breddin—
                                                                               Column to Adm.
                                                                               Lord Rodney,
                                                                               recording the
                                                                               victory over
                                                                               the French,
                                                                               April 12,
                                                                               1782—Virnwy—
                                                                               Powis Castle)
Montgomery                            —                   8  Dragon            Castle and              162
                                                                               Goal—Ellesmere
                                                                               canal
Bishops Castle                   _Shropshire_             9  Castle                   —                163
Ludlow                            _Hereford_             16  Crown             Castle—Church—          164
                                                                               Cross—Walks
                                                                               round the
                                                                               Castle
                                                                               walls—Bridge—
                                                                               Teme river
Leominster                            —                  11  Red Lion          Market                  174
                                                                               house—Church
Hereford                              —                  12  New Inn           Cathedral—              174
                                                                               Castle
                                                                               walks—Gaol—Wye
Ross                              _Monmouth_             14  Man of Ross       Church—View             176
                                                                               from “The
                                                                               Prospect”—
                                                                               Wilton
                                                                               Castle—Bridge—
                                                                               Wye
Monmouth                              —              —       Beaufort Arms     (Between A. and         187
                                                                               M. Goodrich
                                                                               Castle—Symond’s
                                                                               Yatch—
                                                                               Courtfield
                                                                               house—New Wier)
                                                                               Castle
                                                                               Priory—Town
                                                                               hall—Walk to
                                                                               Monmouth
                                                                               Folly—Wye
Chepstow                              —                  50  Beaufort Arms     Castle—Church—        9—195
                                                                               Piercefield,
                                                                               one mile from
                                                                               Chepstow—
                                                                               Llancomb
                                                                               Cliff—Wye—
                                                                               Wooden bridge
                                                                               (Between M. and
                                                                               C.
                                                                               Llandogo—
                                                                               Tintern
                                                                               Abbey—Wine
                                                                               Cliff,
                                                                               corruption from
                                                                               Wye Cliff)

                                * * * * *



FOOTNOTES.


{x}  The Rev. WILLIAM COXE, rector of Bemerton, and domestic chaplain to
the Lord Bishop of Salisbury.

{8}  Atkins’s Gloucestershire.

{9}  Grose’s Antiquities.

{11}  Warner’s First Walk through Wales.

{12}  He was buried in the Cathedral Church of St. David, and many
hundred years after canonized by Pope Calistus the Second.—_Godwin’s
English Bishops_, p. 414.

{18a}  Willis’s Landaff, p. 34.

{18b}  Grose, Willis.

{23}  _I.e._ lime-stone.

{27}  Vol. ii. p, 92.

{30}  Pennarth, eight miles South-west of Swansea.

{32}  William of Malmsbury, p. 158.

{39}  The Pedestrian will not possibly find time to examine the Ruins of
Carew Castle, in this day’s route, but will find it more convenient to
visit it in his way from Tenby to Haverfordwest.

{41}  The price for two oars, seven shillings and six-pence; and twelve
shillings and six-pence for four oars.

{42a}  Wyndham, p. 72.

{42b}  Philosophical Survey of Ireland.

{47}  “The Castle (says an eminent Author) is said to have been built by
Gilbert Earl of Clare, who lived in the reign of King Stephen; and Camden
reports, that Richard Earl of Clare made Richard Fitz-Tankred Governor
thereof.  It was one of those in the hands of the Flemings, when they
first came into Dyvet, or Pembrokeshire.”

{49}  These lines were frequently repeated by Dr. Johnson, whose
partiality to Inns is well known.

{51}  “This celebrated person was uncle to King Arthur, and son of a
Prince of Wales.  After being seated in the see of St. David sixty-five
years, and having built twelve monasteries; after having been exemplary
in the piety of those days, this holy person died, at a most advanced
period of human life; having attained, as it is said, to the age of one
hundred and forty-six years.  He was buried in the Cathedral Church of
St. David; and many years after canonized by Pope Calistus the
Second.”—_Warrington’s History of Wales_, vol. ii. p. 385.

{52a}  To whose son a MS. to Elizabeth, quoted by Willis, p. 69, gives
Owen’s monument.

{52b}  Tan. Bib. Brit.

{52c}  Tan. 720.

{53}  This gentleman, I believe, is an inhabitant of Worcester.

{55}  Lland, vol. v. p. 25.

{56}  For a description of these Monuments, see Wyndham.

{58}  It receives its name from _coria_, a hide, or skin.

{61}  Itin. vol. v. p. 12.

{63}  Over the river Rhydal.

{66}  The additions to Camden 1695, suppose this, Bishop Idnerto.

{79}  Called in Latin _Vaga_.

{81}  See an excellent account of the woollen manufactory in the seventh
chapter of Aikin’s Tour through North Wales.

{83}  See Pennant’s Snowdonia, p. 89, and likewise Wilson’s excellent
View of Cader Idris.

{84}  Mr. Pennant, in his Snowdonia, p. 397, published in 1781,
“mentions, that there are brought annually to Salop 700,000 yards of web;
and to Welch Pool, annually, between 7 and 800,000 yards of flannel; but
he does not state the particulars whence he reduces his general
estimate.”  I have quoted this passage from Aikin’s excellent chapter
(vii.) on the Woollen Manufactures of North Wales, not having in my
possession Mr. P.’s Snowdonia.

{105}  Evan Thomas, works in the copper-works at Aber-Glaslyn, and lives
at a place called Dous Coreb, about a mile and an half beyond Beddgelert.

{114}  Such is the received opinion; but the place noted for this event,
is only a thoroughfare to the grand apartments of the tower, the middle
one of which appears more probably to have been the room.

{116}  The hire of a boat from seven shillings and six-pence to
half-a-guinea.

{118}  “The eastern seems originally to have consisted of seven stones,
six uprights supporting an immense superincumbent one, (with its flat
face lying upon them) thirteen feet long, nearly as much broad, and four
feet thick.”—WARNER’S _Second Walk_.

{119a}  In the time of the Romans, this island was called, by the
Britons, _Mona_; but becoming subject to the English, in the time of
Egbert, it was afterwards termed _Anglesea_, or the Englishman’s Island.
See ROWLAND’S _Mon. Ant_. p. 172, 173.

{119b}  Before the Author of this Itinerary proposed publishing this Tour
through the Cambrian territories, he was induced to send an account of
this extraordinary sect to the Gentleman’s Magazine, (July, 1799, p.
579.)  This is, therefore, only to be considered as a repetition; with
the addition of a brief extract from the two subsequent letters,
(September, 1799, p. 741, and November, p. 938,) given to the public by
different hands, through the medium of the Gentleman’s Magazine.

{122a}  I have since understood, that they have a chapel at Caermarthen.

{122b}  September, 1799, p. 741.

{125a}  Or Deane.

{125b}  As from neglect we did not transcribe the names of the bishops,
it may not be deemed improper to insert the following passage from a
well-known Author: “Here are monuments for Bishops Glynn, 1550; Robinson,
1584; Vaughan, 1597; Rowlands, 1616; Morgan, 1673; and one with a cross
fleuri in the south transept, ascribed to Owen Glendwr; but as he was
buried at Monington, in Herefordshire, where he died, I should rather
ascribe it to some of the earlier bishops; Mr. Pennant gives it to Owen
Gwynned.”

{131}  Offa.

{144}  Since our visit to this spot, Mr. Yorke has published a most
excellent and valuable book, entitled, _An History of the Royal Tribes of
Wales_.

{147}  Enquire the way to this aqueduct at the turnpike, about four miles
from Llangollen.

{151a}  Lady Eleanor Butler.

{151b}  Miss Ponsonby.

{151c}  WILLIS’S _St. Asaph_, p. 52, 285.

{152}  From a second survey of my note-book, I perceive, when speaking of
the house, I omitted mentioning that there are several family pieces,
both of the Wynne and Williams, worthy the inspection of the connoisseur.
The house has been built at various times.

{161a}  The measurement of this gallery is copied from former tourists,
at some MS. notes taken on the spot, relative to this castle, and the
places coming under our inspection, the two following days, have been
accidentally lost.

{161b}  See Lord Littleton’s Account of Powis Castle.

{166}  This estimation it taken from “The Ludlow Guide;” from which I
have taken such extracts, as, I flatter myself, will not be unacceptable
to the tourist.  We dedicated two or three days to the investigation of
this interesting town, and consequently, in those parts where the Guide
is defective, we have made considerable additions; and more particularly,
when speaking of the church.

{172a}  No account of the inside of the church is given in the Ludlow
Guide.

{172b}  Phillip’s History of Shrewsbury.

{189}  Tanner’s Notitia Monastica.

{194}  WARNER’S _First Walk_.

{209}  The Isles of Anglesey and Man, are discovered from Snowdon.





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Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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