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Full text of "The Wye tour, or Gilpin on the Wye"

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THE 



WYE TOUR, 



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GIJLPIN ON "THE WYE, 



WITH 



FROM 

WH4TELEY, PRICE, «l^, 



eV THE 

KEY. T. D. FOSBROKE, M. A. F. A. S, 

Hoi|.Aieoc. R. Soc. LU.«^Hoo. Memb. Ikistol Philos. 

loBlitation.— Author of <<British Monachi8in".i^«The 

Encyclopaedia of Antiqaities,** See, kc &c. &o. 



THE FOURTH EDITION. 



ROSS: 
POINTED BT AND FOR W. FARROR, 

BO|<D fIV MESSRS. NICHOLS, 25, PARLIAMENT STRCET, 
ARP 1IBS9RS. SIMPKIN AND MARSHALL, LONDON. 

1834. 



PREFACE. 



J. HE chief difierences of the second from the first 

Edition, are translation of the matter concerning Ross, 
to a distinct publication relating to that town and its 
vicinity, entitled Ariconbnsia, now out of print ; 
and a division of the materials into three parts ; the 
Picturesque^ that the matter might conform to the 
Tour ; the Historical to be read at the Inn ; and the 
source of the River by way of completion, for perusal 
at leisure. These matters are retained in the present 
or fourth edition, with this alteration, that some com- 
mon place writing by inferior travellers is expanged 
to make room for valuable instructive additions from 
Whateley and Price, and to render the work as much 
as possible a Standard one on the subject, through its 
containing those statements, concerning the scenery 
of the Wye, which it is utterly improbable that any 
succeeding writer can surpass. The author h§d not 
the presumption to think, that he could do better than 
transcribe these fine writers, and it is a sincere plea- 
sure to him to be instrumental to any display of their 
high merits in the Picturesque, The taste of Gilpin, 
18 well known» Alison has warmly praised the ad« 



•mi 



' 17* PREFACE. 



mirable Whateley ; and, as to Mr. Price, he is the 
best delineator and erjiic.crf the: Scenery of Jfature, 
known to the author, and a most classical, interest- 
ing and geDtlemftnly wrker. 

As to the author himself^ be has treated tlie snb* 
ject «<m anwre, and endeavoured to. enrich it from 
high authority and recondite literature. As Cio'- 
rones on the spot, supply catalogues aad details, be 
bas to rejoice, that the richness of th^ subject left no 
room for matter unconnected with sentiment or in- 
formation. It may be proper to. add that the grand 
scenes were repeatedly visited on purpose for this 
work, by the author, and bis friend, Thomas Foster, 
esq., B. A., of Emanuel College, Cambridge. If 
be has any claims as an antiquary or topographer 
there is no work which be bas endeavoured to render 
more pleasing than ^hia little, book. But it was an 
animating sufag[ectr-a glotious landscape laid out by 
the Omnipotent himself, which by the sublimity of 
its style, exalts admir^on into piety: and by its 
wondrous disposition of objects, strikes dumb pn&- 
suming art and prattling science. 



CONTENTS. 



•......,- PAO*. ' 

latrodQ(;UoB,-ri]iU¥«: SoBuery ^^p ••• I 

Aoae. Tiewa in ita N^igbbowhood •«.. 10 

RITER TOUA/ 

|{OM#o-^^oociyM.«..,« ..•••• S8 

Wilton Bridg« aniL Castle.. •#. 9< 

GoDiIrich Castle ...•.••• 96 

Ooodrich Cattle to Sgwumd*^ YaP 34 

FlanesAMTd IViory .•.••..'•.;..•••••.•• 35 

ourtfield « '•••••• ••'.••••••••.. 39 

Coldwell Rodw. •;.••••••••••••••.,•• 40 

Symoud's Yat «;.. .••• • 42 

Sfrnmi^M Yat fo ifoiimocilA.V. . . ...' 43 

New Wear .p 46 

Great Doward.^Little Doward • 52 

Lays House •••• •.... •••••. ••...i 59 

Bfonmonth, Kymin, the Buckstoae..., , 54 

Mwmouth to Ti%tefn,.»^ 56 

Troy House 60 

Peoalt.. • 63 

St. Briavda.*..... 66 

Landogo i»...* ••••••t. ••••••. j.... 67 

Tiateni Abbey , 71 



Ti COMTIHTI. 

PAGE 

TM9m Ahb^ to ChtptUm 67 

Banna^r Cragfl.««i...*»«« !••••» ••• Bi 

Winddiff. 9» 

Tiddcnham Rodn • Oft 

Ch0p»Um io IFIiuiel#...«.f ^ 89 

fHfljitpw Castk •••••. ••#•#••» • 08 

Wipd«liii;^«««^«««««..»..«.».».«*..«»** •«««•«•» n6 

i^flkif lo IfoRifipiilA ••M*^ •«»•»•«••••«•• 182 

HISTORICAL' IfOnCES U5 

Cradock < •.••• 125 

Offk*« D]^ke 128 

Wilt(m«....^v.. lao 

■ • • • • • • 

Goodrioh. p 132 

Irchenfield. ••••••••# *•••• 183 

Goodrich Castle 134 

Flaneaford Friory , IM 

Monmouth •••••• • • 158 

Bnckstone. •••••• ••••*••• 168 

St. firiayels. 174 

Ttntern.. .•••••'. ••••••.•'••• 176 

Chepstow. •.•.••••••.. I.... 180 

SCENERY OP THE WY^ FRQW ITS ISQyECE. 188 

Fair Rosamoid*. • .., ;•«.. 193 



IITYK TOUR. 



PART FJRST^ 
PICTURESQUE AND ITINERARY DEPARTMENT* 



introducltar^-^General character of the Wye 

Scenery. 



Xhe Romantic in Scenery is characterized by 

^very object being wild, abrupt, and fantastic. End-, 
less varieties discover at every turn something new 
and unexpected ; so that we are at once amused and 
surprised, and curiosity is constantly gratified but 
"never satiated.* 

Such IS the character of the Wye scenery, but -it 
never occurred to Gray or Gilpin, who brought this 
Tour into notice, that the Dell of the Wye is in cha- 
racter, though of course not in details, (nature mak- 
ing no fac^siroiles) a portrait of the celebrated Grecian 
Temp^ enlarged.'l' It did not occur to these fine 
authors, because ^lian^s description is inaccurate* 
That famous vale is a defile, distinguished by an air 

* Knight upon Taste. Part ii. Chap. 2. 

t Dovedale in Derbyshire says Dr. Clark is apother fine 
assimilation of Temp^. In Dayes's Picturesque Tour, p. 7 
^nd edit.isabeantintlviewof Dovedale, and it much assim- 
ilates parts of the Wye, connected ^ith rock scenery. 

9, 



1 



of wild grandeur. — ^The following ezti^cts from a 
recent traveller prove the assimilation.* 

" ITie Vale of Tempk is known to the Turks, by 
the appellation ofBogaz, a pass or strait ^amwering 
to out idea of rocky delL Travellers are prepared 
for their approach by the gradual closing in of the 
mountains on each side of the riier ; and by a greater 
severity of character^ whuji the scenery assumes 
arround it^** It is the same at Copped Hill, where 
the g^and scenes commence. 

*^ Nature has left only sufficient room for the 
channel of the river,** This ensues for miles upon 
the Wye ; but Temp^ is only five miles long, the 
Wye forty. 

** The scenery consists of dell or deep glen, the 
opposite sides of which rise very steeply from the 
bed of the river. Thetowering height of these rocky 
and well wooded acclivities above the spectator ; the 
' contrast of lines^ exhibited by their folding success^ 
ively one over anotlier ; and the winding of the Peneus 
between them produce a very striking effect, which 
is heightened by the wildness of the whole view, and 
the deep shadows of the mountains,** This is the 
leading character of the Wye scenery, and is an 
exact general description of it. 

•* On the north iide of the Peneus, the mass of 
. rock is more entire, and the objects which strike the 

• Walpole^s Travels, 1, 519. 



eye^ are altogether morehoU^ hu perktps marei 
pieturesqueJ* Instances of this occur^ as the Wye. 
approaches Chepstow. 

Saoh being the romantic fairy scenes, embellished 
mth rare antiqailies, on the ** Banks of the.Wye^*' 
it is clear, that the former, oaght to be delineated by. 
the band of a ipaster ; and. the latter to be treated in 
a satisfactory elaborate form. In the picturesque,. 
G/lpitt^.isunque^tiQi^blyan Oracle; and his work is 
a Grammar of the Rules, by which alone the beauties, 
of the Tour can be properly understood and appreci^ 
ated. 1 he whole of bis matter, so far as concerns 
tbeWyesubjpct, is therefore given in his own words, 
with the additional remarks of Whateley, Price, &c. 

The Wye, says Gilpin, takes its rise near the 
summit of Plinlimmon, and dividing ihe counties of 
Radnor, and Brecknock, passes through the middle 
of Herefordshire; it then becomes a second bound- 
ary between Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire, 
and falls into the Severn a little below Chepstow. 
To this place from Ross, which is a course of near 
forty miles, it flows in a gentle uninterrupted stream ; 
and adorns, through its various reaches, a succession 
of the most picturesque scenes. 

The beauty of these scenes arises chiefly from two 
circumstances ; the Iqfii/ banks of the river, and its 
nazy^cQimee ; botb which are accurately observed by 



4 



the poety when he descrihes the Wye as echoing through 
its winding bounds.* It could not well eeho^ unless 
its banks were both Iq/ii/ and winding. 

From these two circumstances, the views it exhibits 
are of the most beautiful kind of perspective, free 
from tbe formality of lines. 

The most perfect river-views thus circumstanced, 
are composed of four grand parts : the area, which 
is the river itself; the two Me^screens, which are 
the opposite bankff, and lead the perspective ; and 
the /}ront' screen, which points out the winding of 
the river^ 

If the Wye ran, like a Dutdi canal, between par- 
rallel banks, there could be bo front-screen ; the two 
side-screens in that situation would lengthen to a point 

If a road were under the circumstances of a river 
winding like the Wye, the effect would be the same. 
But this is rarely the case. The road pursues the 
irregularity of the country. It climbs the hill and 
sinks into the valley;^ and this irregularity gives 
etch view it exhibits, a different character. 

The views on the Wye, though composed only of 
these simple parts^ are yet exceedingly varied. 

They are varied, first, by the contrast of the 
screens; sometimes one of the 8ide«<screens is eleva- 

* PleaiiM Vaga echoes thro* Its wtodlng boonds, 
^nd rapid SeYcm^s hoarse applause resounds. 

Pope's Eth, ^ 



ted, sometiiqes tbe other, and sometimes the front ; 
or botli Ibe 8ide*8creens may ]>e lofty, and the front 
either high pr }ow« 

Mg^in^ tbey fir^ vapiod bj tbe^Mii^ qf the si^fr 
tertims ooer egeh v$h^» %94 h^»ff P^re or less of 
the front* When none of the front is di^coFerpd, tbp 
foldin^HBido either wiqds round like an amphitheatro,* 
or it becomes a Jong reach of peri^pective* 

Tbiese nmpk ▼afiatioiw 94mit stiH farther variety 
4rm» btB^miBg cfmplesp One of the sides may be 
eoflipwiiided^f v^ens pf^rts, while the other remains 
siaple; or bf^A may be comporaided, and the front 
tinplip^ at jtho fropal alone may be componnded. 

Beside these sources of Tariety, there are other 
Circumstances, whidi, under the name oianuamnUSj 
still farther increase them. Plain banks will admit 
sM the 7aria(tioB8 we hav^ yet jmeffitioned ; bat when 
^imphamesB is «4orii«d« a tboiW99MAd other yaiietics 
arise* 

The 4fmaments of the Wye may be ranged under 
four heads : ground, wood, rocks, and buildings. 

Tbe ground, of which the banks of the Wye con- 
sist, fand which hath thus far been considered onl}* 
in its general effect,) affords every variety which 

* The word amphitbeatrev strictly, speaking-^ is a complete 
inciosure, but, I oelieve it is commonly accepted as here, fur 
anjr circular piece of architecture, though it does not wind 
eatirely roan a. 

b3. 



6 



ground is capable of recetvingy from thd steepest 
precipice to the flattest meadow. This varietj ap* 
pears in the line formed bj the summits of the banks 
in the swellings and excavations of their declivities ; 
and in their indentations at the bottom, as they unite 
with the water. 

In many places also the ground is broken; which 
adds new sources of yariety. By brokenground, we 
mean only such ground as hath lost its turf^ and 
discovers the naked soil. We often see a gravelly 
earth shivering from the hills, in the form of water- 
falls : often dry stony channels guttering down preci- 
picesy the rough beds of temporary torrents ; and 
sometimes so trifling a cause as the rubbing of sheep 
against the sides of little banks or hillocks^ will oc- 
casion very beautiful breaks. 

The colour too of the brokeo $(nl is a great source 
of variety : the yellow or the red ochre, the ashy grey, 
the black earth, or the marly blue : and the inter-^ 
mixtures of these with each other, and with patches 
of verdure, blooming heath, and other vegetable tints 
still increase that variety. 

Nor let the fastidious reader think these remarks 
descend too much into detaiU Were an extensive 
distance described, a forest scene, a sea-coast view, 
a vast semicircular range of mountains, or some other 
grand display of nature, it would be trifling to mark 
these minute circumstances. But here the hills 
around exhibit little except fore^grounds, and it is 



necessary, nrhere we bave no distances, to be more 
exact in finishing^ object at band. 

The next great ornament on the banks of tbe Wye 
are its woods. In tbis country are many works car- 
ried on by fire ; and tbe woods being maintained for 
tbeir nse^ are periodically cat down. As tbe large 
trees are generally left, a kind of altemacy takes 
place ; what is this year a thicket, may the next, be 
an open grove. The woods themselves possess little 
beanty, and less grandeur: yet as we consider them 
merely as the ornamental parts of a scene, the eye 
will not examine them with exactness, but compound 
for a generai tffeet. 

One circumstance attending this altenracy is plea* 
sing. Many of the furnaces on the banks of the 
River, consume charcoal, which is manufactured on 
the spot ; and tbe smoke issuing from the sides of 
the bills, and spreading its thin veil over a part of 
them, beautifully breaks their lines, and unites them 
with the sky* 

The chief deficiency,, in point of wood, is of large 
trees on the edge of the water; which clumped here 
and there, would diversify the hills as the eye passes 
them, and remove that heaviness which always, in 
some degree, (though here as little as anywhere,) 
arises from the continuity of ground. They 
would also give a degree of distance to the more 
removed parts; which in a scene like this, would be 
attended with peculiar advantage : for as we have 



8 



here so little difltance^ we wish to make tbe most, of 
what we have — But trees immediaiefy <m Ae\ftr0^ 
grmmd cannot be suffered in these scenes^ as they 
would obstruct the navigation of the^riyer^ 

The rocks which a» oootiaually s^toAnf tbrongli 
the woods, produce another ormmau ea the beaks 
of the Wye. The rock« ae all other objects, though 
more than all, receiTeaite chief beauty from eoptrast. 
Some objects are beautifi^ in themselyes* The eye 
18 pleased with the tnftings of a tree: it hb amvsed 
with pursuing the eddying stream; or it rests with 
deHght OB the broken afches of a Gothic min. Such 
objects, independent of compositioDy are. beautiful in 
themselves* But the rode, bleak, naked^ and un- 
adorned, seems scarcely to deserve a place among 
them.. Tint it with mosses and lichens of various 
hues, and you give it a degree of beauty. Adorn it 
with shrubs and hanging herbage, and yon make it 
still more picturesque* Connect it with wood, and 
water, and broken ground, and you make it in the 
highest degree interesting. Its colour and its form 
are so accommodating, that it generally blends Into 
one of the most beautiful appendages of landscape* 

** Different kinds of rocks have different kinds of 
beauty. Those on the Wye, which are of a greyish 
colour, are, in general, simple and grand : rarely for- 
mal or fantastic. Sometimes they project in those 
beautiful square masses, yet broken and shattered in 
every line, which are characteristic of the most ma* 



9 



jestic species of rock. Sometimes they slant ob- 
liquely from the eye ia shelving diagonal strata ; and 
sometimes they appear in large masses of smooth 
stone, detached from each other, and half buried in 
the soil* Rocks of this last kind are the most lump- 
ish, and least picturesque/' 

** The various buildings which arise everywhere 
on the banks of the Wye, form the last of its omd- 
menu: abbeys, castles, villages, spires, forges, mills, 
and bridges. One or other of these venerable vestiges 
of past, or cheerful inhabitants of present times 
characterizes almost every scene." 

''These works of art are, however, of much 
greater use in arlijicial than in natural landscape. 
In pursuing the beauties of nature, we range at lai^e 
among forests, lakes, rocks, and mountains. The 
various scenes we met with, furnished an unexhaust- 
ed source of pleasure : and though the works of art 
may often give animation and contrast to these 
scenes, yet still they are not necessary : we can be 
amused without them. But when we introduce a 
scene on canvas; when the eye is to be confined 
within the frame of a picture, and can no longer 
range among the varieties of nature, the aids of art 
become more important and we want the castle or the 
abbey, to give consequence to the scene. Indeed, 
the landscape-painter seldom thinks his view perfect 
without characterizing it by some object of this kind." 

'' The channel of no river can be more docisivelv 



10 



marbted than that of the Wjq* Whoiuuh dimdeda 
tDoier toursejbr thefiomi^ of fivers f sMtb the A\*^ 
mfghty in that grand apostrophe, to Job on the worka 
of creation; The idea is happily illustrated here, Ai 
Hobler water^course was never divided for any riTer 
than this of the Wye. Rivers in general^ pursue & 
devious course along, the- countries through which 
they flow : and form channels for themselves hy^ con-s 
slant fluxion, fiiit sometimes, as in these scenes, 
we see a channel marked wtth>auch precisioui that it 
appears as if originally intended only for the bed of a 
river." 

*^ HaWng thus analyzed the Wye« and consideved 
separately its ooostituent parts ; the steepness of its 
banks, its mazy course, the grounds^ woods^ and 
rockSf which are its native ornaments ;.and. the hAldm 
ings, which still farther adorn its natural beauties; 
we shall now take a view of some of those pleasing 
Rr;enes which result from the cofR^ino/ion of all. these 
picturesque materials." 

*' [ must, however, premise how Hl-qualified I am 
to do justice to the banks of the Wye, were it only 
from having seen them under the circumstance of a 
continued rain, which began early in the day, before 
one third of our voyage was performed J 



»9 



** It is true, scenery at hand suffers less under 
such a circumstance, than scenery at a distance 
whiefa it totally obscures." 



11 



'^ The picturesque eye . al8o» in quest ef beauty 
finds it almost in every iucideat^ and 'under every 
appearance of nature. Even the rain gave a.gloomy 
grandeur to many of thescenesi ; and by throwing a 
▼eil of obscurity over the remoTed banka of the river 
introduced, now and then, something like a pleasing 
distance. Yet still it hid greater beauties; and we 
could not help regretting the loss of those broad 
lights and deep shadows, which would have given so 
much lustre to the whole, and which, ground like 
this, is in a peculiar manner adapted to receive." 

Thus Gilpin ; but it may enable the Tourist to 
derive more pleasure from the scenery of the Wye, 
if some remarks* on the picturesque attributes of 
IiVater; the Banks of fine natural ' Rivers and 
Rocks, be added to this account. 

The Wye is a torrent, stream. Rivers that have 
their source in mountainous countries are . generally 
supplied by regular and constant curxeots. The 
average fall of rain, taking one season with another, 
is pretty much the same ; and as the high summits of 
the mountains attract the floating moisture, the 
rain-water collecting in innumerable channels, keep 
up a perpetual flow. Rhind's Nat. His. p. 74. 

Water, though not absolutely necessary to a 
beautiful composition, yet occurs so often, and is so 

* All the rules of the Picturesque on the subjects named 
«re given ia the author^s ** Tourists Grammar.^' 



12 



Capital a featare, tbat it is always regretted wbed 
wantingy and no large place can be si;ipposed, a little 
spot can hardly be imag^ied, in which it may not be 
agreeable ; it accommodates itself to every sitaation,; 
is the most interesting object in a landscape, and the 
happiest circumstance in a retired recess ; captivates 
the eye at a distance, invites approach, and is delight-> 
ful when near; it refreshes an open exposure ; it 
animates a shade; chears the dreariness of a waste^ 
and enriches the most crowded views ; in form, in 
style and in extent, may be made equal to the great* 
est compositions, or adapted to the least ; it may 
spread in a calm expanse, to sooth the tranquility of 
a peaceful scene; or hurrying along a devious course 
add splendour to a gay, and extravagance to a ro- 
mantic situation. So various are the characters 
which water can assume, that there is scarcely an 
idea, in which it may not concur, or an impression, 
which it cannot enforce; a deep stagnated pool, dank 
and dark with shades which it dimly reflects, befits 
the seat of melancholy ; even a river, if it be sunk, 
between two dismal banks, and dull both in motion 
and colour, is like a hollow eye which deadens the 
countenance ; and over a sluggard silent stream, 
creeping heavily along all together, hang% a gloom, 
which no art can dissipate, nor even the sunshine 
disperse. A gently murmuring rill, clear and shal- 
low, just gurgling, just dimpling, imposes silence, 
suits with solitude, and leads to meditation ; a brisk- 
er current, which wantons in little eddies over a 



13 



bright sandy bottom, or bubbles amongp pebbles^ 
spreads cheerfulness all around : a great rapidity^ 
and naore agitation to a certain degree are animating ; 
but in excess, instead of wakening, they alarm the 
senses ; the roar and the rage of a torrent, its force, 
its violence, its impetuosity, tend to inspire terror ; 
that terror, which, whether as cause or effect, is so 
nearly allied lo sublimity.* * 

The effects of water, says Mr. Price, are always 
So attractive that wherever there is any appearance 
of it in a landscape whether real or painted, to that 
part the ey6 is irresistibly carried and to that it al- 
ways returns. All the objects immediately round it 
are consequently most examined ; where they are 
ugly or insipid, the whole scene is disgraced, but 
where they are interesting, their influence seems to 
extend over the whole scenery. Even the smallest 
appearance of water, a mere light in the landscape, 
may answer a very essential purpose, that of lead- 
ing the attention to those parts, which are most wor 
thy of notice.f 

These remarks of great masters are sufficient to 
show the error of Gilpin, who limits the beauties of 
the Wye* to its banks, and observes, that a road 
would answer the same purpose. See page v. 

♦ Whateley on oraamental Gardeuing, 61.— 62. 
t Price on the Picturesque, ii, 51—53. 

C. 



14 



The curling, rippliDg and foaming of water consti<« 
tute the principal beauties of a natural river, for 
without running water, it is but a mere canal.* If 
the windings arc too frequent and sudden, the cur- 
rent is reduced to a number of separate pools; but 
long reaches, because each is a considerable piece 
of water, conduce much toitsbeauty.f In theturas 
of a beautiful river, the lines are so varied with pro- 
jections, coves, and inlets; with smooth and broken 
ground; with some parts open, and with others, 
fringed and overhung with trees and bushes ; with 
peeping rocks, large mossy stones, and all their soft 
and brilliant reflections, that the eye lingers upon 
them ; the two banks seem, as it were, to protract 
their meeting, and to form their junction insensibly, 
they 80 blend and unite with eachother.;^ The Wye, 
has all these beauties^ It does not simply curl, like 
Lair, (after the fashion adopted for made water) but 
is characteristic of the line of beauty, which keeps at 
a distance every figure, that can be described by a 
rule or compass; nor is its appearance of progress 
broken by large bays, circuity being proper only to 
sheets of stagnant water. Its rapidity also secures 
it fi:om the monotony of a dull river. 

Banks. A profusion of ornament ought ever to 
accompany rivers. Every species of building, every 
style of plantation may abound on the banks, and 

• Knight upon Tasle, 229. f Whateley. 71. 
J Price, i. 301. 



15 



whatever be their characters, their proximity to the 
water is commonly the happiest circumstance in their 
situation. A lustre is from thence diffused on all a- 
round ; each derives an importance from its relation 
to this capital feature ; those which are near enough 
to be reflected, immediately belong to it; those at a 
greater distance still share in the animation of the 
scene, and objects totally detached from eadi other»^ 
being all attracted towards the same interesting con- 
nexion, are united into one composition.* These 
accompaniments of castles or abbey churches, seats> 
cottages, &c. &c. are seen on the Wye, but never 
80 congregated, as to destroy the wildness of the scene. 

To prepare the spectator for a proper judgment of 
the hanks of a river, the following beautiful descrip- 
tion by Mr. Price is exceedingly aprop6s. ^^The 
most uninteresting parts of any river are those, of 
which the immediate banks are flat, green, naked, 
and of equal height. I have said uninteresting ; for 
^hey are merely insipid, f not ugly : no one however 
I; believe, call^ them beautiful, or thinks of carry- 

• Wiwteley, 71—72. 

fBare shaken banks fonn distinct lines which every where 
mark the exact separation of the two elements; but partial 
concealments are no less the sonroes of connection than of 
variety, effect and intricacy ; for by their means the water 
and the land, the nearer and'tbe more distant parts, are blend* 
ed and united with each othier. Water with a thin uniform 
grassy edee only resembles an inundation — ^Without fringed 
banks, it is like a human face without eyebrows — Sheets of 
Water only resemble real sheets and bleaching grounds. 
FHce, i, 302, 314, 316. ii. 51, &c. 

c 2. 



16 



iog a stranger to see them. But should the same 
kind of banks be fringed vfith flourishing trees and 
underwood^ there is not a person who would not be 
much pleased at looking down such a reach, and see- 
ing such a fringe reflected in the clear mirror. If, a 
little farther on, instead of this pleasing but uniform 
fringe, the immediate banks were higher in some 
places, and suddenly projecting : if, on some of these 
projections, groups of trees stood on the grass only; 
on others, a mixture of them with fern and under- 
wood ; and between them the turf alone came down 
to the water edge, and let in the view toyvards the 
more distant objects — any spectator who observed 
at all roust be struck with the difierence between one 
rich, but uniform fringe, and the succession and op- 
position of high and low, of rough and smooth, of 
enrichment and simpHcityt A little farther on, other 
circumstances of diversity might occur. In some 
parts of the bank, large trunks and roots of trees 
might form coves over the water, while the broken 
soil might appear amidst them, and the overhanging 
foliage ; adding to the fresh green, the warm mel- 
low tints of a rich ochre, or a bright yellow. A low 
ledge of rocks might likewise shew itself a little a- 
bove the surface; but be so shaded by projecting 
boughs, as to have its form and colour darkly re- 
flected. At other times these rocks might be open 
to the sun, and in place of wood, a mixture of heath 
and furze with their purple and yellow flowers might 



17 



cfown the top: between them wild roses, honey* 
socUeSy periwincles and other trailiog plants mig^hjt 
bang down the sides towards the water, in which all 
these brillifti^ oolonrs and varied forms wonld be (ul- 
]y reflected, Saqh banks fof m studies for painters, 
01^ account of the yariety of tints ^ for to make the 
banksof anivier ofnootfaei? colour than grass green 
wonld bb rejected. In short, the banks of a fine 
naiural river like the Wye, owe their charms to ab- 
rupt breaks,, sudden projectioos and deep hollows ; 
old twisted trees with furrowed bark ; gnarled and 
roqgfa oaks amongst wild underwood : the water ed*- 
dytng round rocks and rude stones; and all the objects 
rough and rqggesd ; while in an artificial park river, 
the bank» ate brought down to one smooth edge, the 
trees are clumped and the water is dammed up. In 
eonaequeuce every thing becomes distinct, hard and 
uneoQuected ; the beautiful and the picturesque dis^ 
appear, apd the insipid, and formal alone remain.* 

One fortunate drcumstance attaches to the Wy^. 
Plantations of firs and larches utterly minall romaA- 
tie scenery, and do not occur here, at least to nn 
extent, which aftcts the scenery. 

Rocks. Wildness should always attend rofk 
scenery, even lieentions irregularities of gronpif^ and 
wood ; and these and water, are the only prop^ s^- 
^npaniments. Shrubs and bndiy undejcwoQd ^e 
essratial, because they cover blemishes^ hffi^fl^ of 

c 3. • Pike, U. Se, ««](. ill. 1^. se^. 



18 



rubbishy and bad shapes, and fornish diversity and 
embellishments; but without large trees also, the 
scene is void of grandeur; Clumps are injurious as 
accessory ornaments ; and cultivation has too cheer- 
ful an aspect.* Mr. Price's f account of various 
sorts of rocks is very instructive. It hardly can (he 
says) be doubted, that in the forms and characters 
of rocks, massiveness is a most efficient canse of 
grandeur; but if their summits are parallel, and the 
breaks and projections are but very slight, then it 
is wall only ; but where tl^ere are bold projections, 
detached from the body of ^ck, where in some pla* 
ces they rise higher than the general summit, and in 
others, seem a powerful buttress to the lower part, 
the eye is forcibly struck with the g^ndeur of such 
detached masses, and occupied with the variety of 
their forms, and of their light and shadow. When 
the lower parts are varied and boldly relieved, 
though the summit is uniform, they must be viewed 
above, because then the formal line of the top is not 
seen, and the importance of the projections is not 
lost by distance, rocks which are broken into petty 
detached forms, or composed of thin layers, have a 
poor eSdct, for want of solidity and massiveness." 

Whateley divides rocks into three classes. Those 
characterized by dignity, as at Mailocky those cha- 
racterized by terror, as at the JVew Weir onihe Wye^ 
a&d those characterized by fancy, as at Dovedak. 

• Whateley. 95-116. t U* 90»-flD8L 



19 



ABBIYAt AND 8TAT AT 
ROSS. 

The Church is the chief object. The spire Ls a 
fine landmark, and, Tery fortnnatelj for the town, 
draws the eye to it, the property of all elevated objects. 
The town itself consists of narrow streets, and does 
not look like country-towns in general, two continu- 
ous lines of ale-houses, in a wide road, but like the 
trading streets of a city, especially of Bristol, the 
houses being various, and the shops frequently 
showy. This relief enlivens the narrow streets, and 
removes the remark of the caricaturist Woodward, 
that the dulness of country towns is such, that one 
would think the inhabitants were all asleep at noon- 
day. The fine natural situation is, however, spoiled. 
The town should have been built on a terrace upon 
the brow of the river. But the defect here is of no 
moment, as visitors do not come to Ross on account 
of the town, but of the country. This in truth is 
exquisite, for it embraces every glorious inland vari- 
ety of ground, wood, water, and rock. The wood 
and irregular ground preserve the picturesque beauty 
from being destroyed by the cultivation. 

The following is the general character of the 
scenery around Ro89. 



20 

Town, sit^ qf. A ridge ascending from the etst^ 
OTer-hanging the Wye, which serpentines bdow, in 
strong curres. 

North East. A fine np and down coontiy, moont- 
ing into a ridge abore Crow Hill; beyond which is 
an interesting view of the town, with the rich back- 
ground of Penyard and the Chace. 

North, A tamiN: conntry,. but irregular, rich and 
cultivated; with breaks of wood, &c,, in ridges : in 
the distance, picturesque hiUs^ llie whole sur&ce 
sprinkled with spires^ good houses, cultivated land?, 
and rich meadows^ 

West, Cultivated ground gently ascending. 
Aoonbury and the Welch hills in the distance. 

South, A gentle undulating descent to the river, 
flanked on the left by the Cbace and Howl Hill, and 
closed in by the ridges and hills, forming one bank 
of the Wye, in semi*circle from the west to the south* 

East. Flat rich oouslry, skirted bytheChacj^ 
and Penyard, and Miy edge of the Forest of Deai^ 

Our late good old King, George Ilf. once said to 
a general too much addicted to wioe, <* general, 
general, a pint of wine and a long walk after dinner, 
is a good thing.'* ** Your majesty'* replied the veteran, 
a bottle and a short walk is a better thing.** Sir R. 
C. Hoare very justly dl>8erves, that a man on a 
pony has far better chance of minutely noticing an 



21 



object, than a wearied pedestrian, whose thoughts 
nature in exhaustation must unavoidably direct to 
his dinner and his bed. The long walks around 
Ross, though including very fine prospects, will 
not here be mentioned ; only those within a distance, 
to which females would not object. The first and 
chief is the Prospect, adjoining the church-yard. 

FIRST. 

THE PROSPECT, 

The view from hence, a fine relief from the dark 
brick buildings and awkward streets of the town, 
consists says Mn Gilpin, '*of an easy sweep of the 
Wye, and of an extensive country beyond it. But 
it is not picturesque. It is marked by no character- 
istic objects. It is broken into too many parts, and 
it is seen from too high a point.** These are just 
technical objections, founded upon the disadvantage 
of bird*s eye views, which reduce all to a map, for 
Gray truly said, ** I find all points that are much 
elevated i^poil the beauty of the valley, and make its 
parts, which are not large, look poor and diminur 
tive«"* l^ut if the eye limits itself to the horse-shoe 
curve of the river, the green meadow, the ivied tow* 
ers of Wilton castle, and the light bridge, there is a 
very pleasing though rather formal and some what 
of a Dutch landscape. 

• Mason's Memoirs of Gray, fol. ir. p. 176. 



22 

SECOVfel. 

CORPS CROSS TURNPIKE; 

A little beyond is a fine yiew-of Penyard and tke 
CbtMp in aide-acreen, 

THIRD. 

WALK TO WILTON CASTLE. 

The shell is tolerably entire, and there is a green 
walk all round between the- walls and the moat. 
One comer is coeval with the foundation, the others 
are in the usual style of the Tuddrfeni) though occur- 
ittg in that of Edward the HI. if we may judge from 
the wind(nf «. (Ih> oiwr Wilton^ bridgej and* tuni' 
down a footpath just beyond; 



ROSS TO GODRICH. 

STAGE FIRSTS* 

Right Bank. 

9fR8T. WILTON BRIDGE AND CASTLE— «ECONO« 
WEIB-END-^-THIRD. PENCRAI6 HOUSE AND 
WOOD — FOURTH. GODRICH COURXf*— FIFTH. 
— GODRICH CASTLE — FIYE MILES. 

Ltift Bank . 

FIRST. MAN OF ROSS'S WALK— -SECOND. NEW 
HILL COURT, COMMONLT GALLED THE HILL 
— THREE MILES— OPPOSITE ' THE • CASTLE — ' 
TURNPIKE ROAD TO ROSS. 

1 RAVEL LBRs have observed that the ride over 
Wilton bridg^e is beauliful, and that were not the 
^approach to Godrich castle by water, too interesting 
to be i^ven up, parties taking the tour down the 
WyCf would see the country to a much greater &d« 

* The Stages end at the places of debarkation. 

^ t See a detailed account of Godrich Court and its coii« 
tents in <*the Appendix t* the Wye Tour," 



24 

vantage, if they pursued this road, and embarked at 
Godrich, there being no variety or object worthy of 
notice for nearly four miles, after passing Wilton* 
CASTLE,f The general character of the scenery is, 
under Ross, meadows backed by cliffs, which soon 
terminate on that side in rich pastures, flat and low : 
on the Wilton side, the banks are at first low, but 
soon rise into u ridge mostly wooded, which ridge 
continues to Godrich Castle, and slopes down to the 
Wye beyond it. 

The first object afler embarkation is 

WILTON BRIDGE AND CASTLE. 

The bridge is called ^*an elegant structure "j; 
and ^*one of masterly architecture." || The key- 
stones lock curiously one into the other.f This des- 
cription is enthusiastic. It is an old bridge without 
the rugged antique aspect of such buildings in gen- 
eral; for the beauty of bridges consists in lightness, 
and this is tolerably light for so old a fabrick. The 
arch next the village is distingnishable from the 
others. The original was broken down by order of 
General Rudhall, in the wars of Charles I. in order 
to impede the rebel troops in their way to Hereford.^ 

** The Castle," says Gilpin, ** is shrouded with a 
few trees; but the scene wants accompaniments to 

• The places printed hi capitals, are treated of in the, his- 
torical part, t Nicholson, col. 1151. t Cambrian Touri4 
431. llMichoIson,641. tlb.1535. f Inform. Mr. T-Jenkii.*. 



25 



give it g^randeur;" at present it is so obscured, 
tbat it has no pietaresque aspect. 

" The first part of the river from Russ is,'* says 
Gilpin, ** tame from the lowness of its banks.'* Bat 
some relief is afforded by the 

jMAN OF ROSS'S WALK, 

a plantation of fore3t trees on tbe brow of a rocky 
eminence, and the back view of Penyard and the 
Chace Woods, at the Weir-end. 

After passings Wilton, Gilpin thus proceeds : << The 
bank, however, soon began to swell on the right, and 
was richly adorned with wood. We admired it much ; 
and also the vivid images reflected from the water, 
which were continually disturbed as we sailed past 
them, and thrown into tremulous confusion by the 
dashing of our oars. A disturbed surface of water 
endeavouring to collect its scattered images and 
restore them to order, is among the pretty appear* 
ances of nature." 

** We met with nothing for some time during our 
voyage but these grand woody banks, one rising be- 
hind another; appearing and vanishing by turns, as 
we doubled the several capes. But though no par- 
ticular objects characterized these different scenes, 
yet ihey afforded great variety of pleasing views, 
both as we wound round the several promontories 
which discovered new beauties as each scene opened, 

D. 



26 



and when we kept the same scene a longer time in 
vieWy stretching along some lengthened reach, where 
the river is formed into an irregular vista, bj hills ' 
shooting out beyond each other, and going off in 
perspective." 

THE HILL, OR NEW HILL COURT, 

three miles from Ross, on the leff, is the seat of 
Kingsmill Evans, esq. Lord of the Manors of Ross, 
Walford, &c. The Man of Ross is said to have 
planned the central part of the building; the wings 
being of more recent addition* It is large and 
roomj, and has several very fine park trees. 

Not far beyond, on the right, is a pleasing man- 
sion, sheltered by wood, and crowning the brow of 
a steep ascent, occupied by £• Hopkinson, esq. It 

is called 

PENCRAIG, 

and the beauties of its exquisite situation will be 
given under the Land Tour, because they are found- 
ed upon prospect. 

Soon afterwards we come to the famous elevation 
and aspect of 

GODRICH CASTLE, 

on the S. S. E. bank, as viewed from the water and 
engraved by Bonnor,* under the light of a setting 
sun. He calls it " an actual view of that part des- 
cribed by Mr. Gilpin, as its roost important appear* 
ance : where, standing upon its own promontory, it 

• PI. ii 



27 



overhangs the crystal Wye, which here makes a 
graceful and hrilliant sweep, and then retires into 
the bold scenery"* commencing at C'op»ped-tooo^. 

^* Four miles from Ross,*' says Gilpin, *'we came to 
Godrich Castle ; where a grand view presented it- 
self; and we rested on oar oars to examine it; A 
reach of the river, forming a noble bay, is spread 
before the eye. The bank on the right, is steep and 
covered with wood; beyond which ahold promontory 
8hoots('ont,*cr6wned with a castle rising among trees/' 

** This view which is one of the grandest on the 
river, I should not scruple to call correctly pictU" 
resque; which is seldom the character of a purely 
natural scene." 

** Nature is always great in design. She is an ad- 
mirable colourist also; and harmonizes tints with 
infinite variety and beauty: but she is seldom so 
correct in composition as to produce an harmonious 
whole, Either the fore-ground, or the back-ground 
is disproportioned ; or some awkward lines run 
across the piece ; or a tree is ill placed ; or a bank 
is formal ; or something or other is not exactly what 
it should be. The case is, the immensity of nature 
is beyond human comprehension. She works on a 
vast scale; and, no donbl, harmoniously, if her 
schemes could be comprehended. The artist^ in the 

* P. 48. 
» 2. 



28 

mean time, is confined to a ^pon ; and lays dowti 
his little rules, which he calls thfe principles of pic* 
turesque beauty^ merely to adapt such diminutive 
parts of nature's surfaces to his own eye, as come 
within its scope. — Hence, therefore, the painter who 
adheres strictly to the compouiian of nature, will 
rarely make a good picture. His picture must con- 
tain a wAo/e; his archetype is but a parf. In gen- 
real, however, he may obtain views of such parts of 
nature, as with the addition of a few trees or a little 
alteration in the fore-ground, (which is a liberty that 
must be always allowed,) may be adapted to bis 
rules; though he is rarely so fortunate as to find a 
landscape completely satisfactory to him. In the 
scenery, indeed at Godrich castle the parts are few ; 
and the whole is a simple exhibition. The complex 
scenes of nature are generally those which the artist 
finds most refractory to his rules of composition.*' 

**In following the course of the Wye, which 
makes here one of its boldest sweeps, we were carri- 
ed almost round the cattle, surveying it in a variety 
of forms. Some of these retrospects are good ; but 
in general, the castle loses, on this side, both its 
own dignity, and the dignity of its situation." 

THE FERRY-BOAT 

is guided by a rope, a custom certainly of the fonr- 
teenth century,* and probably of the earliest date in 
narrow rivers. 

• FfoliP. Tl, m* 



.Ik 



29 



This ancient fortification owes its present form to 
four alterations at yarious periods; as follows. 

I. The original Ang^lo-Saxon castle, consisted 
only of the square keep-tofwer, with a few offices, 
destrojred afterwards, or worked into the newer 
additions. 

II. In the 12th century, probably i}n account of 
the wars of Stephen, the keep-tower was surrounded 
hy the high buildings and round towers at the 
corners. 

III. When castellated mansions came into vo^ue 
in the reign of Edward II L, a considerable attempt 
was made to change the castle, as far as was prac- 
ticable, into that form. 

IV. In the 15lh centary, the castle assumed still 
more the aspect of the castellated mansion, by fur- 
ther alterations, as appears from the shell of the 
chapel. 

Though there is only indirect historical evidence 
of these facts, yet the styles of architecture suflicil 
ently attest them. 

The published accounts of the castle, ' are fnll of 
intricate and tiresome details, and some uadbntit^dly 
incorrect. 

The best way of surveying the castle, is to ente^ 
hy the gate-house, the most curious and perfect 
part of the whole. 

n ai 



90 



It is made very long for a succession of gates, 
and portcullises. Tbe latter are Roman: for 
Winckelman traced them at the gates of Rome, Ti*« 
voli, and Pompeii : and one is represented in an an- 
cient painting of tbe Villa Albania* AAer passing 
the drawbridge, on tbe right band is a loop-bole, by 
which the porter received messages before opening 
the gates. In tbe wall, a passage is worked, by 
which he communicated with tbe applicant for admis« 
sion in one way, and tbe constable of tbe castle on 
the other. Less suspected visitors waited between 
the outer and inner gates* The room over tbe gate- 
way was the guard-room. Beneath the caiisewayj, 
which supported tbe drawbridge, is an arch, usual 
according to the accounts of Knaresborough, for tbe 
convenience of cavalry sallying, f Passing the 
gateway, on the north or right hand, are windows 
with seatsj for t^ purpose of reconnoitring the 
passage over the Wye ; on tbe western side^ is. tbe 
hall, 'aJs. nsiial in most castles, opposite the gate-bouse, 
A peculiarity attaches to this ball. From tbe steep- 
ness of tbe acclivity outside, it would have been too 
exposed. It is therefore secured by an artificial ter- 
race and wall, so projecting, that no missile weapon 
from below could reach the windows. On the south 
side is an angular tower ; next to it, in the centre, 
the old Anglo-Saxon keepf-tower, all in line* This 

♦ Encyclop. des Antiq. ▼.. Port. 
t History of Knaresborou^h, p. 32, 



31 



strong defeace faces the most aecessible side, name- 
ly, the leyel sonunit of the promontory; and from 
these towers, a strong garrison could annoy a besiege 
ing enemy with arrows and projectiles, cross-bows 
and engines, upon the roofs. The side-long stair- 
case is a Norman addition to the keep-tower, as a 
better defence than the narrow flight of steps at 
right angles in front, which, accordmg to Mr. King, 
and Cornish remains, distinguished the Anglo-Saxon 
keep» The chief method of attacking being by 
mining, and working upon the bottom of the walls 
hy nights in the ditch, with pickaxes, and covered 
hy others with pavaches,^ or hirge targets, the fonn- 
datbns and lower walls of these towers are prodigi- 
ously strong.* Mr. Grose notices a rare addition' of 
pyramidal buttresses below ; f for the materials of 
the castle being excavated all round, so as to make 
the quarry from the ditah» the latter wtfis made more 
deep by these accompaniments, as well as. the towers, 
better protected. 

This was a very usual thing. Denon s^^ys X **^^ 
turn this situation [Castro-Giovanni in Sicily,] to 
double profit, and defend the approaches to the walls, 
they have hewn, out of the rock, at the foot of these 
very walls, the stones made use of in building it.*' 

• Grose's Military Antiquities, i. 965 plate^ f They 
occur on a smaller scale at Chepstow: and tbas shew, that 
tjbese parts, in botii castlesy are coe¥al. 

X Sicily, p. 05. £ng. translatioa. 



32 

On different window jambs are the inscriptions^ a 
man with a* hawk on hh fist, a dog^ at his feet, the 
virgin mother, a hawk standings on a parUidge, 
rabbits at play, birds. Ice. described id the historical 
part. The keep being, the residence of the family, 
this tower j^ppeai^s to have been used for that of pri- 
soners of war, detained until they were ransomed. 
In castles, the upper ranges or apartments were oc- 
cupied by the family and superior officers, the lower 
by servants; or they were offices. Although, in 
general there was a gaRery of communication around 
the whole building, only wide enough for one man to 
pass, and niches ^ith watercocks, and seats for the 
guard, yet numerous doors opened into the bailey, 
because our ancestors mostly lived in these castles, 
in suites of apartments^ ^similar to those of the inns 
of court. On the eastern side is the shell of a cha- 
pel, with piscinas, lockers, &c. ^or the ceremonies 
of the mass. 

The fine column by the hall, the use of which has 
puzzled many, was for the centre of the gnand stair- 
case, like that at Christ Chiircb^ Oxford; for a grand 
stair-case and parlour were adjacent to ancient halls. 
Objections have been made to this explanation, but, 
they are frivolous, and founded only upon the occur- 
rence of them in other situations. The tower, which 
enclosed ir, is destroyed, for (he mouth of the mine 
which partly effected it, or was intended to do so, is 
on the left hand side of the ascending path to the 



33 

castle ; and it was besides, battered in breach from 
tbe opposite hill. From the S. W. angle of the castle 
hy Ibe wicket field gate, may bo seen the trench by 
which the besiegers advanced to storm the caslle, and 
from the barbican is a very fine view of the front of 
(he fabrick, and, facing tbe north, of the surround- 
iDg country. The traveller should remember that 
the fields around, once formed a park ; the unioclosed 
State of which, mnst Lave finely bariQonized with the 
rode ground of Copped-wood hill, and been surpri- 
singly enriched by the winding of the river, tbe pic- 
turesque additions of the Priory in the middle dis- 
tance, and the Church spire. 



34 



STAGE SECOND. 

GODRICH CASTLE TO SYMOND'S YAT, 

MUghi Bank, 

FIRST. FLANESFORD PRIORY, NOW A FARM — 
SECOND. COPPBD-WOOD HILL^-THIRD. COURT 
FIELD — FOURTH. WELCH BICKNOR CHURCH 
—FIFTH. MONUMENT'— SIXTH. BOTTOM OF 
COPPED-WOOD HILL. 

Ltfi Bank. 

FIRST. WALFORD CHURCH — SECOND. LAYS 
HILL—THIRD. BISH0P*8 WOOD — FOURTH. 
RUER-DEAN 6PIRE-r-FIFTU. LYDBROOK — 
SIXTH. ROSEMARY TOPPING — SEVENTH. 

COLDWELL ROCKS — EIGHTH. SYMOND'S YAT» 

After leavings the castle, the right view is de- 

cliDing precipice and hill, skirting narrow meadows; 
the leA, flat pastures with VValford church, and vil- 
lage. In the N. £. and £. distance, the Chace and 
Penyard woods, and Howl hill. On the S. E. is the 
promontory termination of Copped-wood, hill, and 
rocks projecting westwards; 



35 



The first object on the rigbt; is the remains of 

FLANESFORD PRIORY, 

of which the chapel is now a bam. The rest consists 
of mere fragments* 

FroDQ hence the Wye takes a bold turn to the 
Kern bridge, at which, commences the proper intro- 
duction of its characteristic scenery, mountainous 
and rocky banks. Upon the right side is the long 
steep ridge of 

COPPED WOOD, 

teethed at the beginning with a ledge of rude rocks, 
ground partly heath, partly wood, but exhibiting by 
its bold swells and hollows, a fine effect of light and 
shade, unknown to regular slopes. Upon the left is 
Bishop*s Wood, a more gradual ascent, dotted irreg- 
ularly with cottages, fields, orchards, and patches of 
wood, ail rising in amphitheatre above each other. 



«< 



As we leave Godrich castle," says Qilpin, " th3 
banks on the left, which had hitherto contributed 
less to entertain us, began now principally to attract 
our attention, rearing themselves gradually into 
grand steeps; sometimes covered with thick woods, 
and sometimes forming vast concave slopes of mere 
verdure unadorned, except here and there, by a 
straggling tree : while the sheep which hang browz - 
ing upon them, seen from the bottom, were dimin 
ished in:o white specks*'* 



36 



' *< The view at Ruer-dean church unfolds itself 
next ; and is a scene of great grandeur. Here both 
sides of the riyer are steep, and both woody ; but in 
one, the woods are intermixed with rocks. The 
deep umbrage of the forest of Dean occupies the fronts 
and the spire of the church rises among the trees. 
The reach of the river which exhibits this scene, is 
long; and of course, the view, which is a noble 
piece of natural perspective, continues sometime be- 
fore the eje ; but when the spire comes directly in 
front, the grandeur of the landscape is gone.*' 

*' The stone^quarries on the right, from which Bris- 
tol bridge was built, and on the left, the furnaces of 
Bishop^ s woody vary the scene ; . though they are 
objects of no great importance in themselves.'* 
Thus Gilpin. The view here in front, is water, and 
bold elevations in irregular ledges rising one above 
another, interspersed with rocky projections, wood, 
thicket, and heath. 

On the left are Bishop's wood iron-works and 
coal- wharf : behind which, is 

BISHOP'S WOOD HOUSE, 

the seat of John Partridge, esq. The brook which 
here runs into the Wye, called Bishop's brook, parts 
the counties of Hereford and Gloucester, and the 
parishes of Walford und Ruerdean. The latter, has 
much scenery, eminently picturesque, on the Lyt^- 
brook road, and in the forest. It is another siJe of 



37 



the elev^ations,. described in the page preceding, and 
consists of rude and broken ground, and rough val- 
leys, irregularly serpentine, adorned with purling 
streams, and trees, never formal, because untouched 
by the axe. The water bubbles in small cascades 
over lumps of rock ; and the herbage is] roughened 
into the picturesque by small tumps of long grass, 
weeds, furze, and wild bushes. 

*' For sometime" says Gilpin, **both sides of the 
river continue steep and beautiful. No particular 
circumstance indeed characterizes either; but in 
such exhibitions as these, nature characterizes her 
own scenes. We admire the infinite variety with 
which she shapes and adorns these vast concave and 
convex forms. We admire also that varied touch 
with which she expresses every object.** 

** Here we see one great distinction between her 
painting and that of all her copyists. Artists uni- 
versally are mannerists in a certain degree. Each 
has his particular mode of forming particular objects. 
His rocks, his trees, his figures, are cast in one 
mould, at least they possess only a varied sameness^ 
The figures of Rubens are all full fed; those of 
-Salvator square and long legged; but nature has a 
difierent mould for every object she presents." 

*^ The artist, again, discovers as little variety in 
filling up the surfaces of bodies, as he does in delinea- 
ting their forms: You see the same touch, or some- 
thing like it, universally prevail, though applied to 



I 



38 



different objects. Bat nature^s touch u as much 
Taried as the form of her objects." 

«< In every part of painting except execution, an 
artist may be assisted by the labours of those who 
have gone before him. He may improve his skill in 
composition, in light and shade, in perspective, in 
grace and elegance; that is, in all the scientific 
parts of his art. But with regard to execution, he 
must set up on his own stock. A mannerist, 1 fear 
he must be. If he gets a manner of his own, he 
may, be an agreeable mannerist; but if he copy 
another's he will certamly be a formal one. The 
more closely he copies the details of nature, the better 
chance he has of being free from this general defect." 

" AT LYDBROOK, 
is a large wharf, where coals are shipped for 
Hereford and other places. Here thes cene is new 
and pleasing. All has thus far been grandeur and 
tranquillity. It continues so yet ; but mixed with 
life aud bustle. A road runs diagonally silong the 
bank; and horses and carts appear passing to the 
small vessels which lie against the wharf to re- 
ceive their burdens; Close behind, a rich woody 
hill hangs sloping over the wharf and forms a grand 
back-ground to the whole. The contrast of all this 
b\isiness, the engines used in landing and unlading, 
together with the variety of the scene, produce alto* 
gether, a picturesque assemblage. The sloping hill 
is the front scene^ the two side-screens are low.'* 



39 



** But soon the front becomes a lofty side-screen 
on the left ; and sweeping round the eye at Welch 
Bicknor, forms a noble amphitheatre/' Thus Gilpin. 

On the right Just beyond the turn of the river, op» 
posite Lydbrook, is 

COCRT-FIELD HOUSB, 

the modem seat of William Vaughan, esq; and king 
Henry V. is said to have been nursed in a more 
ancient house on this 6pot» A gable-end wall with 
gothic arches is called the ruins of the chapel: B^ 
neath is 

WELCH BICKNOR. 

The village church and parsonage house adjoin each 
other, a circumstance which in the minds of our an- 
cestors, was intended to keep the minister always in 
recollection of his duty. 

The scene is, on the left, fields with a sprinkling 
only of the picturesque; on the right a long semi- 
circular area of meadows between two ridges of 
wood, called Hawkwood and Puckwood, good park 
scenery, but tame for the Wye, Just beyond Bick- 
nor church is a steep foreground of wood on the right. 
Towards the end of it, is a picturesque hill in front 
called 

ROSEMARY TOPPING, 

from the mellow luxuriance of its sides: This is a 
most perfect specimen of a dressed hillock, which 



40 



should always have low and bashy plants^ because 
large trees, if few, make small swellings look meagre 
and scattered; if numerous, heavy and uniform. 
No mixture of exoticks could produce the beautiful 
tints, and no skill the exquisite grouping and dispo- 
sition of this admirable exemplar of a thicket laid 
out by nature. As we approach this, the grandeur 
of the Wye scenery recommences at 

COLDWELL ROCKS, 

which nature has exposed to view by an avalanche 
of the ground from the summit. They form the up- 
per part of the base of Symond*8 Yat. Just before 
approaching them is the cenotaph of an unfortunate 
youth, whose parents erected this monument, by 
way of beacon, to warn others; from trusting to the 
deceitful stream: A gentleman named Warre, with 
his lady, &c. was making the tour, and the weather 
being fine, they persuaded their son, who was a 
good swimmer, to bathe. Unfortunately he was 
seized with the cramp, and a vain attempt having 
been made by the boatman to save himj^ was unhap- 
pily drowned^ The epitaph is tedious. Some wretch 
has lately mutilated the monument. 

The scene at Cold well, on the left side, commences, 
by a grand mass of rock, partially insulated, of 
rude resemblance to the square keep of a ruined cas- 
tle. It is succeeded by a wall of rock, much assimi- 
lating St. Vincent's, at the Hot-wells, near Bristol. 
Here and al the new Weir, b a style totally diflbrcnt 



41 



from the stiff and bare forms of the Chepstow cliffs, 
nature exhibits her divine skill in colouring and group- 
ing. The attitudes of the rocks, though all in fan- 
ciful caprice, are of graceful informalit j, and display 
irregular outlioes, and broad masses, relieved by 
creeping lichens, and weather stains. The wood is 
copse, the best effect of which is on the lofty banks 
of a river, for not having the projections and recesses 
of wood, copses are only crowds of bushes ; but view- 
ed upwards their deficiencies are concealed. The 
most delicate touches are distinguishable at certain 
seasons,, in an exquisite laeework of shrubs and foli- 
age running over the whole, of a wild, but harmoni- 
ous pattern. The river too is deep, dark, and so- 
lemn. The oppoute bank is a succession of steep 
slopes, variously wooded^ terminating in a hilly 
common of brown mountainous herbage^ speckled 
with loose stones, and thinly streaked with liveli^ 
green. 

Mr. Gilpin says thus. ** At Coldwell, the front- 
screen first appears as a woody hill, [Rosemary 
Topping! swelling to a point.. In a few minutes it 
changes its shape, and the woody hill becomes a lofty 
side-screen on the right ; while the front unfolds it- 
self into a majestio piece of rock-scenery »"' 

** Here,*' says Gilpin, ** we should have gone on- 
shore, and walked to the New Weir^ which by land 
is only a mile ; though by water I believe, it is three.. 

E 3. 



42 

Hub walk would have afforded ns, we were inform- 
ed, some very uobl^ river views ; nor sbonid we 
have lost any thiog b; relmquisUiif the water, 
which in this part was nninteresting." 

The walk alluded to, leads to the rockj abmpt 
tenginatioD of Caldwell promontory, and is caHed 

SYMOND'S YAT, OR GATE: 
From hence is a superb bird's-eye view of the adja- 
cent objects, and a &r-extendin^ prospect in what 
may be called from Claude's pictures, the painter's 
map style. The near view is Salvator Rosa; the 
distant that of the master first named. The summit 
itself is a ronmnlic green floor, waited in, without 
any formaliiy, by copse-wood, and approached by 
a winding rocky road between high banks, under 
arches of hazel and underwood. 



48< 



STACB TIIBD. 

SYMOND'S TAT TO MONMOUTH. 

Right Bank. 

% 

FIRST. COPPED WOOD HILL — SECOND* GOD- 
BICH— THIRD, WHITCHURCH — FOURTH. 

GREAT DOW ARD'— FIFTH* ARTHUR'S VALE 
— SIXTH. LITTLE DOWARD, AND LAYS HOUSE 
— -SETENTH. DIXTON CHURCH— EIGHTH. 

MONMOUTH. 

Ltft Bank. 

FIRST. NEW WEIR — SECOND. HIGBMBADOW 
WOOD — THIRD. TABLE MOUNT9&C. FOURTH. 
MONMOUTH. 

All theaccountsagree in stating, that Symood's 
Yaty [or Gate,] is not less than 500 feet ahove the 
water; and that although the direct distance by 
land from the river is not more than 600 yard», the 
course by water exceeds fuur miles. 



44 



The prospect fomis a fine panorama of tbe follow- 
ing scenerj. 

N. The mountainoas side of Copped wood bill, 
common, and here and there, rock,^p— IFtU teentry. 

N. W. The spire and village of Godrich, gentle 
green wooded pastures ; at the foot, Rocklands and 
Huntsholm Ferry— iUcxtifiaiif and beauti/ul park and 
village scenery. 

W. HwUskobny a promontory of fields andorch- 
arding ; behind it, meadows, terminating on the' other 
side of the river, in the fiat village of Whitchurch, 
backed by rising ground ; in the distance, the Welch 
hills.— CAeei^/ and good open scenery. 

8. W« The mountainous side of the great Dow« 
ard, common and heath, interspersed with cottages^ 
and enclosures.. At the extreme summit, a summer 
house ; a very bad thing, for it draws the eye to it-^ 
self from the scenery, and is never in harmony. A 
grotto-like souterrein with a roeky front, and fitted up 
within, would answer the same purpose, and have 
an interest in se besides — fVild scenery without wood. 

S. Staunton church, upon the ridge of a promon« 
tory, the Buck-stone appearing at the nose of it. like 
a yew tree ; below. Lord Gage*s, or, Highmeadaw 
woods, in fine'^lope ; at the foot, green meadows 
and the river. On the left side anear, the rocks of 
the New Weir ; on the right^the rock wall of the 



45 



eastern side of the Doward, faced by high trees. 
'T^Grand scenery of hanging woods* 

S« E. English Blcknor, cultivation intermixed 
with forest scenery ; copse and cottage : anear, a 
side yiew of ColdweU rocks in terrific attitude ; and 
Rosemary Topping— -Good^re-grownd and distance ; 
middle-ground insipid^ 

£• Rnerdean wood and ields with the church in 
the dbtance ; Bishop's wood and Conrt»field, with 
the semicircular sweeps of Hawkwood and Puckwood^ 
before described, and joining Copped wood, whence 
we commenced the destription,— -jtf ^fi« wUxture iif 
undulating and broken ground, meadow^ and arable, 
green in all its varieties, checked from gayfrolick^ 
ing hf sedate broum. 

From hence the river proceeds in a horse shoe 
curve, around meadows, and pleasing prospect scen- 
ery to Whitchurch. Mr. Gilpin, sajs, 

"Here we sailed through a long reach of hills, 
whose sloping sides were covered with large lump- 
ish, detached stones, which seemed in a course of 
years, to have> rolled from a girdle of rocks, that 
surrounds the upper regions of these high grounds 
on both sides of the river ; but particularly on the 
left.'* 

If the travellers prefer the boat-passage, they 
will come to 

HUNTSHOLM FERRY. 



46 

ON THE RIGHT IS, ROCKLANDS, 

now the residence of Henry Ross, esq. commanding 
a view of Coldwell rocks, along the fine side-screen 
of Copped hill ; on the left, a serenteenth century 
seat of the Vaaghans, now a farm house. Upon the 
slope of the hill is a fine orchard, celebrated for the 
immense quantity of styre, or other rich cider, it has 
been known to produce. If the trayeller prefers 
leaying the boat at Huntsholm Ferry, (and the as- 
cent is easier to Symond's Yat) the ledge of the 
rocks, will bring to his view, spots worthy, ** the 
feasting banditti'* of Salvator. Just above the 
place where the road passes between a cleft rock, 
the giant Torso,* of the great Doward shows its 
grand mascular outline. The effect is infinitely in- 
creased by being seen through mist or rain« It is 
part-lnountain, part-precipice, but much injured 
by the rawness and straight lines introduced bylime-» 
burning and road«cutting« Unfortunately there is 
no chance of time, nature*s Gilpin, preventing, in 
that master's own words ** the hand of man, mis* 
erably scratching the lovely face of nature^" 

By this re^^ch we come to the 

NEW WEIR, 

a salmon fishery, which Mr. Gilpin terms the second 
grand scene on the Wye. Here till lately was a lock, 

* A Torso is the trtmk of a statnt without limbs* 



47 

■ 

an invention known in Upper Egypt, from ancient 
models,* and brought into this country from Flanders, 
in 1642, by Sir Richard Sutton, who is also said to 
have introduced clover, and sainfoin^f 

The scene at the New Weir consists of exquisite 
crags, thrown into fine confusion by falls from the 
upper rim« These crags are full of projections and 
recesses, and heaps of ruin all shrubbed and weather- 
holed, and forming a most romantic variety of 
shelves, rude arches, clefts, and mimic towers. 
Between these and the opposite bank of rock-wall 
and hangiug wood, the river, rapid and confined, 
roars hastily along. In front are the rich eminences 
farming 

LORD GAGE'S WOODS, 

rising above or lapping over each other* Along 
the banks is a series of meadows, of deep rich green 
just enlivening the dusky solemn gloom of the nar- 
row dell. A single roek column gives an agreeable 
novelty to the side crags. It is only one of many 
others similar which were standing sixty years ago, 
insulated from the main wall of rock, ;[: but now 
either fallen, or gormandized by the ravenous lime- 
kiln, who, regardless of the beauties of the Wye ** in 
grim repose expects his evening prey." 

• Denoo, i. 391. t Bray's Surrey, i, 134. 

X So Martin: Natural History of £ag^land, i, 3iU 



48 



Of these rock pilasters, it is worth while to point 
out the extraordinary effect, by the following obser- 
ration of Dr. Clarke»* 

** He observed near Seraibashti the most remark- 
able appearance caused by rocks, that he had ever 
seen* At first he mistook them for ruins, some- 
what resembling those of Stonehenge; but, as his 
party drew near, they where surprised to find, that 
the supposed ruins were natural rocks, rising, f per- 
pendicularly out of the plain, like a cyclopean struc- 
ture, with walls and towers*'* 

The counsel who attend the assizes, are in the ha- 
bit of exploring the Wye, and, as it is said, have 
given name to several rocks, particularly in this 
part of the river, as Linnaeus called plants, and offi- 
cers do newly discoverd countries, by the names of 
friends* This rock pillar is said to have been thus 
denominated Bear^crofi, an eminent barrister, well- 
known to the older part of the existing generation.:^ 

Mr. Gilpin says, ** 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 lef^, and is the grand feature of the view, it is 
not a broad fractured face of rock ; but rather a 
woody hill, from which large rocky projections in 
two or three places, burst out, rudely hung with 

♦ Trayels, viii, 5, 
fie. Phenician, see £i]rij[>ide8 Hercal Fur. 
X Can Maa Teurist, p 4:37, 



/ 



49 



tmstiBg bfaoches and shaggy faraiture^ whidii like 
nwoe round the lion's head, give a more savage air 
to these wild exhibitions of nature* Near the top» a 
pointed fragment of solitary, rock,, rising above the 
rest» has rather a fiMilaiiitie a^ [pearance ; bni it is 
not wilhont ]t» eftct m marking the scene. — A great 
master in landseafie has adorned an imagkiary view 
with a eirciunstaace exaistly sinttkff.^ 

** Stabat ac«ta silex, prsciflb vrnOq ; sftjeffs 

** — — do»K» immrgQiw, altlMime Tisttt 

^ Diramm nidis d(miiis opportuna yolacmniy 

** ^prona jugoy IseTnm incumbebat ad sannem^ 

Mtt. Till. 233: 

« But the most wonderful appearance of this kind 
I ever met with, is to be found in the 249th page of 
Anderson's Narrative of the British Embassy to 
China; where he tells us, that in Tartary, beyond 
the wall, he saw a solitary roek. of this kind, Whidh 
rose fi^om the summit of a mountain, at least one 
hundred feet* Its base was. somewhat smaller thanr 
its superstructure, and what was very extraordinaiy, 
several streams, of water issued from it»" 

** On the right side of thd Wye, opposite the rock 
just described, ttie bank forms a woody amphitheatre^ 
foUowing the courseof the stream round the promon- 
tory. Its lower skirts are adbrned with a hamlet, in 
the midstof which, volnmes of thtck^moke are thrown 
up at intervals from an iron-forge, as its fires receive 
fresh fueL*^ 



50 



** Bat what peculiarly marks this view, is a cir» 
cumstance 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 bad 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 rock which hung over the 
river, was awful, tranquil, and majestic. But here 
the violence of the stream and the roaring of the wa- 
ters, impressed a new character on the scene ; all 
was agitation and uproar ; and every steep, and 
every rock, stared with wildnese and terror,** 

With Gilpin's description, the travellers seem to 
have satisfied themselves. Whateley*s account is this. 

*f A scene at the New Weir on the Wye, which in 
itself is truly great and awful, so far from being dis« 
turbed, becomes more interesting and important, by 
the business to which it is destined. It is a chasm, 
between two high ranges of hill, which rif« almost 
perpendicularly from the water ; the rocks oa the sides 
are mostly heavy masses ; and their colour is gener- 
ally brown ; but here and there a pale craggy shape 
starts up to a vast height above the rest, unconnected, 
broken, and bare ; large trees frequently force out 
their way amongst them. The river too, as it retires 
loses itself in woods, which close immediately above, 
* The wear occasioning^ this fall has been lately ren^oved. 



51 



then rise thick and high^ and darken the water. In 
the midst of all this gloom is an iron forge,* covered 
with a black cloud of smoke, and surrounded with 
half-burned ore, with coal| and with cinders. The 
fuel for it, is brought down a path, worn into steps, 
narrow and steep, and winding among precipices ; 
and near it is an open space of barren moor, about 
which are scatered the huts of the workmen. It 
stands close to the cascade of the Weir, where the 
agitalioQ of the current is increased by large frag- 
numts of rocks, which have been swept down by 
floods from the banks, or shivered by tempests from 
the brow; and the sullen sound, at stated intervals, 
from the strokes of the great hammers in the forge, 
deadens the roar ef the water-fall. Just below it, 
while the rapidity of the stream still continues, a 
ferry is carried across it ; and lower down, the fisher- 
men use little round boats, called truckles, f the re- 
mains perhaps of the ancient British navigation which 
the least motion will overset, and the slightest touch 
nay destroy. All the employments of the people 
seem to require either exertion or caution, and the 
ideas of force or of danger which attend them, give 
to the scene an animation unknown to a solitary, 
though perfectly compatible with the wildest roman- 
tic situations. § 

* It has not been worked for some yeara. 

t They are the cymboe satiies mentioned by Heredo- 
tua, Caster, Virgil, &c. § P. 108—110. 

f2. 



52 



Behiw the Mew Weir a eontiniiatioii of the smie 

rich scenery still arrests attentien, and rocks and 

wood seem to pfnsh and shoulder each other for con-* 

spicuous sitaations. The river roars along a curve » 

between Highmeadow woods on the left, and the rock 

wall of the 

GREAT DOWARD, 

on the right. At the end of this reach, is a beautifcl 
mass of rock, crowned with shrubs and pendulous 
creepers; in front, the rivor forms a pool, and is 
back-grounded by the summit of the Little Doward 
in Sugar-loaf.* A detached cluster of rock¥, called 
St, Mariin*s, or the three Sisters, skirt the river in 
passing down, near which, at a short readi called 
St. Martin's well, the stream is supposed to have a 
greater depth of water than at any other paH. At 
the extremity of this reach, from a beautiful vale. 
King Arthur's plain, seen before, again presents 
it«elf, assuming a castellated form. 

When light and prospect recommence at the termi- 
nation of the dark windings from the New Weir, the 
scenery on the Doward side is mountainous common, 
sprinkled with rock and occasionally teethed with 
ledges of it. The 

LITTLE DOWAUD, 

having been a fine British Camp, traces of three cir- 
cular terraces winding in snail mount, may be dimly 

• Mr. Mark1o?e of Berkley, hat selected and painted 
this fiae scene. 



53 



discerned ; but are only conspicuous from the heights 
ID the forest. On the left hand are woody and \?ild 
elevations, interspersed with tame swells and hollows. 
The scene terminates with the 

LAYS HOUSE» 

the seat of R. Blakemore, esq. at the foot of the 
Little Doward on the right, opposite Table Mount.* 
In front is a rich amphitheatre of hanging wood ; on 
the right of which is 

NEWTON COURT, 

the seat of Mrs. Griffin ; below,, on the water's 
edge 

VAGA COTTAGE, 

the property of the Rev. Henry Barnes. 

Upon the turn of the reach at the Lays, the river 
gently serpentines through a wider valley, down to 
Monmouth. The right side consists of fields, form- 
ing the area of the sylvan amphitheatre, before des- 
cribed, and the left is made up of meadows in flat 
swell, and hollow, intermingled with woody ridges, 
and strips of fields, in front of steep side-screens of 
wood. Before, in the distance, is hill, and the steep 
banks of the river beyond Troy House, properly 
ck)lhed with cop«e or timber. The church passed is 
that of DixtoUf 

Fd. 



54 



The river is rafher too low for a proper Tiew of 
the scenery here, whieb is best seen from the road. 
Tbis lowness is probably tbe cause why Mr. Gilpin as 
if gaping and sleepy, thus slabbers over a fine scene 
of continual change,, and ininutable grouping. ** Be- 
low the New Weir, are other rocky views of the 
same kintl, though Ifess |beauliliiU But desNsriptkni 
flags in running ever sneb a mQBoleny of tensfik 
High, low, steep, woo<fy, rocky, and a few odievs, 
are all the colours of language we have, to desenbe 
scenes, in which theie are- iofioite gradations, and 
amidst some general sameness, infinite peculiarities.** 

After we had' passed a few of these scenes, the 
hills, gradually descended into 

MONMOUTH, 

which lies too low to make any appearance from the 
wa^ ; but ok landing,, we found it a pleasant town, 
asdoeartly buHt. The town-bouse and church are 
both baodsome." Thus Gilpin. The other lions of 
Monnfesuth are a ifuiaed tower of the castle, with a 
fin^ window of the florid gothic, pretended to be that 
of tbe room where Henry V. was bom ; some other 
windows and remains of the Priory ; fragments of 
towp-gates and St. Thomas's church, erroneously 
called Saxon, but plainly of the first Norman style. 
The greatest curiosity is, however, the ancient gate- 
house. Tourists ought to slay a day at Monmouth, 
in order to visit the 

KYMIN AND BUCKSTONE, 



6$ 



from which last is to he seen a view, only surpassed 
by Wind-cliff, and far snperior to Syniond*s Tat, 
inasmuch as it is totally void of the usual and com- 
mon place, and-conslstis of peti&et forest scenery, 
wood, river, mountain and precipice, wholly with- 
out flat g^round', and grouped in a maianer completely 
novel, in the true superh ef the picturesque. Though 
extending for miles, not a single map feature dilutes 
ther sublimes gfMdciff tif i^A^i^tW from the Bock* 
stonv, whertf faiey still pfsM^^tscP^M Prtesi, mo- 
ving- tfte orstciiNir rooi^- ^lilddc^fii^ out the fat« o 
nations to tHe fniSffiti&X c$d)#ordifip|f6M 

If the time permit's, there afe, ACttitdlng to the 
travellers, minor views worthy notice; Monmouth 
from a station at Tibh's Farm, appeari^ plated upon 
a semicircular ridge ; near Tibb's bridge the scene 
is wild and romantic ; from other points it appears 
situated upon a plain; from the banks of the Wye, 
the houses seem rising upon Uie acclivity of a hill, 
the church forming a principal object.* From the 
hill upon the road to Chepstow is^a sublime prospect, 
both of the adjacent vale and town, skirted in the 
distance by the Skyridd, Blorenge, Sugar-loaf, and 
other blue mountains and ridges. 

Here ends the first half of the tour, which may 
justly be denominated ** grand and beautiful." 

• Nicholson, 918. 



56 



STAGE FOUllTH. 

MONMOUTH TO TINTERN ABBEY. 

Right Bank. 

riRST. TROT HOUSE — SECOND. PEKALT — THIRD 
WHITE BROOK — FOURTH. PBHN*T-YAK HI&I. 
AND MATPOLB — FIFTH. PAPER MILLS — 
SIXTH. PIL8T0NB HOUSE-^^EYENTH. LAN- 
DOGO — ^EIGHTH. COEDITHEL WEIR — NINTH* 
LYN-WBIR — TENTH. TINTERN — ELEYENTH: 
FIELDING'S HOUSE — TWELFTH. ABBEY. 

Left Bank. 

FIRST. REDBROOK — SECOND. — NBWLAND AND 
CLEIRWELL"— THIRD. WYE SEAL HOUSE — 
FOURTH. BICKSWBIR — FIFTH. ST. BRIA- 
YELS — SIXTH. HUDKNOLI/8--SBVENTH. BROOK- 
WEIR — EIGHTH. ABBGT. 

The banks of the Wye owe their beauty to 
a rocky base ; because only a thin coat of earth can 
ever be washed away, and, if it be, provided there is 
not soch steepness as to create a mere gutter, it only 
breaks and improTes into picturesqae inequalities of 



57 



sor&ce the fonnal acclivity. Had the fonndations of 
the banks beeneartby, the latter would have flattened 
into niere hills, with round outlines. This result of 
the rocky base particularly appears in this tonr* The 
Ibrms of the banks are of the house-roof kind, with a 
sameness of angular outline. Though they rise above 
each other in ridges, yet the usual mountainous curve 
is not so frequent as tke straight or oblique rocky 
line. The cloathing, mere stumpy copse wood, will 
not bear dose e^mioaiion, as being much of the 
thorn cbaracter • The crags wkioh are of the more 
marine kind, are often naked and uniform^ The 
river runs sometimes dtifBy,as in a trough, and often 
turns absolute comers, quite sharp. Yet With all 
these imperfections, stated merely to Shew the con^ 
trast between the fine intermixed with sweet land- 
scape in the former tour, such is the grand sCale 
upon which nature works, that all is lodt in the gen» 
eral effect,. which is the sublime -and awful, (preci- 
pice and height being the general agents,) occasi- 
onally worked up to the terrible. Vaga from Rests 
to Monmouth, is a fine woman with strong features, 
but cheered with the playful smiles of youth ; from 
Monmouth to Chepstow she is the grave matron, 
stern and comnianding, like the august picture of just- 
ice by Reynolds.* In the first tour she is a princess ; 
in the second a queen* 

* Prom his panting of the four Cardinal Virtues ia 
New College Window. 



58 



The distinction of this tour is, tbat there is a 
greater sameness than on the former, though there is 
more loftiness in the banks. No rocks appear till 
beyond Tintem. On the left bank are very grand 
broad sides of mountain character, clothed "with wood 
or heath. The right consists of meadow, wood, and 
village, in patches ; but exceedingly picturesque and 
infinitely varied. 

The leading feature of the river, en leaving Mon- 
mouth is its course, between woods, doWn (with some 
exceptions) to the water's edge. In the tour from 
Ross to Monmouth, this only occurs, precisely speak- 
ing, at the New Weir, aa far as the turn to the Little 
Doward. In all the rest of the course, the valley is 
more open. That excellent Paysagist, Vlhateley, 
gives us the following rules for judging of a river- 
course like the present. 

• 
*^ A river flowing through a wood, which over- 
spreads one continued surface of ground, and a river 
between two woods, are in very different circumstan- 
cos. In the latter case, the woods are separate : they 
may be contrasted in their forms and their characters ; 
and the outline of each should be forcibly marked. 
In the former, no outline ought to be discernable, for 
the river passes between trees, not between bounda- 
ries ; and though in the progress of its course, the 
style of the plantations may be oAen changed, yet 
on the opposite banks a similarity should constantly 



59 



prevail^ that the identity of the wood may never be 
doubtful,'' 

" A river between two woods may enter into a 
view ; and then it must be governed by the princi- 
ples which regulate the conduct and the accompani- 
ments of a river in an open exposure ; but when it 
runs through a wood, it is never to be seen in pros« 
pect ; the place is naturally full of obstructions ; and 
a continual opening large enough to receive a long 
reach, would seem an artificial cut; the river must 
therefore neeessarily wind more than in crossing a 
bank, where the passage is entirely free ; but its in« 
flnencewill never extend so far on the sides; the 
buildings must be near the banks; and if numerous 
will seem crowded, being all in one track, and in 
sitnattotts nearly alike. The scene however does not 
want variety ; on the eontrary, none is capable of 
more ; the objects are not indeed so different from 
each other in an open view ; but they are very dif. 
ferent and in much greater abundance ; for this is 
the interior of a wood, where every tree is an object ; 
every combination of trees Jt variety; and no large 
intervals are requisite to distingoish the several dis- 
positions; the grove, the thicket , or the groups may 
prevail ; and their forms and their relations may be 
constantly changed without restraint of fancy, or 
limitation of number. 

** Water is so universally and so deservedly ad- 
mired in a prospect, thai the most obvious thought in 



00 



the management of it, is to lay it as open as possible ; 
and purposely to conceal it, would generally seem a 
severe sel^denia); yet so many beauties may attend 
its passage tjirough a wood, thai larger povtion3 oCit 
may be allowed to such retired scenes, thaa Mre coea* 
monly spared from the yiew» and the different pa4rts 
m dfffereal stykawill then be fine oontraals to each 
other« If the- water be all. «Eposed, walks of n^ftr]ry 
two miles along the banks becom/e of tediona length, 
firora the want of Ihose ehangee of the scene, wliich 
supply through the whole extent a sueeession «f per. 
petual variety.'** Gilpin says of beaiHiful riters^ 
that sometimee they shoald come runoiiig up to the 
ibre*ground ; then hide themselves bebiad wooii^ 
precipices ; then again, when we know not what ie 
become of them, appear in the distances fovnHBg tbeir 
meanders along some winding vale.f The* reaches 
of the Wye are in general short ; for reaches may be 
too long, and wind toa little, and may not have the 
course of the river traced by the perspectiveof one 
scene behind another,;^ but it ia sufficient to^ observe 
of the Wye, that it has none of thecharaetevisties of 
had rivers, for these exhibit no bold shores, broken 
promonlorieSy nor sides clothed with wood. 

The first object just beyond Monmouth is on the right 

TROY HOUSE, 

a Reat of the Duke of Beaufort, built by Inigo Jones, 

♦ Whateley p.p.82— «4. 
f Fosbroke's Tourisl^ft Grammar, xW. X Id. i, xzzii. 



61 



It derived its name from the rivulet Trothy, and 
stands in meadows, on the right mouth of the steep 
pass, which the Wye enters, as that customary scene 
of retirement which it likes to inhabit. A little 
above l*roy is Gibraltar, a neat Cottage. 

Upon leaving Monmouth, the spire of the church 
in the retrospect, with the Kymin woods rising from 
a rock of great height on the left, under which the 
river meanders, and« to the right, Pen-y-van hill 
form the rich and bold scenery, which attends the 
first re-embarkation.* 

A t the distance of little better than half a mile the 
river makes a grand sweep to the right, and as- 
sumes a new character. Dismissing its rocks and 
precipices, it rolls through lofty sloping hills, thick- 
ly covered with waving woods. All here is solemn, 
still, and agreeable, j: 

From Monmouth to Red-brook, the left bank is a 
steep v^oody ridge; the right bank more sloping and 
varied in surface, consists of wood and meadow 
intermixed in a very picturesque manner, the outline 
of the wood being in baysj promontories, &c. This 
scenery continued to Red-brook. 

Mr. Gilpin says, " As we left Monmouth, the 
banks on the leA were at first low ; but on both sides 

♦ Cambrian Tourist. J Nicholson. 



62 



they soon grew steep and woody; varying Iheir 
shapes as they had done the day before. The most 
beautiful of these scenes is in the neighbourhood of 
St. BriavePs castle, where the vast woody declivities 
on each hand are uncommonly magnificent. The 
castle is at too great a distance to make any object 
in the view.'* 

*< The weather was serene; the sun shone ; and we 
saw enough of the effect of light in the exhibitions 
of this day, to regret the want of it the day 
before. 

" During the whole course of our voyage fpom 
Ross, we had scarce seen one corn-field. The banks 
of the Wye consist almost entirely either of wood or 
pasturage; which I roeniion as a circumstance of 
peculiar value in landscape. Furrowed lands and 
waving corn, however charming in pastoral poetry, 
are ill-accommodated to paiuting. The painter never, 
desires the hand of art to touch his grounds. But if 
art must stray among them ; if it must mark out the 
limits of property, and turn them to the uses of agri- 
culture, he wishes that these limits may, as much as 
possible, be concealed; and that the lands they 
circumscribe may approach as nearly as may be to 
aature; that is, that they may be pasturage. — 
Pasturage not only presents an agreeable surface; 
but the cattle which graze it add great variety and 
animation to the scene. 



63 



** The meadows below Monmouth, which ran shel- 
TXDg from the hills to the water side, were particu- 
larly beautiful, and well inhabited. Flocks of sheep 
were ever3rwhere hanging on their green steeps ; and 
herds of cattle occupying the lower grounds. We 
often sailed past groups of them, laving their sides 
in the water, or retiring from the heat under 
sheltered banks. 

^* In this part of the river also, which now begins 
to widen, we were often entertained with light vessels 
gliding past us. Their white sails pjtssing along 
the sides of wood-land hills were very picturesque. 

** In many places also the views were varied by 
the prospects of bays and harbours in miniature, 
where little barks lay moored, taking in ore aud- 
other commodities from the mountains. These ves- 
sels, designed plainly for rougher water than they at 
present encountered, shewed us, without any geo- 
graphical knowledge, that we approached the sea," 
Thus Gilpin. 

On the Monmouthshire side of the river, about a 
mile and a half below Monmouth, is Ihc cliurcli of 

PEN ALT, 

situated on the side of a woody eminerce, at the 
back of which is an extensive common* Opposite 
Penait, is the Castle-imitation seat, of the Hon. — 
Quin, befbre him, of the Wyndbams, 

o 2. 



64 



At Red-brook hillSy a little further on the left, the 
curling smoke, issuing from the Iron-works, forms a 
pleasing accompaniment to the scenery, the inspira- 
tion of which, it, for a while, suspends.* Below are 

LOWER RED-BROOK TIN-WORKS. 

Such Cyclopean shops and sheds, in a beautiful 
Arcadia of Nymphs, Dryads, Naiads and Fauns, re- 
mind us of the discordant union of Vulcan and Venus. 
The grim worshippers of the God of fire, only ani- 
mate with picturesque effect immense vaulted cav- 
erns ; and their deity should have been wedded to 
Bellousia, the boisterous daughter of iEolus, from 
whom he derived the power of liquefying theobstinate 
ore. 

All the left bank from Monmouth to Bigsweir is 
steep woody ridge, the right bank is composed of 
wood, meadow and village intermixed, being broader 
and Batter. 

Two miles from Red-brook, on the left, is 

WYE SEAL HOUSE; 

and, on the right, in a hollow vale, nearly hidden 
from sight by the woody acclivities on each side, is 
the hamlet of 

WHITE.BROOK, 

where Paper Mills now occupy the ruins of the old 
Iron- works* The name is derived from a small 

* Cambrian Tonrist.— ^-Nicbolion. 



65 



Stream wbich falls into the Wye. Beyond it the 
river forms a grand sweep, flowing into an abyss 
hetweeo two ranges of lofty hills, thickly over- 
spread with woods, 

A little below White-brook, appears on the left 
side a considerable eminence, called 

PEN-Y-VAN HILL, 

the summit of which usually exhibits a May-pole, 
around ^hich the Peasantry, now or recently, cele- 
brated the Roman Floralia, called by us May-games, 
with dances and feasting. 

At Wye Seal is the fine broad side of a mountainous 
heath in full front. It is very large steep and lofty, 
and has a grand efiect, it is part of the left bank. 
The ground upon which the May-pole stands, is the 
point of a promontory, which projects from the ridge 
in a most picturesque form, and widens dowri to its 
base. 

Between this hill and the river, lie the ruins of the 

ancient mansion of 

PILSTONE. 

humbled to the mere appendages of a farm. On the 
opposite side of the river, amidst grand scenery and 
hill luxuriantly mantled with wood, stands 

BIGS-WEIft HOUSE, 

late the residence ofGeneralRookc, long M.P. for the 
county of Motimouth and a descendant of Sir George 

G 3 



66 



Rooko, who took GibraUsu*. The house stands at 
an easy distance from the rivery on a gentle rise, 
which gradually swells inio an extensive hill, on 
whose summit are the remains of the Castle of 

St. BRIAYELS. 

At Bigs-weir the scene is uncommonly grand. 
The left bank consists of the steep mountainous Hudr 
knolls, shooting in bold broken outlines into the river. 
The right bank falls back into a large semicircular 
concavity hemmed in by a steep ridge of wood* In 
this hollow is situated the village of Landogo. 

Here, one of the accounts *. makes the following 
remark. *^ The voyager will lose one interesting 
feature almost peculiar to the Wye ; we allude to the 
numerous weirs, that obstruct its navigation, when 
the tide is out ; but at which time, these minute ca- 
taracts (if we may be allowed the expression) form 
a pleasing contrast to the smooth surface of the inter- 
vening pools. At high water the tide flows over 
them, and makes the river appear perfectly level. 

" We have hitherto only had occasion to notice 
Kew-weir and Bigs- weir ; but from the latter to a 
considerable distance below Tintem Abbey, they 
occur very frequently, scarcely half a mile from each 
other." 

From hence a long reach, with Tiddenham Chace 
Hill, rising conspicuously in front, leads to the beau- 
tiful village of 

• ExcuraioQ from the tource of the Wye, &c. p, 55. ^ 



67 



LAND060. 

It stands upon a lofty hill, whose indented side is 
mantled with deep woods; and cottages are inter- 
mingled. Here the river forms a smooth bay. The 
Hudknolls make a fine back-gronnd to this scene. 
From the brow of the hill behind, called Cleiaden 
Shoots, is a pretty view of the river and village. 
In winter a cascade £atlls from the abrupt emi- 
nence. 

CLEIADEN SHOOTS, 

** Dont tell me" says a lady << of cascades, the best 
cascade is from a tea-pot into a cop,*' and certainly a 
mere spout has no higher character, Whateley says 
«< several little falls in succession are preferable to 
one great cascade, because there is in a single sheet of 
water, a formality which nothing but height and vast- 
ness can remedy ; but the beginning should always 
be concealed, either by wood, or sometimes by a low 
broad bridge/' 

The ingenious Miss Mitford's ♦ sentimepl^ des- 
cription of her feelings upon view of the Trenton falls 
in North America, exhibits an effect of cascades 
hitherto unnoticed. " In a few minutes we stood be- 
low the first fall; the whole volume of the river here 
descends fifty feet at a single leap ; the basin which 
receives it, is swollen into a deep abyss ; and the 
dizzy whiri and tumult of the water is almost over- 

• Tales of American Life, vol. 3, p. 89. £0. 



^ 



poivering. Weascended at tbeside, and, at the level 
at the top of the fall, stood under an enormons aheify 
overshadowiDg oa almost at the height of a cloud, 
and advancing a little further the whole grand sweep 
of the Hver was befere us. It was a scene of which 
I never before had any conception, and 1 confess my- 
self inadequate to describe it« To stand in the bed of 
a torrent which flows four miles through a solid rock, 
at more than a hundred feet below the surface, to 
look up this tremendous gorge, and see as far as the 
eye can stretch, a river rushing on with amazing ve- 
locity, leaping at every few rods over a fall and sink- 
ing into whirlpools, and sweeping round projecting 
rocks constantly and violently ; to see this and then 
look up as from the depth of the earth to the giant 
walls that confine it piled apparently to the very sky, 
this is a sensation to which no language that would 
not seem a ridiculous hyperbole could do justice. 

''When the first surprise is over and the mind has 
become familiar in a degree, with the majestic scope 
of the whole, there is something delightfully tranquil- 
Hz ing In its individual features. We spent the whole 
day in loitering idly up the stream, stopping at every 
fall and every wild sweep of the narrow passes, and 
resting by the side of every gentle declivity, where 
the water shot smoothlv down, with the surface as 
polished, as if its arrowy velocity were to sleep at a 
transparent fountain. Nothing is. more beautiful than 
water, look at it when you will, in any of its thousand 
forms, in motion, or at rest dripping from the moss of 



69 



a spring, or leaping in the thunder of a cataract, it 
has always general, surpassing, beauty, its clear 
transparency, the grace of its every possible motion, 
the brilliant shine of its foam, and its majestic march 
in the flood, are matched, upitedly, by no other ele- 
ment. If objects that meet the eye have any effect on 
our happiness, water is among the first of human 
blessings. The inspired writers use it constantly as 
an image for gladness, and chrystal waters is the 
beaitiful type of the apocalypse for the joy of the new 
Jerusalem. I bless God for its usefulness, but I say 
because it is an every day blessing that its splendour 
is unnoticed. Take a child to it and he claps his little 
hands with delight, and present it to any one in a new 
form and his senses are bewildered. The man of warm 
imagination who looks for the first time on Niagara, 
feels an impulse to leap in which is almost irresistible. 
What is it but a delirious fascination ? the same spell 
which in the loveliness of a woman, or the glory of a 
sunset cloudy draws you to the one, and makes you 
long for the golden wings of the other. I trust that 
I shall be forgiven this digression ; it is one of feel- 
ing ; 1 have loved the water from my childhood, it 
has cheated me of my sorrows when a home-sick 
boy, I have lain beside it on a summer^s day when 
an idle student, and deliciously forgot my dry philo- 
sophy ; it has always the same pure flow, and the 
same low music, and is always ready to bear away 
our thoughts upon its bosom, like the Hindoo's flow- 
ers to an imaginative heaven. Such are grand water« 



70 



falls ; but even in those of a humbler kind, their 
silvery radiance^ tvhich moonlight admirably 
harmonizes, is^' liirther to be noticed, nor do we saffi- 
ciently appreciate the effect of that light, as beauti- 
fully fxhibitrd in the following apostrophe. *Tho 
light lay softly upon the hills, the thin exhalations 
rose up and floated jast palpably in the air, and a 
scent of wild flowers was abroad as if the fairies were 
dancing on tham, in every green nook of the wilder- 
nfc6a.' 1 believe moonlight is sent to the feelings, 
it certainly makes some nu n better, there is an influ- 
ence about it which cannot be greatly resisted, which 
glides into the heart with its subtle power, stealing 
away i's grossness, and covering its dark thoughts 
like the ministry of an angel.^* 

From hence the Wye becomes a tide river, and 
the result is, that the translucent streanrr, which had 
hitheito alternately reflected, as in a mirror, the aw- 
ful projection of the rocks and the soft flowery ver- 
dure of Its banks, is affected by the influence of the 
tide, and lecdered turbid and unpleasingtotheeye.* 

C0ED1T^EL-^YEIR, 

a large fall of water next occurs. 

About a mile further on tlie Irft bank of the river is 

BROOK-^VEIR. 

a populcvs little hamlet, one of those little ports, 
the (crmaticnof which was so encouraged by Henry 

CRinl riaji Tourist, 446. 



71 



and Elizabeth, when the nobility to get rid of the 
lead, wool, and other articles upon their estates, 
supplied the merchants with money, who, from 
factors, at last became principals.* The trade is 
carried on wilh Bristol; ihe freights, chiefly, corn, 
hoops, and faggols. 

Leaving Brook- weir, one bank of the river is frin- 
ged with a thick woody acclivity ; ai^d on the other 
are some rich meadows, which terminate at the village 
of 1'intern. 

Upon rounding the point nt Lyn-weir, the church 
of Tintern, only a few yards iVojii iho water's edge, 
has a singular and picluresquo app:^arauci>. A house 
formerly belonging to the. fa.iiily of Fielding, was 
battered, says Tradition, by tliepirliaraw»ntary troops 
from the brow of the hill, on the opposite si Ji? of the 
river, where there has certainly been an encmnptnent. 

At Tintern we soon roach the celebrated ruin of 

THE ABBEY, 

estimated with its appendages, the most beautiful and 
picturesque view on the river. Mr. Glover consid- 
er» this opinion, as chiefly foundod upon the ruin ; 
and the declaration of Sir li, C. Hoare i«, that '* this 
Abbey (as to the first coup d' ceil) exceeds every 
ruin he hud seen either in England or Wales." The 
fact is, that the scenes on the Wye are not proper 
subjects of comparison ; that XJu^ern lanks in the 

• Lodpfe'8 llhwtrations of Uritis!! HIbI ry, vol. 2. p. 211. 



72 



scale of interest with any ; but that such interest, 
though of equal strength, is of distinct character. 
One is curious and beautiitdly dressed rock, as 
Cold well; another, picturesque craigs, as the New 
Weir ; a third, as Abbey Tintem, a fine woody 
amphitheatre brought into double effect by the ruin ; 
a fourth as Windcliff, a grand assemblage of preci- 
pice, and irregular abyss. 

" Apaltry ruin is of no value ; a grand one is mag. 
nificent, and should beeitherof a Castle ur Abbey.* " 
Thus Gilpin. ^^Ruins," says Whateley, ** make fine 
changes ; they are a class by themselves, beautiful 
as objects, expressive as characters, and peculiarly 
calculated to connect with their appendages into ele- 
gant groupes ; they accommodate themselves with ease 
to irregularity of ground^ and their disorder is impro- 
ved by it ; they blend intimately with trees and with 
thickets, and the interruption is an advantage, for 
imperfection and obscurity are their properties; and 
to carry the imagination to something more than is 
seen, their effect. They may for any of these pur- 
poses be separated into detached pieces ; contiguity 
is not necessary, nor even the appearance of it, if the 
relation be preserved ; but straggling ruii^ have a 
bad effect, when the several parts are equally consid- 
erable. There should be one large mass to raise an 
idea of greatness to attract the others about it, and 
to be a common centre of union to all. The smaller 



* Gilpin's Northern Totir, i, 07. 



.V'." 



t. 



73 



ihen mark the Original dimensions of one extensive 
structure ; and no longer appeal to be the remains 
of several little buildings.* In general the architect 
tural characters of ruins s^bould not be nakedly ex- 
hibited, but they should be mixed with trees, f It 
is Airtber to be observed, that though the Gothic 
style of architecture will harmonize with the wild 
scenery of unimproved and unperverted nature, the . 
Grecian is offensively incongruous. In fact no style 
whatever has so much effect as the Gothic, J *'an effect 
more imposing,*' says Mr. Payne Knight, ^'than any 
perhaps to be found in other works of man." A 
few fragments scattered round the body of. a ruin 
are proper and picturesque. I'hey are proper, be* 
cause they account for what is defaced, and thf y are 
picturesque because they unite the principal pile with 
the ground, on which union the beauty of composition 
in a good measure depends.§ This addition is utterly 
destroyed at Tintcrn by its situation within a mob of 
houses, through which we are obliged to fly to the 
interior for the repose necessary to any pleasurable 
feeling of the effect of the ruin. For solitude, neg^ 
led and desolation'^Te the proper characteristics of 
ruins |] Gilpin further adds that, " ruins by nieans 
x)f planting, should sometimes exhibit a distant view, 

• Whateley, 131. f Price, i. 18. 

;t Kugh: on Taste, 168. 178. § Touiist's Granunar^ 

II lb. xxxiv, 
II. 



74 



and sometimes one at hand ; here the tphole^ and 
there some dhlinguished part.*" The elevation of 
the ground and the natinral woodipess of the comitry, 
supply both these qualities at Tintem, 

Mr. Gilpin says, ** 7%1/em-ilUcy occupies a gen- 
tle eminence in the middle of a circular valley » beau- 
tifully screened oti aH sides by woody hills, through 
which the river winds its course ; and the hills, clo- 
sing on its entrance and on its eut, leave no room 
for inclement blasts to enter. A more pleasing re- 
treat could not easily be found. The woods and 
glades intermixed ; the winding of the river ; the 
variety of the ground; the splendid ruin contrasted 
with the objects of nature ; and the elegant line form- 
ed by the summits of the hills which include the whole 
make altogether, a very enchanting piece of scenery. 
Etery thing around breathes an air so calm and 
tranquil, so sequestered from the commerce of life, 
that it is easy to conceive, a man of warm imagination! 
in monkish times, might have been allured by such a 
scene to become an inhabitant of it. 

** No part of the ruins of Tintem is seen from the 
river, except the Ahbey-church. It has been an 
elegant Gothic pile; but it does not make that appear- 
ance as a distant object which we expected. Though 
the parts are beautiinl, the whole is ill shaped. No 
ruins of the tower are left, which might give form 

* Tourist's Cranunar, zzxviii. 



75 



and eontrast to the buttresses and walls. Instead of 
this, a number of gpabel-ends hurt the eye with their 
reg^arity, aiid disg^ust it bj the vulgarity of their 
shape. A mallet jndicioasly used (but who durst use 
it ?) might be of serrice in fracturing some of them ; 
particularly those of the- cross aisles, which are most 
disagreeable in themselves^ and confound the per- 
spective. 

**Btft were the building ever so beautiful^ encom- 
passed as it is with shabby houses, it could make no 
appearance from ibe riven From a stand near the 
nMMl it k seen to more advantage. 

** EtLt if Tinitem'Mfey be less striking a6 a dist- 
atit object, tt exhibits, on a nearer view, (when the 
wbolb together 6aniiot be seen^) a very enchantliig 
|iieee of iilin; The ^ye settled upon some of its no- 
btferpahs* Nature b^$ how tnade it her own. Time 
has woni elf all traces of the chisel ; it has blanted 
tire shal'p ^^es of the tU\e and cornlpassr^ and broken 
ib^ i^giilaAty tf^bpposiog parts. The figured brna^- 
iuents of the eilst window are gone ; thos^o of \}tte 
west windd# are left. Most of the other windows:, 
with their principal ornaments, remain. 

**To th^w were snpelradded the ornaments of time . 
Ivy ib masa^ uneooi(monljr krge, had taken posses- 
»ii>frofman|r parts of the wall, and given a happy 
contrast to the grey-coloured stonfr of which the 
bnikling is composed; nor was this undecorated. 

H 2. 



7& 



B(osse5 of various hues> with liclieos, maiden -hair^ 
penny-leafy and other hamble plants, had overspread 
the surface, or hun^ from every joint and crevice. 
Some of them were in flower, others only in leaf;: 
but altogether gave those full-blown tints which add 
the richest finishing to a ruin» 

'* Such is the beautiful appearance which Tintem 
Abbey exhibits on the otitside, in those parts where 
we can obtain a nearer view of it. But when we 
enter it we see it in most perfection ; at least if we 
consider it as an independent object, unconnected 
with landscape. 1*he roof is gone, but the walls-, 
and pillars and abutments which supported it, are en- 
tire . A few of the pillars have indeed given way; 
and here and there a piece of the facing of the wall ; 
but in corresponding parts, one always remains t« 
tell the story. The pavement is obliterated; the 
elevation of the choir is no longer visible ; the whole 
area is reduced into one level, cleared of rubbishy 
and covered with neat turf closely shorn 4 and inter* 
rupted with nothing but the noble columns which 
formed the aisles and supported the tower. 

** When we stood at one end of this awful piece 
of ruin, and surveyed the whole in one view, the ele* 
ments of air and earth, its only covering and pave- 
ment ; and the grand and venerable remains which 
terminated both, perfect enough to form the perspect- 
ive, yet broken enough to^destroy the regularity— the 
eye was above measure delighted with the beauty. 



77 



the greatness and the novelty of the scene. More 
pictUre^ue it certaiiiiy wonld have beeh^ if the area 
unaddi4M$dy had b&eii left with atll itis rough fragmeiits 
of roift scatCereid rOnod ; and bold Was the hand that 
r6m61rM thein ; yet as' the outside of the miriy which 
is the^ehief object of pktw^sque curiosity % is stilf 
leA; in aHatS'wSd' and native rudenesSy we excuse, 
pierhiipft w^a^fypfrbve, the neatness that is introduced 
Tfltlntf ; it ni^j add to the beauty of the scene ; to 
its novelty it undoubtedly does.'' Thus Gilpin: 
Whatdey*s description of the Abbey (p.p. 133. 134.) 
is a ntoe c^alogud of the objects to be seen, and 
therefore omitted. He concludes with sajring that 
*' the whole suggests every idea, which can occur in 
a seat of devotion, solitude, and desolation." 

l*he riile of the Cistercian monks^ who Were great 
agriculturists, was to clhise sequestered spots of ex- 
quisite picturesque beauty. 

Netley, near Southampton, is a striking specimen ; 
and, by taking in the offscape, a picture in the whole 
finer than Tin tern ; but riot ais a limited landscape. 
The chronicle of Tintern Abbey states, that William 
Fitzosbert; £arl of Owe in Normandy, Was present- 
ed by the Conqueror with the manors of Woilaston 
and Tiddeobam, for the maintenance of a garrison 
and forces, to effbct conquests over the Welch. He 
left a son, Richard, who had the same privileges; 
and Richard had issue, Walter, This Walter, after 

H 3: 



78 



bis ancestors and himself bad acquired all Nether^ 
went and half of Gwent, then founded Tintem Abbey 
in the year 1131.* Thus the Abbey Chronicle ; 
and here it is fit to make a short pause. Leland 
says ** there was a sanctuary g^raunted to Tinteme, 
but it hath not been nsid many a day."t it ia well 
known that sanctuary was annexed to most of the 
Welch Churches ; that these were built at, or near 
Draidical places of worship, { and that those of 
Christian appropriation, deserted by the British 
clergy, were favorite spots for donations to abbeys 
among the Anglo-saxons, that they might not dis- 
gust the prejudices of the conqiiered.$ Theodorick, 
a christian prince, had a palace just by. There ia 
room to think, that Walter, the first founder, by 
way of amende honorabUy for his conquest over the 
Welch, did, like Canute at Edmondsbury, found an 
abbey upon a spot previously sanctified. This found« 
ation was, however, far from complete, lor William 
Marshal], Earl of Pembroke, in his confirmation 
charter, dated 7. Henry iii, mentions donations of 
his ancestors and other founders and donors; as also 
the gift of Trelleck, a Draidical spot, by Gilbert 
and Richard Strongbow.^ Walter dying in 1X32, 
only one year after the foundation, without issue, and 

* Bngdale^s Monasticon, i. 724. f Collecfanea, i. 104. 

X Rowland's MDna.Anfiqua.p.2^* § XY Scriptore8,p.60 

II Dugdale, i. 723. % The term Bow was a common 

cant expretsion vaHouBly applied* See Douce on Shakspearc* 



79 



of coarse, without time to finish such a pile of biiiid* 
ing, was sncceeded hy Gilbert, his brother and heir 
first Earl of Pembrokei sumamed Strongbow, a term 
of the day for a great warrior; not implying skill io 
archery, which men at arms did not use. He died 
]n,1148, and was buried at Tintern. To his titles 
and estates succeeded his son Richard Strongbow* 
He died in 1 178, and left an only daughter Isabella, 
she was married to William Marshall, the elder, who 
died and was buried at the Temple, London, in 121 A, 
The issue of this William and Isabella was five sons 
and as many daughters. The former were all sue* 
cessively Earls of Pembroke, brother after brother, 
but died childless. Matilda, the eldest daughter, 
married Hugh Bigot, Earl of Norfolk and Suffi>lk, 
by whom she had a son, Hugh, Thi9 last Hugh 
was the father of Roger Bigot,f who, as William 
of Worcester asserts from the Abbey Obitnaryy 
built the church of Tintern, which was consecrated 
for divine service in 1287. His arms were accord- 
ingly placed in the east window. Upon the suppo* 
sition, that the date of the foundation is always that 
of the fabrick, a position which instances beyond 
number confute, this date of William of Worcester, 
is denied, but unjustly. The church is in all its parts 
a unique whole, a copy of Salisbury Cathedral, built 
only a few years before ; and whatever were the form- 
er buildings, (like Chepstow Castle, of the same 

* Britanaia, ii. 53« 



89 



style of aKite1Utecifttt«» aiid^M<Mi{s&g'to Rogi»r,> they 
wcfte ttoth mixed up" iv fiber Mone^ fkbriek, ttfd probli- 
blybytbesaaieirotkmeti. At€)hto^tow there arb 
eifenml maite'ef tHUnItAttClbtf, bvt at tiiktehi mM 
at lea^ visible; poftril)!/ BeckiiiM»' there is no access 
16 die eryi^t^ allfrof the'lSCb ceiitdry, i. e* in th6 
wotfuaf At:W» EysofHT^ '< simplicity and elegant 
omament:'*' 

The resemblance between this church, and that of 
Netley^ of the same sera, is strong. The west win* 
dow bos the mullions perfect, and mosi beautiful they 
aref'/ in* pattern* Still reasonable' doubts may be 
entertained whether the church was- even complete 
in ltt87 : for thegreat-^ascent window^ .of nearly the 
whole width of the ohoiri and carried almost as high 
as the Tanltingi,. is of tho style oftbe next century.f 
It was stripped of its lead in the wars of Charles I, 
and as the length of the church i» 228 feet, the 
breadth 150, of course the>beight of the vaulting was 
(according to the usuad rule), of the last^admeasure-* 
mente^j; When the door of the Abbey; is thrown open^ 
the sudden effect is astonishing* Mr« Newell says 
in his Scenery, of- Wales (p» 102) ** T<he best views 
are of the interior, and I know not a finer^ than from 
the right hand corner, -soon after you ^ater' the 
western door. Seen in front, or from the river, it 

• Dugdale ubi stipira. f Id. p. 53. 

jWilHm'B Cathedralfs ii..763. William of Worcester 
inake« it only 11 fathoms, i. e. ee feet. 



81 



is deformed and encumbered. I have known the 
south window selected as a study." 

Whatever may be the ofience to the picturesque in 
landscape consideration, b j ironings the surface of 
grass, as if it were linen^ and keeping the interior of 
the church in the state of green lawn» it is indispen- 
sable, if people are to walk about it pleasantly. It is 
evident too, that it gives a nughty effect to the 
architectural beauty of tht intedor, by net distracting 
the eye from its elegant proportions : leaving the 
whole an unincumbered view ; and adding a solemn 
vacancy, which introduces reflection andpensiveness. 
The best situation which the Tourist can take, for 
the finest views, is just on the right side after enter- 
ing the door. The grand back-ground, seen through 
. the east-window, is truly sublime^ The ivy especi- 
ally on the right aide of the nave, clusters in a man- 
ner which na scene of the kind ever surpassed, per* 
haps never equalled— and all this ifta spot, around 
which nature has spread an awful holiness. It is a 
hermitage scene; no flaunting floviers, or yellow 
heaths : but the attempered sober majesty of religtdn 
where the heights reduce the glaring day to a meek 
twilight, and a serene dark green of unvarying wood 
preserves the mmd from any incongruous intrusion » 

Such, even in ruin, is hofy Tintern : what would it 
be, if entire, and as anciently ** wi^h storied windows 
richly dight." The splendid hues would form a singu- 
lar eontrast to the gloomy grandeur of its shadowy 



82 



recesses. Tbe cbangen of the day and season wonid 
▼aiy the efiect, and give a new aspect to the objects 
of iUnnuBatioiu The nysof the silnal own, stream- 
ings tfaroiigh the stahied glass^ wMd conrniimicate 
its vivid tinge to ffao rude effigies in marMe^ and 
lieraidio distindioiis^ with whi^ the tombs aiid 
mdmnients were^eoomted. Th# appniaefa of eV%ltw 
ing would deepen this 'visiomirj toAe^ and bight add 
an indeMrribable aakmnkf, The meob in a okud^ 
44SS sk}% shedding her benrns tfaroogh the paints 
g:lafls on the dim shrines amd fugitive menforiills uf 
the dead, in the immense nave» tvoidd form an inH- 
pesing oomhbi^ion frith the giimmerin^ a1ftir8>of the 
•defty^ and a martyrdom^ or mom-Dfvl etdryof the 
(msskm^ vividly depicted in «« ^etSfed iMnlipartmeitt 
of tbe wmdow* — ^Tho whole wbidd aeqoire ft nemi^ 
kss character Iran the slilhifiis of ttis hom*) broken 
only by tho edioes of a seAfiary f^mfoUy or the 
BMbBcboly cry of the bhrdo of night* 

*Mn the dark ages^ when the mind, was more 
open to notions of proternaturaJ agency^ and the 
imagination less under the control of reflection, the 
etkcX of such a scene must have been incalculable • 
A monk, or *' pale-eyed virgin," at their orisons, or 
even a steel-clad knight of the cross, pacing tbe cold 
sttitter flbor at mtdnight, in petibf mftilce of his tow, 
and iMopres^ed whh the pn^vniKAg belief, that the 
spiinlttf oFthe deceased were nightly perimtted to re- 
visit the abodes of the Kving, might w^tl raisle th^ir 



8a 

eyes to the lofty casement^ in apprehension that 
some sainted figure would descend' from its station 
on the glass, and reveal a messenger from another 
world. For even ^n ordinary mind might think. 

In- such a plao^ 99 thit, at such an hour, 
If aug^.of apoQstry oan- bp believed, 
Descen^lig aagels bave con?ersed with man. 
And told lfae-«ecreta of the world unknown."* 

The admirable effect of fine architectural buildings 
by moonlight is wttU known ; and men of fancy and- 
sentiment have happily applied the rule to this su- 
preme ruin. One of them thus depicts his wishes 
with which persons of taste will coincide, except with 
regard to the ghost part, upon which there will 
probably eaist-mucb dlflference, ifnot of opinion, .at 
Ieast'of4ncrma4i0n. 

"Th« great ,ti:(^" l^e 8aj;j^**ot v.eg(etaW^.n>ck, or. 
Emperor of the Oaks (if you please), before which 
yon and I bowed with a sort of reverence in the 
fid# of Tixit<»ni, andiWibieh fdr so many ages, has 
liovneallthe blastsiimd boits.of Heaven, I should 
deem it a grfitifieation of ;a jiuperior. kind, xo approach 
again with '*nnsandaled fciot'* to pay: the same hom«- 
age, and to kindle with the same devotion;^-— But I 
should find. amidst the magnificent ruins of the ad* 
joining Abbey, something of a sublimer cast, to 

* This fine passage on stained glass, is (Vom the Lit- 
erary Gazette of July 12, 1817, p.p. 26. 27, 



84 



Iblerest and give poignancy to mj feelings. I must 
be alone. Mj mind must be calm and pensive. It 
must be midnight. The moon half veiled in clouds, 
must be just emerging from behind the neighbouring 
tiills. All must be silent, except the wind, gently 
rushing among the ivy of the ruins,— The river 
lulling, by its faint murmurings, its guardian genius 
to repose, and the owl whose funereal shriek would 
sometimes die along the walls in mysterious echoes. 
I should then invoke the ghosts of the Abbey; and 
Fancy, with one stroke of her magic wand, would 
rouse them from their dusty beds, and lead them, in- 
to the centre of the ruin. I should approach these 
shadowy existences with reverence, make enquiries 
respecting the customs and manners, and genius and 
fate ofantiquity, desire to have a glimpse of the des* 
tiny of future ages, and enter upon conversations 
which wonld be too sacred and even dangerous to 
communicate.* " 

Now Tintem would be a most unfortunate spot 
for visits of speculation coaceming future destinies, 
at least in the minds of old women, and poets, (who 
resemble in many points old women) for Superstition 
and Imagination are relatives. It is a singular coin- 
cidence, that two kings sought refuge at Tintem, 
and only left it to meet violent deaths, viz. Theodo- 
4-ick, King of Glamorgan, (of whom under the hhtoT'^ 

• Reed'i Remair.B. p. 164. 



;^5 

ical part, suu) Kiiijg: Edward p.* f bo,fl^d here from 
„fhf^.iuir9ait of his f*she-wolf*"t 

Of:ifche.scattered.rQinaiiis,:{:,ii9an3r fiaecajNitals of 
rich foliage, and beautiful mouldings, with qoater- 
fioils, rps^tes, ,,9nd. fineljr proportioned ogees, are 
. . jt^^rf^^jiog. to the . antiquary* There are also broken 
-efligies of a k^iglit Jpxhain mail,.§ a pavache shield, 
ai^d crossed legs^ as a. Crusader, or (l Yowee to take 
the cross; of an image of the Virgin. Alary ; and a 
third of less easy ascription. The figure of the 
knight is ascri()e(i to Gilbert Sirongbow, upon the 
authority of bis . interment here, mentioned by the 
Abbey, Chronicle. It has been doubted, because he 
has been also said to have been buried at Dublin and 
at jGloucester* 

The t^rm may have been used from celebration of 
the funeral service in those churches, from respect of 
benefactions. Thus Queen Elizabeth was buried, 
and a picture of heir tomb placed in numerous church- 
es* % The custom was continued at least till the last 

* He wa9 iiere od October 14th. 1326, and removed to 
Chepstow, tor oa the 20th. he was there. Palgrave's Pari. 
Writs. Tol. ii. div. 2. Kipp. p. 295. 

t Smyth's Berkeley M. S.S. p. 336. 

% Removal 'of the Monuments, in clearing the interior, was 
foolish and injurious, for no purpose whatever. 

§ Sir S. R. Meyrick, says of Roger de Bigod. 

% Fuller's €hurch History, Cent, xvii, p. 5, See too 
Strype's Stowe, and Maitland. 

I. 



86 



century» even with respect to clergymen who held 
two livings, the burial service being performed in 
both their churches, and entries made accordingly in 
the registers.* 

This of Tintem is, by the style of the armour, un- 
doubtedly of the 12th century, and therefore, most 
probably, refers to Gilbert Strongbow. The rude 
sculpture of the hand has given rise to an opinion 
that he had five fingers. 

The third effigy is that of a Saint, wrongly called 
an Abbot, though under a niche. It is in bas-relief, 
lying upon bars ; and seems to allude to that passage 
of the Golden Legend,f in the life of St. Laurence, 
where Decyan says, ** brynge hyder a bedde of iron 
yt Laurence contymax may lie thereon,*' which bed 
has been converted into a gridiroq> as the symbol of 
that saint. 

* Thus concerning the Author's great GrandfiUher, who 
vas rector of Acton Scott, and vicar of Diddleburv* county 
Salop, who died in 1726, there are burial entries in the 
registers of both pari^es. 

t Fol. cxxxv, Ed. Id03. 






87 



STAGE FIFTH. 

TINTERN ABBEY TO CHEPSTOW. 

Hight Bank, 

FIB8T. NEVSTT*8«— eSCOND. WINDCLIFF— 
THIRB. lover's LEAP — FOURTH. PIERS* 
FIELD WALKS— FIFTH. TWELVE APOSTLES 
--^IXTH* CHEPSTOW CASTLE* 

Left Bank. 

FIRST. BANNA60R CRAGS — SECOND. FRYER's 
ROCKS— THIRD. LANCAUT — FOURTH. PIERS- 
FIELD BAT — FIFTH. TIDDENHAM ROCKS 
— SIXTH. TUTSHILL. 

Mr. Gilpin sajSy ''the country about Tintern 
Abbey hath been described as a solitary, tranqnil si- 
lence ; but its immediate environs only are meant. 
Within half a mile of it, are carried on g;reat iron- 
works, which introduce noise and bustle into these 
regions of tranquility. 

I 2. 



8d 



ts 



The ground about these works appears from the 
river to consist of grand woody hills, sweeping and 
intersecting each other in elegant lines. They are 
a continuation of the same kind of landscape as that 
about Tintern Abbey, and are fully, equal to it, 

'* As we still descend the river, the same scenery 
continues ; the banks are equally st^fepV whidiAjg, and 
woody ; and, in some parts^ diversified by prominent 
rocks, and ground finely broken and adorned. 

''BiAbne gr^t dis^dirkntagfS^b^gairfier^to mU6^ '-- 
us. Hitherto the riv'e'r had been deskr and spKindid, 
r^fle'cting the several objects on its banks. Be^ its 
waters now became oozy and discolouredi' Skidgy 
shores too appeared on each side ; and other sympt- 
oms which discovered the infl uence of a tide." Thus 
Gilpin. 

The groimd'of the right bank of the river, on 
which stand. Abbey Tintern, WindcHfiT, Piersfield, 
and Chepstow Castle, consists of ian indented or scol- 
loped outline, forming bays and promontories. The 
tbundatton or base of this outline, is a hollow horse- 
shoe concavity, like that of a Greek theatre, but in* 
finitely larger, in the middle of which is a gentle ele- 
vation the site of the Abbey. In short take the capi«^ 
tal letter S, and join on to it, at the lower curve, a 
capital C, with the arch uppermost, or make a ser- 
pentine line, and join to it, at the bottom, a convex 
semicircle ; Windcliff will then be at the top of the 



80 



letter S, w linei and linteni Abbey in the middle of 
G, or the semicircle. 

The taite diiplajred in the ntoation of the Abbej 
(that of Greek Temples) is conspicuous, for it would 
have been buried* had the area been flat, by the im- 
mense height of the surrounding sylran amphitheatre, 
and its parts would have appeared diminutive ; but as 
it is, nature and art assist each other. The fore- 
ground is not naturally poor, and is further gloriously 
enriched by the ruin; The river, after skirting the 
Abbey ^deways, turns short to the right, and from 
hence commences a new character of Wye scenery; 
the. leading feature is precipice, in all its massy 
grandeur,^ relieved in places, but partially, by wood. 
The height is tremendous ; the acclivities often such 
as not to be stood upon; occasionally undermined by 
the river; which, thus runs under an arch, and the 
outlines, ridges intercepting each other, or over lap- 
ping. The winding water-course makes promonto- 
ries of the shore, first on one side, then on the other* 
Soon after leaving the Abbey, the long line of 

BANNA60R CRAGS 

forms a perpendicular rampart on the left, wholly 
bare, except where a few shrubs spring from the crevi- 
ces, or fringe their summits; on the opposite side, 
the river is skirted by narrow slips of rich pasture, 
rising into wooded acclivities, on which towers the 
Windcliff, a perpendicular mass of rock, overhung 

i3 



90 

with thicketSy The river base of ^indcliflf is at a 
house called 

NEVErt'S. 

The gfround ri^es in steps, du tti6 edgei of die w»4 
ter are narrow slips of pasture in a odntei f&m, 
winding round a steep bank of rock and thicket. 
Above this is a flat plateau of table-ground^ divided 
into fields, with a good house iii the tenlre. Behind, 
rises 

tVINDCLIFF, 

a giant with a hairy skin of wood, and a head with 
enormous teeth of ruck, accompanied with other 
hilly Poljpbemuses of inferior terror of charactek^. 
This is the first of three peninsulas, and the scenery 
as viewed from Tiddenham ChacOy is so wild and 
grand as to defy verbal description. It corrects the 
base of Wiadclifi, terraced and formal, butpleasingly 
nnusuah From the boat, the scene cannot eqioal)y 
be embraced in all its great features; 

This wild spot terminates at Windcliff, which 
forms one extremity, of the Piersfield amphitheatre* 
Fancy without vision cannot convey correct portraits 
of the most common objects of nature; and it is 
therefore better to say, that the bay of Piersfield 
presents sipanorama of hanging wood, rock scenery 
and deep abyss ; not simply grand, but dreadfully 
sublime; and that not by mere naked cliffs, as the 
Bullers of Buchan; but clothed precipices of savage 



91 



After doubling WindcGff, fbe boat enters an abyss 
hemmed in by tbe fiefghtsr of Piersfield on the rigbt 
sfioi^, and of T!ddenbam on tbe left. In the centre 
idtfaeseeottd peninsnla of 

LANCAUT, 

partly flat, partly a slope from Tiddenham Chac^. 
The riv^r encircles on the left, a farm of good mead- 
ows, with a house upon it, called 

LANCAUT COTTAGE. 

The church is also to be seen. On the right, are 
twelve curious 

PROJECTING ROCKS, 

bearing the names of the Apostles, and a ihtrteenth 
denominated St. Peter's Thumb, They resemble 
the bastions of a castle, and return a surprising rever- 
beration of sound. Of the Lover'' s Leap^ mention 
will be made hereafler; 

The next and last reach brings the tourist into 

PIERSFIELD BAY, 

and sight of Chepstow Castle, which lines a project- 
ing ridge of rock, that forms the third isthmus. It 
stands upon the highest part of an immense perpen- 
dicular-sided crag. The grand feature of the view, 

* Descriptions ia detail are givea, ^ 



"^ 



92 



beyond that of other castles, is the Gommandiiig ele- 
vation of the mutilated keep, which assumes a very 
picturesque attitude, and gives a sublimity to the 
whole, that otherwise would look like a mere town^ 
wall, i. e. be too low, and in the ruined parts heapish. 

The new iron bridge is elegant, light and airy, 
but introduces an inharmonious formality into the 
general scene. The old bridge of carpentry, on the 
Roman model, was a real curiosity ; being a bridge 
mounted like a school-boy on stilts, in the attitude of 
going to walk.* 

tIDDENHAM ROCKS 

and Tntshill Slope, on the left, are in fine accordance 
as well as the fore-ground of crags. 

^ A good view of it it given by Kip, in Sir R. Atkyns* 
Gloucesteribire. 



m 



STAGE SIXTH. 

CHEPSTOW TO WINDCLIFF. 
s^coad; prBBtrfffLiM-vsiBD. . wyndclipf. 



Chbpstow Archdeacon Coxe'says, thai . ** b^had 

seldom vtsHed any town^ whose pteturesque sknatioai 
surpasses tfaatof Chepstow," and Mr. Wyndbanifas-«* 
sefts that the ^'beautiesare so anoommonly excellent 
that the mostexaot critic in landscape, would scarcely? 
wish to alter apposition in the assemblage of woodst^; 
cliffs^ rains and water.*' 

The first object is the 

CASTLE, 

liditig^ the- whole length of aprojectingrpck^ and a 
very fiae remain. Chepstow men^ sigoifieSimai^ 
et-place ; but under the name of Estbrighoel or Stri- 
guil, the castle is mentioned in Domesday book .;^a«d 
is said to have^ been built by William FitZQShom, 
Earl of Hereford, killed ia 1070, who erected it out 



94 



of die rains of tbe adjacent Caerwent, or VetUa Si^ 
AmuR. Groie affirma it to have been the woric of 
■ome of the Earla of Pembrokot The remains show 
(as win soon appear,) that the old castle was nearlj 
all taken down, and rebuilt in the 13th centnry.* 
The Duke of Beanfort holds it by descent, from the 
Herberts* 

Castles were bailt according to the form of the 
groond; that of CaerlaTerock being a triangle ; and 
Chepstow castle is a parallelogram, npon a tongue of 
land, consisting of successiye coarts or baileys, 
flanked on the land side by an immense ditch and 
town walls ; on the other side by the Wye. 

The entrance is by a gateway with round towers, 
between them a machicollation. The former were 
considered necessary^ like arms for tbe human body, 
to protect the entrance; and tbe latter was used for 
throwing down stones and torches upon the enemy, 
and water, if he should attempt to bum tbe gates.f 
These last remain, and consist of planks, covered 
with iron plates laid upon a strong lattice, and fast- 
ened by iron bolts; It was usual to case gates with 
iron or leather against fire.;]; 

Within one door is the original wicket, about three 
feet high, and only eighteen inches broad ; and is 

* The Castle is mentioned in Collins* Peerage, ii, 30. 
vii. 406, Ed. 1761. 

t Albert! de re edificst. 4to. Par. 1519, fol, W, a. 

t Id. It, b. 



96 



cut oat so as to leave a very higb step. It is even 
smaller than a coach door. Grooves for a portcallis, 
and two large round funnels^ appear in the arch, for 
pouring down melted lead and boiling water. On 
the left of the gate runs a wall, with a round tower 
and square stair-case turret at the comer. The 
whole aspect is feudally grand. 

From this you enter the second court, as it is call* 
ed, consisting entirely of the ancient offices and apart- 
ments of the modern keeper* On the right hand is 
what is called the hall, and kitchen ; which have 
windows of the style of the 13th century, and stairs 
lead from it into the hall. It is a small room, a ser- 
vants', not a castle ball. There was a cistern for 
rain water^ and the pipe ran through the wall. 

All this court was, in this, and most other castles 
of the sera, expressly devoted to the servants and 
garrison. Whoever has read the denominations and 
number of apartments in ancient castles,* will al8o 
know, that antiquaries themselves cannot elucidate 
them all, much less ignorant cicerones* 

There are said to have been sixteen towers. A 
. jineof comiDunication, i» e. a terraced walk, at least 
now, runs inside the outer wall, along the whole 
building, ascending by steps from toww to tower. 
In the old Norman keep, this gallery used, in like 
manner, to run under arches, round the whole inside. 

• See Leland's Collectanea, ji, 658. 



96 



'Tbis bi^ng ft 13th caitnrf cHiatle^ wiiere the^defence 
'"codsisted of ttmoeroos towers^ tiot'Oiie40Dly,.the line 
of cbmmiimcatioir-was aUered aooerdingly. Passing 
foy the vain fttteo]t>t to idehtify '^shelte of- apairtomits, 
not now to be "appropnated, it is fit to prooeed to; the 
principal bdildlngy now oalled the eht^el^bat,iitiaact 
the site of the first castle^andHHiaiiposedof part of it. 

At Hedinghani, in Essex, a Norman keep remains 
in high perfection,* Within the building are nu« 
merous arches, in stories over each other, ^ith pass- 
ages in the Wall all round, and across the tniddie is 
oneimmen&e round arch, apparently to strengthen the 
roof, upon which men and engines were placed. A 
curtain or partition thus divided the apartment into 
two. Now at Chepstow, upon one side of the chapel, 
we see half this immense arch walled up, showing, 
that the old fabric was much higher than the present; 
and outside the same wall, are Roman bricks. 

This then was a part of the old Norman castle, 
worked into a new building of the 13th century, and 
was only the middle of the old keep ; for Saxon kefeps 
being on the very outward wall of the castle area,f 
the ancient building stood upon the edge of the rock 
over the Wye. A range of niches is Been, within, 
ascribed to statues of the twelve Apostles^ bvlnsual 

* EniBTaTed in. the EDcyclopcdia of Antiquities, vol. i, 
pi. casteJlatioD. 

t King's Mnnimenta Antiq. ii. 89. 



97 

ia Xorinan keeps^ and called by presumption* seats 
for Lh« g^uard, or attesdants. In castles* the ciiapel 
was coaimonly uot the most striking edifice ; and as 
this beautiful remain has apartments, above, there is 
every reason to think, (according to the author's 
opinion founded upon inspection) that the lower part 
was not a chapel, but the grand hall, of which a 
beautiful window, towards the Wye, was the oriel 
window. 

In double or treble castles of the latter styles, the 
grand hall, as at Raglan, frequently formed the cen- 
tre. The upper apartments were for visitors* The 
oriel window is beautiful, in the manifest style of the 
Idth century, having slender shafts of columns and 
rich capitals of foliage. It was rendered impervious 
to missile weapons by a terrace and wall, upon the 
very edge of the cliff, as at Godrich* 

In some accounts of the castle,* it is said, not by 
natives of our sister island, but certainly some of the 
Bull family, that there is no trace of a Jire-place in 
the whole buildings but tluU twenty^four chimneys 
remain^ one of which is handsomely decorated on the 
outside, and glazed within to prevent the accumula- 
tion of soot. Now in one of the towers, which has a 
fire-place of the flat arch of the last Gothic sera, was 
imprisoned Henry Martin, (a Regicide* who signed 

* Nicholson, col. 364, 305. 
X. 



08 



die warrant fyr tbe tdurder of Cliarto t. but lyeing 
too contiiAiptible to be daBgerous^ hfis life iMQi I8pttf«< 
upon condition of pefpetnal cbnihiem^t^ eirirathet 
surveillance^ 

Chalmers says, that he Was <*onlj a parliamentary 
buDfoon^" * and though party principles may explain 
the cause of the hospitality and friendship, which he 
found in this vicinity, it is certainly in bad taste to 
collect materials for his history. A fool who sets up 
for a rogne, «hly becomes duped bimdelf ; and if he 
be a fitittatickalsis in aiijr ^nt^ he is useful for 6ther6 
wfib employ Ivim, in order that in the event of ill s«3rc* 
cessi^ he may m^kft instead'Of tbem8elve&*f 

tJpon the viiE)W bf the architecttire of thift castle, 
there is every reason to think, that it Was rebuilt by 
Hbger fiigod, about the satne time with Tinlern Ab^ 
bey church. It undern^^nt some partial alterations, 
in the end of the 15th century, probably by William 
Herbert, Ear) of Pembroke, who was deeply engaged 
in the wars of Yorl^and Lancaster. 

Subterraneous imssages wisre, says Albert^, lo be 
annexed to osslles, for tJhe .pnrpbse of senditig oat 
messengers; and Mr. Barber was here showti *b 
under^ound joon, witb a groined roof, exearat^ated 

*• Bfog^pb. Dictian. xtlii, Se2. 

t Ofilyiiixof the ftegribides^tf^red. The radHt cruel ctr- 
cumstance in the trialof them wa& that seyeral of the popu- 
lar party gat as their j^udge&, and doomed them to die, for 
that rebellion, to wMcli'they hiE(d Incited them. Memoirs of 
James II* 154. 



n 



99 



in the roph, 9if4 opemg to t^ftov^rbaogiQg bronr of 
tfao cliff* 

The town was very strongly walled, and the re- 
mains are considerable* 

Here was a cell of the foreign abbey of Cormeilliei^ 
as early as the reign of Stephen,! On the north 
side of the chapel of this Priory, are Roman bricks, J 
As to the mins of it, 

"The present, parish church, say the tcavejlera^; 
includes most of its remains, which form a curioug 
^cim^ of early architecture. A tpw^^r stcvgi^d J5(|. 
tj^(% eastern end of the present building, whi^h f^U 
down, ^t ^ %ngtea op the oMteide sue several a.n-. 
cient clustered columns, which have supported one of 
the arches. Beyond this the choir extended. The 
entrance was by a semicircular arched door-way, 
ornamented with crenated, billeted, and other moulds 
mgSf resting on 6ve short receding columns upon a 
side witbout pedestals, with simple uniform capitals. 
A similar decorated arch of smaller dimensions, 
springing from two collateral coHimns, is on each 
side the door- way, but Is half obscured and disfigur- 
ed by an estemal porch of which a vie^ is given by 
H^. Goz.|| The present nave seems to have been 

t GoagVs Camden, § 14. 368. 

II Tour p. 884, 
K 2. 



100 

considerably 1arg;er» It is separated from the aisles 
by rang^es of circalar arches, resting upon massive 
piers. On the S. side of the chancel, under a can- 
opied monument^ supported by eight Corinthian pil- 
lars, is a whole length figure of Henry, second Earl 
of Worrcsten" ♦ Near Piersfield lodge, are some 
remains of the priory of St. Kynemark ; near the 
Beaufort Arm.«, some ancient arched door- ways; 
under FydelPs long room, a vaulted ceUar; and in 
Bridge-^trc^t, rcHcks of two ancient religion*! edif cef^^ 
one the chapel of St. Ann, used as a bark-house ; 
the other adjoining Powis's Alms-house. The old 
gate is an interesting specimen of antiquity, but 
pock-fretted through the friability of the stone. 

Upon the Gloucestershire shore of the Wye, lies 
Tiddenham. Here are intrench men ts, probably Ro- 
man, and afterwards occupied by others. A chapel 
dedicated to St. Tecla, appears in ruins. Her le- 
gend says, that she was a Virgin and Martyr, who 
after her conversion by St. Paul, suQered under 
Nero at Iconium. But Jerom gives her a higher 
character. ** There was (he says) a very noble Ro- 
man lady, daughter of Marcellinus, a man of consu- 
lar rank, and named Melania. She made a pilgrim- 
age to Jerusalem, and from her shining virtues, re- 
ceived the name of Ter/b,'* (firom the greek Kalos],f 

* Engraved in SaTidford^a Genealogical History- 
t Uiterlf Antiqtjitates, p. 110. 



m 

PU^^migOfi to tbe ^KJf Land, wer^ so common 
9Jfi^n% ^ Britof % ^t tNr9 is maop to tbix>k, 
this ehftpQliu^rksl^espat from vh^ne^ tbey einba^rk- 
e4. In Ihla {i^fb 9Q(nif)ei|qftSj^ 

or bonndary at or near FKnU 

TN r«tro8[pective viev Qn the road to Beach let 

and the Old Passage house is rich ; and that by the 

'shore extensWe, presenting the forest of Dean, and 

country down to Robin-hood hill, over Gloucester. 

Aust Cliff opposite is grand. 

PIBRSFIEU). 

The ro9d to thi^ ^llebrated spot, is that of the 

turaptke to Monraoulh. Near the remains of St. 

Kjmemark^B priory, not far from Piersfield kidge, are 

. >fbniidation8 of an old chapel, whioh stood at the 

west mA of a field, called upper Dean. 

If the tourist gqes to these ruin? along the Shire 
Newton ro^d, apd through the fields at the back of 
a house called the Mount ; he will enjoy a highly 
gratifying isiew <^f Ghep^tow and its environs. The 
entnmce to Pietsfi^ is, by a superb lodge, through'^ 
usual, bat fine park scenery. From hencie a winding 
-road leads on the left to the seat, on the right to the 
extremity of the walks, under Chepstow, whence the 

lounge begins. 

< 

K 3. 



102 

Piersfield was loDg the property of the fiiinily of 
Walters; and in 1736 was sold to Col. Morris, of the 
island of St. Vincent, father of Valentine Mob- 
Ris. In 1784 it was alienated to George Smith, esq* 
of Bumhall, conntj Dnrham, and in 1794 to Sir 
Mark Wood, who completed the magnificent nuuui 
sion, partly built by Mr. Smith. In 1803 it was 
sold to Nathaniel Wells, esq. the present proprietor.* 

Reed describes the honse eloqnently. It is cha- 
racterized he says more by an elegant simplicity, 
than by princely magnificence. It is bnilt with a 
light free stone. The library and dancing room 
constitute its two wings. The stair-case is oma* 
mented with fonr pictnres of exquisite tiipestry, the 
production of a French nnnffiery,f and the oAer 
apartments are decorated with fhmitnrey paintings, 
and statuary of the most costly and exoeDent kind. 
The style of the bmldiBg is uncommonly fine, possess- 
ing considerable elevation, and it is surrounded with 
extensive grounds, here rising into gentle swells,, 
and there as gently sloping into vallies. J 

Piersfield, so far as depends upon art, was the 
creation of Valentine Morris, whom the author of 
this sketch, from having visited when a boy, knoiws 
to have been a man of very elegant manners. Eik 

* Nicholson, 1002. f Others make it of the Gobelin 
Msnafactore, and ooce the property of > Louis zvi. The 
sol^jects are taken from the Matural History of Africa. 

t Remains, p. 118* 



103 

gaging in th^rash attempt of removing the Morgans 
of Tredegar, from the representatien of the county, 
and being otherwise eipensive, he was obliged to 
retire from Piersfield. At his last departure, he di« 
Tided motley among the poor assembled in the 
cburch-yard. shook each by the hand, and was fol- 
lowed to the passage, by a procession of carriages.— 
The bells rung a muffled peaL He wept, and why 
he invited such a severe trial of his feelings at all, 
would not be easy to account for, in a man, who did 
not like himself, overvalue popularity. As gover* 
nor of St. Vincent's he got into scrapes, (the pub- 
lished accounts of which the author knows to be in- 
accurate ; and does not correct, because they only 
prove common evils, into which men who are involv- 
ed, plunge themselves,) and became a prisoner in 
the king's bench, where he continued many years. 
In short he was very anuable, hospitable and chart- 
table, with the common errors of a man of fashion^ 

Gilpin wrote in Mr» Morris's time ; and he com- 
menced his walk at the Windcliff end, and Archdea- 
con Coze at St, Arvan^s just by it. 

Mr. Gilpin says, '* Mr. Morris's improvements at 
Piersfield, which we soon approached, are generally 
thought as much worth a traveller's notice as any 
thing on the banks of the Wye.. We pushed on 
shore close under his rocks; and the tide being at 
ebb, we landed with some difficulty on an oozy beach. 
One of our bargemen, who knew the place, served 



liignid^; anAmd^v UffQndmil we dSmbfldUie 

''Theeminenoe on whidi we stood (one of those 
{;rand emhienoeB which orerlook the Wye) is an in- 
tennixtnreof rock and wood, and forms in this place, 
a concave semicircle, sweeping round in a segment 
of two miles. The river winds under it ; and the 
scenery, of course, is shewn in various directions. 
The river itself, indeed, as we just ohserved, is 
charged with the impurities of the soil it washes ; 
and when it ebbs its verdant banks become slopes of 
mud ; but ifwe except these disadvantages, the situa. 
lion of Piersfield is noble. 

" Little ipdeied w^b ]ett for wprov^q^pt* but tp 
open w^^lks and via^si tfij^fiu^^ ti^ ^rmd.ft ^ the v^« 
ous objects around theiq : V^^bqptcjiji^fly of ^fi ^m^ 
nei|ceon whicjbi yre s^qo^ ^]\ ]^j8ttlje ijPff^Qu^ ^q- 
prietor bath done with gj^ea^ juc|gment ; and hath 
shewn his rocks, his VQods^ and his precipices, under 
various forms, and to g;reat .advantag;e. Sometimes a 
broad face of rock is presented, stretching along a 
vast space Hi^e the wadls of a cHstdel* S^iPlotin^ it 
is broken by iotervenii^ tieeSi In otlKr P9ur^ (1^ 
rocks rise above the woods ; a titlk) liistjbery. tbey 
sink beloy Ibem ; sometimes thsy are sef n ibrei^h 
them; and sometimes one aeries of rocks appears 
rising above another ; and though many of tb0se olv- 
jects are repeatedly seen, yet seen from difiereotsta- 



105 



tioQ<(, aud with new accompaniments, thej appear 
new. The winding of the precipice is the magical 
secret by which all these enchanting scenes are 
produced. 

** We cannot, however, call these picturesque. 
They are either presented from too high a point, or 
they have little to mark them as characteristic; or 
they do not fall into such composition as would ap- 
pear to advantage on canvas, but they are extremely 
romantic, and give a loose to the most pleasing riot 
of ima^i nation. 

** These views are chiefly shewn from different 
stands in a close wnlk carried along the brow t}f the 
precipice. It would be invidious perhaps to remark 
a degree of tediousness in this walk, and too much 
samenef!*; in many of its parts, notwithstanding tfie 
fTpn^ral variety which enlivens them ; but the inten« 
tion probably is not yet complete : and many things 
are meant to be hid, which are now too profusely 
shewn.* 

** Having seen every thing on this side of the hill, 
wefonnd we had seen only half the beauties of Piers- 
ileld, and pursued a walk which led us over the ridge 
of the eminence to the opposite side.. Here the ground 
relinquishing its wild appearance, assumes a more 
civilized form. It consists of a great variety of 

* Af it is many year* since these remarks, were made 
several alterations nave probably, since that time taken 
place. 



106 

hwii9^iii|emixed with wood and rocks; andthoogli 
it ofteo riieo and Mlf, yet it descendi without any 
iMeacB kito the eoontry h^ond it. 

" The Yiews oa this side are not the romantic 
stetpe ofth^Wye; hat though of another species, 
tbej are equally grand. They are chi^y distances 
oonattingf of the vast waters of the Severn ;^ here an 
arm of the sea, bounded by a remote country ; of 
tl|e mouth of the Wye entering the Severn ; aud of 
the town of Chepstow, and its Castle and Abbey. 
Of all these distant objects an admirable use is 
ipade ; and they are shewn (as the rocks of t^e Wye 
wexe on the other side,) sometimes in parts, and 
sometimes all tog;ether. In ope statioq We had the 
scenery of both sides of the bill at once. 

^h is a pity the ingenious embeHisher of tbesa 
scenes could not have heed satisfied with the grand 
beauties of nature which be commanded. The shrobr 
berries hfs has introduced in this part of his improve* 
ments, I fear .will rather be esteemed paltry. As 
tl^ emfoellisbJ^eD^ 9I a house, or as the ornament of 
lUfle seeoes; v^ibich (laye nQthJng better to reeom..' 
n^e^^ tlifip, a (i^w flowering shrubs artfully composed 
rofiy (ieir9 tbeif elegance and beauty ; but in scenes 
lik^ this, ibey %re only splendid patches, which v^ 
juv^ ^h^ gry\p^r ai|(| simplicity of the whole/* 

— — Fortmsse cnpressiim 
Sfcis iimulare; quid hoc? 



—Sit qaidvis ■implex dnntazat et iuiwd. 



107 

<<ItigBDlthe8lirttb which offiiidB; itiBthe jibnii^ 
ni introdueiion of it. WiM iiildorwo<Ml naj be «i 
sqppendage of the gvuidett wehe; itisabtoitiftil 
•fpendagew A bed of vUkU or litti^t ttiay eiuunel 
the ground with pr6^ety at the root of m Ml ; bat 
if yon intffodnce thefii artificiaHy in a bonkr, jon in«- 
trodnce a trifling formilh^y aftd diigmee the noble 
object yon wish to adorn*** Thoa Gilpin* 

Whateley*8 de&crtption is the ihodrftihbftil Mtmht 
of the scenery, which hdd yet tipp^teA. Ite intro^ 
tiaces it in illustration ct .the bet^^fit of cariying the 
Ideal boundaries of plac^^ b^^fbni itih scenes, which 
are appropriated to thett); fbr h w!(td cit^cttit, ih 
which lie the different positions tiii^ceptible of fine 
exhibition, in which they uky be shewn, aflbrds a 
greater variety than can genCfTally be ibund in any 
grounds, the scenery of which ii^ confined to the eir- 
closure. This is the fkct. Piersfield is not only to* 
mantle ground, (for in thiSit it is not distinguished 
from other places,) but It Is the vast command of 
sublime views and landscapes, all around, which 
particularly distinguishes this spot. 

** Piersfield is not a large .place ; the Park con* 
tains about three hundred acres, and the house stands 
in the midst of it. On this side of the approach, the 
inequalities of the ground are gentle and the plan* 
tations pretty; but nothing there is great : on the 
other side a beautiful lawn falls precipitately every 
wSiy into a deep vale, which shelves down the middle ; 



108 

the declivities are diTersified with clamps and with 
IproTCS ; and a number of large trees strangle along 
the bottom. This lawn is encompassed with wood; 
and throagh the wood are walks, which open beyond 
it upon these roooantie scenes that surround the Park, 
and are the glory of Piersfield.* The Wye runs im> 
mediately below the wood: the river is of a dirty 
colour; but the shape of it^ii course is y^ry various, 
winding first in the form of a horse-shoe, then pro- 
ceeding in a large sweep to the town of Chepstow, 
and afterwards to the Severn. The banks are high 
hills ; in different places steep, bulging out, or hoi* 
low on the sides, rounded, flattened or irregular at 
top ; and covered with woods or broken by rocks. 
They are sometimes seen in front; sometimes in per- 
spective; falling back to the passage, or closing 
behind the bend of the river; appearing to meet 
rising above, or shooting out beyond one another. 
The wood which encloses the lawn, crowns an ex- 
tensive range of these hills, which overlook all those 
on the opposite shore, with the country, which ap- 
pears above or between them ; and vnnding them- 
selves, as the river grinds their sides, all rich and 
beautiful, are alternately exhibited, and the point of 
view in one spot becomes an object to the next." 

In many places the principal feature is a continued 
Tcck, in length a quarter of a mile^ perpendicular, 

* The author enf ered the Park at the Lodge. This part 
of the former is laid cut upon Brown^t plan, fawns. Groves, 
and scattered trees. Jcroes this Park, ne was led to the Al- 
COVB, the nearest seat to Chepstow. 



109 

high, and placed upon a heigpht. To resemble ndna 
18 common to rocks; bat no rain of any single strac* 
tare was ever equal to this enormoas pile; it seema 
to be the remains of a city ; and other smaller heaps 
scattered about it, appear to be fainter traces of the 
former extent, and strengthen the similitude. It 
stretches along the brow, which terminates the forest 
of Dean ; the face of it is composed of immense 
blocks of Rtone, but not rugged ; the top is bare and 
uneven, but not craggy ; and from the foot of it a 
declivity, covered with thicket, slopes gently to- 
wards the Wye, but in one part is abruptly broken 
off by a ledge of less rocks, of a diflerent hue, and in 
a different direction. From the 

GROTTO • 

it seems to rise immediately over a thick wood, wUeh 
extends down a hill below the point of view, across 
the valley 9 through which the Wye flows, and up the 
opposite banks, hides the river^ and continues without 
interruption^ to the bottom of the rock ; and at anoth- 
er seat it is seen by itself without even its base ; it 

* Here a picture is [>reseiited in the happiest state of com- 
potitioa. In this charmiDg view, a diversified plantatioa oc 
copies the fore-^rooad, and descends through a grand hollo w 
to the river, whioh passes, in a long* reach under the elevated 
ruins of Chepstow castle^ the town, and brid^ towards the 
Severn. RocIls and preci pices, dark shel ving forests, groves, 
and lawns, hans^onits course, and with a variety of bailing 
vessels, are reflected from the liquid mirror, witnan effect, 
at which, says Barber, the magic pencil of Claude would 
fauUer. The distant Severn and its remote shores form 
an excellent termination and complete the picture. 



ijio 

faces another, with ali its a|){)eiidi{ges abovt it.; and 
sonietiinesthe stgbiof it is parliadly iDteroepted hy 
trees,. bejoi^ which, at a distance, its long line oon- 
tinuea on through all .the opmings J)etwoen them. 

Amother cafiilal object is ttbe 

CASTLE aF CHEPSTOW, 

a noble ruin, of great extent, advanced to the very 
edge of a perpendicular rock, and so immediately 
rivetted into it, that from the top of the battlements 
down to the river, seems but one precipice; the 
same ivyy'which overspreads the face of the one, winds 
and clusters among the fragments of the other; many 
towers, much of the walls, and large remains of the 
chapel [the old keep] are standing. Close to it [was] 
a more romantic wooden bridge, very ancient, very 
gf ot^sque, at an extraof dinaryibeight above the river ; 
and fieeming to abut : against the ruins at one ^nd, 
and some rocky hills at theother* The'castle is so 
near to the alcove at Piersfield, that little circumstan- 
ceiS'in it>ni»y betdiscemed ; :ftom other -fipots more 
distant, oYQn from the • dawn, and ifrom a «hrobbery 
on the side of the lawn,. it is distinctly visible, and 
always beautiful, whether it is seen alone, or with 
tho bridge, with the town, with moie or with less of 
the rich meadows, which lie nlong the banks of the 
Wye to its junction three miles off with the Severn. 
A long sweep of that river also, its red cUfis, and the 
fine rising country in the counties of Somersel and 
Gloucester, generally terminate the prospect. 



Ill 

Mostof tbe MUi about Piersfield are full of rocks ; 

some are mtermixed with hanging wooda» and eiAer 

advance a little before them, or retire within them ; 

and are backed, or OTertiupg^ or sej^irated, by trees. 

In the walk to ibe 

CAVE* 

a long succession of them is frequently seeqin per- 
spective, all of a dark, colour ; and with WQod in the 
intervals between them. In other parts, the rocl^s 
are n^ore wild and uncouth ; and soqi^time? they 
stand on, the tops of the highest hills ; at ot^er times 
down as low as the river; they are home objects in 
one spot, and appear only in the back-ground of 
another* 

*' The wood^ eoncui^ with the ropks ig, tej^iex tbe 
scenes of Piersfield romantic , the pUct^ QV^ry where 
abounds with them ; they cq)F9i:. tb^ tgps^ of the bilki 
they hang on i\m steeps,; or th«y fill th? depths of th<^ 
vallies« In Qn« place they, front, io anotbf r th?y 
tise above, ij^ another they sink b^low the point of 
view ; th/^y ar« seet^ so9ietimefi retiring beyond e^ch 

* A patsaee cut throojg^h a rock. Overone of the entrances 
it amatilBtea oolvaml ng^ure* which once sutfained the inssr- 
memot a rock in his uplifted arm«, threatening^ to over- 
wllelm him -who dared to enter his retreat ; but some time 
since, the stone fell qirrying the ffianrs arm alon;^ \yUh. 
it; and it would have been as Well if it fand tak^notr the 
rest of the fig^ure. To place it there itself ^vaf> mfinMnU 
guuty mere concetio, a tiny idea unworthy Piersfield/ and 
exactly, the cooverae of the exceUeoit-'taatf , , nvhlish has 
preserved undipped an aged laurel'of wondrously gVand 
effect. 

h % 



112 

Other, and darkeniDg as they recede ; and sometimes 
an opening between two is closed by a third, at a 
distance beyond them. A point called the 

LOVER'S LEAP, 

commands a continuedsarfaeeof the thickest foliage , 
which overspreadg a vast hollow immediately under- 
neath. Below the Chinese seat the course of the 
Wye is in the shape of a horse-shoe ; it is on one side 
enclosed by a semicircular hanging wood : the direct 
steeps of a table-hill shut it in on the other, and the 
great rock fills the interval between them. In the 
midst of this rude scene lies the peninsula 

LANCAUT, 

formed by the river, a mile at the least in length, and 
in the highest state of cultivation ; near the 2Slhmus 
the ground rises considerably, and thence descends 
in a broken surface, till it flattens to the water's edge 
at the other extremity* The whole is divided into 
corn-fields and pastures ; they are separated by hedge 
rowsy coppices and thickets; open clumps and single 
roes stand out in the meadows ; and houses and other 
buildings which bek)ng to the farms are scattered 
amongst them ; nature so cultivated, surrounded by 
nature so wild, compose* a most lovely landscape 
together. 

^^The communications between these several points 
are generally by close walks; but the covert ends 
near the Chinese seat; and a path is afterwards eon- 



119 



doded: Uurongb tbp u^p^ p^jrk to a rusutia tepiple) 
wbiGli'0¥eri9okfi|«i|p9iie si49 4891110 of tl|e rpopuptic 
views, wJMch hiiv0 ii9e«» 4eiB<:ribi^ fffi^t Qntfie ptber 
the ^aiUWiited JiUlfi aod ric)^ v^Oi^y^ of Noamouth- 

dOUBLE VIEW, 

tA^ most admired ofaili. To the rude and magnifi- 
cent scenes of nature, now succeeds a pleasant fertile 
and beautiful country, divided into enclosures, not 
covered with woods, nor broken bj rocks and preci- 
pices, but only varied by easy swells and gentle de- 
clivities, yet the prospect is not tame; the hills in it 
are high; and it is bounded by a vast sweep of the 
Severn, which is here visible for many miles together, 
and receives in its course the Wye and the Avon."* 

It is pkin that these descriptions by Gilpin apd 
Whateley, convey no precise ground-plap of Pi^rjS- 
field. Simplici<y is always iqtelligiWe, and humble 
modes of description, if accurate, CQUvey the clearest 
ideas. Scrawl upon paper, sufficient ip size, a rude 
capital B, curving the straight side a little irregularly 
inwards. You have then Tiddenham Chase on the 
strait side and Piersjieid on the semicircle. On the 
top of the B, place a castle on a rock, (Chepstow J 
and, at the bottom, a mountainous elevation, clothed 
with thicket, and diversified with rock fWindciiffJ, 

• Whateley, 23G~B42. 
L 3. 



114 

extend an horizontal line from the base, and yon 
haVe the raTineof the Lover^s Leap*, The interior 
of the B, yon must make an awfal ahyss, containing 
farms, hamlets, promontories, recesses, &c. all rising 
upwards in yarions irregularformi^, to the Tiddenham 
straiter side of the B. The crooked sides of the two 
semicircles form the lofty ridge of Piersfield* The 
outline being thus obtained, place upon the Tidden* 
ham or straiter side, a wall of rock^ rising out of 
irregular earthy promontories, formed of thickets, 
roughets, meadows, &c. The semicircular or Piers- 
field side, make hanging wood, and wind the river 
round the bottom. Any idea of the actual details 
cannot of course be given, by such a scrawl ; but a 
genera] idea may be formed of this very extraordinary 
landscape, situated at the bottom of a wide natural 
ditch, walled in by precipices* It is a landscape in 
a Kaleidoscope. 

Every thing human has however, its imperfections. 
The rocks of the Tiddenham side are generally speak- 
ing square and formal, in regular division, like teeth ; 
and have the outline of their summits strait. Of 
course this range of rocks is only a wall, and wants 
the relief of more mingled vegetation and variety. 

In regard to Piersfield itself, the castle style, not 
that of the villa, is suited to the scenery, which is 

• The lieucadian promontory or orlgfinal Loyer^s Leap 
JB engrraved in Sir William Gell'g Ithaca, p. 75. 4to. edit. 
This at Piersfield does not assimilate it in form. It is i^ 
prelecting cliff with scarped sides. 



115 

grand and bold. In fact Piersfield ought to haya 
been a park to Chepstow Castle^ and to have termi- 
nated at Windcliff. 

Views, says Gilpin, * should be broken upon from 
close lanes, or confined dark spots, for they are spoil- 
ed by anticipation. The same author says, that 
paths and roads about fine objects should open on 
fine parts, run obliquely and give only catching views^ 
and sometimes entirely lose sight of the object; for 
a pause in a grand continuation of scenery, is often as 
pleasing as in a concert of music. It makes the eye 
in one case, as the ear in the other, more alert for ev« 
ery new exhibition f. Now according to these obvi* 
ous principles, justice is not done to the sublimity of 
Piersfield, The walks consist of a narrow shelf, cut 
out of the precipice, and, through the steepness of the 
descent, the breadth of the underwood is too thin to 
exclude the sight, and every scene (the double view 
excepted) is anticipated before arrival at the proper 
points of view. If walks (and Piersfield is too large 
for circumambulation) had not been adopted, a broad 
fringe of Forest trees, upon the flat ground above the 
rim of the precipice, the outline of the wood on the 
park side being broken into promontories and recesses 
might have been the substitute :j:. The roads or ri- 

• Fosbroke*s ITourisfs Graroroar, in the epitome of 
Gilpin, xxxT. f Id. lix. 

J Perhaps fhesp recesses might be contrived to fur- 
nish fine distinct views from the houses but the author 
does not know the aspects trom it. 



116 

diiigs thfoi^the fvoad idioaU be coaflMd to die 
close 4iliade» er ep6B on^ the yanky eac^ ui ihe gfmd 
pomts of view. Bj this means the noeneieyfnmiibei 
house would be greatly improved, and the woody 
fringe render the park-scenery perfect, in additioii to 
its sublime natural adjuncts. The present walk^ 
which does not amalgamate (he park and the nfttnral 
scenery, seems indeed, as if it had been purposely 
contrived to throw the former into neglect and con- 
tempt. In proof of this, it is to be observed, ihat on 
emerging from the shelf to the double view, and rOi- 
gaining ihe park, the mind is delightfully relieved. 
The play at presedt is spoiled by the actmg; the 
sublimity of PieTsfield by the injudicious walk. 

In the days of Morris, these things were not well 
understood. To bring them into notice is, however, 
in itself a proof of high mind and fine taste. No 
rn^morf a/ commemorates the founder, and the follow- 
ing inscription in the sirqple sjtyle of the Greek epi- 
taph, m^y somewhat supply the desideratum, 

VALENTINE tWORRlS, 

inirddUead'tkeu 4Ubl6me weww to ,pubiic *vioinr«, 
TO HIM BE I10NOR» TO oaD PttilWMB. 

Whatever may have been his errotB, ond his mis- 
fortunes, perianal acquaintance- enables me to affirm* 
that he was a man of sentiment and a gentleman. 

WINDCLIFF, 

What a cathedral is among churches, Windctiff is 
among prospects ; and if, like Snowdon, it ought to 



117 

be Tuited at sun-rise, or be seen (hroagb a son- 
glass*, should not the sentiments felt from the yiew, 
be intensely religious ? For what is admiration of 
scenery without homage to the omnipotent, but the 
cold approbation of the mechanic, who thinks profess- 
ionally, and is void of sentiment ? 

Whateley's account of Wtndcliffis this, 

'* From Piersiield a road leads to the Windcliff, an 
eminence much above the rest, and commanding the 
whole in one view. The Wye runs at the loot of the 
hill; the peninsula lies just below; the deep bosom 
of the semicircular hanging wood is full in sight ; over 
part of it the great rock appears; ell its base, all its 
accompaniments are seen ; the country immediately 
beyond it is full of lovelj' hillocks ; and the higher 
grounds in the counties of Somerset and Gloucester 
rise in the horizon, the Severn seems to be as it reaUy 
Is above Chepstow, three or four miles wide; below 
the town it spreads almost to a sea ; the county of 
Monmouth is the higher shore; and between itabeau« 
tiful hills appear at a great distance the mountains of 
firecknnck and Glamorganshire, In extent, in V9^ 
riety and grandeur, few prospects are equal to this* 
It comprehends all the noble scenes of Piersfield, en- 
compassed by some of the finest country in Britain,*^ 

* The author uses and recommends a welKknown small 
yellow pocket flass, called a Claude^ which gi^es a sun-* 
rise view at fuU^la|, without the obscuratioa Qf the monw 
log mist. 



lift 

This description is too tame for the subject^ Wind- 
cliff i& the last grand scene of the Piersfield subl&mQ 
drama, and should have becB included in thegrounds** 
If an opinion vm$i be given concerning the hack qpes 
tion, '* Whioh is the grandest scene on the Wye? " 
the answer must he^ ** the prospect from \lindcliff»" 
It is not only magnificent, but it is so novel, that it 
excites an invohmtsry start of astomsfamenf, and so 
sublime that it elevates the mind into instantaneous 
rapture. Its parts consist in a most uncommon com- 
bination of wood, rock, water, sky, and plain ; of 
height and abyss, of rough and smooth, of recess and 
projection, of fine landscape anear, and exquisiteper. 
spectiv^ afar, all melting into each other, and group- 
ing in such capricious lines, that although it may 
find a counterpart in the tropical climes, it is, as to 
England, probably unique. It i« unlikely that the 
mouths of two rivers should be so adjacent or so 
arranged as to form a similar scene, though a 
thousand views of sea, vale, and rock, may be ot 
corresponding character, with only slight differences 
ofisurface. But the ground here is singular: and 
the features not being English, the physiognomy is 
of course, such as cannof be expected elsewhere. It 
aldo improves both upon our natural andforeign land-, 
scape; upon the former, because our scenery is not 
so fine as the ibreign, which Windcliff resembles ; 
ufioa the latter, because according to the observation 

* They have, 1 believe, different proprietors. 



119 

of tBiiBiboklt, it %Miii(itf hat, '**8omet)nng strange and 
'sadyWhkhaccompazne^ aspects 'of animsted nature, 
in which 'man is notiiing;' * 

The spectator stands upon the edge of a precipice 
-the depth of whiqh.ia iQQBtiawfa],qaidth&ri<v:€r«iidnds 
at )hi8 fttet. The sight side^scfma is: PierBiield tidge 
• iTKhly wooded; thetleft, is. a helt of rooks, over 
'>Which jappear the $ei^ern,and(the4ioe shores between 
Thonibury and Bristol, rising ihehind teach «lher dn 
.admirable swells^ whiohiuinte in Diost^rcrceful curves. 
The 'first fore^ground is,>tolhe;eye, aview from the 
clouds upon earth, and the rich contrast of :^gveen 
meadows to wild forest scenery; the farm ofLancaut 
clasped in the arms of the winding river, backed by 
hanging wood and rock. Thus there is a bay of ver- 
dure, walled in by nature's colossal fences, wood, hill 
and rock. The further horn of the crescent, tapers 
<iff into a craggy informal mole, over which the eye 
passes to the second bay. This terminates in Chep« 
stow Castle, the town, and rocks beyond; all mellow- 
ed down, by distance into that fine hazy indistinctness 
which makes even deformities combine in harmony 
with the picture. In the middle distance, the widen- 
ing sea spreads itself, and from it the shores of Somer- 
set and Monmouthshire steal away into the horizon. 
Lastly, all this union of large and bold objects, from 
being comprised within a circumference of a very 
few miles, unites the Landscape and the prospect, to- 
gether with the forest and the park character of 
unimpeded expanse, for the enclosures are few in any 



120 

put, and bjrdiatance are alowat dimmisbed iato imper- 
ceptible slreaka. Thiwthe reproach of mappishaew, 
does not attach to this exalted axbibJlioa of the di- 
vine laate. 

Bnt (says Reed] might not (he pcopriptor of this 
imperial domain have bailt a Temple on Wiodcliff 
c(HaBecnting it to the genins uf the place? He 
might have done ao, bat in forbearing the attempt be 
baa done belter. The precipice itself is a temple, 
which the " vrorvhippers of nature " will always ap- 
proach with " unsandaled foot " considering (he em- 
bellishments of art, as a profaoaiion of her sacred 
grandeur. 

Other writers, upon reaching WindclifT, clap their 
wings and crow away in similar esulitttioa. 



MaAxo tour. 

vT HO EVER has read the. Scotch Novels, will re- 
collect the Cake Shop on the Lakes, so much fre* 
quented by Poets and Artists; and the heartjr 
execration of them by a neighbouring gentleman, 
because they might possibly convey love-letters to a 
handsome girl under his guardianship. Clever fel- 
lows, are however, entitled to regard as well as rich 
ones ; and, during summer and aiitumn, they poke 
about the Wye, like snipes and woodcocks, add 
after rummaging every thing, re-emigrate to London* 
For the use of them, and others who travel singly 
and therefore will not incur the expense of a boat, the 
following route and observations are given ; but the 
pure orthodox Scenist will recollect that such a tour, 
is not the epicure's meal ; for the spectator on either 
bank, loses the effect of that side on which he stands, 
through not being in the middle of the stream ; and 
being more elevated, sees what he does behold, jioC 
to its full ad vantage. **The banks of the Wye'* says 
Gilpin, *'are so lofty, that in most places the river and 
its appendages are seen to more advantage from the 
bottom than from the top. But, unless the banks 
of a river are uncommonly high, the eye, when sta- 
tioned, upon the water, is so low, that the Scenery 
is bad."* 

* Foabroke'*8 Toarist'a Grammar, ci« . 
M 2. 



A sturdy pedestrian will of coarse follow the banks 
of the river down to Tintem Abbey^ and thence di- 
irerge to Windcliffand Chepstow^ as^ upon the whole 
if he be pressed for time, the best substitute for the 
Aquatic Excursion. But ponyists and other horse- 
men, will not be able to adopt the same plan, and 
therefore may pursue another route, which will par- 
tially repay them Tor their loss of the continuous tour, 
by various fine prospects, and some curious antiqui^es. 

FIRST TOUR. 

ROSS TO MONMOUTH. 

Pass Wilton Bridge, and proceed to Pencraig,. It 
is placed at a sudden turn of the river, in order to 
catch a fine view of Ross, melbwed by distance. 
This is in excellent taste : for roofs of houses and ya- 
equal heights' of buildfngs are mere portraits uf 
uninteresting objects, and scarcely distinguish pne 
tbwti iVom another. By distance you sink the dis^ 
agreeable, bring in the adjacent country, mask the 
town with a pleasing haze, and convert the whole to 
a landscape, in which, if the view be taken from a 
right spot, the leading characteristic immediately 
designates the particular town, in discrimination 
fromothers 

In other respects the landscape is uncommonly ^e« 
It presents, from an eminence, the river meandering 
along the vale, and a rich scene of undulatin|^ ground 



123. 

set off with lively dwellings^ and rich woody eleyati* 
Qii9« The characterof thisscene from the pre<«emineiiC6 
of fertile meadows, ia that of luxarianr. Here the 
tourist should descend to the towing-path, in order 
to catch the fine view of the Castle, described in the 
water toar« After eiploring that august Ruin, he 
may proceed to Huntsholni Ferry, and crossing the 
river, go from thence to Symond's Yat, where he 
will at the same time, view Coldwell Rocks and the 
New Weir. His route from thence is alung the ridge 
above Hi^gh^^meadow Woods to Staunton and the 
Buckstone. Here he will have a most superb bird's 
eye view of the river and its accompaniments, from 
the New Weir to Newland. From the Buckstune tho 
road runs to the Kymin and so to Monmouth. This 
whole tour, including a return to Ross, is a journey 
of from twenty to thirty miles. 

Those, whose time will permit, may visit Coppod 
Woo^ Hill, the summit of the Little Doward, 
(whence Monmouth bridge and the river appear in 
fine effect,) Round-tree^field, Penyard Castle, &c. 
which command tho Malvern Hills, upon the oortli 
eastern side of the country, and tho rocky ridjjes 
about and beyond Cheltenham* 

SECOHO TOPIl. 

MONMOUTH TO CHEPSTOW, 

The line by turnpike is to Tintern Abbey direct. 
Upon Lydart Hill above Mottmoutb, is a most sub« 
M 3. 



124 

lime prospect, before mentioned of the town and 
vale. At Trelleck are to be seen the antiquities men- 
tioned in another place. From thence the road turns 
short to the lefty and a Aer crossing Trelleck Common 
(a dose of physic to the lover of the picturesque^ 
from its miserable dulness) it enters a rich descent, 
a fine prclogue to the Tiutern Scenery in front, 
where the road terminates at the distance of nine 
and a half miles from Monmouth. A new road from 
Tintern winds round the western eminences, skirt- 
ings the river, and is occasionally concealed in wood, 
and occasionally open* After proceeding about two, 
or two and a half miles, the traveller arrives ai a 
pictnresque Cottage, from which there is an ascent 
of spiral paths and steps, (part of it going through a 
natural rocky tunnel) to the sumniit of Windclifll 
The road itself goes on to Chepstow. For this ac- 
commodation, which evidently is formed to consult 
views of taste, as vkelt as business, the public is 
indebted to 1 1 is Grace the Duke of Beaufort. 

Every elevated spot on the banks of the Wye, 
must from the nature of the ground, furnish either 
a landscape or a prospect, and enumeration would be 
endless. Chasm, precipice, mountain cascades, and 
diirk woods furm the most general features of the 
scenery. Sometimep low swell&of meadow and ara- 
ble occur, but there are iio flats of any breadth, to 
dilute the efifcct. 



PART SECOND. 

HISTORICAL DEPARTMENT; 
BANKS OF THE WYE. 

ApTBR the final conquest of the Silures by the Ro-' 
mans, the countrj on the baiiks of theWye^'^ form* 
ed part of the province of Britannia Secunda, undir 
the governtnent of a president, residing at Caerleon. 
When the dritons resumed their independence in the 
time of Honoritts and Constant! us, a king, named 
Varadock, reigned in these part8,f and oihet totn^ 
manders of the 6ame common name fought with Ofia 
, and Harold.]; Tdeiief facts lead to some inferences, 
conc^niing a Mansion still called Cradock, about' 
two ibiles from Perfystone, from which it Is separa- 

* 

• Tike river 9Fye,ia a Pleonnus, WvemeaninginW^lwh 
river^waiA oddlr eiioagb« iii.Eiis:llB% Irtnr. . Higaen-trant- . 
lates tbe lines XV. Scriptor. 188. 



br 



Vinum putani ^eeipuumf . 
Quaniif sU'magiw rwbewm. 

<' Ever^he^rodder it the IVpet 
They holde it the more fye> 



ght be tiip* 
nut a capital 



See Pibdin'a Typograph. Antiq. i. 147. Wre mi 
b caed an error w toe prena for wpnt, were there n 
letter, and the rhyme fge, 

t Tnrner^t Anglo Saxonst p. 133— 136. 1 Niohelcon, 

4ft6.~lC6. Serf p. pt Bed 26e. 

u 3* 



126 BAHKt OP THE WtE. 



ted by the Wye. Legeadary accoants have auignecT 
-it to one of the khights of Arthur's round Table, 
called **Cradock Vmch Vrati** which signifies the 
fpit arm. He is said to have been a prince between 
Wye and Severn, who married a daughter of Pallinor 
prince of South Wales, a lady wliose chastity wa» 
proved by trying on a curious mantle, which shrunk 
up if the female was not virtuous, Tintem was c^r- 
tainly one royal palace on the Wye. This Cradock 
may have been another. Palaces meant places of 
short residence, because the kings would not burden 
the neighbourhood, on account of their procurations 
by 8 long stay,* and king Caradock might have 
resided here. But except foundations of rude stones, 
the palaces of the British kings merely consisted of 
basket work, or wattled twigs, distinguished only 
from thosef of their subjects by being barked. 
From the life of Dubricius, there appear to have been 
various petty kings, in theibe districts. 

However this be, notwithstanding the cultivated 
lands and open country adjacent to the stations, the 
romantic banks of the Wye soon after the departure 
of the Romans, formed in the greater part, a wil- 
derness occupied by Hermits and other Solitaries. 
Dubricius established a grand college between.Ross 
and Hereford ; and in his time, Samson, an eminent 
prelate, placed some other religious, in a desert near 

• Ducaogre Gloss, v. Palatium. f So that of Howell Dhvi, 
and confirmed by Willis n of Malmesbury. See Sammes (.. 213. 




BANKS OV THft WrB.. 137 

• 

the Stf retD, (doubtless the'Farest of Dean) and long 
resi<iQ4' himself in a certain very secret cave in the 
interior/* AtTintem a retired monarchy lived in 
holj sedusionf 9 and the parochial appellations, Sr,- 
Briavel, (St.- Brenlais) St. Weonard*s» as well aa 
the prefix of Lion to Xlandogo, and Xioncant, allbde 
to the same tnk and stale of things : a state natural- 
Ij growing out of the perturbed state of society at the 
dissolution of the Roman Empire, when pacific ex- 
is tencecoold be obtained or secured oilly by seclosiop. 

Itf the year 597, Ceol wolf began to reign over the 
west Saxons, and being during life engaged in war* 
fare, attacked the Britons at Tntern, but was 
defeated. On or about this time the large and pow-^ 
erful kingdom of M ercia was formed ; and in the 
year 738^ Ethelbald king of that extensive portion 
of the Heptarchy, in order to annex the pleasant 
region between the Severn and the Wye, to his ter- 
ritories,, entered Wales with a powerful army. ' At 
Camo,^ a mountain in Monmouthshire^ the Britons 
checked bis prog^ss, and drove him over the Wye, 
with great loss. In 743 he marched in conj unction 
with Cnthred, who had succeeded £thelheard in Wee- 
sex, another army against the Britons. Through 
great superiority of force they obtained a decisive 
victory at Ddefawdon, (between Trelleck and Chtp^ 
stow,) but only retired with plunder. Tq EtheU>a1d 
succeeded Ofia. His wars with the Britons were at 

• Usserii Antiqultat. Frit. Eccles. p. 277. t Sa« flntenu 



128": OVFA*» DTKV* 

first to bis disadvaatsgv. *> Some brsnehes of the 
(Cynry) Welsh, penetrated by an inciirBion into 
Mereia. Their onitodBttaek drove the Eng^lish from 
the SeVem. They frequently, repeated their devast- 
ations, Ofik collected in greater namber, the forces 
of the Anglo Saxons, and marched into Wales. The 
Britons unable to withstand' him, qnitted the open' 
connlry between the Severn and the Wye, and witb- 
drew to their monotcins. Impregnable among these 
natural fortresses; they awaited* the retnrn of the uu 
vadefs, and then sallied ont in new aggressions. T0 
terminate ithese wasteful incarsions, Ofl& annexed 
the eastern regions of Wales, as far as the Wye, to 
Mercia, pfainted them with Anglo Saxons, and sepa^ 
rated them from the Britons by a high vallum be- 
tween two ditches,* named from him Ciaudk Offa^ 
or Offals Difke^ though not a foss. It has th^ samci 
character at St. BriavePs, from whence it is sai4 to 
proceed to Coleford, which Jie^ too much to the eiy&t- 
ward« It extended from the Estuary of the Dee» to 
the mouth of tbQ Wye; ^nd th€^ cccupation of the 
eastern banks by th^ Colonists of Otfa, ts attested 
accorjdiog to Lluyd, by tb^ DAmes of places, termina- 
ting in ton or ^atWjt Mfatt^s Dyke runs nearly in a 
direction with Ofia's, but at unequal distances, from 
5, or .600 yards to thriee miles4 The space between 

• Goagh's Camden, ii. 407. Part of it forms th/e turn- 
pike roadhetWetoO'Rtabou and Wrexham, t TafBW'* An. 
grio Sazocs, i '408, 421, 422, % B'**** **>«** Dykes are accu- 
rately delineated in Evanb'a Map of North Wale«^and Smith's 
(wc-sLsetMap. ' 



tbe two was considered as neutral ground, where the 
Britons and Saxony might meet for commercial pur- 
poses, hot notwithstanding tbe serere law of Egbert, 
which announced death to ererj Welshman, who 
passed the rampart, and of Harold Harefuot^ who 
iofiened the punishment \o amputation of the right 
hand, the descendants 'of (he Silures with the contu- 
macious spirit of their ancestors, frequentlf, upon the 
CeUic principle of Black-raail, crossed the line in the 
night to drive the cattle orer the boundary.* In 
prevention of these ravages, Mr. Peunaut observes, 
that there arc numerous artificial mouuts, the site of 
small forts, in manjr places along its course. A part 
of Ofia*s Dike runs through the Fence wood at St. 
Briavers, the new road from that place to Monmouth 
bisects it at a grove called Margaret^s grove. 

In this Anglo Saxon sera, the Wye at Chepstow, 
separated Wales from Euglaud^f on the south; and it 
was made beyoud Hereford, by Athelstan, the bound- 
arjr of the North Welsh.:^ Harold by his massacres 
•o depopulated the country, that say& Giraldus Cam-^ 
brensis|| he scarcely left a male alive ; a cruel policy 
before practised by Offa, who spared females only, 
that future aggression might be suppressed, or atleast 
enfeebled. Ihrough this measure of Harold, the 
three first Norman kings were undisturbed ; and the 

• Ktcholton, S8di-4d5. t xv. Scriptoret, 194. 
I W. Malmaib. Scviptor »Bed.fol.28. || ilngL^Sa^. 11451. 



180' IVILTOK CA9TLB. 

coQDtry was easily held in subjugation^ by granting 
paroels of it to various military adventurers, who 
coold acquire them by negociation or fsrce. From 
this period we must date the reroams, at least in the 
greater pari, of the castles on the Wye. 

The firstoftheseis WILTON, The manor of WiU 
ton was given by the Empress Majid to Milo, Earl of 
Hereford.^ The present castle waS it seems bailt by 
king Stephen, in 1 141, f and is mentioned together 
with Chepstow and Godrich, by Giraldus Cambren- 
sis* Uenry de Longo Campo paid scntage, 2 Job. 
for one knight's fee at Wilton, ^ and in the 12th and 
Idtfi of the same reign, the heir of Henry de Lougo 
Canipo, paid the same scutage. Anglo Saxon forts 
were chiefly mounts ; but though it is not imprc^ba- 
ble, that the ferry here had some protection, it ap- 
peacs that Maud daughter and heir of Henry, carried 
it itt marriage to Reginald Grey,|| ancestor of tliA 
Lords Grey de Wilton, in which family it remained 
till (he 16th century. William Lord Grey de Wihoa 
had -been taken prisoner in defending Calais, and 
having long solicited in vain to be redeemed at the 
public charge, wh*ch he well deserved, was at last 
obliged to sell roost of his estates for that purpose. 
Accordingly in 1576, Lord Gilbert Talbot, then resi^ 
dent at Godrich Castle, offered for Wilton and its 

• Seidell's Tit. Hon. p. 048. f Ld. Collect Hi. 300. 
t Af. S.Hari, sot & SOO «. || Collips Ht. Grey,:Ed. IW. 



WILTON CASTLE. 131 

annexations £6000, that» as be wrHes to his father, 
*^ besyde the benefyte tliereof, he myghte be able to 
attende on his Lordshipe with a thousand tall follow- 
erSs to follow his Lordship's directions, if he sholde 
have neede to commande him."* He writes most 
importunately, but it does not bppeat* that he succeed- 
ed, for Elizabeth, daughter of Lord Grey de Wilton 
(which Elizabeth died Dec. 29, 1559) was wife of 
Lord CbandoSf-(- whose second son Charles resided 
here, as well as his posterity down to James the 
magnificent Duke, who built Cannons. lb cbnse* 
quence of some political disappointments, with regard 
to local influence, the estate was sold, from pique, to 
the governors of Guy*s Hospital. J 

The S. W. Towec seems to have undergone little 
or no change, when the building was altered to its 
pr0S0nt form, which is in the style of Harstmonceaux 
and other castellated mansions of the fifteenth century 

The fbllowiog old story is told of the Lords of Wil- 
ton and Aconbury. They were cousins, and ad- 
dressed the same lady ; she preferred the Lord of 
Wilton, and his enraged rival asjtembled his vassals 
and fired this castle. A few years agb a burnt b^m 
was shewn in commemoration of this incident.§' 

The bridge was built in the reign of Elizabeth.|| 
During the civil war, a party of the rebels from 

♦ Lodgrc*8 "niuslpations-" f Dugdale's St. PauPs p. 79. 

Ed. EIH», t Heath, 56. § Inform. Mr. T.. Jenkins. 

II It \n engraved with elevation, section, and ichnography, 
Gent. Mag. Aug. 1753. ^ 



13;2 OODRICH GA8TLB. 

Gloucester, horse and foot, arrived with two pieces 
of ordnance at the bridge, and found it guarded bjr 
Captain Cassie, and thirty musketeers from Godrich 
Castle. A part of the horse advanced upon the 
guard, forced the river, and got beyond them; after 
some dispute beat them off, wounded and took the 
captain, slew many of his men, and took the rest in 
the chase almost up to the Castle [of Godrich.] * 

Some short time after, Massie, the governor of 
Gloucester, marching to the relief of I'em bridge 
Castle, passed through Ross, but found the bridge 
broken down, and the river made impassable, by the 
sinking of boats on the other side, and a guard of 
horse to defend it. Here was a dispute for two days 
and Massie's object failed.f ' 

The next object in progress is GODRICH CASTLE. 
The jonctions of the conrses in the masonry, show 
that the castle, before the addition of the round towers 
merely consisted of the keep, with low annexed build- 
ings in the house form ; whose point ends or gables, 
distinctly appear, where walling has been raised 
upon them. 

It is expressly mentioned in record;^ that Godrich 
Castle was the fortress of the tract called Jlrc^n/fe/d 
or Irchvnjield^ from the Roman station at Ariconium« 
fiollitree near Ross. This tract was formerly Forest, 

r 

* Corbett't Military Goverrmeiit of Gloncefttershire, 
p,f». t Id. p. 118. X Pat. i. Ed. 4, m 16. n. 135. 



OODRICH CASTLE^ 1^ 

for inHie Obarfse AntiqoK in the tower of London, 
U the tn-der for its Disailbrestation** The Nomina 
Viikram of 9th. Ed. ii. (1316) has the following ae- 
omikitoflbe parishes which composed iuf 

IR€H£IfFl£LD. 

KUpeck eiinl m^ttib^; Alan Plufcenet. 

9fyltcn cum ttiembr. Joht^s de Gray.'-'-44 Ed. 3. 
Reginald de Gray, 

Ctarron cum membr. Hospit* S. John Jems. 

Godrich Casiel cum roembri». Egidius de Valen^ 
8 Ric. 2. Johannes Talbot. 

Orget cum membr. Job. le Rous. 

Orcop cum membr. Rich, de Baskerville*— 47; 

Ed. 3. Ric. de Baskerville, Miles* 

Hentlon cum. membr. ^ ^ 

> Dns Rex* 
Langarron cum. membr. j 

Ktnge's Capk. Johes le Rous et Alanus Plukenet. 

LAmiounm et Mtmhitim cum iodcmbr. Prior Lan«> 

Ion. In Wales. 

Ro$ Forinsecus ct Ross ifitrinsiecus* Cplis Hereford. 

Domesday mentions extraordinary privileges grant- 
ed to the men of Irchenfield, who had their own 
bailifls. In the reign of Edward I. thc» baili& of the 

• Cart. Antiq. B. P. 42. f M, S. HarL 6381. The 

names of later pr^pHetors are oceflsioiiallj add^ by the 
copjiat. 

K 3. 



134 GODRICH CA8TLB. 

liberty of Irchenfield claimed the liberty of heariog 
pleas, transgressions 9 &c« and tbe privilege was al* 
lowed tbem (as the record testified) and they prose* 
cuted one William Dnnne for refusing to obey their 
mandate.* It further appears, that the tenants of 
Irchenfield retained the Domesday exemption fron 
taxation till the 8. Edward 3. and then they presented 
a petition to parliament, complaining that 1 axon of 
the county of Hereford had taxed tbem against their 
laws and U6ages.f 

We find a Domesday proprietor, of the name of 
Godric, as holding Hulla,X (s hill J whence Howie 
in Walford, and there can be no doubt but the posi- 
tion and command of the Ford dictated the erection 
of a Fortress. After the cooquest it descended to 
William, Earl Marshall, doubtless in the same man- 
ner as 1 intern, before described, for he was not gran- 
tee from John, as erroneously published, but held it 
in 11^, 12. Hen. ll.§ In the scutages 2. John, we 
have ** William Marescall 55 M. et i de Castro 

* • • • 

Cvodrici*!! " William^ Earl Marsfaa)|, who died in 
1219, had five sons, all issueless, and as many daugh- 
ters, heirs to their brothers. Joan the second daugh- 
ter was wifeofWarindeHonte Caniso, [iVIontchensi] 
by whom she had issue John S. P. and Joan, wife of 
William de Yalence,-5r bis sister and heir. Eiiz. Ck>- 

* Triii« Plac. 15. £d. i. rot. 7. f Parlism. Roll*, vol. 
ii. p. 82. t As quoted by Heath. 6 Hearne'tf, Lib. 

Nie. i. 100. m IMTS. Harl. 301. f. 906->«. f Chtoma. 
Abb.Tintern, Dugd. Monast.i. 7«0. ^ . ^ 



GODEICH CASTLB. 135 

aiin eofaeir of Audoniar de Valence, carried it ill 
marriiige to Richard Talbot.* la the reign of Ed- 
ward UK Richard^ Lord Talbot, made great repatra 
and improveineots; of which, Testiges appear in the 
abarp-headed arch without a curve, peculiar to that 
reign. Gilbert eldest brother of John, the famous 
E'irl of Shrewsbury, who resided here much in the 
15th centurj, was, by the style exhibited in the cha*- 
pe), apparently another improver. The Talbots had 
also a Castle at Penyard, and like all the Birons of 
the day, were of migratory habits, through occupying 
their own estates, but Richard probably made God- 
rich his standing house ^ or chief dMelling.f It was 
afterwards a seat for children, for in 1576 Lord Gil- 
bert Talbot, sou of the Earl of Shrewsbury, Wasresi-* 
dent here, with Mary his wife. This appears by a 
letter of which the following is an extract, here given, 
because it contains information concerning the state 
of the country. . ** According to my ryches and the 
contrey I dwell in and not to my desire, I send your 
L a new yer*H gyfte; a Monmouthe Cappe, and a 
rundleite of Perrye, and I muste require pardon to 
name the other homely tbyngt*, a pay re of Rosse 
Bootes, which yf they be fytt for yo'r L, yon may 
have as many as pleas you to apppyut.";^ -This 

* FtMibfoke^s Gloocestersliire. i. 349. f Prom tome 

political eventis the C tstle or Godrich and Dcmcra of 
ArdienaeM. late belong^iug: to James, Earl of Wilts, were 
granted to Willi im Herbert, Pat. v. Ed. 4. p. i. m. 16. n. 
&&. t Lodge's '' lliustratioai;* 

II 3. 



136 fiODUCH CAtTl^B^ 

Lord Gilbert m^s afterwards Earl, and djiDg^ May 
Sdh. 1616, left £Ua. daughter and eohetr, wife •! 
ileDrj Grey, Earl of Kent, in vbich family it ooa* 
tinned till upoa the demise of the last Henry Duke of 
Kent, in 1740, his estates in the counties of Hereford 
andfiloucesterwore sold * Thus it fell byparcfaate 
into the Griffin family at Badnock, 

The best solution of the inscription and figures in 
the S. £• tower, which the Author can suggest is 
the following. A& both inscription and figures are 
in r.elief, and the edges of the blocks flush with their 
fellow stones, without any hollow in the middle, they 
were manifestly eut before putting up, made with reg* 
ular tools by workmjE^o, and are not coeval with the 
fabrick. One of the blocks furnishes a clue. Upon 
it are the figures of a Hart couchant, and a Swan, 
close to each other ; a pretty broad hint, for the first 
was the budge ^or cognizance of Richard the second 
and the other of Henry the fourth. The latter, beinn^ 
then Earl of perby, &c. a subject, was here on a visit 
at the time his son, [Henry V.] was born at Mon- 
mouth, and made a great feast upon the occasion at 
this Castle.f It was nsnal, upon the visits of great 
mer, to put their arms in stained glass, in the Hall 
windows, and 'use other modes of commemoration*} 
To this visit and feast, the inseriptlon and figofea 
seem to allode. The man with the Hawk on Ua fi)it« 

* Foftbroke^s Olonof^tershfre, If. 90$\ f Btoonfleli) 
on the Wye, p. U. t Fosbroke^s British Mono<^i9fn, 288 



60DRICH CA5TLB. 187 

tlie symbol of Nobility, and drest in the costume of 
Henry's 8era,is apparently tn tended for Henry bim- 
aeify and his Lady with her new born child, accord- 
ing' to a costom quite common,* is personified by the 
Virgin Mary, and the infant Jesua. Sumptuarius 
ngnifiea he qui erogat sttrnptusyf or ^* who lays out 
the money.'* If therefore the inscription be read 
MASTR [MagUter'] SUMT [uarius] ADAM 
HASTUN, the meaning will be that, ** Adam Has* 
tnn^ head-steward, or Magister Sumptuarius, ^^X 
caused these figures to be put up, in commemoration 
of the visit alluded to, this room being that in whicb 
the royal guest was lodged. Add to this, that the 
form of the letters is of Henry's sera. 

The tower itself^ much older, is stated to have 
been built with the ransom of an Irish prisoner and 
h^ 8on»|| The helmet of the former^ long preserved 
here, would it is said^ have filled half a bushel* 
This has been ridiculed ; but whoever has seen the 
belmet of Sir R. Pembruge, K. G, t. £d. iii. in Ue« 
reford Cathedral, will find that these head coverings 
being made of onepiece^ without joint or hinge, were 

* Id. p. €82. Petrarch's Laura was 90 represented and 
HMUiv others.. f DucaDee ▼. Sumptuarius^ t -Ev^^l/a 
speaking of bailding has the following passage. To which 
[ArohitectQB logenio] let us add, Architectns Sumpiwirius 
a full and overflowing purse: since he who bears this , 
may Justly .be also stifed a builder, and Mat d moitir 
(me tooj &c. Miscellanies p. 358. Ji It is certain, 

that in the reign of .Henry IV. Henry Talbot, sold to 
Ix>rd Berkeley, 24 Scottish Prisoners, tiikeii by hfiiB. ' 
Berkeley Manutcripts, p.. 147. 

N 3. 



186 99DBICII CASTAS. 

of oouna enoraou&ly ljurg« at the wtdk ia ordtr to 
be drawn over ike head* 

The following illustration oC the Keep ffom WooU 
noth*8 ancient Castles, toU ii. is intereatiog, 

*' The Keep, which is of the highest antiquitjr^ 
having been erected antecedently to the conquest^ 
stands somewhat in the same manner, as the Keeps 
at Portchester, Pevensj, and Castleton, close to the 
ontward wall of the Castle, and like them, had no 
window on the outside next the country* It had evi- 
dently three rooms, one above the other ; all of them 
however, were very small, being only fourteen feet 
and a half square ; and the room on the first floor had 
no sort of communication within with the dungeon 
beneath, which had not even a single loop*hole lor 
light and adr, but was connected by a very narrow 
passage, witb a still smaller dongeon, strongly se- 
cured, under the platform belonging to the stepe of 
the entrance, and having a very small air hole on tfie 
sane sidie, Mr. King hi his ^ Mnninenta Antiqna' * 
observes Ibo erigtosil windiews a» the most traly 
Sezon that can be ; that in the middle of the upper 
stoiy seems to have remained just as tt was from tlie 
yery fiit4, witho«iany alteration; and the manner 
ia which the two targ^ side columns stand somewhat 
fotlAffi (he arcb« is consieteat with the fashion WKi^h 
waa adopted by t^ Saxons, and continued even to 
the time of Edward the Confessor, The large zig- 



ooDBiCH camtlb: .180 

xagoraamented on each side, (between the colamns) 
U in the rude ibrm, in which it was generally used 
by th^ earliest Saxons ; and so also is that of thezig« 
zag mouldii^ or band, which is carried by way of 
ornament^ quite across the tower, just under this 
window^ and it is very remarkable, that the middle 
projecting buttress is carried no higher than this or- 
napnent. Th^ window in the apartment beneath^ is 
wular in i^s general construction ; but the eoiumna 
which support the arch are somewhat Inglier, and a 
semicircular zig-zag moulding is carried beneath the 
av^qh ; the middle part of the window however, has 
been altered in the Tudor style; In the second 
apartment is a fire hearth, and in an angle of the 
wall a f»rcnlar staircase leading to the upper story. 
The principal eotrance was by a flight of steps on 
one side, distinct from the main building, and ascend- 
ing to a platform before the door-way, leading to the 
second chamber. The body of the Keep is an exact 
square of twenty feet. The additions made to this 
fortress down to the time of Henry the sixth, begin 
with the very strongly fortified entrance, which com-« 
mencing between two semicircular towers of unequal 
dimensions, near the east angle, was continued un- 
der a dark vaulted passage, to an extent of fifty feet. 
Immediately before this entrance, and within th« 
space enclosed by the fosse, was a very deep pit hewn 
out of the solid rock, formerly crossed by a draw* 
bridge which is now gone, but which evidently ap- 
pears to have exactly fitted, and to have closed when 



140 GOl>ttICH CASTLti. 

drawn up, the whole front of the g^ateway between 
the towers. About eleven feet within the passage 
was a massy gate. This gate and the drawbridge 
were defended on each side by loop-holes, and over 
head by rows of machicolations, for pouring down 
melted lead [hot water /*•] &c. on the headff of as- 
sailants. Six feet and a half beyond this was a port- 
cullis ; and about seven further, a seamd portcullis, 
[it should be a hersc^ a kind of portcullis, which 
came next] the space between these was again proi* 
tected by loop-holes and machicolations* About 
two (eel more inward, was another strong gate; and 
five feet and a half beyond this on the right, a small 
door leading to a long narrow gallery, only three 
feet high, formed in the thickness of the wall, and 
which was the means of access to the loop-holes in 
the eastern tower, as well as to some others that 
commanded the brow of the steep precipice towards 
the north east. These works appear to have been 
thought sufficient for general defence; but a resource 
was ingeniously contriye«l for greater security in case 
they had all been forced, for a little further on are 
massy stone projections in the wall on each side, 
like pilasters, manifestly designed for inserting great 
beams of timber within them, like bars, from one 
aide of the passage, which was about nine feet, ten 
inches wide, to the other, so as to form a strong bar- 
ricade, with earth or Stones, between the rows of 
timber, which would in a short time form a strong 
massy waif." 



G09EIC0 CA9Tt^«^ 141 

This accotmt 18. ia the genersil fisatores trae ; hot. 
under sieges, almost the first step takeo^ was to stop 
th^ gateways with turf rammed bard, and strengths 
eoed by timbers, let down for the purpose, and by 
the gates, portcullis, and hersc. It was oaly under 
surprise, that the obstruction of entrance by gates 
and portcullis would have been sufficient* All these 
matters are amply described in Froissart* 

This strong fortress was, in the civil war, at first 
ooeupied by the parliament, and successively after* 
wards by both parties, but in 1646, it was garrisoned 
for the king, by Sir Richard Lingen, and taken by 
Gol. Birch. The following is the account of tlie nege 
in the newspapers of the day. 

By letters to members of the House of Commons, 
we have express, that a party of horsd and foot, were 
drawn out of Hereford, in the morning of March, 
10th. and joined with Colonel Kirle*s horse and 
dragoons, and Captain Rumsey*s firelocks. Colonel 
Kirle having joined his forces, went against Godrich 
Castle, a strong hold of the enemy^s, and there fell 
on the stables and took 64 horses with the hay and 
other provisions therein ; burnt down the stables and 
went into the passage house, where they took roost 
of their ofiicers and soldiers, and havelsid close siego 
to It. Tuesday, March 17/A, 1646,--6. 

It was Cplpnel Birch's party from Hereford^ ai|4 
Colonel Kirle* s from Monrooiitb, that attacked God« 
rich (ilastle. Colonel Kirle besides thi9» 8napt aiu 



142 OODaiCH CASTLE. 

otber party of the enemy from Rag^land, add took a 
lieatenant and quarter-master, 12 firelocks, and 6 
case of pistols. Perfect diurnal from March 16/A 
to ^rd, 1645—6. 

In the perfect occurrences for the 23rd week, 
ending June 5th, 1646, is the following paragraph. 

Colonel Birch begs the cummiuee to let. htm have 
some battering cannon for Gudrich, else (he sjaiys) 
^* I may sit down long enough before it ; Linger 
being an excepted person, and one unto whom I can- 
not grant any honourable terms." 

Itt the same paper iut the 24th week, Jane, 1646 
18 this : '* letters from Herpf<.rd, dated June I si, ad- 
vertise of Colonel Birch being before Godrich with a 
body of horse and foot, and 2 mortar pieces and ether 
equipage. The great Iron Culverin was going frooi 
Gloucester thither, and Colonel Birch hath sent to 
the committee of Salop for 2 gun^ from Ludlow ; yel 
the enemy within are very resolute, but not lavish in 
their ammunition ; and their sallies are inconsiderable 
almost all their horses being taken, to the number 
of about 50 by us ; Colonel. Birch upon advice witl| 
bis council of war, gs^ve order ; and June the 1st. his 
pioneers began to work,. to make approaches within 
pistol shot of the enormous rampiers, and intends, 
when they are finished, to shoot granadoes in the 
mortar pieces. There is yet no summons sent in, 
but when all is ready to storm, then it is resolved to 
be dispatched. The prisoners that we have taken* 



OODBICH CASTtlU 14S 

say that they within are exceeding well proyided 
with all necessaries, both for provisions and meo« 
who, depend murh upon the strength of the casde* 
Lieutenant Colonel Keckerman hath received a 

wound by an almost spent bullet from a musket, inhia 

. • • • 

leg, and intends to remove t > Hereford to be cured. 

Monday f June 22fi</, 1646. From the leaguer 
belbre Godrich Castle, letters advertise us, that the 
enemy within, are very resolute, if not detsperate. A 
gammons was sent on June Idth, with abundance of 
fair and pressing arguments; but the return was a 
flat denial, and confident expectation of relief before 
Ihey needed it ; which occasioned Colonel Birch 
never to parley more; and thereupon sent them in 6 
granadoes^ and tore down a piece of one of their 
towers. They seem ye4 fearless, but sparing of their 
ammunition, which we hear to be not much ; and yet 
Ibey made a sally out and killed us 7 and hurt 10, 
and we have wounded as many of theirs. They 
cannot, some think subsist long ; water begins to fail 
them : beer they have but little left ; bat other pro- 
visiona they have plenty; but their hearts are stable, 
their walls strong and high, nothing but extremity 
will ibrce them ; we are to make some approaches^ 
and then to mine ; but in the mean time they desire 
a good supply of powder, that they may not want 
for their batteries, granadoes, mining and mortars ; 
since no other way is like much to speed the work. 

Colonel Birch then summoned Sir H. Lingen, the 
governor, and a correspondence ensued, but it is a 



144 «ODRICH CASTLE. 

mere ^^noral matter of menace on one side, and 
defiance on the other. The last letter of Birch is 
ttns to the speaker. 

Since my coming before this castle, I have nted all 
means tending to the speedy rednction thereof, and am ap^ 
proacfaFd up on all sides so near that they annoy me vith throw- 
ing of stonps. I find the thing in itself yery strong, and the 
defendants (being excepted persons and papists) yery desper- 
ate. They have made many sallies, inasmuch that they hare 
lost at several times 100 horse, and now hare not aboye 5 re- 
maining. Hieyharenot Icilled meaboye24men in all, and 
Beyer took one prisoner, though diyers times we haye been 
at haad-blowS| and I find that my batteries^ mortar pieces^ 
and mining, being the three ways we now put in execution, 
haying cast a mortar piece here, which carries a shell of 
SOOibs. height, I shall spend more powder than is here to 
be had, and for want of which I shall not be able to go 
on. If not supplied', my humble request therefore to the 
parliament is for 80 barrels of powder for the senrice of 
this place and county ; the magazine at Hereford being 
yery small; with which assistance I question not to giye 
yon a timely account of this Castle, and to approve myself. 

Your bumble servant, 

John Birch. 
From Godrichf June ISth, 1646. 

One of the letters from thence tells ns, that one 
of the cavaliers called to our pioneers at work in the 
mines, and said thej cared not for being blown op, 
they could from the sky laugh at the flourishing of 
the rounctheads. The above is from the per/ect oc* 
currency for ihe^eek ending June iOth, 1646, 



GODUICH CASTLE. 145 

In the Perfect Diurnal of July §th to the 13th» it 
is said as follows. 

** Colonel Birch goes on well against Godrich Castle 
and is likely to carry it suddenly." 

In the Perfect Occurrences, for the 9th and 20th 
week, ending Friday, July 15th, 1646, is the follow- 
ing letter, from Godrich Castle, concerning the pro« 
ceedings of Colonel Birch there. 

Sir, 

The enemy within are very obstinate. We hare 
supplies of shells for our granadoes from the Forest of Dean; 
06r mortar piece is 15 inches diameter ; yet some are come 
in to us out of the castle, who affirm, that there is great exe- 
cution done in the castle by tliose shots we have made ; that 
many parts of it are torn. After we had at first been awhile 
before them, they sallied out and surprised our chief ^ard 
killed eight of our men, and had possession of both of onr 
mortar pieces, but could not carry them away; they did what 
diey could to break them but could not. Then they put a 
glass yessel of poison in the pieces, thinking to spoil them 
and us this way, and retreated into the castle, carrying with 
them a fired granadoe which lay in the place. There is one 
of our guns cracked at the mozzle, I am afraid she will not 
prove useful; but they are now very quiet within, yet will 
not yield. Onr ordnance are small, and have done but little 
execution as yet. What hath been performed yet hath been 
with our mortar pieces— Colonel Birdi hath sent to the Gencr 
alfor two great guns, (a# this country is badly provided) 
onrminea go on well. This is all at present. 

Yoitr humble servant, 

£.S. 
From Godrich July 4fh, 1640. 



146 ooDRiCH castle; 

Iti the Perfect Occurrences for the 1st and SOth 
week, endiag Friday the drd of July, 1646, is as 
follows 

Saturday, August 1st. From before Godiich Cas- 
tle^ the only garrison the enemy hath now left in 
England; except Pendennis, we perused letters, of 
whiQh we will give a copy of one, which. giTCS an 
account of Colonel Birch's proceedings tbere« 

Sir, 

We are in y^ry good forwardness with osr mine, and 
hope very shortly to see the effect of it. Oar guns have 
made, a breach in the upper part of the wall, and the graaadoes 
have done them mach spoil in the castle; yet they take no 
more notice of it, than if no enemy were before it, acting' 
little against us ; only now and then firing off their muskets, 
yet our grreat mortar piece and mine (I verily believe) wiU 
occasion a parley for mercy, which, if they obtain, I conceive 
will be well for them, for our leaders are extremely incensed 
against them. It is little thought (I believe) at London, what 
pains and cost is here taken ^ but the reducing of this once 
slighted casitle, I hope the ■ (sic) lingen^s estate wiU 
make satisfaction both to the state and to us. I am grieved 
that any difference should be amongst ourselves, but the 
OQcasion of it I leave to the righteous jadge, for a reward 
and. hope, the issue will.be good to those who go on with 
the parliament, and desire a safe and well grounded peace, 
without self-seeking base ends, which are hateful to 

Your humble servant, 

I.E. 

Godrich Leagwry Julp IBfA, 1646. 

in the same paper it is said, *' nothing yet from 
Godrich Castle, more than what the former letter 
expresseib.** 



OODBICH CASTLE. 147 

III the Perfect Diurnal from Monday, ^iig^l Zrd 
to' 10/Ay 1646, is '* this day there came letters to the 
house, from Colonel Birch, which certify that God- 
rich Castle in Wales, not far from R^gland, is sur- 
rendered unto'him for the ase of the pariiam6nt» 
The enemy was very resolute as long as they had any 
hope, but Cdonel Birch drawing np dote npon them 
both horse «ind' foot, and entering some works, the 
enemy bung out awfaite ensign, and desired a parley. 
Tbe* Colonel not willing to lose his advantage,- re- 
fused tin parley. They cried out for honourable 
terms. He offered mercy and went en in his enter- 
prises. They seeing the case desperate and them- 
selves in a \a^X eoBditioD, accepted of mercy npon 
these ensuing cwnditions. 

;i^r4/— That Sir ■ Henry XingeBf the governor of Godrioh 
Castle, with all the officers and soldiers therein, -shall have 
mercy for their lives. 

iSetfOficf/y— That the said Sir Henry Llngen, the gover- 
nor with all the officers and soldiers should surrender up 
themselves prisoners, to be at Colonel Birches disposition. 

TWrdflir— -That all the arms and ammunition, provision 
and whatever else is in Godrich Castle, shall be delivered 
upito-Col^nel Birch, for the service of the parliament. 

-fVwrMy^Tbat the same be performed personally the 
same ^ay, (viz). ' Joly Slst. 1646. 

All which was done accordingly, this present day, 
and ColoBel3irch is now in possession of the Castle 
wherein besides tlie governor, were about '50 gentle- 
men and others of quality, and 120 soldiers. 

o 2. 



148 OOPRICH CASTLE. 

In the Perfect Occurrences for the week ending 
August Tthy 1646) is the following further detail of 
the capitulation^ by which it appears from there be- 
ing only four barrels of powder left, that the main 
cause of the surrender was want of ammunition. 

^* This day there came letters from Colonel Birch 
of the taking of Godrich Castle, all prisoners at 
mercy, the castle and all therein surrendering to him. 

** A list of the officers names, the number of the 
soldiers, and of what was taken in Godrich Castle, 
July 31 St, by Colonel Birch. 

* 

Sir H. Lingen, groyernor, Gentlemen. Richard Chandler 

li. Col. Rog. Lingen, T. Cornwall, 

Sarg. Major James Wade, Thomas Strete, 

Ditto James Wakeman, . Ralph Lingen, 

Ditto John Pye, . Bodenham Ganter 

Captains. James Edwrards, William Edkins, 

William Hill, Six Gentlemen more, 

■ John Vaughan. Henry Maine, a supposed 

Frederick Hook. Popish Priest 

Edward Cornwall, 

Patison, takev also, 

Lieutenantg. T.Hill, 

- — ' John Mabbsi, Sixty Common Soldiers^ 

Howel Matthews, Two Hammer Pieces, 

• Wm. Greene, Four Barrels of Powder, 

Richard Lochard, A good proportion of Match 

Peter Sti^ete, and Bullet. 

Cornets. A] ford, 120 Arms fixed, and unfixed* 

Mntthew Morse, 3 arreis of Beer, 

m Charles Rosse, One Standard Colour, 

John Bearaont, Great Stores o( Corn, and 

£n si ga^ Harris Meal. 

Gentlemen, R. Bodenham, Sixty Flitches of Bacon. 

Thom. Bodenham 150 Bushels of Peas, 

Rog. Vaughan, One Hogshead of Claret 
John Skippe, Wine;, 

John Bodenham, Half a Hogshead of Saek, 

John- Wigmore, Good store of Buttery Cheeae^ 
Wm. Madden, and Beef.** 



John Barrington, 
Laur. Kinsman, 



GODRICH CA8TLB. 149 

Their gallant defenee merits the preservation of 
their names ; some of the families still subsist. 

In the samerpaper it is^dded^ <* Colonel Birch is 
mardiii^ with all his forees antd artiilerj, leaTing 
eoly a'fewito keep^Godrich and Herelord,*' 

In the Perfect Diumdt from Mar6h'lsf to the' 8th, 
1646—7, it is ordered " that in Herefordshire, God- 
rich Castle be slighted/' Baronet Lingen, of Satton 
Court, held it for Charles I. 

•It is said, upon authority of Sanderson, that Colo- 
neUBro^gbton, out of Gloucester, »ftdf«rfooA; togarri- 
son Godrith Castle^ but this is a mistake, ** Colonel 
Broughton!s Captain Lieutenant," (says Corbett), * 
** with 50 soldiers undertook to garrison a house near 
Bodrich CaUie, neither obvious to relief, nor caring 
to £)rtify or. store the place with victuals. This was 
done in.the governor's absence without order, disa- 
vowed ];>y all, and owned only by the Captain himself, 
whose plea was, that he had no support for his men, 
and was. forced* to get his living there; but within a 
few days hia house was fired upon him, and all his 
carried, prisoners to Hereford, before relief could 
reach him." 

The cennectfon ofGodrich with the civil wars is 
AiHher> noticed in history, by its relation to the aa^ 
eefirCers ori>ean Swift, -which celebrated person pre- 

• Military Government of Gloucester, p. 115, 116. 

o 2. 



150 60DRICH CA8TLS 

tented the travellings chalice for the service of the Kick 
nsed by his grandfather Thomas, vicar of the church; 
The Swifts were anciently seated at Rotherham, in 
Yorkshire. The elder branch was ennobled in the 
person of Bamham Swift, who was created YiscoanI 
Carlingfordy Mar. 20, 1027, a title which became 
extinct upon his decease without male issue. From 
a younger branch of this line, descended Thomas 
Swift, vicar of Godrich, a person distinguished by 
his courage and loyalty to King Charles !• in whose 
cause he suffered more than any person of his condi- 
tion in England ; for he was plundered by the round- 
heads thirty-six times, some say above fiAy« He 
engaged (sic) his small estate, and having thus gath- 
ered 300 broad pieces of gold, he quilted them in his 
waistcoat, and escaping to Ragland Castle, which 
still held out for the King, he presented to the gover- 
nor thereof this seasonable supply, an action which 
must be allowed to be the more extraordinary inas- 
much as it was performed by a private clergyman, 
Mrith a very numerous family and small estate, which 
had been often plundered, and who was deprived of 
his livings in the church, Godrich and Bridstow. 
His estate at Godrich and Marstow, was also seqaest- 
ered. About the time of the capture of Hereford 
by the rebels, he was imprisoned [correctly took 
ikehtr^ for Ragland was then in the King's hands] 
in that famous Castle. 

He was particularly accused of having bought arms 
and conveyed them into Monmouthshire, thovgb he 



WALPORD. 151 

bad not donesq, and of havings preached in Ross upon 
that text, "Give nnto Caesar, &c." in which the 
Earl of Stamford said he bad spoken treason, in en- 
deavouring^ to give Caesar more than his doe. This 
Thomas Swift married Eliz. Dryden^aunt to the poet, 
and by her» was father of ten sons and four daughters. 
He died in 1658. Jonathan the fifth son, an attor- 
Bej, married Abigail Erick, of Leicestershire, and 
bad issue by her, Jonathan, the famous Dean; and 
a daughter, wife of Joseph Fenton, a tanner,* a 
match abhorred by her distinguished brother. 

The PRIORY, formerly called Flanesford, was 
founded by Richard Talbot in 1347, who was buried 
there, but at the dissolution removed to the parish 
church. The Priory church appears as a barn, an- 
nexed to a house occupied by Mr. Bellamy, with 
adjacent (ish-ponds. 

The ancient manerial Court house is or was, or- 
namented with the carved figure of a Talbot, (a spe- 
cies of dog), in allusion to the family name. 

Henry Neele, author of the Romance of History, 
probably compiled during his visit at my house, his 
tragical novelet of a suicide ; said to have been com- 
mitted at Godrich, by one of those absent people to 

• Thus Mason, hist, of St Patrick's, Dabli^ i. p. 228, 
239. In this work p. 220, is given from the Mercnrias RusiU 
<nis, a lone detail of the plunder of the Swift^s. Ttte yilfians 
utterly disregarded the protections, which Mrs. Swift had 
purchased, and tried to starve the infant chtldrej, **threaty 
iiing'the miller, if he ground any corn for them they would 
<^iiid him m his- own mill." 



I1A2 .WAI.FORD. 

<wAiMii:HiJ)ift dwokaguage. '<*The worldisnediing^ 
pleasnreis notlriBg, «ii£bringi»iioUniig9 ambitioD, 
riches, pmse^ power, all Arenothuig*" 

AddisoD irrote'lDatOy and escaped censuve : • ii#t-«o 
tGoethe.-^He- ie c odi understood oonceiding the mik 
cretion and noiKHnaniia ^prepagai^'by his Werter* 
IMadame de Staelis eori«<st,iin i>allii^' that book the 
finest aifd most* impressive novel that was ever writen* 
The Werterm the' bejg^ning of the story, i. e, Goethe 
himself, imitated 'the cftiralrous grandeur of sonl 
conspicuous inthe^Rdlla of Pizarro, and the Rebeecft 
of Ivanfaoe, by. the on}y, though bumble, means in his 
poorer of making |>royision for two of Charlotte's 
children. This sin^ple act, would not do for the ca- 
tastrophe of a noyel, and therefore the self-immola- 
tion of a contemporary, who shot himself, for the 
love of a married woman, completes the story. 
Goethe» no more than Addison, intended to vindicate 
suicide, an act resulting from the disease^ namely, 
monomania. 

WALFORD on the left bank, has few antiquities. 
One i» a catteUum or small square entrenchment upon 
Howl-hill, apparently an exploratory post to the 
camp at Penyard. Another is a fortified Ulanor 
House,* so altered, according to tradition, that it 
might not be surprised by a Coup de Main, from 
Godrich Castle. The courts and yards are so dis- 
posed as to flank and command each other,' nor could 

* A aine pound shot fuund here, is now in my possesMon. 



WALFOKD. 1&3 

the house be taken without first carrjing^ these, and 
amount behind, which might hold field pieces. 
The third is the Warren, an encampment used bjr 
Colonel Kyrle, lord of the manor, and resident at the 
Court House, before mentioned. He was first in 
the service of Charles, but turned to the parliament. 
Being interred in . Walibrd church, where his helmet 
is still presejnred, a tradition has arisen that here was 
buried the more worthy defender of Godrich Castle, 
an opinion founded upon confusion of persons.* 

In the newspaper, called Perfect Oecurrenee^, 
from April 25th, to May 2nd, 1645; is the following 
paragraph. 

•* Prince Rupert marched (from Bristol) by Wal- 
ford, towards Ross, the last week, with 2000 foot 
and horse^ with two pieces of ordnance, who since we 
hear were quartered near Brampton.** 

ThQ church formerly had a spire, which was desm 
troyed by lightning, February 17th. 1613. 

A Hugo de Walford, is mentioned 12 and 13 Job. 
a« holding ''one kn.feein Waleford/' of the bishop of 
Hereford,f and a John de Walford occurs again in 
1316.$ The name does not now exist in the place. 

Near the church of RUERDEAN, are the earth- 
works of a castle* From the remains of an arch, it 
appears to be of the 13th century, the sera of nearly 

• Anecdotes of 0»lonei Kyrle, will be ffiven ander Mob- 
Bontlu t M. S. Hail.aoi t 219. 1 1^- ^^V* 



164 9MJ&R4>EAN. 

all the arcbiiectural remaiov in the ticinity. It was 
the seat of the Alba-maras, md through female lieim 
of the Devertyes, • Bicknors^ aad Baynhams. 

It aftpearsr to^ have been a small strong hold -with 

a Barbican. Tbe shell of a seat built about the rdgn 

of Elizabeth^ shows that the castle was then deserted. 

It was ^ost probably 'destroyed for materials, when 

i the seat wa»' ereot€fd^ nothing b^i«lg left. 

Tradition points out a spot from whence the castTe 
was battered by Cromwell's troops; but "the castle 
was probably not/aen in existence, and' there is an 
apparetfit confusion with the real fact, that after thb 
surprise of Monmouth, Ruerdean was made by Mas- 
sey governor of* Gloucester, a parliamentary garrison 
to stop plunderers from Hereford.* 

Upon the opposite side is^COURtflBLD, <tlfe 
modern seat of -Wmtam Yaughan, esq. just above 
WELSH BIGRNOR cliiirch,'8o called becaiisie an 
insulated pnvt • of MoniooHthskire. This -s^papaiioa 
was tiot uncommon, on account, of annexation to a 
particular barony. 

• 

Mr. Coxerelute&tlie»ft»^owi#g^ anecdote ^f ;an«an- 
cestor of tiiei\fiai|gbaas. 'W«aik{ng<4me d^y wilhrliis 
son, who had long been married without issue, he 
challenged him to leap over a gate. The son attempted 
it witihout success; on whidh the old gentleman 
vaulted over it easily, adding **as I have cleared the 

• Ci>r|>ett, p. 119. 



WELCH BICKNOB^ 155' 

gate for you, so 1 must e*en provide you with an heir." 
Accordingly he married at the age of ^venty-fivey 
and left a son and three daughters. 

It certainly was a Celtic method to put . children 
out to nurse at a . neighbouring farm,.* and in the . 
Highlands the children of gentlemen often grew up in 
the families of their nurses ;f but .in England they. 
were removed at an age of puberty, tu the houses of 
persons of rank.;^ Sir Bevill Granvi]l*s house, till 
the civil wars (of (."harles 1.) broke out, was a kind 
of academy for all (he young men t>f family in the 
country; he provided himself' with th^ best masters 
of all kinds ; and the children of his neighbours and 
friends shared the advantage with his own.§' Whbn 
the revolution commenced, says 'Lord' OlarendoA,!! 
all relations were confounded by the several seotd -of* 
religion, whp disooui^tenanQed all forms of .rerereEce 
and respect^ a^ reliQsof^up^raljtWi Children smgj^ t 
iipt;.l>}e8siDg/i7Qm; tl^eif'paiieQtF) and otbmrredacation;' 
wfis neglect^ f^rtfearit of les^p^s/^.^. Yoongywomear 
conversed without cir9QmspectiQQ..or modesty, and 
frequented taverns; so that Charles II. was not the 
author of a// (he debauchery of bis sera. . Consistent* 
ly with the fashion of the times, before the parlia- 
moDtary usurpation, H«iry V. was nursed at Court- 
field,. The country people well kpowing the attach- 
ment which subsisted between aoilactanei, tr foster 

# PeniMuit'g Whiteford, p 2. t Nawte'a .Tour, p 146. 

t Hoveden ao 1191^ Uiogr Brit v ^§8, et aUi; ^ Own 

Life, i. 234. if Walking's Bidi ford, 222. 



156 DO WARD 

• 

brethreDy* have converted broken angels on each 
Bide the sepulchral ef^gy of the nurse, in the churchy 
into the infant Henrj and his fellow-suckling. Sir 
S. R. Meyrick, in a letter to the author says, all this 
tradition is destrojed, by the costume of the figure 
being that of the time of Edward L and proves it by 
the instances of Aveline, Countess of Lancaster, 
in Westminster Abbey, and of Lady de Bobun, in the 
library of Hereford CathedraL 

Mr. Shaw mentions an ancient Chalice belong- 
ing to this church, as the presumed work of Arabi- 
ans, near the borders of Spain, and of the date of 
1176,f whereas it is only a mistake of the church- 
wardens initials, and the year 1600. 

At ENGLISH BICKNOR are traces of a castle, 
or castellated mansion.]: 

At SYMOND*S YATthe road from the ferry 
into the forest is cut through the trench opposite 
Symond's Yat rock. This trench is made by soAie 
part of Ofia's Dyke, by others, of a Roman camp. 

Upon the GREAT DO WARD is a camp, of which 
through natural defences, only the west side is strong- 
]y fortified by entrenchments, because that part was 
deemed accessible. Spear heads have been found; 
and the common marvellous tale is told of the dis- 
covery of a giant's bones in a place seemingly arched 
over. 

* See Giraldtts Cambrensis la Camclen*s Scriptores, 743. 

t Western Tour, p. 196. t Biffland** Glottcciteribire 
in " Bicknor;* *^ * 



OOWABD. 167 

Between tfa^ Great add Little Doward, in aVvtflley, 
lies a singularly picturesque estate, called tbe Kiln 
House Farm. In a corner of it is a romantic cayern 
bearing tbe name of King Arthur's HalL It was 
certainly a Celtic custom so to denominate caverns, 
and ** Fingars Hall,*' a similar excavation, was a 
residence at least during bunting seasons.* Caves 
were winter habitations of tbe Britons,f and resi- 
dences or places of protection for tbe Highlanders.:}: 
This is merely given to illustrate a Celtic custom of 
so denominating caverns ; for this is only a worn-out 
iron mine. 

Upon the Liltle Doward, a hill of peculiarly fine 
outline, viewed in front from the Monmouth road, are 
tbe interesting remains of a British Camp. Three 
circular terraces wind up to the sununit. It is a ya*> 
Inable relic of British Fortification, where Caracta- 
cos probably posted himapl^ fiw how otherwise are 
tfaea^acent Roman Camps on the Great Doward and 
Symond's Yat to be accounted for ? Ostorius proba- 
bly endeavoured to force him by the Great Doward, 
but apparently did not succeed ; and being compell- 
ed io cross the river, encamped at Symond's Yat. 
The inference is drawn from the circumstance of the 
Gauls taking up a position protected by a river» 
where even Caesar declined action. § 

* CampbelPs Journey from Edhibargh, i. p. 179. 

t Henry's Historv of Great Britain, ii. 113. t Newte's 
Tour, p. 234. $ Bell. Gall. L. v. c.47. 

P. 



1M MONMOUTH. 

At 6ANEREW, Yortigern's palace has been all»- 
•urdly placed by Geoffrey of Monmouth and bis copy- 
ists; but the real spot seems tu have been Dinas Em* 
ryi, engraved by Sir R, C. Iloare.* 

Romati coins have been found at MONMOUTH, 
bat the Bkstium of Antoninus is probably Staunton, 
from whence by the Kymin rans a Roman road to the 
town under discus8ion«f A British Fortress is said 
to have existed previous lo the Roman conquest and 
to have been occupied by the Saxons to support their 
conquests between the Severn and the Wye. It is 
supposed to have been rebuilt by Juhn, baron of 
Monmouth,^ whence in failure of issue, it was alien- 
ed to Prince ^klwa^d, (afterwards King Edward 1.) 
in^ 1257. in 1265, after the quarrel between Simon, 
Earl of Leicester, and Gilbert, Earl of Gloucester, 
the former successfully besieged the castle which Gil« 
bert had taken and fortified ; and levelled it with the 
ground.|| It was however, rebuilt or repaired, for 
devolving to John of Gaunt, by marriage with Blanch 

* Giraldusi.135. f Gents. Magazine, Jan. 18*23. 

X In tlie Barons' wars in 1233, the Earl Marshal came 
to Monmouth to reconnoitre it for a siege. Baldewin de 
Gysaes the g^overuor, discovering him, rushed out, wishing 
to brin^ in the Earl a prisoner to the castle. His bra* 




win in a rage tore off the Marshal's helmet, and seized the 
bridle. A cro-^B-bow-man, seeing his danger, shot Balde- 
win in the breast. Mobile his men were attendiitghim, the 
Marshal ifvas neglected, and his army coming up, a ^reat 
slaoghter was made among the Castellans. IVi. Pans, ^. 
So». ^. Watts. li Tiiveti Anuaiei, p. 323,224. . 



MONMOUTH. 160 

^aaghterand heir of Henry, Duke of Lancaster 
—-Henry of Bolingbroke* John's son, our Henry IV, 
was father of the Agineonrt warrior, Henry V. bom 
here..* His father Henry was then at Godrich Cas- 
Ue, and upon receiving the news of his ioiUs birth, 
made a grand feast there.f As part of the dutchy 
of Lancaster, Edward lY, granted it to the Herberts 
with whose other possessions it has devolved to the 
Duke of Beaufort.^ The remains stand upon the 
ridge of an eminence to tbe N. of the Monnow. The 
chamber w4iere Henry V, was born, is- part of an up- 
per story,, and 58 feet long by 24 broad. Another 
Jarge a partment^ probably the hall, adjoins. A cir- 
cular stair-case tower leads to the grand apartments^ 
and vestiges of the castle exist among stables and 
out-houses. From the ruins arose a handsome edi- 
fice in 1673, an occasional residence of the Beauforts ; 
DOW a school. 

The possession of Monmouth, as being the key of 
South WaleSf was perpetually contested during the 
civil war. In 1643, Lord Herbert had begun to 
place a garrison in it; but when Sir William Waller 
advanced, the soldiers abandoned the town, because 
it was naked and open^ • It was recovered again 
for the king,|| and was alternately in the possession 
of both parties. The accounts are as follow. 

• Goagh,— Nicholson, &c. f Bloomiteld on the Wyr, 
p. 14. % There are other accoanis since the grant, but 

they appear to confound the fee-farm with the estate. 

f Corbet, p. 31. U Id. 61, 

p 2« 



1A> AONMdtT*. 

*^ Col. Massey after eaptaring^ Beachlej and Cfiep-. 
stow^ took the town and castle of Monmouth « which 
18 not only the enemy's inlet into Wales, bat a maga'<« 
sine to serve Bristol ancl other of the king^s quart* 
ers with provisions ; the mariner of gaining thereof 
' being very remarkable, and certified to be thus. 
Colonel Kyrle, who revolted frbm the parliament 
upon the loss of Bristol, went out with a party some 
miles from Monmouth to fetch in some provisions^ 
and beiDg as full of jollity as security, the naost va* 
liant Colonel Massey fell upon him and his company 
in the midst of iheir mirth (which it seems they pre- 
ferred before the sending forth of scouts} and so sur«> 
prised them. 

'* The said Colonel Kyrle being conscious to bim'« 

self of his foriper services to the par]ianaent» fear^ 

that be should not obtain quarter without a presWt 

recompence, and thereupon did undertake to bring 

Colonel Massey *s men into Monmouth, offeririg to 

march in the front, which was concluded accordingly; 

an^ at his coming to the guard,^ they, thinking it had 

been tlmir own farces, let down the draw^pbridge 

and, wiibout any opposition, received them into the 

town, and they demanded it for the parliament, at 

which the gatrison was so exceedingly amazed, ihrft 

some of them ifed afway, and left their arms, and the 

rest called for quarter ; and so this town being of 

great consequence, together with the castle, was re« 

duccd to the obedi.^nce of the parliament, with the 

loss of not above m men on both sides.*' Thus th^ 



MONMOUTH. IM 

Perfect JDiumal, (a newspaper of the day) from 
September the Ist. to the 7th. 1644.* 

* Corbett*s account yaries in the particular*. Col«ii«l 
Kyrle made overtures to Massie, eoveruor of Gloueesteiy 
for the recovery of Moamuuth. The latter havinsf pursu- 
ed the Prince's J^RU^rt's] horse into Wales, and oesiroyvd 
the enemy's project m fortifying Beachley, quartered with 
bts horse and foot near Monmouth on the Forest side, and 
receiving an answer to amessaiere lately sent to Lieutenant 
Colonel Kyrle, propounded unto him, and followed this way ; 
that he would felgne a post from Gloucester side, to desire 
a sudden return with his forces thitherward, to secure that 
part of the country from the enemy, which was already flown 
out A*om Bristol and Berkeley: and this message was to 
oame to his hands at Mr. Hairs house, at Hi^h-meadow, 
a grand papist, where it would take wiog for its despatch 
for Monmouth, by^ whieh means Kyrle commanding tlie 
horse might easily draw forth some troops to follow the 
rear of our party. Hereupon h^ feigned a sudden retreat 
to> Gloucester, and having marched back three miles^lodged 
his forces in a thicket of the Forest, and sending his scouts 
abroad, prevented the enemy's discovery. In the mean 
time the intelligence reached Monmouth, and Lieutenant 
Colonel Kyrle draws out, whom the governor surprised at 
midniofat in High- meadow house, with his troop of 93 horse, 
and, with as little noise as possible, advanced thence to Mon- 
mouth. Ne«erthele68,.twas not so deep a silence but the a- 
larm was given by the Comet of the troop, who escaped the 
•urpHsal, and the attempt was made more difficult, if not des- 
perate. The town took the alarm, stood upon tneir guard, 
expecting an enemy. Notwithstanding this, Kyrle with a 
iiundred select horse, arrived at the town's end, confidently 
came up to the draw-bridge, pretending a return, with ma* 
inr prisoners taken, preesed toe guards and prevailed with 
Colonel Nottby, the governor oftue town, by thcf officers of 
the guard, to let down the draw-bridee, which was done, hut 
with much jealousle, insomuch that the first party were lilfe 
to be held prisoners in the town. Our forlorn hope saw that 
Uwas time to lay about them. They declare tnemselves, 
overpower the guard, and made good the bridg^. They 
kept a strict watch over Kyrle's deportment, who acted lua 
part with dexterity and valour. Our body of horse and foiot 
were at band, had a large entrance^ subdued the town ia a 
moment, and spared the blood of the surprised soldiers. But 
the dark and rainy niffbt fitted the governor of Monmouth 
with the major part of the garrison ^ith an escape over tlie 
dry graft. We took one ms^or, three captfilns, aad divors 

p . 3; 



162 MoKMocrn. 

WbeD Monmouth was surprised by Massey, moist 
of the soldiers escaped, but many officers aiid persons 
of quality were taken. So Le Mercure Anglois^ No. 
IS wbich repeats the story of Kyrle*s treachery, ^s 
does also the London Post, No. 7. October 1st« 1644. 
It adds, that Massey found in the town some brass 
cannon. 

Soon afterwards the town was recovered in man- 
ner following, according to Corbett. Massie was 
invited by some Monmouthshire gentlemen to take 
Chepstow, and Major Throg morion was induced to 
weaken the garrison at Monmouth to take advantage 
. of this surrender. The news was forthwith convey- 
ed to the enemy, who drew together all the strength 
they could make of horse and foot from tlagland, 
Abergavenny, Hereford, and Godricb ; and Novem* 
ber 19th, about break of day came to the town and 
lay undiscovered behind a rising ground, at a quar- 
ter of a mile's distance, never thinking to make aa 
attempt, much less to surprise it. But as the go- 
vernor's unavoidable absence, and the important 
enterprise of Monmouth Garrison, did cause their 
approach, there being not above 150 left there, so 
the negligence of the Captain, to whom the keys 
were eiitrusted in the Major's absence, gave up the 
town into their hands. So remiss were the slender 

inferior officert, sixty common soldieiis, five barrels of powder 
and some armB, but toe town itself ivas the beftt prize, being 
tliekey of S. Wales and the only safe intereoiirae for tlie 
king's army, betweou the vest DVales and the northera 
parts^Corbett, p. 100^111. 



HONMOUTB. 163 

goartkj, that the Trevallv wiala beateii and none took 
tbe alarin. The enemy observed^ and took the cour- 
age to attcfmpt the surprisa], come upon the higher 
gid6 of the town that looked towards Hereford, har- 
tng^only a sloping' bank east up to a reasonable height 
i^th a dry gftkfi of no depth ; insomuch that the 
gfoards and sentitiels being all asleep or supinely neg. 
ligent, above forty men presently clambered OTtr 
an4 fell cbwn to the next part, where they found not 
moi:^ than sii( men, who fled from the ground upon 
Uieir coming on. With this, one takes an iron bar, 
bi^^aks the chaine, forces the gate and sets it open to 
the whole body of horse, who rid up the town with 
full career, seized upon the main guard before one 
man could be ready to give fire, and took the rest in 
their beds. It was done in a moment, where we 
lost Col. Broughton, four captains, lieutenants and 
ensigns, some of the committee, together with com- 
mon soldiers about 16Q persons, two sakers besides 
a drake and nine hammer guns taken at fieachley, 
with ammunition and provision, and at least 400 
muSketd.* 

.* Gorbeit, 118. The Londoti PiOBtof December Srd* 1614, 
l^ves a different account. It says, << Colonel Massey having 
intelligence that the enemy was qnariered and plunderiag 
aboat the edg^e of Gloacestershire, advanced to incounter 
them; he had left 000 men in Monmouth to defend that 
toivne. jg^iving them charge that they should not stirr forth 
until nis retume; but the enemy hiaving some design at 
Chepstow, there wfis 400 men sent out to fall upon them. 
In the mean time the Lord Herbert understanoiiig what 
aweake power was left in Monmonth, he sent eight of the 
most crafty of his suldiei-s, in the habit of country peasants, 
'Who pretending to be tor the parliament, held a long'dis- 



164 MONMOUTH* 

The next London Post of December 10th layiy 
** there was some hope of the rfcorery of Monmouth; 
bat by reason of the overswelliDgoftheri^erSeTerae, 
the country thereabouts is so covered with waters, 
that but little good in this winter season is to be ex- 
pected. Some places near Monmouth are, howeTer* 
garrisoned to. save the Forest of Deanefromthe ene- 
«iies incursions out of that towne.'* 

By the same paper of January ITth, 1644-<— 5, it 
appears that these incursions kept Massey*s troops 
constantly on the alert. 

A letter from Gloucester in that paper says, "w« 
have a foule quarter hereabouts with the enemy, by 
reason of the losse of Monmouth « The Welsh aro 
still hearkening for our governor's absence, and th^n 
on the Forest of Deane*s side we never want con- 
stant alarmes, especially when he is towards Stroud 
or Cicester, so that we have a hellii^h life, unless wo 
could divide our folrces, and that cannot be till thes« 
horse doe jdyne with us.*' 

In the Mercurius Veridicus, October 11th— 18th» 
1645, it is said, *'as for Lunsford's inclining to ac- 
ceptance of £.500, for the surrender of Monmontfa, 
they know not of it." 

This Lunsford was the famous Sir Thomas, who 
Aimishes a curious instance of the virulence of party 

coorae with the sentinels 'upon the draw-bridge, whea 
behold, upon the suddeu, two troops of horse appeared, 
who breaking through the sentinels did enter l1i« tewae, 
which they not long after mastered." 



slander. From 9ome report of cruelty, towards wo« 
men and children, be waa oalumaiated as a peraoA 
who fed upon the latter, as being aotoally a cannibal** 
To bim the following lines of Uudiforas allude^ 

Made cbildrea with your tones to run for't, 
Aa bad as bloody bones or Lunsford.'* 

P. iii. c. ii. 1 S8.t 

In the Mercurius Veridicus of October 18 — 25, 
we have " Colonel Morgan with the Monmouth and 
Glamorganshire clubmen,^ have besieged Mon-* 
mouth, whereof Lunsford is governor. They haVe 
sent in summons, and received a negative returne,*' 
However, it was very soon after taken in the man* 
ner following. 

^< Colonel Morgan with the assistance of the coun- 
try clubmen came against the towne with a consider* 
able number of horse and foot, and after the enemy 
perceived that we had an intention *to storme them, 
they fled out of the towne into the castle, after wfcioh 
the townsmen, considering with themselves that if 
we entered by force after summons, they should be 
left to the violence of the souldic^rs, they let fall the 
draw-bridge, by which means our men entered the 
ton-ne, and the enemy stood on their guard in the 

• Mercur. Aulic. Ap. 2-9 1642. t Granger ii. 243. 

Po|;uTar Antiq. ii. 361. 

X This term implies the motlern hvif en masse. Holin. 
0Hed (vi. p. 04) bas tbe foUowiag^ passafi^c*, *' making their 
asserabUe not ffeverallie of all that were able to bedte a 
c/irfri «« tbey W the yeere before*" 



106 MOHMOUTHf. 

eastle. Then we sent for pyoneers to Deane and 
other partSy which came in very freely, and the next 
day being Thursday, we began to undermine in seve- 
ral places ; which the enemy perceiving, sent out for 
a parley, which was consented unto, and hostages 
given on both sides. At which it was agreed, tho' 
officers should march away with their own arms, and 
the common soldiers without. Mercurius Veridicus^ 
October 25th — November 1st, 1645. The castle 
however, stood a siege of three days. Perfect Di-^ 
urnal, February 9tb— 16th, 1645—6. The military 
vicar of Bray^ Colonel Kyrle of Walford Court» ob- 
tained the government of the town, and f:urprised 
some stragglers successfully, the apparent utmost of 
his services. Mercurius Veridicus, No. 28, No- 
vember 1st — 8th, 1645;) but was not confirmed in 
his situation till March, 1645—6. Perfect Diurnal 
March 16—23, 164&— 6. 

In the Cities Weekly Post of January ISth to^^ 
20th, 1645—6, it is reported that 200 of the Rag- 
land horse entered Monmouth, but were driven out 
with much shame and loss. 

Such was the states of Monmouth, in 1659, that 
the judges did not dare go there to hold the assizes, 
{Mercurius Poliiicw^ August 4 — 11, 1659, No. 
582y ; but were oMiged to refer the affair to parlia- 
ment, who ordered a commission. 

A Post-office was not established' at Monmonlh 
and several otho- parts of South Wales» till Novem- 



MomiovTH. 1417 

ber, 1663, The Intelligencer^ Monday, November 
16lh, 1663. 

The town was moated and walled, with four gates. 
Only a part of the moat remains, stretching to the 
mins of an old gateway in the street near Ross turn- 
pike. Parts of two round towers which flanked the 
South gate are visible, and the JMonnow gate is en- 
tire. Some vaults under the house of Mr.Cecil, of 
the Dnffryn, are attributed to Anglo-Saxon, if not 
i^OfRUfi workmanship. On the North side of the 
church, says Gough, stands a ruinous square building 
in which are very thick walls, niches and windows^ 
and three round arched doors ; supposed remains of 
the Priory. Tanner says it was founded by Withe- 
Doc de Monmouth, iu the reign of Henry 1. who 
placed a convent of black monks from St. Florian's 
near Salmure in Aojou, in the church of St. Cadoc 
near the castle, and afterwards in the church of St« 
Mary, or Catherine, as Speed. The present church 
occupies the site of that of the priory but having 
been partly reconstructed about 1740, the tower and 
lower part of ihe spire are the ouly ancient frag- 
ments. The priory bouse contains an apartment 
said to have been the library of Geoffrey of Mou- 
mouth,* whose legendary work shows the extreme 
ignorance of the Britons as to their own real history. 
Such inventions as his were common practices in the 
middle ages.f St. Thomas's Church is a curious old 

• Wicholson, &c. f See this ex'.iibiied ia Fo8br«ke*» 



168 BO€K-«TOirB. 

gtructure fttorlbed^ m pSirt, to the'SaxioDS and even to 
the Britons. The mouldiDgs of some arches excite 
jMirticulur attention. The suburbs beyond the Moa* 
now ane probably the ske of the Briiisb town. Two 
ancient hospitals founded by John Monemue, once 
emisted ; and a free«scbool and alms-hunse remaiB* 
the benefoctions of William Jones, who, from a por« 
ter, became a factor in London. There is lilso n 
chapel, once belonging to the makers of MoQlDHpth 
caps mentioned in Shakspeare's Henry V. of ^hich 
the itHRiufactare was removed to Bewdley, op ac« 
count of a plague.* 

Near Monmouth stands a very lofly eminence, 
called ** the KYMIN "• Here is a fancy pavilion 
in honor of Lord Nelson, and our other marine he- 
roes. From hence is a superb view of the banks of 
the Wye from the New Weir to Monmouth, and on 
the S.E« look to the nearest eminence, and you see 
in front the Buck^tiane^ (so called from a silly story 
about a buck,f ) a famous rocking stone of the Dru- 
ids, not a mile distant. Some writers upon Gaelic 
Antiquities, call them clacha-brath, i. e. judgment* 
stones. In one direction they were moveable • but 
in others, the greatest force only impressed their im- 
mense weight against the sides of the cavity in 
which the apex was placed.;]; They are supposed to 

* NicholM>ii, &.C. 

j* It has been applied to several places elsewhere. 

t Smith's Gaelic Antiquities, p 71. 



BUCIi^-STOlf B. 160 

kave beeu used ia diviaation^ the vtbrptioos deter- 
mining the oracle; or from their souad, when violent- 
ly poshed, and reverberating, that they were suited 
to alarm the country upon the approach of an enemy* 
4)r as there was a passa^^e round them, that sanctity 
was acquired by perambulating them ; that the ca- 
vity was a sanctuary for olbnders ; for introducing 
proteiyiesi^ people under vows, or going to saerifice^f 
or for oracular answers;^. Such stones were also 
funeral monuments, for Mr. Bryant says,§ '*it was 
•usual with the ancients to place one vaat stone upon 
another for a religions memorial.'^ The stones thus 
placed, they poised so equally, that they wereafiected 
with the least external force.; a breath of wind would 
sometimes make (hem vibrato. These were called 
rocking stones* 

Thus various accounts. Ills well-known that the 
Roman manners did not penetrate into Scotland and ' 
Ireland, from whence arc to be drawn the best ex* 
isting elucidations of what is called Celtic supersti- 
tiou ; Q and it is also clear that originals of the po- 
ems of Ossian, however embellished, or garbled by 
Macpberson, are found in the BigUands, In the po- 
«m of Carric-thura we have ** a rock bends along 

* Arehsologia v. ix. p. 216. f Berlaie, p. lW,&c. 

X WaCwMi'* Halifiix, p. 96. 4 Notes upon .^ipoUo- 

aius Rhodlus, Arg^onaut. B« i. |) It is sbownin the Kn- 

cyclopaedia of Antiquities. toI. H. p. 920, that rockfttfr^stones, 
(one moved bp th€ windj^ stone circles, and •thcr Dru- 
idical remains occdr in America 



170 BUCK-8T0HB. 

the coast, with all its echoing wood. On the top is 
the circle of Loda, the mossy stone of power.** 
And again ** the king of Sora is my son^ he hends 
ai the stone of my powerJ** In Fingal B. iii. we 
have a still stronger passage. ** He called the grey- 
haired Snivan, that qften sung rovnd the circle ^ 
Loda: when the stone of power heard his voice^ 
and hattle turned in the field of the valiant,'* Now 
round Stonehenge and this rocking-stone runs a 
green path ; ii^was for the dHsoij or perambulation 
round the temple, or stone, three times,* a custom 
which Giraldus Cambrensis says, that the Irish 
transferred to churches.f From Ossian we see that 
the bard walked round the stone singing, and made 
it move, as an oracle of the fate of battle. 

Mabe says, that ** there is some probability that 
the rocking stones ^Routers J were probatory stones, 
fdes pierres probatoiresj by which the Gauls tried 
the virtue of their wives ; and that they were reputed 
guilty, when they could not move them. Thus in the 
hcLsse BretagnCf the stones are called ies pierres des 
iogan^ that is, the stones of unfortunate husbands.:^ 

Above (be stone is a rock-basin, for libations of 
blood, wine, honey, or oil, according to Borlase,! 
but children upon birth || were immerged three times 

' * See Borlase. f Camdeni Scriptores, p. 7iS. 

I Essai 8ur Ies AMIQUITI £S duMorbihan. p. 99, (from fe 
dicticnnaire du P. de Rostrer.eVf p. 17B> col. %) 

^ Gough's Cambdeu. ]| Baptism was practived by 

tbe ' ancient Etruscans .and the folto.wers of Mithras. 
Hicvio*** DruidSi p. Ixi. 



BUCK-8T0NS* 171 

in water* among^ tbe ancient Irish; andlustral water 
is ancient also, consisting^ of rain water for g^reater 
sanctity. 

Upon the eastern corner of the stone is a rude 
arch, now almost stopped up by growth of the soil, 
which, according to Borlase, was the saccllutn^ or 
little chapelyf where the Draid of th^ stone placed 
himself. So late as 16829 a hermit in Ireland, to 
whom the country people brought all manner of pres- 
ents, was called the " holy man of the sione,^*^ 

The form of the stone is an irregular square in- 
verted pyramidyll and the writer of this, upon trial, 
could fancy that it moved. The point where it 
touches the pedestal is not above 2 feet square. Its 
height is about 10 feet; S. £. side 16 feet 5 inches; 
N. side 17 feet; S. W. 9 feet; and its south side 
12 feet. The rock pedestal is an irregular square; 
S. £. side 12 feet ; N. 14 feet, 9 inches ; W. 21 feet 
5 inches ; S. 14 feet. 

The situation of this stone was evidently chosen 
because it could be conspicuous for miles ; being 
seen from even Ross cburch«yard| dtstioguishable 
from a tree by its flat bead and Y like form, a little 
below tbe nose of the promontory. A^acont to it, 
is a large barrowi and on tbe Ooleford rosd, a huge 

• Ohraldns In X. ioriptores, p. 1071. t P* 1^* 

t CoUeot. lUfo. Hybm. No, li, p. H9 l| It Is 

engraved in tbe AntiqoarlMi Kspertorjfi v. i. ^ 119. 



17S TROY-HOtJSC. 

Hffright stone, sepulchral or nieinoriaT, called t&0 
Long Stone. <^An old Roman road/* sajs Mr. 
Cdx, 'Meads from the left bank oC the Wye up the 
Kymin, passes by Staunlon» and was part of the old 
way from Monmouth to Gloucester. At Staunton 
are many indications of a Roman settlement. The 
name of Staunton proves the existence of a Roman 
causeway." 

The first object just out of Monmouth, is Troy 
House, so called, because siluated upon the small 
rivulet Trolhy. Jt was formerly a seat of the Her* 
berts; now of the Dufte of Beaufort^ who resides 
here durrnp^ ihe races and assizes. It is the worlt 
of Inigo JoneSy and contains noble apartments, en 
sultCf orounienled with fine portraits of this ducal 
family. Among its antiquities i^ a fine carved chim« 
noy-piece brought fVom Raglan Castle; and, as is 
said, the bed in which flenry V, was bom, bi$ cra« 
die, arid armour in which he fought at Agiaeettrf.. 
11ie bed is of scarlet cloth, richly fringed, the post* 
covered ^ith the same* There is no anachroBism 
rn supposing it of the 15th century ; and beds irtM 
eurtains, appear at this serai to hare been a distincw 
tion of knights banneret,* The cradle of the ^lattN 
rai ancients varied,, being of Ihe several forms of a 
small badif a buckler,} or a beat.||: Rocking wm 
nsuali^ Martial says, by men.** Juvenal mentions 

• Dnoangs Gloss. ? . Banntret. t Lampridlim ia 

Ant. Piadnin. 1 Theocritus in Heracl. || Montf»ac. 

fii. p. i. f . 9. if. 9. f Tbeocrit. obi. sup. •• Epigr. 
xi. 4$. 



FBHAIiT. 178 

a Tauhed tester of fine lioen to keep off fliet •* We 
find a cradle of the middle age suspended by oordSj^ 
and covered with cloth^f and that of HenrjY, ence 
preserved at Newland, is a wooden oblong obesr, 
withoQt tester, swinging by links of iron , between 
two posts, surmounted by two. birds for ornament* j; 
This looks much more ancient than thst at Troy, 
which has a tester, rockers, and is covered with 
crimson velvet, but this is similar to ancient royal 
cradles.^ Both among the Romans** and ourselves, 
the children slept in them at night, being confined 
by bands across.f f As to the armour, it appears to 
be much more recent than the time of Henry V, 
add only a suit for training youth. The inference 
therefore is, that these are relics of the Somerset 
family, brought from Raglan Castle* 

Qn the Monmouthshire side of the river, about a 
mile and a half below Monmouth, is tho church of 
PENALT, situated on the side of a woody eminence, 
at tbe back of which is an extensive common. On. 
this common is a large oak tree, at its foot a sume 
seat. When a corpse is brought by, on its way to 
the i^ce of interment, it is deposited on this stone, 
and the company sing a psalm over the body. 

» Edit/ Lnbio, vi, lin. 81. t Uncange v. BerceHum 

I From the Eograyinf. % Leland'i Collectanea, iv, 184- 

•• Sn^tou in Augustas, 94. ft f>^cem. Scriptores, 1065. 
Lei. nbl supra. 



174 ST. JMUAVBLt* 

PakBodf over tbe eorpfft afoified dM cop y ett •f 
the deeeiaed friend^ •?« belly tin, and deaO.^ 

Hereisane? ideuCedqtiiiiutioQ of theodb and jf«K» 
•f Droidifm and CelUckcuiliHiis altered into a dirist* 
ian form. It is the ** aong of bardu, which rose orer 
the deady'* OMolMioed m 0<aiaa*8 death of CnthoUiD^ 
ao accompaniiDeiit of the Iriah howl^f and altesBd by 
the Popes^ lata the Trental.^ 

Oppoaite Peoait is CLOWERWALL». tbe caatle^ 
ioMtation teat of tbe Wyndbamt ;. and Bickeweir waa 
» niaiH>r, pareel ef Tintem Abbey, granted to Tracy 
Catcbniay. With Joan, only davybter of tbe last 
Tracy Catcbmay, it-pasaedto the Rooka,^ in .which, 
fiimily the seat and tbe estate remain. On the sum- 
mit of this eminesioet. irbenee there is an exquisite 
view of tbe opposite banks of the Wye^ are the re» 
mains of the Castle of St. BRI ATELS. £t wafr 
btiilt by Hiloi Earl of Hereford, for tbe rssidtece of 
the lords Wardens of the Forest of Dean^ and ta 
restrain the fneorsions of the Widish, But it liaa 
been for ceotories in ^ state of dfecay, and is now a 
prison for delinquents in^the Foresli and debtors in 
the Hundred., to the church is a fine tomb of Wil* 
liam Warren; The panel contains a specimen of 
the ancient manner of swathing infants, exactly dmii* 

^ Popalar Antlquhtos 974. 

t Collect, de. Reb. Hybeni| bjr Geo. ds Talaocej. 

t Ducanpe. ▼. Bardicatio^ , % Fo§broke*e Glow- 

cestcrshire, li, HU 



larto tlie Romto,* and tfae tyraiinieal custom of child* 
ren being only permitted to kneel npoa. a enshion^ 
or cashioned form, when in the presence of their pa- 
rents^f When the Britons hnried, thej erected 
stone pyramids orpilhtrs^j; an osage, which ended in 
crosses instead.y The cloH^iufi stone is one of 
these. Formerly there was a hermitage belonging 
to the Abbey of Grace-diei, £Tery inhabitaBt of 
this parish gives Id* #^ annum to bu^ bread and 
cheesr, on Whiisonday* The bread and cheese are 
cut into small pieces, and immediately after tlxa ser- 
vice is'eilded,'thccongrog:ation.hold their hats, aprons^ 
&c. « sod the chareh wardens throw it to them; most 
commonly a general scramble takes place» I'his in- 
decorous custom has recently been transferred from 
the ehsrch to the church-yard. It is said to be the 
condition of having right of common, on HadknoIls» 
an extensiTe tract of wood-land ; but a similar cus- 
tom prevailed at Padding ton» where loaves were toss- 
ed from the church-tower to be scrambled for^, jss 
an omen of fature plenty** It was derived from \\^ 
poHisJitcalis of the Romans^ so termed because giv- 
en at the exp^nce of the treasury^ and called aUo dis» 
pen$atotius, civiiis and grudiiis^ because it was dis- 
tributed from an elevated place, the steps of the am- 
phitheatre, &c.f 

• fioiflsard, iii.90« f Heory*! Histonr of Great Brit- 
ain, V. p. 3. t Antiq. Dwcourscs, i. Sift. jl Kiog't 

Mmiinieiita Antiqaa, 1. 199. € Lyson** Eavirons, 

iij. p. 005. •• Mercar. Public. May 24— 31^ 1WD. 

X Eudyeopftdia dct Antiquit.v. Paih. 



in nvrnm. 



Whcfc iiba ■■■ iifaf Jw of wii» hy nSSk nu iatro* 
leed into tins kiogdoo, [uiiiol508]tlie arlistf tviio 
Iran Otnmmnj* Jirsi settled at Wlntttoook 
•ad TiHTBBV Abbbt. ^Not fiurfrcND henee'* (Tin- 
ten Abbey) ssjrs an SBciflot writer ^ are now (1708) 
erected two finrnacet and two fiirges^ wbidi perhaps 
make the best malleable iron in the kingdom^ that is 
here made into wire, bj water-mills, and other in» 
genioos inTentioBS, broo^t here b j Germsns^ Wjuij 
years since, whose posterity sooceeds them in 
their seats and employments* Here and at White* 
brook, near adjacent, are the only places in Britam, 
fmr making this sort of wire, which hath prored^ so 
adrantageoos to this oonntry, and to the whole na- 
tion. 

<*The iamoos copper-work, (Red Brook) that 
tarns so much to the advantage of the nation, and 
benefit of the undertakers, is 'also on the river Wye 
managed by 5istfi2e#, and other foreigners/'t '' 

At Tintom is a house formerly belonging to the 
family of Reldiug, battered according to tradition by 
the parliamentary troops, from the brow of the hill 
on the opposite side of the river, where there has cer- 
tainly been an encampment* This work is not likely 

* Qu. the aecouiitB vary. See Beckman^ InTentioiis,iL 
S43. t excursion p. 02. 58. In the Lansdowne M.SJS. 

No. 76« aeet. 34. is a history of these iron works by Andr. 
Palmer. They were first set i^oat by patent, granted 7th 
£Iis. to Will. Humfrev Saye, master of the Mint, and one 
Chr. Smith a Saxon by birth. They spent in the first year 
on the works, about £3090. It is a Tery curious and. long 
account. There are others in the same collection. 



tIMf8R«. 177 

to bare been thrown up merely fyr the purpo^of 
knoeking down a hoase ; and therefore it more pro« 
babljT appertains tcr the Angio-Saxoos, who fought 
here against the Britons. 

In the jcar 610^ Ccolwulph, king of Wessex, aU 
lacked the Britons in Glamorganshire. Theodorick 
or Teudricy the Welsh Roitelet-of that eountry had 
resigned the throne to bis son Manriee, and **led an 
eremitieal life among the rocks of Dindjrrn,^ tiia 
former anbjects used to saj, that he bad always 
been yictorious y and tlierefore as soon as he shewed 
bis face bis enemies took to flight* Tlie/ according* 
ly dragged him from the desert against bis will ; and 
the rojral Hermit, once more a General, routed the 
Saxons at this p'ace. In the action be reeeiTed a 
mortal wonnd on the head» and desired his body to 
be buried, and a church to bo built, upon the spot 
where be sluiHiild liappen to die. This place was 
Afathern near Chepstow;* and Bishop Godwin says 
that he there saw his remains in a stone coffin;* 
Tintern is said to- be derired from Din a fortress, 
and Teym a Sovereign ; and it is probable that the 
present Abbey, was founded upon the very site of 
this palace, and hermitage; for tt is noticeable that 
the parish (Chapel Hitl), is dhrided^into two yillagea, 
that part, where the Inn is sitoate, being called 
Ahbey^ and the lower part Qear the conyeni the Old 



• Utserii Antiq. Socles. Brit. p. flffli Ed. 1097,-aad 
Richardion*s Godwin, p. 809. 



178 TIHTBRN ABBEY. 

Athey. From hence there arises a presiunptioD, 
that the first monastery founded bj Walter de Clare 
in 1131 was begun near the Inn; but that Roger 
Bigod* in whose sera the present fabriefc was cer- 
tainly built, removed it to the site of the Old Abbey, 
otherwise how can the distinction of old be satisfac* 
torily ei plained ? 

Chaucer says, 

Tor threttene is a covent as I guess;'* 

accordingly there were thirteen religious here at 
the dissolution. The idea was taken from Christ 
and the twelve Apostles. 

Orose says of Tintern, *^ the principal remains 
consist of the church, which affords a fine specimen 
of the style of architecture, called Gothic Its rich 
west window, still quite entire, is much admired 
though perhaps defective in proportion, being rather 
too broad for its height. The small door beneath 
it, is extremely poor : the intent of the architect is 
manifest— He meant by its contrast with the loftiness 
of the roof, to strike the beholder8.-^n the whole, 
though this monastery is undoubtedly light and ele» 
gant, it wants that gloomy solemnity so essential to 
religions ruins«.*'* That, at least, the scenery 
confers. 

• 111.107, 



J- 



3 I 



g 1 1 1 la 






J 
ill 



113. 



180 TlNTSftlf. 

Tho admeasurement, &c. oftbe Abbey by WIU 
liam of Worcester f eeim inaccorate* 

If any particalarderiations frbm strict arcbitectn* 
ral precision occur, tbe remark of Sir Christ. Wren 
is to be recollected, namely^ that the Norman bnild^ 
ors were not eicaet to a nicety, eittier la their inter- 
colomniations, or arches, or other arrangements. 

The following are the heads of the -matters con- 
cerning the wire-works, to be found in the Lans- 
downe Manuscripp. 

No. 7& Art. 87. Sir Richard Martin and Dr. 
Julius Caesar, write to Lord Borghley concerning an 
offer of one Cachniaye to farm the mrice- works of 
Tinterui March 11, 159B. 

Ko. 00. Sir Richard Martin and Dr. Julius C»- 
sar, beg Lord Burghley to send a pursuivant to Mr!. 
Banbory, to compel him to cease his oppressive 
vsage of the company of the iron works, at Tinlero, 
and their farmer March 23, 1503. 



That the works at Tintem vere the first in this 
kingdom ia ^controvertible, from the foUowing can* 
oos paragraph in Evelyn*B Miscellanies, p. 880. 

" In this parish, [Wotton Surrey,] were set up 
the first brass mills, for the castings hammering into 
plates, cuuing and drawing it into wyre, that were 
ill England ; first they drew the wyre by men siittng 
harnessed in certain swings^ Ukhig hold of iha 
brass thongs fitted to Ae boles, with pincers fasten- 



e446 II iprdk, wiii^b w^t abaut them ; and then 
wiih stretching;, forth their feet ag^aiast a stump they 
s^pt th«ir bodies, frofo it, qlosipff with the plate again ; 
but allte»vfar4« thi$ was qpite left oS, and the effect ' 
peribnned bj^aa ingenio brought out of Sweden.^* 

Probftl^ Irom the aaeiepl. app^opeiatioa of the 
bantooftthB Wj«y to rdigioiisaostitutiQiis, Lkanffifut 
isJtt8llyidaclaead»by;IKf« )^ R; Neyrick, from Z«fw- 
y'coed, u e. the church ia^ or nos^f, the wood. In th^ 
civil wars. Sir John Wintour*s cavalrj landed at 
Llancaut, where they intended to fortify and make 
good the pass over the Wye, by which means tbey 
might issue out of Wales, at their pleasure.* 

. CHEPSTOW CASTLEt is said to have been 
h^smg^ s\»d taketiin 164^, by the parliament; 
surprised for the king in 1648, and again recovered' 
by the parliament; in some of which captures, 
treax.*lileiy. Had a large share ; notwithstaiidiw, af|er 
along siege; conducted by €rom»relJ» i| "VA^t pnp^ 
taken by storm, sind nparly all the garrison put to 
f he awQrd.:^ 

The foUowini^ paragrapb» ^re tak^a fifom tbe 
newspapers published 4|ii»Qg tho^jciyU ^wary. They 
vary from the quoled a^eoimt. 

* Corbett> Military Government of Gloucester, p. 1S8 
M. ^. 8. l^aeU. f Atnoog tW iui%*A tpfii|3^)ii^t» in jtbe^ 

British Museum, No. 367, is an account of **a great ftgiit 
at Chepstow Castle, between I^t. Cfeneral Crom^eli, and 
Sir Charles Kemisb^ May 18, 1641. 

t So Nicholson, &e/ See aate. p. rpf^ 



162 , CHftPifOW CA8T1I. 

'* From Giotfcester there is also eerUio mteBigeace 
brought to the parliameat the same daj, that CoIooaI 
Massie had issued out with a party of Us garrtsoQ^ 
and faileo upon Sir Henry Talbot's forces^ at Shep- 
stow, (sic) where he surprised, three eaptains, three 
lieutenaiutiB, three Irish reformadoes, aergeaoUnaior 
Ihom, besides sixty eommoD soldiarsy with ouioii 
arms and ammunition.*' Perfeet Dirnmal, Jawiary 
29th, to February &tK ie43-^« 

'^Froin Gloucester it is certified that Colonel 
Morg^, the governor, is recovered of bis health, and 
is gone to the besiegers of Chepstow ; the town was 
taken tlie latter end of the week, and they were in 
fair hopes of the castle, (which accordingly did sur- 
render.)'' JUercurius Veridicus, No. 25. October 
11—18,1645. 

Treachery had a share in this^ for in the Cii^ Scoti/^ 
No. 13, from October 14th to 21st, 1645,^^ it is Mid. 

'*To as little purpose as Rupert ^s carrying tfao 
ladies to breakfast, at Abingdon, when wbom (sit^) 
Colonel Browne billeted upon his quarters, and got 
niore iipon their bones, then they ibr their own beU 
lies. Indeed Ijmtfwrd (gOTemoi^ of Monmouth,) 
turned mK the governor of Chepstow upon such a 
(project, which made the man come about to us, and 
Ihey lost both town and castle by it." 

In a Perfect Diurnal from Afonday, October ISth 
to the 20th, 1645, is this. 



CKSPSTOW OAftTX«B« 183 

** A messenger this day caipe to the house^ ^tb a 
Airther confirmation of the good news from Wales, gf 
4he tiikfng of Chepstow Castle, and the town, with 
onjnanoo, arms, and ammunition as before. The 
boose ordered that thanks should be given to* God, 

« 

on the next Lord's day, for surrender of the said 
castle and town, in like manner as Basing and Win" 
Chester. They further ordered thanks and a reward 
to the gOTemor of Gloucester, that faithful, gallant, 
and religious gentleman.** 

The stores in Chepstow Castle word iromeusc, 
namely as follows. 

Eighteen pieces oC caniMii 90 barrels of salt 

great and small 4000 weig^ht of bisket 

10 barrels of powder A butt of sack 

2 harquebuses 3 bogp»heads of methecrlin 

d ton of lead 4 lio§ahead» of beer '^ 

Great store of Are works - 70 bushels of oatmeal 

30 beeTes in powder 30 bashels of wheat 

400 and odd kilderkins of 10 bushels of beans and 
butter peas. 

*' In March, 1646, it had been ordered by the 
Commons, that Chepstow should be k^pt with forty 
men, the new fortifications in the Haven to be demoU 
ished.'* Perjbct Diurnai, March 1st — 8lh, 1(546. 

With such an imperfect garrison, its fa)J was^a 
natter of course. ^ 

'* Chepstow Castle bating been soriirised by Sit 
Nicholas Kemniish, guns uid battering pieces were 
sent from Gloucester against it," Per/iti Diurml, 
May 18tb, 1648. 



184 bcac6l£V ^k^^ioE. 

*^ Chepstow, 3fayl2M, ItieO. Theprocfe^iatron 
of his majesty, Charles ll, was read by C6ionel 
Hughes, attended by divers '^ettlemen, and pefisdns 
of quality of this country, who with a great concourse 
of people, expressed their tbyafty to his majesty. 
Thrre were several volleys of sftiall shot, iiiid above 
a hundred piece's of ordnance discliarged'; besides 
which Lieutenant Colonel French, governor of the 
castle, to encourage fhem in their joy, gave them an 
hogshead of wine, and another of beer. Mercufius 
Publicum, No. 20. 

May 2lst, 1660. The Earl of Worcester, and 
the Lord Herbert biding tbfUiitnt thtft Chepstow 
Castle should be demolished, the house ordered die 
demolishing of it ; and referred it to his excellency 
(General Monk,) to take cbre of the ammunition 
therein." Mercurius Fublie. No. 21, »f ay 17—24, 
1C60. 

Beachley Passage in the parish of Tiddenham, 
across the Severn to Auit, (a corruption of the Tra- 
jectus Augustif) is of high British and Roman an- 
cienfry. Edward the elder crossed here to meet 
Llewelyn, Prince of Wafes. Its military importance 
in the days of Charles the first, was very great* 
'*? Prince Rupert," (says Corbett) «« dent 500 
foot stnd horse into the forest, who began* to fortify 
llfesrchl^ fbr & lasting guard, a pliice of extr^iae 
difficult approach, being a gut of Yand' running out 
between Severn and Wye; and the only coromodi- 



•US passage ftim Wakii (o Brf itol) and the w^ern 
parla. The gevenier (Colonel Naasie) advanced 
upon tbeni» four days after th^ began the fortifica- 
iiona and Jiad dnrarn tiie Ireneb half way from tbe 
hnlk$ of. one river to tbe othert wben tbe other part 
WM well guarded with a high quickset bodge, which 
they lined with mmM)Q<^eera| and a ditch within with 
a meadow beyond, wherein they had madeare« 
intrenchment* At b^b-»water tbe place was inae« 
eeaaible^ by reason of their{the king» ships which 
guarded each river with ordnance, lying level with 
tbe banks, and clearing the face of the approach 
from Wye to Severn* Wherefore the governor tak- 
ing tbe advantage of low-water, ten masqueteers 
wions selected oat of the forlorn hope to creep along 
Qie hedges* These gave the fiist alarm, and caused 
tbe enemy (the king's troops) to spend their first shot 
in vain* . Upon tbe governor's (Massie's) signal^ the 
to^^omhofie resbed on, being ^followed by the reserve 
and fell upon the track, wbenAe whole and each 
pif rt of the action, was carried on without interrupt 
ti<m. Of tbe king's troops some were killed, the 
rest taken prisoners, besides sqme few that recovered 
tbe boats, and many of them that took the water 
were drowned.'* 

This Bilassie was a petty Marlborough, much too 
clever for Prince Rupert, whe ruined Charles' afl&irs 
and the history of his exploits is in a military view 
j^ry instructive. 

B 3. 



Mi$ M^ClMtirMMMC. 



tempted a 8ieoiidtfai««r'iMKyiM»place; te^ 
the works Wel« e«Mh|^leife/ (Meii^llMbieittltlieli^^ 
and defeititi them, btit;^teaift^ffirhiiVefiiUleif kmbe 
attteipt, for the ihretfost'Of *4hfis^()an)nfbflwirigr two or 
tbreer pAllisaddea AMmd thettiiel ve«r hotbeeu^ tk 4iB» of 
I^allisadoes, and a^iiiekoet'%«%e; ttn^ ' «Hlii> «iii». 
qdeteers. the gOv^rMr in Mbia ' etific^ gkuaiion 
'>¥ho wasrti(ifv1eodto^f'ih«ilillohk4iope, with not 'a 
little difficdltjr Ibrced his liiidMeOf^r the 'tiedge/ifty 
in anKmiar (he king's neD'bjr'whdln he^Wfttf fhi4atild)r 
i'e-chkrged *' his h^d^iftee Iftoelced oiflN^itlf Ihe^btftt. 
i^d'of a: inMket.'ahd Wdtrii/'the^filWOStdflfDg^r, tiheii 
some of his oMna^men etftn^ to bfsas&iMnise^ aOdlNire 
d6%n Ihe^hefitfy before ihMn; fiA^w 90, aiidtbttlr^MI 
prisoners. ^Hh^f fcfeed^^SilSMin^iitOQi* down ffe^ 
tMlff %ato Vhci^ ri^^r,' ^h^^a-^Kftlo-hoat^ijr td^foeiH^ 
fAb: ^liti6y '«fOk' the^^MR^r'iifii < wisiei dnwuedl; 
'6thers'by ^««bVeHng- ffalii|i«iatij k¥^ilwi ftfe ifi i .»» 

1'he^por,#ber^i^ir JoW^f^fonV'^aeijli'd; td UMl 

swam hishofsefo ihe Host, a ittbrj'Wds t^ik^, '^t 
beleapied down from' the rodks;t 

St^ Tecla, to whom the chapel al<Bea^i}^ -fnif 
dedicated, was the, British Hygeia, and a. car^ooa 
commixture of Druidical atid CEriktian customs, is 
we]] pourtrayed in the following account, conoeiQled 
with St. Tecla. * 

• p. p. 114-117. t Sir R, Atkinp,.639 



8T. TBCLA. 18T 

**Mt. Pennant* fipeaking of the Tillage of Llan- 
-degla^ where is aehurdi dedicated to St. Tecla, tii* 
^10 and martyr, says, << about 200 yards from the 
churchy in a quillet, ealfod Uwem Degla, rises a 
%vfgli\mi^g^ Tl^e.jrater js under the tutebge of 
thV saints' and'to this day/held to be extremely he* 
neficial in the falling sickness. The patient washes 
his limbs in the well; makes an o£foring unto itof 4d« 
wUks round U-^tArea tin^s^ ^ftiet Dryi^al Deamitl 
and thrice repeats the Lord's prayen These cere- 
moniesare never begun till after -sun-set, in order f o 
inspire the votaries with greater awe. If the afflict- 
W Se'if A^»lmai6ii(^';44 iiMft<te,^li^^^ an 

ofiieriog*jil&tDlic^to;tJSfiic!Uafni^^ Teda 

.^fge\^y,}(^th^fairwf»r^te». 4^^^ mentions 
(B^J6f9i\,,}4,y^ c^ 12). |the js^credneas otjfl^^, hisres^ 
{•^Bdge^ttOr^mopg.th^BritonSt as thipg)i.:not 4o.be 
«ate]y]b .Tbeibwl4B carfjled in a basket &%t round 
the weU ; aftf^ th^, iui» t^ lihmicl^yan^, when^he 
^same oriaons an4 the sai^e circumambuiationa ^are 
jperfiprmed iiound thj^ churcly ; £the DeasuiT\. 'llie 
^votary then enters the church, gets under ihe com- 
munion table, £as under the cromlech] lie3'down 
with the bible under his or her head ; is coyered with 
the carpet or cloth, and rests there till the break of 
^ay ; departing after oflferipg sixpencf , and leaving 
the fowl in Ihe church. ; It the bird dies, the cure is 
supposed to have been efiected, and.tl^ disease 
transferred to the devoted victim.f " This is a curi- 
4HMr specimei^of christiao heathenism. 

• Tour ia Wales, i. p. 4G5. f Popular Aatiq. il. 266. 



SCENERY OF THB WTBt (TARKKTS): 

FROU 

PURUimON TO R0S8. 



The Wy« iMToad ntwfo^ m» md» bf 
Atbehtan the boontey of Ow aofffc Wahk* 

Wfd MOMMMet its pf !0|;reM to a aaked a^d ihrearj 
eottotrf iritfi a distance of imMatmg Unsf. But 
ths mer scenery is dSsprcqportioned; there not htmf 
a snfficienqr of water 10 bdancQ the laiMilt ^ *' '''' 

Uamgerrig to^ Kha^adert twehe miles. Ilia 
river is pent up within close rsck j banks^ and ' the 
channel beings steep,' the whole is a sqcoesskm' of 
waterfiiUs. Ibe Nanerih rocks, for nearly three 
miles, form a iuie screen to the north bank« At this 
•pot the Wye takes an easy bend^ undjer immense 
woody hills. Rhayader Gwy, in the Ticinityof wmch 
Vortigem took refuge, had a . castW, built temp. 
Richard I. by Rees, Prince of south Wales, but 

• WW.of Mslaiiib. c!« frctt. Reg. L. ii. Soiipim'* ^^ 

f0l. 3S. f NichoiEon. t Gilpin. 



defitrx>jed in 1231, by, Llewellyn, Prince of north 
'Wales. .Oply the fo6se . cemains. It had also a 
monastery of Dominicans, Seveial barrows in the 
vicinity; three carnedhs on Gwastedin bill, the 
, principal, Tommen Saint Ffraid, the supposed burial 
place of a saint. Llewellyn, last Prince, of Wales 
of the British line, was killed here, by an ambuscade 
in 1282.* Rhayader is a curious specimen of a 
Welsh town; and there is a fine, print of it in the 
Beauties of England and Wales. The arch of the 
lirklgeis'eleganf, and the pieCuresque line of the 
river famishes an agreeable scene.f 

Rhayader to Buait, about thirteen miles. Graiid 

* * * ' 

scehery; lofty banks; wocfdy vales; a roCkythati- 
nel ; and a rapid stream.ij: About two miles on this 
si^e fiuait, the river expands into a biy, With many 
naked roeka in its bed, itnd agMeable breaks. ' Sudit 
Is the BuiiaumSifttrittm. The old ca$tl6 having 
been destrpypd by Rhys ap Griffin, it was rebuilt by 
Ihe Breose&and Mortimers. Here Prince Llewellyn 
was killed jp a wood, aifter Us defeat, by the English 
at '{rxon . bridge. || Only apiece of wall remainSi 
The situation of fiiiilth ia singularly fine. 

Sualiio tHt^y. The: valley ^f.. the Wye : is con- 
it racted^^^d the, toad runs at the lH4tom along the 
edge of the water. 

i^r. Gjilpinnjiys, <« H IS p^scible^ I Ahink, the Wye 
-Wy Mtbia|.pla^e \^ more iyeamttful '«bfi& in any 

* Gongh, ii.,465. Nichplson, 1137. t Engraved in 

if/Mkiumi iMtattd. t «nl^>'i« 4^Mi>io» H-r' 490 . 



190 WTB TO Its 80Ult;E« 

other {>art of iu course. Between Ross and C&ep* 
•tow^ the grandeur and beauty of its hmnkt are its 
chief praise. The river itself, has no other merit 
thai) that of a winding surface of amootb watery 
But here, added to the same ^ decoration from its 
banks, the Wye itself assumes a more beaufifnl cba^ 
racter; pouring over shelving rocks, and forming 
itself into eddies and cascades, which a solemn parad- 
ing stream through a flat channel cannot exhibit* 

"An additional merit also acrcmes to sneb a riiwr 
from the differeni fi»rms it assume^ /secvfding to t bo 
fulness or emptiness^of the stroam* There aise rocks 
of 'all shapes and sizes, which continually Tury tba 
appearance of the water, as it rnshdb 0T#r, or plays 
among them ; so that such a river to a pictaresqas 
eye, is a ooniinned fund of new entertaifii|ient» 

** The Wye also, in this part of its course, still 
receives farther beauty from the woods which adorn 
its banks, and which the navigation of the river io 
its lower reaches, forbids; Here the whole is per- 
fectly rural and unincumbered. Even a boat, ibo- 
lieye, is never seen beyond the Hay. The boat itself 
might bean ornament; but we should be sorry to 
exchange it for the beauti^ of such a river as will 
not suffer a boat. 

*' Some beauties, however, the smooth riyer pos- 
sesses abOTo the rapid one. In the latter yon eaa« 
not have ti^ose reflections which are so ornamental 
to the former; fior sap yen havo in the rapi4 riTsr 



WrS TO ITS fOORCBt 191 

* 

tli# oppditimity of eonleffijllatta^ the graiidaur of its 
banks from the sarface of the water, UBless, iudeed 
the i!oad winds close along the river at the bottom, 
when perhaps yon may see diem with additional «d<- 
^Tantage, 

**1*he foundatian of these criticisms on 5fiMN>li and 
agilaied water is this ; when water is exhibited in 
imalt tjfmHtiiiest it wants the agitation of a torrent^ 
a cascade, or some other adventitioas circttm$tanoe 
te give it coaseqoence^ but when it is spread, oat in 
the nach 9f some capital river ^ in a iake^ or an arm 
Jiif ikfiea, it is then able to support its own dignity ; 
4a.' the ibrmer case it aims at beanty ; in the latter 
nt grandeur. Now the Wye has in no part ^of its 
epurse a quantity of water sufficient to give it any 
degree of grandeur ; s<^ that, of consequence the 
smdoth part must on the whole, yield to the more 
agitated f which possesses more beauty/*-— Thus 
Giloin. 

A little beyond Builtb, from the ferry, a beautiful 
reach of the river terminates in a view of Aberbedw y 
Castle, of which no history is known.* The remains 
are little more than a atone wall, at the end of which 
are the fragments of two round towers. Here is an 
immense range of rocks, parallel with the river, of 
such fantastic forms, as^to present the idea of towers 
and castles rising out bf luxuriant copses, a fine scfene 

• Ni(d)tolao9 says, (p, 617) tbat it belonged to liewellja 
ap Griffytn, atid was the last jrefuge of tne last indepead* 
cut Prince of Wale«. 



ua^r a setting turn At Llmg^ed, tbeaeat ofi*-4Ui« 
wMrdt, esq, (ekeirlMre m^ Imve. Uangeed- Ctettil^ 
bought of Sir *Edfi«fd WittiaHid, bart., by Mm 
Maonaniara^ eeq.) the same kiadof rook soanaigi 
leads to a wood, the breaks of which allow gtiuipiBS 
of the driver as fiir as Swaine, where the r t?er beeomas 
a Bay,' Near Uaagoed, is a tremeodQusly grand 
diai^e, lar firoai aay tborovgblare. 

Maeslough. Mr. Gilpin says, ^* the ancient seat 
o^the Howarths. The house shews the neglect of 
its possessors; though the situation is in its kind, 
perhaps one of the floest in Wales. The Tiew front 
the hall door is spoken of, as wonderfully artinsing. 
A lawn extends to the river ; which encircles it with 
a curre, at the distance of half-a-mile. 7he banks' 
are enriched with various objects, among which t«Ko 
bridges with windingroads, and the tower of! GSaa* 
bury Church, surrounded by a wood are consptenoita% 
A distant country equally enriched, fills the remote 
parts of the' landscape, which is terminated bj 
mountains. One (^ the bridges in this vieW (that of 
Glasbory) is remarkably light and elegant, ooaMt^ 
ing of several arcKes»^' Thu^ Gilpin. 

. Maeslough is now the property of Walter Wjlkins^ 
eaq, late M.P. for the county. Not far from hence is 
the dingh of MachwiUf, a scene eminently grand* 
At a public house called the Three Cocks, the river 
makes the largest horse->shoe bend in its whole 
course. 



FAIR ROSAMOND. 163 

At tbc J%iy, Ronfta cmns have been found; and 
lome vestiges of a fortress of that nation, as said, 
are near the church. (As there is a place in the 
town called the Bull^ring^ it is fit to observe, that 
this is a common country appellation of a Roman 
Amphitheatre.) Onlj a gateway of the castle remains. 
It is supposed to have been built by Sir Philip WaU 
wyn ; and was afterwards possessed by Maud de St. 
Vallery, to whom tradition attributes the building Qi 
the walls and castle. A round hill is presumed to 
have been a speculum.— Owen Gl^iidonr ruined the 
town, A hamlet called Cvfop, is admirably picture 
esque. About two miles from the town, on the banks 
of the river, is the castle of €liffi>rd, built by WiU 
liam Fitzosbonie, first Earl of Huhtingdon, and 
afterwards held by the Todeneis and Clifibrds. 
Here was bom fair Rosamond.* Dryden says, her 
name was Jane Clifford. 

Jane Clifford was lier MTtoe, at books avei^ 
Fair RotamoDd was but ber mms da gM4rre,f 

In the register of Xiodstow Nunnery she is, how* 
«ver called Rosamond ; and the ancient writer here^ 
after quoted, says her name was Rose, the nsmainder 
being an addition of (he royal lover, which is not 
improbable, soubrifuett being the foshion of the day 
and t^is was one peculiarly happy^ But old Chron- 
icles show, that it is not the first instance of the name« 

* <«oagh and H kbolaoa. 
t Epilo^ne to H. It. Ander-on^a ?set8, vi. tOl. 
s. 



IM FAIR SOSAMOlft)* 

She was a gtrl of much vivacity and wit, wore gar- 
moBta of transparent linen, call^ nebula^ took great 
delight in viewing the wild animals^ with which the 
park of Woodstock abounded^ and was much followed 
by young men of fashion to obtain a sight of hen* 
Drayton says, ** she was seduced by Henry, through 
corruption of her governess/* by which I should 
think must be understood the person of quaH^ aC 
whose bouse she was educated, this being the fashion 
long antecedent,t coeval witb;{, and long posterior 
to the age of Ro8amond.|| " But this governess," 
continues Drayton, *< would not have succeeded, had 
not Henry presented Rosamond with an admirable 
casket, supposed by Mr. Oough, a reliquary of her 
ptivate chapel,§ on which were finely represented 
the sports' of men and animals.*' This casket after 
Rosamond's death, was preserved at Godstow. 
Considerable difficulties have attached to the period 
of this amour, but Bishop Littleton, who wrote the 
history of Henry the second, under the name of his 
brother. Lord Littleton, is apparently (he nearest to 
correctness. He supposes that the amour commenc-i 
ed when Henry wait about sixteen years-old. A 
short a'co6ont of the dates will ghow this to bd con- 
sistent with evidence. . Hebry was born in 1 132, 
and succeeded to the cto^n of England in 11^^, at 
the Qgeof 28, en er about the year wheti Geffrey, 
youngest sonof Henry and Fair Rosamond was born« 

♦ Liber Niger, &c. f 2 Kin^s, c. x. v. 1. t Fove- 
dcD, Ao. lldl. f, 400. ed. 1599. || Bio?. Brit. v. 698 

Paston Letters, i v. 2f«, &c. § Introd. Scpulch, Mon. ii 188 



FAIR ROSAMeKD. 105 

la 1 152, Henry wai married to queen Eleanor ; and 
children by her were saccessively born in 1158, 
1155, 1156, and in the years following^. ' Rosamond 
is said to have died in 1 177. Brompton*s account 
of the matter is this. ** The Queen Eleanor having 
been long impris«Hied, Henry became an adulterer,*' 
**palam et impudic^,^' keeping the girl Rosamond, 
For this very beautiful girl he had made a chamber 
of wonderful architecture, like Daedalean work, lest 
she should be easily discovered by the queen. But 
she soon died. I'his is absurd fur preceding state- 
ments show that she must hav« been on, or above 
forty years-old, at the time of her deqease. 

* The queen was imprisoned on or about 1 173, 
after having borne children, at the same time with 
Rosamond { and it is very probable that the one 
being a connection of state, the other of affection, 
the object of the latter was preferred. The novel of 
Woodstock has adduced satisfactory evidence that 
there cffd exist a subterraneous labyrinth between 

r 

her bewer and the palace* That she was poisoned 
by the queen is known only by suspicion*! It was 
apparently a fabrication, fVom' another Rosamond, 
queen of the Lombards, Ibas told in an ancient dic- 
tionary, 

*<Rosimunda, {h ros0 of peace) she was forced by 
Hemmges to drink the poyson which she offered 
him, by whom she had proeured the death of her 

• Decern 8criptore«,115l. t Lel8nd*sCoUeotaa«il)IKI3- 

8 2. 



196 PAia EosAMavD^ 

hnsbftody Aiboimms^ (kin^ of the LomiardsJ^ be* 
catite he drank a health to her, in a cup made of 
her father^gsknlL*^ Some authors say that she re- 
tired to Godstowy and there died. According to an 
ancient writer, hereafter quoted, her death ensued 
during the king's absence, and ho certainly left 
England, in the autumn of 1 1 77, the year of her death. 
That he was passionately fond of her is- scarfiely to 
be doubted, and the fjUowing story of the opening 
of her grave by an ancient writer (which story is 
printed in Herberts Ames] is very plausible. ** It 
befel that she died and was buried, whyle the kiog 
was absent ; { and whanne he cam agen for grette 
love that he had to hyr, he wold see the body in the 
grave; | and whanne (he grave was opened, there 
sate an orrible tode upon her breste bytwene her 
teetys^ and a foul addir bigirte her body aboute the 
middle ; and she stank so^ that the king ne non other 
might stonde, to se that orrible sight. Tiheane, the 
kynge did shets agen the grave; | aaddyde write these 
two veerse&upon the g^ve ; |, Hicjacet in tumba, 
4*^.**— A herse stood over her grave till 1191.— She 
must have been alive when her youngest sen was 
made Bishop of Lincoln,, at tbe age of twenty or 
thereabouts, for this promotion happened in 117$^ 
and she did not die till 1177.* T(iia is all that is 
known of her. 1 have heard a tradition that she wa3 

* Tbe pabUcation of the noi^el of Woodvtock^ Iim capped 
me to make a further investigaticn of her history: and 
from tbe result of that, I retract the matter prioted in the 
two first editions of this work, in which I was misled bj: 
Drayton, &c. 



FAIR ROSAMOND. 197 

• • • " 

SO fair, that the blood, could be seen to flow through 
her veins^ She is represented so in Mr. Gale*8 pic« 
ture, and with probibility^eyes blue, light hair, and 
fair complexion, being the proper characteristic of 
ladies of that age« Probably she had the To Ugrcn 
of the Greeks, Ibat sweet and tender langnish, which 
proceeds from the upper eyelid being finely arched 
and the lower nearly strait^i and partly covering the 
pupil of the eye, full and richly blue. Thus the 
Greeks always represented Venus. Beauty in the 
human form consists of certain harmonic proportions 
reduced to rules of art, by means of which sculptors 
form their statues. She certainly was very pretty; 
for Brompton calls her ** Spectatissima puella." 

Hay to Bradwatdme'^Mu Gilpin says, ^^tho 
country whiqh had been grei^y varied before* begins 
now to form bolder swells. Among tbese^Mirebicb- 
hill which rises full in front, continues soma time 
before the eye, as. a cousiderable object.*^ Thns 
Gilpin. 

At Bradwardine, tiie river is richly clothed with 
shrubbery. Here was a castle of Sir Richard Ve- 
han's in die 16th century.* As to its haviag been 
the residence of thefiunily of Bradwar^e, Ardi- 
hu^p of Camerbury, temp. £dwaffd III. it i« very 
dubious, for he was bmn at Hertfield in Sassev^j; 

• Gougb, U, 448. t HoUailied, ii. r¥^ 

s 3^ 



198 WTB TO tTS 80V RCB. 

Brobury^s Scar, in Ihe neighbourhood, from the 
bold and majestic roughoesaof ita Ibrm, cootrasu 
beautifoily with the ?iew8 upon the hauM of the river. 

Moccas Coicrf 9 tbeaeat of Sir Gieorge Cornewall, 
ia situated tifkin an eminence on the south bsfnk; 
The descent towards flereford has many ekgant 
viUe% pdrticolarlj the seat of the Rev. 0r. l4osser. 

The river ft'om Berefitrd lo Ross^ is at first very 
eihmitous. Neartheconflax of the Lugg and the 
Wye, aix mfles from Hereford, is Marday Hil), 
which in the year 1557 did, in the words of Camden. 
*< For three days together shove its prodigious body 
AMivavd, witlr a horrible roaring noise, and' over- 
tnmiflg Sfvery thing in its way, raised itself to tho 
groat aitonishflMnt of the beheUars, to a higher phioe. 

AboaC a mile from Blordiford, where is pleanng 
acenery, is Horn lacy, once a Premonstratensian 
Canonry, founded by William Fitzswain« t. Henry 
III. Here is the grand mandon of the Scndamore 
family, in the oldest |)art of the reign of Elizabeth* 
1%0re are some fipe ofurvioci by Qil^boQi* %nd 
ftqiily portmits,* 

'. BejsmA Kownhope Is a^. tndenit eamp, naoNieis, 
attd MiffiBMp and Mar it aaolber oalled WMbmrf 
Hil^ deubia ttmakmlk, oeifiy^ telC-A««iiiHe loiig» sad 
naitow^ This hill is fiaeiy wooded, and the proa* 
pect eatensive* Harewood, the ^reaidenoe of Sir 
Huttgerlbfd Ro«lkya99 ia not the place where EtheU 

• NidmlMm. t Goagh, ii. 408. 



WYB TO ITS SOUaCB> 199 

wold, kiflg Edgar's minister, had a castle ; for tfaat 
Harewood was at Wherwell in Hampshire. 

5ellack, has a ehurch of singular construction, 
andasfuar^ carnp^ calidd Caiadoe;* At Fawley 
is.^arrelocl^s^ a large eamp, and Fawlej Courts a 
mai^Q of the Kyrles^ of the Elieabethan age. 
Near^ opposite to logestoo, are the retnaina' of an 
apcie^fe building. Lower down is £at«n Hill» a eamp 
siagle^trenchedi and vestiges of an ancient ipansion 
ia a £ftrm« house* At Ash is a most beaatiiiil view 
of Ross. Ash wood is a fine am(^itheatre of trees, 
which skirts the south bank of .the Wye. 

All this scenery from Hereford to . Ross, is pro* 
nounced by Mr. Gilpin tame ; and it does not exceed 
mere landscape.— At all events, it is not Wye scwe* 
ry, which is the . grand; and bek)W ^that^ is good 
landscape; fine landscape; park scenery, or embell- 
ished landscape; and then the grand; or rock, 
wood, and water ; lastly the sublime, or the ground 
aiccompanimentSi soaring into mountainous elevatioa, 
with wild outline; and all these, with every addition 
of grouping, tinting, and exquisite delicacy of detail 
occur on the 

..AAJ>IXS OF THE.WXEt^^ - - 

THE BRITISH TEMPS. 

• Id, 463. 



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TWvl VIEWS OF ROSS CBURCH. 

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