Yorkshire Dales and Fells by Home, Gordon
produced from images available at The Internet Archive)
DALES AND FELLS
A COMPANION VOLUME BY THE SAME AUTHOR
COAST AND MOORLAND SCENES
BY GORDON HOME
CONTAINING 32 FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOUR
PRICE =7s.= =6d.= NET
_The Pall Mall Gazette_ says: “We must express our real regret that it is materially impossible to reproduce some specimens of the charming illustrations, which are at least as great an attraction as the writing of Mr. Home’s book. Of these there are thirty-two, among which it would be invidious to select any for special commendation when all are delightful. Let it suffice to say that they bring the water of envy into the mouth of the Londoner who can only ‘babble o’ green fields,’ while, beyond the range of his opportunities, the Yorkshire moors are clothing themselves in all the glory of their vernal beauty. Perhaps Mr. Home’s pen and pencil may tempt some of us to spend the summer holidays in the county of the White Rose, where he has gathered so fragrant a posy.”
A. & C. BLACK, SOHO SQUARE, LONDON, W.
AGENTS IN AMERICA
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
64 & 66 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK
[Illustration: FOUNTAINS ABBEY
IS one of the finest ruined monasteries in England, and its wonderfully rich setting in the sylvan splendours of Studley Royal make it still more noteworthy. The velvet turf, the rushing waters of the Skell, the magnificent trees, and the solemnity of the ruins, combine in producing an ineffaceable memory.]
DALES AND FELLS
PAINTED & DESCRIBED
PUBLISHED BY A. & C. BLACK·LONDON·MCMVI
This book is a companion volume to that entitled ‘Yorkshire Coast and Moorland Scenes,’ which was published in 1904.
It describes a tract of country that is more full of noble and imposing scenery than the north-eastern corner of the county, although it has none of the advantages of a coast-line. Beyond this, the area covered by the present volume is larger than that of the earlier one, and the historic events connected with its great over-lords and their castles, with the numerous monasteries and ancient towns, are so full of thrilling interest that it has only been possible to sample here and there the vast stores of romance that exist in some hundreds of volumes of early and modern writings.
CHAPTER I PAGE
THE DALE COUNTRY AS A WHOLE 1
RIPON AND FOUNTAINS ABBEY 115
KNARESBOROUGH AND HARROGATE 125
SKIPTON, MALHAM, AND GORDALE 149
SETTLE AND THE INGLETON FELLS 165
List of Illustrations
1. Fountains Abbey _Frontispiece_
2. Richmond Castle from the River 20
3. Richmond from the West 30
4. Swaledale in the Early Autumn 48
5. Downholme Moor, above Swaledale 56
6. Muker on a Stormy Afternoon 64
7. Twilight in the Butter-tubs Pass 72
8. Hardraw Force 78
9. A Rugged View above Wensleydale 82
10. A Jacobean House at Askrigg 90
11. Aysgarth Force 98
12. Bolton Castle, Wensleydale 104
13. View up Wensleydale from Leyburn Shawl 110
14. Ripon Minster from the South 18
15. Knaresborough 126
16. Bolton Abbey, Wharfedale 142
17. Hubberholme Church 144
18. The Courtyard of Skipton Castle 150
19. Gordale Scar 160
20. Settle 166
THE DALE COUNTRY AS A WHOLE
DESCRIBES THE DALE COUNTRY AS A WHOLE
When in the early years of life one learns for the first time the name of that range of mountains forming the backbone of England, the youthful scholar looks forward to seeing in later years the prolonged series of lofty hills known as the ‘Pennine Range.’ His imagination pictures Pen-y-ghent and Ingleborough as great peaks, seldom free from a mantle of clouds, for are they not called ‘mountains of the Pennine Range,’ and do they not appear in almost as large type in the school geography as Snowdon and Ben Nevis? But as the scholar grows older and more able to travel, so does the Pennine Range recede from his vision, until it becomes almost as remote as those crater-strewn mountains in the Moon which have a name so similar.
This elusiveness on the part of a natural feature so essentially static as a mountain range is attributable to the total disregard of the name of this particular chain of hills. In the same way as the term ‘Cumbrian Hills’ is exchanged for the popular ‘Lake District,’ so is a large section of the Pennine Range paradoxically known as the ‘Yorkshire Dales.’
It is because the hills are so big that the valleys are deep, and it is owing to the great watersheds that these long and narrow dales are beautified by some of the most copious and picturesque rivers in England. In spite of this, however, when one climbs any of the fells over 2,000 feet, and looks over the mountainous ridges on every side, one sees, as a rule, no peak or isolated height of any description to attract one’s attention. Instead of the rounded or angular projections from the horizon that are usually associated with a mountainous district, there are great expanses of brown tableland that form themselves into long parallel lines in the distance, and give a sense of wild desolation in some ways more striking than the peaks of Scotland or Wales. The thick formations of millstone grit and limestone that rest upon the shale have generally avoided crumpling or distortion, and thus give the mountain views the appearance of having had all the upper surfaces rolled flat when they were in a plastic condition. Denudation and the action of ice in the glacial epochs have worn through the hard upper stratum, and formed the long and narrow dales; and in Littondale, Wharfedale, Wensleydale, and many other parts, one may plainly see the perpendicular wall of rock sharply defining the upper edges of the valleys. The softer rocks below generally take a gentle slope from the base of the hard gritstone to the river-side pastures below. At the edges of the dales, where waterfalls pour over the wall of limestone--as at Hardraw Scar, near Hawes--the action of water is plainly demonstrated, for one can see the rapidity with which the shale crumbles, leaving the harder rocks overhanging above.
Unlike the moors of the north-eastern parts of Yorkshire, the fells are not prolific in heather. It is possible to pass through Wensleydale--or, indeed, most of the dales--without seeing any heather at all. On the broad plateaux between the dales there are stretches of moor partially covered with ling; but in most instances the fells and moors are grown over at their higher levels with bent and coarse grass, generally of a browny-ochrish colour, broken here and there by an outcrop of limestone that shows gray against the swarthy vegetation.
In the upper portions of the dales--even in the narrow river-side pastures--the fences are of stone, turned a very dark colour by exposure, and everywhere on the slopes of the hills a wide network of these enclosures can be seen traversing even the most precipitous ascents. Where the dales widen out towards the fat plains of the Vale of York, quickset hedges intermingle with the gaunt stone, and as one gets further eastwards the green hedge becomes triumphant. The stiles that are the fashion in the stone-fence districts make quite an interesting study to strangers, for, wood being an expensive luxury, and stone being extremely cheap, everything is formed of the more enduring material. Instead of a trap-gate, one generally finds an excessively narrow opening in the fences, only just giving space for the thickness of the average knee, and thus preventing the passage of the smallest lamb. Some stiles are constructed with a large flat stone projecting from each side, one slightly in front and overlapping the other, so that one can only pass through by making a very careful S-shaped movement. More common are the projecting stones, making a flight of precarious steps on each side of the wall.
Except in their lowest and least mountainous parts, where they are subject to the influences of the plains, the dales are entirely innocent of red tiles and haystacks. The roofs of churches, cottages, barns and mansions, are always of the local stone, that weathers to beautiful shades of green and gray, and prevents the works of man from jarring with the great sweeping hillsides. Then, instead of the familiar gray-brown haystack, one sees in almost every meadow a neatly-built stone house with an upper story. The lower part is generally used as a shelter for cattle, while above is stored hay or straw. By this system a huge amount of unnecessary carting is avoided, and where roads are few and generally of exceeding steepness a saving of this nature is a benefit easily understood. Any soldier who served in South Africa during the latter part of the war would be struck with the advantages that these ready-made block-houses would offer if it were ever necessary to round up a mobile enemy who had taken refuge among the Yorkshire fells. Barbed-wire entanglements, and a system of telephones to link them together, would be all that was required to convert these stone barns into block-houses of a thoroughly useful type, for they are already loopholed.
The villages of the dales, although having none of the bright colours of a level country, are often exceedingly quaint, and rich in soft shades of green and gray. In the autumn the mellowed tints of the stone houses are contrasted with the fierce yellows and browny-reds of the foliage, and the villages become full of bright colours. At all times, except when the country is shrivelled by an icy northern wind, the scenery of the dales has a thousand charms. By the edge of fine rivers that pour downwards in terraced falls one finds hamlets with their church towers, gray and sturdy, and the little patch of green shaded by ash-trees, all made diminutive by the huge and gaunt hillsides that dominate every view. Looking up the dales, there are often glimpses of distant heights that in their blue silhouettes give a more mountainous aspect to the scenery than one might expect.
In some of the valleys, such as Swaledale, the nakedness of the yellow-brown hills is clothed with a mantle of heavy woods--but enough has been said by way of introduction to give some notion of the general aspect of the dales, and in the succeeding chapters a closer scrutiny can be made.
The ways of approaching the Dale Country from the south are by means of the Great Northern, Midland, or Great Central routes to York, where one has all the North-Eastern service to choose from. Ribblesdale is traversed by the Midland Main Line, so that those who wish to commence an exploration of these parts of Yorkshire from Settle, Skipton, or Hawes, must travel from St. Pancras Station.
For the purposes of this book we may consider Richmond as the gateway of the dale country. There are other gates and approaches, some of which may have advocates who claim their superiority over Richmond as starting-places for an exploration of this description, but for my part, I can find no spot on any side of the mountainous region so entirely satisfactory. If we were to commence at Bedale or Leyburn, there is no exact point where the open country ceases and the dale begins; but here at Richmond there is not the very smallest doubt, for on reaching the foot of the mass of rock dominated by the castle and the town, Swaledale commences in the form of a narrow ravine, and from that point westwards the valley never ceases to be shut in by steep sides, which become narrower and grander with every mile.
The railway that keeps Richmond in touch with the world does its work in a most inoffensive manner, and by running to the bottom of the hill on which the town stands, and by there stopping short, we seem to have a strong hint that we have been brought to the edge of a new element in which railways have no rights whatever. This is as it should be, and we can congratulate the North-Eastern Company for its discretion and its sense of fitness. Even the station is built of solid stonework, with a strong flavour of medievalism in its design, and its attractiveness is enhanced by the complete absence of other modern buildings. We are thus welcomed to the charms of Richmond at once. The rich sloping meadows by the river, crowned with dense woodlands, surround us and form a beautiful setting of green for the town, which has come down from the fantastic days of the Norman Conquest without any drastic or unseemly changes, and thus has still the compactness and the romantic outline of feudal times.
By some means Richmond avoided the manufactories that have entirely altered the character of such places as Skipton and Durham, but if we wish to see what might have happened or what may still befall this town, it is only necessary for us to go a little way above the new bridge, and there, beneath the castle heights, see one of the most conspicuously and unnecessarily ugly gasworks that was ever dumped upon a fair scene. I suppose a day will arrive when the Mayor and Corporation will lay their heads together with the object of devising a plan for the removal of these dismal buildings to some site where they will be less offensive, but until that day they will continue to mar the charms of a town whose situation is almost unequalled in this island.
From whatever side you approach it, Richmond has always some fine combination of towers overlooking a confusion of old red roofs and of rocky heights crowned with ivy-mantled walls, all set in the most sumptuous surroundings of silvery river and wooded hills, such as the artists of the age of steel-engraving loved to depict. Every one of these views has in it one dominating feature in the magnificent Norman keep of the castle. It overlooks church towers and everything else with precisely the same aloofness of manner it must have assumed as soon as the builders of nearly eight hundred years ago had put the last stone in place. Externally, at least, it is as complete to-day as it was then, and as there is no ivy upon it, I cannot help thinking that the Bretons who built it in that long-distant time would swell with pride were they able to see how their ambitious work has come down the centuries unharmed.
We can go across the modern bridge, with its castellated parapets, and climb up the steep ascent on the further side, passing on the way the parish church, standing on the steep ground outside the circumscribed limits of the wall that used to enclose the town in early times. Turning towards the castle, we go breathlessly up the cobbled street that climbs resolutely to the market-place in a foolishly direct fashion, which might be understood if it were a Roman road. There is a sleepy quietness about this way up from the station, which is quite a short distance, and we look for much movement and human activity in the wide space we have reached; but here, too, on this warm and sunny afternoon, the few folks who are about seem to find ample time for conversation and loitering. At the further end of the great square there are some vast tents erected close to the big obelisk that forms the market-cross of the present day. Quantities of straw are spread upon the cobbles, and the youth of Richmond watches with intense interest the bulgings of the canvas walls of the tents. With this they are obliged to be content for a time, but just as we reach this end of the square two huge swaying elephants issue forth to take their afternoon stroll in company with their son, whose height is scarcely more than half that of his parents. The children have not waited in vain, and they gaze awe-struck at the furrowed sides of the slate-gray monsters as they are led, slowly padding their way, across the square. We watch them as they pass under the shadow of Holy Trinity Church, then out in the sunshine again they go lurching past the old-fashioned houses until they turn down Frenchgate and disappear, with the excited but respectful knot of children following close behind.
On one side of us is the King’s Head, whose steep tiled roof and square front has just that air of respectable importance that one expects to find in an old-established English hotel. It looks across the cobbled space to the curious block of buildings that seems to have been intended for a church but has relapsed into shops. The shouldering of secular buildings against the walls of churches is a sight so familiar in parts of France that this market-place has an almost Continental flavour, in keeping with the fact that Richmond grew up under the protection of the formidable castle built by that Alan Rufus of Brittany who was the Conqueror’s second cousin. The town ceased to be a possession of the Dukes of Brittany in the reign of Richard II., but there had evidently been sufficient time to allow French ideals to percolate into the minds of the men of Richmond, for how otherwise can we account for this strange familiarity of shops with a sacred building which is unheard of in any other English town? Where else can one find a pork-butcher’s shop inserted between the tower and the nave, or a tobacconist doing business in the aisle of a church? Even the lower parts of the tower have been given up to secular uses, so that one only realizes the existence of the church by keeping far enough away to see the sturdy pinnacled tower that rises above the desecrated lower portions of the building. In this tower hangs the curfew-bell, which is rung at 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., a custom, according to one writer, ‘that has continued ever since the time of William the Conqueror.’ The bell, we know, is not Norman, and the tower belongs to the Perpendicular period, but the church is referred to in Norman times, and Leland, writing in the reign of Henry VIII., suggests an earlier survival. He may, of course, be describing Norman grotesque carvings, but, on the other hand, he may be recording some relics of a more barbarous age when he writes: ‘There is a Chapel in _Richemont_ Toune with straung Figures in the Waulles of it. The Peple there dreme that it was ons [a temple of] Idoles.’ I wonder if those carved figures were entirely destroyed in the days of the Commonwealth, or whether they were merely thrown aside during some restoration, and are waiting for digging or building operations to bring them to light.
All the while we have been lingering in the market-place the great keep has been looking at us over some old red roofs, and urging us to go on at once to the finest sight that Richmond can offer, and, resisting the appeal no longer, we make our way down a narrow little street leading out to a walk that goes right round the castle cliffs at the base of the ivy-draped walls. If this walk were at Harrogate or Buxton, we can easily imagine that its charms would be vitiated by some evidences of a popular recognition of its attractiveness. There would be a strong ornamental iron railing on the exposed side of the path; there would probably be an automatic-machine waiting to supply a souvenir picture post-card of the view; there would be notices--most excellent where they are needed--requesting visitors not to throw paper or orange-peel anywhere but in the receptacle supplied; and, besides all this, there would, I have no doubt, be ornamental shrubberies, and here and there a few beds of flowers, kept with all the neatness of municipal horticulture. Such efforts would meet with some sort of response on the part of the public, and the castle walk would be sufficiently populous to prevent anyone from appreciating its charms. No; instead of all this we find a simple asphalt path without any fence at all. There are two or three seats that are perfectly welcome, but there is a delightful absence of shrubberies or flower-beds, and the notices to the public fixed to the castle walls are weathered and quite inconspicuous. Beyond all this, the castle walk is generally a place in which one can be alone, and yet
‘This is not solitude; ’tis but to hold Converse with Nature’s charms, and see those charms unfold.’
From down below comes the sound of the river, ceaselessly chafing its rocky bottom and the big boulders that lie in the way. You can distinguish the hollow sound of the waters as they fall over ledges into deep pools, and you can watch the
[Illustration: RICHMOND CASTLE FROM THE RIVER
THIS well-known view of the castle from the banks of the Swale is only one of the numerous romantic pictures that can be found in Richmond. The great Norman keep, built about the year 1150, forms the dominating feature of every aspect of the town.]
silvery gleams of broken water between the old stone bridge and the dark shade of the woods. The masses of trees clothing the side of the gorge add a note of mystery to the picture by swallowing up the river in their heavy shade, for, owing to its sinuous course among the cliffs, one can see only a short piece of water beyond the bridge.
The old corner of the town at the foot of Bargate appears over the edge of the rocky slope, but on the opposite side of the Swale there is little to be seen beside the green meadows and shady coppices that cover the heights above the river.
There is a fascination in this view in its capacity for change. It responds to every mood of the weather, and every sunset that glows across the sombre woods has some freshness, some feature that is quite unlike any other. Autumn, too, is a memorable time for those who can watch the face of Nature from this spot, for when one of those opulent evenings of the fall of the year turns the sky into a golden sea of glory, studded with strange purple islands, there is unutterable beauty in the flaming woods and the pale river.
On the way back to the market-place we pass a decayed arch that was probably a postern in the walls of the town. There can be no doubt whatever of the existence of these walls, for Leland begins his description of the town with the words ‘_Richemont_ Towne is waullid,’ and in another place he says: ‘Waullid it was, but the waul is now decayid. The Names and Partes of 4 or 5 Gates yet remaine.’ He also tells us the names of some of these gates: ‘_Frenchegate_ yn the North Parte of the Towne, and is the most occupied Gate of the Towne. _Finkel-streate Gate, Bargate_, all iii be downe.’ Leland also details how the wall enclosed little beside the market-place, the houses adjoining it, and the gardens behind them, and that the area occupied by the castle was practically the same as that of the town. We wonder why Richmond could not have preserved her gates as York has done, or why she did not even make the effort sufficient to retain a single one, as Bridlington and Beverley did. The two posterns--one we have just mentioned, and the other in Friar’s Wynd, on the north side of the market-place, with a piece of wall 6 feet thick adjoining--are interesting, but we would have preferred something much finer than these mere arches; and while we are grumbling over what Richmond has lost, we may also measure the disaster which befell the market-place in 1771, when the old cross was destroyed. Before that year there stood on the site of the present obelisk a very fine cross which Clarkson, who wrote about a century ago, mentions as being the greatest beauty of the town to an antiquary. A high flight of steps led up to a square platform, which was enclosed by a richly ornamented wall about 6 feet high, having buttresses at the corners, each surmounted with a dog seated on its hind-legs. Within the wall rose the cross, with its shaft made from one piece of stone. There were ‘many curious compartments’ in the wall, says Clarkson, and ‘a door that opened into the middle of the square,’ but this may have been merely an arched opening. The enrichments, either of the cross itself or the wall, included four shields bearing the arms of the great families of Fitz-Hugh, Scrope (quartering Tibetot), Conyers, and Neville. From the description there is little doubt that this cross was a very beautiful example of Perpendicular or perhaps Decorated Gothic, in place of which we have a crude and bulging obelisk bearing the inscription: ‘Rebuilt (!) A.D. 1771, Christopher Wayne, Esq., Mayor’; it should surely have read: ‘Perpetrated during the Mayoralty of Christopher Wayne, Goth.’ The old cross was pulled down ‘for particular reasons,’ says Clarkson, but, even if those reasons had been valid, the stones might have been carefully marked, and the whole structure could have been rebuilt in some other part of the market-place.
Although, as we have seen, Leland, who wrote in 1538, mentions Frenchgate and Finkel Street Gate as ‘down,’ yet they must have been only partially destroyed, or were rebuilt afterwards, for Whitaker, writing in 1823, mentions that they were pulled down ‘not many years ago’ to allow the passage of broad and high-laden waggons. There can be little doubt, therefore, that, swollen with success after the demolition of the cross, the Mayor and Corporation proceeded to attack the remaining gateways, so that now not the smallest suggestion of either remains. But even here we have not completed the list of barbarisms that took place about this time. The Barley Cross, which stood near the larger one, must have been quite an interesting feature. It consisted of a lofty pillar with a cross at the top, and rings were fastened either on the shaft or to the steps upon which it stood, so that the cross might answer the purpose of a whipping-post. The pillory stood not far away, and the may-pole is also mentioned.
But despite all this squandering of the treasures that it should have been the business of the town authorities to preserve, the tower of the Grey Friars has survived, and, next to the castle, it is one of the chief ornaments of the town. Whitaker is by no means sure of the motives that led to its preservation--perhaps because he knew the Richmond people too well to expect much of them--for he writes: ‘Taste, however, or veneration, or lucky accident, has preserved the great tower of the “Freres” of Richmond.’ Certainly none of these causes saved any other portions of the buildings, for the beautiful Perpendicular tower stands quite alone. It is on the north side of the town, outside the narrow limits of the walls, and was probably only finished in time to witness the dispersal of the friars who had built it. It is even possible that it was part of a new church that was still incomplete when the Dissolution of the Monasteries made the work of no account except as building materials for the townsfolk. The actual day of the surrender was January 19, 1538, and we wonder if Robert Sanderson, the Prior, and the fourteen brethren under him, suffered much from the privations that must have attended them at that coldest period of the year. At one time the friars, being of a mendicant order, and inured to hard living and scanty fare, might have made light of such a disaster, but in these later times they had expanded somewhat from their austere ways of living, and the dispersal must have cost them much suffering. Almost in this actual year Leland writes of ‘their Howse, Medow, Orchard, and a litle Wood,’ which he mentions as being walled in, and, seeing that the wall enclosed nearly sixteen acres, it appears probable that the gray-cloaked men can scarcely have been ignorant of all the luxuries of life. Notwithstanding this, they stoutly refused to acknowledge the King’s supremacy, and suffered accordingly.
Going back to the reign of Henry VII. or thereabouts, we come across the curious ballad of ‘The Felon Sow of Rokeby and the Freres of Richmond’ quoted from an old manuscript by Sir Walter Scott in ‘Rokeby.’ It may have been as a practical joke, or merely as a good way of getting rid of such a terrible beast, that
‘Ralph of Rokeby, with goodwill, The fryers of Richmond gaver her till.’
Friar Middleton, who with two lusty men was sent to fetch the sow from Rokeby, could scarcely have known that she was
‘The grisliest beast that ere might be, Her head was great and gray: She was bred in Rokeby Wood; There were few that thither goed, That came on live [= alive] away.
‘She was so grisley for to meete, She rave the earth up with her feete, And bark came fro the tree; When fryer Middleton her saugh, Weet ye well he might not laugh, Full earnestly look’d hee.’
To calm the terrible beast when they found it almost impossible to hold her, the friar began to read ‘in St. John his Gospell,’ but
‘The sow she would not Latin heare, But rudely rushed at the frear,’
who, turning very white, dodged to the shelter of a tree, whence he saw with horror that the sow had got clear of the other two men. At this their courage evaporated, and all three fled for their lives along the Watling Street. When they came to Richmond and told their tale of the ‘feind of hell’ in the garb of a sow, the warden decided to hire on the next day two of the ‘boldest men that ever were borne.’ These two, Gilbert Griffin and a ‘bastard son of Spaine,’ went to Rokeby clad in armour and carrying their shields and swords of war, and even then they only just overcame the grisly sow. They lifted the dead brute on to the back of a horse, so that it rested across the two panniers,
‘And to Richmond they did hay: When they saw her come, They sang merrily _Te Deum_, The fryers on that day.’
If we go across the river by the modern bridge, we can see the humble remains of St. Martin’s Priory standing in a meadow by the railway. The ruins consist of part of a Perpendicular tower and a Norman doorway. Perhaps the tower was built in order that the Grey Friars might not eclipse the older foundation, for St. Martin’s was a cell belonging to St. Mary’s Abbey at York, and was founded by Wyman, steward or dapifer to the Earl of Richmond about the year 1100, whereas the Franciscans in the town owed their establishment to Radulph Fitz-Ranulph, a lord of Middleham in 1258. The doorway of St. Martin’s, with its zigzag mouldings, must be part of Wyman’s building, but no other traces of it remain. Having come back so rapidly to the Norman age, we may well stay there for a time while we make our way over the bridge again and up the steep ascent of Frenchgate to the castle.
On entering the small outer barbican, which is reached by a lane from the market-place, we come to the base of the Norman keep. Its great height of nearly 100 feet is quite unbroken from foundations to summit, and the flat buttresses are featureless. The recent pointing of the masonry has also taken away any pronounced weathering, and has left the tower with almost the same gaunt appearance that it had when Duke Conan saw it completed. Passing through the arch in the wall abutting the keep, we come into the grassy space of over two acres, that is enclosed by the ramparts. There are some modern quarters for soldiers on the western side which we had not noticed before, and the grass is levelled in places for lawn tennis, but we had not expected to discover imposing views inside the walls, where the advantage of the cliffs is lost. We do find, however, architectural details which are missing outside. The basement of the keep was vaulted in a massive fashion in the Decorated period, but the walls are probably those of the first Earl Alan, who was the first ‘Frenchman’ who owned the great part of Yorkshire which had formerly belonged to Edwin, the Saxon Earl. It is not definitely known by what stages the keep reached its present form, though there is every reason to believe that Conan, the fifth Earl of Richmond, left the tower externally as we see it to-day. This puts the date of the completion of the keep between 1146 and 1171. The floors are now a store for the uniforms and accoutrements of the soldiers quartered at Richmond, so that there is little to be seen as we climb a staircase in the walls, 11 feet thick, and reach the battlemented turrets. Looking downwards, we gaze right into the chimneys of the nearest houses, and we see the old roofs of the town packed closely together in the shelter of the mighty tower. A few tiny people are moving about in the market-place, and there is a thin web of drifting smoke between us and them. Everything is peaceful and remote; even the sound of the river is lost in the wind that blows freely upon us from the great moorland wastes stretching away to the western horizon. It is a romantic country that lays around us, and though the cultivated area must be infinitely greater than in the fighting days when these battlements were finished, yet I suppose the Vale
[Illustration: RICHMOND FROM THE WEST
FROM this point of view, a great stretch of fertile and richly wooded country is seen. The mediæval-looking town, perched on its rocky height above one of the deep windings of the Swale, plainly shows how its name of the Rich Mount suggested itself. The castle keep shows most prominently, but to the left of it can be seen the Grey Friar’s Tower and those of the two churches.]
of Mowbray which we gaze upon to the east must have been green, and to some extent fertile, when that Conan who was Duke of Brittany and also Earl of Richmond looked out over the innumerable manors that were his Yorkshire possessions. I can imagine his eye glancing down on a far more thrilling scene than the green three-sided courtyard enclosed by a crumbling gray wall, though to him the buildings, the men, and every detail that filled the great space, were no doubt quite prosaic. It did not thrill him to see a man-at-arms cleaning weapons, when the man and his clothes, and even the sword, were as modern and everyday as the soldier’s wife and child that we can see ourselves, but how much would we not give for a half an hour of his vision, or even a part of a second, with a good camera in our hands?
Instead of wasting time on vain thoughts of this character, it would perhaps be wiser to go down and examine the actual remains of these times that have survived all the intervening centuries.
In the lower part of what is called Robin Hood’s Tower is the Chapel of St. Nicholas, with arcaded walls of early Norman date, and a long and narrow slit forming the east window. More interesting than this is the Norman hall at the south-east angle of the walls. It was possibly used as the banqueting-room of the castle, and is remarkable as being one of the best preserved of the Norman halls forming separate buildings that are to be found in this country. The hall is roofless, but the corbels remain in a perfect state, and the windows on each side are well preserved. The builder was probably Earl Conan, for the keep has details of much the same character. It is generally called Scolland’s Hall, after the Lord of Bedale of that name, who was a sewer or dapifer to the first Earl Alan of Richmond. Scolland was one of the tenants of the Earl, and under the feudal system of tenure he took part in the regular guarding of the castle.
There is probably much Norman work in various parts of the crumbling curtain walls, and at the south-west corner a Norman turret is still to be seen.
Unless the Romans established at Catterick had a station there, it seems very probable that before the Norman Conquest the actual site of Richmond was entirely vacant; for, though the Domesday Survey makes mention of one or two names that indicate some lost villages in the neighbourhood, there are no traces in the town of anything earlier than the Norman period. No stones of Saxon origin, so far as evidence exists, have come to light during any restorations of the churches, and the only suggestion of anything pre-Norman is Leland’s mention of those ‘idoles’ that were in his time to be seen in the walls of Holy Trinity Church.
For some reason this magnificent position for a stronghold was overlooked by the Saxons, the seat of their government in this part of Yorkshire being at Gilling, less than three miles to the north. The importance of this place, which is now nothing more than a village, is shown by the fact that it gave its name to the Gillingshire of early times as well as to the wapentakes of Gilling East and Gilling West. There was no naturally defensive site for a castle at Gilling, and the new owners of the land familiar with the enormous advantages of such sites as Falaise and Domfront were not slow to discover the bold cliff above the Swale just to the south. Alan Rufus, one of the sons of the Duke of Brittany, who received from the Conqueror the vast possessions of Earl Edwin, was no doubt the founder of Richmond. He probably received this splendid reward for his services soon after the suppression of the Saxon efforts for liberty under the northern Earls. William, having crushed out the rebellion in the remorseless fashion which finally gave him peace in his new possessions, distributed the devastated Saxon lands among his supporters; thus a great part of the earldom of Mercia fell to this Breton.
The site of Richmond was fixed as the new centre of power, and the name, with its apparently obvious meaning, may date from that time, unless the suggested Anglo-Saxon derivation which gives it as Rice-munt--the hill of rule--is correct. After this Gilling must soon have ceased to be of any account. There can be little doubt that the castle was at once planned to occupy the whole area enclosed by the walls as they exist to-day, although the full strength of the place was not realized until the time of the fifth Earl, who, as we have seen, was most probably the builder of the keep in its final form, as well as other parts of the castle. Richmond must then have been considered almost impregnable, and this may account for the fact that it appears to have never been besieged. In 1174, when William the Lion of Scotland was invading England, we are told in Jordan Fantosme’s Chronicle that Henry II., anxious for the safety of the honour of Richmond, and perhaps of its custodian as well, asked: ‘Randulf de Glanvile est-il en Richemunt?’ The King was in France, his possessions were threatened from several quarters, and it would doubtless be a relief to him to know that a stronghold of such importance was under the personal command of so able a man as Glanville. In July of that year the danger from the Scots was averted by a victory at Alnwick, in which fight Glanville was one of the chief commanders of the English, and he probably led the men of Richmondshire.
It is a strange thing that Richmond Castle, despite its great pre-eminence, should have been allowed to become a ruin in the reign of Edward III.--a time when castles had obviously lost none of the advantages to the barons which they had possessed in Norman times. The only explanation must have been the divided interests of the owners, for, as Dukes of Brittany, as well as Earls of Richmond, their English possessions were frequently endangered when France and England were at war. And so it came about that when a Duke of Brittany gave his support to the King of France in a quarrel with the English, his possessions north of the Channel became Crown property. How such a condition of affairs could have continued for so long is difficult to understand, but the final severing came at last, when the unhappy Richard II. was on the throne of England. The honour of Richmond then passed to Ralph Neville, the first Earl of Westmoreland, but the title was given to Edmund Tudor, whose mother was Queen Catherine, the widow of Henry V. Edmund Tudor, as all know, married Margaret Beaufort, the heiress of John of Gaunt, and died about two months before his wife--then scarcely fourteen years old--gave birth to his only son, who succeeded to the throne of England as Henry VII. He was Earl of Richmond from his birth, and it was he who carried the name to the Thames by giving it to his splendid palace which he built at Shene. Even the ballad of ‘The Lass of Richmond Hill’ is said to come from Yorkshire, although it is commonly considered a possession of Surrey.
Protected by the great castle, there came into existence the town of Richmond, which grew and flourished. The houses must have been packed closely together to provide the numerous people with quarters inside the wall which was built to protect the place from the raiding Scots. The area of the town was scarcely larger than the castle, and although in this way the inhabitants gained security from one danger, they ran a greater risk from a far more insidious foe, which took the form of pestilences of a most virulent character. After one of these visitations the town of Richmond would be left in a pitiable plight. Many houses would be deserted, and fields became ‘overrun with briars, nettles, and other noxious weeds.’
There is a record of the desolation and misery that was found to exist in Richmond during the reign of Edward III. A plague had carried off about 2,000 people; the Scots, presumably before the building of the wall, had by their inroads added to the distress in the town, and the castle was in such a state of dilapidation as to be worth nothing a year. In the thirteenth century Richmond had been the mart of a very large district. It was a great centre for the distribution of corn, and goods were brought from Lancashire, Westmoreland, and Cumberland to be sold in the market on Saturdays. Such an extensive trade produced a large class of burgesses, merchants, and craftsmen, who were sufficiently numerous to form themselves into no less than thirteen separate guilds. There were the mercers, grocers, and haberdashers united into one company; the glovers and skinners, who combined under the name of fellmongers. There were the butchers, tailors, tanners, blacksmiths, and cappers, who kept themselves apart as distinct companies; and the remaining nineteen trades were massed together in six guilds, such ill-assorted people as drapers, vintners, and surgeons going together. With various charters, giving all sorts of rights and immunities, these companies survived the disasters which befell the place, although the growth of other market towns, such as Bedale, Masham, and Middleham, undermined their position, and sometimes gave rise to loud complaints and petitions to be eased of the payments by which the citizens held their charter. With keen competition to contend against, the poor Richmond folk must have thought their lot a miserable one when a fresh pestilential scourge was inflicted upon them.
The first death took place on August 17, 1597, when Roger Sharp succumbed to a disease which spread with such rapidity that by December 15 in the following year 1,050 had died within the parish, and altogether there were 2,200 deaths in the rural deanery of Richmond. This plague was by no means confined to Richmond, and so great was the mortality that the assizes at Durham were not held, and business generally in the northern parts of England was paralyzed.
In the Civil War the town was spared the disaster of a siege, perhaps because the castle was not in a proper state for defence. If fighting had occurred, there is little doubt that the keep would have been partially wrecked, as at Scarborough, and Richmond would have lost the distinction of possessing such an imposing feature.
As soon as one digs down a little into the story of a town with so rich a history as this, it is tantalizing not to go deeper. One would like to study every record that throws light on the events that were associated with the growth of both the castle and the town, so that one might discard the mistakes of the earlier writers and build up such a picture of feudal times as few places in England could equal. Richmond of to-day is so silent, so lacking in pageantry, that one must needs go to some lonely spot, and there dream of all the semi-barbarous splendours that the old walls have looked down upon when the cement between the great stones still bore the marks of the masons’ trowels. One thinks of the days when the occupants of the castle were newly come from Brittany, when an alien tongue was heard on this cliff above the Swale, even as had happened when the riverside echoes had had to accustom themselves to an earlier change when Romans had laughed and talked on the same spot. The men one dreams of are wearing suits of chain mail, or are in the dress so quaintly drawn in the tapestry at Bayeux, and they have brought with them their wives, their servants, and even their dogs. Thus Richmond began as a foreign town, and the folks ate and drank and slept as they had always done before they left France. Much of this alien blood was no doubt absorbed by the already mixed Anglo-Saxon and Danish population of Yorkshire, and perhaps, if his descent could be traced, one would find that the passer-by who has just disturbed our dreaming has Breton blood in his veins.
Easby Abbey is so much a possession of Richmond that we cannot go towards the mountains until we have seen something of its charms. The ruins slumber in such unutterable peace by the riverside that the place is well suited to our mood to go a-dreaming of the centuries which have been so long dead that our imaginations are not cumbered with any of the dull times that may have often set the canons of St. Agatha’s yawning. The walk along the steep shady bank above the river is beautiful all the way, and the surroundings of the broken walls and traceried windows are singularly rich. There is nothing, however, at Easby that makes a striking picture, although there are many architectural fragments that are full of beauty. Fountains, Rievaulx and Tintern, all leave Easby far behind, but there are charms enough here with which to be content, and it is, perhaps, a pleasant thought to know that, although on this sunny afternoon these meadows by the Swale seem to reach perfection, yet in the neighbourhood of Ripon there is something still finer waiting for us. Of the abbey church scarcely more than enough has survived for the preparation of a ground-plan, and many of the evidences are now concealed by the grass. The range of domestic buildings that surrounded the cloister garth are, therefore, the chief interest, although these also are broken and roofless. We can wander among the ivy-grown walls which, in the refectory, retain some semblance of their original form, and we can see the picturesque remains of the common-room, the guest-hall, the chapter-house, and the sacristy. Beyond the ruins of the north transept, a corridor leads into the infirmary, which, besides having an unusual position, is remarkable as being one of the most complete groups of buildings set apart for this object. A noticeable feature of the cloister garth is a Norman arch belonging to a doorway that appears to be of later date. This is probably the only survival of the first monastery founded, it is said, by Roald, Constable of Richmond Castle in 1152. Building of an extensive character was, therefore, in progress at the same time in these sloping meadows, as on the castle heights, and St. Martin’s Priory, close to the town, had not long been completed. Whoever may have been the founder of the abbey, it is definitely known that the great family of Scrope obtained the privileges that had been possessed by the constable, and they added so much to the property of the monastery that in the reign of Henry VIII. the Scropes were considered the original founders. Easby thus became the stately burying-place of the family, and the splendid tombs that appeared in the choir of their church were a constant reminder to the canons of the greatness of the lords of Bolton. Sir Henry le Scrope was buried beneath a great stone effigy, bearing the arms--azure, a bend or--of his house. Near by lay Sir William le Scrope’s armed figure, and round about were many others of the family buried beneath flat stones. We know this from the statement of an Abbot of Easby in the fourteenth century; and but for the record of his words there would be nothing to tell us anything of these ponderous memorials, which have disappeared as completely as though they had had no more permanence than the yellow leaves that are just beginning to flutter from the trees. The splendid church, the tombs, and even the very family of Scrope, have disappeared; but across the hills, in the valley of the Ure, their castle still stands, and in the little church of Wensley there can still be seen the parclose screen of Perpendicular date that one of the Scropes must have rescued when the monastery was being stripped and plundered.
The fine gatehouse of Easby Abbey, which is in a good state of preservation, stands a little to the east of the parish church, and the granary is even now in use.
On the sides of the parvise over the porch of the parish church are the arms of Scrope, Conyers, and Aske; and in the chancel of this extremely interesting old building there can be seen a series of wall-paintings, some of which probably date from the reign of Henry III. This would make them earlier than those at Pickering.
There is a certain elevated and wind-swept spot, scarcely more than a long mile from Richmond, that commands a view over a wide extent of romantic country. Vantage-points of this type, within easy reach of a fair-sized town, are inclined to be overrated, and, what is far worse, to be spoiled by the litter of picnic parties; but Whitcliffe Scar is free from both objections. In magnificent September weather one may spend many hours in the midst of this great panorama without being disturbed by a single human being, besides a possible farm labourer or shepherd; and if scraps of paper and orange-peel are ever dropped here, the keen winds that come from across the moors dispose of them as efficaciously as the keepers of any public parks.
The view is removed from a comparison with many others from the fact that one is situated at the dividing-line between the richest cultivation and the wildest moorlands. Whitcliffe Scar is the Mount Pisgah from whence the jaded dweller in towns can gaze into a promised land of solitude,
‘Where things that own not man’s dominion dwell, And mortal foot hath ne’er or rarely been.’
The eastward view of green and smiling country is undeniably beautiful, but to those who can appreciate Byron’s enthusiasm for the trackless mountain there is something more indefinable and inspiring in the mysterious loneliness of the west. The long, level lines of the moorland horizon, when the sun is beginning to climb downwards, are cut out in the softest blue and mauve tints against the shimmering transparency of the western sky, and the plantations that clothe the sides of the dale beneath one are filled with wonderful shadows, which are thrown out with golden outlines. The view along the steep valley extends for a few miles, and then is suddenly cut off by a sharp bend where the Swale, a silver ribbon along the bottom of the dale, disappears among the sombre woods and the shoulders of the hills.
In this aspect of Swaledale one sees its mildest and most civilized mood; for beyond the purple
[Illustration: SWALEDALE IN THE EARLY AUTUMN
THE view is taken from a spot just above Richmond, known as Willance’s Leap. One is looking due west, with the high mountains of Craven just beyond the blue plateau.]
hillside that may be seen in the illustration, cultivation becomes more palpably a struggle, and the gaunt moors, broken by lines of precipitous scars, assume control of the scenery.
From 200 feet below, where the river is flowing along its stony bed, comes the sound of the waters ceaselessly grinding the pebbles, and from the green pastures there floats upwards a distant ba-baaing. No railway has penetrated the solitudes of Swaledale, and, as far as one may look into the future in such matters, there seems every possibility of this loneliest and grandest of the Yorkshire dales retaining its isolation in this respect. None but the simplest of sounds, therefore, are borne on the keen winds that come from the moorland heights, and the purity of the air whispers in the ear the pleasing message of a land where chimneys have never been.
Besides the original name of Whitcliffe Scar, this remarkable view-point has, since 1606, been popularly known as ‘Willance’s Leap.’ In that year a certain Robert Willance, whose father appears to have been a successful draper in Richmond, was hunting in the neighbourhood, when he found himself enveloped in a fog. It must have been sufficiently dense to shut out even the nearest objects; for, without any warning, Willance found himself on the verge of the scar, and before he could check his horse both were precipitated over the cliff. We have no detailed account of whether the fall was broken in any way; but, although his horse was killed instantly, Willance, by some almost miraculous good fortune, found himself alive at the bottom with nothing worse than a broken leg. Such a story must have been the talk of the whole of the Dale Country for months after the event, and it is in no way surprising that the spot should have become permanently associated with the rider’s name. He certainly felt grateful for his astonishing escape, despite the amputation of the broken limb; for, besides the erection of some inscribed stones that still mark the position of his fall from the cliff, Willance, in order to further commemorate the event, presented the Corporation of Richmond with a silver cup, which remains in the possession of the town.
Turning back towards Richmond, the contrast of the gently-rounded contours and the rich cultivation gives the landscape the appearance of a vast garden. One can see the great Norman keep of the castle dwarfing the church towers, and the red-roofed houses that cluster so picturesquely under its shelter. The afternoon sunlight floods everything with its generous glow, and the shadows of the trees massed on the hill-slopes are singularly blue. At the bottom of the valley the Swale abandons its green meadows for a time, and disappears into the deep and leafy gorge that adds so much to the charm of Richmond. Beyond the town the course of the river can be traced as it takes its way past Easby Abbey and the sunny slopes crowned with woods that go down on either side to its sparkling waters, until the level plain confuses every feature in a maze of hedgerow and coppice that loses itself in the hazy horizon.
It is a difficult matter to decide which is the more attractive means of exploring Swaledale; for if one keeps to the road at the bottom of the valley many beautiful and remarkable aspects of the country are missed, and yet if one goes over the moors it is impossible to really explore the recesses of the dale. The old road from Richmond to Reeth avoids the dale altogether, except for the last mile, and its ups and its downs make the traveller pay handsomely for the scenery by the way. But this ought not to deter anyone from using the road; for the view of the village of Marske, cosily situated among the wooded heights that rise above the beck, is missed by those who keep to the new road along the banks of the Swale. The romantic seclusion of this village is accentuated towards evening, when a shadowy stillness fills the hollows. The higher woods may be still glowing with the light of the golden west, while down below a softness of outline adds beauty to every object. The old bridge that takes the road to Reeth across Marske Beck needs no such fault-forgiving light, for it was standing in the reign of Elizabeth, and, from its appearance, it is probably centuries older. There used to be a quaint little mill close to the bridge, but this was, unfortunately, swept away when some alterations were being made in the surroundings of Marske Hall, a seat of the Huttons. It was one of this family, in whose hands the manor of Marske has remained for over 300 years, to whom the idea occurred of converting what was formerly a precipitous ravine, with bare rocky scars on either side, into the heavily wooded and romantic spot one finds to-day. Beyond the beautifying of this little branch valley of Swaledale, the Huttons are a notable family in having produced two Archbishops. They both bore the same name of Matthew Hutton. The first, who is mentioned by Thomas Fuller in his ‘Worthies’ as ‘a learned Prelate,’ was raised to the Archbishopric of York from Durham in 1594. This Matthew Hutton seems to have found favour with Elizabeth, for, beyond his rapid progress in the Church, there is still preserved in Marske Hall a gold cup presented to him by the Queen.[A] The second Archbishop was promoted from Bangor to York, and finally to Canterbury in 1757.
Rising above the woods near Marske Hall there appears a tall obelisk, put up to the memory of Captain Matthew Hutton about a century ago, when that type of memorial had gained a prodigious popularity. An obelisk towering above a plantation can scarcely be considered an attractive feature in a landscape, for its outline is too strongly suggestive of a mine-shaft; but how can one hope to find beauty in any of the architectural efforts of a period that seems to have been dead to art?
The new road to Reeth from Richmond goes down at an easy gradient from the town to the banks of the river, which it crosses when abreast of Whitcliffe Scar, the view in front being at first much the same as the nearer portions of the dale seen from that height. Down on the left, however, there are some chimney-shafts, so recklessly black that they seem to be no part whatever of their sumptuous natural surroundings, and might almost suggest a nightmare in which one discovered that some of the vilest chimneys of the Black Country had taken to touring in the beauty spots of the country.
As one goes westward, the road penetrates right into the bold scenery that invites exploration when viewed from ‘Willance’s Leap.’ There is a Scottish feeling--perhaps Alpine would be more correct--in the steeply-falling sides of the dale, all clothed in firs and other dense plantations; and just where the Swale takes a decided turn towards the south there is a view up Marske Beck that adds much to the romance of the scene. Behind one’s back the side of the dale rises like a dark green wall entirely in shadow, and down below, half buried in foliage, the river swirls and laps its gravelly beaches, also in shadow. Beyond a strip of pasture begin the tumbled masses of trees which, as they climb out of the depths of the valley, reach the warm, level rays of sunlight that turns the first leaves that have passed their prime into the fierce yellows and burnt siennas which, when faithfully represented at Burlington House, are often considered overdone. Even the gaunt obelisk near Marske Hall responds to a fine sunset of this sort, and shows a gilded side that gives it almost a touch of grandeur.
Evening is by no means necessary to the attractions of Swaledale, for a blazing noon gives lights and shades and contrasts of colour that are a large portion of Swaledale’s charms. If instead of taking either the old road by way of Marske, or the new one by the riverside, one had crossed the old bridge below the castle, and left Richmond by a very steep road that goes to Leyburn, one would have reached a moorland that is at its best in the full light of a clear morning. The road goes through the gray little village of Hudswell, which possesses some half-destroyed cottages that give it a forlorn and even pathetic character. As one goes on towards the open plateau of Downholme Moor, a sense of keen regret will force itself upon the mind; for here, in this gloriously healthy air, there are cottages in excess of the demand, and away in the great centres of labour, where the atmosphere is lifeless and smoke-begrimed, overcrowding is a perpetual evil. Perhaps the good folks who might have been dwelling in Hudswell, or some other breezy village, prefer their surroundings in some gloomy street in Sheffield; perhaps those who lived in these broken little homes died long ago, and there are none who sigh for space and air after the fashion of caged larks; perhaps---- But we have reached a gate now, and when we are through it and out on the bare brown expanse, with the ‘wide horizons beckoning’ on every side, the wind carries away every gloomy thought, and leaves in its place one vast optimism, which is, I suppose, the joy of living, and one of God’s best gifts to man.
The clouds are big, but they carry no threat of rain, for right down to the far horizon from whence this wind is coming there are patches of blue proportionate to the vast spaces overhead. As each white mass passes across the sun, we are immersed in a shadow many acres in extent; but the sunlight has scarcely fled when a rim of light comes over the edge of the plain, just above the hollow where Downholme village lies hidden from sight, and in a few minutes that belt of sunshine has reached some sheep not far off, and rimmed their coats with a brilliant edge of white. Shafts of whiteness, like searchlights, stream from behind a distant cloud, and everywhere there is brilliant contrast and a purity to the eye and lungs that only a Yorkshire moor possesses.
Making our way along a grassy track, we cross the heather and bent, and go down an easy
[Illustration: DOWNHOLME MOORE, ABOVE SWALEDALE]
“Wide horizons beckoning, far beyond the hill,
* * * * *
Greatness overhead, The flock’s contented tread An’ trample o’ the morning wind adown the open trail.” H. H. BASHFORD.
slope towards the gray roofs of Downholme. The situation is pretty, and there is a triangular green beyond the inn; but, owing to the church being some distance away, the village seems to lack in features.
A short two miles up the road to Leyburn, just above Gill Beck, there is an ancient house known as Walburn Hall, and also the remains of the chapel belonging to it, which dates from the Perpendicular period. The buildings are now used as a farm, but there are still enough suggestions of a dignified past to revivify the times when this was a centre of feudal power. Although the architecture is not Norman, there is a fragment in one of the walls that seems to indicate an earlier house belonging to the Walburns, for one of them--Wymer de Walburn--held a certain number of oxgangs of land there in 1286.
Turning back to Swaledale by a lane on the south side of Gill Beck, Downholme village is passed a mile away on the right, and the bold scenery of the dale once more becomes impressive. The sunshine has entirely gone now, and, although there are still some hours of daylight left, the ponderous masses of blue-gray cloud that have slowly spread themselves from one horizon to the other have caused a gloom to take the place of the morning’s dazzling sunshine. When we get lower down, and have a glimpse of the Swale over the hedge, a most imposing scene is suddenly visible. We would have illustrated it here, but the Dale Country is so prolific in its noble views that a selection of twenty pictures must of pure necessity do injustice to the many scenes it omits.
Two great headlands, formed by the wall-like terminations of Cogden and Harkerside Moors, rising one above the other, stand out magnificently. Their huge sides tower up nearly a thousand feet from the river, until they are within reach of the lowering clouds that every moment threaten to envelop them in their indigo embrace. There is a curious rift in the dark cumulus revealing a thin line of dull carmine that frequently changes its shape and becomes nearly obliterated, but its presence in no way weakens the awesomeness of the picture. The dale appears to become huger and steeper as the clouds thicken, and what have been merely woods and plantations in this heavy gloom become mysterious forests. The river, too, seems to change its character, and become a pale serpent, uncoiling itself from some mountain fastness where no living creatures, besides great auks and carrion birds, dwell.
In such surroundings as these there were established in the Middle Ages two religious houses, within a mile of one another, on opposite sides of the swirling river. On the north bank, not far from Marrick village, you may still see the ruins of Marrick Priory in its beautiful situation much as Turner painted it a century ago. Leland describes Marrick as ‘a Priory of Blake Nunnes of the Foundation of the Askes.’ It was, we know, an establishment for Benedictine Nuns, founded or endowed by Roger de Aske in the twelfth century. At Ellerton, on the other side of the river a little lower down, the nunnery was of the Cistercian Order; for, although very little of its history has been discovered, Leland writes of the house as ‘a Priori of White clothid Nunnes.’ After the Battle of Bannockburn, when the Scots raided all over the North Riding of Yorkshire, they came along Swaledale in search of plunder, and we are told that Ellerton suffered from their violence. The ruins that witnessed these scenes remain most provokingly silent, and Heaven knows if they ever echoed to the cries of the defenceless nuns or the coarse laughter of the Scots, for the remains tell us nothing at all.
Where the dale becomes wider, owing to the branch valley of Arkengarthdale, there are two villages close together. Grinton is reached first, and is older than Reeth, which is a short distance north of the river. The parish of Grinton is one of the largest in Yorkshire. It is more than twenty miles long, containing something near 50,000 acres, and according to Mr. Speight, who has written a very detailed history of Richmondshire, more than 30,000 acres of this consist of mountain, grouse-moor, and scar. For so huge a parish the church is suitable in size, but in the upper portions of the dales one must not expect any very remarkable exteriors; and Grinton, with its low roofs and plain battlemented tower, is much like other churches in the neighbourhood. Inside there are suggestions of a Norman building that has passed away, and the bowl of the font seems also to belong to that period. The two chapels opening from the chancel contain some interesting features, which include a hagioscope, and both are enclosed by old screens.
Leaving the village behind, and crossing the Swale, you soon come to Reeth, which may, perhaps, be described as a little town. It must have thrived with the lead-mines in Arkengarthdale and along the Swale, for it has gone back since the period of its former prosperity, and is glad of the fact that its splendid situation, and the cheerful green which the houses look upon, have made it something of a holiday resort, although it still retains its grayness and its simplicity, both of which may be threatened if a red-roofed hotel were to make its appearance, the bare thought of which is an anxiety to those who appreciate the soft colours of the locality.
When Reeth is left behind, there is no more of the fine ‘new’ road which makes travelling so easy for the eleven miles from Richmond. The surface is, however, by no means rough along the nine miles to Muker, although the scenery becomes far wilder and more mountainous with every mile. The dale narrows most perceptibly; the woods become widely separated, and almost entirely disappear on the southern side; and the gaunt moors, creeping down the sides of the valley, seem to threaten the narrow belt of cultivation, that becomes increasingly restricted to the river margins. Precipitous limestone scars fringe the browny-green heights in many places, and almost girdle the summit of Calver Hill, the great bare height that rises a thousand feet above Reeth. The farms and hamlets of these upper parts of Swaledale are of the same grays, greens, and browns as the moors and scars that surround them. The stone walls, that are often high and forbidding, seem to suggest the fortifications required for man’s fight with Nature, in which there is no encouragement for the weak. In the splendid weather that so often welcomes the mere summer rambler in the upper dales the austerity of the widely scattered farms and villages may seem a little unaccountable; but a visit in January would quite remove this impression, though even in these lofty parts of England the worst winter snowstorm has, in quite recent years, been of trifling inconvenience. Bad winters will, no doubt, be experienced again on the fells; but leaving out of the account the snow that used to bury farms, flocks, roads, and even the smaller gills, in a vast smother of whiteness, there are still the winds that go shrieking over the desolate heights, there is still the high rainfall, and there are still destructive thunderstorms that bring with them hail of a size that we seldom encounter in the lower levels. Mr. Lockwood records a remarkable storm near Sedbergh in which there were only three flashes. The first left senseless on the ground two brothers who were tending sheep, the second killed three cows that were sheltering under an oak, and the third unroofed a large portion of a barn and split up two trees. In this case the ordinary conditions of thunderstorms would seem to have been reversed, the electric discharge taking place from the earth to the clouds; otherwise, it is hard to account for such destruction with each flash.
The great rapidity with which the Swale, or such streams as the Arkle, can produce a devastating flood can scarcely be comprehended by those who have not seen the results of even moderate rainstorms on the fells. When, however, some really wet days have been experienced in the upper parts of the dales, it seems a wonder that the bridges are not more often in jeopardy. Long lines of pale-gray clouds, with edges so soft that they almost coalesce, come pressing each other on to the bare heights, and, almost before one mass has transformed itself into silvery streaks on the fellsides, there are others pouring down on their emaciated remains.
Of course, even the highest hills of Yorkshire are surpassed in wetness by their Lakeland neighbours; for whereas Hawes Junction, which is only about seven miles south of Muker, has an average yearly rainfall of about 62 inches, Mickleden, in Westmoreland, can show 137, and certain spots in Cumberland aspire towards 200 inches in a year. No figures seem to exist for Swaledale, but in the lower parts of Wensleydale the rainfall is only half of what has been given for Hawes, which stands at the head of that valley.
The weather conditions being so severe, it is not surprising to find that no corn at all is grown in Swaledale at the present day. Some notes, found in an old family Bible in Teesdale, are quoted by Mr. Joseph Morris. They show the painful difficulties experienced in the eighteenth century from such entries as: ‘1782. I reaped oats for John Hutchinson, when the field was covered with snow,’ and: ‘1799, Nov. 10. Much corn to cut and carry. A hard frost.’
Muker, notwithstanding all these climatic difficulties, has some claim to picturesqueness, despite the fact that its church is better seen at a distance, for a close inspection reveals its rather poverty-stricken state. The square tower, so typical of the dales, stands well above the weathered roofs of the village, and there are sufficient trees to tone down the severities of the stone walls, that are inclined to make one house much like its neighbour, and but for natural surroundings would reduce the hamlets to the same uniformity. At Muker, however, there is a steep
[Illustration: MUKER ON A STORMY AFTERNOON
THIS is a typical village of the dales, with its simple square-towered church and its greeny-grey roofs. The hill on the left is Kisdon, and one is looking up the narrowest portion of Swaledale.]
bridge and a rushing mountain stream that joins the Swale just below. The road keeps close to this beck, and the houses are thus restricted to one side of the way. There is a bright and cheerful appearance about the Farmers’ Arms, the small inn that stands back a little from the road with a cobbled space in front. Inside you may find a grandfather clock by Pratt of Askrigg in Wensleydale, a portrait of Lord Kitchener, and a good square meal of the ham and eggs and tea order.
Away to the south, in the direction of the Buttertubs Pass, is Stags Fell, 2,213 feet above the sea, and something like 1,300 feet above Muker. Northwards, and towering over the village, is the isolated mass of Kisdon Hill, on two sides of which the Swale, now a mountain stream, rushes and boils among boulders and ledges of rock. This is one of the finest portions of the dale, and, although the road leaves the river and passes round the western side of Kisdon, there is a path that goes through the glen, and brings one to the road again at Keld.
Just before you reach Keld, the Swale drops 30 feet at Kisdon Force, and after a night of rain there are many other waterfalls to be seen in this district. These are not to me, however, the chief attractions of the head of Swaledale, although without the angry waters the gills and narrow ravines that open from the dale would lose much interest. It is the stern grandeur of the scarred hillsides and the wide mountainous views from the heights that give this part of Yorkshire such a fascination. If you climb to the top of Rogan’s Seat, you have a huge panorama of desolate country spread out before you. The confused jumble of blue-gray mountains to the north-west is beyond the limits of Yorkshire at last, and in their strong embrace those stern Westmoreland hills hold the charms of Lakeland. Down below is the hamlet of Keld, perched in an almost Swiss fashion on a sharply-falling hillside, and among the surrounding masses of heaving moor are the birthplaces of the dozen becks that supply the headwaters of the Swale. These nearer hills, which include High Seat and the Lady’s Pillar, form the watershed of this part of the Yorkshire border; for on the western slopes are to be found the sources of the river Eden that flows through the beautiful valley, which is one of the greatest charms of the Midland route to Scotland.
If one stays in this mountainous region, there are new and exciting walks available for every day. There are gloomy recesses in the hillsides that encourage exploration from the knowledge that they are not tripper-worn, and there are endless heights to be climbed that are equally free from the smallest traces of desecrating mankind. Rare flowers, ferns, and mosses flourish in these inaccessible solitudes, and will continue to do so, on account of the dangers that lurk in their fastnesses, and also from the fact that their value is nothing to any but those who are glad to leave them growing where they are. You can look down into shadowy chasms in the limestone, where underground waters fall splashing with a hollow sound upon black shimmering rocks far below, or, stranger still, into subterranean pools from which the waters overflow into yet greater depths. You can follow the mountain streams through wooded ravines, and discover cascades and waterfalls that do not appear in any maps, and you may leave them by the rough tracks that climb the hillsides when you, perchance, have a longing for space and the sparkling clearness of the moorland air.
The approach from Muker to the upper part of Wensleydale is by a mountain road that can claim a grandeur which, to those who have never explored the dales, might almost seem impossible. I have called it a road, but it is, perhaps, questionable whether this is not too high-sounding a term for a track so invariably covered with large loose stones and furrowed with water-courses. At its highest point the road goes through the Butter-tubs Pass, taking the traveller to the edge of the pot-holes that have given their name to this thrilling way through the mountain ridge dividing the Swale from the Ure.
Such a lonely and dangerous road should no doubt be avoided at night, but yet I am always grateful for the delays which made me so late that darkness came on when I was at the highest portion of the pass. It was late in September, and it was the day of the feast at Hawes, which had drawn to that small town farmers and their wives, and most, if not all, the young men and maidens within a considerable radius. I made my way slowly up the long ascent from Muker, stumbling frequently on the loose stones and in the waterworn runnels that were scarcely visible in the dim twilight. The huge, bare shoulders of the fells began to close in more and more as I climbed. Towards the west lay Great Shunnor Fell, its vast brown-green mass being sharply defined against the clear evening sky; while further away to the north-west there were blue mountains going to sleep in the soft mistiness of the distance. Then the road made a sudden zigzag, but went on climbing more steeply than ever, until at last I found that the stony track had brought me to the verge of a precipice. There was not sufficient light to see what dangers lay beneath me, but I could hear the angry sound of a beck falling upon quantities of bare rocks. At the edge of the road the ground curved away in an insidious manner without any protecting bank, and I instinctively drew towards the inner side of the way, fearing lest a stumble among the stones that still covered the road might precipitate me into the gorge
[Illustration: TWILIGHT IN THE BUTTER-TUBS PASS
THE Butter-tubs are some deep pot-holes in the limestone that lie just by the high stony road that goes from Hawes in Wensleydale to Muker in Swaledale.]
below, where, even if one survived the fall, there would be every opportunity of succumbing to one’s injuries before anyone came along the beck side. The place is, indeed, so lonely that I can quite believe it possible that a man might die there and be reduced to a whitened skeleton before discovery. Of course, one might be lucky enough to be found by a shepherd, or some sheepdog might possibly come after wanderers from a flock that had found their way to this grim recess; but then, everyone is not equally on good terms with that jade Fortune, and to such folk I offer this word of caution. But here I have only commenced the dangers of this pass, for if one does not keep to the road, there is on the other side the still greater menace of the Buttertubs, the dangers of which are too well known to require any emphasis of mine. Those pot-holes which have been explored with much labour, and the use of winches and tackle and a great deal of stout rope, have revealed in their cavernous depths the bones of sheep that disappeared from flocks which have long since become mutton. This road is surely one that would have afforded wonderful illustrations to the ‘Pilgrim’s Progress,’ for the track is steep and narrow and painfully rough; dangers lie on either side, and safety can only be found by keeping in the middle of the road.
What must have been the thoughts, I wonder, of the dalesmen who on different occasions had to go over the pass at night in those still recent times when wraithes and hobs were terrible realities? In the parts of Yorkshire where any records of the apparitions that used to enliven the dark nights have been kept, I find that these awesome creatures were to be found on every moor, and perhaps some day in my reading I shall discover an account of those that haunted this pass. Perhaps a considerate Providence has kept me from the knowledge of the form these spirits assume in this particular spot, for the reason I will recount. I had reached the portion of the road where it goes so recklessly along the edge of the precipitous scars, when, far away on the gloomy fell-side ahead of me, there glimmered a strange little light that disappeared for a moment and then showed itself again. Soon afterwards it was hidden, I supposed by some hollow in the ground. Had I been bred in the dales in the time of our grandfathers, I should have fled wildly from such a sight, and probably found an early grave in the moist depths of one of the Buttertubs. As it was, although quite alone and without any means of defence, I went on steadily, until at last, out of the darkness, I heard a laugh that sounded human enough, and then came to me the sound of a heavy cart lumbering slowly over the stones. The breeze wafted to me a suggestion of tobacco, and in a moment my anxiety had gone. The cart contained two girls, and by the horse’s head walked a man, while another followed on horseback. One of the men lit his pipe again, and in the momentary flare I could see his big, genial face, the farm-horse, and the two happy maidens. We said ‘Good-night’ to prove each other’s honesty, and after a while the sound of the cart died away, as it went slowly along the windings of the pass. After this I was seldom alone, for I had fallen in with the good folks who had gone over to the feast at Hawes, and were now homeward bound in the darkness.
Although there are probably few who care for rough moorland roads at night, the Buttertubs Pass in daylight is still a memorable place. The pot-holes can then be safely approached, and one can peer into the blackness below until the eyes become adapted to the gloom. Then one sees the wet walls of limestone and the curiously-formed isolated pieces of rock that almost suggest columnar basalt. In crevices far down delicate ferns are growing in the darkness. They shiver as the cool water drips upon them from above, and the drops they throw off fall down lower still into a stream of underground water that has its beginnings no man knows where. On a hot day it is cooling simply to gaze into the Buttertubs, and the sound of the falling waters down in these shadowy places is pleasant after gazing on the dry fell-sides.
Just beyond the head of the pass, where the descent to Hawes begins, the shoulders of Great Shunnor Fell drop down, so that not only straight ahead, but also westwards, one can see a splendid mountain view. Ingleborough’s flat top is conspicuous in the south, and in every direction there are indications of the geology of the fells. The hard stratum of millstone grit that rests upon the limestone gives many of the summits of the hills their level character, and forms the sharply-defined scars that encircle them. Lower down the hills are generally rounded. It used to puzzle Dr. Whitaker, the historian of these parts, ‘how, upon a surface which must at first have consisted of angles and right lines only, nothing but graceful curves should now appear, as if some plastic hand had formed the original surface over again for use and beauty at once.’ Then, with the blankest pessimism, he goes on to say that ‘these are among the many questions relating to the theory of the earth which the restless curiosity of man will ever be asking without the hope or possibility of a solution’! The exclamation mark is mine, for I cannot restrain my feelings of astonishment that a learned man writing in 1805 should deny to us the knowledge we have of the action of ice and the other forces of denudation, by which we are able to understand to such a very great extent the agencies that have produced the contours of the Yorkshire mountains. The sudden changes of weather that take place among these watersheds would almost seem to be cause enough to explain the wearing down of the angularities of the heights. Even while we stand on the bridge at Hawes we can see three or four ragged cloud edges letting down on as many places torrential rains, while in between there are intervals of blazing sunshine, under which the green fells turn bright yellow and orange in powerful contrast to the indigo shadows on every side. Such rapid changes from complete saturation to sudden heat are trying to the hardest rocks, and at Hardraw, close at hand, there is a still more palpable process of denudation in active operation.
Such a morning as this is quite ideal for seeing the remarkable waterfall known as Hardraw Scar or Force. The footpath that leads up the glen leaves the road at the side of the ‘Green Dragon’ at Hardraw, where the innkeeper hands us a key to open the gate we must pass through. Being September, and an uncertain day for weather, we have the whole glen to ourselves, until behind some rocks we discover a solitary angler. There is nothing but the roughest of tracks to follow, for the carefully-made pathway that used to go right up to the fall was swept away half a dozen years ago, when the stream in a fierce mood cleared its course of any traces of artificiality. We are deeply grateful, and make our way among the big rocks and across the slippery surfaces of shale, with the roar of the waters becoming more and more insistent. The sun has turned into the ravine a great searchlight that has lit up the rock walls and strewn the wet grass beneath with sparkling jewels. On the opposite side there is a dense blue shadow over everything except the foliage on the brow of the cliffs, where the strong autumn colours leap into a flaming glory that transforms the ravine into an astonishing splendour. A little more careful scrambling by the side of the stream, and
[Illustration: HARDRAW FORCE
THIS fall of water on a tributary of the Ure is generally considered to be the finest in Yorkshire. The water comes over a lip of overhanging rock, and drops sheer into a pool 80 feet below. It is a most romantic spot at all times, but it is seen at its best after a heavy rainfall. It is possible to walk behind the fall on a slippery spray-drenched path.]
we see a white band of water falling from the overhanging limestone into the pool about ninety feet below. Off the surface of the water drifts a mist of spray, in which a soft patch of rainbow hovers until the sun withdraws itself for a time and leaves a sudden gloom in the horseshoe of overhanging cliffs. The place is, perhaps, more in sympathy with a cloudy sky, but, under sunshine or cloud, the spout of water is a memorable sight, and its imposing height places Hardraw among the small group of England’s finest waterfalls. Everyone, however, realizes the disappointment so often experienced in visiting such sights in dry weather, and the water at Hardraw sometimes shrinks to a mere trickle, leaving only the rock chasm to tell the traveller what can happen in really wet weather. The beck that takes this prodigious leap rises on Great Shunnor Fell, and if that mountain has received the attentions of some low clouds during the night, there is generally a gushing stream of water pouring over the projecting lip of hard limestone. The shale that lies beneath this stratum is soft enough to be worked away by the water until the limestone overhangs the pool to the extent of ten or twelve feet, so that the water falls sheer into the circular basin, leaving a space between the cliff and the fall where it is safe to walk on a rather moist and slippery path that is constantly being sprayed from the surface of the pool.
In hard winters, such as that of 1881, the waters freeze up into a great mass of ice, through which the fall makes its way by keeping an open pipe down the centre. It is recorded that in the winter of 1739-40 the fall began to freeze at the top and bottom, and that it eventually met, making ‘one hollow column which was seventy-two yards and three-quarters in circumference.’
As we turn away from the roar of the waters the sun comes through the clouds once more and illuminates the glen with such a generous light that we long to be in the open again, so that we may see all the play of the sweeping shadows along the slopes of Wensleydale. As we cross the Ure we have a view of the wet roofs of Hawes shining in dazzling light. The modern church-tower, with a pinnacle at one corner only, stands out conspicuously, but the little town looks uninteresting, although it does not spoil the views of the head of the dale. The street is wide and long, and would be very dull but for the splendid surroundings which the houses cannot quite shut out. As we are here for pleasure, and not to make an examination of every place in the dale country, we will hurry out of the town at once, making our way southwards to the little hamlet of Gayle, where old stone cottages are scattered on each side of the Duerley Beck. Dodd Fell, where the beck has its source, is mantled by a cloud that is condensing into rain with such rapidity that, if we wait on the bridge for a time, we shall be able to see the already swollen waters rise still higher as they come foaming over the broad cascades. The stream has much the colour of ale, and the creamy foam adds to the effect so much that one might imagine that some big brew-house had collapsed and added the contents of its vats to the stream. But we have only to realize that, as upper Wensleydale produces no corn and no hops, breweries could scarcely exist. When Leland wrote, nearly four hundred years ago, he said: ‘_Uredale_ veri litle Corne except Bygg or Otes, but plentiful of Gresse in Communes,’ so that, although this dale is so much more genial in aspect, and so much wider than the valley of the Swale, yet crops are under the same disabilities. Leaving Gayle behind, we climb up a steep and stony road above the beck until we are soon above the level of green pasturage. The stone walls still cover the hillsides with a net of very large mesh, but the sheep find more bent than grass, and the ground is often exceedingly steep. Higher still climbs this venturesome road, until all around us is a vast tumble of gaunt brown fells, divided by ravines whose sides are scarred with runnels of water, which have exposed the rocks and left miniature screes down below. At a height of nearly 1,600 feet there is a gate, where we will turn away from the road that goes on past Dodd Fell into Langstrothdale, and instead climb a smooth grass track sprinkled with half-buried rocks until we have reached the summit of Wether Fell, 400 feet higher. There is a scanty growth of ling upon the top of this height, but the hills that lie about on every side are browny-green or of an ochre colour, and there is little of the purple one sees in the Cleveland Hills.
The cultivated level of Wensleydale is quite hidden from view, so that we look over a vast panorama of mountains extending in the west as far as the blue fells of Lakeland. I have painted the westward view from this very summit, so that any written description is hardly needed; but behind us, as we face the scene illustrated here, there is a wonderful expanse that includes the
[Illustration: A RUGGED VIEW ABOVE WENSLEYDALE
THE picture shows the mountains to the north-west of Wether Fell (2,015 feet), the heathery summit of which appears in the foreground. Hawes lies to the right, hidden by the steep sides of the dale.]
heights of Addlebrough, Stake Fell, and Penhil Beacon, which stand out boldly on the southern side of Wensleydale. I have seen these hills lightly covered with snow, but that can give scarcely the smallest suggestion of the scene that was witnessed after the remarkable snowstorm of January, 1895, which blocked the roads between Wensleydale and Swaledale until nearly the middle of March. Roads were cut out, with walls of snow on either side from 10 to 15 feet in height, but the wind and fresh falls almost obliterated the passages soon after they had been cut. In Langstrothdale Mr. Speight tells of the extraordinary difficulties of the dalesfolk in the farms and cottages, who were faced with starvation owing to the difficulty of getting in provisions. They cut ways through the drifts as high as themselves in the direction of the likeliest places to obtain food, while in Swaledale they built sledges. It is difficult to imagine such scenes after a hot climb on a warm afternoon, even though great white masses of cumulus are lying in serried ridges near the horizon; but, having seen the Lake District under a thick mantle of snow from the top of Helvellyn, I have some idea of the scene in Wensleydale after that stupendous fall.
When we have left the highest part of Wether Fell, we find the track taking a perfectly straight line between stone walls. The straightness is so unusual that there can be little doubt that it is a survival of one of the Roman ways connecting their station on Brough Hill, just above the village of Bainbridge, with some place to the south-west. The track goes right over Cam Fell, and is known as the Old Cam Road, but I cannot recommend it for any but pedestrians. When we have descended only a short distance, there is a sudden view of Semmerwater, the only piece of water in Yorkshire that really deserves to be called a lake. It is a pleasant surprise to discover this placid patch of blue lying among the hills, and partially hidden by a fellside in such a way that its area might be far greater than 105 acres. Those who know Turner’s painting of this lake would be disappointed, no doubt, if they saw it first from this height. The picture was made at the edge of the water with the Carlow Stone in the foreground, and over the mountains on the southern shore appears a sky that would make the dullest potato-field thrilling.
A short distance lower down, by straying a little from the road, we get a really imposing view of Bardale, into which the ground falls suddenly from our very feet. Sheep scamper nimbly down their convenient little tracks, but there are places where water that overflows from the pools among the bent and ling has made blue-gray seams and wrinkles in the steep places that give no foothold even to the toughest sheep. Raydale and Cragdale also send down becks that join with Bardale Beck just before they enter Semmerwater. Just now the three glens are particularly imposing, for some of the big clouds that have been sweeping across the heavens all day are massing themselves on the edges of the heights, and by eclipsing themselves have assumed an angry indigo hue that makes the scene almost Scottish.
Perhaps it is because Yorkshire folk are so unused to the sight of lakes that both Semmerwater and Gormire, near Thirsk, have similar legends connected with their miraculous origin. Where the water now covers the land, says the story, there used to stand a small town, and to it there once came an angel disguised as a poor and ill-clad beggar. The old man slowly made his way along the street from one house to another asking for food, but at each door he met with the same blank refusal. He went on, therefore, until he came to a poor little cottage outside the town. Although the couple who lived there were almost as old and as poor as himself, the beggar asked for something to eat as he had done at the other houses. The old folk at once asked him in, and, giving him bread, milk, and cheese, urged him to pass the night under their roof. Then in the morning, when the old man was about to take his departure, came the awful doom upon the inhospitable town, for the beggar held up his hands, and said:
‘Semmerwater, rise! Semerwater, sink! And swallow the town, all save this house, Where they gave me meat and drink.’
Of course, the waters obeyed the disguised angel; and, for proof, have we not the existence of the lake, and is there not also pointed out an ancient little cottage standing alone at the lower end of the lake?
We lose sight of Semmerwater behind the ridge that forms one side of the branch dale in which it lies, but in exchange we get beautiful views of the sweeping contours of Wensleydale. High upon the further side of the valley Askrigg’s gray roofs and pretty church stand out against a steep fellside; further down we can see Nappa Hall, surrounded by trees, just above the winding river, and Bainbridge lies close at hand. We soon come to the broad and cheerful green, surrounded by a picturesque scattering of old but well preserved cottages; for Bainbridge has sufficient charms to make it a pleasant inland resort for holiday times that is quite ideal for those who are content to abandon the sea. The overflow from Semmerwater, which is called the Bain, fills the village with its music as it falls over ledges of rock in many cascades along one side of the green. There is a steep bridge, which is conveniently placed for watching the waterfalls; there are white geese always drilling on the grass, and there are still to be seen the upright stones of the stocks. The pretty inn called the ‘Rose and Crown,’ overlooking a corner of the green, states upon a board that it was established in 1445. This date at one time appeared in raised letters upon a stone over the doorway, which, Mr. Speight tells us, ‘had formerly a good Norman arch.’ Anything of that period would, of course, carry the origin of the building back some centuries earlier than the year claimed for the establishment of the inn. The great age of the village, owing to its existence in Roman times, as well as the importance it gained through being not only situated at important cross-roads, but also on the edge of the forest of Wensleydale, would account for the early establishment of some sort of hostelry for the entertainment of travellers. Even at the present day a horn-blowing custom has been preserved at Bainbridge. It takes place at ten o’clock every night between Holy Rood (September 27) and Shrovetide, but somehow the reason for the observance has been forgotten. The medieval regulations as to the carrying of horns by foresters and those who passed through forests would undoubtedly associate the custom with early times, and this happy old village certainly gains our respect for having preserved anything from such a remote period. When we reach Bolton Castle we shall find in the museum there an old horn from Bainbridge.
Besides having the length and breadth of Wensleydale to explore with or without the assistance of the railway, Bainbridge has as its particular possession the valley containing Semmerwater, with the three romantic dales at its head. Counterside, a hamlet perched a little above the lake, has an old hall, where George Fox stayed in 1677 as a guest of Richard Robinson. The inn bears the date 1667 and the initials ‘B. H. J.,’ which may be those of one of the Jacksons, who were Quakers at that time.
On the other side of the river, and scarcely more than a mile from Bainbridge, is the little town of Askrigg, which supplies its neighbour with a church and a railway-station. There is a charm in its breezy situation that is ever present, for even when we are in the narrow little street that curves steeply up the hill there are peeps of the dale that are quite exhilarating. The square-topped Addlebrough is separated from us by a great airy space, and looking up and down the broad dale which widens eastwards and becomes narrower and more rugged to the west, there appears to be a vastness lying around us which no plain can suggest. We can see Wether Fell, with the road we traversed yesterday plainly marked on the slopes, and down below, where the Ure takes its way through bright pastures, there is a mist of smoke ascending from Hawes. Blocking up the head of the dale are the spurs of Dodd and Widdale Fells, while beyond them appears the blue summit of Bow Fell. We find it hard to keep our eyes away from the distant mountains, which fascinate one by appearing to have an importance that is perhaps diminished when they are close at hand. All the big clouds that yesterday could scarcely hold up their showers for the shortest intervals have disappeared; perhaps they have now reached the river in liquid form, and are sparkling in the sunshine that now comes, without interruption, from their spotless cenotaph. We will follow Shelley’s metaphor no further, for there is water enough everywhere to fill the dales with all the roarings and murmurings that the forces and gills can supply, and we would gladly forget the cloud’s ‘silent laugh’ as it begins to unbuild the blue dome of heaven.
We find ourselves halting on a patch of grass by the restored market-cross to look more closely at a fine old house overlooking the three-sided space. There is no doubt as to the date of the building, for a plain inscription begins ‘Gulielmus Thornton posuit hanc domum MDCLXXVIII.’ The bay windows, as may be seen in the illustration, have heavy mullions and transoms, and there is a dignity about the house which must have been still more apparent when the surrounding houses were lower than at present. The wooden gallery that is constructed between the bays was, it is said, built as a convenient place for watching the bull-fights that took place just below. In the grass there can still be seen the stone to which the bull-ring was secured. The churchyard runs along the west side of the little market-place, so
[Illustration: A JACOBEAN HOUSE AT ASKRIGG
THE village of Askrigg, perched picturesquely on the northern slopes of Wensleydale, possesses this imposing stone house. It overlooks the open space by the church, where bull-fights took place in the early part of last century. The ring is still to be seen in the patch of grass, and the wooden balcony between the projecting bays of the house was a favourite position for watching the contests.]
that there is an open view on that side, made interesting by the Perpendicular church. The simple square tower and the unbroken roof-lines are battlemented, like so many of the churches of the dales; inside we find Norman pillars that are quite in strange company, if it is true that they were brought from the site of Fors Abbey, a little to the west of the town. The greater part of the church dates from 1466, and shortly after this reconstruction of the thirteenth-century building a chantry in the south aisle, dedicated to St. Anne, was founded by one of the Metcalfes of Nappa Hall, which we shall pass on our way to Aysgarth.
Wensleydale generally used to be famed for its hand-knitting, but I think Askrigg must have turned out more work than any place in the valley, for the men as well as the womenfolk were equally skilled in this employment, and Mr. Whaley says they did their work in the open air ‘while gossiping with their neighbours.’ This statement is, nevertheless, exceeded by what appears in a volume entitled ‘The Costume of Yorkshire.’ In that work of 1814, which contains a number of George Walker’s quaint drawings, reproduced by lithography, we find a picture having a strong suggestion of Askrigg in which there is a group of old and young of both sexes seated on the steps of the market-cross, all knitting, and a little way off a shepherd is seen driving some sheep through a gate, and he also is knitting. The letterpress describes how a woman named Slinger, who lived in Cotterdale, used to walk to and from Hawes Market with her goods on her head, knitting steadily all the way. Knitting-machines have long since killed this industry, but Askrigg has somehow survived the loss. Grandfather-clocks are still made in the little town, as they have been for a great number of years. We have already noticed an old Askrigg clock at Muker, and if we keep our eyes open we shall come across others, as well as examples from Leyburn, Middleham, and other places in the dale that possessed a clock-maker.
It is interesting to those who wish to get a correct idea of a place before visiting it to know that they may easily be led astray by even the best guides. When we read in Murray that Askrigg is a ‘dull little town of gray houses,’ we are at once predisposed against the place, although we might know that all the houses in the dales are gray. No suggestion is given of the splendid situation, and one might imagine that all the houses, with the exception of the one near the church, are featureless and quite uninteresting. This, of course, would be a total misapprehension, for many of the buildings are old, with quaint doorways and steps, and there are mossy roofs that add colour to the stone, which is often splashed with orange and pale emerald lichen. In writing of Hawes, on the other hand, Murray omits to mention the lack of picturesqueness in its really dull street, merely saying that ‘the town itself is growing and improving.’ Not content, however, with this approval of the place, the guide goes still further astray by stating that the dale in the neighbourhood of Hawes ‘is broad and open, and not very picturesque’! I cannot help exclaiming at such a statement, although I may be told that all this is a mere matter of individual opinion, for is not Wensleydale broad and open from end to end, and is not Hawes situated in the midst of some of the wildest and noblest fells in Yorkshire? It is true that the town lies on the level ground by the river, and thus the views from it do not form themselves into such natural pictures as they do at Askrigg, but I am inclined to blame the town rather than the scenery.
From Askrigg there is a road that climbs up from the end of the little street at a gradient that looks like 1 in 4, but it is really less formidable. Considering its steepness the surface is quite good, but that is due to the industry of a certain roadmender with whom I once had the privilege to talk when, hot and breathless, I paused to enjoy the great expanse that lay to the south. He was a fine Saxon type, with a sunburnt face and equally brown arms. Road-making had been his ideal when he was a mere boy, and since he had obtained his desire he told me that he couldn’t be happier if he were the King of England. And his contentment seemed to me to be based largely upon his intense pleasure in bringing the roads to as great a perfection as his careful and thinking labour could compass. He did not approve of steamrollers, for his experience had taught him that if the stones were broken small enough they bound together quickly enough. Besides this, he disapproved of a great camber or curve on the road which induces the traffic to keep in the middle, leaving a mass of loose stones on either side. The result of his work may be seen on the highway from Askrigg to Bainbridge, where a conspicuous smoothness has come to a road that was recently one of the most indifferent in the district. Perhaps he may eventually be given the maintenance of the way over the Buttertubs Pass; and if he ever induces that road to become a little more civilized, this enthusiastic workman will gain the appreciation of the whole neighbourhood. The road where we leave him, breaking every large stone he can find, goes on across a belt of brown moor, and then drops down between gaunt scars that only just leave space for the winding track to pass through. It afterwards descends rapidly by the side of a gill, and thus enters Swaledale.
There is a beautiful walk from Askrigg to Mill Gill Force. The distance is scarcely more than half a mile across sloping pastures and through the curious stiles that appear in the stone walls. So dense is the growth of trees in the little ravine that one hears the sound of the waters close at hand without seeing anything but the profusion of foliage overhanging and growing among the rocks. After climbing down among the moist ferns and moss-grown stones, the gushing cascades appear suddenly set in a frame of such lavish beauty that they hold a high place among their rivals in the dale, and the particular charms of this spot are hardly surpassed by any others in the whole county. Higher up there is Whitfield Force, which has a fall of nearly 50 feet. Its setting, too, among great rock walls and an ancient forest growth, is most fascinating, especially when one finds that very few go beyond the greater falls below.
Keeping to the north side of the river, we come to Nappa Hall at a distance of a little over a mile to the east of Askrigg. It is now a farmhouse, but its two battlemented towers proclaim its former importance as the chief seat of the family of Metcalfe. The date of the house is about 1459, and the walls of the western tower are 4 feet in thickness. The Nappa lands came to James Metcalfe from Sir Richard Scrope of Bolton Castle shortly after his return to England from the field of Agincourt, and it was probably this James Metcalfe who built the existing house. We are told something about the matter by Leland, who says: ‘_Knappey_ in _Yorkshire_, now the chifest House of the _Metecalfes_, was boute by one _Thomas Metcalfe_, Sunne to _James Metecalfe_, of one of the Lordes _Scropes_ of _Bolton_.’ He also says that ‘on it was but a Cotage or litle better House, ontille this _Thomas_ began ther to build, in the which Building 2 Toures be very fair, beside other Logginges.’ Mr. Speight thinks that Leland made some mistake as to the Metcalfe who purchased the estate, and also as to the builder of the house; and in his account of Nappa the author of ‘Romantic Richmondshire’ has, with the aid of the Metcalfe Records, been able to correct several inaccuracies which have been written about this distinguished and numerous family.
Until the year 1880 there was still kept at Nappa Hall a fine old four-post bedstead, which was, according to tradition, the one slept in by Mary Queen of Scots when she is said to have stayed in the house. Nothing exists, however, to give the slightest colour to this story, but the bed, now somewhat altered, is still in existence at Newby Hall, near Ripon.
The road down the dale passes Woodhall Park, and then, after going down close to the Ure, it bears away again to the little village of Carperby. It has a triangular green surrounded by white posts. At the east end stands an old cross, dated 1674, and the ends of the arms are ornamented with grotesque carved heads. The cottages have a neat and pleasant appearance, and there is much less austerity about the place than one sees higher up the dale. A branch road leads down to Aysgarth Station, and just where the lane takes a sharp bend to the right a footpath goes across a smooth meadow to the banks of the Ure. The rainfall of the last few days, which showed itself at Mill Gill Force, at Hardraw Scar, and a dozen other falls, has been sufficient to swell the main stream at Wensleydale into a considerable flood, and behind the bushes that grow thickly along the river-side we can hear the steady roar of the cascades of Aysgarth. The waters have worn down the rocky bottom to such an extent that in order to stand in full view of the splendid fall we must make for a gap in the foliage, and scramble down some natural steps in the wall of rock forming low cliffs along each side of the flood. Although it is still September, the rocks are overhung with the most brilliant autumn foliage. The morning sunlight coming across a dark plantation of firs on the southern bank lights up the yellow and red leaves, and turns the foaming waters into a brilliant white where they are not under the shadow of the trees. The water comes over three terraces of solid stone, and then sweeps across wide ledges in a tempestuous sea of waves and froth, until there come other descents which alter the course of parts of the stream, so that as we look across the riotous flood we can
[Illustration: AYSGARTH FORCE
THE beautiful river Ure that flows through Wensleydale falls over a series of rocky ledges close to the village of Aysgarth. The picture shows the lower series of falls on the morning following a wet night.]
see the waters flowing in many opposite directions. Lines of cream-coloured foam spread out into chains of bubbles which join together, and then, becoming detached, again float across the smooth portions of each low terrace. Where the water is smooth and shaded by the overhanging mass of trees it assumes a dark green-brown colour, and shows up the chains and necklaces of sportive bubbles which the cascades produce. I suppose it was because Leland did not see the other great falls in Wensleydale that he omits any mention of High Force on the Tees and Hardraw Scar, but yet mentions ‘where _Ure_ Ryver faullethe very depe betwixt 2 scarry Rokks.’
Besides these lower falls, we can see, if we go up the course of the river towards Aysgarth, a single cascade called the Middle Force, and from the bridge which spans the river with one great arch we have a convenient place to watch the highest series of falls. But neither of these have half the grandeur of the lowest of the series which is illustrated here. There is a large mill by the bridge, and, ascending the steep roadway that goes up to the village, we soon reach the pathway to the church. Perhaps because Aysgarth Force is famous enough to attract large crowds of sightseers on certain days throughout the summer, the church is kept locked, and as we wish to see the splendid Perpendicular screen, saved from the wreck of Jervaulx Abbey, we must make our way to the Vicarage, and enter the church in the company of a custodian who watches us with suspicious eyes, fearing, no doubt, that if he looks away or waits in the churchyard we may feel anxious to leave our initials on the reading-desk. Apart from the screen, the choir stalls, and the other woodwork of the choir, there is very little interest in the church owing to the rebuilding that has taken place, and left few traces of antiquity beyond suggestions of Early English work in the tower. There is a short-cut by some footpaths that brings us to Aysgarth village, which seems altogether to disregard the church, for it is separated from it by a distance of nearly half a mile. There is one pleasant little street of old stone houses irregularly disposed, many of them being quite picturesque, with mossy roofs and ancient chimneys. This village, like Askrigg and Bainbridge, is ideally situated as a centre for exploring a very considerable district. There is quite a network of roads to the south, connecting the villages of Thoralby and West Burton with Bishop Dale, and the main road through Wensleydale. Thoralby is very old, and is beautifully situated under a steep hillside. It has a green overlooked by little gray cottages, and lower down there is a tall mill with curious windows built upon Bishop Dale Beck. Close to this mill there nestles a long, low house of that dignified type to be seen frequently in the North Riding, as well as in the villages of Westmoreland. The huge chimney, occupying a large proportion of one gable-end, is suggestive of much cosiness within, and its many shoulders, by which it tapers towards the top, make it an interesting feature of the house. The lower part of Bishop Dale is often singularly beautiful in the evening. If we stop and lean over a gate, we can see Stake Fell towering above us--an indistinct blue wall with a sharply-broken edge. Above appears a pale-yellow sky, streaked with orange-coloured clouds so thin as to look almost like smoke. The intense silence is broken by the buzz of a swift-flying insect, and then when that has gone other sounds seem to intensify the stillness. Suddenly a shrill bellow from a cow echoes through the valley, a sheep-dog barks, and we can hear the distant cough of cattle, which are quite invisible in the gathering twilight. A farmer in his cart drives slowly by up the steep lane, and then the silence becomes more complete than before, and the fells become blue-black against a sky which is just beginning to be spangled with the palest of stars. They seem to flicker so much that the soft evening breeze threatens to blow them out altogether.
The dale narrows up at its highest point, but the road is enclosed between gray walls the whole of the way over the head of the valley. A wide view of Langstrothdale and upper Wharfedale is visible when the road begins to drop downwards, and to the east Buckden Pike towers up to his imposing height of 2,302 feet. We shall see him again when we make our way through Wharfedale, but we could go back to Wensleydale by a mountain-path that climbs up the side of Cam Gill Beck from Starbottom, and then, crossing the ridge between Buckden Pike and Tor Mere Top, it goes down into the wild recesses of Waldendale. So remote is this valley that wild animals, long extinct in other parts of the dales, survived there until almost recent times.
When we have crossed the Ure again, and taken a last look at the Upper Fall from Aysgarth Bridge, we betake ourselves by a footpath to the main highway through Wensleydale, turning aside before reaching Redmire in order to see the great castle of the Scropes at Bolton. It is a vast quadrangular mass, with each side nearly as gaunt and as lofty as the others. At each corner rises a great square tower, pierced, with a few exceptions, by the smallest of windows. Only the base of the tower at the north-east corner remains to-day, the upper part having fallen one stormy night in November, 1761, possibly having been weakened during the siege of the castle in the Civil War. We go into the courtyard through a vaulted archway on the eastern side. Many of the rooms on the side facing us are in good preservation, and an apartment in the south-west tower, which has a fireplace, is pointed out as having been used by Mary Queen of Scots when she was imprisoned here after the Battle of Langside in 1568. It was the ninth Lord Scrope who had the custody of the Queen, and he was assisted by Sir Francis Knollys. Mary, no doubt, found the time of her imprisonment irksome enough, despite the magnificent views over the dale which her windows appear to have commanded; but the monotony was relieved to some extent by the lessons in English which she received from Sir Francis, whom she describes as ‘her good schoolmaster.’ While still a prisoner, Mary addressed to him her first English letter, which begins: ‘Mester Knoleis, I heve sum neus from Scotland’; and half-way through she begs that he will excuse her writing, seeing that she had ‘neuur vsed it afor,’ and was ‘hestet.’ The letter concludes with ‘thus, affter my commendations, I prey God heuu you in his kipin. Your assured gud frind, MARIE R.’ Then comes a postscript: ‘Excus my iuel writin thes furst tym’--‘iuel’ being no doubt intended for ‘evil.’
Another relic of the Queen’s captivity at Bolton was a pane of glass, upon which she had scratched ‘Marie R.’ with a diamond ring; but it was damaged during the execution of some repairs to the castle, and in removing the glass for greater security from the castle to Bolton Hall it was hopelessly smashed.
The stories of Mary’s attempts at escape have long been considered mere fabrications, for, despite many intimate details of the months spent at Bolton, no reference to such matters have been discovered. In the face of this denial on the part of recorded history, Leyburn Shawl still holds affectionately to the story that Mary Stuart did leave the castle unobserved, and that she was overtaken there in the place called the Queen’s Gap.
[Illustration: BOLTON CASTLE, WENSLEYDALE
IN this feudal stronghold Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned for six months in 1568. She was brought from Carlisle by Lord Scrope, the owner of Bolton Castle. The building forms a gaunt square, lofty and almost featureless, except for the broken towers which rise at each of the four corners. Lord Chancellor Scrope built the castle in the reign of Richard II., and his descendants occupied it for three centuries.]
As we leave the grim castle, so full of memories of a great family and of a lovely Queen, we turn back before it is hidden from our gaze, and see the towers silhouetted against a golden sky much as it is depicted in these pages. We think of all the Scropes who have come and gone since that Lord Richard received license in 1379 to crenellate the fortress he had built, and we regret again the disappearance of all those sumptuous tombs that once adorned the choir of Easby Abbey. However, there are memorials to members of the family in Wensley Church lying a little to the east beyond the wooded park of Bolton Hall, and we shall arrive there before long if we keep to the right at the turning beneath the height known as Scarth Nick. On the opposite side of the dale Penhill Beacon stands out prominently, with its flat summit reflecting just enough of the setting sun to recall a momentous occasion when from that commanding spot a real beacon-fire sent up a great mass of flame and sparks. It was during the time of Napoleon’s threatened invasion of England, and the lighting of this beacon was to be the signal to the volunteers of Wensleydale to muster and march to their rendezvous. The watchman on Penhill, as he sat by the piled-up brushwood, wondering, no doubt, what would happen to him if the dreaded invasion were really to come about, saw, far away across the Vale of Mowbray, a light which he at once took to be the beacon upon Roseberry Topping. A moment later tongues of flame and smoke were pouring from his own hilltop, and the news spread up the dale like wildfire. The volunteers armed themselves rapidly, and with drums beating they marched away, with only such delay as was caused by the hurried leave-takings with wives and mothers, and all the rest who crowded round. The contingent took the road to Thirsk, and on the way were joined by the Mashamshire men. Whether it was with relief or disappointment I do not know; but when the volunteers reached Thirsk they heard that they had been called out by a false alarm, for the light seen in the direction of Roseberry Topping had been caused by accident, and the beacon on that height had not been lit. After all, the scare did no harm, for it showed the mettle of the Dalesmen, and they were afterwards thanked by Parliament for their prompt response to the signal.
On the side of Penhill that looks full towards Bolton Castle there still remain the foundations of the chapel of the Knight Templars, who must have established their hospital there soon after 1146, when the Order was instituted in England.
Wensley stands just at the point where the dale, to which it has given its name, becomes so wide that it begins to lose its distinctive character. The village is most picturesque and secluded, and it is small enough to cause some wonder as to its distinction in naming the valley. It is suggested that the name is derived from _Wodenslag_, and that in the time of the Northmen’s occupation of these parts the place named after their chief god would be the most important. In its possession of a pleasant sloping green, dominated by a great elm, round whose base has been built a circular platform, Wensley is particularly happy. The Ure, flowing close at hand, is crossed by a fine old bridge, whose pointed arches must have survived many centuries; for Leland says that it was built by ‘_Alwine_, Parson of _Wencelaw_,’ ‘200 Yer ago and more,’ that statement being made about the year 1538.
In the little church standing on the south side of the green there is so much to interest us that we are almost unable to decide what to examine first, until, realizing that we are brought face to face with a beautiful relic of Easby Abbey, we turn our attention to the parclose screen. It surrounds the family pew of Bolton Hall, and on three sides we see the Perpendicular woodwork fitted into the east end of the north aisle. The side that fronts the nave has an entirely different appearance, being painted and of a classic order, very lacking in any ecclesiastical flavour, an impression not lost on those who, with every excuse, called it ‘the opera box.’ In the panels of the early part of the screen are carved inscriptions and arms of the Scropes covering a long period, and, though many words and letters are missing, it is possible to make them more complete with the help of the record made by the heralds in 1665.
On the floor of the chancel is the brass to Sir Simon de Wenselawe, a priest of the fourteenth century. There is no trace of any inscription, and the name was only discovered by a reference to the brass in the will of Oswald Dykes, a rector who died in Jacobean times, and desired that he might be buried under the stone which now bears his name above the figure of the priest. This brass is the best in the North Riding, and it closely resembles the one to Abbot de la Mare in St. Albans Abbey.
A charming lane, overhung by big trees, runs above the river-banks for nearly two miles of the way to Middleham; then it joins the road from Leyburn, and crosses the Ure by a suspension bridge, defended by two very formidable though modern archways. Climbing up past the church, we enter the cobbled market-place, which wears a rather decayed appearance in sympathy with the departed magnificence of the great castle of the Nevilles. It commands a vast view of Wensleydale from the southern side, in much the same manner as Bolton does from the north; but the castle buildings are entirely different, for Middleham consists of a square Norman keep, very massive and lofty, surrounded at a short distance by a strong wall and other buildings, also of considerable height, built in the Decorated period, when the Nevilles were in possession of the stronghold. The Norman keep dates from the year 1190, when Robert Fitz Randolph, grandson of Ribald, a brother of the Earl of Richmond, began to build the Castle. It was, however, in later times, when Middleham had come to the Nevilles by marriage, that really notable events took place in this fortress. It was here that Warwick, the ‘King-maker,’ held Edward IV. prisoner in 1467, and in Part III. of the play of ‘King Henry VI.,’ Scene V. of the fourth act is laid in a park near Middleham Castle. Richard III.’s only son, Edward Prince of Wales, was born here in 1476, the property having come into Richard’s possession by his marriage with Anne Neville. The tower in which the boy was born is pointed out to-day, but how the knowledge has been preserved I am quite unable to say. When he was only eight years old, this little Prince died in the castle in which he had first seen the light.
The efforts to blow up the projecting towers of the Norman portion of the castle are most plainly visible, but the splendid masonry, like that of Corfe, in the Isle of Purbeck, has held together, although great gaps have been torn out below, so that one can scarcely understand why the upper part has not collapsed. The church contains some interesting details, but they are not very apparent to the uninformed, to whom the building might appear somewhat dull. All can, however, be interested in the old cross in the market-place, and also in the Swine Cross in the upper market, which shows the battered shape of some animal, carved either in the form of the boar of Richard III. or the bear of Warwick.
We have already seen Leyburn Shawl from near Wensley, but its charm can only be appreciated by seeing the view up the dale from its larch-crowned
[Illustration: THE VIEW UP WENSLEYDALE FROM LEYBURN SHAWL
THIS is one of the spots in this beautiful dale that repays a visit a thousandfold. The effects are best on a clear day, when sunlight and shadows are chasing one another over the hills and woodlands.]
termination. Perhaps if we had seen nothing of Wensleydale, and the wonderful views it offers, we should be more inclined to regard this somewhat popular spot with greater veneration; but after having explored both sides of the dale, and seen many views of a very similar character, we cannot help thinking that the vista is somewhat overrated. Leyburn itself is a cheerful little town, with a modern church and a very wide main street which forms a most extensive market-place. There is a bull-ring still visible in the great open space, but beyond this and the view from the Shawl Leyburn has few attractions, except its position as a centre or a starting-place from which to explore the romantic neighbourhood.
As we leave Leyburn we get a most beautiful view up Coverdale, with the two Whernsides standing out most conspicuously at the head of the valley, and it is this last view of Coverdale, and the great valley from which it branches, that remains in the mind as one of the finest pictures of this most remarkable portion of Yorkshire.
RIPON AND FOUNTAINS ABBEY
RIPON AND FOUNTAINS ABBEY
We have come out of Wensleydale past the ruins of the great Cistercian abbey of Jervaulx, which Conan, Earl of Richmond, moved from Askrigg to a kindlier climate, and we have passed through the quiet little town of Masham, famous for its fair in September, when sometimes as many as 70,000 sheep, including great numbers of the fine Wensleydale breed, are sold, and now we are at Ripon. It is the largest town we have seen since we lost sight of Richmond in the wooded recesses of Swaledale, and though we are still close to the Ure, we are on the very edge of the dale country, and miss the fells that lie a little to the west. The evening has settled down to steady rain, and the market-place is running with water that reflects the lights in the shop-windows and the dark outline of the obelisk in the centre. This erection is suspiciously called ‘the Cross,’ and it made its appearance nearly seventy years before the one at Richmond. Gent says it cost £564 11s. 9d., and that it is ‘one of the finest in England.’ I could, no doubt, with the smallest trouble discover a description of the real cross it supplanted, but if it were anything half as fine as the one at Richmond, I should merely be moved to say harsh things of John Aislabie, who was Mayor in 1702, when the obelisk was erected, and therefore I will leave the matter to others. It is, perhaps, an un-Christian occupation to go about the country quarrelling with the deeds of recent generations, though I am always grateful for any traces of the centuries that have gone which have been allowed to survive. With this thought still before me, I am startled by a long-drawn-out blast on a horn, and, looking out of my window, which commands the whole of the market-place, I can see beneath the light of a lamp an old-fashioned figure wearing a three-cornered hat. When the last quavering note has come from the great circular horn, the man walks slowly across the wet cobblestones to the obelisk, where I watch him wind another blast just like the first, and then another, and then a third, immediately after which he walks briskly away and disappears down a turning. In the light of morning I discover that the horn was blown in front of the Town Hall, whose stucco front bears the inscription: ‘Except ye Lord keep ye cittie, ye Wakeman waketh in vain.’ The antique spelling is, of course, unable to give a wrong impression as to the age of the building, for it shows its period so plainly that one scarcely needs to be told that it was built in 1801, although it could not so easily be attributed to the notorious Wyatt. There are still a few quaint houses to be seen in Ripon, and there clings to the streets a certain flavour of antiquity. It is the minster, nevertheless, that raises the ‘city’ above the average Yorkshire town. The west front, with its twin towers, is to some extent the most memorable portion of the great church. It is the work of Archbishop Walter Gray, and is a most beautiful example of the pure Early English style. Inside there is a good deal of transitional Norman work to be seen. The central tower was built in this period, but now presents a most remarkable appearance, owing to its partial reconstruction in Perpendicular times, the arch that faces the nave having the southern pier higher than the Norman one, and in the later style, so that the arch is lopsided. As a building in which to study the growth of English Gothic architecture, I can scarcely think it possible to find anything better, all the periods being very clearly represented. The choir has much sumptuous carved woodwork, and the misereres are full of quaint detail. In the library there is a collection of very early printed books and other relics of the minster that add very greatly to the interest of the place.
The monument to Hugh Ripley, who was the last Wakeman of Ripon and first Mayor in 1604, is on the north side of the nave facing the entrance to the crypt, popularly called ‘St. Wilfrid’s Needle.’ A rather difficult flight of steps goes down to a narrow passage leading into a cylindrically vaulted cell with niches in the walls. At the north-east corner is the curious slit or ‘Needle’ that has been thought to have been used for purposes of trial by ordeal, the innocent person being able to squeeze through the narrow opening. In reality it is probably nothing more than an arrangement for lighting two cells with one lamp. The crypt is of such a plainly Roman type, and is so similar to the one at Hexham, that it is generally accepted as dating from the early days of Christianity in Yorkshire, and there can be little doubt that it is a relic of Wilfrid’s church in those early times.
At a very convenient distance from Ripon, and
[Illustration: RIPON MINSTER FROM THE SOUTH
IN its outline Ripon suggests Westminster, although the west front with its twin towers is Early English and not classic. Underneath the present building is the Saxon crypt of Wilfrid’s church, dating from the seventh century.]
approached by a pleasant lane, are the lovely glades of Studley Royal, the noble park containing the ruins of Fountains Abbey. The surroundings of the great Cistercian monastery are so magnificent, and the roofless church is so impressively solemn, that, although the place is visited by many thousands every year, yet, if you choose a day when the weather or some other circumstances keep other people away, you might easily imagine that you were visiting the park and ruins as a special privilege, and not as one of the public who, through Lord Ripon’s kindness, are allowed to come and go with very few restrictions beyond the payment of a shilling.
Just after leaving the lodge there appears on the right a most seductive glade, overhung by some of the remarkable trees that give the park its great fascination. The grassy slopes disappear in shadowy green recesses in the foliage, in much the fashion of the forest scenes depicted in tapestries. It is just such a background as the Elizabethans would have loved to fill with the mythological beings that figured so largely in their polite conversation. Down below the beautifully-kept pathway runs the Skell, but so transformed from its early character that you would imagine the crescent-shaped lakes and the strip of smooth water were in no way connected with the mountain-stream that comes off Dallowgill Moor. It is particularly charming that the peeps of the water, bordered by smooth turf that occupies the bottom of the steep and narrow valley, are only had at intervals through a great hedge of clipped yew. The paths wind round the densely-wooded slopes, and give a dozen different views of each mass of trees, each temple, and each bend of the river. At last, from a considerable height, you have the lovely view of the abbey ruins illustrated here. At every season its charm is unmistakable, and even if no stately tower and no roofless arches filled the centre of the prospect, the scene would be almost as memorable. It is only one of the many pictures in the park that a retentive memory will hold as some of the most remarkable in England.
Among the ruins the turf is kept in perfect order, and it is pleasant merely to look upon the contrast of the green carpet that is so evenly laid between the dark stonework. The late-Norman nave, with its solemn double line of round columns, the extremely graceful arches of the Chapel of the Nine Altars, and the magnificent vaulted perspective of the dark cellarium of the lay-brothers, are perhaps the most fascinating portions of the buildings. I might be well compared with the last abbot but one, William Thirsk, who resigned his post, foreseeing the coming Dissolution, and was therefore called ‘a varra fole and a misereble ideote,’ if I attempted in the short space available to give any detailed account of the abbey or its wonderful past. I have perhaps said enough to insist on its charms, and I know that all who endorse my statements will, after seeing Fountains, read with delight the books that are devoted to its story.
KNARESBOROUGH AND HARROGATE
KNARESBOROUGH AND HARROGATE
It is sometimes said that Knaresborough is an overrated town from the point of view of its attractiveness to visitors, but this depends very much upon what we hope to find there. If we expect to find lasting pleasure in contemplating the Dropping Well, or the pathetic little exhibition of petrified objects in the Mother Shipton Inn, we may be prepared for disappointment. It seems strange that the real and lasting charms of the town should be overshadowed by such popular and much-advertised ‘sights.’ The first view of the town from the ‘high’ bridge is so full of romance that if there were nothing else to interest us in the place we would scarcely be disappointed. The Nidd, flowing smoothly at the foot of the precipitous heights upon which the church and the old roofs appear, is spanned by a great stone viaduct. This might have been so great a blot upon the scene that Knaresborough would have lost half its charm. Strangely enough, we find just the reverse is the case, for this railway bridge, with its battlemented parapets and massive piers, is now so weathered that it has melted into its surroundings as though it had come into existence as long ago as the oldest building visible. The old Knaresborough kept well to the heights adjoining the castle, and even to-day there are only a handful of later buildings down by the river margin. The view, therefore, is still unspoiled, and its appearance when the light is coming from the west can be seen in the illustration given here.
When we have crossed the bridge, and have passed along a narrow roadway perched well above the river, we come to one of the many interesting houses that help to keep alive the old-world flavour of the town. Only a few years ago the old manor-house had a most picturesque and rather remarkable exterior, for its plaster walls were covered with a large black and white chequer-work, and its overhanging eaves and trailing creepers gave it a charm that has since then been quite lost. The restoration which recently took place has entirely altered the character of the exterior, but inside everything
IS one of the most fortunate of towns in having in its railway bridge a bold and decorative feature rather than an eyesore. The stranger scarcely realizes as he stands on the road bridge from which the picture is taken, that the big battlemented structure spanning the river is a railway viaduct.]
has been preserved with just the care that should have been expended outside as well. There are oak-wainscoted parlours, oak dressers, and richly-carved fireplaces in the low-ceiled rooms, each one containing furniture much of the period of the house. Upstairs there is a beautiful old bedroom lined with oak, like those on the floor below, and its interest is greatly enhanced by the story of Oliver Cromwell’s residence in the house, for he is believed to have used this particular bedroom. Slight alterations have taken place, but the oak bedstead which he is said to have occupied, minus its tester and with its posts cut down to half their height, still remains to carry us swiftly back to the last siege of the castle. A very curious story is told in the _Gentleman’s Magazine_ of March, 1791. It gives an anecdote of Oliver Cromwell which Sir John Goodricke used to relate. When he was quite a small boy, he was told by a very old woman who had formerly attended his mother, Lady Goodricke, how Oliver Cromwell came to lodge at this house when she was but a young girl. ‘Having heard so much talk about the man,’ she said, ‘I looked at him with wonder. Being ordered to take a pan of coals and air his bed, I could not, during the operation, forbear peeping over my shoulder several times to observe this extraordinary person, who was seated at the fireside of the room untying his garters. Having aired the bed, I went out, and, shutting the door after me, stopped and peeped through the keyhole, when I saw him rise from his feet, advance to the bed and fall on his knees, in which attitude I left him for some time. When I returned again I found him still at prayer, and this was his custom every night so long as he stayed at our house, from which I concluded he must be a good man, and this opinion I always maintained afterwards, though I heard him very much blamed and exceedingly abused.’
Higher up the hill stands the church with a square central tower surmounted by a small spike. It still bears the marks of the fire made by the Scots during their disastrous descent upon Yorkshire after Edward II.’s defeat at Bannockburn. Led by Sir James Douglas, the Scots poured into the prosperous plains and even the dales of Yorkshire. They burned Northallerton and Boroughbridge, and then came on to Knaresborough. When the town had been captured and burnt, the savage invaders endeavoured to burn out the inhabitants who had taken refuge in the church-tower, but the stoutness of the stone walls prevented their efforts to destroy the building. It is quite possible that the roofs at that time were thatched, for some years ago much partially-burnt straw was discovered in the roof. The chapel on the north side of the chancel contains the interesting monuments of the old Yorkshire family of Slingsby. The altar-tomb in the centre bears the recumbent effigies of Francis Slingsby, who died in 1600, and Mary his wife. Another monument shows Sir William Slingsby, who accidentally discovered the first spring at Harrogate. The Slingsbys, who were cavaliers, produced a martyr in the cause of Charles I. This was the distinguished Sir Henry, who, in 1658, ‘being beheaded by order of the tyrant Cromwell, ... was translated to a better place.’ So says the inscription on a large slab of black marble in the floor of the chapel. The last of the male line of the family was Sir Charles Slingsby, who was most unfortunately drowned by the upsetting of a ferry-boat in the Ure in February, 1869.
We can wander through the quaint little streets above the church and find much to interest us, particularly in the market-place, although quite a number of the really ancient little houses that had come down to quite recent years have now passed away. On one side of the market-place stands a most curious little chemist’s shop, with two small-paned windows, very low and picturesque, that slightly overhang the footway. There seems to be small doubt that this is the oldest of all the long-established chemists’ shops that exist in England. It dates from the year 1720, when John Beckwith started the business, and the conservatism of the trade is borne out by the preservation of some interesting survivals of those early Georgian days. There are strangely-shaped old shop-bottles, mortars, and strips of leather that were used for quicksilver in the days when it was worn as a charm against some forms of disease.
Just above the manor-house there is still to be seen one of the last of the thatched houses, at one time common in the town. It is the old Vicarage, and it still contains oak beams and some good panelling. When we get beyond the market-place, we come out upon an elevated grassy space upon the top of a great mass of rock whose perpendicular sides drop down to a bend of the Nidd. Around us are scattered the ruins of Knaresborough Castle--poor and of small account if we compare them with Richmond, although the site is very similar; where before the siege in 1644 there must have been a most imposing mass of towers and curtain walls. Of the great keep, only the lowest story is at all complete, for above the first-floor there are only two sides to the tower, and these are battered and dishevelled. The walls enclosed about the same area as Richmond, but they are now so greatly destroyed that it is not easy to gain a clear idea of their position. There were no less than eleven towers, of which there now remain fragments of six, part of a gateway, and behind the old courthouse there are evidences of a secret cell. An underground sally-port opening into the moat, which was a dry one, is reached by steps leading from the castle yard. The passage was opened out in 1890, and in it were discovered a considerable number of stone balls, probably used for the ‘balistas’ mentioned in one of the castle records. It is a dismal fact to remember that, despite the perfect repair of the castle in the reign of Elizabeth, and the comparatively small amount of destruction caused during the siege conducted by Lilburne and Fairfax, Knaresborough’s great fortress was reduced to piles of ruins as the result of an order of the Council of State not many years after its capture. Subsequently, as in the case of such splendid structures as Richard I.’s Château Gaillard, the broken remains were cheap building stone for the townsfolk, and seeing that in those days archæological societies had yet to be instituted, who can blame the townsfolk?
Lord Lytton gives a story of the siege that we may recall, seeing that there is so little to vividly bring to mind the scene during the strenuous defence of the castle by the plucky townsfolk. ‘A youth,’ we are told, ‘whose father was in the garrison, was accustomed nightly to get into the deep, dry moat, climb up the glacis, and put provisions through a hole where the father stood ready to receive them. He was perceived at length; the soldiers fired on him.’ The poor lad was made prisoner, and sentenced to be hanged in quite medieval fashion within sight of the garrison. There was, however, a certain lady who, with great difficulty, prevented this barbarous order from being carried out, and when the castle had capitulated and the soldiers had left the boy was released.
The keep is in the Decorated style, and appears to have been built in the reign of Edward II. Below the ground is a vaulted dungeon, dark and horrible in its hopeless strength, which is only emphasized by the tiny air-hole that lets in scarcely a glimmering of light, but reveals a thickness of 15 feet of masonry that must have made a prisoner’s heart sick. It is generally understood that Bolingbroke spared Richard II. such confinement as this, and that when he was a prisoner in the keep he occupied the large room on the floor above the kitchen. It is now a mere platform, with the walls running up on two sides only. The kitchen (sometimes called the guard-room) has a perfectly preserved roof of heavy groining, supported by two pillars, and it contains a collection of interesting objects, rather difficult to see, owing to the poor light that the windows allow. The small local guide-book gives us a thrill by stating that a very antique-looking chest is ‘said to have been the property of William the Conqueror.’ We hope it was, but long for some proofs. The spring mantrap is of no great age, and it was in use not many years ago, when the owner was in the habit of exhibiting it on market days with a notice upon it to inform the public that every night he adjusted its deadly jaws in some part of his orchard. There is much to interest us among the wind-swept ruins and the views into the wooded depths of the Nidd, and we would rather stay here and trace back the history of the castle and town to the days of that Norman Serlo de Burgh, who is the first mentioned in its annals, than go down to the tripper-worn Dropping Well and the Mother Shipton Inn.
When we have determined to see what these ‘sights’ have to offer, we find that the inn is a fairly picturesque one, but with scarcely a quarter of the interest of the old chemist’s shop we saw in the market-place. The walk along the river bank among a fine growth of beeches is pleasant enough, and would be enjoyable if it were not for the fact that it leads to a ‘sight’ which has to be paid for. Under the overhanging edge of the limestone crag hang a row of eccentric objects constantly under the dripping water that trickles down the face of the rock, which is itself formed entirely by the petrifying action of the spring some yards away from the river. The water being strongly charged with lime, everything within its reach, including the row of ‘curiosities’ in course of manufacture, are coated over and finally reduced to limestone, the process taking about two years. When we have come away from the well we feel we have seen all the sights we are equal to, and gladly leave St. Robert’s Chapel and the other caves to be seen at some more convenient season. The story of Eugene Aram and the murder of Daniel Clark is a page in the history of Knaresborough that may perhaps add interest to the town, but it is certainly likely to rob the place of some of its charm, so without wasting any time on a visit to the cave where the murdered man’s body was buried, we go out on the road to Harrogate.
The distance between the towns is short, and soon after passing Starbeck we come to Harrogate’s extensive common known as the Stray. We follow the grassy space, when it takes a sharp turn to the north, and are soon in the centre of the great watering-place. Among the buildings that rise up in imposing masses on each side of us we can see no traces of anything that is not of recent date, and we find nothing at all to suggest that the place really belongs to Yorkshire.
Walking or being pulled in bath-chairs along the carefully-made paths are all sorts and conditions of invalids, and interspersed among them are numbers of people who, if they have any ailments curable by the waters, are either in very advanced stages of convalescence or are extremely expert in hiding any traces of ill-health.
There is one spot in Harrogate that has a suggestion of the early days of the town. It is down in the corner where the valley gardens almost join the extremity of the Stray. There we find the Royal Pump Room that made its appearance in early Victorian times, and its circular counter is still crowded every morning by a throng of water-drinkers. We wander through the hilly streets and gaze at the pretentious hotels, the baths, the huge Kursaal, the hydropathic establishments, the smart shops, and the many churches, and then, having seen enough of the buildings, we find a seat supported by green serpents, from which to watch the passers-by. A white-haired and withered man, having the stamp of a military life in his still erect bearing, paces slowly by; then come two elaborately dressed men of perhaps twenty-five. They wear brown suits and patent boots, and their bowler hats are pressed down on the backs of their heads. Then nursemaids with perambulators pass, followed by a lady in expensive garments, who talks volubly to her two pretty daughters. When we have tired of the pavements and the people, we bid farewell to them without much regret, being in a mood for simplicity and solitude, and go away towards Wharfedale with the pleasant tune that a band was playing still to remind us for a time of the scenes we have left behind.
Otley is the first place we come to in the long and beautiful valley of the Wharfe. It is a busy little town where printing machinery is manufactured and worsted mills appear to thrive. Immediately to the south rises the steep ridge known as the Chevin. It answers the same purpose as Leyburn Shawl in giving a great view over the dale; the elevation of over 900 feet, being much greater than the Shawl, of course commands a far more extensive panorama, and thus, in clear weather, York Minster appears on the eastern horizon and the Ingleton Fells on the west.
Farnley Hall, on the north side of the Wharfe, is an Elizabethan house dating from 1581, and it is still further of interest on account of Turner’s frequent visits, covering a great number of years, and for the very fine collection of his paintings preserved there. The oak-panelling and coeval furniture are particularly good, and among the historical relics there is a remarkable memento of Marston Moor in the sword that Cromwell carried during the battle.
A few miles higher up the dale stands the big ‘hydropathic,’ and the station of Ben Rhydding. The name sounds very Scottish, and the man who started the establishment came from beyond the Border. He found that the site he had selected was marked in the Ordnance maps as a ‘bean rhydding,’ or fallow land, so he decided to drop the ‘a’ in ‘bean,’ and in that way get a good Scottish flavour into the name, and now its origin is being quite forgotten. Only a short distance beyond is the considerable town of Ilkley, where hotels and vast hydropathic establishments flourish exceedingly, and villas are constantly adding to the size of the place, which had a population of only 500 half a century ago. Ilkley has an old well-house, where the water’s purity is its chief attraction. The church contains a thirteenth-century effigy of Sir Andrew de Middleton, and also three pre-Norman crosses without arms. On the heights to the south of Ilkley is Rumbles Moor, and from the Cow and Calf rocks there is a very fine view. Ilkley is particularly well situated for walks up the dales and over the moors, as a glance at the map at the end of this volume will show.
About six miles still further up Wharfedale Bolton Abbey stands by a bend of the beautiful river. The ruins are most picturesquely placed on ground slightly raised above the banks of the Wharfe. Of the domestic buildings practically nothing remains, while the choir of the church, the central tower, and north transepts are roofless and extremely beautiful ruins. The nave is roofed in, and is used as a church at the present time, and it is probable that services have been held in the building practically without any interruption for 700 years. Hiding the Early English west end is the lower half of a fine Perpendicular tower, commenced by Richard Moone, the last Prior. Followers of Ruskin speak of this as a disfigurement, and I imagine that they also despise the tower of Fountains Abbey because it belongs to the same period. The taste displayed in the architecture and decoration of Brantwood does not encourage me to accept Ruskin’s pronouncements on the latest phase of Gothic development, and I need only point to the splendid western towers of Beverley Minster in support of my intense admiration for the dispised Perpendicular style.
The great east window of the choir has lost its tracery, and the Decorated windows at the sides are in the same vacant state, with the exception of the one that appears in the illustration given here. It is blocked up to half its height, like those on the north side, but the flamboyant tracery of the head is perfect and very graceful. Lower down there is some late-Norman interlaced arcading resting on carved corbels.
There is something singularly attractive in the views of the woods that overhang the river when we see them framed by the great stone arches and fluted piers. We can hear the rich notes of a blackbird, and the gentle rush of the river where it washes the stony beach close at hand, and there is present that wonderful silence that broods over ruined monasteries.
From the abbey we can take our way by various beautiful paths to the exceedingly rich scenery of Bolton woods. Some of the reaches of the Wharfe through this deep and heavily-timbered part of its course are really enchanting, and not even the knowledge that excursion parties frequently traverse the paths can rob the views of their charm. It is always possible, by taking a little trouble, to choose occasions for seeing these
[Illustration: BOLTON ABBEY, WHARFEDALE
FROM under the arches of the central tower one is looking out over the course of the river Wharfe. The abbey was founded in the twelfth century for monks of the Order of St. Augustine.]
beautiful but very popular places when they are unspoiled by the sights and sounds of holiday-makers, and in the autumn, when the woods have an almost undreamed-of brilliance, the walks and drives are generally left to the birds and the rabbits. At the Strid the river, except in flood-times, is confined to a deep channel through the rocks, in places scarcely more than a yard in width. It is one of those spots that accumulate stories and legends of the individuals who have lost their lives, or saved them, by endeavouring to leap the narrow channel. That several people have been drowned here is painfully true, for the temptation to try the seemingly easy but very risky jump is more than many can resist.
Higher up, the river is crossed by the three arches of Barden Bridge, a fine old structure bearing the inscription: ‘This bridge was repayred at the charge of the whole West R ... 1676.’ To the south of the bridge stands the picturesque Tudor house called Barden Tower, which was at one time a keeper’s lodge in the manorial forest of Wharfedale. It was enlarged by the tenth Lord Clifford--the ‘Shepherd Lord’ whose strange life-story is mentioned in the next chapter in connection with Skipton--but having become ruinous, it was repaired in 1658 by that indefatigable restorer of the family castles, the Lady Anne Clifford.
At this point there is a road across the moors to Pateley Bridge, in Nidderdale, and if we wish to explore that valley, which is now partially filled with a lake formed by the damming of the Nidd for Bradford’s water-supply, we must leave the Wharfe at Barden. If we keep to the more beautiful dale we go on through the pretty village of Burnsall to Grassington, where a branch railway has recently made its appearance from Skipton.
The dale from this point appears more and more wild, and the fells become gaunt and bare, with scars often fringing the heights on either side. We keep to the east side of the river, and soon after having a good view up Littondale, a beautiful branch valley, we come to Kettlewell. This tidy and cheerful village stands at the foot of Great Whernside, one of the twin fells that we saw overlooking the head of Coverdale when we were at Middleham. Its comfortable little inns make Kettlewell a very fine centre for rambles in the wild dales that run up towards the head of Wharfedale.
Buckden is a small village situated at the
[Illustration: HUBBERHOLME CHURCH
IS one of the quaintest in Yorkshire. It has Norman features, but dates chiefly from the thirteenth century. The situation on the banks of the Wharfe in Langstrothdale Chase is most beautiful.]
junction of the road from Aysgarth, and it has the beautiful scenery of Langstrothdale Chase stretching away to the west. About a mile higher up the dale we come to the curious old church of Hubberholme standing close to the river, and forming a most attractive picture in conjunction with the bridge and the masses of trees just beyond. At Raisgill we leave the road, which, if continued, would take us over the moors by Dodd Fell, and then down to Hawes. The track goes across Horse Head Moor, and it is so very slightly marked on the bent that we only follow it with difficulty. It is steep in places, for in a short distance it climbs up to nearly 2,000 feet. The tawny hollows in the fell-sides, and the utter wildness spread all around, are more impressive when we are right away from anything that can even be called a path. The sheep just remind us of the civilization that endeavours to make what use it can of these desolate places, and when none are in sight we are left alone with the sky and the heaving brown hills.
When we reach the highest point before the rapid descent into Littondale we have another great view, with Pen-y-ghent close at hand and Fountains Fell more to the south. At the bottom of the dale flows the Skirfare, and we follow it past the gray old village of Litton down to Arncliffe, where there is a nice inn by such a pleasant green that we are tempted to stay there rather than hurry on to Skipton.
SKIPTON, MALHAM AND GORDALE
SKIPTON, MALHAM AND GORDALE
When I think of Skipton I am never quite sure whether to look upon it as a manufacturing centre or as one of the picturesque market towns of the dale country. If you arrive by train, you come out of the station upon such vast cotton-mills, and such a strong flavour of the bustling activity of the southern parts of Yorkshire, that you might easily imagine that the capital of Craven has no part in any holiday-making portion of the county. But if you come by road from Bolton Abbey, you enter the place at a considerable height, and, passing round the margin of the wooded Haw Beck, you have a fine view of the castle, as well as the church and the broad and not unpleasing market-place. Beyond these appear the chimneys and the smoke of the manufacturing and railway side of the town, almost entirely separate from the old world and historic portion on the higher ground. When you are on the castle ramparts the factories appear much less formidable--in fact, they seem to shrink into quite a small area owing to the great bare hills that rise up on all sides.
On this sunny morning, as we make our way towards the castle, we find the attractive side of Skipton entirely unspoiled by any false impression given by the factories. The smoke which the chimneys make appears in the form of a thin white mist against the brown moors beyond, and everything is very clean and very bright after heavy rain. The gateway of the castle is flanked by two squat towers. They are circular and battlemented, and between them upon a parapet, which is higher than the towers themselves, appears the motto of the Cliffords, ‘Desormais’ (hereafter), in open stone letters. Beyond the gateway stands a great mass of buildings with two large round towers just in front; to the right, across a sloping lawn, appears the more modern and inhabited portion of the castle. The squat round towers gain all our attention, but as we pass through the doorways into the courtyard beyond, we are scarcely prepared for the astonishingly beautiful quadrangle that awaits us. It is small, and the centre is occupied by a great yew-tree, whose tall, purply-red trunk goes up to
[Illustration: THE COURTYARD OF SKIPTON CASTLE
THE buildings of this portion of the castle, although in such good preservation, are not occupied.]
the level of the roofs without any branches or even twigs, but at that height it spreads out freely into a feathery canopy of dark green, covering almost the whole of the square of sky visible from the courtyard. The base of the trunk is surrounded by a massive stone seat, with plain shields on each side. The sunlight that comes through this green network is very much subdued when it falls upon walls and the pavement, which becomes strewn over with circular splashes of whiteness. The masonry of the walls on every side, where not showing the original red of the sandstone, has been weathered into beautiful emerald tints, and to a height of two or three feet there is a considerable growth of moss on the worn mouldings. The general appearance of the courtyard suggests more that of a manor-house than a castle, the windows and doorways being purely Tudor. The circular towers and other portions of the walls belong to the time of Edward II., and there is also a roundheaded door that cannot be later than the time of Robert de Romillé, one of the Conqueror’s followers. The rooms that overlook the shady quadrangle are very much decayed and entirely unoccupied. They include an old dining-hall of much picturesqueness, kitchens, pantries, and butteries, some of them only lighted by narrow windows on the outer faces of the wall. There are many large bedrooms and other dark apartments in the towers. Only a little restoration would be required to put a great portion of these into habitable condition, for they are structurally in a good state of repair, as may be seen to some extent from the picture of the courtyard reproduced here. The destruction caused during the siege which took place during the Civil War might have brought Skipton Castle to much the same condition as Knaresborough but for the wealth and energy of that remarkable woman Lady Anne Clifford, who was born here in 1589. She was the only surviving child of George, the third Earl of Cumberland, and grew up under the care of her mother, Margaret, Countess of Cumberland, of whom Lady Anne used to speak as ‘my blessed mother.’ Her reverence for the memory of this admirable parent is also shown in the feeling which prompted her to put up a pillar by the roadside, between Penrith and Appleby, to commemorate their last meeting, and, besides this, the Lady Anne left a sum of money to be given to the poor at that spot on a certain day every year. After her first marriage with Richard Sackville, Earl of Dorset, Lady Anne married the profligate Philip, Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery. She was widowed a second time in 1649, and after that began the period of her munificence and usefulness. With immense enthusiasm, she undertook the work of repairing the castles that belonged to her family, Brougham, Appleby, Barden Tower, and Pendragon being restored as well as Skipton. We can see in the towers where the later work begins, and the custodian who shows us through the apartments points out many details which are invisible without the aid of his candle.
Besides attending to the decayed castles, the Countess repaired no less than seven churches, and to her we owe the careful restoration of the parish church of Skipton. She began the repairs to the sacred building even before she turned her attention to the wants of the castle. In her private memorials we read how, ‘In the summer of 1665 ... at her own charge, she caus’d the steeple of Skipton Church to be built up againe, which was pull’d down in the time of the late Warrs, and leaded it over, and then repaired some part of the Church and new glaz’d the Windows, in every of which Window she put quaries, stained with a yellow colour, these two letters--viz., A. P., and under them the year 1655.... Besides, she raised up a noble Tomb of Black Marble in memory of her Warlike Father.’ This magnificent altar-tomb still stands within the Communion rails on the south side of the chancel. It is adorned with seventeen shields, and Whitaker doubted ‘whether so great an assemblage of noble bearings can be found on the tomb of any other Englishman.’ This third Earl was a notable figure in the reign of Elizabeth, and having for a time been a great favourite with the Queen, he received many of the posts of honour she loved to bestow. He was a skilful and daring sailor, helping to defeat the Spanish Armada, and building at his own expense one of the greatest fighting ships of his time, Elizabeth--who, like the present German Emperor, never lost an opportunity of fostering the growth of her navy--being present at the launching ceremony.
The memorials of Lady Anne give a description of her appearance in the manner of that time: ‘The colour of her eyes was black like her Father’s,’ we are told, ‘with a peak of hair on her forehead, and a dimple in her chin, like her father. The hair of her head was brown and very thick, and so long that it reached to the calf of her legs when she stood upright; and when she caused these memorials of herself to be written (she had passed the year 63 of her age), she said _the perfections of her mind were much above those of her body_; she had a strong and copious memory, a sound judgment, and a discerning spirit, and so much of a strong imagination in her as that at many times even her dreams and apprehensions beforehand proved true.’ The Countess died at the great age of eighty-seven at Brougham Castle in Westmoreland, and was buried in the Church of St. Lawrence at Appleby.
We cannot leave these old towers of Skipton Castle without going back to the days of John, the ninth Lord Clifford, that ‘Bloody Clifford’ who was one of the leaders of the Lancastrians at Wakefield, where his merciless slaughter earned him the title of ‘the Butcher.’ He died by a chance arrow the night before the Battle of Towton, so fatal to the cause of Lancaster, and Lady Clifford and the children took refuge in her father’s castle at Brough. For greater safety Henry, the heir, was placed under the care of a shepherd whose wife had nursed the boy’s mother when a child. In this way the future baron grew up as an entirely uneducated shepherd lad, spending his days on the fells in the primitive fashion of the peasants of the fifteenth century. When he was about twelve years old Lady Clifford, hearing rumours that the whereabouts of her children had become known, sent the shepherd and his wife with the boy into an extremely inaccessible part of Cumberland. He remained there until his thirty-second year, when the Battle of Bosworth placed Henry VII. on the throne. Then the shepherd lord was brought to Londesborough, and when the family estates had been restored, he went back to Skipton Castle. The strangeness of his new life being irksome to him, Lord Clifford spent most of his time in Barden Forest at one of the keeper’s lodges, which he adapted for his own use. There he hunted and studied astronomy and astrology with the canons of Bolton.
At Flodden Field he led the men-at-arms from Craven, and showed that by his life of extreme simplicity he had in no way diminished the traditional valour of the Cliffords. When he died they buried him at Bolton Abbey, where many of his ancestors lay, and as his successor died after the dissolution of the monasteries, the ‘Shepherd Lord’ was the last to be buried in that secluded spot by the Wharfe.
Skipton has always been a central spot for the exploration of this southern portion of the dales, and since the Midland Railway has lately put out an arm to the north, there are lines going in five directions. The new branch that goes into Wharfedale stops just before it reaches Grassington, and has an intermediate station with a triple name in consideration of the fact that it is placed at almost exactly the same distance from the three villages of Hetton, Rylstone, and Cracoe. Whether we go by road or rail, we have good views of Flasby and Rylstone Fells as we pass along the course of Eller Beck to the romantically situated village made famous by Wordsworth’s ballad of ‘The White Doe of Rylstone.’ The site of the old manor-house where the Nortons lived may still be seen in a field to the east of the church. Owing to the part they took in the Rising of the North in 1569 the Nortons lost all their property in Yorkshire, and among the humble folk of Rylstone who shared in the rebellion there was Richard Kitchen, Mr. Norton’s butler, who lost much more, for he was executed at Ripon. From Hetton we follow a road to the west, and passing the hamlet of Winterburn, come to Airton, where there are some interesting old houses, one of them dating from the year of the Great Fire of London. Turning to the north, we come to Kirby Malham, less than two miles off. It is a pretty little village with green limestone hills rising on all sides; a rushing beck coming off Kirby Fell takes its way past the church, and there is an old vicarage as well as some picturesque cottages.
We find our way to a decayed lych-gate, whose stones are very black and moss-grown, and then get a close view of the Perpendicular church. The interior is full of interest, not only on account of the Norman font and the canopied niches in the pillars of the nave, but also for the old pews. The Malham people seemingly found great delight in recording their names on the woodwork of the pews, for carefully carved initials and dates appear very frequently. All the pews have been cut down to the accepted height of the present day with the exception of some on the north side which were occupied by the more important families, and these still retain their squareness and the high balustrades above the panelled lower portions. One of the parish registers has the rare distinction of containing Oliver Cromwell’s signature to a marriage. There is also the entry of the baptism on November 7, 1619, of John Lambert, who became famous as Major-General in the Roundhead army.
Just under the moorland heights surrounding Malham Tarn is the other village of Malham. It is a charming spot, even in the gloom of a wintry afternoon. The houses look on to a strip of uneven green, cut in two, lengthways, by the Aire. We go across the clear and sparkling waters by a rough stone footbridge, and, making our way past a farm, find ourselves in a few minutes at Gordale Bridge. Here we abandon the switchback lane, and, climbing a wall, begin to make our way along the side of the beck. The fells drop down fairly sharply on each side, and in the failing light there seems no object in following the stream any further, when quite suddenly the green slope on the right stands out from a scarred wall of rock beyond, and when we are abreast of the opening we find ourselves before a vast fissure that leads right into the heart of the fell. The great split is S-shaped in plan, so that when we advance into its yawning mouth we are surrounded by limestone cliffs more than 300 feet high. If one visits Gordale Scar for the first time alone on a gloomy evening, as I have done, I can promise the most thrilling sensations to those who have yet to see this astonishing sight. It almost appeared to me as though I were dreaming, and that I was Aladin approaching the magician’s palace. I had read some of the eighteenth-century writers’ descriptions of the place, and imagined that their vivid accounts of the terror inspired by the overhanging rocks were mere exaggerations, but now I sympathize with every word. The scars overhang so much on the east side that there is not much space to get out of reach of the water that drips from every portion. Great masses of stone were lying upon the bright strip of turf, and among them I noticed some that could not have been there long; this made me keep close under the cliff in justifiable fear of another fall. I stared with apprehension at one rock that would not only kill, but completely bury, anyone upon whom it fell, and I thought those old writers had underrated the horrors of the place. Through a natural arch in the rocks that faced me came a foaming torrent broken up below into a series of cascades, and the roar of the waters in the confined space added much to the fear that was taking possession of me. It was owing to the curious habit that waterfalls have of seeming to become suddenly louder that I must own to that sense of fearfulness, for at one moment the noise
[Illustration: GORDALE SCAR
THIS is one of the most astonishing sights in Yorkshire. The gorge is a result of the Craven Fault--a geological dislocation that has also made the huge cliffs of Malham Cove. The stream is the Aire. It can be seen coming through a natural arch high up among the rocks.]
sounded so suddenly different that I was convinced that a considerable fall of stones had commenced among the crags overhead, and that in a moment they would crash into the narrow cleft. Common-sense seemed to urge an immediate retreat, for there was too much water coming down the falls to allow me to climb out that way, as I could otherwise have done. The desire to carry away some sort of picture of the fearsome place was, however, triumphant, and the result is given in this chapter.
Wordsworth writes of
‘Gordale chasm, terrific as the lair Where the young lions couch,’
and he also describes it as one of the grandest objects in nature.
A further result of the Craven fault that produced Gordale Scar can be seen at Malham Cove, about a mile away. There the cliff forms a curved front 285 feet high, facing the open meadows down below. The limestone is formed in layers of great thickness, dividing the face of the cliff into three fairly equal sections, the ledges formed at the commencement of each stratum allowing of the growth of bushes and small trees. A hard-pressed fox is said to have taken refuge on one of these precarious ledges, and finding his way stopped in front, he tried to turn, and in doing so fell and was killed.
At the base of the perpendicular face of the cliff the Aire flows from a very slightly arched recess in the rock. It is a really remarkable stream in making its début without the slightest fuss, for it is large enough at its very birth to be called a small river. Its modesty is a great loss to Yorkshire, for if, instead of gathering strength in the hidden places in the limestone fells, it were to keep to more rational methods, it would flow to the edge of the Cove, and there precipitate itself in majestic fashion into a great pool below. There is some reason for believing that on certain occasions in the past the stream has taken the more showy course, and if sufficient cement could be introduced into some of the larger fissures above, a fall might be induced to occur after every period of heavy rain. All the romance would perhaps disappear if we knew that the effect was artificial, and therefore we would no doubt be wiser to remain content with the Cove as it is.
SETTLE AND THE INGLETON FELLS
SETTLE AND THE INGLETON FELLS
The track across the moor from Malham Cove to Settle cannot be recommended to anyone at night, owing to the extreme difficulty of keeping to the path without a very great familiarity with every yard of the way, so that when I merely suggested taking that route one wintry night the villagers protested vigorously. I therefore took the road that goes up from Kirby Malham, having borrowed a large hurricane lamp from the ‘Buck’ Inn at Malham. Long before I reached the open moor I was enveloped in a mist that would have made the track quite invisible even where it was most plainly marked, and I blessed the good folk at Malham who had advised me to take the road rather than run the risks of the pot-holes that are a feature of the limestone fells. This moor is on the range of watersheds of Northern England, for it sends streams east and west that find their way into the Irish Sea and German Ocean.
With the swinging lantern throwing vast shadows of my own figure upon the mist, and the stony road under my feet, I at length dropped down the steep descent into Settle, having seen no human being on the road since I left Kirby Malham. Even Settle was almost as lonely, for I had nearly reached a building called The Folly, which is near the middle of the town, before I met the first inhabitant.
In the morning I discovered that The Folly was the most notable house in the town, for its long stone front dates from the time of Charles II., and it is a very fine example of the most elaborate treatment of a house of that size and period to be found in the Craven district. Settle has a most distinctive feature in the possession of Castleberg, a steep limestone hill, densely wooded except at the very top, that rises sharply just behind the market-place. Before the trees were planted there seems to have been a sundial on the side of the hill, the precipitous scar on the top forming the gnomon. No one remembers this curious feature, although a print showing the numbers fixed upon the slope was published in 1778. The market-place has lost its curious old tollbooth, and in its place stands a town hall of good Tudor design. Departed also is much of the charm of the old Shambles that occupy a
THIS grey old town in Ribblesdale is one of the quaintest in this part of Yorkshire.]
central position in the square. The lower story, with big arches forming a sort of piazza in front of the butcher’s and other shops, still remains in its old state, but the upper portion has been restored in the fullest sense of that comprehensive term.
In the steep street that we came down on entering the town there may still be seen a curious old tower, which seems to have forgotten its original purpose. Some of the houses have carved stone lintels to their doorways and seventeenth-century dates, while the stone figure on ‘The Naked Man’ Inn, although bearing the date 1663, must be very much older, the year of rebuilding being probably indicated rather than the date of the figure.
The Ribble divides Settle from its former parish church at Giggleswick, and until 1838 the townsfolk had to go over the bridge and along a short lane to the village which held its church. Settle having been formed into a separate parish, the parish clerk of the ancient village no longer has the fees for funerals and marriages. Although able to share the church, the two places had stocks of their own for a great many years. At Settle they have been taken from the market square and placed in the court-house, and at Giggleswick one of the first things we see on entering the village is one of the stone posts of the stocks standing by the steps of the market cross. This cross has a very well preserved head, and it makes the foreground of a very pretty picture as we look at the battlemented tower of the church through the stone-roofed lichgate grown over with ivy. The history of this fine old church, dedicated, like that of Middleham, to St. Alkelda, has been written by Mr. Thomas Brayshaw, who knows every detail of the old building from the chalice inscribed ‘✠ THE. COMMVNION. CVPP. BELONGINGE. TO. THE. PARISHE. OF. IYGGELSWICKE. MADE. IN. ANO. 1585.’ to the inverted Norman capitals now forming the bases of the pillars. The tower and the arcades date from about 1400, and the rest of the structure is about 100 years older.
‘The Black Horse’ Inn has still two niches for small figures of saints, that proclaim its ecclesiastical connections in early times. It is said that in the days when it was one of the duties of the churchwardens to see that no one was drinking there during the hours of service the inspection used to last up to just the end of the sermon, and that when the custom was abolished the church officials regretted it exceedingly. Giggleswick is also the proud possessor of a school founded in 1512. It has grown from a very small beginning to a considerable establishment, and it possesses one of the most remarkable school chapels that can be seen anywhere in the country. It was built between 1897 and 1901, as a memorial of Queen Victoria’s ‘Diamond Jubilee,’ by Mr. Walter Morrison, who spared no expense in clothing it with elaborate decoration, executed by some of the most renowned artists of the present day. The design of the building is by Mr. T. G. Jackson, R.A.
The museum is of more than ordinary interest on account of the very fine collection of prehistoric remains discovered in the Victoria Cave two miles to the north-east of Settle. Besides bones of such animals as the cave bear, bison, elephant, and grisly bear, fragments of pottery were discovered, together with bronze and silver coins dating from the Roman period.
An ebbing and flowing well, which has excited the admiration of all the earlier writers on this part of Yorkshire, can be seen at about the distance of a mile to the north of Giggleswick. The old prints show this as a most spectacular natural phenomenon; but whatever it may have been a century or more ago, it appears at the present day as little more than an ordinary roadside well, so common in this neighbourhood. In very dry or very wet weather the well remains inactive, but when there is a medium supply of water the level of the water is constantly changing. Giggleswick Tarn is no longer in existence, for it has been drained, and the site is occupied by pastures. The very fine British canoe, discovered when the drainage operations were in progress, is now preserved in the Leeds Museum.
The road that goes northward from Settle keeps close to the Midland Railway, which here forces its way right through the Dale Country, under the very shoulders of Pen-y-ghent, and within sight of the flat top of Ingleborough. The greater part of this country is composed of limestone, forming bare hillsides honeycombed with underground waters and pot-holes, which often lead down into the most astonishing caverns. In Ingleborough itself there is Gaping Gill Hole, a vast fissure nearly 350 feet deep. It was only partially explored by M. Martel in 1895. Ingleborough Cave penetrates into the mountain to a distance of nearly 1,000 feet, and is one of the best of these limestone caverns for its stalactite formations. Guides take visitors from the village of Clapham to the inmost recesses and chambers that branch out of the small portion discovered in 1837.
The fells contain so many fissures and curious waterfalls that drop into abysses of blackness, that it would take an infinite time to adequately describe even a portion of them. The scenery is wild and gaunt, and is much the same as the moors at the head of Swaledale, described in an earlier chapter. In every direction there are opportunities for splendid mountain walks, and if the tracks are followed the danger of hidden pot-holes is comparatively small. From the summit of Ingleborough, and, indeed, from most of the fells that reach 2,000 feet, there are magnificent views across the brown fells, broken up with horizontal lines formed by the bare rocky scars. Bowfell, Whernside, Great Shunnor Fell, High Seat, and a dozen other heights, dominate the lower and greener country, and to the west, where the mountains drop down towards Morecambe Bay, one looks all over the country watered by the Lune and the Kent, the two rivers that flow from the seaward side of these lofty watersheds.
Addlebrough, 83, 89
Agincourt, Battle of, 96
Aire, river, 159, 162
Aislabie, John, 116
Alan Rufus of Brittany, first Earl of Richmond, 18, 29, 32, 33
Alwine, Parson of Wencelaw, 107
Anglo-Saxon population of Yorkshire, 40
Appleby, 152 Castle, 153 Church of St. Lawrence, 155
Aram, Eugene, 134
Arkle Beck, 63
Armada, Spanish, 154
Aske, family of, 43 Roger de, 59
Askrigg, 65, 86, 89-96, 100, 115
Aysgarth, 91, 97, 100, 102, 145 Force, 98, 99, 102
Bain, River, 87
Bainbridge, 84, 86, 87, 88, 89, 94, 100
Bangor, Matthew Hutton, Bishop of, 53
Bannockburn, Battle of, 59, 128
Bardale, 84 Beck, 85
Barden Bridge, 143, 144, Forest, 143, 156 Tower, 143, 144, 153, 156
Baugh or Bow Fell, 89
Bayeux tapestry, 40
Beaufort, Margaret, 36
Beckwith, John, 130
Bedale, 13, 32, 38 Scolland Lord of, 32
Ben Rhydding, 140
Benedictine nuns at Marrick, 59
Beverley, 22 Minster, 141
Bishop Dale, 100, 101 Beck, 101
Bolton Abbey, 141, 142, 149, 156 Canons of, 156 Castle, 88, 103, 104, 106 lords of, 42, 96, 103 Hall, 104, 105, 108 Woods, 142
Bosworth, Battle of, 156
Bow or Baugh Fell, 89, 171
Bradford, water supply of, 144
Brantwood, Coniston, 141
Brayshaw, Thomas, 168
Bretons, 16, 34, 39, 40
British canoe, early, 170
Brittany, Dukes of, 18, 31, 35
Brough Castle, 153 Hill, 84
Brougham Castle, 153, 155
Buckden, 144 Pike, 102
Buonaparte, Napoleon, 105, 106
Burgh, Serlo de, 133
Buttertubs Pass, 65, 71-76
Byron, Lord, 48
Calver Hill, 61
Cam Fell, 84 Gill Beck, 102
Canterbury, Matthew Hutton, Archbishop of, 53
Carlow Stone, Semmerwater, 84
Castleberg Settle, 166
Catherine, Queen, widow of Henry V., 36
Charles I., 129 II., time of, 166
Château Gaillard, 131
Chemist’s shop, old, at Knaresborough, 130
Chevin, The, 139
Christianity, early, in Yorkshire, 118
Cistercian abbeys, 115, 119 Nuns at Ellerton, 59
Civil War, the, of Charles I., 39, 103, 127, 129, 152, 153, 158
Clark, Daniel, 134
Clarkson, C., 23, 24
Cleveland Hills, 82
Clifford, family of, 150, 156 the ninth Lord, 155 Lady, 155, 156 the tenth Lord, 143, 155, 156 the Lady Anne, 144, 152-155
Clock-making in Wensleydale, 65, 92
Cogden Moor, 58
Commonwealth, time of, 19
Conan, fifth Earl of Richmond, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 115
Conyers, arms of, 23, 43
Corfe Castle, Dorsetshire, 110
Corn, lack of, in dales, 64, 81
Coverdale, 111, 144
Cow and Calf Rocks, Rumbles Moor, 140
Craven Fault, the, 161 district, 149, 166 men of, 156
Cromwell, Oliver, 127, 128, 129, 140, 158
Cumberland, 37, 156 George, third Earl of, 152, 154 Margaret, Countess of, 152
Cumbrian Hills, 4
Dalesmen, 74, 106
Dallowgill Moor, 120
Danish population of Yorkshire, 40
De Burgh, Serlo, 133
De la Mare, Abbot, 108
Decorated Gothic Period, 23, 29, 109, 132, 142
Diamond Jubilee, the, of Queen Victoria, 169
Dissolution of the Monasteries, 25, 26, 121
Dodd Fell, 81, 82, 89, 145
Domesday Book, 32
Domfront, Normandy, 33
Dorset, Richard Sackville, Earl of, 152, 153
Douglas, Sir James, 128
Downholme, 56, 57 Moor, 55
Dropping well, Knaresborough, 125, 134
Duerley Beck, 81
Durham, 14, 38, 53
Dykes, Oswald, 108
Early English, period of Gothic, 117, 141
Easby Abbey, 40-43, 51, 105, 107
Ebbing and flowing well at Giggleswick, 169
Eden, River, 66
Edward II., 128 reign of, 132, 151 III., reign of, 35, 37 IV., 109 Prince of Wales, only son of Richard III., 110
Edwin, Earl, 30, 33
Eller Beck (Skipton), 157
Elizabeth, Queen, 53, 154 reign of, 131, 154
Eugene Aram, 134
Fairfax, Thomas, Lord, 131
Falaise, Normandy, 33
Fantosme, Jordan, chronicle of, 34
Farmhouse, the, of the North Riding, 101
Farnley Hall, 139
‘Felon Sow of Rokeby, The,’ 26, 27, 28
Fences, stone, 6
Fitz-Hugh, arms of, 23
Fitz-Randolph, Robert, 109
Fitz-Ranulph, Radulph, 28
Flasby Fell, 157
Flodden Field, 156
Fors Abbey (Jervaulx), 91
Fountains Abbey, 41, 119, 121, 141 Fell, 145
Fox, George, 88
Franciscans at Richmond, 25, 26, 28
Gaping Gill Hole, 170
Gaunt, John of, 36
Gent, Thomas, 116
_Gentleman’s Magazine_, The, 127
Geology, 45, 76, 77
German Emperor, William II., III, 144
German Ocean, 166
Giggleswick, 167, 168, 169 School, 168, 169
Giggleswick Tarn, 169
Gill Beck (Swaledale), 47
Gilling, 33, 34 East, wapentake of, 33 West, wapentake of, 33
Glacial Epochs, 5, 77
Glanville or Glanvile, Randulf de, 35
Goodricke, Sir John, 127
Gordale Bridge, 159 Scar, 159, 160, 161
Gormire (Thirsk), 85
Grandfather-clocks, 65, 92
Grassington, 144, 157
Gray, Archbishop Walter, 117
Great Central Railway, 8 Northern Railway, 8
Great Shunnor Fell, 72, 76, 79, 171
Great Whernside, 111, 144
Greyfriars, Richmond, 25, 26, 28
Griffin, Gilbert, 28
Guilds, trade, at Richmond, 37, 38
Hardraw Scar (or Force), 5, 77, 78, 79, 80, 98, 99
Harkerside Moor, 58
Harrogate, 19, 129, 135, 136
Haw Beck, Skipton, 149
Hawes, 5, 9, 64, 72, 75, 76, 77, 80, 89, 92, 93, 145
Hawes Junction, 63
Heather on the fells, 5
Henry II., 34 III., reign of, 43 V., Catherine widow of, 36 VI., play of, 109 VII., 36, 156 reign of, 26 VIII., reign of, 18, 42
High Seat, 66, 171
Hobs and wraithes, 74
Holy Rood (September 27), custom commencing at, 88
Hornblower, the, of Ripon, 116
Horse Head Moor, 145
Houses (farms) of the North Riding, 101
Hutchinson, John, 64
Hutton, Matthew, Archbishop of York (1594), 52
Hutton, Matthew, Archbishop of Canterbury (1757), 53
Hutton, Captain Matthew, 53
Ice action, 5
Ingleborough, 3, 76, 170, 171 Cave, 170
Ingleton Fells, the, 139, 170, 171
Irish Sea, 166
Jackson family of Counterside, 88 T. G., R.A., 169
Jervaulx Abbey, 100, 115
John of Gaunt, 36
Jyggelswicke. See Giggleswick
Keld, 65, 66
Kent River, 171
Kirby Fell, 158 Malham, 158, 165, 166
Kisdon Force, 65 Hill, 65
Kitchen, Richard, 157
Kitchener, Lord, 65
Knappey, 96. See Nappa Hall
Knaresborough, 125-135 Castle, 130-133, 152 Manor House, 126, 130
Knight Templars, chapel of, 106, 107
Knitting in Wensleydale, 91, 92
Knollys, Sir Francis (1568), 103, 104
Lady’s Pillar, 66
Lake District, 4, 63, 66, 82, 83
Lambert, Major-General John, 158, 159
Langside, Battle of, 103
Langstrothdale, 82, 83, 102, 145
‘Lass of Richmond Hill, The,’ ballad of, 36
Lead mines, 60
Leeds Museum, 170
Leland, John, 18, 22, 24, 26, 33, 59, 81, 97, 99
Leyburn, 13, 55, 57, 92, 104, 109, 111, 139
Leyburn Shawl, 104, 110, 111
Lilburne, of Cromwellian army, 131
Ling, growth of, on the fells, 82
Littondale, 5, 144, 145
Lune River, 171
Lytton, Lord, 132
Malham, 159, 165 Cove, 161, 162, 165 Tarn, 159
Mare, Abbot de la, brass of, 108
Marrick, 59 Priory, 59
Marske, 51, 52, 55 Beck, 52, 54 Hall, 52, 53, 54 obelisk at, 53, 54
Marston Moor, Battle of, 140
Martel, M., 170
Mary Queen of Scots, 97, 103, 104, 105
Masham, 38, 115
Mashamshire Volunteers, 106
Metcalfe family, 91, 96, 97 James, 96 Thomas, 96
Middleham, 28, 38, 92, 109, 110, 144, 168
Middleton, Friar of Richmond, 26, 27
Middleton, Sir Andrew de, 140
Midland Railway, 9, 66, 159, 170
Mill Gill Force, 95, 98
Monasteries, Dissolution of, 25, 26
Moone, Richard, Prior of Bolton, 141
Morecambe Bay, 171
Morris, Joseph E., 64
Morrison, Walter, 169
Mowbray, Vale of, 30, 31, 106
Muker, 61, 63, 64, 65, 71, 72, 92
Murray’s ‘Guide to Yorkshire,’ 92, 93
Napoleon’s threatened invasion of England, 105
Nappa Hall, 86, 91, 96, 97
Navy, British, 154
Neville, Anne, 110 arms of, 23 family of, 109 Ralph, first Earl of Westmoreland, 36
Newby Hall, Ripon, 97
Nidd River, 125, 130, 133, 144
Norman Conquest, 14, 32 period and architecture, 18, 19, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, 42, 50, 57, 87, 91, 109, 110, 117, 120, 142, 158, 168
North-Eastern Railway, 9, 14
North Sea, 166
Norton family of Rylstone, 157
Obelisk at Marske, 53 Richmond, 23 Ripon, 116
Old Cam Road, 84
Parliament, the English, 106
Pateley Bridge, 144
Pembroke and Montgomery, Lady Anne, Countess of, 144, 152-155
Pembroke and Montgomery, Philip, Earl of, 153
Pendragon Castle, 153
Penhill Beacon, 83, 105, 106
Pennine Range, 3, 4
Pen-y-ghent, 3, 145, 170
Perpendicular Period, 18, 23, 25, 28, 43, 91, 100, 108, 117, 141, 158
Pisgah, Mount, 48
Plagues at Richmond, 37
Potholes, 67, 71, 74, 75
Pratt, clock-maker at Askrigg, 65
Prehistoric remains, 169
Purbeck, Corfe Castle in Isle of, 110
Quakers at Counterside, 88
Queen’s Gap, The, at Leyburn Shawl, 104
Railways in the Dale Country, 8
Rainfall in the dales, 63
Ralph of Rokeby, 26
Randolph, Robert Fitz-, 109
Ranulph, Radulph Fitz-, 28
Reeth, 51, 52, 53, 60, 61
Ribald, brother of a Norman Earl of Richmond, 109
Ribble, River, 167
Ribblesdale, 9, 167-171
Richard I., 131 II., 133 reign of, 18, 36 III., only son of, 110 arms of, 110
Richmond, 13-42, 49, 55, 61, 115, 116 Barley Cross, the, 24
Richmond Castle, 15, 29-37, 39, 42, 130, 131 walk, 19 curfew-bell, 18 Earls of, 18, 29, 31, 32, 35, 36, 109, 115 gates and walls, 21, 22, 24 Holy Trinity Church, 17, 33 King’s Head Hotel, 17 market-place, 16, 19, 21, 22, 30 may-pole, 24 Mayor and Corporation of, 15, 24, 50 obelisk, 16, 23 old cross, the, 23, 24 pillory, 24 plagues at, 37 Rural Deanery of, 38 Trade Guilds of, 37, 38 whipping-post, 24
‘Richmondshire, History of,’ by H. Speight, 60, 97 men of, 35
Rievaulx Abbey, 41
Ripley, Hugh, of Ripon, 118
Ripon, 41, 97, 115-118, 157 Lord (1906), 119 Minster, 117, 118
Rising of the North, the, 157
Roald, Constable of Richmond Castle, 42
Robin Hood’s Tower, Richmond Castle, 31
Robinson, Richard, of Counterside, 88
Rogan’s Seat, 66
Rokeby, Ralph of, 26 ‘The Felon Sow of,’ 26
Roman type of crypt at Ripon, 118
Romans at Bainbridge, 84, 87 at Catterick, 32
Romans at Richmond, 40 near Settle, 169
Romillé, Robert de, 151
Roseberry Topping, 106
Rumbles Moor, 140
Ruskin, John, 141
Rylstone, 157 ballad of the White Doe of, 157 Fell, 157
Sackville, Richard, Earl of Dorset, 152, 153
Sanderson, Prior Robert, 25
Saxon remains, lack of, at Richmond, 33 or pre-Norman crosses, 140
Scarth Nick, 105
Scolland, Lord of Bedale, 32
Scolland’s Hall, Richmond Castle, 32
Scots, defeat of, at Alnwick, 35 raids of the, 36, 37, 59, 128
Scott, Sir Walter, ballad of ‘The Felon Sow of Rokeby,’ 26
Scrope, arms of, 23, 108 family of, 42, 43, 96, 103, 105, 108 Richard, Lord of Bolton, 105 Sir Henry le, 42 Sir William le, 42 ninth Lord, 103 tombs, 42
Settle, 9, 165-167, 169
Shakespeare’s play of ‘Henry VI.,’ 109
Shambles at Settle, 166
Sharp, Roger, 38
Sheep, Wensleydale, 115
Shelley, Percy B., 90
Shene, Surrey, 36
Simon de Wenselawe, Sir, 108
Skell, River, 119
Skipton, 9, 14, 143, 144, 146, 149-157 Castle, 150-156
Skirfare, River, 146
Slinger, a woman of Cotterdale, 92
Slingsby, family of, 129 Francis, 129 Mary, 129 Sir Charles, 129 Sir Henry, 129
Snowstorms in the dales, 83
South Africa, 7
Spanish Armada, 154
Speight, Harry, 83, 87, 97
St. Agatha’s Abbey, Easby, 40
St. Alban’s Abbey, 108
St. Alkelda, churches dedicated to, 110, 168
St. Anne, chantry to, at Askrigg, 91
St. Martin’s Priory at Richmond, 28, 42
St. Mary’s Abbey at York, 28
St. Nicholas, Chapel of, in Richmond Castle, 31
St. Pancras Station, London, 9
St. Robert’s Chapel, Knaresborough, 134
St. Wilfrid’s Needle, Ripon, 118
Stag’s Fell, 65
Stake Fell, 83
Storms in the dales, 62, 63, 83
Stray, the, at Harrogate, 135
Strid, the, 143
Studley Royal, 119
Swale, River, 20, 21, 41, 48-67
Swaledale, 8, 13, 47-64, 83
Swine Cross, Middleham, 110
Tees, high force on the, 99
Templars, Knight, chapel of, 106
Thames River, 36
Thirsk, 106 William, last Abbot of Fountains Abbey, 121
Thoralby, 100, 101
Thornton, William (Askrigg), 90
Tibetot, arms of, 23
Tintern Abbey, 41
Tor Mere Top, 102
Towton, Battle of, 155
Tudor, Edmund, 36
Turner, J. W. M., 59, 84, 139
Ure, River and Valley of, 43, 71, 80, 89, 97-99, 102, 107, 109, 115, and see Wensleydale
Uredale, 81, and see Wensleydale
Vale of Mowbray, 31, 106 of York, 6
Victoria Cave, 169 Queen, 169
Volunteers, Wensleydale, etc., 105, 106
Wakefield, Battle of, 155
Wakemen, the, of Ripon, 117, 118
Walburn Hall, 57 Wymer de, 57
Walker, George, 91
Warwick, arms of, 110 the King-maker, 109
Watershed of England, 166, 171
Watling Street, 27
Wayne, Christopher, 23
Wencelaw. See Wensley
Wenselawe. See Wensley
Wensley, 105, 107, 110
Wensleydale, 5, 43, 64, 65, 71-111, 115 Forest of, 87
West Burton, 100
Westmoreland, 37, 63, 66, 101, 155 Ralph Neville, first Earl of, 36
Wether Fell, 82-84, 89
Whaley, Mr., of Askrigg, 91
Wharfe, River, 139, 141, 142, 144, 156
Wharfedale, 5, 102, 136, 139-146 Forest of, 143
Whernside, 171 Great and Little, 111
Whitaker, Dr., Historian of Craven and Richmondshire, 24, 25, 76, 154
Whitcliffe Scar, 47-49, 53
Whitfield Force, 96
Widdale Fell, 89
Willance, Robert, 49, 50
Willance’s Leap, 49, 54
William the Conqueror, 18, 33, 34, 133, 151 the Lion of Scotland, 34
Wodenslag. See Wensley
Woodhall Park, 97
Wordsworth, William, 157, 161
Wraithes and hobs, 74
Wyatt, the architect, 117
Wyman, dapifer to the Earl of Richmond, 28
York, 22, 28 Archbishopric of, 53 Minster, 139 Vale of, 6
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