Jollie's Cumberland Guide & Directory 1811

  > CHAP IX. ROUTE FROM CARLISLE BY THE EAST.

PASSING the stone bridges over the Eden, and through Stanwix, (already noticed) we proceed along the Newcastle road, an excellent turnpike, and the traveller is highly gratified with the appearance of several seats and genteel farm houses. About two miles from Carlisle, Drawdikes1 Castle appears, recommending itself to observation by the appearance of some antiquity. About a mile and half toward the left lies Haughton2, a neat and opulent village, and in which is Haughton Lodge, an elegant house, built by W. HODGSON, Esq. Clerk of the Peace. Passing by Linstock, Newby, and Crosby, we come to the river Irthing, over which is a decent stone bridge. On our approach toward Brampton, we gain a view of Walton House, the property of W. P. JOHNSON, Esq.

Brampton is a market-town, containing about 1300 inhabitants. No manufactory of much extent has hitherto been carried on here; but cotton and several other articles are manufactured on a small scale. This town chiefly consists of one spacious street, which is tolerably built; and, lately, some good houses, and a commodious inn, have been erected. Its principal support is its weekly market, which is well supplied with com and other provisions. A public brewery, established several years ago, adds a little to its consequence and population. The Earl of CARLISLE has made a railed waggon-way from his collieries on Tindale-fell to this town, which not only supplies the inhabitants with the necessary article of coal at a lower rate, but has tended to encrease its trade by inducing manufacturers to settle here. A small conical mount, at the east end of the town, called the Moat, exhibiting the marks of ancient fortifications on its top, has been planted, and is now a pleasing, wooded eminence. - Brampton is distant from Carlisle 9 miles.

lanercost.jpg (37588 bytes)A little to the south of Brampton is Tarn Lodge, the newly-erected seat of JOHN BELL, Esq.; and pursuing the high-road toward Northumberland, we come opposite to Abbey-Lanercost and Naworth Castle, which lie on the left, - each two miles from Brampton. The former exhibits some fine ruins of an old abbey, founded in 1116. Naworth Castle is the baronial house of the Lords of Gilsland; at present the property of the Earl of CARLISLE, and the hospitable residence of THOMAS RAMSHAY, Esq. his Lordship's principal agent. Lord Wm. HOWARD, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, lived here, and kept the marauding borderers in awe: the massy amour of this Nobleman is yet preserved here: and there are several curious apartments, &c. in the old style.

We now approach the mountains on the borders of Northumberland, which are heavy and disagreeable; but to atone for their barren surface and unpleasing appearance, they produce great quantities of coal and limestone.

About four miles northward from Temmon, the eastern boundary of the county, we find the noted Gilsland Spa, situated on the banks of the Irthing, which there becomes a deep, narrow, and romantic dell. This water springs copiously from the bottom of a rocky precipice adjoining the channel of the Irthing. The basis of this is sulphurated hydrogen gas3. - Though this is not the water which is resorted to and chiefly drank, there is a fine chalybeate in the neighbourhood; and also another spring about four miles distant from Gilsland, of a strong ferruginous taste, transparent, and of the colour of brandy. Much company resort hither during the summer, for the purpose of drinking the waters; and for whose accommodation good inns are provided. - For a full description of Gilsland and analysis of the waters, see "Guide to Gilsland," sold at the Spa, and by the Publishers of this work.

We return to Brampton, and thence proceed to view the Roman inscription on the rocks of the river Gelt, about two miles south of that place. The cliff is of a vast height, overhanging the river; and the face of the rock, on which the inscription is cut, is of an angular form. This inscription is rather injured by the hand of time, and is only to be read by the assistance of a ladder or a glass, and then but indistinctly, except by those whose head will not turn dizzy with clambering upon a very narrow and ragged projection of the rock, at an immense height. The Editor of this work, by venturing what few, perhaps, will be resolute enough to repeat, was happy enough to obtain a correct copy of the inscription, given in a plate in the History of Cumberland. - The following is Mr. HORSLEY'S reading of this curious piece of antiquity:

Vexillatio Legionis secundoe Augustoe, ob virtutem appellatoe, sub Agricola Optione Apro et Maximo Consulibus ex officina Mercati Mercatius filius Fermii.

Above the inscription are the numerals IX and X: underneath the words IVL, and OFICIVM ROMANORUM, both apparently of more modern date.

Passing through the village of Hayton, (to the east whereof is Edmund Castle, the much improved and neat seat of THOMAS GRAHAM, Esq. standing near the junction of the river Irthing and Gelt) we come to Warwick-bridge, where there is a neat stone bridge; and on the opposite side of the Eden, Warwick-Hall, the seat of ROBERT WARWICK, Esq. presents a very good appearance. We proceed about a mile and a half to witness the beautiful and enchanting scenery at Corby and its vicinity.

Corby Castle, the elegant seat of H. HOWARD, Esq. is romantically situated on an elevated cliff, impending over the noble river Eden, whose finely wooded and rocky banks are seen from hence in the most picturesque point of view, with the water rolling down in a rapid stream, and apparently losing itself under the shaggy rocks below. Here are also some delightful pleasure grounds, which Mr. HOWARD has of late much improved and extended. In pursuing these walks, we are sometimes led through thick woods; sometimes we come close to the margin of the river, and sometimes recede from it: now we visit a cell or arbour, and now ascend a fine terrace, almost hanging over the water. From the house we proceed up the New Walk, shaded with foreign trees and rare shrubs, and soon reach a path descending, through a grove of hollies, towards the river. Here the singular beauty and extraordinary height of the Scotch firs, planted by Nature, among other large forest trees, on each side, attract the notice, and excite the admiration of all strangers. Here, also, we have a beautiful vista; including, in the view, a stretch of the river, with its rocky, wooded banks on the one hand; and the church, priory, and vicarage of Wetheral, through the trees, on the other; while Warwick church, and the far distant mountains of Scotland, form a background.

Descending to the Broad Walk, which stretches about 700 yards along the margin of the river, we see the sylvan banks of Eden in a new point of view, having Corby-house perched, as it were, on the tops of trees. A more rural walk continues for a mile above this place, meeting with some remarkably picturesque scenes, consisting of high rocks, some perpendicular, and others shelving, with large oaks growing from the crevices, and stretching their long arms over the path. In following this path, we pass through woods of most luxuriant growth, and verdant meads, graced with straggling oaks, and bounded on each side with high, wooded, and rocky banks, running on in careless lines.

As we return from the pleasure-house down the Long Walk, the hanging banks appear decked in the richest cloathing imaginable, coloured in all the glowing tints which a variety of trees, of vigorous growth, intermixed with the naked tops of a few venerable oaks, which have stood there for ages, can give. - Proceeding a few hundred yards, we are struck with the appearance of two gigantic firs of wonderful elegance, standing close together, on the left: and, on the opposite side, we observe the ancient king of the forest rearing his time-worn crest, near the top of the bank. This is an oak, measuring 26 feet in circumference at one foot above the ground, and who has probably kept his court here these 300 years. At the north end of this walk the cliffs rise up in a grand style, and semi-circular form, to the height of at least 100 feet perpendicular, having their venerable brows adorned with oaks of great stature. In the bases of these rocks are several spacious cells, or grottos, hewn out of the solid rock. Some are dry and pleasant apartments, having views over the river which washes the foot of the rocks, and jutting ledges stretching forward over the entrances, so as to form natural canopies. - In another part of the rock there are two pretty large rooms, which, from water constantly trickling down the front, and sinking into the stone, are kept continually damp. These apartments afford a fine echo, and music has an admirable effect therein, the sounds being reverberated from rock to rock in an astonishing manner. - A little beyond the top of this rock there is a reservoir of water, which can, by opening a sluice, be brought through an arched conduit, and precipitated down the front of the rock in a fine cascade, falling over the entrance of the caves. This amusement, though latterly discontinued, was formerly sometimes practised to the great surprise of visitors, who felt themselves suddenly doomed to a temporary confinement in the grotto, by a means not at all suspected.

Here the beautiful, the sublime, and picturesque, are united is such a manner as to exceed all description: the boldly rising rocks are cloathed in the most luxuriant robes of grass, of ivy, of holly, and other evergreen shrubs; of tall and bulky trees, the mourning yew, the stately oak, and lofty pine; and, higher still, the castle stands, seated firmly on a rock, looking down upon us through the opening foilage4; while the crystal streams of Eden, divided by a long, wooded island, and hurrying along a stony channel, is lashing its rocky shores at our feet.

From these scenes we ascend the rock by a spacious staircase, cut in the solid stone, having the large arms of oaks stretching across over our heads. A variety of other pleasing walks and terraces extend to some distance farther down the banks of the river, winding among the trees, and having various delightful objects successively appearing in view. All the pleasure grounds are laid out with good taste, and as much of the primitive beauties are preserved as possible.

The house, though part of it is very ancient, has lately been so much enlarged and improved as to give it a very genteel and modern appearance. It is now a commodious, and elegantly furnished mansion.

There are some pictures of merit at Corby Castle.

IN THE DINING ROOM.

Charles V. and his Empress, by Titian. - The anecdote connected with this excellent picture is, that the Emperor is relating to her his intention of retiring from the world.

Portrait of the present Duke of Norfolk, by Hoppner.

David and Goliah, by Nicholas Poussin.

An Original of Mary Queen of Scots.

A Flemish Piece, by Brughel.

The Marriage of St. Catherine, by Albano, - and some other paintings.

Portraits of the Family of Howard, in succession, from John Duke of Norfolk, who was slain at Bosworth-Field, to Lord William Howard, inclusive.

Portrait of Colonel Francis Howard, a distinguished character. - (See list of eminent men).

Do. of William Howard, 5th son and heir to Sir Francis, by the death of his brothers. He served with his father, and lost his leg in one of the naval engagements with the Dutch, under the Duke of York.

Do. of Colonel Thomas Howard, son of Colonel Francis Howard.

Do. of Thomas Howard, son of William. With a taste superior to his contemporaries, he began the walks and improvements of Corby.

Do. of Barbara Musgrave, his wife, by Sir Godfrey Kneller.

Do. of Philip Howard, son and heir to Thomas, by Clarke; and of his Lady, by Ramsey.

Portraits of the present Mr. and Mrs. Howard, by Hoppner; and their two eldest children, by Northcote.

LIBRARY AND ANTI-ROOM.

Various Drawings and Prints; and another original of Mary Queen of Scots, with a Portrait by Espagnotello.

ON THE STAIRCASE.

An original Portrait of Lord William Howard. - (See list of eminent men).

Portraits of Sir Thomas More, Andrew Doria, and Mrs. Benn, the poetess; with some Fancy Pieces.

A very old BUST OF ALFRED, long preserved in the family, on a stone brought from Hyde Abbey, (the place of his burial) inscribed with his name in ancient Saxon characters.

A collection of Prints of Historical Events favourable to the cause of liberty, and of Portraits of men of all ages and countries, who have been famed for a disinterested love of their country, and generous exertion for its freedom.

Immediately opposite to Corby is the village of Wetheral, to which we pass over in a ferry-boat, in order to visit St. Constantine's Cells, the Priory, &c.

St. Constantine's Cells are excavated out of a hard rock standing on the banks of the river Eden; these cells were granted to the Abbey of St. Mary at York, under the name of the Chambers of Constantine, with the lands and royalties belonging thereunto, and are now devolved to the Chapter of Carlisle, held in lease by Misses Waugh. The legend is, that Constantine, the 3d King of Scotland, first inherited the Wetheral cells as a retreat after having been defeated by Athelstan King of England; he resigned wetheral4.jpg (27449 bytes)his crown and became a monk at Melross5 Abbey. Cumberland was then a fief of England held by Scotland. - The Abbey of St. Mary built a Priory near Wetheral, the only remains of which is a tower with a large archway, formerly the entrance into the court of the Priory.* In the time of the monks the cells received the name of the safeguard: they retired thither during the incursions of the Scotch and borderers, where a few men could defend themselves against hundreds; since those times the way and entrance to the cells have been made much more easy of access.

A little higher up, and on the same side of the river, a summer house, in the Gothic style, has lately been built by Misses Waugh, of Carlisle, owners of the Priory, &c. This house stands on the summit of a bank, opposite a beautiful turn of the river.

Quitting these delightful scenes we follow the direction of the Eden between four and five miles; when Low-House, the neat, modern-built dwelling of JOHN GRAHAM, Esq. is observed on the left. To Armathwaite is scarcely two miles farther. A good stone bridge connects this little village, which stands on each side of the water. Two pleasantly-situated seats ornament this village. Armathwaite-Castle, the property of ROBERT MILLBURN, Esq. stands on the west side; while a small country-house, belonging to JOHN DE WHELPDALE, Esq. adorns the banks on the east. From the latter a pleasant walk extends up the borders of the river, passing where the water is bayed across, and where the salmon are frequently seen bounding above the foaming flood, in unavailing attempts to leap over the bay.

We proceed along the eastern banks of the Eden, and fall into the vale of that river at Nunnery. This beautiful and romantic place is the seat of MRS. BAMBER. The house is neatly built, and beautifully situated on the crown of a swelling bank, occupying the scite of a house of Benedictine Nuns, founded, according to DENTON, by WILLIAM RUFUS. The prospect, though not extensive, is pleasant, taking in a fine vale of undulating grounds. From the house we proceed along neat gravel walks, which wind through groves of oaks and other tall forest trees, on the upper banks of the river Croglin, to the borders of Eden. The walk continues, for some distance, along the margin of that noble river, having a large wood rising up the rapid slopes on the right, and projecting rocks, of amazing height, standing across the water from the opposite side. Returning up the borders of the Eden, we are led to the foot of Croglin by another path, partly cut through the solid rock, with immense shelving cliffs and large arms of oak stretching over us. We now pursue our route up Croglin-water, along a narrow path, formed by cutting off the points of some jutting rocks, and removing other obstacles. The valley contracts to a span; the cliffs mount up in awful grandeur, sometimes almost hanging over our heads, and supporting large trees of various sorts; while the furious little river, hardly finding room for its waters, dashes from rock to rock, sometimes hiding itself behind a lowering cliff, and sometimes taking a leap over an impending rock, forming a succession of little cascades. Thus the scenery, though confined, continues to be exquisitely picturesque, and wild as nature could wish. At length the hollow sound of a great water-fall is heard, and which soon meets the eye. The water pours from an opening rock, and is precipitated about 12 yards, in an unbroken sheet, into a circular bason of six yards in depth, forming a very striking object. - Leaving this place, we soon begin to ascend a rocky path, which, traversing the woody banks, brings us to a summer-house on the top of a cliff, and to various other delightful spots. Upon the whole, the great height of the shelving rocks on each side, half concealed by shrubs and large impending trees, the deep and narrow zigzag dell, cloathed with the most beautiful and picturesque appendages; and the falling water; all conspire to form what Mr. FARRINGTON very justly calls "some of the finest close scenes in England."

Near Nunnery, is Staffold Hall, the seat of R. L. Ross, Esq. on a good situation, and commanding a fine landscape. Staffold common is now inclosing; and we understand, that Mr. Ross, intends to avail himself of the opportunity afforded him by his allotment commanding both the Eden and the Croglin, - to make walks, plantations, and other considerable improvements, on the opposite side of the Croglin to Mrs. BAMBER's, and including the whole of the so much admired water-falls of Nunnery. When the whole of the contemplated improvements are completed, Staffold Hall, in beauty and variety of scenery, will not perhaps be inferior to Nunnery itself. - We next proceed to the small market-town of Kirkoswald, (distant from Carlisle 15 miles) situated on a fruitful and romantically-pleasing spot. It is a place of some antiquity, but has not increasedkirkoswald2.jpg (26464 bytes)much in population: it contains about 600 inhabitants. It is somewhat singular that the church and belfry of Kirkoswald are separate and detached buildings; the latter being erected on an adjoining mount. A copious spring of water issues from beneath the church. The family mansion-house of C. S. FEATHERSTONHAUGH, Esq. called the College, is pleasantly situated on the south side of Raven-beck, and near the church.

From Kirkoswald we turn eastward towards Aldston6, situated in the heart of a wild mountainous district. After travelling about four miles, we reach the basis of the mountain, which we ascend in an almost perpendicular direction for nearly a mile. After traversing dreary and rugged wastes for some miles, we reach the inhabited vale of Aldston, spotted with white houses and hanging inclosures.

The little town of Aldston stands on a rapid declivity on the eastern side of the Tyne, over which there is an old, narrow stone bridge of one arch. This place is almost wholly inhabited by miners, or people connected with that employ. - The lead-mines within the precincts of this parish are numerous, and generally very rich, employing about 1100 men; and, it is said, produce to the owners, upon an average, the clear annual sum of 16,000. The whole parish of Aldston, which is very extensive, is supposed to contain about 4500 inhabitants, exclusive of the miners. There are some tolerable houses about Aldston; but buildings, in general, though formed of stone, and covered with slate, are rather mean and disagreeable. - Here is a meeting-house which is well attended by Dissenters: the Rev. Mr. Norris is the minister.

We return from these sequestered regions to Kirkoswald, and approaching Little Salkeld, about three miles south from the former place, on the eastern bank of the Eden, - the road leads us through that singular monument of antiquity, or Druidical temple, called Long Meg and her Daughters, consisting of 67 unhewn stones, of various qualities and species, which form nearly an exact circle, of 350 paces in circumference, most of them remaining upright. Some of those that are standing measure from 12 to 15 feet in girth, and 10 feet in height; others are much less in size. On the southern side of the circle is an upright square column, near 15 feet in girth, and 18 high, each angle of its square answering to a cardinal point of the compass. In that part of the circle most contiguous to the column, four large stones form a square figure; and toward the east, west, and north, two stones of great magnitude are placed in the circle at a greater distance from each other than those in other parts. Adjoining the village of Little Salkeld, SAMUEL LACY, Esq. possesses a very neat house.

gtsalkeld.jpg (18718 bytes)The village of Great Salkeld is situated on the opposite side of the Eden. The church has a remarkable tower, which has been strongly fortified, and yet contains an iron helmet, and the remains of some coats of mail, the property of some former champions. - Continuing southward along the vale of Eden, the village of Edenhall is perceived: here stands an ancient mansion of Sir PHILIP MUSGRAVE. On the opposite side of the river, about three miles, is Skirwith Abbey, on the scite of a religious house, the property of JOHN ORFEUR YATES, Esq. a modern-built mansion-house. The pleasure grounds are laid out with good taste, and the woods are in a very thriving condition.

Three miles distant, on the north bank of the river Eamont, are two caves or grottos, dug out of the solid rock, and very extensive. The passage to them is narrow and dangerous, and from some iron gates having been formerly taken from hence, it is supposed they were intended as a place of safety during the incursions of the Scots, but strange stories are told of their having been the abode of a giant who, like Cacus of old, seized men and cattle, and drew them into his den to devour them.

About three miles south-west of Edenhall, the beautiful mansion of Carleton Hall, the property of the Right Hon. THOMAS WALLACE, arrests the eye. It is one of the most beautiful spots in these parts: nature has certainly done much in the disposition of the features, and no attempt has been made to force or change the character her hand impressed upon the place. The general scene, inclosed on all sides by hills, presents in its whole aspect retirement and tranquility. The house is plain and modern: its situation is rather low, but commands, in front, an extensive lawn, intersected by the river Eamont, while the Lowther winds round its extremity.

* The church of Wetheral is dedicated to St. Mary and St. Constantine, - to the Virgin in honour of the mother church at York. The Hermit of this cell is the other patron.

 

Jollie's Cumberland Guide & Directory 1811

 

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Notes

1. Now Drawdykes.
2. Now Houghton.
3. I can personally attest to the qualities of this spring, having visited it many years ago. The stench of rotten eggs is most impressive !
4. sic.
5. Now Melrose.
6. Now Alston.

Photos Steve Bulman.


19 June 2015

Steve Bulman