Page images


The Abbey
by the acci-

dental firing

of a daw's



Scot, the magician.

Edward I. and II. its abbots, though not mitred, were frequently summoned to sit in parliament. The abbey was pillaged and burnt during the incursion of Robert Bruce, but afterwards rebuilt with great magnificence; few vestiges, however, of its monastic buildings now remain. From the ruins the Parochial Chapel was formed, and there yet stands a part of the church in its original form. During the reign of Henry VIII. the abbey was chiefly dilapidated; the church continued in good condition till the year 1600, when the steeple, one hundred and fourteen feet high, suddenly fell down, and by its fall destroyed great part of the chancel. Its total ruin was nearly accomplished by an. accidental fire five years afterwards. This fire took place on April 18, 1604, and was occasioned by a servant carrying a live coal into the roof of the church, to search for an iron chisel; the boisterous wind blew the coa! out of his hand into a daw's nest, by which the whole was ignited, and within less than three hours it consumed both the body of the chancel and the whole church, except the south side of the low church, which was saved by means of a stone vault. Almost due-west from Abbey-Holm, in a strong situation near the sea coast, are some remains of Wulstey Castle, a fortress, which was erected by the aboots to secure their treasures, books, and charters from the sudden depredations of the Scots. "In this castle," observes Camden, " tradition reports, that the magic works of Sir Michael Scot (or Scotus), were preserved, till they were mouldering into dust. He professed a religious life here about the year 1290, and became so versed in the mathematics, and other abstruse sciences, that he obtained the character of a magician, and was believed, in that credulous age, to have performed many miracles." The story of Michael Scot forms a beautiful episode in Scott's "Lay of the Last Minstrel," the notes to which furnish some curious information respecting that extraordinary personage. Sir Michael Scot, of Balwearie, we are told, flourished during the thirteenth century, and was one of the ambassadors sent to bring the Maid of Norway to Scotland, upon the death of Alexander III. His memory survives in many a legend; and in the south of Scotland, any work of great labour and antiquity is ascribed either to the agency of auld Michael, of Sir William Wallace, or the devil. The following are amongst the current traditions concerning Michael Scot: -He was chosen, it is said, to go upon an embassy, to obtain from the King of France satisfaction for certain piracies committed by his subjects upon those of Scotland. Instead of preparing a new equipage and splendid retinue, he evoked a fiend in the shape of a huge black horse, mounted upon his back, and forced him to fly through the air towards France. When he arrived at Paris, he tied his horse to the gate of the palace, and boldly delivered his message. An ambassador with so little of the pomp and circumstance of diplomacy was not received with much respect, and the king was about to return a contemptuous refusal to his demand, when Michael besought him to suspend his resolution till he had seen his horse stamp three times: the first stamp shook every steeple in Paris, and caused all the bells to ring; the second threw down three of the towers of the palace; and the infernal steed had King's con- lifted up his hoof to give the third stamp, when the king rather chose to dismiss Michael, with the most ample concessions, than to stand to the probable consequences. Another time, it is said that, while residing at the tower of Oakwood, upon the Ettrick, about three miles above Selkirk, having heard of the fame of a sorceress, called the Witch of Falsehope, who lived on the opposite side of the river, Michael went one morning to put her skill to the test, but was disappointed by her positively denying any knowledge of the necromantic art. In his discourse with her, he laid his wand inadvertently on the tablewhich the hag observing, suddenly snatched it up and struck him with it. Feel

Scottish legends.

The fiend horse.



The witch of False


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ing the force of the charm, he rushed out of the house; but as it had ABBEYconferred on him the external appearance of a hare, his servant, who HOLM. waited without, hallooed upon the discomfited wizard his own greyhounds, and pursued him so close, that, in order to obtain a moment's breathing to reverse the charm, Michael, after a very fatiguing course, was fain to take refuge in his own common sewer.

Fair, October 29, for horses and horned cattle.

* ABBOTS BROMLEY. The hobby-horse dance, an ancient custom, was observed here till the civil war.-Ten or twelve of the dancers carried, on their shoulders, deers' heads, painted with the arms of Paget, Bagot, and Welles, to whom the chief property of the town belonged. horse dance The horns yet hang up in the church, but the custom is now discontinued. The parish includes Bromley, Bagot's liberty, and Bromley Hurst township. Bagot's park is the deer-park of Lord Bagot, whose seat is at Blithefield.

Market, Tuesday. -Fairs, Tuesday before Mid-lent Sunday, May 22, September 4, for horses and horned cattle.

A ruined

+ ABBOTSBURY consists of a single parish, divided into three streets, nearly in the form of the letter Y, lying in a valley surrounded and protected by bold hills near the sea. There is a tradition that this Tradition of place was called Abodesbyry by St. Peter himself, in the infancy of Chris-St. Peter. tianity, but it is more probably supposed to have derived its name from the magnificent abbey, originally founded here, in the early part of the eleventh century. The ruins of the abbey (which was once large and splendid, but is now nearly demolished), consist of a large barn, a abbey. stable, supposed to have been the dormitory, a porch which belonged to the conventual church, the principal entrance, a portion of the walls, and two buildings conjectured to have been used for domestic purposes. The barn, which, when entire, was the largest in the county, is now so dilapidated, that only a part of it can be used. The church, in which Orcus and his wife, the founders, were buried, is, with the exception of the porch and a pile of ruins under some neighbouring elms, totally destroyed; but the numerous chantries and chapels which belonged to it sufficiently prove its ancient magnificence. On an eminence, at a short distance from the town, stands a small building called St. Catherine's Chapel, which is supposed to have been erected about the time of rine's chaEdward IV., and which, from its height and lofty situation, serves both pel, a sea for a sea and land mark. Abbotsbury Church appears to have been built a short time before the reformation; the pulpit is pierced by musket balls, said to have been fired by Cromwell's soldiers, at the officiating minister, whom, however, they missed. But it is more likely to have occurred at the time of Sir Anthony Astley Cooper's attack on the royalists, at the siege of Sir John Strangeway's house, in 1651. About wild fowl a mile to the south-west of Abbotsbury, is the "decoy," where great decoy, and quantities of wild fowl are annually taken. But the object which most swannery. engages the attention of strangers, in the neighbourhood of this town, is the celebrated "swannery," which, not long since, was the property of the Earl of Ilchester. In the open or broad space of the fleet are kept six or seven hundred swans, formerly one thousand five hundred, including hoppers-a small species of swans, who feed and range, and return home again. Fair, July 10, for sheep and toys.

St. Cathe


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11 Abbotsham m. t. & pa Devon..
44 Abbotside, H. & Low pa N. R. York.
34 Abbotts Isle. Somerset.

11 Abbotts Devon..
18 Abbotts Langley* Herts

34 Abbots Leigh.

15 Abbotsley

42 Abbots Morton

12 Abbots Stoke

16 Abbotston.. 33 Abdon

pa Somerset .pa Hunts

.pa Worcester

.pa Dorset

pa Hants

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204 386














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Bideford....2 | Torrington ..7| Barnstaple.10 Askrigg. ...0 Middleham ..7 Richmond. 12 248 Ilminster....4 Ilchester ...11 Taunton ..10 Newton Bush2 Totness.....7 Torquay...6 St. Albans...4 Watford ...4 Hemel Hemp6 Bristol ..3 Bedminster..3 Keynsham..9 116 St. Neots ..4 Huntingdon 12 Potton......4 Evesham.....4 Alcester.....8 Pershore....6 Beaminster..3 Crewkerne .10 Bridport....6 143 Alresford...4 Basingstoke 12 Winchester.9 Ludlow ...9 Bridgenorth 11 Ch. Stretton 9 Wrexham...4 Chester.....10 Mold.. Wrexham...3 Llangollen .12 Mold.......8 187 Bangor.. ...6 Aberconway .9 Caernarvon15 240 Aberystwith 17 Lampeter...14 Cardigan.. 23 208 vll & pa Cardigan Lampeter..14 Aberystwith14 Tregaron..13 222 .to Montgomery Newtown....2 Montgomery.7 Welsh Pool 11 to Denbigh.. Denbign. .4 St. Asaph ...3 Caerwys....4 208 54 Aberavont & pa Glamorgan. Neath.......6 Bridgend...14 Swansea...11 48 Aberbaidon. .ham Brecknock. Abergavenny 5 Crickhowel..3 Brecon....14 148 .m. t Caernarvon. | Bangor.. ..15 Llanrwst...12 Caernarvon24 236 Salop

53 Abenbury Fecham Flintshire 52 Abenbury Denbigh..

50 Abert

51 Aberaeron

51 Aberarth.

56 Aber Bechan..

52 Abercwhiler

50 Aberconway§

Englishman made Pope.

Ferry to

Laven sands dangerous. The bell constantly tolled in

foggy weather.


glen, and waterfall.

.pa Caernarvon.
.to Cardigan.

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* ABBOTTS LANGLEY. Before the Conquest, and till the dissolution of the monasteries, this place was in the possession of the abbots of St. Albans. About the time of Henry I., Nicholas Breakspear, a native of this place, was advanced to the rank of cardinal, and at length became pope, by the title of Adrian IV.; being the only Englishman that ever attained that dignity. He died, not without suspicion of poison, in 1158.

† ABER (which signifies the mouth of a river, port, or harbour) is situated on the river Gwyngregyr, which here discharges itself into the Irish Sea. The native Welsh princes had a palace at this place, some remains of which are shewn as the residence of Llewelyn ap Griffith. It is one of the ferries to Anglesea, and a convenient place from which to visit the formidable Penmaen Mawr mountain. The passage from hence across the Laven Sands to Beaumaris is by no means safe, as the sands frequently shift; but the large bell of this village is constantly rung in foggy weather, in the hope that its sound may serve to direct those whom imperious necessity obliges to cross under all disadvantages. Two miles from this pleasing village, following the banks of the stream, which flows through highly picturesque scenery, there is a most romantic glen, and a very fine waterfall; the upper part of this cataract is sometimes broken into three or four divisions, by the rugged force of the impending cliff, but the lower one forms a broad sheet, and descends about sixty feet, in a very grand style.

Mail arrives 3.15 A. M., departs 9.32 P. M.-Inn, Bull.

ABERAVON is situated at the mouth of the river Avon, on Swansea Bay, and has a harbour for small vessels. Although no charter exists for a market, one has been held here, more than a century past. There is a ridiculous belief, amongst the people of this place, that account of a every Christmas Day, and that day alone, a large salmon presents himself in the river, and allows himself to be caught and handled by any one who chooses; but it would be considered an act of impiety to detain him.

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§ ABERCONWAY is an ancient fortified town, beautifully situated upon the estuary of the river Conway. The town is nearly of a triangular shape, and is thought by some to have been the Conovium of the Romans. The annals of this place commence no earlier than with vium of the the history of its castle, which was erected in 1284, by command of Edward I., as a security against the insurrections of the Welsh. Soon after its erection, the royal founder was besieged in it, and the garrison almost reduced by famine to surrender, when they were extricated by the arrival of a fleet with provision. At the commencement of the civil




in 1185.

wars, it was garrisoned on behalf of the king, by Dr. John Williams, | Archbishop of York. In 1645 he gave the government of the castle ABERCONto his nephew, William Hockes. Two years after, Prince Rupert superseded the Archbishop in the command of North Wales. He endeavoured to obtain redress from the king, but failed. Enraged at this injury, he joined Mytton, and assisted in the reduction of the place. The town was taken by storm, August 15, 1646, but the castle did not Town taken surrender till November 10. This fortress remained in tranquillity till a by storm, in grant was made of it, by King Charles, to the Earl of Conway and Kilulta; when he had scarcely obtained possession, before he ordered an agent to remove the timber, iron, lead, and other materials. It was held on lease, by Owen Holland, Esq. from the crown, at an annual rent Curious of six shillings and eightpence, and a dish of fish to Lord Holland, as 6s. 8d. and a often as he passed through the town. Thus, unprotected, it has dish of fish. suffered material injuries from wind and weather, and is reduced to a state of rapid decay. The ruins are remarkably picturesque, and very extensive. The town was surrounded by high massive walls, twelve feet thick, strengthened at intervals by twenty-four circular and semicircular towers; these, with the four principal gateways, remain in tolerable preservation. There are scarcely any remains of the Cistercian Cistercian Abbey, founded by Llewelyn ap Jorwerth, in 1185. The church con- Abbey, founded by tains a few modern monuments, belonging to the family of the Wynnes, Llewelyn formerly of this place. The font appears ancient; it is composed of black apJorwerth marble, curiously carved, and supported by a cluster of pilasters, standing upon a pedestal. In Castle Street is a very old house, called the college, which has a singular window, decorated with several coats of arms of the Stanley family. A day school is also kept in an ancient mansion, called Plas Mawr, situated near the market place, which was erected in 1585, by Robert Wynne, Esq. of Gwyder. The river Conway rises out of Llyn Conway, at the south extremity of the county, in the mountains of Penmachno. The ferry is of importance, as it lies upon one of the The ferry great roads from London to Ireland, but is justly considered a dangerous considered passage, and many are the accidents which have occurred. On Christ-loss of the mas Day, 1806, the boat conveying the Irish mail coach, was lost, and Irish mail all the passengers, including the coachman and guard, were drowned, and 14 pasexcept two. At the Ferry-house a noble bay is formed where the tide 1806. enters the river. In this view, indeed, there are all the ingredients of a sublime and beautiful landscape. Few rivers, in England or Wales, in so short a course as twenty-nine miles, present so great a variety of beautiful scenery. Below Luna Hall, the falls of the Conway exhibit Falls of the a noble cataract, about fifty feet; the stream of water, shooting directly Conway from one aperture in the solid rock to a considerable distance, descends noble catainto a rocky basin, surrounded by hanging woods. One mile below this ract, shoottown, at Trefriw, the river becomes navigable, and contributes to the ing from a supply of the surrounding county. In Conway town there still exists a pearl fishery, and a chain suspension bridge has been recently erected Pearl in lieu of a dangerous ferry. The vale of Conway teems with interesting fishery and objects. Upon the west side is the abrupt termination of the Snowdon bridge. chain, down the declivities of which, through innumerable chasms, fissures, and channels, rush the superfluous waters of the lakes above, to mingle with the parent ocean. The principal employment of the poor, in this neighbourhood, is gathering the different species of fuci, commonly called sea-wreck, thrown up by the tide, or growing upon the barilla. breakers. This wreck they put into a kind of square fireplace, made upon the sand, and heat it till it becomes a liquid and forms a cake; when further baked or burnt it resembles cinders, and is called barilla or impure fossil alkali; in this state it is sold to manufacturers of soap and glass.

Market, Friday. - Fairs, March 26, April 30, June 20, August 19, September 16, October 20, and November 15.-Inns, Harp, Bull's Head, and White Lion.-Mail arrives 2 A. M., departs 103 P. M.


sengers, in


solid rock.



tory of

Dist. Popu-
Lond lation.

Names of Places.


Number of Miles from

54 Aberdare*.

50 Aberdaron..

54 Aberddaw, East ..ham Glamorg


55 Aberdyfi.. Merion

58 Aberedwy+

.pa Radnor...

50 Abererch

.pa Caernarvon.

.pa Glamorg Mer. Tydvil .6 Bridgend .18 Brecon ..20 Caernarvon. Pwllheli ...16 Nevin .....16 Bardsey Isle. 5
Cowbridge ..5 Bridgend ..10 Llandaff ...12
Aberystwith 9 Towyn .5 Machynlleth 9 217
Builth ..4 Hay
..12 Radnor
Pwllheli ....3 Crickieth ...8 Nevin

182 3961



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45 Aberford ‡...m. t. & pa W. R. York. Tadcaster ...6 Leeds ..8 Ferry Bridge 9
47 Aberffraw Anglesea.... Bangor ..17 Newborough 6 Holyhead ..12 258
26 Abergavenny§ m. t.& pa Monmouth.. Monmouth .17 Crickhowell.7 Usk
.9 145

Ruined castle-the retreat of Llewelyn,

the last native Prince



* ABERDARE. Fairs, for cattle, April 19, Whit-Monday, November 14. † ABEREDWY. This delightful village derived its name from its situation, near the junction of the River Wye and Edwy. Nothing in nature can exceed the beauty of the neighbouring scenery. The Edwy descends through lofty walls of rock; in some places, broken into crags, which frightfully overhang the abyss. Near the place are the ruins of a castle, the retreat of the last native Welsh Prince, Llewelyn ap Gruffydd. The object of Llewelyn's journey to Aberedwy was to consult the chief persons of the district, upon the best means of successfully opposing the King of England, then invading Wales. On his arrival he found himself disappointed. Instead of meeting with friends, he was surrounded by the enemy. Edmund Mortimer and John Gyfford, acquainted with his route, marched from Herefordshire, with their troops to meet him. The enemy were numerous-resistance was in vain-Llewelyn withdrew to Builth. The mountains being covered with snow, he caused the shoes of his horse to be reversed, in order to baffle pursuit, but the treacherous smith betrayed him. Llewelyn broke down the bridge of Builth, but was closely followed by the Betrayed by English forces, who fruitlessly attempted to gain it. Sir Elias Walwyn crossed the river, with a detachment, about eight miles below, at a place called Little Tom's Ferry Boat, and coming unexpectedly on the Welsh army, routed them. Llewelyn himself was attacked and slain, unarmed, in a narrow valley, not two hundred yards from the scene of routed, and action. Adam Francton, the murderer of Llewelyn, took no notice of his victim, but joined in the pursuit of the Welsh. Returning with the view of plundering the slain, he discovered the wounded person was no other than the Prince of Wales; for on stripping him, he found a letter in cipher and his privy seal. The brutal Francton, overjoyed that the Welsh prince had fallen into his hands, cut off his head, and sent it to the King of England, and thus perished the last native Prince of Wales.

His horses shoes re



His army

himself slain.

His head

sent to the King of England.

Here the fa

mous battle of Towton

was fought.


of the Romans.


+ ABERFORD is situated upon the River Cock, on the great northern road, on the banks of which river was fought the famous battle of Towton, in 1461, so called from a village in the vicinity. The town consists of a long straggling street, in the north of which are the remains of a Norman fortification, called Castle Carey; and the whole is in the line of the ancient Roman road. This town is curiously situated, as respects township: the west side is in Aberford-cum-Parlington; the east of the same end is Lotherton-cum-Aberford, and the north of the river is Aberford alone.

Mail arrives 4.11 P.M., departs 8.46 A.M.-Inn, Swan.

SABERGAVENNY, (the ancient Gobanium of the Romans,) and its environs, have strong claims to the traveller's attention. Its castle and delightful terrace overlook the rich vale of Usk; its church, abounding in costly sculptured tombs, its beautifully variegated mountains, all conspire to render this place particularly attractive. This town was once fortified, and many portions of the work remain, particularly Tudor's Gate. The western entrance is furnished with two portcullises,

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