Picture of Celia Fiennes

Celia Fiennes

places mentioned

1698 Tour: Lancaster to Carlisle

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Thence I went to Kendall in Westmoreland over steepe stony hills all like Rocks, 6 miles to one Lady Middleton, and by some Gentlemen wch were travelling that way that was their acquaintance, had the advantage of going through her parke, and saved the going Round a bad stony passage. It was very pleasant under the shade of the tall trees. It was an old timber house, but the family being from home we had a free passage through it on to the Road againe, much of wch was stony and steep-far worse than the Peake in Darbyshire. This Lady Middleton was a papist and I believe the Gentlemen yt was travelling were too. Thence to Kendall ten mile more, most of ye way was in Lanes when I was out of the stony hills, and then into jnclosed Lands, here in 6 miles to the town you have very Rich good Land Enclosed-Little round green hills flourishing wth Corn and grass as green and fresh, being in the prime season in July. There is not much woods but only the hedge rows round the grounds wch Looks very fine. In these Northern Countyes they have only the summer Graine' as barley, oates, peas, beans, and Lentils, noe wheate or Rhye for they are so cold and Late in their yeare they Cannot venture at that sort of tillage, so have none but what they are supply'd out of other Countys adjacent. The Land seemes here in many places very ffertile; they have much Rhye in Lancashire Yorkshire and Stafford and Shropshire and so Herriford and Worcestershire, wch I found very troublesome in my journeys, for they would not own they had any such thing in their bread, but it so disagrees wth me as allwayes to make me sick wch I found by its Effects whenever I met wth any, tho' I did not discern it by the taste; in Suffolke and Norfolke I also met wth it, but in these parts its altogether ye oatbread. Kendall is a town built all of stone, one very broad streete in which is the Market Crosse; its a goode tradeing town mostly famed for the Cottons: Kendall Cotton is used for blanckets and the Scotts use them for their Plodds and there is much made here and also Linsiwoolseys, and a great deale of Leather tann'd here, and all sorts of Commodityes-twice a weeke is ye market ffurnished wth all sorts of things.

The River Can wch gives name to the town is pretty Large but full of Rocks and stones that makes shelves and falls in the water, its stor'd wth plenty of good ffish and there are great ffalls of water partly naturall and added to by putting more stones in manner of Wyers, at wch they Catch Salmon when they Leape with speares. The Roaring of ye water at these places sometymes does foretell wet weather; they do observe when the water roares most in the fall on the Northside it will be ffaire, if on the Southside of the town it will be wet. Some of them are falls as high as a house. The same observation is at Lancaster at the Wires where they Catch Salmon; against Stormes or raines it will be turbulent and Rore as may be heard into the town. There are 3 or 4 good houses in the town, ye rest are like good traders houses very neate and tight. The streetes are all pitch'd wch is Extreame Easy to be repair'd, for the whole Country is like one Entire Rock or pitching almost all ye Roads. At the Kings arms, one Mrs Rowlandson, she does pott up the Charr ffish the best of any in the Country: I was Curious to have some and so bespoke some of her, and also was as Curious to see the great water wch is the only place that ffish is to be found in' and so went from Kendall to Bondor 6 miles thro' narrow Lanes, but the Lands in ye jnclosures are Rich. But here Can be noe Carriages, but very narrow ones like Little wheele-barrows that with a horse they Convey their fewell and all things Else. They also use horses on which they have a sort of Pannyers some Close, some open, that they strew full of hay turff and Lime and Dung and Every thing they would use, and the reason is plaine, from the narrowness of the Lanes where is good Lands they will Loose as Little as they Can, and where its hilly and stoney no other Carriages Can pass, so they use these horse Carriages, and abundance of horses I see all about Kendall streetes with their Burdens. This Kendall is the biggest town and much in ye heart of Westmoreland, but Appleby 10 mile off is the shire town where the session and assizes are held and is 7 miles to this great Lake Wiandermer or great standing water wch is 10 mile long and near halfe a mile over in some places. It has many Little hills or jsles in it, one of a great bigness of 30 acres of ground on which is a house, ye Gentleman that is Lord of ye Manour Lives in it-Sr Christopher Phillips; he has a great Command of ye water and of ye villages thereabout and many Priviledges, he makes a Major or Bailiff of ye place during life; its but a small mean place, Mr Majors was the best Entertaining house where I was. Ye Isle did not Looke to be so bigg at ye shore, but takeing boate I went on it and found it as large and very good Barley and oates and grass. The water is very Cleer and full of good ffish, but ye Charr ffish being out of season Could not Easily be taken, so I saw none alive but of other ffish I had a very good supper. The season of the Charr ffish is between Michaelmas and Christmas; at that tyme I have had of them, wch they pott with sweete spices. They are as big as a small trout, Rather slenderer and ye skinn full of spotts, some Red Like the finns of a Perch and the jnside flesh Looks as Red as any salmon if they are in season; their taste is very Rich and fatt tho' not so strong or Clogging as the Lamprys are, but its as fatt and Rich a food. This great water seemes to flow and wane about with ye wind but it does not Ebb and flow Like the sea with the tyde, neither does it run so as to be perceivable, tho' at ye End of it a Little Rivulet trills from it into the Sea, but it seemes to be a standing Lake Encompass'd with vast high hills, yt are perfect Rocks and barren ground of a vast height, from which many Little Springs out of ye Rock does bubble up and descend down and fall into this water. Notwithstanding great raines ye water does not seem much Encreas'd tho' it must be so, then it does draine off more at the End of the Lake. These hills wch they Call Ffurness Ffells a long Row Continued some miles, and some of them are Call'd Donum ffells and soe from the places they adjoyne to are named, but they hold the whole length of the water wch is 10 mile; they have fome parts of them that has wayes that they Can by degrees in a Compass ascend them and so they go onward. In. the Countrys, they are fferried over the Lake when they go to market. On ye other side over those ffells there is a sort of Stones Like Rubbish or Broken pieces of stones, wch Lies about a quarry, that Lies all in the bottom of ye water; where its so shallow as at the shores it is and very Cleer you see the bottom; between these stones are weeds wch grows up, that I had some taken up just Like samfyer and I have a fancy its a sort of sampire that Indeed is gather'd in ye Rocks by the sea and water, and this grows in the water but it resembles it in Coullour, ffigure and the taste not much unlike-it was somewhat waterish. There was also fine moss growing in the bottom of ye water. Here it was I saw ye oat Clap bread made. They mix their flour with water, so soft as to rowle it in their hands into a ball, and then they have a board made round and something hollow in the middle riseing by degrees all round to the Edge a little higher, but so little as one would take it to be only a board warp'd, this is to Cast out the Cake thinn and so they Clap it round and drive it to ye Edge in a Due proportion till drove as thinn as a paper and still they Clap it and drive it round, and then they have a plaite of jron same size wth their Clap board, and so shove off the Cake on it and so set it on Coales and bake it; when Enough on one side they slide it off and put the other side; if their jron plaite is smooth and they take Care their Coales or Embers are not too hot but just to make it Looke yellow, it will bake and be as Crisp and pleasant to Eate as any thing you Can jmagine, but as we say of all sorts of bread there is a vast deal of difference in what is housewifely made and what is ill made, so this if its well mixed and Rowled up and but a little flour on the outside which will drye on and make it mealy is a very good sort of food. This is the sort of bread they use in all these Countrys, and in Scotland they breake into their milk or broth or Else sup that up and bite off their bread between while they spread butter on it and Eate it with their meate. They have no other Sort of bread unless at market towns and that is scarce to be had unless the market dayes, soe they make their Cake and Eate it presently, for its not so good if 2 or 3 dayes old. It made me reflect on the description made in Scripture of this Kneeding Cakes and bakeing them on the hearth whenever they had Company Come to their houses, and I Cannot but thinke it was after this manner they made their bread in ye old tymes Especially those Eastern Countryes where their bread might be soone dry'd and spoil'd. Their little Carts I was speakeing of they use hereabout, the wheeles are fastned to the axletree and so turn altogether, they hold not above what 5 wheelbarrows would Carry at three or four tymes, which the Girles and Boys and women does go about with drawn by one horse to Carry any thing they want. Here is a great deal of good grass and Summer Corn and pastures, its Rich Land in the bottoms as one may Call them Considering the vast hills above them on all sides, yet they Contain a number of Lesser hills one below another, so that tho' at one Looke you think it but a little Land Every body has; Yet it being so full of hills its many acres wch if at Length in a plain would Extend a vast way. I was about a quarter of an hour in the boate before I reach'd ye island wch is in the midst of the water so by that you may guesse at the breadth of the water in the whole, they fferry man and horse over it; its sometymes perfectly Calme. Thence I Rode almost all the waye in sight of this great water, some tymes I lost it by reason of ye great hills interposeing and so a Continu'd up hill and down hill and that pretty steep, even when I was in that they Called bottoms wch are very rich good grounds, and so I gained by degrees from Lower to higher hills wch I allwayes went up and down before I Came to another hill. At last I attained to the side of one of these hills or ffells of Rocks, wch I passed on the side much about the Middle, for Looking down to the bottom it was at Least a Mile all full of those Lesser hills and jnclosures, so Looking upward I was as farre from the top which was all Rocks, and something more barren tho' there was some trees and woods growing in ye Rocks and hanging over all down ye Brow of some of the hills. From these great ffells there are severall springs out of ye Rock that trickle down their sides, and as they meete with stones and Rocks in the way, when something obstructs their passage and so they Come with more violence, that gives a pleaseing sound and murmuring noise. These descend by degrees at last fall into the Low grounds and fructifye it wch makes ye Land soe ffruit full in the valleys, and upon those very high ffells or Rocky hills its (tho') soe high yet a moorish sort of ground whence they digg abundance of Peat wch they use for their fewell, being in many places a barren ground yeilding noe wood &. I rode in sight of this Winander water as I was ascending another of those barren ffells wch tho' I at last was not halfe way up, yet was an hour going it up and down on the other side, going only on the side of it about ye middle of it, but it was of such a height as to shew one a great deale of ye Country when it happens to be between those hills, Else those interposeing hinders any sight but of ye Clouds. I see a good way behind me another of those waters or mers but not very bigge. These great hills are so full of Loose stones and shelves of Rocks yt its very unsafe to Ride them down.

There is good Marble amongst those Rocks. As I walked down at this place I was walled on both sides by those inaccessible high rocky barren hills wch hangs over ones head in some places and appears very terrible, and from them springs many Little Currents of water from the sides and Clefts, wch trickle down to some Lower part where it runs swiftly over the stones and shelves in the way, wch makes a pleasant Rush and murmuring noise, and Like a snowball is Encreased by Each spring trickling down on either side of those hills, and so descends into the bottoms wch are a moorish ground in wch in many places the waters stand, and so forme some of those Lakes as it did here. Ye Confluence of all these little springs being gathered together in this lake, wch was soe deep as the Current of water yt passed through it was scarce to be perceived till one Came to the farther End from whence it run a good little River and pretty quick, over wch m any bridges are Laid. Here I Came to villages of sad little hutts made up of drye walls, only stones piled together and ye Roofs of same slatt; there seemed to be little or noe tunnells for their Chimneys and have no morter or Plaister within or without. For the most part I tooke them at first sight for a sort of houses or Barns to fodder Cattle in, not thinking them to be dwelling houses, they being scattering houses, here one, there another, in some places they may be 20 or 30 together; and the Churches the same. It must needs be very Cold dwellings, but it shews some thing of ye Lazyness of ye people; indeed here and there there was a house plaister'd, but there is sad Entertainment -that sort of Clap bread and butter and Cheese and a Cup of beer all one Can have, they are 8 mile from a market town and their miles are tedious to go both for illness of way and length of ye miles.

They reckon it but 8 mile from the place I was at the night before, but I was 3 or 4 hours at Least going it. Here I found a very good smith to shoe ye horses, for these stony hills and wayes pulls off a shoe presently, and wears them as thinn that it was a Constant Charge to shoe my horses every 2 or 3 dayes, but this smith did shoe them so well and so good shoes yt they held some of the shooes 6 weekes. Ye stonyness of the wayes all here about teaches them ye art of makeing good shooes and setting them on fast. Here I cross'd one of ye stone bridges yt was pretty Large wch Entred me into Cumberlandshire. This River together with ye additionall springs Continually running into it all the way from those vaste precipices Comes into a Low place and form a broad water wch is very Cleer and Reaches 7 mile in Length, Uleswater its Called, such another water as that of Wiandermer only that reaches 10 mile in Length, from Amblside to ye sea, and this is but 7 such miles Long. Its full of such sort of Stones and flatts in the bottom as ye other, neer the brimm where its Shallowe you see it Cleer to ye bottom; this is secured on Each side by such formidable heights as those Rocky ffells in same manner as the other was. I rode the whole Length of this water by its side, sometyme a Little higher upon the side of the hill and sometyme just by the shore, and for 3 or 4 miles I Rode through a fine fforest or Parke where was deer skipping about and haires, wch by meanes of a good Greyhound I had a Little Course, but we being strangers could not so fast pursue it in the grounds full of hillocks and ffurse and soe she Escaped us. I observed the boundaries of all these great waters (which are a sort of deep Lakes or kind of standing waters) are those sort of Barren Rocky hills wch are so vastly high. I Call this a standing water because its not like other great Rivers as ye Trent Severne, Hull or Thames &. to appear to Run wth a streame or Current, but only as it Rowles from side to side Like waves as the wind moves it; its true at the End of this being a Low fall of Ground it runs off in a Little streame. There is Exceeding good ffish here and all sorts of provision at ye market towns. Their market town was Peroth 10 long miles. A mile or two beyond this Ullswater, -Tuesday is the market day wch was the Day I came thither. Its a Long way for ye market people to goe but they and their horses are used to it and go wth much more facility than strangers. At ye end of this Ullswater is a fine round hill Look'd as green and full of wood very pleasant, wth grass and Corne very ffruitefull, and hereabout we Leave these Desart and Barren Rocky hills, not that they are Limitted to Westmoreland only for had I gone farther to ye Left hand into Cumberland I should have found more such, and they tell me farr worse for height and stony-nesse about White haven side and Cockermouth, so yt tho' both the County's have very good land and fruitfull, so they equally partake of ye bad, tho' Indeed Westmoreland takes it name from its aboundings in springs which distilling itself on Lower ground, if of a spungy soile made it marshy or Lakes, and in many places very fruitfull in summer graine and grasse, but ye northerly winds blow Cold so long on them yt they never attempt sowing their Land with wheate or Rhye. Ye stones and slatt about Peroth Look'd so Red yt at my Entrance into the town thought its buildings were all of brick, but after found it to be the Coullour of the stone wch I saw in the Quarrys Look very Red, their slatt is the same wch Cover their houses. Its a pretty Large town-a good Market for Cloth that they spinn in the Country-hempe and also woollen. Its a great Market for all sorts of Cattle, meate Corne & &. Here are two Rivers one Called ye Emount wch parts Cumberland and Westmoreland, wch bridge I should have passed over had I Come the direct Roade from Kendall to Peroth, but strikeing off to Ambleside to Wiandermer I came another End of ye town. In this River are greate falls of waters Call'd Cataracts, by Reason of the Rock and shelves in it wch makes a great noise wch is heard more against foul weathers into the town, tho' the bridge be halfe a mile out of ye town. The other River is Called Louder wch gives name to Lord Landsdown's house Call'd Louder hall wch is four mile from Peroth. I went to it through fine woods, the front is just faceing the great roade from Kendall and Lookes very nobly, wth severall Rows of trees wch Leads to Large jron gates, open barres, into the stable yard wch is a fine building on ye one side of ye house very uniform, and just against it is such another Row of buildings ye other side of ye house Like two wings wch is the offices. Its built Each Like a fine house jutting out at Each End and ye middle is wth Pillars, white, and Carvings Like the Entrance of a building. These are just Equal and alike and Encompass the two sides of the first Court wch Enters, with Large jron gates and jron Palasadoes in the breadth, and then there is an ascent of 15 stone steps turned round, very Large, and on the top Large jron gates pallisad of jron betweene stone pillars, wch runs the breadth of the front. This Court is with paved walks of broad stone, one broad one to the house, ye other of same breadth runs aCrosse to the stables and offices, and so there is 4 Large Squares of grass in wch there is a large Statue of Stone in the midst of Each, and 4 Little Cupids or Little Boys in Each Corner of the 4 squares. Then one ascends severall more steps to another Little Court vth open Iron Railes, and this is divided Into severall grass plotts by paved walks of stone to the severall doores, some of wch are straight, others slope: the grass plotts being seven and in Each statue the middlemost is taller than the rest, this is just the front of ye house where you Enter a porch wth Pillars of Lime stone, but yc house is ye Red sort of stone of ye Country. Below staires you Enter a space that Leads severall wayes to all the offices, and on one side is a Large parlour wch Lookes out on these green plotts wth images. The staircase very well wanscoated and Carv'd, at ye top you are Landed into a noble hall very Lofty, the top and sides are exquisitely painted by ye best hand in England which did the painting at Windsor. The Top is the Gods and goddesses that are sitting at some great feast and a great tribunal before ym ; Each Corner is the seasons of the yeare wth the variety of weather Raines and rainbows, stormy winds, sun shine, snow and frost with multitudes of other fancys and varietyes in painting and Looks very natural-it Cost 500? that roome alone. Thence into a Dineing room and drawing roome well wanscoated of oake, Large pannells plaine, no frettwork nor Carvings or Glass worke, only in Chimney pieces. 3 handsome Chambers, one scarlet Cloth strip'd and very fashionably made up, the hangings the same, another flower'd Damaske Lined with fine jndian Embroidery, the third Roome had a blew satten bed Embroider'd. In this Roome was very fine orris hangings in wch was much silk and gold and silver; a Little Roome by in wch was a green and white Damaske Canopy bed wch was hung wth some of the same hangings being made for ye Duke of Lortherdale and had his armes in many places - by his Dying were sold to Lord Landsdon.

They Containe a Scottish story of the 4 quarters of the yeare. The roomes are all well pitch'd and well ffinish'd, and many good Pictures of ye family, and severall good fancy's of human and animals, a good gallery so adorn'd wch Leads to a Closet that Looks into ye Chappell; all things very neate tho' nothing Extraordy besides ye hall painting. The Chimney pieces are of a dark Coulld Marble wch is taken out of the ground just by-its well polish'd. There was some few white marble vein'd, but that is not Dug out of this Country. The house is a flatt rooffe and stands amidst a wood of Rows of trees, wch wth these statues and those in two gardens on Each side (wch for their walks and plantations is not ffinish'd but full of Statues) which with the house is so well Contrived to be seen at one view. Ye Lady Landsdown sent and treated me with a Breakfast, Cold things and sweete meates all serv'd in plaite, but it was so Early in the morning that she being jndisposed was not up. So I returned back 4 mile to Peroth and Came in sight of Severall Genteele seates or Gentlemens houses, and Came by a Round green spott of a Large Circumfference which they keep Cut round wth a banke round it like a Bench; its story is that it was the table a great Giant 6 yards tall, used to Dine at, and there Entertain'd anothr of nine yards tall which he afterwards killed; there is the Length in the Church yard how far he Could Leape-a great many Yards. There was also on the Church at Peroth a fine Clock wch had severall motions-there was the Starrs and signes, there was the Encrease and Changes of ye moone, by a Darke and golden side of a Little Globe. A mile from Peroth in a Low bottom and moorish place stands Mag and her sisters; the story is that these soliciting her to an unlawfull Love by an Enchantment are turned wth her into stone; the stone in the middle wch is Call'd Mag is much bigger and have some fforme Like a statue or ffigure of a body, but the Rest are but soe many Craggy stones, but they affirme they Cannot be Counted twice alike as is the story of Stonidge, but the number of these are not above 30. However what the first design of placeing them there Either as a marke of yt sort of moorish Ground or what Else, the thing is not so wonderfull as that of Stonidge, because there is noe such sort of stone in 20 miles off those downs and how they of so vast a bulk and weight should be brought thither, whereas all this Country abounds with Quarrys of stone and its mostly Rocks. The waye from thence to Carlisle over much heath where they have many stone Quarrys and Cut much peate and turff wch is their Chief fuel. Its reckon'd but 16 mile from Peroth to Carlisle, but they are pretty Long, besides my going out of ye waye above 3 or 4 mile wch made it 20. They were very Long and I was a great while Rideing it. You pass by the Little hutts and hovels the poor Live in Like Barnes-some have them daub'd wth mud-wall-others drye walls.

Celia Fiennes, Through England on a Side Saddle in the Time of William and Mary (London: Field and Tuer, The Leadenhall Press, 1888)

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