Imágenes de páginas
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed]

ground floor, and one above, over which the roof was raifed, not flat, but with gable ends to the north and south, the outer walls rising above it. The ground floor was". about 14 feet high, as well as can be discovered from the rubbish now fallen on the bottom; the other room was 16 feet high. There was no entrance to the lower room from the outside, (what is now used as an entrance being only a hole broke through the wall at the corner where the staircase is*) but a flight of steps led to a door in the south side of the upper room, the door being seven feet high, and about four and a half wide. It is said these steps are remembered to have been there, but are now quite destroyed. The places where were the hinges of the door, remain, and on one side is a hole in the wall, in which the bar to fasten the door was put. It is now called the bar-hole, is made of squared stone, and goes 12 or 14 feet into the wall; on the other side is a hole to correspond with it. In this room is one narrow window over the door, one in the north, and one in the east side; in the north-east and fouth-west corners, are two places which have the appearance of privies; in the south-east corner is a nar. row winding stair-case, now in a ruinous condition, which led down to the room below, and up to the roof. Descending this staircase, the lower room is found to have been lighted by two windows, or loops, one in the north side, the other in the east, each of them being seven feet high, five feet five inches wide on the inside, but narrowing to about four feet high, and seven inches wide on the outsidet. The walls are composed of small limestones and mortar, of such an excellent temper, that it binds the whole together like a rock, faced on the outside and infide with hewn gritstone. Part of that on the outside, and much of it on the inside, is still pretty intire; but the sandy part of some of the stones has crumbled away, so as at first fight to exhibit an appearance of very rude sculpture; but within a quarter of an inch of the mortar, at the joints, the stone is entire, which may be owing to the effect of the well tempered mortar on such parts as come in contact with it. In further confirmation of this opinion, I am assured, that at Bur-tor there is a stratum of stone which moulders away in this man. ner. On the outside there is no appearance of any such thing; may we suppose the weathes to have hardened the stone there? Within fide there is in the wall a little herring-bone ornament. This castle was used for keeping the records of the miners' courts, till they were renioved to Tutbury castle in the time of Queen Elizabeth. An intrenchment, which begins at the lower end of the valley, called the Cave, inclosed the town, ending at the great cavern, and forming a femicircle; this is now called the town ditch, but the whole of it cannot easily be traced, having been destroyed in many parts by buildings and the plough. Here, at Burgh, and at Hope, are some chalybeate springst.

The celebrated cavern well deserves to be seen, and is visited without danger, and with much less trouble than may be imagined by those who have not gone into it. A rock on the left of the entrance is 75 yards and a quarter high; and directly from the castle wall to the ground, is eighty-nine yards and an halfs ; the precipice, which slopes down all the way on the left hand from the castle, is above 200 yards long, that on the right 100. The mouth, in which are a few huts of some packthread-spinners, is 40 yards wide, and 14 high. At 150 yards from the entrance you come to the first water, the roof gradually floping down till it comes within about two feet of the

* Mr. King thinks otherwise, and that the steps leading to the door began on the east fide, and went round the corner of the wall. He has paid such attention to these matters in general, and to this place in particular, that I dare not dispute his opinion. + Mr. King has given a large account of this castle in the 6th vol, of the Arch. P. 247, &c. Short, p. 277. $ Ibid. p. 30.


surface of the stream which passes through the cavern; this water is to be crossed by lying down in a boat filled with straw, which is pushed forward by the guide, who wades through the water. You foon come to a cavern, said to be 70 yards wide, and 40 high, in the top of which are several openings, but the candles will not enable the eye to reach their extent. After crossing the water a second time, (on the guide's back) you come to a cavern, called Roger Rain's House, because there is a continual dropping of water from the roof. At this place you are entertained by a company of singers, who have taken another path, and ascended to a place called the Chancel, considerably higher than the part you stand on, where, with lights in their hands, they sing various songs. The effect is very striking. In the whole, the water is crossed seven times, but stepping-stones are sufficient, except at the two first. In one place, the stream is lost in a quicksand, but emerges again. At the distance of about 750 yards from the entrance, the rock came down so close to the water, that it precluded all farther passage; but as there was reason to believe from the found, that there was a cavern beyond, about four years ago a gentleman determined to try if he could not dive under the rock, and rise in the cavern beyond ; he plunged in, but, as was ex. pected, struck his head against the rock, fell motionless to the bottom, and was dragged out with difficulty. The man who shews this place, has been at much trouble and some expence in blowing up the rock, to open a passage to this supposed cavern, but finds that he has mistaken the course, and now means to try in another part. He treated us with an explosion, which rolled like thunder. The water which is found here, is supposed to be that which is ingulphed by the side of the turnpike road, three miles from Castleton. in the way to Chapel in Frith, juft by a farm-houfe.

On coming out of the cavern, after having been so long absent from day-light, the first appearance of it has an effect beyond description; I know not whether a comparison of it with the break of day under a grey sky, interspersed with fleecy clouds, will convey an adequate idea, but no one can see it without feeling a most pleasing fensation.

At the foot of Mam Torr is another cavern, called Water Hull, into which the good-natured Ciceroni will probably endeavour to prevail on the traveller to descend; the descent, however, is very dirty and difficult, and there is not any thing at the bota tom worth seeing. They get out of it some blue-john, used by the polishers for making vafes, &c. and petrifactions, amongst which are some exactly resembling the bones and shells of fishes of various forts, cockles, oysters, pectunculi, patellæ, and the nautilus; bodies like the vertebræ, snails, stars, skrews, and various striated figures, and pieces of the capsulæ of insects, like those of butterflies.

I was told by one who had been in it, that there is, at some distance on the other fide of the castle, a cavern in a mine, which if it was not for the very great difficulty of access, would be well worth visiting; from his description it seemed to resemble, in miniature, the famous grotto of Antiparos, in the Archipelago; but, like that, would require an uncommon share of resolution in the visitor.

The hills on the different sides of the town produce stone of very different quality. Those on the south, on one of which the castle stands, furnish a stone which is burnt into lime, and is used for a manure; those on the north yield a grit-stone fit for build. ing. The hill on the north appears brown and barren when viewed at a distance, but is, in fact, very good pasture; the Yorkshire drovers bring their cattle here in the beginning of May, and keep them all the summer, paying about thirty shillings a head for their feed. It is not very easy to ascend this hill, but it is worth the labour ; Castleton dale spreads as you afcend, and on gaining the summit, a sequestered valley,



Wilus: bodies like the veinfort's like those of butternes come distance on the other called Edale, opens to the eye in a beautiful manner; it is wide and fertile, the inclosures running up the sides of the hills, and yearly increasing. Other small dáles come into it from between other hills, and their verdure is contrasted by the brown tops of the yet uncultivated ridges. Near the end of one of these is the principle part of the village of Edale, and an humble chapel, without spire or tower. A rivulet runs down by it, shewing itself in many places, and by the noise of its fall, directs to a mill placed in a little grove. Two or three other clumps of houses, and small tufts of trees, and another streamlet falling into this, enliven the scene. From hence various other dales branch off to what is called the Woodland of Derbyshire, through which no high road has yet been made. This tract is of great extent, but much of it has been cleared of late, and the plough introduced by the Duke of Devonshire, to whom it mostly belongs.

Oats is the only corn they low on the hills, which they do three years together, if the land is in good condition, otherwise but two, and then lay it down into grass for fix or seven years. When they break up new ground on the hills, they used to lime it only, which is found to kill the heath, and produces a new, sweet grass ; but they now generally denshire (i. e. pare and burn the fward, plow it for turnips, then sow oats and grass-feed. Some put on lime after it is laid down into grass, others in the turnip crop.

The hill which I have just mentioned as dividing Castleton-dale from Edale. consists of a long ridge, terminating towards the west in a broad end, one point of which is called Mam Torr, or the shivering mountain, the foot of which is about a mile from Castleton. On the top of this hill is good mould, two yards deep, then clay three-fourths of a yard; after that a bed of shale, and a row of ironstone, in their turns, for about 20 yards, but the ironstone always thickelt, being often a yard, the other not half so much; then begins an intermixture of shale, and a mixt stone, between ironstone and gritstone, in beds of the same thickness, which con tinues to the foot of the Toor. These strata lie horizontally, in the most exact order. In the upper part it is perpendicular, but in the middle it slopes. On the top it is about 60 yards broad, at the bottom of the running shale, about 400 yards*. *Welt from this is a similar breach in the hill, but smaller, called Little Mam Torr. The perpendicular height of the largest, as measured by a friend of mine, is 456 feet : of the least, 243 feet; but the top of Mam Torr is said to be near 1900 feet above the level of Castleton valleyt. On the top and sides of this hill is a camp, supposed to be Roman, of an oblong form, running from N. E. to S. W. the broad end being to the south west, where Mam Torr forms one point, Little Mam Torr the other; the smaller end is to the north east, on the ridge' which continues on towards Loosehill. There has been a double trench all round it, but the south corner is broken off by the falling of the earth at Great Mam Torr, and the west by that at Little Mam Torr.' The {um. mit of the hill is not level, but runs in a ridge nearly from west to ealt, along which is built a stone wall, as a pasture fence, now dividing the camp into two parts. The ascent to it is very steep every way, except at the north-east end, where the ditch crosses: the ridge. The principal entrance seems to have been at the west corner, very near the top of Little Mam Torr; but there is a track of an old road leading from Mam Gate, up the north side of the hill, to a gate of about four yards wide at the small end of the camp oppofite to the other gateway. There is a third of the same width, to. wards the north-west side, going down to Edale. Near the north-east corner is a good

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »