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A Trip to the Chain-Bridge, near Bangor and other parts of North Wales

A Trip to the Chain-Bridge, near Bangor
and other parts of North Wales
Title: A Trip to the Chain-Bridge, near Bangor and other parts of North Wales
Release Date: 2018-10-14
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, A Trip to the Chain-Bridge, near Bangor, by AGentleman of LiverpoolThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and mostother parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms ofthe Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org.  If you are not located in the United States, you'll haveto check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.Title: A Trip to the Chain-Bridge, near Bangor       and other parts of North WalesAuthor: A Gentleman of LiverpoolRelease Date: October 14, 2018  [eBook #58096]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK A TRIP TO THE CHAIN-BRIDGE, NEARBANGOR***

Transcribed from the 1826 E. Smith & Co. (second) editionby David Price, email [email protected]

Public domain book cover






First printed in the Kaleidoscopeof August 2d, 9th, and 16th of the same year, and
now reprinted; together with










p.2Graphic of hand pointing right The following lines were principally written in the shortintervals of a rapid journey of business in this county, somedays after my return from Wales, and without my having theassistance of any memoranda whatever taken during “theTrip.”




I had never been in Wales beyond the border counties of Flint,Denbigh, and Montgomery, and was, of course, a stranger to thebest scenery of the Principality.  Business, however,required that I should visit some parts of the north-west, and ascuriosity prompted me to see the new Chain-bridge over thestraits of Menai, I determined upon commencing my trip fromLiverpool by the Llewellyn steam-packet; and, accordingly, onTuesday, the 26th July, about ten o’clock in the forenoon,I embarked on board that fine vessel, which was just on the pointof weighing anchor.  The river Mersey was a scene of generalbustle, the liveliness of which was heightened by the brightnessof the sun, and the beauty of a fleecy sky.  A light breezefrom the northward gave freshness to the air; every appearancewas favourable to such an excursion as I had projected; and agoodly company, assembling on all parts of the vessel’sdeck, indicated that “all the world and hiswife” were in a rambling humour this summer. Amongst other objects on the river an arrival from Dublinsuddenly attracted universal attention.  A steam-ship cameclose past us with such a cargo as I never before beheld,although in the summer season there may be many such.  Therewere probably between seven and eight hundred persons, chieflyIrish harvest-labourers, standing on the deck of the vessel, asclosely packed as the crowd at a town meeting; and so much didthis upper weight preponderate in the balance against the cargo(if any) below, that the vessel continually heeled, or swayed,from one side to the other to such a degree, that her gangwayladder at one moment touched a boat alongside, and at anotherarose out of the boatman’s reach.  The crowd on boardwere alternately visible, as on an inclined plane, towards eachshore, as if the vessel were proud of its miserable cargo, andwas determined that the farmers both in Lancashire and Cheshire,should be apprized of the p. 4arrival of the poor reapers.  Itwas an advertisement for them, free of duty.  In a fewminutes our engine commenced its herculean labours, and, amidstthe exchange of kind wavings of the hand between us and ourfriends on shore, we began, not to sail, for we had no canvasextended, but, to use a sailor’s phrase, to“plough the deep.”

The passengers on board were about a hundred and seventy innumber, chiefly of the most respectable classes.  Sir R. W.and a part of his family were under the awning on thequarterdeck, as was also a worthy alderman, T. C. and manyothers.  Among those on the fore part of the deck was theveteran comedian R., the author of that amusing work “TheItinerant.”  A Dublin gentleman and myself became hiscompanions till we reached Beaumaris, and we found, as Ifrequently have found, much pleasure in his agreeablesociety.  About the middle of the deck was stationed a smallbut good band of musicians, who, from time to time, performedalmost all the favourite airs of the present day; and among thepassengers standing about the bowsprit was a small knot offriends, apparently choristers in some country church, who, inthe intervals between the other musical performances, sang, invery good style, several chaunts, psalms, and anthems. Ranged under the fore gunwale of the vessel, and sitting on thedeck, were several Welsh market-women; who, as there were nonovel sights for them to gaze upon, seemed disposed to“while away the sunny day” in slumber, or in quietconversation with each other; while the busier throng about them,many of whom had never before been on the “salt seaocean,” were eagerly watching for objects worthy ofnotice and inquiry.  The scenery on both sides of the river,the Rock Perch, the rocks and caverns called the Red Noses, theseveral lighthouses, the vessels approaching or departing, orgliding on the horizon, the Floating-light, the Welsh mountains,and the clear deep green colour of the sea, became successivelythe topics of observation, and the sources of pleasure; nor,amongst a select few, were Helbre Island and “KingRobert” forgotten.  The singers attended to theirsinging, the musicians to their music, and the cook to hiscooking.  Appetite was the principal ailment on board,although, gently be it spoken, some few of the passengers, smoothas the sea was, p.5were seen creeping into corners, and “casting uptheir accounts.”  In general, the ready snack, and thebottle of porter, were in great requisition; while a considerablenumber of persons sat down in the cabin to a regular half-crowndinner, and a glass of good port.  All this time we madegreat progress on the water, a couple of sails having beenrecently hoisted in aid of our steam-power; and we soon passedthat grand object, the Great Ormshead, which must be terrificindeed to the crew of any vessel placed near its rugged andthreatening front, in a strong north-west wind. Penmaen-mawr soon appeared on our left, bold and rugged as theOrmshead, but much loftier.  Like an ornamental band passingalong his front, a little above his base, we saw what was pointedout to us as the great mail-road between Conway and Bangor. Neither this road, nor the hill itself, appeared so elevated as Iexpected; but this I afterwards found was owing to our greatdistance from the shore, which, although several miles off,appeared very near; the sea being quite smooth, and there beingno intermediate objects by which we could calculatedistances.  Puffin Island, with the east coast of Angleseabehind it, was now right a-head of us, and the opening ofBeaumaris Bay a little to the left.  We proceeded in thatdirection, passing large flights of puffins, and shortly enteredthat beautiful bay, with Penrhyn Castle on our left; Beaumaris,its Castle, and Lady Bulkeley’s Park on the right; and thetown of Bangor, and the straits of Menai immediately beforeus.  Opposite Beaumaris, at a quarter before fiveo’clock, the packet stopped a few minutes, boats approachedus, and I and several other persons landed, including Sir R. W.,whose carriage was waiting to convey him, and the ladies withhim, to his seat in the neighbourhood; and including also Mr. M.,his two sisters, and two other young ladies, whom I shall haveoccasion frequently to mention again.  The neat little townof Beaumaris, (the capital of Anglesea,) the Castle, which is abeautiful ruin, and the adjoining Park, are well worth thestranger’s attention.  Being anxious to proceedfurther that night, and having transacted some business in thetown, and taken tea at the King’s Arms, I was ready atseven o’clock to join a party, if I could meet with one, inhiring a boat for Bangor, three miles across the water, or to thep.6Chain-bridge, two miles further, or to Carnarvon, sevenmiles beyond it.  The boatmen spoke of a party going toBangor, but not further, that night.  I met the party comingto the beach.  It was Mr. M. and the four ladies.  Theyseemed pleased, and I am sure I was, to find that we were allgoing the same way, and they politely received me as one of theirparty.  I pointed out to them a glimpse of the Chain-bridgein the distance, and proposed that, if the boatmen would take us,we should proceed through the straits all the way to Carnarvonthat night, the wind and tide being completely favourable. This was instantly and gladly agreed to, as suiting, and, indeed,advancing their purposes as well as mine; fifteen silvery reasonssatisfied the boatmen; and our merrily-disposed little party ofsix were seated in the boat, the sails set, and the oars at work,at a quarter-past seven o’clock.

It was a lovely evening.  The ladies’ parasolswere, at first, in requisition; but, in a short time, the higherground of the Anglesea coast afforded us a more general shade,and then the beauty of the scene around us wasindescribable.  On our left, Port Penrhyn, with its immenseinn, and the city of Bangor in the hollow, were broadly lightedby the declining sun.  The tints on the neighbouringmountains were finer than I ever beheld; and they were so rich,that a faithful picture of them would be considered too highlycoloured.  Every moment brought us nearer to the stupendouswork I have before alluded to—the Chain-bridge, which Ishall hereafter more particularly describe.  Near itswestern extremity lay, at anchor, in calm repose, thesteam-packet which had recently been so busily employed.  Welooked up to the suspended chain-work of the bridge, which, atfirst, had appeared light and elegant, but which, the nearer weapproached, assumed a heavier and grander appearance; and we sawseveral persons moving to and fro upon it, whose apparentlydiminutive stature and dangerous situation surprised, and almostpained us.  The boatmen here brailed up the sails,preparatory to our passing the swellies, as they calledthem, which are a series of circling eddies, caused by abruptrocks under the water, just beyond the new bridge, and about thecentre of the straits.  We passed under the lofty chains ofthe bridge, amazed with their height p. 7and length, and with the vast strengthof the granite pillars and arches on each shore, from which thechains are suspended.  We soon entered the swellies, wherecircles, caused by the under-rocks, whirled on every side, thesurface of the water being broken in places by other rocks whichrose above its level.  Here the stream, however, was stillin our favour, and was so exceedingly rapid that we felt as ifmoved along by an unseen power.  In a short time we cameinto almost still water, but the current gradually increasedagain: we had come, so far, with the stream from the sea atBeaumaris; the tide was now running from the centre of thestraits to the sea at Carnarvon, the breeze was as before, andour canvas was again spread, so that we were not detained by windor wave a single moment.  The column, erected in honour ofthe Marquis of Anglesea, here formed a prominent object on a hilltowards the west; and not far from us the splendid seat of theMarquis was the grace and ornament of the lower and richly-woodedground.  The appearance of the glassy water was nowparticularly fine.  The red clouds above us flung down therays which they caught from the setting sun, and their reflectionrepresented rocks of bright coral beneath us, while the risingmoon cast her pale light into the wave, forming the semblance ofa pyramidal rock of polished silver.  A number of youngcranes stood on the shore, at respectful distances from eachother, earnestly gazing at us as we glided smoothly by. Observations

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