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The Cambrian Directory [1800]

The Cambrian Directory [1800]
Author: Anonymous
Title: The Cambrian Directory [1800]
Release Date: 2018-10-23
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Cambrian Directory [1800], by AnonymousThis 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: The Cambrian Directory [1800]Author: AnonymousRelease Date: October 23, 2018  [eBook #58153]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE CAMBRIAN DIRECTORY [1800]***

Transcribed from the 1800 J. Easton edition by David Price,email [email protected]

Book cover




Comprehending at one View,

The advisableRouteBestInnsDistancesand Objects most
worthy of Attention.


Authors, you know, ofgreatest fame,
Thro’ modesty suppress their name;
And, wou’d you with me to reveal
What these superior Wits conceal?
. . . . . . .
. . . . . . .
All my ambition is, I own,
To profit, and to please, unknown.

Visions in Verse.


Printed and sold by J. Easton,High-street: Sold also by T. Hurst,
Pater-Noster-Row, London; L. Bull, and J. Barratt, Bath;
J. Norton, and W. Brown, Bristol; and O. Tudor, Monmouth.




Cursory Sketches,

Handwritten text “The Author”


p.viiTO THE

As Dedications and Prefaces areconsidered proper avant couriers to a Work, the omissionof either might be deemed an essential breach of literarydecorum:—I profess myself an Old Bachelor, and amconsequently anxious every minutiæ should be properlyattended to.

It is generally customary in Dedications, to solicit thepatronage of an individual; but, as these Cursory Sketcheswill fully prove, I by no means always pursue the common beatentrack, p.viiitrust it will not be thought too presumptuous,addressing myself to Pluralities, and humbly requestingpermission, that the CambrianDirectory may be looked upon as a Ward of the Welsh ingeneral: for I can with safety affirm, in no country will theTourist experience more true hospitality and friendly attention,than in the Principality of Wales: I therefore with true respectand gratitude, beg leave to subscribe myself,


Your much obliged

And most obedient

Humble servant,



Faults, in the following Work, Ireadily allow, there are many, many; but, flatter myself, thosewho are best able to discover, will be most ready to pardonthem.  Tours or Journals, are now hackneyed subjects; andthough this may be considered as a trite apology, and (if I mayso express myself) an Author’s loop-hole, yet I can mosttruly assert, the present Observations were by no means at first,ever intended to be scanned by the public eye; but merely for myown private amusement, as a memento, to have access to, when Iwished to breathe delight from Recollection’s power; myRemarks, therefore, were only such as any Traveller, an admirerof Nature, would with a pencil briefly put down; and I must begleave again to repeat, I had not then the most distant p. xthought ofappearing at the bar of the Public: on my return, I naturallyplaced my Observations in a more connected form; and some timeafterwards, accidentally conversing with my Bookseller, onthe romantic beauties of Wales, and shewing him a few of myNotes, was persuaded to prepare them for the press; inconsequence of which, I am now embarking on the literary ocean;and, as a candid behaviour ought to be preferred to all otherconsiderations, before I sail on my cruize, beg leave to declare,that it is not the intention of the following sheets, either torival the lively and impressive descriptions of a Wyndham or a Warner,—to contend with the literaryand historical anecdotes of a Pennant,—or to equal the mineralogicalstudies of an Aikin: and here Icandidly acknowledge, when attempting a description ofMonmouthshire, I found myself not a little intimidated, by theintended, and anxiously expected publication of that county, by aGentleman, [x] highly classed in the literary world, p. xifor manycelebrated productions; conscious of my own inability to do amplejustice to that picturesque county, and particularly the richscenery of the Wye, when it is already in such able hands: I begfrom true respect and esteem, to apply to him the followingpassage:

Oh, while along the stream of time, thy name
Expanded flies, and gathers all its fame.
Say, shall my little bark attendant sail,
Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale?


The Cambrian Directory, istherefore given to the Public, as a common Itinerary; nordoes it presume to have discovered any thing unknown to the sageAntiquarian,—the deep Mineralogist,—and the bustlingTraveller: still, however, the Author flatters himself, it may beso far useful to the Public, that the Traveller will find it aconvenient Pocket Companion; it will tell him the bestInns, and lay before him in one view, the distances;the Mineralogist may occasionally learn, what Rocks will mostdeserve his attention; and it will point out to the p.xiiAntiquarian, every venerable Ruin, that seems to tellthe religious or military history of the country.  Such isthe “plain unvarnish’d tale:” in addition towhich, I solicit permission to address my Readers with a linefrom a favourite Author:

“Laugh where youMust, be candid where you Can.”

p. 1THE



Two Friends, equally admirers ofNature’s landscapes, and attached to pedestrianindependence, agreed to visit the wild and impressive scenery ofthe Cambrian Mountains; and the outlines of their Route beingarranged, sallied forth in the month of July, 1798, from


a place much resorted to during the summer months, andcelebrated for its Mineral Waters, is composed of p. 2one street, inalmost a straight line, nearly the length of a mile.  Sinceit has become a place of fashion, the lodging houses have beenconsiderably improved, and rendered comfortable for the company,who make this place their summer residence.  The seasonusually commences about May, and frequently continues till thebeginning of November.  The majority of the company whofrequent Cheltenham, resort here not so much for the purpose ofwater-drinking, as to enjoy the delightful walks and rides, andpartake of the sociability of the neighbourhood.

The Walk at the Pump-room, well planned, and kept in excellentorder, is planted on each side with limes; at the end is a smallsquare, where the Pump is situate, with a room on the left forthe accommodation of the company to promenade, measuringsixty-six feet by twenty-three;—on the opposite side areading-room, with a billiard-table over, and a house, theresidence of the attendant at the Spa; beyond that, is a similarwalk of three hundred and twelve feet, which leads to anotherserpentine walk; from the end of this, the Spire of CheltenhamChurch forms a beautiful object.  Near these walks, stands,on an eminence, the Seat of the Earl of Fauconberg: this was theRoyal residence during their Majesties stay at this place, fromJuly 12th to August 16, 1788.

p. 3Inrespect to the rides, Cleave-hill, Dowdeswell, &c. Tewkesbury and Gloucester, are most admired.

Speaking of the History of the place, we find Cheltenham was atown in the reign of William the Conqueror: Edward likewise issupposed to have marched through it, before he encamped his armyon the field of Tewkesbury, previous to the battle of the Housesof York and Lancaster.

Of the efficacy of the Water, to which this town is indebtedfor its present celebrity, I refer my readers to a Treatise,published by Dr. Fothergill, of Bath.


The Pin Manufactory was established here, by John Tisley, inthe year 1626, and the business is now become so extensive, thatthe returns from London alone are estimated at near20,000l. per ann.  Before the introduction ofPins into England (1543) skewers of brass, silver, and gold, andlikewise thorns curiously scraped, called by the Welch womenpin-draen, were used.  Though the Pins themselves areapparently simple, yet their manufacture is not a little curiousand complex.  The wire in its most rough state is brought p. 4from a wirecompany in the neighbourhood of Bristol: till the year 1563,English iron wire was drawn out by manual strength.  Thefirst operation attending this curious process, is the fixing thecircular roll of wire to the circumference of a wheel, which inits rotation throwing the wire against a board, with greatviolence, takes off the black external coat: vitriol is nextapplied to bring the brass to its common colour.  The brasswire being too thick for the purpose of being cut into Pins, isreduced to any dimension the workman pleases, by forcibly drawingit through an orifice in a steel plate, of a smallerdiameter.  The wire, being thus reduced to its properdimensions, is next straightened: it is then cut into portions ofsix inches in length, and afterwards to the size of the Pin, andeach piece respectively sharpened on a grinding-stone, turned bya wheel.  We now come to a distinct branch of themanufactory: the forming the heads, or, as the workmen term it,head spinning: this is accomplished by means of aspinning-wheel, which, with astonishing rapidity winds the wireround a small rod: this, when drawn out, leaves a hollow tubebetween the circumvolutions; every two circumvolutions, or turns,being cut with sheers, form one head.  The heads, thusformed, are distributed to children, who, with great dexterity,by the assistance of an anvil, or hammer, worked by the foot, fixthe point and the head together.  The Pins, p. 5thus formed,are boiled in a copper, containing a solution of block-tinpulverized, and the lees of Port; and by this last process, itchanges its yellow brassy colour, and assumes the appearance ofsilver, or tin.  The labourers are all paid according to theweight of their work.

Near Gloucester, at the small island of Alney, formed by theriver Severn, historians relate, that Canute and Edmund, aftermany bloody engagements in Essex, determined to prevent a farthereffusion of blood by a single combat.  Neither, however, asthe story relates, obtaining a victory, peace was concluded, andthe kingdom divided between them.  We paid, however, littleregard to the supposed place of this contest, as it was not forus, puisne antiquarians, to discuss points, on which the greatesthistorians had so materially differed.

I forbear to make any remarks on the Cathedral and Gaol ofGloucester, as much has already been done towards theirillustration; and as ample accounts of them are given in theGloucester Guide, which the Tourist will meet with on thespot.

The Walk from hence to


is by no means uninteresting; the country is studded withhalf-seen villas, and animated with churches, whilst theretrospect commands a fine view of Robin-hood’s Hill, withthe dark Tower of Gloucester Cathedral, just rising in theperspective.

At Westbury is the Seat of Maynard Colchester, Esq.  TheChurch, with a detached Spire, stands close to the house. Near this place mineralogists will be highly gratified byvisiting a Cliff, called Garden, or Golden Cliffe;which is most beautifully encrusted with mundic andcrystals.  This rock, standing close to the Severn, is onlyaccessible at the reflux of the tide; and when illuminated by thesun wears a most beautiful appearance.

Between Westbury and Newnham, in an extremely delightfulvalley, bordering on the Forest of Deane, is situate


the Seat of Sir Thomas Crawley Bovey.  This valley wasformerly called Castiard, or the Happy Valley; p. 7and aMonastery, for Cistercian Monks, was founded here by Roger, thesecond Earl of Hereford, and the charter confirmed by HenryII.  The Abbey was standing till the year 1777, when part ofit was unfortunately consumed by fire; since that a considerableportion of building has been added, and is become a verydesirable summer residence.  The Views from the park, behindthe house, are very extensive, commanding the Vale of Gloucester,and the River Severn, gay with vessels, whilst the extensiveForest of Dean, and Flaxley Abbey, form nearer objects foradmiration.  This wood abounds with

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