Picture of Celia Fiennes

Celia Fiennes

places mentioned

1698 Tour: Carlisle to Newcastle

Next Selection Previous Selection

Carlisle stands in view at Least 4 mile distant, ye town is walled in and all built of stone. The Cathedrall stands high and very Eminent to be seen above ye town. You Enter over the Bridge and Double gates wch are jron grates and Lined wth a Case of doores of thick timber, there are 3 gates to the town, one Called the English gate at which I entred. The other the jrish wch Leads on to Whitehaven and Cockermouth, the other ye Scottish gate through which I went into Scotland. The walls of the town and Battlements and towers are in very good Repaire and Looks well. Ye Cathedrall all built of stone which Looked stately but nothing Curious; there was some few houses as ye Deans and treasurer and some of ye Doctors houses walled in with Little gardens, their fronts Looked Gracefully; Else I saw no house Except the present Majors house of brick and stone' and one house which was ye Chancellors built of. stone very Lofty, 5 good sarshe windows in ye front, and this within a Stone wall'd Garden well kept, and Iron gates to discover it to view with stone Pillars. Ye streetes are very broad and handsome well Pitched.

I walked round the walls and saw the River wch twists and turns itself round the grounds, Called the Emount, wch at 3 or 4 miles off is flow'd by the sea. The other River is the Essex wch is very broad and Ebbs and flows about a mile or two off. There Remaines only some of the walls and ruines of ye Castle, wch does shew it to have been a very strong town formerly. The walls are of a prodigious thickness and vast great stones, its moated round and with draw bridges. There is a Large Market place wth a good Cross and hall, and is well supply'd as I am Inform'd wth provision at Easye rate, but my Landlady notwithstanding ran me up the Largest Reckoning for allmost nothing' it was ye dearest Lodging I met with and she pretended she Could get me nothing else; so for 2 joynts of mutton and a pinte of wine and bread and beer I had a 12 shilling Reckoning, but since I find tho' I was in the biggest house in town I was in the worst accomodation, and so found it, and a young giddy Landlady yt Could only Dress fine and Entertain the soldiers. From hence I tooke a guide the next day and so went for Scotland and Rode 3 or 4 mile by ye side of this River Emount wch is full of very good ffish. I Rode sometymes on a high Ridge over a hill, sometymes on the sands, it turning and winding about that I went almost all the way by it and saw them with boates fishing for Salmon and troute, wch made my journey very pleasant. Leaving this River I Came to the Essex wch is very broad and hazardous to Crosse Even when the tyde is out, by which it leaves a broad sand on Each side, which in some places is unsafe, made me take a good guide which Carry'd me aboute and a Crosse some part of it here, and some part in another place, it being Deep in ye Channell where I did Crosse wch was in sight of ye mouth of the river that runs into the sea. On the sand before the water was quite gone from it I saw a great bird wch Look'd almost black picking up ffish and busking in the water, it Looked like an Eagle and by its dimentions Could scarce be any other bird. Thence I went into Scotland over the river Serke which is also flowed by ye sea, but in the Summer tyme is not soe deep but Can be pass'd over-tho' pretty deep but narrow. It affords good ffish, but all here about wch are Called borderers seem to be very poor people wch I impute to their sloth. Scotland this part of it is a Low Marshy ground where they Cutt turff and peate for the fewell, tho' I should apprehend ye sea might Convey Coales to them. I see Little that they are Employ'd besides ffishing wch makes provision plentifull or Else their Cutting and Carving turff and peate, wch the women and great Girles bare legged does Lead a horse wch draws a sort of carriage, the Wheeles like a Dung-pott and hold about 4 wheele barrows. These people tho' with naked Leggs are yet wrapp'd up in plodds, a piece of woollen Like a Blanket, or Else Rideing hoods-and this when they are in their houses. I tooke them for people wch were sick, seeing 2 or 3 great wenches as tall and bigg as any woman sat hovering between their bed and Chimney corner, all jdle doing nothing or at Least was not settled to any work tho' it was nine of the Clock when I Came thither, haveing gone 7 long miles that morning. This is a Little Market town Called Adison Bank the houses Look just Like the booths at a fair, I am sure j have been in some of them that were tollerable dwellings to these, they have no Chimneys, their smoke Comes out all over the house and there are great holes in ye sides of their houses wch Letts out the smoake when they have been well smoaked in it. There is no Roome in their houses but is up to ye thatch and in which are 2 or 3 beds, Even to their parlours and buttery, and notwithstanding ye Cleaning of their parlour for me I was not able to beare the roome; the smell of the hay was a perfume and what I Rather Chose to stay and see my horses Eate their provender in the stable than to stand in yt roome for I Could not bring my self to sit down. My Landlady offered me a good dish of ffish and brought me butter in a Lairdly Dish with the Clap bread, but I Could have no stomach to Eate any of the ffood they should order, and finding they had noe wheaten bread I told her I Could not Eate their Clapt out bread, soe I bought the ffish she got for me wch was full Cheape Enough, nine pence for two pieces of Salmon halfe a one neer a yard Long, and a very Large trout of an amber Coullour, soe drinking wth out Eateing some of their wine wch was Exceeding good Claret wh they stand Conveniently for to have from France, and Indeed it was the best and truest Ffrench wine I have dranck this seven year and very Clear, I had ye first tapping of ye Little vessell and it was very fine. Then I went up to their Church wch Looks Rather Like some Little house built of stone and bricke such as our ordinary people in a village Live in. Ye doores were and ye Seates and pulpit was in so disregarded a manner that one would have thought there was no use of it, but there is a parson which Lives just by, whose house is ye best in the place, and they are all fine folks in their Sundays Cloathes. I observe ye Church yard is full of grave stones pretty Large with Coates of armes, and some had a Coronet on the Eschutcheons Cut in the stone. I saw but one house that Look'd Like a house about a quarter of a mile, wch was some gentlemans that was built 2 or 3 roomes and some over them of brick and stone, the rest were all Like Barns or hutts for Cattle. This is threescore miles from Edenborough and the neerest town to this place is 18 miles, and there would not have been much better entertainement or accomodation, and their miles are soe long in these Countrys made me afraid to venture, Least after a tedious journey I should not be able to get a bed I Could Lye in. It seemes there are very few towns Except Edenborough, Abberdeen and Kerk wch Can give better treatement to strangers, therefore for the most part persons yt travell there go from one Noblemans house to another. Those houses are all Kind of Castles and they Live great tho' in so nasty a way as all things are in even those houses one has Little Stomach to Eate or use anything, as I have been told by some that has travell'd there, and I am sure I mett with a sample of it enough to discourage my progress farther in Scotland. I attribute it wholly to their sloth for I see they sitt and do Little. I think there were one or two at Last did take spinning in hand at a Lazy way. Thence I tooke my ffish to Carry it to a place for the English to dress it and repass'd the Serke and the River Essex and there I saw ye Common people men women and Children take off their shooes, and holding up their Cloathes wade through the rivers when ye tide was out, and truely some there were that when they Come to ye other side put on shoes and stockings and had ffine Plodds Cast over them and their Garb seemed above ye Common people; but this is their Constant way of travelling from one place to anothr -if any river to pass they make no use of Bridges and have not many. I Came to Long town wch is 3 long mile from Addison Bank and is Called a Border and Indeed is very like ye Scotsland. Thence I Cross'd over a tedious long heath to Brampton a mile over Lime River and here I had my dinner dress'd-thence to Mucks hall 6 miles. Here I pass'd by my Lord Carletons which stands in the midst of woods. You goe through Lanes and Little sort of woods or hedge rows and many Little purling rivers or Brooks out of ye rocks. At Muneks Hall I Cross'd such another brooke and so out of Cumberland I Entred Northumberland. This is ye place ye judges Dine, its a sorry place for Entertainement of such a Company; here the Sherriffs meete them, it being the Entrance of Northumberland wch is much Like the other County. This it seemes Camden relates to be a Kingdom. This I am sure of, the more I travell'd Northward the Longer I found ye miles, I am sure these 6 miles and ye other 6 miles to Hartwhistle might with modesty be esteemed double the Number in most of ye Countys in England, Especially in and about 30 or 40 miles off London. I did not go 2 of those miles in an hour. Just at my Entrance into Northumberland I ascended a very steep hill of wch there are many, but one about 2 mile forward was Exceeding steep, full of great Rocks and stone -some of it along on a Row (the remainder of the Picts walls or ffortification) at ye bottom of wch was an old Castle the walls and towers of which was mostly Standing. Its a sort of Black moorish ground and so wet I observ'd as my Man Rode up that sort of precipice or steep his horses heeles Cast up water every step, and their feete Cut. deepe in, Even quite up to ye top. Such up and down hills and sort of boggy ground it was and ye night Drawing fast on, ye miles so Long, that I tooke a guide to direct me to avoid those ill places. This Hartwhistle is a Little town, there was one Inn but they had noe hay nor would get none, and when my servants had got some Else where they were angry and would not Entertaine me, so I was forced to take up in a poor Cottage wch was open to ye Thatch and no partitions but hurdles plaistered. Indeed ye Loft as they Called it wch was over the other roomes was shelter'd but wth a hurdle; here I was fforced to take up my abode and ye Landlady brought me out her best sheetes wch serv'd to secure my own sheetes from her dirty blanckets, and Indeed I had her fine sheete to spread over ye top of the Clothes; but noe sleepe Could I get, they burning turff and their Chimneys are sort of fflews or open tunnills, yt ye smoake does annoy the roomes. This is but 12 miles from another part of Scotland, the houses are but a Little better built, its true the inside of them are kept a Little better. Not far from this a Mile or two is a greate hill from which rises 3 rivers: the Teese wch is ye border between Durham and York, ye Ouse that runns to Yorke, and the River Tyne which runns to NewCastle and is the divider of Northumberland and Durham. This river Tyne runns 7 miles and then joyns wth the other river Tyne that Comes out of Northumberland and so they run on to NewCastle. From Hartwhistle I went pretty much up hill and down and had the River Tyne much in view for 6 miles, then I cross'd over it on a Large stone bridge and so Rode by its bank or pretty much in sight of it on the other side to Hexholme 6 mile more. This is one of the best towns in Northumberland Except NewCastle, wch is one place the Sessions are kept for the shire; its built of Stone and looks very well, there are 2 gates to it, many streetes, some are pretty broad, all well pitch'd, wth a spacious Market place wth a town hall on the Market Crosse. Thence I went through ye Lord Darentwaters parke just by his house wch is an old building not very Large, for 3 mile in all, to a Little village where I cross'd over the Tyne on a Long Bridge of stone wth many arches. The river is in some places broader than in others, its true at this tyme of ye yeare being Midsumer the springs are the Lowest and the Rivers shallow, and where there is any Rocks or stones Left quite bare of water.

Thence I went 4 mile along by the Tyne, the road was good hard gravelly way for the most part, but very steep up hills and down; on one of these I Rode a pretty while wth a great precipice on the Right hand down to the river, it Looked hazardous, but the way was very broad. The River Looked very reffreshing and ye Cattle Coming to its sides and into it where shallow to Coole themselves in the heate, for hitherto as I met wth noe Raines, notwithstanding the great raines yt fell the 2 dayes before I Left Woolsley, and ye Little showers I had when I went to Hollywell I was not annoy,d wth wet nor Extream heat, the Clouds being a shade to me by day and Gods good providence and protection all wayes. This after noon was the hottest day I met with but it was seasonable being in July. As I drew nearer and nearer to NewCastle I met with and saw abundance of Little Carriages wth a yoke of oxen and a pair of horses together, wch is to Convey the Coales from ye pitts to ye Barges on the river. There is Little sort of Dung-potts. I suppose they hold not above 2 or three Chaudron. This is the sea Coale which is pretty much small Coale tho' some is round Coales, yet none like the Cleft coales and this is what ye smiths use and it Cakes in ye ffire and makes a great heate, but it burns not up Light unless you put most round Coales wch will burn Light, but then its soon gone and that part of ye Coale never Cakes, there fore ye small sort is as good as any-if its black and shineing, that shows its goodness. This Country all about is full of this Coale, ye sulpher of it taints ye aire and it smells strongly to strangers,-upon a high hill 2 mile from NewCastle I could see all about the Country wch was full of Coale pitts.

New-Castle Lies in a bottom very Low, it appears from this hill a greate fflatt. I saw all by the river Tyne wch runns along to Tinmouth 5 or 6 miles off, wch Could see very plaine and ye Scheld wch is the key or ffort at the mouth of ye river wch disembogues itself into ye sea; all this was in view on this high hill wch I descended-5 mile more, in all nine from that place.

NewCastle is a town and County of itself standing part in Northumberland part in ye Bishoprick of Durham, the river Tyne being ye division. Its a noble town tho' in a bottom, it most resembles London of any place in England, its buildings Lofty and Large, of brick mostly or stone. The streetes are very broad and handsome and very well pitch'd, and many of them wth very ffine Cunduits of water in Each allwayes running into a Large stone Cistern for Every bodyes use. There is one great streete where in ye Market Crosse, there was one great Cunduit with two spouts wch falls into a Large ffountaine paved wth stone which held at Least 2 or 3 hodsheads for the jnhabitants. There are 4 gates wch are all Double gates with a sort of Bridge between Each. The west gate wch I entred I came by a Large building of bricke within bricke walls, which is the hall for the assizes and sessions for the shire of Northumberland. This is NewCastle on ye Tyne and is a town and County. There is a noble Building in the middle of the town all of stone for an Exchange on stone pillars severall rows. On the top is a building of a very Large hall for the judges to keep the assizes for the town; there is another roome for ye Major and Councill and another for the jury out of the Large roome wch is the hall, and opens into a Balcony wch Looks. out on ye River and ye Key. Its a Lofty good building of stone, very uniforme on all sides wth stone pillars in the ffronts both to the streete and market place and to the waterside. There is a ffine Clock on the top just as ye Royal Exchange has. The Key is a very ffine place and Lookes itself Like an Exchange being very broad and soe full of merchants walking to and againe, and it runs off a great Length wth a great many steps down to ye water for the Conveniency of Landing or boateing their goods, and is full of Cellars or ware houses. Ye harbour is full of shipps but none that is above 2 or 300 tun Can Come up quite to the Key: its a town of greate trade. There is one Large Church built of stone wth a very high tower finely Carv'd full of spires and severall devises in the Carving-all stone. The Quire is neate as is the whole Church and Curious Carving in wood on each side the quire, and over the ffront is a great Piramidy of wood ffinely Carv'd full of spires. There was a Castle in this town but now there is noe remaines of it but some of ye walls wch are built up in houses and soe only appears as a great hill or ascent, wch in some places is 30 or 40 steps advance to the streetes that are built on ye higher ground where the Castle was. There was one place soe Like Snow Hill in London wth a fine Conduite. Their shops are good and are of Distinct trades, not selling m any things in one shop as is ye Custom in most Country towns and Cittys; here is one market for Corne, another for H ay, besides all other things wch takes up two or three streetes. Satturday was their biggest Market day wch was the Day I was there, and by Reason of the extreame heate resolved to stay till the sun was Low ere I proceeded farther, so had the opportunity of seeing most of the Market wch is Like a ffaire for all sorts of provision, and good and very Cheape. I saw one buy a quarter of Lamb ffor 3d and 2d a piece: good Large poultry. Here is Leather, Woollen and Linnen and all sorts of stands for baubles. They have a very jndifferent sort of Cheese-Little things, Looks black on the outside. There is a very pleasant bowling-green, a Little walke out of the town wth a Large gravel walke round it wth two Rows of trees on Each side Makeing it very shady: there is a fine entertaineing house yt makes up the ffourth side, before wch is a paved walke and Epyasses of bricke. There is a pretty Garden, by ye side a shady walk, its a sort of spring garden where the Gentlemen and Ladyes walke in the Evening-there is a green house in the garden, its a pleasant walke to the town by ye walls. There is one broad walke by the side of ye town runns a good Length made wth Coale ashes and so well trodden, and the raines makes it firm. There is a walke all round the walls of the town. There is a good ffree school and 5 Churches. I went to see the Barber Surgeons Hall wch was within a pretty garden walled in, full of flowers and greens In potts and in the Borders; its a good neate building of Brick. There I saw the roome wth a round table in it railed round wth seates or Benches for ye Conveniency in their disecting and anatomiseing a body, and reading Lectures on all parts. There was two bodyes that had been anatomised, one the bones were fastned wth wires the other had had the flesh boyled off and so some of ye Ligeament remained and dryed wth it, and so the parts were held together by its own Muscles and sinews that were dryed wth it. Over this was another roome in wch was the skin of a man that was taken off after he was dead, and dressed, and so was stuff'd-the body and Limbs. It Look'd and felt Like a sort of parchment. In this roome I Could take a view of the whole town, it standing on high ground and a pretty Lofty building.

Just by is a very good Hospital for 14 widdows of tradesmen of the town, 2 good roomes a piece, a walke under a pyasse wth pillars of brickwork, as is the whole building: there is a Large ffountaine or Cunduite of water for their use and an open Green before their house all walled in, its in ye major and aldermans disposition, there is 2 or 300 pound a yeare to it, I thinke its 10 pound a piece. There is a very good fountaine belongs to it, and there is a fine bridge over the Tyne river wth 9 arches all built on as London bridge is, which Enters you into Durham, and on this side of ye Bridge are so many streets and buildings just Like Southwarke. Its a Little town but all is in the Liberty of ye County town of New-Castle and soe Called, but its all in the Diocess of Durham. Through part of this you do ascend a greate height and steepness wch is full of Rocky stony stepps, and afterwards the hill Continues when out of ye town till it has set you as high as on the former hill on the other side the town-wch I Entred out of Northumberland-and as that gave a Large prospect of the town and whole Country aboute on that side, soe this gives as pleasing a sight of it on this side and the whole river and shipps in the harbour. Thence I proceeded a most pleasant gravell Road on the Ridge of ye hill and had the whole Country in view, wch seems much on a flatt to this place, tho' there be a few Little steep up hills and descents, but the whole Country Looks Like a fruitfull woody place and seemes to Equal most Countys in England. 7 mile to Chester streete wch is a Little Market town, and I Rode neare Lumly Castle wch gives title and name to the Lord Lumly: the buildings Looke very Nobly, its in a 4 square tower running up to the top wth three Round towers at the top between the windows- Lookes well-its a front the four wayes, its not finely ffurnish'd.

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

Next Selection Previous Selection