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British Highways And Byways From A Motor Car - Being A Record Of A Five Thousand Mile Tour In England, - Wales And Scotland
by Thomas D. Murphy
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An hour's run after leaving Bangor brought us in sight of the towers of Conway Castle. Nowhere in Britain does the spirit of mediaevalism linger as it does in the ancient town of Conway. It is still surrounded by its old wall with twenty-one watch-towers and the three gateways originally leading into the town have been recently restored. The castle stands on the verge of a precipitous rock and its outer walls are continuous with those of the town. It is a perfect specimen of a Thirteenth Century military fortress, with walls of enormous thickness, flanked by eight huge, circular towers. It was built by Edward I in 1284. Several times it was besieged by the Welsh and on one occasion came near falling into their hands while the king himself was in the castle. It was besieged during the Parliamentary wars, but for some unaccountable reason it was not destroyed or seriously damaged when captured. Its present dilapidated state is due to the action of its owner, Lord Conway, shortly after, in dismantling it to sell the lead and timber of the building, and it was permitted to fall into gradual decay. The castle, with its eight towers and bridge, which matches it in general style and which was built about fifty years ago, is one of the best known objects in the whole Kingdom. It has been made familiar to everybody through innumerable photographs and pictures.

When we drew our car up in front of the castle it was in gala attire and was the scene of activity which we were at a loss to account for. We soon learned that the Wesleyans, or Welsh Methodists, were holding a festival in the castle, and the shilling we paid for admission included a nicely served lunch, of which the Welsh strawberries were the principal feature. The occasion was enlivened by music from the local band and songs by young girls in the old Welsh costume. This led us to ask if the Welsh language were in common use among the people. We were told that while the older people can speak it, it does not find much favor among the younger generation, some of whom are almost ashamed to admit knowledge of the old tongue. English was spoken everywhere among the people at the gathering, and the only Welsh heard was in some of the songs by the girls. We wandered about the ruin and ascended the towers, which afford a fine view of the town and river. There seems to have been little done in the way of restoration, or repair, but so massive are the walls that they have splendidly stood the ravages of time.

On leaving Conway we crossed the suspension bridge, paying a goodly toll for the privilege. It was already growing late when we left the town, but the fine level road and the unusually willing spirit evinced by our motor enabled us to cover the fifty miles to Chester before night set in.



IX

CHESTER TO "THE HIELANDS"

Chester stands a return visit well, and so does the spacious and hospitable Grosvenor Hotel. It was nearly dark when we reached the city and the hotel was crowded, the season now being at its height. We had neglected to wire for reservation, but our former stop at the hotel was not forgotten and this stood us in good stead in securing accommodations. So comfortably were we established that we did not take the car out of the garage the next day but spent our time in leisurely re-visiting some of the places that had pleased us most.

The next day we were early away for the north. I think that no other stretch of road of equal length was more positively unattractive than that we followed from Chester to Penrith. Even the road-book, whose "objects of interest" were in some cases doubtful, to say the least, could name only the battlefield of 1648 near Preston and one or two minor "objects" in a distance of one hundred miles. I recalled the comment of the Touring Secretary of the Motor Union as he rapidly drew his pencil through this road as shown on the map: "Bad road, rough pavement, houses for thirty miles at a stretch right on each side of the street, crowds of children everywhere—but you cannot get away from it very well." All of which we verified by personal experience.

At starting it seemed easy to reach Carlisle for the night, but progress was slow and we met an unexpected delay at Warrington, twenty miles north of Chester. A policeman courteously notified us that the main street of the city would be closed three hours for a Sunday School parade. We had arrived five minutes too late to get across the bridge and out of the way. We expressed our disgust at the situation and the officer made the conciliatory suggestion that we might be able to go on anyway. He doubted if the city had any authority to close the main street, one of the King's highways, on account of such a procession. We hardly considered our rights so seriously infringed as to demand such a remedy, and we turned into the stable-yard of a nearby hotel to wait until the streets were clear. In the meantime we joined the crowd that watched the parade. The main procession, of five or six thousand children, was made up of Sunday Schools of the Protestant churches—the Church of England and the "Non-Conformists." The Catholics, whose relations in England with Protestants are strained to a much greater extent than in the United States, did not join, but formed a smaller procession in one of the side streets. The parade was brilliant with flags and with huge banners bearing portraits of the King and Queen, though some bore the names and emblems of the different schools. One small fellow proudly flourished the Stars and Stripes, which was the only foreign flag among the thousands in the procession. In this connection I might remark that one sees the American flag over here far oftener than he would traveling in America. We found nothing but the kindest and most cordial feeling toward Americans everywhere; and the very fact that we were Americans secured us special privileges in not a few cases.

After the procession had crossed the bridge, a policeman informed us that we could proceed. We gained considerable time by making a detour through side streets—not an altogether easy performance—and after much inquiry regained the main road leading out of the city. Warrington is a city of more than one hundred and twenty thousand inhabitants, a manufacturing place with nothing to detain the tourist. On the main street near the river is a fine bronze statue of Oliver Cromwell, one of four that I saw erected to the memory of the Protector in England. Our route from Warrington led through Wigan and Preston, manufacturing cities of nearly one hundred thousand each, and the suburbs of the three are almost continuous. Tram cars were numerous and children played everywhere with utter unconcern for the vehicles which crowded the streets.

When we came to Lancaster we were glad to stop, although our day's journey had covered only sixty miles. We knew very little of Lancaster and resorted to the guide-books for something of its antecedents, only to learn the discouraging fact that here, as everywhere, the Romans had been ahead of us. The town has a history reaching back to the Roman occupation, but its landmarks have been largely obliterated in the manufacturing center which it has become. Charles Dickens was a guest at Lancaster, and in recording his impressions he declared it "a pleasant place, dropped in the midst of a charming landscape; a place with a fine, ancient fragment of a castle; a place of lovely walks and possessing many staid old houses, richly fitted with Honduras mahogany," and followed with other reflections not so complimentary concerning the industrial slavery which prevailed in the city a generation or two ago. The "fine, ancient fragment of a castle" has been built into the modern structure which now serves as the seat of the county court. The square tower of the Norman keep is included in the building. This in general style and architecture conforms to the old castle, which, excepting the fragment mentioned by Dickens, has long since vanished. Near at hand is St. Mary's Church, rivaling in size and dignity many of the cathedrals, and its massive, buttressed walls and tall, graceful spire do justice to its magnificent site. From the eminence occupied by the church the Irish Sea is plainly visible, and in the distance the almost tropical Isle of Man rises abruptly out of the blue waters. The monotony of our previous day's travel was forgotten in lively anticipation as we proceeded at what seemed a snail's pace over the fine road leading from Penrith to Carlisle. We had been warned at Penrith, not against the bold highwaymen, the border moss-troopers or the ranting Highlandmen of song and story, but against a plain, Twentieth Century police trap which was being worked very successfully along this road. Such was our approach in these degenerate days to "Merrie Carlile," which figured so largely in the endless border warfare between the Scotch and English. But why the town should have been famed as "Merrie Carlile" would be hard to say, unless more than a thousand years of turmoil, bloodshed and almost ceaseless warfare through which it passed earned it the cheerful appellation. The trouble between the English and the Welsh ended early, but it has been only a century and a half ago since the closing scene of the long and bitter conflict between the north and south was enacted at Carlisle. Its grim old castle was the scene of the imprisonment and execution of the last devoted followers of Prince Charlie, and according to Scott's Waverly the dashing but sadly deluded young chieftain, Fergus McIvor, was one of those who suffered a shameful death. In this connection one remembers that Scott's marriage to Miss Carpentier took place in Carlisle, an event that would naturally accentuate our interest in the fine old border city. As we had previously visited Carlisle, our stay was a short one, but its remarkable history, its connection with the stories of Walter Scott, its atmosphere of romance and legend and the numerous points of interest within easy reach—all combine to make it a center where one might spend several days. The Romans had been here also, and they, too, had struggled with the wild tribes on the north, and from that time down to the execution of the last adherents of the Stuarts in 1759 the town was hardly at any time in a state of quietude. As described by an observant writer, "every man became a soldier and every house that was not a mere peasant's hut was a fortress." A local poet of the Seventeenth Century summed it up in a terse if not elegant couplet as his unqualified opinion

"That whoso then in the border did dwell Lived little happier than those in hell."

But Carlisle is peaceful and quiet enough at the present time, a place of considerable size and with a thriving commerce. Its castle, a plain and unimpressive structure, still almost intact, has been converted into military barracks, and its cathedral, which, according to an old chronicle, in 1634 "impressed three observant strangers as a great wild country church," has not been greatly altered in appearance since that period. It suffered severely at the hands of the Parliamentary soldiers, who tore down a portion of the nave to use the materials in strengthening the defenses of the town. But the story of Carlisle could not be told in many volumes. If the mere hint of its great interest which I have given here can induce any fellow tourist to tarry a little longer at "Merrie Carlile," it will be enough.

Leaving Carlisle, we crossed "Solway Tide" and found ourselves in the land of bluebells and heather, the "Bonnie Scotland" of Robert Burns. Shortly after crossing the river, a sign-board pointed the way to Gretna Green, that old-time haven of eloping lovers, who used to cross the Solway just as the tide began to rise, and before it subsided there was little for the paternal ancestors to do but forgive and make the best of it. But we missed the village, for it was a mile or two off the road to Dumfries, which we hoped to reach for the night. An unexpected difficulty with the car nearly put this out of the range of possibility, but by grace of the long Scotch twilight, we came into Dumfries about ten o'clock without finding it necessary to light our lamps. Our day's journey had been a tiresome one, and we counted ourselves fortunate on being directed to the Station Hotel, which was as comfortable and well managed as any we found. The average railway hotel in America is anything but an attractive proposition, but in Scotland and in England conditions are almost reversed, the station hotels under the control of the different railway companies being generally the best.



We had been attracted to Dumfries chiefly because of its association with Robert Burns, who spent the last years of his life in the town or in its immediate vicinity. Our first pilgrimage was to the poet's tomb, in St. Michael's churchyard. A splendid memorial marks the place, but a visit to the small dingy house a few yards distant, in which he died, painfully reminded us of his last years of distress and absolute want. Within easy reach of Dumfries lie many points of interest, but as our time permitted us to visit only one of these, we selected Caerlaverock Castle, the Ellangowan of Scott's "Guy Mannering," lying about ten miles to the south. In location and style of construction it is one of the most remarkable of the Scotch ruins. It stands in an almost level country near the coast and must have depended for defense on its enormously thick walls and the great double moat which surrounded it, rather than the strength of its position. The castle is built of dark-brown stone, and the walls, rising directly from the waters of the moat and covered with masses of ivy, are picturesque, though in a sad state of disrepair. Bits of artistic carving and beautiful windows showed that it was a palace as well as a fortress, though it seems strange that the builder should select such a site. In common with most British castles, it was finally destroyed by Cromwell, and the custodian showed us a pile of cannon balls which he had gathered in the vicinity. On one of the stones of the inner wall were the initials, "R.B.," and the date, "1776," which our guide assured us were cut by Robert Burns; and there are certain peculiarities about the monogram which leave little doubt that it was the work of the poet. From the battlements of the castle the old man pointed to a distant hill, where, he told us, the home of the Carlyles had been for many years and where Thomas Carlyle, who was born at Ecclefechan, lies buried. Within a few miles of Dumfries is Ellisland Farm, where Robert Burns was a tenant for several years, and many of his most famous poems were written during that period. And besides, there were old abbeys and castles galore within easy reach; and glad indeed we should have been had we been able to make the Station Hotel our headquarters for a week and devote our time to exploring. But we were already behind schedule and the afternoon found us on the road to Ayr.

A little more than half the distance from Dumfries to Ayr the road runs through the Nith Valley, with river and forest scenery so charming as to remind us of the Wye. The highway is a splendid one, with fine surface and easy grades. It passes through an historic country, and the journey would consume a long time if one should pause at every point that might well repay a visit. A mile on the way is Lincluden Abbey, in whose seclusion Burns wrote many of his poems, the most famous of which, "The Vision of Liberty," begins with a reference to the ruin:

"As I stood by yon roofless tower Where wall flowers scent the dewy air, Where the owlet lone in her ivy bower, Tells to the midnight moon her care—"

Ellisland Farm is only a few miles farther on the road, never to be forgotten as the spot where "Tam-O'-Shanter" was written. The farm home was built by Burns himself during what was probably the happiest period of his life, and he wrote many verses that indicated his joyful anticipation of life at Ellisland Farm. But alas, the "best laid plans o' mice and men gang oft agley," and the personal experience of few men has more strikingly proven the truth of the now famous lines than of Robert Burns himself! Many old castles and magnificent mansions crown the heights overlooking the river, but we caught only glimpses of some of them, surrounded as they were by immense parks, closed to the public. Every one of the older places underwent many and strange vicissitudes in the long years of border warfare, and of them all, Drumlanrigh Castle, founded in 1689, is perhaps the most imposing. For ten years its builder, the first Earl of Queensbury, labored on the structure, only to pass a single night in the completed building, never to revisit it, and ending his days grieving over the fortune he had squandered on this many-towered pile of gray stone.

We may not loiter along the Nithdale road, rich as it is in traditions and relics of the past. Our progress through such a beautiful country had been slow at the best, and a circular sign-board, bearing the admonition, "Ten Miles Per Hour," posted at each of the numerous villages on the way, was another deterrent upon undue haste. The impression that lingers with us of these small Scotch villages is not a pleasant one. Rows of low, gray-stone, slate-roofed cottages straggling along a single street—generally narrow and crooked and extending for distances depending on the size of the place—made up the average village. Utterly unrelieved by the artistic touches of the English cottages and without the bright dashes of color from flowers and vines, with square, harsh lines and drab coloring everywhere, these Scotch villages seemed bleak and comfortless. Many of them we passed through on this road, among them Sandquhar, with its castle, once a strong and lordly fortress but now in a deplorable state of neglect and decay, and Mauchline, where Burns farmed and sang before he removed to Dumfries. It was like passing into another country when we entered Ayr, which, despite its age and the hoary traditions which cluster around it, is an up-to-date appearing seaport of about thirty thousand people. It is a thriving business town with an unusually good electric street-car system, fine hotels and (not to be forgotten by motorists) excellent garages and repair shops.

Ayr is one of the objective points of nearly every tourist who enters Scotland. Its associations with Burns, his birthplace, Kirk Alloway, his monument, the "Twa Brigs," the "Brig O' Doon," and the numerous other places connected with his memory in Ayr and its vicinity, need not be dwelt on here. An endless array of guide-books and other volumes will give more information than the tourist can absorb and his motor car will enable him to rapidly visit such places as he may choose. It will be of little encumbrance to him, for he may leave the car standing at the side of the street while he makes a tour of the haunts of Burns at Alloway or elsewhere.

It was a gloomy day when we left Ayr over the fine highway leading to Glasgow, but before we had gone very far it began to rain steadily. We passed through Kilmarnock, the largest city in Ayrshire. Here a splendid memorial to Burns has been erected, and connected with it is a museum of relics associated with the poet, as well as copies of various editions of his works. This reminds one that the first volume of poems by Burns was published at Kilmarnock, and in the cottage at Ayr we saw one of the three existing copies, which had been purchased for the collection at an even thousand pounds.

We threaded our way carefully through Glasgow, for the rain, which was coming down heavily, made the streets very slippery, and our car showed more or less tendency to the dangerous "skid." Owing to former visits to the city, we did not pause in Glasgow, though the fact is that no other large city in Britain has less to interest the tourist. It is a great commercial city, having gained in the last one hundred years three quarters of a million inhabitants. Its public buildings, churches, and other show-places—excepting the cathedral—lack the charm of antiquity. After striking the Dumbarton road, exit from the city was easy, and for a considerable distance we passed near the Clyde shipyards, the greatest in the world, where many of the largest merchant and war vessels have been constructed. Just as we entered Dumbarton, whose castle loomed high on a rocky island opposite the town, the rain ceased and the sky cleared with that changeful rapidity we noticed so often in Britain. Certainly we were fortunate in having fine weather for the remainder of the day, during which we passed perhaps as varied and picturesque scenery as we found on our journey.



For the next thirty miles the road closely followed the west shore of Loch Lomond, and for the larger part of the way we had a magnificent panorama of the lake and the numberless green islands that rose out of its silvery waters. Our view in places was cut off by the fine country estates that lay immediately on the shores of the lake, but the grounds, rich with shrubbery and bright with flowers, were hardly less pleasing than the lake itself. These prevailed at the southern portion of the lake only, and for at least twenty miles the road closely followed the shore, leading around short turns on the very edges of steep embankments or over an occasional sharp hill—conditions that made careful driving necessary. Just across the lake, which gradually grew narrower as we went north, lay the low Scotch mountains, their green outlines subdued by a soft blue haze, but forming a striking background to the ever-varying scenery of the lake and opposite shore. Near the northern end on the farther side is the entrance to the Trosachs, made famous by Scott's "Lady of the Lake." The roads to this region are closed to motors—the only instance that I remember where public highways were thus interdicted. The lake finally dwindled to a brawling mountain stream, which we followed for several miles to Crianlarich, a rude little village nestling at the foot of the rugged hills. From here we ran due west to Oban, and for twenty miles of the distance the road was the worst we saw in Scotland, being rough and covered with loose, sharp stones that were ruinous to tires. It ran through a bleak, unattractive country almost devoid of habitations and with little sign of life excepting the flocks of sheep grazing on the short grasses that covered the steep, stony hillsides. The latter half of the distance the surroundings are widely different, an excellent though winding and narrow road leading us through some of the finest scenes of the Highlands. Especially pleasing was the ten-mile jaunt along the north shore of Loch Awe, with the glimpses of Kilchurn Castle which we caught through occasional openings in the thickly clustered trees on the shore. Few ruins are more charmingly situated than Kilchurn, standing as it does on a small island rising out of the clear waters—the crumbling walls overgrown with ivy and wall-flowers. The last fifteen miles were covered in record time for us, for it was growing exceedingly chilly as the night began to fall and the Scotch July day was as fresh and sharp as an American October.

Oban is one of the most charming of the north of Scotland resort towns, and is becoming one of the most popular. It is situated on a little land-locked bay, generally white in summer time with the sails of pleasure vessels. Directly fronting the town, just across the harbor, are several ranges of hills fading away into the blue mists of the distance and forming, together with the varying moods of sky and water, a delightful picture. Overhanging the town from the east is the scanty ruin of Dunollie Castle, little more than a shapeless pile of stone covered over with masses of ivy. Viewed from the harbor, the town presents a striking picture, and the most remarkable feature is the great colosseum on the hill. This is known as McCaig's Tower and was built by an eccentric citizen some years ago merely to give employment to his fellow townsmen. One cannot get an adequate idea of the real magnitude of the structure without climbing the steep hill and viewing it from the inside. It is a circular tower, pierced by two rows of windows, and is not less than three hundred feet in diameter, the wall ranging in height from thirty to seventy-five feet from the ground. It lends a most striking and unusual appearance to the town, but among the natives it goes by the name of "McCaig's Folly."



From Oban as a center, numberless excursions may be made to old castles, lakes of surpassing beauty and places of ancient and curious history. None of the latter are more famous than the island of Iona, lying about thirty-five miles distant and accessible by steamer two or three days of each week in summer time. We never regretted that we abandoned the car a day for the trip to this quaint spot and its small sister island, Staffa, famed for Fingall's cave and the curious natural columns formed by volcanic action. The round trip covers a distance of about seventy-five miles and occupies eight or ten hours. Iona is a very small island, with a population of no more than fifty, but it was a place of importance in the early religious history of Scotland; and its odd little cathedral, which is now in ruins—except the nave, but recently restored—was originally built in the Eleventh Century. Weird and strange indeed is the array of memorials rudely cut from Scotch granite that mark the resting places of the chiefs of many forgotten clans, while a much higher degree of art is shown in the regular and even delicate designs traced on the numerous old crosses still standing. In olden days Iona was counted sacred ground after the landing of St. Columba in 563, and its fame even extended to Sweden and Denmark, whose kings at one time were brought here for interment. We were fortunate in having a fine day, the sky being clear and the sea perfectly smooth. We were thus enabled to make landing at both isles, a thing that is often impossible on account of the weather. This circular trip—for the return is made by the Sound of Mull—is a remarkably beautiful one, the steamer winding in and out through the straits among the islands and between shores wild and broken, though always picturesque and often impressive. Many of the hills are crowned with ruined fortresses and occasionally an imposing modern summer residence is to be seen. Competent judges declare that provided the weather is fine no more delightful short excursion by steamer can be made on the British coast than the one just described. Three miles from Oban lies Dunstafnage Castle, a royal residence of the Pictish kings, bearing the marks of extreme antiquity. It occupies a commanding position on a point of land extending far into the sea and almost surrounded by water at high tide. We visited it in the fading twilight, and a lonelier, more ghostly place it would be hard to imagine. From this old castle was taken the stone of destiny upon which the Pictish kings were crowned, but which is now the support of the coronation chair in Westminster Abbey. A place so rich in romantic legend could not be expected to escape the knowledge of the Wizard of the North and Scott made more than one visit to this solitary ruin. As a result the story of Dunstafnage has been woven into the "Legend of Montrose" as "Ardenvohr" and the description may be easily recognized by any one who visits the old castle.

Oban is modern, a place of many and excellent hotels fronting on the bay. So far, only a small per cent of its visitors are Americans, and the indifferent roads leading to the town discourage the motorist. Had we adhered to the route outlined for us by the Motor Union Secretary, we should have missed it altogether. We had made a stop in the town two years before, and yet there are few places in Britain that we would rather visit a third time than Oban.



X

THROUGH HISTORIC SCOTLAND

The north of Scotland is rapidly becoming little more than a pleasure-ground for the people of the Kingdom, and its attractions are yearly drawing a larger number of Americans. There are practically no European visitors, but that is largely true of the entire Kingdom. The people of the Continent consider Britain a chilly, unattractive land. Its historic and literary traditions, so dear to the average American, who holds a common language, do not appeal to those who think their own countries superior to any other in these particulars.

It is only a natural consequence that Scotland, outside of the three or four largest cities, is becoming, like Switzerland, a nation of hotelkeepers—and very excellent ones they are. The Scotch hotels average as good as any in the world. One finds them everywhere in the Highlands. Every lake, every ruin frequented by tourists has its hotel, many of them fine structures of native granite, substantially built and splendidly furnished.

We left Oban over the route by which we came, since no other was recommended to motorists. Our original plan to follow the Caledonian Canal to Inverness was abandoned on account of difficult roads and numerous ferries with poor and infrequent service. After waiting three hours to get an "accumulator" which had been turned over to a local repair man thirty-six hours before with instructions to have it charged and returned promptly, we finally succeeded in getting off. This delay is an example of those which we encountered again and again from failure to get prompt service, especially when we were making an effort to get away before ten or eleven in the morning.

It was no hardship to follow more leisurely than before the road past Loch Awe, whose sheet of limpid water lay like a mirror around Kilchurn Castle under the cloudless, noonday sky. A little farther on, at Dalmally, we paused at a pleasant old country hotel, where the delicious Scotch strawberries were served fresh from the garden. It was a quaint, clean, quiet place, and the landlord told us that aside from the old castles and fine scenery in the vicinity, its chief attraction to guests was trout-fishing in neighboring streams. We were two days in passing through the heart of the Highlands from Oban to Inverness over about two hundred miles of excellent road running through wild and often beautiful scenery, but there were few historic spots as compared with the coast country. The road usually followed the edge of the hills, often with a lake or mountain stream on one hand. From Crianlarich we followed the sparkling Dochart until we reached the shore of Loch Tay, about twenty miles distant. From the mountainside we had an unobstructed view of this narrow but lovely lake, lying for a distance of twenty miles between ridges of sharply rising hills. White, low-hung clouds half hid the mountains on the opposite side of the loch, giving the delightful effect of light and shadow for which the Scotch Highlands are famous and which the pictures of Watson, Graham and Farquharson have made familiar to nearly everyone.

At the northern end of the lake we caught distant glimpses of the battlemented towers of Taymouth Castle, home of the Marquis of Breadalbane, which, though modern, is one of the most imposing of the Scotch country seats. If the castle itself is imposing, what shall we say of the estate, extending as it does westward to the Sound of Mull, a distance of one hundred miles—a striking example of the inequalities of the feudal system. Just before we crossed the bridge over the Tay River near the outlet of the lake, we noticed a gray old mansion with many Gothic towers and gables, Grandtully Castle, made famous by Scott as the Tully-Veolan of Waverly. Near by is Kinniard House, where Robert Louis Stevenson wrote "Treasure Island."

A few miles farther on we came to Pitlochry, a surprisingly well built resort with excellent hotels and a mammoth "Hydropathic" that dominates the place from a high hill. The town is situated in the very center of the Highlands, surrounded by hills that supply the gray granite used in its construction; and here we broke our journey for the night.

Our way to Inverness was through a sparsely inhabited, wildly broken country, with half a dozen mean-looking villages at considerable distances from each other and an occasional hut or wayside inn between. Although it was July and quite warm for the north of Scotland, the snow still lingered on many of the low mountains, and in some places it seemed that we might reach it by a few minutes' walk. There was little along the road to remind one of the stirring times or the plaided and kilted Highlander that Scott has led us to associate with this country. We saw one old man, the keeper of a little solitary inn in the very heart of the hills, arrayed in the full glory of the old-time garb—plaid, tartan, sporran and skene-dhu, all set off by the plumed Glengarry cap—a picturesque old fellow indeed. And we met farther on the way a dirty-looking youth with his bagpipes slung over his shoulder—in dilapidated modern garb he was anything but a fit descendant of the minstrels whose fame has come down to us in song and story. Still, he was glad to play for us, and despite his general resemblance to an every-day American tramp, it was something to have heard the skirl of the bag-pipe in the Pass of Killiekrankie. And after all, the hills, the vales and the lochs were there, and everywhere on the low green mountains grazed endless flocks of sheep. They lay leisurely in the roadway or often trotted unconcernedly in front of the car, occasioning at times a speed limit even more unsatisfactory than that imposed in the more populous centers by the police traps. Incidentally we learned that the finest sheep in the world—and vast numbers of them—are produced in Great Britain. When we compare them with the class of animals raised in America it is easy to see why our wool and mutton average so greatly inferior.



A clean, quiet, charming city is Inverness, "the capital of the Highlands," as the guide-books have it. It is situated on both shores of its broad, sparkling river—so shallow that the small boys with turned-up pantaloons wade across it in summer time—while an arm of the sea defines the boundary on the northeast. Though tradition has it that Macbeth built a castle on the site of the present structure, it disappeared centuries ago, and there is now little evidence of antiquity to be found in the town. The modern castle is a massive, rambling, brown-stone building less than a hundred years old, now serving as a county court. The cathedral is recent, having been completed in the last quarter of a century. It is an imposing church of red stone, the great entrance being flanked by low, square-topped towers. As a center for tourists, Inverness is increasingly popular and motor cars are very common. The roads of the surrounding country are generally excellent, and a trip of two hundred miles will take one to John O'Groats, the extreme northern point of Scotland. The country around has many spots of interest. Cawdor Castle, where tradition says Macbeth murdered Duncan, is on the Nairn road, and on the way to this one may also visit Culloden Moor, a grim, shelterless waste, where the adherents of Prince Charlie were defeated April 16th, 1746. This was the last battle fought on British soil, and the site is marked by a rude round tower built from stones gathered from the battlefield.

From Inverness an unsurpassed highway leads to Aberdeen, a distance of a little over one hundred miles. It passes through a beautiful country, the northeastern Scottish Lowlands, which looked as prosperous and productive as any section we saw. The smaller towns appeared much better than the average we had so far seen in Scotland; Nairn, Huntly, Forres, Keith and Elgin more resembling the better English towns of similar size than Scotch towns which we had previously passed through. At Elgin are the ruins of its once splendid cathedral, which in its best days easily ranked as the largest and most imposing church in Scotland. Time has dealt hardly with it, and the shattered fragments which remain are only enough to confirm the story of its magnificence. Fire, and vandals who tore the lead from the roof for loot having done their worst, the cathedral served the unsentimental Scots of the vicinity as a stone-quarry until recent years, but it is now owned by the crown and every precaution taken to arrest further decay.

The skies were lowering when we left Inverness and the latter half of the journey was made in the hardest rainstorm we encountered on our tour. We could not see ten yards ahead of us and the water poured down the hills in torrents, yet our car ran smoothly on, the fine macadam road being little affected by the deluge. The heavy rain ceased by the time we reached Inverurie, a gray, bleak-looking little town, closely following a winding street, but the view from the high bridge which we crossed just on leaving the place made full amends for the general ugliness of the village.



It would be hard to find anywhere a more beautiful city than Aberdeen, with her clean, massively built structures of native gray granite, thickly sprinkled with mica facets that make it fairly glitter in the sunlight. Everything seems to have been planned by the architect to produce the most pleasing effect, and careful note must have been taken of surroundings and location in fitting many of the public buildings into their niches. We saw few more imposing structures in Britain than the new postoffice at Aberdeen, and it was typical of the solidity and architectural magnificence of the Queen City of the North. But Aberdeen will be on the route of any tourist who goes to Northern Scotland, so I will not write of it here. It is a great motoring center, with finely built and well equipped garages.

As originally planned we were to go southward from Aberdeen by the way of Braemar and Balmoral in the very heart of the Highland country—the route usually followed by British motorists. It passes through wild scenery, but the country has few historic attractions. The Motor Union representative had remarked that we should probably want to spend several days at Braemar, famous for its scenic surroundings—the wild and picturesque dales, lakes and hills near at hand; but to Americans, from the country of the Yellowstone and Yosemite, the scenery of Scotland can be only an incident in a tour. From this consideration, we preferred to take the coast road southward, which, though it passes through a comparatively tame-looking country, is thickly strewn with places replete with stirring and romantic incidents of Scottish history. Nor had we any cause to regret our choice.

Fifteen miles south of Aberdeen we came in sight of Dunnottar Castle, lying about two miles from the highway. We left the car by the roadside and followed the footpath through the fields. The ruin stands on a high, precipitous headland projecting far out into the ocean and cut off from the land side by a deep, irregular ravine, and the descent and ascent of the almost perpendicular sides was anything but an easy task. A single winding footpath leads to the grim old gateway, and we rang the bell many times before the custodian admitted us. Inside the gate the steep ascent continues through a rude, tunnellike passageway, its sides for a distance of one hundred feet or more pierced with many an embrasure for archers or musketeers. Emerging from this we came into the castle court, the center of the small plateau on the summit of the rock. Around us rose the broken, straggling walls, bare and bleak, without a shred of ivy or wall-flower to hide their grim nakedness. The place was typical of a rude, semi-barbarous age, an age of rapine, murder and ferocious cruelty, and its story is as terrific as one would anticipate from its forbidding aspect. Here it was the wont of robber barons to retire with their prisoners and loot; and later, on account of the inaccessibility, state and political prisoners were confined here from time to time. In the frightful "Whig's Vault," a semi-subterranean dungeon, one hundred and sixty covenanters—men and women—were for several months confined by orders of the infamous Claverhouse. A single tiny window looking out on the desolate ocean furnished the sole light and air for the great cavern, and the story of the suffering of the captives is too dreadful to tell here. The vault was ankle deep in mire and so crowded were the prisoners that no one could sit without leaning upon another. In desperation and at great risk, a few attempted to escape from the window, whence they clambered down the precipitous rock; but most of them were re-taken, and after frightful tortures were thrown into a second dungeon underneath the first, where light and air were almost wholly excluded. Such was Scotland in the reign of Charles Stuart II, and such a story seemed in keeping with the vast, dismal old fortress.



But Dunnottar, secluded and lonely as it was, did not escape the far-reaching arm of the Lord Protector, and in 1562 his cannon, planted on the height opposite the headland, soon brought the garrison to terms. It was known that the Scottish regalia—the crown believed to be the identical one worn by Bruce at his coronation, the jewelled scepter and the sword of state presented to James IV by the pope—had been taken for safety to Dunnottar, held in repute as the most impregnable stronghold in the North. The English maintained a close blockade by sea and land and were in strong hopes of securing the coveted relics. The story is that Mrs. Granger, the wife of a minister of a nearby village, who had been allowed by the English to visit the castle, on her departure carried the relics with her, concealed about her clothing. She passed through the English lines without interference, and the precious articles were safely disposed of by her husband, who buried them under the flagstones in his church at Kinneff, where they remained until the restoration of 1660. The English were intensely disappointed at the loss. The minister and his wife did not escape suspicion and were even subjected to torture, but they bravely refused to give information as to the whereabouts of the regalia.

We wandered about, following our rheumatic old guide, who pointed out the different apartments to us and, in Scotch so broad that we had to follow him very closely, told us the story of the fortress. From the windows everywhere was the placid, shimmering summer sea, its surface broken into silvery ripples by the fresh morning wind, but it was left to the imagination to conceive the awful desolation of Dunnottar Castle on a gray and stormy day. The old man conducted us to the keep, and I looked over a year's record in the visitors' book without finding a single American registered, and was more than ever impressed as to the manner in which the motor car will often bring the tourist from the States into a comparatively undiscovered country. The high tower of the keep, several hundred feet above the sea, afforded scope for a most magnificent outlook. One could get a full sweep of the bleak and sterile country through which we had passed, lying between Aberdeen and Stonehaven, and which Scott celebrated as the Muir of Drumthwacket. It was with a feeling of relief that we passed out of the forbidding portals into the fresh air of the pleasant July day, leaving the old custodian richer by a few shillings, to wonder that the "American Invasion" had reached this secluded old fortress on the wild headland washed by the German Ocean.

From Stonehaven we passed without special incident to Montrose, following an excellent but rather uninteresting road, though an occasional fishing-village and frequent view of the ocean broke the monotony of the flying miles. Montrose is an ancient town delightfully situated between the ocean and a great basin connected with the sea by a broad strait, over which a suspension bridge five hundred feet long carried us southward. I recall that it was at Montrose where an obliging garage man loaned me an "accumulator"—my batteries had been giving trouble—scouting the idea of a deposit, and I gave him no more than my agreement to return his property when I reached Edinburgh.

At Arbroath are the ruins of the most extensive of the Scotch abbeys, scanty indeed, but still enough to show its state and importance in the "days of faith." Here once reigned the good abbott celebrated by Southey in his ballad of Ralph the Rover, familiar to every schoolboy. Ten miles off the coast is the reef where

"The abbott of Aberbrothok Had placed a bell on the Inchcape rock. Like a buoy in the storm it floated and swung, And over the waves its warning rung."

And where the pirate, out of pure malice, "To vex the abbott of Aberbrothok," cut the bell from its buoy only to be lost himself on the reef a year later. The abbey was founded by William the Lion in 1178, but war, fire and fanaticism have left it sadly fragmentary. Now it is the charge of the town, but the elements continue to war upon it and the brittle red sandstone of which it is built shows deeply the wear of the sea wind.

Dundee, no longer the "Bonnie Dundee" of the old ballad, is a great straggling manufacturing city, whose ancient landmarks have been almost swept away. Its churches are modern, its one remaining gateway of doubtful antiquity, and there is little in the city itself to detain the tourist. If its points of interest are too few to warrant a stay, its hotels—should the one given in the guide-book and also locally reputed to be the best, really merit this distinction—will hardly prove an attraction. It is a large, six-story building, fairly good-looking from the outside, but inside dirty and dilapidated, with ill-furnished and uncomfortable rooms. When we inquired of the manageress as to what might be of especial interest in Dundee, she considered awhile and finally suggested—the cemetery. From our hotel window we had a fine view of the broad estuary of the Tay with its great bridge, said to be the longest in the world. It recalled the previous Tay bridge, which fell in a storm in 1879, carrying down a train, from which not a single one of the seventy or more passengers escaped. Around Dundee is crowded much of historic Scotland, and many excursions worth the while may be made from the city by those whose time permits.

From Dundee an excellent road leads to Stirling by the way of Perth. There is no more beautiful section in Scotland than this, though its beauty is not the rugged scenery of the Highlands. Low hills, rising above the wooded valleys, with clear streams winding through them; unusually prosperous-looking farm-houses; and frequent historic ruins and places—all combine to make the forty or fifty miles a delightful drive. We did not pause at Perth, a city with a long line of traditions, nor at Dunblane, with its severely plain cathedral founded in 1100 but recently restored.

Stirling, the ancient capital, with its famous castle, its memories of early kings, of Wallace, Bruce and of Mary Stuart, and with its wonderfully beautiful and historic surroundings, is perhaps the most interesting town of Scotland. No one who pretends to see Scotland will miss it, and no motor tour worthy of the name could be planned that would not lead through the quaint old streets. From afar one catches a glimpse of the castle, perched, like that of Edinburgh, on a mighty rock, rising almost sheer from a delightfully diversified plain. It is a many-towered structure, piercing the blue sky and surrounded by an air of sullen inaccessibility, while the red-cross flag flying above it proclaims it a station of the king's army. It is not by any means the castle of the days of Bruce and Wallace, having been rebuilt and adapted to the purpose of military barracks. True, many of the ancient portions remain, but the long, laborious climb to the summit of the rock and the battlements of the castle will, if the day be fine, be better repaid by the magnificent prospect than by anything else. If the barrack castle is a little disappointing, the wide sweep of country fading away into the blue mountains on the west—-Ben Venue, Ben Ledi and Ben Lomond of "The Lady of the Lake"—eastward the rich lowlands, running for miles and miles down the fertile valley of the Forth, dotted with many towns and villages; the wooded hills to the north with the massive tower of the Wallace monument and the dim outlines of the ruins of Cambuskenneth Abbey; or, near at hand, the old town under your very eye and the historic field of Bannockburn just adjoining, will make ample amends. The story of "The Lady of the Lake" pictures Stirling in its palmiest days, and no one who visits the castle will forget the brilliant closing scene of the poem. Here too,

"The rose of Stuart's line Has left the fragrance of her name,"

for Mary was hurried for safety to the castle a few days after her birth at Linlithgow Palace, and as a mere baby was crowned Queen of Scotland in the chapel. The parish church was also the scene of many coronations, and in the case of James VI, later James I of England, John Knox preached the sermon.

One cannot go far in Scotland without crossing the path of Prince Charlie or standing in the shadow of some ancient building associated with the melancholy memory of Queen Mary, and, despite the unquestioned loyalty of the Scottish people to the present government, there seems to linger everywhere a spirit of regret over the failure of the chevalier to regain the throne of his fathers. Perhaps it is scarcely expressed—only some word dropped in casual conversation, some flash of pride as you are pointed to the spots where Prince Charlie's triumphs were won, or some thinly veiled sentiment in local guide-books will make it clear to you that Scotland still cherishes the memory of the prince for whom her fathers suffered so much. Passing Falkirk, now a large manufacturing town, dingy with the smoke from its great furnaces, we were reminded that near here in 1746 the prince gained one of his most decisive victories, the precursor of the capture of Edinburgh by his army. A few miles farther on is Linlithgow with its famous palace, the birthplace of the Queen of Scots. This more accords with our idea of a royal residence than the fortified castles, for it evidently was never intended as a defensive fortress. It stands on the margin of a lovely lake, and considering its delightful situation and its comparative comfort, it is not strange that it was a favorite residence of the Scottish kings. It owes its dismantled condition to the wanton spite of the English dragoons, who, when they retreated from Linlithgow in face of the Highland army in 1746, left the palace in flames.

From Linlithgow the broad highway led us directly into Edinburgh by the way of Princess Street.



XI

FROM EDINBURGH TO YORKSHIRE

Two men above all others and everything else are responsible for the romantic fame which the bleak and largely barren Land of Scots enjoys the English-speaking world over. If Robert Burns and Walter Scott had never told the tales and sung the songs of their native land, no endless streams of pilgrims would pour to its shrines and its history and traditions would be vastly second in interest to those of England and Wales. But the Wizard of the North touched Scotia's rough hills with the rosy hues of his romance. He threw the glamour of his story around its crumbling ruins. Through the magic of his facile pen, its petty chiefs and marauding nobles assumed heroic mould and its kings and queens—rulers over a mere handful of turbulent people—were awakened into a majestic reality. Who would care aught for Prince Charlie or his horde of beggarly Highlanders were it not for the song of Burns and the story of Scott? Nor would the melancholy fate of Queen Mary have been brought so vividly before the world—but wherefore multiply instances to illustrate an admitted fact?

In Edinburgh we were near the center from which Scott's vast influences radiated. The traditions of Burns overshadowed Southwestern Scotland and the memories of Scott seem to be indentified with the cities, the villages, the solitary ruins, the hills and vales of the eastern coast. We note as we pass along Princess Street, one of the finest thoroughfares in Britain, the magnificent monument to the great author—the most majestic tribute ever erected to a literary man—a graceful Gothic spire, towering two hundred feet into the sky. The city is full of his memories. Here are many of the places he celebrated in his stories, his haunts for years, and the house where he retired after financial disaster to face a self-chosen battle with a gigantic debt which he might easily have evaded by a mere figment of the law.

However, one can hardly afford to take from a motor tour the time which should rightly be given to Edinburgh, for the many attractions of the Athens of the North might well occupy a solid week. Fortunately, a previous visit by rail two years before had solved the problem for us and we were fairly familiar with the more salient features of the city. There is one side-trip that no one should miss, and though we had once journeyed by railway train to Melrose Abbey and Abbottsford House, we could not forego a second visit to these famous shrines and to Dryburgh Abbey, which we had missed before. Thus again we had the opportunity of contrasting the motor car and the railway train. I remembered distinctly our former trip to Melrose by rail. It was on a Saturday afternoon holiday when crowds of trippers were leaving the city, packed in the uncomfortable compartments like sardines in a box—not one in a dozen having a chance to sit. We were driven from Melrose to Abbottsford House at a snail's pace, consuming so much time that a trip to Dryburgh Abbey was out of the question, though we had left Edinburgh about noon. By motor, we were out of the city about three o'clock, and though we covered more than eighty miles, we were back before lamp-lighting time. The road to Dryburgh Abbey runs nearly due south from Edinburgh, and the country through which we passed was hardly so prosperous looking as the northeastern section of Scotland—much of it rather rough-looking country, adapted only for sheep-grazing and appearing as if it might be reclaimed moorland.

The tomb of Walter Scott is in Dryburgh Abbey, and with the possible exception of Melrose it probably has more visitors than any other point in Scotland outside of Edinburgh. The tourist season had hardly begun, yet the caretaker told us that more than seventy people had been there during the day and most of them were Americans. The abbey lies on the margin of the River Tweed, the silver stream so beloved of Scott, and though sadly fragmentary, is most religiously cared for and the decay of time and weather held in check by constant repairs and restoration. The many thousands of admission fees every year no doubt form a fund which will keep this good work going indefinitely. The weather-beaten walls and arches were overgrown with masses of ivy and the thick, green grass of the newly mown lawn spread beneath like a velvet carpet. We had reached the ruin so late that it was quite deserted, and we felt the spirit of the place all the more as we wandered about in the evening silence. Scott's tomb, that of his wife and their eldest son are in one of the chapels whose vaulted roof still remains in position. Tall iron gates between the arches enclose the graves, which are marked with massive sarcophagi of Scotch granite. Dryburgh Abbey was at one time the property of the Scott family, which accounts for its use as their burial-ground. It has passed into other hands, but interments are still made on rare occasions. The spot was one which always interested and delighted Scott and it was his expressed wish that he be buried there.

We had been warned that the byways leading to the abbey from the north of the Tweed were not very practicable for motors and we therefore approached it from the other side. This made it necessary to cross the river on a flimsy suspension bridge for foot-passengers only, and a notice at each end peremptorily forbade that more than half a dozen people pass over the bridge at one time. After crossing the river it was a walk of more than a mile to the abbey, and as we were tempted to linger rather long it was well after six o'clock when we re-crossed the river and resumed our journey. Melrose is twelve miles farther on and the road crosses a series of rather sharp hills. We paused for a second glimpse of Melrose Abbey, which has frequently been styled the most perfect and beautiful ecclesiastical ruin in Britain. We were of the opinion, however, that we had seen at least three or four others more extensive and of greater architectural merit. Undoubtedly the high praise given Melrose is due to the fame which it acquired from the poems and stories of Scott. The thousands of pilgrims who come every year are attracted by this alone, since the abbey had no extraordinary history and no tomb of king or hero is to be found in its precincts. Were it not for the weird interest which the "Lay of the Last Minstrel" has thrown around Melrose, its fame would probably be no greater than that of the abbeys of Jedburgh and Kelso in the same neighborhood. Abbottsford House is only three miles from Melrose, but it is closed to visitors after five o'clock and we missed a second visit, which we should have liked very much. Upon such things the motorist must fully inform himself or he is liable to many disappointments by reaching his objective point at the wrong time.

We returned to Edinburgh by the way of Galashiels, a manufacturing town of considerable size that lay in a deep valley far below the road which we were following along the edges of the wooded hills. This road abounded in dangerous turns and caution was necessary when rounding sharp curves that, in places, almost described a circle. We had a clear right-of-way, however, and reached Edinburgh before nine o'clock. A delightful feature of summer touring in Britain is the long evening, which is often the pleasantest time for traveling. The highways are usually quite deserted and the mellow effect of the sunsets and the long twilights often lend an additional charm to the landscapes. In the months of July and August in Scotland daylight does not begin to fade away until from nine to ten, and in northern sections the dawn begins as early as two or three o'clock. During our entire tour we found it necessary to light our lamps only two or three times, although we were often on the road after nine o'clock. Though Edinburgh has unusually broad and well paved streets, it is a trying place for a motorist. The people make little effort to keep to the sidewalk, but let the fellow who is driving the car do the looking out for them. In no city through which we passed did I find greater care necessary. Despite all this, accidents are rare, owing to the fact that drivers of motor cars in Great Britain have had the lesson of carefulness impressed upon them by strict and prompt enforcement of police regulations.

We left Edinburgh the next forenoon with a view of making Berwick-on-Tweed our stopping place for the evening—not a long distance in miles but a considerable one measured in spots of historical importance. The road much of the way skirts the ocean and is a magnificent highway leading through a number of quaint towns famous in Scotch song and story. Numerous battlefields are scattered along the way, but we found it difficult to locate a battlefield when we passed it, and generally quit trying. In fact, in the days of border warfare the whole south of Scotland was the scene of almost continuous strife, and battles of greater or less importance were fought everywhere with the English in the centuries of fierce hatred which existed between the two nations. The Scots held their own wonderfully well, considering their greatly inferior numbers and the general poverty of their country. The union, after all, was brought about not by conquest but by a Scotch king going to London to assume the crown of the two kingdoms. The famous old town of Berwick-on-Tweed bore the brunt of the incursions from both sides on the eastern coast, as did Carlisle on the west. The town of Dunbar, situated on the coast about midway between Edinburgh and Berwick, was of great importance in border history. It had an extensive and strongly fortified castle, situated on the margin of a cliff overhanging the ocean, and which was for a time the residence of Queen Mary after her marriage with Darnley. Nothing now remains of this great structure save a few crumbling walls of red sandstone, which are carefully propped up and kept in the best possible repair by the citizens, who have at last come to realize the cash value of such a ruin. If such a realization had only come a hundred years ago, a great service would have been done the historian and the antiquarian. But this is no less true of a thousand other towns than of Dunbar. No quainter edifice did we see in all Britain than Dunbar's Fifteenth Century town hall. It seemed more characteristic of an old German town than of Scotland. This odd old building is still the seat of the city government.



Our route from Dunbar ran for a long way between the hills of Lammermoor and the ocean and abounded in delightful and striking scenery. We were forcibly reminded of Scott's mournful story, "The Bride of Lammermoor," as we passed among the familiar scenes mentioned in the book, and it was the influence of this romantic tale that led us from the main road into narrow byways and sleepy little coast towns innocent of modern progress and undisturbed by the rattle of railways trains. No great distance from Berwick and directly on the ocean stands Fast Castle, said to be the prototype of the Wolf's Crag of "Lammermoor." This wild story had always interested me in my boyhood days and for years I had dreamed of the possibility of some time seeing the supposed retreat of the melancholy Master of Ravenswood. We had great difficulty in locating the castle, none of the people seeming to know anything about it, and we wandered many miles among the hills through narrow, unmarked byways, with little idea of where we were really going. At last, after dint of inquiry, we came upon a group of houses which we were informed were the headquarters of a large farm of about two thousand acres, and practically all the people who worked on the farm lived, with their families, in these houses. The superintendent knew of Fast Castle, which he said was in a lonely and inaccessible spot, situated on a high, broken headland overlooking the ocean. It was two or three miles distant and the road would hardly admit of taking the car any farther. He did not think the ruin was worth going to see, anyhow; it had been cared for by no one and within his memory the walls had fallen in and crumbled away. Either his remarks or the few miles walk discouraged me, and after having traveled fully thirty miles to find this castle, I turned about and went on without going to the place at all, and of course I now regret it as much as anything I failed to do on our whole tour. I shall have to go to Fast Castle yet—by motor car.

After regaining the main road, it was only a short run along the edge of the ocean to Berwick-on-Tweed, which we reached early in the evening. I recall no more delightful day during our tour. It had been fresh and cool, and the sky was perfectly clear. For a great part of the way the road had passed within view of the ocean, whose deep unruffled blue, entirely unobscured by the mists which so often hang over the northern seas, stretched away until it was lost in the pale, sapphire hues of the skies. The country itself was fresh and bright after abundant rains, and as haymaking was in progress in many places along the road, the air was laden with the scent of the newly mown grasses. Altogether, it was a day long to be remembered.

Berwick-on-Tweed lies partly in England and partly in Scotland, the river which runs through it forming the boundary line. An odd bridge built by James I connects the two parts of the town, the highest point of its archway being nearest the Scottish shore and giving the effect of "having its middle at one end," as some Scotch wit has expressed it. The town was once strongly fortified, especially on the Scottish side, and a castle was built on a hill commanding the place. Traces of the wall surrounding the older part of the city still remain; it is easy to follow it throughout its entire course. When the long years of border warfare ended, a century and a half ago, the town inside of the wall must have appeared much the same as it does today. It is a town of crooked streets and quaint buildings, set down without the slightest reference to the points of the compass. The site of the castle is occupied by the railway station, though a few crumbling walls of the former structure still remain. The station itself is now called The Castle and reproduces on a smaller scale some of the architectural features of the ancient fortress.

We started southward from Berwick the following morning over the fine road leading through Northumberland. About ten miles off this road, and reached by narrow byways, is the pleasant little seacoast village of Bamborough, and the fame of its castle tempted us to visit it. I had often wondered why some of the old-time castles were not restored to their pristine magnificence—what we should have if Kenilworth or Raglan were re-built and to their ancient glory there were added all the modern conveniences for comfort. I found in Bamborough Castle a case exactly to the point. Lord Armstrong, the millionaire shipbuilder, had purchased this castle—almost a complete ruin—and when he began restoration only the Norman tower of the keep was intact; and besides this there was little except the foundation walls. Lord Armstrong entirely rebuilt the castle, following the original plan and designs, and the result is one of the most striking and pleasing of the palatial residences in England. The situation, on a high headland extending into the ocean, commands a view in every direction and completely dominates the sleepy little village lying just beneath. The castle is of great antiquity, the records showing that a fortress had been built on this side in the Fifth Century by Ida, King of Northumberland, though the present building largely reproduces the features of the one founded in the time of the Conqueror.



Lord Armstrong died the year before the work on the castle was completed and it passed into the hands of his nephew. It is open to visitors only one day in the week, and it happened, as usual, that we had arrived on the wrong day. Fortunately, the family were absent, and our plea that we were Americans who had come a long distance to see the place was quite as effective here as in other cases. The housekeeper showed us the palace in detail that we could hardly have hoped for under other circumstances. The interior is fitted in the richest and most magnificent style, and I have never seen the natural beauties of woodwork brought out with better effect. How closely the old-time construction was followed in the restoration is shown by the fact that the great open roof of the banqueting hall is put together with wooden pins, no nail having been used. The castle has every modern convenience, even hot-water heating—a rare thing in England—being installed. When we saw what an excellent result had been attained in the restoration, we could not but wonder that such a thing has not oftener been done. In the village churchyard is the massive gray granite monument erected to the memory of Grace Darling, who lived and died in Bamborough, and a brass tablet in the ancient church is inscribed with the record of her heroism. The lighthouse which was kept by her father is just off Bamborough Head, and it was from this, in the face of a raging storm, that she launched her frail boat and saved several people from a foundering ship. Only four years later she succumbed to consumption, but her unparalleled bravery has made the name of this young girl a household word wherever the English language is spoken.

On leaving Bamborough we came as nearly getting lost in the narrow, winding byways as at any time during our tour. A bridge under repair on the direct route to the main road compelled us to resort to byways which were unmarked by signboards and in as ill condition as many American roads. Nor could the people of whom we inquired give us intelligent direction. We finally reached the road again after a loss of an hour or more.

A short time afterwards we came to Alnwick, whose castle is one of the most extensive and complete specimens of mediaeval architecture in England. In the last century it has been largely restored, following out the original design of the exterior, at least, and is now the residence of the Duke of Northumberland. Usually it is open to visitors, but in the confusion that followed the visit of the king the day before, the castle and its great park had been closed until the next week. We had seen the interior of so many similar places that this was not so much of a disappointment, especially as we had a splendid view of the old fortress from the outside and also from the courtyard. On the battlements of this castle are numerous stone figures of men in the act of hurling down missiles on the heads of foes who might besiege it. This was quite common in early days and feudal barons perhaps thought to make up for their shortage of real men by placing these effigies on the walls of their fortresses, but Alnwick is the only castle on which the figures still remain. The town itself was still in holiday attire in honor of its royal guest of the preceding day. The buildings were covered with the national colors and many decorations and illuminations had been planned to celebrate the occasion. Alnwick is one of the most typical of the English feudal towns. It is owned largely by the Duke of Northumberland, who appears to be popular with his tenantry, the latter having erected, in honor of their noble landlord, a lofty column surmounted by the figure of a lion. Every view from the distance for miles around is dominated by the battlemented and many-towered walls of the castle, which surmounts a hill overlooking the town. The story of Alnwick and its castle would be long to tell, for they bore the brunt of many Scotch incursions and suffered much at the hands of the fierce marauders from the north.

Our afternoon's run led us from Alnwick to Durham, passing through Newcastle-on-Tyne. Newcastle is a large commercial city, famous for its mining and shipbuilding industries, and has but little to engage the attention of the tourist. Our pause was a short one, and we reached Durham in good time after a run of over one hundred miles, broken by several lengthy stops on the way.

The main street of Durham in many places is barely wide enough for two vehicles to pass. It winds and twists through the town in such a way that one seems to be almost moving in a circle at times and constant inquiry is necessary to keep from being lost on the main street of a city of fifteen or twenty thousand. The town is almost as much of a jumble as if its red, tile-roof buildings had been promiscuously thrown to their places from Cathedral Hill. Durham is strictly an ecclesiastical center. There is little except the cathedral, which, in addition to being one of the most imposing, occupies perhaps the finest site of any of the great English churches. Together with Durham Castle, it monopolizes the summit of a hill which at its base is three-quarters surrounded by the river. The greater part of the cathedral dates back seven or eight hundred years, but additions have been made from time to time so that nearly all styles of architecture are represented. Tradition has it that it was founded by St. Cuthbert, whose chief characteristic is declared to have been his antipathy toward women of all degrees. A curious relic of this peculiarity of the saint remains in a granite cross set in the center of the floor of the nave, beyond which, in the earlier days, no woman was ever allowed to pass. The interior of the church is mainly in the massive and imposing Norman style. The carved stone screen is one of the most elaborate and perfect in Britain, and dates back from the Thirteenth Century. The verger told us of the extreme care which must be taken to preserve this relic. He said that the stone of the screen is rather soft and brittle, and that in cleaning it was never touched, the dust being blown away with bellows. Durham, in common with most of the cathedrals, suffered severely at the hands of the Parliamentarians under Cromwell. It was used as a prison for a part of the Scotch army captured at the battle of Dunbar, and as these Presbyterians had almost as much contempt for images as the Cromwellians themselves, many of the beautiful monuments in the cathedral were broken up. Durham, like Canterbury, is a town that is much favored by the artists, and deservedly so. The old buildings lining the winding river and canal form in many places delightful vistas in soft colors almost as picturesque as bits of Venice itself. The hotels, however, are far from first-class, and one would probably be more comfortable at Newcastle. Speaking of hotels, we did not at any time engage accommodations in advance, and Durham was the only town where we found the principal hotel with all rooms taken. With the rapid increase of motoring, however, it will probably become necessary to telegraph for accommodations at the best hotels. And telegraphing is an exceedingly easy thing in England. A message can be sent from any postoffice at a cost of sixpence for the first ten words.



XII

IN OLD YORKSHIRE

York is by far the largest of the English shires, a widely diversified country, ranging from fertile farm land to broken hills and waste moorland, while its river valleys and considerable coast line present greatly varied but always picturesque scenery. The poet describes the charms of Yorkshire as yielding

"Variety without end, sweet interchange Of hill and valley, river, wood and plain."

Nor did we find this description at all inapt as we drove over its excellent roads during the fine July weather. But the Yorkshire country is doubly interesting, for if the landscape is of surpassing beauty, the cities, the villages, the castles and abbeys, and the fields where some of the fiercest battles in Britain have been fought, have intertwined their associations with every hill and valley. Not only the size of the shire, but its position—midway between London and the Scottish border, and extending almost from coast to coast—made it a bulwark, as it were, against the incursions of the Scots and their numerous sympathizers in the extreme north of England. No part of England is more thickly strewn with attractions for the American tourist and in no other section do conditions for motor travel average better.

From London to York, the capital city of the shire, runs the Great North Road, undoubtedly the finest highway in all Britain. It is laid out on a liberal scale, magnificently surfaced and bordered much of the way by wide and beautifully kept lawns and at times skirted with majestic trees. We saw a facsimile of a broadside poster issued about a century ago announcing that the new lightning coach service installed on this road between London and York would carry passengers the distance of one hundred and eighty-eight miles in the astonishingly short space of four days. This coach, of course, traveled by relays, and at what was then considered breakneck speed. Over this same highway it would now be an easy feat for a powerful car to cover the distance in three or four hours. The great North Road was originally constructed by the Romans to maintain the quickest possible communication between London and Eboracum, as York was styled during the Roman occupation.

The limitation of our time had become such that we could but feel that our tour through Yorkshire must be of the most superficial kind. Not less than two weeks of motoring might well be spent in the county and every day be full of genuine enjoyment. The main roads are among the best in England and afford access to most of the important points. We learned, however, that there is much of interest to be reached only from byways, but that these may lead over steep and even dangerous hills and are often in not much better condition than our American roads.

We left Durham about noon, following a rather indirect route to Darlington; from thence, through hawthorne-bordered byways, we came to Richmond, one of the quaintest and most representative of the old Yorkshire towns. We happened here on market day and the town was crowded with farmers from the surrounding country. Here we saw many types of the Yorkshire man, famed for his shrewdness and fondness for what we would call "dickering." Much of the buying and selling in English towns is done on market day; live stock, produce, farm implements, and almost every kind of merchandise are sold at auction in the public market place. If a farmer wants to dispose of a horse or to buy a mowing machine, he avails himself of this auction and the services of a professional auctioneer. Such an individual was busily plying his vocation in front of the King's Head Hotel, and the roars of laughter from the farmers which greeted his sallies as he cried his wares certainly seemed to indicate that the charge that Englishmen can not appreciate humor—at least of a certain kind—is a base slander. As Richmond is the center of one of the best farming districts in Yorkshire, its market day was no doubt a typical one.

Richmond Castle at one time was one of the most formidable and strongly situated of the northern fortresses. It stands on an almost perpendicular rock, rising one hundred feet above the River Swale, but with the exception of the Norman keep the ruins are scanty indeed. There is enough of the enclosing walls to give some idea of the extent of the original castle, which covered five acres, its magnificent position commanding the whole of the surrounding country. The keep is now used as a military storehouse. The soldier-guard in charge was very courteous and relieved us the necessity of securing a pass from the commandant, as was required by a notice at the castle entrance. He conducted us to the top of the great tower, from which we were favored with one of the finest views in Central England and one that is almost unobstructed in every direction. Unfortunately, a blue mist obscured much of the landscape, but the guard told us that on clear days York Minster, more than forty miles away, could be easily seen. Near at hand, nestling in the valley of the Swale, are the ivy-covered ruins of Easby Abbey; while still nearer, on the hillside, the great tower of Grey Friars Church is all that remains of another once extensive monastery. In no way can one get a more adequate idea of the parklike beauty of the English landscape than to view it from such point of vantage as the keep of Richmond Castle. Richmond Church is an imposing structure standing near the castle and has recently been restored as nearly as possible to its ancient state. An odd feature of the church is the little shop built in the base of the tower, where a tobacconist now plies his trade.

From the castle tower, looking down the luxuriant valley, we noticed at no great distance, half hidden by the trees, the outlines of a ruined church—the Easby Abbey which I have just mentioned as one of the numerous Yorkshire ruins. It is but a few furlongs off the road by which we left Richmond and the byway we entered dropped down a sharp hill to the pleasant spot on the riverside, where the abbey stands. The location is a rather secluded one and the painstaking care noticeable about so many ruins is lacking. It is surrounded by trees, and a large elm growing in the very midst of the walls and arches flung a network of sun and shade over the crumbling stones. The murmur of the nearby Swale and the notes of the English thrushes filled the air with soft melody. Amid such surroundings, we hardly heard the old custodian as he pointed out the different apartments and told us the story of the palmy days of the abbey and of its final doom at the relentless hands of Henry VIII. Near by is a tiny church, which no doubt had served the people of the neighborhood as a place of worship since the abbey fell into ruin.

The day, which had so far been fine, soon began to turn cold—one of those sudden and disagreeable changes that come in England and Scotland in the very midst of summertime, an experience that happens so often that one can not wonder at Byron's complaint of the English winter, "closing in July to re-commence in August." At no time in the summer were we able to dispense for any length of time with heavy wraps and robes while on the road. From Richmond we hastened away over a fine and nearly straight road to Ripon, whose chief attraction is its cathedral. Speaking of cathedrals again, I might remark that our tour took us to every one of these, with one exception—in England and Scotland, about thirty in all—and the exception, Beverly Minster, is but newly created and relatively of lesser importance.

Ripon is one of the smaller cathedrals and of less importance in historical associations. It occupies a magnificent site, crowning a hill rising in the very center of the town, and from a distance gives the impression of being larger than it really is. It presents a somewhat unfinished aspect with its three low, square-topped towers, once surmounted by great wooden spires, which became unsafe and were taken down, never to be replaced. These must have added wonderfully to the dignity and proper proportion of the church.

Just outside Ripon lies Fountains Abbey, undoubtedly the most striking and best preserved ecclesiastical ruin in England. It is on the estate of the Marquis of Ripon, adjoining the town, and this nobleman takes great pride in the preservation of the abbey. The great park, which also surrounds his residence, is thrown open every day and one has full liberty to go about it at pleasure. It is a popular resort, and on the day of our visit the number of people passing through the gate exceeded five hundred. The gatekeeper assured us that a thousand visitors on a single day was not an uncommon occurrence. The abbey stands in a wooded valley on the margin of a charming little river, and underneath and around the ruin is a lawn whose green loveliness is such as can be found in England alone. There is no room in this record for the description of such a well known place or for its story. The one feature which impressed us most, and which is one of the finest specimens of Norman architecture in England, is the great cellarium, where the monks stored their wine in the good old days. The vaulted roof of this vast apartment, several hundred feet in length, is in perfect condition and shows how substantially the structure must have been built Fountains Abbey shared the fate of its contemporaries at the hand of Henry VIII, who drove the monks from its shelter, confiscating their property and revenues. It was growing late when we left Ripon for York, but the road was perfect and we had no trouble in covering the twenty miles or more in about an hour. We were soon made comfortable at the Station Hotel in York, one of the oldest and most interesting of the larger cities.

The following day being Sunday, we availed ourselves of the opportunity of attending services at the Minster. The splendid music of the great organ was enough to atone for the long dreary chant of the litany, and the glory of the ancient windows, breaking the gloom of the church with a thousand shafts of softened light, was in itself an inspiration more than any sermon—at least to us, to whom these things had the charm of the unusual.

York Minster, with the exception of St. Paul's in London, is the largest cathedral in England and contests with Canterbury for first place in ecclesiastical importance. Its greatest glory is its windows, which are by far the finest of any in England. Many of them date back to the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, and when one contemplates their subdued beauty it is easy to understand why stained-glass making is now reckoned one of the lost arts. These windows escaped numerous vicissitudes which imperiled the cathedral, among them the disastrous fires which nearly destroyed it on two occasions within the last century. The most remarkable of them all is the "Five Sisters" at the end of the nave, a group of five slender, softly-toned windows of imposing height. The numerous monuments scattered throughout the church are of little interest to the American visitor. We were surprised at the small audiences which we found at the cathedrals where we attended services. A mere corner is large enough to care for the congregations, the vast body of the church being seldom used except on state occasions. Though York is a city of seventy-five thousand population, I think there were not more than four or five hundred people in attendance, though the day was exceptionally fine.

There are numerous places within easy reach of York which one should not miss. A sixty-mile trip during three or four hours of the afternoon gave us the opportunity of seeing two abbey ruins, Helmsley Castle and Laurence Sterne's cottage at Coxwold. Our route led over a series of steep hills almost due north to Helmsley, a town with unbroken traditions from the time of the Conqueror. Its ancient castle surrendered to Fairfax with the agreement that "it be absolutely demolished and that no garrison hereafter be kept by either party." So well was this provision carried out that only a ragged fragment remains of the once impregnable fortress, which has an added interest from its connection with Scott's story, "The Fortunes of Nigel"

Two miles from Helmsley is Rievaulx Abbey, situated in a deep, secluded valley, and the narrow byway leading to the ruin was so steep and rough that we left the car and walked down the hill. A small village nestles in the valley, a quiet, out-of-the-way little place whose thatched cottages were surrounded by a riot of old-fashioned flowers and their walls dashed with the rich color of the bloom-laden rose vines. Back of the village, in lonely grandeur, stands the abbey, still imposing despite decay and neglect. Just in front of it is the cottage of the old custodian, who seemed considerably troubled by our application to visit the ruins. He said that the place was not open on Sunday and gave us to understand that he had conscientious scruples against admitting anyone on that day. The hint of a fee overcame his scruples to such an extent that he intimated that the gates were not locked anyway and if we desired to go through them he did not know of anything that would prevent us. We wandered about in the shadows of the high but crumbling walls, whose extent gave a strong impression of the original glory of the place, and one may well believe the statement that, at the time of the Dissolution, Rievaulx was one of the largest as well as richest of the English abbeys. The old keeper was awaiting us at the gateway and his conscientious scruples were again awakened when we asked him for a few post-card pictures. He amiably intimated his own willingness to accommodate us, but said he was afraid that the "old woman" (his wife) wouldn't allow it, but he would find out. He returned after a short interview in the cottage and said that there were some pictures on a table in the front room and if we would go in and select what we wanted and leave the money for them it would be all right.



On our return from Helmsley, we noticed a byway leading across the moorland with a sign-board pointing the way "to Coxwold." We were reminded that in this out-of-the-way village Laurence Sterne, "the father of the English novel," had lived many years and that his cottage and church might still be seen. A narrow road led sharply from the beautiful Yorkshire farm lands, through which we had been traveling, its fields almost ready for the harvest, into a lonely moor almost as brown and bare as our own western sagebrush country. It was on this unfrequented road that we encountered the most dangerous hill we passed over during our trip, and the road descending it was a reminder of some of the worst in our native country. They called it "the bank," and the story of its terrors to motorists, told us by a Helmsley villager, was in no wise an exaggeration. It illustrates the risk often attending a digression into byroads not listed in the road-book, for England is a country of many hilly sections. I had read only a few days before of the wreck of a large car in Derbyshire where the driver lost control of his machine on a gradient of one in three. The car dashed over the embankment, demolishing many yards of stone wall and coming to rest in a valley hundreds of feet beneath. And this was only one of several similar cases. Fortunately, we had only the descent to make. The bank dropped off the edge of the moorland into a lovely and fertile valley, where, quite unexpectedly, we came upon Bylands Abbey, the rival of Rievaulx, but far more fallen into decay. It stood alone in the midst of the wide valley; no caretaker hindered our steps to its precincts and no effort had been made to prop its crumbling walls or to stay the green ruin creeping over it. The fragment of its great eastern window, still standing, was its most imposing feature and showed that it had been a church of no mean architectural pretension. The locality, it would seem, was well supplied with abbeys, for Rievaulx is less than ten miles away, but we learned that Bylands was founded by monks from the former brotherhood and also from Furness Abbey in Lancashire. In the good old days it seems to have been a common thing when the monks became dissatisfied with the establishment to which they were attached for the dissenters to start a rival abbey just over the way.

Coxwold is a sleepy village undisturbed by modern progress, its thatched cottages straggling up the crooked street that leads to the hilltop, crowned by the hoary church whose tall, massive octagonal tower dominates the surrounding country. It seems out of all proportion to the poverty-stricken, ragged-looking little village on the hillside, but this is not at all an uncommon impression one will have of the churches in small English towns. Across the road from the church is the old-time vicarage, reposing in the shade of towering elms, and we found no difficulty whatever in gaining admission to "Shandy Hall," as it is now called. We were shown the little room not more than nine feet square where Sterne, when vicar, wrote his greatest book, "Tristram Shandy." The kitchen is still in its original condition, with its rough-beamed ceiling and huge fireplace. Like most English cottages, the walls were covered with climbing roses and creepers and there was the usual flower-garden in the rear. The tenants were evidently used to visitors, and though they refused any gratuity, our attention was called to a box near the door which was labeled, "For the benefit of Wesleyan Missions."

Two or three miles through the byways after leaving Coxwold brought us into the main road leading into York. This seemed such an ideal place for a police trap that we traveled at a very moderate speed, meeting numerous motorists on the way. The day had been a magnificent one, enabling us to see the Yorkshire country at its best. It had been delightfully cool and clear, and lovelier views than we had seen from many of the upland roads would be hard to imagine. The fields of yellow grain, nearly ready for harvesting, richly contrasted with the prevailing bright green of the hills and valleys. Altogether, it was a day among a thousand, and in no possible way could one have enjoyed it so greatly as from the motor car, which dashed along, slowed up, or stopped altogether, as the varied scenery happened to especially please us.

York abounds in historic relics, odd corners and interesting places. The city was surrounded by a strong wall built originally by Edward I, and one may follow it throughout its entire course of more than two miles. It is not nearly so complete as the famous Chester wall, but it encloses a larger area. It shows to even a greater extent the careful work of the restorer, as do the numerous gate-towers, or "bars," which one meets in following the wall. The best exterior views of the minster may be had from vantage points on this wall, and a leisurely tour of its entire length is well worth while. The best preserved of the gate-towers is Micklegate Bar, from which, in the War of the Roses, the head of the Duke of York was exhibited to dismay his adherents. There were originally forty of these towers, of which several still exist. Aside from its world-famous minster, York teems with objects and places of curious and archaeological interest. There are many fine old churches and much mediaeval architecture. In a public park fragments still remain of St. Mary's Abbey, a once magnificent establishment, destroyed during the Parliamentary wars; but it must be said to the everlasting credit of the Parliamentarians that their commanders spared no effort to protect the minster, which accounts largely for its excellent preservation. The Commander-in-Chief, General Fairfax, was a native of Yorkshire and no doubt had a kindly feeling for the great cathedral, which led him to exert his influence against its spoliation. Such buildings can stand several fires without much damage, since there is little to burn except the roof, and the cathedrals suffered most severely at the hands of the various contending factions into which they fell during the civil wars.

The quaintest of old-time York streets is The Shambles, a narrow lane paved with cobblestones and only wide enough to permit the passing of one vehicle at a time. It is lined on either side with queer, half-timbered houses, and in one or two places these have sagged to such an extent that their tops are not more than two or three feet apart. In fact it is said that neighbors in two adjoining buildings may shake hands across the street. The Shambles no doubt took its name from the unattractive row of butcher shops which still occupy most of the small store-rooms on either side. Hardly less picturesque than The Shambles is the Petergate, and no more typical bits of old-time England may be found anywhere than these two ancient lanes. Glimpses of the cathedral towers through the rows of odd buildings is a favorite theme with the artists. Aside from its antiquity, its old-world streets and historic buildings are quite up to the best of the English cities. It is an important trading and manufacturing point, though the prophecy of the old saw,

"Lincoln was, London is, York shall be. The greatest city of the three,"

seems hardly likely to be realized.



XIII

A ZIG-ZAG TRIP FROM YORK TO NORWICH

Late in the afternoon we left York over the Great North Road for Retford, from whence we expected to make the "Dukeries" circuit. The road runs through a beautiful section and passes many of the finest of the English country estates. It leads through Doncaster, noted for its magnificent church, and Bawtry, from whence came many of the Pilgrim Fathers who sailed in the Mayflower. This road is almost level throughout, and although it rained continuously, the run of fifty miles was made in record time—that is, as we reckoned record time.

At Retford we were comfortably housed at the White Hart Hotel, a well conducted hostelry for a town of ten thousand. The "White Hart" must be a favorite among English innkeepers, for I recollect that we stopped at no fewer than seven hotels bearing this name during our tour and saw the familiar sign on many others. On our arrival we learned that the Dukeries trip must be made by carriage and that the fifty miles would consume two days. We felt averse to subtracting so much from our already short remaining time, and when we found still further that admission was denied for the time at two of the most important estates, we decided to proceed without delay. The motor would be of no advantage to us in visiting the Dukeries, for the circuit must be made in a staid and leisurely English victoria.

Since this chronicle was written, however, I have learned that the embargo on motoring through the Dukeries is at least partially raised—another step showing the trend in England in favor of the motor car. By prearrangement with the stewards of the various estates, permission may be obtained to take a car through the main private roads. Thus the tourist will be enabled in half a day to accomplish what has previously required at least two days driving with horse and carriage.

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