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is fifty-one feet: and barges of sixty tons burthen pass over it.” The successful execution of this amazing work is at once an homourable monument to the commercial spirit of the country, and to the talents of its architect.
Taking a northern course from Lancaster, I shall next proceed to describe the district called Furness, briefly noticing two or three places in the intermediate route. About one mile north of the former town is BEAU Mont HALL, the seat of E. F. Buckley, Esq.; and about one mile further is HALToN HALL, the seat of W. B. Bradshaw, Esq. At three miles from Lancaster is Hestbank, where the traveller who visits Furness, must forsake the firm beaten road, for trackless SANDs. These are fordable at low water, from the latter place, to a spot called the Carter, or GuidesHouse, a distance of about nine miles. From time immemorial it has been the custom to have a regular sort of chartered guide, called the Carter, to attend and conduct strangers across this roadless desert. He is maintained by the public, says Mr. Pennant, “and obliged, in all weathers, to attend here from sun-rise to sun-set.” For many centuries the priory of Cartmel was under the necessity of providing a proper person for this charge, and received synodals and peter-pence to reimburse their expences; but since the dissolution of the monasteries, the duchy of Lancaster grants it by letters patent, to a trusty man, whose yearly allowance from the receiver-general is twenty pounds. His salary is however increased by a small donation left by a gentleman of Cartmel. For want of this “Carter,” many obstinate, or careless people have lost their way, and their lives: for in case of darkness, fog, or unexpected tides, the situation is terrible, and the horrors of an overwhelming grave, affright and astound the bewildered traveller. Some instances of this kind have been related, but none more impressively distressing than the following fact, which is recorded in E 3 “Gray's “Gray's Journal.” “I crossed the river, and walked over the peninsula three miles, to the village of Poulton, which stands on the beach. An old fisherman mending his nets, (while I inquired about the danger of passing those sands,) told me, in his dialect, a moving story; how a brother of the trade, a cockler", as he styled him, driving a little carta with his two daughters, (women grown) in it, and his wife on horseback following, set out one day to pass the seven mile sands, as they had been frequently used to do, (for nobody in the village knew them better than the old man did). When they were about half way over, a thick fog arose, and as they advanced, they found the water much deeper than they expected; the old man was puzzled; he stopt, and said he would go a little way to find some mark he was acquainted with ; they staid a while for him, but in vain; they called aloud, but no reply: at last the young women pressed their mother to think where they were, and go on—she would not leave the place; at
* The annexed view, representing the Aqueduct-Bridge, with the winding river; also the Bridge at Lancaster, with the town in the distance, is copied from a fine painting by Mr. W. Daniel, and was lent me by Mr. Rennie.
| length she wandered about forlorn and amazed; she would not ! o - | - quit her horse and get into the cart with them: they determined, i | - after much time wasted, to turn back, and give themselves up to | o the guidance of their horse. The old woman was soon washed || || off, and perished. The poor girls clung close to their cart, and | | o the horse, sometimes wading, and sometimes swimming, brought t | them back to land alive, but senseless with terror and distress, and i | - unable for many days to give any account of themselves. The | bodies of the parents were found the next ebb ; that of the father a very few paces distant from the spot where he had left them.” ! - . In the midst of these sands is the channel of the Ken or Kent
river, and in other places are several smaller rivulets. These abound with the flat fish called flook, also salmon, &c. which are caught at proper seasons, by means of fixing nets across the channels, and these are examined at ebb tide. For a certain distance from shore the right of fishing in these streams belongs to the Earl
|| || of Derby; but beyond his bounds, the sands and fords are common
| . property,
| . * It is a common practice for old women, children, &c. to follow the ebbing w tide, and pick cockles out of the sand.
property, and are free to all the sons and daughters of industry. To embank and bring under cultivation this wide tract of sands, has often been recommended, and its utility has been urged with laudable patriotic warmth by several ingenious writers: but the vast expence attending such an undertaking, with the precariousness of most of those plans that have been directed against the powerful and capricious waves, slave hitherto prevented the adoption of this scheme". An interesting account of this project, with calculations on the probable advantages, &c. was drawn up by Mr. Housman, for the Board of Agriculture: and is published in that gentleman's small volume, entitled “A Descriptive Tour and Guide to the Lakes, Caves, Mountains, &c. of Cumberland, Westmoreland, Lancashire, &c.” 1802. The large tract of Sands already described, with another similar plain, occupy a space, which, in Ptolemy's time, bore the name of Moricambe, and is now called Morecambe-bay. This is formed by the Irish Sea to the south, and the irriguous shores of Lower Furness to the north and west, with a part of Lancashire to the east. A large tract of country, which forms most of the northern boundary of this bay, and is detached, from any other part of Lancashire by the river Leven, &c. is known by the appellation of
THIs portion of the county contains an area of about twentyeight miles from north to south, by thirteen miles from east to west, and has the county of Cumberland for its eastern boundary, whilst that of Westmoreland skirts it to the north and east; and the irregular outline of its southern side is washed by the Irish E 4 Sea.
* Immense quantities of land have been detached and secured from the sea by means of Embankments. The instances of those at the mouth of the river Dee, near Chester, and at Dagenham in Essex, are of great public utility, and individual advantage. An account of the latter is given in the 5th Volume of this work.
Sea. This district consists of an irregular and romantic mixture of high craggy hills, narrow vales, lakes, rivers, and brooks; and on the Cumberland border are some mountains of a wild, lofty, and romantic character. The southern extremity, which projects into the sea, and is called Lower-Furness, to distinguish it from the northern part, called High-Furness, contains a considerable tract of level fertile land, fronted by the singular bow-like Isle of Walmey, which is of the same nature. Besides the main land, it comprehends the islands of Foulney and Walmey, Roe, Sheep Pile, Old-barrow, &c.
We have no certain evidence of any Roman station in this part of the county, nor does it clearly appear that the paved roads, which Mr. West describes as Roman, were really made by that people: indeed the assertions and arguments of that author on this subject, require more decisive proofs than he has adduced. In the Domesday Survey, the name of Furness does not occur, yet almost every village in Low-Furness is mentioned, together with the land-owners, and the quantity of arable land belonging to each. From this authentic document, it appears that this part of the county was provided with “Sixty-six ploughs, exclusive of those which belonged to the Lords of the particular manors, and to their tenants. Furness, in the Conqueror's survey, is included within the west riding of Yorkshire, and in the division of Hougun: so is all the north of Lancashire, and the south of Westmoreland, with part of Cumberland *.” As many further particulars relating to this district, are directly connected with the Abbey of Furness, and some of its towns, I shall proceed to describe the principal places, and subjoin such general acceounts as may tend to illustrate the history and antiquities of the whole. The first town, after passing the Sands, is
WHICH is situated in a narrow, and well wooded vale, nearly surrounded with bold hills, among which, the high ridge called Hampsfield-fell
* West’s “Antiquities of Furness.”
Hampsfield-fell overhang it to the east. The town of Cartmel, with the peninsulated land comprehended between the rivers Leven and Winster, to the east and west, with the bay of Morecambe to the south, is not included within the liberties of Furness. The high antiquity of this district, with a town in it called Sudgedluit, is identified by a grant of Egfrid, a king of the Northumbrians, who reigned between the years 670 and 685, and who gave the whole, with all the Britons on it, to St. Cuthbert. In the year 1188, a Priory was founded here by William Mareschal, Earl of Pembroke, who endowed it for Canons regular of the order of St. Augustine. Amongst the privileges of this religious foundation, it had the exclusive right of appointing a guide to direct travellers over the neighbouring dangerous sands. After the dissolution, the inhabitants of the town adopted the spirited determination of purchasing the Monastic Church, which was afterwards made parochial; and through this circumstance a very beautiful structure, in the pointed style of architecture, and of a cruciform plan, has been preserved from devastation. It has a centre tower of two square gradations, placed one above another diagonally, and is supported by four central clustered pillars. The nave is more modern than the rest of the building. The choir is ornamented with handsome stalls, the canopies and pillars of which are decorated with carved foliage, &c. These are supposed to have belonged to the Canons before the dissolution. The east window is forty-eight feet high, by twenty-four feet in width, and is enriched with mullions and tracery. It has been filled with painted glass. The length of the church is 157 feet, that of the transepts 110 feet, and the height of the walls 57 feet. The Preston family of Holkar-Hall, about the year 1700, contributed largely towards the repairs and decorations of this church. A stone within the church is inscribed with the name of William de Walton, Prior of Cartmel, who is supposed to have been the first or second Canon who held that office. A magnificent monument, with the recumbent effigies of a Knight, cross legged, and his lady, under a rich canopy, was probably intended for Sir John de Harrington,
who was summoned to meet Edward the First at Carlisle, in 1305, to