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asserts he copied from the original, the commencement of the seventh Iter is placed a little lower than the estuary of the Lune. This will bring us to the mouth of the Wyre, where I have placed the Portus.

Rerigonium is the next station on the road, as it ought to be, but it is placed too far to the west, or too near the port. Coccium is situated on the banks of the Belisama = the Ribble, a little to the south of the junction of the seventh Iter with the tenth, or that from Carlisle through Lancaster towards Manchester and the south; and this is certainly the correct position of the new station at Walton-le-Dale.


The same Iter is represented in the map as crossing the "Alpes Penina Montes" between Rerigonium and Alicana, but no stations are marked as situated near these mountains. This is sufficiently accurate geography; for the omissions are only similar in kind to those in our modern atlases, where the less important towns are frequently omitted. The compiler of the Iter might easily forget the Roman names of Portfield and Colne; and yet remember that they were "Ad Alpes Peninos," and that one of them was only eight miles to the east of the principal station on that line of road. From all that has been advanced, I conclude that Portfield has stronger claims than Broughton in Craven to be considered the station intended by Richard. It is situated at the proper distance from Rerigonium—it is near the hills laid down in the map as crossed by the road-and the corrections of the numerals do less violence to the original than any other with which I am acquainted. The corrected Iter, therefore, appears to me to have a high degree of probability in its favour; and in its present state I beg to offer it to this Society, and for the consideration of those who may hereafter interest themselves in the Roman Topography of East Lancashire.

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found on Hilbre Island, Sep 1861.



By Henry Ecroyd Smith.


HISTORY Supplies us with scant information relative to the islands of Hildburgh-eye, a name which has been contracted to Hillebyri, and finally to its usual present designation, Hilbre. Ormerod, for his valuable History of Cheshire, has evidently been able to glean but few particulars of the locality. It appears that, in a Charter granted in 1081 by the Conqueror to the Abbey of St. Ebrulf at Utica in Normandy, allusion is made to the Church on Hilbre, as having previously been given to this convent (together with that of West Kirby) by Robert de Rodelent, in whose favour William had founded, under the Earls of Chester, the extensive Barony of Rhuddlan, in which a large portion of the Hundred of Wirral was included. The church consequently existed in the Saxon period, when these islands were much more closely connected with the main than in more recent times, being probably only insulated at high water of spring tides and forming an elevated promontory running westwardly into Dee-mouth from a point of the shore opposite West Kirby, one of the oldest villages of Wirral. Again, the wear of sea and weather, to which they are peculiarly exposed, must have greatly reduced their size and consequent ability to support a population. The soil of the main island,

or Hilbre proper, is replete with débris of old buildings, the foundations of which appear to have all been "puddled" with the blue marl of the adjacent shore, in common with those of Ancient Meols (lying nearly a mile to the northward of the present village), one instance of the latter being visible so lately as 1862. The Hilbre buildings will range back from the salt works existent a century ago to the conventual buildings of the tenth to twelfth century.

Leland informs us "There was a celle of monkes of "Chestre, and a pilgrimage of our Ladye of Hilbyri."* A light was maintained here for the same purpose as the present landmarks at a very early period, to which, in the twentieth year of Henry III, John Scott, the then Earl of Chester, contributed ten shillings per annum.t

Returning to the religious settled here, the question naturally arises, when and under what circumstances their allegiance came to be transferred from the Abbot of St. Ebrulf to that of St. Werburgh in Chester? whose successors, the Dean and Chapter, retained possession of the islands until about 1858, when they passed by purchase into the great Liverpool Dock Estate, and now bound to the westward our unrivalled port, although still remaining attached to the parish of St. Oswald's, Chester. In the absence of any specific record it may safely be surmised that the change was effected not later than the twelfth century, and probably occurred earlier. The Pilgrimage of "Our Ladye of Hilbyri" may have been sustained for centuries, although the mind now with difficulty pictures this isolated and mostly barren spotthis Ultima Thule of our now populous district-as the resort of devotees from all parts of Britain, and even the continent contributing its quota of pious visitors to this sacred islandshrine. In confirmation of the latter supposition and of the

Leland, Iter. v, 54.

+ Hone's MSS., Chester Cathedral.

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