Obrázky stránek


and ever since that time the black marble of Galway | the estates of Mr. Martin, in the county of Galhas had numerous admirers and purchasers. The way

?" entrance-hall and grand staircase of the Duke of “ I have." Hamilton's palace near Glasgow, are formed of this Will


state the acreage of that property ?" beautiful material. The right of quarrying is at the “One hundred and ninety-six thousand acres. present time leased to certain capitalists, who have “ The property extends with some interruptions over extensive stone-working machines at Galway. The a surface of about fifty miles ?” process of obtaining the marble is simply as follows :- Over fifty English miles.” The men first remove a covering of limestone, about “From Galway to the westward of Clifden ?" twenty-five feet in thickness; it lies in beds or layers

66 Yes." from one to two feet thick, and requires blasting with “By what description of persons is this estate genegunpowder to ensure its removal. The black marble, rally tenanted ?" thus exposed to view, lies as flat as a billiard-table, “By very small holders. The great bulk of the in successive layers varying from six to fifteen inches estate is in very small holdings, the occupiers of which in thickness. There are joints or fissures in these are at and under £4." layers, which greatly facilitate the process of quarry- Another of the centres of power in this district is ing; wedges are driven into the fissures, and a few Clifden, the residence of the D'Arcys, one of the small blows suffice to separate a complete block—for the number of proprietors of Connamara. Clifden is almost different layers seem to be easily detached. Some of at the south-west corner of the district. In 1815 it the blocks or slabs procured in this way are as large consisted of one single house : it now contains several as twelve feet long by ten wide. The black marble here hundred. In the former year its site and a large spoken of is a wholly distinct material from the green extent of surrounding country yielded no revenues marble of the Twelve Pins. A visit to the minera- whatever to its proprietor : it now yields several thoulogical gallery at the British Museum will enable sands per annum. In 1822 roads were commenced, us to see a specimen of this beautiful green marble, eastward from Clifden to Ballinahinch and Oughterard, in the form of a table presented by Mr. Martin, of and northward to Westport ; these were the foreGalway.

runners of the town; and an excellent quay, built by The family of the Martins in Connamara are said to Mr. Nimmo at the inner extremity of Ardbear Harbour, be the owners of a greater number of acres than any gave to the incipient town the means of exporting and other family in Ireland. If the resources of the country importing produce. The formation of this town did were fully developed, the estate would be of enormous not involve any actual outlay on the part of Mr. value ; but the wealth of mountain and bog is of D'Arcy ; he offered leases of plots of ground on a prospective character. Colonel Martin, the repre- advantageous terms, to whoever was inclined to build ; sentative of the family thirty or forty years ago, is said many availed themselves of the opportunity, and the to have endeavoured to put the Prince Regent out of result has been favourable both to lessor and lessees. conceit with the famous “long walk" of Windsor, by This town of twenty seven years' existence now boasts of saying that the avenue which led to his hall-door was its gothic Parish Church, its Roman Catholic Chapel, thirty miles in length. The pleasantry was true to its two public schools, its dispensary and workhouse, this extent, that the whole distance of thirty miles its three streets of tolerable houses, its import trade from Galway to Ballinahinch lay within the Martin from Liverpool and even from America, its trade in estates, while the road from the one to the other stop- curing and exporting herrings, its grain market, its ped short of the mansion, beyond which there was breweries, distilleries, and corn-mills, and its corps of little else than rugged paths. Ballinahinch is the name fishermen. The bay on whose shore it stands is so of a barony, a lake, a rivulet, a village, and a demesne; completely landlocked as to constitute a favourite and the whole form the head-quarters of a family which rendezvous for the government cruisers. Mr. D'Arcy has possessed almost regal power in this wild region : has built a beautiful castle at Clifden, in the midst of indeed the title of “ king of Connamara” has been a scene of natural grandeur-mountain and sea coast given almost as much in seriousness as in joke to the forming component parts -- not easily surpassed in representative of the family, by the native Irish Ireland. There was one piece of flat unsightly bog; around,

but this has been drained and converted into a lawn But this great estate, like many other great estates in front of the castle. Clifden is in every sense a in Ireland, is in such a state of entanglement that valuable example, to show what may yet be done in much will have to be done before its resources can be the industrial regeneration of Connamara. developed. Lieutenant Colonel Archer, who' was Of Joyce's Country, it is doubtful whether so much recently examined before a Committee of the House will be made as of Connamara proper, on account of of Lords on the Irish Poor Law, gave the following the bareness of its mountains and its lesser proportion evidence :

of sea-coast. Its inhabitants are nearly all JoycesYou have been, I think, for nearly a year, who have the reputation of being the tallest and largest employed as an Agent by the Law Life Assurance men in Ireland. “Big Jack Joyce” was for many yeass Company, who have foreclosed their mortgage upon a well-known giant among a race of giants. Mr. Inglis

[ocr errors]

met with a young Joyce, seventeen years of age, who | posed by some to stretch out westward to the Great measured six feet three inches—not exactly “in his Bank of Newfoundland. Its nearest edge is about stockings,” for he had none. The Joyces of Joyce's thirty miles out from the coast; and it has from thirty to Country, and the Flynns of Connamara, have for ages sixty fathoms water on it. The bank is much frequented had a sort of hereditary faction-feud. Will the present by cod, ling, and conger; it is, however, seldom fished generation see such feuds die out?

on, the boats on the coast being too small to venture The evidence collected by Fishery Commissioners so far out to sea. Great quantities of fish have been and Inspectors at various times, shows that the coast taken on this bank by vessels of from twenty to forty of Connamara is abundantly supplied with fish. The tons burden. This bank was remarkable until within whole of Galway Bay, sheltered by the Arran Isles from the last few years for the sunfish, many of which were the Atlantic, and having a depth varying from six to taken by the boats of the coast, and produced, on an thirty-five fathoms, is remarkable for the finest descrip- average, from five to eight barrels of the finest oil. tion of fish in their respective seasons—turbot, cod, The principal fishery near Connamara, and that of most ling, haddock, gurnet, hake, glassen, soles, plaice, value, is for herrings; it commences about Christmas, dories, halibut, mackarel, herrings, &c. Off the western at which period these fish, in immense quantities, coast of Connamara there is a great bank, extending generally fall into some of the numerous bays on the from the coast of Mayo to the isle of Arran, and sup- | coast.

[graphic][merged small]


W.Harvey, del

from & Sketch by J. There

Talrier, se



North Wales is more frequently compared with the people during so many centuries, and of that national mountain district of Westmoreland and Cumberland pride, which, in early times, the example of the chief than with any other locality, either at home or abroad. and the exhortations of the priest and the bard, made Comparisons are proverbially odious; and, to our a part of the popular character and creed. thinking, comparisons of scenery are almost invariably There are many ways of approach to Wales ; and unjust. There are usually more points of distinction the chief features may, of course, be visited in various than of agreement; and different things cannot fairly order and succession. The tourist will be guided in be compared with each other, We have no intention the selection of his route by convenience. We propose, to institute in vidious comparisons between these beau- in the first place, to look at so much of North Wales teous rivals, and certainly none of awarding the palm as lies along the line of the Chester and Holyhead to either. But there is a difference between them, Railway, and of the old coach-road through the Vale of which the visitor to each should bear in mind, and Llangollen-staying by the way as we please, and making which, therefore, it may be proper to call attention to. short excursions from the principal stations. In this Cumbria has few historical or romantic recollections, manner we shall see the leading features of the northern and possesses, consequently, hardly an historical me- coast, the district lying between it and the valleys of the morial. It is a region of beauty, which owes all its Dee and the Conway, and have also a cursory view of charms to Nature : even the poetry that is connected the Isle of Anglesea. We shall then be at leisure to with the lakes and fells is of recent date, and but a examine the interior of the Principality and the rereflex of the native loveliness. With Cambria it is mainder of the coast; and thus readily visit whatever otherwise. Everywhere exist the monuments or the is most worth visiting in the entire district. Chester traditions of an ancient and entirely different condition will consequently be our starting-place; our journey of society. Throughout Wales occur places which are will terminate at Shrewsbury. Concerning the characassociated with tales of British prowess, or are celebrated ter of the country and the people, and of the main in antique legend. The stories are often fabulous ; objects of interest that lie in the route, it is not necesand where the events they describe are real, the rela- sary to make any further general remarks now : it will tions possess no very powerful attraction for 'Saxon' be as well to leave them to speak for themselves when ears and hearts—at least, as they have been hitherto we come upon them. told: were there a Welsh Walter Scott to vivify his native records, and re-people his native fastnesses, they

CHESTER. might be found to have for all nations equal interest with the history and the romance of Scotland. Still, Before giving an account of North Wales itself, we as it is, those ancient memories serve at least to invest must look awhile at Chester : for the old city, though these scenes with that indefinite charm, which ever it lies just outside the boundary of the Principality, lingers over the spot whose name has been inscribed always forms an essential part and main attraction of on the historic or poetic page. And the ruined castle a Welsh tour. Indeed it thus becomes one of the and monastery, while they add something of elevation many advantages of this tour, that not only is the to the mind which is most susceptible to the sublimity tourist led to investigate a grand mountain tract, with and the grace of Nature, seldom fail to receive the a people in many respects so remarkable as are the homage even of those whose hearts the mountain and Welsh, but he also has the opportunity of examining the cataract alike speak to in vain.

three or four old towns of almost unique character, and We are not going, here or hereafter, to inflict upon of singular interest. the reader any details of Welsh history, or to plunge Chester is one of the most curious cities in the kinginto the depths of its legendary lore : all we desire is, dom, as well as one of the most ancient. Nothing can to have it remembered that our tour lies through an be better in its way than Thomas Fuller's notice of it: historic region ; and to suggest to the tourist that it “Chester is a faire city on the north-east side of the will add to the charm of even Cambrian scenery, if river Dee, so ancient, that the first founder thereof is it be kept in mind that every hill and every valley forgotten. . . . . It is built in the form of a quadrant, abounds with recollections and relics ; and that the and is almost a just square ; the four cardinal streets humble tradition of mythic hero, the incoherent tale thereof (as I may call them) meeting in the middle of of national glory and valour, the rude vestiges of faëry the city, at a place called the Pentise, which affordeth legends, and the superstitions and observances which a pleasant prospect at once into all four. Here is a are yet lingering on, though in the latest stages of property of building peculiar to the city, called the decay, all speak of those ancient manners which were | Rows, being galleries, wherein the passengers go dry, created and fostered by the peculiar insulation of the without coming into the streets, having shops on both



« PředchozíPokračovat »