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the memorials left of the residence of those ancient Siabod is seen in all its vastness filling the distance. philosophers the Druids here." These are gone now; We have given an engraving of the view, but it is but the tradition is preserved. There is a tumulus called impossible to represent the fitful play of light and Pen-y-Caer, about a mile south-east of the village, and shadow along the slopes, the gloom of the hollows, and near it is another spot bearing the same name, which the creeping mists on which so much of the effect of we fancy to be the places Camden speaks of. Some such a scene depends. (Cut, No. 8.) where in the neighbourhood, too, is a hill of unmanage- Immediately beyond this occurs another famous able title, whereon is said to have stood the castle at / scene,-the Falls of the Conway. They will be found which, according to the Welsh version, Caractacus was just out of the main road, where that to Ffestiniog is delivered into the hands of the Romans by a Cymric carried by a lofty arch across a chasm :—but the ear Delilah.
will be a sufficient guide to the spot. The Conway, The road here is in dull weather sufficiently dreary. a stream of considerable volume, is here pent within a The mountains lie somewhat away, and are lumpish in narrow ravine, through which it rushes with tremendous
No sparkling rivulet meanders on either side ; | impetuosity, and after making a short sharp turninstead is a level peat-bog, unvaried by house or tree. seeming indeed as though it burst through the rockBut there is one scene which would repay thrice the flings itself over a long slope of riven rocks into a deep extent of dreariness. You come almost suddenly, where pool below. The rocky banks, as well as the fallen the left-hand mountains open, upon a view of the entire fragments which check the progress of the stream, are range of the Snowdon Mountains. (Cut, No. 9.) Under of the grandest forms. The cataract altogether is of almost any aspect it must be a grand sight, for nowhere the finest kind; but there are two things which detract else is the entire range so fairly seen : but it was truly a good deal from its grandeur, the thick plantation of a thing to remember as we beheld it at the close of a trees which has a formal air, and the proximity of the day of remarkable beauty. The sun had just descended road, together banishing effectually what most befits behind the most northern of the hills, when suddenly such an object--the feeling of solitude, of standing the summits in that direction became as it were incan- alone in the presence of the untouched handiwork of descent, while those at the opposite extremity, and the Nature. giant Snowdon himself, rapidly changed in hue from Not far from this cataract is another formed by the a blueish purple into the deepest gloom,—their bases Machno river, a short distance before its junction with meanwhile being concealed by a pinky vapour, out of the Conway. The Falls of the Machno are not comwhich the mighty hills rose like islands froin a foaming parable with those of the Conway, either for magnitude sea,--and over-head the fleecy clouds gathered into a or grandeur ; but they are eminently picturesque and canopy of crimson and gold : it was a glorious vision ; beautiful. The mass of water foams and dashes from but it retained only for a moment its full splendour, rock to rock in every variety of form and curve, before and then fled swiftly into the darkness.
it takes its grand plunge, and then quickly recovering from the shock starts forward again, making in its rapid
way a multitude of wild waterbreaks. From every clist The VALLEY OF THE CONWAY.
spring self-planted trees and shrubs. On one side is At Pentre Voelas-where, as well as at Cernioge, seen a pandy (or fulling) mill, sufficiently rude and which has just been passed, there is a good tourist's inn informal to add to the effect as a picture. the river Conway comes down from the mountains, From the Falls to Bettws-y-Coed, the Conway and will be our guide and companion for the day's continues to maintain the wild beauty of its character. ramble. It has its source only a few miles higher, a Now passing along a close wooded glen, again, through little above Llyn Conway, and is in its early course a a more open but still wild valley, and occasionally beautiful stream: but it is in the few miles from Pentre crossed by bridges noticeable both for their fine forms Voelas to Bettws-y-Coed that it appears to feel its and often striking positions. This part of the stream strength, and there it exhibits best its daring and is the delight of the skilful angler, with whom the Oak frolicsome spirit. As it advances it grows soberer, at Bettws-y-Coed is a favourite little hostel. The and at length settles down into a dignified gravity. sketch (Cut, No. 10) will show better than words the Gray should not have written " Old Conway's foaming kind of scenery which the fisherman meets with in flood :" it would have been applicable enough to its here pursuing his gentle craft along the margin of youthful career.
Conway. The spot represented is a wild rocky passage, The scenery as well as the river is full of beauty for about a mile above Bettws-y-Coed, -well known to all this distance : but in one part it is eminently fine. artists and anglers, but from the difficulty of access About seven miles from Capel Curig, there opens a not often seen by the tourist; though, as the engraving view of an uncommon kind even in this region of splen- shows, well worth scrambling down to. did views. (Cut, No. 7.) The valley is bounded by Bettws-y-Coed-or, as cockney tourists resolutely lofty hills, which send their projecting roots far into the pronounce it, Betsy Code,'- is a quiet, thoroughly vale, where they terminate in rugged clitfs; a narrow Welsh village (with something of English neatness stream plays along the bottom; groups of handsome trees superadded), seated in a beautiful neighbourhood, just are in the foreground; while the enormous form of Moel by the confluence of the Llugwy with the Conway
The only thing in the village which aspires to a place The steep bridge by which we cross the river to in tourists' books, is the mutilated statue of Gruffydd Llanrwst, erected by Inigo Jones, is said to have the ap Davydd Goch, a nephew of the last of the Welsh peculiar property that "if a person thrusts himself princes : it is set in a niche in the church wall. But against the large stone over the centre of the middle the village itself will find a place in the tourist's arch, the whole fabric will vibrate;" but we neglected memory : it is one of the spots which is not likely to to test its vibratory capabilities. The Gwydyr Chapel be quickly forgotten. The bridge which crosses the attached to Llanrwst Church, is also the work of Inigo, Llugwy just before it falls into the Conway, is one of and tempts one to say of him, as did crabbed Ben the Welsh notabilities : it is somewhat rude in form, Jonson, “He had a monstrous medley wit of his own.” and consists of five arches, the piers of which rest on In the chapel are some interesting monuments; and separate rocks, which stand in the bed of the river. both it and the old church, to which it is joined, merit The river here forms a cascade, of no great height, but attention. one that appears eminently picturesque, as seen in Llanrwst is a town of some importance in the locaconnection with the singular bridge and the detached lity. It has considerable trade, and contains some masses of rock which strew the channel, When the 4000 inhabitants. The houses are small and plain ; river is in flood, and pours at once through all the but the situation of the town renders it an important arches, the effect must be very striking: ordinarily one object in the landscape ; and it is not an unpicturesque or two arches suffice for the passage of the waters. one. The Vale of Llanrwst, as this part of the valley
The road through the village soon brings the wan- of the Conway is called, is often said to be the finest derer to Capel Curig, and into the heart of the mountain in Wales—uniting in itself the beauties of the Vales district ;-a tempting route, but one that we must leave of Clwyd and Llangollen; and tourists fortify the for a while. Our way is still beside our river. There assertion by quoting from the guide books, that “ Burke is a road on each side of the Conway to Llanrwst ; declared it to be the most charming spot in Wales ;" that on the right is the main road, but the other, which and that Windham said something to the same effect. lies along the foot of wild craggy slopes and steep But here is a very pretty blunder. These are not the cliffs, is the quieter and the pleasanter. Just before Burke and Windham, but a couple of nobodies, who Llanrwst is reached, is Gwydyr, the patrimony of an wrote accounts of Wales that have been forgotten long ancient branch of the Wynne family, now extinct. ago, and whose names would never be mentioned, but Gwydyr House, now the property of Lord Willoughby that, having once got into the guide-books, they are d'Eresby, stands in beautiful grounds, and is permitted as a matter of course, repeated in all succeeding ones, to be seen.
We fancy that, if tourists knew this, “Burke and
Windham” would not be rung out so authoritatively. as the site of the Roman station, Conovium ; though Be it understood, however, that we say not a word in think Conway the more probable locality. depreciation of the Valley : it is not equal to either Certain it is, that Caer Rhun was a Roman settlement Clwyd or Llangollen ; but it is as charming a spot as of some kind; for at various times numerous Roman a man could wish to light upon for a few days' tarriance, remains-some of them of much interest and valueor to spend the evening of his days in. The mountains have been discovered there. Now it is merely a plain which border the valley are among the loftiest in Wales Welsh village, charmingly situated, indeed, by the - the companions, Carnedd Llewellyn and Carnedd river side, and "celebrated for containing three of the Davyd, attaining an altitude, the one of 3469, and the most magnificent yews that are now to be found in other of 3427 feet above the sea. The slopes are varied; the principality.” the vale is cultivated and flourishing, and thickly The vale maintains its character for richness and for sprinkled over with lordly and lowly dwellings; and beauty quite up to Conway; and when, at length, the the river which flows through the midst is broad and old town comes fairly into sight, it affords a noble shallow, and rendered more lively by the numerous termination to the prospect; while from the heights coracles * that are moving nimbly to and fro.
the backward view, extending over the valley, now The Conway is navigable, for vessels of 50 or 60 tons changed in character by the frequent passage of boats burden, as high as Trefriew,-a village, a mile or so and small craft to and fro on the smooth stream, and below Llanrwst. They bring hither coal, lime, and closed by magnificent mountains, is scarcely less intetimber; and carry back the produce of the farm, and resting and more impressive. A more delightful day's of the mines and quarries in the neighbourhood. Tre- ramble could hardly be found, of its kind, than this of friew is an unpretending village, but a very pretty one.
the Vale of Conway, or a more fitting resting-place, at The neighbourhood, too, is rich in the kind of objects the close of such a day, than the fine old town. which usually find a place in the sketch-book. There is a mill close by, which is unrivalled in Wales : it
BANGOR. stands in a most picturesque spot; and the water falls in succession over two wheels, placed one immediately In the good old times, the fifteen miles from Conway above the other; while the surplus supply finds its to Bangor were thought rather a serious journey: one way over a number of huge moss-covered blocks of at any rate not to be undertaken without due considerstone. The singular-looking mill and the waterfall, ation. The road lay along the brow of the precipitous together with the wild scenery around, form a notice Penmaen Mawr; and to traverse it was often really able scene, which has been often painted. In this dangerous. The only means of avoiding this road by vicinity are several waterfalls : the chief is the Rhaidr a land passage was to proceed along the sands, which Porthlwyd, or Rhaidr Mawr (the Great Waterfall), as could only be ventured upon when the tide was ou it is commonly called by the peasantry. It is situated Even as late as 1774, after a better road had been far up in the mountains : the path to it must be taken constructed, it appears to have been regarded as suffisomewhere near Porthlwyd Bridge, about seven miles ciently formidable. Dr. Johnson was here with the from Conway. The fall is one of the largest class of Thrales in that year, and he has this entry in his Welsh cataracts, and the accompaniments are on a Diary: "Aug. 18.-We would have stayed at Conway, grand scale. Many tourists and writers pronounce it if we could have found entertainment; [it was race-day, to be the finest waterfall in the principality; but it is and the inns were full ;] for we were afraid of passing seldom that there is a sufficient body of water to give Penmaen Mawr, over which lay our way to Bangor, it due importance. Another fall, about a mile from but by bright daylight. . . . There was no stay, howthis, is formed by the Dolgarrog, a lively but not very ever, on any other terms than of sitting up all night. . . ample stream. This, which is known as Rhaidr Dol. Our coach was at last brought, and we set out with garrog, is on a smaller scale than the last, but is exceed- some anxiety, but we came to Penmaen Mawr by dayingly pretty. On the mountains may be found two or light; and we found a way lately made, very easy and three Llyns which, if there be time, will repay the labour very safe.” This road was afterwards improved, and of ascending to them,--if only by the views that will in 1827 was re-constructed by Telford, and rendered be had on the road. Llyn Geirionydd is the most one of the finest in the kingdom—a remark applicable, celebrated, Taliesin, ‘Prince of Bards,' having dwelt on by-the-way, to the great Holyhead lines of road which its margin--as is often repeated in the Welsh bardic that eminent engineer formed by order of the Governverse. Lord Willoughby d'Eresby has erected a column ment throughout the principality, on a scale of greatness there, in memory of the famous minstrel.
and excellence till then unseen in this country. Even About five miles from Conway is the village of Caer now, some portions of the road along Penmaen Mawr Rhun,-a place which is by most antiquaries fixed on wear, in stormy weather, a rather startling appearance ; * These are light boats, formed of skin or tarred canvas, beetling cliff, with the sea at a considerable distance
especially where it is in part cut out of the face of the stretched over a wicker frame in the manner described in our notice of 'The Wye,' vol. i., p. 247. They carry only one below, and the grim precipice towering high over head. person, are moved and guided by means of a paddle, and are
Never for a moment, however, does a feeling of insechiefly used by fishermen.
curity obtain : the substantial character of every part