Picture of Celia Fiennes

Celia Fiennes

places mentioned

1697 Tour: York and Scarborough

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From thence to TodCaster 8 mile, wch is a very good Little town for travellers, mostly jnns and little tradesmens houses. This stands on a very large River Called the Whart. Just before you Come to ye town there is some of ye water wch on Great raines are not to be pass'd-it was very deep when I went through. Thence we go much on a Causey to Yorke 8 miles more, it stands high but for one of the Metropolis and the see of ye Archbishopp it Makes but a meane appearance. The Streetes are Narrow and not of any Length, save one wch you Enter of from the bridge that is over the Ouise which Lookes like a fine River when full after much raine. It is but Low in Comparison of Some Rivers, it bears Great Barges, it Looks muddy, its full of good ffish. We Eate very good Cod fish and Salmon and that at a pretty Cheape rate, tho' we were not in the best jnn for the Angel is the best in Cunny Streete. The houses are very Low and as jndifferent as in any Country town and the Narrowness of ye Streetes makes it appear very mean. Nottingham is so farre before it for its size-its true Nottingham is not a quarter so bigg, Else ye Streetes and buildings are so Much Nobler as Can be jmagin'd; it Lookes better att the approach because you see the towers off ye gates and Severall Churches in Compassing ye Minster and all ye Windmills round ye town of wch there are many. Ye River runns through the town and so its divided, ye buildings Look No better than the outskirts off London Wappen &. The Bridg is fine arches and built on with houses; the Pavements wch is Esteem'd the Chiefe part of town where ye Market house and town hall stands is so mean that Southwarke is much before it. There are a Great Many pretty Churches 16 in Number, but the minster is a noble building and holds in view at Least 30 miles before you Come to it. I saw it and also at yt distance, and saw just by it a high hill or ffortification it appeared to be, but when I Came to York I found it to be only a very high hill wth stately high trees on it as thick as Could be, a Noble Grove. The Minster is very Large and fine of Stone, Carv'd all the outside, 3 high towers above the Leads; I was in one of them, the highest, and it was 262 steps and those very Steep Steps, there is a Gallery round the middle of the Church about halfe way that goes off these steps of the tower, where you may go round and Looke down into the body of ye Church and yt was so great a distance that the men and Ladyes that were Walking below look'd like Pigmyes a very little to us above. On the Leads of ye tower Shews a vast prospect of the Country, at Least 30 mile round, you see all over the town yt Lookes as a building too much Cluster'd together, ye Streetes being so narrow-some were pretty Long. There is another river wch fills the ditches round the town Called Ffosse. In the Minster there is the Greatest Curiosity for Windows I ever saw, they are so large and so Lofty, those in the Quire at ye End and on Each side that is 3 storys high and painted very Curious with History of ye Bible; the painting is very fine such as was in Kings Chapple in Cambridge, but the Loftyness of ye windows is more than I ever saw any Where Else and by all accounts is peculiar; There is such another Window at the End of the Cross jsle just by ye Quire-all ye other Windows are of ye usual Size of other Cathedralls. Ye body of ye Church is large and I thinke Larger than any Cathedrall I have seen, bigger than Winchester Cathedrall. All these Isles are broad the people of ffashion use them to Walke in and on that account its much [something left out] they keep it not Cleaner, the Quire has a very good Carving in Wood about it, there is a very good Organ, the table cloth and Cushons and books at ye Co-union table was Crimson velvet and hangings, and its Embroyder'd very Richly wth gold of a Great depth, and Gold ffringe at ye bottom: this was Given ye Church by Doctor Lamplue yt was the Arch-bishop whose Statue is in White Marble in ye wall wth Mitre and shepherds Crook. Just by him is ye Effigy of another Bishop Laying along cut in Stone, and by the aire and Mien he looks more Like a Soldier or Beau than a Bishop and so it seemes he was in humour. The Embriodery at the table is almost yard deep, that was given by Lamplue. In the vestry there is a well of Sweet spring-water called St Peter's well, ye St of the Church, so it is St Peters ye Cathedrall is. There is a large hunters horne tipt with Silver and Garnish'd over and Engrav'd ffinely all double Gilt wth a Chaine, the same given by a Gentleman that also gave his Estate to add to the revenues of ye Church, on a dislike to disobedient Children; he used the horne When he hunted and drank in it too. I saw there the ffine tissue Cannopy that was held over the head of King James the first when he Came into England and ye head of 2 mace wch were Carry'd before him then. There I saw a Chest that was Triangular fashion, the Shape of ye Coapes when folded in ye Middle and so put into this Chest. The Chapter house is very finely Carv'd and fine painting on the windows all round, its all arched Stone and Supported by its own Work haveing no pillars to Rest on, tho' its Length and breadth be Equal and at Least 24 ffoot Each. Here was a mint for Coyning the old money and plaite into new mill'd money; I saw them at work and Stamp'd one halfe Crown my Self-they dispatch worke very fast and have Coyn'd Severall 1000? . I see all parts of the work about ye pounding, the boyling, defineing and makeing Barres and Cutting out in ye mill and Bakeing and Stamping, all but Milling which art they are Sworne to keep private. The Bishops Seate was 4 or 5 mile out of town on the River Ouise. Ffrom thence we went over a marshy Comon to the Spaw at Marsborough 12 mile; the town is a pretty stone building, in it a large Market place; there is a River, the water Looks black, I ffancy it runns off from the Iron and sulpher mines which Changes the Coullr;- We pass it over on a large bridge, tho' in some places they may ford it, its all on a Rock and the Sides of the hill by ye River is all rock and the Little houses are all built in the Rocks, there is a little Chapple cut out of the Rock and arch'd and Carved wth ffigures of Saints, I suppose its Called Sr Robert Chapple he was Esteemed a very devout man, his Effigee is Carv'd at the Entrance, there is an alter yt was deck'd wth flowers and the Ground wth Rushes for ye devout that did frequent it. Severall Papists there about and many that Came to ye Spaw and St Mongers well did say their prayers there. There was a Manuscript wth a long story of this Sr Robert. There is also the ruines of an abbey where there has been many bones taken up and some preserv'd as Reliques-there was a papist Lady Lodg'd where we did and our Land Lady at ye Inn where we were treated Civily she told us she went with this Lady among these ruines where the Lady would say her prayers, and one day some had been digging and brought up ye bone of a mans arme and hand and ye Ligature of ye Elbow held ye bones together wch by Strikeing Came asunder, and in ye hollow part of ye joynt was a jelly like blood that was moist, this Lady dipp'd ye End of her handkerchief in it and so Cut it off and put it up as a Relique. There are ye ruinated walls of the Castle remaines but of no use, but some part is made a prison and some vaults made Cellars. I dranke very Strong Clear ale in one of those Cellars.

We were in a very pretty Garden of a Gentlemans of our LandLady Mason's acquaintance where was all manner of Curiosityes of fflowers and Greens-Great variety- there is also a Cherry Garden with Green walkes for ye Company to walk in and a Great Seate in a high tree that gives a pleasant prospect.

From thence we went over to Haragate wch is just by the Spaw, two mile further over a Common that belongs to Knarsborough; its all marshy and wett and here in the Compass of 2 miles is 4 very different springs of water; there is the Sulpher or Stincking spaw, not Improperly term'd for the Smell being so very strong and offensive that I could not force my horse Near the Well; there are two Wells together with basons in them that the Spring rises up in, which is ffurr'd with a White Scumm which rises out of the water, if you keep it in a Cup but a few hours it will have such a white Scumm on it, not withstanding it rises out of ye Spring very Cleare and so being a quick Spring itt Soone purges it Self Cleare againe, it Comes from Brimstone mines, for the taste and smell is much of Sulpher' tho' it has an additionall offenciveness Like Carrion. The Ground is Bitumus or the Like that it runns over, it has a quality of Changing Silver into ye Coullr of Copper and that in a few minutes, much quicker than the Baths in the West County in Somersetshire. Its a quick purger and very good for all Scurbutick humours, some persons drink a quart or two, I dranke a quart in a Morning for two dayes and hold them to be a good Sort of Purge if you Can hold yr breath so as to drinke them down. Within a quarter of a mile is the sweete spaw or Chalibiet, a Spring which rises off Iron and steele like Astrup or Tunbridge and Like the German Spaw. This is a quick Spring and the Well made up with a bason, and a Cover of Stone over it Like an arch; this opperates as all jron springs does, tho I Could not find them so strong or spiriteous as those at Tunbridge. One thing I observ'd of the Stinking spaw tho' its taste and opperation was like the Somersetshire bathes, yet this was not warme in the Least as those Bathes are. Just Between these two spaws is a fine Cleare and sweete Spring of Comon water very good to wash Eyes and pleasant to Drinke. The ffourth Spring wch is but two mile off these is of a petrifying quality turnes all things into stone. It rises in a banck on ye top of a hill and so runns along in a little Channell about a foote over and all the Ground it runns over is moorish and full of holes with water Standing in it, wch stincks just like the Sulpher Spaw and will turn Silver to the Coullour of Copper as yt does. Notwithstanding this Clear spring runns through it with a Swift Current to the brow of ye hill and then it spreads it Self all round ye hill wch is a Rock, and so runns down all over the brow of ye hill Continually, like a Nasty shower of Small and Great Raine, and so it meetes in ye bottom and runns all into the river Knarsborough, and this water as it runns-where it Lyes in the hollows of ye Rock does turn moss and wood into Stone or rather Crusts or Candys wood. I saw some wch had a perfect Shell of stone about it, but they tell me it does in tyme penetrate through the Wood. I took Moss myself from thence which is all Crisp'd and perfect Stone; all the Grass Straws or any thing that the water falls upon it does Convert to hardness like Stone. Ye Whole rock is Continually dropping with water besides ye Showering from the top wch ever runns and this is Called the dropping well. There is an arbour and ye Company used to Come and Eat a Supper there in any Evening to have the pleaseing prospect and the murmuring Shower to Divert their Eare; in a good Space of tyme it will harden Ribon Like Stone or any thing Else.

Ffrom Harragate to Cockgrave is 6 mile where is a Spring of exceeding Cold Water Called St Mongers Well; the Story is of a Child yt was Laid out in ye Cold for the parishes Care and when the Church-Wardens found it they took Care of it-a new born Infant-and when it was baptised they gave it the Name of " Amongst '' because they said the Child must be kept among them, and as the papist sayes he was an Ingenious Child and so attained Learning and was a very religious man and used this spring to wash himself; after sometymes that he had gotten prefferrment and so grew Rich he walled the Spring about and did many Cures on diseased bodies by batheing in it, wch Caused after his death people to frequent the Well wch was an Inconveniency to ye Owners of ye ground, and so they forbad people Coming and Stopped up ye Well; and the Story sayes on that severall judgments Came on the owners of ye Ground and ye Spring broke up all about his Ground wch forced him to open it againe and render it usefull to all that would Come to Washe in it-thus farre of ye fable.

Now the Spring is in use and a high wall round it, Ye Well is about 4 or 5 Yards square and round the brimm is a walke of Broad stone round. There are 4 or 5 Steps down to the bottom, it is no deeper at Some places then a Little above ye Waste, not up to ye Shoulders of a woman, and you may kneel on a flatt Stone and it Comes to yr Chin- this the papists made use of very much. At one Corner the Springs rise they are very quick and there is a Sluce that it Continually runns off so as to keep just at the same depth, and it runns off so fast and ye Springs supply so fast that it Clears the Well presently after any body has been in. I allwayes Chose to be just where ye springs rise that is much the Coldest and it throws off anything in the Well to ye Sluce. Setting aside ye papists ffancyes of it I cannot but think it is a very good Spring being remarkably Cold and just at ye head of ye Spring, so its ffresh wch must needs be very strengthning; it Shutts up the pores of ye body immeadiately, so fortifyes from Cold, you Cannot bear ye Coldness of it above 2 or 3 minutes and then you Come out and walke round ye pavement and then in againe, and so 3 or 4 or 6 or 7 as many tymes as you please. You go in and out in Linnen Garmts , some go in fflannell; I used my bath Garmts and so pulled them off and put on flannell when I Came out to go into the bed which is best; but some Came at a distance-so did I and did not go into bed-but some will keep on their wet Garments and let them drye to them and say its more beneficial, but I did not venture it. I dipp'd my head quite over every tyme I went in and found it Eased a Great pain I used to have in my head, and I was not so apt to Catch Cold so much as before wch I imputed to the Exceeding Coldness of ye Spring that shutts up the pores of the body. Its thought it runns off of some very Cold spring and from Clay. Some of ye papists I saw there had so much Zeale as to Continue a quarter of an hour on their knees at their prayers in ye Well, but none else Could well endure it so long at a tyme, I went in 7 Severall seasons and 7 tymes Every Season and would have gone in oftener Could we have Staid longer. We went back to Harragat 6 mile and then we went to Burrough Bridge 8 mile-a famous place for Salmon, but then we Could not meete with any, but we had a very Large Codfish there above a yard long and more than halfe a yard in Compass very fresh and good and Cost but 8 pence. I saw as big a one bought then for 6 pence and six Crabbs as big as my two hands, the Least was bigger than one of my fists, all cost but 3 pence. Thence to Harragate 8 mile, then we went and Laid at Knarsburoughe 2 mile, wch was nearer to St Mungers Well, for we went it twice from Harragate and back wch was 12 mile more and found it too farre to go in an afternoon-from Knarsburough it was but 4 mile; we went it four tymes and back wch was 16 miles and we went afterwards to Harraget 3 tymes and back 12 mile more. From Knarsborough we went to Rippon a pretty Little market town mostly built of Stone, 8 mile, a Large Market place with a high Cross of severall Stepps; we were there the Market day where provisions are very plentifull and Cheape.

In the Market was sold then 2 good Shoulders of veal, they were not very fatt nor so large as our meate in London but good meate, one for 5d the other for 6d , and a good quarter of Lamb for 9d or 10d , and its usual to buy a very good Shoulder of Veale for 9 pence, and a quarter of Beefe for 4 shillings; Indeed it is not large ox Beef but good Middling Beasts: and Craw ffish 2d a Dozn -so we bought them.

Notwithstanding this plenty some of ye Inns are very dear to Strangers that they Can impose on. The town Stands on a hill and there is a good large Stone built Church well Carved, they Call it a minster. There is very fine painting over the alter, it Looks so natural just like Real Crimson satten with gold ffringe like hangings, and Severall rows of Pillars in jsles on Either side wch looks very naturall. There are two good Bridges to the town, one was a rebuilding, pretty large with Severall arches Called Hewet bridge-its often out of repaire by reason of the force of ye water that Swells after great raines, yet I see they made works of wood on purpose to breake the violence of ye Streame and ye Middle arche is very Large and high.

There are Severall good houses about ye town and Severall Gentlemens Seates about a mile or two distance: 2 mile off is a fine place of Sr Edwd Blackets, it looks finely in ye approach in the Midst of a good parke, and a River runns just by it, it stands in the middle and has two Large Gardens on Each side. You Enter one through a Large Iron Barr-gate painted Green and gold tops and Carv'd in Severall places, this is ffine Gravel walks between grass plotts 4 Square, with 5 brass Statues Great and Small in Each square, and full of borders of flowers and Green banks with flower potts. On ye other side of ye house is just such a Garden, only the walkes are all grass rowl'd and the Squares are full of dwarfe trees, both ffruites and green, set Cross wayes wch Lookes very finely. There is a flower Garden behind ye house; in it and beyond it a Landry Close, with frames for drying of Cloths, walled in. There are good Stables and Coach house and all the offices are very Convenient-very good Cellars all arch'd, and there I dranke small beer four years old not too Stale, very Clear good Beer well brew'd. Their kitching, pastry and pantry & all very Convenient; in ye pantry hangs a picture of ye dimentions of a large ox yt was fed in these grounds wth ye acco of its weight. Ye Quarters was 106 Stone 1? and ye hide was 12 stone and 8 pound, the tallow was 19 stone, the head 4 stone, ye Legs and feate weigh'd 3 stone 11? . This Gentleman breeds and feeds much Cattle in his grounds and has one of ye largest Beeves in England.

his house is built with bricke and Coyn'd wth stone wth a flatt Roofe Leaded, wth railes and Barristers, and a large Cupilow in ye middle-you may see a Greate way round ye Country. Ye ffront Entrance is 3 gates of Iron Barres and spikes, painted blew with gold tops, and brick work between ye gates and pillars with stone tops Carv'd Like flower potts; ye pillars all Coyn'd with Stone. Ye Middle gate is made large in a Compass like a halfe Moone.

There are four more spaces in the wall open with Iron barres an d spikes, 2 of wch are in each side into ye Gardens, and answers two Like them on the other side of the Gardens. The two other are Less and are at ye End of a terrass walk just along ye Entrance wch you ascend by Steps from the Middle gate; they are all adorned with brick pillars Coyn'd wth stone and Stone heads-these are all painted blew and gold tipps. From the Terrass you have a Court yt Leads into ye middle of ye house into a large hall; over ye doore at ye Entrance is a fine Carving 0f stone wth Leaves and flowers with fine stone pillars, and ye Armes Cutt finely, there is a fine dyal and Clock above all. The hall you Enter is of a very good size and height. 2 dineing roomes and drawing roomes, one for the Summer with a marble floore, 6 or 7 Chambers off a good size and lofty, so ye most of ye beds were two foote too low wch was pitty they being good beds, one was Crimson ffigured velvet, 2 damaske beds, the rest moehaire and Cambet. Ye roomes were mostly wanscoated and painted. Ye best roome was painted just like marble-few roomes were hung. The ffurniture was very neately kept and so was the whole house, the roofe of ye Staires was finely painted, there was Severall pictures but not Set up the house being in mourning for his Lady, and her mother the Lady Yorke, wch dyed in a month or two of Each other. She left Sr Edward 10 Children, he has a great state and will have the 2000 P an fall to him that is Lady Mary Ffenwichs anuity. he was a merchants son at Bristol. The house is served with water by pipes into a Cistern into ye Garden, Cellars and all offices. This was the ffinest house I saw in Yorkshire. We returned to Knarsborough 9 mile and from thence we went to York againe 12 mile, this was ye worst Rideing in Yorkshire, then we passed thro' York town by another gate towards Hull, and yt Streete was Larger and better buildings than what I saw before in Yorke, and here we pass over the muddy River, Called the muddy Ffosse. We passed over the river Derwent that runns through the middle of Derbyshire to Born Bridge 9 mile, Whitten 6 miles a Little neate Thatch'd town of a mile long where we Lay, and passed by Burlington Lord Cliffords house that stood in a bottom amongst trees and Look'd well, and they Say is well painted and good ffurniture, but I saw not ye Inside, only pass'd by it. There we had a very Large Salmon that Cost and ye sauce but 18d , it was very ffresh and good and above 3 quarters of a yard long. Thence to Beverly 9 miles wch is a very fine town for its size, its prefferable to any town I saw but Nottingham. There are 3 or 4 Large Streetes well pitch'd bigger than any in York, the other Lesser Streets about ye town being Equal with them. The Market Cross is Large, there are 3 markets, one for beasts another for Corne and another for ffish, all Large, the town is Serv'd with Water by wells walled up round or rather in a Square, above halfe ones length, and by a pully and weight letts down or draws up the Buckat wch is Chained to ye beame of ye pully. There are many of these wells in all the streetes it seemes its in Imitation of Holland, they being supply'd with water soe. The buildings are new and pretty Lofty, the Minster has been a ffine building all stone, Carv'd on the outside wth ffigures and Images, and more than 100 pedastalls that remaine where Statues has stood of angels and the like. The wood worke in the quire is very ffine. Just by the Comunion table is the Sanctuary or place of Refuge where Criminalls flee for Safety-its a Seate of Stone work Cut all in one.

Earle of Northumberland's and Lady's Monuments-his is very plaine, only a marble Stone raised up with Stone about 2 yards high; his Name, by means of his great atchievments in the Barrons warre, great Percy Earle of Northumberland, is monument Enough to posterity. His tombe was a little fallen in and a hole So bigg as many put their hands in and touch'd the body wch was much of it Entire of ye bonds; the Skull was whole and the teeth firme, tho' of so many yeares standing. The Countess's monument is very fine, its made of ye same free stone ye Church is built wth , but so finely polished yt it looks like Marble, and Carv'd wth figures, birds leaves, flowers, beasts and all sorts of things and ye armes is Cutt out in severall places all about it; the top of the arch is one Entire Stone as much as one Can Grasp and its all finely Carv,d wth all sorts of Curiosityes and adorn'd with Gilding and painting.

There are 4 good monuments all of marble of ye Wharton ffamily. In the middle of ye Church is ye tomb of St John with a brass Inscription on ye pavement, and at a little distance they shew'd us the wearing of ye pavement with ye obeisance of his votarys, this being St John of Beverly. At the End of ye Church is ye ffont, ye upper part of it, that is the bason was of one Entire marble of a Darke Coullour Ye Cover was Carv'd Exactly and of a Piramidy fform and very high. There is another Church Called St Mary's yt is very large and good I thought that had been the Minster at first Entrance of ye town; there is the prayers Everyday and its used on all accounts and so the other is neglected. This has a quire in which they were preaching wn we were there. There is a very good free schoole for boys, they say ye best in England for Learning and Care wch makes it fill'd with Gentlemens Sons besides the free Schollars from all parts-provision being very Cheape here. I was offered a large Codffish for a shilling and good Pearch very Cheape, we had Crabbs bigger than my two hands pence apiece wch would have Cost 6 pence if not a shilling in London and they were very sweete. From thence we went to Hull 6 mile all upon a Caussey secured wth two little rivers running on Each Side wch is used to flow over their grounds it being a Great fflatt severall miles, and the meadows are Cloth'd wth good Grass by yt means. The river Hull runns from Beverly at the town End, just by ye Minster you Cross it, this runns to Hull, ye town is properly Called so from that River, but its name is Kingston on ye Hull, being built on yt River wch runns into ye Humber wch is a noble River-ye mouth of it opens just agst this town. The buildings of Hull are very neate good streets, its a good tradeing town by means of this great River Humber yt Ebbs and flows Like the Sea, and is 3 or 4 mile over at ye Least; it runns 20 mile hence into ye Sea and takes in all ye great Rivers-ye Trent Ouise, Aire, Don, ye Derwent and ye Hull, and Carries much water that a man of warre of all sorts Can Ride. I was on board a new man of warre yt belonged to the town and Called ye Kingston, it was but small, well Compact for provision and was built fit for swift saileing. The Humber is very salt, allwayes it rowles and tosses just like ye Sea, only ye soile being Clay turnes ye Water and waves yellow and soe it differs from ye Sea in Coullour, not Else-its a hazardous water by reason of many shoares ye tides meete. I was on it a pretty way and it seemes more turbulent than ye Thames at Gravesend.

Celia Fiennes, Through England on a Side Saddle in the Time of William and Mary (London: Field and Tuer, The Leadenhall Press, 1888)

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