Picture of Celia Fiennes

Celia Fiennes

places mentioned

To Herefordshire

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Another journey into Herrifordshire from London, by Uxbridge to Islip 5 miles that is 7 mile off Oxford, from Islip to Woodstock where remaines no foote steps of faire Rosomonds Bower, only ye walls round ye parke and the little brookes that supply'd it wth water for ye baths and wells and ponds. Thence to Morton Hindmost in Glocestershire to a Relations house, My Uncle Richd ffiennes's widdow, a little neate stone built town, good Innes for ye travellers being ye road from London to Worcester and Herrifford and wales. Thence over Broadway hill to Parshur in all 30 mile by 12 of ye Clock, thence to Upton, where we pass on a large bridge over ye fine River the Severn wch runs from Worcester and to Glocester, Shrewsbury and to Bristol where it runns into the sea-in some places its very broad, Some Miles over, but here it was no broader than ye Thames is at Staines-it affords good ffish, Salmon and severall sorts besides. I think this River does not Ebb and flow so farre into ye Land. Here we Enter into Worcestershire and ascend Manborn hills or as some term them ye English Alps, a Ridge of hills Divideing Worcestershire and Heriforshire and was formerly Esteemed the divideing England and Wales, Herriford Shropshire &. were Weltch Countys. They are at least 2 or 3 miles up and are in a Pirramidy fashion on ye top. I rode up upon ye top of one of ye highest from whence Could discern the Country above 40 miles round and noe hills but what appeared Like Burrows or Mole hills, these being so high Nothing Could Limitt ye Eye but distance. Just at ye Bottom stands Worcester town which Looks like a Large well built town of Brick and Stone-I was not in it. On the one Side of this high Ridge of hills Lies Worcester: Oxford Glocestershire &. appears in plaines, enclosures, Woods and Rivers and many Great hills tho' to this they appeare Low: on the other Side is Herriforshire wch appears Like a Country off Gardens and Orchards the whole Country being very full of fruite trees &. it lookes like nothing else-the apple and pear trees &. are so thick even in their Corn fields and hedgerows. The descent is as long and steep in some places as its riseing was. Thence to a Relations house my uncle John ffiennes and his son; New house, 20 mile from Parshur which I rode all in one day in June and ye miles are here very long so that at Least it may be esteemed the Last 20 mile as long as the 3o mile gone in the morning. My Cos'n ffiennes has made a very convenient habitation at this place wch Contrary to its Name was an old built house-Timber worke, but by his alteration and additions of good Brick walls round the Court and 4 pretty gardens, wth good Walks grass platts much good fruite, of wch the Country does Easily produce, and if persons are Curious in planting may have ye best wch my Cosen has here, and the walls some Lower than other gives the sight of ye Garden at one view. Severall large orchards behind the house with new Stables and offices wch makes it look well. Itts in sight of severall houses, but all old buildings-Lady Hopton's in a Low meadow-there are woods by it and a Little river parts them, called ye Framy wch gives Name to Severall Little villages as Cannon froom, Bishops ffroom, Castle froom; this runnes into another Little river Called the Lug and both runnes into the River Wye wch is on ye back side of Herriford town. This was 7 miles from us, its a pretty little town of timber buildings, the streetes are well pitched and handsome as to breadth and Length. The river Wye is as broad as the Thames is at Maidenhead bridge, or hardly so broad, its a Rapid River and seemed much disturb'd; there is very good ffish in it; it did not looke Cleare wn I saw it, but was thick and yellow but yt is against foul weather.

The Mount which is the only thing of ye Castle that remaines Commands the sight of ye river and town. The Cathedrall is very neate but small, the Carving of the wood in the Quire was good. In the Library I was shown by ye Dean of Herriford ye History of pope Joan with her Picture it was printed in and with the history of all the popes in Rome successively-it was writt in old English, but I made a shift to read it. There is ye Bishops Palace and ye Deanes and Doctors houses wch are the best buildings, but they are not very ffine or Large. 7 mile thence on a flatt is Mr Paul folie's Seate called Stoake in whose parlour you see Herriford quite plaine-its a very good old house of Timber worke but old ffashion'd, and good Roome for Gardens, but all in an old fform and mode and Mr Folie Intends to make both a new house and gardens. The latter I saw staked out, so it will be to no purpose to say anything of it as its now only ye good Barns and Stables that are new Covered wth slate, ye ffine Bowling-green walled in, and a Summer-house in it all new. There is beyond this, ffine woods and a delicate Parke above the house-pailed in; yt is stored with deare both red and ffallow and affords 12 brace in a season, there are also fine Coppices.

From thence to Newhouse againe 7 mile, hither we went 5 or 6 tymes from Newhouse to Broughton. We went by Eshum and ye Vale of ye Red horse being a Vale of a great extent, the earth is all Red, its a very Rich Country for Corn and ffruites and woods. Its Called ye Vale of Eshum or of ye Red horse from a Red horse Cut out on some of ye hills about it and ye Earth all Looking Red, ye horse Lookes so as yt of ye white horse Vale. Here is all very heavy way to Weston 2 5 mile in Glocester, to a Parsonage of my Cos'n Pheramus ffiennes given him for his life by his and our Grandfather Willm Lord Viscount Say and Seale- its a neate building all stone, and ye walls round Court, Gardens and yards, all are of Stone.

A mile thence was one of his sisters marry'd to a Parson Mr Browne that has a very neate and Convenient Little house and Gardens. A mile from thence is a very high hill from whence I Could see a great distance-Warwick and Coventry and a large tract of Land all round. Att the foote of this hill Lyes Camden Town wch I went through, its built all of stone as is the Church wth the Effigie of the Little Viscountess Camden that lived to a great age and was Mother to the Earle of Gainsborough; its Cut out in white Marble and stands in an arch in the wall, wth two Leav'd doores to it, to keep it from ye dust-there were severall little Monuments besides in the Church. From thence to Brailes and thence to Broughton 19 miles to my Brother Say, wch is 50 miles from London; I went by Alsbury 20 thence 30 to London.

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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