BLTC Press Titles


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Shakti and Shakta

John Woodroffe


The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting


Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman


Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett


Excursions in North Wales

by William Bingley

Excerpt:

— BRYNKINNALT.

Entering Wales by the Great Holyhead road, Chirk is the first place which the traveller reaches. This village is situated on the northern bank of the river Ceiriog, which separates the counties of Denbigh and Salop, and consequently England and Wales. Strictly speaking, therefore, a tour through North Wales (if the route laid down in the following pages be adopted) commences with Chirk; but as Shrewsbury, Oswestry* and Brynkinnaltf are so im

* Oswestry and its hundred, at the making of Domesday, formed a part of Wales. They were annexed to England in the eighth year of the reign of Edward I.

t Brynkinnalt is partly in England and partly in Wales, a portion of the grounds being in Shropshire, and the remainder, together with the house, in Denbighshire.

B

mediately connected with the Principality, this chapter is devoted to a description of the above places.

SHREWSBURY.

Is a town of considerable magnitude and importance, containing 21,297* inhabitants. It is situated on a sloping ground, and nearly surrounded by the river Severn. The streets are irregular, and many of the buildings very ancient, but great improvements have of late years been made under the provisions of an act obtained in 1821. This place once formed the capital of Powisland, and was, for some years, a seat of the Welsh princes. Near the eastern entrance is a Doric column fluted, rising from a noble pedestal, and supporting a gigantic statue of Lord Hill; on the faces of the pedestal are inscribed the name, style and military actions of this illustrious Salopian. It is ascended by an internal circular staircase. The height of the whole structure is 132 feet. It was built by voluntary contributions.

The Castle is built of a red stone, and situated on an eminence above the river, just in that part of the town where the river leaves it undefended. Its foundation has been ascribed to Roger de Montgomery, the great Earl of Shrewsbury, who lived in the reign of William the Conqueror; but of the ancient structure there is not at this time much remaining. The keep stood on a large artificial mount, which seems to prove it of Saxon or British origin.

The castle continued in possession of the two sons of the founders till the reign of Henry I. when that monarch chose to take it into his own hands. After the restoration of Charles II. it was granted to Francis Lord Newport, afterwards Earl of Bradford; and some time subsequent to this grant it became the property of the Pulteney family, from whom it was acquired by the Duke of Cleveland, its present possessor.

* Wherever the population is mentioned, the number is taken from the census in 1831.

Robert de Belesme, son to Roger de Montgomery, was the first who attempted to defend the town by Walls. This he did, by building from the castle along each side of the river for a considerable distance; and thus he secured himself for a while from the attack of his enemy, Henry the First. The remaining part of the walls was erected in the reign of Henry the Third, at the request of the inhabitants, to fortify the place against the inroads of the Welsh. So great, however, was the want of money for the completion of the undertaking, that thirty-two years elapsed before they could be finished. Comparatively speaking, but a small portion of the walls is now left.

At a little'distance beyond the castle, and, situated like that building, on the elevated bank of the Severn, is the County gaol, a large and handsome structure. It is constructed of brick, and in a situation that cannot be surpassed for the purity, and consequent healthiness of its atmosphere. In a niche over the entrance there is a bust of Howard. The outer walls were commenced in the year 1789, and some of the apartments were ready for the reception of prisoners in 1796.

Proceeding along a pleasant terrace walk to the end of the building and descending to the river, there is a footpath which leads to the English bridge. From hence the castle, the river and the town, partly hidden by trees, with the spires of St. Mary's and St. Alkmund's churches form a beautiful and picturesque scene.


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