button to main menu  Clarke's Survey of the Lakes, 1787

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Page 107:-
  roman forts

Mr West, in his guide to the Lakes, says, that there has been a Roman station here. That they might have one near this Druidical temple I will not deny, but that they ever had one upon Castrigg, is, I think, very improbable. This idea has taken its rise from the name, which Mr West supposes to be a corruption of Castle-Rigg: on the contrary, I take Castrigg to be the original and proper name; it is so spelled in the manor-books, and seems, like many other names in this country, to be a compound of various languages, viz. Latin and English. It seems not improbable that this hill was, for a long time after the Romans left Britain, called simply Castra, or the camp, and that the addition of Rigg, which signifies a ridge or hill, was added to it at a very late period. That any encampment which was here was Roman, is pretty evident: The Romans, out of hatred to the persons and religious tenets of the Druids, always built their forts near some of their places of resort: They thus prevented the Britons from their usual visits to these fanes, and the Druids from encouraging their countrymen by their divination.
Mr West's conjecture, (see B.iii. p.144.) is ingenious enough: I cannot, however, trace the Roman road, in the manner he mentions, from Whitbarrow. Whilst I was collecting materials for this work, I examined this causeway in the most attentive manner; but the road, instead of going through Keswick, leads past a place near Shoulthwaite, called Buck Castle; it then disappears, but may again be perceived at Wythburn; if we then examine the direction of this road, we shall find it could not by any means touch at Keswick.
Close to this road is a place called Adam's Cross, (see plate IX.;) it consists of a mound of earth, with a large stone upon it, but what relation this has to the road itself I cannot determine.
  archery butts
Vestiges of camps are so very common in Cumberland that they have been very little attended to; on this account tradition is almost entirely silent concerning them. So frequent, indeed, are these remains, that almost every artificial hill of earth, or heap of stones, is called a camp: very often these mounts appear, upon examination, to be no more than the butts of those archers, whom this country produced in such prodigious numbers, and of such amazing dexterity. Our old ballads are full of the praises of these archers: some of them are totally impossible, and others seem at first sight improbable: but if we consider that the bow, (as I know from experience) is nearly equal in certainty to a rifle-gun, our wonder and incredulity will cease.
  Adam Bell
  Clym of the Clough
  Wyllyam of Cloudesly

The following old Ballad hath been printed in Dr PERCY'S Poems, addressed to the COUNTESS of NORTHUMBERLAND, in 1775,

MERY yt was yn grene forets, among the leaves grene,
Whereas men hunt east and west, wyth bowes and arrowes kene.
To ryse the dere out of theyr denne suche syghts hath oft bene sene,
As by thre yemen of the north countrey, by them yt ys I meane.

The one of them hyght Adam Bell, the other Clym of the Clough;
The thyrd was Wyllyam of Cloudesle, an archer good ynough;
They were outlaw'd for venyson, these yemen every chone;
They swore them brethren on a day to Englyshe wood for to gone.

Now lyth and lysten gentlymen, that of myrth loveth to here,
Two of them were syngle men, the thyrd had a wedded fere.
Wyllyam was the wedded man, muche more than was hys care;
He sayde to hys brethren upon a day. To Carleyl he wold fare.
gazetteer links
button -- "Adam's Cross" -- Adam's Cross
button -- "Castrigg" -- Castlerigg
button -- "Englyshe Wood" -- (Inglewood Forest (CL13inc)2)
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