button to main menu  Gents Mag 1754 p.505

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Gentleman's Magazine 1754 p.505

  Christianbury Crag
Journey to Christianbury Crag

AS you frequently entertain your readers with topographical curiosities, I send you a view and description of a natural rock in Cumberland, called Christen-bury Craiggs. *
The rock is situated at the top of a mountain, very difficult of access, at which I had often looked through my telescope from a place three and twenty miles distant. The view at length so much excited my curiosity, that I determined to gratify it by a nearer examination; however, as it was early in the spring when I first formed this resolution, and as the ways are scarce passable, even in summer, I waited till the beginning of August, and then set out on my expedition.
I took a guide with me to Beu-Castle, a parish on the northward extremity of Cumberland, in which there is neither town nor village, but a few wretched huts only, which are widely scattered in a desolate country. After a journey of 20 miles, sometimes wading an hour together in water up to the horses girts, though the bottom was tolerably sound, we came to the church. At a small distance I discovered a hedge alehouse, which I knew must serve me for an inn, but when I entered it I was not more disgusted with the dirt and darkness of the room into which I was introduced, the floor of bare earth, and the bed less eligible than clean straw, than I was with the noisy mirth of some boors who had been drinking till the were drunk. However, as I knew it was bootless to complain, I appeared, as well as I could, to be content, that I might not displease my host. The clergyman, indeed, was so obliging as to offer me his room at the parsonage, but as I was unwilling to give trouble, I declined it.
In the evening I acquainted mine host with the intent of my journey, and at my request he procured me another guide, who undertook to conduct me up the mountain to the craiggs. When I rose at four o'clock the next morning, I found him ready. The weather was extremely bright and serene, which greatly favoured my purpose, and after we had proceeded about two miles, we came to a place where there were a few more hovels, called the Flat. After some talk with my guide, I discovered that he was very diffident of the success of our expedition, and of his own ability to procure me safe conduct; and therefore, as we were now in sight of the precipices, I hired a boy that kept sheep upon them to walk with us, at least as far as we could use our horses. By his direction we came into an hollow, through which the river Line runs, among innumerable precipices. In this hollow we were obliged often to cross the water to avoid the falls, and going sometimes on one side, and sometimes on the other, we made about a mile of winding way, and at length came into a kind of plain,
* Bury, in the Saxon language, signifies mansion, or mannor, and perhaps the converts to christianity in the north might assemble here to be undiscovered. - Hence the name Christen-bury.
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