|previous page next page|
The plumbago is the finest ever discovered: but there is great uncertainty about finding it. At one time, a mass of it was discovered lying along like a mighty tree, the thicker part being of the finest quality, and the ramifications of a poorer, till, at the extremities, it was not worthy even to clean stoves. At other times the searchers have been altogether at fault, for a long time together. There was a time when the value of this plumbago was so little known that the shepherds used it freely to mark their sheep: and next, the proprietors were obtaining from thirty to forty shillings a pound for the lead of one single "sop" which yielded upwards of twenty-eight tons. Those were the days when houses were built at the entrance, where the workmen were obliged to change their clothes, under inspection, lest they should he tempted to carry away any of the precious stuff in their pockets.
Under the mine, (the wad) and a little onward, amidst
the copsewood, are the dark tops of the Borrowdale yews to
be seen,- the "fraternal four," which, as Wordsworth tells
us, form "one solemn and capacious grove." The size attained
by the yew in this district is astonishing. One which for
many years lay prostrate at the other end of Borrowdale,
measured nine yards in circumference, and contained 1,460
feet of wood. The famous Lorton yew (p.87.) has about the
same girth; and one of these four measures seven yards
round, at four feet from the ground.
At Seatoller, the roads which part off right and left are familiar to the traveller who has accomplished the preceding excursions,- the one leading to Rosthwaite and the other to Honister Crag.
|-- (black lead mine, Seathwaite)|
|-- Borrowdale Yews|