ID: 0023 [see the .xml file]
Editors: Transcribed with an Introduction by Kirsty McHugh and edited by Elizabeth Edwards
Cite: 'Anne Lister's diary, tour of North Wales 11-27 July 1822 ' transcribed with an Introduction by Kirsty McHugh and edited by Elizabeth Edwards in Curious Travellers Digital Editions []

[p. 42]

Saturday 13 July
[Code: Two kisses last night, one almost immediately after the other, before we went to sleep and one just before getting up this morning I felt better, but was so shockingly low last night I cried bitterly but smothered it so that M– scarcely knew of it. At any rate, she took no notice, wisely enough. I told M– before we got up of my proper regard for and correspondence with Miss MacLean and M– told me of the gentlemanliness & agreeableness of Mr Powis who, it seems, might interest M– more than duly had her heart no object but C–, with whom she has had no connection these four months.] Not down to breakfast till 11 – settling 1 thing or other – M– went with me to the stables to see Percy & the gig & we then (leaving my aunt) went to inquire about servants – walked a little on the walls & up & down the rows & did not come in till 1 \({40\over 60}\) – then, perhaps luckily for us, all in a bustle & M– off at 2 \({1\over 4}\).1 & were off in \({1\over 2}\) hour & got here (the King's Head, new hotel, Llangollen patronized by Lady Eleanor Butler & Miss Ponsonby) in 4 \({1\over 2}\) hours about 7 including the \({1\over 2}\) hour we stopped at the church gate at Wrexham to see that beautiful church which is kept with the greatest possible neatness – Beautiful drive from Chester to Wrexham. It was market day & the town seemed very busy. Beautiful drive also from Wrexham here but I was perhaps disappointed with the first couple of miles of the vale of Llangollen – the hills naked of wood & the white limestone quarries on our left certainly not picturesque. About 3 miles from Llangollen,2 when Castle Dinas Bran came in sight, we were satisfied of the beauties of the valley but the sun was setting on the castle, & so dazzled our eyes we could scarce look that way. The inn (kept by Elizabeth Davies) is close to the bridge & washed by the river (Dee) We are much taken with our hostess & with the place – have had an excellent roast leg of mutton, & trout & very fine port wine with every possible attention – & should like to spend a few days here – It is from here the Saltmarshes3 had the mutton sent – 5d per lb & the carriage might be about 1 \({1\over 2}\) per lb making it in all 6 \({1\over 2}\)d a lb. The waiter said we had come on the wrong side of the water – we should have crossed by a bridge on our left over the canal (the Ellesmere) & turned along the aqueduct – we sat down to dinner at 8 \({1\over 2}\), having previously strolled thro' the town to Lady E– B–'s & Miss Ponsonby's place – there is a public road close to the house, thro' the grounds, & along this we passed & repassed [deletions] standing to look at the house (cottage) which is really very pretty – a great many of the people touched their hats to us on passing & we are much struck with their universal civility. A little [girl] seeing us apparently standing to consider our way, shewed us the road to Plâs Newyd [sic] (Lady E. B–'s & Miss P–'s), followed & answered our several questions very civilly. A little boy then came & we gave each of them all our halfpences, 2d each – After dinner (the people of the house took it at 10), wrote the following note to the Right Honourable Lady Eleanor Butler & Miss Ponsonby – Plasnewydd Mrs & Miss Lister take the liberty of presenting their compliments to Lady Eleanor Butler & Miss Ponsonby, & of asking permission to see their grounds at Plâs Newyd [sic] in the course of tomorrow morning – Miss L–,4 at the suggestion of Mr Banks,5 had intended herself the honour of calling on her ladyship & Miss Ponsonby, & hopes she may be allowed to express her very great regret at hearing of her ladyship's indisposition – King's Head Hotel – Saturday evening 13 July. The message returned was that we should see the grounds at 12 tomorrow – this will prevent our going to church, which begins at 11 & will not be over till after 1 – the service is principally in Welsh except the lessons & sermon every 2nd Sunday & tomorrow is the English day – Lady E.B. has been couched – she ventured out too soon & caught cold – her medical man (Mr Lloyd Jones of Ruthin)6 positively refuses her seeing anyone – her cousin, Lady Mary Ponsonby,7 passed thro' not long ago & did not see her – wrote the above of today & the last 16 lines of yesterday from 10 to 12 \({1\over 2}\) after dinner – It struck 12 before I came up to bed & I wrote \({1\over 2}\) hour afterwards – Very fine day – merely a beam or 2 of sun, & no dust – consequence of the late rain – they have had scarcely any rain here till this last day or 2 – they were burnt up before – market day here – beef 6d per lb, veal 3d-3 \({1\over 2}\), mutton 4d to 5d – [code: a good deal of discharge both today & yesterday]8

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Sunday 14 July
My aunt and [I] off at 8 \({1\over 2}\) to Castel Dinas Bran (bran, crow i.e. crow castle)9 & got back at 10 \({10\over 60}\)– 36 minutes in ascending to the summit – a boy, the underwaiter at the inn, went with us as guide, and led us by the way thro the little garden of Evan Parry whose son, a boy of 12 or 13 accompanied us with 2 sticks pronged with iron – my aunt used hers, but I had no need of one – the way is perfectly good and considering the steepness of the ascent & the dryness of the ground not at all slippery for I never slipped once even with my bright iron-heeled boots on – little steps cut which obviate whatever difficulty there might otherwise be – there was a light blue mist over the mountains which impeded our view – & after reading Bingley's description10 & that ascending Dinas Bran might be a substitute to those who had not ascended Snowdon I was disappointed we could not see near to the end of the Vale of Llangollen – nor distinguish anything of Vale [sic] Crucis Abbey – the hills immediately around bounded our view very narrowly – the remains are very small – Mr …. (not Middleton) of Chirk to whom the castle belongs is going to build a sort of gothic cottage or summer house at the top of the hill (the shell nearly completed) the castle is to be walled round with an upper & lower wall, & the rest of the ascent planted all round – this will be a very great improvement – the waiter seemed to know something of the underground communication with the castle mentioned but disbelieved by Bingley11 – he (the waiter) said it was somewhere towards the north end of the castle but now filled up with stones – In descending we gave the boy 1/. for going with us and taking the sticks & went into his father's cottage – very neat – his wife and youngest daughter there very neat looking healthy people – a very nice old man – a slater by trade and slated "that grand house" the King's Head – He had been reading the "English physician" an old physic book12 – we asked him to read us a little of the 1st chapter of St John in Welsh – he did & I tried to read after with tolerable success – the pronunciation is very gutteral, but I think I could get the language in a few months so as to make myself pretty well understood – Had breakfast as soon as we got back – excellent bread & butter, hot home-made rolls, &c & good coffee – At 11 \({3\over 4}\) my aunt & I, accompanied by Boots13 to introduce us, walked to Plâs Newydd – the gardener in waiting – we talked to him a good deal – he seemed a good sort of intelligent man much attached to his mistresses after having lived with them 30 years – he had walked about the country with them many miles when they were young – they were about 20 when they 1st came there & had now been there 43 years14 – they kept no horses but milked 6 cows – said I, "Can they use the milk of 6 cows?" "Oh! they never mind the milk – it is the cream" – he said Lady E.B. was a good deal better – He remembered Mr Banks – he had been there 4 or 5 times – I told him I had longed to see the place for the last dozen years, & we expressed our great admiration of the place – In St Gothens [sic] (for I know not how else to spell it & which we most particularly admired) was a little bookcase of 30 or 40 little volumes, chiefly poetry, Spenser, Chaucer, Pope, Cowper, Homer (Pope’s), Shakespeare, &c – I quite agreed with M– (vid. her letter), the place "is a beautiful little bijou" shewing excellent taste – much to the credit of the ladies who have done it entirely themselves.15 The gardener said, "they were always reading" – the dairy is very pretty, close to the house, & particularly the pump Gothic iron-work from Shrewsbury (Colebrookdale perhaps originally) – the well 7 yards deep – It is an interesting place – my expectations were more than realized & it excited in me, from a variety of circumstances, a sort of peculiar interest tinged with melancholy – I could have mused for hours & dreampt dreams of happiness, conjured up many a vision of anxious hope – In our return we strolled thro' the church yard – I shall copy the epitaph to Lady E. B–'s & Miss P–'s favourite old servant, Mrs Mary Clark, who died in 1809, when we go back16 – Just peeped into the church stood in the porch – the sermon not concluded – for the benefit of the distressed Irish17 – got back to the inn at 1 \({1\over 4}\) and off to Corwen at 1 \({3\over 4}\) and got here (Corwen) in exactly 1 \({40\over 60}\) hour at 3 \({25\over 60}\) – (dated at Cernioge 8 \({1\over 2}\) p.m.) Very fine drive (10 miles vid. Carey p. 235)18 from Llangollen to Corwen, the Dee within a short distance on our right all the way – the banks shaded by rather large trees – perhaps chiefly alders – the valley narrow the hills on each side bold and beautiful and picturesque – the road like a bowling green – one of the best I ever travelled –

[p. 44]

Government have lately taken this road (the whole way from London to Holyhead) into their own hands,19 & tho' the tolls are much heavier in consequence thereto vast improvements have been made in the road & are now going on in different parts of the line of it – Corwen is a small limestone-built post town, like a neat village – a small church on a rising ground on the left just after our entrance of the town – stopt 1 \({10\over 60}\) hour at the inn to bait the horses – the Owen Glendwr apparently a very comfortable inn – a good place to sleep at if one was not anxious to get on farther – Left Corwen at 4 \({35\over 60}\) & got here (Cerniog Mawr) in 3 hours at 7 \({35\over 60}\) – the road very pretty for about 6 miles to Lundyforth (according to the pronunciation)20 (Pontyglyn or Pont Llyn Dyffws vid. Nicholson's guide p. 353) bridge romantically situated over the Dee which foamed in a tolerably broad but shallow stream over its broken rocky bed below – we stopt & got out of the gig for a minute to view it – the road (to the right of it) cut thro' the rock to a considerable depth – from here, however, the beauty of the road begins to decline, & the last 3 miles from Cerig y Drudion [sic]. (Cherrig ch pronounced like ch in church, y Drudyon) plain & dreary – the land poor & peaty, the hills quite bare – a little before Cerig y Drudion, we observed a conical hill, having the appearance of 2 mounds or tumels as at Dinas Bran, & which we took for the citadel of Caractacus21 mentioned by Cary22 – there seemed something like an old stonework remain on the side towards Cerig y Drudion – the last 2 or 3 miles of the road almost in a straight line before us & Cerniog Mawr tho' a very neat looking whitewashed house stands by itself in the midst of hills so bare of people & trees my aunt & I agreed we should not like to stay here longer than necessary – there is a turnpike bar very near the gate (there are two such between Llangollen & Corwen) such as I had never seen before, struck us exceedingly – [sketch inserted] ten iron radii about 1 inch broad & \({1\over 4}\) inch thick, spring at equal distances from the circumference of the 2 little quadrants [deletions] of circles placed in the corners at the foot and top of the hanging side – a very slight iron post is fastened to the stone posts & upon the top of this small iron post finished off to admit it, the gates are hung by a [drawing] swinging on the top of these posts – Sat down to dinner here about 8 Kernioge Mawr Inn as the man of the inn spells it – Trout, mutton chops & gooseberry tart & cream – very good – settled everything paid the bill &c & came to bed at 9 \({1\over 2}\) to be in readiness in the morning to start at 7 for Capel Curig – wrote the last 9 lines of today [code: after having curled my hair] feel so very heavy & sleepy I can write no more – I wonder what success I shall have about Lady E.B. & Miss Ponsonby Mrs Davies thought they would be pleased with my note but I can't write more now than that we have had delightful weather today & have travelled on most comfortably – I am more than \({1\over 2}\) asleep & must make the best of my way to bed – 'Tis now 11 \({1\over 2}\) [code: a good deal of discharge] I have heard the wind whistle here 2 or 3 times – what a dreary place it must be in Winter!

Monday 15 July
Off at 7 \({1\over 2}\) to Capel Curig – detained talking to Mr Weaver the landlord about our route, & bought of him Nicholson's Cambrian Traveller's guide,23 (London 1813, 2d edition 1 vol. large 8vo price 18/.) From the 1st turnpike (about 3 miles from Cernioge) the road loses all its naked dreariness & begins to be wooded & beautiful – we stopt according to Mr W–'s directions about 6 miles or rather more from Cernioge & turned down a footpath on our left to see the beautiful fall of Penmachno – this took us altogether about 25 minutes & waiting 10 minutes more for George to see it, we were delayed 35 minutes.24 Notwithstanding this we reached here, Capel Curig, at 10 \({1\over 2}\) a distance of 15 miles – meant to have breakfasted at Bettws but passed on by mistake. [deletion] Stood up in the gig to see the fall of the Rhyddol25 & got out to look at the bridge built over the river on rocks [deletions] beautiful sublime scenery for the last 11 or 12 miles – Snowdon very majestic – completely cloud-capt – Had breakfast at 11 – then walked into the garden whence a fine view of this king of mountains & a couple of small lakes just beyond the garden – [deletions] about 12 the day cleared so much we determined to ascend – all agreed with the guide & to be off in \({1\over 2}\) hour (at 2) – the house, planned by Wyatt has a handsome exterior & some capital rooms – but the attendance & breakfast are the worst we have had so far26

[p. 45]

(Conway Tuesday 8 p.m.) Off to Snowdon at 2 p.m. went in the gig (the guide mounted behind us) as far as we had to go on the Beddgelert road i.e. 4 \({1\over 4}\) miles, & sent George back with the horses – Began the ascent on foot at 3, & gained the highest point of the highest summit Wydfa [sic] (a distance of 5 miles) in 3 \({40\over 60}\) hour – we had hoped to see the sun set, but this was prevented by intervening clouds – we saw however a magnificent prospect – seven lakes immediately among the Snowdonian mountains – the Menai Straights – the bays of Cardigan & Caernarvon, Anglesea &c. &c. the ascent was much easier than I expected – no danger attending it, & the exertion required more on account of the length of the way than anything else – our last part of the ascent for a considerable distance (just above the Glas-Lyn lake) & passing by the copper works which have killed the fish & turned green the waters of the lake) was along an artificial path 5 feet wide, cut in traverses, which brought us up to the ridge, as it were, on which stands the pointed summit Wydfa – the first view is certainly most striking and altogether we thought ourselves well repaid for our trouble. Neither the guide (Evan Jones) nor I expected my aunt to go to the top, & therefore took a boy with us to conduct her to Llanberis – as we went along in the gig we had perceived 2 men on horseback after us – they rode to the pass of Llanberis, sent their horses to the village & we soon found them at our heels going up the mountain – they contrived to join us for the benefit of our guide to which I should have objected but one of them was the son of our innkeeper & the other's (a Mr Reid, an attorney) arm was taken by my aunt & he helped her up the mountain & was in fact the means of enabling her to get up to the top – arrived there, we looked about a few minutes, & then foolishly sat down in the little hut on the stone benches – we were some minutes. All the party felt chilled and took a little bread & brandy except myself – Indeed the 2 gents drank almost all the two pint bottles of brandy our guide had taken at 3 or 4 different times of halt – the guide meant to have taken us to Llanberis by Dolbadarn Castle a route of 7 miles – but fancying that by going a shorter we might return to sleep at Capel Curig we ventured down a very steep & difficult pass just above Llanberis – had I had an idea what it was I should not have thought of her doing it – However, by dint of patient labour & constant hold of the guide she got down – frightened as she was yet appearing less so than Mr Reid – yet tho' we saved three miles of distance we were 2 \({20\over 60}\) hour in descending, & did not reach the little inn at Llanberis till 9 \({40\over 60}\), too late to think of leaving it – the gents returned to Capel Curig – we remained – had boiled milk & bread & butter for supper & went to bed – having nothing with us I only took off my pelisse & neck handkerchief & lay down in the rest of my clothes at 11 – to be called at 4 – For fear of damp sheets I wrapt my plaid round me – I know not that I was ever more heated – I had scarcely a dry thread about me – we had walked about 5 \({1\over 2}\) miles of ascent and above 4 of descent 10 times more fatiguing than anything we had done before – my aunt's bowels very painful – doubtless from sitting in that cold hut & taking sheer brandy – I tasted nothing & felt no inconvenience – Very fine day – cool & pleasant & tolerably clear notwithstanding the clouds that shaded the setting sun –

Tuesday 16 July
Out in \({1\over 2}\) hour the guide & I walked to Dolbadarn castle & thence to the waterfall of Conant Mawr [sic] – a distance altogether going & returning about 5 miles – (about 2 miles from the inn to the castle & thence about \({1\over 2}\) mile to the waterfall) – at 6 \({3\over 4}\) after paying our little bill at the Vaenol ArmsVaenol the name of the seat of Mr Ashton Smith to whom the little inn kept by Robert Closs belongs together with extensive property in the neighbourhood – 2 \({20\over 60}\) hour walking to where the gig left us yesterday that is 4 long miles along the pass of Llanberis so narrow as to seem almost like a tremendous fissure in the mountains – just before getting into the gig looked down the vale & upon the lake of Quinant – we were only 7 \({3\over 4}\) miles from Beddgelert, for the whole distance from Capel Curig is only 12 miles – we were back to breakfast about 10 and off to Llanrwst about 12 – about 2 miles from Bettws stopt & walked down28 to see the Rhaidr y Wennol waterfall – turned over the curved bridge at Bettws (it is built on rocks in the river) & got to Llanrwst (nine miles) about 2 – beautiful drive all the way – the town busy & full of people it being market day – walked about, saw the church & got 2 men to shake the bridge for us – when they set their backs and pushed against the one centre stone we certainly [missing word] the motion at the other centre stone – walked down almost to Gwydir Castle to take a look at it – stopt at the Eagles Inn29 – seemingly a pretty good one, where one might sleep comfortably – the drive from Llanrwst here (Conway)

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called 12 miles (about 11 \({1\over 2}\) by the mile-posts) beautiful & fine – we were much struck with it in spite of the rain which began very soon after our leaving Llanrwst – By the way, we had just got into the gig when Mr Reid came up & inquired after us – he was thrown down somehow or other by his horse last night & they did not get home till 1 – Our approach to & first sight of Conway remarkably fine – a very hilly stage, & bad road so much of it set with boulder stones very slippery to the horses feet – the road too very narrow – one could scarce think it 7 or 8 years ago the great high road from London thro' Shrewsbury & Holyhead – stopt at the Harp Inn here – my aunt unwell in her bowels all the day, & had tea this evening just before I had dinner – a shoulder of a sheep that was killed this morning yet the meat was well flavoured tho' rather tough – we left Llanrwst at 4 and got here in 3 \({10\over 60}\) hour determined not to press Percy – he has brought us today 39 miles & came in as fresh as if he had done nothing – we have seen not one goat yet – they are all destroyed on Lord Gwedyr's [sic] estate – on account of their hurting his plantations, he about 7 years ago sent an order that every tenant should get rid of all he had by Llanrwst fair (in September) – this was giving them too little time, & caused them great loss which would have been remedied by giving them till Christmas instead of September – for goat's flesh is not good without salting & should be killed at Christmas – very fine morning – rain from about 4 \({1\over 2}\) to 7 \({1\over 2}\) p.m. 'Tis now about 10 \({3\over 4}\) – I am so sleepy I can write no more [code: more discharge today and yesterday than I almost ever had before]

Wednesday 17 July
[code: about two hours dressing putting on clean things & siding my imperial &c] Went out to see the castle about 10 \({3\over 4}\). Had scarcely got there before it began to rain pretty heavily & continued the whole while that we were obliged to return [code: Gave the man two shillings for shewing the castle. I think one would have done. The art of travelling requires an apprenticeship. Surely I shall improve in time. I have given many a sixpence that might have been spare. Always take in your hand what you mean to give before you go.] The castle is a most beautiful & surprisingly perfect remain all things considered – but we have seen it to great disadvantage in consequence of the rain could not see the interior of the keep tower – the boys of the town sometimes climb into it – but hardly anyone else – it adjoins the great hall – Diganwy [sic] is just across the river about a mile from the ferry-house – the passage is 1 shilling each person – Conway seems a poor town of 2 or 3 streets – we have been comfortable here – good, clean beds, tho' very small rooms – no window curtains, no wash-stand – the pitcher & basin on the toilet table – good breakfast & great attention – the people seem clean, tho' the house looks dirtyish & second-rate because, perhaps, it is old & not easily made [to] look clean or kept clean – But, on going out I see it is evidently not the first-rate house – the White Lion, a few doors little lower down the street appears a neat new building, &, as we passed, a gentleman's landau (hansom) with his own post-boy & horses was at the door. [Code: We do not cut a figure in travelling equal to our expenses. My aunt is shabbily dressed & does not quite understand the thorough manners of a gentlewoman – for instance, taking the man's arm so readily to Snowdon &c &c. Indescribable. George too is a clown of a servant – too simple in the manners of the world. But we are not known. I will try to learn & improve in travelling matters &, by thought & observation, may turn all this to future advantage. But I feel very low. Somehow or other seeing M– has been no comfort to me. When I asked her how long she thought it might be before we got together & she seemed to fight off answering. On pressing farther she said she felt some delicacy in this subject & did not like to talk openly of it even to ourselves for tho she did not love him yet kindness & obligation made her feel a wish to avoid calculating the time or thinking of except in general terms – I promised not to press her on the subject again. All this has made a great impression on me & I know not how it is I cannot shake it off. She never did so before but talked as coolly of so many – five or ten for instance – years as I did. She seemed fond of me as ever yet all the night when I was almost convulsed with smothering my sobs she took no notice nor was affected at all apparently. The

[p. 47]

next morning her eyes filled at parting. I know not how it is but she as it were deceived me once & I feel that it is miserable to doubt. My aunt observed that she did not seem so fond of me as I was of her. I wish I did not think quite so much of all this but alas I cannot help – surely I shall be better by & by. I feel miserably low. I remember too what she said of Mr Powis that if her heart was not engaged as it is to me she might be in danger of very undesirable & uncomfortable feelings of interest towards him. I might have written her a few lines but feel as if I had not resolution. Were I fit for another world how gladly would I go there.]

Just finished the above of today at 12 \({1\over 4}\) – then read Bingley & the Cambrian Directory & Nicholson's Cambrian Guide – and afterwards wrote30 2 \({1\over 2}\) pages small & close, giving an account of our journey to M– to be sent from Caernarvon – It continued to rain all the day & we ordered dinner at 6, a boiled neck of mutton & caper sauce – nothing else – about 5 the rain began to abate & it being quite fair by 6 we determined to go a stage, besides we found the room in which we sat so very damp, it gave my aunt the rheumatism & we had dinner in a sitting room upstairs – on looking more about us the house did seem dirty & uncomfortable & in spite of the civility of the people we wanted to change our quarters – the White Lion is the inn to go to – we were off at 7 \({25\over 60}\) and reached here (Aber, the Bull Inn) in exactly 2 \({10\over 60}\) hours between 9 & 10 miles – the first part of the road very hilly & walking up Penman-Mawr [sic] took some time – we lost sight of Conway immediately – the first view of the sea after passing a fine defile is most striking fine – the road cut out of the one side of the defile with a low wall ?against deep precipice beneath and then on the other side (on the right) a tremendous mountain with an excavation in it, perhaps a copper mine my aunt got out & walked to the bottom of the road soon after this we came to Penman Mawr which is tremendously fine – the sea was smooth as glass – the sun setting over it most beautifully. It was indeed altogether a magnificent sight – such scenery I never saw before – the drive from Conway here exceeds all we have met with hitherto – It was darkish before we got here – It seems a comfortable house, & our beds look comfortable – sat up reading Nicholson's guide – did not come upstairs till 11 \({40\over 60}\) – then wrote the last 13 lines of today – Fine all the way we came not a drop of rain – passed the mail just before we came to the Penman Mawr turnpike – [code: a great deal of discharge tho I have hitherto used two syringe-fulls of water night & morning]

Thursday 18 July
At 8 \({1\over 4}\) my aunt & I set off (a cunning little girl our guide – picked her up in the village) to see the cataract Rhiader Mawr – the girl pronounced Rhiader as tho' pronounced adder – going & returning took us 1 \({49\over 60}\) hours. Rained all the time more or less, but gently & not so as to wet one much – my aunt thought the cataract not worth the trouble we had had – Breakfasted – the milk in the house all sour – desired the waiter to get some elsewhere – nobody kept any cows or even goats & no milk to be had – sent for the mistress (Mrs Lewis) she was very civil, said it was a shame to live in the country & have no milk & she sent somewhere, borrowed a pint, & I had at last, coffee au lait as usual, & a good breakfast. In paying the bill they gave me, in change 2 Irish tenpennys, but valued them only at 9d. I gave the waiter 1 of these and 2d, & the chamber[maid] the other (i.e. 9d) not giving her anything for my bed, because the sheets were certainly not clean of which I took care to tell both her & her mistress – as they told we could get nothing for the horses at the slate quarries we took 2 feeds of corn (16d) with us wrapt up in the plaid – the clouds looked very threatening – Left Aber at 11 \({10\over 60}\), and in 1 \({1\over 2}\) at 12 \({40\over 60}\), on account of a heavy shower stopt [at] a neat looking small house by the wayside (Mr Jones's the Tin y Mins Inn [sic], as the chambermaid spelt it, 7 miles from Bangor & 8 from Capel Curig)) – Detained here 1 \({1\over 2}\) hour it rained almost all the while & besides Percy had his near hind shoe fastened on – the Vale of Nant Frangon [sic] began about a mile from Tin y Mins Inn with the slate quarries – Drove forwards about 3 \({1\over 2}\) miles to within 4 or 5 miles of Capel Curig, a good way beyond the end of Ogwen Pool – the scenery, the tremendous mountains on each side all the way, particularly bordering the lake, sublime & savagely grand – It was about 3 hours from our leaving Tin y mins to our going into the slate quarry which we entered at 4 \({1\over 4}\) & stayed \({1\over 2}\) hour – it rained very heavily all the while & afterwards

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till we got back to Llandegai (2 miles from here, Bangor) where we turned to our left this morning to Nant Frangon – we turned off to the slate quarries to the left as we returned from Ogwen Pool at the last turnpike before Llandegai – owing to some men standing by we took a round in going & were 20 minutes from the high road to the quarries – we returned a nearer way in 10 minutes – the quarries very well worth seeing – shewn us by an overlooker John Hughes. A better sort of workman allowed 14/. a week – 9 hundred & 2 or 3 men employed in all the quarries (belonging now to Mr Pennant who succeeded to the estates of the late Lord Penryn, & who, Evan Jones the Snowdon guide told us, had 28, 000 a year clearing 18, 000 by the quarries) – we saw the largest quarry 450 men employed in it – they were pulling down huge masses of slate with ropes – or rather the ropes were fastened to or about the rock for the men to climb up by, & split or rend off the masses with large iron wedges – others were blasting the rock with gunpowder – this so lacerates the rock they only do it when other means fail – we went thro' a longish tunnel from one quarry to another 60 yards deep – slates different sizes – the largest £7 a thousand31 delivered at Port Penrhyn (close to Bangor) the smallest 4/6 a thousand – good workmen can earn about £2 a month – each one pays 4/. a month towards clearing away the waste made in getting & dressing the slates – & what more is required is paid by Mr Pennant – the refuse is carted out along the side of the hill & has a striking effect (like so many pit-hills as we call them) at a distance32 – we particularly admired the small scattered town & very neat-looking church of Llandegai, & should have liked to visit Penryn castle at a short distance from it on the right (going from Conway to Bangor) had we had time &c – The castle is approached from Llandegai by a fine gothic gateway under a handsome dog-toothed Saxon church-like arch – this, however, struck me as rather inconsistent with a regular castle gate – not yet quite finished – got out at the Castle Inn, Bangor (at the back of the cathedral) at 6 – drove down to the bishop's palace (I suppose it is) at first, & thence directed to the Castle – It is the best inn in the place, but bad enough & dirty enough – quite full – 2 very small hot uncomfortable looking rooms at the top of the house – and a sitting room on the left of the entrance on the ground floor next to the street & even about this we had some difficulty, finding other company when we returned from the cathedral & obliged to civily turn them out, tho' here before us – a reverend Mr & his daughter Miss Jones from Ruthin – walked out before dinner – a very poor little town & very paltry cathedral – a great long sword upon a flat table in a niche bespoke the tomb of Owen Glendwr [sic]33 – suspecting that we ought to have gone to the Penrhyn Arms at Port Penrhyn close upon Bangor, perhaps \({1\over 2}\) mile off – I walked to see & be convinced – this is a dirty bustling coach-house – Perhaps Bangor Ferry would have suited us much better, but Mr W.H. Rawson said "avoid Bangor Ferry" – we shall see it tomorrow – I wish I had not minded this – however, we mean to be off at 7 in the morning & breakfast at the hotel at Caernarvon – we had mullet to dinner (sat down at 7 \({1\over 2}\)) well dressed & good – a large too-short-a-time-kept leg of mutton & a goodish currant tart (pie) – settled the accounts & wrote this journal of today after dinner – It seems to have been fair all the evening – Finished this at 10 \({1\over 2}\) & then went upstairs to bed –

Friday 19 July
Rained all the night & prevented our setting off this morning till 7 \({3\over 4}\) instead of 7 – Drove to Bangor Ferry (the front towards our road like that of a common ale-house) but a longish neatly white washed front towards the Menai that there may be tolerably good accommodations – but the house we hear here (Caernarvon, hotel or Marquess of Anglesea's Arms) is quite full – got out at the bridge over the straights34 of which the 4 small arches on the Anglesea side & the 3 on this side are finished – I have just finished my letter to M– (begun on Wednesday at Conway, having written the latter \({1\over 2}\) 3d page & the ends small & close) & have said "the span left for the iron arch looks tremendous & the work when completed will deserve

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a high place among the wonders of our land – In point of strength it is Egyptian – in point of lightness & proportion Grecian – I am delighted with it & think it so far the germ of the finest thing I ever saw –"......"After a rainy day on Wednesday the evening was fine: it was high water, & so fine a drive as the 9 miles from Conwy to Aber (6 miles from Bangor, & where we slept) cannot surely be surpassed throughout the kingdom or perhaps the world – The winding down the chasm before Penman Mawr; the 1st view of the sea bounded by Anglesea & Puffin Island; the sun setting most gloriously; the road cut out of the rock about 50 yards35 from the foot of Penman Mawr, the waves or rather water smooth as glass just murmuring below, formed altogether so fine, so sublimely beautiful a scene as I shall not hastily forget – the shades of evening ushered us into Aber, where we slept & breakfasted the next morning comfortably, after walking about 3 miles there and back to see the Rhiader vawr, a somewhat noted cataract – we left Aber a little after 11 (rain prevented our setting off sooner) turned along the Capel Curig road at Llandegai, & made a diversion of nearly 20 miles to see the whole of the celebrated vale of Nant Frangon & the Penrhyn slate quarries – our expectations more than equalled in both respects,36 & got to Bangor about 6, in time to see surely the most paltry city & cathedral in his majesty's dominions – yet the situation of Bangor is beautiful & had the inn (The Castle – the best) been better we might have enjoyed ourselves more." – Beautiful drive from Bangor here – got here in 2 \({1\over 2}\) hours at 10 \({1\over 4}\) – It is a large handsome looking house, built by the present Marquess – we have a sitting-room, about 11 yards by 6, lighted by 3 large sashes – I should think it about 14 feet high or perhaps more – have had a good breakfast & are very comfortable more especially after such inns as the Harp at Conway & far worse as to sleeping rooms the Castle at Bangor – there was not even a chair in my room last night – in fact, the place was too small to hold me – it was very close, & the whole house had a smell of dirtyness & meat kept too long – George too was very uncomfortable – yet I slept well not withstanding – 'Tis now 3 \({1\over 4}\) – the sun has been getting out for the last \({1\over 4}\) hour, & it is fair & fine – It began to rain while I was on one of the walls of the bridge over the Menai (I got out to go upon it & view this stupendous work) & rained all the rest of our way here – sometimes very heavily, & did not begin to clear at all till about 1 – Between the tops of the arches there are strong walls built all down the middle of the bridge longitudinally & other walls meet these at right angles the spaces between the arches across the bridge – The post leaves here at 5, but the letters must be in the office at 4 – sent my letter to M– at 3 \({3\over 4}\) – my aunt & I walked out at 4 – went to the castle, walked all round it & then had the daughter of the woman whose province it is to shew it – went up to the top of the Eagle-Tower – fine view – Nicholson's guide says the interior was divided into 2 parts, an outer & inner part – vid. p. 28437 the woman said it was divided into 3 courts, & I thought I saw traces of this triple division – we were 50 minutes there – perfectly delighted with this castle. Much larger than Conway Castle & not such a perfect skeleton – A fine gallery (Nicholson says 70 yards long) quite entire – the dungeon is very much filled up, but seemed small altogether as far as I could judge from the outside – for tho' on the brink of the interior it was too dark to see anything of it without a candle – the castle is very irregular, but very imposing, & surely one of the most perfect specimens of castle architecture now remaining – I think Mr Pennant would have done well to have taken the arch of the great entrance as a model for the arch of his new gateway at Penrhyn Castle – He would thus have avoided the seeming confusion of the ecclesiastical & castle style – we returned home immediately – it had begun to rain again & we just got in before it came on heavily & continued with little intermission more or less the rest of the evening – Dinner at 6 \({1\over 4}\) – salmon & a roasted leg of mutton, 7 or 8 lbs & very good – it was, the waiter said, the common size – He mentioned Mr Roberts, the harper, who won the silver medal (a small silver harp) at the Eisteddfod in 1821 at Wrexham38 – we asked what we should give him – the waiter said people seldom gave him less than \({1\over 2}\) crown, & if he made a charge, he would charge \({1\over 2}\) crown an hour for he was not a common harper but a sort of teacher & master bard among them. He came at 9 & played 1 \({5\over 60}\) hour in our room, for which we gave him 3/. He seemed satisfied – played us several Welsh airs, Handel's 2d concerto &c. & is certainly a fine performer with great execution & taste – He had39

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Saturday 20 July40
My aunt called me at 6 \({10\over 60}\) – got up immediately – all quite ready for being off after breakfast – my aunt & I went out a few minutes before 8 – walked to the top of the hill behind the hotel – The view is certainly very fine – high water – very hot & close portending rain – returned to the house, turned down a narrow sort of passage lane to the shore of the Menai, thence along the fashionable walk of the town (a sort of rampart-walk, broad & neatly gravelled) at the foot of the town-wall along the Menai – round the castle to Queen Eleanor's gate – here (at 9 \({10\over 60}\)) my aunt (being a little rheumatic) left me & returned home – I pursued the stream of or rather road along the Seiont in pursuit of traces of old Segontium – passed a little square remain – came to a bridge of 2 or 3 arches across the river (beautifully wooded for a considerable distance on the opposite bank) a neat white washed house or 2, a turnpike & 2 roads on the other side, & little cascade just on this side of the bridge & very pretty view – turned up the hill on my left – an uneven surfaced stony grass-grown mound, probably the site of ancient buildings – crossed a field & came into a road – passed close by the farm-house built adjoining the round tower remain of the old Roman fortification – the wall seemed the farm-yard boundary on one side, & so covered with ivy on the other I could make nothing of it – In fact I was uncertain about it entirely (foolishly not having a guide with me) & had no time to loiter strolled thro' the town to the market place – fine mutton 4d a lb veal 3 \({1\over 2}\) – saw no beef. Neat, small, covered market place thence to the Goat Inn – & thence inquired my way to the bank – not open – a young man at the door civilly let me in & gave me 10 sovereigns for a £10 Bank of England & would charge nothing – the Welsh prefer country notes to Bank of England there are so many forgeries – went direct home by the walk along the Menai & sat down to breakfast immediately at 10 \({1\over 4}\) – Very good house – very civil people & we may safely recommend our friends there – It would be a good place for head-quarters – like the town of Caernarvon very much – Fine view of the castle this morning a little from the town on the back of the Seiont – most beautiful remain of castle architecture – Mr Bettiss of the hotel saw us off, gave us his card, & hoped we had been comfortable – off at 11 \({1\over 4}\) – perhaps \({1\over 2}\) mile on our road (the Beddgelert road) we came to a cottage forty or fifty yards from a neat white washed church – at this cottage I got out & turned into the field on our right to see the old Roman wall or fort described by Bingley vol. 1 p. 170,41 et seq. & vid. Nicholson's guide p. 28342 – I had seen the opposite extremity before breakfast – stopt \({1\over 4}\) hour – ran along the remain inside & out to find a place free from ivy, or grass, or brushwood – it is almost wholly covered with one or other so as to resemble a bank fence – however, at the extremity of the field next the road there is a bare part which shews the Roman method of building & farther on thro' a gap, I discovered 1 or 2 of the small perforations so much spoken of thro' the wall transversly – vid. King's munimenta on the Roman manner of building43 – we reached here Beddgelert the Jones' Arms44 at 2 \({35\over 60}\) (Mr Jones of Caernarvon owner of the new inn) a neat nice house, beautifully situated to the right, a little above the village, & across the stream – planted all about & thus embosomed in wood – remarkably pretty – very fine drive from Caernarvon here – Bettws Garmon only 2 or 3 poor cottages – noticed Nant mill very pretty little cascade – quite close to the road on our right & too little fence to protect us from the stream – noticed also [blank] Williams' – white or yellow washed – plantations about the house (larch trees as there are here about the inn) & very pretty – the pass or entrance to Beddgelert very narrow rugged & singularly fine – on entering it & coming down the hill I could not help saying to my aunt this is the prettiest sublime we have seen45 – the village is in as it were a small basin formed by high rough mountains – the rock darkened with heath or moss & finely bare here & there – the bottom of the basin beautifully verdant with here & there trees about the few cottages, & a stream tumbling over its rocky bed thro' the midst – it is [in] fact far the most picturesque village we have yet met with – some very heavy showers as we came along – the clouds tremendously black – the top of Snowdon quite enveloped – got here in the beginning of a very heavy shower – Just 3 \({35\over 60}\) i.e. an hour since we got in –

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looking a little at Bingley & Nicholson's Cambrian Guide46 – at 4 took a little girl to carry the plaid & umbrella & set off to Dinas Emris about 1 \({1\over 2}\) miles on the Capel Curig road in Cwm Cloch – we had gone little more than a mile, when the poor child began to cry, & I sent her back again – walked forward 2 miles (i.e. about \({1\over 2}\) mile beyond Dinas Emris) a little way along Lake Dinas – small house at the end of it & some green fertile looking fields – a little plantation about the house – I longed to have gone further as far as Lake Gwinant – the scenery as far as I did go very fine – got back at 5 \({10\over 60}\) in the midst of a heavy shower – very hot with walking – Off from Beddgelert for Tan-y-Bwlch at 5 \({35\over 60}\) – the scenery for the first 3 miles terrifically fine – Pont-Aber-Glasyn bridge tremendous – the road for a good way down to it narrow & no fence or merely a single row [of] great stones to guard the precipice – there is no great cataract – but the unguardedness of the road, the [deletion] torrent tumbling over rocks below & the perpendicular rock to the height of 2 or 3 hundred feet on the other side form a most impressive scene – there is a turnpike just beyond the bridge thro' which we went up a tremendously steep hill, from which a fine view down an opening upon the Traethmawr sands. Indeed the whole stage (they called it 10 miles at Beddgelert) is tremendously hilly – the scenery is indescribably fine – the first about 3 miles & the last about 2 cannot surely be exceeded – but the whole far surpassed anything we had seen – Penman Mawr is a different sort of thing should be excepted & should not be compared with it – Very fine peeps of Wyddfa at intervals, & the Glyder mawr – never saw Wyddfa to such advantage – In short, no one travelling in Wales should miss the drive from Beddgelert to Tan-y-Bwlch – the road in many places not at all fenced off from the precipice on one side – my aunt sick with fright more than once – several heavy showers as we came along, just in our faces, particularly for 50 or 100 yards just after leaving Beddgelert & for the last \({1\over 2}\) mile – the inn most beautifully situated at the foot of an almost perpendicular steep wooded from top to bottom – tremendous descending the road down it – a most comfortable inn – sat down to dinner at 9 \({1\over 2}\) (got here in 2 \({20\over 60}\) hours at 5 minutes before 8) fryed salmon, a very small fish cut in slices – a roasted loin of mutton & apple tart & cream – the best potatoes I have tasted in Wales – the mutton most excellent, the best we have had – we have enjoyed our dinner exceedingly & both had a nap since – my aunt is just gone to bed – instead of wine, a bottle of very fair cider – they get it from Bristol – Did not begin this page till 10 \({50\over 60}\) & it is now 11 \({1\over 2}\) – Very heavy showers repeatedly during the day – but tho' we had our coats &c. dried at Beddgelert & here we escaped getting much wet – 12 miles from Caernarvon to B_ 10 from B_ here – the roads roughish & very hilly very! particularly this last stage, yet Percy came in not at all tired – He is a capital gig-horse – Went upstairs to bed at 11 \({40\over 60}\) – sat up reading Nicholson's Cambrian Guide article Harlech &c.47 & looking over our accounts – [code: a great deal of discharge yesterday & today & ever since I left home]

Sunday 21 July
We have found as much as \({1\over 2}\) hour difference in the clocks in a single stage – these a quarter later than those at Caernarvon which latter I go by – Very rainy night & morning – enough to wet one thro' in 2 or 3 minutes – Tis very doubtful whether we can stir out at all today – the weather is so bad & seems so likely to continue so, and besides we are so limited for time, I think we must give up Harlech & Barmouth, Dolgelli & Cader Idris, nay! had it been fine perhaps we might have got to Aberystwyth & the Devil's Bridge & Hafod – and we must return by Bala from here – came downstairs at 9 \({1\over 2}\) quite ready for being off if the weather were better – 12 \({50\over 60}\) after much watching the weather it seemed to clear a little near 1pm, & we determined to go to Dolgelli (18 miles) by the high road (Caernarvon road) vid. Cary p. 24348 – off from Tan y Bwlch at 1 \({40\over 60}\) & got to Trawsfynidd [sic] in 1 \({32\over 60}\) hour – at 3 \({12\over 60}\) – (Trowsfinith pronounced) – a miserable village – perhaps a tolerable town for North Wales – 6 miles from Tan y Bwlchpassed the Highgate Inn (a small pot-house) & drove a little farther to the Cross Foxes Inn49 a good deal better in appearance than the other tho' still a very common sort of ale-house the road here for the 1st \({1\over 2}\) way bad & hilly

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the latter pretty tolerable – a tremendous hill just out of Maentwrog where we passed the neat looking little church close on our right – In looking down the Vale saw Tan y Bwlch (Mr Oakley's) embosomed in wood on the right of the declivity as we went down to Tan y Bwlch last night – & on the same side of the vale about 3 miles from Tan y Bwlch on the margin of the lake the village of Ffestiniog whence the vale is commonly named by tourists – the clock here is 20 minutes later than from that at Tan y Bwlch & \({1\over 2}\) hour later than Caernarvon – the clocks at Cernioge & Capel Curig varied about \({1\over 2}\) hour – a little rain as we set off but rest of the way fair – a shower just as we stopt here – soon lost sight of the Vale of Festiniog which is certainly very beautiful – well cultivated, well wooded, & fertile – the road after leaving it bounded by high rugged mountains more or less distant so distant as scarcely to form what one would call a vale – the high & bleak intervening ground turbary strewed with large rude masses of stone – passed thro' a little wood of moss-grown oaks up a hill near here – Trawsfynidd "a large village" vid. Nicholson's Cambrian Guide p. 79550 "a mean village" vid. p. 1272.51 Dolgelle 9 \({5\over 60}\) – arrived here at 8 \({5\over 60}\) i.e. twelve miles in 3 \({20\over 60}\) hours having left Trawsfynidd at 4 \({3\over 4}\) – the first 4 miles of the road very bad made with stones broken into such large pieces, or paved as it were with them so roughly, we were obliged to walk all the way & still were shockingly jolted – the country too bleak & dreary & uninteresting, the mountains receding too far – yet a few little cottages or poorish little farm houses – almost [illegible] of the road, when, at the end of the first 4 miles the mountains began to approach each other, the Mawdach [sic]52 rushed along its rocky bed on our right, & the scenery became wooded & very fine – by & by crossed the river & then had it all along on our left – several little streams rushed into the river – one forming a beautiful cascade close on our right & then rushed thro' a bridge under the road – 2 or 3 gentlemen's seats – the wood, the water, the stupendous mountain ranges on each side forming a landscape surely not to be surpassed – the town of Dolgelle [sic] finely situated & opened upon us beautifully. Indeed the whole of the last eight miles of this road baffles description – we have seen nothing to compare with it – the coming down upon Beddgelert is very fine, as also thro' Mr Oakley's woods down to Tan y Bwlch, but I give the preference to the last 8 miles of today & think no one should visit North Wales without travelling this road – the approach to & view of Penman Mawr (which perhaps struck me the most) at the time; the tremendous grandeur of the 1st 3 miles from Beddgelert to Tan y Bwlch including Pont Aberglaslyn & the peep down upon Traithmawr Sands – and the savage sublimity of the scenery about Ogwen Pool in Nant Frangon have together with the last 8 miles of today, impressed me as the best worth seeing things we have met with – dinner at 9 My aunt's bowels not quite well (the cider yesterday might disagree with her) & she had tea immediately on our arrival – I had part of a loin of mutton roasted – very good & tender, a piece of salmon boiled & an apple pie or tart with a bottle of cider, of which I did not quite drink a tumbler glass – wrote the last 14 lines after dinner – had done them at 10 \({50\over 60}\) having 1st settled with George. Very sleepy & went upstairs at 11 [code: my aunt & I for the first time have a double bedded room but I have managed to get a dressing room up in the garret – great deal of discharge]

Monday 22 July
Capital lodging room, good bed & slept well – Breakfasted at 10 – the worst breakfast I have had because the butter strong & not good & the coffee bad or perhaps the boiled milk a little inclined to be sourish – Rained all the night sometimes very heavily & rainy morning that we at once gave up all thought of going to Barmouth or doing anything but make the best of our way home – my aunt's bowels better this morning but she looks ill – 'Tis now 12 – have been reading Nicholson's guide ever since breakfast – (Drws y Nant Inn, ale-house by the road side, W. Jones 8 miles from Dolgelle) stopt here to bait the horses at 2 \({20\over 60}\) having left Dolgelle at 12 \({3\over 4}\) – Beautiful drive as far as here, chiefly thro' wood, the Wnion53 river accompanying us from Dolgelle & foaming on our right – it forms several pretty cascades particularly 1 under a bridge perhaps a mile or 2 from here – Just before leaving Dolgelle, for 20 minutes walked round the town – certainly a poor place according to English ideas – the cottages miserable, tho' apparently of the better sort for North Wales – mud floors – the smell of the peat fires is strong & disagreeable to those not accustomed

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to it – & the large masses of the dark mountain stone used for building, the unevenness of them in all but the better kind of houses filled up with lesser fragments, give the buildings an unusually dark rude appearance which, with poor broken windows, completes the shabby look of the cottages in North Wales – But the fine blue roofing slate very commonly used is remarkably neat, & seems oddly contrasted with the rest – there is a sort of square (market place) at Dolgelle – on one side the Angel Inn with a penthouse or covered way in front, facing a row of poor-looking cottages with a covered way also in front – at another side the "Caravansery" or Red Lion Inn,54 & opposite to it the Ship Inn apparently a new erection & next best inn to the Golden Lion close to the church to which you turn to the right on entering the town from Tan y Bwlch – this inn consists of 2 capital erections (for a Welsh town, where the inns seem generally the best houses) on each side of the street fronting each other – the one to our left as we arrived has the sign – here everything is cooked & carried across the street to the other house in which we were the former being full – but our part had a covered door-way supported on 2 slender pillars & I think cut the best appearance – the people very civil – woman waiter – steady elderly woman who had lived there many years – nice steady elderly chambermaid – stopt a minute at a small stationers shop in the square at Dolgelle – a cattle doctoring book in Welsh & English, description of Dolgelle & Cader Idris 2/. – English testament – map of North Wales in a case – 2 or 3 Welsh pamphlets in the window – as we entered the town, near the bridge on the left a handsomish new erection nearly finished for a town & county hall – In the walls of this as of the Golden Lion & Ship Inn, the large masses of stone cut regularly & look well enough, tho' dark & heavy – the clouds came over the mountains & we feared a continuance of the rain – we had had only a drop or 2 for a moment once or twice, & seem to have left it behind us – yet the clouds have quite hid the higher summits of the mountains, that we have had no good view of Cadir Idris – (BalaWhite Lion Inn – Ellis 8 \({1\over 4}\) p.m.) Left Drws y Nant at 3 \({3\over 4}\) & got here at 5 \({50\over 60}\) – all the guide books mention the Bull as the best inn; the people at Dolgelle recommended us to the White Lion – Drove thro' the town to compare appearances & stopt at the latter tho' my aunt thought the Bull's Head rather the better looking of the 2 – However, I think we are right – the landlady is a very nice woman – everything seems very clean & comfortable &, so far, I should certainly recommend the house – my aunt rather had a little mutton broth with a boiled steak or 2 in it – I had a small loin of mutton (very good) roasted, good peas & potatoes, & a very good bilberry tart – no wine – only cold water – Walked a little into the town before dinner (sat down to table about 7) & also afterwards – better town than Dolgelle – we admired it very much as we entered – wide street 7 or 8 young elm trees on our left – a neat town-hall opposite our inn (our inn on the left) – a neat church55 a little farther on the same side as the town hall – the church very neatly pewed (peeped in at the window) & apparently recently built – 3 or 4 little streets besides the main street & I should think Bala must rank high among the good towns in North Wales – The drive from Drws y Nant very uninteresting till we came in sight of the Bala lake – which we kept close on our right (often no fence to guard the road from it) up to the very town at least within a fields' length – a beautiful sheet of water – full when we saw it, its surface curled like the waves of the sea & at this end a little surf – quite as much as we saw at the foot on Penman Mawr – a gentleman's cottage very prettily situated on the East bank of the lake – very fair road all the way – great deal of hay to get in North Wales & a good deal to cut – the grass very thin & short, not at all equal to one of our middling pastures – little corn to be seen anywhere & that only, thin short oats or barley. I have somewhere seen a little rye, but do not remember any wheat in North Wales. Very few cattle & those only the small black breed & occasionally a few brindled red – sheep up & down the mountains, but not so small as I expected. Have only seen 1 goat a little tame thing at Caernarvon – I had an idea of pretty grey Welsh ponys, but have seen nothing of the sort – Should not have known the horses I have seen from English – the weather improved before we left Drws y Nant, & had a pretty fine afternoon. A few drops of rain sent us in about 8 \({1\over 2}\) but it seems gone off again for the present – Settled with George & paid the bill, meaning to be off to Corwen at 7 in the morning – went upstairs at 9 \({50\over 60}\) – [code: Sat up hunting for a frill & adding up my accounts. Find one pound short] In taking out my purse at Tan y Bwlch, I let fall some sovereigns & surely did not pick them all up – I must have thus lost one56 [code: great deal of discharge]

[p. 54]

Tuesday 23 July
Good bed, very clean & comfortable & slept well – Rainy night & rainy morning – yet no prospect of doing any good by waiting & off from Bala (the White Lion Inn, John Ellis) at 7 \({25\over 60}\) – the upper road to Corwen only ten miles, but have come the lower (14 miles) thro' the Vale of Edeirnion on account of the scenery – Beautiful vale – the Dee nearly close on our right most of the way – winds most beautifully, flowing gently between its low banks occasionally prettily wooded – what a contrast to the torrents to which we have lately been accustomed - a beautiful vale – But it rained all the way to the last of the 2 turnpikes about or near \({1\over 2}\) mile from Corwen & our view was sadly spoilt by the thickenings of the weather & the gig–top up – Did not know the town or the inn again – could scarce believe it the same place we stopt at on Sunday-week (p. 44) Left Bala at 7 \({25\over 60}\) & got here in 2 \({20\over 60}\) hour at 9 \({3\over 4}\) – Breakfast immediately – (LlangollenKing's Head, new hotel Mrs Davis 2 \({3\over 4}\) p.m.) Left Corwen at 11 \({35\over 60}\) & got here in 1 \({1\over 2}\) hour (10 miles government-made road, most excellent in spite of having been almost deluged with rain) at 1 \({5\over 60}\) – the Vale of Corwen beautiful certainly, but as I have repeatedly told my aunt would be the case, it now seemed tame after the scenery we have seen – yet the Vale of Edeirnion pleased us, even in the rain, & we prefer it to that of Corwen which saw more distinctly – as we had the top down all the way – a drop or 2 of rain just after setting off & a shower for about the 3rd mile from Llangollen – heavy rain just after we got in – Mrs Davis received us at the door & came into our room to answer our inquiries after Lady Eleanor Butler. Mrs Davis was called up at one last night, & they thought her ladyship would have died – she was, however, rather better this morning – the physician does not seem to apprehend danger, but Mrs D- is alarmed & spoke of it in tears. Miss Ponsonby, too, is alarmed & ill herself, on this account – pain in her side "She is a lady" said Mrs D– "of very strong ideas; but this would grieve her too" – Mrs D– has only known them 13 or 14 years during which time she has lived at this house but has always seen them "so attached, so amiable together" – no two people ever lived more happily – they like all the people about them, are beloved by all & do a great deal of good. Lady Eleanor has the remains of beauty. Miss Ponsonby was a very fine woman. Lady E.B. about 80. Miss P– 10 or 12 years younger. The damp this bad account cast upon my spirits I cannot describe – I am interested about these 2 ladies very much – there is a something in their story & in all I have heard about them here that, added to other circumstances, makes a deep impression. Sat musing on the sopha scarce wotting what to do, irresolute & moody [code: Thinking of M– Low about her. I cannot shake off the impression of what she said at Chester about delicacy in calculating C's life, Mr Powis, &. I know not how it is, I am shockingly low altogether.] Mrs Davis being going to inquire after Lady E.B. my aunt & I walked with her to wait for her giving an answer to our inquiries – the physician there – strolled about for 10 minutes, & he not being gone & it threatening to rain, returned & only just got in before a tremendously heavy shower – then sat down & wrote the above of today. I feel better for this writing – in fact, come what may, writing my journal – thus, as it were, throwing my mind on paper always does me good. Mrs Davis just returned – brought a good account of her ladyship and a message of thanks for our inquiries from Miss Ponsonby who will be glad to see me this evening to thank me in person – shall go about 6 \({1\over 2}\) or 7, just after dinner. [code: This is more than I expected. I wonder how I work my way & what she will think of me. Mrs Davis wishes me to give all the comfort, all I can, & not to mention that I know of her having been called up last night] (9 p.m.) Dinner at 6 [code: Before dinner about two hours upstairs washing, cutting my toenails, putting clean things &c] At 7 went to Plas Newydd & got back at 8 – just an hour away & surely the walking there & back did not take me more than 20 minutes. Shewn into the room next the library (the breakfast room) waited a minute or 2, & then came Miss P– a large woman so as to waddle in walking but not taller than myself – in a blue shortish waisted cloth habit, the jacket unbuttoned shewing a plain plaited frilled habit shirt – a thick white cravat, rather loosely put on – hair powdered, parted I think down the middle in front, cut a moderate length all round & hanging straight, tolerably thick – the remains of a very fine face – coarsish white cotton stockings – ladies' slipper shoes cut low down, the foot hanging a little over – altogether a very odd figure – yet she had no sooner entered into conversation than I forgot all this & my attention was wholly taken by her manners & conversation –

[p. 55]

The former, perfectly easy, peculiarly attentive & well bred & bespeaking a person accustomed to a great deal of good society – mild & gentle, certainly not masculine, & yet there was a je-ne-sais-quoi striking – her conversation shewing a personal acquaintance with most of the literary characters of the day & their works – she seemed sanguine about Lady Eleanor's recovery – poor soul! My heart ached to think how small the chance – she told me her ladyship had undergone an operation 3 times – the sight of one eye restored – couching by absorption – I said I believed it was neither a painful nor dangerous operation – she seemed to think it both, the one & the other. Mentioned the beauties of the place – the books I had noticed in their rustic library – she said Lady E– read French, Spanish & Italian – had great knowledge of ancient manners & customs, understood the obsolete manners & phrases of Tasso57 remarkably well – had written elucidatory notes on the first 2 (or 4, I think) books of Tasso, but had given away the only copy she ever had. Contrived to ask if they were Classical – "No!" (said she) "Thank God from Latin & Greek I'm free" – Speaking of translations she mentioned La Cerda's58 (I think it was) as the best according to some bishop friend of hers of Virgil, & Cary's59 as being most excellent of Tasso, literal & excellent for a beginner & which she should recommend to anyone wanting assistance. She somehow mentioned Lucretius,60 but it was "a bad book & she was afraid of reading it" – I asked why – he was a deistical writer – I mentioned Dr John Mason Good's translation,61 adding that I believed he Dr Good was not a high church man. "No! She knew he was heterodox". I observed that she might think all the classics objectionable. "Yes! They wanted pruning, but the Delphin Editions62 were very good – as people got older, she said, they were more particular – she was almost afraid of reading Cain,63 tho' Lord B had been very good in sending them several of his works. I asked if she had read Don Juan64 – she was ashamed to say she had read the 1st canto – she said I had named Mr Bankes – & asked if it was Mr Bankes Cleaver65 – I thought not, did not know him, but he was the most particular friend of a friend of mine – it was Mr B– the great Grecian, said to be now the best in England since Mr Porson's death.66 She did not think he had ever been there, did not know, did not remember him. She asked if I would walk out – shewed me their kitchen garden – walked round the shrubbery with me – she said she owned to their having been 42 years there. They landed first in South Wales, but it did not answer the accounts they had heard of it – they then travelled in North Wales &, taken with the beauty of this place, took the cottage for 31 years – but it was a false lease & they had had a great deal of trouble & expense. It was only 4 years since they had bought the place. Dared say I had a much nicer place at home – mentioned its situation, great age, long time in the family, &c. She wished to know where to find an account of it – said it had been their humble endeavour to make their place as old as they could. Spoke like a woman of the world about liking the place where I was born &c – said I was not born there – my father was a younger brother but that I had the expectation of succeeding my uncle – "Ah ,then," said she "you will soon be the master & there will be an end of romance" "Never! Never!" said I. I envied their place & the happiness they had had there – dared say, they had never quarrelled – "No! they had never had a quarrel – little difference of opinion sometimes – life could not go on without it – but only about the planting of a tree – and when they differed in opinion, they took care to let no one see it." At parting she shook hands with me and gave me a rose; I said I should keep it for the sake of the place where it grew – she had before said she should be happy to introduce me some time to Lady Eleanor – I had given my aunt's compliments & inquiries – said she would have called with me but feared to intrude & was not quite well this evening – she (Miss P–) gave me a sprig of geranium for my aunt with her compliments & thanks for her inquiries. Lady E. was asleep while I was there – Miss P– had been reading to her "Adam Blair"67 the little book recommended to me by M– at Chester. I had told Miss P– I had first seen an account of them in La Belle Assemblee a dozen years ago,68 & had longed to see the place ever since. She said some people had been very impertinent, particularly Dr Mavor,69 who had in some way displeased (laughed at, or something) their old housekeeper to whose memory they have erected a monument in the church yard – & it seems the ladies have a particular objection to Dr M– but Miss P– appears to have lost her teeth & occasionally mumbles a little, that, as a stranger, I did not always perhaps quite understand her - It seems 2 of the Cromptons & their brother (of Esholt)70 were lately sketching the place. The ladies sent them chairs – went out to speak to them (for they were retiring, fearing they had offended the ladies) – formed an acquaintance &, wanting to know something about the Derwentwater family71 which the C–s could get to know – there has been a correspondence. Miss P– said she had not answered their last letter but meant to do it – Lady E.B. & Miss P– seem great pedigree people, antiquaries, topographers &c. I came away much pleased with Miss P– & sincerely hoping Lady E– will recover to enjoy a few years more in this world. I know not how it is, I felt low after coming away – a thousand moody reflections occurred, but again, writing has done me good – went to & returned from Plas Newydd in a gleam – showery afternoon & evening – I mean to dry & keep the rose Miss P– gave me – 'Tis now 10 \({1\over 4}\). Sat talking to my aunt. Came upstairs at 11 \({10\over 60}\) [code: forty minutes siding my things in the imperial – used the syringe with cold water three times today great deal of discharge]

[p. 56]

Wednesday 24 July
Came downstairs at 9 \({20\over 60}\) – have just been to the harper to tell him some of the most melancholy Welsh airs he knows – Have seen Mrs DavisLady Eleanor has had a good night (Ruthin, Cross-foxes or Wynnstay Arms, 4 \({1\over 4}\) p.m.) [deletions] the property of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, but the White Lion is the best inn – as we do not stop except to bait the horses did not go to the White Lion because they rather ill naturedly oppose the Kings Head at Llangollen – yet the waiter recommended us to go there – Left Llangollen at 11 \({1\over 4}\) & did not get here till 3 \({5\over 60}\) being 3 \({50\over 60}\) hour in coming 13 miles the old road is 12 miles the new 14 to save some tremendous hills – at the 2d turnpike from Llangollen there were only some little boys & perhaps thro' George's manner of inquiring (we sent him back to inquire) they sent us the lower way by which we saved 1 mile before we got into the new road again, but were near an hour ascending a most tremendous hill, rendered 10 times worse by the road being furrowed by the rains in all directions – obliged to walk up & got into the gig again to sit during 2 or 3 heavy showers – about 7 miles from Ruthin came into the new road at the 3d turnpike – the road deluged with rain – cut up to the nerve & viler than any travelled road I ever saw – it rained heavily the greatest part of the time & we were obliged to go foot's pace as carefully as possible & were still jolted exceedingly – For between 2 and 3 miles (perhaps) the road lay at the bottom of a deep ravine following the course of the paltry river Clwyd (a mere brook quite undeserving the name of river) close on our left – a couple of miles from the town (Ruthin) the road good but heavyish with the rain – It seems a nice neat town, but I have felt too unwell ever since getting up this morning to stir out – the acid apple tart I had yesterday disagreed with me. [code: A lax early this morning before I could get washed]. There is a woman, by the way, squalling in the house in a very improper way & I would not come here again – go to the White Lion – Just before breakfast this morning sent George with compliments to Miss Ponsonby to inquire after Lady Eleanor – the former much obliged to us for sending – the latter had had a good night & was better – went into Mrs Davis's room & congratulated her & begged her to write me a few lines in about 10 days, to say how Lady Eleanor was – said I was going abroad & should feel anxious to hear – begged her not to name this to Miss P– gave my address & have no doubt Mrs Davis will write. Spoke, too, to the waiter about sending us Welsh mutton – \({1\over 2}\) a sheep will travel better than a less portion on account of less of the meat being exposed to the air – the surface of chine-bone protecting the meat – it will be 5d a lb & 1 \({1\over 2}\) d a lb carriage exclusive of one yard of cloth wrapper that will cost a shilling – it will arrive at Halifax in 3 days – stopt a minute in passing, but did not get out, to see Vale Crucis Abbey – 1 \({1\over 2}\) miles from Llangollen a field distant from the road on our right – part of the remains covered in & turned into part of a farmstead – the views pretty now & then but almost lost upon us thro' the extreme badness of the road & weather – the Vale of Clwyd opens upon us richly. At breakfast at Llangollen the waiter again brought us the list-of-company-book – wrote in it the following "Wednesday 24 July 1822. Mrs & Miss Lister have spent 2 days here & will take every opportunity of recommending the King's Head (Llangollen) the conduct of which does great credit to Mrs Davis" - Left Ruthin at 5 & got here (The Bull Inn, Denbigh) at 6 \({20\over 60}\), that is exactly at the rate of 6 miles an hour, the distance being 8 miles – Now & then a little sun shiny, good road & fine weather all the way till a few drops of rain just as we entered the town – pleasant drive – singular looking town – especially as we drove up the long, steep, wide, pretty-good street to the Bull Inn just behind the town-house – Market day & the streets pretty full tho' a small market because it was the fair last week – the house looked full & busy – besides market people there was a rent-day held here, that of Miss Middleton of Chirk – the waiter at Llangollen recommended us to the Crown Inn, but the look of it determined me to see the Bull, & the latter having much the better appearance of the 2, here we are – an old house – narrow oak staircases that have a dirty look, but very civil, attentive people & we are certainly come to the right house – Ordered dinner in an hour & sat down at 7 \({1\over 2}\). My aunt's bowels being still far from well, & myself very bilious, we had minced veal (white) & a light batter pudding with a lump of preserved apricot on the top - all very good &, quite contrary to expectation I had some enjoyment of my dinner. During the hour before dinner we walked round the castle & the bowling green, remarkably pretty & worth seeing, particularly for the fine [view] from thence along this fertile, wooded, & therefore beautiful Vale of Clwyd – but the scene is merely beautiful & tame to us now with a foaming river & mountain grandeur – the hills are

[p. 57]

rounded into curves of beauty without one trace of the sublime – no water – the want is striking – we have a comfortable sitting-room upstairs [code: A double-bedded room adjoining & I have my wash-stand. Dress & undress here in the sitting room]. Got a little out of our way in leaving Ruthin & passed the White Lion Inn – a very nice, largish-looking house – certainly the place we ought to have gone – George tells me the other was not respectable – the man landlord was a horse-dealer & the squalling came from his daughter whom some man was laying hold of. Both my aunt & I felt too unwell to stir out again after dinner. 'Tis now 10p.m. when I have just finished writing the latter half of today – [code: At ten, discovered a neighbouring double-bedded room at liberty. Had all moved there & glad to get a place to myself.] Went to my room at 11 \({1\over 4}\) [code: great deal of discharge but not quite so much as two days ago this last morning & night or two. I have used three syringes of water instead of two]

Thursday 25 July
Went to a glove shop on the same side as the inn a little higher up – (Denbigh being celebrated for gloves) – the shop shut up (only one shop of note) & the gloves in the window damaged & very inferior make & appearance – Mrs Salusbury72 sent to the glovers' house – he was in his hay field
& had taken the key of his shop & his wife who came to us was sorry we could not wait – Off immediately at 10 \({3\over 4}\) – an hour in getting the 4 miles to St Asaphwalked the horse up 2 or 3 steepish hills which made us so long – Stopt 20 minutes at the cathedral gate while we saw the cathedral itself – They are underdrawing in very good gothic style the roof of the nave – Messrs Barrett (I think the woman said) & Parry of Shrewsbury73 – the cathedral very small but very neat and altogether a pretty little ecclesiastical bijou – the see worth74 £7000 a year the woman said she knew – one steep street, the White Lion (I think) the only good inn, at the top of it – Left St Asaph at 12 \({5\over 60}\) and stopt at the White Horse (Richard Mansell, Holywell) at 2 \({25\over 60}\), just 2 \({20\over 60}\) hours coming these ten miles – a few steepish hills, & walking slowly up them made us get on slowly – Fine view of the Irish Channel & estuary of the Dee about 2 miles from here – stopt at the turnpike (one mile distant from the town) close to some mines on our left whence the men gave us some specimens of cubic lead, calamine, & black jack – From the inn my aunt & I walked down to St Winifred's well, close to the church yard – a woman there (at the well) gave each of us a glass of water & a printed sheet of paper account of the spring75 for which I gave her 6d & she certainly was not satisfied. Thence my aunt and I walked forwards to the village of Greenfield – in returning my aunt left me a little below St Winifred's well, & I turned up a lane on the right to what is called the Holywell level – it looks like a common culvert the arch about a yard from the surface of the water. There is a small cottage over it, some people live there to prevent children doing mischief – the culvert or level opens into a small basin where were laid up 3 of the vessels perhaps 1 yard wide & ten long. The level extends 1 \({1\over 2}\) mile the woman at the cottage said & there is a communication with it at the mines near the turnpike above named about one mile from Holywell. Mr Harrison chief manager of the mines & level – the woman gave me another specimen or 2. Indeed I had first picked them up there & had got a very good one of black jack from a heap of stones to mend the road with as my aunt & I walked to Greenfield – Left Holywell at 4 \({25\over 60}\) – pretty enough for 3 or 4 miles from Holywell so long as we had the estuary of the Dee full in view – At the mines76 near 3 miles from Holywell on the right of the road at a small village asked a man if he could give me a specimen of the white ore of lead – he knew nothing of it; but when I asked him for a piece of chat he stooped & picked up a piece from a heap of stones laid by the roadside to mend it with – Northop & Hawarden niceish little towns with good churches – at the latter town a handsome gothic gateway to Sir Richard Glynn's place77 in whose grounds is the ruin of Hawarden Castle. Stopt here at Willoughby's, the Royal hotel Chester, at 7 \({1\over 2}\), having got here in 3 \({5\over 60}\) hours from Holywell – very good road – walked Percy up 3 or 4 hills – were shewn into the same sitting room we had a fortnight ago – asked to have the same lodging rooms & have got them [code: My aunt went upstairs. I sat musing on M– thinking I wasted my life in vain expectation, hoping for a time which she is too delicate to like to calculate. Somehow I cannot get over this.] Sat down to dinner at 8 \({1\over 2}\) – giblet soup – excellent veal cutlets, potatoes, peas, currant tart & a bottle of port wine. My aunt better & I felt as usual again today & have enjoyed my dinner. I have just settled with George & writ the last 20 lines of today & it is now 10 \({40\over 60}\) a shower or [2] this morning just as we stopped at St Asaph & afterwards in our way to Holywell the rest of the day very fine - came upstairs at 11 \({20\over 60}\).

Authorial notes

i. M gave me fifteen pounds to place to her account
ii. Ruabon, 6 miles from Llangollen, they pronounce as if spelt Rawbon (anglice)
iii. Tuesday 20 August 1822, improperly called crowcastle –
iv. ‘omitted copying the epitaph as I intended – sorry –'
v. Perhaps a couple of miles beyond the fall of Penmachno passed the Wellington iron bridge – a very beautiful one, the finishing at each end wrought into the rose the thistle and shamrock very prettily done
vi. vid. line 5 from the bottom of the next page
vii. vid. lines 5 and 6 from the bottom of the last page
viii. Aber 12 p.o.
ix. Perhaps the smallest size may be about 8 inches long by 6 inches broad (Wednesday 21 August 1822)
x. In returning just as we passed the bridge from the quarries & got back to the turnpike close to it, a flash of vivid lightening came across us immediately followed by a loud peal of thunder, & the rain which had begun just before we got to the quarries, continued till within a couple of miles of Bangor vid. line 10 from the top of p. 49
xi. should be 50 feet or about 20 yards
xii. no unnecessary quavering with his hands but held them steadily parallel with the strings – he played us what he played first at Wrexham "Sweet Richard" with good & very difficult variations – from us he went to the party in the next room that we still had the benefit of him. – Read Nicholson’s guide this afternoon – went upstairs at 11 \({20\over 60}\) – [code: great deal of discharge]. [‘Sweet Richard' was a well-known Welsh air in the period, which had been included in numerous musical collections (see, for example, Edward Jones's Musical and Poetical Relicks (1784)). The air was closely associated with Roberts after his Eisteddfod win, and was published in London in 1821 under the title Sweet Richard: performed at the Congress of Welsh Bards at Wrexham by Richard Roberts of Carnarvon, who gained the Silver Harp, with variations by John Parry (London: J. Power, 1821).]
xiii. written at Beddgelert
xiv. written at Tan y Bwlch Inn 10

Editorial notes

3. Christopher Saltmarshe of Saltmarshe Hall in the East Riding of Yorkshire (1784-1852) and his wife Emma (née Rawson) of Stoney Royd, Halifax (d.1834). Lister asked the Saltmarshes for advice on visiting Wales.
4. Anne Lister
5. Unidentified.
6. Unidentified.
7. Possibly either Mary Elizabeth Ponsonby (1776-1861), who married Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, in 1794, or Mary Ponsonby (née Butler; dates unknown), wife of the Irish Whig George Ponsonby (1755-1817).
8. Lister makes brief references to ‘discharge' in encoded passages throughout her tour. She is thought to have contracted a veneral disease from Mariana Belcombe around 1820, who had in turn been infected by her husband.
10. See William Bingley, A Tour Round North Wales, performed during the Summer of 1798 (London, 1800), II: 128: ‘The view from Castell Dinas Brân are, upon the whole, so very extensive and beautiful, that to any person who has not had an opportunity of ascending Snowdon, or Cader Idris, this will be found a tolerable compensation.' Lister had borrowed several works on Wales from the Halifax Circulating Library including Bingley's Tour before they set off for Wales.
11. See Bingley, II: 127-8: ‘The inhabitants of Llangollen say, that somewhere about this rock [Craig Eglwyseg] is an opening, from whence there is a long arched passage under ground, supposed to lead to the castle. I scarcely gave any credit to this report, for I could not, upon enquiry, hear of any person who had seen it, or could tell whereabouts it was.'
12. Probably a reference to Nicholas Culpeper's astrological and herbalist medical work The English Physitian (1652).
13. I.e. the boot boy from the hotel.
14. Butler and Ponsonby settled in Llangollen in 1778, when they were around 39 and 23 respectively.
15. Lister recorded rereading Mariana's letters written from her 1817 tour of Wales in a diary entry for 28 June 1828.
17. The poor potato crop of 1821 resulted in severe food shortages in Ireland in 1822, especially in the southern and western counties.
18. A reference to John Cary: Cary's New Itinerary; or, An Accurate Delineation of the Great Roads, Both Direct and Cross, Throughout England and Wales (London, 1798).
19. The first of a series of Parliamentary Acts relating to the London-Holyhead road was passed in 1815, which provided for the improvement of the route, following a report by Thomas Telford in 1811.
20. Probably a reference to Pont Glyn-diffwys, near Llangwm; see here [external link]. For an 1808 sketch of this scene by Turner, see here [external link].
21. British king or chieftain in the first century AD.
22. See Cary, p. 167: ‘Within \({1\over 2}\) a Mile of Cerrig y Drudion on r. is the famous Citadel of the Druids, where Caractacus retired to after his Defeat at Caer Caradoc.'
23. George Nicholson's The Cambrian Traveller's Guide, and Pocket Companion, a compendium-style guidebook drawing on the work of earlier Welsh travel writers such as (among others) Thomas Pennant, William Bingley, Arthur Aikin and William Warner, was first published in 1808. The second edition, which Lister bought at Cernioge, was an expanded version, published in 1813 as The Cambrian Traveller's Guide, in Every Direction.
25. Unidentified.
26. A reference to the Royal Hotel at Capel Curig, built by Lord Penrhyn in 1803. Lister is drawing her information from Nicholson's Guide (see p. 175 in the 1813 edition).
29. Eighteenth-century hotel in Llanrwst; see here [external link].
33. A reference not to Owain Glyndŵr but to the tomb of Owain Gwynedd (c. 1100-70), king of Gwynedd in the twelfth century. For a modern photograph of the tomb, see here [external link].
34. Thomas Telford's Menai Bridge would not be completed and operational until 1826.
36. The Lister's Halifax neighbour William Henry Rawson advised them to see the slate quarries. His letter, received 4 July 1822, is retained in the Shibden Hall papers at SH: 7/ML/117.
37. See Nicholson, p. 286: ‘The area within is irregularly oblong, formerly divided into 2 parts, forming an outer and inner court.'
38. The Wrexham Eisteddfod at which Roberts won the silver harp was held in 1820 rather than 1821.
41. See Bingley I: 170: ‘Not far from hence is the antient fort which belonged to it; this is also of an oblong figure, and contains about an acre of ground. The walls are at present about eleven feet high and six in thickness, and at each corner there has formerly been a tower.'
42. ‘Near the Seiont was a strong fort, intended to secure a landing-place at the time of high water. This was of an oblong shape included in an area of about one acre. Two sides of the walls are nearly entire.'
43. A reference to Edward King's Munimenta Antiqua; or, Observations on Ancient Castles, published in four volumes between 1799 and 1806. King discusses Caernarfon in Volume III (1804).
44. Probably a reference to the hotel later known as the Royal Goat, built in 1802 by Thomas Jones; see here [external link].
45. For a contemporary depiction of Beddgelert, including the river, cottages and steep-sided setting, see Mary Smirke, ‘Betgellert Bridge' (c. 1808), here [external link].
47. See Nicholson, pp. 573-81.
48. Possibly a reference to Cary, pp. 169-71 (rather than p. 243), which lists the Dolgellau-Beddgelert route.
49. ‘Wednesday 21 August 1822, the arms of William – Sir Watkin Williams Wynne of Wynnstay' [marginal authorial note]. Lister is referring to an inn some four miles outside Dolgellau, set on the junction where the main roads heading north-south and east-west meet.
50. Trawsfynydd, a large village situated in an open barren country, where there is a public-house, but Welsh only is spoken.'
51. ‘After passing the mean village of Trawsfynydd, mr. Skrine proceeded to view the famous cascade of Dolymleynllyn'.
52. River which feeds into the Mawddach Estuary.
53. ‘Pronounced as if spelt anglice Winnion' [marginal authorial note].
54. Unidentified.
55. Probably a reference to the chapel that stood on the site now occupied by the parish church, Christ Church; see here [external link].
56. ‘Wednesday night 21 August 1822 On settling my accounts at home found I had not lost a sovereign – I had ommitted setting down the Cambrian guide bought at Cernioge' [marginal authorial note].
57. A reference to the Italian poet Torquato Tasso (1544-95).
58. The Spanish Jesuit scholar Juan Luis de la Cerda's (1558-1643) Commentary on Virgil was published in 1647.
59. Henry Francis Cary (1772-1844), literary translator best known for his translation of Dante's The Divine Comedy (1805-14).
60. A reference to the first-century poet and philosopher Titus Lucretius Carus, whose only known work is De Rerum Natura.
61. English writer and physician (1764-1827), who published his verse translation of Lucretius's De Rerum Natura as The Nature of Things: A Didactic Poem in 1805.
62. A reference to the Delphin Classics, published in London by Abraham John Valpy in the early nineteenth century.
63. Byron's verse drama, Cain: A Mystery, a reworking of the biblical story of Cain and Abel, was published in 1821.
64. Byron's unfinished epic satire Don Juan was published between 1819 and 1824 – cantos I-V of the poem had been published by the time of Lister's visit.
65. Possibly a reference to William John Bankes (1786-1855). A note preserved in the Bankes family archive in Dorset History Centre confirms that Bankes visited Plas Newydd in 1805.
66. Richard Porson (1759-1808).
67. A reference to John Gibson Lockhart's 1822 novel Adam Blair, which controversially depicted a clergyman's affair with a married woman.
68. A reference to Madame de Genlis's 1804 account of her visit to Butler and Ponsonby, published in La Belle Assemblée; or, Bell's Court and Fashionable Magazine in 1808 (Vol. 5, 99-102). See Fiona Brideoake, The Ladies of Llangollen: Desire, Indeterminacy, and the Legacies of Criticism (Bucknell University Press, 2017), p. 281.
69. A reference to William Fordyce Mavor's account of Mary Carryl at Plas Newydd in volume 5 of his 6-volume The British Tourist's, or, Travellers's Pocket Companion (London, 1809): ‘The cottage in reality deserves its name. Only two rooms are shewn, – the dining-room and the library. Both are adorned with exquisite drawings of scenes in Wales, and round the chimney-pieces are some family miniatures, which were recognised by one of the party, without applying to the old house-keeper who attended us, and who is herself an original at full length' (p. 318).
70. A reference to the Crompton banking family of Esholt Hall, just north of Bradford. The family comprised of nine siblings: the three mentioned here are Mary, Henrietta and William Rookes Crompton. Henrietta's sketchbook of their 1821 Welsh tour survives in North Yorkshire County Record Office. Lister socialised with the Cromptons in York; for her opinion on the family see The Secret Diaries of Miss Lister, p. 269. For Henrietta Crompton see also here [external link].
71. Unidentified.
72. Unidentified but possibly the landlady of the Listers' inn.
73. Unidentified.
74. The district under the jurisdiction of a bishop or archbishop; a diocese (OED).
75. For an illustration of the broadsheet that may have been seen by Lister at St Winifrede's, see here [external link].
76. A reference to the Holywell Level lead mine, opened in 1773.
77. A reference to the Glynne family of Hawarden, and probably to Sir Stephen Richard Glynne (1807-94), 9th baronet, owner of Hawarden Castle, an eighteenth-century gothic mansion named after the castle in its grounds. See here [external link].