Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/114

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mines at Dudley, who charge most unconscionably for all their specimens.

On quitting Dudley for Walsall, the coal accompanied us for four or five miles, when all vestiges of coal- works disappeared; the country changed its face, and a silicious gravel occupied the place of the clayey soil, which denoted this bituminous fossil beneath it. The lime-stone, however, was still seen; and the town of Walsall appeared from afar, climbing up a lofty hill of this rock, the church crowning its apex.

Dingy with the smoke of manufactories, Walsall boasts no great beauty, but makes a respectable figure in the southern parts of Staffordshire, as a place of trade and opulence. Its population, including its two divisions, the town which is called the borough, and the country part called the foreign, amounts to about nine thousand; a great portion of whom are employed in the manufactory of Sadler's ironmongery, stirrups, bits, and spurs, locks and nails. Before the war, also, very large quantities of buckles and chapes were made at Walsall, and exported into foreign countries; but this branch of manufacture is now nearly extinguished, and the inhabitants, in lieu of it, have turned their attention to the lime-stone mining, which is pursued just without the town to vast extent and equal ad-