Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/174

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[162]

travellers return, as very few tempt its dangers; we, therefore, were content to follow the example of the majority, and to seek again the mouth of the cavern, by a lower road, which pursued its darkling track under the rock we had been walking upon. Once more we beheld the light of the sun, after having penetrated one thousand six hundred feet into the bowels of the mountain.

Quitting Buxton we directed our course to Castleton, intending to include Elden-Hole, another subterraneous wonder of this cavernous country, in our ride. For this purpose we took the Tideswell road for four miles, and then sharply turning to the left found ourselves in that which leads to Castleton. At a small cottage, two miles from this point, lives the guide who rents the property on which Elden-Hole lies, a part of Peak forest. Climbing along the hill, we at length reached this tremendous fissure; a yawning chasm in the earth, about thirty yards long from the north-west to the south-east, and ten yards wide in an opposite direction. As it descends, the dimensions are gradually contracted, till, at the depth of thirty yards, the space from side to side is not more than three or four yards; but here suddenly enlarging its limits, the gulph stretches itself to the extent of an acre of ground. What the profundity of Elden-