Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/178

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

[166]

scent) and frequently presenting themselves in front, threaten opposition to all further progress. At one of these sudden turns to the left, a most beautiful view of Castleton vale (two miles broad and six in length) is unexpectedly thrown upon the eye; refreshing it with a rich picture of beauty, fertility, and variety, after the tedious uniformity of rude and hideous scenery to which it has so long been confined. Another turn to the right opens the high Peak, (the perpendicular rock at whose foot the famous cavern discloses itself) crowned with the ruins of an ancient Saxon fortress, opposed to the left by the shivering mountain Mam Tor, black and precipitous, and contrasted with the peaceful and luxuriant vale, which spreads itself between them.

Mam Tor, which lifts itself one thousand three hundred feet above the level of the valley, is composed of shale and grit stone in alternate stratification, as indeed all the mountains to the north of the road are; for the lime-stone, which forms those to the south, over-dips in the bottom between the two ranges. Its modern popular name, the shivering mountain, (for Mam Tor is an ancient British appellation) seems to have been imposed upon it from the crumbling of the shale, which decomposing under the action of the atmosphere, the