Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume II.djvu/187

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[ 175 ]

which Nature has decorated Hawkestone-Park.

Jo the left a lofty rock starts suddenly from the dale, called Red-Castle hill, whose crags are scarcely seen through the venerable woods of high antiquity and lofty statue, which clothe the steep. Up the ascendible part of this declivity we mounted, by the aid of rude stone stairs, which led us a w r eary way through passages cut in the Jiving rock, and over paths skirting precipices, to the summit of the eminence; where we found the remains of an ancient castle, in a situation as singular, bold, and secure as that of any fortress in the world. Nothing certain is known of its ere&ion, the time, or the architect; and as little of its history. An ancient record only makes men- tion of its existence in the Conqueror's time, and having been then given by Maud his wife to John de Audley. From this ruin, picturesque and au- gust, tile view is surprisingly fine; the dark woods and deep dells of the rock (a grand face of silici- ous sand rock) rising immediately opposite to it, who;->e beetling brow is crowned with firs, and its bottom lost in trees, and a rich distance oJ a fertile and well-peopled flat.

Rctracine our -tips down the deciivitv, we de- cs j ~

i'.i i\\v:\'i to a rude seal cut out of the rock, imme- diately under the precipice on which the ruin

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