Edward Hunt's Forest of Dean Miscellany

Fact, Fiction and Fantasy


At Lydbrook is a large wharf, where coals are shipped for Hereford places. Here the scene is new and pleasing. All has thus far been grandeur and tranquillity. It continues so yet; but mixed with life and bustle. A road runs diagonally along the bank; and horses and carts appear passing to the small vessels which lie against the wharf to receive their burdens. Close behind a rich woody hill hangs sloping over the wharf, and forms a grand background to the whole. The contrast of all this business, the engines used in lading and unlading, together with the variety of the scene, produce all together a picturesque assemblage. The sloping hill is the front screen; the two side screens are low.

But soon the front becomes a lofty side-screen on the left; and sweeping round the eye at Welsh Bicknor, forms a noble amphitheatre.

At Coldwell the front-screen first appears as a woody hill, swelling to a point. In a few minutes, it changes its shape, and the woody hill becomes a lofty side-screen on the right; while the front unfolds itself into a majestic piece of rock-scenery.

Here we should have gone on shore and walked to the New Weir, which by land is only a mile; though, by water, I believe it is three. This walk would have afforded us, we were informed, some very noble river-views: nor should we have lost anything by relinquishing the water, which in this part was uninteresting.

The above text is from Observations on the Wye by William Gilpin (1782) (publisher: Pallas Athene 2005).

Edward Hunt