Edward Hunt's Forest of Dean Miscellany

Fact, Fiction and Fantasy

New Weir

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 whole of this information we should have probably found true, if the weather had permitted us to profit by it. The latter part of it was certainly well-founded; for the water-views in this part were very tame. We left the rocks and precipices behind, exchanging them for low banks and sedges.

But the grand scenery soon returned. We approached it, however, gradually. The views at Whitchurch were an introduction to it. Here we sailed through a long reach of hills, whose sloping sides were covered with large, lumpish, detached stones; which seemed, in a course of years, to have rolled from a girdle of rocks that surrounds the upper regions of these high grounds on both sides of the river; but particularly on the left.

From these rocks we soon approached the New Weir, which may be called the second grand scene of the Wye.

The river is wider than usual in this part; and takes a sweep round a towering promontory of rock; which forms the side-screen on the left, and is the grand feature of the view. It is not a broad fractured face of rock; but rather a woody hill, from which large rocky projections, in two or three places, burst out; rudely hung with twisting branches and shaggy furniture, which, like a mane round the lion's head, give a more savage air to those wide exhibitions of nature. Near the top a pointed fragment of solitary rock, rising above the rest, has rather a fantastic appearance; but it is not without its effect marking the scene.

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

Edward Hunt