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Gilsland Bibliography

Extracts from The Roman Wall by Rev. J. Collingwood Bruce (1851):


p265 (Nine Nicks of Thirlwall): "The Wall adheres, with tolerable pertinacity, to the edge of the crags, and hence pursues a course which is by no means direct . . . At length the cliffs, which extend in a nearly unbroken series from Sewingshields to Carvoran, sink into a plain, and the fertility and beauty of a well-cultivated country re-appear.
However pleasing the change, the traveller will not fail occasionally to look back upon the road he has trod, and view with secret satisfaction those bold and airy heights which so well symbolise the austere and undaunted spirit of that great people whose works he is contemplating; and when in after years, and it may be in some region far distant, the image of them rises in his imagination, he will be ready to exclaim -

I feel the gales that from ye blow
A momentary bliss bestow.

p203 (Mural Traditions - Sewingshields): (Quoting Hodgson, 1841) "An old man in this neighbourhood told me, that he had often heard people say, that the Romans had remarkably broad feet, with still broader shoes, and that, when it rained, they lay on their backs, and holding up their feet in a perpendicular direction, protected, by this means, their persons from the weather. - This legend, under various modifications, seems to have been widely diffused in the Middle Ages . . "

p82 (The Written Rock of Gelt): "It is piteous, when surveying so interesting a relic of antiquity, and one which has outlived the accidents of upwards of sixteen centuries, to observe that it has been approached by men who cannot sympathise with the mighty dead, and who care not what violence they do to the feelings of those who can. To the defacement, as I believe, of some portion of the inscription, the names of F. Graham, W. Hardcastle, T Thompson, W. Nelson, have been carved upon the rock. Notoriety is easily earned, but it is not always of an enviable character."