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it is composed; the boundless expanse of waters, studded in all directions with shipping; the deep and ceaseless roar of the waves; and the wild shrieks of cormorants and other aquatic birds, which harbour in its craggy recesses, combine to fill the mind with mingled sensations of awe and admiration. This point is by Ptolemy termed Bolerium, and received from its ancient inhabitants the appellation of Penringhuaed, or the Promontory of Blood, from some circumstance now unknown.
Many of the rocks which compose this rugged mass are of grotesque figures, and have acquired whimsical titles; one is called Dr. Johnson's Head, and may, by the assistance of a slight degree of imagipation, be considered as bearing some resemblance to the physiognomy of that illustrious moralist. To the north is a promontory, called Cape Cornwall, 230 feet above the level of the sea; and between this and what is strictly termed the Land's End, the shore is indented, so as to form Whitsand Bay, so pamed from the peculiar whiteness of its sand: in this Bay Stephen landed, when he came to seize the English crown; John, on his return from Ireland; and Perkin Warbeck, on his unfortunate attempt to obtain the diadem.
This promontory evidently, at a former period, extended further westward; many small islands or rocks remaining in detached portions: a group of these, about two miles to the west of the Land's End, is called the Long Ships, and here is a Light-house, erected in 1797, and now under the jurisdiction of the Trinity House; every vessel that passes pays a small sum, and the amount thus received is said to be at least £3000 per annum.
Returning to the Land's End, we arrive at Sennan, which contains an alehouse, whimsically inscribed on its sign, The first and last Inn in England. Not far from hence are the ruins of Carn Breh Chapel, .consisting of the crumbling walls of a building, erected for the performance of mass, for the safety of the mariners on this dangerous coast: from the hill on which they stand a poble view is obtained over“ a wild expanse of waters occupying twentynine points of the compass!”. Proceeding to the south-east, along the coast, which presents the wildest and most magnificent scenery, we at length arrive at St. Levan, near which is the celebrated
an inmense block of granite, supposed to weigh between 80 and 90 tons, and poised in a most extraordinary manner on the top of an enormous pile of rocks, projecting into the sea; the part in contact with the supporting stones is of very small extent, and it is so accurately balanced, that, notwithstanding its magnitude, the strength of a single man is sufficient to put it in motion. Authors are divided in opinion as to the origin of this remarkable object: it is generally attributed to the Druids, and is considered a surprising monument of their skill; but some writers believe it to be a natural production, and to be moulded into its present form by the
ction of the atmosphere alone: it is probable, however, that even if the Druids did not erect this and other monuments of the same description, they employed them as powerful engines of superstition, by making them answer the purposes of an ordeal; it being supposed that, although easily logged or rocked by an innocent person, they remained immovable by the utmost strength of the guilty! This venerable relic was displaced in 1823, by a party of sailors, under the command of a Lieut. Goldsmith, but was afterwards reinstated by the exertions of the same persons, as an atonement for the mischief committed in a drunken frolic.
About five miles from the Land's End is St. Just, a village with nothing remarkable excepting a Cross, which is placed on a raised pedestal of two steps, and bears a rude representation of the Crucifixion. Near this place are the remains of an ancient Amphitheatre, perhaps almost the only one existing in this country which is now devoted to its original purpose, wrestling matches being still held in St. Just's Round," during the holidays of Easter and Whitsuntide.
St. Just will be visited with respect by the traveller as the birth-place of Dr. Borlase, the historian of his native county, and the indefatigable investigator of her antiquities. He was born in 1696, received his education at Exeter College, Oxford, and took holy orders in 1719. In 1722 he was presented to the rectory of Ludgvan, and in 1732 to the vicarage of St. Just, which were the only preferments he ever received. When he took up his residence at Ludgvan, his attention was naturally attracted by the mineral and metallic treasures with which he was surrounded, and during his search for these, in order to form a collection, the numerous monuments of antiquity which he met with, ipduced him to devote his leisure to the acquirement of an acquaintance with the religious observances of the Druids, and the customs and superstitions of the ancient Britons. In 1750 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society; and in 1754 published the first result of his inquiries,
Antiquities of Cornwall,” in a folio volume. He afterwards printed “ Observations on the Scilly Islands,” a “ Natural History of Cornwall," and several other works; and while his leisure was devoted to literature, diligently employed himself in discharging the duties of a good pastor. He died in 1772, in the 77th year of his age, and was interred in Ludgvan Church. He enjoyed the intimacy of several of the most eminent men of his day; among whom was Mr. Pope, whom he furnished with the greater part of the materials for his celebrated Grotto at Twickenham; and the poet, in acknowledging the receipt of them, pays Dr. Borlase the following compliment: “ I am much obliged to you for your valuable collection of Cornish diamonds: I have placed them where they may best represent yourself; in a shade, but shining.”
LAUNCESTON. This town is pleasantly situated on an eminence, 214 miles from the metropolis, and near the eastern border of the county. It is of some antiquity, and probably owed its origin to the erection of the Castle. It is first mentioned in history about the year 900, and soon after the Conquest, a weekly Market was established here, which is still held on Saturday. In the reign of Henry III, Richard Earl of Cornwall, brother of that monarch, bestowed several important privileges on this town, which have since been confirmed and augmented. By Richard II the Assizes for the County were ordained to be held here," and no where else,” but this rule was infringed upon in 1715, when an Act of Parliament passed, by which the Summer Assizes were appointed to be held at Bodmin. In 1555, Launceston was first incorporated by Charter, although it was governed by a Mayor at least a century earlier, and had returned Parliamentary Representatives from 1295. The Corporation consists of a Mayor, Recorder, and eight Aldermen, who, with the free burgesses, elect, the two Members.
The parish Church of Launceston, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen, and situated near the centre of the town, is a structure of remarkable beauty. Its length is about 110 feet, and it has a lofty tower, with pinnacles. The exterior of this building is covered with a profusion of rich sculpture, executed about 1511, as appears from an inscription on the wall; the south porch is particularly elegant; and at the east end, under the central window, is a curious recumbent statue of the Magdalen, with many other figures and ornaments. The
interior contains many monuments, but not any deserving particular remark. This elegant fabric was originally a Chapel or Chantry to the Collegiate Church of St. Stephen, about a mile distant, but in the reign of Henry IV was enlarged and made parochial: and early in that of Henry VIII was re-edified, and finished as it now appears: it is to be lamented that it is much obscured by surrounding buildings. A Free Grammar School, founded by Queen Elizabeth, and endowed with an income payable out of the revenues of the Duchy, and two Charity Schools, supported by subscription, provide for the education of the children of the town.
Launceston was formerly surrounded by a wall, part of which still remains, as well as two of the ancient Gates. The streets are parrow and badly paved, but the houses are well-built. The Market is abundantly supplied, and six Fairs are held here annually. The population, according to the last census, was 2183 persons.
The most striking object in this town is the extensive but ruined
which, from its magnitude and position, must have been of great strength. From the appearance of the walls, it seems probable that the Keep, at least, was erected by the Britons, while the discovery of some Roman coins in the immediate vicinity renders it likely that it was afterwards possessed by the latter. Additions were subsequently made to it, at various periods, particularly by the Earl of Mortaigne and Cornwall, whose father had received it from the Conqueror.
The remains of this venerable pile chiefly consist