We left Longtown at 7.30 a.m. by the long and wide thoroughfare which gives rise to its name, and followed the Carlisle road until we turned to the right for Gretna Green. Our road lay between Solway Moss and the River Esk, to both of which some historic events were attached. Solway Moss is about seven miles in circumference, and is covered with grass and rushes, but it shakes under the least pressure, and will swallow up nearly anything. In 1776, after heavy rains, it burst, and, as in Ireland, streams of black peaty mud began to creep over the plain and to overwhelm the houses. It was the scene of a battle fought on November 24th, 1542, when the English Army under Sir Thomas Wharton defeated a Scottish Army of 10,000 men, who were either killed, drowned, or taken prisoners.
One of the unfortunates was unearthed in later times by peat-diggers, a man on his horse, who had sunk in the bog. The skeletons were well preserved, and the different parts of the armour easily recognisable. The disastrous result of this battle so affected James V, King of Scotland, that he is said to have died of a broken heart. Personally, we thought he deserved a greater punishment for the murder of Johnnie Armstrong and his followers twelve years before this event, for Armstrong was just the man who could and would have protected the Borders.
The River Esk was associated with Prince Charlie, who, with his soldiers, had to cross it when retreating before the army of the Duke of Cumberland. It was a difficult operation to carry out, as the usually shallow ford had been converted by the melting snow into a swift-flowing current four feet deep. The cavalry were drawn up in two lines across the stream, one to break the current and the other to prevent any of the foot-soldiers being washed away as they crossed the river between the two lines of cavalry. Lower down the river still were Prince Charlie and his officers, who were better mounted than the others. The foot-soldiers walked arm-in-arm, with their heads barely above the water, making the space between the cavalry lines to look as if it were set with paving-stones.
One poor soldier lost his hold on his comrade and was washed down the river, and would certainly have been drowned had not the Prince seized him by the hair, and, shouting in Gaelic for help, held on until both of them were rescued. After being hunted in the Highland glens for months with a ransom of £30,000 placed on his head - not a Celt betraying his whereabouts - by the help of Flora Macdonald Prince Charlie escaped to Brittany, and finally died at Rome in the arms of the Master of Nairn in 1788. In 1794 the Beds of Esk, a large sandbank where the tide meets the stream, presented an unusual spectacle, and a striking tribute to the dangerous character of the river especially when in flood. Collected together on the beach were a varied assortment of animals and human beings, consisting of no less than 9 black cattle, 3 horses, 1,040 sheep, 45 dogs, 180 hares, many smaller animals, and 3 human beings, all of whom had been cut off by the rapidly advancing tide.
Many other events have happened in this neighbourhood, one of the most sensational perhaps being the death of King Edward I, "The Hammer of the Scots," also nicknamed "Longshanks," from the length of his lower limbs, who died in 1307 on these marshes, requesting his effeminate son, the Prince of Wales, as he bade him farewell, not to bury his body until the Scots were utterly subdued, but this wish was prevented by the defeat at the Battle of Bannockburn.
We passed by some large peat-fields, and, crossing the River Sark, were once more in Scotland, notwithstanding the fact that we had so recently given three cheers as we passed out of it. We traversed the length of Springfield, a stone-built village of whitewashed, one-storied cottages, in which we could see handloom weavers at work, nearly fifty of them being employed in that industry. Formerly, we were told, the villagers carried on an illicit commerce in whisky and salt, on which there were heavy duties in England, but none on whisky in Scotland. The position here being so close to the borders, it was a very favourable one for smuggling both these articles into England, and we heard various exciting stories of the means they devised for eluding the vigilance of the excise officers. As we passed through the neighbourhood at a quick rate, the villagers turned out to have a look at us, evidently thinking something important was going on.
We saw many workers in the fields, who called out to us hinting about the nature of our journey, as we travelled towards Gretna Green. Some of the women went so far as to ask us if we wanted any company. The most conspicuous objects in the village were the church and the remarkably high gravestones standing like sentinels in the churchyard. Bonnie Prince Charlie arrived here on the afternoon of his birthday in 1745, stabling his horse in the church, while the vicar fled from what he described in the church book as "the Rebels." A small cottage - said to be the oldest in Gretna - is shown in which Prince Charlie slept. The village green appeared to us as if it had been fenced in and made into a garden, and a lady pointed out an ancient-looking building, which she said was the hall where the original "Blacksmith" who married the runaway couples resided, but which was now occupied by a gentleman from Edinburgh.
She explained the ceremony as being a very simple one, and performed expeditiously: often in the road, almost in sight of the pursuers of the runaway pair. All sorts and conditions of men and women were united there, some of them from far-off lands, black people amongst the rest, and she added with a sigh, "There's been many an unhappy job here," which we quite believed. There were other people beside the gentleman at the hall who made great profit by marrying people, both at Springfield and Gretna, and a list of operators, dated from the year 1720, included a soldier, shoemaker, weaver, poacher, innkeeper, toll-keeper, fisherman, pedlar, and other tradesmen. But the only blacksmith who acted in that capacity was a man named Joe Paisley, who died in 1811 aged seventy-nine years. His motto was, "Strike while the iron's hot," and he boasted that he could weld the parties together as firmly as he could one piece of iron to another.
Joe was a man of prodigious strength; he could bend a strong iron poker over his arm, and had frequently straightened an ordinary horse-shoe in its cold state with his hands. He could also squeeze the blood from the finger ends of any one who incurred his anger. He was an habitual drunkard, his greatest boast being that he had once been "teetotal" for a whole forenoon. When he died he was an overgrown mass of superfluous fat, weighing at least twenty-five stone. He was said to have earned quite a thousand pounds per year by his encroachments into the province of the cleric, and when on his deathbed he heard three carriages arrive, he consented to marry the three wealthy couples they contained, and found himself two or three hundred pounds richer than before. He also boasted that the marriage business had been in his family for quite one hundred years, and that his uncle, the old soldier Gordon, used to marry couples in the full uniform of his regiment, the British Grenadiers. He gave a form of certificate that the persons had declared themselves to be single, that they were married by the form of the Kirk of Scotland, and agreeably to that of the Church of England.
One of the most celebrated elopements to Gretna was that of the Earl of Westmorland and Miss Child, the daughter of the great London banker. The earl had asked for the hand of Sarah, and had been refused, the banker remarking, "Your blood is good enough, but my money is better," so the two young people made it up to elope and get married at Gretna Green. The earl made arrangements beforehand at the different stages where they had to change horses, but the banker, finding that his daughter had gone, pursued them in hot haste. All went well with the runaway couple until they arrived at Shap, in Westmorland, where they became aware they were being pursued. Here the earl hired all the available horses, so as to delay the irate banker's progress. The banker's "money was good," however, and the runaways were overtaken between Penrith and Carlisle. Hero the earl's "blood was good," for, taking deliberate aim at the little star of white on the forehead of the banker's leading horse, he fired successfully, and so delayed the pursuit that the fugitives arrived at Gretna first; and when the bride's father drove up, purple with rage and almost choking from sheer exasperation, he found them safely locked in what was called the bridal chamber! The affair created a great sensation in London, where the parties were well known, heavy bets being made as to which party would win the race. At the close of the market it stood at two to one on the earl and the girl.
In those days "postboys" were employed to drive the runaways from the hotels at Carlisle to Gretna, one of the most noted of whom was Jock Ainslie, on the staff of the "Bush Inn" at Carlisle. On one occasion he was commissioned to drive a runaway couple, who had just arrived by the coach from London, to Gretna, but when they got as far as Longtown they insisted they were tired and must stay for dinner before going forward, so they sent Jock back. He returned to Carlisle rather reluctantly, advising the runaways to lose no time. But when he got back to the "Bush Inn" he saw the mother of the lady whom he had left at Longtown drive up to the hotel door accompanied by a Bow Street officer. While they were changing horses, Jock went to the stable, saddled a horse, rode off to Longtown, and told his patrons what he had seen. They immediately hurried into a chaise, but had not gone far before they heard the carriage wheels of their pursuers. Jock Ainslie was quite equal to the occasion, and drove the chaise behind a thick bush, whence the pair had the satisfaction of seeing "Mamma" hurry past at full speed in pursuit. While she was continuing her search on the Annan Road, Jock quietly drove into Springfield and had his patrons "hitched up" without further delay, and doubtless was well rewarded for his services.
It seemed a strange thing that Lord Brougham, who brought in the famous Act, should himself have taken advantage of a "Scotch" marriage, and that two other Lord Chancellors, both celebrated men, should have acted in the same manner; Lord Eldon, the originator of the proverb "New brooms sweep clean" was married at Gretna, and Lord Erskine at Springfield. Marriage in this part of Scotland had not the same religious significance as elsewhere, being looked upon as more in the nature of a civil contract than a religious ceremony. The form of marriage was almost entirely a secular matter, and if a man and woman made a declaration before two witnesses that they were single persons and had resided twenty-one days in Scotland, they were considered as being man and wife. At the point where the Black Esk and White Esk Rivers join, a remarkable custom called "Handfasting" prevailed hundreds of years ago. Here, at a place known as Handfasting Hough, young men and women assembled in great numbers and made matrimonial engagements by joining hands. The marriage was only binding for one year, but if both parties were then satisfied, the "handfasting" was continued for life. King Robert II of Scotland, it was said, was one of those who was "hand-fasted" there.
We now left Gretna, still single, for Carlisle, nine and a half miles away, the distance to Glasgow in the opposite direction being eighty-five miles. We recrossed the River Sark, the boundary here between Scotland and England, the famous tollbar through which eloping couples had to hurry before they could reach Gretna Green. In those days gangs of men were ever on the watch to levy blackmail both on the pursued and their pursuers, and the heaviest purse generally won when the race was a close one. We saw a new hotel on the English side of the river which had been built by a Mr. Murray specially for the accommodation of the runaways while the "Blacksmith" was sent for to join them together on the other side of the boundary, but it had only just been finished when Lord Brougham's Act rendered it practically useless, and made it a bad speculation for Mr. Murray.
Passing through the tollgate we overtook a man with half a dozen fine greyhounds, in which, after our conversation with the owner of the racing dog at Canonbie Collieries, we had become quite interested; and we listened to his description of each as if we were the most ardent dog-fanciers on the road. One of the dogs had taken a first prize at Lytham and another a second at Stranraer. We passed through a country where there were immense beds of peat, hurrying through Todhilis without even calling at the "Highland Laddie" or the "Jovial Butcher" at Kingstown, and we crossed the River Eden as we entered the Border city of Carlisle, sometimes called "Merrie Carlisle," or, as the Romans had it, Lugovalum.
An elderly gentleman whom we overtook, and of whom we inquired concerning the objects of interest to be seen, appeared to take more interest in business matters than in those of an antiquarian nature, for he told us that "Carr's Biscuit Manufactory" with its machinery was a far finer sight than either the cathedral or the castle. Perhaps he was right, but our thoughts were more in the direction of bygone ages, with the exception of the letters that were waiting for us at the post office, and for which we did not forget to call. Merrie Carlisle, we were informed, was the chief residence of King Arthur, whose supposed ghostly abode and that of his famous knights, or one of them, we had passed earlier in the week. We were now told that near Penrith, a town to the south of Carlisle, there was still to be seen a large circle surrounded by a mound of earth called "Arthur's Round Table," and that in the churchyard were the giants' graves.
In the very old ballad on the "Lothely Lady" King Arthur was described as returning after a long journey to his Queen Guenevere, in a very sad mood:
And there came to him his cozen, Sir
Y' was a courteous Knight;
Why sigh you soe sore, Unkle Arthur, he said,
Or who hath done thee unright?
Arthur told him he had been taken prisoner by a fierce, gigantic chief, who had only released him and spared his life on condition that he would return and pay his ransom on New Year's Day, the ransom being that he must tell the giant "that which all women most desire." When the morning of the day arrived, Arthur was in great despair, for nearly all the women he had asked had given him different answers, but he was in honour bound to give himself up; and as he rode over the moors he saw a lady dressed in scarlet, sitting between an oak and a green holly. Glancing at her, Arthur saw the most hideous woman he had ever seen.
Then there as shold have stood her
Then there was sett her e'e,
The other was in her forhead fast,
The way that she might see.
Her nose was crooked, and turned outward,
Her mouth stood foul awry;
A worse formed lady than she was,
Never man saw with his eye.
King Arthur rode on and pretended not to see her, but she called him back and said she could help him with his ransom. The King answered, "If you can release me from my bond, lady, I shall be grateful, and you shall marry my nephew Gawain, with a gold ring." Then the lothely lady told Arthur that the thing all women desired was "to have their own way." The answer proved to be correct, and Arthur was released; but the "gentle Gawain" was now bound by his uncle's promise, and the "lothely lady" came to Carlisle and was wedded in the church to Gawain. When they were alone after the ceremony she told him she could be ugly by day and lovely by night, or vice versa, as he pleased, and for her sake, as she had to appear amongst all the fine ladies at the Court, he begged her to appear lovely by day. Then she begged him to kiss her, which with a shudder he did, and immediately the spell cast over her by a witch-step mother was broken, and Gawain beheld a young and lovely maiden. She was presented to Arthur and Guenevere, and was no longer a "lothely" lady. Then the ballad goes on:
King Arthur beheld the lady
That was soe faire and bright;
He thanked Christ in Trinity,
For Sir Gawain, that gentle Knight.
King Arthur's table was supposed to have been made round for the same reason that John o' Groat's was made octagonal - to avoid jealousy amongst his followers.
We visited the cathedral, which had suffered much in the wars, but in the fine east window some very old stained glass remained, while parts of the building exhibit the massive columns and circular arches typical of the Norman architect. Here, in the presence of King Edward I and his Parliament, Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, was excommunicated by the Papal Legate for the murder of the Red Comyn in the Church of the Minorite Friars in Dumfries. Here, too, Sir Walter Scott was married to Charlotte Carpenter in the presence of Jane Nicholson and John Bird on December 29th, 1797. Sir Walter was touring in the Lake District in July of that year, and while staying at Gilsland Wells he first saw a fascinating and elegant young lady, the daughter of Jean Charpentier of Lyons, then under the charge of the Rev. John Bird, a Minor Canon of Carlisle Cathedral. She was described, possibly by Sir Walter himself, as being rich in personal attractions, with a form fashioned as light as a fairy's, a complexion of the clearest and finest Italian brown, and a profusion of silken tresses as black as the raven's wing. A humorous savant wrote the following critique on this description of the beauty of Sir Walter's fiancée:
It is just possible the rascal had been reading some of the old Welsh stories collected in the twelfth century and known as the Mabinogion stories. In one Oliven is described so -
"More yellow was her head than the yellow of the broom, and her skin was whiter than the foam of the wave, and fairer were her hands and her fingers than the blossoms of the wood anemone amidst the sprays of the meadow fountain. The eye of the trained hawk, the glance of the three-mewed falcon was not brighter than hers. Her bosom was more snowed than the heart of the white swan; her cheek was redder than the reddest roses."
Or again, both of the love-stricken swains may have dipped, into the Arabian Nights, where imagination and picture painting runs riot.
There was no doubt that Scott fell deeply in love with her, so much so that a friend whom he visited in 1797 wrote that "Scott was 'sair' beside himself about Miss Carpenter and that they toasted her twenty times over and raved about her until one o'clock in the morning." Sir Walter seemed to have acted in his courtship on the old north-country adage, "Happy is the wooing that is not long a-doing," for he was married to her three months afterwards. The whole details are carefully preserved in local tradition. The River Irthing runs through Gilsland, and at the foot of the cliffs, which rise go feet above the river, were the Sulphur Wells. Near these, on the bank of the river, was a large stone named the "Popping Stone," where it was said that Sir Walter Scott "popped the question," and all who can get a piece of this stone, which, by the way, is of a very hard nature, and place it under the pillow at night, will dream of their future partners. The hotel people tell a good story of a gentleman, an entire stranger to the district, who went in company with a lady who knew the neighbourhood to see the famous stone. After walking for some distance they were passing a stone, when the gentleman asked, "Is this the popping stone?" "No," answered his fair companion, "but any large stone will do."
Near the stone there was a bush called the "Kissing Bush," where Sir Walter was said to have sealed the sweet compact when the temperature was only "two in the shade."
Oh happy love! where Love like this is
Oh heartfelt raptures! Bliss beyond compare!
I've paced much this weary mortal round,
If Heaven a draught of Heavenly pleasure spare,
One cordial in this melancholy vale,
'Tis when a youthful loving modest pair
In other's arms breathe out the tender tale
Beneath the "Kissing Bush" that scents the evening gale.
John Wesley visited Carlisle and preached there on several occasions. Rabbie Burns, too, after the publication of the first edition of his poems, visited it in 1786, patronising the "Malt Shovel Inn," where, as he wrote, "he made a night of it."
We paid a hurried visit to the castle on the summit of a sharp aclivity overlooking the River Eden, in whose dungeons many brave men have been incarcerated, where we saw a dripping-or dropping-stone worn smooth, it was said, by the tongues of thirsty prisoners to whom water was denied. The dropping was incessant, and we were told a story which seems the refinement of cruelty, in which the water was allowed to drop on a prisoner's head until it killed him. From the castle mound we could see the country for a long distance, and there must have been a good view of the Roman wall in ancient times, as the little church of Stanwix we had passed before crossing the River Eden was built on the site of a Roman station on Hadrian's Wall, which there crossed the river on low arches. The wall was intended to form the boundary between England and Scotland, and extended for seventy miles, from Bowness-on-the-Solway to Wallsend-on-the-Tyne, thus crossing the kingdom at its narrowest part.
We left Carlisle at a speed of four miles per hour, and within the hour we had our first near view of the Cumberland Hills, Scawfell being the most conspicuous. We decided to go to Maryport, however, as we heard that a great number of Roman altars had recently been discovered there. We were now once more in England, with its old-fashioned villages, and at eleven miles from Carlisle we reached Wigton, whose streets and footpaths were paved with boulders and cobble-stones; here we stayed for refreshments. A further eight-miles' walk, some portion of it in the dark, brought us to Aspatria, but in the interval we had passed Brayton Hall, the residence of Sir Wilfrid Lawson, Bart., M.P., the leader of the Legislative Temperance Movement for the abolition of the Liquor Traffic, and who, at a later date, was said to be the wittiest member of the House of Commons. As Chairman of the United Kingdom Alliance, that held its annual gatherings in the great Free Trade Hall in Manchester, a building capable of seating 5,000 persons, so great was his popularity that the immense building, including the large platform, was packed with people long before the proceedings were timed to begin, there being left only sufficient space for the chairman and the speakers. The interval before the arrival of these gentlemen was whiled away by the audience in singing well-known hymns and songs, and on one occasion, when Sankey and Moody's hymns had become popular, just as the people were singing vociferously the second line of the verse -
See the mighty host advancing,
Satan leading on!
Sir Wilfrid appeared on the platform followed by the speakers. His ready wit seized the humour of the situation, and it is said that he was so deeply affected by this amusing incident that it took him a whole week to recover! As a speaker he never failed to secure the attention and respect of his audience, and even of those in it who did not altogether agree with his principles. As an advocate of the total suppression of the Liquor Traffic, on every occasion his peroration was listened to with almost breathless attention, and concluded in an earnest and impressive manner which left a never-to-be-forgotten impression upon those who heard it, the almost magic spell by which he had held the vast audience being suddenly broken, as if by an electric shock, into thunders of applause when he recited his favourite verse. We can hear his voice still repeating the lines:
Slowly moves the march of ages,
Slowly grows the forest king,
Slowly to perfection cometh
Every great and glorious thing!
It was 8 p.m. as we entered Aspatria, where we found lodgings for the night at Isaac Tomlinson's. We expected Aspatria, from its name, to have had some connection with the Romans, but it appeared to have been so called after Aspatrick, or Gospatrick, the first Lord of Allerdale, and the church was dedicated to St. Kentigern. The Beacon Hill near the town was explored in 1799, and a vault discovered containing the skeleton of a gigantic warrior seven feet long, who had been buried with his sword, dagger, gold bracelet, horse's bit, and other accoutrements dating from the sixth century.
We had passed a small village near our road named Bromfield, which was said to possess strong claims to have been the site of the Battle of Brunanburch, fought in the year 937, when Anlaf, King of Dublin, formed a huge confederacy with the King of the Scots, the King of Strathclyde, and Owen, King of Cumbria, against Athelstan, King of England, by whom, however, they were signally defeated; but we afterwards came to a place a long way further south which also claimed to have been the site of that famous battle.
According to the following record, however, our native county of Chester appeared to have the strongest claim to that distinction:
It is not actually certain where the Battle of Brunanburch was fought, but it is by all historians said to have taken place in the Wirral Peninsula about the site where Bromborough is now situated. The Battle took place in 937 A.D., and it was here that Athelstan defeated the united forces of Scotland, Cumberland, and the British and Danish Chiefs, which is recorded in the Saxon Chronicle in a great war song. The name given in the Chronicle is Brunesburgh, but at the time of the Conquest it was called Brunburgh.
The fleet set sail from Dublin under the command of the Danish King Anlaf or Olaf to invade England. He had as his father-in-law, Constantine, King of the Scots, and many Welsh Chieftains supported him. They made good their landing but were completely routed by King Athelstan, Grandson of Alfred, as stated above.
It is more than probable that Anlaf sailing from Dublin would come over to England by the usual route to the havens opposite, near the great roadstead of the Dee estuary.
One must not forget that the sea has made great ravages upon this coast, destroying much ground between Wallasey and West Kirby, though compensating for it in some measure by depositing the material in the estuary itself in the shape of banks of mud and sand. Nor must one overlook the existence of the old forest of Wirral, which stretched, as the old saying ran -
From Blacon Point to Hilbre
Squirrels in search of food
Might then jump straight from tree to tree.
So thick the forest stood!
Chester was held by the king, for the warlike daughter of Alfred, Ethelfleda, had rebuilt it as a fort after it had been lying in waste for generations, and had established another at Runcofan, or Runcorn. It was natural, therefore, for Anlaf to avoid the waters protected by Athelstan's fleet and seek a landing perhaps at the old Roman landing-place of Dove Point, near Hoylake, or in the inlet now carved into the Timber Float at Birkenhead. Norse pirates had made a settlement here beforehand, as the place names, Kirby, Calby, Greasby, and Thorstaston, seem to indicate.
Bromborough would be just the spot for a strategist like Athelstan to meet the invader, trying to force a way between the forest and the marshes about Port Sunlight. This old port at Dove Point has been washed away, though many wonderful relics of Roman and earlier times have been found there, and are safely housed in the Chester Museum. Once again it was used for the embarking of the army under William III, when he sailed for Ireland to meet the late king, James II, in battle.
When Chester began to lose its trade through the silting up of its harbour, about the reigns of the Lancastrian kings, it became necessary to sail from lower down the estuary, Parkgate being in the best position and possessing a quay, while Dawpool was also frequently used. But a good port was necessary, because Ireland was frequently in rebellion, and troops were usually passed over the channel from this region.
Parkgate was most prosperous in the eighteenth century, but the construction of the great Irish road through Llangollen to Holyhead, and of a good coach road from Warrington to Liverpool, and the later development of railways caused its decline, until in our time it was only known for its shrimps and as the headquarters of a small coast fleet of fishing-boats.
It was to Dawport, or Darport, that Dean Swift usually sailed from Dublin at the beginning of the eighteenth century for his frequent visits to his brother wits, Addison and Steele. It was strange how many common sayings of to-day were his in origin such as, "There is none so blind as they that won't see," and, "A penny for your thoughts." Like many witty people, he must needs have his little joke. He was made Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin, in 1713, and was accustomed to preach there each Sunday afternoon, and was said to have preached on the same subject on sixteen consecutive occasions. On making his seventeenth appearance he asked the congregation if they knew what he was going to preach about. Most of them answered "Yes," while others replied "No." "Some of you say Yes," said the Dean, "and some of you say No. Those who know, tell those who don't know," and he immediately pronounced the benediction and left the pulpit!
At Chester he was accustomed to stay at the "Yacht Inn" in Watergate Street, the old street of Roman origin, which led westwards to the river beneath the River Gate. A dean is a dean, and his dignity must be preserved in a Cathedral city. Of a Dean of Chester of the early nineteenth century it is recounted that he would never go to service at the Cathedral except in stately dignity, within his stage coach with postillions and outriders, and would never even take his wife with him inside. Dean Swift probably announced his arrival to his brother of Chester as one king announces his approach to another king. But the story goes that a great cathedral function was on and no one came to welcome the great man. Perhaps there was a little excuse, for most likely they had suffered from his tongue. But, however much they might have suffered, they would have hurried to see him had they foreseen his revenge. And perhaps a poor dinner had contributed to the acidity of his mind when he scratched on one of the windows the following verse:
Rotten without and mouldering within.
This place and its clergy are all near akin!
It is a far cry from the battle of Brunanburch to Dean Swift, but the thought of Anlaf took us back to Ireland, and Ireland and Chester were closely connected in trade for many centuries.
So it was with thoughts of our homeland that we retired for the night after adding another long day's walk to our tour.
(Distance walked thirty-two and a half miles.)