Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Monsal Head - Ruskin's view

2201WyefromViaduct View of the Wye Valley from Monsal Viaduct

Mark (Beating the Bounds) comments:

"Ruskin allegedly said that the view of the Lune valley from the churchyard in Kirkby Lonsdale was the finest in the world, but had he been to Monsal Head?"

I'm afraid he had been to Monsal Head, Mark. And he thought very highly of it. Until the railway came. This is what he said:

"You think it a great triumph to make the sun draw brown landscapes for you. That was also a discovery, and some day may be needful. But the sun had drawn landscapes before for you, not in brown but in green and blue and all imaginable colours, here in England. Not one of you ever looked at them, not one of you cares for the loss of them when you have shut the sun out with smoke so that he can draw nothing more, except brown blots through a hole in a box. There was a rocky valley between Buxton and Bakewell, once upon a time as divine as the Vale of Tempe; you might have seen the Gods there morning and evening - Apollo and all the sweet muses of the light - walking in fair procession on the lawns of it, and to and fro among the pinnacles of its crags. You cared neither for Gods nor cash (which you did not know the way to get) you thought you could get it by what the Times calls 'Railway Enterprise'. You enterprised a railroad through the valley - you blasted its rocks away, heaped thousands of tons of shale into its lovely stream. The valley is gone and the Gods with it, and now every fool in Buxton can be at Bakewell in half an hour and every fool in Bakewell at Buxton; which you think a lucrative process of exchange - you fools everywhere."

I'm glad I photographed that information board! I enjoyed transcribing it. There's food for thought, perhaps, with some present day analogies. It has to be said that time has largely healed the scars of the railroad, apart from the impressive viaduct.

Our next series of postings will be a mixture of 'Blackberries' and remote computer transmissions when we have access to them, so there won't be many images for ten days or so. But there will be a new 'label', and perhaps, temporarily, a few different readers / viewers. So we welcome any newcomers and hope we will be able to transmit on the 'big day' (Monday).

Before we go, we would wish Phil at Doodlecat our very best wishes and hope his imminent traumatic experience will cure his ailment, and we wish all those in the TGO Challenge hat at the weekend every success in being pulled out of that hat. We are also conscious of a number of other people who are currently hampered by health and other issues, and we wish you well. Finally, we trust Gayle and Mick will make it safely to Fort William - well done in anticipation.

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