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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1862

Wednesday 13th

13 August 1862

Friday 15th

15 August 1862
14 August 1862
Thursday 14th



I could not find a bath in this town, though it is ancient enough to have been a walled city, and though it lies on the edge of a couple of streams. After breakfast we took a carriage and drove to Raglan Castle, a distance of eight miles. This is a ruin, since 1646 when it met with its end from the hand of the republican general Fairfax. It is however yet quiet complete, and is by far the most picturesque thing I have yet met with. The ivy which clusters so rank over all the stone walls give an indescribable softness to the otherwise hard outline of the stone. It was one of the strongest fortifications in Great Britain, and was the last surrendered by the royalists. It belonged to the Marquis of Worcester who defended it at eighty five years of age. It is now only an interesting memorial of a former age and a wholly different state of society. It is more exquisite as a picture than it ever could have been as a reality. I felt richly compensated for the drive, which is not always the case in such expeditions. It is much finer than Kenilworth which we saw last year. Having accomplished this, we proceeded on our next stage to Chepstow. And now we selected a new mode of conveyance. A pleasure boat with two oarsmen carried our party down the Wye for twenty two miles. The day was very fine; warm and clear without being hot. And the scenery along both banks gave us abundance of interest in its variety. There is no grandeur like that of our norther river and lakes, but there is exquisite rural beauty. A few riches before reaching Chepstow, we stopped to look at Tintern Abby which lies close by the water side. This is reputed the most picturesque ruin in the kingdom. It is certainly very beautiful, though the effect of it from the river is much marred by the crowd of poor houses that has gathered in the way. We spent a pleasant hour within its walls and then hurried on to Chepstow, which we safely reached in time for a late dinner. On the whole, a most interesting day.173

Cite web page as:

Charles Francis Adams, Sr., [date of entry], diary, in Charles Francis Adams, Sr.: The Civil War Diaries (Unverified Transcriptions). Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2015. http://www.masshist.org/publications/cfa-civil-war/view?id=DCA62d226