Bolton Priory; The Strid
Photographer: Sedgfield, W. Russell
Medium: Photographic print
“Crossing the river by large solid stepping-stones, we made our way up that most enchanting valley, the charms of which have for years drawn thousands of visitors, and since the day of railroads hundreds of thousands. Through woodland shades, through wildernesses of rock and heather, and ferns and mosses, and ever and anon coming to a fine view of the dark rapid stream below us, or the airy hills around, we made our way to the famous Strid. The reader is familiar with the story of the young lord of Egremont, who ranging the woods of Bolton, with his greyhounds and huntsmen, and coming to the narrow passage where the river pent up rages through in fury, leaped, but having a greyhound in a leash, and she a puppy at her heels, the dog hung back, and he was plucked backward, fell in and perished. Both Rogers and Wordsworth have celebrated this legend…When the huntsman stood before Lady Alice, his mother, he asked her ‘What is good for a bootless beane?’ (What avails when prayer is useless?) And the mother, instinctively reading his woe-struck countenance, replied, ‘Endless sorrow!’ And on hearing the fatal truth she became the second foundress of Bolton, saying, ‘Many a poor man shall be my heir.’”
Excerpt from “Bolton Priory”, in ‘Ruined Abbeys and Castles of Great Britain’ by William and Mary Howitt.