STROUD. 23. Route. 177
(1 M. farther) Porlock (p. 175). This is the end of the finest part
of the coast walk, and the traveller will not lose much by complet¬
ing his journey to (6y2 M.) Minehead by coach (comp. p. 176).
Those, however, who prefer to continue walking, proceed N.E. from
Porlock to (1 M.) Bossington Beacon. They then follow the top of
the ridge, passing (1 M.) a cairn marking the highest part of North
Hill. About 2 M. farther on they may diverge to the left to visit
(i/2 M.) Greenaley, and make their way thence by the coast to
(l'/2 M.) Minehead; or they may proceed to (iy2 M-) Minehead
direct along the ridge. — Minehead, see p. 134.
23. From London to Gloucester and Hereford.
Valley of the Wye.
144 M. Great Western Railway in 31/4-51/4 hrs. (fares 24s., 15s., 12s.;
return 42s., 26s. 3d.); to Gloucester (114 M.) in 23/4-4'/2 hrs. (fares 19s., 12s.,
9s. 6d.; return 33s. 3d., 2is.).
From London (Paddington) to (77y4M.) Swindon, see R. 15. The
Gloucester line now runs towards the N.W. and passes (81 M.)
Purton (p. lvi) and (85y2 M.) Minety. —91 M. Kemble Junction.
From Kemble to Cirencester, 4'/2 M., railway in 10-15 min. (8 d., 5d.,
4d.). — Cirencester (King's Head; Fleece), pronounced Cisseter, the Corinium
of the Romans, is an ancient town with 7536 inhab., situated on the Churn,
amid the Cotswold Hills. 'Our town of Cicester in Gloucestershire' is
mentioned by Shakespeare (Richard II., v. 6). It possesses one of the
chief wool-markets of England, and is also a hunting-centre of some re¬
putation. The Parish Church, which has been carefully restored, is a
handsome Perp. building; it has a chapel with a beautiful fan-vaulted
roof, numerous brasses, and a tower 134 ft. high. The "Corinium Museum
contains a good collection of Roman antiquities found in the neighbour¬
hood. About 1 M. to the S.W. of the town is the well-known Royal
Agricultural College. A pleasant drive may be taken in Oakley Park,
belonging to Earl Bathurst, an ancestor of whom ('who plants like Bath-
urst') was frequently the host of Alexander Pope; Swift also writes
of his visits to Oakley. — About 3 M. to the W. is Thames Head, the reputed
source of the Thames. — A motor-omnibus runs from Cirencester to
(8 M.) Fairford (p. 197; Is. 6d.). — From Cirencester to Southampton and
to Cheltenham, see p. 85.
Another branch-line (fares Is. 2d., 9d., 7d.) runs from Kemble to (7 M.)
Tetbury (White Hart, R. or D. 2s. Gd.), 3lh M. to the S.W. of which is Weston-
birl House (Major Holford), containing valuable paintings, tapestry, etc.
We now enter Gloucestershire. Beyond the Sapperton Tunnel
(1 M.) we emerge in the picturesque valley of the Stroudwater. —
99 M. Brimscombe. —102M. Stroud (Imperial; George; Railway),
with (1901) 10,567 inhab., the centre of the W. of England broad¬
cloth manufacture, is picturesquely situated on the side of a hill.
Motor-omnibuses ply from Stroud to (3X/2M.; fare 6d.) Painswick (Falcon)
and to (2'/2 M.; 3d.) Chalford.
The Stroudwater Canal, which enters the Severn at Framilode, 8 M.
to the W., is joined at Stroud by the Thames and Severn Canal, which
begins at Lechlade (p. 197), 30 M. to the E., and thus connects the navi¬
gation of the Severn and the Thames. The latter canal pierces the Cots¬
wold Hills, at Sapperton, by means of a tunnel over 2 M. in length.
Beyond (105 M.) Stonehouse, which is also a station on the
Midland line (see p. 190), the line affords fine views to the left of
Baedeker's Great Britain. 6th Edit. 12