The Wye Tour owes its origins to the vicar of Ross on Wye in the 1740s who entertained his friends by taking them down the river in a pleasure boat.

By the 1770s the tour was well established with popular stops including the ruins of Tintern Abbey, castles on cliff tops and the wonders of the Piercefield walks. William Gilpin published ‘Observations on the River Wye' in 1783 where he laid down rules for assessing the picturesque quality of the views encountered on the trip down the river. Anne Cooper the author of this journal, made her trip down the Wye just three years after Gilpin’s book. Writing a journal or making sketches, or even a combination, was part of the experience.


Eric Wiles, Chepstow.

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