The Piercefield Estate (the house is now a ruin) became an unmissable attraction on the Wye Tour. Once in Chepstow tourists would walk back to take in this attraction.

Mr Morris’s improvements at Persfield…. are generally thought as much worth a traveller’s notice, as anything on the banks of the Wye.”

William Gilpin – Observations 1770 / 1780
“Piercefield House, from the gardens’  1817
John Skinner ms., Vol. XIV.  Journal of sixteen excursions to various places in Somerset, etc,
© British Library Board, Add MS 33646, f. 159, image 22

You can download a walk below that takes you across the Piercefield Estate, retracing paths laid out by Valentine Morris in the eighteenth century. Morris’s picturesque walks had viewpoints and features along the route and were extremely popular with tourists. Many of Morris’s features remain, including on this walk, ‘The Grotto’ a semi-circular cave decorated with stones and cinders, ‘The Platform’ and ‘The Alcove’. You can continue beyond these sites to Wyndcliff on the Wye Valley Walk.

One of the sweetest vallies ever beheld lies immediately beneath, but at such a depth, that every object is diminished, and appears in miniature. This valley consists of a complete farm, of about forty inclosures, grass and corn fields, intersected by hedges, with many trees; it is a peninsula almost surrounded by the river, which winds directly beneath, in a manner wonderfully romantic; and what makes the whole picture perfect, is its being surrounded by vast rocks and precipices, covered with thick wood down to the very water’s edge.

Arthur Young A six week tour through the Southern Counties of England and Wales, 1768

The town and castle of Chepstow appear from one part of the bench, rising from the romantic steps of wood, in a manner too beautiful to express.

Arthur Young A six week tour through the Southern Counties of England and Wales, 1768
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