New Weir (better known today as Symonds Yat West) was described by Gilpin as “the second grand scene on the Wye.” Here the industrial landscape of a small forge contrasted with the more peaceful fishing industry on the river itself, with fisher folk often seen in coracles below the water fall (a further attraction for the Eighteenth Century tourists).
It is a chasm between two high ranges of hill, which rise almost perpendicularly from the water … In th midst of all this gloom is an iron forge, covered with a black cloud of smoke, and surrounded with half burned ore, with coal and with cinders…Sir Thomas Whately – Observations on Modern Gardening 1770
A kind of fishing-boat is used in this part of the river, which is curious. It is constructed of waxed canvas stretched over a few slight ribs and holds only a single man. It is called coricle.William Gilpin – Observations … 1770 / 1782