Bernard Burke.

A visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 2) online

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be the seat of the Mainwaiings, but in 1797
the family became extinct upon the death of
Sir Henry Mainwaring, and the estate passed
under his will to his uterine brother, Thomas
TVettenhall, Esq., the father of the present
proprietor, who in consequence assumed the
name and arms of Mainwaring.

There is at all times a more than sufficient
variety in the mode of spelling old names,
whether as applied to places or people, but



this of Mainwaring seems in its difference
to be Avithout a parallel. Lysons tells us
that in a manuscript volume drawn up by
Sir William Dugdale, he found enumerated
no less than one hundred and thirty-one ways
of writing it, every one of which has had a
place either in ancient or modern records.
In olden times Mesnilwarren would seem to
have been the more usual form of this name,
and it certainly carries with it a genuine
Norman character, which can hardly be mis-
taken. The first of this house on record was
so called, with the Christian addition of
Richard, and him we find in 1093 granting
certain tithes to Chester Abbey.

Prior to the time of Queen Elizabeth,
Peover Hall was a timber building. In her
reign this was pulled down by Sir Ralph
Mainwaring, and rebuilt of substantial brick,
in the form of a lofty and spacious edifice,
with large bay windows, and altogether mote
in consonance with the increasing habits of
luxury and comfort. A large portion, how-
ever, of this was altered and modernised by
the late owner, though quite enough remains
of the old building to give a perfect idea of
what it once was.

The present owner of the estate was
created a baronet in 1804. He married
Sophia, the youngest daughter of Sir Robert
Salusbury Cotton, Bart., and sister of Vis-
count Combermere.

PENKS, in the Hundred of Hemlingford,
Warwickshire, the property of Jeseph Web-
ster, Esq., J. P. for the counties of War-
wick and Derby, and at present the residence
of his second son, Baron Dickinson W^ebster,
Esq., J. P. for the co. of Warwick, is situated
six miles east of Birmingham, at a short dis-
tance from the pretty rural town of Sutton
Coldfield. The House was built early in the
time of James I., by one Pennes, from whom
collaterally descended W t illiam Penn, the
founder of the State of Pennsylvania. It sub-
sequently became the property of the Scotts,
of Great Barr, co. Stafford, from whom it was
purchased by the great-grandfather of the
present proprietor. The style of the archi-
tecture was originally Elizabethan, but this
character has been obscured, and well nigh
lost, in the numerous modern improvements-
Penns, situated in the secluded and fertile
valley which extends from Sutton Coldfield
to the River Tame, at Castle Bromwich,
stands upon the borders of that once pecu-
liarly wild district, the Forest of Arden.

The ornamental pleasure grounds attached
to the House are very prettily laid out, with
a large sheet of water, bordered by a grove,
which opens out into extensive fields.

The ancestors of the proprietor of Penns
were originally settled in the counties of



121



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



Cambridge, Essex, and Huntingdon, in which
shires Henry VIII. granted large estates to
John Webster.

RAMPSBECK LODGE, on the banks of Ulls-
water, the seat of Francis B. Atkinson,
Esq., was built in 1809, by Bethel Earnshaw
Stagg, Esq., from whose executors it was
purchased by the present proprietor in 18'^9.
It is in the square cottage style, with a
verandah on two sides, and is undoubtedly
in perfect harmony and keeping with the
character of the lovely scenery of the dis-
trict in which it is situated. The grounds
possess beautiful views of the lake, and of
Place Fell, Helvellyn, and other mountains,
and are belted and sheltered by fine trees.

RAINSCOMBE, formerly Ranscomb, Abbess
Woods, and Burnt Ohes, co. Wilts,the seat of
Francis Newman Rogers, Esq., son of the late
F. J. Newman Rogers, Esq. Tradition, confir-
med by one of the older names of this place, has
assigned the early possession of it to the Ab-
besses of the Priory of Wilton, by whom it is
said to have been used as a hunting-box. For
this purpose it was calculated by its close
proximity to the Marlborough Forest, and
the still wild and uninhabited district in its
neighbourhood. Nor must we be startled at
the idea of such an appendage to a convent
as a hunting-box. The abbesses were gene-
rally ladies of high Norman birth, and car-
ried with them into the convent nothing more
than a common custom of the high-born
ladies of their race, to whom falconry and
the other held sports were as familiar as to
the men themselves. In fact, with the ex-
ception of wandering minstrelsy, it seems to
have been the only amusement of which the
ruder ages were capable.

Upon the dissolution of monasteries, this
property passed to the Earls of Pembroke,
the grant by whom to the Pykes of Wick,
in the reign of Elizabeth, is still extant.
Many of this family still remain, being now,
as at that time, seated in the immediate
neighbourhood. By the marriage of an
heiress of the Pykes with a Mr. Rogers, of
Hedington, Wiltshire, this estate passed to
the present owners in the seventeenth cen-
tury.

Except the front, which is modern, the pre-
sent mansion at Rainscombe dates from the
beginning of the last century, the site of the
older building having been abandoned. It
was erected by Henry Rogers, Esq., one of
the partners in the firm of Child and Co.,
Temple Bar ; but as regards architecture, it
has no claims to notice. Its situation,
however, is beautiful, standing in a " combe,
of the range of the Marlborough Downs,"
that terminate abruptly to the east and south



of Rainscombe. To the south-west the fer-
tile vale of Pewsey opens before the mouth
of the " combe."

Upon these downs are many curious re-
mains of barrows or burial places, supposed
by some to be Danish, but which are much
more likely to have belonged to the ancient
Britons, being exactly similar to numerous
antiquities, that indisputably had such an
origin. Upon the same downs in the neigh-
bourhood of the town of Marlborough, are
several large groups of stones, called by the
people in those parts the Grey Wethers, from
the circumstance of their appearing at a dis-
tance very much like sheep lying down to
rest. They are all of considerable size, and
from their resemblance in nature to the
masses at Stonehenge, it has been inferred,
with great appearance of probability, that
these downs were the quarries for that an-
cient structure.

GUISACHAN, the seat of William Fraser,
Esq., of Culbokie, a Deputy Lieutenant for
Inverness-shire, is beautifully situated thirty-
two miles to the west of Inverness, and is
approached thence through the picturesque
districts of Strathglass and Glenurquhart.

The present mansion was completed in
1822, having been built by the late proprie-
tor. It is of modern architecture, and hardly
suited to the landscape around, which is of
the richest description of Highland scenery.
The country is much wooded with natural fir
and birch (some of the former of large di-
mensions, one measuring upwards of eighteen
feet in circumference, three feet from the
ground), and watered with lochs and moun-
tain streams. The pleasure grounds are laid
out with a great variety of forest and orna-
mental trees, and are enlivened with three
considerable falls of water, the highest of
which, having a perpendicular descent of
upwards of seventy feet, faces the mansion,
and is seen from it. Deer, grouse, and other
game, are here numerous. The scenery of
Glassa on this property, commencing about
six miles and extending to upwards of ten
west of Guisachan House, is exceedingly
wild. The falls of the Glomak, the highest
in Scotland (three hundred and fifty feet
high), and Mamsoul, one of the highest
mountains in North Britain, are in the vicin-
ity of this seat.

Fire has done much to obliterate the re-
cords of the family holding this property,
which originated in William (second son of
Thomas, fourth Lord Lovat), who was born
soon after the year 1500, and succeeded to
several estates in Inverness-shire, and amongst
them Guisachan. William was succeeded by
his son, Huistean, who also succeeded James,
of Foynes, his father's younger brother, in




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SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



125



the estates of Culbokie, Kinkel, &c, &c.
From Huistean is descended in a direct line,
the family of Fraser of Culbokie, whose
Gaelic patronymic is " MacHuistean." The
great grandfather of the present proprietor
joined in the insurrection of '45, and had
afterwards, in common with others, much
difficulty in eluding the pursuit of the Eng-
lish soldiery. Prince Charles wandered for
a time in the neighbourhood of Guisachan,
where many anecdotes of the devotion then
shown him, are still recorded by the people
of the country. Owing to the proprietor of
the day being an old man, and thus not
having joined the Prince, the estate escaped
confiscation, though the family residence
was burnt by the royal troops. A subse-
quent mansion was likewise destroyed by
fire in 183(3. The family held, at one time,
considerable possessions in Ross -shire, and
Inverness-shire, which have, however, passed
from them by sale at various periods.



BRANSBY HALL, Yorkshire, the seat of
Francis Cholmeley, Esq., a magistrate and
Deputy Lieutenant for the North Riding.
At an early period this property be-
longed to the Delarivers, from whom, in
the reign of Queen Elizabeth, it passed to
Poger Cholmeley, Esq., by marriage with a
daughter of that family.

The date of the old mansion is unknown,
but it was pulled down and rebuilt in 1745,
in the Italian style of architecture. The
interior stucco-work was by a SignorCurtizzi,
and it seems probable that the exterior was
by the same hand. Since that period some
slight changes have been made, that which
was originally the entrance -hall being con-
verted into a drawing-room with three
windows.

The House stands just upon the edge of the
great plain of York, or Vale of Mowbray,
tolerably well wooded and fertile, but its
most striking feature is the almost boundless
extent of the prospect. Immediately in front,
at the distance of twelve miles, York Minster
looms out upon the view like a ship of the
line upon the ocean; close behind the House
rise up the hills, which have lately been
named by geologists the Howardian, and
which are well clothed with timber. About
a quarter of a mile further down the
vale is seen Bransby High Wood, for an
extent of thirty or forty miles, five hundred
feet above the level of the sea, and three
hundred feet above the House. To the north
the country is yet more interesting ; it being
both hilly and well covered with fine trees.
The Hambleton Hills rise from one thousand
to eighteen hundred feet above the sea, while
in a semicircle of nine miles round High Wood
are situated Duncombe Park, Castle How-



ard, Grilling Castle, and Newburgh Park,
all very fine places, but the two former
hardly to be surpassed in England.

There is no park attached to this mansion,
but the grounds are pretty densely clothed
with trees, and are sufficiently picturesque to
gratify either the poet or the painter.

CHORLTON HALL, Cheshire, about a mile
and a-half to the north-west of Malpas, the
seat of Thomas Charlton Clutton, Esq., a
deputy-lieutenant of the county, and a magis •
trate for Cheshire and Shropshire. Of this
place we have no earlier records than about
1287, or the sixteenth year of Edward the
First's reign, at which time the township of
Chorlton belonged to Urian St. Pierre, as
Lord Paramount. Without attempting to
disentangle the confusion of rights which
meet us upon the breaking up of the barony,
we come at once to the firm grounds of
history, in the reign of Henry the Eighth,
when Owen Clutton, of Carden, settled here.
He was an ancestor of the gentleman now
owning the estate, and was the first, as it
appears, of the family that seated himself at
Chorlton.

The present mansion was erected in 1664;
but near it is still to be seen the old Hall,
though now occupied as a farm-house, a
half-timbered building finished with gables,
and originally surrounded by a moat. The
south-west front of the more modern house
is built of stone, exceedingly plain, and
belonging to no particular style of archi-
tecture. Its situation, however, is eminently
picturesque. Upon the north-east it is
sheltered by a rocky eminence called Overton
Scar. The most beautiful views commanded
from it are to the west and south, and these
extend uninterruptedly over a large tract till
the prospect is bounded by the noble moun-
tains of North Wales.

COLQUITE, in the county of Cornwall, three
miles to the north-west of Bodmin, the seat
of Deeble Peter Hoblyn, Esq., a magistrate
for Cornwall, of which county he was high
sheriff in 1839.

In the Doomsday Book the manor of
Colquite is written Chilcoite, which in the
old Cornish dialect signifies " the neck, or
narrow part of the wood." It originally
belonged to Sir Richard Serjeaux, but passed
in marriage with one of his coheiresses to
the Marneys. From them it came to the
Peters, the ancestors of the present owner,
who succeeding to the possessions of his
uncle Deeble, in 1836, assumed in compliance
with his last will, by royal warrant, the ad-
ditional surname of his grandmother, the
only daughter and heiress of Edward Hoblyn,
Esq.

The ancient mansion on this spot was



126



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



erected by John Lord Marney, who was raised
to the peerage in 1524. It was, however,
pulled down by the late proprietor, and a
new house built upon its site, a square and
well-constructed edifice, containing several
excellent apartments. If the architecture
be not otherwise remarkable, ample amends
are made by the picturesque beauty of much
of the surrounding scenery. The canal winds
along through a landscape abounding in rocks
and woods, and becomes upon its approach
to Dimmer Bridge more than ordinarily
beautiful.

The family of Peters has to boast of a
very ancient descent. For several centuries
they may be traced in old records residing
upon their estates in the counties of Corn-
wall and Devon.

LEASOWE CASTLE, Cheshire, about
twenty miles from the city of Chester, and
five miles from the modern town of Birken-
head, the seat of Major-General the Hon.
Sir Edward Cust, youngest brother of Earl
Brownlow, and a magistrate for the county.

This estate belonged in succession to the
Stanleys and Egertons of Oulton, until about
seventy years ago, when upon the death of
the last Squire of Oulton, it was sold, and
became the property of Mrs. Boode, the
mother of the Hon. Lady Cust, who made
large additions and improvements to the
original building. This is supposed to have
been built in 1593, by Ferdinando, Earl of
Derby, as a sporting residence at a time
when horse-racing was deemed a highly aris-
tocratic amusement. According to all
accounts the plain called the Leasowe, where-
in the House stands, is the earliest gentle-
man's race- course in the kingdom, a purpose
for which the ground is extremely well cal-
culated, being in part defended from the
incursions of the sea by a long range of
sand-hills, and in part by an embankment of
great solidity constructed under an Act of
Parliament, which was obtained for its
better protection in 1829. There it was that
the rash and ill-fated Duke of Monmouth
rode a race in 1G83, and having gained the
prize, presented it to the daughter of the
Mayor of Chester, to whom he had just
condescended to stand as godfather. The
ground continued to be used for the same
purpose until the end of the last century,
being at. all times visited by some of the
principal families of Wales, Lancashire, and
Shropshire.

The style of the older part of the building
is Elizabethan; the modern, built about forty
years ago, is castellated, and it may now be
described as a tall octagonal tower, with
square turrets, attached to its alternate faces,
which terminate in gables rising above the
centre of the building. One of the rooms



has been fitted up with the oak panelling
of the celebrated Star Chamber, brought
hither in 1834, from the old exchequer
building at Westminster. Its date is suffi-
ciently fixed as belonging to the time of
Henry VIII. by the intermixture of the
pomegranate with other Tudor emblems.
The chimney-piece, which presents a beauti-
ful specimen of art, is of the same age, but
we may assign a much earlier origin to the
Dosel, a screen of ornamental wood-work at
the back of the chair of state.

Amidst the ornaments of the hall, are
skulls and horns of the stag and wild bull,
the formertenants of a forest now submerged,
from which has also been obtained the
oak used for the library bookcases. Here
too are suspended banners of no little his-
torical interest ; that of the King of the
Belgians, from St. George's Chapel, Wind-
sor ; and another, the gift of the Duke of
Wellington, one of his French spoils at Paris
in 1815. This last is a tricolour flag with
silver and embroidery, inscribed " L'Empe-
reur Napoleon au Departement de la
Mayenne," being in fact his presentation to
the National Guards, at the Champs de Mars
of that year.

The gardens attached to the mansion run
down to the sea-shore, where 'an oak chair
stands, called Canute's chair. Upon it is in-
scribed this legend : — " Sea, come not hither,
nor wet the sole of my foot." Here also is
a large stone known by the name of " the
Mermaid's Stone " Trees are raised with
difficulty so close to the sea, but flowers
abound under the shelter of the huge embank-
ment already alluded to, which extends from
the castle westward nearly a mile and a half,
and which, being faced with stone, supplies a
warm cover. Perhaps, too, it should have
been mentioned that this great work was ac-
complished by the late Francis Giles, Esq.,
at the joint expense of the Corporation of
Liverpool and the landlords of the adjoining
level.

Although it cannot be denied that sea-air
is in general opposed to the growth of trees,
at least upon our bleak coast, yet it is hard
to reconcile the present scarcity of wood in
the vicinity of the Leasowe with the fact of
the immense forest that heretofore subsisted
upon this same spot, though now submerged.
And what do old traditions tell us both hi
rhyme and plain prose?

" From Blacon point to Hilbree

A squirrel may leap from tree to tree."

Or "a man might' have gone from tree-top
to tree-top between this and l>irkenhead," —
meaning of course, by a pardonable extrava-
gance of diction, that the trees grew so thickly
a man might walk upon them without incon-
venience.



SEATS OF GREAT BlUTAFX.



127



At one time the antiquaries could find
little matter of interest in this vicinity. Later
discoveries have shown that they were in
error. Ornaments and gold coins appertain-
ing to the time of Charles the Second have
at various periods been abundantly found
upon these shores. Still older corns — of the
time indeed of Edward the Third — have also
been brought to light in opening up the
marshy portions of the soil, together with
many metal ornaments of the same period,
At Wallasey a highly curious monumental
stone was dug up, much about the time of the
other discoveries. It bore the name of some
now unknown warrior, with his sword por-
trayed on the left side of a decorated cross,
which was placed above his coffin.

" Sic transit gloria mundi ! "

It may be much doubted from all past re-
sults whether a more diligent search might
not be rewarded with more profitable results.

BRADWALL HALL, about two miles from
Sandbach, in the palatinate county of Ches-
ter, the seat of John Latham, Esq. We
find no mention of Bradwall in the Dooms-
day Book, but it is well known to have been
a township dependent upon the barony of
Kinderton. Originally it was possessed by
the Venables, who, before 1287, granted it
out in two several moieties ; one to a younger
branch of their own house, and the other to
a family who took from the place itself the
name of Bradwall, a custom almost too com-
mon to deserve notice. These moieties at a
subsequent period became reunited, were
again divided, and again brought together in
a descendant of the family of Berington. A
daughter and heiress of this name conveyed
it by marriage to William Oldfield, whose
descendant, in 1719, sold it to Charles Ward,
of Dublin ; and he again in 1725 conveyed
it to John Jervis as a marriage portion with
his daughter, Grace.

The Hall is old, though of uncertain date.
It is in fact the ancient manor-house, consi-
derably enlarged and improved by its late
owner, Dr. Latham, who purchased the estate
from the executors of Jervis in 1802.

WILLINGTON HALL, Kelsall, Cheshire,
nearly three miles from Tarporley, the seat
of Lieutenant-Colonel William Tomkinson,
a magistrate, and deputy-lieutenant for the
county. The original name of this manor
was Willaton, if indeed it be not the same as
the Winfletone, which we find in Doomsday
Book allotted to Walter de Vernon, and
which afterwards fell to the Earls of Chester,
under whom it was held in equal shares by
the Staplefords and D'Espensers. At a



subsequent period the latter became pos-
sessed of the entire township, and conveyed
it to the Abbey and Convent of Stanlaw.
At the dissolution of monasteries by Henry
the Eighth, or shortly afterwards, the manor
passed to the Leghs of Booths. By Sir
John Legh it was granted to Sir John Done
of Uthington, and Sir John Warburton, and
from the Dones it passed into the Tarporley
estates, becoming divided between the Ar-
dens and the Egertons. From the family of
Arden it was purchased, in 1828, by the pre-
sent owner.

Willington Hall, as it now appears, was
built in 1829. It is in the Elizabethan style
of architecture, and is situated at the side of
the hills which slope from the forest of
Delamere, looking on Beeston Castle, and
the Peckforton and Welsh hills. Altogether,
the site does honour to the taste of the
monks, who generally chose for their places
of abode the healthiest and pleasantest parts
of the country.

POOLE HALL, in the county palatine of
Chester, parish of Acton, and about two
miles to the north-west of Nantwich, the seat
of Francis Elcocke Massey, Esq.

Poole at present is divided into three
manors, respectively known as Warpoole,
belonging to the Earl of Dysart ; Barratt
Poole, possessed by Sir Philip de Grey
Egerton, Bart. ; and White Poole, which
has for several centuries been in the family
of the present owner. In the Doomsday
Book we find, however, two distinct notices
of the township.

In the fifteenth century, Whitepoole was
possessed by a collateral line of the Cranages,
From them in process of time it passed to
Alexander Elcocke, of Stockport, by his
marriage with Elizabeth, daughter and
heiress of Thomas Cranage. In that family
it remained until Elizabeth, daughter and
heiress of Francis Elcocke, Esq., conveyed
it by marriage to the Masseys.

Poole Hall was built about the commence-
ment of the present century. The grounds
were laid out by Webb with much taste and
effect, who' seems to have tm - ned to account
every natural advantage of the country.

APPLETON HALL, Cheshire, nearly three
miles from Warrington, and eight from
Northwich, the seat of Thomas Lyon, Esq.,
a magistrate and Deputy Lieutenant for the
counties of Lancaster and Chester.

At the time of the Norman Conquest the
township of Appleton was in Osborn, son of
Tezzon, to whom the Boydells of Dodleston
trace their origin. In the commencement of
Henry the Third's reign we find it in the
hands of Geoffrey, son of Adam de Dutton,



128



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



from whom proceeded the Warburtons of
Arley. In 1699 it belonged, according to
Sir Peter Leycester, to these Warburtons,
and no small portion of it is now vested in
their representative, who is lord of the
manor. The Hall is a modern building, in
that indefinite style of architecture which,
for want of a more appropriate name, is
generally called the Anglo-Italian. Within
it is spacious and convenient, forming alto-
gether a comfortable family residence, in
which modern elegance has not been neglect-
ed. Trees, singly and in clusters, grow
around it in some abundance, and the pros-
pect at the back is terminated by a range of
hills. Through the middle of the property



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