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

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1852, by Commander Cracroft, R.N. The
east window consists of three compartments,
filled with stained glass. The centre one
represents our Saviour, St. Peter being on
his right and St. Paul on his left hand. The
Rev. Edwin Jarvis is vicar of the parish.

Few lordships have under-gone greater
changes in the condition of its agriculture
since the commencement of the century Mian
this has. Langhorn, the translator of Plu-
tarch, who was the friend, and had been the
tutor of Robert Wilson Cracroft, Esq.
(uncle to the present proprietor), and who
eventually married his eldest sister, Anne,
in an ode addressed to his friend (see Works
of the British Poets, by Thomas Park, F.R.S.
London, 1808, vol. 71), thus alludes to the
Hackthorn of that day ;

"Nor yet the days consumed in Haekthorn's vale,
That lonely on the heath's wild bosom lies,
Should we with stem severity bewail
And all the lighter hours of life despise."

The aspect of the heath has changed since
Langhorn's time. Hackthorn no longer lies
lonely on the " heath's wild bosom," but its
lofty church tower is a prominent feature in
a highly cultivated district, intersected with
green hedgerows, dotted about with com-
fortable farm-houses, and growing rich crops
of corn, where, in the days of the second
Charles, the sportsman rode forth to hunt
the bustard (see Macaulay's History of
England, vol. 1, page 313).

But when the poet wrote (in 1775) the
heath extended far and wide in one unbroken
waste, covered with furze, and remained in
the same state as in Evelyn's time, a century
earlier, who records in his Diary, "We pass
the Humber, an arm of the sea of about two
leagues in breadth, and come to Barton, the
first town in that part of Lincolnshire. All
marsh ground till we came to Brigg, famous
for its liquorice plantations, and then had
brave pleasant riding to Lincoln, much re-
sembling Salisbury Plain."

Langhorn's lines to Miss Cracroft, in 1761,

wrapped round a nosegay of violets (see vol.

72 of the British Poets) are worthy of

insertion.

" Dear object of my late and early prayer,
Source of my joy and solace of my care,
Whose gentle friendship such a charm can give
As makes me wish and tells me how to live,
To thee the Muse with grateful hand would bring
These first fair children of the doubtful Spring.



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



15



Oh, may tliey fearless of a varying sky,

Bloom on thy breast, and smile beneath thine eye,

In fairer lights their vivid blue display,

And sweeter breathe their little lives away."

Hackthorn lies six miles north of Lincoln,
and one mile and a half to the east of the
old Roman high dyke, which runs the whole
length of the county from south to north, in
an undeviatingand still almost unbroken line.

NEWLAND PARK, near Wakefield, York-
shire, the seat of Sir Charles Dodsworth,
Bart. In olden times this was a preceptory
of the Knights Hospitallers, or Knights of
St. John, and had dependent upon it a
monastic foundation, within half a mile of
Ribchester, styled by Dugdale the " Hospi-
tals sub Langrigh," of which latter little else
is known. It has been said that a Saxon
family was settled here before the Conquest,
which considering all the advantages of the
situation, seems probable enough, though it
may be difficult to find sufficient authority
to confirm the assertion.

The old chapel was pulled down by the
late Sir John Sylvester Smith, and a hand-
some dining-room erected on its site, to the
great regret, no doubt, of all true antiquaries,
but much to the comfort and convenience of
the owner.

DARLEY ABBEY, at one time called Derley,
in the county of Derby, about a mile and
a-half from the provincial capital, the seat
of Samuel Evans, Esq.

In early days, not far from the site of the
present mansion, was a priory of Austin
canons, translated hither from St. Helen's,
at Derby, the monks being thirteen in num-
ber, besides their abbot. Upon the dissolu-
tion of monasteries, this establishment of
course shared the general doom of forfeiture,
and was surrendered— we may suppose how
willingly — to the spoiler. Hereupon Robert
Sacheverell, who took possession of the site
as keeper of the abbey estates for the crown,
purchased the materials of the pile con-
demned to destruction. The church, with
its aisles 4 the chapel, the altars, candlesticks,
organ — nay even the grave-stones, with
the metal on them — all were sold and re-
moved, and a grant of the desecrated spot
was made to Sir William West.

At a subsequent period, it was bought by
John Bullock, when the abbey-house was
repaired ; and about the middle of the seven-
teenth century it passed by sale into the
hands of Thomas Goodbehere. In 1709 it
was again sold, and this time to William
Wolley, who built the Hall on the banks of
the River Derwent. It was next possessed
by Mr. Heath, a banker, upon thesaleof whose
estate, the Hall, with the surrounding lands,
became the property of Robert Holden,
Esq., and by him it was bequeathed to a
relation of the same Christian and surname.



From him the House was bought, about
seventeen years ago, by Samuel Evans, Esq.,
an Act of Parliament having been previously
obtained to sanction the sale. This,
together with a quantity of very fertile
ground adjacent, Mr. S. Evans possesses in
his own right, but he is also half-owner, with
his brother, William Evans, Esq., M.P., of
Allestree Hall, of about two hundred more
contiguous acres, besides the entire village
of Darley Abbey, a cotton -mill, a paper-
mill, and a corn-mill, the two former of which
are worked by five hundred and fifty hands
in their immediate employ. In addition to
this, the brothers have the joint presentation
to the small living of Darley Abbey Church,
which was erected at the sole expense of the
late Mr. Walter Evans. The mills above-
mentioned, the cotton, paper, and lead-mills,
occupy the site of the old abbey, and have
converted a small village into a town that
every day becomes more flourishing and
more important.

The House was erected about the year
1700, or perhaps even earlier ; but it was
enlarged in 1785, and is now a handsome
and commodious, though plain brick build-
ing. It stands on a pleasant eminence north
of the village, and is surrounded with plea-
sure grounds and plantations. The gardens
and shrubberies, which are laid out with
much taste, cover from five to six acres of
good and fruitful soil, well adapted to all the
purposes of horticulture.

PYNES, Devonshire, the seat of Sir Staf-
ford Henry Northcote, Bart., C.B. The
name of the place was derived from the
family of Pyn or Pine ; one of whom, Sir
Herbert de Pine, settled here about the time
of King John. The manor first passed by
heiresses into the family of Larder, and
afterwards into that of Coplestone. From
the Coplestones it was purchased by Hugh
Stafford, Esq., in the time of Charles the
Second. The House was rebuilt by his son.
Hugh Stafford, whose daughter and heiress,
Bridget, married Sir Henry Northcote, Bart.,
of Hayne. Since that time Pynes has been
the seat of the Northcotes, and Hayne has
been pulled down.

The House is in the style of building
which we find prevailing in the days of
Queen Anne, a sort of English version of
Italian and Roman architecture ; but it is
now undergoing alterations und improve-
ment. It stands upon a terrace overlooking
the River Exe, at a short distance above its
junction with the Geedy, a pretty stream,
but of no great width, which has given its
name to the town of Crediton.

The grounds attached to the mansion are
extensively planted, and have a pleasing and
picturesque aspect, art having in this respect



16



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



done much to assist nature. The surround-
ing country, like almost the whole of Devon-
shire, is varied and beautiful.



EASTER MONIACK, in the county of In-
verness, the seat of James Baillie Fraser,
Esq.

Though for many generations the Frasers
have lived at Easter Moniack, yet the family
designation is Fraser of Reelick, from an old
house of that name in the vicinity. They
originally came into the country with Sir
Simon Fraser, of Oliver Castle, in the time
of Robert Bruce, when they were sent to
drive out the rebellious Lord Bisset and his
clan ; and it was probably in consequence of
this or some similar service that they obtained
a grant of Reelick from the crown. Fi om that
period up to the present day, the estate has
continued in the same family without inter-
ruption.

There are many traditions connected with
this place, but none perhaps of sufficient
interest for general notice ; nor has the name
of Reelick even been satisfactorily explained.
There was, indeed a cairn, or ancient burial
ground in the gardens, the remains of which
are still extant, that is supposed to bear some
reference to the name in question ; but even
allowing this to be so, it leads to nothing,

The mansion of Moniack was built about
a hundred years ago by James Fraser, Esq.,
the grandfather of the present owner, who
a short time since made several additions and
improvements to the original structure. The
principal of these was a new front, of red
stone, with a portico in the Grecian style of
architecture, the whole now forming a hand-
some pile, with a lawn and garden about it.

In the grounds is a beautiful and pecu-
liarly romantic glen, through which pours a
rapid stream, while in its whole extent it is
covered with woods of great variety and
beauty.



RADWAY GRANGE, co. Warwick, the seat
of Lieut-Col. Miller, C.B., lies at the foot of
Edgehill, close to the turnpike road between
Kineton and Banbury, from which latter
place it is about nine miles distant

The property connected with it fell into
the hands of the monks of Stoneleigh soon
after the Conquest, and remained in their pos-
session until the dissolution of the religious
establishments.* It was then granted by
Henry VIII. to Sir Francis Goodyere, but
it was sold soon afterwards in pursuance of
his will, and passed through several different
families during the next century and a-half

* See Dugdale's Warwickshire — Radway.



until it was purchased, in 1712, by the
Miller family, its present possessors.

It is not known by whom or at what
precise period the house was built ; but to
judge from the style of architecture, it was
probably erected in the reign of James I.,
or of Charles I., on or near the site of an
old monastic building.

Originally it was a plain, substantial house,
built of sandstone, with gable ends and
mullioned windows; but its appearance was
considerably altered in the last century,
when an addition was made to it at the east
end, and the south front enriched with
ornaments in the Tudor style.

The grounds are well wooded and ex-
tremely pretty; on the south-east side the
hill forms part of a natural amphitheatre,
and above the trees rises a Gothic tower,
from which there is a very extensive view.
The ground immediately below is interesting
as the place where Charles first drew his
sword against the rebellious Parliament.
The tower was built to commemorate the
battle ; several of the adjacent spots have
received names from circumstances con-
nected with it, and a table, on which the
king is said to have breakfasted (or dined),
is also still preserved at a cottage in the
village.

The tower stands at the entrance of the
grounds from the turnpike road, and marks
the place where the king's centre rested.

In tire room at the top are some cuirasses,
swords, and cannon balls, which were
brought by Col. Miller on his return home
after the battle of Waterloo ; there are also
spurs, and a few such relics from the field of
Edgehill. The room is decorated with
armorial bearings. On the top of the roof
are the arms of England (ancient), below are
those of Edward the Confessor and the
Heptarchy, and round the cornice are sixteen
shields, with the bearings of the noblemen
and gentlemen who possessed property in
the a 'jacent country at the time the tower
was completed. The shields are so arranged
as to point out as nearly as possible the
directions in which the different estates lay.

Scattered about the tower are some
fragments of ruins, constructed to represent
the relics of a castle ; they, as well as the
tower and the exterior of the House, were
designed with considerable skill (about the
year 1750) by Mr. Sanderson Miller, who
then enjoyed the property. Mr. Miller was
a man of great taste, especially in archi-
tecture, and was fortunate enough to include
among his friends the first men of the day.
Fitt, the great Earl of Chatham, planted
three trees in front of the house, as a
memorial of his friendship. Tradition says
that the description of Squire Allworthy
and his mansion was founded on Radway



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



17



Grange and its possessor, and that on the
spot Fielding read out to a circle of friends
the manuscript of Torn Jones previous to its
publication.

MEEEVALE, the seat of William Stratford
Dugdale, Esq., who was for many years Mem-
ber for North Warwickshire^ situated on the
borders of the counties of Warwick and Lei-
cester, about a mile from the town of Ather-
stone. The house is a handsome structure in
the Elizabethan style, on the summit of a lofty
hill, commanding a fine view over Bosworth
Field and the counties of Leicester and
Stafford. The entrance is to the west,
and on the south and east is a beau-
tiful suite of spacious apartments, with high
Elizabethan and bay windows, opening on a
terraced garden in the Italian style, facing the
park. On the N.E. corner of the mansion,
is a lofty tower, which is seen to great ad-
vantage from all the surrounding neigh-
bourhood. The park, beautifully undulated
with hill and dale, is adorned with some of
the finest oaks in the kingdom. It is also well
stocked with deer, and has a noble lake. To
the north of the mansion, at about half a
mile's distance, in the grounds, stands the
parish church, formerly the pilgrims' chapel,
belonging to the monastery. It contains some
fine old stained-glass windows, and monu-
mental figures of the Ferrers family, the foun-
ders of the Abbey.

The only remains of the monastic buildings
are the walls of the Refectory and a part of the
south wall of the conventual church, the foun-
dations of which have been lately excavated
under the directions of the Rev. William Gres-
ley of Lichfield, and the distinguished archi-
tect, Henry Clutton, Esq. This church is
found to have been two hundred and twenty
feet in length.

The Abbey passed at the dissolution
into the family of Devereux, and afterwards to
the Stratfords, in whom it continued till
the heiress conveyed it in marriage to the
Dugdales, of Blythe Hall, lineal descendants
of the celebrated Sir William Dugdale.

SUNDORNE CASTLE, Shropshire, about
four miles from Shrewsbury, the seat of
Andrew William Corbet, Esq., the represen-
tative of a distinguished branch of the great
house of Corbet.

This mansion, of Gothic architecture, was
built in 1740, but the original structure
has undergone considerable alterations, and
now presents a handsome exterior with battle-
ments and turrets in the ancient style. The
entrance hall is unusually spacious, and con-
tains two chimney-pieces, while the grand
staircase is of oak, elaborately carved. The
library is particularly deserving of notice ;

VOL. II.



it is fifty-two feet long, with a large square
recess, the window of which is mullioned, and
filled with stained glass, very ancient and
extremely beautiful. A door at the further
end leads through a cloister to the domestic
chapel. In the ante-drawing room is a curi-
ous glass with groups of flowers, painted by
a Flemish artist ; this is placed over a table,
inlaid with one hundred and twenty-eight
different specimens of foreign marbles.

The drawing-room is the same length, but
not so wide. At one end of it, upon a
pedestal, stands a marble statue of Venus,
brought from Rome, and said to be one of
the finest specimens of art in England. The
celebrated sculptor, Nollekins, offered a
thousand pounds for it — a splendid tribute to
the excellence of the figure, and no indifferent
proof of the sculptor's love for his profession.

The ruins of Haugmond Abbey are to be
seen here, the fragments, which time and ac-
cident have left, being now carefully preserved
from further injury, and in truth such care
had become indispensable. The ruin stands
upon a rising ground, backed by a forest of con-
siderable extent, and having a noble view over
the great plain of Shrewsbury, with the town
and castle, almost encircled by the Severn.

About two miles from the house is a spot
called Battle Field, the site of the great
conflict of Shrewsbury fought here, in
which Earl Douglas was taken prisoner by
the fall of his horse as he hurried down the
descent of Haugmond Hill. A church has
been built to commemorate the battle on the
very ground where it was so hotly contested.

Many valuable paintings adorn the walls of
Sundorne Castle ; the most striking are by
Salvator Rosa, Rembrandt, Cuyp, Vander-
veldc, Rubens, Spagnoletti, Parmegiano,
Guido, Raphael, Wouvermanns, and many
others inferior only to those great masters.

SANDHILL PARK, Somersetshire, near
Taunton Dean, the seat of Sir John Hesketh
Lethbridge, Bart. This mansion was built
about the year 1720, by John Periam, Esq.,
since which time it has remained without
interruption in the families of Periam and
Lethbridge. Originally it was a Dutch
palace, with figures on the balustrade about
the roof, and a long wide avenue leading up
to it. The late owner, upon coming into
possession of the property in 1815, modern-
ised and remodeled the exterior, so that
it now appears as a Grecian edifice with a
portico and two wings. The order is Doric.
Many of the rooms are of considerable size.
The library is fifty feet in length, the dining-
room fifty-two, and both are extremely
handsome. There is also a music hall, with
an organ by Abbey, and a staircase going
round it ; the effect of the whole being much
increased by stained-glass windows, their

D



18



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



chequered light falling upon the surrounding
objects.

The mansion stands upon a beautifully
wooded spot, commanding noble views of the
Deane, bounded on the north-east by the
Quantock Hills, and to the south by the
Blackdown Hills. The estate is partly
situated in two parishes — that of Bishop's
Lydiard, and that of Ash Priors. In the
former part of the domain is a place called
Conquest, a name which has given rise to
much antiquarian discussion. In 1606 a large
urn was dug up here full of coins, belonging
to the reigns of several Roman emperors,
from which circumstance as well as from some
other discoveries near the same spot, it has
been inferred the Romans completed in some
part of this valley so much of the Conquest
of our island as is now called England. The
more general belief is that the name of Con-
quest was occasioned by a victory of the
great Alfred's over the Danes ; at the time
when he was living secluded from notice, he
is said to have possessed this land, which he
afterwards gave to a learned monk who had
been tutor to his son.

Scattered throughout the different rooms
of Sandhill is an excellent collection of
paintings, by old as well as modern masters,
seen thus perhaps to more advantage than if
accumulated in a picture gallery. The nam-
ing the various painters is of itself a sufficient,
if not the best, criticism upon works of such
superior merit. Amongst them will be found
Guido, Salvator Rosa, Vandervelt, Poussin,
Cuyp, Canaletti, Snyders, Timotio D'Urbino,
and portraits by Rembrandt, Sir Antonio
More, Vandyke, Sir Joshua Reynolds,
Gainsborough, Sir Thos. Lawrence, and
others. Not the least curious are the portraits
of Lord Chancellor Bacon and Christopher
Columbus. Attached to the western wing
is a conservatory, that leads to the garden
and pleasure grounds. The view from the
portico extends for a distance of five-and-
thirty miles, as far as Maiden Newton Gap,
in Dorsetshire. In the park, which is full of
trees of various kinds, are some splendid
sheets of water, nature's own mirrors, that
lend an uncommon brilliance to the whole
scene. " Magna componere parvis," they
have the same effect, only upon a grand
scale, in wood and meadow, that their arti-
ficial rivals have in the drawing-room.

For a series of years this district was
possessed by the Bishop of Bath and Wells,
the last churchman who held it being Bishop
Barlow, who in 1548 exchanged it with
Edward VI. for other lands. It subse-
quently passed by grant and purchase to
Legge, Lord Stawell. From him it was
conveyed to John Periam, Esq., and thus de-
scended to his nephew, the first Sir John
Lethbridge, Bart., who had fifty years'



occupation of these estates, and died in
December, 1815. The parish church of
Bishop's Lydiard is one of the handsomest in
the county ; its beautiful tower and eight
bells, as well as its fine old organ, and
grand old family monuments, are much ad-
mired.

The communion table and screen of the
date of the tower — Henry VIII. — are also
worthy of notice.

GKOTTOHHALL, Saddleworth, Yorkshire,
the seat of Edmund Buckley, Esq. of Ard-
wick, Manchester, late M.P. for Newcastle-
under-Lyme, whose ancestors have been
seated at Grotton for several centuries.

This old English manor house, with its
gable ends, its snug ancient porch, and its
heraldic devices, is very picturesque. At one
end in the highest portion of the building
immediately above the quaint-looking but
cheerful windows, is the family crest of the
Buckleys ; in the stone work, and directly
over the porch, may still be seen the initials
J. B. and the date 1656, indicating that John
Buckley rebuilt part of the house in that
year. The appearance of the whole brings
us back, with a very slight stretch of the
imagination, to the good old times of English
hospitality and Christmas revel. The build-
ings of our ancestors were completely the
reflection of the general habits of the people,
and the old Hall of Grotton, though there are
many larger and more important edifices, is
peculiarly interesting, as a specimen of the
domestic, un-modernized architecture of the
Tudor period — simple and picturesque. The
progenitors of the Buckleys of Grotton,
were a branch of the ancient family of Buck-
ley of Buckley, in the parish of Rochdale,
co. Lancaster.* They are traceable for
several hundred years by the inscriptions on
theGrotton-head tomb stones in Saddleworth
Church. The present Mr. Buckley is a
magistrate for the counties of Lancaster and
Derby, and also for the borough of Man-
chester.

SWAINSTON, Isle of Wight, about four
miles from Newport, the seat of Sir Richard
<i od in Simeon, Bart. This was at a very early
period a residence of the Bishops of Win-
chester, to whose occupation may be assigned
some remains of architecture of an ecclesias-
tical character. The manor, with the ad-
vowson of the church, remained with the
see of Winchester, till Edward the First, in
the twelfth year of his reign, being deeply



* Captain William Buckley of Buckley settled by his
will, bearing date 9th May, 1730, his estate in Hunders-
tield, Butterworth, Castleton, &c, on his cousin Thomas
Foster, with remainder to his sons, and finally on "his
kinsman John Buckley, the elder of Grottonhead, in Sad-
dleworth, co. York, gent., and his heirs in trust.






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SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN'.



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offended with the Pope for intruding John
de Pontessera into the bishopric contrary
to his inclination, deprived the unwelcome
intruder of this possession. Hereupon the
bishop, to secure the quiet enjoyment of the
other lands belonging to his see, deemed it
wisest to lend a legal consent to this act of
spoliation.

The manor, having thus become royal
property, was in the first year of the reign of
Edward II., given by him to his sister Mary,
a nun at Ambresbury, in exchange for the
borough of Wilton and other lands settled
on her by their father Edward I.

It having again reverted to Edward II.,
he bestowed it on his son Edward, Earl of
Chester (afterwards Edward III.), who, in
the fourth year of his reign, granted it to
William Lord Montacute, eventually Earl of
Salisbury.

In the first year of the reign of Henry IV.,
Swainston was forfeited to the crown by the
attainder of John, Earl of Salisbury, but was
restored to his son Thomas de Montacute, Earl



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