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A visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) online

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Beauchamp Proctor, Bart., and Knight Com-
panion of the Bath. By him the mansion
was much enlarged and Ijeautilied, and upon
his death, in 1773, he was succeeded by his
son. Sir Thomas Beauchamp Proctor, who
died in 1827. The estate then devolved to
Sir William, son of the last named baronet,
and its present possessor.

Langley Hall is a magnificent structure,
but it is difficult to .say to what style of arclii-
tecture it exactly belongs. Perliaps the
term Anglo-Italian may be most appropriate,
as comprising in that somewhat indefinite
naiue tlic generality of its characteristics.
The centre, or main Iniihling, i.s in five
divisions, with a portico of the Doric order ;



but the two original v\'ings have been pulled
down and re-built by Sir AMlliam, who lia-^
likewise added niMch to the comfort and
convenience, as Avell as to the embellishment^
of the mansion.

Few English country seats are richer than
Langley Park in works of art, of the very
highest order. We have only to name
Micliael Angelo, Salvator Rosa, Nicolas
Bergheiii, Canaletti, Vandervelde, Andre
del Sarta, Wou\erman, Teniers, Vnndj'ck^
Leonard! di Vinci, Claude, Albert Durer,
the two Poussins, Murillo, Coi'nelius Jansen ;
besides these, numerous antiques, and many
paintings of the best English masters, such.
as Gainsborough, Wilson, and Sir Joshua
Reynolds.

The park possesses an agreeable variety
of surface, and is covered with extensive
plantations and fine timber. One part in
particular deserves notice, being a walk that
extends from the east door to the church,
through a shrubbery and pleasure-grounct
that arc kept in excellent order.

Sir William Beauchamp, the first baronet
of that family, took the name of Proctor, by
ro3'al permission, under the Avill of his uncle,
George Proctor, Esq., from Avhom, as already
mentioned, he inherited tlie estate.

ASGILL HOUSE, Richmond, in the county
of Surrey, the seat of Benjamin Cohen, Plsq.,
a justice of peace, and a deputy-lieutenant
for the same county.

The mansion was originally built by Sir
Robert Taylor, the bank architect, for Sir
Charles Asgill, Bart., Lord I\rayor of Lon-
don in 1758. Since his time, it has been
successively possessed by ^Irs. Osbaldcston
and Whitshed Keaiie, Esq., and lastly, by,
the present OAvner.

Asgill House stands upon a part of the
site of the old palace of Richmond, the rest
being in like manner leased out by the
crown to various persons. Its style of
architecture is Tuscan, after a design by the
celebrated Palladio, " remarkable for its
chaste and simple elegance."

The grounds are exceedingly beautiful,
^Ir. Cohen having expended considerable
sums in their improvement, and the skill
of the gardener having been Avonderfully
seconded by nature, if indeed Ave ought not
radier to call her tlie principal, from the
facilities she has afforded to the hand of
taste and judgment. The lav.-ii is oversha-
dowed by noble elms, Avliich add not a little
to the general effect of the surrounding land-
scape — a landscape, so luxuriant, so diversi-
fied by hill and dale, rendered yet more
lovelv by the Avaters of "the silvery Thames,"
as fairly to merit the Anglo Saxon name of
Sheen, the hcmttifid, conferred in early times
on sunny Richmond.



SEATS OF GKEAT lUtlTAIN.



155



■WHITTINGTON HALL, Lancashire, in Lons-
dale IJundrcd, tlie seat of Tliomas Greene,
Esq , M.P., whose family was originally
located at Sl3'ne, near Lancaster, which pro-
perty is still in his possession, though his
residence is at the Hall.

The general appearance of the building
is Elizabethan. It is in part the remains of
an old border-tower, to which additions
have been made from time to time, accord-
ing to the taste ur the necessities of the
different owners, but the newest portion has
been built by the present owner.

Along the whole eastern side of the parish,
in which this mansion is situate, flows the
Lune, which is here celebrated for its sal-
mon fishery. A small stream, called School
Beck, and running out of AVhittingtou, flows
into the river at Arkholme.

CLIFTON HALL, in the county of Stafford,
the seat of Henry John Pye, E.sq , the lineal
descendant of Sir Robert Pye of Farringdon,
Berkshire, the senior representative of the
Pye family, temp. Charles 1.

The manor of Clifton-Camville, together
with the village of tlie same name, tills up
the most eastern angle of the county and
hundred of Olllow North. It takes its name
from being situated on a bank with the Mease
to tlie north east, for CUffe or Clive, in the
Anglo-Saxon language signifies not only a
rocky place, but any shelving ground.

Before the Conquest it was held by Earl
Algar ; soon afterwards it was in the King's
own hands, being a place, even at that early
period, of as much importance as it is in the
present day. Subsequently it came to Hugh,
Earl of Chester, with whose descendants it
remained till Agnes, sister and coheir of
Eanulph Blondevil, Earl of Chester, con-
veyed it in marriage to William de Ferrers,
Earl of Derby. Under the Earls of Chester
and Derby this manor was held from the
time of Henry the Second at least, by Mar-
niion, and afterwards by Camville, from
whdm it took its additional name. From
him it passed to the family of Stafford, usually
denominated of Pipe, a manor about two
miles west of Liclifield. "We next find it in
the possession of Lord Keeper Coventry, who
bought it of Sir- Walter Ileveningham, Knt.
"With the Coventries it remained till 1700,
when it was again sold to Sir Charles VyQ,
Bart., descended from the Pyes of the
Meende or Mende Park, near Kilpec Castle,
in the county of Hereford.

In 1708, Sir Charles Pye began to build
the present Hall at Clifton, but ou so exten-
sive a plan that he only completed the two
wings, leaving the centre altogether un-
touched. One of these wings has since
served the family for a dwelling, while the
other has been used for various purposes,



but principally for stabling. Sir Cliarles
left two sons and three daughters, who all
died unmarried. Mary, the last survivor,
according to a compact made between her-
self and her sister Philippa, bequeathed
Clifton for life to General John Severne of
Shrewsbury, the son of Thomas Seveme, by
Elizabeth, eldest sister of Sir Charles Pye.
By the same will, after his death, the estate
passed to the Rev. Richard Watkins, rector
of Rock, in the county of Worcester, also,
though more distantly, connected with the
family of Pye. At last it reverted to the
present owner

Clifton Hall belongs in its style of archi-
tecture to the reigns of Queen Anne and
George the First, a style that may be not
unaptly called an English version of the
Italian, but which, however distinguished for
solidity and comfort, has few of the lighter
graces of the original. The building has
that never failing ornament of the best Eng-
lish mansions, a handsome park full of noble
trees. It is approached by an avenue of
lofty elms, both broad and long, or at least
sufficiently so to make the first aspect of the
place yet more striking and imposing.

Dr. Plott in his " Natural History of Staf-
fordshire," tells us of a curious stone found.
The passage alluded to occurs in the chap-
ter on Formed Stones, and is to this effect : —

" After stones made out of waters and re-
sembling inanimate figures we come, next,
to such as represent the forms of animals,
the inhabitants of that element, whether
fishes of the marine or fresh-water kind ; of
the latter whereof, as in Oxfordshire, I met
with only one; and that of the same species,
but of a difierent colour, it being a reddish
yellow stone found somewhere about Clifton-
Camwill"— Camville— " by the worshipful
Francis Wolferstan, of Statibld, Esq., not
unaptly resembling the middle part of a
barbel."

The Doctor then goes on to say that " as
for stones fuund like sea-fish, though in this
mediterranean county, I have met willimany,
and of many sorts, but chiefly resembling
shell-fish of the testaceous kinds, both uni-
valves and bivalves ; and of the former of
these, some not turbinated, and others aga.n
of the tuibinated kind."

The conclusion that he draws from such
facts is that " these formed stones cannot be
shaped in animal moulds," a conclusion which
may well admit of dispute, and the rather as
he offers no theory of his own to account for
their formation.

BRYN Y PYS, near Wrexham, Flintshire,
the principal residence of Edmund Peel,
Esq., who is also the possessor of Landrinio
Hall, near Welsh Pool, and Wallington Hall
in Norfolk ; all of which are strictly entailed



im



KEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



upon himself and liis brotliers and sisters,
the children of the Rev. Ciiavles AVicksted
Ethelston, of Wicksted Hall, m Cheshire, by
Anne, his Avife, daughter and heir of Eobert
Peel, Esq. of Wallington Hall, brother-in-law
and nephev? oi" i\\Q ftrst &ir "Robert Peel, Bart.
The mansion of Bryn y Rys was built
about the year 1670, by Francis Richard
Price, Esq. of Ballyhooly, in the connty of
Cork, Ireland, in whose family it remained
till pm-chased by Mr. Peel in 1850. Since
that time the building has received many
additions and alterations. The style is
Italian. The site of it is exceedingly pleas-
ing and picturesque, being on high ground
above the river Dee. The house command.s
a tine prospect of the Welsh hills, and of the
entrance to the Vale of Llangollen. The
grounds are not very extensive ; but many
additions and improvements are in progress,
and the surrounding country is pre-emi-
nently beautiful.

Upon attaining the age of twenty-five,
Mr. Bdmnnd Ethelston succeeded to the pro-
perty of his maternal grandfather, Piobert
Peel, Esq. of Walhngton Hall, Norfolk,
having dropt the name of Ethelston, and
taken that of Peel only.

SOMERFORD BOOTHS, Cheshire, the seat
of Clement Swetenham, Esq, who seived in
the Peninsula under Wellington, and also at
the battle of ^Vaterloo, and is now a magis-
trate and deputy-lieutenant of tlie county.

This mansion is delightfully situated on
the banks of the Dane, a small stream, which,
after flowing through some of the most pic-
turesque parts of the county, joins the
Weever near Northwich. It is about three
miles to the north-west of Congleton, in that
part of the parish of Astbury, in Northwich,
wliich extends into this hundred. Erected
in 1612 by Edmund Swetenham, it f^till re-
tains all the principal features of its early
cliaracfer. The north front is particularly
distinguished by some bold projections ter-
minating in pointed gables, and by its an-
cient windows with labels and stone mul-
lions. Some material alterations have been
made by the present owner under the su-
perintendence of Webb the archite ct ; and
tlie moat, which originally surrounded the
house, was lilled up some years ago. The
library is handsomely pantlled with oak, and
decorated in a style corresponding with the
date of the early parts of the building.

The prospect commanded by Somerford
Booths is picturesque and beautiiul in the
extreme It stretches over tlie fertile valley
of the Dane, and has for its background a
chain of hills between Mole Cop and Cloud
End, two objects of peculiar interest in the
landscape.

It seems probable that this township is



included in the Domesday description of
Sumreford. In ancient documents it is called
Somerford juxta Morton, to distinguish it
from Somerford Radnor. Beyond question
the family of Swetenham was settled in this
townsVip so early as tlie ve\gn of liiclAard
the First ; and in the time of Edward the
First, they had a grant of lands here from
the Somerfords, with whom tliey were con-
nected by marriage. It is, however, by no
means certain that this was their first settle-
ment in the same township, though there can
be no doubt of their having continued seated
here in the male line until the death of Ed-
mund Swetenham, Esq., which took place in
1768. After the decease of his widow, upon
whom the Somerford Booths estates had
been settled for life, they passed to his great
nephew and heir, Roger Comberbach, Esq.,
who, hi consequence, took the name of
Swetenham. From him they descended to
his son, the present holder of the property.

STAPELEY HOUSE, near Nantwich,co. Ches-
ter. This mansion Avas originally built in 1778,
by John Burscoe, Esq., near the site of the
old family residence, which was taken down
a few years ago, and, instead thereof, some
cottages Avere erected for dome.stic purposes.

The house and grounds have lately been
much improved by the present proprietor,
under the able superintendence of Anthony
Salvin, Esq. The mansion is brick, with stone
coins, and in the centre rises a camjjanile,
Avitb belvidere, after the Italian style, com-
manding an extensive A'iew of the adjacent
country. The gardens are also tastefully
laid out, after the designs of the same ac-
complished architect.

Of the Burscoe pedigree, there are few
particulars extant, prior to the time of the
above John Burscoe, but the following
memorandum refers to his grandmother's
family. —

By lineal descent, on the female side, lie
sprang from a younger branch of the .sove-
reign Dukes of Brittany in Fi-ance, from
which province it i-emoved to Normand}^
before the Conquest. Robert and Roger de
Eurus, bearing the same Arms as the Dukes
of Brittany, came over with William the
Conqueror.

From Robert, the immediate ancestors of
the Pcrccvals or Pcrcirals, of Sugnal, co.
Staflbrd, are descended, into Avhich family,
Richard, the grandfather of the late John
Burscoe, Esq., married.

This John Burscoe married Elizabeth Tur-
ner, and had issue two sons, James and
John who died s})., and one daughter, Kathe-
rine, the Avife of William HarAvood Folliott,
Esq., of Chester, by Avhom she had, Avith
other is.'ue, a son and heir, James, in Holy
Orders, the present proprietor, who married




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S9



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



167



]\Iaiy Anne Elizabeth, daughter of tlie late
Rev. Enoch Clementson, Incumbent of
Chuich MinshuU, co. Chester, and has issue
one son, James, born at Rome, 183G.

BODIOR, near Holyhead, in the parish
of Rhoscoljn, county of Anglcsea, North
Wales, the seat of John Lewis Hamp-
ton Lewis, Esq., a magistrate and deputy-
lieutenant for the county of Anglesea, and
also a magistrate for the Queen's County,
Ireland.

Bodior, which is of very ancient but un-
certain date, was built by an ancestor of
the present proprietor, in wliose family it
has been for time out of mind It signifies
the " habitation of the governor ; " bod,
meaning a fixed abode, and lOR, a lord or
governor, a name given to it, in all proba-
bility, from its having been the fortress of a
Roman commander, at the time when Angle-
sea was invaded and subdued by Agricola.
From " Rowland's Mona Antiqua Restaurata"
it appears that Bodior was one of the three
principal places in the island. Near it
are some Roman remains, and traces of a
Roman road. The walls of this build-
ing are of prodigious thickness, the architec-
ture irregular, and additions have been made
to the whole since its first erection, as ap-
pears from a stone in one of the gables,
bearing the date 1529. It is situated at no
great distance from the sea, amidst very
extensive grounds, and in a sheltered highly
cultivated nook, that forms a striking con-
trast with the scenery about it. All around
is wild and broken, and intersected with
rocks, that in some parts of the estate have
a considerable elevation, giving to the land-
scape an air of rough grandeur.

The owner of this fine estate is also pos-
sessed of Heullys, near Beaumaris.

HENLLYS, in the parish of Llanfaes, near
Beaumaris, in the county of Anglesea, the
seat of John Lewis Hampton Lewis, Esq.,
the owner of Bodior.

The family of Hampton came to Henllys in
the reign of Edward the Fourth, having ob-
tained from him the grant of this property,
together with the lieutenant-governorship
of Beaumaris Castle. It will by some per-
haps be deemed a curious coincidence, that
in 154G the Richard Hampton of the day
was high sheriff for the county, while, in
1846, tlie same ofBoe was held by his de-
scendant. Captain John Lewis Hampton
Lewis, the present proprietor.

There is a stone in an old portion of the
present mansion, indicating that it was built
in 1460. It has undergone, since that time,
many additions at various periods, and has
lately been almost entirely rebuilt by Cap-
tain Lewis, in the Elizabethan style of



architecture. The situation of the house is
well chosen, near one end of Baron Hill,
commanding extensive views of the Carmar-
thenshire range of mountains, the sea, and
the Menai Straits. Too much indeed can-
not be said in admiration of this charming
domain, which is generally considered to
surpass in variety the most beautiful por-
tions of the island.

Amongst the numerous relics, Avhich are
treasured up in the house, is a bedstead,
which belonged to the celebrated Owen
Tudor, a name cherished in Wales above
all others.

_KNILL COURT, Herefordshire, the seat of
Sir John A^'alsham, Bart. The period at
which the ancient mansion was erected is
uncertain, but it was entirely rebuilt in
1830-31, by the present baronet, upon the
old foundations, and in its old style. The
more modern part of the building, as it
stood previous to this re-construction, had
been added -by John Knill, in the year of
his shrievalty, 1561 ; the more ancient part
was supposed by ^Nlr. Nash to have been
erected in the reign of Edward the Second.
But amidst all this uncertainty in regard
to the date of the various portions of the
building, it is quite clear that the Knills
and AValshams have been lords of Knill in
lineal descent from parent to child, since the
twelfth century, towards the end of which,
Sir John de Knill, one of the younger sons
of William, l^ord de Braose, received the
manor oi Knill, with many other estates, in
gift from his father, who had inherited them
from his maternal grandfatlier, Bernard de
Newmarch, one of the companioris in arms
of William the Conqueror, and himself the
conqueror of Brecknockshire. Knill passed
from the Knills to the Walshams in the
time of James the First, by the marriage
of John Walsham, of Presteigne, in Rad-
norshire, with Barbara Knill, the grand-
daughter, and eventual heiress, of the above
mentioned John Knill.

Knill Court is a building in the Eliza-
bethan style of architecture, and stands on
the edge of a precipitous Ijank, overhanging
a mountain stream, called Knill Brook. The
original residence of the Knills was unques-
tionably one of the small castles of the
Welsh marches, entirely commanding the
pass through the narrow vale of Knill from
Radnorshire into England.

PYLEWELL, formerly PiLEWELL, in the
CO. of Hants, the seat of George Montagu
Warren Peacocke, Esq. This mansion,
Avhich was built some centuries ago, though
we can no longer fix the date w'lih. certainty,
has been possessed by the Worsleys and
the AYelds, and at one time was inhaljited



158



SEATS 01^ GUEAT BRITAIN.



by the Pi'ince of Wales and family for the
benefit of sea-bathing. It is of the Italian
order of architecture, the south front,
which consists of an elegant suite of apart-
ments, being the most striking. The library
forms its west wing, a noble and well propor-
tioned room stocked with a variety of choice
works. A well timbered park surrounds
the whole, that is waslied by the iSolent, a
narrow channel of the sea dividing the Isle
of Wight upon the north from the opposite
coast. The grounds command a beautiful
prospect ranging from the Needles to Spit-
head, almost unrivalled indeed to those Avho
more particularly admiie sea- views. Like
tlie poet's mist,

" The sea is here, the sea is there,
The sea is everywheie."

ROECLIFFE MANOR, co. Leicester, the
seat of Sir Frederick W. Heygate, Bart., is
situated about seven miles north of Leices-
ter, and almost in the heart of Charnwood
Forest. The ancie)it manor which is a
member of Sv/ithland, but, Ave believe
l^arochially independant, includes one of the
most picturesque portions of Charnwood.
Its name is derived from the circumstance
of its having been a deer park and hunting
ground of the Norman Earls of Leicester.
It was purchased from the Danvers family
by the late Sir William Heygate, the father
of the present Baronet, to whom must be
ascribed the merit of first pointing out
Charnwood Forest as an eligible site for a
mansion. A Forest cottage was the first
erection on the spot Avhich isnow^ graced by
a mansion that is justly considered one of
the great ornaments of this interesting
locality. A possessor void of taste would
perliaps have begun his improvements by
obliterating, as far as possible, the Avild fea-
tures of the forest. Not so Sir William
Heygate: by judicious planting he soon pro-
duced the necessary slielter, and preserving
all the strikingly picturesque scenery, and
cultivating only plain and upland, he formed
an oasis in the desert, of wild and singular
beauty. IMountaiu scenery, landscape, gar-
dening and higli cultivation are perhaps
nowhere so effectively combined as at Roe-
cliffe Manor. The house is in the Italian
style and is at once elegant and commodious.
To the stranger passing over the wild Ciiarn-
wood hills and coming imexpectedly on this
beautiful retreat the contrast is inexpressibly
striking ; and if tite Roeclilie of twenty years
ago could be presented to him he would
probably alloAV tliat in no spot in England
had the hand of taste and tlie judicious
application of capital produced a more
delightful change or been moi-e felicitously
employed.



BUELTON HALL, Shropshire, the seat of
Robert Chambre VaugJian, Esq. From
time immemorial it has been the principal
messuage or mansion of tlie lords of tlie
manor of Burlton, which manor was granted
A D. 1087, by Roger de JMontgomery to the
abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul, Shrewsbury.
It continued attached tliereto, till the disso-
lution of monasteries by Henry the Eiglith,
who seized it into his own hands, when it re-
mained in the croAvn until tlie second year of
Queen Elizabeth. In tliat year Ave find it men-
tioned in the partition of the estates of a per-
son named Griffiths. It then passed to the
Lawleys, to whicli family belonged Sir Ld-
Avard Lawley, K. B. Upon his death it
came to his only daughter, Ursula, who
married, first. Sir Robeit Bertie, K.B., and
secondly, George Penruddock, Esq., Avho
Avas a zealous royalist, and avIio, as colonel,
commanded a regiment of horse in the king's
service. It has been said by some writers,
that he forfeited his estates Avhen the Round-
heads gained the upper hand under the
victorious guidance of Cromwell. If this
Avere really the case, he must by some
means have got them back again, for he
shortly afterwards gave the manor and es-
tate of Burlton to Captain Arthixr Cham-
bre, of the Anglo-Norman family of that
name, in requital of the large sums he ad-
vanced during the Avar for the pay of tlie
regiment. With his descendants the estate
has remained ever since, being now held
by his representative, Robert Chambre
Vaughan, Esq. The paternal descent of
the family of Vauglian, now of Burlton, and
formerly of Plas Thomas, has been traced bj'
Salisbury to a very remote period. Upon
the authority of Gildas, Bede, and Nennurs,
he carries it through the celebrated Tudor
Trevor, Founder of tlie Tribe of the
INlarciies, to Vortigern, king of Britain in 44G.

Burlton Hall was originally built by the
abbot and monks of tlie abliey in Shrews-
buiy. Since their time it has been so often
repaired, altered, diminished, and added to,
that, like the sacred ship, Paralus, of tlie
Athenians, very little of the original re-
mains, and the whole is in consequence too
irregular to be classed under any paiticular
style of architecture. Tlie greater part of
these changes took place about the year
1420, but having suffered much from the
efi'ects of time, it Avas again restored and
beautified in 1837. Its appearance is exceed-
ingly picturesque, being Avell nigh covered
Avith ivy, and standing in the midst of trees.

The interior of this old mansion has unu-
sual charms for the lover of antiquity,
though it cannot be denied that this vene'r-
aide elfect is obtained at the expense of
some inconvenience to the residents, if we
compare it with the manifold comforts of a



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



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