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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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Elizabeth, the Avife of William Ferry, Esq.,
of Wormington, county Gloucester, and were
conveyed by that lady's only daughter and
heiress, Elizabeth Jane Sidney in marriage,
to Sir Bysshe Shelley, Bart, of Castle
Goring* from Avhom they descended to their
son and heir. Sir John Shelley Sidney, of Pens-
hiu'st, created a baronet in 1818, the father
of Sir Philp Charles Sidney, Bart , elevated
to the peerage in 1835, as Baron de ITsle
and Dudley.

Until Avithin the last twenty or thirty
yeai-s, Penshurst, though crumbling under the
hand of time, Avhich spares not the brightest
associations, still preserved the form, and the
appropriate adornment of bygone ages. The
fine old timber roof was then entire, and the
side walls throughout Avere covered Avith
pikes, lances, and matclilocks, while at tlie
end of tlie hall stood erect in froAvning dig-
nity, Avhole rows of men-shaped suits of
armour — one recorded to have been worn by
the "incomparable knight himself." The
creaking of the rusty gates, the desolate
echo, and the noiseless calm, spoke of other
days: and Ave unconsciously held commuuion



200



SEATS OP GREAT BRITAIN.



with those mighty spirits whose raemory
imparts undying interest to the scene. All
the glory of Penshurst is of the past, and
modern improvement and modern innovation
tend but to dissolve tlie charm which en-
cu-cles the Hall of the Sidneys.

The park is very extensive ; but that tree
which is said to have stood

" the sacred mark

Of noble Sidney's birth,"

will be sought for in vain amid its um-
brageous tenantry, —

"That taller tree, -which of a nut -was set
At his great birth where all the muses met,"

and wlu'ch Ben Johnson, in his immortal
verse, has set afresh, has been cut down, and
exists alone in the " Forest" of " rare Ben,"
where in the words of AYaller,

"It lives in description, and looks green in song."

The principal front of the noble edifice
itself extends upwards of three hundred feet
in length. It is a plain stone and brick
building, without ornament, bat the general
appearance cannot fail to impress the mind
with an idea of its ancient grandeur. The
mansion, nearly the whole of which has been
restored and encloses a spacious quadrangle,
contains a fine old baronial hall, measuring
fifty-four feet long by thirty-eight wide, and
more than sixty in heiglit ; a magnificent
saloon, tapestry- room, picture-gallery, min-
strel's gallery, &c., and is in all respects one
of the most attractive and interesting seats in
England.

LAMBORNE PLACE, Berkshire, the seat of
Henry Hippisley, Esq., who is a magistrate
for Berks, and Oxon., as well as a deputy-
lieutenant of the former, for which he served
as high sheriff in 1840. He is also the o-mier
of Sparsholt House, in the same county.

At one tune, Lamborne Place, or Palatium,
belonged to King Alfred, who bequeathed it
with two other manors to his widow, in the
following terms : — " He gave her the manor
of Wantage, because he was born there ; the
manor of Lamborne, because he dwelt there ;
and the manor of Wickham, because he fought
there." At a later period, it passed through
the hands of Sir Thomas Essex to the Orgaines
and Hippisleys, in whose possession it has
remained since the middle of the seventeenth
century. Here, too, resided the poet Sil-
vester, who seems from his writings to have
been as much devoted to angling as Isaac
Walton himself.

This mansion originally exhibited the Tudor
style of architecture, but now belongs to tliat
of the period of James I., having been re-
stored in 1843 by the present proprietor.



MARBURY HALL, Clieshire, the seat of
John Smith Barry, Esq. For many genera-
tions this place belonged to the Merburys,
or ]\Iarburys, who took their name from the
estate, and this again was so called from two
old English words, — Mere, signifying " a
great lake, or pool," — and Birig, "a covered
place." After the decease of Richard jMar-
bury, inlG84, the direct male line became
extinct, and the property was then sold by his
sisters under a decree of Chancery to Richard,
Earl Rivers. In 1714, jNIarbury, with other
estates, Avas purchased from the "earl's trustees
by his son-in-law, James, Earl of Barrjnnore,
who settled the same upon his son by a
tliird marriage, the Hon. Richard Barry. By
the will of this gentleman, Jlarbury was
bequeathed to his nephew, James Hugh
Smith Barry, Esq., whose son, John Smith
Barry, Esq., is the present oAvner.

Marljury Hall is a large, bitt irregidarj
building of brick, with a corridor, in the '
principal front, of stone work. The latter-,
consists of four columns of the Doric order,,'
supporting an entablature without ornament.
From the corridor is the entrance to the hall,
which is filled with antique vases, statues, and
other relics. On the left of this is the saloon,
embellished with many of the finest works
of art.

The situation of the house is surpassingly
picturesque and beautiful. It stands upon
the banks of Mere, a noble sheet of Avater,
about a mile long, and more than half a mile
in width. A park is also attached to the
mai7sion, AA'hich, although not large, is finely
diAcrsified, forming altogether a landscape
of no common order.

This seat is a mile and a half from North -
wich, a toAvn on the line of the Northern
Watling Street, and which Camden tells us
was called by the ancient Britons, Hellath, or
Ilellah Da, meaning the " Black Salt ToAAm,"
from its brine -springs, a name intended to
distinguish its situation from the other u-iches,
or " salt-towns."

RHEOLA, a corruption of the Welsh words
yn heal las, place of Long Sun, the residence
ofNasli Vaughan Edwards Vaiighan, Esq.,
is situated in the beautiful valley of Neath,
Glamorganshire. The mansion, stone-built-
in the Italian style, was erected upon the,
site of an old house, by the celebrated archi-i
tect, John Nash, and though unpretending in
its exterior, is of a character avcU adapted to'
the surrounding scenery, and contains a large
suite of spacious apartments, the elegant pro-^
portions of Avhich mark the genius of the
architect. A glen, at the entrance of which
the house is placed, is judiciously laid out in
Avalks, and contains a Avild torrent, forming
many natural cascades ; altogether, the site of
the house and grounds, Imcked by fine



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



201



hanging woods and bold crags, is generally
considered one of the choicest and most lovely
sjjots in Sonth Wales.

In the gardens a pine was gro^^^l by the
present owner's father, of the enormous
weight of iifteen pounds fourteen ounces,
which was presented to George IV., and by
that monarch sent express to Louis XVIIl.
Mr. Echvards Vaugluin also possesses an
antique and very picturesque residence on
the banks of the Elay, near J^lantrissaint, in
the same county, called Lanelay, which
descended to him from an ancient branch of
the Bassett family, and is now occupied by
the Lady ]\Iary Cole.

WOODBRIDGE ABBEY, co. Suffolk, the
seat of Lieutenant-Colonel IMorden Carthew,
H.E.LC.S., stands upon the site of a priory
of Black Canons, founded temj:). King John,
Oy Hugh Kufus, or Le Eus. After the dis-
solution, the possessions of this house were
irst granted by King Henry VHL to John
Wingtield, Esq., and Dorothy his wife, and
the heirs male of their two bodies; but, they
dying without such heirs, reverted to the
crown. Queen Elizabeth, in the Gth year
of her reign, in consideration of a smn of
money, granted the manor of Woodbridge,
late the prior's, with the site of the priory,
&c., to Thomas Secki'ord, Esq., one of the
]\Iasters of Requests, second son of Thomas
Seckford, Esq., of an old Suffolk familj^, rc-
sidmg at Seckford Hall, in Bealings, by'lMar-
garethis wife, daughter of Sir Jolm Wingiield,
of Letheringham, Knight, in fee. This gen-
tleman was the founder of the Seckford Alms-
houses in Woodbridge, a noble charity, Avhich
he endowed with an estate lying in Clerkeu-
well, now of great value. By him the present
mansion called the Abbey was built, in the
then prevalent Elizabethan style. Over the
porch entrance are his arms, ermme on a fess
gules, 3 escallops argent, quartering Hunter,
Hackford, and Jenney. The arms of Seck-
ford, and also the royal arms were, until
lately, in one of the wmdows. On the death
of the Master of Requests without issue hi
1607, tlie priory estate came to his nephew,
Charles Seckford, or Sekeford, of Seckford
Hall, son of his eldest brother Francis ; and
by virtue of an entail created by him con-
inued m his descendants till the ultimate
'ailure of his issue male ui 1626, when, to-
gether with the original Seckford property,
it reverted to Henry Seckford, Esq., JMaster
of the Pavilion to James I., who was a son of
a younger brother of the original grantee.
Henry Seckford also died without issue, but
had previously acquired the fee-simple, and
settled the same on Dorothy his wife, who
was a daughter of Sir Henry North, Knight.
This lady, by her will in 1072, gave the
Seckford estates to the then representative



of that family ; but the Woodbridge Priory
estate she devised to her own relations, the
Norths, and in that family it contmued till
the death of EdAvard North, of Benacre, Esq.,
in 1708, under whose will, together with the
Benacre estate, it passed to his nephew, by
marriage, Thomas Carthew, Esq., eldest son
of Thomas Carthew, Esq., of Cannalidgy, in
Cornwall, serjeant-at-law. Mr. Carthew re-
built Benacre Hall, and settled there ; but (as
stated in the account of the family contained
in " Burke's Dictionary of Landed Gentry"),
" havmg risked and lost a considerable sum
in the South-Sea bubble, he was unable to
transmit that estate unencumbered to his pos-
terity." On his death, therefore, the Benacre
estate was sold to the ancestor of Sir Edward
Sherlock Gooch, the present owner. The Rev.
Thomas Carthew succeeded to the Wood-
bridge estate, and was the first of the family
who resided at the Abbey, where, havmg
married four wives, and brought up sixteen
children, and gained the love and respect of
the neighbourhood, he died m January, 1791,
in the 59th year of his age. His amiable and
esthnable character as a Christian clergyman,
as a parent, as a gentleman, and as a magis-
trate — indeed m every walk in life — is AveU
described in a sermon preached soon after
his decease, and published by Loder. So
large a progeny rendered a sale of his estates
necessary, and thus the manor and some farms
were alienated ; but the eldest son, William
Carthew, Esq., R.N., afterwards a Rear Ad-
miral, became the possessor of the mansion
(in which he resided) and contiguous farms.
An event in this excellent man's life is worth
recording. In the early part of 1782, the
Hannibal, 74, in which he had a lieutenam's
commission, his brother Thomas havmg also
a commission in the same ship in the marines,
formed one of a squadron proceeding to the
East Indies under the command of Sir Ed-
ward Hughes. The Hannibal, Avhen alone on
detached service, found herself, on the clearing
up of a thick fog, in the midst of the French
fleet under Suffrein, and being surrounded by
five sail of the line was, after a gallant resist-
ance, captured, and the whole crew delivered
over by the French Admiral to Hyder Ali,
who put the officers in irons and imprisoned
them in Bangalore Jail. The cruelties, m-
dignities, and privations sustamed by the
English prisoners under Hyder and his son
Tippoo are matters of history; but these
two brothers (their relationship being un-
known to the tyrant), were, by God's provi-
dence, thrown into the same dungeon and
chained together by the leg, and so continued
confined until liberated by the treaty of 1784,
when, after having been mourned as dead, they
were again restored to their father's house.
Admiral Carthew dying intestate, the familv
pictures were unfortunately dispersed, and

D D



202



SEATS OF GREAT CKITAIN.



the Abbey estate descended to his nephew,
the present owner, who is in command of the
21st Regiment of Madras Native Infantry.
The house is now occupied by tlie Rev. P.
Bingham, as tenant. This residence stands
upon a Lawn sloping gently dowi to a piece
of artificial water. Its south front commands
an extensive view, in which the windings of
the River Deben can be traced almost to the
sea. Adjoining the grounds stands the fuie
parish churcli of Woodbridge, and on the
south side of the chancel is a private chapel,
built by the Seckfords, and now belonguig to
the Carthews, beneath wliich is the family vault.

HURSLEY, Hampshire, near Wmchester,
the seat of Sir William Heathcote, Bart.
Although Hursley is the name of the
mansion and jiark, as well as of the parisli,
yet Merdon is the name of the manor, and
the Castle of Merdon is the place within it
that figures most conspicuously in the olden
annals. Hurst, or hirst, means a " dry
height," and leigh, ley, lea, signifies a spot
that is sheltered, and therefore favourable
to the growth of grass. Hence probably
comes the word, Imcn.

The manor belonged to the Bishops of
Winchester till the reign of Edward the
Sixth, since when it has been held by a suc-
cession of temporal lords. At length it came
into the hands of Richard Cromwell, the
son and heir of the great Protector, by his
marriage with Dorothy, the daughter of
Maijor, who was then lord of the manor, and
one of Oliver's Privy Councillors. In IG.^O
Richard became lord of the manor, in right
of his wife ; but at the Restoration he went
abroad, where he resided for twenty years.
At the end of that time he returned to Kng-
land, without however laymg any claim to
the property, which was then held by his
son, Oliver. Upon the death of the latter,
he demanded the estate of his daughters,
who had ah-eady taken possession. Tliey
refused, and Richard, in his eightieth year,
brought the case to trial hi a court of Justice.
The Lord Chief Justice treated him with the
respect which was unquestionably due to one
who had held so high a place, and " borne
his faculties so meekly." Upon this occasion
the Lord Chief Justice treated him with
unusual respect, desirhig him to remam 1
covered dui'ing the tune he remained in
court, for which noble act of courtesy, he is
said to have been highly commended by
Queen Anne, in whose reign the occurrence
took place. An order was made in his favour ;
and a story goes — whctlicr true or false — tliat
upon leaving the com-t, Richard Cromwell
strolU'd carelessly into the House of Lords,
audhaving remained there till the Houserose,
a stranger asked him if he had seen such a
place before? "Never," he replied, point-



ing to the throne, "never, since I sate in
that chair." This was in 1706. After that
time Richard resided occasionally at Ilursley
till his death, wliich happened at Cheshunt
in 1712, after the completion of his eighty-
sixth year. The estate then came into the
possession of his daughters, but in 1718,
just six years afterwards, they sold it to Sir
William Heathcote. Strange to say, the new
owner of Hursley entertained such an aver-
sion to the house, because it had been a
dwelling of tlie CroniAvells, that soon after
coming into possession he pulled it do\\ai,
and rebuilt it. While tliis act of demolition
was in progress, a piece of old rusty metal
was found, Avhich proved to be the seal of
the Commonwealth of England, though how
it came to be hidden in a hole of the wall at
Hursley is by no means apparent.

The old mansion was a long, but low
edifice m the Elizabethan style, with a large
oriel window over the arched entrance. The
modern jjuilding is of a much more ambi-
tious kind. It is large, with a brick front,
that has large pilasters of stone, rising
from the basement stor}', and surmounted by
a pediment. The entrance is by a flight of
steps on either side, which, with the con-
tinued entablature, are also of stone. The
la-ftm m front is of considerable extent, and
is ornamented witli many fine old trees and
beautiful slirubberies. The park is more
tlian a mile in length, well stocked with
deer, besides aboundmg in game of all kinds.



BEAMHURST HALL, Staflordsliire, in the
parish ofChcckley and hundred of Totmonslow
the seat of Henr}'- Slountfort, Esq., who
claimed to be the heir of the renowned
Simon de ilontfort. Earl of Leicester. Tliis
estate belonged to Philip Forster Smith, Esq.
but came into the Mountfort family, by the
marriage of Miss Smith, with the father of
the present owner. The Mountforts formerly
possessed the Brocton property now enjoyed
by the Chetwynds.

Beamhurst Hall was originally a very
ancient building, half composed of "black and
white timber; it is now covered with stucco,
Avhich destroys in a great measure the former
antiquity of its appearance, and would give
it a still more modern look, but for the ovcr-
langing roof that faces tlie lawn. Without
making anj^ great pretensions to architectural
elegance, it is yet a picturesque and comfort-
able abode, in good keephig with the scenery
around.



ELEASBY HALL, in the county of Notting-
])am, tlie seat of Robert Kelham Kelham,
Esq., is an embattled Gothic mansion, sit-
uated in the Village of Bleasby four miles
S.S.E. from Southwell, on the western
banks of the River Trent.



About the year




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SEATS OP GREAT BRITAIN.



203



1760, it Wcis in part taken down, and rebuilt,
and again in 1816.

Thoroton says in liis "History of Not-
tingliamshire," that in the 32nd of Edward
the 3rd, it was, Avith a good estate in the
possession of the family of Staunton of
Staunton. From them it was purchased by
Richard Grundy, Esq., and was held by that
family in 1612. It was afterwards sold to
Nathaniel Need, Esq., about the year 1760,
and purchased by Robert Kelham Kelham,
Esq., in 1816.



PANTGLAS, Cavmarthenshii-e, South Wales,
the seat of David Jones, Esq., a magis-
trate and deputy Lieutenant for Carmarthen-
shire, and at one time its high sheriff. This
property has been for centuries in the pos-
session of families bearing the name of Jones,
but passed about sixty years ago into the
hands of the present owner's grandfather,
who already held other considerable estates.
The house was built full tAVO liundred years
since ; having been somewhat injured by
time, or notaltogetlier answering the modern
ideas of comfort and convenience, it Avas
lately remodelled, and additions made to it
by the present owner. The style of its
architecture may probably he called the
ornamental Grecian, though it might be
difficult to refer it precisely to any given
model. But the great charm of this seat is
in the grounds, and the magnificent prospects
tliat surround it. The former are by nature
full of beautiful undulations, of which
every advantage has been taken by the hand
of art ; so tliat, far and near, it Avould be
hardly possible to find a more lovely land-
scape. Pantglas is famous for its laurel
trees, Avliich are stated to be the largest in
the kingdom. ]\Ir. Marnock, Curator of
the Botanic Gardens, was much struck Avith
their unusual circumference of stem, and
refers to them in the " Horticultural and
Agricultural Gazette." The view in the
park from the Fenian Hill has long been
celebrated for its beauty and immense ex-
tent. In the words of Dyer : —



" AATiat a landscape lies below !
Ko clouds, no vapours intervene ;
But the gay, the open scene
Does the face of nature show
In all the hues of Heaven's how ;
And sweUing to embrace the light,
Spreads aroiuid beneath the sight.

" Below me trees unnumbered rise,
Beautiful in various dyes ;
The gloomy pine, the poplar blue,
The yellow" beech, the sable yew.
The slender fir that taper grows.
The sturdy oak with broad-spread houghs."



In the neighbourliood
Castle, Avhich stands upon



is Druslwyn
an insulated



green eminence, near the western banks of
the Towy, where tire vale is considerably
expanded. From the summit of this beau-
tiful liill may be seen the traces of a Roman
camp, thus quaintly described by Leland in
his celebrated itinerary; — " There is AA'ithin
half-a-mile of Drislan Castle on ToAve, a
myglite camp of men of warre, Avith four or
five diches, and an area in the middle."

At a little distance beyond Druslwyn
Castle, and to the eastAA-ard of it, rises Grongar
Hill, to Avhich Dyer's poem of that name
has given a lasting celebrity ; and it is said
that the hawthorn under Avhich he wrote it
still exists here. A few lines from Dyer's
poem will give a livelier idea of this spot
than could be supplied by the descriptive
poAvers of humble prose :



•' See the rivers how they run
Through woods and meads, in shade and sun,
Sometimes swift, and sometimes slow,
AVave succeeding wave, they go
A various journey to the deep.
Like human life to endless sleep.
Thus is nature's verdure wrought.
To instruct our wandering thought ;
Thus she tU'esses, green and gay.
To disperse our cares away.

" Ever charming, ever new,
AAlrcn will the prospect tire the view 1
The foimtain's fall, the river's floAV,
The woody valleys, warm and low ;
The windy summit, wild and high,
Roughly rushmg on the sky ;
The pleasant seat, the ruined tower,
The naked rock, the shady bower ;
The town and village, dome and farm,
Each gives each a double charm.
As pearls upon an iEthiop's arm.

" See, on the mountain's southern side,
AA' here the prospect opens wide ;
A^'here the evening t;ilds thct;de,
How close and small the hedges lie —
What streaks of meadow cross the eye ;
A step, methinks, may pass the stream,
So little distant dangers seem.
So we mistake the future's face,
Eyed through hope's deluding glass ;
As yon summits, soft and fair,
Clad in colors of the air,
Which, to those who journey near,
Barren, bro-uii, and rough appear ;
Still we tread the same coarse way,
The present's still a cloudy day."



In addition to Pantglas Park, l\rr. Jones
has another estate, called Penlan. Like the
first-named place, this also is remarkable for
its fine and extensive A'iews.

BOLATICOTHY, Carmarthenshire, South
Wales, the seat of John Johnes, Esq., a
magistrate and deputy lieutenant for that
county, the representative of a very an-
cient AVelsh family, (see " Landed Gentry,"
p. 651.) This estate, so far as records
alloAv us to trace it, has alAA^ays been possessed
by the family of the present OAA'uer, never
having for a single moment changed hands.
T'he date of the building is unknown. AH



204



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



that can be said of it is, that it presents the
appearance of a plain conntry gentleman's
residence, and which it would be diffi-
cult to assign to any particular order of
architecture.

A Koman station of some importance,
called by old writers, Cacr Gaio, Avould
seem to have been established here in con-
nection with mining operations. That the
latter were carried on extensively, is evident
from certain remarkable caverns, the so-
called gogofau. Many Roman relics have
been dug up in the neighbourhood, not the
least curious of which is a rough stone with
an amethyst in the centre, Avhereon is a
figure of Diana. Mr. Johnes, in addition to
these relics has also a Torch Aiir, or golden
chain, and tradition points to a large town
erected upon this spot by the Romans,
chiefly of brick, whence it has obtained the
name of Yclrev Goch yn Nelicuharth Cymru,
or "the Red Town, in South Wales. Many
red bricks and the remains of a bath have
also been found by the peasantry.

Near this place runs the River Cothj',
which has given at least one part of its
name to Dolau Cothy. It is near here joined
by a smaller stream, called the TwrcJi, and
abounds in excellent trout.

BOLSOVER CASTLE, co. Derby. The em-
battled keep and broad esplanades of Bol-
sover command one of the most strikingly
beautiful views in England. Nothing can
surpass in loveliness the prospect disclosed
on the noble terrace under the ruined palace
on a fine day, at the commencement of har-
vest. In the far distance are seen the high
mountains of the Peak ; and near at hand, in
the valley of tlie Derwent, the beautifully
diversified and wooded undulations of Scars-
dale, the rich scenery of Sutton Park, and
the noble Avoods and mansion of Hard-
wick ; while above frown the feudal battle-
ments of the ancient fortress of the Peverels.
From the castle walls, the view extends to
a great distance into Yorkshire and Lin-
colnshire ; and on a clear day, the venerable
Minster of Lincoln may be descried from the



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