Bernard Burke.

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

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neiglibouring Worksop, of which the ruins
are much more imperfect than those of
Bolsover. And the cause of ruin is the same
in both — the contiguity of a more eligible
residence belonging to the same proprietor.
As far as regards Bolsover, there is every
prospect that it may remain for centuries
to serve, in its present state, as one of the
ornaments of Derbyshire; for the Duke of
Portland keeps it in the same state of repair
in Avhich he found it, and takes care to pre-
serve it uninjured by time.

During upAvards of twenty years, BolsoA'cr
Castle has been the residence of the Rev.
John Hamilton Gray, b'y Avhom it has been
fitted up in an appropriate manner. We


col <■





' 3



will conclude this notice with a short account
of its present condition. When Mr. Hamilton
Gray first came to live here, the house was
entirely unfurnished, Avith the exception of
some old pictures, one of Lady Arabella Stuart ;
but it has been his care to fit it up in the
style of the seventeenth century, and every-
thing has been done to give tlie character
and air of that period to the apartments ;
while in some of the rooms most frequently
occupied, the quaint old-fashioned taste has
been adapted to modern habits of comfort.
A flight of steps leads from the paved and
embattled stone court, through a passage,
into th3 hall, the roof of which is beautifully
arched, and supported on pillars. It has
been entirely fitted up with carved oak by
Mr. Hamilton Gray, most of it being very
fine, and all of it ancient. The drawing-
room or pillar room, has an arched roof,
beautifully carved, and resting on a central
pillar. Above stairs, there is a room forty
feet long, called the star chamber, and said
to have been decorated by the Marquis
of Newcastle, in imitation of the Star Cham-
ber of King Charles I. The roof is blue,
with a profusion of stars, and there are
portraits of the twelve Csesars, copies of
those by Titian, which adorned the Star
Chamber. Tliis room has been converted by
Mr. Hamilton Gray into a library, and
besides a large assortment of books, it con-
tains a fine collection of Etruscan vases,
and a profusion of beautifully carved chests
and cabinets.

Adjoining the star chamber is an exquisite
little room of which the arched roof is of
white and grey marble, and which was the
learned Duchess of IS'ewcastle's boudoir.
The room in which the second duke died
has two dressing-rooms which are painted in
fresco, a curious specimen of that art in
England in the seventeenth century. Almost
Avitliout exception, the rooms in this house,
whether public or private, are adorned with
most singular and elaborate chimney pieces
forming lofty canopies, and composed of
marble and carved stone.

We will conclude this notice by an extract
from the account of the visit to Bolsover
Castle in August, 1851, paid by the ArchjEo-
logical Association, published in the 27th
number of their jom-nal, October .31, 1851.
After a summary of the Iiistory of Bolsover,
which we have already given in detail, the
Archaeologists say—" The Elizabethan repro-
duction of the Norman keep has always been
in excellent repair, and for the last twenty
years it has been inhabited by the Rev. J.
Hamilton Gray, by whom it has been fur-
nished in the early English style with a pro-
fusion of English and foreign ancient carv-
ings,_so that it may be said to be no bad
specimen of an ancient mansion adapted

to tlie elegancies of modern society. It
is difficult to conceive a more beautiful
and striking view than that which is enjoj^ed
from the rampart which surrounds the old
garden, and which is on the site of the fortifi •
cations surrounding the keep. The whole
town of Bolsover was formerly fortified, and
tlie earth works can be plainly traced which
encircled that partof it which was not already
defended by the precipice on which it stands.

" The interior of Bolsover well corresponds
witli its picturesque exterior. The early
Norman features have been preserved, and
modified according to Elizabethan taste.
The drawing-room and dining-hall are sup-
ported on central pillars, and have beautifully
arched and carved roofs. The same may be
said of the others in the basement story.
The largest room in the house is the star
chamber, so called from its stellated roof,
constructed by tlie Duke of Newcastle in
imitation of the too celebrated Star Chamber
of his unfortunate master. And it is curious
tliat here there are copies of the paintings of
the twelve Cassars which are said to have
hung in the Star Chamber. This room is fitted
up as a library and museum. As Mr. Hamilton
Gray and his lady have made a considerable
collection of curiosities, it may be interesting
to subjoin a list of the principal of these."
To give this list in detail would be here out
of place. We will merely mention that this
museum contains —

1st. A large and beautiful collection of
Etruscan and iMagna Grecian vases, some of
them are of large size and vmcommon rarity.
It is considei'ed one of the best private col-
lections of the ancient fictile art in England,
and was made during a residence in Rome.

2nd. A collection of Etruscan Scaraboei
or Gem Beetles in onyx and cornelian, and
of Grecian and Roman antique gems. There
is also a good series of Roman Imperial
coins, and of the Roman As, and its subdi-

3rd. A very curious collection of relics of
the Stuart Princes, consisting of objects
which were the property of Mary, Queen of
Scots, Charles Edwai-d, and Cardinal York.

A few years ago when the Duke of Port-
land attained his eighty-first year, that event
was celebrated by an entertainment at Bol-
sover, which was attended by three thousand
persons. Such a gathering had not been
seen on the terrace since the days of Charles
I. and Henrietta Maria.*

BARKBY HALL (anciently written Barchbi
and Barcheberie), in the county of Leicester,
and about five miles distant from the pro-

» Among the cutertainments provided by the Jrarquis
of Ne-^vcastle for Charles I. and Henrietta Maria on their
visit to Bolsover Castle, and for which he called in the
ingenuity of Ben Jonson, was the mask of " Xoue's Wel-




viiicial capital of tliat name, the seat of
William Aim Pochin, Esq. From a very
remote period, Barkby has continued in the
same family, Avithoiit any of those changes
to which we have seen so many other
properties exposed by the accidents of war
and tmie. In 1821 the old editice was taken
down, and rebuilt by Charles William
Pochin, Esq , uncle to the present owner.
Bmce tlien the house has twice been nearly
burnt down — the last time in 1847, Avhen the
damaare thus occasioned amounted to nearlv
six hundred pounds.

Barkby Hall is a modern, plahi-built house,
that cannot be classed under any particular
style of architecture ; it is however large,
having no less than ninety windows, and all
the rooms are remarkable for their loftmess.
The pleasure-grounds are also upon a very
extensive scale, presenting some of tlie tinest
and largest evergreens to be seen throughout
the kmgdom.

Not far from the house a little rill passes,
which afterwards falls mto the Wreke. Tlie
river Sore is about two miles off, in a
westerly direction.

TREGENNA CASTLE, Cornwall, near St.
Ives, the seat of Henry Lewis Stephens, Esq.,
whose fimily has possessed estates in this
county for at least four centuries. In the
reign of King Edward the Fourth, John
Stephyn settled as a merchant at St. Ives.
His descendant, John Stephens, Esq., of St.
Ives, was summoned to the coronation of
Charles I., there to receive Knighthood, but
preferred transmitting the fine of £16
lor refusal. From him derived John Ste-
phens, Esq., who purchased the ancient
]\Ianor of Killigrew in Cornwall. Upon his
demise his second son Samuel succeeded to
the estates (his elder brother having died
previously), and was returned to Parliament
by St. Ives.

In the course of the years 1773 and 1774,
this gentleman, who Avas grandfather of the
present proprietor, set about building Tre-
genua Castle. It is a castellated structure,
standing upon an eminence, and commands
an extensive sea-view. In eveiy respect the
situation is highly eligible, and the inte-
rior has been arranged with sufficient at-
tention to the convenience of those inha-
biting it.

About a mile from this mansion, upon the
top of a lofty hill, is a pyramid, to which a
singular custom is attached. It was erected
by John Knill, Esq., a bencher of Gray's
Inn, and has three several inscriptions ; on
pne side, Avhere lie meant to be buried, is
inscribed " Johannes Knill ;" on anotlier,
" Resurgam ;" on a third, " I know that my
Redeemer liveth." He died in 1811, having
directed by his will that at the end of every

five years an old woman, and ten girls under
fourteen years of age, dressed in white, should
set out in procession, and Avith music, from
the market-liouse at St. Ives for this pyramid.
Having arrived there, they were then to
dance aljout it while they sang the hundredth
psalm. For the purpose of keeping up this
custom, he gave certain freehold lands, to be
vested in the officiating minister, the Mayor
of St. Ives, and the collector of that port, for
the time being. He himself in his lifetime
had filled the latter office, Avhich may account
for his joining tlie collector with the others ;
and to make more certain of his Avill being
complied Avith, he ordered by the same
document that ten pounds should be draAvn
from his estate to provide the trustees Avith
a dinner at the time of this quinquennial

GLANUSK PARK, Brecknockshire, South
Wales (tAvo miles from CrickhoAvell), the seat
of Joseph Bailey, Esq., Member of Parlia-
ment for Brecknockshire, and deputy-lieu-
tenant for that county and Monmouthshire.
This property was at one time possessed by
Lord Oxford, and at a later period by Sir
William Keppell, from whom it has passed to
the present owner. The old mansion stood
too close upon the so-called Glanvsh Water,
and a new house Avas built by Mr. Bailey
upon a more eligible site.

The park, which is Avell stocked with deer,
comprises betAveen seven and eight liundred
acres of ground exceedingly beautiful from
its undulations, and is surrounded by moun-
tains. Tlie riA'er Usk, Avhereof Glanusk
forms a part, runs for several miles through
the estate, affording abundance of salmon and
trout to the fisherman, as Avell as adding not
a little to the general beauty of a landscape
that from the mixture of Avood, dale, rock,
and meadoAv, presents a most romantic and
delightful picture.

In the park is an ancient Druidical remain
that has attracted considerable attention
amongst the curious in such matters. Various
are the speculations to Avhich it has given
rise, but they hardly belong to a Avork like
tlie present.

In addition to Glanusk, Mr. Bailey is the
owmer of several other seats, Avhich may be
thus enumerated ;

In BrechnochsMre.

Llangoed Castle, hoav in ruins, remarkable
for its subterranean passages. There is, hoAv-
ever, a modern house standing in the midst
of fine Avoods.

Hay Castle, in perfect repair.



Glan-Wye Cottage, built by Mr. Bailey,
in the cottage style, upon the banks of the


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Wye, m a most picturesque and romantic

In Herefordshire.

Eastou Court.

Pembridge Castle, in ruins.

In Glamorganshire.
Llancenner House.

Mr. Bailey is also the patron of six

ARMITAGE PAEK, near Eugeley, co.
Stafford, the seat of Josiah Spode, Esq., a
deputy-lieutenant and justice of the peace
for that shire, and its high sheriff in 1850.

Though tliis place has of late years been
called Armitage Park, its proper name is
Hawkesyard Park, as appears both from
ancient and modern records down to the
present century, the earliest deed in which
the name Armitage Park occurs bearing date
1818. This designation thus appears to
have been given to the estate by the family
of Lister, the appellation having been bor-
rowed from the neighbouring village, which
was itself called Armitage or Hermitage,
from a tradition that a hermit once resided
there. A more appropriate site for such an
inhabitant could hardly have been imagined
than this amidst woods, hills, and dales,
though it must be owned that the place has
lost something of its old romance by the
introductionof modern improvements.

This estate, Avith some adjacent land now be-
longing to other owners, formed the ancient
manor of Hawkesyard ; for it was, and in fact
still is — a manor of itself, its designation in
an old deed being, " the manor of Hawkes-
yard, in the parish of Armitage." For
several centuries it continued to be the seat
of the family of Rugeley, to whom it came
by marriage with the Hawkesyards.

_ The last of this family settled here was
Simon Rugeley, a colonel in the parliamen-
tarian army, who formed one of a committee
at Stafford, and signed a warrant for the de-
molition of the castle. Upon many occa-
sions he distinguished himself, doing good
service to the party with which he had en-
gaged : but though he Avould seem to have
been much trusted by the republicans, he di-
minished instead of increased his fortune, and
in fact maybe said to have begun the down-
fall of his ancient family, for he first mort-
gaged, and afterwards sold Hawkesyard to
Sir Richard Skeffington, by whose son it was
again disposed of to Jlichael Biddulph, of
Elmhurst, who had married a daughter of
that house. Towards the latter part of the
ISth century (about, we believe, 1763), the
estate was conveyed to the late Nathaniel
Lister, Esq., the friend of Miss Seward and
Dr. Johnson, from whose family it was pur-
chased by the present owner in 1839.

The present house was probably built by

the late Nathaniel Lister, Esq., as a hunting
seat. Since his time it has beeii greatly
improved by the gentleman now possessing
the estate, who has rebuilt a part of the
house in the Gothic style, and we have the
following description of it in a history of
Staffordshire, lately published by White, of

" The house is a handsome Gothic man-
sion, one mile from the church, forming a
conqilete square, with an embattled pedi-
ment and turrets at the corners. In the
romantic pleasure ground, the canal passes
through a short tunnel cut in the solid rock.
Both the house and grounds have been
much improved by their present owner; the
latter contain beautiful gardens, fountains,

In the hall of the mansion is still pre-
served an ancient helmet, which has always
been considered as having belonged to Sir
Simon de Rugeley. It stands upon a pedes.-
tal, ornamented with the coats of arms of
the former lords of Hawkesyard. To judge
from appearance, the helmet dates about the
time of Henry the Fourth, and was probably
brought here from the church by some earlier
possessor of the estate.

In a letter to the Gentlcman''s Magazine is
the following interesting letter relating to
this parish.

" About the middle of last month,* as
some labourers employed by Mr. Moor, of
Hermitage, in the comity of Stafford, were
digging up a piece of ground in order to
make a garden, they discovered, at the depth
of two feet from the surface, some Roman
weapons in brass. They are four in number,
two of them supposed to be bolt-heads of
the balista ; the other two are assuredly
heads of Roman spears. They are much
corroded by lying in the earth, but are finely
encrusted with ajrugo, as smooth and beau •
tiful as if coA'ered with a green varnish.
They are of different sizes, and the drawings
I send you are something smaller than the
originals. A singularity appears to me in
both the bolt-heads — viz., an ear, or loop, on
one side only. The opinion of your anti-
quarian correspondents is desired, relative
to the use of that appendage. Dr. Plott,
in his ' History of Staffordshire,' pp. 403,
404, gives us a representation and descrip-
tion of both these species of weapons, thougli
those he hath delineated are somewhat dif-
ferent from these in shape. The bolt heads
he supposes to have belonged to the cata-
pulta, of which some doubt may possibly be
entertained ; and the spear he calls the vena-
hdnm, or ' hunting spear ' of the Romans,
in which perhaps he is not mistaken. The
ani.ii|uities, I am now describing, are placed

« The writci rtatos big letter Jlay 15, 1"S2,



in my museum, where any curious person
may inspect them. — Richard Greene."

Upon this a correspondent replies to the
Editor of the Gentlcman^s il/«^«sme, " What
Mr. Greene, in your magazine for June Last,
p. 281, after Dr. Plott, calls the 'bolt-head of
a catapulta,' is the weapon or instrument ge-
nerally known by the name of a Celt, of which
an ample catalogue maybe seen in the 'Archaj-
ologia,' voL iv, p. lOG, and seq. His spear
is a common military weapon, and equally
calculated for hunting men and beasts."

Contradictory as these explanations are in
some points, they yet lead to the conclusion
that Kere, must have been the site of a Eoman
encampment, if not an actual ground of
battle between the legions of Rome and the
natives. In either case this spot cannot fail
to have an interest for those who do not live
for the present only, but are glad at times
to escape from it by flinging themselves back
into the past.

Hawkesyard Park is situated on the
southern side of the river Trent, which as
Spencer tells us —

" lu himself enslaves
Both thii-tj' sorts of fish and tliiity siuidi-y streams."

The house is deeply embosomed in trees.
From tlie grounds are obtained several
highly picturesque views of the church upon
the rock, dedicated to St. John Baptist.
The annual wake is still held on the nearest
Sunday before or after Midsummer Day,
the festival of the patron saint.

The church, which was one of the most
ancient in the county, Avas rebuilt in the
years 1845 to 1848 in its old Norman style.

WHITFIELD HALL, Northumberland, the
seat of William Ord, Esq. In the twelfth
century, the manor and estate were granted
by Ada, Countess of Northumberland (mo-
ther of Jlalcolm IV. and William the Lion,
Kings of Scotland), to her chaplain, Robert,
to be held of the church and canons of Hex-
ham. This grant was confirmed by the two
monarchs to Robert the chaplain, and his
heirs, and it remahied for six centui'ies m the
N^liitfield family, who at length, m 1750, sold
it to AYilliam Ord, Esq., of Hexham, the
grandfather of the present proprietor. To
the estate in general, and the tenants upon
it, the change Avas highly advantageous. The
last of the Whitfields who held the property,
was so insolvent by the maintenance of a
large family, and the extravagance of his
eldest son, that he was nnalile to unprove
?ns estate, or to remove the many serious
evils under which it laboured. The roads
through the parish were mere trackAvays,
and the principal employment of the people
was the conveyance of lead ore to the neigh-
bom-ing smelt-millsj iu sacks, on the backs of

ponies. There was not a cart on the Avhole
estate ; yet it comprised the entire parish,
consistmg of twelve thousand fifteen hundred
and seven acres, and even extended into two
or three adjoining parishes. The farms were
very small, seldom exceeding twenty pounds
a-year ; and the dAvelling-houses and farm
offices ui:)on them were of the most wretched
description. Of these, the present family have
pulled doA\m between seventy and eighty, re-
placing them Avith large and substantial build-
uigs. In addition to this necessary work of
renovation, they have erected numerous cot-
tages, Avorkshops, mills for grinding corn, and
others for saAving timber. The spirit of im-
provement thus aAvakened, the roads have
been rendered passable, the land dramed,
enclosures and plantations formed, and the
AA'hole face of the country as much changed
for the better as the habits, food, and clothing
of the farmers and theii' dependents.

The house, Avhich occupied the site of the
present mansion, Avas, probably, of no very
ancient date. It Avas a large square stone
building ; a mass, perhaps, of additions from
time to time, and chiefly m the seventeenth
centurv, to the fortalice inhabited bv Sir
IMatthcAv AYhitfield, in the reign of Henry
VI. The house, as it noAV stands, Avas built
by William Ord, in 1785, but considerably
enlarged afterwards by his son, who made it
his principal residence, and expended large
sums upon it, as also in improving the estate
generally. Its site is on a dry ridge, or
knoll, betAveen the Allen and the Oxilon
Burn, overlooking a fine park, beautifully
diversified by glades and groups of noble
forest- trees, some of Avhich haA^e attained an
immense size. Before it is the ]Monk-Avord,
full of hollies, xqjon a bold rocky declivity,
the West Allen floAving at its base. Fcav
ri\-ers present so decided a A'ariet}' of as-
pect as this does, according to the change
of seasons. In summer, it glides along be-
tAveen its shady banks, to the song of the
birds around, as if nothing could ever ruflle
it ; but once let it feci the breath of Avinter,
and it boils and foams over its stony bed Avith
all the noise and fury of a torrent.

Wlthm the hall are several fine pictures.
To name a fcAv only of the principal : — " The
Death of Joseph," by Carlo Moratta ; " A
Landscape and Figures," by Tenicrs ; " A
Portrait of Sir Joshua Reynolds," by him-
self; " The Cup Found in Benjamin's Sack,"
jjFobably liy Vandyke, &c., &c. Amongst
the curious relics is a nest of camp kettles,
made of copper, and fitting with great exact-
ness into each otlier. They AA-ere all foiuid
in a peat-moss north of Whitfield Hall. W^ith
them Avas found a brass strainer, Avitli a haiuUe
of the same metal, capable of holdmg about
a pint, and having the holes beloAV exceedingly
linC; and of a beautiful pattern. These A'essels



nre undoubtedly Roman strainers, and en-
graved in " Montfaucon's Roman Antiqui-
ties." They were presented by Mr. Ord to
the Antiquarian Society of Newcastle-upon-
Tyne, and are in the museum of that society.

COWLEY GROVE, HiUingdon, near Ux-
bridge, the seat of Benjamin Williams, Esq.,
F.S.A., who is known to the literary world
as having discovered in the Continental
libraries several MS. chronicles i elating to
the reigns of Richard II. and Henry V.,
which he collated, and presented to
the English Historical Society, and has
edited for them. Mr. Williams is a lineal
descendant of Sir David Williams, of Ham
Court, Bampton, Oxon, one of the Barons
of the Court of King's Bench.

Cowley Grove is principally remarkable
from having been the abode of two actors
in succession, both celebrated in their day,
though for very different sorts of excellence.
The tirst of these was Barton Booth, the
tragedian, who is said to have been de-
scended from a branch of the Delamcre
family. He was educated under Dr. Busby
at Westminster, being intended by his
friends for the clerical profession, but —
" Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque re-
currit" — his natural bias towards the stage
was not to be restrained by the trammels in
which he had been held, and at the age of
seventeen he stole away from school to
try his fortunes upon the stage in Ireland,
Avliere he made liis lirst appearance in the
character of " Oronoko." Success recon-
ciled him to his friends, and in 1701 he re-
turned to England, having taken an en-
gagement under Betterton. For eleven
years he went on gradually increasing in
reputation, till his performance in 1712 of
Addison's " Cato " established at once his
fame and fortune. He was now, by Lord
Bolingbroke's interest, appointed joint man-
ager of the theatre, a situation wliich he
held tin his death, when he was buried at
Hilliugdon, according to the letter of his

Online LibraryBernard BurkeA visitation of the seats and arms of the noblemen and gentlemen of Great Britain (Volume 1) → online text (page 47 of 79)