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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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and one of the latter, cut for the Caledonian
Railway, measured one hundred and six
solid "feet of timber, and brought the
price of eight pounds ; a considerable
sum for a single tree. These old larches also
form very beautiful furniture, of which the
house contains many specimens, being capa-
ble of a high polish, and in grain, resembling
satin wood. The oak, ash, elm, sycamore,
and limes, are likewise of considerable size,
forming a fine hanging wood of great beauty.
Indeed, the hill of Rammerscales seems to
have been long famous for timber, as there is
a record of a case in 1 504, of the trial of an
individual for injuring the trees, and the pro-
prietor, who was coniiscated in 1715, seemed
to trust to them alone for the payment of his
debts, having written a note to his next rela-
tive, from the Tower of London, while under
sentence of decapitation, m the following
curious style of doggerel rhyme,- -



" Cut my wood, and sell ray tmimer,*
Pay my debts, and fareweel Rammer."

RoBf. Carruthers.
Tower of London, 1716.



It is told that the clerk of arraigns, in cit-
ing this gentleman to trial, after calling out
his name, " Robertus Carrutherus de Ram-
merscales," added, in a loud voice, " a name
long enough for the devil."

The present mansion Avas erected about
eighty years ago, in lieu of the old border fort-
alice, and is a substantial building of three
stories in height, 64 feet by 54. The foundation
is cut out of the solid rock, which forms the
floor of the cellars ; the roof is a terrace com-
manding one of the most extensive views, of
Avhich perhaps any inhabited house in this
country can boast, comprehending all Annan-

* Scot for "timber."



dale, Avith the many windings of its river,
the Solway Firth, and great part of Cumber-
land.

The house is plain, biult of the durable
red sandstone of the district, Avith Avails in
the old style of great strength and thickness,
admirably adapted for the bold character of
the locale in Avhich it is placed. The rooms
are of the usual dimensioiis in buildings of
its size, except the library, Avhich is larger,
behig 52 feet by 20, and contains rather a
A'aluable collection of books in ancient litera-
ture. There is a Avide and graceful hang-
ing stair-case in the hall, occupying much
space.

The loAver step at the porch may be men-
tioned as peculiar, from being a single stone
21 feet long by 2J .broad, and 5 inches in
depth, and as having been conveyed and laid
there iu safety by a young man, aa'Iio after-
Avards became famous as the architect of the
Menai and CouAvay bridges, Tliomas Telford,
the celebrated engineer. The mansion Avas
erected by Dr. Mounsey, physician to tin?
Emperor Paul of Russia, Avho had bought
the estate after its confiscation from the an-
cient possessors, the family of Carruthers ; it
AA'as re-purchased on his death by an uncle of
the present proprietor, avIio Avas a relative of
the original family

There is much doubt as to the meaning of
the word Rammerscales, a probable deriva-
tion is from the name oi^one of the comrades
of King Robert Bruce, at Lochmaben, avIio
Avas called Randolph de Scales, and his sig-
nature appended to ancient charters of
that monarch, is "Rand.de Scales," Avhich
may easily be transposed into Rammerscales,
and which place might have been his resi-
dence. Or Ave may go back to the period
Avhen the 6th Roman legion under Hadrian
was encamped in the neighbourhood, a.d.
120 ; and derive the appellation from the
latin JRamus, " a bough," and Salio, 'to leap
np," a cliff to be ascended by the aid of
branches of trees.

Much of the surroundmg land in the parish
of Lochmaben is held by a singular tenure,
called "king's kindly tenant right," derived
from the circumstance of King Robert
Bruce having granted small proportions of
his territory to the inhabitants of four vil-
lages Avho secretly supplied him Avith provi-
sions, or rendered him some other good ser-
vice, when beleaguered in Lochmaben Castle ;.
(and many of Avhose descendants still retain
their small patches,) subject to a trifling an-
nual payment, called " King's kindly tenant
rent," the receipt of Asdiich is now the right
of the Earl of Mansfield.

Theseking's kindly tenants possess several
immunities. There is no feudal investiture
nor formal entry of an heir, they have no
charters or sasiues, but their land, when sold.



32



SEATS OF OKEAT DIUTAIN.



is conveyed by a simple deed of conveyance,
and the name of the owner being altered m
the Earl of Mansfield's rental book; m fact
there is even no legal necessity for this deed
of conveyance, though given as a matter of
security ; they may buy and sell their land
just as a horse or an ox. One of tlieir pri-
vileges, that of being exempt from paying
stipend to the clergyman, was lately Avrcstcd
from them : and in these days of liberalism,
more encroachments are to be dreaded.

MOLLINGTON HALL, Cheshire, the seat
of John Feilden, Esq , about two miles
and a half from Chester. In the fourteenth
century the manor appears to have belonged
to the family of Torrant, or Torrold. They
were succeeded by the Hattons, from whom
the estate passed by marriage to the Booths.
Afterwards the Gleggs became possessed
of it, William Glegg, Esq., of Gayton, hav-
ing married Cecilia, daughter and co-heir
of Robert Sefton. jMary, daughter, and
finally sole heir of Robert Glegg, Esq.,
brought this property to John Baskervyle,
by whom it was sold to Thomas Hunt, Esq.,
in January, 1756. His son, dying without
issue, gave the estate to his younger brother,
who, at his decease, left no male heir.
His Avidow, therefore, Mary Hunt, and his
daughter, Anna ]\Iaria, came into the estate,
and they conveyed jNIoUington Torrant with
the manor, in 1797, to John Feilden, Esq.,
of Blackburn in Lancashire.

The house itself, although built of brick,
is convenient, and of good size. The grounds
are pleasant and well wooded.

ANKER"\^TCKE HOUSE, Buckinghamshire,
the seat of George Simon Harcourt, Esq.
The original priory of " 'l"he poor Nuns of
Ankerwycke," was founded in the reign of
Henry H. for Benedictine nuns, but in
1538 it was given with the estates belong-
ing to it to Bisham Abbey, upon the disso-
lution of Avhieli in 1540 it was granted to
Lord Windsor. Soon afterwards, the estate
reverting to the Crown, it was given by Ed-
Avard Vi. to the celebrated statesman, Sir
Thomas Smijtli, by Avhom, or by Lord Wind-
sor, the whole Avas rebuilt, for in the reign
of Henry VIIL the commissioners reported
the monastery as being in a state of ruin.
John Taylor, the deprived bisliop of Lin-
coln, died here in 1.553. jNlany years
afterwards it Avas purchased by the Lees.
Tlie male line of this family failing, Eliza-
beth, daughter and heir of John Lee, Esq.,
of AnkerAvycke, brought the property in
marriage to Sir Philip Harcourt. Ln 1805,
it was bought by John Blagrove, Esq., Avho
built the present mansion, smce Avhen it has
been repurchased by the family of the



H?.rcourts. At different times it has been
tenanted by Mr. Crickett, of the Commons
(Sic in Lysons, but Lipscombe Avrites Cric-
kell) Lord Sliuldham, Mr. Jodrell, and Lady
King.

The mansion, though not remarkable for
beauty or grandeur, is exceedingly con-
venient, and stands near the Thames, com-
manding a distant view of Windsor. The
grounds belong to the softer cast of land
scape, but some of the trees, Avith Avhich it
is interspersed, have attained an unusual
magnitude. One fine old ycAv measures nine
feet in girth, its branches spreading to a
diamater of seventy eight feet, so that if
solid it Avould contain many cart-loads of
timber. It is supposed to have flourished
there for more than a thousand years, yet
its old age is still green and vigorous.
According to popular tradition it Avas once
the trysting-tree of bluff king Hal and the
unfortunate Anne Boleyn.

At onetime these grounds could boast of
many remarkably fine plane trees. One of
these forest Titans still remains, being eighty
feet in height, eleven in girth, and extending
its branches to a diamater of thirty feet
There Avere also a feAv years since three
enormous AvilloAvs, of the red and white, or
Huntingdon kind ; but of these only the
trunk of one is noAV to be seen, measuring
about tAventy feet in circumference.

KOYADD TREFAWE, Carmartlienshire, the
seat of William Henry Webley Parry, Esq.
The present mansion Awas built in the reign of
Queen Elizabeth, but by Avhom is uncertain,
such in many cases is the short memorj' of
that posterity, to Avhich all are so fond of
appealing — carent quia vate sacro.

From a remote period Noyadd TrefaAvr
Avas possessed by the Lloyds, or Lhvyds,
Avho Avould seem to liaA'e been distinguished
in all their branches. One of their ances-
tors, tlie Lord of Castle HoAvell, took Car-
digan Castle from the Earl of Clare and the
Flemings by escalade in the reign of Henry
II., 11G5, for Avhich gallant deed he had
given him for arms three scaling-ladders
and a triple-tOAvered castle, Avhich arms are
noAv in the qnarterings of the family. The
oak In'anch and palm on either side of the
Webley crest Avas also an augumentatioji
granted on the same occasion.

Early in the reign of Queen Elizabeth,
Thomas ap Harry of Blacnpant in Cardi-
ganshire married Dyddgy, co-heir of Rhys
ap David Lhvyd of Noyadd 'J'refaAvr. Tlieir
son, David Parry Avas tAvice High Sheriff for
the county, and his descendants Avere noted
for their unflinching attachment to the SteAV-
arts. In 1 816 the estate, Avhich had been much
curtailed, AA-as left by his cousin to Roar Ad-
miral ^Yebley, Avho thereupon took the name



SEATS OF GKEAT BRITAIN.



33



of Parry in addition to liis own name. This
gallant seaman, when captain of the Cen-
taur, distinguisiicd himself highly in an
action with the Russian man of war, Sewold,
which he took after an action of fifteen
minutes. The anchor in the bend of the
Webley arms, and tlie sword and anchor in
the left hand corner of each quartering were
granted to him by George 111. in comme-
moration of this achievement.

MARKS HALL, in the county of Essex,
about two miles from Coggeshall, the seat
of William Philip Honywood, Esq., to
whom also belongs the small parish of
Markshall, containing fortj'' inhabitants and
eight hundred and thirty-four acres of land,
situated near the source of a rivulet. At
the time of the Doomsday Survey this manor
was held by Hugh dc Montfort. Afterwards
it passed to the Bohuns ; but being for-
feited in 1163 it was granted' to the family
of De Markshall, who had been its tenants
since the Conquest, and from Avhom the
place is said to have derived its name. Here
they resided from the time just mentioned
till 1562, when John .Markshall sold the
estate to John Cole, Esq. In 1581 it was
purchased by Edmund Devaugh, Esq., whose
grandson again sold it in 1605 to Robert
Honywood, Esq., of Cliaring, an ancestor
of the present o^^^ler. Tliis last named
family had been seated at Hene in Kent soon
after the Conquest ; and one of them. Sir
Thomas Honywood, was colonel of a regi-
ment of Essex men that fought for the par-
liament in what Cromwell used to term his
" crowning mercy," the battle of Worcester
in 1651, so fatal to the royalists. He served
also as a representative of this county in
Oliver's parliaments.

The mansion is a large and handsome
building pleasantly situated on a rising
ground in a well-wooded park abundantly
stocked with deer. It is of the Tudor style
of architecture, the hall being a part of the
original fabric, to which the present hand-
some front was added by Robert Honywood,
Esq. At one of the entrances over the porch
are carved various quarterings of the family
arms. But the most curious object to be
seen here is the portrait of Mrs. Mary
Honywood in the library with the follow-
ing inscription — " jNIary Atwaters, daughter
and co-heir of Robert Atwatcr of Lenham
in Kent, wife of Robert Honywood, Esq.,
of Charing in Kent (her only husband) had
living at her decease lawfully descended
from her 367 children, 16 of her own body,
114 grand-children, 228 in the third genera-
tion, and 9 in the fourth. She led a pious
life, and died at IMarks Hall in the 93rd year
of her age, and forty-fourth of her widow-
liood. May 16th Aimo Domini 1620. She



was buried in the family churchyard, but
there is an elegant marble monument to her
memory, with a kneeling effigy, in the church
close to the Hall, which Jiad been rebuilt
by her deceased husband. It is an octagonal,
brick edifice, and dedicated to Saint Mar-
garet.

There is a singular anecdote extant of this
lady. Falling at one time into a despond-
ing state of mind, tlie result no doubt of
hj'pochondrianism, she became impressed
with the idea that she should be damned,
and in a paroxym of the disease she dashed
a glass upon the ground, and exclaimed, " I
shall be lost as surely as that glass is broken."
But the glass rebounded from the marble
against which it had been thrown, and was
not broken. The legend concludes as
such legends should conclude. AVhat
neither medichie nor reason could cure was
cured by this accident. She became con-
vinced that her alarms had been imaginary.

In the same room with the picture just
mentioned is afme portrait, by Gainsborough,
of General Philip Honeywood on horseback,
the size of life. This gallant officer com-
manded the heavy cavalry in the German
war during the reign of George II., and
was severely wounded at the battle of Det-
tingen. His remains were interred in the
church he had himself erected.

CUERDEN HALL, in the county of Ean-
caster, the seat of Robert Townlcy Parker,
Esq. It is not known at what time, or by
whom, the mansion was first erected, but
there was an ancient house on this site
about 1660, the property of Christopher
Banastre, Esq., of Banke, Lancashire.
One of whose two co-heiresses brought this
property in marriage to Robert Parker, Esq.,
of Extwistle. His son, Banastre Parker
rebuilt the house 1716, but it was greatly
enlarged and improved in 1815, by his
descendant, Robert Townley Pai'ker, Esq.
As it now appears, the mansion j^resents a
handsome building of brick and stone,
partly ancient, and partly modern, the latter
portion being after designs by Lewis AVyatt.
The grounds command an extent of highly
diversified scenery.

Many names, historically curious, have
belonged at different periods to this estate.
After the Norman Conquest it was possessed
by Roger de Poictou ; and subsequently by
the families of ^lolyneux, Kuerden, Banastre,
Charnoc and Langtou.

HELMINGHAM HALL, Suffolk, the seat of
John Tollemache, Esq., M.P. The ancient
family of Tollemache claims Saxon descent,
and was possessed of lands in Suffolk, long
before the Norman Conquest. jVot many
years ago the following inscription might



34



SEATS OF GREAT BRITAIN.



be seen in tlie okl manor house at Bentley :

" P.efore the Normans into England came,
Bentley was my seat, and Tollemache was my name."

In the reign of Henry VI. Sir Lionel
ToUcmaclie of Bentley married the heiress
of Helniingham, and thus acquired the
estate, since whicli time it lias remained
without interruption in the same family.
In 1651, Queen Elizabeth honoured the Sir
Lionel of tliose days witli a royal visit,
and gave his mother a lute, still preserved
as an lieir-loom among the family reliques
and curiosities. A descendant of this
gentleman married tlie heiress of the first
Earl of Dysart, a title from the royal
borough of Dysart in Fifeshire, Upon the
decease of the fil'th earl without a child, the
title devolved upon his sister, Lady Louisa
]\Ianners, the widow of John Manners, Esq.,
of Grantham Grange, co. Lincoln.

Ilelmingham Hall is a quadrangidar build-
ing witli a terrace and moat surrounding it,
and bears undeniable marlcs of belonging to
the time of Henry VIIL, when tlie em-
battled mansion had succeeded to the
baronial castle. It stands in the midst of a
large park well stocked Avith deer, many
of them remarkable for their size, and
abounds in noble oaks, which have been
celebrated as the finest in the county. Very
few innovations have been made upon the
old mansion. It has been allowed to retain
tiie greater part of its ancient characteris-
tics, — its large bay windows, its embattled
parapets, its gables terminated with richly
wrought finials, and its chimneys ornamented
Avith reticulated and indented mouldings.
Once indeed some rasli improver went so
far as to plaster the brick walls witli stucco
in emulation of stone, but the better taste
of a subsequent 'I'ollemachc removed this
abomination. With the same fanciful yet
pleasing desire to revive the past in the
present, Ave are told that the draAvbridges on
the east and south fronts still continue to
be raised at niglit, as they used to be in
those happy days Avhen



" the good old rule,



Sufficed tliem, the simple plan

That they should take who l\ave the power,

And they should keep who can."

Another interesting feature in this romantic
spot is the number of Avild foAvls which
cover the moat as well as a small hike in the
park. Mucli pains have been taken to
attract tlicm liitlicr, and tliey are never
suffered to be disturbed.

CHIPPENHAM PAEK, Cainbiidgeshire,
near Newmarket, tlie seat of Joseph Sidney
Tliarp, Esq. At a very early date tliis
estate belonged to WilUam de Mandcviile,



and by him it Avas given in 1184 to the
Kniglits-hospitalers. In the course of time
it came to the iirst Lord North, and then to
Sir Thomas Eivett, who dying in 1582 Avas
buried in Chippenham Church. At a later
period it Avas possessed by Admiral Russell,
Avho Avas created Lord Orford for the battle
of La Hogue, in commemoration of Avliich
he called one of the farms on liis estate La
Hogue Hall, a name it still continues to bear.
His Lordship resided at Chippenham from
1680 to 1726, having laid out full sixty
thousand pounds in the building of a mansion
here from the designs of Inigo Jones. Even
the stables, Avhich Avere very large and hand-
some, Avere made to correspond Avith the
rest of the building. During the greater
part of this time the admiral kept a curious
and minute diary of his personal and house-
hold expenditiu'e, and this is still said to
be preserved in liis own handAvriting.

Mr. Drummond Smith afterwards pur-
chased the estate, Avlieii he pulled doAvn the
front i)art, and erected tlie present frontage
upon a smaller and plainer scale, leaving
hoAvever the oflices untouched. In 1791
it Avas bought by Mr. Tliarp, tlie father
of the gentleman by Avhom it is noAV pos-
sessed.

The park includes about five hundred
acres, embellished Avith a fine sheet of water,
and is surrounded Ijy a wall. The gardens,
Avhich Avere laid out at a considerable expense
by Admiral Russell, comprise nearly seven
acres, also Avithin a aamU, and in a high state
of cultiA^ation. Tlie conservatories are Avell-
arranged and extensive.

OWSDEN HALL, Suffolk, the seat of
Thomas James Ireland, Esq. The original
mansion Avas built by one of the Moseley
family in the reign of James the First.
It was afterwards sold to — Smith, Esq., of
Staffordshire, Avho held it only lor tAvo or
three years and then disposed of it in
April 1804 to the Rev. James Thomas
Hand, rector of Cheveley in Cambridgeshire,
by whom it Avas bequeathed Avith the
estate, in 1834, to his nepheAV, Thomas
James Ireland, Esq

The mansion is of brick, Avith slated
roof, and in the Grecian style of architec-
ture. The old front, excepting the porch,
Avas pulled doAvn Ijy Mr. Hand ; and the
present possessor erected a new centre, ns
well as two porticoes, one behig on the North,
and the other upon the West side of the
house. Tlie Avings, originally built by
Thomas Moseley, Esq., in 1750, still remain.

The pleasure grounds, were laid out by
the present owner, and are disposed in lawn
and shrnliberies, Avith a handsome piece of
water, the ]iark adjoining extends to about
lifly acres.



SEATS OF GREAT BKITAIN.



35



THE RANGERS, at Woodmaiicote, in the
parish, and near to the town of Dursley, in
Gloucestershire, the seat of Edward Blox-
sorae, Esq. The mansion was built in 1830
by the present occupier upon ground pur-
chased by him of the Venble. James Webster,
late archdeacon of Gloucester. It is a plain,
stone mansion in that modern style of
building, which presents no peculiar ar-
cliitectural features, yet gives the idea of
much comfort and convenience within. At-
tached to it are about eight hundred acres
of good land, commanding extensive ^^ews
of the far-famed Stinchcombe Hill, Uley
Berry Peak, Down, and Longdo^\ai Hills,
and line Beach woods on the east, south, and
west. Upon the estate is a spring of sin-
gularly pure water, wliich, from its name of
Holywell, was probably at some remote pe-
riod one of those holy fountains, to which
i:)ilgrims were in the habit of resorting, either
in fulfilment of a vow, or imder the im-
pression of its sanative qualities. Even in
tlie present day it is" much souglit after by
the people of the ncighjjourhood on account
of its exceeding purity and presumed whole-
someness.

GATE BURTON, in the county of Lincoln,
the seat of William Hutton, Esq. Tliis
mansion w^as erected in the year 1701 by
Thomas Hutton, Esq., who then possessed
the estate, and m whose family it still re-
mams. It is a plain grey brick building,
without any particular pretensions to beauty
of architecture, and yet by no means devoid
of picturesque interest, though this may in
some measure arise from tlie scenery with
wliich it stands connected. The grounds,
wherein it is placed, extend to the river
Trent, wliich tliere Hows, bright and silvery
as ever, beneath a clill', one liundred and
thirty feet high, and covered in many places
with magnificent timber. Upon this emi-
nence is a summer-house, so placed as to
command a panoramic view of some charm-
ing prospects, both near and in the distance.

COOBIBE LODGE, in the parish of Whit-
church, about a mile from the Pangbourne
railway-station, Oxfordshire, the seat of
Samuel W. Gardiner, Esq., by wliose grand-
father the mansion was erected about fifty
years ago. It is a large building constructed
Avith much taste in the Ionic style of arclii -
tecture, the main body of it, which is very
extensive, being flanked by two correspond-
ing wings. The front has a southern aspect,
while the back part of the mansion is in a
great measure protected from the north
winds by a well-planted hill that stretches
out like a screen behind it. The park ex-
tends on either side, leaving a wide opening
through which the- Thames is seen from the



house, but tranquil and lakelike, reflecting
on its unbroken surface a heavy mass of
foliage from the Berkshii-e side of the water.
Farther on is a succession of slopes and
eminences, chequered witli woods and culti-
vated lands, and presenting all the peculiar
calmness and softness of an English land-
scape.

CORBY CASTLE, in the county of Cumber-
land, the seat of Philip Henry Howard, Esq.
M.P. for Carlisle in several parliaments. It
stands upon the summit of a sand-stone cliff,
at the base of which floAvs the River Eden,
From the village of the same name the castle
is approached over a beautiful lawn which
gradually slopes upwards to it, and whicli on
attaining its utmost height, merges into a
park abounding in fine old oaks. Beyond
this again is a noble prospect over the whole
coiintry to tlie north, till the view is ter. li-
nated by tlie Scottish hills, amongst which
Birrenswirk more particularly demands at-
tention by its curiously-shaped crest. To
tlie west are seen the towers of Carlisle and
the white sands of the Solwa3s lying be-
tween the gigantic Skiddaw and his Scottish
rival Crift'el. In no part of its course does
tlie River Eden — well worthy of the name —
flow through a more enchanting scene. On
every side are noble groves of oak, from the
midst of which rise up " the giant-snouted
crags," sublime and rugged, and wonderfully
heightening the more quiet portion of the
landscape by their contrast. Art and taste
liave combined to make the most of these
advantages. To the north-west of the house
a terrace stretches along the summit of the
clifl', overlooking the course of the river,
which, after rusliing down a succession of
cascades, at length forms a long canal, se-
vered by a woody island of considerable
length, and terminated by a mighty amphi-
theatre of rocks that are dotted witli oaks
and other trees.

From a very early period Corby Castle



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