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Sept. 16 A.D. 1358: was the first tonsure of the brethren. 1
Robert Weyvile, B. of Sarum, to the honour of St. James
the Apostle, S. Katharine, and All Saints. 2 Oct. 8 A.D. 1366. Wm. of Edyndone, Bp. of Winchester,
Founder of the Monastery aforesaid, died.”
WESTBURY TO TROWBRIDGE AND BATH. [VII. 87]. From Brooke Haulle unto Wesbyri by low ground having wood, pasture and corne, a myle and a halfe. It is the hedd toune of the hundrede to whome it giveth name. In it is kepte ons a week a smale market. Ther is a large churche. The toune stondithe moste by clothiers.
Ther risythe 2 springs by Westbyri, one by sowthe, and another as by southe west, and sone meetinge together go abowte Bradeley village a mile and a half lower into Bisse broke that rennithe by Brook Haule and so to Trougbridge, and then into Avon.
Bradeford, the praty clothinge toun on Avon, is a 2 miles of.
From Troughbridge onto Bathe by very hilly ground a 7 miles, levinge the woods and Farley parke and castle on the lyfte hand.3
1 Bishop Wm. (Cheney) of Edington had found at this place a college of secular priests; i. e., parochially officiating ministers with cure of souls. He converted it into an establishment of Monks Regular, to live “secundum regulam” without cure of souls. Their new monastery was six years in building; and on its completion, the brethren commenced as Regulars, adopting the shaven crown and monkish habit.
2 The common seal of the Brethren of the monastic house of Edington (which may perhaps have had a different patronage from that of the church) bears the figures of St. Peter and St. Paul.
3 There were two roads by which he may have gone : either by Stowford, and from that place to Iford, by a now nearly disused lane, which immediately skirted the wall of the then park of Farley Castle ; and so from Iford, along the valley to Freshford Bridge: Or, by Westwood village, and along the high ground at the back of Iford, to the same point. From Freshford he evidently followed an old road above Limpley Stoke, down by Waterhouses, where, “at the very pitch at the bottom of a very steep hill,” he would cross the Midford Brook; ascend either Monkton Combe Hill by the large quarries, or Brass Knocker Hill, and over Claverton Down, into Bath.
And by the way I rode over Fresheford Bridge of 2 or 3 faire new arches of stone, and this was a 3 miles from Throughbridge; and a 2 myles beyonde that in the very piche of the botom of a very stepe hill I passyd a wylde brooket rennynge on stones. Thens a . mile of in the way was a notable quarrey, and thens a playne, and then by a stepe botom onto Bathe about a myle.
MARSHFIELD TO TROWBRIDGE AND FROME. (VII. 98]. [Leland went on to Bristol and Gloucestershire : and returned “by playne ground unto Maschefeld, a lordship that belonged unto the Canons of Cainesham.”1
Thens a 4 miles farther I passyd by hilly ground, and went over a stone bridge, under the whiche ran a broke that a litle lower went in sight into Avon ryver by the right ripe of it.2
Thens by hilly, stony, and wooddy ground a 3 miles unto Bradeford on the right ripe of Avon. Thens on to Throughbridge. Thens on to Broke by wooddy ground.
From Broke onto Frome Celwood in Somersetshire a 4 miles, muche by woody ground and pasture on tyll I cam within a myle of it, wher it is champaine. Thence to Nunney Delamere, and back to Frome. Thens onto Philippe's Northetoune, where is a meane market kepte in a small toune, most mayntayned by clothyng).
From Northeton to Farley Castle a 2 miles.
BRADFORD. (VII. 100].
The lordshipe was gyven with the personage by Kyng Æthelred onto the nunry of Shaftesbyri for a recompence of the murderinge
i The Abbey of Black Canons at Keynsham (co. Som.) between Bath and Bristol, founded A.D. 1170, by Wm. 2nd Earl of Gloucester (grandson, illegitimately, of King Henry I.) who endowed it with (inter alia) the Manor Farm of Marshfield.
2 He passed from Marshfield to Bathford, where he crossed the Box brook just at its junction with the Avon : and so on to Bradford.
of S. Edward his brother.1 One De la Sale, alias Hawle, a auncient gentilman syns the tyme of Edwarde the I. dwellith at the ...... end of Bradeford.
From Bradeford to Bathe.
[He continued his ride through Gloucestershire; to Thornbury, Berkeley, and back to Somersetshire ; and crossed by Mells to]
SELWOOD FOREST. (VII. 106.] The foreste of Selwood2 is in one parte a 3 miles from Melles. In this forest is a chapelle, and theryn be buried the bones of S. Algar3 of late tymes superstitiously sought of the folische commune people.
The foreste of Selwood, as it is now, is a 30 miles in compace, andstreatchith one way almoste onto Werminstre, and another way onto the quarters of Shaftesbyri by estimation a 10 miles.
1 Edward the Martyr was murdered in A.D. 978, being 16 years of age, at Corfe Castle, by order of his stepmother Elfrida. The Benedictine Nunnery of Shaftesbury had been founded, according to most of our historians, by Alfred, and was at first dedicated to St. Mary. It lost that name on the translation thither of the body of St. Edward the Martyr. His brother and successor Æthelred “the Unready,” by charter dated A.D. 1001, gave to the Church of St. Edward the Monastery and Vill of Bradford, to be always subject to it, that the nuns might have a safe refuge against the insults of the Danes, and, on the restoring of peace, return to their ancient place, but still some of them to remain at Bradford, if it should be thought fit by the priores3. King John confirmed to the abbess of Shaftesbury the whole hundred of the manor of Bradford for ever A.D. 1205. They had also the Rectory impropriate. (See Monast. and Hutchins.]
2 " Selwood Forest.” Partly in Somerset, partly in Wilts. By a survey of the bounds of this large forest, taken in Edw. I., it appears that its true northern boundary was considered to be a line drawn (speaking in general terms) from Penselwood beyond Stourton, to South Brewham : thence by the river Frome to Rodden near Frome; and that a large tract to the north of that line, then also forest and including part of Wanstrow, Cloford, Trudoxhill, Marston-Bigot, Cayford, &c., had been converted into forest by King Henry II., and ought to be disafforested. A copy of this survey is printed in Collinson's Somerset, vol. III., p. 56; but, owing to the change of names, it is difficult to follow the limits described.
3“ St. Algar's," in co. Somerset : on the road from Frome to Maiden-Bradley about 3 miles from the latter; and now part of West Woodlands.
From Melles to Nunney Delamere, a 2 miles partely by hilly and enclosed ground.
Thens aboute a mile by like soyle unto Tut ....1 a longe village, where the paroch chirche is unto Nunney Delamere.
Then half a mile farther, and so into the mayne foreste of Selwood. And so passing half a mile farther I lefte on the righte hand Witham the late priorie of Cartusians, not in the forest but joining hard on the edge of it.
[Kidderminster town in tymes past longid to the Bisetts, ancient gentlemen. After, it came to the 3 heires generall of Bisett, wherof one beinge a Lazar (leper) builded an hospitall at Maiden Bradley in Wilts, to a priory of chanons. She gave her part here in pios usus, and the Personage of Kidderminster was impropriate to Maiden-Bradley].
Thence (i. e., from Witham Friary) partly by forest ground and partly by champayne a 4 miles unto
STOURTON. [VII. 107.] The village of Stourton stondith in the bottom of an hille on the left ripe of Stur.
The Lord Stourton's2 place stondith on a meane hilie, the soyle
1 " Tut .....” The name which Leland vainly attempted to remember, or his Editor Hearne to copy, was “ Truttokeshull,” now called Truddoxhill, a hamlet between Nunney and Witham Friary, in the parish of Nunney, county Somerset. The church or chapel alluded to has long been destroyed.
2 “Stourton.” There cannot be a stronger instance of the long neglect of Wiltshire topography than the confession of the author of the History of the Hundred of Mere [p. 42] that of this mansion, which for many centuries had belonged to one of the most ancient families formerly in this county, there was no published account whatever, except these passing notes by Leland. After the publication of the volume which contains Mere, some further description of Old Stourton House, with a very rude pen and ink drawing of it, taken about
therof being stony. This maner place hath 2 courtes. The fronte of the inner courte is magnificent, and high embatelid, castle lyke.
[The goodly gate howse and fronte of the Lorde Stourton's howse in Stourton was buyldyd ex spoliis Gallorum : (with French prize money). VIII. 100.]1
Ther is a parke among hills joining on the maner place.
The ryver of Stoure risith ther, of 6 fountaines or springes, wherof 3 be on the north side of the parke hard within the pale.
A.D. 1650, was discovered in Aubrey's MSS. at Oxford. Sir R. C. Hoare has since given this in the appendix to History of Frustfield [p. 7.7 We now present for the first time a more developed view of it, founded upon Aubrey's rough sketch.
Old Stourton House stood upon a site immediately in front of the present mansion of Stourhead, between that house and the public road leading to Maiden Bradley. The site is still to be recognized by an inequality of ground, a few old Spanish chestnut trees, and some subterranean vaults. A relic of the building is, or lately was, preserved in a house at Shaftesbury formerly the “ King's Arms;" a carved chimney piece, bearing the shield of Stourton between those of Chidiock and Berkeley. [See a plate, in Gent. Mag. 1826, p. 497.] The house covered a great deal of ground, and retained all the internal arrangement of old baronial days. There was a large open-roofed hall, and an open-roofed kitchen of extraordinary size. In the buttery was kept a huge bone, attributed by tradition to one of the Anakim of the house of Stourton, but which was no doubt a geological relic of some different species of animal of much greater antiquity. There was a chapel, paved with tiles bearing the Stourton shield, and the rebus, “ W.S.," a tower and a tun. In the civil wars the house was garrisoned for the King. In Sept. 1644 Ludlow marched thither one night, and summoned it to surrender. His summons not being attended to, his men piled faggots against one of the gates and set it on fire. The inmates escaped by a back way into the park; upon which the General entered, and having rendered it untenable passed on to Witham. The Stourton family was of great eminence and antiquity in Wiltshire. It is said that at a house of their's here, William the Conqueror received the submission of the English in the West. When the estate was purchased by Henry Hoare, Esq., of London, in 1720 [or 1727, for Sir R. C. H. has both dates, Mere, p. 56 and 63], the house of which we give the view was taken down.
1 The builder of this part was Sir John Stourton who, for his services to the Henries in their French wars, was created the First Baron in A.D. 1448. He had the Duke of Orleans in his custody at Stourton House for 10 months, for which he was allowed 13s. 4d. a day.