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Southwick Park, Hampshire ;
THE SEAT OF
· THOMAS THISTLETHWAITE, ESQ.
SOUTHWICK PARK House is a truly elegant Mansion, having the principal Front towards the South; this is built of stone, and is of great extent, with a colonnade of fourteen columns. It has been erected only a few years, on the site of an old manor House, that was built in the time of James I. Two monarchs were, at various times, entertained at this place—King Charles I., and King George the First; the former, when the Duke of Buckingham, whom he had accompanied thus far from London, was assassinated by Felton at Portsmouth, in 1628, was here with his court, it being not much more than six miles distant. The House was then in the possession of Sir Daniel Norton.
A finer situation than Southwick can hardly be imagined: the prospects from the front are of great extent and variety; Portsmouth and its spacious harbour, together with Spithead and the Isle of Wight, bounded by a noble view of the British Channel-objects, in point of interest not to be excelled. To enliven and animate the whole, multitudes of ships and vessels, of every denomination and size, are seen navigating the channel.
The Park is well stocked with game of every species, and the grounds are disposed with much beauty, independent of the advantages derived from nature. A beautiful winding stream flows through them, giving a delightful variety to the pleasing scene.
Within the boundary of the Park stood the ancient Priory of Black Canons; where the marriage of Henry VI. with Margaret of Anjou was celebrated.
The site and demesnes of this Priory, at the dissolution, were granted to John White, Esq. and Catherine his wife; from them it descended, by the female line, to the Nortons; and its possessor, Colonel Norton, in the time of the civil wars, distinguished himself in behalf of the Parliament.
His grandson, Richard, was the last male heir of that family, and by his will he devised his property, to the amount of £6000 per annum, and £60,000 personal property, to the Parliament of Great Britain, in trust, for the use of “the poor, hungry, thirsty, naked strangers, sick, wounded, and prisoners, to the end of the world.” The will was, however, set aside, and the property devolved to the maternal descendant, Robert Thistlethwaite, Esq.
The present proprietor of Southwick is the third son of the late Mr. Thistlethwaite : his pussessions in this county are large, and he was its representative in the Parliament called in 1806.
Stratton Park, Hampshire;
THE SEAT OF
SIR THOMAS BARING, BART. M.P.
This Park and Estate belonged to the Wriothesley family. After the death of Thomas, Earl of Southampton, the Lord High Treasurer of England in 1667, it became the property of his daughter and heiress, the celebrated Lady Rachel, whose second husband was Lord William Russel, a character immortalized by his patriotism: her Ladyship's letters also place her in a most amiable point of view, a sa model of piety, virtue, conjugal affection, and exemplary fortitude under affliction. This illustrious lady died in 1723, aged 87, when the property descended to her son, Wriothesley, the second Duke of Bedford. From that noble family it was purchased by the late Sir Francis Baring, Bart.
Stratton is in Mitcheldever Hundred, and the Park adjoins the great road between Basingstoke and Winchester, at the distance of seven miles and a half from the town of Basingstoke. It is in the midst of a fine sporting country; and it is no mean testimony of the beauty of its situation, that that circumstance induced a late Duke of Bedford to pull down a great part of the Mansion which formerly stood here, leaving only one wing, lest its attractions should induce his successors to neglect the magnificent residence at Woburn, which he had built: very extensive improvements were made in the grounds, and the House has been rebuilt by the late proprietor, Sir Francis Baring, Bart., a gentleman whose name was intimately connected with the financial interests of his country, and whose conduct has contributed to raise the character of the British merchant to the highest elevation. On his decease in 1810, his estates and title devolved to his eldest son, Sir Thomas Baring, Bart., whose liberal patronage of the arts is deserving our warmest acknowledgments. The Mansion was built by Dance, the architect; and is admitted to combine comfort with magnificence equal to any nobleman's or gentleman's seat in England. It contains a splendid collection of Paintings chiefly of the Italian and Spanish schools, and also some fine specimens of the English school.
Amongst those deserving of notice, are the following:
St. Luke.--Ditto. Virgin, Child, and St. John.- Ditto.
Vision of Ezekiel.-— Raffaelle. Holy Family.-Sebastian del Piombo.
Ecce Homo.—Guido. Holy Family.--Parmigiano.
Landscape.--Annibal Caracci. Landscape.-Domenichino.
Nativity.--Lodovico Caracci. Three Landscapes.-Claude Lorraine.
Bathsheba.—Ditto. Virgin, Child, and St. John.-Julio Romano.
Landsce pe.- Salvator Rosa. Three Landscapes.--Gaspar Poussin.
Herodias bearing the Head of St. John.Giorgione. Assumption of the Virgin.-Murillo.?
Angels' Heads.-Corregio. Holy Family and other Figures.-Spagnoletto.
Christ bearing the Cross.-Carlo Dolci. Portrait of a Warrior.--Velusques.
Magdalen.-Ditto. Portrait of Abbe Seaglia.— Vandyck.
North Court, Isle of Wight;
THE SEAT OF
North Court is situated in the parish of Shorwell, Isle of Wight, about five miles and a half from the town of Newport, and nearly the same distance from Carisbrook Castle.
The House, the ancient seat of the family of Leigh, was begun in the reign of King James the First, by Sir John Leigh, Knt., and completed by his son, Barnaby Leigh, Esq. From the Leigh family it was purchased by the late Richard Bull, Esq., from whom it descended to his eldest daughter, (the youngest dying during his lifetime, and was by her bequeathed to her half-brother, Richard Henry Alexander Bennet, Esq., of Beckenham, in Kent, and came into possession of his widow on the death of his only son, the late Captain R. H. A. Bennet, Royal Navy, some time Member of Parliament for Launceston..
Mrs. Bennet, the present amiable and worthy possessor of North Court, is the sister of the late Duchess of Northumberland, Lady Beverley, the Dowager Marchioness of Exeter, and the late Lord Gwydir.
The House is a large and nearly regular building, of very good stone, and well finished. It stands in a narrow valley, on the southern side of the great chalk range, scarcely out of the village of Shorwell; but a grove of noble elms, which surrounds it to the north and east, and most flourishing plantations made by its late possessor, completely exclude all that would be disagreeable in that vicinity. At the foot of a terrace, just below the Mansion, rises the beautiful Spring, which gives name to the Village, and which is immediately equal to the turning a large mill. The Gardens are disposed in terraces up the side of the hill, on whose slope the House stands; they have, with much good taste, been ornamented without destroying their regularity, which suits the ancient character of the Mansion.
The Front of the House is adorned with a handsome central Porch. On either hand is a large window, and beyond them, semi-octagon bows, two stories high, terminated by a battlement and pinnacles. Beyond these, to the right, the front terminates with a projecting building, which is wanting to the left. All these parts severally finish in gables, ornamented with slender pinnacles, rising from projecting corbels. The House within is fitted up in an elegant style. The cheerfulness of modern life illumes the ancient rooms, without destroying their character. Many excellent and curious Portraits, and a profusion of admirable Prints, decorate the walls, and every refinement of attentive hospitality is accumulated in the rooms destined by the owner to the reception of her guests.
In describing this interesting place, it is impossible to omit mentioning a most tender memorial of affection to the memory of the late Miss Catherine Bull. It was designed by, and erected under the immediate inspection of, her sister, and is placed in a woody hollow, formerly a chalkpit, overhung by a very large and most picturesque ash-tree. It is a low building, of rough stone, like the ruin of a small Gothic chapel, thatched. The windows are of painted glass, which give a dim and solemn tint to a very beautiful sarcophagus of white marble, on, whose front are carved in bas-relief, a male and female figure reclining over an urn. On a tablet beneath are the following affecting lines from the classical pen of Mr. Bull : “Oft, in this once beloved retreat,
Ah, shade revered! look down and see
How all their thoughts ascend to thee!
In scenes where grief must ever pine,
Where every bursting sigh is thine,
Prostrate they bow to God's behest,
Convinc'd whatever is, is best :
In trembling hope, it may be given,
With thee, blest Saint, to rest in Heaven !
If, Reader, thou canst shed a tear
At sorrow's asking, drop it here."
With her their every pleasure died !
“Sweet Peace, that loves in placid scenes to dwell,' ! So shall these shades a brighter aspect wear,
Nor longer fall the solitary tear;
So shall content from tranquil pleasure flow,
And Peace, sweet Peace, best happiness bestow."
Correct those thoughts, desponding Grief conceives : Our Drawing of North Court is made, by permission, from a beautifully finished Drawing, by Lady Gordon. The Description is chiefly extracted from Sir Henry Englefield's splendid and valuable tørk on the Isle of Wight.