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Saunder's Hill, Cornwall;
THE SEAT OF
WILLIAM RAWLINGS, ESQ.
This Mansion was erected by the late proprietor, Thomas Rawlings, Esq., from designs by Richards, at the commencement of the present century. The exterior is planned with considerable architectural precision; it is composed of Portland stone, with Tuscan pilasters and entablature, having an air of pleasing simplicity in its general effect.
Passing through the gate, the piers of which are surmounted by the Rawlings' crest, we arrive at the portico upon the principal front, bearing the family arms, and supported by four Ionic columns. After passing the vestibule, which is ornamented with basso-relievos, and curiously vaulted, we ascend by steps to the tribune, the lofty dimensions of which are judiciously relieved by eight Ionic columns. Drawing and dining rooms of just proportions here present themselves; the chimney pieces of fine statuary. The library is stored with a choice collection of mineralogical specimens; and contains some family portraits by Opie. A spacious winding staircase leads to the corridor, which is sup. ported by the same number of columns as the tribune. A small drawing room, furnished with chastened simplicity, opens on the balcony; a suite of sleeping apartments, with dressing roons at tached, communicate with the corridor. The chimney pieces throughout the building are of well wrought marble. A mezzanine story at the back of the house forms an important acquisition to the domestic accommodations.
The plantations around Saunder's Hill are tastefully laid out, and beautifully diversified by the natural inequalities of the ground. The situation is highly attractive. Inclosed by a bold and irregular contour of hills, the arm of the sea, which forms the harbour of Padstow, assumes the appearance of a spacious lake: this sheet of water, from the bright colour of its sandy bed, always preserves that dark cerulean hue which has been appropriated by poets to more classic climes. In an opposite direction is a richly cultivated vale, crowned with the venerable battlements of the ancient seat of the family of Prideaux; intermediately the tower of the parish church, embosomed in trees, presents a scene of undisturbed retirement. The walks in the neighbourhood, towards the borders of the ocean, possess an extended claim to interest. The masses of black granite, and the stupendous elevations which frown over the bosom of the Atlantic, furnish an ample theme for the lover of the sublime.
This family is of Herefordshire extraction; the father of the late proprietor removed from St. Colomb to Padstow about the middle of the last century, and by his exertions essentially contributed to the wealth and prosperity of the latter town. The late Mr. Rawlings died in 1820; he served the office of High Sheriff in 1803, and was a county magistrate of high respectability.
Moditonham House, Cornwall,
THE SEAT OF
CHARLES CARPENTER, ESQ.
MODITONHAM is in the parish of Botus, or Blo Fleming, which lies in the deanery and in the south division of the Hundred of East. It is the only Manor in the parish; was anciently written Modeton, and now commonly called Muttonham. It was held by Philip de Vautort, under the Earl of Cornwall; and was afterwards in the Dawney family, ancestors of the present Viscount Downe, from whom it passed, together with other estates in this county, to the Courtenays, and was at a later period possessed by the Waddons.
In 1689 John Granville, Earl of Bath and Governor of Plymouth, held a meeting with the Commissioners of the Prince of Orange at Moditonham House, then the seat of John Waddon, Esq., and treated about the surrender of Pendennis and Plymouth castles, which were in consequence delivered up. The house and estate were purchased of the Waddons by -- Batt, Esq., whose grandson, the Rev. W. Batt, sold the whole in fee to Charles Carpenter, Esq., the present possessor.
The situation of Moditonham is very much admired. The 'Tamar, which separates this county from Devonshire, forms a conspicuous object in all its views. This river, which is one of the most considerable in the west of England, after being augmented by the Ottery, Lydd, Tavy, and Lynher creek, increases in importance as it winds its course contiguous to this beautiful mansion, and within view forms the spacious basin called Hamoaze, between Devonport and Saltash, where a large proportion of the British navy are continually riding in complete security.
This mansion was rebuilt, about the year 1760, of lime-stone, a material with which the estate abounds, remarkable for the polish it is capable of receiving, equal to marble.
The entrance is formed with good effect. From the hall a double flight of stairs unite on a landing which communicates to the various apartments, an arrangement which is executed in a masterly manner.
The grounds are disposed and planted with great taste, and the gardens abound with all sorts of the finest fruit..
About two miles to the south-east of the house is Saltash, one of the principal entrances into Cornwall, by a ferry over the Tamar. The houses of this town, all built of the native stone, rise above each other in quick ascent to the top of the steep hill on which the principal buildings are erected. Saltash has been represented in parliament at various periods, by Sir Francis Cottington, the glorious Lord Clarendon, and the poet Waller.
The parish in which Moditonham House stands derives its name from the ancient family of Flandrensis, or Fleming, Lords of Botus Fleming, whose heiress married into the Coplestone family, but it does not appear that that family were ever Lords of the Manor.
LATE THE SEAT OF THE
EARL OF LISBURNE.
In the midst of the most picturesque scenery, where Summer lingers and Spring pays her earliest visit, the situation of Mamhead, on the southern coast of Devonshire, may certainly vie with any that the richest fancy can imagine.
The mansion was begun by Sir Peter Ball, Knight, an eminent loyalist, in 1680, who dying soon after, the completion was left to his son and heir, William Ball, Esq.
The plantations which now display the greatest variety, with pleasing transition, consisting of the cork, ilax, Spanish chesnut, acacia, and cedar, mingled with the more ancient oaks and beech trees, were first laid out by Thomas Ball, Esq., who, returning from the Continent, brought with him the numerous exotics which embellish the boldly swelling grounds that on every side meet the eye: the arrangements were made by the then proprietor, agreeably to the prevailing taste of the time, when parallel terraces, formal walks, and other incongruities were in fashion. He dying, in 1749, bequeathed the estate to Thomas Hussey Aprice, Esq., who soon after sold the whole to Joseph Gascoigne Nightingale, Esq., whose only daughter, Elizabeth, married in 1754 the Honourable Wilmot Vaughan, afterward the fourth Viscount, and first Earl of Lisburne, who came thus into the possession of Mamhead; and to his Lordship this truly delightful spot is indebted for the celebrity it has obtained among the many ornamental and beautiful seats in this county. Immediately on his coming to the estate, he engaged in the arduous and expensive task of restoring the ground to what he presumed it was before, and ultimately effected this desirable object; and Mamhead now appears as one natura! and extensive enclosure, with various prospects of sea, river, and country. Towards Haldown, the most beautiful plantations of firs and forest trees are crowned at the top of the hill called Mamhead Point, by a noble obelisk of Portland Stone 100 feet high, built by the last Mr. Ball, a conspicuous object at a great distance: the natural beauties of the situation were at every point heightened by the pure and correct taste of the late accomplished Lord Lisburne. In the front of the house the smoothi verdure of the lawn is relieved by groups of trees and shrubs most judiciously disposed; at one extremity the eye is attracted by a picturesque cottage, beyond which is a landscape which cannot be exceeded in richness.
His Lordship died at this Seat, which he had so greatly improved, in the year 1800, at the advanced age of 72: with an understanding superior to most, this nobleman united the elegance of the man of taste to the classical attainments of the scholar. He was succeeded in the estate and titles by nis only son Wilmot, now Earl of Lisburne.
Mamhead was tenanted by General Sir George Hewett, who was advanced to the dignity of a Baronet, September 25, 1813. It is now the property of Robert William Newman, Esq.