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Stourhead, Uiiltshire ;



The manor of Stourton, the ancient seat of the noble family of that name, was purchased by Henry Hoare, Esq. in 1720, who then gave it the name of Stourhead, from the circumstance of the river Stour rising from six different springs in the pleasure-grounds belonging to the estate, and soon after began to erect the present Mansion, from the designs of Colin Campbell, the author of Vitruvius Britannicus. It has undergone various alterations at different periods, the most material of which is the addition of two handsome Wings by the present possessor, one being appropriated to a Picture Gallery, and the other to a Library. The rich Cabinet, Statues, and great part of the Pictures, were collected by the late Henry Hoare, Esq. son of the purchaser of the estates; others have been since added by the present owner.

The Pleasure-Grounds and Gardens at Stourhead were laid out by the late Henry Hoare, Esq.; they owe their chief beauty to the great variety of the ground which they contain, and to a broad and beautiful lake, whose waters are at all times equally clear and transparent; it is nearly surrounded by hanging woods, which, with the decorative Temples, are seen reflected on its surface.

“ Throughout the various scenes above, below,
Lawns, walks, and slopes, with verdant carpets glow :--
On the clear mirror float the inverted shades
Of woods, plantations, wildernesses, glades,

Rocks, bridges, temples, grottos, and cascades." The Pantheon is a model of that at Rome, but is here embosomed in a thick wood. It contains an antique statue of Livia Augusta, in the character of Ceres, and statues of Flora and of Hercules by Rysbrach; the latter is esteemed the best work of that sculptor. From the front of this building the scene is singularly beautiful. There are two other Temples in the Gardens, one to Apollo, designed from the Temple of the Sun at Balbec, the other a small Doric Temple dedicated to Flora, backed by fine plantations. The Grotto is an arched passage under ground, in which is a perpetual fountain and cold bath, a white marble statue of a sleeping Nymph reclines in the recess; upon a tablet near it are four lines by Pope, beginning “ Nymph of the Grot, these sacred springs I keep,” imitated from the original by Cardinal Bembo.

The most interesting object which adorns these Gardens is the High Cross, which formerly stood in the City of Bristol, at the junction of four streets. It appears to have been built about 1373. Statues of Edward III., king John, Henry III., and Edward I., benefactors to the city, were then placed in niches round it; but in 1633 it was raised higher, and four other statues of monarchs added, viz. Henry VI., Elizabeth, Charles I., and James I., each of whom had renewed and confirmed the city charters. Its height was then thirty-nine feet six inches, and the whole was most curiously painted, gilded, and enclosed with an iron palisade. In 1697 it was again painted and gilt, but in 1733 was taken down, and afterwards erected in the centre of the College Green, from whence it was once more levelled in 1763; soon after which, it was presented by Dean Barton, with the consent of the magistrates and council, to the late Henry Hoare, Esq. who conveyed it to Stourhead, and, with much taste, preserved this very curious relic of ancient art.

At the source of the river Stour, in a valley about a mile above the Gardens, is another ancient building, called Peter's Pump, also brought from Bristol. It is of much ruder workmanship than the Cross, consisting of four piers, with as many arches, over which are four statues in niches.

The origin of the Stour, which is near an ancient encampment of a circular form, is thus noticed by Leland in his Itinerary, vol. vii. 78: “ The Ryver of Stoure risith ther of six fountaines, or springes, whereof three lie on the northe side of the Parke, harde withyn the pale; the other three lie northe also, but withoute the Parke. The Lord Stourton givith these six fountaynes upon his arms."

From the immediate vicinity of these springs, a fine verdant Terrace leads westward to the summit of a considerable eminence, called Kingsettle, over which passes the “ Hardway,” the British road by which king Alfred is supposed to have advanced to the attack of the Danes at Eddington. On this hill stands a lofty tower, of triangular form, with round turrets at each angle; over the entrance is a statue of king Alfred, and upon a tablet underneath is an inscription, commencing ; “ Alfred the Great, A.D. 879, on this summit erected his standard against Danish invaders,” &c.


Westward from the tower is an immense Tumulus, vulgarly called “ Jack's Castle,” this has been opened by the present owner, and was found to contain an interment of bones minutely burnt, a small lance-head of brass, and an axe made of Sienite stone. .

Stourton village, adjoining Stourhead, is seated in a low dell, the fronts of inost of the houses are covered with roses, jessamines, and varieties of the clematis. In the Church, which was built in the 14th century, with a tower at the west end, are several monuments to the Stourton family, and memorials of Henry Hoare, Esq., who died March 12, 1724, and of Henry Hoare, Esq., his son, who died in Sept. 1785; the latter is inscribed with some spirited lines from the pen of Hayley.

PICTURES.- Equestrian Portrait of H. Hoare, Esq., by E. Dahl and J.Wootton-Sir R. Colt Hoare, Bart., and his son, Henry Hoare, S. Woodford-Carlo Maratti preparing to paint the portrait of the Marquis Pallavinci, an allegorical picture-Augustus and Cleopatra, R. Mengs—Two Landscapes, by Lucatelli, copies from the originals by Claude-A Landscape, Rossa da TivoliDitto, Francesca Mola–Ditto, Gaspar Poussin---Ditto, Nicola Poussin-The Rape of the Sabines, N. Poussin. This has been engraved by - -Elijah restoring the Widow's Son, Rembrandt-A Madonna and Child, St. John the Baptist and St. Ambrosio, Andrea del Sarto-Herodias with St. John's Head, Carlo Dolce—The Holy Family, F. Bart. di St. Marca--A Madonna and Child, Palma Vecchio-The Judgment of Hercules, N. Poussin-A Madonna and Child, Carlo Cignani-A Holy Family, after Raphael-Diana and Nymphs, Zuccharelli—St. John the Baptist, Schidoni—The Genius of History, Seb. Concha-Interior of S. Peter's at Rome, P. Panini—A Landscape, Domenichino-A Sea View, with Rock, Salv. Rosa-St. Mark's Place, Venice, Canaletti-Two smaller views at Venice, ditto-A Landscape at Break of Day, Gainsborough-St. John Preaching in the Wil derness, Breughel-The Four Elements, Breughel and Van Balen--The Emperor Charles V., after Titian, by Rubens—The Temptation of St. Anthony, Teniers—Lady Hoare, widow of Sir Richard Hoare, Bart., Ang. Kauffman-A Landscape, Claude Lorraine. This has been engraved by Vivares-St. Agnes, a portrait in that character, Tútian-A Holy Family, Annibal CaracciSt. Catharine, Lovino-The Flight into Egypt, Carlo Maratti-Tobit and the Angel, F. MolaPenelope and Euriclea, A. Kauffman-Portrait of an Old Woman, MurilloThe Marriage of St. Catharine, F. Baroccio-Henry Hoare, son to Sir R. Colt Hoare, Bart., Sir Joshua ReynoldsDemocritus, Salvutor Rosa-Holy Family, after Raphael-Noah sacrificing, Imperiali-Its companion, ditto-A Battle-piece, BourgognonemA Bacchanalian scene, after Titian-A Head-A Peasant's Head, Titian-Gypsies by Moonlight. Rembrandt--Landscape and Cattle, Cuyp-Four Family portraits, in crayons, William Hoare, of Bath-Four Historical Subjects, Lagrene Two Boys, a Study-A View of Florence, MarlowTwo small Landscapes, Momper -A Head of St. Francis, a sketch by Guido Reni—A spirited Sketch, a design for an altar-piece, Spagnoletto - The Prodigal Son, Seb. Ricci—St. John in the Wilderness, a sketch, Titian-The Pastor Bonus, a sketch, Guercino - Hope, Carlo Maratti-The Marriage of Cana, Paul Veronese-A Holy Family, on vellum, Leonardo da Vinci--An Old Head, a sketch by Schidoni-A Magdalen, after Guidom Abelard and Eloisa, a drawing, A. Kauffman—The Marriage in Canaan, a copy from P. Veronese, by Seb. Ricci-Christ healing the Blind, ditto-Landscape and Figures, Lucatelli--A Landscape and CattleThe Creation, Roland Satery-Rocks and Water, P. Hackaert -A Landscape, D. Teniers—The Colosseum, Gaspero d'Occhiali-Interior of a Church, H. V. Stein-A Holy Family, Trevisani-Ditto, after Andrea del Sarto-Interior of the Pantheon in the Gardens at Stourhead, S. Woodforde-A Greek Lady, A. Kauffman. And many others, of equal merit, but too numerous to particularize.

New Park, Wiltshire ;

Tais Mansion is situated about one mile from the town of Devizes in Potterns and Canninge Hundred. It was erected by the late James Sutton, Esq., from a design of the late eminent architect, James Wyatt, Esq., and stands upon rising ground commanding a beautiful and extensive view of the surrounding country. In front of the House is a Deer Park, which is rendered exceedingly picturesque by its inequality, and is enriched by luxuriant woods most naturally and beautifully disposed, on a surface offering every variety of shape and appearance, and consequently presenting the most unbounded versatility of natural landscape.

Devizes was a Roman Station; and here was a Castle, said to have been built by the Romans, reckoned one of the strongest in the kingdom. The vallum and ditch are still discernible.

The present proprietor of New Park has another seat at Estcourt in Gloucestershire, and was returned member of parliament for Devizes. He married the daughter and coheiress of the late James Sutton, Esq., through whom he obtained this estate.

North from New Park, about a mile and a half is Roundaway Hill, the scene of the route of the parliamentary forces under Sir William Waller, in 1644. This Hill constitutes the western termination of ihe Marlborough Downs, or Hills, which intersect the County of Wilts nearly in the centre, running in a direction from north-east to south-west. On the summit of the Hill, the remains of a strong encampment usually called Roundaway Castle, are still apparent. There are two entrances into the area of the entrenchment, one opening to the west, another to the east.

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Tottenham Park, Wiltshire ;



ADJOINING to Savernake Forest, which, in respect to its possessor, is singular, being the only one in the kingdom belonging to a subject, is Tottenham Park, the residence of the noble proprietor. The House was originally erected for a hunting-seat, after a design of the Earl of Burlington, the British Palladio, on the site of a splendid Mansion, which had been ruined in the civil wars in the time of Charles I., and was the residence of William, second duke of Somerset.

This portion of the building forms the centre of the present Edifice; it is square, with a tower at each angle, terminated by a vane; having on the garden front, shewn in our View, a Portico of the Ionic order, surmounted by a gallery, with a balustrade of stone; the rest of the structure is brick, with stone cornices. To this centre have been added two handsome wings, containing the state apartments, which are adorned by many portraits of the distinguished members of the families of Seymour and Bruce, particularly

A head of Lady Jane Seymour, the Queen of Henry VIII.; a full-length portrait of Christian Bruce, Countess of Devonshire, by Vandyck; a portrait of Sir Edward Bruce, of Kinloss, created Lord Bruce in 1603 ; he accompanied King James into England, and was, by his Majesty, made Master of the Rolls during life : a full-length portrait of Thomas, Earl of Elgin, in Scotland, and Lord Bruce of Whorlton, in England, by Cornelius Jansen; a full-length portrait of Robert, first Earl of Ailesbury, by Sir Peter Lely; some fine pictures by the old masters ; amongst which are, a Landscape by Gaspar Poussin ; an old copy of the School of Athens; a Sbozzo, by Baron, for his picture of the Burning of Troy, formerly in the Borghese Palace at Rome; Samson and Delilah, by Vandyck."

The Library is a noble and capacious room, containing a select collection of the best authors, and a cabinet of medals ; amongst the most curious is a gold coin of Robert Bruce, who was crowned King of Scotland March 27, 1306. There is, in the Library, a magnificent pedigree of the Seymours, which came into the family of the noble proprietor through the heiress of Lord Beauchamp, of Hache. It is beautifully finished with portraits, fac-similes of seals, deeds, &c., being 23 feet 3 inches long, by 6 feet 2 inches in width : there is also preserved a very curious horn, made from an elephant's tusk, and mounted in silver gilt; upon the largest hoop or rim is enamelled a king sitting upon his throne under a canopy, attended by a priest and a woodman; there are also enamelled on other parts, hawks, deer, and emblems of the chase ; the baudrick is of green worsted, with silver-gilt buckles, &c. By this horn, the Forestership of Savernake is said to have been held by the ancestors of Sir William Sturmy, Kt., from the time of Henry II. : his daughter and co-heir, Maud, married Roger Seymour, in the reign of Richard II. Savernake Forest was formerly assigned by the reigning monarch, as part of the jointure of the Queen consort, and was thus held by Eleanor, Queen of Henry III. Several warrants to the keepers for the delivery of venison, signed by her majesty, are amongst the writings relating to the Forest, in the custody of the noble owner. It was so held by succeeding Queens, and at length granted to the Seymours.

Thomas, second Earl of Ailesbury, married Elizabeth, only surviving daughter of Henry, Lord Beauchamp of Hache, son of William, second Duke of Somerset, which Lady, at the death of her brother William, third Duke of Somerset, Sept. 26, 1671, became sole heir to Tottenham Park and Savernake Forest, comprehending a tract of country near sixteen miles in circumference, besides divers estates, in Wiltshire and other counties, now in the possession of the present Marquess.

Tottenham Park is three miles south-east from Marlborough. The Forest is well wooded and stocked with deer, and exhibits some fine and highly interesting scenery : in a point where eight vistas meet, near the middle of the Forest, is erected an octagon tower, whose sides correspond with the vistas, through one of which is a view of the Mansion: there is also a hunting-seat, called Savernake Lodge, in the Forest. In the Park, opposite the north front of the Mansion, at the distance of a mile, stands a column, bearing on the pedestal the following inscriptions :

“ This column was erected by Thomas Bruce, Earl of Ailesbury, as a testimony of gratitude to his ever-honoured uncle, Charles, Earl of Ailesbury and Elgin, who left to him these estates, and procured for him the Barony of Tottenham; and of Loyalty to his most gracious Sovereign George III., who, unsolicited, conferred upon him the honour of an Earldom; but, above all, of piety to God, first, highest, best, whose blessing consecrates every gift, and fixes its true value, 1781."

“ In commemoration of a signal instance of Heaven's Providence over these kingdoms, in the year 1789, by restoring to perfect health, from a long and afflicting disorder, our excellent and beloved Sovereign George III., this tablet was inscribed by Thomas Bruce, Earl of Ailesbury.”

This nobleman was the fourth son of George Brudenell, Earl of Cardigan, by Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas, second Earl of Ailesbury; he died April 19, 1814, æt. 85, and was succeeded in his titles and estates by his only son Charles, who, on July 9, 1821, was advanced by his late Majesty to the degree of Marquess of Ailesbury.


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