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Luscombe, Devonshire;



The profusion of rich and varied scenery, added to the peculiar mildness of the climate, in the well-wooded valley formed by the ramifications of the Haldown Hill, suggested to Mr. Hoare, in a casual visit to Dawlish, the capability, if we may use the term of a late celebrated surveyor, of this truly delightful spot : the house was begun from a design of Mr. Nash, in 1800, and finished in 1804. The building, with its towery battlements, buttresses, and pinnacles, owes its effect to the union of its several parts, varying in figure and elevation. This style of architecture having, after a long period of neglect, again attracted the attention of our nobility and gentry, various attempts have been made to unite the external appearance of our ancient baronial fortresses, with an increased attention to the comfort of the interior. As such, Luscombe may be considered a very excellent specimen of Mr. Nash's talents.

The entrance lodge, nearly embosomed in trees, is distant about two miles from the beach at Dawlish. The south front of the house consists of an octagon tower in the centre, united by three of its sides to the main building, extending east and west, on the east is an embattled cloister of Tudor arches springing from buttresses, and terminating in pinnacles ; on the western side is a porch of similar construction, having a mullioned window deep within it. The lower part of the tower contains two large painted windows of stained glass, shadowed by a rich cluster of ivy extending towards the battlements. At the east end is the window of the dining-room, and the south and north towers combine to produce a most pleasing effect; on the west are the offices, and on the north is a square tower mantled with ivy, rising above three large pointed arches, forming a porch, or principal entrance to the house, over which is an oriel window.

The whole structure is surmounted with battlements of Portland stone, contributing much to the general effect, which is increased by a fine wood on the north, rising to the summit of the hill; at the eastern end of which is a beautiful rustic cottage and conservatory.

The entrance from the porch opens on a hall of a circular form, communicating to the principal apartment and staircase; the dining-room on the left contains some fine pictures by the most eminent modern artists. In the centre of one side is the Storm, from Shakspeare's Tempest, by Loutherbourg ; between, two subjects from Anacreon-Love Sheltered, and Love's Ingratitude, by Thompson. Over the chimney-piece is a whole-length portrait of Mr. Hoare, of Mitcham, by Sir Thomas Lawrence; and on each side a picture, by Northcote—the Village Doctress, and Country Girl going to market; over the door is a picture of Tigers, by the same artist.

In the hall is a painting by Bassan. The drawing-room, of an octagon form, contains in four of its sides a very valuable collection of books in most elegant bindings; on each side of the chimneypiece, which is of white marble, by Flaxman, are several paintings in distemper, most delicately finished; and over the door are two large ones, by Goupe, copied in the same manner, after Salvator. On the right side of the door, on a pedestal, is a bust of the Infant Nero, in white marble, the size of life, and on the opposite side is another pedestal, supporting a rich time-piece, with figures of rare workmanship ; from the windows, the upper compartment of which contains stained glass, is a most interesting distant view of Dawlish and the sea. The staircase hall, having a rich pointed window of stained glass, partakes of the appearance of a small chapel, and contains an organ, by England. In the north room is a library, and over the chimney-piece a large picture, by Thompson; of the Dragon Slain by the Red-cross Knight, from Spencer; a most elegant small room opens on the opposite side, the window of which looks into the porch on the south front. This room contains a complete collection of the most valuable editions of the classics; over the chimney-piece is a painting of a Magdalen, by Alex. Allori, called Bronzino, a most exquisite group of Bacchanals, modelled in wax, by Gousette. A collection of animals in plaster of Paris add to the interest of this apartment. In a sitting-room, over the octagon drawing-room, are several large water-colour drawings, by Nicholson, and copies after him, with several miniature portraits of the family.

*** The GROUNDS are extensive, and through the principal part winds an excellent carriage-road; it is scarcely possible to consider these plantations as only the growth of so short a period. In various parts, the judicious thinning of the trees allows a disclosure of the steep sides of the valley : seats are placed at intervals; from one of which, under a fine young oak, the western parts of the building are seen, relieved by the woods in the back-ground, and terminating in a prospect of Dawlish Church, and the sea-coast towards Portland. On ascending the summit of the north side of the valley, on which is the road from Chudleigh to Dawlish, the passage through the plantation forms a grand terrace, from whence is a view of the intermediate country, as far as the Hemburg Hills over Honiton, and a length of coast bounded by the Isle of Portland. The woods of Mambead, Newhouse, and Powderham, including the obelisk of the former, and the ancient castle of the latter, unite Haldown to the river with uncommon effect; in short, every admirer of scenery owes much to the proprietor of this elegant retreat, abounding in cultivated beauty, for the very judicious arrangement that on every side meets the eye of the spectator.


Coryton, Devonshire ;



CORYTON, in the parish and manor of Kilmington, within the hundred of Axminster, and Deanery of Honiton, in the county of Devon, is situated at a short distance from the great western road, about a mile and a half from the town of Axminster, and seven miles and a half from Honiton.

Near the site of the old Mansion, a small part of which is still remaining, and occupied as a farm-house, was once a small village of the name of Coryton, situate on the river Corry, or Cory, which rises in Cory Moor, in the parish of Up-Ottery, and, taking an easterly course, passes through Stockland and Dalwood, in Dorsetshire, into Kilmington, and, having joined the Yarty river, near Yarty Bridge, soon after falls into the Ase.

The village of Coryton, all traces of which are now lost, was for many years the property of the family of Warren, from whom it was purchased, in the year 1697, by William Tucker, of Westwater, Esq., one of the ancestors of the present family, wbo built in it a good house, in which his son William resided till his death, in 1748, having executed the office of sheriff for the county in the year 1726. His son, Benedictus Marwood Tucker, also sheriff for Devonshire in 1763, pulled down the greater part of this house in 1754, and erected the present Mansion, which was completed in 1756.

The situation he chose is near the site of the old house, on a pleasant knoll, nearly in the centre of a small but picturesque park, containing some fine trees, particularly a stately avenue of the horse-chestnut, through which was the approach to the old Mansion. Some thriving plantations, formed about thirty years since, by the present possessor, supply a good back-ground and shelter to the house, which is built of brick, much ornamented with Portland-stone, and has three handsome fronts. The entrance, in the centre of the southern front, is adorned with two pilasters of the Corinthian order, supporting a pediment. The door-way is flanked by two three-quarter Ionic columns, surmounted by an entablature. The eastern and western fronts project in a bay in the centre, rising to the height of the house, and terminated by a balustrade. The ornamental tower, seen on the right of our Plate, contains a forcing engine for supplying the house with water. The apartments are spacious, and conveniently arranged on either side of a long and lofty gallery, terminated by an elegant geometrical stone staircase. The Library is furnished with a valuable collection of books, and various philosophical instruments. Coryton is of that class of residences of the country gentleman, numerously scattered through this county, which, whilst they do not presume to vie, either in extent or grandeur, with the more stately mansions of the nobility, unite solidity and respectability with every domestic comfort.

The view from the windows of the east front, in which are some of ths best rooms, is rich and well diversified. The town of Axminster, rising above the river Axe, adds much to the beauty of the landscape. To the south-west, the flourishing plantations of Sir William T. Pole, Bart., on Shute Hill, bound the prospect.

William Tucker, who is buried at Dalwood, the father of William of Westwater, came from Exeter, in the early part of the seventeenth century, and settled at Axminster, to avoid, as is believed, the persecution to which he had subjected himself, by his attachment to Charles the First, and by the services he had rendered to that unfortunate monarch, when seeking refuge at Exeter. He appears to have been a nephew or grandson of William Tucker, D.D., dean of Lichfield, and prebend of Salisbury; “ an excellent Grecian and Latinist, an able divine, a person of great gravity and piety, and well read in curious and critical authors.” His literary works are enumerated by Prince, in his “Worthies of Devon,” whence this eulogium is extracted. The dean was grandson of Robert Tucker, an alderman of Exeter, and mayor in the year 1543, when he is said to have “discharged the office with great honor, and entertained the Spanish ambassador and his whole retinue at his own house, with great cost, for the space of three days.” The celebrated Richard Hooker, born at Heavytree, near Exeter, in 1554, was descended from a daughter of this Robert Tucker.

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