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Langdon Hall, Devonshire ;
THE SEAT OF
LANGDON Hall is a venerable Mansion, and displays, both in its interior and exterior, a considerable degree of grandeur. The house is nearly square, having four fronts, which form a quadrangular court in the centre. Several of the windows are beautified with ancient stained glass, which represent, through a display of armorial bearings, the marriage connexions of the Calmady family.
Langdon Hall formerly belonged to the Parrs, and here, according to tradition, once lived the celebrated Catherine Parr, queen of Henry VIII. A part of the estate, admired for its fine view, is still called Catherine's Land; and in the house is preserved a lock of her hair, which is now in the possession of Mrs. Calmady.
From the Parrs, it became the property of the Calmadys, who possessed it, together with the Mewstone and other lands, about the commencement of the seventeenth century. Vincent Calmady, son and heir of Richard Calmady, of Calmady, in Cornwall, (where the family were seated at a very early period,) is supposed to have been the first of the Calmadys who possessed Langdon Hall, and nearly rebuilt, and greatly improved, the Mansion. His son and heir, Josias Calmady, greatly increased the consequence of his family, by his marriage with Catherine, daughter and co-heiress of Edward Courtenay, son of Sir Pierce Courtenay, of Ugbrooh, and grandson of Sir William Courtenay, of Powderham Castle. Their arms, quartered in stone, are still preserved over the gateway of the western entrance.
The manor of Langdon is situated in the parish of Wembury, about five miles from Plymouth, and forms the most interesting part of a charming promontory on the south-eastern side of Plymouth Sound. A small solitary bay, into which flows the river Yealm, bounds the promontory on the east. The scenery on the banks of this river is truly beautiful, and cannot fail to awaken the most lively sensations. On a ridge of the innermost, cliffs, and in a situation as solitary as it is impressive, rises the church of Wembury, with its weather-braving and embattled tower. This edifice having long been the solemn depository of the remains of the Calmadys, contains many beautiful sepulchral memorials. From the contemplation of these mementos, the beholder may, in an opposite direction, survey, from the mullioned windows of the church, one of the most sublime spectacles that can be presented to the eye. The vast Atlantic, rolling on its tremendous waves to the majestic cliffs of Devon and Cornwall, and beating round the solitary Mewstone, which is clearly seen rising out of the sea, presents an object of extreme interest.
Collipriest House, Devonshire ;
THE SEAT OF
JAMES H A Y, ESQ.
adaattle, and is course the woollen e proper
Ar a little distance from the town, and within the parish of Tiverton, stands Collipriest, a beautiful and pleasant situation in Tidcombe quarter, one of the four ecclesiastical divisions made by Hugh Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire, about the year 1335. This portion of the parish lies east of the town of Tiverton, and in the north-east part of the county of Devon. This spacious edifice stands on the side of a hill, elevated above the conflux of the rivers Exe and Lowman ; having an extensive lawn in front, with a fine slope to the water-side; a noble hanging wood, and an avenue of venerable elms behind, on the summit of the hill, so lofty as to be seen in many directions at a great distance.
The winding and rapid river Exe, from the banks of which our annexed View is taken, after passing through Exe bridge in the town, with an impetuous torrent, receives the Lowman in two streams within the grounds of Collipriest; one beneath the Dairy House Hill, the other at the bottom of a meadow, immediately below the Mansion. These useful rivers, which give such interesting variety to the views, both afford plenty of fish in the proper season, and are very beneficial towards conducting the several branches of the woollen trade carried on at Tiverton. The lands on the banks of the Lowman, in its course throughout the midst of Tidcombe quarter, contain excellent pasture for cattle, and a breed of middle-sized knotted sheep, yielding large fleeces of strong wool, well adapted to the manufacture of serges, for which the town has long been celebrated.
From Tidcombe Hill is a prospect of diversified and luxuriant scenery not often equalled, the rich vale of Tiverton, and the surrounding hills covered with corn-fields interspersed with woods, which afford the means of sport to lovers of the chase. In the neighbourhood, near the Castle Close, an enclosure belonging to Collipriest, so called from Cranmore Castle, or Fort, which stood on this eminence in the reign of Edward VI., a fierce battle was fought in 1549, between contending zealots in the cause of religion, which probably would have been followed by others more serious in their consequences, had not the king's army come upon them, and seized many opposers of the Reformation, who were executed.
From the Temple of Apollo, “ bosomed high in tufted trees,” on the right of our Engraving, is a remarkably pleasing and diversified view, including the whole town of Tiverton, the ancient Exe bridge of five arches, the rivers Exe and Lowman winding their mazy course, and forming a junction in the verdant plain almost beneath; the road to Exeter, and the variously shaded hills in the opposite parochial division, called Prior's Quarter, terminate this beautifully varied prospect. The neat Dairy House, an object that arrests the attention of every traveller, from the road towards the south entrance to the town, is erected on the brow of a bold hill or precipice, covered with trees hanging over the Lowman, and has a rural shed adjoining, for the reception of visitors to this delightful summer retreat.
Collipriest was for many years the seat of the Blundell family, descended from James, a brother of Peter Blundell, a clothier, who founded and endowed the Free Grammar School at Tiverton : he died in 1601, æt. 81. James Blundell, who died twenty years before his brother, left an only son, John, who was mayor of the town in 1619, from whom descended Mr. John Blundell, author of a scarce book, “The Memoirs of Tiverton," printed at Exon, 1712: this book he is said to have composed in a small fishing-house, on the banks of the Lowman, within his grounds at Collipriest. The present Mansion was built on a larger scale than the former, about forty years since, by Thomas Winsloe, Esq., and it afterwards descended to Thomas Winsloe Phillips, Esq. James Hay, Esq. is the present worthy proprietor: he is married to Lady Mary Ramsay, daughter of the late, and sister of the present, Earl of Dalhousie. He has raised the edifice a story, and has made many additions and great improvements in the pleasure grounds and plantations around.