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Bryanston House, Dorsetshire ;
THE SEAT OF
EDWARD BERKELEY PORTMAN, ESQ.
This elegant seat was erected nearly upon the site of the ancient Mansion, in the year 1780, by Henry William Portman, Esq., grandfather of the present possessor, from the designs of the late James Wyatt; it is constructed with fine freestone, and is in dimension one hundred and twelve feet by one hundred, exclusive of the offices, which are contained in a separate building, connected with the House by an arcade. The Hall, on the east front, is thirty feet by twenty-four; a large tribune opposite the entrance leads to an octangular staircase, thirty feet in diameter, in the centre of the Mansion, producing a fine architectural effect. It is surrounded by a gallery, supported by eight Scagliola columns, and eight pilasters of the same material ; this gallery communicates with the various apartments on the bed-chamber story. On the right of the Hall is a superb Dining-room, thirty-six feet by twenty-four, and eighteen feet high; and on the left of the Hall is a Drawing-room of the same dimensions. On the south front is a handsome Music-room, forty feet by twenty-five; and a Library, thirty feet by twentyfour, and eighteen feet high—all of which are much admired for the elegance of their decoration. There are several fine pictures, amongst which is a Tiger basking, by G. Stubbs. From the House, a beautiful cliff, crowned with wood, extends to Blandford bridge, in a semicircular direction, with the Stour flowing before it, on the opposite side of which river our view was taken. The scenery in the Park is particularly remarkable for its variety and beauty. It is situated in Pimpern Hundred, and adjoins the town of Blandford Forum.
Kingston Hall, Dorsetshire ;
THE SEAT OF
HENRY BANKES, ESQ.
KINGSTON Hall is two miles N. W. from Wimborn ; it is a large quadrangular edifice, constructed of brick, with the quoins, cornice, and casings to its windows, of stone. Its dimensions are 101 feet by 74. The roof, of lofty pitch, is perhaps the best calculated for our ever-varying climate, and quite characteristic of the period of its erection. It was built immediately after the restoration of Charles II. by Sir Ralph Bankes, Knight, whose arms impaling those of his lady, Brune of Plumber and Athelhampstone, with the date 1663, are sculptured in a cartouche shield on the pediment of the north front. In this mansion, James, Duke of Ormonde, resided during several of his latter years, and, dying here, in 1688, was removed for interment in Westminster Abbey.
Many judicious alterations have been made in modern times, particularly in the interior, which is elegant in its disposition and decorations. A great part of the fine collection of pictures the old masters, which is contained in the principal apartments, was formed by Sir R. Bankes, the builder of this house, during his travels on the Continent. To this collection, W.J. Bankes, Esq., M.P., has made very important additions, in the works of the Venetian and Spanish schools, during his travels in Spain and Italy.
The House is pleasantly situated upon a gentle ascent, and is surrounded by grounds tastefully embellished with variety of plantations. The carriage-entrance is by a small portico on the east side, which is seen in our view taken from the south-east. On the south of the Mansion the grounds are considerably elevated, and from various points of the gardens on this side, a fine extent of country is displayed.
The Egyptian obelisk of red granite, removed hither from the island of Philöe, beyond the first cataract, is the only monument of its kind in England : it was originally set up by the priests of Isis, in the reign of Ptolemy Euergetes II., somewhat less than a century and a half before Christ. The shaft measures upwards of 22 feet in height, and is inscribed upon all its four faces with hieroglyphics ; the height of the pedestal is about 6 feet, it bears a very long Greek inscription. It is from the collation of this with hieroglyphics, that a clue has been furnished to that hitherto unknown alphabet, lately made public at Paris by Mons. Champollion, and in England by Dr. Young.
At Pamphill, adjoining the grounds, a Roman urn was found, containing about twenty small silver coins of Galienus, Posthumus, &c. Badbury Rings, an extensive Roman encampment, on a lofty position near this Seat, is parcel of the Manor and Estate.
Henry Bankes, Esq., the present owner of Kingston Hall, was long one of the representatives in parliament for Corfe Castle, in this county, and is the proprietor of the noble remains of that castle.
IList of the Pictures at Kingston Hall. An admirable Landscape, N. Berchem, the largest he ever painted, it has his name upon it, and the date 1635—Two Beg- The Judgment of Solomon ; a very large unfinished picture, gar Boys eating Fruit, Murillo—Head of St. Theresa, Andrea painted for the Grimani Palace at Venice, Giorgione—All is Succhi—A head of the Magdalen, unfinished, Correggio-A Ma- Vanity, Titian. From the Vidimani Palace; it has been endonna, Carlo Marutti—A Jew Rabbi, Rembrandt-Christ be- graved, and there is a duplicate of it in the Capitol at Rometrayed, Rubens—Venus trying on the Armour of Æneas, Van-An admirable portrait of the Marquis Savorguano, in a furred dyck—The Story of Midas and Apollo, and of Europa, Sebas- gown, Titian—The Holy Family with St. John, Raffuelle. tian Bourdon-A Fruit-piece, Vansom-A Candlelight-piece, Schalken-St. Gregory, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, and St, Austin. Richard Weston, Earl of Portland, lord treasurer, a whole
length, Vandyck-King Charles I, Ditto-Queen Henrietta The Original Sketch of his great picture of the Infanta Mar. Maria, Ditto—The Children of King Charles I., Ditto-Prince garetta, with her attendants, in which his own portrait is in- Rupert and Prince Maurice, both in armour, Ditto-Sir John troduced at the easel, Velasquez, formerly in the collection of Borlase, Knt., one of the Lords Justices in Ireland, DittoJovellanos--A head of Cardinal Borgia, Velasquez-Ditto of a Lady Borlase, daughter to Sir John Bankes, Knt., Lord Chief Bolognese Professor, painted whilst he was in Italy, Velasquez Justice, temp. Charles I., Ditto—Sir Ralph Bankes, who built -Santa Rosa, with the Infant Christ, Murillo, formerly in the Kingston Hall, and died in 1679, Sir Peter Lely- Brune, collection of the Marquis of Ledesma—St. John, with a Lamb, Esq., father to Sir Ralph Bankes's Lady, Ditto—Lady Jenkinsmall, Murillo-An Angel, cut out of a larger picture by the son, Ditto-Lady Cullen, sister of Sir Ralph Bankes, DiltoFrench soldiers, Murillo-Christ bound to the Column, El Mrs. Middleton, Ditto. This lady's picture is amongst the Divino Morales--A Sleeping Boy, delightfully painted, Alonzo celebrated beauties of King Charles II.'s court at Windsor-A Cano—The Virgin and Child, with Angels, Ribalta-Santa Magdalene, Ditto: a duplicate of this picture is at Windsor Justa, one of the two Patronesses of the city of Seville, from Castle-A portrait of Sir
Peter Lely, probably by Dahl-Porthe Cathedral, Zurberun -- A whole-length portrait of the Count trait of Sir Godfrey Kneller's Wife and Child, engraved by of Fama, a Valencian nobleman, with a Dog, Espinosa—Two Smith, in mezzotinto-Sir Thomas More, Holbein-Lady Elismall Landscapes, with the Stories of the Burning Bush and of zabeth Felton, as Cleopatra with the pearl, Italian Master un. Samson, Orrente-A Philosopher, Spagnoletto. From the ca- certain-Mrs. 'Woodley, mother to the Lady of the present prothedral of Placentia, in Spain, to which it passed from the col- prietor, Sir Joshun Reynolds.--There 'are also several family lection of Philibert, Duke of Savoy.
portraits in miniature, by Cooper, Hoskins, and others.
Weston Birt, Gloucestershire :
THE SEAT OF
GEORGE HOLFORD, ESQ., M.P.
Weston Birt is situated three miles below Tetbury, and about sixteen south of the City of Gloucester, on the borders of Wiltshire, about four miles from Malmesbury. The Mansion appears to have been originally erected in the time of Elizabeth, or the early part of the reign of James I., the centre and extremities of the building being surmounted in the accustomed style of that period by pointed gables, terminating in small carved finials; the handsome clustered chimneys, also adorned with various mouldings on the shafts, form a distinguished feature in the picturesque edifices of that time. The repairs of this Seat have been conducted with particular care, so as to form a perfect restoration of its architectural peculiarities. The windows are square, with stone mullions, and headed by the label cornice; but the entrance in the centre is by a pointed arch doorway. The embattled Tower of the parish Church is seen on the right of our view. In the North aisle is a small chapel. John Crew, Esq., who died in 1654, is buried in the church-yard.
The Manor of Weston Birt was formerly in the possession of the Crew family, from whence, by marriage, it came into that of the present owner. The Crews of Weston Birt were a branch of the ancient family of that name in Cheshire. The heiress of this estate married Sir Richard Holford, Knight, who was appointed Master in Chancery in the year 1693. Robert Holford, Esq., was also Master in Chancery in 1712, and was succeeded in 1750 by Peter Holford, Esq., who died senior Master in 1804. He was also one of the Governors of the New River Company for many years.
The following account of the early deseent of the Manor, is given in Atkyn’s History of the County : Elnod held Westone, in Langtrew Hundred, in the reign of King Edward the Confessor; Earl Hugh held it in the reign of King William.
This Manor, and the Manor of Beverston, belonged to Maurice de Gaunt, Earl of Lincoln, in the seventeenth year of the reign of John. Hugh Le Despencer, the younger, was seised of the Manor of Weston Birt, fifth of Edward II. Margaret, widow of John Giffard, held the same, sixth of Edward III. Sir Ralph de Willington died seised of this Manor, twenty-second of Edward III. Thomas Lord Berkeley held it, thirty-fifth of Edward III. Sir John Paulet, and Margaret his wife, were seised of the Manors of Weston Birt and Poulton, fifteenth of Richard II. John, son and heir of Ralph de Willington, and grandson of Sir John de Willington, died seised of the Manor, and of the Advowson of the Church, twentieth of Richard II. John, the son of John Wroth and of Joan Willington, held the Manor of Weston Birt, 13th of Henry IV.
Isabel, daughter of William Beaumont, was seised of it, second of Henry VI. Sir John Berkeley held the same, sixth of Henry VI. Sir Thomas Beaumont was seised thereof, twentyninth of Henry VI. In this family it remained till John Beaumont, clerk, and John Chichester, and Margaret his wife, levied several fines of this Manor, sixteenth, eighteenth, and twentieth of Henry VII., to Richard, Bishop of Durham, and to divers other bishops, to the Earl of Oxford, Sir Giles D’Aubeny, and many other great persons. Giles Lord D’Aubeny died seised of the Manor, sixth of Henry VIII. Sir William Berkeley died in possession of it, fifth of Edward VI., and was succeeded by his son, John Berkeley. Edward, Duke of Somerset, then held it, and after his attainder it was granted to James Basset, fourth of Mary. It was again granted to Arthur Basset, seventh of Elizabeth. Nicholas Dymery was Lord of the Manor in the year 1608, after which it came to the Crews.