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ADLESTROP PARK, GLOUCESTERSHIRE.
stream, which rushes down a declivity over a rocky bed, falls into a lake at some distance from the house. The parish is bounded on the west by the river Evenlode, which flows into the Isis. The name is supposed by Atkyns to be derived from the Saxon Ædle, noble, and Throp, habitation. The manor and estate belonged to the Abbey of Evesham from the Con
quest to its dissolution; after which, in the seventh of Edward VI., it was granted to Sir Thomas Leigh, Knt., a member of a very ancient family of that name in Cheshire, who was Lord Mayor of London in the first year of Queen Elizabeth's reign, and left at his decease, in the fourteenth year of her reign, three sons, Rowland, Thomas, and William, and assigned
his estate at Adlestrop to the eldest, which has remained the seat and residence of the represen
tative of the eldest branch of the family, until they inherited Stoneleigh Abbey, in Warwickshire, their principal estate, which had been bequeathed in the reign of Elizabeth to Thomas, the second
son of Sir Thomas Leigh, Knt.
Cams Hall, Hampshire ;
THE SEAT OF
HENRY PETER DEL ME, ESQ.
CAMS Hall is situated in Portsdown Hundred, on the east side of the lake or inlet of Portsmouth Harbour that runs up to Fareham, from which town it is distant about one mile. It stands in a very pleasant though not extensive Park, and being on an eminence, the Mansion not only forms a conspicuous object in the views from a considerable distance, but commands a delightful and extensive prospect over a most interesting tract of country, including the hills of the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Harbour, Spithead, and the British Channel.
The old house, which had stood for many years, was taken down by the late John Delmė, Esq., the father of the present proprietor, who erected this more spacious edifice : it is built with brick, and covered with composition that gives it the effect of stone; the principal front from which the prospect is most pleasing, faces the South. The interior, though constructed on a splendid plan with spacious apartments, does not contain any works of art particularly worthy of notice. The fine Billiard Room and the Baths are excellent.
Mr. Delme lived not long to enjoy the charming retreat he had planned, and carried into execution at considerable expense. He died much lamented, May 10, 1809, aged only 36, when the seat devolved to his son, Henry Peter, the present possessor.
Titchfield House, an ancient seat of the Wriothesleys, Earls of Southampton, distant about four miles from Cams Hall, also belongs to Mr. Delme. It was erected on the site of an Abbey, by the first Earl of Southampton, and was purchased, by the late John Delmė's father, of the Duke of Beaufort, to whom it had devolved. Little is now left but the entrance-gateway and the Stables, which are curious.
Hackwood Park, Hampshire ;
THE SEAT OF
vinter it greatly ten were made in the anged in the old
This noble Mansion is situated towards the western boundary of the Park, and is encompassed by about one hundred acres of pleasure grounds, disposed into lawn, shrubbery, and a noble wood, bearing the name of Spring Wood, in which are many of the finest trees of the whole demesne. Over these the mantling ivy has been suffered to grow; and, by its rising to the highest branches, and thence hanging in rich and loose chains of thick foliage, it produces a very singular effect of beauty; and even in winter it greatly tends to enliven and animate the gloom of the season. Various alterations, on an extended scale, were made in the pleasure grounds by the late Lord Bolton, particularly on the south, which had been originaliy arranged in the old style, with terraces, ascended by flights of steps, and adorned with statues on pedestals, a great reservoir of water, angular ramparts, &c.; the view from the house was also intercepted by high yew hedges skirting long and formal avenues. Nature has now regained her rights; the avenues have been broken into walks and glades, and several distant views admitted.
The lower parts of the wood are in a wild and luxuriant state, with coppice plants and shrubs, sheltered beneath large and lofty timber trees. In the midst of this wilderness is a space, containing above four acres, assuming the form of an ancient amphitheatre, the boundary of which is composed of elms, closely planted, and rather inclining inward, so as to project their lofty heads and extended branches over the sides and ends of the area; the stage is a flat lawn at the lower end, from which seats of turf gradually rise in sweeping divisions, leaving one grand broad passage in the middle, from the bottom to the top, which terminates in a large circular recess, having in the midst the ruins of a rotunda, of classical construction. The most striking view of this theatre is obtained from the entry through the thicket at the bottom of the stage.
The whole of these pleasure grounds, with the adjoining parts of the Park, are thought to have formerly composed one large wood; and it appears to have been connected with Basing House and Castle by avenues of chesnuts, in length about two miles, some of which trees still exist; and long stems of considerable height have grown up from the undecayed parts of others. It was then appropriated to the favourite diversion of hawking, and called Hawking Wood, and now, by corrupt abbreviation, rendered Hackwood. The Park is very extensive ; the surface is boldly irregular, and partakes of the beautiful character of the neighbouring chalk downs; it is animated by between five or six hundred head of deer; the views are diversified by large groves of fine oak, ash, and beech trees, interspersed with thorns of extraordinary size and luxuriance.
The situation of the present Mansion was, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, occupied by a lodge, used as a place of meeting for the company assembled for the purpose of hawking, and as a banqueting-room after the sport was over.
After the celebrated blockade and siege of Basing House, and its consequent demolition in 1645, the Marquess of Winchester adapted the lodge, by necessary repairs, to his residence. His son, afterwards Duke of Bolton, completed the present building about the year 1688.* That date now appears on the great exterior pipes from the roof, the cisterns, backs of the stoves, &c.
Among the numerous portraits which adorn this Mansion are the following: a head of the first Marquess of Winchester, on panel, in the style of Holbein; a whole-length of John, fifth Marquess of Winchester; another of his second wife, who valiantly aided in the defence of Basing House, and also wrote a journal of the proceedings relating to the siege. Whole-length portraits of King William, in his robes of state, and of King George the First. These pictures were given by the respective monarchs to the first Duke of Bolton. Here is also a three-quarter portrait of Charles, third Duke of Bolton, who married Miss Lavinia Beswick, well known for having performed the part of Polly Peachum, in the Beggar's Opera.
* The general form of the House, as then finished, was a large central building, connected with two considerable wings by open corridors. The great hall was open from the ground floor to the roof; but in a subsequent alteration, this great height was reduced to twenty feet, and the hall was enriched by the introduction of some fine old oak carving, by Gibbons, brought from Abbotstone, a seat of the family near Alresford. The corridors were at the same time closed in, and some good offices were erected, together with the stables and a spacious riding-house. When the Mansion came into the possession of the late Lord Bolton, he immediately commenced the execution of a plan for essentially improving the accommodations; and his Lordship also erected a new Front on the north, about twenty feet from the former, with a handsome Portico, and connected with the old wings by a sweep of more grace and utility. Opposite the centre of this front stands an equestrian statue of George the First, a gift of that king to the Duke of Bolton, who had been honoured with his Majesty's notice and correspondence before he succeeded to the crown. The entrance Hall is spacious; forty feet by twenty-four feet. Many of the apartments have been enlarged, and others added, rendering the whole a truly noble residence.