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various transcripts relating to the manor, which are contained in a manuscript volume, in folio, composed about the time of Henry VI., and now in the possession of Sir Thomas Aubrey, Bart., the owner of this estate. It contains a rude delineation of the site of Borstall House, and its contiguous grounds; beneath which is the figure of a man on one knee, presenting a boar's head to the King, who is returning him a coat of arms.*
visions and obstructing the intercourse from the neighbouring country, soon became as great a nuisance to the king's garrison at Oxford, as their former neighbours had been to them; in consequence of which, Colonel Gage undertook to reduce it, and having, after a slight resistance, obtained possession of the church and outworks on the eastern side, he opened such a heavy fire against the manor-house and tower that it was shortly surrendered. On this oc
Sir Edward Walker, the Lady Denham, the then owner, being conscious of her disaffection, stole away in disguise. In the following year, two attacks were made on the royalists, at Borstall House, (the first by General Skippon, and the next by Fairfax,) but both were unsuccessful. In 1646, on the 10th of June, General Fairfax reduced it after an investiture of eighteen hours only, it being surrendered to him by the governor, Sir Charles Campion, who was subsequently slain at Colchester.
From an inquisition taken in the year 1265, it ap-casion, according to the "Historical Discourses" of pears that Sir John Fitz-Nigel, or Fitz-Neale, then held a hide of arable land, called the Dere-hide, at Borstall, and a wood, called Hull Wood, by grand serjeantry, as Keeper of the forest of Bernwood; that his ancestors had possessed the same lands and office prior to the Conquest, holding them by the service of a horn; and that they had been unjustly withheld by the family of Lazures, of whom William Fitz-Nigel, father of John, had been obliged to purchase them.+ Prior to this, William Fitz-Nigel had been obliged to pay King John eleven marks for the enjoyment of his father's office, and for liberty to marry at his own pleasure.I
In the 28th of Edward I., anno 1300, John FitzNigel gave his daughter in marriage to John, son of Richard de Handlo, who, in consequence of this match, became in a few years Lord of Borstall, and in 1322, (6th of Edward II.) he obtained license from the King, "to fortify his mansion at Borstall, and make a castle of it." In 1327, (2nd of Edward III.) the said John was summoned to parliament as a baron, but his son, or grandson, Edmund, dying in his minority, in 1356, this estate afterwards passed, by heirs female, into the families of De la Pole, James, Rede, Denham, Banistre, Lewis, and Aubrey. The latter has been in possession nearly a century and a half. Sir Thomas Aubrey, Bart. the present owner, resides at his seat, near Aylesbury. Bernwood was not disafforested until the reign of James I.
At an early period of the Civil Wars, Borstall House was garrisoned for King Charles, but in the spring of 1644, when it was thought expedient to abandon some of the lesser garrisons, this mansion was evacuated, and the fortifications were partly dismantled. This, however, had scarcely been effected, than the parliamentary garrison at Aylesbury, which had experienced much inconvenience by the incursions from Borstall, took possession, and by seizing pro
Vide" Archæologia," vol. iii. where the plan is engraved.
BORSTALL TOWER, the north front of which is represented in the annexed cut, is a good specimen of the castellated architecture of the time of Edward II. Its form is square, with embattled turrets at each angle; the entrance to the tower is over a bridge of two arches, which supplies the place of the ancient drawbridge, destroyed by order of parliament, when the tower and house were dismantled, in the year 1644. The gateway is secured by massive doors, strengthened with studs and plates of iron. Each of the northern turrets contains three apartments, which are light and lofty; the southern turrets contain spiral staircases, with stone steps leading to the upper apartments; the space over the gateway includes two large rooms, but the principal apartment is on the second story, and occupies the whole space between the turrets. Modern improvement has somewhat decreased its dimensions, by cutting off the recesses, formed by the bay windows, at each end and over the gateway, but it is still a noble room; the bay window last mentioned still retains part of the stained glass it was formerly decorated with, particularly an escutcheon of the De Lazures and the De Handloos. The roof is nearly flat, and forms a beautiful terrace; it was formerly covered with lead, which has since been replaced by copper, thinly leaded, to preserve it from corrosion. The south front, as seen from the pleasure ground, is peculiarly light and pleasing. Since the demolition of the old mansion by the late Sir John
+ Vide Bishop Kennet's "Parochial Antiquities of Am- Aubrey, (who died a few years ago, at the age of brosden," &c., p. 265. eighty-seven,) one side of the moat has been filled up, Ibid, but the other three sides still remain. p. 166.
A neat pa
rochial chapel was erected in 1819, on the ancient | its being more expensive than that of the others. site, by the late Sir John Aubrey; the chancel is lit This objection may be met by the same reply as by a handsome window, and contains an elegant monu- before, that it is not to the style itself, but to the ment in dove-coloured and white marble, to the memory degree of judgment with which it is treated, that the of the two wives of Sir John; and another, a very expense is attributable. Of this we have a perfect chaste specimen, in the perpendicular Gothic style, demonstration in the instances of three or four churches has been erected to the memory of Sir John Aubrey erected in this style, within the last few years, and himself, who is buried in the vault beneath the chancel. which do honour to the metropolis, whose cost has not exceeded the moderate limits of expenditure, that were thought to constitute the great excellence of the modern Grecian system of church-making.
ON THE COMPARATIVE MERITS OF THE CLASSIC STYLES
It forms a happy sign of improvement in the national taste, that we may now be allowed to institute a comparison of the ancient architecture of Greece and Rome with that of the middle ages in our own country and others adjacent-a permission, which to have asked a century ago would have been thought to stamp any one as an ignorant barbarian. That the case, however, is one not thus easily to be set aside by an affectation of classical accomplishment, (a feeling, perhaps, naturally enough attending the revival of classic literature,) will be evident upon a review of those qualities which are admitted by all to be decisive upon the value of an architectural system.
It is not to be denied, indeed, that an architect now thinks it impossible, consistently, to imitate the style of the middle ages without filling his windows with elaborate tracery, loading his cornices or stringmouldings with foliage, and vaulting his interiors with large groined ceilings, will find such a scheme altogether incompatible with limited means; but it is equally certain that if he apply an analogous rule of proceeding to the treatment of the other styles he will find himself involved in no less a difficulty. It may be granted further that the old English mode is not quite so manageable as to admit of the square openings and wide sashes, of the flat copings and level ceilings of modern domestic architecture; but it must be allowed in return, that in the former case the production however simplified bears a distinctive character, whereas, in the latter, we frequently cannot apply any epithet of classification to the mass of structures that are, indeed, mere brick boxes to hold human creatures.
But, the considerations of convenience and economy being disposed of, to what extent do the three styles in question relatively promote the ends of architecture as an ornamental science? That the great characteristic of the ancient Greek remains is extreme beauty, both in the detail and in the mass, must on all hands be admitted. It seems, however, to be a beauty inseparable from strict simplicity of arrangement; and accordingly we find in none of the
If the praise of convenience be claimed for the Italian and Greek modes, it would be difficult to prove that the Pointed style is in this particular at all their inferior. The difficulties experienced in the treatment of the latter are almost wholly accidental, and not such as grow out of any natural intractability of that style. These difficulties, perhaps, may be assigned to two causes; the one, that our forefathers were alike ignorant and careless of the refinements of modern luxury, and consequently have not left us examples for all those conveniencies of arrange-much-admired remains of Grecian temples, any conment, which modern habits and superfluous luxuries require, the other, that our architects have for centuries made so little use of the Pointed style, that they have failed from neglect of study to become acquainted with its resources. Let the latter occupy as much of their efforts and attention as the exotic styles have done, and it will soon be found to be destitute of no quality of convenience, whether in public or domestic edifices.
An objection is frequently raised against the adoption of the old English mode, on the supposition of
siderable diversity of plan, or variation of form from that of the original parallelogram. This simplicity was indeed so general, that, but for the varied decorations of sculpture, it would probably have soon been attended with satiety and change.
The Romans, as if desirous of having a world of their own in architecture as in arms, borrowed from the Greeks only a few crude ideas of component parts, and forthwith struck out for themselves a | variety of bold attempts, deriving new and valuable aid in their execution from the great discovery of the
principle of the arch. Their Italian successors, systematizing their ideas, and adding new devices as their wants and luxuries required, have produced a style which, though inferior to the Grecian in the beauty and finish of its component parts, much surpasses it in the grandeur of its combinations, and in the varied character of its picturesque masses. In illustration of these distinctive peculiarities of the Italian style, it would be scarcely possible to refer to a finer example than the dome of the metropolitan cathedral; together with which we might particularize the steeples of some half-dozen churches, among which the former rises preeminent. But if to each of these styles, distinguished as it is by its own attribute of the beautiful or the picturesque, we grant its own share of merit, we can scarcely refuse a double portion of approval to a style which unites in itself the qualifications of both the former, and that to an unlimited degree. Such is the Pointed style of architecture, stigmatized as it has been with the appellation of "gothic," by those whose contracted minds would not allow them to confess the existence of any beauty which was not regulated by arithmetical calculations, and geometrical problems. If the highest display of elegant combination be not found in the ever-varying designs of the old English windows, in the diversified exuberance of the appropriate foliage, bosses, and crockets, of the cornices, ceilings, and pinnacles,-in the undulating forms and appropriate character of mouldings,—in the clustered richness of the tall column or the sweeping arch, in the luxuriant tracery or branching ribs of the vaulted ceilings,-or in the elaborate varieties of screen, niche, canopy, altar, and stall,-it is to be found nowhere. Nor is the excellence of this style less in the command which it has of the picturesque in the external distribution of its masses, its shadowy or its flying buttresses, its dignified porches, its rising gables, its varying outlines of plan, broken only to enhance the interest, and its elegant and airy finishings of battlement, pinnacle, and tower, by which the eye is carried off into the clouds. But of all the combinations in which this great style displays its master-power, there is none so impressive as the effect of a well-composed interior. The Greek interiors were of no account; and even the finest efforts of Rome never made the slightest approximation to the overpowering grandeur of effect displayed in York Minster, or in King's College Chapel, those monuments of the artificial sublime. But we may also notice an additional advantage in the Pointed style, as resulting from the completeness of all its
collateral decorations. In the treatment of this style we have not, as in the case of Grecian art, to look abroad for windows, ceilings, pavements, &c. unknown to the inventors of that system; but we have in this a prototype for all the principal accessories sufficient for our direction in similar compositions. Indeed, to do justice to the recommendation of this department of architecture would be far beyond our limits; and almost the only remaining objection to its use that we can anticipate, is that arising from its solemnity of character. That its prevailing aspect is that of gravity, and often of solemnity, is admitted, and we grant therefore that it would not be suited for the purposes of a theatre; but the exceptions are few, compared with the many advantageous opportunities for its application. In short, adapted as it is to our climate and scenery, interesting as it is from old associations, and applicable as it is to all the great purposes of architectural science, we must confess it to be a subject every way worthy of the enthusiastic study of the artist, and the zealous patronage of the Englishman. E. T.
THOUGHTS ON THE MALVERN HILLS.
To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,
GENTLE READER, imagine thyself with him who, with the "hand of his heart," is tracing these lines ON THE SUMMIT OF THE Malvern HILLS. The breeze free, clear, and cutting; the month October, and the day sunny and joyous, though at intervals chequered, like life, with clouds, which cast their light and shade with magical effect, over the surface of that vast and matchless panorama.
Whatever may be asserted to the contrary, Cowper never wrote a truer line than when he said, "God made the country but man made the town." We know this jars with the sentiments of the large class of matter-of-fact people, the nil admirari description of travellers, who can hurry through the finest scenes, and cry "'tis all barren;" such persons view even the ocean as merely facilitating the purposes of traffic. To the lover of the country, mountains stand pre
eminently forth in the poetry of nature. How undefinable are those feelings which arise in our bosoms on beholding a lofty mountain from afar. How heartstirring a sun-burst amidst hills, now revealing for a moment that rocky hollow, now casting a blaze of radiance around the summit of that half-concealed steep.*—
to our hearts of our own decay; but as poor Keats
Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they?
But whither are we wandering, we are bewildered with that vast expanse of country, surveying moment county upon county of rich merry sylvan Eng-shire land, mansioned, abbeyed, towered, spired, castled;" in good sooth, we hardly know how to embrace it in description, for in the peculiar nature of the scenery, Malvern stands alone. October is a month after our own heart, and the richly wooded plain of Worcestershire appears to most advantage in its autumnal livery, while nature speaks thus silently, though eloquently,
We have understood, that objects in no fewer than twelve counties may be seen from the "WorcesterBeacon," the elevation we now stood upon. A landscape may suffer as much from a bad light as a picture, but on this day, the 17th of October, as noted in our journal, the purity and clearness of the atmosphere was very unusual. Immediately below us lay the entire counties of Worcester and Hereford. The eye roved over the vast sea of wood in the former, which seems one wide verdant forest. In the midst stood the city of Worcester, famous for its porcelain, with its massive cathedral, (in which repose the ashes of the tyrant John,) and its lofty spires; further onwards, in strong relief, the Clifton and Abberley hills rose over the plain; till we came to the Clee hills and Wrekin, famed in Salop, which bound the view in this direction; leaving Hagley Park, near which is comprehensible; it is, however, sufficiently clear, that certain contingent circumstances exercise a powerful influence over it. We have not yet mentioned Burns, of whose poetry it has been remarked, by those whose arguments we have been endeavouring to controvert, that "there is not much that is purely des
It has been ingeniously argued, that romantic and mountainous scenery exercises no influence in forming poetic fancy. Switzerland, that strong hold of the picturesque, is instanced; yet she has produced only one poet, Gesner. The names and histories of Shakspeare, Milton, Spenser, Dryden, Pope, and others, are also brought forward by these reasoners, with a view to prove that poetic feeling is affected by hidden and deeper influences, than mere external objects. It is true, that of our eminent English poets, many may have been born or lived in the metropolis; the crowded streets and noises of which are certainly not very poetical, and we believe that Dryden was laughed at for proposing to write an epic poem, because he had never seen a mountain, while a well-known living poet is jeered as the bard of Cockaigne. But we would en-criptive;" that he seldom soars amongst the more elevated of quire whether, in the majority of instances, the parties had not passed the period of early youth in the country, when the mind is a virgin field, open to all the mysterious influences of nature? There they drank at the fount of their inspiration, for who recalls without a bounding heart that happy period, when the world was yet a sunny paradise before him, when he climbed that crumbling relic of the olden time, swam that river, bounded over those hills, or lay amongst that new-made hay, looking at the glorious sun, yet unconscious of those quicksands which would ere long too fatally engrasp him. Indeed, the lives of most of our great modern poets stand directly opposed to this town theory. Byron was brought up, in early youth, in the highlands of Scotland, and passed much of his life amidst the most spirit-stirring of nature's scenes. Campbell still fondly clings to the remembrance of the land of his fathers; Scott has undoubtedly drawn the fount of his inspiration from the scenes he has passed his life amongst; Southey and Moore are said to detest a town; we have Wordsworth," Nature's bard," with Coleridge, and the other lake poets; nor should we omit Cunningham and Hogg in this brief enumeration. If these few eminent names, and many more might be added, do not establish the influence of scenery on poetic character, we are at a loss for an argument. A fine scene, or the moral of a ruin in a landscape, comes home with more or less effect to every mind. Still, however, we do not mean to argue that genius may not be found in Cheapside, as well as amongst the lakes; the mind, or in other words, the SOUL, is deep and in
nature's works, but is most himself whilst describing rural
the Leasowes of Shenstone, and glancing more to the west, we observed dense clouds of lurid smoke rolling in the horizon, over Birmingham and its thickly populated district; nearer to us lay the vale of Evesham, that rich and fertile belt of country stretching for a distance of forty miles, till it terminates at Thornbury, in Gloucestershire; the Severn might here and there be discovered winding through its high and wooded banks; the Edge Hills, near the classic Stratford-onAvon, where the first encounter between Charles and the Parliament took place, and the extensive Cotswold range melting away in the distance, rose in the background; the towns of Pershore, Tewkesbury, Upton, Cheltenham, with the city of Gloucester and its mag-pation were for the moment shrouded by romance. nificent cathedral, stood plainly forth on this part of the landscape; while the Bristol channel, having the appearance of a vast lake of molten silver, had an almost magical effect on the distant horizon.
within our gaze. But we were in a mood to read sermons in stones, and good in every thing." Scenes like these eminently tend to calm and to elevate the mind, and to lead us indeed from nature up to nature's God. One of the boasts of England, a snug farm-house, with its orchard and its trim stack-yard, and well-filled barn and out-tenements, bespeaking plenty and old English comfort, lay below us on the Herefordshire side of the hills. There we turned our eyes with pleasure, for we could individualise the interest, and we inwardly thought of the delights and the pleasures of farming and of a pastoral existence; the sterner realities of that once happy occu
On the reverse of the landscape was, as we have said, the whole county of Hereford, with its city and cathedral. Roving onwards over the irregular and undulating surface of this beautiful county, (watered by the Wye, and rich with orchards,) we rest on the confines of our British Alps, the "innumerous" hills of Cambria, amongst which the Black Mountains of Brecon and Radnor, rising 2600 feet, stood darkly forth on the frontier; till they mingled with the stern and varied features of Monmouth, and the western portion of the county of Gloucester. The gloomy and elevated nature of the scenery in this quarter of the country has a double effect on the mind, when it is considered that by a single turn of the head the senses wander from the wildness and desolation of that scene to the level plain of Worcestershire, prodigal in richness and fertility; while a host of cities, towns, villages, churches, farm houses, and many minor objects of interest are spread out before you as on a map; and the light and shadow, thrown at intervals over the whole country, give it a thousand different hues which a Claude might envy.
Many of the minor features of the Malvern Hills are highly picturesque; a gorge or an elevated broken rock, with scattered sheep, are objects the mind loves to rest on. We seem to rise above and cast off the littleness of the world, as we survey man and his abodes from a lofty elevation. What a vast field for reflection is opened in the scene before us. What a contrast to the busy stream of human existence in the plains beneath did this elevated solitude present. How much of misery or of happiness-of good and of evil; how many an aching heart under a careless brow was to be found in the space embraced
A word or two on the HILLS themselves and on the interesting watering-place of Malvern, and we have done. The Malvern Hills are a vast mass of quartz and limestone, rising at the southern extremity of Worcestershire, partially dividing that county from Hereford and Monmouth, and stretching gradually towards that tract; rich to a proverb, which is known as the Vale of Evesham. Standing thus alone in the landscape, it possesses a peculiar character. In a hilly country the variety of commanding objects divide the attention; but thy "blue steep," O Malvern, is ever the same, vasty yet not stern, of matchless sweep, a monarch in the land! Thou art yet before us as we saw thee last, at the close of an Autumn's day; thy flowing majesty of outline stretching away with a giant's grasp, till lost and blended with the shadows of evening; whilst the dying halo from the departing sun threw thy purple summits clearly and beautifully out on the heavens.
This was from the "Old Hills," a range of eminences (which are endeared to our remembrance,) about five miles from Worcester and four from Malvern. The view from this point is eminently fine; the eye wandering over a richly-wooded and fertile vale, which sweeps gently away below you, while the Malvern chain, towering in the distance, forms a matchless background. It is a landscape of singular beauty. The sequestered village, (and Abbey church of Great Malvern,) which chiefly lies along an elevated natural terrace on the side of the hills, below the two highest summits, is plainly discernible from this spot. It holds a high rank in picturesque beauty, and as a watering place it is quite unique. The Malvern Hills may lay claim to some interest in a literary point of view, apart from that which they derive from their natural attractions. They were the scene of the earliest British poem, the "Visions of William, concerning Piers Plowman," which is supposed to