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Leith Hill Place, arm.
Et omnium Within side the tower, against the East wall, was a Portland stone (now dashed to pieces) containing the following in. scription :
Underneath this floor lieth the body of
RICHARD HULL, Esq.
A native of Bristol,
Mr. Hull was the eldest bencher of the Inner Temple, and served many years in the parliament of Ireland, where, by probity and vigilance, he zealously supported the intërest of his constituents, and, after a long and faithful ser. vice in that station, he retired from the exercise of public to the enjoyment of private virtues ; the testimony of a good conscience being bis reward. He was a person eminent for the accomplishments of his mind and the purity of his heart. He lived, in the earlier part of his life, in habits of intimacy with Pope, Trenchard, bishop Berke ley, and many other shining characters of those times; and, to wear off the rémainder of his days, he purchased Leith Hill Place for a retirement, where he led the life of a true Christian rural philosopher; and, by his particular desire and directions, his remains were deposiied in a private manner under this tower, which he erected a few years before his death.
Returning to Dorking, and keeping along the Mole, we arrive at BetchWORTH CASTLE, which formerly belonged to earl Warren; from whom it passed to the Fitz Alans, earls of Arundel; by different descents, iť devolved to Sir Adam Brown, whose daughter and heir married Mr. Fenwick; whence it came to the late Abraham Tucker, Esq. VOL: V. No, 115,
(author of an excellent work on Metaphysics, entitled tñe Light of Nature pursued, under the signature of Abraham Search, Esq.) He bequeathed this estate to his daughter, Mrs. Tucker; and on her decease her nephew, Sir Henry St. John Pawlet Mildmay, bart. became lord of the manor, who has let the.castle to Henry Peters, Esq.
A mile hence is TRANQUIE DALE, the elegant villa of Mr. Petty. The situation of this charming place seems to correspond with its appellation; being consecrated, as it were, more particularly to the lovers of rural quiet and contemplation. The next place of consideration is
REIGATE, a borough in the valley of Holmesdale, twenty-one miles from London. It had a castle, built by the Saxons, on the east side of the town, some ruins of which are still to be seen; particularly a long vault, with a room at the end, large enough to hold five hundred persons; where the barons, who took up arms against John, are said to have had their private meetings. This cave is esteemed a great curiosity.
About the year 1270, in the reign of Henry III. John çarl of Warren and Surrey, and Allan lord Zouche, having a trial concerning a certain manor before the king's justices in Westminster Hall, there happened to pass very reproachful language between the earl and the said baron, and they at last came to blows, insomuch that the earl and his followers being privately armed, set upon the lord Zouche and his eldest son in open court, and wounded them both. After which he fled to his castle of Reigate, in Surrey, and stood upon his defence; but prince Edward was sent with some forces to reduce him to obedience; and at last he was fined five thousand pounds to the king, and two thousand pounds to the lord Zouch and his son*.
The town is pleasantly situated in a valley, denominated
* T. Wikes, p. 91. An. Waverl. p. 225. M. West. 399. Rapin, Vol. I
Holmsdale *; and its name, which in Saxon signifies the course or channel of a river, was given from its being seated on a branch of the river Mole.
Its very antient castle, during the Civil Wars of Charles I. was in the
possession of lord Monson, who forfeited it to the crown. Charles II. at his restoration, granted the manor and castle to his brother the duke of York; and at the revolution, they were again granted to lord Somers. The town gives title of baron to the earl of Peterborough.
Under the bill, adjoining to the south side, is a large house, formerly a priory of black canons, founded by William Warren, earl of Surrey, about the year 1245. It was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the Holy Cross; and at the Dissolution, its revenue was valued at 771. 14s. 11d. per annum. It was given to the earl of Nottingham, and afterwards sold to Sir John Parsons, lord mayor of London; it was lately in the possession of Mr. Parsons, Sir John's grandson, and is now possessed by Mr. Mowbray. This seat is beautified with plantations, and a large piece of water. In the house are two halls, each fifty feet long, and of a proportionable breadth; but the ceilings are low. The carving about the house appears to be very antient. The whole is surrounded with hills on every side, so as to tender the prospect very romantic. In Reigate the late lord Shaftesbury, author of " The Characteristics," had a house, to which he frequently retired when he was inclined to seclude himself from company. The house is now possessed by a private gentleman, who has laid out and planted a small spot of ground in so many little parts, as to comprise whatever can be supposed in the most noble seats ; so that it may properly be called a model of a garden and park; for in the garden are a mount, a river, a parterre, and wilderness; besides the gardens, &c, a lawn
* It has been said that when the Danes were in England, the inhabitants of this town defeated some of their straggling parties, from whence they have ever since entertained a high opinion of their own bravery, of which they thus poetically boast :
The valley of Holmsdale
with four or five deer, ,terminated by a small wood; yet the whole compass of ground is no more than four acres. This has occasioned it to be called All the world in un acre.
Reigate sent members to parliament as early as the twenty-third of Edward I.
The weekly market on Tuesday was procured by charter from Edward II.; and one monthly on Wednesday, from Charles II. The fairs are held on Wednesday in the Easter week, Whit Monday, and St. James's Day. The neigh, bourhood abounds with fullers-earth, and medicinal plants and herbs.
The present CHURCH, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen, is supposed to have been built about the reign of Edward I. * and is of free stons, consisting of a nave, chancel, and three aisles, with a porch, which has been since added, now converted into a vestry room and library. The length of the fabric is about fifty yards, the breadth sixteen, and the tower, twenty-six bigh. The body of the church is very neatly fitted up, and the windows have crown glass. Over the principal entrance at the west end, is a large gallery for singers. In the chancel are several curious, though no very antient monuments. On the side of the communion table is a large vault, in which were deposited several of the noble family of Howard of Effingham. Here are also memorials for Sir Edward Thurland, one of the barons of the Excheqyer, in the reign of Charles II. Sir Thomas Bludder, of Flanchford; the family of Ladbroke, of Trenches, &c. Over the vestry room is a very neat
* There is ho mention of a church at Reigate, in Domesday Book, Cherchefeld, being the only name which it then bare. Salmon, in bis Antiquities of Surrers says, “ I do not apprehend how this of Cherchefeld was taken up, unless from some church built there early upon the conversion of the Saxons; some church, either the first hereabouts, or the. largest, or the most magnificent; or from a number of churches and chapels that stood here. Whatever there was, might be razed in inroads of the Pagan Danes, and nothing left besides the name (at the Conquest) and perhaps that which was afterwards, was erected by carl Warren.” Aubrey mentions three places of worship antiently here; St. Laturence, now a shop in Bell Street; Holy Cross, (a barn and coach house) both these churches anterior to the Conquest; a third, dedicated to St. Thomas à Becket, at present the market and sessions house.
Parochial library. In the tower are eight fine bells. A free school was established here in 1675. The population of Reigate bas been estimated at upwards of nine bundred, persons inhabiting two hundred houses.
GATTON, near Reigate, is of very antient date; and though formerly a considerable town, is now reduced to a small village. From the number of coins and other antiquities found, it is supposed to have been a Roman station. The town was once destroyed by the Danes The borough consists of only a few houses, and was the property of Sir George Colebrooke: after his failure in the funds, it was sold by the assignees, under his commission, to lord Newhaven. Since the year 1786, it has been purchased and repurchased by three or four different persons. The returning officer is the constable appointed at the court-leet of the two proprietors. In this case, the constituent and representative body, who are the same in number, may also possibly be the same persons, as they would have the power to elect each other. Gatton began to send members 29 Henry VI. The river Mole riscs in this parish, it is also noted for a quarry of white free-stone, which is soft, and endures the fire admirably well in winter, but peither sun nor air. This stone is much used by chemists, bakers, glass houses, &c.
Horley, near Charlwood, south-east of Reigate, had once a castle on Thunderfield Common, that inclosed near iwo acres, which are since so overgrown with wood and thorns, that there is hardly any sign of its foundation,
Gatton Park, is the seat of colonel Hay; and Upper Gatton is the mansion of colonel Mark Wood.
At the distance of five miles from Reigate, and twenty from London, is BLECHINGLEY, a small antient parliamentary borough by prescription, having enjoyed that privilege from the twenty-third of Edward I.
This borough consists of about sixty small houses, and is a proper companion to Gatton, from which it is distant about three miles. The right of voting is burgage tenure; and the lord of the manor's bailiff was the returning officer; þut by the last resolution of the House of Commons in