Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

tellated structures as were supposed to interfere with its speculations in local improvement. In more secluded situations, the havoc has sometimes been equally complete. The agriculturalist, and the repairer of the highways, bave, in too many instances, profited by such remains of these angust fabrics as were remote from busy haunts; and thus has proceeded a gradual work of destruction, in which time and weather (the agents most readily named, and to which the devastation is usually attributed] have, in reality, had little share. But the hand of antiquarian taste bas interposed in late years, and has preserved from entire demolition numerous relics, threatened by ignorance and avarice. Such vestiges are likely to remain for many centuries, if they meet with a similar protection. It is, however, chiefly as ruins that we view these monuments of ancient baronial grandeur. Pew castles, that were the heads of baronies in years shortly following the Norman Conquest, are now in a habitable state; although, perbaps, often renovated in different descending ages.

To the indeterminate style last noticed, in which irregular pre. cautions of defence were blended with efforts towards internal amplitude and convenience, succeeded a mode of architecture purely domestic as to its uses, although exhibiting partially the aspect of castellation.- Long accustomed to associate an idea of soited grandeur of residence with that of a threatening military ontline, our ancestors, when they relinquished the fortress as a baronial seat, erected in its place an ostentatious kind of fabric, which must be described as a castellated house. *

From their want of massive solidity, few of these buildings remain at the present day, even in ruins; and most have been entirely rased to the ground, and supplanted by inansions, which, in their turn, have also yielded to time and fashion, and are now

either

• One of the strongest buildings of this description, if, indeed, it properly fall under such a class, was Raglan castle, Monmouthshire; memorable for the gallant defence made by the Marquis of Worcester against the Parliamentarians. Vide Beauties for Monmouthshire, p. 150, et seq.

either destroyed, or defaced by spruce modern fittings-up. The ancient castellated house affords a subject of antiquarian enquiry, very curious in regard to the manners of several obscure ages; and we are fortunate in having a specimen, free from important innovation, although much neglected, in Haddon-Hall, Derbyshire.

The venerable mansion thus denominated, * is seated on the brow of a sleep hill; and its lofty turrets and embattlements, when viewed from a distance, give it the appearance of a regular and strong fortress. Bul, on a closer inspection, these indications of defensible arrangement are found to be fallacious, and intended merely for oruament. The whole of the structure is open to approach, and designed, through all its interior, for the purposes of family accommodation, and rude, but generous, hospitality.

The buildings surround two paved quadrangular courts; and the various apartments into which they are divided are extremely numerous, but are devoid of elegance, and even of convenience. The great hall, situated in the principal, or outward, court, was, evidently, the public dining room of the mansion; and has a raised floor at the upper end, for the baronial family and their most distinguished guests. Over one side, and, likewise, over a skreen at the lower end, is a gallery, supported on pillars.

The rooms appropriated to the domestic retirement of the beads of the fomily, were few, and of a dreary character. Independent of a vast assemblage of offices, and chambers, for that numerous throng of retainers supposed necessary to the dignity of the esta. blishment, the chief apartment, after a notice of the hall, is a gallery, 110 feet in length, and 17 feet in width, occupying one entire side of the second court. All the principal rooms, with an exception of the gallery, were

hung

• For a more extended account of Haddon hall, or house, see Beauties for Derbyshire, p. 494 ; and Archeologia, Vol. vi. in which latter work is *ground-plan of the building,

hung with loose arras; and the doors were uniformly concealed behind the hangings. This practice, however, must not be entirely attributed to fashion, or a love of ornainent. Such a thick and warm skreen was necessary to protect the inmates of those apartments from the chill streams of air, which otherwise penetrated the most close recesses of such vast and ill-contrived buildings.*

This spacious mansion comprised within its courts a chapel, having two side aisles, in one of which were placed long oaken benches for the domestics. Two “ large bigh pews, on each side the body of the structure, and reaching from the middle nearly as far as the altar,” were appropriated to the use of the family.

Most buildings so extensive are the works of several ages. The oldest part of Haddon Hall (a tower over the gateway, on the east side of the upper quadrangle) is believed to have been erected about the reign of Edward the Third; and the chapel is of the time of Henry the Sixth. But not any part of the building is of a later date than the 17th century; and the whole may certainly be received, in outline, as an example of the castellated domestic style which succeeded to the declined mode of actual castellation, finally abandoned soon after the reign of Richard the Second.

Amongst those few remaining buildings which partake of the above character, may be noticed the mansion termed Hampton court,

. An idea of the rude character of carpenter's, or joiner's work, even in the most splendid mansions of the 16th century, may be formed from a passage in Laneham's account of Queen Elizabeth's memorable visit to Kenil. worth castle. This writer, who was a servant in waiting, observes “ that if the councell sit, and I take a lystenar, or a pryer-in, at the chinks, or at the Lok-hole, I am by-and-by in the bones of him."

+ In this chapel is an old stone font; a circumstance worthy of notice, as fonts for the administration of the baptisnual sacranient rarely occur in private chapels. The ancient chapel of Westenhanger, Kent, was lišewise provided with a fout. See Beauties for Kent, p. 1135.

in the county of Hereford.* This structure was erected in the reign of Henry the Fourth, and surrounds a quadrangular court, having a grand tower of entrance in the centre of the principal front, and a smaller tower at each extremity. It is observable that, in this instance, the gateway is machicolated, and “deeply embattled,” although, in general character, the other parts of the building were not calculated for a lasting defence. The in- . terior contains many spacious apartments.

Oxburgh Hall, in the county of Norfolk,t also presents curious lineaments of the style imitative of castellation, mingled with the open arrangements of confidential intercourse. This building, which surrounded a square court, was encompassed by a moat, and was entered by an einbattled tower gateway, that still remains, nearly in its original state, and exhibits a conspicuous instance of the parade of fortification, without the real means of permanent resistance. I

Traces of the saine style of architecture may, likewise, be ob.' served in the ruins of Nether Hall, Essex ; § a brick mansion, which originally surrounded a quadrangular court.

In the instance of these curious piles we may satisfactorily notice the rise of a fashion in domestic architecture; but the pro. gress of such a inode towards the next determinate stage of architectural fashion, is nearly lost in the ruin to which defenceless noble dwellings were subject, from causes already stated; to which may be added the ravages effected in the calamitous war between the rival roses.

· It is, however, to be ascertained that such arts of building as were conducive to interior convenience and comfort, moved one wards with creditable success; and that a great improvement 2 F

took

• Beauties for Herefordshire, p. 576, et seq. with an engraved view.

+ Beauties for Norfolk, p. 276, et seq. * An engraved view of the “ Tower gateway” of Oxburgh Hall is inserted in Britton's Architectural Antiquities, Vol. II.

The ruinous remains of Nether Hall are described in the Beauties for Esses, p. 428—9.

took place in the arrangement and embellishments of the state apartments of a mansion, before the expiration of the 15th century.

Many parts of the capacious seat termed Krole, or Knowle, near Seven-Oxks, in Kent,* were built by Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Cauterbury, about the time of Edward the Fourth; and the buildings attributed to that prelale display ostentatious and futile marks of imitative castellation, while a still greater attention is paid to the refinements of secure social intercourse than is to be observed at Haddon.

The remaining great hall of the house constructed by a citizen of London, Sir John Crosby, who built for his residence Crosby Place, in the latter part of the 15th century, is an interesting specimen of the costly ornaments bestowed on the interior of state rooins, in mansions of that date.

To such irregular, but vast, piles as those of Haddon-house and Knowle, succeeded the capacious quadrangular mansions of the time of Henry the Eighth. An excellent example of this style of building was lately to be seen in Cowdray-house, Sus. ses ;t and although that building is now in a state of ruin, through the devastation of an accidental fire, its original character may still be traced in the extensive remains.

The ruins of Thornbury Castle, in Gloucestershire,t present a fiue memorial of the ornamented style introduced at this era. The castle of Thornbury was begun by Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham; but was left unfinished, in consequence of the fall and decapitation of that nobleman, in the year 1522.

A splendid specimen of the same style of architecture is, likewise, remaining, in the instance of Hengrave Hall, Suffolk.

The contemporary palaces of Richmond and Nonsuch exist muly in description and graphic delineation; but, in the ancient

parts

• Beauties for Kent, p. 1596.,

Susses, p. 59.
- - Gloucestershire, p. 725.

- Suffull, p. 124-5. Two fine engravings of this building ste given in Britton's architectural Antiquities, Vol. II.

« НазадПродовжити »