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Behold this spirit-calming vale,
Here stillness reigns-'tis stillness all;
Or distant sound of water-fall. .
The Hermits long forsaken cell,
0! fear to die!-not living well!
Thou'lt bear life's ill, nor fear to die;-
M. K. 1782. The Grove, since its first proprietor, has been in the possession of Mr. Bockett, and at present belongs to Mr. George Barclay.
On the opposite eminence is situated a seat, called DENBIGHS, formerly remarkable for its gardens, laid out in a singular style, by Jonathan Tyers, Esq. the first proprietor of Vauxhall of that name; now belonging to Joseph Denison, Esq. Among other singularities, Mr. Tyers had contrived to represent “ The Valley of the Shadow of Death.” Awful and tremendous the view, on a descent into this gloomy vale! There was a large alcove, divided into two compartments, in one of which the Unbeliever was represented dying in great agony,
Near him were his books, which encouraged him in his libertine course, such as Hobbes, Tindal, &c. In the other was the Christian, represented in a placid and serene state, preparing for the mansions of the blessed.
DORKING is a pleasant little market town, situated about twentythree miles from London, on a rock of soft sandy stone, in the angle of two fine vallies surrounded by beautiful bills, from which are such grand prospects as are unparallelled by any inland country in this kingdom.
The town was destroyed by the Danes, but being rebuilt by Canute or his Norman successors, was granted to John earl of Warren and Surrey by Edward II. in 1316. In 1518, a fourth part of this manor was recovered, by Maurice marquis Berkley, from king Henry the Eighth, by law, to whom the marquis's late brother had, to his prejudice, conveyed it. In 1547, Thomas Mowbray, earl of Surrey, held this in right of his wife in marriage. Threefourths of this manor now belong to the heirs of the late Sir William Burrell; the other part to Sir Henry Paulet St. John Mildmay, heir to Mrs. Tucker, of Betchworth Castle.
The custom of Borough English prevails in this manor, that is, the youngest son is heir to a copyhold estate; which is supposed to have originated with the Saxons. Also another antient custom was, that the lord had a right to claim the first night's lodging with every bride on her wedding-night; which Dr. Plott supposes was the reason for the tenant's making his youngest son his heir, that he might be secure he was his own. But, as the lord made laws for his tenants, and not the tenant for himself, this is not probable.
The CHURCH was collegiate, founded and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It has a square tower near the middle, in which are six bells and a set of chimes. Tradition ascribes the building to the founder of the church of St. Mary Overy, Southwark, and that there were several other churches here. Through the churchyard passes the Roman causeway,
called Stane Street, over Letherhead Downs, &c. towards London.
About half a mile north of the town are large chalk-pits, whence are carried great quantities of chalk for manure; and the lime from the neighbourhood is generally reckoned superior to that made in most parts of England.
The meal trade at Dorking is considerable. The market day is Thursday, which, for many ages, has been one of the greatest in England for poultry; it is likewise a good corn market. There is only one fair, held the day before
Ascension Day, for cattle and lambs, and used to be accounted one of the greatest lamb fairs in England; but is very much reduced, on account of the dealers round Horsham engrossing great numbers and sending them to Smithfield market. The fair still continues for toys, &c.
Dorking is seated on the river Mole; an incredible quantity of poultry is sold bere, which are large and fine, and remarkable for having five claws. Frequently, about Christmas, capons are so large, as to weigh between seven and eight pounds out of their feathers.
On COTMAN DEAN, a pleasant little common or heath, which London physicians say possesses the finest air in England, are almshouses for widows, who have ueat apart. ments and an allowance in money.
On this Dean stands DEEPDEN, situated in a valles, surrounded by steep hills. Deepden is remarkable for having been the residence of the great earl of Arundel (the collector of antique statues, &c.) in the troublesome and dangerous times of Charles I. In the eighteenth century, Mr. Charles Howard, who here amused himself with chemistry and other philosophical researches, planted the level ground about the house with a variety of exotics. improving the pleasure grounds, some of the flues of the old elaboratory were dug up.
The hills were covered with trees on every side, excepting the south aspect, which was planted with vines; and some tolerably good wine was made here, though the hill is so steep, that it is difficult to ascend it: the vineyard is no more. On the summit of this hill is a summer house, where, in a clear day, the sea may be discerned. This romantic spot descended to the late duke of Norfolk, who pulled down the old house, and built a handsome one in its stead. The offices being considerably lower than the house, the communication between them is subterraneous. The late duchess was very fond of the gardens, and formed here a hermitage, with all the humble requisites for a holy anchorite. In the gardens, on the sides of the bill, are
several natural caverns. The present duke sold the place, in 1791, to the late Sir William Burrell, bart, whose widow resides here.
About five miles from Dorking, towards Horsham, is Leith Hill, on the highest part of which is a tower, erected by the late Richard Hull, Esq. who ordered his remains to be buried underneath. From this tower the prospect is esteemed equal, if not superior, to any in the kingdom, and perhaps in Europe. The curious stranger feels (when he approaches the platform that surrounds the tower) such sensations as we may suppose Adam to have felt when he instantaneously burst into existence, and the beauties of Eden struck his all-wondering eyes. It is really impossible for the most descriptive and animated language to describe or justly convey a proper idea of this enchanting prospect. The best description that has yet appeared was given by that great critic Mr. Dennis, who says,
“ In a late journey I took through Surrey, I passed over a hill which shewed me a more transporting sight than ever the country had shewn me before, either in England or Italy. The prospects which in Italy pleased me the most, were, the Valdarno from the Appennines; Rome and the Mediterranean from the mountains of Viterbo, the former at forty and the latter at fifty miles distance; and, the Champagne of Rome from Tivoli and Frescati : from which places you see every foot of that fa. mous Champagne, even from the bottom of the Tivoli and Fres. cati to the very foot of the mountains of Viterbo, without any thing to intercept your sight. But from a hill I passed in my late journey, I had a prospect more extensive than any of these, and which surpassed them at once in rural charins, pomp, and magnificence-the hill which I speak of is called Leith Hill, and is situated about six miles south of Dorking; it juts itself out about two miles beyond that range of hills which terminate the North downs on the south. When I saw from one of those hills, at about two miles distance, that side of Leith Hill which faces the downs, it appeared the most beautiful prospect I had ever seen. But, after we had conquered the hill itself, I saw a sight that would transport a Stoic; a sight that looked like en. chantment and vision! Beneath us lay open to our view all the
wilds of Surrey and Sussex, and a great part of those of Kerrt, admirably diversified in every part of them with woods, and fields of corn and pasture, and every where adorned with stately rows of trees, This beautiful vale is about thirty miles in breadth, and about sixty in length; and is terminated to the south by the majestic range of the southern hills and the sea,
and it is no easy matter to decide whether these hills, which appear thirty, forty, or fifty, miles distance, with their tops in the sky, seem more awful and venerable, or the delicious vale between you and them more inviting. About noon, in a serene day, you may, at thirty miles distance, see the water of the sea through a chasm of the mountains; and that above all which makes it a noble and wonderful prospect is, that at the very time that, at thirty miles distance, you behold the very water of the sea, at the same time you behold to the southward the most delicious rural prospect in the world. At the same time, by a little turn of
your head towards the north, you look full over Box Hill, and see the country beyond it between that and London; and, over the very stomachers of it, see St. Paul's at twenty-five miles distance, and London beneath it, and Hampstead and Highgate beyond it.”
It commands a view of the county of Surrey, part of Hampshire, Berkshire, and Nettlebed in Oxfordshire; some parts of Bucks, Hertfordshire, Middlesex, Kent, and Es.. sex; and, by the belp of glasses, Wiltshire. The whole circumference of the extent of vista is at least two hundred miles, which far exceeds that of the keep and terrace at Windsor Castle, over which may be seen as far as the eye, unarmed with art, is able to distinguish land from sky. Leith Hill Tower is a very conspicuous object, and it is much to be lamented that Mr. Hull did not, by his will, oblige his heirs (who came into the possession of a large estate) to keep it in repair; the sepulchre of their benefactor is, however, entirely neglected. On the west side, over the entrance, is a stone with the following inscription :
Ut terram undique beatam