MORTE POINT AND BIDEFORD.
A few miles westward the coast-line suddenly bends to the southward, the angle being marked by a wild, rocky headland known as Morte Point, which the Devonshire proverb describes as "the place on earth which Heaven made last and the devil will take first." It is a chaos of rock-ridges, the sea washing against it on three sides, and is a noted place for wrecks. Far out at sea can be seen a half-submerged black rock which the Normans christened the Morte Stone, or "Death Rock." To the southward sweeps a fringe of yellow sand around Morte Bay, and behind the headland is the little village of Morthoe, where Tracy is buried. Beyond the boundary of the bay, at Baggy Point, is another and broader bay, whose shores make a grand sweep to the westward again. This is Barnstaple Bay, into which flows a wide estuary forming the outlet of two rivers: the northernmost is the Taw, and at the head of its estuary is Barnstaple. The other is the Torridge, and upon it, at about nine miles distance from Barnstaple, is the small but prettier town of Bideford. This is described by Kingsley as a little white town, sloping upward from its broad tidal river, paved with yellow sands, and having a many-arched old bridge towards the uplands to the westward. The wooded hills close in above the town, but in front, where the rivers join, they sink into a hazy level of marsh and low undulations of sand. The town has stood almost as it is now since Grenvil, the cousin of William the Conqueror, founded it. It formerly enjoyed great commercial prosperity under the patronage of the Grenvilles, reaching its height in the seventeenth century. The old quay remains. The ancient bridge, which is a remarkable one, was built five hundred years ago, and is constructed on twenty-four piers, firmly founded, yet shaking under the footstep. The superstitious say it is of miraculous origin, for when they began to build it some distance farther up the river, each night invisible hands removed the stones to their present position. It is also a wealthy bridge and of noble rank, having its heraldic coat-of-arms (a ship and a bridge proper on a plain field) and owning broad estates, with the income of which "the said miraculous bridge has from time to time founded chantries, built schools, waged suits-at-law, and, finally, given yearly dinners, and kept for that purpose the best-stocked cellar of wines in all Devon."
The coast of Barnstaple Bay sweeps around to the westward again, and here, under the precipitous crags, nestling in one of the most picturesque nooks in all England, is Clovelly. From an inland plateau of considerable elevation the land falls steeply to the sea, with a narrow strip of sand or shingle sometimes interposed, whereon the surf dashes before it reaches the rocks. Dense foliage, with here and there a protruding crag, overhangs the cliffs. Ravines occasionally furrow the rocky wall, and in one of these Clovelly is situated, beginning with some scattered houses on the margin of the plateau above, descending the cliff in one steep street, and spreading out about a miniature harbor on the edge of the sea. There are few such streets to be seen elsewhere—not made for wheeled vehicles, but paved in a series of broad steps, over which the donkeys and the population plod with the produce of the fleet of fishing-boats the village owns. It is narrow, with strangely-shaped houses jumbled together alongside, and balconies and bay-windows, chimneys and gables—all mixed up together. Here Kingsley spent most of his boyhood, and hither flock the artists to paint odd pictures for almost every British art-exhibition. Its little pier was built in Richard II.'s time, when as now it was a landing-place for the mackerel-and herring-boats. This quay has recently been somewhat enlarged. Clovelly Court, the home of the Careys, is near by, with its beautiful park extending out to the tall cliffs overhanging the sea. On one craggy point, known as Gallantry Bower, and five hundred feet above the waves, was an old watch-tower of the Normans, now reduced to a mere ring of stones; and to the westward a few miles the bold rocks of Hartland Point mark another angle in the coast as it bends southward towards Cornwall. Eleven miles out to sea, rising four hundred feet and guarded all around by grim precipices, is Lundy Island. Here in a little cove are some fishermen's huts, while up on the top is a lighthouse, and near it the ruins of the old Moresco Castle. We have already referred to Sir Walter Raleigh's judicial murder: it was accomplished mainly through the treachery of his near kinsman, Sir Lewis Stukely, then vice-admiral of Devon. This and other actions caused Stukely to be almost universally despised, and he was finally insulted by Lord Howard of Effingham, when he complained to the king. "What should I do with him?" asked James. "Hang him? On my sawl, mon, if I hung all that spoke ill of thee, all the trees in the island were too few." Being soon afterwards detected in the royal palace debasing the coin, he fled to Devon, a ruined man. But he found no friends, and, every door being closed against him, he sailed out to Lundy Island, and died alone in a chamber of the ruined castle.
Pursuing the bold shores of Cornwall southward, we pass many crags and headlands, notably the Duke of Cornwall Harbor, protected by high projecting cliffs, and just below find the ruins of King Arthur's castle of Tintagel, located amid some of the most romantic scenery of this grand line of coast. Here King Arthur is supposed to have been born, and the fortress, built on a high rock almost surrounded by the sea, was evidently of great strength. Here on the shore are King Arthur's Cliffs, and their attractions, with the little church of Tintagel and the partly-ruined fishing-town of Bossiney, make the place a popular resort for poets and painters. Not far away in the interior, and standing near the Tamar River on the top of a steep hill, is Launceston Castle, with the town built on the adjacent slopes. The ruins, which are of great antiquity, cover considerable surface, the walls being ten or twelve feet thick, and the keep rising high upon the top of the hill, nearly one hundred feet in diameter. This keep is said to have been an ancient British structure. Old Roman and also leather coins have been found in it, and it was a renowned stronghold when William the Norman came to England and gave it to Robert, Earl of Moreton. It now belongs to the Duchy of Cornwall. It was garrisoned for King Charles in the Civil War, and was one of his last supports. Westward in Cornwall is Camelford, over which frown the two Cornish mountains, Rowtor and Brown Willy, a short distance to the southward, rising respectively thirteen hundred and thirteen hundred and eighty feet. The Cornish range forms the backbone of the narrow peninsula which now juts out to the south-westward, marking the extreme point of England, and down which we will gradually journey. Crossing the mountains, we come to Liskeard, in a beautiful country filled with ancient Roman remains. Going down to the southern coast, we reach Fowey with its picturesque harbor and pier, with the Sharpitor and Kilmarth Mountains beyond, twelve hundred and twelve hundred and seventy-seven feet high respectively. Fowey harbor, sheltered by high hills richly clothed with green, is the "haven under the hill" of which the balladist sings, and near its quaint old pier, almost covered with houses, is Fowey Church, recently effectually restored.
THE LIZARD PENINSULA.
The Cornish peninsula upon approaching its termination divides into two, with the semicircular sweep of Mount's Bay between them. To the southward juts out the Lizard, and to the westward Land's End. While the latter is the westernmost extremity of England, the Lizard is usually the earliest headland that greets the mariner. The Lizard peninsula is practically almost an island, the broad estuary of the Helford River on one side and a strange inlet called Loo Pool on the other narrowing its connecting isthmus to barely two miles width. To the northward of the Helford River is the well-known port of Falmouth. Inland are the great Cornwall tin-and copper-mines, the former having been worked for centuries, while the latter are now probably of the greater importance. Competition and the costlier working of the tin-mines have caused many of them to be abandoned. These metals are mostly mined on the black moorlands, which offer little attraction to the tourist, who gladly avoids them for the picturesque shores of Falmouth harbor. A broad estuary guarded by bold headlands forms Carrick Roads, and the western one of these also guards the entrance to Falmouth harbor, which Leland describes as being in his day "the principal haven of all Britain." Though long frequented, however, no town stood on its shores until the seventeenth century. When Raleigh came back from his voyage to Guiana there was but a single house on the shore, where his crew were lodged, and he, being impressed with the advantages of the location for a port, laid before Queen Elizabeth a plan for the foundation of a town. But it was a long while before anything came of it, and the place was not named Falmouth or incorporated until the reign of Charles II. It became a post-office packet-station for the Atlantic ports in the last century, and Byron in his day described it as containing "many Quakers and much salt fish." Its Cornish name is Pen-combick, meaning "the village in the hollow of the headland," which has been corrupted by the mariner into "Penny-come-quick," because on one occasion the landlady of the solitary inn sold the liquor engaged for a party of visitors to a parcel of thirsty Dutch sailors who had just landed, and, being taken to task for it explained that the "penny come so quick" she could not deny them. Pendennis Castle guards the entrance to Carrick Roads, and was built by Henry VIII., being enlarged by Elizabeth. It and Raglan were the last castles holding out for King Charles. Lightning greatly injured Pendennis in the last century. On the opposite portal of the harbor stands St. Mawe's Castle. The ramparts of Pendennis afford a view of extreme beauty.
On the narrow neck of land uniting the Lizard peninsula to the mainland stands Helston, formerly guarded by a castle that has long since disappeared, and named, we are told, from the great block of granite that once formed the portal of the infernal regions. The master of those dominions once, when he went abroad, carried his front door with him, and was met in this neighborhood by St. Michael, whereupon there was a "bit of a fight" between the two adversaries. His Satanic Majesty was defeated, and, dropping his front door, fled. The great boulder, which thus named the town, is built into a wall back of the Angel Inn, and they hold an annual festival on May 8th to commemorate the event. Loo Pool cuts deeply into the land to the westward of Helston, and the district south of it is an elevated plateau, bare and treeless generally, but containing many pretty glens, while the shore is lined with sequestered coves. Here grow the Cornish heath-flowers, which are most beautiful in the early autumn, while the serpentine rocks of its grand sea-cliffs, relieved by sparkling golden crystals and veins of green, red, and white, make fine ornaments. Upon the coast, southward from Helston, is Mullyon Cove, a characteristic specimen of the Lizard scenery. A glen winds down to the sea, displacing the crags to get an outlet, and disclosing their beautiful serpentine veins. A pyramidal rock rises on one hand, a range of serpentine cliffs on the other, and a flat-topped island in front. In the serpentine cliffs is the portal of a cave that can be penetrated for over two hundred feet, and was a haunt of the smugglers in former days, the revenue officers generally winking at them for a share of the spoils. We are told that in the last century the smugglers here had six vessels, manned by two hundred and thirty-four men and mounting fifty-six cannon—a formidable fleet—and when Falmouth got a collector sufficiently resolute to try to break them up, they actually posted handbills offering rewards for his assassination. At one place on shore they had a battery of six-pounders, which did not hesitate to fire on the king's ships when they became too inquisitive. The coast is full of places about which tales are told of the exploits of the smugglers, but the crime has long since become extinct there because it no longer pays. South of Mullyon are the bold headlands of Pradanack Point and Vellan Head, while beyond we come to the most noted spot on the Lizard peninsular coast.
KYNANCE COVE AND LIZARD HEAD.
Kynance Cove is the opening of one of the many shallow valleys indenting the inland plateau, with crags and skerries thrown over the sea, showing that the cliffs on the shore have not, as usual, maintained an unbroken front to the waves, but have been knocked about in wild confusion. Groups of islands dot the cove; Steeple Rock rears its solitary pinnacle aloft; the Lion Rock crouches near the southern verge. It is as wild a place as can well be imagined, and at low water strips of sand connect these rocks with the mainland, though the quickly-rising waters often compel the visitor to run for it. At the water's edge, when the tide is low, little wave-worn caverns are disclosed in the cliffs which are known as the "Drawing-Room," the "Parlor," etc. On the smooth face of the landward slope of one of the larger islands there are two orifices looking like the slit of a letter-box. The upper is called the "Post-Office," and the lower one the "Bellows." If you hold a sheet of paper in the former a gust of air will suddenly suck it into the aperture. Then if you look into the "Post-Office" to investigate its secrets, a column of spray will as suddenly deluge you with a first-class shower-bath. This is on Asparagus Island, and by climbing to the top of the rock the mystery is solved. The rock is almost severed by a fissure opening towards the sea: a wave surges in and spurts from the orifices on the landward side, then recedes and sucks the air back through them. From the cove at Kynance down to the extremity of the Lizard the scenery is everywhere fine. Here is the southernmost extremity of England, there being three headlands jutting into the sea near one another, the westernmost being the Old Lizard Head. Upon the middle one are the lighthouses that warn the mariner. Black cliffs above, and a sea studded with reefs below, give this place a forbidding aspect. One of the reefs is known as "Man-of-War Rock," from the wreck of a vessel there, and the weapons cast upon the neighboring shore gave it the name of the "Pistol Meadow." The other headland supports a telegraph-station, and a submarine cable goes down into the sea, to reappear again upon the distant shores of Portugal. From here the signals are sent that give notice of arriving ships. Beneath the cliffs rises out of the sea that strange black crag, looking like a projecting pulpit, which is known as the Bumble Rock. In the green sward above the cliffs a yawning gulf opens its rocky mouth, and is called the Lion's Den. It terminates in a rocky tunnel which communicates with the sea through a natural archway. This was a cavern, the rocky roof of which fell in about thirty-five years ago. Nestling under the middle headland is the tiny port of Polpeor, the little harbor of the Lizard, a fishermen's paradise in a small way. Around on the eastern coast of the peninsula the rocks are also fine, and here are the fishing-villages of Lizard Town and Landewednack, the latter having a strange old church, reputed to be the last in which a sermon was preached in the Cornish tongue. The grave of one of the rectors tells that he lived to be one hundred and twenty years old, for people live long in this delicious climate. These villages are devoted to the pilchard-fishery, and during the season the lookout-men can be seen perched on the cliffs watching for the approach of a shoal, to warn the fishing-boats that are ready to put to sea from the sheltered coves below. Great crags are tumbled into the ocean, and the coast abounds in caves, with occasionally a quarry for the serpentine. Beyond can be traced the dim outline of the headlands guarding Falmouth entrance. This is a unique district, whose rock-bound coast is a terror to the mariner, but a delight to the geologist and artist, and whose recesses, where the Cornish dialect still flourishes among the old folk, are about the only places in England not yet penetrated by the railway, which has gridironed the British kingdom everywhere else.
ST. MICHAEL'S MOUNT.
The western peninsula of Cornwall juts far out beyond Mount's Bay, which acquires its name from what is probably the most remarkable crag in all this wonderful region. This was the Iktis of the ancient geographers, an object so conspicuous as to attract attention in all ages. It is a mass of granite rising from the sands, covering about twenty-five acres, and the top of the church which crowns it is elevated two hundred and thirty-eight feet. It is impossible by either pen or pencil to give an adequate idea of St. Michael's Mount—of the shattered masses of the rock itself, its watch-turrets and batteries, the turf and sea-plants niched in its recesses, and the gray, lichen-covered towers that rise from the summit. Cornish tradition says that the giant Cormoran built the first fortress here; and he is one of those unfortunate giants whose fate is told under the name of Corincus in the veritable history of Jack the Giant-killer. The archangel St. Michael afterwards appeared to some hermits on its rocks, and this gave the mount its religious character and name. Milton has written of it in Lycidas:
"Or whether thou to our moist views denied, Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old, Where the great vision of the guarded mount Looks towards Namancos and Bayona's hold."
It was always a strongly-defended place, and became a Benedictine monastery—at first as an offshoot of the greater abbey of St. Michael in Normandy, which in situation it resembles, and afterwards as an independent establishment. It was a stronghold as well as a religious house, however, and was notorious as the "back-door of rebellion," frequently besieged. The crowning square tower is that of the monastic church, and St. Michael's Chair is on the battlements—a stone beacon which is of great importance to all newly-married couples in that region, for it bestows the ascendency on the husband or wife who first sits in it. It is of this chair Southey's ballad about the adventurous Rebecca was written; and he tells that just as she was installed.
"Merrily, merrily rang the bells, And out Rebecca was thrown."
The family of St. Aubyn hold the mount, and they have recently thoroughly restored the buildings, adding some fine apartments. It is accessible only when the receding tide leaves bare the natural causeway that connects the island with the shore.
PENZANCE AND THE LAND'S END.
This whole peninsula is filled with hut-villages, cromlechs, and other prehistoric remains of its ancient people, but we have not the space to devote to their description, however agreeable it might be. Hill-castles and caves are also frequent, each with its traditions. The chief town is Penzance, or the "Holy Headland," jutting out into Mount's Bay, where once was a chapel dedicated to St. Anthony, who with St. Michael kept guard over this favored region. Here is another prosperous seat of the pilchard-fishery, and among its people the favorite toast is to the three Cornish products, "tin, fish, and copper." Once, they tell us, seventy-five millions of these fish were caught in a single day. They rise in small shoals from the depths of the sea, then unite into larger ones, and finally, about the end of July, combine in a mighty host, led by the "Pilchard King" and most powerful of the tribe. The lookouts on the crags give warning, and then begins the extraordinary migration that calls out all the Cornish fishermen. Pursued by hordes of sea-birds and predatory fish, the pilchards advance towards the land in such vast numbers as to discolor the water and almost to impede the passage of vessels. The enormous fish-army passes the Land's End, a grand spectacle, moving along parallel to the shore, and then comes the harvest. On the southward of the granite mass that forms the extremity of the peninsula rises the Logan Rock, the entire headland being defended by remains of ancient intrenchments. The Logan itself is a granite block weighing sixty tons, and so nicely balanced that it will oscillate. Near here, as we go out towards the western extremity of the peninsula, are several old churches, many ancient remains that have yielded up their chief curiosities for museums, and remarkable cliffs projecting into the sea, the strangest of them being the "holed headland of Penwith," a mass of columnar granite which the waves have shattered into deep fissures. Then beyond is the Land's End itself, the most westerly point in England, with the rocks of the Longships out in the water with their guardian lighthouse. The extreme point of the Land's End is about sixty feet high and pierced by a natural tunnel, but the cliffs on each side rise to a greater elevation. The faint outlines of the Scilly Islands are seen on the distant horizon, but all else is a view over the boundless sea. The Land's End is a vast aggregation of granite, which Sir Humphrey Davy, the Cornish chemist and poet, who was born at Penzance, has thus depicted:
"On the sea The sunbeams tremble, and the purple light Illumes the dark Bolerium: seat of storms; High are his granite rocks; his frowning brow Hangs o'er the smiling ocean. In his caves There sleep the haggard spirits of the storm. Wild, dreary, are the schistine rocks around, Encircled by the wave, where to the breeze The haggard cormorant shrieks; and far beyond, Where the great ocean mingles with the sky, Are seen the cloud-like islands gray in mists."
LONDON, TO THE SOUTH COAST.
The Surrey Side—The Chalk Downs—Guildford—The Hog's Back—Albury Down—Archbishop Abbot—St. Catharine's Chapel—St. Martha's Chapel—Albury Park—John Evelyn—Henry Drummond—Aldershot Camp—Leith Hill—Redland's Wood—Holmwood Park—Dorking—Weller and the Marquis of Granby Inn—Deepdene—Betchworth Castle—The River Mole—Boxhill—The Fox and Hounds—The Denbies—Ranmore Common—Battle of Dorking—Wotton Church—Epsom—Reigate—Pierrepoint House—Longfield—The Weald of Kent—Goudhurst—Bedgebury Park—Kilndown—Cranbrook—Bloody Baker's Prison—Sissinghurst—Bayham Abbey—Tunbridge Castle—Tunbridge Wells—Penshurst—Sir Philip Sidney—Hever Castle—Anne Boleyn—Knole—Leeds Castle—Tenterden Steeple and the Goodwin Sands—Rochester—Gad's Hill—Chatham—Canterbury Cathedral—St. Thomas a Becket—Falstaff Inn—Isle of Thanet—Ramsgate—Margate—North Foreland—The Cinque Ports—Sandwich—Rutupiae—Ebbsfleet—Goodwin Sands—Walmer Castle—South Foreland—Dover—Shakespeare's Cliff—Folkestone—Hythe—Romney—Dungeness—Rye—Winchelsea—Hastings —Pevensey—Hailsham—Hurstmonceux Castle—Beachy Head—Brighton—The Aquarium—The South Downs—Dichling Beacon—Newhaven—Steyning—Wiston Manor—Chanctonbury Ring—Arundel Castle—Chichester—Selsey Bill—Goodwood—Bignor—Midhurst—Cowdray—Dunford House—Selborne—Gilbert White; his book; his house, sun-dial, and church—Greatham Church—Winchester—The New Forest—Lyndhurst—Minsted Manor—Castle Malwood—Death of William Rufus—Rufus's Stone—Beaulieu Abbey—Brockenhurst—Ringwood—Lydington—Christchurch—Southampton —Netley Abbey—Calshot Castle—The Solent—Portsea Island—Portsmouth—Gosport—Spithead—The Isle of Wight—High Down—Alum Bay—Yarmouth—Cowes—Osborne House—Ryde—Brading—Sandown—Shanklin Chine—Bonchurch—The Undercliff—Ventnor—Niton—St. Lawrence Church—St. Catharine's Down—Blackgang Chine—Carisbrooke Castle—Newport—Freshwater—Brixton—The Needles.
Crossing over the Thames to the Surrey side, we proceed southward to that vast chalk-measure which, like a miniature mountain-wall, divides the watershed draining into that river from the Weald of Sussex and of Kent. This chalky hill is here and there breached by the valley of a stream, and through it the Wey and the Mole, to which we have heretofore referred, flow northward to join the current of the Thames. In the gap formed by each there is a town, Guildford standing alongside the Wey, and Dorking on the Mole. Both develop magnificent scenery on the flanks of the chalk-ranges that surround them; and we will now go about thirty miles south-west from London and visit Guildford, whose origin is involved in the mystery that surrounds the early history of so many English towns. It was a royal manor in the days of King Alfred, being granted to his nephew, and it was here a few years before the Norman Conquest that the aetheling AElfred was captured. Harold, the son of Canute, wished to destroy him to secure the succession to the throne. He forged a letter purporting to be from his mother, Queen Emma, inviting AElfred to come to England, and sent his minister Godwine forward, who met and swore allegiance to AElfred, lodging him at Guildford, and most of his comrades in separate houses there. In the night Harold's emissaries suddenly appeared, slew his comrades, and carried AElfred off to Ely, where he was loaded with fetters, and, being tried by some sort of tribunal, was blinded and then put to death. The monks of Ely enshrined his body, and of course miracles were wrought by it. The castle was built on the Wey after the Norman Conquest, and Henry II. made it a park and royal residence, so that it was long called the King's Manor. In Charles I.'s time it was granted to the Earl of Annandale. The situation of Guildford is picturesque; the chalk-range is narrowed to a line of steep, ridgy hills almost as straight as a wall and severed by the valley of the Wey. This pretty stream escapes from the Weald to the southward between the Hog's Back on the west and Albury Down on the east, the valley narrowing so as to form a natural gateway just where the river emerges. A bridge was built here, and this determined the site of the town, which straggles up the Hog's Back and the Down, and also spreads out in the broadening valley of the emerging river. High up in the hills that make the eastern slope of the valley is the old gray castle-keep, with an ancient church-tower lower down and a new church by the waterside. From the bridge runs straight up this hill the chief thoroughfare of the town, High Street. The shapeless ruins of the old castle, the keep alone being kept in good condition, are not far away from the upper part of this street, crowning an artificial mound encompassed by what once was a ditch, but now is chiefly a series of gardens. The ancient church-tower, part way down the hill, is dedicated to St. Mary, but has been shorn of its original proportions in order to widen a street. This was done, we are told, for the convenience of George IV., who used to pass in a coach along this street on his way from London to Brighton. The tower is low and unassuming, and is supposed to date from the time of King Stephen. The new church of St. Nicholas stands by the river, and Guildford also possesses another church built of brick. None of these churches have spires, and therefore some local wit has written,
"Poor Guildford, proud people; Three churches—no steeple."
The High Street climbs the hill past many quaint buildings, particularly the old town-hall, where the hill is somewhat less steep. Its upper stories project beyond the lower, being supported by carved beams, and the town-clock hangs over the street. Abbot's Hospital, built by Guildford's most noted townsman, George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury, is also in this street. He was born in a humble cottage, and the legend tells us that his mother, before the event, dreamed that if she could eat a pike she would have a son who would be a great man. She was unable to buy the fish anywhere, but, drawing a pailful of water from the river, to her surprise found a pike in it. When George was born the tale was told, and several distinguished people offered to become his sponsors. They gave him a good education, and he graduated at Balliol College, Oxford, and was made Dean of Westminster. He was one of the revisers of the Scriptures who prepared the revision in the seventeenth century, was made a bishop, and in 1611 Archbishop of Canterbury. His brother was Bishop of Salisbury, and another brother Lord Mayor of London. He was a great hunter, as were most ecclesiastics at that time, and in 1621, when shooting at a buck, his arrow accidentally pierced the arm of a gatekeeper, who soon bled to death. The archbishop was horror-stricken, settled an annuity upon the widow, and to the close of his life observed Tuesday, the day of the accident, as a weekly fast. This occurrence raised a hot dispute in the Church as to whether the archbishop, by having blood on his hands, had become incapable of discharging the duties of his sacred office. He retired to his hospital at Guildford while the inquiry was conducted, was ultimately exonerated, and in 1625 died. This hospital is built around a small quadrangle, and in its gateway-tower the unfortunate "King Monmouth" was lodged on his last journey from Sedgemoor to London. Abbot, according to the inscription on the walls, founded this charity for "a master, twelve brethren, and eight sisters"—all to be unmarried and not less than sixty years of age, and chosen from Guildford, preference to be given to "such as have borne office or been good traders in the town, or such as have been soldiers sent, and who have ventured their lives or lost their blood for their prince and country." The number of inmates is now increased, the endowment having accumulated. Guildford used to maintain the piety of its people by requiring that all should attend church and listen to a sermon, or else be fined a shilling. Over on the other side of the valley, on a grassy spur protruding from the Hog's Back, are the ruins of St. Catharine's Chapel, built in the fourteenth century. The local tradition tells that this and St. Martha's Chapel, on an adjacent hill, were built by two sister-giantesses, who worked with a single hammer, which they flung from hill to hill to each other as required. St. Catharine's Chapel long since fell in ruins, and not far away on the slope, St. Catharine's Spring flows perennially. On Albury Down is a residence of the Duke of Northumberland, Albury Park, laid out in the seventeenth century by John Evelyn, famous for his devotion to rural beauties, and the residence during the present century of Henry Drummond, the banker, politician, and theologian, the most caustic critic of his time in Parliament, and the great promoter of the Church of the Second Advent.
A few miles to the westward, near Farnborough, over the border in Hampshire, is Aldershot Camp, permanently established there in 1854. The Basingstoke Canal flows through a plateau elevated about three hundred and twenty feet above the sea, and divides the location into a north and south camp, the latter occupying much the larger surface and containing most of the public buildings. On a central hillock covered by clumps of fir trees are the headquarters of the general in command when the troops are being exercised and going through their manoeuvres. The Long Valley stretches to the westward, terminating in a steep hill rising six hundred feet, from which the best view of the military movements is had on a field-day. The two camps cover about seven square miles, and they commonly contain about twelve thousand troops during the season for the manoeuvres. There are long rows of wooden huts for the soldiers, and there are also barracks, hospitals, and other necessary buildings, the cost of the establishment of this military depot having exceeded $7,000,000 already. The annual reviews take place from June to September, the regiments of volunteers being detailed in turn to co-operate with the regular troops, so as to gain a practical knowledge of military duties.
Proceeding eastward along the chalk-hills for about twelve miles, we come to the breach made in them by the valley of the Mole for the passage of that strange little river. Here, however, appears a second and parallel range of hills, distant about four miles, the long and generally flat-topped ridge culminating in the commanding summit of Leith Hill. This is the highest ground in this part of England, rising nearly one thousand feet, a broad summit sloping gradually down towards the north, but presenting to the south a steep and, in places, a precipitous ascent. At its foot is the residence known as Leith Hill Place, where Mr. Hull lived in the last century, and built the tower for an outlook that crowns its summit, leaving orders in his will that he should be buried there. The tower was partially burned in 1877, but has been restored. The view from the top of Leith Hill is grand, although it takes some exertion to get there, and it discloses a panorama of typical English scenery over the white chalk-downs, dappled with green and the darker woodland, with the Thames lowlands far away to the north, while to the southward the land falls abruptly to the great valley of the Weald, a plain of rich red earth, with woods and grainfields and hedgerows stretching away to the dim line of the South Downs at the horizon. Pleasant little villas and old-time comfortable farm-houses are dotted all about with their dovecotes and outbuildings. To the eastward is the Redlands Wood, crowned by a tall silver fir, and just beyond is Holmwood Common, whereon donkeys graze and flocks of geese patiently await the September plucking. Here, at Holmwood Park, is one of those ancient yet still populous dovecotes that contribute so much to enhance the beauties of English rural scenery.
Dorking lies in the valley of the Mole, just south of the high chalk-ranges, at the foot of wooded hills, and with its bordering meadows stretching out to the river-bank. It is an ancient town, appearing in the Domesday Book under the name of Dorchinges, and standing on the route which Julius Caesar took through these hills on his invasion of Britain. After the Norman Conquest the manor became the property of Earl Warrenne, and as a favorite halting-place on the road between London and the south coast in the Middle Ages it throve greatly and was noted for the number of its inns. Its chief street—High Street—runs parallel with the chalk-hills, and presents a picturesque variety of old-time houses, though none are of great pretensions. Among them is the long, low structure, with a quaint entrance-gate in the middle, suggestive of the days before railroads, and known as the "White Horse Inn." The ancient "Cardinal's Cap" has been transformed into the "Red Lion Inn," and the "Old King's Head," the most famous of these hostelries, has been removed to make room for the post-office. This latter inn was the original of "The Marquis of Granby, Dorking," where that substantial person, Mr. Weller, Senior, lived, and under the sway of Mrs. Weller the veteran coachman smoked his pipe and practised patience, while the "shepherd" imbibed hot pineapple rum and water and dispensed spiritual consolation to the flock. An old stage-coachman who lived years ago at Dorking is said to have been Dickens's original for this celebrated character, and the townsfolk still talk of the venerable horse-trough that stood in front of the inn wherein the bereaved landlord immersed Mr. Stiggins's head after kicking him out of the bar.
The parish church is the only public building of any pretension in Dorking, and it is quite new, replacing another structure whose registers go back to the sixteenth century, containing, among other curious entries, the christening in 1562 of a child whose fate is recorded in these words: "Who, scoffing at thunder, standing under a beech, was stroke to death, his clothes stinking with a sulphurous stench, being about the age of twenty years or thereabouts, at Mereden House." The Dorking fowls all have the peculiarity of an extra claw on each foot, being white and speckled, and a Roman origin being claimed for the breed, which is most delicate in flavor and commands a high price. On the southern outskirts of the town is Deepdene, a mansion surrounded by magnificent trees and standing on the slope of a hill. It was the home of the Hopes, its late owner, H. T. Hope, having been the author of the novel Anastasius. He was a zealous patron of art, and first brought Thorwaldsen into public notice by commissioning him to execute his "Jason" in marble. The house contains many rare gems of sculpture, including Canova's "Venus Rising from the Bath," with paintings by Raphael, Paul Veronese, and others. It was here that Disraeli wrote the greater part of Coningsby. A dene or glade opening near the house gives the place its name, the grounds being extensive and displaying gardens and fine woods. The scenery of this glade is beautiful, while from the terrace at the summit of the hill, where there is a Doric temple, a magnificent view can be had far away over the lowlands. Deepdene is attractive both within and without, for its grand collection of art-treasures vies with Nature in affording delight to the visitor. The ruins of Betchworth Castle, built four hundred years ago, are alongside the Mole. "The soft windings of the silent Mole" around Betchworth furnished a theme for Thomson, while Milton calls it "the sullen Mole that runneth underneath," and Pope, "the sullen Mole that hides his diving flood." Spenser has something to say of the
"——Mole, that like a nousling mole doth make His way still underground till Thames he overtake."
This peculiarity comes from the river hiding itself under Box Hill, where, after disappearing for about two miles, it comes bubbling up out of the ground again. This disappearance of streams in hilly regions is not unusual. Box Hill, beneath whose slopes the Mole passes, is part of the great chalk-range rising steeply on the eastern side of the gap where the river-valley breaks through. Its summit is elevated four hundred feet, the hill being densely wooded and containing large plantations of box, whence its name. One of these box-groves covers two hundred and thirty acres. On the brow of Box Hill, Major Labilliere, a singular character, was buried in 1800. He lived in Dorking, and, becoming convinced that the world had been turned topsy-turvy, selected his grave, and gave instructions that he should be buried head downward, so that at the final setting right of mundane affairs he would rise correctly. In the Mole Valley, at the base of Box Hill, at a pretty little house called the "Fox and Hounds," Keats finished his poem of Endymion, and here Lord Nelson spent his last days in England before leaving on the expedition that closed with his greatest victory and death at Trafalgar.
Upon the hill on the western side of the gap is the Denbies, from which there is a view all the way to London. At the back of this high hill is Ranmore Common. The Denbies are the scene of the "Battle of Dorking," having been held by the English defensive army in that imaginary and disastrous conflict wherein German invaders land upon the southern coasts, destroy the British fleets by torpedoes, triumphantly march to the base of the chalk-ranges, fight a terrific battle, force their way through the gaps in the hills, capture London, and dethrone England from her high place among the great powers of Europe. This was a summer-time magazine article, written to call English attention to the necessity of looking after the national defences; and it had a powerful effect. Westward of Dorking there is fine scenery, amid which is the little house known as the "Rookery," where Malthus the political economist was born in 1766. Wotton Church stands alongside the road near by, almost hid by aged trees—a building of various dates, with a porch and stunted tower. Here John Evelyn was taught when a child, and the graves of his family are in a chapel opening from the north aisle. Wotton House, where Evelyn lived, is in the adjacent valley and at the foot of the famous Leith Hill. His favorite pastime was climbing up the hill to see over the dozen counties the view discloses, with the sea far away to the southward on the Sussex coast. The house is an irregular brick building of various dates, the earliest parts built in Elizabethan days, and it contains many interesting relics of Evelyn, whose diary has contributed so much to English history from the reign of Charles I. to Queen Anne. He was a great botanist, and has left a prominent and valuable work in Sylva, his treatise on trees. It was to the north-west of Wotton, on a tract of common known as Evershed Rough, that Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, while riding with Earl Granville in 1873, was thrown from the saddle by his stumbling horse, and striking the ground with his head was almost immediately killed. A cross marks the sad and lonely spot.
EPSOM AND REIGATE.
On the northern verge of the chalk-downs, and about fifteen miles south of London, is the famous race-course at Epsom, whither much of London goes for a holiday on the "Derby Day." Epsom is a large and rather rambling town located in a depression in the hills, and two hundred years ago was a fashionable resort for its medicinal waters, so that it soon grew from a little village to a gay watering-place. Its water was strongly impregnated with sulphate of magnesia, making the Epsom salts of the druggist, and also with small quantities of the chlorides of magnesium and calcium. None of these salts are now made at Epsom, they being manufactured artificially in large amounts at a low price. The Epsom well, however, that produced the celebrated waters, still remains on the common near the town. From a watering-place Epsom became transformed into a race-ground about a hundred years ago. There is a two days' meeting in April, but the great festival comes in May, continuing four days from Tuesday to Friday before Whitsuntide, unless Easter is in March, when it occurs in the week after Whitsunday. Wednesday is the grand day, when a vast crowd gathers to witness the Derby race, established in 1780 and named from the Earl of Derby's seat at Woodmansterne, near by. This is a race of a mile and a half for three-year olds. The Oaks Stakes are run for on Friday over the same course, but for three-year-old fillies only. This race is named from Lambert's Oaks, near the neighboring village of Banstead. The race-hill is elevated about five hundred feet above the sea, and the grand stand, which is the most substantial in England, affords magnificent views, stretching far away beyond Windsor Castle and the dome of St. Paul's in London. Epsom Downs on the Derby Day show the great annual festival of England, but at other times the town is rather quiet, though its Spread Eagle Inn is usually a head-quarters for the racing fraternity.
The ruins of Reigate Castle are a short distance south of Epsom, the pretty village of Reigate standing near the head of the lovely Holmsdale on the southern verge of the chalk-ranges. Beautiful views and an unending variation of scenery make this an attractive resort. Surrey is full of pleasant places, disclosing quaint old houses that bring down to us the architecture of the time of Elizabeth and the days of the "good Queen Anne." Some of these buildings, which so thoroughly exemplify the attractions of the rural homes of England, are picturesque and noteworthy. As specimens of many we present Pierrepoint House and Longfield, East Sheen. These are the old models now being reproduced by modern architects, combining novelty without and comfort within, and they are just far enough from London to make them pleasant country-houses, with all the advantage of city luxuries.
THE WEALD OF KENT.
Proceeding eastward along the chalk-downs and over the border into Kent, we reach the Wealden formation, the "wooded land" of that county—so named by the Saxons—which stretches between the North and South Downs, the chalk-formations bordering this primeval forest, but now almost entirely transformed into a rich agricultural country. The Weald is a region of great fertility and high cultivation, still bearing numerous copses of well-grown timber, the oak being the chief, and furnishing in times past the material for many of its substantial oaken houses. The little streams that meander among the undulating hills of this attractive region are nearly all gathered together to form the Medway, which flows past Maidstone to join the Thames. It was the portions of the Weald around Goudhurst that were memorable for the exploits of Radford and his band, the originals of G. P. R. James's Smugglers. Goudhurst church-tower, finely located on one of the highest hills of the Wealden region, gives a grand view on all sides, especially to the southward over Mr. Beresford Hope's seat at Bedgebury Park. In this old church of St. Mary are buried the Bedgeburys and the Colepeppers. Their ancient house, surrounded by a moat, has been swept away, and the present mansion was built in the seventeenth century out of the proceeds of a sunken Spanish treasure-ship, Sir James Hayes, who built the house, having gone into a speculation with Lord Falkland and others to recover the treasure. This origin of Bedgebury House is recorded on its foundation-stone: it has been greatly enlarged by successive owners, and is surrounded by ornamental gardens and grounds, with a park of wood, lake, and heather covering two thousand acres. In the neighboring church of Kilndown, Field-marshal Beresford, the former owner of Bedgebury, reposes in a canopied sepulchre. Just to the eastward is Cranbrook, the chief market-town of the Weald, the ancient sanctuary of the Anabaptists and the historical centre of the Flemish cloth-trade, which used to be carried on by the "old gray-coats of Kent." Their descendants still live in the old-time factories, which have been converted into handsome modern houses. Edward III. first induced the Flemings to settle in Kent and some other parts of England, and from his reign until the last century the broadcloth manufacture concentrated at Cranbrook. When Queen Elizabeth once visited the town she was entertained at a manor about a mile from Cranbrook, and walked thence into the town upon a carpet, laid down the whole way, made of the same cloth that her loyal men of Kent wore on their backs. In Cranbrook Church were held the fierce theological disputes of Queen Mary's reign which resulted in the imprisonment of the Anabaptists and other dissenters by Chancellor Baker. Over the south porch is the chamber with grated windows known as "Bloody Baker's Prison." Among the old customs surviving at Cranbrook is that which strews the path of the newly-wedded couple as they leave the church with emblems of the bridegroom's trade. The blacksmith walks upon scraps of iron, the shoemaker on leather parings, the carpenter on shavings, and the butcher on sheepskins. In an adjacent glen almost surrounded by woods are the ruins of Sissinghurst, where Chancellor Baker lived and built the stately mansion of Saxenhurst, from which the present name of its ruins is derived. The artists Horsley and Webster lived at Sissinghurst and Cranbrook for many years, and found there frequent subjects of rustic study. The Sissinghurst ruins are fragmentary, excepting the grand entrance, which is well preserved. Baker's Cross survives to mark the spot where the Anabaptists had a skirmish with their great enemy; and the legend is that he was killed there, though history asserts that this theological warrior died in his bed peaceably some time afterwards in London.
Near Lamberhurst, on the Surrey border and on the margin of the Teise, is the Marquis of Camden's seat at Bayham Abbey. Its ruins include a church, a gateway, and some of the smaller buildings. It was once highly attractive, though small, and its ruined beauty is now enhanced by the care with which the ivy is trained over the walls and the greensward floor is smoothed. Ralph de Dene founded this abbey about the year 1200, and after the dissolution Queen Elizabeth granted it to Viscount Montague. It was bought in the last century by Chief-Justice Pratt, whose son, the chancellor, became Marquis of Camden. The modern mansion is a fine one, and from it a five-mile walk through the woods leads to Tunbridge on the Medway. Chief among the older remains of this pleasantly-located and popular town is Tunbridge Castle, its keep having stood upon a lofty mound above the river. This "Norman Mound," as it is called, is now capped with ruined walls, and an arched passage leads from it to the upper story of the elaborate gate-house, still in excellent preservation. Richard Fitzgilbert built the keep, and ruled the "League of Tunbridge," but his castle, after a long siege by Henry III., was taken away from his successor, who assumed the name of Gilbert de Clare. From the De Clares the stronghold passed to the Audleys and Staffords, and it is now held by Lord Stafford. The gate-house is a fine structure, square in form, with round towers at each corner. The ruins are richly adorned with mouldings and other decorations, and within is a handsome state-apartment. Tunbridge is a quiet town, standing where five of the tributaries of the Medway come together, over which it has as many stone bridges. One of these streams, the Tun, gives the town its name. In St. Stephen's Church, a badly mutilated building with a fine spire, many of the De Clares are buried, and the quaint half-timbered building of the "Chequers Inn" helps maintain the picturesque appearance of the Tunbridge High Street. The spa of Tunbridge Wells, with its chalybeate springs and baths, is a few miles southward, but the days of its greatest glory have passed away, though fashion to a moderate extent still haunts its pump-room and parade. This famous watering-place stands in a contracted valley enclosed by the three hills known as Mount Ephraim, Mount Zion, and Mount Pleasant.
To the westward of Tunbridge, and in the Medway Valley, is Penshurst, celebrated as the home of Sir Philip Sidney—a grand, gray old house, built at many periods, begun in the fourteenth century and not completed until a few years ago. It is a pretty English picture within a setting of wooded hills and silver rivers, the pattern from which Sidney drew his description of "Laconia" in Arcadia. The buildings, particularly their window-heads, are ornamented with the tracery peculiar to Kent. The great hall, the earliest of these buildings, has a characteristic open-timber roof, while its minstrel-gallery, fronted by a wainscot screen, is ornamented with the badge of the Dudleys, the "bear and ragged staff." Within these halls are the family portraits of a noble lineage. Of Mary, daughter of Sir Henry Sidney and heiress of Sir John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, Ben Jonson wrote this epitaph:
"Underneath this sable hearse Lies, the subject of all verse, Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother. Death! ere thou hast slain another Learned and fair and good as she, Time shall throw a dart at thee."
Sir Philip Sidney was her brother, born at Penshurst in 1554. The estate came through various owners, until, in the reign of Henry II., it was granted to Sir William Sidney, who commanded a wing of the victorious English at Flodden. Sir Philip, we are told, would have been King of Poland had not Queen Elizabeth interposed, "lest she should lose the jewel of her times." Algernon Sidney, beheaded on Tower Hill, was his descendant. Penshurst is now held by Baron de l'Isle, to whom it has descended through marriage. On the estate stands the quaint old Penshurst Church with its ivy-covered porch. The Eden River falls into the Medway near Penshurst, and alongside its waters is the well-known castellated residence which still survives from the Tudor days, Hever Castle, where, it is said, Anne Boleyn was born. Sir Geoffrey Boleyn, her great-grandfather, who was Lord Mayor of London in the reign of Henry VI., began Hever Castle, which was completed by his grandson, Anne's father. It was at Hever that King Henry wooed her. The house is a quadrangle, with high pitched roofs and gables and surrounded by a double moat, and is now a farm-house. Here they show the visitor Anne Boleyn's rooms, and also the chamber where her successor, Anne of Cleves, is said to have died, though this is doubted. King Henry, however, seized the estate of Hever from his earlier wife's family, and granted it to his subsequently discarded consort after he separated from her. Northward of Tunbridge, and near Sevenoaks, is Knole, the home of the family of Hon. L. S. Sackville-West, the present British minister at Washington. It is one of the most interesting baronial mansions in England, enclosed by a park five miles in circumference.
Proceeding eastward towards the outskirts of the Weald, we come to Leeds Castle, once the great central fortress of Kent. Standing in a commanding position, it held the road leading to Canterbury and the coast, and it dates probably from the Norman Conquest. Its moat surrounds three islands, from which, as if from the water, rise its walls and towers. This castle is now the residence of Mr. Wykeham Martin and contains many valuable antiquities. Also near the eastern border of the Weald is Tenterden, famous for its church-steeple, which Bishop Latimer has invested with a good story. The bishop in a sermon said that Sir Thomas More was once sent into Kent to learn the cause of the Goodwin Sands and the obstructions to Sandwich Haven. He summoned various persons of experience, and among others there "came in before him an olde man with a white head, and one that was thought to be little lesse than an hundereth yeares olde. When Maister More saw this aged man he thought it expedient to hear him say his minde in this matter, for being so olde a man, it was likely he knew most of any man in that presence and company. So Maister More called this olde aged man unto him, and sayd, 'Father, tell me if ye can what is the cause of this great arising of the sande and shelfs here about this haven, the which stop it up that no shippes can arrive here. Ye are the oldest man that I can espie in all this companye, so that, if any man can tell any cause of it, ye of likelihode can say most in it, or at leastwise more than any man here assembled.'—'Yea, forsooth, good master,' quod this olde man, 'for I am wellnigh an hundreth years olde, and no man here in this companye anything neare unto mine age.'—'Well, then,' quod Maister More, 'how say you in this matter? What think ye to be the cause of these shelfs and flattes that stop up Sandwich Haven?'—'Forsooth, syr,' quoth he, 'I am an olde man; I think that Tenterton Steeple is the cause of Goodwin Sandes. For I am an olde man, syr,' quod he, 'and I may remember the building of Tenterton Steeple, and I may remember when there was no steeple at all there. And before that Tenterton Steeple was a-building there was no manner of speaking of any flattes or sandes that stopped the haven; and, therefore, I thinke that Tenterton Steeple is the cause of the destroying and decaying of Sandwich Haven.' And even so to my purpose," says Latimer in conclusion, "is preaching of God's worde the cause of rebellion, as Tenterton Steeple is a cause that Sandwich Haven is decayed." Now this "olde aged man" had some excuse for his theory in the Kentish tradition, which says that the abbot of St. Augustine, who built the steeple, used for it the stones collected to strengthen the sea-wall of Goodwin Sands, then part of the main land. The next storm submerged the district, of which the Goodwins are the remains, and thus the steeple caused the quicksands, according to the Kentish theory.
ROCHESTER AND CHATHAM.
Proceeding down the Medway, it flows past the city of Rochester, the river being crowded with vessels and crossed here by a bridge with a swinging draw. Rochester has a fine old cathedral, rather dilapidated, and in part restored, but its chief attraction is the castle towering above the river, its Norman keep forming a tower over seventy feet square and rising one hundred feet high, its masonry disclosing vast strength and impressive massiveness. Cobham Hall, the residence of Earl Darnley, is near Rochester, standing in a nobly wooded park seven miles in circumference. Just north of Cobham Park is Gad's Hill, where Charles Dickens lived. Beyond Rochester the powerful modern defensive work of Fort Pitt rises over Chatham to defend the Medway entrance and that important dockyard. The town is chiefly a bustling street about two miles long. The dockyard is one of the largest in England, and its defensive works, as yet incomplete, will when finished make it a powerful fortress, there being several outlying batteries and works still to complete. The Gun Wharf contains a large park of artillery, and there are barracks for three thousand men extending along the river. There is also an extensive convict-prison with two thousand inmates, who work upon the dock extension and at making bricks for its construction. Chatham has several military and naval hospitals. Opposite the dockyard is Upnor Castle, used as a powder-magazine and torpedo-school. This castle, the original defensive work of Chatham, was bombarded by Van Tromp when he came up the Medway in Charles II.'s reign—an audacity for which he was afterwards punished. The suburb of Brompton is completely enveloped by the forts and buildings of the post, contains barracks and hospitals for five thousand men, and is also the head-quarters of the Royal Engineers.
Leaving the estuary of the Medway, still farther east in Kent, in the vale of the Stour, is the ancient cathedral city of Canterbury, whereof Rimmer says it "is one of the most delightful cities in England for an antiquary." Its cathedral is approached through the quaint narrow street of Mercery Lane, where once stood the Checquers Inn that was the resort of Chaucer's pilgrims. At the end of this lane is the principal entrance to the cathedral close—Prior Goldsmith's Gate, commonly called Christ Church Gate, built in 1517: it was formerly surmounted by turrets, but these have been partly taken down. The arms of Becket are carved upon the gateway, and beyond it rise the gray towers of the venerable cathedral. On the east side of the close is Broad Street, where part of the old city-walls are still preserved. This was the site of St. Augustine's monastery, and Lanfranc, the first archbishop after the Conquest, rebuilt the cathedral church, which was continued by his successor, Anselm. It was in this church that Becket was murdered in 1170, and "in the glorious choir of Conrad" his corpse was watched by the monks on the following night. This choir was burned down four years later, but afterwards rebuilt. The present cathedral consists of work extending from Lanfranc's time until that of Prior Goldstone in the fifteenth century, thus exhibiting specimens of all the schools of Gothic architecture. Canterbury Cathedral is among the largest churches in England, being five hundred and twenty-two feet long, and its principal entrance is by the south porch. The nave is striking, and in the choir the eye is immediately attracted by its great length, one hundred and eighty feet—the longest in the kingdom—and by the singular bend with which the walls at the eastern end approach each other. The architecture is antique, and the interior produces an impression of great solemnity. The north-western transept is known as the Transept of the Martyrdom, where Becket was slain just after Christmas by four knights in 1170. A small square piece cut out of one of the flagstones marks the spot, and there still remain the door leading from the cloisters by which Becket and the knights entered the cathedral, and the part of the wall in front of which the assassinated archbishop fell. There is an attractive window in this transept, the gift of Edward IV. The cathedral is full of monuments, and in Trinity Chapel, behind the choir, where Becket had sung his first mass when installed as archbishop, was the location chosen for his shrine, but it long ago disappeared. Here is also the monument of Edward the Black Prince, with his effigy in brass, and suspended above it his helmet, shield, sword-scabbard, and gauntlets. Henry IV. is also buried in Canterbury, with his second wife, Joan of Navarre; Cardinal Pole is entombed here; and in the south-western transept is the singular tomb of Langton, archbishop in the days of Magna Charta, the stone coffin so placed that the head alone appears through the wall. In the crypt was Becket's tomb, which remained there until 1220, and at it occurred the penance and scourging of Henry II. The cathedral has two fine western towers, the northern one, however, not having been finished until recently. The central tower, known as "Bell Harry," rises two hundred and thirty-five feet, and is a magnificent example of Perpendicular Gothic. In the close are interesting remains of St. Augustine's Monastery, including its fine entrance-gate and guest-hall, now part of St. Augustine's College, one of the most elaborate modern structures in Canterbury. The monastery had been a brewery, but was bought in 1844 by Mr. Beresford Hope and devoted to its present noble object. On the hill above St. Augustine, mounted by the Longport road, is the "mother church of England," St. Martin's, which had been a British Christian chapel before the Saxons came into the island, and was made over to Augustine. The present building occupies the site of the one he erected.
Close to the old city-wall is Canterbury Castle, its venerable Norman keep being now used as the town gasworks. There are many old houses in Canterbury, and its history has been traced back twenty-eight hundred years. It was the Roman colony of Durovernum. Among its quaint houses is the Falstaff Inn, still a comfortable and popular hostelrie, having a sign-board supported by iron framework projecting far over the street. Adjoining is the West Gate—the only one remaining of the six ancient barriers of the city built by Archbishop Sudbury, who was killed in 1381 by Wat Tyler's rebels. This gate stands on the road from London to Dover, and guards the bridge over a little branch of the Stour; the foundations of the lofty flanking round towers are in the river-bed. The gate-house was long used as a city prison. It was in this weird old city that Chaucer located many of his Canterbury Tales, that give such an insight into the customs of his time. The landlord of the Tabard Inn in Southwark, whose guests were of all ranks, proposed a journey to Canterbury after dinner, he to adjudge the best story any of them told on the road. Chaucer's characters were all cleverly drawn and lifelike, while his innkeeper was a man of evidently high "social status," and, as he himself said, "wise and well taught." The Stour flows on to the sea, whose generally low shores are not far away, with the Isle of Thanet to the northward and London's watering-place of Ramsgate on its outer verge. Here is Pegwell Bay, noted for its shrimps, and a short distance westward from Ramsgate is Osengal Hill, from which there is a fine view, the summit being covered by the graves of the first Saxon settlers of Thanet. To the northward a short distance is the sister watering-place of Margate, near the north-eastern extremity of Thanet and ninety miles from London: its pier is nine hundred feet long. On the extremity of Thanet, about three miles from Margate, is the great lighthouse of the North Foreland.
THE CINQUE PORTS.
Off the mouth of the Stour and the Goodwin Sands, and thence down the coast to Dover, is the narrowest part of the strait between England and France. This is a coast, therefore, that needed defence from the earliest times, and the cliff-castles and earthworks still remaining show how well it was watched. The Romans carefully fortified the entire line of cliffs from the Goodwin Sands to Beachy Head beyond Hastings. There were nine fortresses along the coast, which in later times were placed under control of a high official known as the "Count of the Saxon Shore," whose duty was to protect this part of England against the piratical attacks of the Northern sea-rovers. These fortresses commanded the chief harbors and landing-places, and they marked the position of the famous Cinque Ports, whose fleet was the germ of the British navy. They were not thus named until after the Norman Conquest, when John de Fiennes appeared as the first warden. The Cinque Ports of later English history were Sandwich, Dover, Hythe, Romney, and Hastings, each of which had its minor ports or "limbs," such as Deal, Walmer, Folkestone, Rye, Winchelsea, and Pevensey, that paid tribute to the head port and enjoyed part of its franchises. The duty of the Cinque Ports was to furnish fifty-seven ships whenever the king needed them, and he supplied part of the force to man them. In return the ports were given great freedom and privileges; their people were known as "barons," were represented in Parliament, and at every coronation bore the canopy over the sovereign, carrying it on silver staves having small silver bells attached. The canopy was usually afterwards presented to Becket's shrine at Canterbury, and its bearers after the coronation dined in Westminster Hall at the king's right hand. But the glory of these redoubtable Cinque Ports has departed. Dover is the only one remaining in active service; Sandwich, Hythe, and Romney are no longer ports at all; while Hastings is in little better condition. The tides have gradually filled their shallow harbors with silt. Of the "limbs," or lesser ports, two, Winchelsea and Pevensey, are now actually inland towns, the sea having completely retired from them. Such has also been the fate of Sandwich, which in the time of Canute was described as the most famous harbor of England. The coast has greatly changed, the shallow bays beyond the old shore-line, which is still visible, being raised into green meadows. In this way the water-course that made Thanet an island has been closed.
This silting up began at a remote era, closing one port after another, and Sandwich rose upon their decline. It is the most ancient of the Cinque Ports, and existed as a great harbor until about the year 1500, when it too began to silt up. In a century it was quite closed, traffic had passed away, and the town had assumed the fossilized appearance which is now chiefly remarked about it. Sandwich lingers as it existed in the Plantagenet days, time having mouldered it into quaint condition. Trees grow from the tops of the old walls, and also intrude upon the deep ditch with its round towers at the angles. Large open spaces, gardens, and orchards lie between the houses within the walls of the city. Going through the old gateway leading to the bridge crossing the Stour, a little church is found, with its roof tinted with yellowish lichens, and a bunch of houses below it covered with red, time-worn tiles, and the still and sleepy river near by. This was the very gate of that busy harbor which four centuries ago was the greatest in England and the resort of ships from all parts of the then known world. Its customs dues yielded $100,000 annually at the small rates imposed, and the great change that has been wrought can be imagined, as the visitor looks out over the once famous harbor to find it a mass of green meadows with venerable trees growing here and there. Sandwich has no main street, its winding, narrow and irregular passage-ways being left apparently to chance to seek out their routes, while a mass of houses is crushed together within the ancient walls, with church-towers as the only landmarks. These churches give the best testimony to the former wealth and importance of the town, the oldest being that of St. Clement, who was the patron of the seafarers. This church is rather large, with a central tower, while the pavement contains many memorials of the rich Sandwich merchants in times long agone. St. Peter's Church remains only as a fragment; its tower has fallen and destroyed the south aisle. It contains a beautiful tomb erected to one of the former wardens of the Cinque Ports. The old code of laws of Sandwich, which still survives, shows close pattern after the Baltic towns of the Hanseatic League. Female criminals were drowned in the Guestling Brook, which falls into the Stour; others were buried alive in the "thief duns" near that stream. Close by the old water-gate of Sandwich is the Barbican, and from it a short view across the marshes discloses the ancient Roman town of Rutupiae and the closed-up port of Ebbsfleet, where Hengist and Horsa are said to have first landed. Here was the oyster-ground of the Romans, who loved the bivalves as well as their successors of to-day. Of the walls of the Roman town there still remain extensive traces, disclosing solid masonry of great thickness, composed of layers of rough boulders encased externally with regular courses of squared Portland stone. There are square towers at intervals along these walls, with loopholed apartments for the sentinels. Vast numbers of Roman coins have been found in and around this ancient city, over one hundred and forty thousand, it is said, having come to light, belonging to the decade between 287 and 297, when Britain was an independent Roman island. Passing southward along the coast, we skirt the natural harbor of the Downs, a haven of refuge embracing about twenty square miles of safe anchorage, and bounded on the east by the treacherous Goodwin Sands, where Shakespeare tells us "the carcase of many a tall ship lies buried." It is possible at low water to visit and walk over portions of these shoals. They are quicksands of such character that if a ship strikes upon them she will in a few days be completely swallowed up. Modern precautions, however, have rendered them less formidable than formerly. The great storm of 1703, that destroyed the Eddystone Lighthouse, wrecked thirteen war-ships on the Goodwins, nearly all their crews perishing. As we look out over them from the low shores at Deal and Walmer below Sandwich, or the chalk-cliffs of Dover beyond, a fringe of breakers marks their line, while nearer the coast merchant-ships at anchor usually crowd the Downs. In Walmer Castle was the official residence of the lord warden of the Cinque Ports, an office that is soon to be abolished, and which many famous men have held. Here lived Pitt, and here died the Duke of Wellington, closing his great career.
Beyond, the coast rises up from the low sandy level, and rounding the South Foreland, on which is a fine electric lighthouse of modern construction, we come to the chalk-cliffs, on top of which are the dark towers of Dover Castle, from whose battlements the road descends to the town along the water's edge and in the valley of the little stream that gives the place its name—the Dour, which the Celts called the Dwr or "water," and the Romans the Dubrae. The great keep of Dover dates from William Rufus's reign, and is one of the many badges left in England of the Norman Conquest. There are earthworks at Dover, however, of much earlier origin, built for protection by the Celts and Romans, and forming part of the chain that guarded this celebrated coast, of which Dover, being at the narrowest part of the strait, was considered the key. But no such Norman castle rises elsewhere on these shores. "It was built by evil spirits," writes a Bohemian traveller in the fifteenth century, "and is so strong that in no other part of Christendom can anything be found like it." The northern turret on the keep rises four hundred and sixty-eight feet above the sea at the base of the hill, and from it can be had a complete observation of both the English and French coasts for many miles. Within the castle is the ancient Pharos, or watch-tower, a Roman work. Over upon the opposite side of the harbor is Shakespeare's Cliff,
"——whose high and bending head Looks fearfully on the confined deep."
There is no more impressive view in England than that from the Castle Hill of Dover, with the green fields and white chalk headlands stretching far away on either hand fringed by the breakers, the hills and harbors faintly seen across the strait in France, and the busy town of Dover lying at the foot of the cliff. This is half watering-place and half port of transit to the opposite coast. Its harbor is almost entirely artificial, and there has been much difficulty in keeping it open. That there is any port there now at all is due mainly to Raleigh's advice, and there is at present a well-protected harbor of refuge, with a fine pier extending nearly a half mile into the sea, with a fort at the outer end. From the top of the hill there looks down upon this pier the Saluting-Battery Gate of the castle, within which is kept that curious specimen of ancient gunnery known as "Queen Elizabeth's Pocket Pistol."
Farther down the coast is the ancient "limb" of Dover, which has grown into the rival port of Folkestone. This modern port, created to aid the necessities of travel across the Channel, stands at the north-eastern corner of the Romney Marsh, a district that has been raised out of the sea and is steadily increasing in front of the older coast-line, shown by a range of hills stretching westward from Folkestone. This marsh has made the sea retreat fully three miles from Hythe, whose name signifies "the harbor," though it is now an inland village, with a big church dedicated to St. Leonard, the deliverer of captives, who was always much reverenced in the Cinque Ports, their warlike sailors being frequently taken prisoner. In a crypt under its chancel is a large collection of skulls and bones, many of them bearing weapon scars and cuts, showing them to be relics of the wars. Beyond Hythe the Rother originally flowed into the Channel, but a great storm in the reign of Edward I. silted up its outlet, and the river changed its course over towards Rye, so as to avoid the Cinque port of Romney that was established on the western edge of the marshes to which it gave the name. Romney is now simply a village without any harbor, and of the five churches it formerly had, only the church of St. Nicholas remains as a landmark among the fens that have grown up around it, an almost treeless plain intersected by dykes and ditches.
RYE AND WINCHELSEA.
The unpicturesque coast is thrust out into the sea to the point at Dungeness where the lighthouse stands a beacon in a region full of peril to the navigator; and then the coast again recedes to the cove wherein is found the quaint old town of Rye, formerly an important "limb" of the Cinque port of Hastings. It has about the narrowest and crookedest streets in England, and the sea is two miles away from the line of steep and broken rock along which "Old Rye" stretches. The ancient houses, however, have a sort of harbor, formed by the junction of the three rivers, the Rother, Brede, and Tillingham, and thus Rye supports quite a fleet of fishing-craft. Thackeray has completely reproduced in Denis Duval the ancient character of this place, with its smuggling atmosphere varied with French touches given by the neighborhood of the Continent. Rye stands on one side of a marshy lowland, and Winchelsea about three miles distant on the other side. The original Winchelsea, we are told, was on lower ground, and, after frequent floodings, was finally destroyed by an inundation in 1287. King Edward I. founded the new town upon the hill above. It enjoyed a lucrative trade until the fifteenth century, when, like most of the others, its prosperity was blighted by the sea's retiring. The harbor then became useless, the inhabitants left, the houses gradually disappeared, and, the historian says, the more massive buildings remaining "have a strangely spectral character, like owls seen by daylight." Three old gates remain, including the Strand Gate, where King Edward nearly lost his life soon after the town was built. It appears that the horse on which he was riding, frightened by a windmill, leaped over the town-wall, and all gave up the king for dead. Luckily, however, he kept his saddle, and the horse, after slipping some distance down the incline, was checked, and Edward rode safely back through the gate. There is a fine church in Winchelsea—St. Thomas of Canterbury—within which are the tombs of Gervase Alard and his grandson Stephen. They were the most noted sailors of their time, and Gervase in 1300 was admiral of the fleet of the Cinque Ports, his grandson Stephen appearing as admiral in 1324. These were the earliest admirals known in England, the title, derived from the Arabic amir, having been imported from Sicily. Gervase was paid two shillings a day. At the house in Winchelsea called the "Friars" lived the noted highwaymen George and Joseph Weston, who during the last century plundered in all directions, and then atoned for it by the exercise of extensive charity in that town: one of them actually became a churchwarden.
HASTINGS AND PEVENSEY.
The cliffs come out to the edge of the sea at Winchelsea, and it is a pleasant walk along them to Hastings, with its ruined castle, the last of the Cinque Ports. This was never as important a port as the others, but the neighboring Sussex forests made it a convenient place for shipbuilding. The castle ruins are the only antiques at Hastings, which has been gradually transformed into a modern watering-place in a pretty situation. Its eastern end, however, has undergone little transition, and is still filled with the old-fashioned black-timber houses of the fishermen. The battle of Hastings, whereby William the Conqueror planted his standard on English soil, was fought about seven miles inland. His ships debarked their troops all along this coast, while St. Valery harbor in France, from which he sailed, is visible in clear weather across the Channel. William himself landed at Pevensey, farther westward, where there is an old fortress of Roman origin located in the walls of the ancient British-Roman town that the heathen Saxons had long before attacked, massacring the entire population. Pevensey still presents within these walls the Norman castle of the Eagle Honour, named from the powerful house of Aquila once possessing it. The Bayeux Tapestry depicts the landing of William at Pevensey, which was a "limb" of Hastings. Its Roman name was Anderida, the walls enclosing an irregular oval, the castle within being a pentagon, with towers at the angles. Beyond it the Sussex coast juts out at the bold white chalk promontory of Beachy Head.
A short distance inland from Pevensey is the great Sussex cattle-market at Hailsham, where the old Michelham Priory is used as a farm-house and its crypt as a dairy. Not far away is Hurstmonceux Castle, a relic of the times of Henry VI., and built entirely of brick, being probably the largest English structure of that material constructed since the Roman epoch. Only the shell of the castle remains, an interesting and picturesque specimen of the half fortress, half mansion of the latter days of feudalism. The main gateway on the southern front has flanking towers over eighty feet high, surmounted by watch-turrets from which the sea is visible. The walls are magnificently overgrown with ivy, contrasting beautifully with the red brick. Great trunks of ivy grow up from the dining-room, and all the inner courts are carpeted with green turf, with hazel-bushes appearing here and there among the ruined walls. A fine row of old chestnuts stands beyond the moat, and from the towers are distant views of Beachy Head, its white chalk-cliffs making one of the most prominent landmarks of the southern coast.
Westward of Beachy Head is the noted watering-place of this southern coast, Brighton, the favorite resort of the Londoners, it being but fifty-one miles south of the metropolis. This was scarcely known as a fashionable resort until about 1780, when George IV., then the Prince of Wales, became its patron. Taken altogether, its large size, fine buildings, excellent situation, and elaborate decorations make Brighton probably the greatest sea-coast watering-place in Europe. It stretches for over three miles along the Channel upon a rather low shore, though in some places the cliffs rise considerably above the beach. Almost the entire sea-front, especially to the eastward, is protected by a strong sea-wall of an average height of sixty feet and twenty-three feet thick at the base. This wall cost $500,000 to build, and it supports a succession of terraces available for promenade and roadway. In front the surf rolls in upon a rather steep pebbly beach, upon which are the bathing-machines and boats. Along the beach, and behind the sea-wall, Brighton has a grand drive, the Marine Parade, sixty feet wide, extending for three miles along the shore and in front of the buildings, with broad promenades on the sea-side ornamented with lawns and gardens, and on the other side a succession of houses of such grand construction as to resemble rows of palaces, built of the cream-colored Portland stone. The houses of the town extend far back on the hillsides and into the valleys, and the permanent population of 130,000 is largely augmented during the height of the season—October, November, and December. Enormous sums have been expended upon the decoration of this great resort, and its Marine Parade, when fashion goes there in the autumn, presents a grand scene. From this parade two great piers extend out into the water, and are used for promenades, being, like the entire city front, brilliantly illuminated at night. The eastern one is the Chain Pier, built in 1823 at a cost of $150,000, and extending eleven hundred and thirty-six feet into the sea. The West Pier, constructed about fifteen years ago, is somewhat broader, and stretches out eleven hundred and fifteen feet. Each of the piers expands into a wide platform at the outer end, that of the West Pier being one hundred and forty feet wide, and here bands play and there are brilliant illuminations. Both piers are of great strength, and only four cents admission is charged to them. Prince George built at Brighton a royal pavilion in imitation of the pagodas of the Indies, embosomed in trees and surrounded by gardens. This was originally the royal residence, but in 1850 the city bought it for $265,000 as a public assembly-room. The great attraction of Brighton, however, is the aquarium, the largest in the world, opened in 1872. It is constructed in front of the Parade, and, sunken below its level, stretches some fourteen hundred feet along the shore, and is one hundred feet wide, being surmounted by gardens and footwalks. It is set at this low level to facilitate the movement of the sea-water, and its design is to represent the fishes and marine animals as nearly as possible in their native haunts and habits, to do which, and not startle the fish, the visitors go through darkened passages, and are thus concealed from them, all the light coming in by refraction through the water. Their actions are thus natural, and they move about with perfect freedom, some of the tanks being of enormous size. Here swim schools of herring, mackerel, and porpoises as they do out at sea, the octopus gyrates his arms, and almost every fish that is known to the waters of that temperature is exhibited in thoroughly natural action. The tanks have been prepared most elaborately. The porpoises and larger fish have a range of at least one hundred feet, and rocks, savannahs, and everything else they are accustomed to are reproduced. The visitors walk through vaulted passages artistically decorated, and there is music to gladden the ear. This aquarium also shows the processes of fish-hatching, and has greatly increased the world's stock of knowledge as to fish-habits. The tanks hold five hundred thousand gallons of fresh and salt water.
Back of Brighton are the famous South Downs, the chalk-hills of Sussex, which stretch over fifty miles parallel to the coast, and have a breadth of four or five miles, while they rise to an average height of five hundred feet, their highest point being Ditchling Beacon, north of Brighton, rising eight hundred and fifty-eight feet. They disclose picturesque scenery, and the railways from London wind through their valleys and dart into the tunnels under their hills, whose tops disclose the gyrating sails of an army of windmills, while over their slopes roam the flocks of well-tended sheep that ultimately become the the much-prized South Down mutton. The chalk-cliffs bordering the Downs slope to the sea, and in front are numerous little towns, for the whole coast is dotted with watering-places. A few miles east of Brighton is the port of New Haven on a much-travelled route across the Channel to Dieppe.
To the westward of Brighton and in the South Downs is the antique village of Steyning, near which is Rev. John Goring's home at Wiston Manor, an Elizabethan mansion of much historical interest and commanding views of extreme beauty. This is one of the most attractive places in the South Downs, a grand park with noble trees, herds of deer wandering over the grass, and the great ring of trees on top of Chanctonbury Hill, planted in 1760. Charles Goring, the father of the present owner, planted these trees in his early life, and sixty-eight years afterwards, in 1828, he then being eighty-five years old, addressed these lines to the hill:
"How oft around thy Ring, sweet Hill, a boy I used to play, And form my plans to plant thy top on some auspicious day! How oft among thy broken turf with what delight I trod! With what delight I placed those twigs beneath thy maiden sod! And then an almost hopeless wish would creep within my breast: 'Oh, could I live to see thy top in all its beauty dressed!' That time's arrived; I've had my wish, and lived to eighty-five; I'll thank my God, who gave such grace, as long as e'er I live; Still when the morning sun in spring, whilst I enjoy my sight, Shall gild thy new clothed Beech and sides, I'll view thee with delight."
The house originally belonged to Earl Godwine, and has had a strange history. One of its lords was starved to death at Windsor by King John; Llewellyn murdered another at a banquet; a third fell from his horse and was killed. Later, it belonged to the Shirleys, one of whom married a Persian princess; it has been held by the Gorings for a long period. This interesting old mansion has a venerable church adjoining it, surmounted by an ivy-clad tower. Chanctonbury Hill rises eight hundred and fourteen feet, and its ring of trees, which can be seen for many miles, is planted on a circular mound surrounded by a trench, an ancient fortification. From it there is a grand view over Surrey and Sussex and to the sea beyond—a view stretching from Windsor Castle to Portsmouth, a panorama of rural beauty that cannot be excelled.
The little river Arun flows from the South Downs into the sea, and standing upon its banks is Arundel Castle, which gives the title of earl to the unfortunate infant son and heir of the Duke of Norfolk, whose blindness shows that even the greatest wealth and highest rank do not command all things in this world. A village of two steep streets mounts up the hill from the river-bank to the castle, which has unusual interest from its striking position and the long line of its noble owners—the Fitzalans and Howards. The extensive ramparts surround a ponderous keep and there are fine views in all directions. This is a favorite home of the Duke of Norfolk, and is surrounded by an extensive park. The tombs of his ancestors are in the old parish church of St. Nicholas, built in the fourteenth century, alongside which the duke has recently constructed a magnificent Roman Catholic church in Decorated Gothic at a cost of $500,000. The architect of this church was Mr. Hansom, who invented for the benefit of London the Hansom cab. Westward of Arundel is Chichester, distinguished for its cathedral and cross, the ancient Regnum of the Romans. The cathedral, recently restored, is peculiar from having five aisles with a long and narrow choir. Here is buried Richard Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel in the fourteenth century. This cathedral has a consistory court over the southern porch, reached by a spiral staircase, from which a sliding door opens into the Lollards' Dungeon. It has a detached campanile or bell-tower rising on the north-western side, the only example in England of such an attachment to a cathedral. The Chichester market-cross, standing at the intersection of four streets in the centre of the town, is four hundred years old. In front of Chichester, but nine miles away, the low peninsula of Selsey Bill projects into the sea and is the resort of innumerable wild-fowl. Three miles out of town is Goodwood, where the races are held. Goodwood is the seat of the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, who has a fine park, and a valuable picture-gallery particularly rich in historical portraits. At Bigner, twelve miles from Chichester over the chalk-downs, are the remains of an extensive Roman villa, the buildings and pavements having been exhumed for a space of six hundred by three hundred and fifty feet. The Rother, a tributary of the Arun, flows down from Midhurst, where are the ruins of Cowdray, an ancient Tudor stronghold that was burned in 1793, its walls being now finely overgrown with ivy. Dunford House, near Midhurst, was the estate presented to Richard Cobden by the "Anti-Corn Law League."