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Old English Mansions

Old English Mansions
Title: Old English Mansions
Release Date: 2018-11-01
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
Count views: 30
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List of Plates
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Hampton Court Palace, Entrance Gateway to the First CourtBy Joseph NashFrontispiece in colours
Aston Hall, WarwickshireBy A. E. EverittPlate IX
Aston Hall, Warwickshire, The Entrance HallBy C. J. RichardsonPlate LI
Audley End, Essex, The StaircaseBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XLII
Audley End, Essex, Portion of Plaster Ceiling atBy Henry ShawPlate XLIII
Barrington Court, SomersetBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XLI
Benthall Hall, ShropshireBy J. C. BaylissPlate II
Blickling Hall, Norfolk, Chimney-piece in Dining-room atBy Henry Shaw page 29 (text)
Boughton Malherbe, Kent, Side of Drawing-room atBy Henry Shawpage 7 (text)
Burton Agnes, Yorkshire, Entrance to Staircase from the HallBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XLVI
Charlecote, Warwickshire, The Great HallBy J. G. JacksonPlate XVIII
Charlton House, KentBy J. HollandPlate XV
Charlton House, WiltshireBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XXXII
Coombe Abbey, Warwickshire, The Elizabethan RoomBy J. G. JacksonPlate XIX
Crewe Hall, CheshireBy C. J. RichardsonPlate LIV
Crewe Hall, CheshireBy C. J. RichardsonPlate LV
Crewe Hall, Cheshire, Fireplace atBy C. J. RichardsonPlate LVI
Cumnor Place, Berkshire, Oak Bedstead atBy C. J. RichardsonPlate LII
Dorfold Hall, CheshireBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XXIX
Dorfold Hall, Cheshire, The Great ChamberBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XXX
East Barsham Manor House, NorfolkBy Joseph NashPlate XXII
East Sutton Place, Kent, The Entrance HallBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XXXIX
Enfield, Middlesex, Interior of an old House atBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XXXIII
Feering House, EssexBy F. W. FairholtPlate X
Ford House, DevonshireBy J. GendallPlate XIII
Gawsworth Hall, CheshireBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XLVII
Gilling Castle, Yorkshire, Side of Dining-room atBy Henry Shawpage 13 (text)
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, End of Drawing-room of a House atBy Henry Shawpage 19 (text)
Haddon Hall, DerbyshireBy T. AllomPlate I
Hall i’ the Wood, LancashireBy J. S. DoddPlate V
Hardwick Hall, DerbyshireBy Lake PricePlate XXV
Harlaxton Manor House, LincolnshireBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XXXVIII
Helmsley Hall, YorkshireBy W. RichardsonPlate LX
Hollingbourne Manor House, KentBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XXXVI
Horeham Hall, EssexBy F. W. FairholtPlate XI
Ince Hall, LancashireBy Ewan ChristianPlate III
Ipswich, Suffolk, Old House atBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XL
Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire, Entrance Porch to the GatehouseBy C. J. RichardsonPlate LIII
Kirby, Northamptonshire, Garden Bridge atBy C. J. RichardsonPlate LVIII
Kirby Hall, NorthamptonshireBy J. D. HardingPlate XIV
Little Charleton, KentBy C. J. RichardsonPlate LVII
Longford Castle, Wiltshire, The Circular Dining-roomBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XLIX
Loseley House, SurreyBy F. W. HulmePlate XVII
Maidstone, Kent, Upper Portion of an old House atBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XLVIII
Montacute, Somersetshire, The Great ChamberBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XXXI
Moreton Hall, CheshireBy H. L. PrattPlate XXIII
Nag’s Head Inn, Leicester, Porch of theBy C. J. RichardsonPlate LIX
Nantwich, Cheshire, The Old Town HallBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XLIV
Oak House, West Bromwich, Staffordshire, TheBy A. E. EverittPlate VIII
Park Hall, ShropshireBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XXVI
Park Hall, Shropshire, The Drawing-roomBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XXVII
Park Hall, Shropshire, Oak Staircase atBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XXVIII
Pitchford Hall, ShropshireBy F. W. HulmePlate XVI
St. John’s College, Cambridge, Staircase atBy C. J. RichardsonPlate L
Salwarp Court, near Droitwich, WorcestershireBy H. GallonPlate XII
Sawston Hall, CambridgeshireBy J. DaffornePlate IV
Smithells Hall, LancashireBy J. S. DoddPlate VI
South Petherton, Somersetshire, atBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XXXVII
Stockton House, Wiltshire, Small Bed-chamberBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XXXIV
Stockton House, Wiltshire, Side of Drawing-room atBy Henry ShawPlate XXXV
Throwley Hall, StaffordshireBy H. L. PrattPlate XXIV
Turton Tower, LancashireBy J. S. DoddPlate VII
West Stow Hall, SuffolkBy W. MüllerPlate XXI
White Hart Inn, Scole, NorfolkBy C. J. RichardsonPlate XLV
Wroxhall Abbey, WarwickshireBy J. G. JacksonPlate XX
Overmantel at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire
Overmantel at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire


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WHY do distant objects please? It is a question which has exercised manyminds. William Hazlitt once had the inspiration to write an essay on thesubject, saying, among other things, that the reason for our pleasure isthat we clothe distant objects with the indistinct and airy colours offancy. There is truth in this argument when applied to landscape, andstill more so in regard to history and antiquities. We look on thedistant past as we do on a beautiful sunset, conscious only of warm,glowing reflections. Forgetfulness and ignorance play a great part inour estimate of bygone days and things. The invasion of Britain byJulius Cassar and the later Romans has been the joy of thearchaeologist—descendants of those who suffered at the time; and if wewander through Hastings Castle it is the personality of William theConqueror which inspires us rather than remembrance of the troublesendured by the vanquished. We believe that tribulation, especially thatof other people in a previous generation, had compensations.

In the same way we take pleasure in imagining pictures of the peacefulpast, rich in colour and pleasant in tone. Those days in which ourfore-fathers used y instead of i and almost invariably ended theirwords with an e, seem so picturesque and delightful. How manypaintings have been shown at the Royal Academy under the title of“Merrie England” or its equivalent? Only Mr. Algernon Graves knows. Thepoets have been not less backward than the artists in proclaiming theromance of life in those distant days, and novelists have led us astraywith equal regularity. For, almost certainly, we have been led astray.It is inconceivable that the days and nights in the olden times werefilled with masques and continual merriment. Joviality there was, ofcourse, and an absence of those assets of civilization which sometimestrouble us now: but life was a very serious thing, and even when therewas no war at home or abroad, there were political and social movementswhich at times must have made the lives of the people intolerable. Sohistory teaches us.

To destroy illusions, however, is not the way to earn popularity, so fewbut pessimists and the most severe historians look back with a keen eyefor defects in our national romances. Most of us may take a generousview of the lives of our remote ancestors. Let them be supposed to havehad the advantage of us in their environment, occupations, pastimes, andsentiments. It is futile to institute comparisons, and those who madeEngland are entitled to the benefit of the doubt. That they did possesscertain privileges is beyond question, and as other blessings have beensubstituted for the benefit of later generations, we can afford to lookback with a certain amount of envy on the time when traditions were{2} being made and events followed one another with less disturbingfrequency than they are doing in the twentieth century.

The days of our youth are regarded, not without reason, as the period ofour greatest happiness. It is often a transparent fiction, but on thewhole there is an element of truth in the idea. For one thing our livesare then before us, and even if we have no definite course to befollowed steadily there is generally the beacon of hope to inspire ourprogress. In after years, especially if we have been successful, theobstacles seem to have been lower and fewer. We may imagine, therefore,that the relentless advance of time is regarded with equal anxiety byinanimate things. If the stones, bricks, and timbers of ancient secularedifices could speak they would wish us to believe, as human beings do,that their early days were the best. Perhaps they would be right in thissupposition, for buildings when first erected serve the purpose forwhich they are required and generally satisfy those who own and live inthem. No doubt perfection was not attained in regard to the fullutilisation of the site, the accommodation provided, and so forth, inthe past any more than in the present, but ancient buildings wouldreceive a certain measure of praise on completion. So it would benatural that the structure itself, given the power to absorbimpressions, would look back to its earliest and most useful existencewith the same feeling of regret experienced by most people in maturityor old age. If it were an Elizabethan mansion, the principal facadewould recall with pride the arrival on horseback or otherwise of thosenotable guests who, dim years ago, conferred splendour and everlastinghonour on the establishment, each projecting bay meanwhile looking downwith mingled wonder and disparagement on the apparently lifeless motorcarriage now bringing visitors to its time-worn entrance. The interiorof the ancient mansion would be inclined no less than the exterior tolook upon modern beings as usurpers and unheroic characters, comparedwith those who once walked through the stately halls and corridors. Itwould be interesting indeed if we could interpret the feelings of thesemonuments of the past. Such a chronicle would be as full of pathos asany history of a noble race or family, once powerful and magnificent,now crest-fallen or defunct. For building materials are subject tostranger vicissitudes than those who cause them to be manipulated. Evenif they have only decay to contend with it is a constant struggleagainst their eventual fate, but as often as not they have to facedestruction sooner or later. Sometimes the stones which have been usedin an historic building are forced to do service again and again untiltheir record and significance are lost. Occasionally we have a clue tothe past, as in the case of “Nonsuch,” the beautiful palace begun byHenry VIII, and once an attraction on the road to Epsom. It is supposedthat when this building was pulled down, to the perpetual disgrace ofthe first Duchess of Cleveland, {3} some of the materials were usedin the construction of “Durdans,” the prototype of the existing Surreyresidence of Lord Rosebery. The fate of the Holbein Gateway, which onceadorned Whitehall, was to be dismembered by order of the hero ofCulloden, the idea being that it should be re-erected in the Great Parkat Windsor. This was never done, though Thomas Sandby drew up a schemeat the time; and with the exception of a few fragments, this mostinteresting relic of Tudor architecture only survives in illustrationsand models. A better destiny was in store for a later structure whichoutlived the esteem of the authorities, namely Temple Bar. That thiswork by Sir Christopher Wren should have been removed

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