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The UNIVERSAL MAGAZINE for FEBRUARY, 1792. 81

Au Historical Description of LONGLEAT, in Wiltshire, the seat of the

Marquis of BATH: With a fine View of that magnificent Mansion, and the beautiful Scenery around it. ONGLE AT, the seat of the 30th of Henry VIII, Edmund Horde,

marquis of Bath, four miles from prior of the Carthusian monastery of Warminster, and four from Frome, Hinton, with the consent of the constands in a valley, in that part of the vent, made a surrender of all their county of Wilts, which is bounded by lands, houses, &c.(including the priory the great tract of woodland, formerly of Longleat) to the king, who, two part of the foret of Frome Selwood, years afterward, granted the site of in Somersetshire, on the west, and by the priory of Loucleat to fir. John the beautiful abrupt breaks and jet- Horsey of Clifton, in the county of tees, called Warminster and Deverill. Dorset, and the lands, belonging to hills, whịch terminate the Wiltshire the said priory, to Edward earl of downs on the east and south., A very Hertford; and fir John Thynne purpretty branch of the river Frome runs chased the whole in that and the sucthrough the yalley, and on this the ceeding year. house stands. The beautiful disposi It was not till twenty-five years, tion of the hills to the east and fouth ; after this . purchase, that fir John the vast mass of native woodland to Thynne began to build the present the west ; and the peculiar situation mansion; previous to which, it is said, of the valley, which, as far as the the old house had been burnt down: eye can reach, appears to be an im- for, by the books of the building of mense bason of rich country, verging Longleat, it appears that the founda-, to the house as to a common center ; tion of it was laid in January 1567, renders the view of Longleat, when and that the shell was not compleated seen from the adjacent hills, especially till 1579, after fir John Thynne had from the Warminster approach, one „expended thereon the sum of 80161. of the most picturesque and enriched 135. 81d. exclusive of the materials prospects in this kingdom, and gives of the old house, and of timber, stone, the house a degree of centrality and and carriage; an enormous 'fum, in consequence, of which no other gen- those days, to be expended in worktleman's feat can boast,

manship only! Sir John Thynne is Longleat was a small priory of the said to have procured plans from Italy, monks of St. Auguftin, dedicated to and by them to have built this mag$t. Radigund, founded anciently by nificent pile. Certain it is, as apfir John Vernon, lord of Horning ham; pears by his books of the building of but being in a very ruinous condition the house, that he was his own archiby the neglect and mismanagement of tect; a lupendous undertaking, in the prior, &c, it was, by the consent those times, by a private gentleman. of Peter Stantour, esq. lord of Horn- He died in 1580, leaving great part ingsham, and patron of Longleat, of the inside of the house unfinished. diffolved by king Henry VIII, in the Those parts of the house, which twenty-ninth year of his reign; and were left incompleat by fit John the perpetual presentation of it,' with Thynne, were partly finished by his the lands thereunto belonging, was son and successor; and it is very granted to John, prior of the Carthu- surpriling, that during the debasefian monastery of Hinton, in the ment of architecture, and perversion county of Somerset, and his brethren of national taste, which afterward prefor ever. It continued a cell to that vailed (particularly in the reign of monastery only one year; for, in the James I.) very few mutilazions or VOL. XC

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alteratious of the original plan should attended to, that not a single extranehave taken place, as was the case with ous ornament or variation is intromost of the old houses in the kingdom. duced in the whole building. It conBut it was reserved for the first lord fists of three principal fronts, and the Weymouth (so created by Charles II, original design had a fourth front, in 1682) a man of singular good taste which, as tradition fays, was burnt and judgment, to restore the house to down while building; and it being its original fimplicity, and to finish the necessary to have offices in that part whole as it now ftands. At a vait of the house, the front was never req expence, he put the whole in com- built. pleat repair, and furnished it in the ut The whole three fronts are surmost magnificence of the times; and rounded by a handsome balustrade ; when the Dułch taste of gardening and, on the east and fouth sides, are was introduced into the kingdom at mounted eight handsome stone ftatués, the accession of William and Mary, which, with the stone turrets and cohe laid out the grounds in beautiful lumn-like chimnies on the top of the gardens, canals, fountains, vistas, and house, give the whole an air of granavenues, all the extravagant and ex- deur and magnificence. The entrance pensive taste of that reign, and left to the house is by a grand flight of it equal, if not superior to any seat in steps, with a handsome rail and bathe kingdom,

lustrade, and the door case is ornaHis lordship dying in 1714, and mented with two noble pillars of the leaving his nephew and heir, the late Doric order (of single ftones) on lord, an infant, and that lord living which is an architrave and enriched only a few years at Longleat, and frieze, terminated by an open pedileaving his son, the present marquis ment, inclosing a fhield with the faof Bath, a minor, very little was mily arms. The workmanship of this done to the place, but barely keeping entrance is much admired. the house in repair, for forty-one The inside of the house was much years; and the prefent nolle pro- more adapted to ancient hospitality prietor, on his coming of age in 1755, than to modern convenience, but it has finding the gardens, and improve been repaired, and made very comments in the grounds, made by the fortable, by its present lord, with as first lord Weymouth, quite in ruins, little infringement as posible on the and the taste of the times entirely original design. The hall is a beaualtered, he, with the advice of Mr. tiful room, fixty-two feet long, thirty Brown, planned the park and grounds wide, and thirty-four high, with a in the way they are now laid out. Mr. recess of ten feet wider at the end, Brown executed only a part of the and ornamented with the old baronial plan; but his lord hip has, from that furniture of Aags horns, &c. as also time, unremittingly pursued it, till with the arms of the family, and their he has brought the place to its present relations and friends, as was customary degree of perfection. The house, in those days. It contains also fix which, for its grandeur, strikes every beautiful large pictures of fox-huntbeholder with astonishment, is said to ing done by Wootton for the late lord's be the only regular pile of Grecian on which subje&t there are few picarchitecture, of the sixteenth century, tures, if any, equal.' At one end of in the kingdom. "It is an oblong of this, behind a screen which supports a 220 feet by 180, and fixty feet high, music gallery, is the old buttery hatch and is built entirely of freestone, or- (worn with use quite off the old namented with pilasters of the Doric, hooks) and on the other end is an Ionic, and Corinthian orders, with exceeding good dining parlour, fifty enriched capitals and cornices; and feet by twenty-fix, with a recess for the intercolumniations are so properly the fide board. The whole of the 5

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ground story is fifteen feet high, the now at full growth. There are also second eighteen feet, and the third many oak trees, the aborigines of the thirteen. In the middle story is a foil, of such an enormous size, as are picture gallery of 100 feet long, and, not to be met with elsewhere in the in the third, a gallery upward of 160 west of England. feet long, and adjoining to the latter In the Dorfethire entrance, riz. is an exceeding good and well-furnish- from Stourhead, we pass over ed library. Th:re is an arched cellar planted hill, froni whence we have a under the whole of the fouth front, most picturesque view of the village viz. 220 feet long. But one of the of Horningsham, and part of the greatest curiosities of the house, is the park, and an unbounded prospect of number of curious and valuable por- North Wiltshire, and the Gloucettertraits which it contains, many of which fire hills; but the view of the house are undoubted originals.

is purposely concealed until we come The demesnes, to which vast ad- to the porter's lodge, which is built ditions have been made, and are still in stone in the form of a triumphal making, by the marquis, contain near arch, and from whence the house forms 4000 acres, and are nearly fifteen the most magnificent coup d'oil, the miles in circumference. There are imagination can conceive. It appears three principal approaches to the house, to stand at the end of an avenue of viz. from Wiltshire, Dorsetshire, and near three-quarters of a mile, of fullSomersetshire. In the former (that grown handtome trees, which are so is, the entrance from Warminster) we disposed, as just to catch the ends of the enter the grounds from the Frome house ; so that the eye fees no limits turnpike-road, immediately opposite to its length, but as we approach it, the beautiful single hill, called Clay: the avenue of trees which appeared hill; and, after passing through a fine to be continued to the house, is so curving valley, enriched with planta- broken as to admit views of the water tions (which, ten years ago, was a and of the hanging plantations on barren heath) we find ourselves al- our right-hand, and of the vast mass most imperceptibly on the top of a of native woodland, in which is the very high hill, from whence the prof- garden, on the left; and all together, pect, on every side, is unbounded; it formis one of the most pleasing as and where the contrast between the well as of the most magnificent apopen champaign country of Wiltshire proaches that can be conceived. and the rich inclosures of Somerset The entrance from Somersetshire, shire has a very charming effect. At viz. from Frome, pafles through a the edge of the hill, we burst instantly very beautiful forest-like country, but on the valley in which the house loses at present much of its effect, by stands ; although, being hid by & ve- paffing near an old decayed pile of nerable grove of oaks, we do not see itabling, which it is his lordship's init until we come within a mile of it. tention to remove, but which is not

In this grove stands the stump of yet done. the antient Weymouth pine, the mo In the south-east part of the dether of that species of trees in this mesnes toward Deverill Longbridge, kingdom (it having long since loft is a tract of many hundred acres of its top by a hurricane) and some land, which his lordship found quite of the largest firs of the Scotch Spruce a barren desert, but which he has so and silver kinds, particularly of the much improved by planting the hills, latter, in the kingdom. There are and lawning the vales, that it now also many abeles of a great fize, and forms a very picturesque contrast to upward of 120 feet high. All these the Wiltshire downs, to which it were planted by the first lord Wey- nearly extends. In this part, at the mouth, about the year 1696, and are head of one of the branches of the

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