Obrázky stránek


THE source of this river is two miles S. W. of Cirencester, in Gloucestershire, whence it flows increasing in its progress by the confluence of various rivulets, till it becomes navigable for barges of 90 tons at the distance of 138 miles from the capital. It is navigable by the largest ships up to Deptford, and by ships of 800 tons to London-Bridge.

One of the most pleasing summer amusements of the citizens is an excursion, up the Thames to Richmond, and down the river to Blackwall, of Greenwich.


This bridge is 915 fect in length and 45 feet in breadth. It consists of 19 arches, all of which except the central arch are only 20 feet wide. LondonBridge was for ages encumbered with houses built on each side; which were removed in 1756. The upper part of the bridge was then rebuilt in a modern style of architecture, but the heavy sterlings, by contracting the space between the piers, occasion a rapid fall of water at the ebb of the tide, which readers the passage between the arches very dangerous to small crast, insomuch that a number of valuable lives are yearly lost to the community. Several plans have been proposed for the erection of a new bridge, on the scite of the present, and an iron bridge of a single arch has been approved by

a committee of the House of Commons. This immense arch when erected will be one of the principal beauties of the metropolis, and add greatly to its magnificence. The spectator will be able to form an idea of the commercial prosperity of London, by a view of the shipping which lie on each side of the river Eastward of this bridge; while the. Tower, the Monument, St. Paul's Cathedral, and Blackfriars-Bridge, present various beauties of architecture.


One of the most elegant architectural ornaments of the capital, is the Monument, which is situated two hundred yards to the northward of LondonBridge. It is a fluted column of the Doric order, 202 feet high, with a balcony inclosed by an iron. railing near the top. The public are admitted to this balcony by a flight of spiral steps in the inside of the column. The price of admission is sixpence, and in fine weather the prospect of the metropolis and its environs is delightful.


In the centre of the metropolis, this magnificent structure presents a most interesting object, The first stone of Blackfriars bridge was laid in the year 1760, it was finished in the space of nine years, and cost £.252,840. It is 1100 feet long, 42 broad, and consists of eight piers, with nine

elliptical arches, of which the central is 100 feet wide. This bridge is built of Portland stone; the pillars are of the Ionic order, and it is adorned with ballustrades. Alorg the sides there are recesses for foot passengers; and the prospect of the river, with numerous barges and wherries in motion, together with a distinct view of St. Paul's, Somerset House, London and Westminster Bridges, present a grand combination of picturesque objects

to the eye.

[ocr errors][merged small]

This elegant bridge is built of Portland stone. It is 1,223 feet in length, and 44 feet in breadth, consists of 15 arches, and is adorned with 28 semi-octangular towers. The first stone of this beautiful bridge was laid in the year 1738 ; it was finished in 1750, at the expence of £.289,500. From the centre of this bridge a most charming prospect is seen of the western part of the metropolis, and the hills of Surrey; the beautiful windings of the majestic Thames; the venerable edifice of Westminster Abbey; and a variety of public buildings; while the animated scene of a multitude of passengers in continual succession, gives a lively idea of busy life in this populous capital.


Among the public buildings consecrated to the Deity, the magnificent cathedral of St. Paul's is

the most conspicuous and extensive. This noble fabric stands in the centre of the metropolis. It is built of Portland stone, in the form of a cross; with a lofty dome, surmounted by a lanthorn, surrounded by a balcony, and adorned with columns of the Corinthian order. The lanthorn is crowned with a gilded ball and cross.

The circumference of this cathedral within is 2,292 feet, the length 500, the breadth 250, and the height 500 feet. Three elegant porticos form some of the principal ornaments of this stately structure, one facing the North, another South, and the principal and most beautiful portico facing the West. The western portico consists of twelve columns of the composite order, which support a pediment, adorned with the history of the conversion of St. Panl, in basso-relievo. The corners of the western front, are adorned by light and airy turrets. Language is inadequate to communicate the sublime image of architectural elegance, which fills the imagination of the spectator, on approaching this Cathedral from LudgateHill. It is a noble monument of the piety, taste, and opulence of our ancestors; a Temple worthy to be erected by the hands of freemen, to that all-gracious Being whose providence has blessed the happy inhabitants of Britain with protection.

The internal decorations of this Cathedral are inferior to the superb combination of the beauties of architecture presented by the exterior. It is the masterpiece of Sir Christopher Wren, who laid the first stone on the 21st of June, 1675, and completed the fabric in 1710, at the expence of £.727,952. The curiosities of this Cathedralmay

be viewed for half-a-crown. They consist of the whispering gallery; the two galleries on the outside of the building; the geometrical stair-case; the great bell, in the southern tower; and the ball.

The body of the church is decorated with the flags and standards taken from the French and Dutch, in the late war; and it is now adorned with the statues of that sublime moralist, elegant writer, and excellent critic, Dr. Samuel Johnson; the illustrious philanthropist, Howard; Captain Bur

navy; and General Abercrombie. St. Paul's Cathedral is open for Divine Service, at six o'clock in the morning, a quarter before ten in the forenoon, and a quarter before three in the afternoon.

gess, of the

[ocr errors][merged small]

This venerable Gothic pile is, next to St. Paul's, the most remarkable edifice consecrated to religion in the English metropolis. From its first founda tion by Sebert, King of the West Saxons, it underwent many dilapidations, till it was rebuilt in its present form by Henry III.

Westminster Abbey is 489 feet in length, 66 feet in breadth at the western front; the length of the cross aisle is 189 feet, and the roof is go feer high. The west end is adorned with two turrets, The interior is magnificent; the roof is supported by two rows of arches, resting pon pillars of marble; and the choir, which contains an altar-piece of white marble, is the most beautiful in Europe. The ceremony of the coronation of the kings and

« PředchozíPokračovat »