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THE BARONIAL HALLS OF KENT.

66

"OUR writings," says old Burton, are so many dishes, our readers the guests:" wherefore, as he very reasonably lucubrates, it is only becoming that we should endeavour to have them in some measure suitable to the time and the occasion. For this winter season, a culling from the old Baronial mansions of England, seems a not unseasonable dish to set before our friendly guests, the readers of 'THE LAND WE LIVE IN.' Those stately halls are beyond almost every object provocative of recollections of that large and hearty Christmas hospitality which was so eminently characteristic of England in the olden time. The very shadow of it has fled away long since; but even to recal to our memory that such things were, is neither without profit nor pleasure.

Yet in truth it needs no apology of the season for introducing such a subject in our work. We should have a very incomplete series of sketches of our noble land, either pictorial or literary, if we had none of those old mansions which form so noticeable a feature in it. Nor is the subject merely an ornamental one: a history of our chief country mansions would form a theme of rich and various interest. Even to trace the history of some one at sufficient length, and in a genial spirit, would afford abundant information as well as amusement: the weather-beaten walls, and the dusty family records, would alike furnish matter which the wand of fancy might transform into vivid and speaking realities. The different parts of the building would recal and illustrate the varying phases of public and domestic life: the embattled towers would tell of those ruder times when the feudal chief might have to call around him his retainers and tenants, and prepare against the approach of some hostile band; the huge halls and capacious kitchens of ancient state and hospitality; the graceful bay-windows of the growth of elegance and security; while all would display the progress of architectural skill and taste. How distinctly, too, would the apartments and their garniture record the shifting habits of social life-changing slowly and almost imperceptibly from year to year, but showing so vast a difference between the present time and that when the foundations of the house were laid, it may be some four or five cen turies ago! And then in the fortunes of its ownersoften the mighty, the famous, the unhappy-how impressive a story might be read! To most who visit these ancient halls some such thoughts occur; and some such history of them might, without extraordinary labour, be written. Of course that cannot be attempted here. We are to look lightly over two or three of these old buildings which lie at a few miles distance from each other, and in one county: and whilst strolling through the rooms we shall, without much regard to order, speak of such matters as we meet with, or as the objects we see may recal to the memory. XVII.

-VOL. III.

HEVER CASTLE.

Kent is a beautiful county, and one full of all kinds of interest. Few counties can display so ample a variety of pleasing scenery, and few possess more objects that will repay the examination of the curious tourist. In old baronial and manorial residences it is especially rich; and they, with the fine parks that generally appertain to them, contribute in no small measure to the beauty and interest of the county. From them we select a few that have more than the ordinary amount of historical or other value, and that may serve at the same time as examples of the several kinds of structures that are characteristic of ancient baronial domestic architecture.

We may begin with the rudest-looking and oldest. Hever Castle is a tolerably perfect example of a castellated mansion of the earliest date. Though called a castle, that is an improper designation: it retains in part the form and character of a castle, but it was erected in an age when comfort as well as security was sought after; when, though it was deemed needful to build so as to be secure from a sudden attack, defence was no longer the first thing thought of and provided for. During the sway of the Norman monarchs, castles were raised all over the land. It is affirmed that above eleven hundred were erected in England, in the reign of Stephen. In the strong language of the 'Saxon Chronicle,' "Every rich man built his castles and defended them, and they filled the land full of castles. And they greatly oppressed the wretched people, by making them work at these castles; and when the castles were finished, they filled them with devils and evil men." Henry II., however, put a stop to the mischief by making it unlawful to erect a castle without the Royal licence-which he but seldom granted.

The Norman castle was a large and enormously strong building. The walls, which were of immense thickness, were surmounted with battlements, and usually further fortified by small projecting towers or bastions. Where the nature of the ground did not render the approach nearly inaccessible, a moat encompassed the walls, and across it was thrown a drawbridge. The entrance gateway was flanked by towers: there were several thick doors; and portcullises were fitted into grooves, so as to be easily dropped in case of surprisal, and to prevent the danger which might arise from the application of fire. There was also near the centre of the castle a great keep, to which the garrison might retreat if the castle itself should be forced. No more efficient stronghold than the Norman castle could well have been contrived for withstanding the assaults of an army in the then state of warfare: but it made at best but a gloomy and uncomfortable abode, - every external aperture was of the smallest size, the rooms were confined and inconvenient, the whole wore a stern and forbidding air. It

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was not, however, till the splendid victories of Edward genial billets,”) were addressed to her here, and her III, had ensured peace and safety in the land, that the answers are dated from hence; and hither that “inteEnglish nobility thought of erecting for themselves resting admirer” used often to come whilst she was dwellings of a more homely character. It was in the in patient waiting for the nuptial tie." reign of Edward III, that domestic architecture may Poor Anne! hers was indeed a hard lot. The sorbe said to have arisen in England; but even then, as row and wrong she had brought upon another were has been mentioned, although comfort and elegance with fearful interest returned into her own bosom. were sought after, security was not neglected. The Hardly is the lofty eminence she had so long panted result was the construction of that class of buildings for attained, ere clouds gather around, and she sees which has received the name of castellated mansions. darkness and danger on every hand. The "interesting

Hever Castle is of this kind, and of this date. Wil- admirer” is changed into a brutal tyrant; in place of liam de Hever, lord of the manor, obtained a license of love and hope, come alienation and misery. Then Edward III. to erect his manor house at Hever, more follows that hideous mockery of a trial, where the castelli,' with towers, battlements, and machicolations; womanly ear is outraged by every insult which the and in virtue of this grant he built the castle we are depraved imaginations of coarse old men can, at the now to examine. Hever Castle does not remain as it bidding of a reckless master, shape out of the vile tales was originally erected ; alterations, additions, and mo- of shameless attendants : and then that graceful form dernizations have been made at different times, but in is, without trace of compassion, consigned to the bloodits general form and character it is pretty much as he stained hands of the common executioner. But her left it.

husband was not her only-hardly her worst---persecutor. It is situated about three miles south-east of the Even in the grave she has not been suffered to rest at Edenbridge station of the South-Eastern Railway. peace. Her miserable doom has failed to excite a merThere is a pleasant walk to it from the village of Eden- ciful consideration of her failings. It has been her fate bridge, along by-lanes and field-paths. Little is seen to be the object of more and angrier controversy, and more of the castle till you come close upon it, owing to its bitter vituperation, than ever was any other Englishlying in so low a spot. The site was chosen, no doubt, woman,-except her daughter. Down to our own day from its proximity to the river Eden, affording so much she has been subjected to the grossest accusations which facility for surrounding the building by a moat. When even theological rancour could inspire; and only in the fairly seen the appearance of the castle is rather striking, case of her daughter, where to theological rancour as well as picturesque. (Cut No. 1.) The building is national enmity is superadded, has the persecution been quadrangular, enclosing a court-yard. The place of the as long continued and as unrelenting. original draw-bridge is supplied by a fixed wooden one; Hever Castle was purchased by William Bullen, the but the moat remains undrained. The principal front, great-grandfather of Anne. He was a wealthy silkwhich presents itself to the view on approaching the castle, mercer in London, -of which city he was, in 1459, is the fortified part. It consists of a large and lofty gate- elected lord-mayor: but the Bullens (for so they spelled house, flanked by two square towers. It is built of their name) were an ancient and honourable Norfolk stone, and is evidently of great strength, answering in family. Upon the death of the father of Anne Boleyn some measure to the keep of the Norman castle. As “ without male issue,” the manor accrued to the crown. this was the only entrance to the castle, the architect After his divorce from Anne of Cleves, Henry granted has expended upon its defences all his skill. Over the Hever Castle and manor to her for life, or as long as gateway impend bold machicolations from which missiles she should remain in England : and in Hever Castle might be poured on the heads of assailants. The wers were spent the remaining days of that most fortunate are pierced with oilets and loop-holes, through which of the tyrant's unhappy wives. She died here in 1556, arrows might be discharged, without chance of reprisal. after a quiet sojourn of sixteen years. Sbortly after Three stout gates and as many portcullises are arranged her death the estate was sold by Royal commission. It one behind the other, within the gateway. In the gate- has since passed through many hands; but nothing of house are guard-rooms: the chambers above were pro- interest has occurred in connection with it. It is now vided with furnaces for melting lead and pitch ; and all the property of a family named Medley. Hever Castle other defensive appliances were carefully provided. has become a farm-house. The strength of the castle, however, does not appear The gate-house by which you enter is the original to have been tested. It owes its celebrity to other than stronghold. It is in capital preservation, and retains warlike recollections. It has been the abode of two to a great degree its primitive appearance. The only of the many wives of Henry VIII. It was the birth- alteration of any consequence is the insertion of some place and the residence of Anne Boleyn ; and here it windows of Tudor date. On the front is some rather was that she dwelt a part of the tedious six years, elegant tracery; but as you enter the gateway, the during which, to borrow the words of Mr. Sharon bold impending machicolations and triple portcullises, Turner, she patiently listened, " to the solicitations and render it a sufficiently formidable-looking structure. aspirations of a Royal and interesting admirer.” Seve. The rooms inside this building are also in tolerable ral of this “interesting admirer's " still-existing love- preservation. The principal is the great hall, the oriletters (or as Mr. Turner prefers to call them, con- ginal state-room of the castle: this is a noble apart

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Edward genial billets,") were addressed to her here, and her
that the answers are dated from hence; and hither that " inte-
mselves resting admirer" used often to come whilst she“
s in the in patient waiting for the nuptial tie."

Poor Anne! hers was indeed a hard lot. The top
then, as row and wrong she had brought upon another were
legance with fearful interest returned into her own bosom.
1. The Hardly is the lofty eminence she had so long panted
uildings for attained, ere clouds gather around, and she sti
Bions. darkness and danger on every hand. The "interesting
· Wil- admirer" is changed into a brutal tyrant; in place al
cense of love and hope, come alienation and misery. The
F; ' more follows that hideous mockery of a trial, where the
ations; womanly ear is outraged by every insult which the

we are depraved imaginations of coarse old men can, at the in as it bidding of a reckless master, shape out of the vile talks nd mo- of shameless attendants : and then that graceful form but in is, without trace of compassion, consigned to the block as he stained hands of the common executioner. But la

husband was not her only-bardly her worst-persecuta. of the Even in the grave she has not been suffered to Rat er ailway. peace. Her miserable doom bas failed to excite a De

Eden- ciful consideration of her failings. It has been her fi: is seen to be the object of more and angrier controversy, and use i - to its bitter vituperation, than ever was any other Engi:* doubt, woman,-except her daughter. Down to our own des much she has been subjected to the grossest accusations et When even theological rancour could inspire ; and only in e riking, case of her daughter, where to theological rabia ding is national enmity is superadded, has the persecution bet of the as long continued and as unrelenting.

Hever Castle was purchased by William Bullen, front, great-grandfather of Anne. He was a wealthy sos castle, mercer in London, of which city he was, in It y gate- elected lord-mayor: but the Bullens (for so they spe...

uilt of their name) were an ancient and honourable Nocice
cing in family. Upon the death of the father of Anne Bar
e. As without male issue," the manor accrued to the cruz
chitect After his divorce from Anne of Cleves, Henry grais
ver the Hever Castle and manor to her for life, or as long as
nissiles she should remain in England : and in Hever leave
towers

were spent the remaining days of that most fortuar
· which of the tyrant's unhappy wives. She died here in la
eprisal. after a quiet sojourn of sixteen years. Shortly
ranged her death the estate was sold by Royal commissioz.
e gate has since passed through many hands ; but nothing.

interest has occurred in connection with it. It is 23 and all the property of a family named Medley. Hever Case vided. has become a farm-house. appear The gate-house by which you enter is the origin r than stronghold. It is in capital preservation, and reizi f two to a great degree its primitive appearance. The te birth- alteration of any consequence is the insertion of su Tere it windows of Tudor date. On the front is some ries years, elegant tracery; but as you enter the haron / bold impending machicolations and triple porteulike s and render it a sufficiently formidable-looking structu Seve. The rooms inside this building are also in tolerade love- preservation. The principal is the great hall, the con- ginal state-room of the castle: this is a noble apa?

ment, and very handsomely fitted up. The room is | places. Altogether, this gatehouse afford large and lofty; and is provided with a music-gallery, idea of the stronghold of a baronial mansi withdrawing-room, and the other appurtenances of an On emerging from the gateway we find old hall. The walls are covered with carved oak a stately quadrangular court-yard, surroun panels ; the roof is also panelled. The fire-place has ings, evidently not all of equal antiquity, b some good carving of the arms of the Boleyns and all somewhat of an antique aspect. The their alliances, supported by well-designed figures of good repair, but not in its ancient state. angels : on one of the shields the arms of Henry VIII. were once fancifully painted; but no trace are empanelled. This hall seems to have been remo- is now visible. We cross the court-yarı delled after the castle became the property of the passing, we notice, retains the old red-bric Boleyns. A few years back it was carefully repaired and enter the gateway directly opposite to and refitted, and is now the most completely-furnished I just quitted. On the left is the dining-ha room in the whole edifice. When it was restored room fit for the ordinary refectory of a r what remained of the old Boleyn furniture was collected before ancient hospitality was given up. N and placed here, and contributes not a little to the as the older hall we have recently come fr general effect. The chairs and sofas are not only of

goodly room ; and while the master of the antique form, but retain their original covering of that his family and his guests have places apa needle-work for which the English ladies of Anne ample room for the numerous domestics, é Boleyn's day were so famous. There is a feebly sup the humble dependent or stranger who ported tradition that some of these covers are of Anne's casual participant at the plenteous board. own embroidery. At one time the furniture of Hever is large, and of proportionate height: th

On one must have been of rare value, but the costlier articles rather elaborately ornamented. were scattered by the auctioneer. Some of the curious huge fire-place. The long tables may fire-dogs

, with other relics, are now at Knole. We when the Earl of Wiltshire was lord of H. must not quit the hall without mentioning that there Bat the ancient hangings are gone; no ha are several portraits on the walls. One is pointed out

over head; neither arms, nor helmets, nor ba as the family portrait of Anne Boleyn, and it is added hang upon the walls. As the old castle i that it was painted shortly before her execution. To into a farm-house, so the old hall is made to as it seems to bear little resemblance to the anthentic farm-house kitchen. Yet there is some good portraits of her: we do not believe it is even a copy

use of it: a bright fire is ever burning in th of her portrait, we need hardly add, that it is not an

place, and its cheerful blaze lights up the ole original. The other portraits are worthless as pictures way that contrasts quite gratefully in comp -but they help the general effect of the room.

the ungénial chill that pervades the ancient E We might be led to repeople the old hall with its

are kept merely for show in so many a lordl early tenants ; to fancy the Hevers or the Boleyns sit

Passing through u ding here in their dignity, at a court-baron , br as the ritz callecassing Grand Staircase

, to the Long of Kent, or presiding at the banquet, or listening to ball-room. This is a noticeable apartment =

Th. monarch in the chair of state to receive the homage of of panelled oak; the ceiling is also divided ir some goodly interlude and merry: or place the bluff | long, but narrow, and the ceiling is low. the surrounding 'squires :- but our guide spoils the The floor is of oak, rather too rudely put to fancy

, if we venture to utter it aloud, by the assurance that the old dining-room was on the other side of the On one side, at equal distances apart, are three court-yard ; and that as for the king, he always saw company up in the long gallery. We cannot say nay for the fire. to this, and so we will pass on, only intimating that this hall was probably the staie dining-room of the bears a very marked resemblance. Hevers, as the other may have been the ordinary one of the Boleyns. This ball is reached by a winding stair- at Hever is in its present state evidently of case in one of the towers : the visitor may, if he pleases, ascend by it to the battlements on the summit of the tower, but owing to the lowness of the site there is stairs without stepping into some one of the little presented a striking spectacle. We might be little prospect; he must not, however, descend the company as sometimes were assembled in it, i chambers in order to see the way in which they were holes he will observe were well-adapted for discharging contrived for the annoyance of an enemy. The loop- the great master of revels would have arrows through. The guard-rooms are also worth looking into ; and on returning to the gateway, it will be the original fittings which yet remain in their proper

none;

should fancy, to be pleasant to ladies' 'twink

re pro

one of them is a large bay window, the mid

Altogether the room will probala the visitor of the Long Gallery at Haddon, t

The thre there, however, are all bay windows. The lo period. It was doubtless the construction of

- perhaps of Anne's father. In her day it w rate in its greatest splendour; and, filled wit

gatewas,

tradition were silent respecting it, that Anne'

well just to notice the portcullises

, and some other of

“A noble and a fair assembly Some night to meet here~he could do no le Out of the great respect he bore to beauty

, and entreat An hour of revels with them."

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And we can easily fancy how the little maiden's heart became perplexed how best to rid himself of poor

Anne would flutter when the king “ took her out” to lead Boleyn. To have two divorced wives living, was rather the brawls.

beyond what he liked to venture on. To cut off the Tradition has fixed chiefly on the bay window for head of one had not yet suggested itself to him. He the scene of its tales of Anne and her lover. Here, it determined to try whether starvation would not answer relates, she sat and watched, when she anticipated his his purpose. Anne was sent down to Hever and concoming. A lattice is shown, from which she used to signed to the dungeon. When her keeper thought time wave her bandkerchief what time her royal admirer enough had elapsed, he opened the door and brought sounded his bugle when he had reached the summit of out her body. She appeared to be dead, but after a the hill, some balf-mile off, where first the towers of brief space, she revived, and his heart failed him. InHever become visible from the road; or when sorrow stead of replacing her in the cell he carried her to ing over his departure she caught the last glimpse of London; and then the king took a more legal course. his portly form. It hardly needs tradition to tell that They don't repeat this legend at Hever now. Visitors here was the fond pair's favourite seat; the seat in a are grown critical, and guides taciturn. sunny bay is, we know,

Another room will be shown the stranger :- Anne

Boleyn's bed-room. It is worth seeing : it is but “For whispering lovers made.”

scantily furnished, but what furniture it has is ancient. In this bay-window, too, we are assured, was placed The bed is affirmed to be the veritable one she slept Henry's chair of state when the neighbouring gentry in. It is an antique-looking one, with heavy yellow were admitted to a levée. At the end of the room a hangings. The chairs and tables, and a strong carved trap-door is pointed out, which opens into the dun- oak chest, are said to have belonged to the Boleyns. geon'--a gloomy chamber wbich, you are told, was Write your name in the visitor's book,--and let us intended for a hiding-place in time of trouble. As if away. to counterbalance the bit of sentiment in which she had There is nothing to attract the visitor in the village indulged at the bay-window, Tradition repeats another of Hever, which is, in fact, merely a gathering on a hillstory of rather a grim character. When the king, she side of a few very sad-looking cottages; but he should tells, was smitten by the charms of Jane Seymour, he remember that by every old baronial hall, as by every

places. Altogether, this gatehouse affords a very good idea of the stronghold of a baronial mansion.

ment, and very handsomely fitted up. The room is large and lofty; and is provided with a music-gallery, withdrawing-room, and the other appurtenances of an old hall. The walls are covered with carved oak panels; the roof is also panelled. The fire-place has some good carving of the arms of the Boleyns and their alliances, supported by well-designed figures of angels: on one of the shields the arms of Henry VIII. are empanelled. This hall seems to have been remodelled after the castle became the property of the Boleyns. A few years back it was carefully repaired and refitted, and is now the most completely-furnished room in the whole edifice. When it was 'restored' what remained of the old Boleyn furniture was collected and placed here, and contributes not a little to the general effect. The chairs and sofas are not only of antique form, but retain their original covering of that needle-work for which the English ladies of Anne Boleyn's day were so famous. There is a feebly supported tradition that some of these covers are of Anne's own embroidery. At one time the furniture of Hever must have been of rare value, but the costlier articles were scattered by the auctioneer. Some of the curious fire-dogs, with other relics, are now at Knole. We must not quit the hall without mentioning that there are several portraits on the walls. One is pointed out as the family portrait of Anne Boleyn, and it is added that it was painted shortly before her execution. To us it seems to bear little resemblance to the authentic portraits of her: we do not believe it is even a copy of her portrait-we need hardly add, that it is not an original. The other portraits are worthless as pictures —but they help the general effect of the room.

On emerging from the gateway we find ourselves in a stately quadrangular court-yard, surrounded by buildings, evidently not all of equal antiquity, but yet having all somewhat of an antique aspect. The whole is in good repair, but not in its ancient state. The fronts were once fancifully painted; but no trace of painting is now visible. We cross the court-yard (which in passing, we notice, retains the old red-brick pavement) and enter the gateway directly opposite to that we have just quitted. On the left is the dining-hall: this is a room fit for the ordinary refectory of a noble family before ancient hospitality was given up. Not so stately as the older hall we have recently come from, it is yet a goodly room; and while the master of the house with his family and his guests have places apart, there is ample room for the numerous domestics, and also for the humble dependent or stranger who may be a casual participant at the plenteous board. The room is large, and of proportionate height: the ceiling is rather elaborately ornamented. On one side is a huge fire-place. The long tables may have served when the Earl of Wiltshire was lord of Hever Castle.. But the ancient hangings are gone; no banners float over head; neither arms, nor helmets, nor broad antlers hang upon the walls. As the old castle is degraded into a farm-house, so the old hall is made to serve as the farm-house kitchen. Yet there is some good even in this use of it a bright fire is ever burning in the huge fireplace, and its cheerful blaze lights up the old walls in a way that contrasts quite gratefully in comparison with the ungénial chill that pervades the ancient halls which We might be led to repeople the old hall with its are kept merely for show in so many a lordly dwelling. early tenants; to fancy the Hevers or the Boleyns sit- Passing through the hall, we proceed up what is ting here in their dignity, at a court-baron, or as sheriffs called the Grand Staircase,' to the Long Gallery, or of Kent, or presiding at the banquet, or listening to ball-room. This is a noticeable apartment: it is very some goodly interlude and merry: or place the bluff long, but narrow, and the ceiling is low. The sides are monarch in the chair of state to receive the homage of of panelled oak; the ceiling is also divided into panels. the surrounding 'squires :-but our guide spoils the The floor is of oak, rather too rudely put together, we fancy, if we venture to utter it aloud, by the assurance should fancy, to be pleasant to ladies'' twinkling feet." that the old dining-room was on the other side of the On one side, at equal distances apart, are three recesses: court-yard; and that as for the king, he always saw one of them is a large bay window, the middle one is company up in the long gallery. We cannot say nay for the fire. Altogether the room will probably remind to this, and so we will pass on, only intimating that the visitor of the Long Gallery at Haddon, to which it this hall was probably the state dining-room of the bears a very marked resemblance. The three recesses Hevers, as the other may have been the ordinary one there, however, are all bay windows. of the Boleyns. This hall is reached by a winding stair- at Hever is in its present state evidently of the Tudor case in one of the towers: the visitor may, if he pleases, period. It was doubtless the construction of a Boleyn, ascend by it to the battlements on the summit of the-perhaps of Anne's father. In her day it was at any tower, but owing to the lowness of the site there is rate in its greatest splendour; and, filled with such a little prospect; he must not, however, descend the company as sometimes were assembled in it, must have stairs without stepping into some one of the little presented a striking spectacle. We might be sure, if chambers in order to see the way in which they were tradition were silent respecting it, that Anne's lovercontrived for the annoyance of an enemy. The loop- the great master of revels-would have holes he will observe were well-adapted for discharging arrows through. The guard-rooms are also worth looking into; and on returning to the gateway, it will be well just to notice the portcullises, and some other of the original fittings which yet remain in their proper

The long gallery

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"A noble and a fair assembly Some night to meet here-he could do no less, Out of the great respect he bore to beautyand entreat An hour of revels with them."

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