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the North Staffordshire Railway, even this humble attractions for the tourist; while its manufactures are communication has been stopped,—the only regular confined to a little shoe-making, brewing, and cornconnection being now with Stoke. Such are the 'ups grinding. In early times, however, it was of more and downs' occasioned by railway enterprize. If a note. There was a very ancient monastery at this line runs through a purely agricultural district, like place, founded, it is said, by Wulf here, king of Mercia, that from Stafford to Crewe, avoiding such towns as or his queen, Ermenilda, in honour of his two sons, those in the Potteries, a new line is almost inevitable, whom, before his own conversion, he had murdered sooner or later. A branch of the North Staffordshire for embracing Christianity. Secular canons were placed Railway is, however, to be made from Stoke to here by the founder ; but these being dispersed, some Newcastle.
nuns occupied the place; these, in their turn, were Having thus rapidly glanced round the northern half removed in the time of Henry I., to make room for of the circle which surrounds the Potteries, we come to some regular canons of St. Austin, from Kenilworth the southern half; and here, at a distance of about four Priory, to which this house was for some time a cell, miles from Stoke, stands the palatial mansion of Trent- but afterwards became independent. We are not aware ham, the seat of the Duke of Sutherland (Cut, No. 9). that there are any existing remains of this monastic Trentham House is one of those mansions which the building. genius of Mr. Barry has transformed within the last few years. The estate belonged to the Leveson family
CHEADLE CHURCH AND Alton Towers. in the seventeenth century, from whom it passed to the Gowers, of whom the chief representative was the Passing round towards the south-east we arrive at Marquis of Stafford, afterwards Duke of Sutherland. Uttoxeter ; but as this town lies too far distant from The mansion itself is large, and has been erected the Potteries to come within the limits which we have upwards of a century; it was afterwards extended, marked out for ourselves, we will leave it, and pass under the designs of the architect Holland; but its on to Cheadle. This town lies on the road from the exterior has put on a totally new aspect within the Potteries to Ashborne, at eight or ten miles distance last ten years.
Mr. Barry has converted a compara- from the former. It has sufficient in it and near it tively plain building into one of a very sumptuous to make it an interesting spot; for in addition to its character, the façade presenting a highly - enriched features as a town, and its gorgeous new Catholic Italian composition. The grounds were laid out by church, it is within three or four miles of Alton Towers,
Capability Brown,' and have at a later period been the very remarkable seat of the Earl of Shrewsbury,
The new Roman Catholic church is by far the most tures, among the flower-beds. The interior of the striking building in Cheadle.
It was built almost house is splendidly fitted up; but all these are things wholly at the expense of the Earl of Shrewsbury, and so frequently to be seen in England, “ that,” says Mr. has cost an enormous sum of money. It is dedicated Kohl, “ I found nothing sufficiently eminent to deserve to St. Giles, and was opened in 1846. The whole a detailed mention in a country which has its Warwick character of the building evinces a determination to Castle to boast of. I saw nothing at all unique in its revert to the middle ages for every particle of the kind, in all the ‘fuschia bed-rooms,'' butterfly dressing- design ; as if the age we live in were unworthy even rooms," "bird drawing-rooms,' 'bird sitting-rooms,' of an humble share in the work. The western front honeysuckle rooms, rose-bud rooms,' or his Grace's has a tower which becomes octagonal in its upper part, private rooms.” Any one who has seen a considerable and is surmounted by a spire,-making the entire number of our patrician country mansions—such as altitude from the ground about two hundred feet. Warwick, Burleigh, Stowe (as it has been), Chatsworth, Here is the principal entrance, a deeply-recessed, Belvoir, Wilton, Hatfield, &c.,--does indeed find it richly-moulded and adorned doorway; of which the difficult to see anything unique in them : there are doors themselves are of oak. There are indications such splendours in all.
of what will, to many, appear a strange taste ; for the The town of Stone lies southward of the Potteries, doors are painted red, and have gilt hinges, fashioned on the line of the Grand Trunk Canal, and at a point into the shape of rampant lions, and spreading over of junction of two portions of the North Staffordshire their entire surface. The nave, which is 60 feet in Railway. It is not a place which presents many length, consists of five compartments, or has five
nave - arches on each side ; the chancel, 27 feet to take part in the proceedings assembled in the churchlong, is divided from the nave by an oak-screen and yard : "Two policemen sufficed to restrain the crowd rood-loft, surmounted by the great rood or crucifix, on the outside, and protect those who had to enter : with the images of the Virgin Mary and St. John. in France a whole company of municipals would have The east end of the north aisle is enclosed by a low been required.” screen, and forms the Lady Chapel; the corresponding The minute description given by M. Didron of the end of the south aisle is also enclosed, and set apart building itself we need not follow ; but the procession as the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament; and the west may detain us for a while. The officers of the church extremity of the same aisle is similarly screened off as - deacons, priests, bishops, and archbishops, -were a Baptistery. One of the most remarkable examples all arrayed in the greatest magnificence which their of mediæval taste is exhibited in the exterior, above respective dignities would permit. First in order, the principal entrance, where there are several canopied though lowest in importance, came some of the inferior niches, containing figures; one of which represents attendants of the church; then boy and men choristers. the present Earl of Shrewsbury, kneeling, with a model After these followed fourteen minor-clerks, eight subof the church in his hands, as the founder, with his deacons, and eight deacons, all in their respective patron, John the Baptist, standing behind him. An costumes. Then, rising higher and higher in rank, architectural critic, in the Companion to the Almanac,' came forty priests; thirteen other priests, who were speaking of the structure as a whole, says ; " Though either curés of cathedrals or grand vicars ; and, closing by no means a particularly large, it is an exceedingly the whole, thirteen Catholic bishops and archbishops, costly and highly elaborated structure, for which each attended by his chaplain. Among the bishops nothing has been spared that can contribute to the was Jacob Heliani, bishop of Lebanon, who had lately pomp of devotion.
Heraldic emblazonments and reli- returned from the east, with the scars and injuries gious emblems, painting and gilding, stained glass, and which had resulted from a persecution by the Drušes : curiously-wrought metal work, imageries and inscrip- " All eyes," we are told, “were directed towards the tions, rood-loft and reredos, stone altar and sedilia, old man with the white beard and the oriental costume.” metal screen-work, encaustic paving, go to make up The heir presumptive of the proud Talbots walked the gorgeous spectacle, and render the building most among the acolytes; the brother of the Earl was one literally and emphatically a specimen of the Decorated of the priests; and Messrs. Newman and Oakley, whose style."
names were at that period connected with a very exciting We have encountered a Frenchman's description of theological controversy, were two of the clerks-minor. the grand ceremony at the opening of this splendid It is said that these two were not the only clerks-minor church, in a work where it would perhaps scarcely be furnished by Oxford University. A Benedictine monk, looked for. An architectural and antiquarian publica- in his plain and sombre vestment, walked among the tion of rather a superior kind, was commenced at Paris, priests. The Austrian and Sardinian ambassadors, and in 1844, under the name of ' Annales Archæologiques;' numerous Roman Catholic gentry from different parts and in the volume for 1846 is a paper by M. Didron, of England, were among the assembled company. designated 'Promenade en Angleterre.' In this pro- The details of the services of the day are then menade,' M. Didron visited and noticed the new noticed ; but, strange to say, M. Didron found the Missionary College at Canterbury, the new Catholic music so intolerably bad, that he abuses it in right Cathedral at Birmingham, and other architectural earnest terms. He found the organ doing that which objects; and he was afforded an opportunity for being he would rather have had the singers do; and the present at the opening of the new church at Cheadle. organ itself, as well as its mode of being played, failed He went from Birmingham by rail to Stafford, at which to reconcile him to the matter. town the station was one of the most " charmante" he This new church, erected, as we have said, at the had ever seen, in the Elizabethan style. From Stafford expense of the Earl of Shrewsbury, and the new church he went to Longton by coach. “These coaches,” he at Wilton, near Salisbury, constructed at the expense says, “are fiacres with two or four horses, which run of Mr. Sydney Herbert, are certainly remarkable exwith the rapidity of the mail. The passengers are amples of a new spirit which pervades the age : each mostly outside ; the inside is reserved for children and has cost sixty or seventy thousand pounds, and each women, who are afraid to venture on the roof. We is an elaborate specimen of art, in which the resources were upon the imperial, eight before and eight behind, of architecture, sculpture, painting, gilding, glassand one upon the coach-box; four other persons filled staining, inlaying, and carving, are brought to bear the interior; the whole drawn by two horses alone, upon one object. Each, too, is siiuated in a comparawho, however, went along very easily.” We imagine tively small town; and each is within a small distance that M. Didron must have made some mistake in his of the palatial residence of the founder. picture of an English stage-coach : the "eight before
, , and eight behind" are not quite intelligible. After is in every way a remarkable place. Its proprietor, resting one night at Longton, M. Didron proceeded to the Earl of Shrewsbury,-one of the most influential Cheadle, where he arrived on the morning of the 1st and distinguished Roman Catholics in this country, of September, the day of the ceremony. All who were has made many munificent gifts to his church, in respect
to the buildings for sacred and educational purposes | language of Mr. Loudon, who paid a second visit to connected with it: of these, the structure just described the gardens in 1831. * The first objects that met our is a notable example. But for our present purpose view were the dry Gothic bridge, and the embankment we shall only speak of this nobleman in respect to the leading to it, with a huge imitation of Stonehenge extraordinary park with which he has surrounded his beyond, and a pool above the level of the bridge residence. The manor came to the first Earl of alongside of it, backed by a mass of castellated stabling. Shrewsbury early in the fifteenth century. There was Farther along the side of the valley, to the right of anciently a castle at Alton; but it was destroyed in the bridge, is a range of architectural conservatories, the civil wars of the Commonwealth, and only a few with seven elegant glass domes, designed by Mr. ruins of it now remain on the banks of the river Abraham, and richly gilt. Farther on still, to the Churnet. The mansion itself is modern : it is a very right, and placed on a high and bold naked rock, is a irregular building, in the details of which the Decorated lofty Gothic tower or temple, on what is called 'Thom. style has been brought to bear upon domestic construc- son's Rock,' consisting of several tiers of balconies, tion. The interior contains many splendid apartments round a central staircase and rooms: the exterior and galleries ; but the exterior bears a greater resem- ornaments numerous and resplendent with gilding. blance to the abbatial structures of the middle ages Near the base of the rock is a corkscrew fountain, of than to a private mansion of the nineteenth century. a peculiar description, which is amply supplied from an
But the gardens are the main object of attraction. adjoining pond. Behind, above, and beyond the range The late Mr. Loudon had opportunities of minutely of conservatories, are two lakes ; and beyond them inspecting the whole arrangement; and from the wood- | is another conservatory, curiously ornamented. Below cuts which are given in his . Encyclopædia of Garden- the main range of conservatories is a paved terrace ing,' it is evident that the whole place is as singular walk, with a Grecian temple at one end, and a second as a cursory glance indicates it to be. The mansion terrace, containing a second range of conservatories. stands on a piece of table land, fifty or sixty acres in The remainder of the valley, to the bottom, and on extent, and bounded on three sides by two valleys, the opposite side, displays such a labyrinth of terraces, which commence in a gentle hollow near the mansion, curious architectural walls, trellis-work arbours, vases, and lose themselves in a third deep valley, in the statues, stone stairs, wooden stairs, turf-stairs, paveopposite direction. The surrounding country is simi- ments, gravel and grass walks, ornamental buildings, larly diversified, and both hills and valleys are usually bridges, porticos, temples, pagodas, gates, iron railings, pasture-land, with very few inhabitants. Down to the parterres, jets, ponds, streams, seats, fountains, caves, year 1814, the site of the present mansion was occu- flower-baskets, waterfalls, rocks, cottages, trees, shrubs, pied by a farm-house ; but in that year the late Earl beds of flowers, ivied walls, rock-work, shell-work, commenced a series of buildings and improvements, root-work, moss-houses, old trunks of trees, entire which have been continued with little interruption ever dead trees, &c., that it is utterly impossible for words since. The Earl was an amateur architect, and an to give any idea of the effect. There is one stair of amateur gardener: he wished to produce something a hundred steps; a cottage for a blind harper, as large which should differ from everything else; and he seems as a farm-house ; and an imitation cottage roof, formed to have realised that wish. He solicited advice from by sticking dormer windows and two chimneys, accomall quarters, but generally decided on some plan of his panied by patches of heath to imitate thatch, on the
Mr. Loudon visited the place about the time of sloping surface of a large gray mass of solid rock.” the Earl's death, in 1827; and he speaks of it as being The sandstone rock, too, which protrudes in many
one of the most singular anomalies to be met with places, has been formed into caves, grottoes, caverns, among the country residences of Britain, or perhaps of and covered seats. “ It has even been carved into any other part of the world. An immense pile of build- figures : in one place we have Indian temples excaing, by way of house, with a magnificent conservatory vated in it, covered with hieroglyphics ; and in another and chapel, but with scarcely a habitable room ; a lofty a projecting rock is formed into a huge serpent, with prospect tower, not built on the highest part of the a spear-shaped iron tongue, and glass eyes! There ground; bridges without water underneath ; pouds and is a rustic prospect-tower over an Indian temple, cut lakes on the tops of the hills; a quadrangular pile of out of the solid rock, on the highest point of the north stabling in the midst of the pleasure-ground; and what bank; and in the lowest part of the valley there are may be said to have eclipsed, and still to eclipse, every- the foundation and two stories of an octagon pagoda. thing else—a valley, naturally in a high degree romantic The pagoda was intended to be 88 feet high: it is with wood, water, and rocks, filled with works of the placed on an island, in the centre of a small pond, and highest degree of art in architecture and gardening." was to have been approached by a Chinese bridge,
The private approach-roads to Alton Towers, either richly ornamented." from Cheadle or from Uttoxeter, are several miles in Here we conclude. We began with homely pottery, length, conducted along the bottoms and sides of and terminate with fantastic landscape-gardening; but winding rocky valleys. The description of the approach it is only one among many instances of extremes being from the Uttoxeter road may as well be given in the at a mere visiting distance from each other.