Page images

those of the Lady Chapel. Of the existence of clerestory windows, there is no trace.

The chief entrance to the Hall has been torn down to the ground; but from the bases of the shafts by which it was flanked, it appears to have been of similar design to those of the Lady Chapel.

On each side of the Hall, which stands directly across the river, occupying the whole width of the house from north to south, the other apartments have been grouped. Immediately opposite the entrance, is the principal staircase. On the left, in the north wall, one of the great fire-places, now ruined to the hearth. To the right of the staircase, has been a room not yet fully cleared out. The next apartment, southward, was the CHAPEL, where the foundations of two buttresses on the south side suggest the idea of three windows; and a base still attached to the north-east angle, the only other feature left, that three lancet lights occupied the eastern extremity. The stone altar is still tolerably perfect, but has lost its slab. On its north side has been a narrow staircase, leading either to the Vestry, or the apartments of the Chaplain ; and, beyond, the long but narrow base of a work, erected in the Perpendicular period, of which the use is uncertain.

On the north side of the Chapel, is a picturesque apartment, partially vaulted, which, being below the general level of the other rooms, and, from the declivity of the ground, always accessible, has often been delineated as “a crypt,” but stoutly asserted by the country people to have been “the place where the Abbot's six white chariot horses were kept !” “ Sex equi ad bigam," the Abbot certainly had in his stable at the time of the Dissolution ; but, from the position and character of the place, it appears to have been the CELLAR and STORE-HOUSE of the establishment.

To the south of the Chapel, but detached from it by the intervention of the scullery-yard, has been the Kitchen,—an apartment corroborating, in its dimension and appliances, the most romantic ideas of monastic hospitality. At the south side, are the foundations of two great fire-places and a boiler, in a wall which has divided a

back-kitchen from the chief apartment; and, in the north-east angle, a stone grate in the floor, which was covered by wooden doors, and communicates with the river below. This very singular object, of which I do not remember another example, has, most probably, been used as a ventilator, to mitigate a temperature which must always have been sufficiently oppressive, but which, on festive occasions, would not only be increased by a subsidiary fire

[ocr errors]


and boiler, but also by two huge ovens, the one at the west, and the other, and larger, at the east end of the apartment.

These buildings, with some indefinite appurtenances of the kitchen, have flanked the east side of the Great Hall. The arrangement on the west side has been nearly obliterated by the lapse of the arches above the river. There may be traced, however, towards the north, the foundation of a room, which, from the amplitude of its dimensions, and the elevation of a dais at the west end, may be considered to have been the Refectory, erected, it seems, either by Darnton or Huby, and probably the apartment which, in a homage done to the latter Abbot, in 1501, is styled “Nova camera versus ecclesiam.”

On the north side of this room was another, where stood a reservoir of water fed by á lead-pipe, still partly visible, from a spring above the kitchen bank. To the west of it was the coal-yard, in which the last supply that the Abbot needed, remained undisturbed until the recent excavation. There was found here, also, a large heap of ashes and cinders, just as they had been cast from the window above, -the sill being worn down by the frequent attrition of the shovel.

The removal of the mass disclosed what every housekeeper's experience would have suggested. First, of course, there was a silver spoon, weighing about an ounce, with capacious bowl, slender octagonal stem, and a head like a plain inverted Tudor bracket; then, broken pottery of different kinds and sizes,- from the painted ware that had disappeared from the Abbot's table, to the large coarse jugs that, after

many a mere crack,” had, at last, been broken in the kitchen ; a small silver ornament, resembling a lion's head, and, apparently, detached from an article of table plate ; a silver ring ; a brass ring; several Nuremburg tokens ; part of a leaden ornament, designed like Tudor window tracery; with a number of venison and beef bones, and bushels of oyster-shells, mussel-shells, and cockleshells, as fresh and pearly as when they left Abbot Bradley's table. Yet, trifling and worthless, in every respect, as most of these objects might be, they seemed, as they came from the hiding-place where forgotten hands had cast them, to connect the spectator with those whom three centuries have divided from personal sympathy and association, more intimately than the disclosure of that ruined scene in which they had so long been consigned to oblivion.

The ENCAUSTIC Tiles, found in excavating the several apartments, are numerous and singular, and the evidence obtained on the subject of mediæval brickwork, important and interesting. The floors of the principal apartments have been paved either with encaustic or plain

[ocr errors]

tiles; but the greater part of them had been torn up and removed before the house was pulled down, when the specimens that remain were so much disturbed that it is difficult to determine to what particular apartment they belonged. The presence of a few geometrical tiles, similar to those with which John de Cancia decorated the church, seem to indicate that he bestowed also a pavement on the hall, and other chief apartments of the house ; but none were found fixed, unless the small square tiles west of the refectory, may be referred to that early period. The rest of the tiles, that have been found in different parts, among the rubbish, are generally of the Tudor period ; of which character, also, is a tolerably perfect pavement, upwards of 30 feet square, at the south end of the Great Hall. Although no general device has been attempted in its arrangement, beyond a few plain borders or bounding courses, respective of the bases of pillars, yet several patterns are introduced, without reference to equi-distance or principle, which are very interesting.

One pattern, of four tiles, displays the arms of the Abbey (azure), three horse-shoes (or), and the very appropriate circumscription, used by Darnton in the Lady Chapel, Benedicite fontes domino. Another, and nearly similar pattern, of four tiles, exhibits the same arms, but circumscribed by Soli Deo honor et gloria,—a motto always used by Huby, and identified, more particularly, with him in two fragmentary tiles, where the shield has displayed his initials, with the mitre and crozier. There is also a pattern, bearing,perhaps heraldically,--three feathers, without a legend, similar to a much better impression, stolen, soon after its discovery, by some prowling “ collector” from the centre of the dais in the Refectory. From the inferior manufacture, however, of the tiles used in the Hall, I am inclined to suppose that they were such only as were rejected, or remained unused, after some work which may, hereafter, be discovered in the Abbey itself.

The Abbot's garden and orchard were at the east end of the church, enclosed by a high wall, pulled down, with another which crossed the valley a little further eastward, soon after Mr. Aislabie purchased the place. But, beyond these limits, a range of buildings extended even to the site of the present east lodge*—about 500 yards—the foundations still remaining under the terraced walk. In a particular

* It may be useful to observe, that a foot-path, by the river side, leads from Fountains Bridge to Aldfield Spa ; a most valuable sulphuretted spring, in one of the most picturesque passes of Skeldale. It was discovered accidentally, about the year 1698, but has hitherto been unproductive of its capability, chiefly from the want of accommodation for visitors. I am not able to state minutely its component parts, but

position under the rocks—easy to be found by the beaten pathway-an echo can be heard, remarkable for its powerful reflection from the Abbey ; though often more amusing to a bystander by its discovery of the mental capacity and social position of those who, by some characteristic war-cry, endeavour to provoke its powers.

On leaving the Abbey Close, we enter a portion of the Studley grounds, not already visited ; and, after the enjoyment of much sylvan beauty, enhanced in a remarkable degree by our elevation above the contracted and deeply-wooded dell, emerge on a delicious lawn, before a beautiful casino or BANQUETING-HOUSE. In the chief apartment, adorned with a superb ceiling and other elaborate decorations of the last century, is a bronze statue of the Venus de Medicis, and, over the mantel-piece, a painting of the Governor of Surat going a hawking.

As we recede from this seductive spot, we continue to recognise many pleasing objects, which, being old acquaintance, need no introduction, though invested with new interest by the reversal of our former position and approach ; until, descending the well-walk, we speedily arrive at the lodge, and so bid adieu to scenes that, for many a year, may make

Thy mind a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory a dwelling place

[ocr errors]
[merged small][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

the following analysis, prepared by Mr. Brunton, a skilful chemist of Ripon, about
50 years ago, will at least give an idea of its importance. A gallon exhibited :
Solid Contents.


Gaseous Contents. C. In. Carbonate of Lime 12.5 Carbonic Acid

6. Carbonate of Magnesia 3.5 Azote

4. Sulphate of Magnesia 5. Sulphuretted Hydrogen

21. Muriate of Soda


208. Muriate of Magnesia




31. Very pure azotic gas, in a free state, emitted at intervals, was collected at the rate of a gallon in 56 minutes, though several bubbles escaped.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

HE antiquary who is gifted with tolerable pedestrian powers, and has "the bump of locality" well developed, will find the profit he has received at Fountains, enhanced by a visit to Markenfield Hall. It may be seen from the east side of How Hill, rising among the saplings

of its ancient park, about two miles from the Abbey ; but the road will not be easily found, without more particular direction.

From time immemorial, Markenfield was the residence of a powerful and well-allied family of that name, until the prominent part which was taken by Thomas Markenfield in the Rising in the North in 1569, occasioned his attainder, and, consequently, the forfeiture of his estates to the Crown.

In its general aspect, it remains much as he left it, a most valuable and picturesque example of that style of domestic architecture—“hesitating between hospitable confidence and armed precaution ”—which illustrates a deeply interesting era of our social progress ; having been built by John de Markenfield, Chancellor of the Exchequer, who obtained license to castellate it in 1309.

In the fifteenth century, some alterations were made, chiefly in the doorways and lights on the east side of the quadrangle, and, in the great change of society which ensued in the Elizabethan

« PreviousContinue »