Imatges de pàgina
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

minent, that each appears as if he had the free and unimpeded use of his limbs, and could step down into the banquet-hall at his pleasure,

'To curb a despot and to save the state.” The door of this magnificent Hall was first thrown open on the 15th of June, 1815, being the six hundredth anniversary of the great foundation of English liberty. For the joyful celebration of this glorious epoch in the old baronial style, a brilliant assembly of rank and title had arrived from various parts of the country, among whom were twenty-two representatives of the ancient Howards. Complete suits of armour, in which the ancient chivalry of England had gathered the spoils of victory—some at Agincourt, others at Cressy—were arranged in military order around the walls. Swords, that, by the evidence on their blades, had “ done the state some service ;" helmets that had been worn by the Howards at Flodden, or by

“ Belted Will” in some of his Border forays; chain and scale armour; spears and lances that had often gleamed in strife and tournament—all the implements of ancient warfare, from the thick iron casque of the are ber, to the elaborate and richly-gilded harness of the baron, were all reburnished and brought into, unexpected light for this occasion. Nothing, in fact, was omitted that could increase the interest, by giving an air of striking reality to the scene. If the spirits of the ancient Barons could have looked down upon the hall in this hour of gorgeous festivity, they would have rejoiced to see what a bright inheritance their patriotic struggles had bequeathed, and have felt that they had become, indeed, immortal in the hearts of their descendants

At this banquet nearly three hundred guests assisted. At the upper end of the table was a noble “ baron of beef,” surmounted by the ducal coronet and the banners of the House of Norfolk. The evening was ushered in by a splendid ball, at which castled Arundel'

'Had gather'd then
Her beauty and her chivalry, and bright

The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men.” The ball was opened by the Duke of Norfolk and the Marchioness of Stafford—late Duchess-Countess of Sutherland-followed by about fifty couples, who kept up the dance, enlivened by admirable music, till one o'clock in the morning, when supper was announced, and the Sussex Band struck up the patriotic air of “ The Roast Beef of Old England,” as an expressive welcome to the hospitable board. The festal scene was continued


1102 1380


till the mailed warriors, niched in the walls and casements, caught the morning light on their armour; when King John and Baron Fitzwalter appeared to signify, that as the Grand Charter was now fully ratified, lord and dame were at “ liberty” to retire—wishing

“ To each and all a fair good night,

With rosy dreams and slumbers light." Among the original Ecclesiastical foundations in Arundel, was the Alien Priory, or Cell of St. Nicholas, already mentioned. Roger Montgomery, who had restored the Benedictine Abbey of Seez, in Normandy, granted to the

monks of that establishment, liberty to erect a priory within the town

of Arundel, and the building having been completed, five monks from the parent abbey arrived and took possession accordingly. In the early part of the same century, the priory was vacated; and the rectorial residence adjoining the church, of which William de Albini was patron, was converted into a residence for the prior and four monks. Thus occupied, it continued during two centuries to be known as the Convent or Priory of St. Nicholas. But Richard, Earl of Arundel, having resolved to connect it with the chapel of his college then about to be established, obtained from King Richard the Second a grant for that purpose, and on the site of the ancient priory arose the College of the Holy Trinity, a quadrangular structure, inclosing a square yard, or court, partly occupied by cloisters, and partly devoted to other purposes of

a monastic establishment. On the north side was the Collegiate Chapel, forming an apparent chancel to the parochial church; on the east were the refectory and various domestic offices connected with it; and the remaining sides on the south and west, were occupied by the members of the fraternity.

Within the court was the Master's house, attached to the south-east angle of the chapel, with which it communicated by a small stone balcony on the first story, and a flight of steps, which still remain, behind the high altar. As the collegiate church was intended to be the family sepulchre of the founder, every preparation was made to insure its monumental splendour; and the tomb of his son, Earl Thomas, was the first of a magnificent series. No stranger can enter this chapel without being strongly impressed with the classic beauty and elaborate sculpture of its family monuments. But during the siege already noticed, these sacred walls were given up as barracks for Waller's




soldiers; and many of the sepulchral antiquities, with which the place was so richly adorned, were wantonly mutilated. Six monuments, however, still remain to fix the attention, and excite the admiration, of all who are lovers of the arts, or given to the study of Gothic remains. In the centre is that of Earl Thomas, son of the founder, and his Countess Beatrix, daughter of John, King of Portugal. It is a large sculptured altar-tomb of alabaster, formerly painted and gilt, and adorned with effigies of the earl and countess, in their robes of state. A rich canopy rises behind the head; and at the feet of the earl is a horse, the Fitzalan cognizance. At the feet of the countess, two lap-dogs hold in their mouths the extremity of her mantle. Arranged in niches around the tomb, are twenty-eight priests, each with an open book in his hand; and guarding the rim is a series of forty family shields, originally emblazoned. On the south side of the high Altar is a lofty sacellum, consisting of an arcade and canopy, composed of elaborate tabernacle-work, and, in its original state, richly painted and gilt. But it would far exceed the limits of this work to convey even a general idea of these splendid memorials of departed greatness. We were glad to observe, on our late visit, that the restoration of this chapel is daily advancing, under the direction of the Duke of Norfolk; and in a few years, it is to be hoped, may recover something of its original splendour.

The Church, which forms a principal feature in the general view of the castle, is a spacious and handsome structure, consisting of a nave, two aisles, and a transept, surmounted by a low square tower, terminating in a spire, and forming a conspicuous landmark for mariners. A row of circular windows inclosing quatrefoils, in the clerestory; an ancient octagon stone font; a pulpit richly tabernacled in the same material; several monumental inscriptions, and a roof of Irish oak, proverbial for its durability, are among the

objects that deserve attention. In one of the chapel windows is the figure of a swallow on the wing, which may claim attention from the etymologist, as pointing to the oft-contested origin of the name Arundel; for history and geography, says Mr. Tierney, “ the realms of fancy and romance have all been explored in order to discover its etymon. One author

has amused himself with a rebus founded on the resemblance between the words Arundel and Hirondelle; and it is not improbable that the migratory bird here introduced may have been selected as an appropriate emblem for the chapel window. The conjecture is, at least, as plausible as another that has been advanced; namely, that Arundel is derived from Hirondelle t, the name of Bevis's horse.”.

* Sepulchral Antiq. Hist. of Arundel Church loso equo, nec ex Charudo, Cimbricæ Chersonesi and Priory—Dallaway and Wright.

promontorio, quod Goropius per quietem vidit; sed + Causa nominis nec ab Arundelio, Bevisii fabu ex valle in qua sedet ad Arun flumen.--CAMDEN.


The Park of Arundel, which contains much picturesque scenery and many thriving plantations, was originally the hunting-forest of the ancient

Counts, and covered a great extent of country, which is now either under cultivation, or converted into pasture. Beyond the pleasure-grounds, immediately under the Keep, is the Inner Park, entirely surrounded by an artificial earth-work, still perfect, and adorned with magnificent elin and beech trees. The new, or Outer Park, comprises an extent of nearly twelve hundred acres, enclosed by a high wall with lodges, and stocked with a thousand head

of deer. The scenery is variegated by numerous undulations of surface-alternate ridge and ravine, grove and glade, and watered by rivulets that derive their source from the neighbouring Downs.

At a short distance from the entrance to the Park, on the south side, is Hiorne's Tower, the subject of the accompanying view. It is a triangular building, about fifty feet in height, with a turret at each angle, and in design and execution presents an admirable specimen of Gothic architecture. The merit of the design is due to the late distinguished architect, Mr. Hiorne, who superintended its erection, and left it as a monument to his name. The view from this tower, under a favourable atmosphere, presents a magni


ficent prospect of the adjoining Park. The soft pastoral hills that trace their bold outline on the sky; the umbragevus woods that cover the nearer acclivities; the villages, hamlets, and isolated dwellings that infuse life and activity into the picture; the herds of deer that are seen at intervals through the trees; the distant channel with its shipping, and the shining meanders of the river Arun—all present, in combination, one of the most richly diversified landscapes on which the eye of poet or of painter could love to expatiate.

To the readers of romance this scene is rendered doubly interesting by its immediate vicinity to Pugh-dean, where the graves of Bebis, the giant castellan




of Arundel, and his horse Hirondelle, carry us back to the days of King Arthur and his knights. To this personage we have already adverted * ;“ but of his connexion with the Castle of Arundel," says Tierney," it were difficult to trace the origin, although there can be little doubt that it existed at a very early period. At the bottom of the valley called Pugh-dean, the locality now under notice, is a low oblong mound, resembling a raised grave in its form, and known in the traditions of the neighbourhood as 'Bevis's burialplace. It is about six feet wide, and not less than thirty feet long. It is accompanied by several smaller but similar mounds; and although peculiar in its shape, as compared with Roman and other tumuli which have been examined at different times, has, nevertheless much of a sepulchral character in its appearance. It was lately opened to a depth of several feet, but nothing was discovered in it. In the middle, however, at the bottom to which the ground was originally made to shelve from each end, a level space of about six feet in length had been left, as if for the reception of a deposit; and as the lightness of the soil above seemed to indicate that it had been merely removed, it is not improbable that this deposit may have rewarded some antiquary more fortunate than those who were engaged in the late excavation.”

Not far from this retired valley a different interest is excited by its having been the site of the chapel and hermitage of St. James—an hospital for lepers, and built soon after the middle of the thirteenth century, for the reception of the unhappy outcasts who were afflicted with that loathsome malady. The clump of trees observed in the view marks the locale of this ancient sanctuary, which must have enclosed a very considerable area.

A pleasing incident in the history of Arundel, is the visit of the Empress Matilda to her step-mother, Queen Adeliza, as already alluded to in our notice of Albini. Accompanied by her natural-brother, Robert of Gloucester, and a retinue of one hundred and forty knights, she was received



* See ance. p. 12, also Appendix to this Vol. p. 338-9, where the legend is given.

« AnteriorContinua »