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font, and some old stained glass in the windows. There are several meetinghouses; and it is calculated that about half of the inhabitants of the town are Dissenters. There is probably no English town of similar extent, equal to Bedford in the variety and magnitude of its charitable and educational establishments. For these it is chiefly indebted to Sir W. Harpur, Alderinan of London in the reign of Edward VI. The income arising from his charity now amounts to upwards of £17,000 a-year. John Bunyan was pastor of an Independent congregation in this town, and his Pilgrim's Progress was composed in the county gaol. About a mile from the town is Elstow, his birth-place. The cottage in which he was born is still standing, but it has lately received a new front. Bedford returns two members to Parliament. Pop. 1851, 11,693.
HIGHAM FERRER3.-The church is a fine building, and rich in brasses and other monuments. Here is also a free school, which once formed part of a college founded by Archbishop Chichele. Pop. of par. 1851, 1140. The borough formerly returned one M.P., but is now disfranchised.
KETTERING, an ancient town, standing on a rising ground. The church contains a few interesting monuments. Dr. John Gill, the commentator, was a native of this place; and Andrew Fuller, another well-known Baptist minister, was pastor of a congregation here. The trade of Kettering consists chiefly of wool-combing and shoemaking. Pop. 1851, 5125.
In the church at Warkton, two miles from Kettering, are the monuments of the Montagu family by Roubilliac and Vangelder.
About 2 miles from Kettering is Boughton House, a seat of the Duke of Buccleuch, containing a fine collection of paintings. It was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Montagu, now extinct.
ROCKINGHAM is situated in the midst of Rockingham Forest, which was at an early period noted for its extensive iron-works; and in the reign of Edward I. is described as being 30 miles long by 8 miles broad. The church, which was partially destroyed by Oliver Cromwell, contains some fine monuments. Here are the remains of a strong fortress, erected by William the Conqueror. Within the court is the spacious mansion of Lord Sondes.
UPPINGHAM.— The church is a fine Gothic structure, containing some handsome monuments. Here are also several chapels, a free grammar-school, and an hospital. These institutions, which are well endowed, were, as well as the grammar-school at Oakham, founded by R. Johnson, Archdeacon of Leicester, A. D. 1584. Pop. 1851, 2068.
OAKHAM, the county-town of Rutland, is situated in the rich vale of Catmos. It had an ancient castle, supposed to bave been erected by Walcheline de Ferrers, a younger scion of the family De Ferrers, to whom Henry II, had granted the manor. Among the possessors of the manor and castle were, Richard King of the Romans, brother of Henry III. ; Edmund Earl of Kent, brother of Edward II. ; De Vere, Earl of Oxford and Duke of Ireland, farourite of Richard II. ; Thomas of Woodstock, uncle to the same King; Humphrey Duke of Bucxingham, the supporter and victim of Richard III.; Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex; and George Villiers, second Duke of Buckingham, the favourite of Charles II. The remains of the castle consist principally of the hall used for the business of the county. Oakham is remarkable for an ancient custom,-the first time any peer of the realm passes through the lordship, he forfeits, to the lord of the manor, a shoe from the horse on which he rides, unless he commutes for it. A number of these shoes are nailed to the gate of the castleyard and the interior of the county hall. Some of them are gilt and stamped with the donor's name. Among them are shoes given by Queen Elizabeth, by the late Duke of York, and by George IV. when Prince Regent. Pop. 1851, 2800.
About two miles from Oakham is Burley-on-the-Hill, the magnificent seat of Mr. Finch, one of the finest mansions in England. In the reign of James I. this estate was the property of George Villiers first Duke of Buckingham, who had the honour of entertaining his royal master within its walls, when Ben Johnson's masque of the Gipsies was first performed. During the civil wars, this mansion was destroyed by the Parliamentary forces, and lay in ruins many years, till it was rebuilt by Daniel Pinch, Earl of Nottingham, ancestor of the present proprietor. The architecture is of the Doric order, combining great splendour and elegance with simplicity. On the south side there is a terrace 900 feet long by 36 feet broad, commanding views of remarkable beauty. The interior is adorned with numerous portraits, pictures of the Italian school, a valuable library, &c. The park is about 6 miles in circumference. A short way beyond Burley is Exton Park, the fine mansion of the Earl of Gainsborough. 5 m. distant is Cottesmore Park, belonging to the Earl of Lonsdale.
MANSFIELD is seated in a valley near the little river Man, from which it probably takes its name, and is surrounded by the ancient forest of Sherwood, the scene of Robin Hood's chief exploits. It is an ancient town, with a Gothic church containing numerous monuments. The principal manufactures are those of stockings and gloves. Here are also several cotton-mills, factories of double point-net, and an iron-foundry. A railway, seven miles in length, connecting Mansfield with the Cromford Canal, has been constructed at an expense of £30,000. It has proved very advantageous to the trading interests of the place There is a free-grammar school, which was founded by royal charter in the reigt. of Queen Elizabeth. A handsome cross has lately been erected in the marketplace to the memory of Lord George Bentinck. Pop. 1851, 10,012. About 1 mile from the town, in the neighbourhood of a village called Mansfield Woodhouse, two Roman villas were discovered in 1736, and in the vicinity of Mans. field numerous Roman coins have been found.
Sherwood Forest, (so intimately associated with the name and exploits of Robin Hood) in which Mansfield is situated, anciently extended from the town of Nottingham to Whitby in Yorkshire. Even so late as the reign of Queen Elizabeth, it contained a space equal to the present dimensions of the New Forest. It was a favourite resort of the kings of the Norman race, wbo had a summer palace at Clipstone built by Henry II. The mark of King Joha
Opon the forest trees here has been repeatedly found of late years in cutting them ap for timber. The extensive demesnes which this forest contained have all been bestowed in grants by different monarchs, and repeated enclosures have reduced the open forest to that part which formerly went by the name of the Hye Fa rest, a tract of land about ten miles long by three or four wide, extending from the Nottingham road near Mansfield on the west, to Clipstone Park on the east. This tract is for the most part bare of trees. “ Near Mansfield, there remains a considerable wood, Harlowe Wood, and a fine scattering of old oaks Dear Berry-hill, in the same neighbourhood, but the greater part is now an open waste, stretching in a succession of low hills and long-winding valleys, dark with heather. A few solitary and battered oaks standing here and there, the last me lancholy remnants of these vast and ancient woods, the beautiful springs, swift and crystalline brooks, and broad sheets of water lying abroad amid the dark heath, and haunted by numbers of wild ducks and the heron, still remain. But at the Clipstone extremity of the forest, a remnant of its ancient woodlands remains, unrifled, except of its deer,-a specimen of what the whole once was, and a specimen of consummate beauty and interest. Birkland and Bilhaghe taken together form a tract of land extending from Ollerton along the side of Thoresby Park, the seat of Earl Manvers, to Clipstone Park, of about five miles in length, and one or two in width. Bilhaghe is a forest of oaks, and is clothed with the most impressive aspect of age that can perhaps be presented to the eye in these kingdoms. * . • A thousand years, ten thousand tempests, lightnings, winds, and wintry violence have all fung their utmost force on these trees, and there they stand, trunk after trunk, scathed, hollow, gray, and gnarled, stretching out their bare sturdy arms on their mingled foliage and ruin-a life in death. All is grey and old. The ground is grey,-beneath the trees are grey with clinging lichens,—the very heather and fern that spring beneath them have a character of the past.
“ But Bilhaghe is only half of the forest-remains here ; in a continuous line with it lies Birkland-a tract which bears its character in its name—the land of birches. It is a forest perfectly unique. It is equally ancient with Bilhaghe, but it has a less dilapidated air. It is a region of grace and poetry. I have seen many a wood, and many a wood of birches, and some of them amazingly beautiful, too, in one quarter or another of this fair island, but in England nothing that can compare with this. * * On all sides, standing in their solemn steadfastness, you see huge, gnarled, strangely-coloured, and mossed oaks, some riven and laid bare from summit to root with the thunderbolts of past tempests. An immense tree is called the Shamble-Oak, being said to be the one in which Robin Hood hung his slaughtered deer, but which was more probably used by the keepers for that purpose. By whomsoever it was so used, however, there still remain the hooks within its vast hollow.***
Between Mansfield and Nottingham is Newstead Abbey, the seat of Colonel
Wildman, formerly the mansion of the Byron family. Here was a priory of Black Canons, founded by Henry II., about a. D. 1170. At the dissolution, it was granted to Sir John Byron, who fitted up part of the edifice as a residence, but allowed the chapel to go to decay. Its front is an exceedingly beautiful specimen of early English architecture, scarcely equalled by any other specimen in elegance of composition and delicacy of execution. An apartment is shown in which Edward III. slept. The place has undergone great alterations and additions since it came into the possession of its present owner. The grounds before the new front have been much improved, but the old gardens have been suffered to retain their ancient character. An oak planted by Lord Byron is shown. In the lake below the Abbey there is an artificial rock, formed at a great expense by the poet's grandfather. It is fortunate that a place, so interesting from its connection with Lord Byron, should have fallen into the hands of a gentleman who affords the utmost facility for the inspection of it by strangers. In the vicinity is a curious hollow rock, called Robin Hood's Stable. Beyond Newstead, and about nine miles froin Nottingham, is Annesley Hall, famous as the birthplace and patrimony of Mary Chaworth, the object of Lord Byron's early attachment. And at a short distance is Hucknall church, where he rests among his ancestors. Hucknall is seven miles from Nottingham.
About 12 miles from Mansfield, and 26 from Nottingham, is the town of Worksop, delightfully situated near the northern extremity of Sherwood Forest, in what is generally called the Dukery, from there having been at one time no less than four ducal seats within a few miles. A priory was founded here in the time of Henry I., but little now remains of it except the abbey gate. The principal object of curiosity is the Abbey Church, which once belonged to the priory, and affords fine specimens of the Norman, pointed, and early English styles. The western door is a beautiful Norman composition; at the east end is the tower which was central, while the whole of the church was standing. The interior is highly ornamented, and contains a number of curious effigies. Pop. 1851, 6058. Near Worksop stood Worksop Manor, a magnificent mansion, surrounded by an extensive and finely wooded park. The ancient manor house was erected by the celebrated Bess of Hardwick, and was accidentally destroyed by fire in 1761. The modern mansion was formerly a seat of the Dukes of Norfolk, but was purchased by the late Duke of Newcastle. In the neighbourhood are the following interesting mansions : Clumber Park, the splendid residence of the Dukes of Newcastle, containing a fine collection of paintings. The park is about 11 miles in circumference, and includes two ancient woods, from the largest of which Clumber Park derives its name,-Welbeck Abbey, the seat of the Duke of Portland, comprising some remains of the original building, which was founded for the Premonstratensian canons, A, D. 1153. The park is celebrated for the age and the size of its trees, - Thoresby, the seat of Earl Manvers, the representative of the Dukes of King ston. The old mansion was consumed by fire in the year 1745. The park, which
includes an area of about thirteen miles, contains several sheets of water, and abounds with sylvan scenery. Thoresby was the birth-place of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Rufford Abbey, a seat of the Earl of Scarborough, formerly the mansion of the patriotic Sir George Savile, an ancestor of the present proprietor. In the year 1148, an abbey was founded here for Cistercian monks, and some remains of it are included in the present immense structure.
Seven and a-balf miles from Mansfield is Bolsover, the church of which contains a costly tomb, in honour of Henry, second Duke of Newcastle, as well as several monuments of the Cavendish family. Bolsover Castle is a noble building, belonging to the Duke of Portland.
SKIPTox, in the district called Craven, on the banks of the Aire, is noted for the sale of corn, cattle, and sheep. The trade of the town is greatly benefited by its proximity to the Leeds and Liverpool canal. The church contains several monuments of the Clifford family. There is also a good grammar school. The vale of Skipton is much admired for its picturesque beauty and fertility. Pop. 1851, 4962.
Skipton Castle was erected shortly after the conquest by Robert de Romeli, Lord of the honour of Skipton, and was long the property of the celebrated family of the Cliffords. It was garrisoned for the king in the time of the civil wars, and withstood a siege in the year 1645, but was ultimately obliged to surrender to the Parliament. It was the birth-place of the celebrated Anne Clifford, Countess of Dorset, Pembroke, and Montgomery, who repaired it and made it one of her principal residences. It contains ancient tapestries, and is now the property of Sir R. Tufton, Bart., the representative of her descendant, the last Earl of Thanet.
About six miles from Skipton are the ruins of Bolton priory, situated in one of the most delightful spots in England. The nave of the priory church is now used for a parochial chapel. Opposite to the western entrance the Duke of Devonshire has a small hunting seat formed out of the original gateway of the priory. The walks through the woods, and the views of the river, ruins, and surrounding scenery, are remarkably beautiful. About a mile from the priory is the celebrated Strid, a narrow passage torn by the Wharfe through its bed of solid rock, where it rushes with tremendous fury. This was the scene of the catastrophe of the boy Egrement, who, in attempting to overleap the chasm, fell in and was drowned. (See Wordsworth's poem entitled the “Force of Prayer.") In this vicinity is Barden tower, a ruined fortress of the Cliffords. Here the famous Shepherd Lord pursued his studies, under the tuition of some of the monks of Bolton.
SETTLE, on the Ribble, is remarkable for its situation at the foot of a lofty limestone rock, the summit of which commands a fine view. Great numbers of cattle are sold at its fairs. The parish church is about three quarters of a mile distant, at the village of Giggleswick, which has a richly-endowed grammar school, founded in the reign of Edward VI. Paley was educated here. In neigbbourhood are several slate and stone quarries. Pop. 2041.