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GREAT WEST TOWERS— ABBOT'S LODGING.
Sir R. Colt Hoare says, that when his friend Mr. Wyndham made the tour of Wales, in the year 1777, the Eastern front of the abbey was standing, but has since fallen ; and its design is now only preserved by the view engraven of it in his book. When he accompanied Mr. Coxe, in the year 1800, to make drawings for his historical tour through Monmouthshire, the western front still retained its superior elegance : in the year 1801, one of the fine windows gave way; and two years later he was a mournful eye-witness, not only to the total downfall of the three windows which composed the principal ornament of the front, but of some modern architectural innovations, highly injurious to the picturesque appearance of this venerable structure. It is a melancholy reflection to the traveller, who repeats, at certain intervals, his visits to the many interesting spots selected by our ancestors, either for military or religious establishments, that at each visit he will, most probably, find them progressively verging to decay. But Llanthony, even amidst its ruins, still supplies the artist with many fine subjects for his pencil, and furnishes ample matter of inquiry and investigation to the architect and antiquarian. From certain data we have of its first construction, about the year 1108, and subsequent desertion in 1136, we are enabled to ascertain the style of architecture then adopted in monastic buildings, as there can be little doubt but that the ruins we now see are those of the original abbey.*
Summary—[For the following details—slightly altered and abridgedwe are indebted to a recent and popular Description of Llanthony Priory,t by the Rev. George Roberts, M.A., in which the ruins are traced with archæological taste and accuracy :]
The west end is flanked by two low square massive Towers. The one on the south was fitted up by Colonel Wood, a former proprietor, with apartments for the grousing season, and is covered in with a sloping roof. The Abbot's lodging, which joins on to the south side, is also turned into a dwelling-house for the steward of the estate, where visitors are obligingly accommodated. The stone staircase is perfect in the south tower, but broken in the north. The staircases were lighted by five chinks. Each tower on the outward face is divided into five stages by bold string-courses; the base is beveled off, and the ground story is broad and plain. The second and third stages are ornamented, arcade-fashion, on the side next to the west window, and the arches
* Edition 1806; but serious dilapidations have session and custody; and it is very gratifying to taken place since then, and even within three or four know that the example is followed by the present years. Great credit is due to the house of Beaufort Proprietor of Llanthony. for the pains taken in the conservation of the reli † London: Pickering. gious honses and castles that have fallen to its pos