Picture of Celia Fiennes

Celia Fiennes

places mentioned

Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

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A journey I went into the New fforest in Hampshire to Ffarnum 3 8 mile, there we go by Aberstone the Duke of Boltons house, stands on ye Side of a hill where are ffine Gardens and much ffruite. From Ffernum you see the Castle wch is ye Bishops of Winchesters house, its a large building; thence you go to Alton 7 mile, thence to Alsford 7 mile more, you go along on the hills in sight of the River all wch gives name to those places, its a good Chaulkey way. Thence to Winchester 7 mile-in one mile off the town is Woolsey yt was formerly ye Bishops house, a large Rambling building like a little town, this is on Maudline hill whereon a Considerable ffaire is kept neare Michelmas, ye Traffique mostly hopps which yt Country produceth good and Cheese-its noted for a vast many of Waines from Severall parts especially from the West Country.

Winchester is a large town was once ye metropolis, there is a wall Encompassing it with severall Gates; the streetes are pretty good, Large and long, ye buildings but Low and old, only some few in the Close wch are new built of the Doctors houses by ye Colledge and the Church. Ye Deans house is a good old house, timber buildings; there are some of the roomes Lofty and large, a dineing, drawing room and bed Chamber very good; a long Gallery runns through the house and opens into the Garden by a Descent of Severall Stone stepps. Ye Garden is but small-there are Green and gravel walkes higher and Lower, but its all in an old fashion'd form but neately kept and severall Curiosityes in potts of flowers and greens. The Bishops palace stands in a Low Ground or Watry Meadow, its a timber building but so unpleasant that the Bishop lives not at it but at Ffarly Castle about 20 mile off.

The Cathedrall at Winchester is one of ye biggest in England and is to be admired for its Largeness, not its neatness or Curiosity, there is an ascent of 20 steps up to the quire that is finely Carved in ye wood, and on the top all round stands in ffine painted Chests the bones of the Kings of England yt were buried there; for Winchester was the Regal Citty wch now it has lost, as also a peculiar art of dying ye best purples. In the Church there are no good Monuments worth notice, the body of the Church is very large, ye Steeple Lookes Noble, but ye Spire is not a neare so high as Salisbury. In the town is a new building begun by K. Charles the Second for a Palace when he Came to hunt and for aire and diversions in the Country. I saw ye Modell of it wch was very fine and so would it have been if ffinished; but there is only ye outside shell is set up, there were designed fine apartmts and two Chapples but its never like to be finish'd now.

There is a good river runns thro' the town, at ye backside the Castle stood high, but there now remaines only ye ruined walls and banks on wch they make gardens and hopp yards, wch runnes a great Length on the side of ye brow of the hill that some part of ye town is built on-it Lookes pretty. Here is a good Colledge it is on ye same foundation yt New Colledge in Oxford are; both built and Endowed by Great Willm of Wickam an ancester of ye ffiennes and Lord Say and Seale. So all the founders Kindred by his own Statutes are first to be Chosen and have a Right to many priviledges-its only in default or want of any of his Kindred or of Such and Such Parishes wch he names that any other person ought or Can be Chosen a Child of this Colledg. They have such a Number above 100 -they have their Diet and a gown every year, and so much mony Every quarter, and here they have their Learning and provision.

There are also fellowships-wch as they become vacant they who are fitt its bestowed on them-on wch a young Man May Maintain himself well and so improve his Learning. These fellowships at New Colledg are forfeited if they do not live there, or for ye most part; and also as soone as they are Marryed they are put out in number fellows and master and warden, but at winchester the fellowships are of greater value and do appertaine to a person during Life in Case he Comes and resides for ye most part there, even when they are marryed.

I thinke there are but 7 fellowships here. There is a warden of ye Colledge and a Schoolemaster and usher at Winchester. Ye Colledge is a good Pile of Building there is a very pretty Chapple in it and a very fine Library wch is in ye Cloysters yt are very good for walking.

There is a large hall they eate in and have their exact Commons to Every one, so have the fellows, their Lodgings are Convenient and all their offices, the Warden has built a new appartment for himself wch looks well about a mile or two beyond Winchester, we go by St Cross, a Large hospitall for old men and I thinke most is for ye decayed schollars.

The Masters place is worth 1000 pound a yeare-it used to be annexed to ye Warden of the Colledges place, by their ffoundation they are to give reliefe to any Travellers that call there so farre as a Loafe of bread as big as our two penny bread is and a Draught of beare and a piece of mony. I thinke its ye value of a Groate. Ffrom thence I came to Redbridge, thence to Buckland in the new forest in all 20 mile; ffrom Buckland wch was a Relation's house- Sr Robt Smiths-its a mile to Limington a seaport town- it has some few small shipps belongs to it and some Little trade, but ye Greatest trade is by their Salterns. Ye Sea water they draw into Trenches and so into Severall ponds yt are secured in ye bottom to retain it, and it stands for ye Sun to Exhale ye Watry fresh part of it, and if it prove a drye sumer they make the best and most Salt, for ye raine spoyles ye ponds by weakning ye Salt. When they think its fit to boyle they draw off the water from ye ponds by pipes wch Conveys it into a house full of Large Square Iron and Copper panns; they are shallow but they are a yard or two if not more Square, these are fixed in Rowes one by another it may be twenty on a Side, in a house under which is the ffurnace yt burns fiercely to keepe these panns boyling apace, and as it Candy's about ye Edges or bottom so they Shovell it up and fill it in great Baskets and so the thinner part runns through on Moulds they set to Catch it, wch they Call Salt Cakes. Ye rest in ye Baskets drye and is very good Salt and as fast as they Shovell out the boyling Salt out of ye panns they do replenish it wth more of their Salt water in their pipes. They told me when the Season was drye and so the Salt water in its prime they Could make 60 quarters of Salt in one of those panns wch they Constantly attend Night and day all the while the fire is in the ffurnace, because it would burn to waste and Spoyle ye panns wch by their Constant Use wants often to be repaired. They Leave off Satterday Night and let out ye fire and so begin and kindle their fire Monday Morning. Its a pretty Charge to light the fire. Their Season for makeing Salt is not above 4 or 5 Months in ye year and yt only in a dry Summer. These houses have above 20 some 30 others more of these panns in them, they are Made of Copper. They are very Carefull to keep their ponds well secured and Mended by good Clay and Gravell in the bottom and Sides and so by sluces they fill them out of the sea at high-tides and so Conveyed from pond to pond till fit to boyle. Ffrom Limmington to Lindhurst is 6 mile, where is a house of ye Kings wn he comes to hunt in the new fforest, and ye Lord Warden of the fforest is there when he Comes to hunt and Hawk, to Whome Comes all the Gentry of the Country to waite on him-he dines at Night from 7 to 12 of the Clock. He is served in plaite, those yt hunt with him all day Comes and Dines or Supps with him. He has power to dispose and order ye Concerns of ye forrest for ye timber for shipps and to have it Cherrish'd and secured from Spoyle, as also the deare and Game to be preserved, ye disposeing of the Lodges are in his power. There are 15 Lodges and these are disposed to Gentlemen that have underkeepers yt takes care of it, and wt is peculiar to ye New forrest and known no where Else are these Brouce Deare; at these severall Lodges ye Keepers gather Brome and at Certaine tymes in ye day by a Call gathers all the Dear in within the railes which belongs to Each Lodge, and so they Come up and feed upon this Brouce and are by that meanes very fatt and very tame, so as to Come quite to Eate out of ye hand. All the day besides they range about and if they meete anybody if it be their own keeper without ye pail of ye Lodge they will run from him as wild as Can be. These Lodges are about 4 miles asunder and its a great Priviledge and advantage to be a Cheefe Keeper of any of these Lodges; they have Venison as much as they please and Can easily shoote it when the troop Comes up wth in ye paile, for none are allowed to Shoot out in ye forrest, nor are allowed to go out wth Gun or dog or to keep any Except Gentlemen, and not they if they have been found Shooteing in ye fforest. I think its ffellony for any to kill ye Kings dear there are severall Rangers of ye fforest and 6 verderers yt are their justices or judges of all matters Relateing to ye fforest, these ought allwayes to reside in ye fforest and are to attend the King when he Comes into ye new fforest. Clothed in green, they have a buck and Doe Every year for their ffee, besides being Masters-the under keepers are at their beck so yt they Can get as Much venison as they want. There is also a Rider of ye fforest who is to see about yt all things are secure and well done and ye Timber kept and Deer, to see they are not spoyled or Destroyed: his Right is to all the Deer yt are hurt or Maimed as also he is to have ye Shoulder of ye first Stagg that is hunted and killed in the Season. There is a Bow man wch is to provide ye King wth Bow and arrow when he Comes into ye fforest-they have some priviledge also but ye shooteing by bow and arrow being Left off, yt office is not regarded.

Ffrom Lindhurst about a Mile is a parke called new parke enclosed out of ye fforrest with Pailes, it belongs to ye Kings house; there is a house in it wch was the Lodge-a large old Timber house. Ffrom Limington to ye Isle of Wight its about 4 Leagues; to Yarmouth you go by Hurst Castle, yt runnes on a point of land into ye sea just by the Needles within a League of Yarmouth, and those needles are severall Great Rocks on yt side of the Island, craggy, and severall stand out into the sea wch makes it very hazardous for shipps to pass there, Especially in a Storme or for Strangers-ye passage being narrow between the Needles and Hurst Castle, Can easily Command any ship that would pass there. Yarmouth is a little Sea-port and has a Little Castle that Can annoy Any Enemy that should pass by Hurst, so between them may well Secure yt part of ye Isle and all on ye back side of the jsland are those Needles yt are a Natural ffortification it being inaccessible.

So at another part of ye isle there is Sandumffort wch is a pretty strong place. Ye island is 10 mile in the breadth and 30 mile in Length-Upon Most of the high hills you see the wall of ye sea on both Sides, if not all round you as in some places. Ffrom Yarmouth to Newport is seven mile, a little town yt ye Arm of the Sea Comes up to-its one of the biggest towns in ye Island; in a mile off it is Casbrooke Castle into wch King Charles ye first retired when he was worsted by ye Parliaments forces-there are some good roomes still that remaine but ye most part are destroyed and only ruined walls to be seen. There is a deep well of 40 ffathom they draw up ye bucket by a great Wheele in wch they put a horse or ass-a stone thrown down sounds a long tyme ere you hear it splash into ye water. About seven miles thence is Cowes both East and west 2 ports for Shipps to ride in and be Recruited wth all sorts of provisions wch is done on very reasonable terms. Ye ffertillity of the whole jsland produces Corn of all sorts in great plenty, and all sorts of Cattle and butter; Cheese as also Great Store of ffish and ffowle; there is some Little part fforrest land but for ye most part are Meddows and good downs.

The little ports are all fitted for ye Seamen and their affaires, Little houses, not but there are severall good old houses that are Gentlemens seats, as Sr Robert Dilington at Knighton and Sr John oglander at Nunwell, Sr Robert Worstly and severall More. Sr Robt Holmes has a good Estate there, he was the Governour of ye Island and of Yarmouth Castle and there he is buried, Where is his Statue Cutt in Length in white Marble in the Church and railed in with Iron Grates; he was raised from Nothing and an imperious Governr , and what he Scrap'd together was forced to Leave to his Nephew and base Daughter, haveing no other, and they have set up this Stately monument which Cost a Great deal. There is one place called Mottstone just by the sea side, the Name Comes from many Great Stones that stand up in the Grounds not unlike ye stones at Stonidge in Wiltshire, but this sort of stone is in Many places of ye Island and most of the houses are built of Stone, some few Brick. From a hill just above Cowes that runns along by the Sea side You May Easily see Spitt-head And St Hellens point and all the Shipps that Lay along ye Road and that Lay in Portsmouth haven. From Ride is 3 Leagues to portsmouth, I pass'd it in an hour. Portsmouth is a very Good town, Well built with Stone and brick, its not a large town, there are Walls and Gates about it, and at Least eight Bridges and Gates without one another wth Ditches which secures it very Strongly to ye Land-ward, to the Sea the ffortifications are not so strong; there is a plattform with Guns and Pallisadoes. There is a good dock for Building Shipps, but about 6 mile off at Red bridge are the best Shipps built. There are most of the great Shipps Lye at Anchor here.

I was a board ye Royal Charles, and the Royal James, which are ffine Shipps, ye Roomes Spacious for Length and Breadth but not high. There was a large Chappel. and Cabbin with Damaske furniture. The Castle at Portsmouth is not Great-its Rather Called the Kings house where is a Great deal of armes. I was in the Dine-ing Roome where King Charles ye Second met Queen Katherine and was marryed to her and set the crown on her head. There from that roome out of double doores goes a long wooden bridge to the Plattforme; just by is South sea Castle which is wash'd round by ye sea and pretty deep water att Spring tides, it Looks very fine but think its but of Little Strength or Service. Above the town is a very fine down Called Porchester down very pleasant for Sports Hawking and hunting; 6 mile over this down is Southwicke, Coll: Nortons a good old house Capable of being Made ffine, Large Garden room-Woods and Grounds Lying well about it and a good Warren, Coppices and ye Stately Gt Timber trees as may be seen. He was an old officer in the Long parliamt service-this is 15 mile from Winchester and from Winchester to Southhampton is ten miles; that is a very neate clean town and the Streets well pitch'd and kept so, by their Carrying all their Carriages on Sleds as they do in holland, and permit no Cart to go about in ye town, and keep it Clean Swept-this was formerly more strictly observ'd when the town was full of trade, for it is a good port, but now ye trade has failed and ye town almost forsooke and neglected. Its a place of No Strength now, by reason of ye Castle being ruined and the fortifications neglected and the Gunns taken thence, tho' by most its thought the best scittuated port for Shipps to Ride and take their provision in and so Capable of tradeing; but the last 2 Reignes for near 40 year discourag'd it being a proper place for the french to have Seiz'd and Secured for themselves. About 3 Leagues off is Cashot Castle just out into the Sea wch does Encompasse it all but a very little point of land Called Horsy Beach that runnes out into the New forrest by Bewly wch was an abby in the fforest, for the Extent of ye fforrest is large-Miles long; All round Casholt Castle on the Beach itts as full of fine Cockle shells so that they heap them up all round the Castle Like a wall.

It was at South-hampton King Philip Landed when he Came to marry Queen Mary. Ffrom thence its 6 miles to Rumsey, and the Road Runns just by a ffine house of one of my Relations Sr John St Barbe's; the Rows of trees in the avenues runns just from ye Road to the front of the house. You Enter a Court thats wall'd in and blew Iron gates. The Court has a Round in the Middle rail'd in, designed for a Bowling Green, and the Coaches drive round it to Come to the Entrance wch is severall stone Stepps to a broad Space that is railed wth Balls and Banisters: the Space is paved wth broad free stone the stepps ye Same 8 or 10. The house is a halfe Roman H. Ye hall is in the Middle wth double doores, its very lofty and large there's a Chimney just against the Entrance on the Right hand, runns in an Entry through the house to the back yard, where are the offices, Still house and Barnes and Coach houses and a very ffine Stable built of Brick- there are large partitions. In this Entry you have the pantry and Cellars and on the other side ye Kittchin Larders and pastry wch is one wing of the house and just behind the hall is ye Servants hall and a Little parlour just by the pantry and back staires. Then the great hall is divided in halfe by the Staircase, wch hangs on its own work not supported of Either Side, to the first half pace and all the way up without Support, on the one Side they are of oake, the railes and Banisters are varnished. The halfe paces are Inlaid wth yew wood wch lookes a yellowish Red in Squaires; they Land on the next Story with a space of this Inlaid worke of a good Bigness the whole Compass of ye Staircase. The Roofe of the Staires is even wth ye Roofe of ye next Story; on the other side of the Staires are severall Rows of Pillars of wood Painted Like Marble for to walke between, and you pass quite under the Staires into a Little Closet, and a little farther into a back yard where is a Bathing house and other necessarys. There is a screen stands on the side of the Staires next the Chimney to make that part more private. Ye hall Runns quite through to the Garden where there is a door wth stepps down and so at this door you see thro' the house to yt back yard I mention ed at ye End of the Entry. The other wing of ye house is a large parlour and drawing Roome, this is out of the hall by the Garden; the hall is well painted and a Carved Cornish round and pillars on the wanscoate round the Roome. The parlour is wanscoated and painted a Cedar Coullour. The next Story you Enter of this large halfe pace on the Right hand, in to a door wch Leads fore Right to a Balcony, and on the Left hand into a passage, wch leads to the Chamber over the drawing Roome, and by it is a Servants Roome Even wth ye passage. On the Right hand is a passage Leads to Another Roome just over against-open the doores and there is a perfect visto, so there is the other way and a servants roome even wth ye passage; beyond this roome is a back Stair Leads to the bath, and by ye Servants Roome is a large back Staire that Leads to the Next Story, the Great staires Ending here, and on the Left hand they lead into a large dineing Roome &. - then a drawing Roome and next a bed Chamber wch has a back doore to the back Staires by ye kitchin. These doores open through to ye End one way the best bed Chamber and quite to the balcony ye other side a visto.

Within the dineing roome on ye Left hand is a very Large bed Chamber wch jndeed is ye best-good tapistry hangings-here is design'd a velvet bed its painted white; there are very good Pictures; here is a Little back Staires to ye Servants hall. The dineing Roome is wanscoated and varnish'd the other Roomes nothing done to-that is the drawing Roome and Chamber. Wth in there. is damaske, and Camlet beds in ye other Roomes, and off these back Staires by ye Ktchin is a Chamber, anty Roome, dressing roome, 2 Closets These back staires goe up to the next Story yt Leads to the roomes over this, and to a long Gallery that is Window all to the ffront and Leads to all ye Chambers. There is handsome roomes only those at ye Side and End are Garret fashion-between are Servants roomes and Closets: thence a little pair of Stairs Leads up to the Gallery and thence up to the Cupilow which is in the Middle of the house, all Windows round and on ye top has a Gold ball that holds severall Gallons. On each Wing there are 2 little towers, one has ye Clock the other a Sundial, and on the top two gold balls of a Lesser size. The Gardens are walled in, some with brest walls, some higher with flower potts on them; severall places with open grates to Look through with Stone balls or ffigures on the pillars each Side the Gates everyway. There is a water house that by a Wheele Casts up the Water out of ye River just by, and fills ye pipes to Serve all ye house and to fill ye bason designed in the middle of the Garden wth a Spout in the middle.

The Gardens are not finish'd but will be very ffine, wth Large Gates open to ye Grounds beyond, some of wch are planted with trees. Its a fine thing, but doubt its no very good aire-it stands in a low place near ye River, the hills all round on yt Side and ye Mold and Soyle is Black and such as they Cut up for peate. The road from hence to Salisbury is by White Parish and Joy Church and you come in Sight of my Lord Coal-rain house that Looks Like a good Buildmg of Stone, but its just so upon the Great River that it lookes Like a Little Castle or Shipp. This river runns to Breamore from Salisbury just by a very fine Seat of ye Lady Brooks which was Sr Wm Doringtons heir. The house Stands finely to the River a brick building. You Enter into a Walled Court Soe up 12 Stepps at Least into a Noble hall: on the Left hand was a parlour, and on ye Right a large drawing roome a Little parlour and Large Staires up to Severall very handsom Chambers ffurnished with good Tapistry and damaske and some velvets, wch was new because the fire had Spoiled most of the goods; but the house was built just in ye same ffigure. The Kitchins and offices are all under ye roomes of State and they go down Steps to it Under ye Arch of Stepps that ascend to the hall: out of the drawing roome by Glass doors you enter the Garden on a terrass and yt by Stepps, so to Severall Walks of Gravel and Grass and to the Gardens, one below another with Low Walls to give the view all at once. Here was fine flowers and Greens Dwarfe trees and oring and Lemon trees in Rows wth fruite and flowers at once and some ripe; they are ye first oring trees I ever Saw. Here are Stately woods and walks. This River Runns to ffording bridge A Little place, thence to Kingwood, thence to Christchurch; it turns many Great Mills and there have been great attempts to make it Navigable wch would be of Great advantage, but all Charge has been Lost in it. There is Store of good ffish in it; it runns to Christchurch and divides the new fforest from Wiltshire, there is a large Bridge that crosses at Christchurch where it runns into the Sea. This is 18 miles from Salisbury 20 miles from Newtontony over ye down, 6 to Rumsy 4 to Lockerly two to East Titherly where Sr ffrancis Rowles has a fine house and Garden and Groves. One on the Edge of ye hill, all in sight of ye Road Looks ffinely of Scott and Norroway ffirrs in Rows and Looks very well. In 2 mile of this is Dean wch was Sr John Evlings, now his Grandsons Lord Kingston, it seems to be a good Lofty Building, its woody and very ffruitfull. There is Likewise a good old seate of Mr Whiteheads my grandfathers, Normans Court in West Titherly; its well wooded, good Gardens, but a very old house; a ffine Grove of ffirrs to ye ffront. This is 7 mile from Newtontony and as much to Stockbridge wch is ye Road to London; thence to Sutton 12 miles, thence to Basin-stoake 12 mile. Its a Large town and has a good trade being a Road. A mile thence is Basin on ye Left hand wch was a house of ye Duke of Boltons, but being a Garrison in ye Civil warrs was pulled down and Now only some part remaines, and the Gardens wch are improved and new walls built: fine fruit and vineyards, a large parke to it. On ye Right hand about a mile off is Hackwood which is another Seate of ye Duke of Boltons in a pretty parke. It looks very pretty not large. Basinstoake Lyes watrish but its on Chalke. A little further on ye Left hand at some distance you see a fine Seate of Sr Robert Henleys, it looks Like a little town' its so large a building, and they say its a noble thing ffinished and furnish'd very well with good Gardens.

To Harfordbridge 8 mile thence to bagshott 8 mile a heavy sandy way, and ye Same from thence to Egam 8 mile; thence to Staines a mile, where we Cross ye Thames on a bridge and enter Middlesex-thence to London 15 miles.

Celia Fiennes, Through England on a Side Saddle in the Time of William and Mary (London: Field and Tuer, The Leadenhall Press, 1888)

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