« السابقةمتابعة »
of the lower ranks of society; for the most part uncultivated, but with a few places, here and there, which were in the rude tillage of the age. Secondly, That William, being passionately fond of hunting, and wishing to extend the scenes of his favourite amusement, fixed on this corner of Hampshire as a spot proper for his purpose; and accordingly converted a large proportion of it into forest. But, thirdly, That the afforestation was made without much injury to the subject, or offence to religion: the scantiness of its population precluding the one; and the circumstances of the times, and state of that part of the kingdom, forbidding us to believe there could be many places of worship existing there, the desecration of which might have scandalized the other."*
Since Mr. Warner gave this opinion to the public, the subject has been taken up by Mr. William Stewart Rose : and the evidence produced by the judicious researches of this gentleman, arising from names of places indicating the former existence of castles, and consequently of parks which must have been attached to them; and of churches, that must of course have been provided for the use of parishes, the population of which must have been. sufferers by any afforestation,-goes far in proving, that though the monkish historians may have very considerably exaggerated facts, yet that a dreadful degree of tyranny unquestionably was exercised.†
* Topographical Remarks, vol. i. p. 196.
See notes to the Red King, a poem, in which, to adopt the compliment paid by the elegant author of Marmion,
Ytene's oaks have heard again
From Stony-cross, the traveller may return by the way of Minstead and Lyndhurst.
At the entrance of this road, we see, on the right, CASTLE-MALWOOD COTTAGE. The near grounds are rude, and the situation is rather exposed; but the views are very extensive. The high grounds of the isle of Purbeck, the isle of Wight, Southampton and its neighbourhood, and another vast stretch of distant country, bounded by the high hills of Wilts and Dorset, lie beneath the ranging eye.
"Malwood castle, seated on an eminence, embosomed in wood, at a small distance from the village of Minstead, in the New Forest, was the residence of William Rufus, when he met with the accident which terminated his life. No remains of it exist; but the circumference of a building is to be traced."
From this eminence we descend, the views continually lessening, to the valley in which MINSTEAD is situated.
In the midst of the village, on the right, upon a rising' ground, is the parish-church. Part of it appears to be of some antiquity. There is a forest view from the churchyard. The benefice is a rectory, under private patronage. The population of the parish, in 1801, consisted of 764 persons; in 1811, of 901 persons.
Minstead is a very pleasing village. Though cultivation is every where visible, it is beautifully interspersed
Among the very few antiquities of New Forest, a curious ancient golden cross was found, in August, 1792, by a labouring man who was digging turf. It weighed above an ounce troy, and had on one side an engraving of our Saviour, and, on the other, the ladder, spear, nails, and other emblems of his sufferings. For a considerable time, the man carried it about the country to show it.
with woody hedgerows, which form a happy composition, while they relieve the eye from the fatigue produced by the perpetual recurrence of naked fields and their bare and unvaried divisions.
At the extremity of the village, we see MANOR HOUSE, a modern mansion, simple and elegant.
We proceed straight forward, avoiding the road on the right, at the corner of the grounds of Manor house. The rest of the country, as far as Lyndhurst, is less pleasant; but in less than a mile we enter the village, and thence return to Southampton, (see page 32.)
From Southampton to Ringwood, returning by Boldrewood Lodge and Lyndhurst.
We proceed to Stony Cross as before, (see page 116.) Ten miles beyond Stony Cross is the small town of RINGWOOD. Although in this ride there is much barren ground, yet the numerous undulations which it presents, the boldness of many parts, and the extent and variety of the distances, render the scenery far from unpleasing. On approaching Ringwood, the venerable church at Christchurch on the left, makes a fine addition to part of the prospect.
Ringwood is pleasantly situated on the river Avon, which joins the river Stour below Christchurch. It is a place of considerable antiquity. Mention of it occurs in Domesday-book, under the name of Rinceveid. It gives its name to the hundred in which it is situated. The population, in 1811, amounted to 3269 persons.
wood has a manufacture of stockings and woollen cloths, and it is celebrated for its strong beer and ale. One of the best weekly corn markets in the county is held here on Wednesdays. It has two fairs, on the 10th of July and 11th of December.
Ringwood church is a cruciform building of some antiquity, with a square tower in the centre, containing a ring of eight bells. The building has suffered much by numerous alterations, and particularly by a belfry loft introduced between the four central arches. In the south transept is some old carved work. The ceiling of the nave is supported by wooden ribs, intersecting each other at right angles: at the intersections are placed a variety of curious carved heads, male and female. At the groins of the side arches in the chancel, are similar heads. On the floor of the chancel is an ancient figure in brass, supposed to be of one of the ministers of this church, about 360 years ago. The altar-piece appears to be a copy of Rubens's picture of the conversion of St. Paul. Here is the burial place of the Compton family.* On the free-school, adjoining the church, is the following most classical inscription:
Mille et quingentos XPO quum transiit orbes
Richardus Linus Doctrinæ Fautor amandæ
* In the church-yard is an instance of that bold contempt for the few inflexions of cases in the English language, for which the Hampshire dialect is distinguished :
Here lies a dear and dutyfull child,
Which in heaven I hope to see;