« AnteriorContinuar »
the commodate his neighbours. A umewe.
the townes of Plymmouth, Stonehouse, Milbrook, and Saltash. It is supplied with a never-fayling spring of water, and the dwelling stored with wood, timber, fruit, deere, and conies. The ground abundantly answereth a house-keeper's necessities, for pasture arable and meadow, and is replenished with a kind of stone, serving both for building, lyme, and marble. On the sea cliffs groweth great plenty of the best ore-wood, to fatisfie the owner's want and accommodate his neighbours. A little below the house, in the summer evenings, layne boats come and draw with their nets for fish, whither the gentry of the house walking downe, take the pleasure of the fight, and fometimes at all adventures buy the profit of the draughts. Both sides of the forementioned narrow entrance, together with the passage betweene (much haunted as the high way to Plymouth,) the whole town of Stonehouse, and a great circuite of the land adjoining appertain to Mr. Edgecumbe's inheritance : these sides are fenced with block-houses, and that next to Mount Edgecumb was wont to be planted with ordinance, which at coming and parting, with their base voices greeted such guests as visited the house, neither hath the opportunity of the harbour wanted occasions to bring them, or the owners a franke mind to invite them. For proofe whereof, the earst remembered fir Richard, (a gentleman, in whom mildness and stoutness, diffidence and wisdom, deliberateness of undertaking, and sufficiency of effecting, made a more commendable than blazing mixture of virtue,) during Queen Mary's reign, entertained at one time, for some good space, the admirals of the English, Spanish, and Netherland fleets, with many noble-men besides*.”
We now proceeded along what was the green terrace, but has been lately gravelled, and had a fine view of the harbour, the old town of Salthouse, on the opposite hill, Mr. Harrison's seat, Stonehouse, Dock, and Plymouth, &c. in the sound, Nicholas Island, fatal sometimes to unwary ships. Last December twelve months, three, heavy laden with iron, split upon the rocks and were lost. The bold termination on the eastern shore, is called Withey Hedge. From hence we continue through bowers of various foliage, oaks, chesnuts, limes, plantains, variegated sycamores green and white, &c. to an alcove opposite the gate into the deer park, which affords a similar sweet view. The first object after entering the park, is a moss house; from this we next come to an open bench looking full upon the merchants' harbour of Catwater. Lord Borringdon's pleasant place at Saltram has a charming effect here, bofomed in its own woods and backed by Devon hills. South east in the Cound, at a small distance from the shore, rises a high cragg called Mews-stone; to this little island about fourteen years ago a man was transported for seven years, where he quietly remained his due time without setting foot on other land. Leaving this habitation to his daughter he went to Loo Island, about 30 miles further in Cornwall. She still remains here, a widow with three children, her husband being lately drowned. We now were hid awhile in sweet foliage till we came upon the large terrace beyond the park. Here the watry expanse burst full upon the view, and from the vast arch we pass under, with a glass I could plainly fee Eddystone light-house, four leagues from hence, and three from any land. The ingenious Mr. Winstanley first undertook this arduous piece of architecture, and by repeated visits made it stand the attack of many a bitter storm, but at last too confident of the stability of human affairs he had his wish of being in it, “ when a storm should happen," that fatal hurricane, Nov. 27, 1703, which baffling all attempts of diftant aid, plunged the whole fabric, and its unfortunate founder and all that were with him into the watery grave. A few days after, the Winchelsea, a homeward-bound merchant-fhip
• Carey's Survey of Cornwall, fol, 100.
from from Virginia, ignorant of what had happened, run foul of the rock, and suffered the same fate. Another was afterwards erected by the corporation of Trinity-house, in pursuance of an act of parliament passed in 5th of Queen Anne, which was destroyed by fire in Dec. 1755; the two men who had the care of it were saved by means of a boat sent by admiral West from Plymouth; the present useful work was rebuilt under the direction of Mr. John Smeaton, F. R. S. and allowed to be the completest in Europe.
The intervening mixture of sunshine and short storms was very favourable for this de.. licious excursion. From hence we descend through serpentine bowers of bays, myrtles, arbutuses, laureftinuses, &c. to lady Damer's garden, (so called,) at the end of which is a large stone alcove with a complimentary inscription. Ascending again by fi. milar zig-zags to the terrace, the opening here prelents a fine view of Corson Bay and the two little ports, Kingston and Corson, the haunts of smugglers; the former stands in Devon, the latter in Cornwall, only separated by a small creek. Here was the scene of much confusion in the late war, when the French fleet was daily feen to float about this bay, meditating destruction to che docks at Plymouth.
The following extract on the subject from a letier in the Gentleman's Magazine, for August 1779, reflects great credit on the noble lord for his conduct, and public spirit on the occasion. “Every body is forry for the devastation produced in the beautiful woods of Mount Edgecumbe. It is an entire falsehood that his Lordship objects to their being cut down, for on a proper representation of the circumstances by lord Shuldham and others here, that it was very possible that these groves might be made use of as a place of concealment for the enemy, in attack upon the dock-yards, all that his Lord. Ihip said on the occasion was this, “ If it be absolutely necessary for the preservation of the dock-yards that Mount Edgecumbe be destroyed, you have my ready consent, even to the last shrub. Nothing with me can have any weight against a circumstance of that moment. No private interest can have the smallest influence when set in balance with an object of the magnitude you mention; but I would beg leave to remark, gentlemen, that without your fears are very well founded, I am entirely averse to the destruction of these groves. If you are convinced, on serious deliberation, that danger may arise from them, down with them; if you are not quite so certain, for heaven's sake let them stand.” The Generals persevered in their opinions, and they were immediately cut down with the entire concurrence of the owner. If this was really the case, how rapidly must have been their growth, fo foon to appear in the present flourishing condition. Our guide gave us a genuine piece of intelligence, which he had lately received from two officers, who were in the French service at the time, and thewed him the two places thought of for landing their men, one on this fide Kingston, the other on the hill beyond; but their designs were inefficient, and happily prevented. Winding beautifully round we came next to a Gothic alcove, built from the materials of an old chapel, the inside of which gives a picturesque view of nothing but the sea, the fore-ground an hollow verdant slope to the margin of the water. In our walk from hence we saw very fine cork-trees, live-oaks, &c. the variety of heath and other blossoms hanging around gave all the luxuriant tints of a real garden.
We now entered the deer park again, and crossed where our defensive regiments were encamped. On the summit of the hill stands a lofty parish church, belonging to Corson, Kingston, and Milbrook; from the tower are placed various signals, and the circular prospect is here immense. Descending now the common walk to the house, we came to the white alcove on the dry walks, (so called) which fronts full north, and gives a beautitul perspective up the harbour, St. John's Lake, St. German's and Milbrook, with an intermixture of Devon and Cornwall. Passing towards the front grounds again, we saw
many very noble trees, oaks of near twenty different forts, fine flourishing chesnuts, and cedars of Lebanus. In a part called the wilderness, is placed a flat stone two feet square, with so much nicety as to catch a glimpse of seven different towers; viz. Anton, Dock-yard, the new chapel at Dock, Stoke, Plymouth, old and new churches, and Plymstock. Near the water stands a neat Doric alcove, with the following inscription from Thomson.
-- On either hand,
Tangeliffione in themes
A little beyond is a battery of 22 guns, for the purpose of falutes, &c. Lastly we faw the orangery, an excellent building, 100 feet by 30, where the fruit ripens in almost equal perfection with that abroad.
We now took leave of these enchanting scenes, and made a comfortable repast at the passage house, called Cremil, which pays the rent of 400l. per ann. to lord Edgecumbe, besides the expence of seven men, boats, &c. We afterwards returned across, to in
spect the nature and extent of the docks, which are inexpressibly surprizing and mag- nificent. To obtain a fight of them is difficult, requiring a form of your names and
abodes, with the addition of some resident person of Plymouth, to be sent to the governor or.commissioner. Such caution is necessarily used, that any remarks with pen or pencil are forbid; therefore a full and accurate description must not here be expected. Besides the several dry and wet docks heretofore established, they are still adding to the numbers. One in particular, of the first-rate dimensions, cut out of the solid rock, and beautifully lined, and faced with Portland stone, may challenge the universe to 'fhew its equal. A most extensive wet dock for masts is now finishing; the immense range of building for stores, and warehouses for fails, rigging, &c. and dwellings for the commissioner, clerks, and all other necessary officers, are well worth the notice of stran., gers. Within themselves too are the immense forges for making anchors, and all other iron work, belonging to ships of the largest size. The whole contains a space of 70 acres. Amongst the numerous men of war which now lay in harbour, were the Royal Cerberus, of 100 guns, and several others newly launched; also was refitting the one taken from the Spaniards in the last war, and when finished to be honoured with the name of Gibraltar. We now retired to our inn at Plymouth. This place had the honour of giving birth to that great explorer of the seas, fir Francis Drake.
Having visited the most striking features of this place, our next object was to extend about 40 miles into Cornwall, where we might obtain a sufficient knowledge of its va. luable mines. This county like Spain, a peninsula, surrounded on all sides by the sea except the east, stretches westward the furthest of all Britain, and is inhabited by the remains of those, whom the calamities of cruel war, and tyrannical oppressions forced into these western parts of the island, Wales and Cornwall, which are naturally forti. fied with hills and æftuaries. In the British language it is called Kernnaw, because it diminishes like a horn and runs out into so many similar promontories. The Saxon conqueror, who called foreigners and every thing strange, Wealsh, named the inhabi.,
gers. Within themes and all other neceffare of lails, rigging, &c. and iron work, belonginamentoo are the immense forced the went worth the notice of frame