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EDITED BY EDWARD W. BRAYLEY, Esq. F.S.A. M.R.S.L. &c,
FROM EMINENT LITERARY CHARACTERS.
The Publisher trusts that, in his endeavour to produce a work worthy the patronage, and within the means, of all classes of society, he shall not only meet with NATIONAL SUPPORT, but the cordial co-operation of Gentlemen connected with Literature and the Fine Arts.
JAMES GILBERT, 228, REGENT STREET, & 51, PATERNOSTER ROW.
BORSTALL is situated on the western side of Buck- about that time was infested by a wild boar, which inghamshire, near the borders of the county, and was at last slain by a huntsman, named Nigel, to within two miles of Brill, which formed part of the whom, in reward, the King granted some lands to be ancient demense of the Anglo-Saxon kings, who had held by cornage, or the service of a horn ; a mode
palace there; to which Edward the Confessor fre- of livery which in that age appears to have been comquently retired to enjoy the pleasure of hunting in mon. On the land thus given, Nigel erected a large Bernwood Forest.* Tradition says, that the forest manor house, and named it Bore-stall, or Boar-stall,
A close, near the church at Brill, called the “ King's in memory of the event through which he obtained Field," is reputed to have been the site of the Palace. possession. These circumstances are corroborated by
various transcripts relating to the manor, which are visions and obstructing the intercourse from the contained in a manuscript volume, in folio, composed neighbouring country, soon became as great a nuisabout the time of Henry VI., and now in the posses- ance to the king's garrison at Oxford, as their former sion of Sir Thomas Aubrey, Bart., the owner of this neighbours had been to them; in consequence of estate. It contains a rude delineation of the site of which, Colonel Gage undertook to reduce it, and Borstall House, and its contiguous grounds; beneath having, after a slight resistance, obtained possession which is the figure of a man on one knee, presenting of the church and outworks on the eastern side, he a boar’s head to the King, who is returning him a coat opened such a heavy fire against the manor house and of arms. *
tower that it was shortly surrendered. On this ocFrom an inquisition taken in the year 1265, it ap- casion, according to the “ Historical Discourses” of pears that Sir John Fitz-Nigel, or Fitz-Neale, then Sir Edward Walker, the Lady Denham, the then held a hide of arable land, called the Dere-hide, at owner, being conscious of her disaffection, stole away Borstall, and a wood, called Hull Wood, by grand in disguise. In the following year, two attacks were serjeantry, as Keeper of the forest of Bernwood; that made on the royalists, at Borstall House, (the first by his ancestors had possessed the same lands and office General Skippon, and the next by Fairfax,) but both prior to the Conquest, holding them by the service of were unsuccessful. In 1646, on the 10th of June, a horn; and that they had been unjustly withheld by General Fairfax reduced it after an investiture of the family of Lazures, of whom William Fitz-Nigel, eighteen hours only, it being surrendered to him by father of John, had been obliged to purchase them.t the governor, Sir Charles Campion, who was subsePrior to this, William Fitz-Nigel had been obliged to quently slain at Colchester. pay King John eleven marks for the enjoyment of his BORSTALL TOWER, the north front of which is refather's office, and for liberty to marry at his own presented in the annexed cut, is a good specimen of pleasure.t
the castellated architecture of the time of Edward II. In the 28th of Edward I., anno 1300, John Fitz- Its form is square, with embattled turrets at each Nigel gave his daughter in marriage to John, son of angle; the entrance to the tower is over a bridge of Richard de Handlo, who, in consequence of this two arches, which supplies the place of the ancient match, became in a few years Lord of Borstall, and in drawbridge, destroyed by order of parliament, when 1322, (6th of Edward II.) he obtained license from the the tower and house were dismantled, in the year King, “ to fortify his mansion at Borstall, and make 1644. The gateway is secured by massive doors, a castle of it.” In 1327, (2nd of Edward III.) the strengthened with studs and plates of iron. said John was summoned to parliament as a baron, the northern turrets contains three apartments, which but his son, or grandson, Edmund, dying in his mi- are light and lofty; the southern turrets contain spiral nority, in 1356, this estate afterwards passed, by staircases, with stone steps leading to the upper apartheirs female, into the families of De la Pole, James, ments; the space over the gateway includes two large Rede, Denham, Banistre, Lewis, and Aubrey. The rooms, but the principal apartment is on the second latter has been in possession nearly a century and a story, and occupies the whole space between the turhalf. Sir Thomas Aubrey, Bart. the present owner, rets. Modern improvement has somewhat decreased resides at his seat, near Aylesbury. Bernwood was its dimensions, by cutting off the recesses, formed by not disafforested until the reign of James I.
the bay windows, at each end and over the gateAt an early period of the Civil Wars, Borstall way, but it is still a noble room; the bay window last House was garrisoned for King Charles, but in the mentioned still retains part of the stained glass it was spring of 1644, when it was thought expedient to formerly decorated with, particularly an escutcheon of abandon some of the lesser garrisons, this mansion was the De Lazures and the De Handloos. The roof is evacuated, and the fortifications were partly dis- nearly flat, and forms a beautiful terrace; it was formantled. This, however, had scarcely been effected, merly covered with lead, which has since been rethan the parliamentary garrison at Aylesbury, which placed by copper, thinly leaded, to preserve it from had experienced much inconvenience by the incursions corrosion. The south front, as seen from the pleasure from Borstall, took possession, and by seizing pro- ground, is peculiarly light and pleasing. Since the Vide “ Archæologia,” vol . iii. where the plan is engraved. Aubrey, (who died a few years ago, at the age of
demolition of the old mansion by the late Sir John + Vide Bishop Kennet's “ Parochial Antiquities of Ambrosden," &c., p. 265.
eighty-seven,) one side of the moat has been filled up, Ibid, p. 166.
but the other three sides still remain. A neat pa
rochial chapel was erected in 1819, on the ancient its being more expensive than that of the others. site, by the late Sir John Aubrey; the chancel is lit This objection may be met by the same reply as by a handsome window, and contains an elegant monu- before, that it is not to the style itself, but to the ment in dove-coloured and white marble, to the memory degree of judgment with which it is treated, that the of the two wives of Sir John; and another, a very expense is attributable. Of this we have a perfect chaste specimen, in the perpendicular Gothic style, demonstration in the instances of three or four churches has been erected to the memory of Sir John Aubrey erected in this style, within the last few years, and himself, who is buried in the vault beneath the chancel. which do honour to the metropolis, whose cost has
not exceeded the moderate limits of expenditure, that were thought to constitute the great excellence of the modern Grecian system of church-making.
It is not to be denied, indeed, that an architect who OBSERVATIONS
thinks it impossible, consistently, to imitate the style ON THE COMPARATIVE merits of THE CLASSIC STYLES of the middle ages without filling his windows with OF ARCHITECTURE, AND THAT DENOMINATED GOTHIC,
elaborate tracery, loading his cornices or stringFOR THE PURPOSES OF MODERN APPLICATION.
mouldings with foliage, and vaulting his interiors
with large groined ceilings, will find such a scheme It forms a happy sign of improvement in the national altogether incompatible with limited means; but it is taste, that we may now be allowed to institute a com- equally certain that if he apply an analogous rule of parison of the ancient architecture of Greece and proceeding to the treatment of the other styles he will Rome with that of the middle ages in our own country find himself involved in no less a difficulty. It may and others adjacent—a permission, which to have be granted further that the old English mode is not asked a century ago would have been thought to quite so manageable as to admit of the square openstamp any one as an ignorant barbarian. That the ings and wide sashes, of the flat copings and level case, however, is one not thus easily to be set aside ceilings of modern domestic architecture ; but it by an affectation of classical accomplishment, (a feel-must be allowed in return, that in the former case ing, perhaps, naturally enough attending the revival the production however simplified bears a distinctive of classic literature,) will be evident upon a review character, whereas, in the latter, we frequently canof those qualities which are admitted by all to be not apply any epithet of classification to the mass of decisive upon the value of an architectural system. structures that are, indeed, mere brick boxes to hold
If the praise of convenience be claimed for the human creatures. Italian and Greek modes, it would be difficult to prove But, the considerations of convenience and ecothat the Pointed style is in this particular at all their nomy being disposed of, to what extent do the three inferior. The difficulties experienced in the treat- styles in question relatively promote the ends of ment of the latter are almost wholly accidental, and architecture as an ornamental science ? That the not such as grow out of any natural intractability of great characteristic of the ancient Greek remains is that style. These difficulties, perhaps, may be as extreme beauty, both in the detail and in the mass, signed to two causes ; the one, that our forefathers must on all hands be admitted. It seems, however, were alike ignorant and careless of the refinements to be a beauty inseparable from strict simplicity of of modern luxury, and consequently have not left arrangement; and accordingly we find in none of the us examples for all those conveniencies of arrange-much-admired remains of Grecian temples, any conment, which modern habits and superfluous luxuries siderable diversity of plan, or variation of form from require,--the other, that our architects have for cen- that of the original parallelogram. This simplicity turies made so little use of the Pointed style, that was indeed so general, that, but for the varied they have failed from neglect of study to become ac-decorations of sculpture, it would probably have soon quainted with its resources. Let the latter occupy been attended with satiety and change. as much of their efforts and attention as the exotic The Romans, as if desirous of having a world of styles have done, and it will soon be found to be their own in architecture as in arms, borrowed from destitute of no quality of convenience, whether in the Greeks only a few crude ideas of component public or domestic edifices.
parts, and forthwith struck out for themselves a An objection is frequently raised against the adop- variety of bold attempts, deriving new and valuable tion of the old English mode, on the supposition of aid in their execution from the great discovery of the