Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

seem to be at a stand-still, or worse, owing to the depression of the trade. The population, 4692, exhibits a decrease of 109 since last computation. At Misserden, in this neighbourhood, the geologist will find the oolitic marl, from which he may gather a number of fossils.

TETBURY AND ITS VICINITY.

INNS : The White Hart, Talbot.
About 7 miles from Tetbury Road or from Brimscombe Station.

The market and union town of Tetbury is pleasantly situated on the borders of the county on a commanding eminence overlooking the Avon. It consists chiefly of four well-built streets, which diverge from the centre of the town, near the market-house. The place is of considerable antiquity, tradition making it a military station of the ancient Britons. Tetbury is not incorporated, but is under the control of the lord of the manor. It has some extensive fairs and markets, the latter especially being well attended. The population at last census was 3274, and the inhabited houses 690.

The Church, dedicated to St. Mary, was, with the exception of the tower, erected at the close of last century on the site of a dilapidated structure which was rendered unsafe in consequence of a flood in 1770. The tower is surmounted by a finely-proportioned spire. The interior is very interesting, and contains a number of ancient tombs. One in the north aisle bears the effigies of a knight in armour, and his lady. The dress of the lady is carefully and elaborately rendered. The monument bears the date 1586. A monument on the west wall of the building to Richard Talboys, Esq., who died in 1663, is also deserving of notice. There is a curious monument in the churchyard to Lord de Braosa. A new church, in the Early English style, has within the last few years been erected in the north-west suburb; it is a handsome building, and is fitted up with great taste. The Baptists, Independents, and Wesleyans have chapels here; and there are several public and other schools, and some almshouses founded and endowed in the reign of James I. by Sir William Romney, a native of the town.

Tetbury is a convenient centre to which to refer various places that the tourist may wish to visit.

BEVERSTONE, 2 miles westward, is a small village of considerable antiquity. It is interesting to the tourist on account of its church and castle. The Church consists only of nave, chancel, and tower; but some of its architectural details will be found worthy of notice. In the tower is a figure of St. Andrew bearing his cross. The Castle, now a mass of ruins, was repeatedly besieged during the struggles of the seventeenth century, and finally taken and burnt by the Parliamentary forces.

AVENING is three miles from Tetbury. It has a woollen cloth manufactory; but business is not in a very flourishing state. The decrease in the returns of the last census, amounting to 251 persons and 43

houses (the figures for 1861 are 2070 persons, and 479 inhabited houses), is accounted for by the emigration and migration consequent on the decline of the woollen trade. The Church, dedicated to St. Mary, is very ancient, and is supposed to have been erected by the Abbess of Caen in Normandy, as the manor belonged to that society until the suppression of alien priories under Henry V. In the interior is an interesting old tomb, bearing date 1615. In this parish is a large tumulus, supposed to contain the remains of a Danish chieftain.

RODMARTON, 4 miles from Tetbury, is supposed to have been connected with the Roman town of Circonium, and the discovery some time since of a tesselated pavement with some coins bearing the names of Antoninus and Valentinian, of which a record is preserved in the parish register, confirms this opinion. The Church, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, is Early English in style, and contains several old tombs much decayed. A monastery of the Benedictine order once existed here; but no traces of it are at the present day to be seen. Samuel Lysons, joint author of “ Magna Britannia," and keeper of the records in the Tower, was born here in 1763. He died in 1819.

MINCHINHAMPTON, pleasantly situated on the Frome, is a town of 1004 houses and 4147 inhabitants. It has a good church, but is chiefly interesting from its historical associations, and the facilities it affords the geologist as a centre for his investigation. Here, in 879, it

is believed that Alfred the Great defeated the Danes. James Bradley, who discovered the aberration of light, and the mutation of the earth’s axis, died here in 1762. He is interred in the churchyard.

We have said that this is a good centre for the geologist. The great oolite may be studied here to advantage. It consists of a variable series of colitic and shelly limestones, differing to a great degree in their stony character, both in their horizontal and vertical extension, never being divided by beds of clay or marl. Some minor excavations and quarries exhibit this stone, but the chief quarries of it are situated in the central portion of the Minchinhampton Common. On inquiring for them they will be readily pointed out ; for they have been worked from ancient days, and are well known as the sources of much of the flagging and building stone employed in the neighbourhood. A pathway passes close to them, but as they are sunk below the level of the road they are not visible from a distance. These quarries have been the great repositories of fossil testacea, which have given notoriety to Minchinhampton amongst geologists. The following is a statement of the number of species of testacea discovered in these beds :

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

BoXWELL, about four miles from Tetbury, is said to derive its name from a wood of box, which covers an area of between 40 and 50 acres. The village is ancient, and contains a church of some antiquity, which is dedicated to St. Mary; the only object worthy of notice which it contains is the font, which is said to be the oldest in the county. Leighterton Chapel, also very ancient, is dedicated to St. Andrew.

WOTTON-UNDER-EDGE, about four miles farther west, derives its name from its situation, immediately under a ridge of the Cotswold Hills. The principal street is broad, well paved, and lighted with gas, and the houses are in general neat, though plain. The town was destroyed by fire in the reign of King John; the ancient site still bears the name of the “ Brands." Wotton is a borough by prescription, but has no extant charter. The church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is a large and ancient building, ornamented with an embattled tower crowned with pinnacles. There are several Dissenting places of Worship, and a number of schools, including a grammar school, which dates as far back as 1385, with numerous almshouses and charities. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the manufacture of woollen cloth. The population is 2734.

« AnteriorContinuar »