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“THE NUN’S WELL.” Harry, with a fair show of kindness, saying saw the remains of the church of the Abbev. that to the honor of God, and for the health He says the “east end reached up to an artiof his soul, he proposed and most nobly in- ficial mount along the garden wall; that tended to refound the late Monastery, Priory, mount and all the terraces of the pleasure or Abbey of Bisham in Berks, and to incor- garden, to the back front of the house, are porate and establish the Abbot and Convent entirely made up of the sacred rudera or rubof Chertsey, as Abbot and Convent of Bish- bish of continual devastations. Bones of abam, and to endow them with all the Manors bots, monks, and great personages, who were late belonging to Bisham.” How the then buried in large numbers in the church and Abbot John Cordrey, and his brethren, must cloisters which lay on the south side of the have shivered at the conditions; how they church, were spread thick all over the garmust have grieved at quitting their cherish- den, 80 that one may pick up whole handsfull ed home, their stews and fish-ponds, their of them every where amongst the garden stuff." rich meadows of Thorpe, overlooked by the Brayley mentions in his pleasant History of woods of Eldebury hill, their nursing ground Surrey, that this artificial mount was levelwhere their calves and young lambs were led in 1810, and its materials employed to fill stowed in luxurious safety in the pleasant farm up a pond. Many human skulls and bones of Simple Marsh at Addlestone!
were found intermixed with the chalk and But their star was setting, and they were mortar of which it had been forined. Frag. forced to "give, sell, grant and confirm, to the ments of old tiles were also frequently found, king their house and all manors belonging to and are still sometimes turned up. No trace
even of the “Abbey house" is left; it was The total destruction of the Abbey must purchased in 1809 by a stock-broker, who in have amazed the whole country. An earth- the following year sold the materials and so quake could hardly have obliterated it more ends the great monastic history of Chertsey. entirely. Aubrey, writing in the year 1673, Where are now its spiritualities in Surrey ?says “of this great Abbey, scarce any thing its temporalities in Berkshire and Hampshire? of the old building remaius, except the out -its revenues of Stanwell, and rents of aswalls about it. Out of this ruin is built a size?—its spiritualities in Cardiganshire? 'fair house,' which is now in possession of Alas! they have left no sign, except on the yelSir Nicholas Carew, master of the Buck- low parchment—of rare value to the antiquary. hounds." Dr. Stukeley alludes to this house, Those who desire, like ourselves, to invesin a letter written in 1752; he speaks of the tigate what tradition has sanctified, will do inveterate destruction, and of “the gardener" | well to turn down a Jane beyond Chertsey carrying him through a "court" where he Church, which leads directly to the Abbey
bridge, and there, amid tangled hedge rows rises so high in it (except after a long contiand orchards, stands the fragment of an arch, nuance of dry weather has sealed the land partly built up, and so to say, disfigured by springs) that it is impossible to get to the end brick-work, and an old wall, both evidently without wading. An enormous quantity of portions of the Abbey. In the wall are a richly-colored and decorated encaustic tiles great number of what the people call “black have been found here; some are preserved in stones," a geological formation, making them our local museum. But the most interesting seem fused by fire. Layers of tiles were also remains in this place are the “stews," or fishinserted in this wall, and where the cement ponds, which run parallel to each other like has dropped away they can be distinctly the bars of a gridiron; these ponds do not traced ; there is also an ivy, very aged in coinmunicate one with the other, nor has the deed; it is so knotted and thick that it seems water any outlet: a little care and attention to grow through the stones, the soil has so might make them valuable for their old purevidently encroached on the wall that it is poses; but they are deplorably neglected. most probably rooted at the foundation. The | Occasionally you see the fin of some huge pleasant market garden of Mr. Roake covers fish, whose slow movement partakes of the the actual ground on which the Abbey stood. character of the stagnant water he has inhabThe workmen frequently turn up broken tiles ited for years ;-who can tell how many ? and human bones, and there is no doubt that! “The Abbey River," as it is still called, by digging deeper much would be discovered travels sluwly along its way, fertilizing the that might elucidate the history of the past. meadows and imparting life and freshness to At the farther end of the market garden a the placid scene. The denizens of Chertsey vault has been discovered which is of consid- bave planted orchards, and in a few instances erable length and breadth ; but the water gardens on its banks. One, the garden of Mr.
• THE GOLDEN GROVE.” Herring, is a model of neatness, almost conceal. | than that which leads from the “Golden ed by its roses and carefully tended shrubs. Grove," rendered picturesque by its old tree, We wandered from orchard to orchard, amid the plantations of Monksgrove on one side, the trees and over the uneven ground; all and those of the once residence of Charles was so still and lonely that it required the James Fox on the other. The road is persuggestions of an active imagination to be- fectly embowered, and so close is the foliage lieve it had ever been the scene of contention that you have no idea of the beautiful view by flood and field. From the Abbey Bridge which awaits you, until leaving the statesthe richness of the meadow scenery is ex- | man's house to the left, you pass through a ceedingly refreshing, the grass is deep and sort of wicket gate on the right, and follow a verdant, as it cannot fail to be, lying so low, foot-path to where two magnificent trees crown and fertilized by perpetual moisture.
the hill; it is wisest to wait until passing along During their wide-spreading magnificence, the level ridge you arrive at the “ view point," the abbots of Chertsey erected a picturesque and there, spread around you in such a panchapel on the lovely hill of St. Anne: this orama as England only can show, and show was done somewhat about the year 1334. against the world for its extreme richness. Orleton, Bishop of Winchester, granted an in-On the left is Cooper's Hill, which Den ham, dulgence of forty days to such persons as that high-priest of “Local poetry," long ago should repair to, and contribute to the fabric made famous; in the bend just where it and its ornaments.
meets the plain, you see the towers of WindThere is nowhere a more delightful road, sor Castle; there is Harrow Hill, the sun
REMAINS OF CHERTSEY ABBEY. shining brightly on its tall church; a deep | campment," which forms the delight of many pall hovers over London, but you can see a toilsome antiquary. Beyond are the more the dome of St. Paul's looming through the distant eminences of the North Downs, and mist; nay, we have heard of those who have a tract of country extending into Kent. But told the hour of the day upon its broad-faced we have not yet explored the beauties of this clock, with the assistance of a good glass. our own hill of Chertsey ; truly, to do so, How beautifully the Thames winds! Ay! would take a day as long as that of its own there is the grand stand at Epsom, and there black cherry fair. Twickenham, delicious, soft, balmy Twicken- A path to the left, among the fern and ham; and Richmond Hill—a very queen of heather, leads to a well, famed for its healing beauty!
properties—it is called the Nun's Well; even Yonder, beyond the valley, are Foxes Hills now, the peasants believe that its waters are crowned with lofty pipes--and that is the a cure for diseases of the eye; the path is church at Staines, and as you turn, there again steep and dangerous, and it is far pleasanter is Cooper's Hill; Laleham seems spread as a to walk round the brow of the hill and overtribute at your feet, and there is no end to look the dense wood which conceals the well, the villages and mansions—the parks, and fringing the meadows of Thorpe, than to cottages like snow-drops in a parterre, and seek its tangled hiding-place in the dell. The church spires more than we can number; monks of old would be sorely perplexed if while close behind us are the stones piled they could arise, to account for the long line thickly one on the other—the only relics of of smoke which marks the passage of the the holy Chapel of St. Anne.
different trains along their railroads. But we How grandly the promontory of St. George's turn from them to enjoy a ramble round the Hill stands out-sheltering Weybridge, and brow of St. Anne's Hill; the coppice which forming a beautiful back-ground to Byfleet clothes the descent into the valley, is so thick, and the banks of the Way; not forgetting its that though it is intersected by many paths, ruins-a Roman encampment of two thon- you might lose yourself half-a-dozen times sand years age, and its modern ornaments of within an hour; if it be evening, the nightinrare trees, of which a generous nobleman has gales in the thickets of Monksgrove have commade common property, to be enjoyed daily menced their chorus, and the town of Chertby all who choose. At the foot of this richly | sey, down below, is seen to its full extent, its planted hill, is the beautiful park of Oatlands church tower toned into beauty by the rich -on the eve of becoming an assemblage of light of the setting sun, while through the trees villa-grounds. How pleasant to feel that we and holly thickets you obtain glimpses of the can account, by our own knowledge of that Guildford and Leatherhead hills, so softly blue, glowing mount, for all the shades formed by that they meet and mingle with the sky. the hills and hollows, and different growths Those who feel no interest in monkish of trees in the depths or heights of "the en- I chronicles, may reverence St. Anne's Hill,
GATE OF Fox's HOUSE. because of its having been the favorite resi-, there is a noble cedar planted by Mrs. Fox dence of Charles James Fox, the contempo- when only the size of a wand. The states. rary of Pitt and Burke and Sheridan and man's widow survived her husband more than Grattan, at a period when men felt strongly thirty-six years, but never outlived her friends and spoke eloquently. The site of the house or her faculties. There is a temple dedicated on the south-eastern site of the hill is ex- to Friendship, which was erected to perpetutremely beautiful, and it is much regretted in ate the coming of age of one of the late Lords the neighborhood that it finds so little favor Holland; on a pedestal ornamented by a vase, in the heart of its present noble proprietor. are inscribed some verses by General FitzpatThe grounds are laid out with much taste; | rick; another placed by Mrs. Fox to mark a
favorite spot where Mr. Fox loved to muse, retained her sympathy with the young, and is enriched by a quotation from the “ Flower put away the feelings and habits of old age and the Leaf,” concluded by two graceful with a determined hand, for it is said, when stanzas:
she was eighty she took lessons on the harp. “ Cheeerful in this sequestered bower,
The present generation remember personally
nothing of the great statesman; he has beIn converse with the friends he loved.
coine history to us, and we must look to hisAnd here these lines he oft would quote,
tory, garbled as it always is, and always will Pleased from his favorite poet's lay; When challenged by the warbler's note,
be, by the opinions and feelings of its wriThat breathed a song from every spray."
ters, to determine the position of Charles At the bottom of the garden is a grotto, James Fox in the annals of his country. which must have once possessed many at-Those who were admitted to his society have tractions, and above it there is a pretty little written with enthusiasm of his social qualiquaint chamber that was used as a tea-room, ties, and bestow equal praise on his brilliant when, according to the custom of the time, talents, his affability of manner, and the genethe English drank tea by daylight; it is adorn- rosity of his disposition. He was the third ed by painted glass windows; there are por- son of Henry Fox, afterwards Lord Holland, traits of the Prince of Wales and Mr. Fox, and his mother was the eldest daughter of when both were looking their best, and the Charles, second Duke of Richmond, and conbalcony in front commands a delicious view sequently great-granddaughter to Charles II. ; of the surrounding country.
the material descent is one of blotted royalty, The peasantry are still loud in their praise of which a man like Fox could not have of “Madam Fox;" and some remember with been proud. His academic course was ungratitude the education they received at her marked by any of those honors of which O.sschool, and love to tell how the old lady was ford men are so ambitious, and yet, like his drawn there at "feast times," to see how they great rival, William Pitt, he became a statesall looked in their new dresses. She certainly man before he was of age.
Fox's ARBOR. At St. Anne's Hill he enjoyed as many in- wished to be buried at Chertsey, but his retervals of repose and tranquillity as could fall mains were interred in Westminister Abbey. to a statesman's lot; in the time of wars and The brilliant Sheridan pronounced so eletumults, how he must have luxuriated in its gant an eulogium on his character, that it is delicious quiet, surrounded by friends who pleasant to think of it in those shades where, dearly loved him; and swayed only for good as we have said, he so often sought and found by the wife who (although it is known that repose: “When Mr. Fox ceased to live, the her early intimacy with him was such as pre- cause of private honor and friendship lost its vented her general recognition in society) ac- highest glory, public liberty its most uncording to the evidence of all who knew her, daunted champion, and general humanity its was the minister only to his better thoughts most active and ardent assertor. In bim was and nobler ambitions, and who weaned him united the most amiable disposition with the from nearly all the follies and vices which most firm and resolute spirit; the mildest stained his youth and earlier manhood. Va manners, with the most exalted mind. With rious causes led to his death, before age had regard to that great man it might, indeed, be added infirmities to disease. He died at Chis- well said, that in him the bravest heart and wick House, and his last words, addressed to most exalted mind sat upon the seat of genMrs. Fox were, “I die happy." It is said he tleness."