Obrazy na stronie

elegant shops, the Libraries, &c. The New Bath is a handsome edifice, containing medicated hot and cold baths. The Parades, called the Upper and Lower Walks, run parallel to each other, and are the favourite resort of visitors. On one side are the Public Rooms, opposite to which is an Orchestra, where a band of music plays at intervals; on the other is the Theatre, the Lower Assembly Rooms, and several good Lodging Houses. A Chapel, and many benevolent institutions, are established here. The Market is on Friday, and the population is about 2500.

The Springs were discovered in 1606, by Dudley, Lord North, and are of a chalybeate nature, nearly of equal strength with those of the German Spa. The fine pure air of this place, the delightful rides and walks with which the neighbourhood abounds, and the good hours kept by the company, probably contribute in a very material degree to the convalescence of invalids repairing hither.

WALMER is a well-built and pleasantly situated village, about one mile from Deal.' The Church is an ancient edifice, exhibiting some curious specimens of Norman architecture. The population of the parish in 1821 was 1568.

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

which stands close to the sea-shore, at a short distance from the village, is one of the fortresses erected by Henry VIII for the protection of this coast. It consists of an immense round central tower, with four semicircular outworks. A part of the moat has

been filled up and converted into a garden; and the buildings have undergone considerable alterations, to fit them for the residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. A fine view of the Downs and the French coast is commanded from the summit of this castle.

WESTERHAM, an ancient market town, seven miles from Sevenoaks, is pleasantly situated on the side of a hill, from the summit of which is an extensive prospect. The Church is a large and ancient edifice, with many monuments, the most remarkable of which is one in commemoration of Major General James Wolfe, who was born in this parish, January 11, 1726, and being the son of a general officer, who had distinguished himself under the Duke of Marlborough, he was introduced, at a very early age, to the army. Here his courage and abilities soon procured him the rank of Colonel; and when the expedition against Louisbourg was sent out in 1756, he was made Brigadier General, and entrusted with an important command under General Amherst. The share he had in the reduction of that fortress, induced the great William Pitt, then at the head of affairs in England, to raise him in his profession, and employ him in a still more important expedition; this was the attack on Quebec, the capital of the French settlements in North America, which he succeeded in gaining possession of, after an obstinate contest, on the 13th of September, 1759, but was unfortunately killed in the very moment of victory, being, then only in the thirty-third year of his age. His memory was honoured with every demonstration of respect and sorrow, and a monument was erected to him in Westminster Abbey, at the expense of the nation. The house in which he was born is called Quebec House, and a pillar has been raised here to his memory.

Another celebrated native of this place was Dr. Benjamin Hoadley, Bishop of Winchester, whose writings on controversial subjects excited great attention in the early part of the last century; he died in 1761, aged 65.

A Methodist chapel is established in this town, The population of the parish, in 1821, amounted to 1742 persons.

[blocks in formation]

WEST WICKHAM is a neat village 12 miles from London, with a small but venerable Church, standing near the centre, and having a fine painted window. In this place is West Wickham Court, formerly the residence of Gilbert West, author of Observations on the Resurrection of Christ, and other works. He was a man of genius, learning, and piety; and “here,” says Dr. Johnson," he was very often visited by Lyttelton and Pitt, who, when weary of faction and debates, used, at Wickham, to find books and quiet, a decent table, and literary conversation.” West Wickham had formerly a Market, which has been long discontinued. The population, in 1821, was 555. EAST WICKHAM is not far from Dartford, and is an insignificant place, with a small Church.

WHITSTABLE, a village on the coast, six miles from Canterbury, may be considered as the port of that city; and a good deal of business is done here in boat-building, the oyster-fishery, and other maritime occupations. A copperas work is carried on, not far from this place, and the rail-road from hence to Canterbury will prove of great advantage to both. The Church is about half a mile distant. The population, in 1821, was 1611, but an increase has since taken place.

WINGHAM, 62 miles from London, and six from Canterbury, had formerly a Palace of the Archbishops, and a College founded in 1286 by Archbishop Peckham, for a provost and six canons, which, being dissolved in 1547, was granted, with its possessions, to Sir Henry Palmer, and the remains of it, still called the College, now form a respectable residence. The Church contains several monuments. The inhabitants of the parish are about 1100.

WOOLWICH. This town is situated on the Thames, about nine - miles from London, and was formerly no more than an insignificant fishing village; the establishment of a Royal Dock Yard here by Henry VIII first raised .it into consequence, but its increase in population and wealth was more particularly rapid during the eighteenth century, in consequence of the erection of the Arsenal, and its becoming the head-quarters of the Royal Artillery, whose numbers were much augmented during the late war, As its inhabitants depended almost entirely on the government establishments for employment, the return of peace, and the consequent reduction of those establishments, have given a fatal blow to the prosperity of Woolwich, whose streets now appear comparatively deserted.

This town is very irregularly built; the Church is a plain brick edifice, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen, and consists of a nave, chancel and aisles, with a square tower at the west end. There are also several Dissenting Chapels; an Alms-house founded in 1562 by Sir Martin Bowes, for the reception of five poor widows; a School for the education of thirty girls; and another for eight orphan sons of shipwrights. A small Market is held here every Friday, and the population of the town, in 1821, was 17,008.

The Thames opposite to Woolwich is nearly a mile wide at high-water, and is brackish on the flood; a small part of the parish is on the Essex side of the river, but is included in the county of Kent. As the channel lies nearly due east and west for about three miles, the tide runs very rapidly; and, there being no shoals or sands, and seven or eight fathoms of water, the largest vessels may lie here in safety.

The Royal Dock Yard is about five furlongs in length, and one in breadth, including dry and wet docks, slips for building ships of the highest rate, mast-ponds, lofts and storehouses of every description, à new smith's shop, furnished with extensive machinery for the manufacture of anchors, &c. by steam; residences for the officers, and every requisite for conducting the business of the establishment on a scale of the first magnitude. Near the Yard is an extensive building, about 1200 feet in length, used as a rope walk, in which ropes and cables are made, of all sizes, some of the latter being 27 inches in circumference, and 130 fathoms long. The Royal Arsenal, which includes a space

of nearly 60 acres, is the grand national repository of every species of military and naval ordnance and stores; and the immense number of cannon and small arms which it contains must excite the asto. nishment of every visitor. Various piles of building are comprised within the walls, the principal of which are the Foundry, and the old Military Academy. The fornier of these was erected in the early part of the eighteenth century, on the recommendation of a person named Schalck, who chose this situation as the most eligible spot for the purpose, when it was determined to remove the foundry from Moorfields, in consequence of an accident (which he had foretold) in recasting some cannon taken by the Duke of Marlborough. Here are three furnaces, the largest of which is capable of melting 17 tons of metal at once; also a machine for boring cannon; and in an adjoining building are two other machines for the same purpose, and various workshops, in which every gun is proved, and properly finished; none but brass ordnance is made here. Near this edifice is the Laboratory, where cartridges, bombs, grenades, and every species of fireworks for the army and navy, are made up. The remainder of the Arsenal is occupied by a variety of workshops, store-houses, and offices.

At the southern extremity of Woolwich Common is

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

which was instituted, for the improvement of young men designed for the military profession, in 1719, although not brought into full operation until 1741.

« PoprzedniaDalej »