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when the tide is out; and the neighbourhood abounds, in every direction, with picturesque hills and vales, exhibiting diversified, but always charming scenery.
The modern buildings of Worthing form several fine and well-paved streets, lined with handsome shops, and commodious Hotels, Boarding and Lodging-houses. Here are also elegant Baths, of the usual description; well-supplied Libraries and Readingrooms; and a neat Theatre, which is open during the season, with a respectable company.
The Chapel of Ease (the parish church of Broadwater being more than a mile distant) is a handsome building, with a fine Ionic portico; the interior is neatly fitted up, and has a fine-toned organ. Methodists and Calvinists have each their respective places of worship in this town; and here is a National School for the instruction of 100 boys, and the like number of girls; an Infant School, recently established; and a Savings' Bank. The Market is open every day, but the principal market-day is Saturday; and two annual Fairs are held here. The population, in 1821, was 3725; but a considerable increase has doubtless taken place since that period; and the number of permanent inhabitants cannot now be over-rated at 5000, while the temporary visitants have increased to a surprising extent.
One of the most favourite excursions from Worthing is to Highdown Hill, about four miles westward, the ascent to which is over a verdant carpet, and while every turn discloses some new beauty, the length and difficulty of the way is forgotten, and when the summit is gained, the exertion is rewarded by one of the most beautiful and extensive views which can be beheld in any part of the kingdom. On one hand the eye glances over the Channel, and rests on the chalky cliffs of the Isle of Wight, emerging from the sea; on the other the richly-varied beauties of luxuriant cultivation, wood-crowned hills, elegant mansions and parks, and rural villages, with their humble fanes, are spread in gay profusion. The distant spire of Chichester Cathedral, and the lofty turrets of Arundel Castle, are seen in the west, while Worthing lies below, and Brighton and Rottingdean, with their cliffs, embellish the eastern distance.
This lovely spot was long the residence of a miller
named John Oliver, who conceived such a fondness for it as to wish to make it his final resting-place. He accordingly obtained from the proprietor of the ground a grant of about 12 feet square, within a short distance of his mill, on which he caused a plain tomb to be erected, bearing on the top the following lines:
"For the reception of the Body of John Oliver when deceased. To the Will of God. Granted by W. W. Richardson, Esq. 1766." Around the sides are various allegorical figures; every vacancy is filled with texts of Scripture; and on the headstone is an inscription, in verse, by himself, in justification of his choice of unhallowed ground for interment.
Many years before his death the Miller had caused his coffin to be made, and it was deposited beneath his bed; he afterwards had a wooden shed erected near the tomb, to which the coffin was removed; and this shed he likewise embellished with "many au holy text;" and some lines, which, if they have no pretensions to poetry, are commendable for their piety, and the love of beautiful nature which runs through them. Thirty-seven years after the erection of his tomb, and in the 84th year of his age, the Miller was called to occupy it; and his funeral obsequies were attended by a large number of persons, to whom his singularities, and long familiarization with death had rendered him an object of interest. He is stated to have been an honest, worthy, and charitable man; and if but a fiftieth part of the visitants to his tomb derive from it the sincere determination to imitate his virtues, their pilgrimage will be productive of more benefit to the world than it has received from the Holy House of Loretto, or the shrine of St. Thomas at Canterbury. The shed in which the coffin was suspended, still remains, and is at present used for the accommodation of tea parties, who are supplied with the necessary articles from the mill, and generally attended by an elderly woman, who “unlocks her stores of knowledge," and edifies the company with the history of John Oliver.
END OF THE DESCRIPTION OF SUSSEX.
HAMPSHIRE is bounded on the north by Berkshire; on the west by Wiltshire and Dorsetshire; on the south by the British Channel; and on the east by Surrey and Sussex; extending from north to south about 55 miles, from east to west about 40, and containing nearly 1500 square miles. It is divided into 39 hundreds; has one city, 29 market-towns, and about 1000 villages and hamlets. It is represented in Parliament by 26 members, (including six for the Isle of Wight), and the population, in 1821, was 283,298 persons. This County includes the neighbouring Isle of Wight, and the more distant Islands of Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, and Sark, which, in a geographical view, belong to France; but have, during more than seven centuries, formed a part of the English dominions.
The surface of Hampshire is beautifully varied; gentle hills and fruitful valleys, sprinkled with numerous villages, adorned with handsome mansions, and interspersed with extensive woodlands, are beheld on all sides; and the greater portion of the land is either cultivated, or forms a part of the Forests by which this county is distinguished; large tracts of heath, and waste land, however, are still found towards the western border.
The principal part of the Soil of Hampshire is of a chalky nature, and a ridge of chalk hills or downs extends nearly across the county from east to west. Towards Berkshire the land is very productive, and great quantities of corn are raised here; it is also extremely favourable to the growth of timber, especially the oak and the elm. From the neighbourhood of Basingstoke a beautiful valley extends, in a direction nearly south-west, to a short distance from Southampton, and not far from hence
commences the New Forest, which occupies almost the whole remainder of the county to its western boundary. Towards the Sussex border, round Farnham and Warnford, considerable numbers of beech trees are found on the chalky hills; near Petersfield are extensive downs; and to the east of Alton, and thence to the Surrey side, are large plantations of hops, which, although grown in the immediate vicinity of Farnham, and said to be of equal excellence, generally produce a much lower price than those having the mark of that town, in consequence of the strong prejudice in favour of the latter.
Hampshire has but few Mineral productions; on the cliffs along the coast, especially in the neighbourhood of Lymington and Christchurch, iron ore and flints are found, containing various kinds of fossil shells, some of which are extremely curious, and have been described by Mr. Brander in a work called "Fossilia Hantoniensia," published in 1766. Copperas stone was formerly collected on the shores of the Isle of Wight; but this practice has ceased. Fine clay, convertible into excellent white bricks, is found in many parts of the county; and a vein of white sand, near Alum Bay, is much used in the glass-houses of Liverpool, Bristol, &c.
As an agricultural county, Hampshire ranks high; it produces excellent wheat; abundance of hay, especially from the water-meadows, which are extensive, and very skilfully managed; and barley, peas, rye, grass, trefoil, saintfoin and clover are also much cultivated. The breeding of sheep and hogs forms a considerable occupation in this county; the former are generally kept in very large flocks, and fed on the Downs. The hogs, which acquire an enormous size, are kept principally in the vicinity of the Forests, where they feed on acorns and beech-mast, which is said to give firmness and delicacy to their flesh, and the bacon made from them is well-known, and highly esteemed. In the Forests are likewise bred many horses, which are generally small, and in poor condition; and the cows are not remarkable for their excellence. Bees are hived in considerable numbers, especially near the Downs, and their honey is in great repute for its fine flavour.
A distinguishing feature of Hampshire is its extensive Forests, which are three in number; that of Alice Holt and Woolmer is divided into two parts by the intervention of private property; it is situated on the eastern side of the county, and contains upwards of 15,000 acres, of which nearly 9000 are the property of the crown. The Forest of Bere stretches northward from the Portsdown Hills, and comprises about 16,000 acres; a part of it is enclosed, but it still contains a large number of deer, and has a warden, keepers, &c. The New Forest, extending over almost the whole of the south-western portion of the county, contains more than 92,000 acres, and will be found more fully described in a subsequent page. These forests supply great quantities of oak for the purposes of the Royal Navy, but they have been culpably neglected, no care having been taken to make new plantations, and the quantity of timber has consequently been much reduced.
Hampshire has several considerable Rivers, and many smaller streams, within its limits. The Itchin sometimes called the Alre, which rises near the centre of the county, not far from Alresford, passes from thence to Winchester, and falls into Southampton Water, about half a mile from that town. The Avon has its source in Wiltshire, and enters this county near Fordingbridge. Passing Ringwood, it flows through a flat district to Christchurch; and receiving in that neighbourhood the waters of the Stour, enters, the Channel in Christchurch Bay. The Boldre Water, and the Ex, both rise in the New Forest; the former falls into the sea near Lymington, and the latter a little below Exbury. The Anton rises near Andover, and being joined by the Tese or Test, passes Stockbridge and Romsey, receives several small streams near Redbridge, and forms the head of that beautiful bay called Southampton Water. In addition to the above, several Canals have been formed to facilitate the communication with the adjoining counties. The Basingstoke Canal extends from that town, by a course of 44 miles, to the river Wey in Surrey, by which means a passage to London is obtained. The Andover and Redbridge Canal is of great convenience to the interior of the county, as it communicates on one hand