« PreviousContinue »
high hills of sand. Two miles east of Redcar is Marsk, in which parish it is situated. This village is on the coast, and contains a church with tower and stone spire, but mostly modernized; it contains also a very handsome house of James I. period, kept up and inhabited, and belonging to Lord Dundas. Behind Marsk is Skelton Castle, situated in very pleasing country, from which we went by a very pretty road to Upleatham, the residence of Dowager Lady Dundas, by woody and very beautiful scenery. In going from thence towards Stockton, there is a fine view of the range of hills behind Gisborough with the Rosebury Topping, and Wilton Castle seated on a hill-side embosomed in wood. Stockton is approached by a handsome bridge over the Tees; it is a very handsome town, having one street of very considerable width, and consisting of very well built houses. The street is indeed wider, perhaps, than any other in a provincial town. The church is a modern brick building of large dimensions, and handsomely fitted up with organ, galleries, &c., but containing nothing particularly worthy of notice.
A small town in a valley, with good wide streets. The church is a modern edifice, excepting the tower and a portion of the wall on the north side. The body is Italian, neatly fitted up, with an organ. This tower is rectilinear, embattled, and crowned by four small crocketed pinnacles. The surrounding country is very beautiful, and on the south side is a high and steep range of hills which we had to pass on our road to Helmsley.
The road to Helmsley is for the most part wild and romantic; the distance is about twenty miles, and the road lies for some way, after passing the first ridge of hill, through a wild and beautiful valley; the road is full of steep hills, there are many extensive prospects, and several very picturesque scenes. On approaching Helmsley the view over Duncombe Park and its splendid woods is most enchanting.
Two miles short of Helmsley we left the carriage and walked three-quarters of a mile to the right to Rivaulx
Abbey, which lies in a deep and beautiful valley, surrounded with luxuriant wood, and itself presenting a beautful scene, being full of trees, interspersed with cottages, and a rapid small river running at the bottom. The ruins are most picturesque, and a considerable portion of the choir and transept remains, also much of the refectory. In the choir there is a good deal of resemblance to Whitby, but the work is perhaps of rather an earlier period. The character of the choir is very fine E. E., much resembling Salisbury Cathedral. The choir is quite perfect save only the roof. There are seven very fine pointed arches on each side, with lozenge piers formed of clustered shafts with plain banded capitals. The triforium is good, and consists in each compartment of two arches (with a pierced quatrefoil between their heads) springing from clustered shafts. These arches are each subdivided by a central shaft into two lights with quatrefoils between the heads. It varies from the triforium at Whitby in not being contained under a larger arch embracing the whole. This arrangement is probably earlier. The mouldings are richly covered with the toothed ornament. clerestory is plainer than in Whitby, having three lancet arches, the central one much the highest and largest, and pierced by two lights for windows. The east end has a window formed of three high lancet lights, the centre being the highest, having deep mouldings and shafts with bell capitals. On each side of the head of the central lancet is a circle with a pierced quatrofoil. The mouldings are deep, and enriched with toothed ornament. Beneath the east window (which rests on a string forming a continuation of that of the triforium) are five lancet arches of equal height, but the alternate ones wider, and pierced for windows, which is rather singular. The ribs supporting the groining rest upon three clustered shafts, which in the two western compartments rest upon brackets placed in the space between the main arch heads. In the other part, they are upon the string of the triforium. Only the eastern arch of the tower remains, with clustered shafts not brought down to the ground, but resting on brackets against the pier wall. Part of the tower walls remains over the eastern arch, having two lancet windows. The rest of the tower and north and south arches are destroyed. The walls of the choir's aisle are destroyed. The clerestory on the north side presents
externally two equal arches, enriched with chevron work on the south side. The east end is beautifully mantled with ivy, and has octagonal buttresses. The eastern part of the transept is of much the same character with the choir, but the western portion is much earlier, and the west wall has some parts decidedly Norman. It has an eastern aisle, which opens to it by three fine pointed arches with deep architrave mouldings, with the outer dripstone of toothed ornament. The piers are very good, exactly resembling those of the choir. The triforium has two arches with deep mouldings and clustered shafts, and profusion of toothed ornament; between the heads is a circle pierced by a quatrefoil. The clerestory windows have a single lancet light, resembling the others. There is a great quantity of toothed ornament about the building. The groined ceiling of the aisle of the north transept remains. The ends of each transept are flanked by square turrets and plain stone pyramids; and have large windows of three lancet lights. The south transept has in the eastern part a clerestory of richer description, having three lancet arches, with fine mouldings and shafts with profusion of toothed ornament. The west wall of the north transept has flat buttresses and the lower windows Norman, with dripstones continued in a string along the front.* The triforium windows present externally a single lancet each with dripstone enriched with nail-head ornament. The clerestory has three arches, the central one only pierced for a window and of lancet form, the two side ones smaller and trefoiled; all three have the dripstone or outer moulding enriched with toothed ornament. The south transept has the windows, both in the lower stage and of triforium, Norman, and buttresses quite flat. The clerestory windows are pointed, and have one lancet light, moulded and enriched as the others.
The refectory and all the buildings belonging to the abbey were situate on the south side. There is in the west wall of south transept, under the windows, a doorway with elliptical arch, probably leading to the cloisters. There are considerable remains of the abbey buildings, but all excepting the refectory are so much ruined that it is difficult to make out
3 The stone of which the abbey is built is remarkably fine and durable.
4 N. B. In the north transept the but
tress contracts in width in the triforium story, in the south it is of equal size the whole way up.
a regular plan. They are, however, highly picturesque, and interspersed with ivy of the most luxuriant growth. They are for the most part Early English, but there is one Norman door enriched with curious sculpture. The refectory is a large oblong building of Early English character. It has a range of lancet arches all round it, alternately pierced for windows, and having shafts with rich foliated capitals. There are traces of groining to the lower portion, which was probably a kind of crypt. In the lower stage on the north side runs a fine tier of semicircular arches of Norman character springing from capitals of shafts having rude foliage. There is also a curious door, having an obtuse arch with deep mouldings and shafts; but having within the obtuse arch another with trefoil head and a large space above the head of it.5
Helmsley is a small town most pleasantly situated amidst very beautiful scenery, well varied with wood, hill and dale; the magnificent park of Lord Feversham adjoins the town. The streets are wide and clean, some with watercourses running in them, and there is one large area for the marketplace. The houses are mostly neat, and built of stone, but few are of a bettermost description, and there is great air of quietness through the place. The church is a large and handsome building, consisting of a nave with north aisle, north and south transepts, and chancel. At the west end of the nave is a lofty tower, of which the two lower stories are Early English, and divided by strings, having buttresses with flat faces, and in the second story are double lancet windows. The upper portion has a large belfry window of rectilinear character, three lights and a transom. parapet at the top is rather singular, being without a battlement, but surmounted by eight small pinnacles, the intermediate spaces being pierced each with a quatrefoil. The tower opens to the nave by a pointed arch springing from Early English shafts. The interior of the church is spacious and handsome, though much disfigured by a general thick
5 The situation of this abbey is the the ruins. most delightful possible, and the scenery harmonizes well with the character of
6 There are some houses in Helmsley of wood and plaster as in Cheshire.
coat of whitewash. The nave has on the north side four sharp-pointed arches springing from piers of four clustered shafts, having square capitals enriched with fine foliage. The arches themselves are very plain and without mouldings. The transepts open by plain pointed arches. The windows north of the nave are curvilinear, on the south rectilinear. The south transept has a large rectilinear window of five lights. In the north aisle is a water drain of Early English work, with a triangular canopy over it. The arch to the chancel is Norman, with highly enriched shafts, covered with chevron and rope ornaments. There are some Norman windows in the chancel and one of curvilinear design. The south door is Norman; the east window rectilinear, of five lights. There is some wood screen work in the chancel, and ancient burnt tiles within the altar rails. The north side of the nave and transept has no battlement, but the chancel and all the south front are embattled. (On the west side of the south transept is one Norman window.) Under the battlement on the south side is a cornice of heads and other
E. E. ornaments. The south porch had once a pointed gable, which is altered now to a plain battlement, but it is well restored in a plain rectilinear style. Within it is a fine Norman door, having four bands of moulding, and shafts, some of which are richly sculptured; their capitals are some plain, others richly worked. The font at the west end of the nave is an octagonal basin on a round pillar surrounded with E. E. shafts. There is a brass on the nave, representing a man and woman, also a barrel organ and eight bells. The ruins of Helmsley Castle stand within the grounds of Duncombe Park near the entrance from the town. It has the two outer walls remaining, though much shattered in part; they are strengthened by round towers at intervals. The gateway is good and tolerably perfect, having an entrance of E. E. character, formed by an acute pointed arch springing from brackets. The vaulted ceiling within the arched entrance is strong and bold, having large stone ribs. The area within the wall is extensive. Of the keep tower, which is large and of square form, one side is perfect, but the other entirely destroyed. It is flanked at the angles by square turrets, and has several long lancet windows. The walls are very thick. There is another portion remaining which appears to be of the age of Elizabeth, having large