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of the central tower, and the consequent altering of the whole character of the Church, though-as he remarked-it ought in justice to the late Mr. Street to be said that he was at first adverse to the idea of carrying out this alteration, but was induced subsequently by those who formed the restoration committee to abandon his opposition.

From this point the party walked to the picturesque group of ALMSHOUSES bearing the arms of Sir Edward Hungerford and his wife, Margaret Halliday, and the date 1668. The arrangement of the buildings at the back, with a long penthouse resembling a cloister opening into a series of tiny walled gardens-one for each house-irresistably reminds one of the arrangement of the great Carthusian houses on the Continent. The hall-chapel, too, is singularly interesting, retaining, as it does, its finely-carved oak gallery, and other fittings, seats round the walls, and pulpit with an oaken hand to serve as candlestick-all of them contemporary with the building itself, though the pulpit looks as if it had once stood on a pedestal.

Unfortunately the occupier of the COURT was unable to receive the Society, but by the kindness of SIR JOHN DICKSON POYNDER tea was provided at HARTHAM, and the Members, conveyed thither in carriages, spent a very pleasant hour in wandering through the house, the gardens, and the greenhouses, returning to Corsham for the ANNIVERSARY DINNER, which was held at the Methuen Arms. At this the President of the Society, SIR HENRY BRUCE MEUX, Bart., took the chair. The speeches were of no great length, and after dinner the party adjourned to the Town Hall, for the evening Meeting, the room, a fine spacious one, having been nicely decorated with palms and foliage plants kindly sent for the purpose from Hartham. THE PRESIDENT, having taken the chair, called upon MR. W. HEWARD BELL, who apologised for not having had time to prepare a paper on the geology of Corsham, owing to recent all-absorbing events. He however said a few words on the subject, giving a general sketch of the nature and extent of the beds from which the famous freestone is extracted.

The REV. W. GILCHRIST CLARK followed with a paper on the

"Suppression of the Monastic Houses of Wiltshire," full of valuable material, which will be found at a later page of the Magazine. The company-which numbered thirty-one-then dispersed.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 1ST.

The central attraction of this day's excursion was CASTLE COMBE, where the number of Members was larger than at any other point of the route, between fifty and sixty sitting down to the luncheon, so generously given by MR. LOWNDES in a tent pitched in his beautiful grounds. But, though Castle Combe was the central point, the whole route was full of objects of interest, to a great extent quite unknown to dwellers in other parts of Wiltshire. Starting from the Town Hall at 9.30, the first stoppage was at SHELDON, now and probably for two centuries past a farm-house, but once one of the manors of Chippenham and the seat of the Gascelyne family. The very remarkable porch of the original house, of late thirteenth century date, with its vaulted roof and parvise over it, still remains intact, though it shows dangerous signs of decay in the upper part of the walls. It is greatly to be hoped that this singularly interesting example of domestic Gothic -in its kind almost unrivalled in the County of Wilts, may receive the attention and care that it certainly merits before its condition. becomes worse than it is at present. The little private Chapel of the fifteenth century-now degraded to a stable-is also an unusual feature in Wiltshire.

From this the carriages proceeded past the remains of Sir Gilbert Prynne's house at ALLINGTON, now converted into a barn, and the very picturesque front of BULIDGE HOUSE, to YATTON KEYNELL. Here the CHURCH was first visited, the most notable features of which are the tower with its panelled upper story, the west porch, and the fine stone chancel screen. The party afterwards strolled through the rectory garden with its quaint little eighteenth century summer-house of brick, similar to others at Bulidge and elsewhere in this neighbourhood, and then walked down to the MANOR HOUSE, the front of which-dated 1659, is singularly pleasing in design. From this point the carriages drove to CASTLE COMBE, where they

landed the party close to the market cross, which gives such an unusual character to the village. The CHURCH was thoroughly inspected under the guidance of MR. BRAKSPEAR, who acted as cicerone throughout the day. The tower-a very beautiful onewas happily left untouched at the "restoration," when the screens were swept away, and the present poor rose window over the chancel arch was recklessly substituted for the original five or six-light window of entirely different character. A few of the Members ascended the tower and were amply repaid, not so much by the view of the village and valley, though that is worth seeing, as by the nearer sight of the charming little spire which crowns the stair-turret and still contains a small medieval bell. Nothing more graceful than this was to be seen during this whole excursion. The MANOR HOUSE and its grounds occupying a position which is certainly unique among Wiltshire residences for the natural beauty of its surroundings, was thrown open in the most hospitable way by MR. LOWNDES. The gardens, the pannelling, the pictures, and the many other objects of interest in the house itself, the group of Roman architectural fragments from North Wraxall, preserved on the lawn, the large sarcophagus from the same place, and the bell-turret from the Church of Biddeston St. Peter's, destroyed in 1840, were all inspected before it was time to sit down to the sumptuous lunch to which MR. LOWNDES had invited the Society in a tent erected on the lawn. On its conclusion MR. LOWNDES was warmly thanked by the President, SIR H. B. MEUX, in the name of the Society, for his hospitality.

Entering the carriages again the route lay through the beautiful park up to the old Roman Road from Cirencester to Bath-the FOSSWAY-close to which stands the remarkable cromlech known as LUGBURY, the top stone of which was fallen and in its present condition in Aubrey's time. Only two of its upright supports remain, though it probably once had more. It stands at one end of a long barrow, much reduced in height by long-continued ploughing (now happily forbidden), of which it seems probable that it may once have formed the sepulchral chamber. MR. LOWNDES gave the history of its exploration by Sir Richard Colt

Hoare and subsequently by Mr. Scrope. From this point the Members walked along the lane, which is said to be an ancient British trackway, to the junction of the Sherston, Littleton Drew, and Alderton Roads, where the carriages again met them and went on to NETTLETON CHURCH, which is full of interest, the noble tower with panelled belfry stage and perforated slabs in the belfry windows giving it a very rich appearance. This and the north porch are the most conspicuous external features, whilst internally the Norman font, the stone pulpit (entered by a special staircase in the wall), and more especially the nave arcade, the capitals of which are a kind of imitation Norman, of fourteenth century date, are worthy of notice.

WEST KINGTON CHURCH, the next place visited, has another tower of the same type as Yatton Keynell and Nettleton-with panelled belfry stage-a type elsewhere rare in Wiltshire. The Church itself has been re-built, and the only thing of special interest is the pulpit of oak, from which Bishop Latimer preached. Proceeding down the steep side of the combe to the village below, on foot, the party again joined the carriages and drove on to NORTH WRAXALL CHURCH, where a fine Norman doorway (with a modern figure in the centre of the tympanum) and a curious heraldic pedigree on the ceiling of the Methuen Chapel of 1795 are among the chief objects of interest. From here the road lay through the remarkably beautiful scenery about Ford-with a distant view of Bury Camp-to BIDDESTON, where the CHURCH, with its Norman doorway and font and picturesque bell-turret, was inspected before the party adjourned to the MANOR HOUSE, where they were most kindly received by MR. and MRS. BLAKE, tea being laid out in the hall, and the whole of the house, with its fine panelled rooms and fireplaces, of the seventeenth century, thrown open to the visitors. Before leaving MR. MEDLICOTT expressed the thanks of the Society to the host and hostess for this unexpected and much-appreciated hospitality.

Corsham was reached about 7 o'clock, after as pleasant a day, perhaps, as the Society has ever spent. The weather was lovely— it was neither too hot nor too cold; the times had been excellently

arranged, so that there was no undue hurry; Castle Combe was looking its best; the deep combes and steep hill-sides of the country about West Kington and North Wraxall, so unlike the rest of Wiltshire, was a surprise to many who had never seen this corner of the county before; the Churches displayed a considerable variety of architecture; and the old houses were exceptionally numerous and interesting.

At the evening meeting, at 8.30, there was again a somewhat small attendance-twenty-eight being present when MR.C.H.TALBOT read his paper on "Recent Discoveries at Lacock Abbey,” which was admirably illustrated by a beautiful series of photographs taken by Mr. Sidney Brakspear-so that the whole work of discovering and unblocking the chapter-house door and windows, &c., &c., went on step by step before the eyes of the andience; and the loving care with which the owner of Lacock Abbey treats the building was abundantly manifested.

At the conclusion MR. H. E. MEDLICOTT, who presided-the President having left during the afternoon-moved a very hearty vote of thanks to the Local Committee for the very kind way in which the Society had been received at Corsham, and especially to Mr. H. Brakspear, the Local Secretary, upon whom the whole brunt of the arrangements had fallen; to Mr. Lowndes for his hospitality and also for the many other ways in which he had taken much trouble to make the Meeting a success; and to Sir J. Dickson Poynder, Bart., M.P., for his kindness in lending a break and pair of horses to the Society both on Wednesday and Thursday, and for the hospitality offered to the Members at Hartham on Wednesday afternoon. MR. BELL seconded the vote of thanks; which was responded to by MR. MAYO and MR. BRAKSPEAR, on behalf of the Local Committee.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 2ND.

Leaving the Town Hall at 9.15 the first stoppage was at LACOCK, where the grand fourteenth century BARN of the Abbey was inspected before the party moved on to the CHURCH. Here MR. TALBOT read some notes on the building and afterwards showed

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