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churches amongst the downs-Potterne, and Bishops Cannings are both fine examples on a considerable scale. But the glory of our county is Salisbury. There a Cathedral with all its complicated yet harmonious parts has been designed and executed (except the steeple), whilst the style was in its purity. That is to say when Gothic architecture had attained, and before it began to lose, its utmost grace and delicacy. It has been said (by Mr Beresford Hope, I believe) that Early English is rather prim: and there has been a disposition lately shewn to adulterate it with Early French. I regret it. In the very primness there is a restrained and maidenly grace, and the Early French has, particularly in the capitals, never attained to a pure Gothic development which entirely ceases to suggest that idea of debased Corinthian, which results from the real history of its Romanesque origin. Of Salisbury, I may quote the words of Rickman:-"In this style we have the great advantage of one building remaining, worked in its best manner, of great size, and in excellent preservation; this is Salisbury Cathedral, and it gives a very high idea of the great improvement of this style on the Norman, magnificent without rudeness, and rich though simple, it is one uniform whole. The west front is ornamented, but by no means loaded, and the appearance of the north side is perhaps equal to the side of any Cathedral in England." The west front, however, with all its beauty, has the fault of being in part a false front. But the glory of this Cathedral, its spire, belongs to a later date. A little carving in the form of battlement, just above the ridge of the roof appears to mark the original height of the tower. Whether it was intended to end abruptly, as Westminster and Beverley now do, or to have been completed in lighter material, like old St. Pauls and some foreign buildings, e.g. Rouen before the fire, I know not. But the proportion of the whole is in such admirable harmony, that it is difficult not to imagine with Rickman, that though of later execution, it belongs to the original design; yet I can hardly believe it. The general lightness of proportion, in this style, whilst it suggests height to the eye, makes it scarcely practicable to place a very high tower on the legs, at the intersection. The various flying buttresses by which the steeple at Salisbury is

supported, are highly interesting, but are clearly afterthoughts. The much less graceful expedients by which the decorated towers of Hereford and Wells are placed on their Early English supports, show, as well as Westminster and Beverley, that the omission was by no means singular among the great churches of the age. Early English work is chiefly to be looked for in chancels, except in the down parishes, where there has been less increase of population ;1 in the towns, and generally in the vale country, the increase of population is usually marked by the re-building of naves in the perpendicular style; and the increase of wealth, particularly from the clothing trade, by the annexed aisles and chapels, usually late in that style, often rich in execution, but inferior in design.

Of the decorated style I am not prepared to name a building on a great scale in the county. There are everywhere numerous insertions, and other fragmentary parts, of which the windows, buttresses, and parapets, at Malmsbury Abbey furnish fine specimens.

The very interesting Collegiate Church of Heytesbury, just restored, shews some fine building transitional from the Early English. Such transition also appears in the early part of Lacock Abbey. The choir of Edington is transitional to perpendicular. In this neighbourhood I passed to-day Great Bedwyn Church, which appears to be chiefly a good decorated building.

It has sometimes occurred to me (though I only throw it out as a crude speculation) that there must have been a time in the 14th century when some of our artists were impressed with a feeling probably derived from the antique in Italy. In great buildings, not in this county, we have the low proportions of Exeter; the members which we can hardly distinguish from Architrave, Frieze, and Cornice, on the Chapter House and Choir at Wells. There was a great reaction from the undercut mouldings of the former style, to a moulding in form something resembling, and in position identical with, the classical Ovolo. I am unable to name conspicuous churches exhibiting this. It has happened to strike me in the

1 The Excursion to Aldbourne shewed the meeting a very pure and chaste specimen of the emergence of this style out of the Norman.

little church of Hilperton before its restoration, and in the aisle arches at Christian Malford.

At Bradenstoke are the remains of a magnificent decorated timber roof of the Refectory, not visible as a whole by reason of floors introduced, but by the same reason readily accessible to those who may desire to make minute examination.

But I must be more concise. The perpendicular ecclesiastical buildings of our county are not to me of first-rate interest, except as proving by the rebuilding of naves, and perhaps by chapels in the great vale parishes, the increased population and wealth in the 15th century. Of the alterations of earlier buildings, I will only mention the large church at Westbury, originally Norman but perpendicularized, something in the spirit of Wykeham's great work at Winchester. I will add the bold and stately church of Steeple Ashton, the fine but late tower of St. Peter's, Marlborough, and the very fine but late tower of St. Sampson, Cricklade.

But our domestic buildings of the Tudor period are of endless interest. I do not now speak of large and rich edifices only, but of the tradition of a tolerably pure manipulation of their materials surviving in some instances even to our own day, in the freestone districts of the west of the county. In the great parish of Corsham particularly (where it is said that the tenure in ancient demesne kept up a wealthy class of yeoman), but also in the neighbouring country, they have, not only in the farm houses, but in the cottages good models before their eyes.

Of great Tudor mansions, I will only mention the old house at Wraxall, with its gatehouse, its fine hall, and its other members, both earlier and later, and the grand repose characteristic of the noble house at Littlecot. Whilst we sympathise with the reasons which preclude our access to that without which our meeting here is the Tragedy of Hamlet, the part of Hamlet being unavoidably omitted, we see here the condemnation of the bristling elevations and great proportions of height to length, now called Elizabethan. It is indeed difficult to get sufficient height of rooms in that style in a building of little length of front. But that is surely not so much a reason for disfiguring the style, as for not attempting it in buildings where you will have to disfigure it.

After a cordial vote of thanks to Sir JOHN AWDRY for his very able address, moved by Rev. A. C. Smith, and carried by acclamation, the President called upon Mr. W. L. BARKER to read a paper on "Hungerford," which that gentleman did to the entire satisfaction of the meeting: and for which at its conclusion Sir John Awdry thanked him in the name of the Society. The paper will be found in another part of the Magazine.

The members then proceeded to inspect the Museum, and afterwards the church, and various objects of interest in the town.


The Society's dinner took place in a large tent erected at the back of the Bear Hotel. The chair was occupied by the President. After the customary loyal toasts, the healths of the Bishop and Clergy of the two Dioceses of Oxford and Salisbury, in the confines of which they were then assembled, were given by the President, and acknowledged by the Vicar of Hungerford, Rev. T. B. Anstice, who took the opportunity of welcoming the Society very heartily to Hungerford.

To the toast of the Army, Navy, Militia, Yeomanry, and Volunteers, Major Seymour was called upon to respond for the first portion, as connected with several branches of the service; and Capt. Cherry for the Volunteers. The latter gentleman concluded by giving the health of the President, wherein he warmly eulogized the working of the Society, and called special attention to the admirable address delivered that morning from the chair.

Sir John Awdry in returning thanks for the compliment paid him, proposed the healths of the Honorary Secretaries, Rev. A. C. Smith and Mr. Cunnington, both of whom replied.

The Local Committee and the Secretary of the Meeting, Mr. H. E. Astley, was the next toast, whose name was received with especial favour, as upon his exertions so much of the successful arrangements for the meeting had depended: and who had also consented to act for the Society as permanent Local Secretary at Hungerford.

Mr. Barker, as Honorary Curator to the Museum; and Mr.

Walker, as the High Constable of Hungerford, were also duly remembered and severally returned thanks.


At half-past seven, the company re-assembled at the Town-Hall, under the presidency of Sir John Awdry, when Mr. Henry Godwin, of Newbury, read an extremely interesting paper, on "a recent visit to Wroxeter, the ancient city of Uriconium;" exemplifying his subject with some admirable ground plans and other views. Rev. A. C. Smith read a paper on the "earth work enclosures on the downs supposed to be British cattle pens," which he also illustrated with diagrams; and which gave rise to an interesting discussion; Rev. Prebendary Morrice suggesting that such an earthwork in his own neighbourhood, perched on lofty ground near the Deverill valley, above a British village, and at no great distance from two camps, might be a telegraph station, where a careful observation of the neighbourhood was kept up, and information. given to those inhabiting the village and camp. Mr. W. H. Black, F. S. A., then addressed the meeting upon "certain marked stones in Wiltshire," pointing out what he considered hollows or cups artificially cut in certain stones, near Marden, in the Pewsey vale.


The archæologists left Hungerford this morning for an excursion in the Ramsbury and Aldbourne valleys. Halting at Chilton to visit the interesting church; and opposite the old house at Littlecote, to examine the outline of that fine specimen of Elizabethan architecture, the excursionists drove through Ramsbury to the Manor House, where this substantial dwelling, the work of Inigo Jones, and the surrounding grounds and water were extolled amidst regrets that it should be uninhabited. On arriving at the Parish Church of Ramsbury, the party was joined by Mr. Roberts, the Secretary to the Archæological Association in London, who very kindly gave a masterly description of the church, derived entirely from its architecture; and pointed out many features of interest in the building. The Darell Chapel also was closely examined,

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