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inent without the seclusion of a village. Preston formerly afforded such a retreat; but that town is now immersed in trade; and Lancaster, though not much resorted to, is almost the only remaining place within the limits of the palatinate where the gentry of the old school can congregate, without seeing themselves outstripped by a new race, grown rich and powerful through the natural consequences of a successful industry.”
The tone of society in Lancaster is admitted to be superior to that of most towns in the county. This is owing in some measure to causes adverted to in the preceding remarks, and in part to the presence of so many of the country gentry and the bar during Assize times. At the period when the West India trade flourished Lancaster was renowned for splendid hospitality. Since the period of commercial depression to which we have before alluded the means of sustaining this hospitality have been much crippled, but something more than a trace of so honorable a characteristic is displayed at the entertainments of the wealthier classes. The observant stranger may detect an air of consciousness of the past dignity and importance of the town running through all classes, and lending something of a grace to social intercourse. The working classes are orderly, industrious, and respectful in their demeanour, and the town is very rarely disgraced by an act of popular violence. The richer and more respectable classes on their part are extremely charitable; and on any occasion of popular want and suffering display a sympathy and liberality highly creditable to the town.
Is a township containing about eighteen hundred inhabitants, and is divided from Lancaster by the river Lune. The name of Schertune is found in Domesday Book, and ever since the Conquest the history of this village has been identified with that of the parent town. Skerton consists of two streets: one broad and clean, through which the high road passes to the north; the other dirty, ill-paved, and irregular, stretching along the Skerton bank of the river. It contains a large and commodious church, a little distance from the bridge to the right of the turnpike road; this was built in 1833, the architect being E. Sharpe, esq. The Incumbent Minister is the Rev. Mr. Barrow. Rylands, the residence of Jonathan Dunn, esq., is a handsome villa on the left of the road, nearly opposite the church; and further on is Lune Villa the residence of Robert Gawthrop, esq., pleasantly surrounded by trees.
SEATS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD, ETC.
BEFORE enumerating the principal gentlemen's seats &c. in the neighbourhood, we may state that there are two or three villages on the shores of the Bay of Morecambe which are much frequented during the bathing season. The prettiest of these are Hest Bank, three miles and a half, and Heysham, six miles, from Lancaster. Poulton, a small fishing village four miles distant, has a terrace of excellent houses, and commands a splendid view of the
Bay and distant mountains.
It has many visitors and temporary residents during the summer months, for whose use several bathing machines are employed. Poulton possesses a pretty and rural looking church, recently erected. Omnibuses and other conveyances run daily to this village at low fares. The walk hence to Lower Heysham, along the shores of the Bay, is pleasant. The village is romantically situated on the hill side, half hidden among trees: the churchyard is picturesque, and hard by are some curious stone excavations cut in the rock, which once did duty as coffins. The church itself is of great antiquity.
Cockersand Abbey, near the village of Cockerham, about six miles from Lancaster, contains the ruins of an ancient abbey, the buildings of which once covered an acre of land. The site of the ancient abbey is still strewn with fragments of walls, massive stones, and half-defaced architectural ornaments. The octagonal chapter-house, now the burial place of the Dalton family, is the only part of the ancient building now preserved. The abbey was founded in the time of Henry II. and in point of revenue ranked third among the religious houses of Lancashire. The situation of this abbey, on a neck of land running into the sea, is rightly described by Leland who visited it as "very bleke, and open to all wynddes.
Thurnham Hall, the residence of the Dalton family, is near Cockerham. The building has recently received some modern additions. It is at present tenanted by Miss Dalton.
Ashton Hall, the seat of his Grace the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, lies between three and four miles distant from Lancaster to the south. The walls are probably of the fourteenth century, but so many additions have been made by successive owners that it is difficult to tell either the precise date or shape of the original building. The Hall is oblong, and possesses a noble square tower with angular turrets to the west. Ashton Hall was originally the seat of the De Courcys. The park scenery is delightful.
Quernmore Park, on the Hornby road, is situate about three miles and a half from Lancaster, up the valley of the Lune. It is the seat of William Garnett, esq., of Lark Hill, Salford. Quernmore Park was formerly, the seat of Lord de Clifford, of whom it was purchased by the late C. Gibson, esq., who built the present mansion about 50 years ago. Quernmore, or Quernmoor, has its name from the discovery of stones adapted for querns (the mill stones of the Romans) in this neighbourhood.
Hornby Castle, the seat of Pudsey Dawson, esq., is a building of considerable antiquity and historical interest. There is reason to believe that the site on which it stands was formerly the villa of a wealthy Roman, at the time Lancaster was a Roman station. The Castle is situated on a bold hill washed by the Wenning, and surrounded by trees, and its tower forms a prominent object in the scenery for miles round. The large square tower or keep was the work of Edward, first lord Monteagle, who died in 1529. The walls are strong and of great thickness.
The view from the watch tower, of the Vale of Lune and its exquisite scenery have been described by the poet Gray. The vast gilt eagle which surmounts the tower was put up by the dissolute Col. Charteris, once the possessor of the Castle. James the First rested a night at Hornby Castle, during his progress from Edinburgh to London to take possession of the English throne. Pudsey Dawson, esq., inherited Hornby Castle and Estates from Admiral Tatham, the heir-at-law of the late John Marsden, esq., whose competency to make a will was the subject of litigation in the Great Will Cause of Tatham v. Wright.
Carus Lodge, the seat of James Alison, esq., late of Liverpool, is an elegant modern villa on the north bank of the Lune, a little way above the Aqueduct bridge.
Halton Hall, the seat of John Swainson, esq., late of Preston, was formerly the residence of the Bradshaws. The old family mansion in the village of Halton has been altered and modernised with considerable taste; it fronts the village church. Mr. Swainson purchased, with the hall, the manor of Halton and the rights of fishery thereunto attached.
Whittington Hall, also on the left bank of the Lune, is situated near Kirkby Lonsdale. It is the residence of Thomas Greene, esq., M.P., and is a noble pile of building.
Capernwray Hall, the seat of George Marton, esq., M.P., is not an ancient building. The old hall, formerly the abode of a branch of the Blackburn family, was pulled
down in 1690.
Dunald Mill Hole in Nether Kellet, about five miles from Lancaster, is a natural curiosity which ought not to