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Richmond, celebrated for its enchanting hill, and for its picturesque situation on the banks of the Thames, lies eight miles from Hyde Park Corner, and will amply repay, by the rich and fascinating prospects from the hill and the bridge, the trouble of a visit.
Who has not heard of Richmond Hill; and who ever saw it, and was not enchanted with the rich landscape which it presents? Windsor, Harrow, Hampton Court, Twickenham, Petersham, the winding silvery Thames, and a whole country filled with villas, turrets, woods, and richly-cultivated fields, ravish the eye of the spectator. The prospect cannot be described in more correct language than in that of Thomson, who resided many years at the house in Kew Foot Lane, now called Rosdale House.*
Enchanting vale! beyond whate'er the Muse
O vale of bliss! O softly swelling hills!
And joys to see the wonder of his toil.
Heav'ns! what a goodly prospect spread around,
Some remains of the old palace of Sheen, the favourite residence of many of the Kings of England, are still occupied as private residences. The house of Earl Fitzwilliam, on Richmond Green, also contains many good and curious pictures, by the first masters.
The bridge is an elegant design, but is chiefly remark able for the highly finished view which it affords of the
This illustrious poet lies buried at the west end of the north aisle of Richmond church. The house in which he formerly resided, deserves the notice of the stranger. It has been enlarged since his time, but his favourite seat in the garden is still preserved as well as the table on which he used to write.
hill, and of the villas which adorn both banks of the Thames. Richmond Great Park is eight miles round, and contains 2,253 acres. Nature has disposed the ground of this park to great advantage, and his present majesty projected a great variety of improvements, which promised to render it one of the most beautiful parks in the king
The Star and Garter, on the Hill, has lately been reopened with great spirit, and to this beautiful spot the stranger will naturally direct his course, and will meet with good accommodation at moderate rates of charge.
The Castle also is an excellent tavern, and enjoys the advantage of a beautiful bowling green, which extends to the water side. The Talbot, which faces the bridge, is not inferior in point of accommodation.
An excursion upon the water to Twickenham or Hampton Court, is among the delightful recreations which offer themselves at Richmond.
All the beauties of this enchanting spot have been described in a poem of corresponding excellence, by the Rev. T. Maurice, and no intellectual treat can be greater, than to peruse these exquisite verses on one of the seats on the hill.
Above the new palace at Kew, on the opposite bank of the Thames, facing Kew Gardens, is situated Sion House, the seat of the Duke of Northumberland. It forms a large quadrangle, and is in all respects fitted up in a style suitable to the unequalled opulence of its owner. The great hall, which is paved with black and white marble, is sixtysix feet by thirty-one, and thirty-four high, contains some antique colossal statues, and a cast of the Dying Gladiator, in bronze, by Valadier. Adjoining to the hall is a most magnificent vestibule, furnished with twelve columns of the Ionic order, and sixteen pilasters of verd antique, purchased at an immense expence, being the greatest quantity of that valuable species of marble which is to be found in any single building in Europe. The dining-room is ornamented with marble statues, and paintings in chiaro obscuro. The ceiling of the drawing-room is ornamented
with designs of all the antique paintings that have been found in Europe. The Mosaic work of which the tables are composed, was found in Titus's baths, at Rome. The glasses are the largest in England, being nine feet long, by five feet five inches wide. The magnificent library extends the whole length of the eastern quadrangle, and is 130 feet by fourteen. The house was finished by Adam, and the gardens by Browne. Osterly Park.
This delightful spot, situated nine miles from London, in the parish of Heston, formerly belonged to Sir Thomas Gresham, Sir William Waller, and others. In the beginning of last century it was purchased by Sir Francis Child. The park, finely wooded, is six miles in circumference. The house, rebuilt by Francis Child, Esq. in 1760, is a magnificent structure, extending 140 feet from east to west, and 117 feet from north to south. The apartments are spacious, and are fitted up with the richest hangings of silk, velvet, and goblin tapestry, elegantly sculptured marbles, &c.; the decorations display the talents of Mr. Adam, the architect, and Zucchi, the painter; they were fitted up by the late Robert Child, Esq. who succeeded his brother Francis in 1763. From the lodges, a spacious road is entered, between two fine sheets of water, which gives great beauty and variety to this part of the park. On the north shore of one of these is a menagerie. Stran gers are permitted to drive through the park, and to visit the house, any day, except Sunday, by applying at Messrs. Child and Co.'s, London, for a ticket for that purpose. The Earl of Jersey, in right of his wife, is the present occupier. TWICKENHAM.
This charming village, distinguished by the immense number of beautiful seats and villas which adorn it, is ten miles from Hyde Park Corner, and about three from Rich mond.
In this village lived Mr. Pope, and here he lies buried in the church; but his once admirea house has been pulled down, and its grounds joined to those of Lady Howe. The grotto, however, is preserved.
Its chief ornament is Strawberry Hill, the seat of the
late Horace Walpole, and now of the honourable and ingenious Mrs. Damer. It is built in the Gothic style, within and without, from models of cathedrals in various parts of the kingdom. The windows are also ornamented with stained glass. It has filled volumes to describe all the curiosities of Strawberry Hill, and only to name the principal ones would exeeed our limits. The house is not large, nor the rooms numerous; but the pictures, sculptures, reliques, antiques, books, and curiosities of every kind, are of inestimable value. The rooms consist of the little parlour, the blue breakfasting-room, the library, the star-chamber, the Holbean chamber, the gallery, the round-room, the tribune, or cabinet, the great bed-cham◄ ber, and the small library. The garden is laid out with great taste, in which is a Gothic chapel, containing a curious Mosaic shrine.
While viewing this interesting spot, the stranger fancies himself in a state of enchantment; the singularity, harmony, and splendour of the whole, exceed any thing which is perhaps to be found in any part of the world.
The house may be viewed by tickets, which admit four persons at once, any time between May the 1st and October the 1st, on application to Mrs. Damer, either at Twick erham, or at her town-house, Upper Brook Street.
HAMPTON COURT PALACE
This magnificent royal palace, situated three miles beyond Twickenham, and thirteen from London, was built originally by Cardinal Wolsey, and afterwards rebuilt by William the Third, under the direction of Sir Christopher Wren. The grand facade next the gardens, is 33 feet in length, and that next the Thames is 383 feet.
The palace consists of three principal quadrangles; the western, or entrance court, is 197 feet by 141; the middle, or clock court, is 133 feet by 91; and the eastern, or fountain court, is 111 feet by 117. Charles I. was a stateprisoner in this palace; Cromwell afterwards resided here, and it was occasionally inhabited by Charles and James II. It was the favourite residence of William III. and frequently occupied by Anne and George I. and II. George
the IIId. never resided here; but the Regent passed a short time here in the autumn of this year.
The pictures here are numerous, and many of them by the first masters. Among them are the unrivalled Cartoons of Raphael, the greatest wonder of art which the world ever produced. They may be seen any day or hour on application to the guide, who resides in the palace, and to whom it is usual for parties to give from three to five shillings.
Nothing in the British dominions exceeds the grandeur of this palace, and the richness and beautiful display of the adjoining country.
The park and gardens are three miles in circumference. In the wilderness is a Maze, which furnishes much amusement to those who do not understand the secret by which it is entered. In the grape-house is the famous vine which in one year produced 2,200 buncles of grapes, averaging one pound weight each.
To visit this splendid palace is a favourite Sunday excursion of the Londoners, who go to it either by Hammersmith and Twickenham, or by Wandsworth and Kingston, or by water.
The principal inns are the King's Arms and the Toy, and there are other houses of accommodation at the village of Hampton. These latter, as well as some houses at Twickenham, and other places along the banks of the river, are disgraced by a species of horrid refinement in cookery, which must outrage every mind possessed of any degree of reflection and sensibility. On a painted board it is indicated, that "live fish may be had on the shortest notice," which is as much as to say, that fish just caught in the adjoining river, may, on giving the order, be thrown into the frying pan alive! The cooks even tell you with merriment, that the poor creatures often verify the pro verb, and actually "jump out of the frying-pan into the fire!!!
This beautiful place is the seat of the Duke of York, and is situated on a terrace which commands an enchanting view of the rich adjacent country. The Park is four