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being for the most part considered as marks of distinction, rather than business situations, the parties who fill them are very often the gentry of the neighbourhood.
In addition to these ancient officers there are two others concerned in what relates to the timber—the purveyor to the navy, and the surveyor-general of the woods and forests; the latter appoints a deputy, whose duty it is to execute all warrants for felling timber for the navy, or for the sale of wood and timber, and the execution of other works connected with the Forest. Indeed, the chief mercantile value of the New Forest may be considered the raising of oak and beech timber for the use of the navy. With respect to the convenience of water-carriage, and its proximity to the dock-yards, it possesses advantages of situation superior to every other forest, having in its neighbourhood several ports and places for shipping timber; and with Lymington within two miles, Beaulieu half-a-mile, and Redbridge hardly four miles from the Forest, there was felt, even in the early days of locomotion, no diffculty of transport. To these the facilities afforded by the railway have now to be added, and this latter mode has given an immense stimulus to the local traffic.
As it may be as well to know beforehand the most favourable localities for observing its choicest features, we borrow the graphic geographical description of Gilpin, who gives an excellent suggestion occasionally to the pedestrian in his " Forest Scenery:"
“ Along the banks of the Avon, from Ringwood to the sea, the whole surface is flat, enclosed, and cultivated. There is little beauty in this part. Eastward from Christchurch, along the coast as far as to the estuary of Lymington river, we have
also a continued flat. Much heathy ground is interspersed, but no woody scenery, except in some narrow glen, through which a rivulet happens to find its way to the sea. In two or three of these there is some beauty. Here the coast, which is exposed to the ocean, and formed by the violence of storms, is edged by a broken cliff, from which are presented grand seaviews, sometimes embellished with winding shores. As we leave the coast and ascend more into the midland parts of this division the scenery improves, the ground is more varied; woods and lawns are interspersed, and many of them are among the most beautiful exhibitions of this kind which the Forest presents.”
Between Lymington and Beaulieu, though the coast is flat and unedged with cliff, there is a great variety of beautiful country. The pedestrian must and should surrender himself entirely to the luxurious enjoyment of these solitudes. Sometimes seated under the shade of a wide-spreading oak, to listen in vain for sounds indicating life, and pondering on the huge stems which uprear themselves everywhere, and then the mind incontinently ponders over the many and mighty events that have followed one another in succession since they had first developed themselves from the tiny acorns whence they had sprung; and then, led by fancy, we may strive to penetrate the mysteries of the Forest, and become more and more perplexed by the increasing depth of its shades. Anon, perchance, an increase of light will gradually disclose an embayed arm of the sea, surrounded by magnificent oaks; and, in fact, so fascinating are these forest scenes in their beauty and variety, that time, space, and position may be so far forgotten, that a night beneath the shelter of some of the tangled thickets of
these sylvan wildernesses would not be an unlikely forfeit of these pleasures.
Taking the railway from Southampton and passing Spring Hill, an eminence on our right commanding extensive prospects, we come to Blechynden, the first station. Millbrook, a large and pretty village adjacent, has a monument in the churchyard commemorative of Pollok, the author of “The Course of Time," who died in the vicinity, at Shirley, in 1827, at the premature age of twenty-nine. Soon after we come to Redbridge, at the head of the Southampton Water, and commencement of the Andover canal. It is a port of some antiquity, and carries on a considerable trade in ship-building. Thence we arrive at the Lyndhurst Road station, and here we plunge into the very heart of the Forest.
Lyndhurst is beautifully situated. It has been considered the capital of the New Forest ever since its formation. All the forest courts under the direction of the verderers are still held here, and an ancient stirrup-cup is preserved, said to have been that used by William Rufus at the time he was shot by Sir Walter Tyrrel. The King's House, the official residence of the Lord Warden, was built in the reign of Charles II., and probably occupies the site of a more ancient building. A quadrangular structure opposite is called the king's stables, and during the war proved serviceable as barracks. The church was built in 1740, and a fine prospect, worth the ascent, may be obtained from the tower. The population is about 1500. This forms an excellent starting point for an excursion into the interior, and some of the feelings inspired by the scenes that now greet the eye have been so well described by Howitt, that we cannot resist quoting the passage as a slight indication of what the tourist may expect:
“ Herds of red deer rose from the fern, and went bounding away and dashed into the depths of the woods; troops of those gray and long-tailed forest horses turned to gaze as I passed down the open glades; and the red squirrels in hundreds scampered away from the ground where they were feeding. I roved onward without a guide through the wildest woods that came in my way. Awaking as from a dream, I saw far around me one deep shadow, one thick and continuous roof of boughs, and thousands of hoary bolls standing clothed as it were with the very spirit of silence. I admired the magnificent sweep of some grand old trees as they hung into a glade or ravine; some delicious openings in the deep woods; or the grotesque figure of particular trees which seemed to have been blasted into blackness and contorted into inimitable erookedness by the savage genius of the place.” Thus prepared we now invite the reader to accompany us on a visit to what has been considered for centuries the Lion of the New Forest the stone that indicates the spot where Rufus fell.
Leaving Lyndhurst on the right, and turning into the road to Minstead, the ground will be found pleasantly varied, being hilly, broken, and wooded in clumps, with cottages here and there interspersed. Nothing in the pastoral style can be more picturesque. We have also extensive views through the woods, particularly a grand retrospect towards Southampton. As Minstead is approached the woods fail, cultivation is more apparent, and the idea of a forest is in a great degree lost. Soon after, the western road to Ringwood is entered over a spacious heath, and at the 82d stone, about a quarter of a mile down the hill on the right from the road, we are shown the scene of the celebrated event of Rufus's death. The tree, on which the arrow of Tyrrel glanced, was an oak, which
Charles II. directed to be enclosed by a paling. In the time of Leland there was also a chapel near the spot; but now, neither tree nor chapel remain, and the spot on which the former grew is marked by a triangular stone about five feet high, erected by Lord Delaware about a century back. The following inscription, now in many places obliterated by the united agency of time and the elements, was placed upon the monument:
“Here stood the oak tree on which an arrow, shot by Sir Walter Tyrrel at a stag, glanced and struck King William II., surnamed Rufus, on the breast; of which stroke he instantly died, on the second of August, 1100.
“ King William the Second, surnamed Rufus, being slain as before related, was laid in a cart belonging to one Purkess, and drawn from hence to Winchester, and buried in the cathedral church of that city.
“ That where an event so memorable had happened might not be hereafter unknown, this stone was set up by Lord John Delaware, who had seen the tree growing in this place, anno 1745."
Malwood Castle, or Keep, seated upon an eminence embosomed in wood at a short distance from here, was the residence of the King when he met with that accident which terminated his life. No remains of it now exist, but the circumference of a building is yet to be traced, and it still gives name to the walk in which it was situated. Sir Walter Tyrrel afterwards swore in France that he did not shoot the arrow, but he was probably anxious to relieve himself from the odium of killing a king, even by accident. It is quite possible, however, that the event did not arise from chance, and that Tyrrel had no part