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stable building; and this peculiarity, coupled with the occurrence of chimneys in that building, has induced some persons to suppose that it was the original house, or formed part of it, but I think erroneusly, for there is nothing about this latter building to show that it was not originally erected for offices. The view shows that the house itself had a goodly show of windows on the side next the park. There may have been a good practical reason why the windows were not on the prospect side. Our ancestors were as a rule far less fond of exposed situations than ourselves, therefore it is likely that the windows were put on the side least exposed to the wind. The old knight probably liked comfort, and Evelyn himself was exceptional in the refinement of his taste; however, the pavilion shown in the view seems to imply that the beauties of nature were not entirely neglected.
The passage which follows this description of the house will I think induce the most enthusiastic archæologist to admit that, in some respects, the present times are better than those that have gone before. It runs thus-" After dinner they went to bowles, and in the meanetime our coach-men were made so exceedingly drunk, that in returning home we escap'd greate dangers. This it seems was by order of the Knight, that all gentlemen's servants be so treated; but the custome is a barbarous one, and much unbecoming a Knight, still lesse a Christian.”
So far I have directed your attention to Dingley's view, and the exactness with which it illustrates Evelyn's description. I must now state my reasons for holding that the house lately pulled down was the same building. It will be remembered that, as the house lately stood, there was a portico to the front door. The doorway itself seemed to have retained the same, or nearly the same, position as in Evelyn's time. The whole front of the house, above the sunk story, had been converted at the same time as the portico was erected, by Sir Edward Baynton Rolt, the first baronet, about 1749. Evidence of such conversion, as regards the windows, was obtained comparatively recently, in some alterations towards the west end of the front.
1 For this and other information most kindly supplied to me, I am indebted to Mrs. Starky, of Battle House, Bromham.
Below this, the sunk story with its range of low windows shown in Dingley's view remained, and bore out Evelyn's description, as all its windows but one looked towards the park.
A drawing room on the south or prospect side, will be remembered as the handsomest room in the house. This, which projected from the old part of the house, was also built by Sir Edward Baynton Rolt; and I understood that it was in the walls of this part that the fragments, which must have been brought from Bromham Hall, were found. Passing into the cellar under this room, through an arch in the wall of the old house, I observed that it had evidently at one time been an external doorway, as the best side was that towards the cellar, and therefore originally the outside of the house. The arch was four-centred, and appeared to be of the time of Henry VIII. In the south wall of the old building I saw the jamb of a fire-place in situ, with a moulding of late Perpendicular character. This would be on the second floor, counting the sunk story. There were also remains of the jamb of a doorway, elaborately moulded, lower down. This was all I saw in situ. There were some remains of squareheaded windows; but, whether these were in situ when taken down, or materials brought originally from Bromham Hall, I was unable to ascertain.
I think that, if the building before being demolished had been carefully examined, and some measurements taken and drawings made, the plan might probably have been made out, and the date at any rate fixed beyond a doubt. The impression on my mind, at the time, certainly was that the building was older than the seventeenth century, and probably of the time of Henry VIII. This, of course, is contrary to Evelyn's assertion that it was built by the Sir Edward Baynton of his day; but it often happens that a person is described as the builder of a house who, in reality, only altered it. It appeared
1Two other rooms, on the south side of the house, were believed to have been built by the mother of Sir Edward Baynton Rolt, the heiress Anne Baynton, who married first, Edward Rolt, Esq., and secondly, James, Lord Somerville; and some rooms were added by Dr. Starky, who alsó pulled down a small detached building floored with marble, of which Dingley has given a sketch below that of the house, and which he has marked "a privat room in the grove."
to me probable that there was a small house or hunting lodge here whilst Bromham Hall still existed, and that this was made the principal residence of the family when the Hall was destroyed. The name "Spy Park Lodg," given to it by Dingley, in itself suggested this.'
The old stables still remain with very little alteration, forming a picturesque building with five gables and many windows to the north side. Seen from a little distance, it might well be supposed earlier; but, judging from a round arched doorway, now walled up, in the western end, which appears, to be original, and from the cap mouldings of the chimneys, I should think that the whole was built as offices, by Sir Edward Baynton, in the seventeenth century.
Of the fragments of old work, found re-used as building material in the more modern walls of the house, two specimens of elaborately carved stone-work were preserved. It is, I think, impossible to say to what part of the building they may have belonged. The work is no doubt of Henry the Eighth's time, and is remarkable rather for richness of ornament than for beauty of design. These fragments, and the gate-way shortly to be described, fully bear out the tradition of the magnificent character of Bromham Hall, which has been described as "nearly as large as Whitehall, and a palace fit to entertain a king."
The ruins of Bromham Hall were used as a quarry, whether by the Sir Edward Baynton who so extensively altered the house we do not know, but certainly at a later date, and one of the family, Sir Edward Baynton Rolt, had taste enough not to destroy, but rather to remove bodily, the gate-house which now stands at the
This conjecture has since been confirmed, for I am informed by Mrs. Starky that it is considered certain that this took place. But for this confirmation, I could not have felt completely confident of conclusions arrived at in a single short visit, as it is easy to be mistaken, at first-sight, in the date of a building, and debased Perpendicular details lingered long in this neighbourhood.
Originally, beyond all reasonable doubt, from Bromham Hall.
These fragments have been, since the visit of the Society, built into a recess in a terrace wall for protection. My thanks are due to J. W. G. Spicer, Esq., of Spye Park, for permission to make use of a photograph taken for him in the preparation of the accompanying illustration.