Monday, 26 November 2012

Kirkleatham in 1809

Kirkleatham, as described by William Hutton in his A Trip to Coatham 1809:
Three thousand five hundred acres, the property of Sir Charles Turner.  I am now in the centre of this most delightful valley.  Sir Charles, it is said, wishes to part with this estate, which proves that even beauty itself cannot always please; were it mine, it would cost a tear at parting.  The eye dwells upon the view, but cannot be satisfied.

The village is a groupe of Palaces, fit for the reception of Royalty.  The church is neat, and what a church ought always to be, not tawdry.  The organ is rather too strong for so small a place. 

There is an hospital which brought to mind an expression of King William’s, when he saw Greenwich, “There are, in England, Cottages for Princes, and Palaces for Peasants.”

This superb building was erected and endowed by the Turner family, with lands, said to be worth £1500 a year, for the support of ten old men, ten old women, ten boys and ten girls, with proper officers.  In the centre is a most elegant chapel, in which is a transparent painting, of great value, representing the first founder, who was Lord Mayor of London ...

Hutton continues his account (on p165 of the scanned book), marvelling at the “collection of rarities” in the “shew-room” and the library:
I cannot think its value less than seven or eight thousand pounds.  I saw many books worth twenty or thirty guineas each …

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