|CONTENTS in this version|
Upstream from Oxford to Lechlade
Downstream from Oxford to Putney
Camping Out in a Tent by R.W.S
Camping Out in a Boat
How to Prepare a Watertight Sheet
A Week down the Thames
Scene On The Thames, A Sketch, By Greville Fennel
Though Henry Taunt entitles his book as from Oxford to London, he includes a description of the Thames above Oxford, which is in the centre of the book.
I have moved it here.
LEAVING Folly Bridge, winding along the river past the Oxford Gas-works, and passing under the line of the G.W.R., we soon
come to Osney Lock (falls 2 ft. 6 in.), close by which was the once-famous Abbey.
There is nothing left to attest its former magnificence and arrest our progress, so we soon come to Botley Bridge, over which passes the western road from Oxford to Cheltenham , Bath , &c.; and a little higher are four streams, the bathing-place of "Tumbling bay" being on the westward one.
Keeping straight on, Medley Weir is reached (falls 2 ft.), and then a long stretch of shallow water succeeds,
until we reach Godstow Lock.
Godstow Lock (falls 3 ft. 6 in., pay at Medley Weir) has been rebuilt, and the cut above deepened, the weeds and mud banks cleared out, so as to leave the river good and navigable up to King's Weir.
Just above here, you pass close to the ruins of the Nunnery, celebrated from its connection with Fair Rosamond, who lived and died here.
The buildings were destroyed by fire in the reign of Charles II., and only the ruins of the chapter-house, with the crumbling walls, give witness of their former extent.
Close by is the "Trout" Inn.
King's Weir, a mile above, (falls 3 ft.), has been repaired and re-opened , but is still one of the most awkward weirs to get
through on the river, and it is much wiser, if possible, to pull your boat over at that place.
There is a talk of making a new pound-lock in place of the weir, but whether it will come off remains to be seen; if it does, it will do more for the pleasure navigation of the upper part of the river than any other thing I know.
After King's Weir, we pass nothing worth notice till
nearly at Eynsham, just before reaching which the Thames is joined by the Evenlode.
The woods are pretty , and the banks of the river are broken, but there is nothing to compare with the magnificent scenery of a few miles below.
Eynsham Weir is our next ; it falls about 1 ft. 6 in. in summer, but in winter all the weirs on the upper Thames are open.
See Tredwell, at the Lock-house close to the bridge, as he will get Pinkle (the next Lock ) open for you, or if you intend stopping here, will take charge of your boat, &c.
One Inn here, the "Red Lion".
After Eynsham Bridge is passed, for the next mile and a half the windings of the river appear like the contortions of a dying serpent; in places nearly doubling on itself, making the distance full twice what it otherwise would be:
then through Pinkle Lock, and you are just a mile from Skinner's Weir.
Skinner's Weir is one of those quaint old tumble-down places that artists love.
It has been in the occupation of the Skinners, from father to son, for a long number of years. You will be able to get a glass of beer here, but no beds; and a talk with Joe Skinner will be, if you like originality, a rare treat.
Stanton Harcourt is only a little distance across the fields, and a visit to the church and Pope's tower is well repaid.
Bablock Hythe Ferry and Inn (no beds) is the next place reached.
Close here is "Cumnor", made famous in Sir Walter Scott's "Kenilworth"; and also "The Devil's Coits", three large stones reared in a field, supposed to commemorate a battle fought in Saxon times; and then nothing is met with until we get to Ridge's Weir (falls 1 ft. 6 in.); one bed.
The old lady who used to keep the house is gone to her rest; but her son still lives here.
Half a mile above is Newbridge, the oldest on the river.
An Inn stands close to the bridge, but the reception is very doubtful; you may be accommodated, or you may be told there is nothing nearer than Standlake, two miles off.
The Windrush joins just close above the bridge ; and a little further on you will find the river grown up with water-parsley ; but it is not so bad as it was a summer or two ago, before Mr. Campbell's barges went up and down from Buscot: however, it is quite bad enough, even now there is a certain amount of traffic.
Shifford lies on the left bank.
It was a meeting-place for a kind of parliament in the reign of Alfred, and was then no doubt a place of importance; but a little church and a few houses are all that are left.
Do not omit to take the left-hand stream going up, both by the island below and also just by Shifford.
The weirs above Ridge's are all gone; some washed away, and the rest pulled out by the Conservators.
Duxford Weir, next above, was rather picturesque, and there are some very pretty glimpses both at the ferry and in the village.
The scenery all along this part of the Thames is very flat, and generally uninteresting; but now and then some sweet spots are passed, that seem even more so from the contrast with the uninteresting scenery around.
Duxford Farm, and the landing-place to the ferry, are instances; but they hardly repay one for the dreary stretch of river that reaches to Tadpole Bridge, with only one break (Ten-foot) between.
An Inn, with beds, at Tadpole Bridge; nothing else till you get to Lechlade.
Tadpole is a bridge with a single span, but not an elegant one, and the river banks above here are still flat.
Rushy Weir and Lock, a mile above, is a pretty bit; a fine pool, with the old broken weir and bridge nearly shut in with trees,
and guarded by the Lock-house covered with foliage, the foreground crammed with river-parsley, - these make it one of the best rural scenes on the upper river.
There are some nasty turns with shallows above here , and some of the gates on the towing-path are nailed up by the farmers, who have, I am informed, gone so far as to threaten proceedings against anyone trespassing(?); but I very much question if anyone dares to stop the right of way on the towing-path of a navigable river.
However, I have traversed it several times, but have never been interrupted ; and should have refused to stop or go back had I been asked to, as I believe I had a right to go on.
Radcot Bridge is next passed, close to which is a small Inn.
The navigable track is under a side-arch, so that, unless looked for, the old bridge is passed.
It is a picturesque old structure, and was once ornamented by a cross on the centre of its parapet.
It has been the scene of more than one battle.
Passing upwards, we next reach Hart's Weir; and, as this has the greatest fall (about 3 ft.) of any among the weirs of the upper
Thames, perhaps a word or two upon passing through them would not be out of place.
In winter there is a swift stream through, but very little fall, the weir-paddles being all out; and the only thing to guard against in shooting is the bridge that carries the rymers.
I recollect one winter in passing this very weir, when lying on my back in the boat to get through, scraping a fair amount of skin off my nose and face, through contact with the bridge whilst going under.
In summer there is no fear of that, as the bridge is a long way above the water; but what you must look out for is, the nearly direct fall of a foot or more in ascending or descending, and this perhaps in a spot only wide enough to get your boat through.
Weirs are built in a very different way from locks, and, to a person not used to them, are rather puzzling.
They take up the whole breadth of the stream, so that in opening them fully, you let the whole of the penned back water pass through; they are generally composed of three different parts, viz. the bridge, the rymers, and the paddles.
The bridge is longer than the span of the stream it has to cover, and works round on a pin; the part on the shore side being weighted gates on the towing- path are nailed up by the farmers, who have, to balance the other, and notches cut to let the rymers in and keep each one in its place.
On the sill, at the bottom of the river, exactly underneath the bridge, are corresponding sockets to hold their ends, and then the paddles fill up the spaces between each; the weight of the water above keeping all tight.
Generally, for small boats, only a few of the paddles and rymers are moved, so that there is always a fall, and the best way to get up is to fasten your tow-line to the head of the boat, and gently haul her, one person being on the bridge of the weir to guide her through.
As a rule, unless the weir is all out, you will not get through by any other way.
Going down is different, and much easier, though somewhat dangerous (most of the weir-pools being very deep); but, having ascertained that everything is ready, pull gently on, and keep your boat's head straight to the centre of the opening, just before reaching which the oars must be shifted, yet kept ready to be used again the moment you are passed, as the stream rushing through causes a strong back-current.
It is always better, if you have not been through before, to get help from the neighbouring cottage, refreshing yourselves, if needed ; and a small quantity of the Englishman's backsheesh (beer) will always find you a willing assistant.
Sometimes it is wiser, and saves time, to drag the boat over (if you can), rather than pass through; but this must be a matter for consideration at the time.
There is an Inn at Hart's Weir (no beds), and also a large pair of water-wheels, used to pump water for irrigating the land.
Buscot Lock, Weir, and Brandy Distillery are next reached; but are only interesting from the extent of the works.
The spirit is made from beet-root, sent to London in boats, and from thence to France, returning to us in the shape of eau-de-vie.
Buscot village stands on the right bank, a short distance above the lock.
The river for some distance pursues a serpentine course,
and at last reaches St. John's Bridge and Lock, the latter lying up the small stream to the left.
St. John's Lock is the first on the Thames, and is in very good repair.
A little way beyond is Lechlade, looking in the distance not unlike Abingdon.
Just through the bridge is the wharf, where boats can be left ; and Mrs. James, at the "Red Lion", will attend to your comfort in her usual bonnie way.
The Church here is worth a visit: it is a fine specimen of the Perpendicular style, with a beautiful tower and spire, but the inside requires a few of its embellishments removed.
There is a good view of it from the river.
A short mile beyond Lechlade the navigation of the river ceases ; and, passing through a lock at Inglesham Round-house,
it enters the Thames and Severn Canal, which is nearly parallel to the Thames as far as Cricklade,and then again is close at Thames Head.
In the winter, and very early spring, it is possible to get up the river to Water Hay Bridge, but in the summer it is not practicable.
Years ago the navigation extended to Cricklade, and perhaps to Water Hay Bridge, but on the completion of the canal, the river-trade was transferred, and the river itself is in places fairly grown up; so much so, that in getting up to Kempsford some time ago, I walked nearly three miles of the distance in the river's bed, dragging at the head of my boat, and found it anything but agreeable.
Of the weirs, Inglesham has no longer any existence, having been dragged out by the Conservators; and of Ham Weir, about 3 miles above, and Kempsford Weir, 5½ miles above, only the sills remain; they being used to place stepping stones on, to cross the river.
I can find traces of two more weirs still higher; one at Cricklade-rather a tradition than a trace, - and one about 2½ miles above that place, the sill and sheeting of which are still in fair order, in about 2 ft.
Of things worth notice above Lechlade, I may just mention Inglesham Church (Early English), a little old church with a very picturesque belfry, and having a curiously-carved stone built in one of its walls; Kempsford Church, 5½ miles on, a noble specimen of fourteenth - century work, with a fine tower, built by one of the dukes of Lancaster; Castle Eaton Bridge and Church, 1½ mile further on - both picturesque; and then Cricklade, 10 miles by the river from Lechlade, with its two Churches; one simple and quiet, and the other with a splendid tower.
There are also two crosses in fair preservation here, which stand in churchyards.
The "White Horse", close to the upper church, is the Inn to stop at; and your boat, if you go up the river, will be taken care of at the first cottage you come to (Rose Cottage), just after passing under a unique plank-bridge; but, if you are on the canal, at the wharf.
The nearest Railway Station to Cricklade is at Purton, 3½ miles off; but if you take a boat down by rail, go to Minety, the next station (about four miles), as you may better meet with a conveyance there.
In conclusion I would add, that I shall be happy to supply any further detail that may be required by any tourist of the river, visiting Oxford, en route for the upper Thames, as I have both surveyed and photographed the greater part of the stream from Thames Head, and have traversed it several times at various seasons of the year.
TOLLS FOR PLEASURE-BOATS, (GIGS, &c.,) ON THE THAMES AND SEVERN CANAL.
Lechlade (Inglesham) to Cricklade, 10s.;
ditto to Thames Head, or any place on the summit level, 20s.;
ditto to Stroud, 30s.: with the understanding, in respect to the last two items, that the boats are lifted over (with the Lock-keeper's assistance) at some of the Locks near the summit level, whenever this is required.
Map, Oxford to Rose island, Section 1, Taunt 1873
original included 4 photos which could not be copied
It would be impossible to give, within the limited space of this work, any detailed account of the City of Oxford and its
colleges: - tourists who wish to see its beauties, may easily
do so under the guidance of one among the men whose business it is to shew the "lions" of the place, or with the aid of
books that are published on the subject, a list of which is subjoined.
Oxford should be seen during the "Commemoration Week", which recurs annually in June: - then, throughout the city, and on the river, pleasure is the order of the day, and everything wears holiday garb.
In the gay barges lining the beautiful banks of Christ Church walk , enlivened by the varied costumes of many oarsmen, the river has, at Oxford, charms which it can boast nowhere else.
Leaving Oxford we come to Iffley: - close below the lock
is a picturesque mill.
The Church, which stands on the hill just above, can be seen from the river: it will repay a visit, being a splendid specimen of late Norman Architecture.
Rose Island a little farther on, with its picturesque inn, was introduced in the play of "Formosa".
"Guides and Views of Oxford", sold by HENRY W . TAUNT, 33, Cornmarket-street, (marked by red spot on Plan). See inside Cover.
HEYWOOD's "Penny Guide", (with Plan 2d., and with Map 3d.)
PARKER's "Railway Traveller's Walk through Oxford." 1s.
PARKER'S "Handbook to Oxford." 12s.
SHRIMPTON'S "Guides". 1s., 2s., 5s., 7s. 6d.
OXFORD. FOLLY Bridge Lock, from Oxford 0 m.; from Putney, 104 m. 3 fur. 66 yds.; (to Iffley , 1m. 3 fur. 150 yds.;) is open
in high-water times; in summer falls from 1 ft. 6 in . to 2 feet.
IFFLEY Lock, from Oxford (Folly Bridge) 1 m. 3 fur. 150 yds.; to Sandford Lock, 1 m. 5 fur. 70 yds.; average fall, about 2 ft. 6 in.; does not vary much.
Those marked * are boat-builders.
* J. and S. SALTER, Folly Bridge, and at their barge.
* J. CLASPER , Isis- street.
* Geo. WEST, St. Aldate's-street, and B.N.C. Barge.
* R . TALBOYS.
W . Bossom, (Punts only).
The "Roebuck", Cornmarket-street.
The "Randolph", Beaumont-street.
The "Clarendon", Cornmarket-street.
The "Maidenhead", Turl-street,
The "Crown and Thistle", Market-street.
The "Plough", Cornmarket-street.
The "Ship", Ship-street,
Fishing at Oxford is of a very poor description, if we except that in the water belonging to the Weirs Angling Society.
This is caused partly by the amount of pleasure traffic on this part of the river, and partly by the fact that the water has been so severely netted in former years as to leave but small sport for the angler's rod.
Below Iffley Lock however it is much improved; and, under the care of the new bye-laws of the Thames Conservancy, and their experienced officer, Captain Etheridge, we may hope for better days, when a fair day's catch will reward a fair day's trial.
T.Such, St. Aldate's; W.Bossom, Medley Lock; C.Cook.
Fish. - Pike, Perch, Tench, Roach, Dace, &c.
Parson's Pleasure, at the back of the Parks.
Tumbling Bay, near the Botley Road.
New University, at the Long Bridges.
There is a fine Public Library (Free), under the Town Hall, in St. Aldate's-street.
Taunt's Adverts (which he placed at the end of his book) are included at the relevant places.
[Taunt's 1873 measurements, taken by walking the towpath, are included as images]
SANDFORD Lock, from Iffley Lock, 1 m. 5 fur. 70 yds.;
to Nuneham Bridge, 2 m. 5 fur. 160 yds.:
falls from 4 ft. 6 in. in high to 7 ft. 6 in. in low water; average in summer about 6 feet.
Inn at Sandford, "The King's Arms".
The pools at Sandford are pretty, but very dangerous for bathers; the large one, having an obelisk to the memory of two Christ Church men who were drowned whilst bathing here, has a certain amount of interest attached to it.
Below, as we near Nuneham, the wooded hills make a fine background to the river; and along the edge of the reedy flams which line its left bank are fine spots for jack and other fish.
This is the fishing-ground for anglers from Oxford; and for a long distance spots may be chosen that will repay a pitch.
*** NUNEHAM BRIDGE. The middle arch of this bridge must be avoided, on account of the extreme shallowness of the water under it.
NUNEHAM, the seat of the Harcourt family, the favourite gathering-place for pic-nic parties from Oxford, is one of the prettiest spots on the whole of the river.
The park, which contains about 1,200 acres, extends along the Oxfordshire bank of the river for some distance; it is finely varied with beautiful rolling slopes, rising from the margin of the water, and in places where the waving foliage of its overhanging trees are mirrored in the silvery Thames, it forms a tableau only surpassed by Cleveden itself.
The house is situate on the brow of the hill, a short distance from the river, and is in the Italian style, but owes its chief attraction to the very beautiful gardens which in their day were considered almost unrivalled.
Amongst their best features at the present time, we may mention the Rock Grotto with the Orangery and Rosary, the western part of the terrace; and amongst minor beauties, the pleasant shaded walk leading to Whitehead's Oak , where, amongst the several fine views which present themselves, the combination of the old conduit with the foreground and distant foliage is particularly pleasing.
This old structure once stood on Carfax, Oxford, and still bears that name.
It was presented by the citizens to Simon, Earl Harcourt, who removed it to its present situation.
It is a picturesque object in itself, and is worthy a visit on that account, as well as for the distant views seen from the brow of the hill on which it stands; in one direction the spire of Abingdon peeping out from amongst the trees, the vista beyond being closed by the range of Chilterns, finishing at White-Horse hill; whilst to the north the spires and towers of Oxford stand out in relief against the rich background of the Blenheim woods.
But the loveliest views at Nuneham are those round the spot where pleasure-parties land: the rustic cottages set in masses of sylvan shade, and the picturesque bridge crossing the side stream, with the whole picture of still life reproduced in the clear waters below, form a series of beautiful pictures such as nature only can produce.
By previous application by letter to the agent, stating probable number of party, &c., permission can be obtained for private parties to land on Tuesdays or Fridays, and tea is provided at the cottages if required.
ABINGDON JUNCTION STATION (G.W.R.), distance about 5 fur. from Nuneham, on right bank.
The line from Abingdon is being continued to Radley, a mile nearer Oxford; when completed, Abingdon Junction Station will be done away with.
ABINGDON Lock, from Nuneham Bridge, 1 m. 7 fur. 60 yds.;
to Abingdon Bridge, 3 fur. 211 yds.:
falls from 5 ft. in high to 7 ft. in low water; average in summer, about 6 ft.
ABINGDON BRIDGE, from Oxford, 8 m. 1 fur. 211 yds.; to Culham Lock, 2 m.
ABINGDON. Railway Station, Stert-street (G.W.R. Branch).
Abingdon is a very old town, and contains some curious remains. The most noticeable are, - St. Nicholas and St. Helen,s
Churches, the Abbey Gateway, and the Almshouses.
St. Nicholas Church stands in the Market-place, and is very ancient, the lower part of it being in the Norman style; it joins the old gateway which once belonged to the abbey.
St. Helen's Church stands close to the river, its spire being a conspicuous object, both up and down, for some distance; it is now undergoing considerable restoration.
The Almshouses form the boundary of the churchyard on two sides; one of the buildings is a curious timber structure with cloisters, and on its front are several rude paintings.
There are others also on the end facing the river, including one of the celebrated Abingdon Cross, destroyed by Waller's soldiers.
On the north side of the town is a new pleasure park, with a handsome memorial to Prince Albert.
Hyde and Clarke's wholesale clothing manufactory, giving employ indoors and out to several thousands of hands, is well worth a visit; also the new Grammar School, if time will permit.
The Wilts and Berks Canal joins the Thames here, the entrance being on the right bank of the river, a short distance below St. Helen,s Church.
It joins the Kennett and Avon Canal below Devizes, leading to Bath and the lower part of the Severn; and also, by a branch on the right before reaching Swindon, communicates with the Thames and Severn Canal near Cricklade, whence the Severn, the Warwickshire Avon , or the upper part of the Thames, can be reached.
The canal is in very bad order in places, but is well worth the angler's exploration.
Boats to be let and housed:
* BLAKE ( at Abingdon Lock ).
HALL, the "Anchor" (near St. Helen's Church ).
Boats are also housed at the "Nag's Head", on the bridge.
The "Crown and Thistle", near the bridge: Landing, at the "Nag's Head", on the bridge.
The "Queen's", in the Market-place: Landing-stage at the "Anchor", near St. Helen's Church.
The "Nag's Head".
The fishing above Abingdon to Nuneham is good.
Near Abingdon Bridge is a sharp stream, forming a fine scour for Dace, &c.; and at Blake's Pool are Chub, Barbel, &c.
Above the Lock the water is deep , and affords fine sport right up to the Cottages at Nuneham , close above which are several splendid swims.
Below Abingdon, to the Culham Cut, the water is not so fine, except in places, which are easily detected by the angler.
JEM SHORT (commonly called "Splash" ), at the "Anchor".
AMBROSE KEATS, West St. Helen's-street.
Fish. - Pike, Tench, Perch, Dace, Chub, Barbel, &c.
Bathing at the Weir - belonging to the Abingdon Bathing Club; ( Secretary - MR. LEVERETT, Bath-street ).
H. W . TAUNT'S Agent at Abingdon: Mr. HUGHES, Stationer, Market-place.
Culham Lock, from Abingdon Bridge, 2 miles;
to Clifton Lock, 2 m. 6 fur. 130 yds.: falls from 5 feet in high to 7 ft. 6 in. in low water; average summer fall, 7 ft.
CLIFTON Lock, from Appleford Railway Bridge, 1 m. 2 fur. 76 yds.;
to Day's Lock, 2 m. 7 fur. 180 yds.: falls about 3 feet, varies but very little .
Culham Lock is reached by the cut which branches off on the left when coming down, (to the right going up).
The main stream leads to Sutton Mill and pool, said to be the deepest on the river, and to harbour large fish.
The last three locks to Day's Lock together form the greatest fall, within the same distance, on the Thames.
Below Culham Lock is a splendid reach for Jack and Roach, though not fished much: whilst, below Clifton Weir (on the main stream ) the river abounds in Barbel and Perch.
Clifton Bridge is a neat new brick structure, spanning the river in place of the old ferry;
and close below, on the top of a sharp bluff, is the very pretty church.
Inn at Clifton, "The Barley-mow", (land at the Bridge Toll-house).
Fisherman: ABRAHAM FRANKLIN.
Day's Lock, from Clifton Bridge, 2 m. 4 fur. 40 yds.; to mouth of River Thame, 6 fur. 180 yds.: falls from 1 ft. in high to 5 ft. in low water;
average summer fall, about 4 feet.
The view of the river at Day's Lock, in combination with the hills in the background, forms one of those characteristic "bits" of river scenery that our landscape-painters love.
The view from the hill is very fine, and the remains of earthwork fortification round the second hill (consisting of a perfect ditch, &c.), said to be Roman, is interesting.
Between the river and Dorchester we traverse a long range of low mounds (lately partly destroyed by the farmer who owns the land), also Roman or Saxon earthworks, and at Dorchester (distant about 1 mile) is an old abbey church well worth a visit.
Little Wittenham Church peeps through the trees on the right bank, and the Thame, which runs through Dorchester, joins the Thames on the left.
The "White Hart".
The "Fleur-de-lis" (pronounced by the villagers "Flower de luce").
The weirs and pools at Day's Lock are well known for their fine Perch , and from thence right down to Shillingford is good ground for Jack, Perch, and Chub.
Just above Shillingford village is a deep hole noted for its Barbel ; and every here and there the various flams furnish a splendid cover to the angler, just where fish most abound.
JAS. BROWN. GEO. CHERRIL.
Bathing at the Weir.
Pic-nics at Wittenham Wood, a very favourite place, just opposite the Thame Mouth.
Inn at Shillingford, the "George", up the village.
Shillingford Bridge, from Day's Lock , 2 m. 5 fur. 200 yds.; to to Benson Lock , 1 m. 2 fur. 30 yds.
At Shillingford Bridge the road from Oxford to Reading crosses the river, and , passing "The Swan", winds along up the hill from whence our view is taken.
The walk from here along the woodside is very pleasing, but there is no feature of note.
Hotel, the "Swan", close to the bridge. Boats housed and punts to be let.
Fishing. - Good, the water being preserved for a mile above and a mile below the bridge.
Fisherman, J. REYNOLDS, (at the "Swan").
BENSON Lock, from Shillingford Bridge, 1 m. 2 fur. 30 yds.; to Wallingford Bridge, 1 m. 2 fur.: falls from 3 ft. 6 in. in high to 6 ft. 6 in. in low water;
average in summer, about 5 ft. 6 in.
Benson has nothing worth visiting, its attractiveness having departed with the old coaching days that once enlivened it ; but at Ewelme, two miles off, (from Wallingford 3½ miles by road), is a fine old church , containing a magnificent altar-tomb, richly embellished with sculptured figures, &c., to the memory of Alice, Duchess of Suffolk , the grand-daughter of the poet Chaucer; and also the tomb of her father, Sir Thomas Chaucer, and his wife.
The monumental effigy of the duchess has round its arm the Order of the Garter, being one of the very few remaining examples of this.
The Church has other interesting features, and close by are the Alms-houses built by the Duchess of Suffolk , arranged round a beautiful cloister, which of itself would amply recompense for the visit any lover of architecture.
Fisherman - WHITEMAN.
Wallingford Bridge, from Oxford. 21 m. 2 fur. 91yds.: to Nuneham Ferry (just below Wallingford Lock), 4 fur. 70 yds.
Wallingford, like Oxford, is a very ancient town, being, it is said , the chief city of the Attrebatii in Cæsar' s time.
It was destroyed by the Danes in 1006 , but soon rose from its ashes; and in Domesday Book is said to have contained 276 houses.
Wigod the Saxon (whose daughter married Robert D'Oyley the founder of Oxford Castle) built a castle here , within which William the Conqueror, before proceeding to London after the battle of Hastings, received the homage of Stigand, Archbishop of Canterbury, and other of the chief men of Britain.
The Empress Matilda, being pressed by Stephen in Oxford Castle, fled over the snow , and was besieged by him here, he blockading the river by erecting a castle at Crowmarsh on the opposite side.
Wallingford Castle stood in the wars of the Commonwealth , and was one of the last places that held out for Charles I.
It was taken and demolished by Fairfax.
There is very little now remaining. The only points of interest to a stranger are, the remains of the castle ( enclosed in the grounds of J.K.Hedges, Esq.), St. Mary's Church, in the Market-place, and the old earthworks (called Kine Croft) which once enclosed the town.
Crowmarsh Church, on the opposite bank, is partly of Norman architecture.
HOTELS. The "Lamb", High-street.
The "Town Arms", (close to the bridge).
Boats housed and to be let:
J . CLOWDESLEY.
THOS. RANSOM ("Town Arms"), both close above the bridge.
WALLINGFORD RAILWAY STATION (Branch line, G.W.R.), in the Wantage-road.
Fishing. - The fishing above Wallingford Bridge was very poor; but since the new bye-laws of the Conservancy have come into operation it is improving.
Below Wallingford Bridge, on the right bank, is the influx of a most disgraceful open sewer, with water(?) thoroughly black and thick; an ugly prospect in case of an epidemic; and from here to the lock are coarse fish in numbers, but of small size.
dge The river below the lock ought to be excellent, but it does not bear a good name.
Fishermen. - JOHN CLOWDESLEY. JOSEPH GUNSTONE.
WALLINGFORD Lock is open in high water, and does not fall at any time above 18 inches.
It is, I am informed, decided to remove it at an early date.
H.W.TAUNT'S Agent at Wallingford: Mr. PAYNE, Stationer , Market-place.
MOULSFORD Ferry, from Wallingford , 3 m. 7 fur. 180 yds.; to Cleeve Lock , 1 m. 2 fur. 78 yds.
MOULSFORD STATION (G.W.R.), distant about 1¼ mile.
The scenery by the river from Wallingford to this is somewhat flat: the only object of interest being Mongewell, a pretty park and residence not far below Wallingford.
The fine trees overhanging the water help to break the flatness of the landscape, whilst the Church, peeping between the trees, although not fine itself, yet makes a pretty view.
The village of Mongewell has retained the same name ever since the Domesday Survey, when it belonged to Roger de Laci, and was worth £14.
Before Moulsford is reached, the river passes a brick bridge under the line of the G.W.R.: just above this bridge, among the group of aits, is a good spot for Jack, Perch, &c.
Close to the right bank stands Moulsford Church; from whence to Cleeve is a favourite sailing reach, abounding in fish.
Inn at Moulsford Ferry, the "Beetle and Wedge"," where boats are to be let.
F.STRANGE (Bow Bridge); WM.COX; S.SWADLING.
Bathing just above the Ferry.
The "Leather Bottle" Inn (no beds), on the left bank, 3 fur. above the Lock.
Here is a well-known spring, the waters of which are said to act as a cure for sprains, &c.
CLEEVE LOCK, from Moulsford Ferry, 1 m. 2 fur. 78 yds.;
to Goring Lock, 5 fur.
(the shortest distance between locks on the river, that between Hurley and Temple Locks being 5 fur. 23yds.)
falls from 3 ft. 6 in. in high to 5 ft. in low water; average in summer, about 4 ft. 6 in.
There are about Cleeve some sweet spots, that well repay notice.
The old mill from Goring-field ; and, facing the other way, distant Streatley with its splendid background of hills, the river at their feet reflecting in its mirror each inverted object; the old weir, with its broken campsheding; and between the islands, the overfall spanned by its bridge of simple rustic style: - these cannot but charm and enchain the eye.
Goring Lock, from Cleeve Lock, 5 fur.; to Gate-Hampton Ferry , 1 m. 4 fur. 127 yds.:
falls from 3 ft. 6 in. in high to 4 ft. 6 in. in low water; average in summer, about 4 feet.
Station at Goring (G.W.R. main line), about half-a-mile from the bridge.
The twin villages of Goring and Streatley are separated by the river, which expands to some width , and contains several islands.
The two places are connected by a picturesque wooden toll-bridge.
Goring is on the left bank, and close to the mill stands the Church, an object of interest, the finest view of which is to be had from the bridge.
Originally it consisted of only one lofty Norman aisle and tower without a chancel, but a north aisle was afterwards added, and at subsequent periods, porches and other projections were stuck on.
Streatley, on the opposite bank of the river, is well known from the beautiful and extensive views to be obtained from its lovely hills. The view for miles, both up and down the river, is of that soft, flowing character, which is essentially English; the Thames, winding along from the bottom of the hill to the extreme distance, gives life and motion to a magnificent prospect.
Streatley is said to owe its name to Icknield Street, which here entered Berkshire by a ford through the river.
The Church has lately been restored.
At Aldworth, nearly three miles from here, across the hills, is a Norman Church, the interior of which contains a number of curious monumental effigies in stone, representing members of the family of De la Beche, who built a castle here, and were buried in the Church.
These figures, nine in number, received injury during the civil wars at the hands of the Parliamentarians, but are still in tolerably good preservation.
INNS AT STREATLEY.
The "Swan", near the river (see advert);
The "Bull", up the village (see advert).
INNS AT GORING.
The "Miller of Mansfield".
The "Sloane Arms" (close to the Station).
Boats to be let and housed.
*SAM SAUNDERS (at the "Swan", Streatley).
Fishing. - The fishing at Streatley and Goring is thoroughly good: the waters being preserved for angling.
In the Weir pools splendid Chub and other fish abound; whilst all up the river to Cleeve is excellent water, affording plenty of sport.
Below, Pike and Perch are everywhere to be found, right down to Hart's Wood.
J.SAUNDERS; E.MILES; J.Rush.
Fish. - Pike, Chub, Perch , Dace, Roach, Gudgeon, &c.
Bathing on the Goring side, about 200 yards above the Lock.
H.W.TAUNT'S Agent at Streatley: Mr. GOODMAN, Stationer.
Whitchurch Lock, from Basildon Ferry, 2 m. 4 fur. 33 yds.; to Mapledurham Lock, 2 m. 2 fur. 70 yds.:
falls from 3 ft. in high to 4 ft. 6 in. in low water; average in summer, about 4 feet.
Station at Pangbourne (G.W.R. main line), not far from the river.
"Pangbourne is another of those pearls of English landscape which our river threads, no sweeter spot is within many miles.
The Thames seems especially fond of disporting itself here, and loth indeed to leave, it loiters in the great depth of the pools, creeps slily under the banks, frolics as a kitten after its tail in the eddies, and then dashes hurriedly off beneath the far-stretching pretty wooden bridge, as if to make up for time truantly lost."
This is the description of the scenery at Pangbourne by Greville Fennell, one of our best Thames Anglers (in his book "The Rail and the Rod"; a work of which I can only say, if you have not got it - get it at once): and I need add but little.
The views from Shooter's Hill well repay the toil of climbing; being another edition (quite as handsomely bound) of the beautiful Streatley views.
The Church and Mill of Whitchurch, viewed from the bridge, make a pretty group.
HOTELS AT PANGBOURNE.
The "Elephant and Castle"." (See p.61.)
The "Swan" (close to the Weir).
The "Cross Keys".
HOTEL AT WHITCHURCH.
The "Bridge House".
Boats to be let or housed.
T.ASHLEY (at the "Swan", Pangbourne).
Fishing. - The fishing at Pangbourne is noted for its fine Trout, and is well preserved by Mr. Ford, the obliging landlord of the "Elephant and Castle" (who rents the waters from above Combe Lodge boat-house to Hardwicke); it is always a place to be thoroughly depended upon.
The pool is a noted spot, and is 25 ft. deep.
"As many as 150 Trout have been taken out of this pool in a season", says Greville Fennell, and I can well believe him.
The Pang "bourn" is private property.
John CHAMP. Thos. LOVEGROVE. WILLIAM DAVIDSON.
Fish. - Trout, Perch, Barbel, Chub, Roach, &c.
Bathing in the Weir-pool.
Mapledurham Lock, from Whitchurch, 2 m. 2 fur. 70 yds.; to the "Roebuck", 7 fur. 145 yds.: falls from 2 ft . in high to
7 ft. in low water.; average in summer , about 5 ft. 6 in.. :
About Mapledurham is one of the most lovely spots on the Thames.. :
A short distance above the Lock on the left bank is Hardwicke House, a fine specimen of a Tudor mansion,
said to have been the hiding-place, for a time, of Charles II.. :
Seen from the opposite side of the river, with the fine woods behind it,
it looks very striking , and it will also repay a close examination.
The view of the old Mill at Mapledurham (the most picturesque on the river), with the combination of the Church peeping over its roof, and embosomed in foliage, forms one of the most tranquil scenes that it is possible to imagine, and needs nothing to add to its beauty and harmony.
The Manor-house of Mapledurham is also a splendid specimen of the Elizabethan style ; indeed, there are few in any part of England that are finer or in better preservation.
It has always belonged to the family of the Blounts, and is still in their possession.
From the front of the house there extends a broad avenue of elm trees, about a mile in length, forming a magnificent setting to a noble picture.
The Lock also, in combination with the Weir, is well worth notice, presenting at every turn a varied arrangement, each variation as lovely as the last. Mapledurham is essentially a "Painter's Paradise".
A short mile below we reach the "Roebuck" Inn, fantastically perched on the side of the railway embankment; and looking back, Purley House shews itself amongst the trees.
From thence to Caversham the river-view is flat and uninteresting, after the splendid scenes we have left behind; but it improves as we near that village, where the Church with its wooden tower, mounted partly up a hill rising from the river, is a picturesque object.
No Inns at Mapledurham.
The "Roebuck" Inn, on the right bank, 7 fur. 145 yds. below the Lock.
Fishing. - The fishing here is rented by Thos. Lovegrove, of Pangbourne, and has vastly improved since it has been in his possession.
It is known for its large Trout, Jack , Chub, and Perch.
As the preservation of the water begins where the previous section of the Pangbourne water ends, we are quite safe in saying that the whole is preserved, from above "Coombe House" to the "Roebuck", a distance of some 4 miles.
From thence to Caversham the fishing is still good, but not so fine as that last spoken of, in consequence of its having been severely netted; but I hardly think it deserves the bad name it seems to have acquired amongst the fishermen of the river.
Thos. LOVEGROVE, (Pangbourne).
EDWARD SHEPHEARD, at the Lock-house.
Caversham Bridge, from Mapledurham Lock, 3 m. 6 fur. 131 yds.; to Caversham Lock, 4 fur. 120 yds.
Caversham Lock, from Oxford, 37 m. 7 fur. 170 yds.; to Sonning Lock, 2 m. 4 . fur. 148 yds.: falls from 1 ft. in high to 4 ft. in low water ; average in summer, about 3 ft. 6 in.
Reading: Stations at about 5 furlongs from Caversham Bridge.
G.W.R. main line.
S.W.R., Reading Branch, run into the same station [with] S.E.R.
The G.W.R. Station at Reading is divided into two distinct parts, but plans are in preparation for the completion of the new Station, when it will become an ordinary double-sided Station, and the inconvenience that arises from its being in two parts will be removed.
At present, the up Station is the new building facing the entrance from Friars-street, and the old one further below is the down Station.
Reading, the capital of Berks, is situated a short distance from the River on the right bank.
It is a growing agricultural and manufacturing town.
Its chief objects of interest are the Abbey ruins, situated in the Forbury Gardens; the Churches of St. Lawrence and St. Mary, in the Butts ; and the Biscuit Factory of Messrs. Huntley and Palmer.
The Abbey was founded by Henry I., and endowed by him in the most princely manner.
On his death, which happened at Rouen, his body was embalmed, wrapt in bull-hides, brought here and buried with great pomp.
The Abbey was dissolved in the reign of Henry VIII., in 1539, and the abbot, Hugh Faringdon , and two priests hanged, drawn and quartered, for denying the king's supremacy.
Reading was besieged in 1643 by the Parliamentarians, under Essex, and surrendered a few days after; those parts which were fortified were blown up by them on the termination of the siege.
The Abbey suffered greatly during this time, and has been regarded until lately as a quarry, large masses having been removed to repair and enlarge the parish churches, and for the building of the bridge on the Wargrave-road, at Park Place, near Henley, by the late General Conway.
It is now very tastefully laid out as a pleasure garden and promenade, and the huge remaining masses of cemented flint and rubble still give a faint idea of its former greatness.
The old gateway has been carefully restored, and is used as an armoury for the volunteers.
St. Lawrence's Church stands at the top of the Market-place, and St. Mary's in the centre of the town.
The Biscuit Factory, which employs some 700 hands, can be visited by order obtained on application.
Inn at Caversham, the "White Hart", on the bridge.
The "Queen's", Friars-street.
The "George", King street.
The "Great Western", close to the Stations.
The "Duke of Edinburgh", Caversham-road.
The "Bee-hive" Commercial Coffee-house, Friars-street.
Boats to be let and housed, (Caversham).
J.R.PIPER, Caversham Bridge. (see advert)
E.CAUSTON (see advert),
F.KNIGHT, Caversham Lock.
W.MOSS, (Piper's, Caversham Bridge);
Bathing at the Reading Bathing-house, near the Lock.
From Caversham Lock, 4 fur. 120 yds.; to Sonning Lock, 1 m. 7 fur. 28 yds.
The river Kennett joins here, running from Newbury, where it meets the Kennett and Avon Canal, by which the West of England, &c., may be reached by water, (see also under Abingdon , ante).
Boats to let.
J.HOLMES, at the Ferry, (also a house-boat).
J.P.HALL, on Kennett. -. Fox, "Dreadnought" Inn.
Inn, the "Dreadnought". Fisherman, J.P.HALL. H.W.TAUNT'S Agents at Reading: Mr. LOVEJOY, Library, London-street, (see advert)
Mr.BRAGG, Stationer, Broad-street.
Sonning Lock, from Caversham Lock , 2 m. 4 fur. 148 yds.; to Shiplake Lock, 2 m. 6 fur. 126 yds.: falls from 2 ft. in high
to 5 ft. in low water; average in summer, about 4 ft.
Twyford Station (G.W.R.), from Sonning, 2 m.
The River after leaving Caversham runs through a belt of flat meadows, one of which is the Reading recreation ground; but just before reaching Sonning it turns shortly to the hills and woods of Holme Park , along the edge of which is a very pretty walk, the trees overhanging the towing-path nearly to the water.
At Sonning the river branches out, encircling a group of islands; and passing the Lock, where a glance at Sadler's bees will be well repaid by the insight gained into their habits, we soon reach the bridge.
On the right bank stands the Church, which is worth seeing: in the interior is a unique arch adorned on either side with sculptured figures, representing on one our Lord blessing the twelve Apostles, and opposite the Virgin and Child and other figures. There is also a curious alms-box and several monuments.
Sadler at the Lock keeps the key.
Boats to be let and housed.
J.SADLER, at the Lock. (see advert)
The "White Hart", close to the bridge;
the "French Horn", on the side stream , under the towing-path bridge. (see advert)
Inn, The "Butchers' Arms", up the village.
Fishing. - The fishing at Sonning is very good.
The Lock pools are the private property of Mr. Witherington, and part of the back water is rented by W.Hull, at the "French Horn".
Permission to fish is freely given by Mr. Witherington, (except when previously engaged).
JAS. BROMLEY; Wm. HULL, "French Horn".
Fish . - Trout, Barbel, Chub , Jack, Perch, Roach, Dace, Gudgeon, &c.
Bathing at the Weir, by permission of Mr. Witherington;
also in the stream near the "French Horn".
Shiplake Lock, from Sonning Bridge, 2 m. 4 fur. 66 yds.; to Shiplake Ferry, 1 m. 0 fur. 38 yds.:
falls from 1 ft. 6 in. in high to 4 ft. in low water; average in summer, 3 ft. 6 in.
Shiplake Station (G.W.R., Henley Branch), from Wargrave Ferry , about 6 fur.
After leaving Sonning, we pass nothing noticeable till nearing Shiplake, where the Church ,mounted on a hill close above a large chalk -pit, is an interesting feature.
Dr. Phillmore Island also, with a peep at Shiplake Mill beyond, must not be left unobserved, and then Wargrave comes into view.
Just below Shiplake Lock the Loddon joins the Thames; this stream is celebrated by being the subject of the fabled story of "Lodona" in Pope's "Windsor Forest".
Wargrave was once a market-town; but from its greatness it has dwindled down into a pleasant village.
The Church (the tower of which is beautifully overgrown with ivy) stands close to a backwater running up from the main stream; but to visit it, a detour through the village is necessary.
It contains a monumental tablet to the memory of Mr. Day (author of "Sandford and Merton"), who was killed here by a fall from his horse.
Below Wargrave our attention is arrested by the beautiful background of hills, with the mansions embosomed among their clothing of woods; and nearing Marsh Lock, the river runs along at the foot of some bold cliffs, forming part of the grounds of Park Place.
These pleasure-grounds are ornamented by a very picturesque boat-house in the Gothic style, which, with the bridge built from the walls of Reading Abbey, must not be passed by; there is also, among other objects of interest, the Druids' Temple, presented by the inhabitants of Jersey to General Conway.
Permission to view the grounds of Park Place can generally be obtained, by sending a request previously.
Hotel, the "George and Dragon" ("Ferry Hotel").
The "White Hart".
Boats housed and to let.
W.WYATT, at Wargrave Ferry.
Fishing: - The fishing below Sonning to Shiplake is of a first-class character.
Greville Fennell says, "Shiplake Pool is noted for its Pike; but holds few Trout.
Now we get to Doctor Phillmore Island, at the tail of which there are plenty of Perch of a respectable girth, and Jack in due season.
All round the island the fly may be profitably cast for Chub and Perch.
Phillmore House is on the hill, and about 400 yards above is the well known Chalk-pit Hole, and the angler can scarcely try a wrong place, making an exception here and there, all the way to Sonning.
I heard of seventy brace of Perch having been taken with two rods at the Chalk-pit in a day; and I have myself caught Perch there for a short time that would treble that number."
Below Shiplake to Marsh Lock, Roach, Gudgeon, and Perch abound; and in some of the backwaters are fine Pike.
Marsh Pool is known for Barbel, and below are fine scours and deeps, affording good fishing right down to Henley.
R.WYATT; F.WYATT; - TOWNSEND.
Fish. - Jack, Chub, Perch, Tench, Roach, Dace, Gudgeon.
Bathing at the Lock-pool; also behind the island, just below Wargrave.
MARSH LOCK, from Shiplake Ferry, 2 m. 0 fur. 82 yds.; to Henley Bridge, 7 fur. 109 yds.: falls from 2 ft. in high to 4 ft. 6 in. in low water ; average in summer, about 4 ft.
Henley Bridge, from Oxford, 46 m. 7 fur. 53 yds.; to Putney Bridge, 57 m. 4 fur. 13 yds.
Henley Station(G.W.R., Henley Branch), about 2 fur. from the Bridge.
Henley is, according to Dr. Plot, the oldest town in Oxfordshire.
Its scenery on all sides is very beautiful. The fine range of wooded hills that close the distance, mirrored in the clear and ample river, give it an indescribable charm.
There is not much of note in the town of Henley besides the Bridge and Church.
The Bridge is a fine stone structure of five arches, the keystone of the centre arch being ornamented by sculptured allegorical heads of Thames and Isis.
The Church is a noble building in the Decorated style of architecture; it has a lofty square turreted tower, said to have been designed or erected by Cardinal Wolsey.
The entrance to Henley by the Oxford Road (called the "Fair Mile") is also very pleasing.
Henley is well known to oarsmen, on account of the annual Regatta held here, established in 1839, which may be considered one of the most successful meetings of the kind held in England; it is visited by the élite of the aquatic world, and during its continuance, the town is the centre of a very fashionable gathering.
The Course is from the Island below Fawley Court to near the Bridge, a distance of nearly a mile and three furlongs: one of the finest reaches on the river.
Just above the bridge on the Berkshire side is a large boat-house , for housing the boats of competitors at the Regatta.
Boats housed or to be let.
Mrs. LAMBOURNE; F.JOHNSON; R.BEDWELL; Mrs. HOOPER.
The "Red Lion", (see advert),
the "Angel", close to the Bridge, (see advert)
The "Catherine Wheel".
the "White Hart", Hart-street.
The "Little White Hart", just below the Bridge;
the "Carpenters' Arms";
the "Two Brewers";
the "Bear", and others.
H.LAMBOURNE; H.JONES; E.VAUGHAN; T.NEAL, sen.; T.NEAL, jun.; J . Ives.
Fishing. - The river about Henley is well known as a favourite spot for anglers of every class, who are allured not alone by the beauties of the landscape.
The water is deep and abounds in fish, so, if the weather be favourable, a good day's fishing at Henley is not to be despised.
WILLIAM PARROTT; EDWARD VAUGHAN; ALFRED PARROTT; EDWARD WOODLEY; HENRY ALLUM; GEO. GERRAM.
Bathing at the Henley Bathing Company's Bathing-house, Solomon's Hatch:
also at Marsh Lock-pool.
Hambledon Lock, from Henley Bridge, 2 m. 2 fur. 35 yds.;
to Medmenham Ferry, 2 m. 0 fur. 66 yds.:
falls from 1 ft. in high to 4 ft. 8 in. in low water; average in summer, about 4 ft.
Inn at Aston, The "Flower-pot", (see advert)
Fishing. - Above Hambledon Lock the reach is celebrated for its Pike, and below, in the race, is a favourite swim for Gudgeon, which are stated to reach a quarter of a pound in weight.
H.W.TAUNT'S Agent at Henley: Mr. KINCH, Stationer, &c., Market - place.
MEDMENHAM FERRY, from Henley, 4 m. 2 fur. 101 yds.;
to Hurley Lock , 1 m. 4 fur. 168 yds.
Medmenham Abbey, close by, is well known by pleasure parties, being chosen as the favourite spot for picnicing by persons from Marlow and Maidenhead, as well as Henley.
Medmenham was first built as an offshoot to the monastery of Woburn in Bedfordshire, and as such existed for about 200 years.
It was afterwards annexed to Bisham Abbey.
During the last century it acquired great notoriety as the meeting-place of a club of débauchés of rank and fashion:
of their doings it would be unwise to speak, but the motto over the doorway sufficiently shews the class of men,
"Fay ceque Voudras" ("Each as he likes".)
The Abbey, with its ivy-mantled walls, is an interesting object; and its effect is heightened by the addition of a modern antique tower, &c., corresponding with the style of the other building.
Hotel. - The "Ferry", close to the Abbey. (See p. 64.)
In the village of Medmenham , the top of the hill is crowned by an old farmhouse, said to be mentioned in Domesday Book; whilst the Church nestles itself in the valley below; a few fine old English cottages stand near the foreground, completing the picture.
Not far below Medmenham we come to a bold bluff on the left bank;
and just below (in high water), a dangerous weir, or overfall,
which directly faces the centre of the stream;
the proper course is near the right bank.
At Danesfield, near here, are the remains of an encampment attributed to the Danes.
Hurley Lock, from Medmenham Ferry, 1 m. 4 fur. 168 yds.; to Temple Lock, 5 fur. 23 yds.:
average fall about 2 ft. 8 in.; does not vary much.
Hurley, on the right bank just above the Lock, should not be passed by without a visit.
There are the venerable remains of a Monastery (Lady Place) founded in the reign of William the Conqueror; the Church being entire, and the west door in good preservation; the ancient refectory is converted into stables.
Close by are the remains of the vaults of the mansion, which was built in 1600; they are interesting from being the place where measures were entered into for inviting over the Prince of Orange, which led to the Revolution of 1688.
The meetings were held under cover of a round of splendid hospitalities, and it is stated that the most important papers were signed in a recess at one end of the vault.
On the other shore is Harleyford House, the residence of Sir Wm. Clayton, splendidly situated at the foot of its hanging woods.
Fishing - The reaches here , both up and down, are good for Chub and Pike, and at the Weir are fine Perch.
At the islands below Medmenham are fine swims, and from here right up to Culham Court the water is deep and teeming with fish.
Temple Lock, from Hurley, 5 fur. 23 yds.; to Marlow Bridge, 1 m. 3 fur. 201 yds.: falls from 2 ft. 3 in. in high to 4 ft . 9 in. in low water; average in summer, about 4 ft. 6 in.
Passing Temple we soon come to Bisham, with its fine Abbey and old Norman Church peeping out between the trees. The
Abbey, the seat of G.H.Vansittart, Esq., belonged in the reign of Stephen to the Knights Templars; but after the dissolution
of that order, a priory was founded for Augustinian friars;
it after passed into the hands of the Benedictines, and was suppressed with the rest of the monasteries.
The present house was partly built by Sir Edward Hoby, about 1592.
It is a fine building with centre tower, also cloisters on one side, and contains a fine Hall.
The Church is crowded with monuments to personages of high rank in times long gone by, including among others one to the memory of Richard Neville, the celebrated "King Maker".
Marlow Bridge, from Temple Lock, 1m. 3fur. 201yds.;
to Cookham Bridge, 3 m. 7 fur. 158 yds.
Marlow Lock , 1 fur. 107 yds. beyond the bridge: falls from 1ft 6in in high to 6ft in low water; average in summer, about 5ft 6in.
Railway Station, Marlow-road (G.W.R., Wycombe Branch), distance about 3½ miles.
A line to Marlow is in progress.
Marlow is very prettily situated, but has nothing in itself calling for notice excepting the graceful Suspension-bridge and Weir.
The Church, which is built on the site of a far prettier one, forms a conspicuous object with every view of the bridge.
The river, soon after passing here, reaches the Bisham Woods [Quarry Woods], which stretch along the hills, and form a pleasing feature in the landscape.
Pretty shaded walks stretch through them; and one bold bluff, from which a splendid view of Marlow and the neighbouring country is obtained, has a tragical legend attached to it.
The river follows the hills nearly to Cookham, and then leaves them to join the glorious Cleveden Woods.
Boats housed and to be let.
JAS. HAINES, above the bridge.
ROBERT SHAW, above the bridge.
MISS COMPIERE, at the "Anglers".
Houseboat to let, R.HARDING.
HOTELS: The "Anglers", close to the bridge.
The "George and Dragon".
The "Barge Pole".
The Two Brewers".
Fishing. The fishing all round Marlow is thoroughly good.
I had the pleasure myself, this year, of seeing a Trout weighing 8lbs., that had been caught just this side of Quarry woods.
A stuffed one, said to have been the heaviest caught on the Thames, hangs in one of the rooms of the "Anglers"; it was taken by Robert Shaw.
The waters are preserved by the Marlow and Cookham Angling Protection Society; and their bailiff, Robert, or Bob Shaw (as he is called) will always be pleased to give any information.
He lives in a new-built house just above the bridge.
ROBERT SHAW; WM.SHAW; GEO.WHITE; T.WHITE; JEM WHITE; WM.ROCKWELL; H.ROCKWELL.
Fish. - Trout, Pike, Perch, Gudgeon, Roach, Barbel, &c.
Bathing at the Weir,from the "Anglers"; also below the Lock.
Henry W.TAUNT'S Agent for Marlow: Mr.SMITH, Stationer, High-street.
The following are the principal of the new bye-laws of the Conservancy relating to the pleasure-traffic on the river Thames:-
No steam-vessel shall be worked or navigated upon the river Thames between Teddington Lock, in the parish of Ham, in the County of Surrey, and Cricklade, in the county of Wilts, at such speed as shall endanger or cause any injury to the banks of the river.
Tolls for ferries each time of crossing, are -
For a horse not engaged in towing, taken across by ferry-boat, 3d.
For a horse and carriage, 6d.
For two horses and a carriage, 1s.
For foot-passengers, each 1d.
The following are the pleasure-boat tolls for locks:-
For every steam pleasure-boat, not exceeding 35ft in length, 9d;
for every steam pleasure-boat exceeding 35ft in length, for every additional 5ft. of length, 3d.
Class 1. - For every pair-oared row-boat, skiff, out-rigger, randan, dinghy, punt, canoe, or company boat, 3d.
Class 2. - For every four-oared row-boat, (other than the boats enumerated in Class 1,) 6d.
Class 3. - For every row-boat, shallop, and company boat, over four oars, 9d.
For every house-boat, 2s 6d.
The above charges to be for passing once through the lock , and returning the same day.
The following are the annual tolls.
In lieu of the above tolls, pleasure steamboats or row-boats may be registered on the annual payment to the Conservators of the undermentioned sums, and shall, in consideration of such payment, pass the several locks free of any other charge:
For every steam pleasure-boat not exceeding 35ft in length, 40s per annum, with 5s extra for every additional 5ft.
For every row-boat of Class 1, 20s per annum.
For every row-boat of Class 2, 30s per annum.
For every row-boat of Class 3, 40s per annum.
For every house-boat, 100s per annum.
This Company's rates for Boats conveyed by passenger-trains are as follows:-
If requiring one carriage-truck, the charge will be as for a four-wheeled carriage; if two trucks are required, the charge is as for two four-wheeled carriages.
The crew, if travelling with the boat, 1d per mile, provided that not less than four passengers travel with it.
Canoes will be charged the same rate, as a general rule; but if conveyed between two terminal stations, and they can be placed on the top of a carriage with convenience and safety, the Company will be prepared to charge a reduced rate; but all such cases must be matter of special arrangement, and be dealt with as they arise.
Boats and Canoes conveyed in the guard's van, or on the roof of an ordinary passenger-carriage are charged 2d per mile per boat or canoe,
with a minimum charge of 5s, at owner's risk.
When the boats or canoes are so large as to require a special truck or trucks, the charge is as follows:-
When one truck or carriage is required, the charge is as for one private carriage; when two trucks are required, as for one and-a-half private carriages; when three trucks are required, as for two private carriages; when four trucks are required, as for two-and-a-half private carriages.
In cases where the crew (not less than four in number) travel with the boat, the charge for conveyance of the latter will be reduced one-half, in all cases by special agreement, at owner's risk.
RAILWAY STATION: Marlow-road (G.W.R.), 3 fur from landing-place.
Inn: "Railway Tavern", close to the Station.
Boats to let: A.P.SPEECHLEY.
Cookham Bridge, from Marlow Lock, 3m 6fur 51yds; to Cleveden Ferry, 7fur 154yds.
Station: Cookham (G.W.R., Wycombe Branch), 5fur from the bridge.
A short distance above Cookham the Thames is joined by the Wyke.
Cookham Church stands near the river, and forms a picturesque object from it.
The river is crossed here by a slim iron bridge, and just below is divided into a number of streams, Hedsor is in sight, and the old Folly on the hill attracts attention; but just below is Cleveden, the finest reach on the Thames.
Passing down the Cut and through the Lock, we reach the overhanging woods, and turning short round, glide tranquilly along the river at their base.
The scenery here is the grandest on the river, but it is impossible to give any adequate description of it: it must be seen.
The mind of every one is so entranced with its loveliness that details cannot be entered into, but all is summed up in the one expression, "How beautiful!"
Cleveden House is built on the summit of the hill , and the view from its terrace is unequalled.
The mansion was first erected by Geo.Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.
Frederick , Prince of Wales, the father of George III., had it for some time as his summer residence; and it was whilst here that the masque of "Alfred" was performed.
It was composed by Thomson, but is nearly forgotten except, one song which is immortal, "Rule Britannia" is not likely to be lost.
Villiers' house was destroyed by fire, and the present mansion - designed by Barry - erected in its place.
It is now place. in the possession of the Marquis of Westminster.
The scenery the whole of the distance to Maidenhead, though not equally grand, still retains enough of its loveliness to create a longing for a nearer view.
The island of Formosa lies on the opposite bank to Cleveden Woods, just above the Ferry.
HOTELS, (at Cookham):
The "Ferry Hotel", close to the bridge. (see advert)
The "King's Arms", in the village. (see advert)
Inn: The "Bel and Dragon".
Boats to be let and housed: W.LACEY; R.POULTON.
Fishing - Cookham Reach is a splendid water for Perch, Roach, and Jack; and it is very seldom that, in passing, one does not see a number of anglers in their punts, moored in the characteristic way of the Thames.
Below, under the Cleveden Wood, the water is still good; and pitches may be found every now and then the whole distance to Boulter's Weir.
FISHERMEN: EDWARD GODDING; JEM DREWETT; HARRY WILDER, (of Maidenhead, generally here in the season).
Splendid bathing at Odney Weir.
COOKHAM LOCK, to Boulter's Lock: 1m 7fur 112yds: falls from 1ft 6in in high to 5ft in low water; average in summer, about 4ft.
Boulter's Lock, from Cleveden Ferry, 1m 3fur 178yds; falls from 3ft in high to 7ft in low water; average in summer, about 6ft.
MAIDENHEAD BRIDGE: from Boulter's Lock, 5fur 70yds; to Bray Lock, 1m 3fur 152yds.
The London road, from the West of England, passes over this bridge.
Maidenhead stands some distance from the river, and consists mostly of one long street, but there is nothing of any consequence to attract the visitor: Maidenhead depends upon Cleveden for its interest.
Taplow Bridge [Maidenhead Railway Bridge], just below Maidenhead, is celebrated for the enormous span of its arches, being the largest in the world composed of brick only; one of Brunel's grand designs.
About four miles from Maidenhead is a celebrated resort of pic-nic parties, called Burnham Beeches, where, under magnificent old trees, gnarled and rugged, many a pleasant holiday is spent.
For the artist there are days of intense enjoyment amongst their weird groupings.
Stations near Maidenhead Bridge:
MAIDENHEAD STATION (G.W.R.), about a mile from the river.
"Ray Mead", close to Boulter's Lock, (see advert);
Skindle's "Orkney Arms" Hotel. (see advert).
"King's Arms", all near the river. (see advert)
"White Hart", and others, in Maidenhead.
INNS (in Maidenhead):
"Saracen's Head"; "White Horse"; "Swan" &c.
H.W.TAUNT'S Agent at Maidenhead: Mr. HODGES, Stationer.
Boats housed and to be let:
* H.WOODHOUSE, "Ray Mead" Hotel.(see advert);
* J.BOND, close to the bridge.
Ponies for towing, at W.Deacon's, "Ray Mead Hotel".
Fishing. - The fishing to Boulter's Lock is good for Chub, and there are also several good swims for Gudgeon, &c.
Below the bridge Jack and Perch abound; whilst along the whole distance of the osier-beds are Chub in great force, and other fish are to be met with.
HY.WILDER; ED.ANDREWS; RD.ANDREWS; GEO.SAUNDERS; J.SIMMONS; MARK ANDREWS.
Fish: - Trout, Jack, Perch, Chub, Roach, Dace, Barbel, Gudgeon, &c.
Bathing at Boulter's Weir.
Bray Lock: from Maidenhead Bridge, 1m 3fur 152yds;
to Monkey Island, 4fur 128yds: open in high water; average fall in summer, about 1ft 9in.
Bray has no scenery to boast of; but its Church is well known from the memory of its "vivacious Vicar", who, "whatsoever king did reign, would still be Vicar of Bray".
The structure will repay a visit: the old houses round part of the churchyard also are worth notice.
The Alms-houses, at the lower end of Bray, ought not to be missed.
INNS. The "George", close to the river (see advert);
The "Hind's Head", in the village.
Boats housed and to be let.
* W.WOODHOUSE, at the "George" Inn. (see advert)
Fishing: - The fishing round Bray is good for Jack, Perch, and Gudgeon; Barbel are found at the Weir and in the stream near Monkey Island; and Chub exist nearly everywhere, under the shelving banks on the one side of the river, and the ozier beds on the other.
W.WOODHOUSE; J.CHAPMAN; J.CHAPMAN,jun.
Bathing at the Weir.
Inn at Amerden Bank (just below Bray Lock), and punts to let.
From MAIDENHEAD BRIDGE, 2m 0fur 60yds; to Windsor Bridge, 1m 7fur 90yds
MONKEY ISLAND received its name from a pleasure-house built on it by the third Duke of Marlborough, the ceiling of which is adorned with paintings of monkeys engaged at all sorts of sports.
The house is now formed into an inn, and visited largely by pleasure parties and anglers, the "monkey room" being still in good preservation, and the fishing all round thoroughly good.
Fishing punts to let.
Fisherman, R.PLUMMER, jun.
Bathing from the island.
Surley Hall. Inn, (no beds).
This is another well-known fishing resort by parties from Windsor; also a stopping-place for the Eton boys, and where, in a meadow opposite, they hold their annual College festival on the fourth of June.
Just a little above is Water Oakley Court, a fine mansion in the castellated style.
The fishing all round here for Pike, Perch , Barbel, and Gudgeon, is thoroughly good, particularly in what is now known as Eykyn's Pool, near the Willows.
BOVENEY LOCK from Monkey Island, 2m. 5fur; to Windsor Bridge, 1m 7fur 90yds: falls from 2ft 6in in high to 4 ft in low water; average in summer, 3ft 9in.
Bathing at the Weir; also at Athens, just below , when the Eton boys are away for the vacation, in August and September.
WINDSOR BRIDGE, from Boveney Lock, 1m 7fur 90yds; to Romney Lock, 3fur 96yds.
At Boveney Lock we catch the first good peep of the Royal Castle of Windsor; and all the way on we get pleasant views every now and then; till, passing under the Great Western Railway Bridge, it bursts upon us in all its splendour.
The view of Windsor from the Brocas is the grandest on the River Thames.
It should be seen with the red light of sunset glinting upon it; then the warm lights, contrasting so finely with the cold grey shadows, make every part stand out with boldness and reality; and the noble round tower, raising its head far above the surrounding buildings, gives a breadth and airiness to the whole.
The Curfew, or Julius Cæsar's Tower, a building of huge proportions, was altered under the direction of His late Royal Highness the Prince Consort; but from whatever point we view the western fa&csedila;ade, its exceeding beauty and exquisite harmony of proportion are marred by this vast Belfry Tower.
Windsor Castle was commenced by William the Conqueror, who turned the neighbouring country into a royal forest, and used the house as a hunting-lodge.
By Henry I. it was rebuilt, and here it was he celebrated his second marriage.
In the time of Stephen , the age of castles, it was reckoned second in the kingdom.
Edward III. was born here, and we owe the greater part of this splendid palace to him.
He appointed William of Wykeham surveyor of the works, and had the workmen impressed from the surrounding counties.
After Edward III., Windsor, for near a century, received no addition, until Edward IV. erected St. George's Chapel, perhaps the most exquisite specimen of the architecture of that period which exists.
Elizabeth caused the north terrace to be constructed, from which is seen one of the finest views on the whole of the river.
Shakespeare wrote his comedy of the "Merrie Wives of Windsor" at her command, and it was performed before her here in 1593.
The Castle has undergone immense restorations and improvements since 1824, particularly by King George IV., under the direction of Sir Jeffery Wyattville, the architect.
It is thrown open to visitors when Her Majesty is absent.
Guides, with every information required, and passes for admittance can be obtained of Mr.Collier, Stationer, Castle-hill, my agent at Windsor.
The views of the Castle from the Home park, and also from Eton, are very fine but not equal in grandeur to that from the Brocas.
The G.W.R.(Branch), High-street; the Slough(G.W.R. main line), 1¾ mile distant; the S.W.R., Datchet-road.
Boats housed and to be let:
* J. and S.SALTER; * H.GOODMAN, Eton; J.ALLEN, Windsor.
The "White Hart" (see advert);
the "Adelaide";" and the "Star and Garter", (the site of the "Garter Inn" of the "Merrie Wives of Windsor",) at Windsor.
The "Christopher", at Eton.
The "Crown and Cushion", Eton, (see advert);
the "George"; The "New Inn", Eton-square;
the "William IV.";
and the "Royal Oak", at Windsor.
H.W.TAUNT'S Agent at Windsor: Mr.COLLIER. Castle-hill;
Eton: Mr.DRAKE, High-street.
Fishing. - Just below Boveney Weir, where the Lock and Weir streams meet, there is capital bank-fishing for Roach, on the Bucks side of the river; and at lower Hope, about mid -stream, many Barbel are found. In Clewer Mill-stream fine Chub are taken , there is also excellent Chub- fishing at the exit of the water at Dead Water Eyot; and from thence under the boughs down stream for a quarter of a mile quantities are caught, whipping with large artificial flies, either Bees, or Palmers.
A little above the G.W.R. Bridge on the Windsor side is a capital Gudgeon pitch.
Good bank-fishing for Roach is had from the Brocas shore, about fifty yards from the magnificent clump of elms; quantities are also captured at the back of the "Fireworks Eyot", on which is the grand pyrotechnic display at the Eton Festival on the fourth of June.
Below Windsor Bridge some fine Trout are always taken each season, and from Eton Weir to the Playing-fields, for about half-a-mile, is a famous Trout stream, in which some spotted beauties sport, and are often captured from the island.
"New Works Hole" opposite "Sixth Form Bench", where the best cricketers of the school have tea on summer evenings, is a famous deep for Barbel; while at "the Needles", that "meeting of the waters" where the different streams divided by Romney Island unite and mingle in exceeding loveliness, is one of the choicest spots for punt-fishing on the entire Thames; it is much frequented by London anglers.
The only other noticeable spots in the Windsor and Eton district is "Hog Hole", about 300 yards above Victoria Bridge, in mid-stream; it is of great depth, and full of Dace, Chub, and Barbel, with an occasional Trout.
Fishing-tackle Manufacturer: ROBERT SMITH, Eton, close to Windsor Bridge.
GEO.HOLLAND ("Nottingham George"), assistant river-keeper;
Fish: - Barbel, Chub, Roach, Pike, Trout, Gudgeon, Perch, Dace, &c.
Bathing: At Athens, on the main stream;
Windsor Bathing-place (by subscription), close to G.W.R. on Windsor side;
Cuckoo Weir, a branch of the Thames opposite Clewer Point;
Also at Eton Weir.
Romney Lock, from Windsor Bridge, 3fur 96yds.; to Victoria Bridge, 6fur 34yds.
ETON COLLEGE stands near the river, nearly opposite to Romney Lock: the view from this point is one of the best, if we except that from the north terrace of the Castle.
Eton College was founded by King Henry VI., in 1440.
It still continues to supply one-half of the scholarships at King's College, Cambridge, and sends about 70 students annually to the two Universities.
The Chapel has a graceful exterior in the Perpendicular style, the interior of it being equally chaste; it contains several good stained-glass windows, two of which are in memory of the Etonians who fell in the Crimean war.
The other buildings are mostly of brick, and not fine as specimens of architectural beauty.
A great number of our most celebrated men have been educated here; among others, Wellington, Canning, Gray, Praed, Charles Kean, and Gladstone.
Below Eton we pass, for the first time, under the line of the South-Western Railway, by an elegant girder-bridge, and soon after reach Victoria, the first of the twin viaducts at either end of the Home-park.
They are said to have been designed by Prince Albert, and the land between them being Her Majesty's private none but persons towing a boat or in charge of a barge-horse are allowed to be on shore.
Herne's Oak, celebrated by Shakespeare, which stood hard by, and formed an object of great attraction, was blown down during a summer storm on the last day of August, 1863.
On the other bank is Datchet, where the "mead" will be remembered as the scene of the hero Falstaff's ducking in the Thames; and of which submerging he exclaims so feelingly - "that drowning swells a man".
From this spot a pontoon bridge has been twice erected for the passage of troops by thousands, when there have been royal reviews in Windsor Great-park.
There are , on the green, a few old English houses, but nothing else worthy of note, the Church having been newly restored in a style too modern to suit an English village landscape.
Boats to let:
"Manor Hotel" (see advert);
Inn: "Morning Star".
Railway STATION (S.E.R.), about 2 fur from river.
Fishing. - At "Swan's Bridge", almost joining Albert Bridge, where the drain from Windsor Castle and the Barracks empties itself into the river, Roach and Dace, particularly the former, are caught literally by thousands: there is nothing in the whole course of the Thames equal to the immense number taken here by anglers; and there are often a dozen punts engaged at a time in the successful, but not over-sweet, occupation.
As the stream is bordered by the private part of the Home-park, angling is only permitted here from boats.
In our notice of the fishing spots in this portion of our river, it is only necessary further to mention the well-known "Colnbrook Churchyard", situated in the old river at Old Windsor, about a quarter of a mile below the Weir, where hundreds of large Barbel and Chub are taken.
The place is so named from a popular legend that, in the beginning of the seventeenth century, when highwaymen infested the main London-road from Hounslow Heath to Colnbrook, and Claude du Val was the great captain of the band, the bodies of all travellers who lost their lives in the frequent deadly encounters, were brought by night to this place, heavily weighted in sacks, and thrown into the Thames.
It is a fact that a short time ago an entire skeleton, that had been evidently long embedded in the mud, was discovered here by some ballast-heavers.
Old Windsor Lock, from Albert Bridge, 6fur 214 yds; to Magna Charta Island, 1m 3fur: falls from 3ft in high to 4ft 6in in low water;
average in summer, about 4ft.
The river, after leaving the Albert Bridge, flows onward through the new Weir: the boat-track being the cut on the right hand.
At Old Windsor Lock are some new Water Works, formed for supplying the Castle, &c. [?]
The "Bells of Ouseley", a noted Inn on the river, stands about seven furlongs below, in a very pleasant neighbourhood, where there is fishing in abundance.
The county of Surrey borders the course of the Thames just below here.
Boats to let: WILLIAM HAYNES.
Fisherman: William HAYNES.
Magna Charta Island, from Old Windsor Lock, 1m 3fur; to Bell Weir Lock, 1m 3fur 157yds.
MAGNA CHARTA ISLAND is well known to all readers of English history as being the place where, on the 19th of June, 1215, the Barons forced King John to sign the document known as the Great Charter of England, and which has borne fruit in the liberty that forms the birthright of every Englishman.
The Charter is said to have been signed upon a stone, which is now made into a table in the cottage. On the other side of the river is Runnymede.
Ankerwycke, just below , is also historical.
Henry VIII. is said to have wooed Anne Boleyn under a yew-tree still in existence, and also to have waited there for the signal following her execution.
Ankerwycke House stands near the ruins of a priory of Benedictine nuns, founded by Sir Gilbert Montfichet, the owner of the manor in the reign of Henry II.
Cooper's Hill, on the other side of the river, forms part of the elevated range which encloses the view.
It is well known from Denham's poem, of which the following is a specimen: -
My eye, descending from this hill, surveys
Where Thames among the wanton valley strays:
Thames, the most loved of all the ocean's sons
By his old sire, to his embraces runs, -
Hasting to pay his tribute to the sea;
Like mortal life to meet eternity. ...
Godlike his unwearied bounty flows;
First loves to do, then loves the good he does.
Fishing: - Close to the "Bells" is a good place for Gudgeon, where they are to be found in large quantities;
and from here right down below Ankerwycke, is first-class water for trolling and Roach-fishing.
Barbel find a home close to Magna Charta Island, and also at the Bell Weir; whilst under the boughs on the Buckinghamshire side, Perch and Chub are to be found.
Bell Weir Lock, Egham, from Magna Charta Island, 1m 3fur 157yds.; to Staines Bridge, 7fur 195yds.: falls from 1 ft in high to 6ft in low water;
average in summer, about 5ft.
EGHAM stands on the south side of the river, not far from Bell Weir.
Its Church, which is excessively plain, contains monuments to Sir John Denham and his two wives.
Inn at Bell Weir Lock: the "Angler's Rest". (see advert) Boats to let and housed: E.HAWKES, ("Angler's Rest".)
H.W.TAUNT'S Agent at EGHAM: Mr. LARKIN, Stationer.
RAILWAY STATION, Egham (S.W.R., Reading Branch,) about 5fur from the river.
HOTELS (at Egham):
The "Catherine Wheel"; the "King's Head".
FISHERMEN: JAMES KEEN; EDWARD WELLBELOVED.
Ferry to Wraysbury.
Just above Staines, the river Colne enters by several mouths.
Close to one stands "London Stone", the boundary of the counties of Middlesex and Buckinghamshire, and also the mark of the ancient jurisdiction of the city of London up the Thames.
Round the top of the original stone was inscribed,
"God preserve the City of London, A.D.1280," some of which inscription is still legible.
Staines Bridge is of white granite, built by Rennie, after the failure of several attempts to construct one.
Staines is a clean town, but has nothing to call for notice , excepting an old house near the Church, called Duncroft, said to have been a palace of King John's; but the house scarcely dates so far back, being in the Elizabethan style.
It has a large brewery, and also manufactories of Linoleum floor-cloth.
RAILWAY STATION (S.W.R.), some distance from the river through the town; branches from here to Windsor and Reading.
Hotel: the "Angel and Crown", High-street.
the "Pack-horse" (see p . 69);
the "Railway Inn";
the "White Lion";
Boats to be let and housed: * HENRY VEARS, (near the church , see p . 68);
H.LEACH, near the bridge.
H.W.TAUNT'S Agent at Staines: Mr. WATKINS, Stationer.
Fishing. - At Staines Bridge there is excellent Barbel- fishing, and from the bank close by, just below where the drain from the brewery enters, is Roach and Gudgeon-fishing.
In the back-water Perch are to be found, and above London Stone a fly will generally secure fine Chub.
At Bell Weir Lock are some excellent swims.
Below Staines bridge is a good Roach swim , and a little further down, close where the old bridge used to stand, is a noted swim for Barbel.
Along the towing-path, still further further on, is very respectable bank-fishing, whilst at Truss's Island are Perch and Roach.
HENRY VEARS; THOS.FLETCHER ; WM.CAMBERS; HY.AMOR;GEO.NIXON.
Bathing at Vears's Bathing-house, near the Church.
Penton Hook Lock, from Staines Bridge, 1m 6fur 168 yds; to Laleham Ferry, 6fur 140yds: falls, 2ft 6in; does not vary much.
Good bathing on the Hook.
Laleham Ferry, from Penton Hook Lock, 6fur 140yds; to Chertsey Lock, 1m 1fur 4yds.
Laleham and Penton Hook are well known as splendid fishing localities, and are much frequented by anglers from London.
It is, without exception, the best neighbourhood for fly-fishing on the Thames, and the takes are generally heavy.
To an angler camping out, this place offers unusual facilities; for, whilst he is in the midst of pleasant scenery and good fishing, he is close to a town where he can procure everything he may need, and the distance by the rail from London is less than an hour.
The "Horse Shoes".
Boats to be let or housed:
F.TROTTER, at Ferry; HARRIS.
SAML.HARRIS; JOHN HARRIS; WM.HARRIS; ALFRED HARRIS; FRANK HARRIS; SAML.SCOTT.
Gentlemen who stop here often go into Chertsey to sleep, where are inns. (See under Chertsey.)
CHERTSEY Lock, from Laleham Ferry, 1m 1fur 4yds; to Shepperton Lock, 1m 7fur 183yds: falls from 8in in high to 3ft 9in in low water;
average in summer, 3ft 6in.
CHERTSEY LOCK-HOUSE stands in Surrey, although on the Middlesex side of the river.
Traces are still in existence of the curved channel in which the Thames here ran, but on the Lock being built the course of the stream was altered as at present.
Chertsey Bridge stands just below.
At the top part of the Weir-pool, the Thames is joined by a stream running from Penton Hook through the Abbey Mill of Chertsey.
Chertsey is an ancient town, but there is little of antiquity in its appearance.
It contains a Church not remarkable for its beauty, though scarcely so ugly as that of Laleham, on the other side of the Thames.
The ancient importance of the town was mainly owing to the noble Abbey, originally founded in 666 for the Benedictines.
In the ninth century the Abbey was destroyed by the Danes, who murdered the abbot and all the monks, ninety in number.
Edgar, in 964, rebuilt and refounded the monastery.
In 1010, the Saxon Chronicle tells us, "This year men began to work at the new monastery at Chertsey."
The monastery prospered after this.
It is said to have "covered 4 acres of ground, and looked like a town".
The abbot wore the mitre, was a baron, owing military service to the king, and had privileges as wide as was customary with lord abbots.
The domains of the Abbey extended all along the side of the river, a long way[,] being a very fine meadow.
They made a cut at the upper end of it, which, taking in the waters of the river when it approached the Abbey, gained sufficient fall for a water-mill.
Of all this a fragment of wall, a rude gateway, part of a farm-house, and the cut which still works a mill, are the sole remains.
Chertsey is also known from its connection with Cowley, the poet, whose house still stands in Guildford-street.
St. Anne's Hill, near Chertsey, was the residence of Charles James Fox, the noted politician.
It is still a pleasant walk on a summer's day.
"Chertsey Bridge Hotel", landing-stage just above the bridge.
The "Cricketers", close below the bridge (see advert);
the "Crown", in Chertsey.
"King's Head", in Chertsey .
CHERTSEY STATION (S.W.R., Branch), Guildford-street, about 1 ½ mile from the Bridge.
WM.GALLOWAY, sen; THOS.GALLOWAY, jun; JOHN KEEN; JAS.HASLETT; JOHN POULTER; THOS.TAYLOR; - TAYLOR, jun.
Fishing. - Below Chertsey Bridge, Trout, Dace, and Roach abound, and good sport may be reckoned on; also , nearing Shepperton, Jack and Chub take up their quarters, and are generally to be found at home.
H.W.TAUNT'S Agents at Chertsey: KEMPSON and SON, Market-place.
SHEPPERTON LOCK, from Chertsey Lock, 1m 7fur 183yds; to Halliford Point, 1m 2fur 33yds:
falls on an average about 4 feet; (very slow in emptying).
SHEPPERTON Lock is situated on a short cut, the main river making a detour through the Weir.
Weybridge lies a little away from the river up the back-water leading to the Weir.
It is a long straggling place, boasting a monument on its green, and a very elegant new Church.
The Wey joins here by two streams, the upper being the navigable one, by which the oarsman can proceed to Guildford or Basingstoke.
The old route, by the Wey and Arun Canal, is now impracticable, in consequence of the abandonment of the navigation on it.
The Wey, in parts, is rather picturesque, and a few miles down passes the ruins of Newark Abbey, with its legend of the monks who "built a tunnel under the Wey".
The Waverley stream, flowing from Virginia water, also joins here.
The average fall of the Thames Lock (mouth of the Wey), is about 9 feet.
Hotel, Weybridge: "Lincoln Arms", close to the river. (see advert)
"Queen's Head"; "Ship"; "King's Arms"; "Portmore Arms", in the village.
WEYBRIDGE STATION (S.W.R., Main Line), nearly two miles from the river.
Boats housed and to be let:
J.Harris, "Lincoln Arms"; E.KEEN.
H.W.TAUNT'S Agent at Weybridge: Mr.COCKS, Stationer.
Fishing . - John Harris, of the "Lincoln Arms", tells me that "the reach from Chertsey Bridge to Shepperton is a very fine one for all kinds of fish: Chertsey scour is good for Trout and Dace; Dumsey swim being a fine place for Barbel and Dace, and Dachet Point for Pike.
At the back of Shepperton Weir, down to the landing for Weybridge, (the whole of the back-water leading up to the Weir,) is one of the finest streams for Trout we have about here."
I merely add, that John Harris will be only too pleased to give any further information.
J.HARRIS; W.HOUSE, " Lincoln Arms"; W.KEEN; E.KEEN; A.KEEN.
SHEPPERTON, like Weybridge, is a good deal resorted to by anglers.
Jack, Perch, Chub, and Bream are to be found; Barbel and other fish are also plentiful.
This part of the river, right down to Richmond, is eminently a fishing as well as a pleasure resort, and where, on the upper stream, one sees a few bank anglers or a single punt in miles of distance, here they are everywhere to be met with, and form a feature in the landscape.
Hotel: Shepperton, the "Anchor". (See p . 70 .)
"Rose and Crown".
Boats to be let or housed by G. and F.PURDUE. (See p .69.)
FISHERMEN: WM.ROGERSON; F.PURDUE; S.PURDUE; G.ROSEWELL; C.BROADHEAD; H.PURDUE, jun.
SHEPPERTON STATION (S.W.R.), about a mile from the village.
Halliford Point, from Shepperton Lock, 1m 2fur 33yds; to Walton Bridge, 6fur 156yds.
The "Ship" (see advert);
The "Red Lion";
Inn: The "Crown".
* Boats to let by THOS.ROSEWELL.
E.ROSEWELL; T.ROSEWELL; T.PURDUE; WM.ROSEWELL.
WALTON BRIDGE, from Halliford Point, 6fur 156yds; to Sunbury Lock, 1m 5fur 130yds.
A short distance before reaching here, just at the turn of the stream , is a place known as Cowey Stakes, supposed to be the ford by which Cæsar crossed the Thames: stakes have been found here not many years back.
Walton Bridge is composed of two sets of arches - is two bridges, in fact.
Part of one fell in some years ago, and is replaced by an ugly iron structure; the other old bridge, as it is called , is carried over a low, marshy tract of ground, which , according to an old record, was the original bed of the Thames.
Walton Church is an old structure, erected in the twelfth century.
It contains, amongst others, monuments to Lord Shannon, by Roubilliac, and to William Lely the Astrologer to Charles I.
There is also a curious brass, on which is engraved the figure of a man riding on a stag, into whose neck he is plunging a sword.
This person, (Selwyn), is said to have leapt on the back of a stag in the heat of the chase, to have guided it with his sword towards Queen Elizabeth, and when he came near her, plunged it into the animal's throat, so that he fell dead at her feet.
In the vestry is preserved one of those curious instruments, a scold's bit, the use of which was to make the offender hold her tongue.
Near Walton is Oatlands Park, once the favourite residence of Queen Elizabeth; it is now turned into a magnificent hotel, and, still standing in its beautiful grounds, affords a residence surpassed by few of its competitors in England.
"Oatlands' Park", (see p.76 [page 76 is missing in this copy]);
"Duke's Head", in Walton.
INNS: The "Anglers", close to the river, (see advert);
the "Old Manor House";
the "Crown", (see advert).
Boats housed and to be let:
J ROGERSON; J.ROSEWELL; GEO.HONE.
Horses for towing, J.ROSEWELL.
Fishing. - At Walton is one of the best pitches for Bream on the Thames, not far from the old wooden bridge that carries the towing-path over the entrance to the back-water; and, in places all the way to Sunbury Weir, Bream and Barbel are to be found.
Chub likewise and Dace exist along the Middlesex shore, whilst now and then Trout make their appearance.
J.ROGERSON; J.ROSEWELL; G.HONE.
RAILWAY STATION at Walton (S.W.R., Main Line), about 1½ miles from the river.
H.W.TAUNT'S Agent at Oatlands: Mr. NORTH, Stationer.
SUNBURY LOCK, from Walton Bridge, 1m 5fur 130yds; to Hampton Ferry, 2m 0fur 110 yds:
falls on an average about 6 feet: is very slow in emptying.
There is nothing of importance at Sunbury, the Church being anything but pretty or antique.
The breeding ponds, for supplying the Thames with Trout, &c., close to the Lock, are interesting.
The river-keeper, J.MILBOURN , who lives close by, will be pleased to explain their peculiarities.
SUNBURY STATION (S.W.R., Branch), about 1¼ mile from the river.
The "Magpie" (see advert);
the "White Horse" (see advert);
the "Flower Pot";
the "Weir Hotel", on the Surrey shore.
Boats housed and to be let:
* T. and A.STROUD.
Ponies for towing, J.MILBOURN.
Fishing. - Sunbury Weir, with the stream running from it, is a fine reach for fly-fishing, as well as holding Trout and other fish.
A back-water runs out below the Lock, on the Middlesex side, and is good for Dace: lower down, on the same shore, amongst the rod-aits, are Chub and Jack: below , near the Water Works, are Perch and Jack; whilst when past Hampton Church are Roach, Dace, Barbel, &c.
Round the islands below Jack abound, and in the back-water, Chub, &c.
Thames River-keeper, J.MILBOURN.
E.CLARK; T. and A.STROUD.
H.W.TAUNT'S Agent at Sunbury: Mr.READ, Thames-street.
HAMPTON Ferry, from Sunbury, 2m 0fur 110yds; to Moulsey Lock, 6fur 110yds.
Railway STATION (S.W.R., Branch), about 1 mile from the river.
HAMPTON is only noted for its races, which take place on what is known as Moulsey Hurst, on the Surrey side of the river.
It once had even a more unenviable reputation, when prize-fights and duels were the rage; but these have passed away.
The most noticeable house is that in which Garrick lived, after his retirement from the stage.
It may be known by the Rotunda standing close to the river, which contained the statue of Shakespeare, now in the British Museum.
Hotel: the "Lion".
The "Crown". (see advert)
Boats to be let and housed:
* BENN and Son;
Ponies for towing, David Hill.
BENN and SON;
Boats to be let and housed: * T. G . Tagg.
Hotel: "Island Hotel". (see advert)
MOULSEY Lock, from Hampton Ferry, 6fur 110yds; to Thames Ditton, 1m 0fur 209yds:
falls on the average about 6 feet.
There is a boat-launch here, open in summer for small boats, to save them going through the Lock.
It consists of a series of rollers down an incline, and is on the Weir side of the Lock.
HAMPTON COURT STATION (S.W.R., Branch), close to the Bridge, Surrey side.
HAMPTON COURT BRIDGE, just below the Lock, is rather a picturesque iron structure, which stands in the place of an old wooden bridge, and connects the village of Moulsey with that of Hampton Court.
Moulsey has nothing calling for notice, but the palace of Hampton Court must not be passed without attention being drawn to it.
It stands on the Middlesex side, a short distance from the river, and forms a pleasing object from the Surrey shore.
Early in the thirteenth century the manor of Hampton Court was bequeathed to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem; it remained in their possession till Wolsey induced the Prior of the order to grant him a lease of it, and he commenced the erection of his palace in 1515.
The stately style in which it was built excited much envy, and led Wolsey to make the whole a present to his master, Henry VIII.
The King accepted the gift, and gave Wolsey in return the palace of Richmond.
Henry built the great hall, made other additions to the buildings, and converted the country round into a chase, which he stocked with deer.
Edward VI. was born at Hampton Court.
Charles I. was confined here, and tried to make his escape, but failed.
William III. pulled down and rebuilt a great part of the palace, under the direction of Sir Christopher Wren; and his death was caused here by his horse stumbling over a mole-hill.
Pope immortalized the residence of Queen Anne here, in his poem, "The Rape of the Lock".
At present the state apartments, with their rich treasures of art, and the beautiful gardens, are open to the public.
The greatest glory of Hampton Court was the collection of cartoons by Raphael, designed to be copied in tapestry for the Sistine Chapel in Rome; they are now in the South Kensington Museum.
The gardens, with the celebrated vine, are also objects of attraction; and the fun of being lost in the Maze has helped to brighten many a holiday at Hampton Court.
The river Mole joins the Thames by two mouths at Moulsey.
Boats housed and to be let:
The "Mitre", Hampton Court.
Tagg's Island Hotel, (see under Tagg's Island above).
The "Prince of Wales", Moulsey.
Fishing. - Moulsey Weir is noted for its Trout, and good fishing is to be had at Hampton Court Bridge, just below.
The water gallery hole, close under the rails on the towing-path side, is also a safe refuge for good Trout; and on the other bank the shallow water will repay a cast with the fly.
Roach, Dace, and Gudgeon abound all down this reach; and in some places heavy Perch are to be found.
A fine place for camping is on the tongue of land just behind the first little ait below Hampton Court.
WM.MILBOURNE; THOS.DAVIS and SON; THOS.WATFORD; THOS.WHEELER; J.HEDGER; JOHN SMITH; G.MARTIN; V.STONE; WM.ROGERSON; C.GRIFFIN; WM.GRIFFIN.
The "Swan Hotel", at Ditton, has a reputation on the Thames, well sustained by its present host.
It is a pretty spot, and is well described by Theodore Hook, whose verses are still reverently recited in the village.
The following is a specimen of the lines:
Here in a placid waking dream,
I'm free from worldly troubles;
Calm as the rippling silver stream
That in the sunshine bubbles:
And, when sweet Eden's blissful bowers
Some abler bard has writ on,
Despairing to transcend his powers,
I'll ditto say for Ditton.
RAILWAY STATION (S.W.R.), about 4 fur from the river.
Hotel: the "Swan".
Boats housed and to be let:
Fishing. - The fishing from here to Kingston is for Trout, moderate; Barbel, good; Roach, Dace, and Gudgeon, exceedingly good.
At Thames Ditton deeps are Jack; and below, along the walls of the Water Works, are heavy Perch.
At Long Ditton, just below, boats are let by H.HAMMERTON and B.BUTTERY; the latter of whom also pursues the occupation of fisherman.
Soon after leaving Ditton we reach Surbiton, with its favourite promenade along the bank of the river, and rows of pretty villa residences behind;
but there is nothing else to attract our attention.
Boats housed and to be let:
* J.MESSENGER, Raven Ait;
MRS.PARKER, Surbiton Promenade;
The Thames Sailing Club has its head-quarters here.
KINGSTON BRIDGE, from Thames Ditton, 1m 7fur 55yds; to Teddington Lock, 1m 6fur 88yds.
KINGSTON RAILWAY STATION (S.W.R.), about 3 fur from the bridge.
The history of Kingston-on- Thames is its greatest pride.
It existed under the Romans; in Saxon times it was a royal town, and still retains the celebrated king's or coronation stone, upon which the Saxon kings sat at their coronation.
This relic of ancient days has been placed in a favourable spot, at the lower end of the market-place; and on it is engraved the list of some eight or nine kings, said to have been crowned here.
The banquet at the coronation of Edwy took place here, and was followed by the event which caused the brutal branding of the unfortunate Elfgiva, and the deposition and death of the king.
Kingston was noticed in Domesday Book as a royal demesne, but to John it owes its first charter.
The Church, which was built in the reign of Richard II.
The market-place and town-hall, and the bridge, are the only objects of interest, besides the stone already mentioned.
A large market is held here, and it is also the head-quarters of several rowing clubs, some of which take a leading part in the various regattas held here, and at other places on the river.
Boats housed and to be let:
* C.Melsom, (see advert);
* C. and A.BURGOYNE, and at Hampton Wick, (see advert).
Ponies for hire for towing: MRS. MERRETT.
The "Griffin". (see advert)
H.W.TAUNT'S Agents at Kingston:
R.CLARKE, Stationer, Market-place;
PHILLIPSON, Stationer, Market-place;
and MOREAU, Stationer, River side.
and the "Ram".
Fishing. - At Kingston, fishing is fully up to the average for Roach, Chub, and Bream; Barbel are to be found near both the bridges; and below the railway bridge, close to the mouth of the sewer, are Roach, with splendid Barbel in a hole close by: Chub line the aits below , where a fly may be thrown with every chance of success; and fine Jack abound all along the reach down to Teddington Weir, just above which, at Rat Island, is a good place for Roach and Perch.
JOHNSON and Sons;
and JOSEPH STEVENS and Son, Barge Walk Cottage, 3 fur. below the bridge.
TEDDINGTON Lock, from Kingston Bridge, 1m 6fur 88yds; to Eel-Pie Island, 1m 1fur 22 yds: falls from 6 in at high tides to 5ft 9in in low summer water;
average in summer, about 5 ft.
RAILWAY STATION (S.W.R.), 5 fur, from the river.
TEDDINGTON Lock is the last upon the Thames, and is divided into two; the small lock on the left hand being for pleasure-boats.
The tide runs up to the Weir, and flows about an hour.
I must call attention here to what I consider an imposition, and warn my fellow-oarsmen that if they cross at the ferry from the Lock side to the village, or vice versa, the sum of three-pence will be demanded.
The watermen give, as a reason for their charge, the fact that they are under the control of the Waterman's Company, being below Teddington Weir, and that their rules allow them to do so.
This may be their authority, but does not diminish the imposition of the case.
Boats housed and to be let: * J.MESSENGER.
Hotel: the "Anglers", close to the river.
Inn: "Royal Oak".
HENRY HARRIS; WILLIAM FRANCIS; JOHN FRANCIS. FERRY, (see note above).
Fishing.- The fishing, below Teddington and also at the Weir, is thoroughly good; as is well attested by the numerous fishing punts that ever and anon dot the river down to Richmond Bridge.
The favourite spots are the Weir pool, where Barbel exist in full force; and just at the bend of the river above Twickenham, where often as many as twenty punts are moored in close contact.
BETWEEN Teddington and Twickenham are the well-known mansions of Strawberry Hill and Pope's Villa.
Strawberry Hill lies back from the water, and is noted from being the seat of Walpole, who turned it into a Gothic building.
Pope's Villa stood just above, where the curve of the river round to Twickenham begins.
It was pulled down by Lady Howe, who also had the willow destroyed, that was so well known as being planted by the poet himself.
The grotto, I believe, still exists, but in a mutilated state.
Eel-Pie Island, just below, is a well-known resort for visitors up the river, and fine views of Richmond Hill, as well as Twickenham, can be obtained from it.
Twickenham Church contains the tomb of Pope; but is only interesting from this association, it being an ugly specimen of debased architecture.
Just below Twickenham Ferry is the residence of the Princes of Orleans, known by the vases of flowers on the river-wall; and on the opposite side of the river - surrounded with foliage, - is Ham House, the interior of which is said to present an almost unchanged example of a Stuart mansion.
The river here is very shallow at low tide, with a swift stream, and the mud-banks will not allow of towing; so that it is always, if possible, better for the oarsman to wait for the tide, than face the rapid current.
The "White Cross", Eel-Pie Island;
the "King's Head"," (seeadvert);
the "Albany", Twickenham.
the "Queen's Head";
the "Two Sawyers";
and the "George", Twickenham.
Boats to let:
T.COOPER, at the Ferry;
G.LEE; C.LEE; H.HAMMERTON; J.HAMMERTON; J.JERDON; W.FRANCIS.
E.FINCH; T.COXON; J.COXON; S.COWELL; T.CHAMBERLAIN; H.CHAMBERLAIN; J.BRAND; S.MESLEY; W.FRANCIS; GEO.COLLIS; RICH.MOFFATT; J.HENNESSEY.
Passing Marble Hill, on the left bank of the river, the views of Richmond gradually unfold their
beauty as we float nearer to them.
The first place on which our eye rests is the "Star and Garter", a fine building, standing out in a bold position on the brow of the hill, and commanding from its windows the most extensive views.
The Duke of Buccleugh's mansion lies close to the river at the corner, on turning which the bridge comes in sight.
RICHMOND BRIDGE, from Eel-Pie Island, 1m 4fur 140yds: to Kew Bridge, 2m 7fur 124yds:
RAILWAY STATIONS, L. and S.W.R., and North London line; both stations being close together, about 3 fur from the bridge.
RICHMOND, once designated Schene, was, like Kingston, a royal town.
Henry I. had a house here; and several documents in existence are dated at Sheen, during the reigns of Edwards I. and II.; Edward III. died at the palace in 1377; Richard II. resided here for part of his reign, and Chaucer was Surveyor of Works to the palace of Sheen, under him.
It was the favourite residence of Henry VII., who rebuilt the palace, after its destruction by fire, and changed the name to Richmond.
Henry VIII. occasionally resided here, and, on Wolsey presenting him with Hampton Court, acknowledged the present by "licensing him to lie in his manor of Richmond at his pleasure."
Queen Elizabeth was a prisoner here during part of the reign of her sister Mary; she also inhabited it when queen, and died here in 1603.
The building fell into decay, and when the Parliament the ascendancy, it was partly dismantled.
A very small trace still exists, on the western side of Richmond Green; consisting of a gateway and a turreted building.
According to the local tradition, the room over the gateway is that in which the Countess of Nottingham died, after the interview with Elizabeth, in which she confessed to having kept back the ring which Essex, when under sentence of death, had entrusted her to deliver to the Queen.
The green was once the favourite jousting place, in the palmy days of the palace; and is still used as a recreation-ground.
But the interest arising from these memorials of by-gone days is eclipsed by the natural beauty which unfolds itself as we ascend the hill: the view from which is one of the most lovely on the river.
It has been celebrated in poetry and prose, and some of our best English landscape-painters have immortalized it on their canvas.
The prospect well repays the trouble of climbing the hill, and the boat can be left at the corner, close to the Duke of Buccleugh's, in care of one of the watermen there, whilst you are gone.
When on the hill, pay a visit to the park - enclosed side by Charles I. - from which also extensive views are to be obtained.
Richmond Bridge is a picturesque structure of five arches, and, being prettily situated, is a great ornament to the river.
The poet Thomson lived at Richmond, and wrote several of his poems here; he is buried in the old church.
Boats housed or to be let:
Those marked * are Boat-builders.
* W.WHEELER AND SONS;
* E.MESSAM AND SON;
* SEARLE AND SONS;
* G.MESSAM; J.GLOVER;
Boats housed and to be let (Petersham):
* E.MESSAM AND SON, (Landsdown Boat-house);
* J. CHITTY.
C.WHEELER, (in ordinary to the Queen);
"Star and Garter";
Fishing. - The fishing all round Richmond is thoroughly good; and as numerous parties from London and elsewhere visit it, fishermen and punts are to be obtained without much trouble.
H.MANSELL; C.BROWN; R.NEW; H.HOWARD; WM.PLATT; GEO.PLATT; H.WHEELER; J.BRAIN.
H.W.TAUNT'S Agent at Richmond: Mr. COOK , Hill-street.
Leaving Richmond, the river flows onward, bordered on one side by the fine walk which stretches round Kew Park and Gardens to the bridge;
and on the other, passing several fine mansions, soon arrives at Isleworth.
Isleworth village has nothing to boast except the Church tower, the body of the Church being an ugly structure of brick.
It owes all its importance to Sion close by.
The site of Sion, now the princely domain of the Duke of Northumberland, was at first a monastery of the order of St. Bridget, the only one of the kind in England.
It was suppressed by Henry VIII., who reserved it for his own use; it was presented by Edward VI. to the Protector, Somerset, and, after his attainder and execution, to the Duke of Northumberland.
Lady Jane Grey resided here when the crown was offered her, the accepting of which led to her death and that of the Duke; when the estate once more reverted to the Crown, and was restored by Queen Mary to the Sisters of all the Saints, and especially of St.Bridget.
Elizabeth, however, dispossessed them, and gave Sion to the Earl of Northumberland, in whose family it still remains.
Boats housed and to be let:
J.WAITE; W.STYLES; both above the Ait.
The "Northumberland"; the "London Apprentice".
BRENTFORD STATION (G.W.R.), close to the river.
For dirty streets and white-legged chickens known.
Brentford excels, I believe, the celebrated city of Cologne, with its thousand-and-one smells.
It is chiefly famous for a severe skirmish between the Royal and Parliamentary armies in 1642, in which the former were victorious.
Boats to let at the Ferry: H.THOMAS.
Kew Bridge, from Richmond Bridge, 2m 7fur 124yds; to Barnes Railway Bridge, 2m 0fur 178yds: tide flows, three hours.
KEW STATION (S.W.R.), 2 fur. from the Bridge.
KEW GARDENS border the river on the Surrey shore, and one of the attractions to London holiday-folk , who come here to spend a day's outing in the beautiful plant-houses, &c.
They were private pleasure-gardens belonging to the Crown, but during the reign of her present Majesty they have been generously relinquished, and put under the management of the Commissioners of Woods and Forests as public national gardens.
They are open free.
STRAND-ON-THE-GREEN lies on the other side of the river, below Kew Bridge, but has no noticeable features.
Kew Bridge is of stone; it was opened in 1790.
Boats housed and to be let:
* F.MAYNARD, Strand-on-the-Green;
WILLIAMS and SON, Kew.
The "Oxford and Cambridge", (see advert);
"Star and Garter".
Inn: "Rose and Crown".
From Kew to Mortlake is a long dreary bit of the Thames, without any object of interest to break up its loneliness, except on
such occasions as the Oxford and Cambridge Boat-race, when the river is alive with countless legions of boats of every shape and calibre.
The village of Mortlake was the residence of Dr. Dee, the celebrated astrologer and alchymist in the reign of Elizabeth: he died here, and was buried in the churchyard.
Partridge, also, the almanac-maker, whose death was humorously predicted by Swift, and afterwards maintained by argument to be true, also lies here.
Mortlake is famous as the site of the first tapestry manufactory in England; it was set up by Sir Francis Crane in 1619, but did not long prosper.
Mortlake owes its notoriety at the present day to its being the end of the regatta-course, beginning at Putney; and is very different on race-days from the dull quiet place one finds it in ordinary times.its being the end of the regatta -course , beginning at Putney ; and GREEN . is very different on race-days from the dull quiet place one finds it in ordinary times.
Hotel and landing-place: the "Ship". (See p .73.)
MORTLAKE STATION (S.W.R.), 3 fur. from the river.
BARNES RAILWAY BRIDGE, from Kew, 2m 0fur 178yds; to Hammersmith Bridge, 1m 5fur 196yds: tide flows, 3 hrs 30 min.
BARNES RAILWAY STATION (S.W.R.), on the common, 1¼ mile from the river.
* E.May, at Barnes Bridge;
C.Willcox, "White Hart" Hotel.
"Bull's Head", both close to the river.
CHISWICK CHURCH forms a pleasing object from the river, and is well known from being the burial-place of Hogarth the great
painter, as well as of several other persons of celebrity.
Chiswick House, the seat of the Duke of Devonshire, is situated a little further up the stream, and is known for its beautiful gardens, which would rank still higher were they not eclipsed by the horticultural gardens at hand.
The celebrated Charles James Fox and George Canning both died here.
Steam Yacht Builder: J.J.THORNYCROFT. (see advert)
Inn: "Old Red Lion".
Ferry, at high tide, by the Ait.
HAMMERSMITH STATION (Met. Ry.), about 3 fur. from the Bridge.
HAMMERSMITH BRIDGE, from Barnes Railway Bridge, 1m 5fur 196 yds; to Putney Bridge, 1m 6fur 22yds: tide flows, about 3hrs 45min.
PASSING Chiswick Ait, we soon arrive at Hammersmith, where the Thames is crossed by a graceful suspension-bridge; the fellow to the one at Marlow.
A short distance beyond the Bridge stood Brandenburg House, the residence, for a time, of the unfortunate wife of George IV.; she also died here.
Soon after her death the house was razed to the ground.
Hammersmith Church is a finer building than many we have passed in the latter part of the Thames, and contains a remarkable monument to Sir Nicholas Crispe, supporting a bronze bust ofCharles I.
In Hammersmith itself is nothing worthy of notice.
Boats housed and to be let:
* BIFFEN and Sons;
the "City Arms".
Inn: "Beaulieu Arms", (Surrey side).
PUTNEY BRIDGE, from Hammersmith, 1m 6fur 22yds; to Wandsworth, about 6fur; to London Bridge, about 7½ miles: tide flows, about 4 hrs.
The river below Hammersmith passes on the right bank Barnes Elms, the residence of Sir Francis Walsingham in the time of Queen Elizabeth; and after him , amongst others, of the poet Cowley.
A house close by was the residence of Jacob Tonson, the bookseller; and here the Kit-Cat Club held its meetings, the room being built specially , and hung round with Kneller's famous portraits of the members.
Putney is now well known as the head-quarters of many of the rowing-clubs, and at various seasons, particularly that of the annual training and race of the Oxford and Cambridge Eights, it is the centre of a fashionable gathering.
The London Rowing Club has lately erected a fine new boat-house, from which a splendid view of the start and racing for the first mile and a half can be obtained.
Putney Bridge is an old structure of wood, very inconvenient, although picturesque.
It stands where a Ferry once existed, that yielded , according to Domesday Book, an annual toll of twenty shillings to the lord of the manor.
Just above is the Aqueduct, conveying the water of one of the London Water Companies across the Thames.
Putney Church stands close to the Bridge, and that of Fulham on the other side of the river.
Tradition says these churches were erected by two sisters, but no record remains of the fact.
Thomas Cromwell was born here, and also Gibbon, the great historian.
Wolsey landed here on his way to Hampton Court, after his dismissal from the chancellorship.
At Fulham is the residence of the Bishop of London, and in the Church are monuments to several of them.
The north side of the churchyard is bounded by a picturesque block of alms houses; and the Church itself is worth a visit, on account of its architectural beauties.
Boats housed and to be let:
JOHN ROBINSON, Putney;
JOHN PHELPS, Fulham.
HOTELS: The "Fox and Hounds", (the Oxford House);
the "Star and Garter", (the Cambridge House);
the "White Lion";
the "Red Lion".
The "Bells", (Harry Kelly's old house);
The "Duke's Head".
Inn at Fulham: "Eight Bells". Omnibuses to London from here.
Steamboats to all the piers on the river, down to London Bridge, run from Putney Pier every half-hour, during the season.
Parties wishing to proceed to Wandsworth will find a boathouse at Salter's, and accommodation at the "Feathers".
H.W.TAUNT'S Agents at Putney: - ROBINSONS, High-street.
The picturesque and varying scenery about the river, combined with excellent sport both with gun and rod, can under no circumstances
be more thoroughly enjoyed and with such advantage as under canvas, or what is now generally known as "Camping out".
It would be useless to dilate upon the manifold , indeed always new, beauties that are constantly to be found on or about the banks; but in giving a slight résumé of the necessary precautions to be observed in camping, one cannot adopt a better course than to follow the movements of the "Rovers", who claim, under the guidance of Captain South, precedence in the amateur camping world.
The experience of many years has enabled that gentleman to furnish us with accurate information, perhaps prove acceptable to our readers.
1. In selecting a tent, care should be taken to avoid all unnecessary pegs, guy-lines, and poles; these not only prove cumbersome in travelling, but are, ofttimes, utterly useless.
The "Rovers'" tent, made by Paget and Sons, Aldersgate-street, E.C., is recommended as being for practical purposes the most useful.
It gives an area of 10 ft. by 9, a height of 6 ft., has only two pegs, and can be fixed and ready for occupation in three minutes.
These advantages, combined with simplicity and lightness (the whole weighing under 28 lbs.), are difficult to be surpassed.
2 . Especial attention should be directed to the selection of a suitable piece of land (that on a very slight incline is preferable), but above all the exclusion of damp, the forerunner of acute rheumatism, should be carefully studied; a most terrible result may arise if this be not carefully attended to, and although the land at the time of pitching the tent may be comparatively baked by a burning sun, yet ere morning a damp mist peculiar to the river will rise, that on many occasions has proved nearly fatal to incautious campers.
The mere covering the earth by a rug is quite insufficient, and the most effective material recommended is "Croggon's Roofing Asphalte"; this, although rather large in bulk, is very light, and forms, when laid down, a most comfortable substitute for a mattress, and is thoroughly waterproof.
It has been found that the ordinary macintosh, although smaller in bulk , is not so well suited for the purpose.
It is to be regretted that the habit of camping on private grounds, without previously obtaining permission from the owners thereof, has of late been on the increase.
There are many spots more especially between Maidenhead and Medmenham, where the most lovely parts of river scenery can be found, and where such permission is not requisite.
Proceeding: after erecting the tent, covering the ground, &c., and using one's decorative powers in the interior, the attention may next be called to the culinary arrangements.
3. The variety of cooking apparatus now before the public gives a large field for selection , but the most simple contrivances are, in all cases, desirable.
A camping man should not require more than three good meals per diem, viz.
breakfast, 7 a.m.;
luncheon, 1 p.m.;
dinner at 6 p.m.
Each of these meals can be easily cooked by even an inexperienced person; but with the aid of a small book published by the well-known firm, S.O.Beeton and Co., entitled "Plain Cookery", they may be made the envy of an epicure.
The advantages possessed by the work will recompense any reader who may invest the large(?) sum of One Penny in its purchase, for it not only gives the quantities required for various numbers, but also the average cost of each article.
Several inventions have of late years been introduced in the list of domestic necessaries, and for camping purposes; some prove of the greatest value.
We mention a few , for the guidance of intending explorers:-
Swiss milk, in tins;
essence of coffee, cocoa and milk, in tins;
potted meats, fish, soups, &c.
The next important item to receive attention should be a store-box, and we are enabled to give a list of the contents of the "Rovers" box, which measures 3 ft. + 18 in. + 12 in.;
it is duly partitioned off, and all available space made to serve some purpose.
Contents:- 6 knives, 6 forks; 1 carving ditto; 1 cooking ditto; 12 spoons; 1 sardine-knife;
12 plates, 3 dishes; 1 flour-box; 1 sugar-box(loaf); 1 ditto(moist); 1 salt-jar; 1 tea-can(1 lb.); 1 coffee ditto(1 lb.); tea-pot, 6 cups and saucers, egg-cups; pepper-pot; salt-cellar; mustard-pot; herb-tin; Worcester sauce; anchovy ditto; ketchup; milk-tin; cocoa-tin;
small medicine chest, &c.
A portion is also left for the stowage of sardines, jams, or marmalade, and dry stores.
Fresh provisions are easily procurable at nearly all the villages en route, but should always be, kept separate from other stores.
In conclusion, we wish to recommend to the attention of our readers the necessity of a plentiful supply of travelling-rugs for covering, as, although the heat in the interior of a tent is invariably oppressive during the day and evening, yet the atmosphere changes greatly in the early morning, and without plentiful covering, the occupants would possibly receive a chill that might be productive of evil results.
"That's just what I should like!" -
"How jolly it must be!" -
"Well, you must enjoy yourself!" -
"I don't wonder at your looking so well!" -
"Ain't you afraid to go to sleep?"
These remarks, and fifty others, were passed one evening amongst a circle of friends to whom I had been relating my experiences in camping out.
I had just returned from a tour on the Thames, extending over a little more than three months; and I could echo one of the exclamations above by answering,
"It is jolly."
I think, too , it will be re-echoed by numbers of persons who have tried it, and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
There are, perhaps, a number of reasons why camping out should be enjoyable.
First, we live in an age so fast and energetic, that the mind and body get thoroughly used up, demanding in the same interval rest and renewal of vigour, that may fit for after periods of toil; and what greater pleasure can there be to a man tired out in body and mind, than to throw himself on his back under some wide-spreading tree, and listen to the gentle stream that murmurs by?
or, with rod in hand, to watch the nodding float which, in disappearing, rouses him from a pleasant reverie?
And again, the custom of our age is so polite and graceful as to be at times a positive tax upon a man's time and person, making, by contrast, a wild life enjoyable ; in fact, the ennui that often takes possession of us would entirely disappear if we were not so highly civilized.
Not that civilization, in its present state, is a failure - far from it; still it is at times a boon to be able to lay aside the conventionalities of society, and our glimpse of nomadic life forms one of those complementary tones which, in a picture, harmonize and give vigour to the whole composition.
It is just the opposite to our usual life; and this is just the reason why camping out is so much liked by those who take it up.
They leave behind them those cares of business, those endless accounts, those toils of pleasure that turn night into day; and in a more simple manner and style, they thoroughly enjoy their food and their rest.
Secondly, camping out is enjoyed because it conduces to more robust health.
Excesses of every kind help to wear one out, and this also is one of the causes of lassitude amongst us.
When I speak of excesses, I do not mean altogether excesses in eating and drinking, or worse, I mean the ordinary excesses with which a business man meets.
To labour for hours in a foul atmosphere, as many mercantile men in London do, is an excess that damages many of them, and would more, perhaps, were it not the practice of running out from town to spend the night in a purer atmosphere.
To strain every nerve of the brain in getting off orders and merchandise in the shortest space of time possible, and without the omission of the slightest detail; or to be perched at a desk wading through accounts day after day, with scarcely the slightest change of posture; all these are excesses that every city man more or less meets with, and which make the health of the body more delicate.
I might go on and complete the catalogue; but the hard-working merchants of our capital will well understand without my going further.
Gentlemen, too, who have no business, still find excesses growing on their time and selves; what more enervating than the midnight party or dance?
and how often the "Pick me up" or some other such tonic is required.
Camping gives in exchange for these, more robust health, sounder sleep, and greater enjoyment, than anything I know at the same cost.
Ah, there's the third reason - cost!
There are pleasures that force their memory on some of us in consequence of the deprivation they entail.
Camping out does not do this.
If properly managed, the cost of the requisite kit is more than saved by the comparatively small expense with which the journey is attended.
Perhaps some of the hotel-keepers will not thank me for pursuing this subject; but I am trying to open the river for all, and must tell what I know.
I have nothing to say against a single landlord; I know a great many of them, and number some amongst my friends: I am also of opinion that, instead of injuring them, I shall help to do them good; such is, at least, my wish.
Hotels cannot be otherwise than expensive, to a certain extent; they usually have an enormous quantity of out-goings, and in consequence are obliged to recoup themselves; but at the same time I know a great many on the Thames that are thoroughly moderate, and keep down their charges as far as they can.
I might go still further, and speak of kindnesses that I know of that have been done, things that would redound to their honour; but it would be unfair to the rest to single out one or two, so I must refrain.
However, to our subject.
The cost of camping is much less than hotels, as there need be no expenses beyond the necessaries of life, and these are bought first hand.
Of course it is an easy thing to make camping out as expensive, or even more so, than living at the hotels.
Just go to Fortnum and Mason, or some other purveyors, and order them to send you down a hamper of the greatest delicacies every day, and you will find camping out anything but cheap: you had better go to an Hotel.
Of course pastry and so on are very nice, they relish now and then first class after the well-cooked fish and steak; but - as a rule - if you camp out much, you will rather depend upon what you can do yourself.
There are in the market, at the present time, so many delicacies in a portable form, that one scarcely needs the help of the confectioner otherwise in the camp; and in case such a change is wished for, one can always go to an hotel.
I must not waste time further in proving what I think is patent to every one, (or why do we have so many pic-nic parties?) that camping out is thoroughly enjoyable; nay, more, that it is one of the best and cheapest pleasures a man can have; but will call now your attention to another side of the question, the difficulties we meet with.
There are two principal modes of camping at present in vogue on the river Thames, and they differ mostly in the sleeping arrangements.
The one is to sleep on the shore under a tent, and the other to sleep in the boat, arranged at night for that purpose.
I far prefer the latter; but that ideas on both sides of the question should be given, I have induced a gentleman who passes a great deal of his time in tent life on the river, to give you a few hints on the subject.
The only one advantage that I can see a tent has over the boat is, that a narrower, smaller craft can be used; but there are a number of things to be stated which tell the other way.
I must confess I have never tried a tent, but several who have seen my arrangement have left their tents and had their
boats arranged for sleeping on my plan, which is very simple,
and does not involve any very great expense.
My boat is what is termed in Oxford phrase, a Company boat, which is a broad gig with side-seats from the back rail, and an awning (which lets up and down); a locker for food was fitted behind the back rail.
The boat is about 18ft long and 4ft 6in wide at the broadest part, and is fitted with the usual mast at the front seat: behind, close to the rudder-post, another short mast is fitted, which serves for a flag-staff during the day.
When arranging for night the awning is raised and fastened, then a side covering of good plain duck secured with strings all round to the iron which holds the awning, and fixed below the seats of the boat with loops, to buttons, thus completely enclosing the middle part of the boat.
Between the side seats we place boards fitted on purpose (these go on the side seats, under the cushions, in the day-time), and the cushions on the top, with our carpet-bags at the head, form the mattress, which is made complete by a rug thrown over, and blankets or rugs make up the interior of our sleeping-room.
On the outside a line is stretched from mast to mast, and on this is threaded the rings of a waterproof, each end ring being stretched to its mast, and eyelet-holes in each corner fastened to buttons on the boat.
Thus we have a water-tight dry sleeping-place, and anything but an uncomfortable one.
I have given the method of preparing the water-tight [below], but should my description not be sufficient, I have a photograph of the boat, shewing the mode of fitting up, amongst both my series of views.
Thus far the boat; and another of its advantages is that you can sleep where you like.
If you choose to cast anchor, you can sleep in the very centre of the stream, where no one can reach you without a boat, or you can sleep up the smallest ditch that you pass on your journey.
I found it a very great advantage to have two short iron rye-pecks, with cords attached to the head and stern of the boat: these moored us to any place, and were very convenient at all times.
I need hardly do not moor on the tow-path bank, or you may chance to find yourself in a mess from the towing-line of some passing barge catching in your upper works.
Camp Furniture. - Camp furniture need not be very elaborate.
A frying-pan, pot, and kettle, all to fit a fireholder, will be all that are really required, with the usual plates, mugs, &c., that each one will use; but in every case, if you are camping out, don't take more than you can help.
You will be surprised how many things you can do without; a wicker-basket will hold your pot, &c ., with the necessary fuel for burning, and the other things will go with the food into your locker.
Fuel. - Wood is to be bought everywhere in the country, but if a wheelwright or carpenter's shop is handy, try there first.
A hatchet will be necessary, to chop it up with.
Matches. - Keep your matches dry.
We had to go four miles last summer for some, and to wait two hours for dinner after a hard day's work, through letting them get wet.
Food. - "Nothing like leather" used to be our pass-word when we had beef; and sometimes it was a puzzle , to the one who had
not begun, to know whether it was tender or not, as "nothing like leather" was used to express either.
I believe in a good beef-steak, cooked either over the coals or in the pan, when camping out; and this often formed the pièce de résistance of our dinner after a stiff day's work.
Usually, we had breakfast early, (just after our bathe - a thing which helps the appetite very much,) and made a good meal; in the middle of the day we feasted on a crust and cheese, and washed it down with a glass of "home-brew'd", kept for that purpose in a stone bottle; or, failing that, a glass of Thames water, qualified with whiskey or some concentrated milk.
When we reached our next camping ground, (we usually moved every day,) we made our fire, and got dinner ready, taking tea with it; and a glass of "the cratur", with a biscuit, sent us to bed about nine o'clock at night.
As I mentioned before, there are a lot of portable things sold in tins, which are uncommonly useful in camping out.
The different meats from Australia are included in these, as well as the various potted viands, &c., that are in universal request.
Australian meat can be eaten cold just as it is, with a little sauce to flavour it; and if some salad can be got at, a fair dinner or lunch can be made with but little trouble; and then the various ways in which it may be cooked would fill a chapter as long as this, so I must only give you one.
Wash and scrape some potatoes and carrots, slice them up, with some onions, and boil till done: then add meat in quantum suff.; leave for a few minutes on the fire, flavour, and serve.
The Australian meats also make splendid soups, are not much trouble, and, when you cannot get fresh meat, come in very useful, so much so that we always kept them as a reserve.
Tea, sugar, butter, and all those sort of things, we kept in tin biscuit-boxes, easily procured at the grocers.
These are always clean, and do not let the things get wet.
A ham, too, for "rashers for breakfast", is not a bad thing to keep, and the concentrated milk - or that with chocolate - must not be forgotten.
Of course, every one must form his own ideas on a subject like this, so I have only indicated those things most essential.
Clothing. - An extra suit in a soft bag should be taken, in case of wet weather or any other mishap, as well as to be able to change for sleeping at night.
Also, of course , the toilet requisites, but not too many of them.
The few things I take in that way afford matter for a standing joke with one of my friends; but one doesn't require to spend an hour twice a-day preparing for meals and "parade", when camping out.
I spoke of a soft bag, as you will require it for a pillow; but if you prefer to use a stiff portmanteau, of course you are at liberty to do so; only, don't blame me, if your sleep is not so sound as it might be.
And that brings me to another point, and one of the most important, -
Sleeping. - If you don't sleep well, you will not enjoy yourself; and this is why I so much prefer my boat to a tent.
We have always a dry sleeping apartment.
Last summer was a wet one, and I think more rain fell in one week than we had for nine weeks in the summer before, yet we had no difficulties on account of the rain, as far as sleeping was concerned, but when the wet came on, generally took shelter in bed, or in the daytime moved the middle boards, and read, or wrote, or talked, under our awning, as it pleased us most.
Only on one occasion did the rain inconvenience us, when the water had risen above the britton-boards, and my man, in hurriedly turning out of bed in the morning, put his foot into it, which he sharply drew back with a shocking exclamation. Ugh!
In a tent this inconvenience arises; if the ground is at all sloping, the water runs down the side of the tent, and underneath you, so that, although you may sleep on water-tight cloth, the damp must get through to a certain extent.
I see fellows with camp-bedsteads and so on to keep them from the damp, but I think if their boat were to be used for once as a sleeping-place they would leave the tents to take care of themselves.
Ladies have the idea that sleeping on the water is not safe.
"Arn't you afraid to go to sleep, in case you should turn over?"
"No, never; our boat is a stiff one, and if all three were to roll down on one side (as we have done), it would not even dip."
Ladies don't often camp out, as the limited space renders it inconvenient for them to manage a toilet; but I may tell you I have known a lady who has slept in a boat like mine, and thoroughly enjoyed her trip.
Some, after camping out all day, go and sleep at an hotel.
In the case of delicate persons perhaps this is wise; but it is better to be prepared for sleeping out at all times.
It is very pleasant to have a stiff day's pulling, and when fairly tired out, to go to the only Inn in the village, and be told there, on inquiring for beds,
"No, sir; we are crammed; havn't a room anywhere!" and find that another, at four or five miles distance, must be gained if you are bent on trying for the accommodation, with the additional uncertainty whether you will get it.
This is a case that often happens, and always when you are most tired, or least prepared for it; but if you camp, you just make your hotel wherever you like, - the fire is lit, the steak fried, and, with the steaming potatoes straight from the pot, is relished as only a man camping out does relish food.
The beef-steaks have a finer flavour, and the potatoes or cabbage, (quite fresh, perhaps were growing an hour previously,) have a crisper taste than they ever had before.
But I am running away from my subject, or rather recollections are running away with me, and this won't do: so to sleeping I'll turn again.
"How did you sleep?" is the question generally asked of a guest who has passed the night under your roof; but in camping out one scarcely ever knows even when he does go to sleep, or recollects anything after rolling himself in his rug, till the morning light peeping through his eyelids rouses and tells him it is time to rise; and then how pleasant the tumble-out of bed, and into the fresh, clear stream; a good rub down and an exhilarating run making one ready to eat a good donkey-steak, if nothing more was to be had.
And now a word on cooking and buying things.
"It's no use my camping out, I can't cook", says one.
Don't tell me, but try it; you will soon learn.
What, not able to cook a beef-steak or chop, boil some potatoes or cabbage, and get up a plain dinner?
Well, you are the very person who ought to camp out; it will teach you self-reliance.
If you are afraid of the cooking, get your wife or your sweetheart to shew you how; don't be ashamed to learn, even from them; you won't find much difficulty about it.
And then, as to buying.
Bread and meat are better had fresh every morning, if possible, as they both get stale very quickly; and the stone jar, which holds enough for the day, filled at the nearest Inn; (don't take too much, particularly in the day-time, the less the better).
Of the other things a stock had better be kept, and replenished whenever getting short, before they are all gone.
If a party of two or three are together, let each one take his own part, - one do the buying, one the cooking, and so on; as division of labour is always an advantage, and each will do his own part best.
But I find I have got past the end of my tether, so must end by telling you if you cannot get on, to come and take dinner with us; and then you will see for yourself more in five minutes than I can tell you in a hour.
I won't promise you an elegant dinner; but if a good plain one will suit your purpose, I shall be very pleased to see you.
We don't go in for pastry, but keep rice, which is easily carried: it makes a variety of puddings, easily cooked, and very palatable.
We generally have a glass to ask a fellow-camper-out to, and something in the shape of grog to wet a pipe with in the evening.
So, if you will come, you will be made welcome by
Yours very truly,
Get some good duck, and have it sewn together to the size required, with each seam lapped (making two rows of stitching
to each seam), the edge turned in all round, and the eyelets inserted; then, hanging it up by the corners, wet it with water and let it get drained (not dry):
after this well brush into it some boiled oil (linseed ), which will lather with the water, and let it hang in the open air a day or two to dry:
when dry, go carefully over again with raw oil, and leave to dry , when you will find your sheet thoroughly water-tight, and very pliable and good.
If damaged at any time, a fresh coat of oil will always make good.
To those who can only spare a week on our favourite river, the following hints will be useful.
Arrange with Salters, or George West, of Oxford, (see pp.56 and 58), for a boat, stating number of party, and kind of boat required; then by rail to Oxford, spend a day there, not forgetting to give Taunt a call, and inspect his Views of Oxford and the River, which are well worth seeing.
Next morning, starting early, you will easily row to Shillingford or Wallingford on the first day;
on the second, to Caversham or Sonning;
fifth, Sunbury or Moulsey;
sixth, Richmond or Wandsworth.
This is about 18 miles per day, and will give you time to pay a flying visit to the most interesting spots on the river.
H.W. [Henry W.Taunt]
"Well, Ben", from the angler.
"Well, Sir", from Ben.
"All ready, Ben? the train is somewhat late, so let's to work."
"No use yet, Sir.
There's full an hour yet to spare before the fish'll be on the feed, and it'll take me all that to go up to the village and get the lunch on board."
"Yes, Ben, you're right!
I forgot all about our bait.
Let's have some cold meat and cheese, and if you can, a nice crusty loaf, and say - how much beer?
"Well, as usual I suppose, Sir."
"Good, I'll leave that to you."
"And a little drop of gin, Sir?"
"Yes, yes, Ben, get what you like.
But look sharp, as I want it to get afloat, whether the fish are waiting for us or not."
Ben, in about an hour, is seen coming down the village towards the water with an earthenware bottle in one hand and the other assisting a lad to carry a heavy basket, or rather hamper.
All on board, angler and man, shove off.
Angler puts his tackle together, and declaring his intention to spin for a trout, asks Ben to give him a nice little bleak or dace out of the well.
Ben goes on punting up stream and close into the bank under the willows, the branches of which every now and then jeopardise the angler's wide-awake, but Ben is both dumb and deaf.
Ben is asked again for a bait.
"Bait!" echoes Ben, sarcastically, "bait, where am I to get bait?
I marn't have no net worth a cuss, and it would take me a day with such as I have to get a dozen fit for a flight of hooks.
If I throw away a day, who's to pay me for my time - a penny-piece wouldn't do it, nor tuppence, nor thruppence, neither."
"Well, Ben, the new regulations are certainly hard upon both fisherman and angler; but I thought you might get a few with a proper net, and no notice would be taken by the authorities."
"A few!" cried Ben, contemptuously, "what's a few?
If the Bailie is in a good humour, fifty , or maybe a hundred or more, is 'a few'; but if he's sulky, or I arn't not got no jacky about me, why half-a-dozen's a few , or a few is only two and one.
No, I arn't going to risk a summons.
I've had one on'st for leaving a rye-peck in, and lost the customer who I pitched it for, cos he won't show up, as he knows I shall ask him for the fine.
No, let it be law , and I' ll do it - or if it arn't law , well, let the angler take both the risk and the fish."
"Well, Ben, that's but fair, anyhow.
But if you have no fry I must put up my spinning-tackle again; and if you will find us a good swim , we'll try for a bait or two, during which we may stand the chance of having a lark with a barbel, and not unlikely legally kill a trout."
"All right, Sir, that's talking sensible.
Here, we can't have a better spot, and while I fixes the punt you can put in a dollop of pudding or two to bring 'um round."
"Igh, igh, Ben!"
And the angler tucks up his sleeves preparatory to diving into the ground-bait tub for the bran-bread and clay, but looks around in vain for that necessary utensil.
"Where's the ground-bait, Ben?"
"Why, arn't you got none? You said nothing about ground bait in your letter, and some of my customers are so precious that they say country bread won't do, - the bran we get from the mill is either too coarse or too pollardy, and even the clay bean't stiff enough, or is too stiff and holds the stuff too long, so they all'is now brings their own dumplings."
"Well, Ben, that's a pretty go!
I have not brought any; but we can throw in a few gentles or worms in the Nottingham style.
I have always been of opinion that we use too much ground-bait, rather satiating the fish than creating an appetite amongst them,
so I'll begin to strike an average and go without ground-bait for once."
"That's right, Sir; you're what our clergyman who fishes with me calls a feeling hofficer."
"A philosopher, I suppose you mean, Ben, but you are complimentary.
It is only because I can't help it I submit; so give us your gentle-box."
"Here it is, Sir."
"What's up now, Sir?"
"Why, Ben, this is empty."
"I knows it is, and I thought you axed for it to fill it.
You don't mean to say you've not brought no gentles, when you was amongst tons of 'um in London; and we arn't allowed to breed 'um now, cos of the Sanitary, 'spector."
"No bait, no ground-bait, no gentles, Ben! well, this is a sell.
Perhaps you havn't any worms?"
"You're right there, Sir; who would expect worms arter April?
Why, they've gone down into the middle of the earth for moisture, and you might dig your heart out before you saw the tail of one."
A dead silence on the part of fisherman and angler for five minutes; the feelings of each must be guessed at.
The former's eye is upon the stone bottle, the latter's steadily fixed on the bottom of the punt.
The angler is the first to break silence.
"What are we to do?"
"Let's have summut to drink."
This is too much for the good-humoured angler, and he bursts out into a hearty roar of laughter, which Ben interprets as an affirmative, and the bung flies upwards from the fermenting beer accordingly.
A good swig and Ben's week's beard is wiped with his sleeve; Ben appears a little more genial and familiar, observing,
"Well, this is a go! who'd a thought that an angler like you, who have been at it from a babe, would a come down without nuffen you wanted.
I could forgive a Cockney, who'd never gone out afore, but it's unnatural to the likes of you.
That beer's precious bitter, Sir;
I'll just take a thumb-bit of cold pork on a crust of bread."
"Cold pork did you say, Ben? Is it boiled? That's all right.
Eureka! we are saved, we are saved!"
"What's up now, Sir?"
"Here, Ben, don't throw that rind away.
Hand it over; this sharp knife will do the business.
There, see ; what fish without spectacles could tell those choice bits from gentles?
We shall have some roach yet, Ben.
See, I throw in a few pellets of bread, and if they won't take the pork we have got the wherewithal to make some paste.
We shall do yet. Hurrah!
I've got a roach, and a bouncer; he cannot be less than three quarters of a pound.
Where there is one, there is always more.
Another, by George! and now - no, I missed that bite from too great an eagerness - I have him though.
I say, Ben, fish are not of the Jewish persuasion."
"No, Sir, the perswasion appears to be pork"; and Ben chuckled at his joke.
"But in all my days this is the first time I ever knowed roach to take pork."
"There is nothing new in it, Ben; it is a tough and good bait in the absence of gentles.
Why, I knew a party on the Norfolk Broads who were as badly off for bait as we are, taking a large basket of roach with roast goose.
Here, I've got a pretty bleak at last.
There, I will put my float shallower.
Yes, I am now amongst the fry, and have enough to commence spinning, so up poles and go to work, Ben."
Ben shakes his ears slightly at the word "work", but to do him justice commences punting with sufficient judgment to give ample opportunities for the angler to display his skill in spinning, and presently elicits several ejaculations of "well cast", "beautiful", and "that ought to have 'um if anything did," from Ben; but after three or four small jack and a perch or two were successfully caught and thrown back again, as being too small for capture, and a goodly trout was hooked, Ben became perfectly enthusiastic, and looked on at the excellent play with unfeigned admiration, finally lifting the exhausted fish into the punt for his customer with a whoop of delight that made the neighbouring woods echo again.
It was fully eight pounds in weight, and in splendid condition, the largest and finest, as Ben declared, that had been killed that season.
It certainly was a most beautiful fish , and deserved the praise bestowed upon it.
Another bleak was soon on the flight with the prettiest possible bend, to make it spin true and well, and our angler is about to commence again, when his arm is arrested by Ben.
"What, Sir!" he exclaims.
"What's the matter, Ben?"
"What's the matter!" exclaims Ben, in apparent astonishment at the question,
"What's the matter! why, we arn't wetted it."
This is a custom which is greatly honoured on the Thames upon the taking of a more than usually good fish, and is seldom or never dispensed with, if the necessary offerings of liquor are at hand to do full justice to the ceremony.
It is, indeed, stoutly maintained by the Thames fishermen that this sacrifice upon the Altar of Luck is necessary to propitiate the river-god , without which exhibition of spirit upon the part of the fisherman, the aquatic deity invariably refuses to assist below in the capture of the fish.
Whether this be so or not, it was somewhat remarkable that the taste of the gin was scarcely out of Ben's throat before he was called upon again to lift another trout, this time, however, of not more than half the size of the former.
"Cuss that gin!" exclaimed Ben, after looking at the presumed shortcomings of the second fish.
"Cuss that gin! it bean't strong enough to put more pounds on.
Do you know, Sir , what werdic I should bring in over that ere gin if I was coroner?
Why, I should have it, 'Found drowned.'"
" "Perhaps double the quantity would make up for its weakness, Ben," suggests the angler.
"That's it, Sir; I ought a'thought of that afore."
And Ben made up for any neglect in the particular in question.
However, truth compels us to state that although a full quart was appealed to very often and most devoutly, the effects of the juniper-berry appeared to have departed, for not another trout could Ben induce, with all his pulling at the neck of the bottle, to immolate itself on the barbarous triangles of the angler's tackle.
"But what are you dodging behind my chair for, Ben?
You'll have me in the river."
"Why, Sir, don't yer see them foot-hoggers?"
"Yes; they are photographers, Ben.
It's Mr. Taunt, and his staff of assistants.
They'll have you and me, as sure as anything."
"Not if I knows on it", cries Ben, ducking his head from side to side like a toy-mandarin;
"tho' they do say that they catches a fellow with a bull's eye as quick as a flash o' lightning out for a holiday.
They got my missus on'st while she was hanging out my guernsey to dry, and made a lady on her in a pictur they sells thousands and thousands on, at a shilling a-piece; and the old woman has never bin herself since.
Such airs and graces, molly come up!
But there now!" exclaimed Ben, with the look of one who had dropped a gold watch overboard,
"while I bin talking to you, Sir, I'm blamed if I don't believe they've got me, for I felt for a moment just as if I had bin picked up and dabbed as flat as a pancake on a plate, and stuck in a windy for ever.
I don't call such proceedings as them all taut * and above-board";
and Ben supplemented a grin at his own joke.
Could Ben, however, have been mesmerised as well as photographed?
We must leave this philosophical question for the Oxford professors.
And now the clouds collect, the atmosphere gets chilly, Ben has contrived to drink up all the beer, and the angler considers it is time to prepare for his return by train.
"I pity those who has given away their winter togs", remarks Ben , with a dash of Christian sympathy, as he shoved towards the landing.
"Yes, Ben; but they must have warm hearts, Ben."
"Ah, I didn't think of that, Sir, God bless 'um !
It's never been my chance though to find one of that sort", added Ben, looking down at his own rusty velveteen.
"That's well thought of, Ben; you have some long boots of mine, and a shooting-coat, and some tackle at your cottage."
"Well, you may keep those, Ben; I daresay I shall be none the colder for it.
This is indeed an inclement May, and an extra thick coat is needed on the water both early and late."
"God bless yer, Sir!
You're the right sort, you are; and next time I gets a letter from you, there sharn't be no ground-bait, no worms, nor gentles, sharn't there?
if I has to go down as deep as a well for 'um , and ten mile for the clay.
Good arternoon, Sir.
that sov'll make it right with what's owing at the public; and here's your trout, Sir, done up prime in rushes by my missus, who sends her respects.
I throwed the tother fish in, cos it's close time - and here's the train.
And so say we, "Good afternoon, Ben", but with this injunction, either that the angler should never leave the question of a supply of bait to the fisherman, or give such instructions as would insure his providing so necessary a requirement, although we have here shewn that even where the general character of bait may be absent, with a little tact sport is not altogether out of the reach of the ingenious angler.
* Ben mistook my name, but I don't Taunt him about it. - ED [H.W.Taunt].