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a narrow ridge. Here two rampires advance inwards, like the sides of a gate for greater strength. Within is a rising hill about the middle; and they say that vaults have been found thereabouts. Antiquaries talk of a Temple, which may have been there, and in the time of the Britons. Several springs rise from under the hill on all sides; and I observed the rock thereof is composed of seashells. They frequently carry away the stones that form the rampires, to mend the roads with. There is another Roman castle, southward near Tilton, but not so big as Boroughbill*.”
Though Leland and Dr. Stukeley speak so decisively of walls here, the Rev. George Ashby doubts the existence of any masonry having been ever used in this fortification; and Mr. John Tailby, in a letter to Mr. Nichols, positively contradicts it by observing, that “Burrow Hill is an encampment, in a great measure formed by nature, and shaped by art and labour. The hill consists of a loose open-jointed rock of soft reddish stone, covered with a shallow soil. In this rock some fossil shells appear, some indented, some plain, but most of the cockle kind: one I found, when broken, shewed the ligaments, or membranes, which join the fish to the shell; this was a small plain one. The joints of the rock, at first sight, appear as if formed by art as a wall is, for between the joints is a white substance, which adheres to the stone, and much resembles lime, or lime-mortar; but is in reality no such thing In some places the joints are so open, that the earth, which is not more than six or eight inches deep above the rock, in some places the stone appears above the soil) is worked into the chinks, so as to appear as a cement of dirt-mortar.”
In the church at Burrow is a small piscina, and a curious circular font, ornamented with various tracery, &c. Here is an old
* Itinerarium Curiosum, Edit. 1724, p. 102. The castle or encampment here referred to is probably that of Sauvey, in the lordship of Withcote, about four miles S. S. E. of Burrow Hill, where the embankment is single, composed chiefly of a rock of the same nature as Burrow Hill, and interspersed with fossils of the same kind.
monument to a knight of the family of Stockden, with his effigy in' armour.
At CARLETON, or Carleton Curlieu, so called, to distinguislı it from East Carleton in Northamptonshire, is an old house, named CARLETON CURLIEU HALL, the seat of Thamas Palmer, Esq. who inherits it from his father, the late Sir John Palmer, Bart. This estate and manor was purchased by Thomas Palmer, Esq. in 1597, when it was found, by an inquisition, that Henry Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon, died seised of the office of bailiship (balliot) of Carleton Curley, held of the queen in capite, by the service of an hundreth part of a knight's fee; and, by a subsequent inquisition, September 5, 1607, it was found that George Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon, died seised of the same bailiship; and that it was within the honour of Leicester, and parcel of the Duchy of Lancaster. The lordship now contains about 1600 acres of old inclosure, the greater part of which is disposed in large pasture grounds. The manor house is a curious old building, of the style commonly called Queen Elizabeth's Gothic. In the front are three projections, with three tiers, or stories, of windows, and terminated at top with escaloped pediments, like the street front of University College, in Oxford. Among some family portraits, there is one of Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Bart. who was born in 1598, and who was the first Attorney General after the restoration. He acquired particular eminence in the law, and in early life was one of the select friends of Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon. In 1678 he published a volume, entitled “ Les Reports, de Sir Jeffrey Palmer, Chevalier and Baronett," with his portrait, from a painting by Sir P. Lely, now in the possession of Mr. Cambridge.
In the church at Carleton Curlieu is an alabaster tomb, with the effigies of a man in armour, and his lady; and two inscriptions, in Latin, to the memory of Sir John Bale, who died in 1621, and Frances his wife, who died in 1629, aged 80.
STRETTON MAGNA, sometimes called Bishop's Strelton, (from Robert Eyrick, Bishop of Chester, who was born here) is a ham, let, on the Roman road, whence it derived its name of Stretton, or Street-ton. The family of Eyrick was settled here at an early period, and held two virgates of land (about fifty acres) from the Abbey of Leicester, on the payment of a pound of pepper to the king, as an annual quit rent. A Robert Eyrick, or, as commonly called, Robert de Stretton, LL.D. founded and endowed a chan
In this lordship, which is almost surrounded with groves of trees, is a good manor house, built by one of the family of the. Hewetts, who resided here 'till the death of the late William Hewett, Esq. in 1766. This gentleman was an intimate friend of the great Marquis of Granby, with whom he travelled to Italy. On his return, and settlement at this place, he set a large quantity of acorns, and is said to have disposed some of them in the form of the colonnade before St. Peter's at Rome, At Croxton, a hunting seat belonging to the Duke of Rutland, is a small portrait of him; and his character is said to be well drawn in one of Smollet's novels. The hall here now belongs to Sir George Robinson, Bart. in right of his lady, one of the heiresses to the Hewetts.
GUMLEY, a village situated on an eminence, about twelve miles from Leicester, is dignified with the seat of Joseph Cradock, Esq. M. A. and F. R. S. This is a large modern building, called Gumley Hall, and was begun in 1764; since which time the fine plantations, pleasure grounds, &c. have been gradually and progressively improving. In the library, which contains an excellent collection of books, (for Mr. Cradock is a literary character) are several first editions of the classics: Euripides, with Milton's MS notes, mentioned by Dr. Johnson, and more fully by Mr. Jodrell, in his “Illustrations of Euripides." --A Manilius, with Dr. Bentley's MS notes; and the “ Thesaurus" of Grævius and Gronovius, of 25 large volumes, bound in vellum, large paper, &c. &c. Gumley, from time immemorial, has been famous for its fox
earths; and here is a noted mineral spring, which has been mentioned in some very old writings. From the experiments of Mr. W. Morris, it appears to resemble, in some degree, the TunbridgeWells water. This gentleman observes, that “ its lightness and chalybeate properties, at the spring, seem to be equal, if not superior, to any of our mineral waters in Great Britain.”
A small market town, is situated in a valley at the distance of about six miles north-east of Market Harborough. “ It has been fancifully called a Half-Town," observes Mr. Nichols, “but rather seems to denote a Hallowed, or Holy-Town." Leland calls it" a pretty townlet.”—“ This lordship, from the earliest times, was divided into two capital manors, one called Peverels, or Engaine's, the other Anselin's, or Bardolf's; both held of the fee of Peverel; and attached to this was a subordinate manor, called Hackluits, or the Duchy Manor*.”
In an act of parliament, passed in 1770, for dividing and inclos. ing the common fields of Hallaton, being by estimation about 3000 acres, Benjamin Bewicke and Thomas Vowe, Esqrs. are described as severally lords of manors within the parish. The town now contains 149 houses, and 548 persons. A market, which had been long discontinued, was revived here in 1767, and the town has the privilege of two annual fairs. A school was established bere in 1707, by the benefaction of a lady.
Hallaton is distinguished by a singular and ridiculous ancient annual custom. A piece of land was bequeathed to the use and advantage of the rector, who was then to provide “two hare pies, a quantity of ale, and two dozen of penny loaves, to be scrambled for on Easter Monday annually.” The land, before the inclosures took place, was called Hare crop-leys; and, at the
* Nichols's Hist. of Leicestershire, Vol. II. p. 593.
time of dividing the fields, in 1770, a piece was allotted to the rector in lieu of the said Leys. The custom is still continued ; but, instead of hare, the rector provides two large pies, made of veal and bacon. These are divided into parts, and put into a sack; and about two gallons of ale, in two wooden bottles, without handles or strings, are also put into a sack: the penny loaves are cut into quarters, and placed in a basket. Thus prepared, the men, women, and children, form a procession from the rector's, and march to a place, called Hare Pie Bank, about a quarter of a mile south of the town. In the course of this journey the pieces of bread are occasionally thrown for scrambling; but the pies and ale are carried to the grand rustic theatre of contention and confusion. This is of old formation, and, though not upon so great a scale, or destined for such bloody feats, as the Roman amphitheatres, yet consists of a bank, with a small trench round it, and a circular hole in the centre. Into this the pies and ale are promiscuously thrown, and every frolicksome, foolish, and frantic rustic rushes forward to seize a bit, or bear a way a bottle. Confusion ensues, and, what began in peurile sport, occasionally terminates in that common, but savage custom, a boxing-match. How much more noble, and praise-worthy, would it be to encourage and reward some laudable competition, or instructive emulation; and, instead of sowing the seeds of discord and passionate contention, endeavour to cultivate the benign blessings of peace, brotherly love, and social harmony.
About one mile west of the town is an encampment, called Hallaton Castle Hill. This consists of a circular entrenchiment, with a lofty conical keep; branching out from which, towards the west, is a squarish plot of ground, encompassed with banks and ditches. To the north-east is a small square entrenchment, connected with the outer foss. The keep measures about 118 feet in height, by 630 feet in circumference, and the whole occupies about two acres of land. About a quarter of a mile south west of this is the appearance of the remains of another encampment, which assumes a squarish shape, and includes one acre and three roods of ground.