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a magnificent pavilion of the Doric order, 327 feet in length, wherein the orange-trees are arranged in unfavourable weather: but on our visit, these trees, to the amount of a hundred and fifty, from six to ten feet high, and all in full bearing, were agreeably disposed in a sequestered part of the garden *. Margam abbey was until within these few years the mansion of the estate ; but it is now pulled down:
some low ruins, however, remain, and the walls of its elegant but neglected chapter-house. This structure is thus described by Mr. Wyndham, who visited the spot about thirty years since: " It is an elegant Gothic building, of a date “subsequent to that of the church. Its “ vaulted roof is perfect, and supported by a “ clustered column rising from the centre of “ the room. The plan of this chapter-house “ is an exact circle, fifty feet 'in diameter.
The just proportion of the windows, and “the delicate ribs of the arches, which all
rise from the centre column and the walls,
gradually diverging to their respective points " above, must please the eye
every speca They were wrecked on the Margam estate upwards of a Cintury since.
“ tator; and, what is uncommon in light “ Gothic edifices, the external elevation is " as simple and uniform as its internal, there
being no projecting buttresses to disturb or “ obstruct its beauty.”—“ The prezervation " of this building led me to conclude, that “ much attention had been given to the lead " that originally covered it; but, to my asto“nishment,' I heard that the lead had long "since been remored, and that the only se
curity of the root against the weather was a
thick oiled paper, which by no means pre“ rented the rain from penctrating and fil“ tering through the work.” Mr. Wyndham concludes by trusting, that, as the present proprietor is a lover of antiquities, the deficiency would be corrected. But, unfortunately, the edifice was left to its fate, and the roof soon fell in : 'thus one of the finest spcciniens of Gothic architecture in this or any other country is lost to the eye of taste and science.
Just perceptible from the turf we traced the foundation of the Abbey Churclt, and the bases of four clustering pillars that most probably supported the tower; the steps of the altar were also visible, besprinkled with grass ;
and, turning over some fragments, we picked up part of the chalice for containing holy water, and several of those coloured glazed tiles which were used in the early Normin age for paving principal buildings, but conio monly called Roman tiles." We were informed by Mr. Snook, the intelligent gain dener of the place, who was present at the dilapidation of the abbey, that the pavement formed with these tiles was the lowermost of three which were then removed; and that on digging deeper they came to an inintense heap of human bones." This pavement is still in many places remaining, "tlrough nearly concealed by a covering of moss. Many curious sculptured stones of high antiquity are to be met with in the park, and in the village adjoining; the church of which presenits, in its elevation,' a more pleasing symmetry and composition than any Norman work that 'I remember to have seen * A shady walk, carried beneath the leafy mantle of Margain's lill, passes a ruined chapel, and a loggan or rocking-stone, in its way to the summit, where a prospect of uncommon extent greets the beholder. Eglis Nunne, about two miles south of Margam, now a farmhouse, was formerly a nunnery subject to that abbey.
* This is called part of the Abbey church ip Grose's Antiquities; but, as the foundation of that edifice is demons strable near the chapter-house, it appears to be an error.
Renewing our journey, we left Kenfig on our right, where some vestiges of a castle built by one of Fitzhammon's knights are said to appear, and proceeded to Pyle. The inn here, built by Mr. Talbot, and which might be mistaken for a nobleman's seat, affords excellent accommodation for travellers, who are frequently induced to make it their head-quarters while visiting the several objects in the neighbourhood. – Leaving Pyle, we soon found ourselves on Newton Down, and from its height discovered the range
of hills forming the opposite boundary of the vale of Cowbridge, in which a bold hill crowned with Penline Castle was eminently conspicuous. On looking back, we were pleased with a comprehensive view of the country that we had lately traversed : beyond the wide bay of Swansea, the whitened habitations of Ostermouth caught our eye; the sulphureous clouds revolving from the works of Swansea and Neath were only di
vided by the projection of Kilway hill; and the picturesque knolls of Briton ferry appeared sunk into comparative littleness beneath the towering dimensions of Margam's shady mountain.–Our tour now became thickly interspersed with baronial castles and other monuments of feudal times, interesting either by their historical events or picturesque decay.