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light branchy trees fringe the high parapets, or shade the broken fragments beneath. “ Where rev'rend shrines in Gothic grandeur stood,

- The nettle or the noxious night-shade spreads; “ And ashlings, wafted from the neighbouring wood,

Through the worn turrets wave their trembling heads."

The area of the church is not very extensive; the length is 212 feet; the breadth 50; and it measures 100 across the transepts. The soof has long since fallen in, and a great part

of the south wall is now a prostratè ruin; but the view afforded of the interior, in consequence, is extremely grand and picturesque.

A double row of pointed arches, reposing on massive piers, separate the side ailes from the nave; above which, divided from the Gothic form by a strait band of fascia, is a series of small circular arches : an intermixture and arrangement of the two forms that characterize the earliest use of Gothic architecture. Two lofty arches, rising from the middle of the church, still sustain a massive portion of the tower, whose doubtfully poised and ponderous bulk seriously menaces the adventurous explorer of the ruin. The grandeur of the western front cannot be passed unnoticed; nor, looking over the fragments of the choir, the fine view


of the inside ruin, seen through the great eastern arch of the tower; neither is a small chapel adjoining the south transept, with a wellformed engroined roof, to be neglected: the transept is remarkable for a large Norman archway

that led into the south aile of the choir. Many portions of building appear in de tached heaps near the abbey church, particularly a bold arch in a neighbouring barn, which seems to have formed the principal entrance to the abbey. Among these thre natives point out a low subterraneous passage, faced with hewn stone, which they suppose

Connexion with Old Castle; about three miles distant.

St. David, the uncle of king Arthur (say ancient legends), was so struck with this ses questered recess, then almost unconscious of a human footstep, that he built a chapel on the spot, and passed many years in it: as a hermit. William, a retainer of the earl of Hereford's in the reign of William Rufus, being led into the valley in pursuit of a deer, espied the hermitage. The deep solitude of the place, and the mysterious appearance of the building, conspired to fill him with religious enthusiasm; and he instantly disclaimed

all worldly enjoyments for a life of prayer and mortification.

In a curious account of the abbey, written by one of its monks, which is preserved in Dugdale's Monasticon, and translated into English by Atkyns, in his History of Gloucestershire, it is recorded, that “ He laid “ aside his belt and girded himself with a

ope; instead of fine linen, he covered

himself with hair-clotlı; and instead of his • soldier's robe; he loaded himself with

weighty irons. The suit of armour, which “ before defended him from the darts of his “ enemies, he still wore as a garment to “ harden him against the soft temptations of “ his old enemy Satan; that, as the outward “ man was afflicted by austerity, the inner

man might be secured for the service of God. That his zeal might not cool, he “ thus crucified himself, and continued this “ hard armour on his body until it was worn

out with rust and age.”

His austerity of life, and sanctity, not only drew to him a colleague (Ernesi, chaplain to Maud wife of Henry the First), but excited the reverence of many high characters, and


induced Hugh de Laci, earl of Hereford, 'to found a priory of regular canons of the order of St. Austin on the site of the Hermitage. The institution adopted William's mortifying system, and its reputation occasioned numerous donations to be offered ; but they were constantly refused, and the acquisition of wealth deprecated as a dreadful misfortune. William was determined “to dwell poor in " the house of God.” The monk of Lanthony comically relates, that “ Queen Maud, " not sufficiently acquainted with the sanctity " and disinterestedness of William, once de“ sired permission to put her hand into his “ bosom ; and when he with great modesty “ submitted to her importunity, she con

veyed a large purse of gold between his “ coarse şhirt and iron boddice; and thus by “a pleasånt and innocent subtlety admi" nistered some comfortable relief to him. “ But oh the wonderful contempt of the world! He displayed a rare example, that the truest happiness consists in possessing little or nothing! He complied, indeed, but unwillingly, and only with a view that the

queen might employ her devout liberality in adorning the church.” His scruples thus over


come, a new church on a more magnificent plan was erected (that which now appears) it soon displayed the usual pomp of the craft, and in less than thirty years the monks came to one opinion, that “the outward man" deserved consideration; that the “place was “ unfit for a reasonable creature, much less " for religious persons :" nay some said, that

they wished every stone of the foundation, a stout hare;" others, still more wicked, “ that every stone was at the bottom of the

sea.” Hence, in the year 1136, we find a new Lanthony abbey built and consecrated near Gloucester, which, although at first only a cell to our abbey, soon assumed a priority over the parent foundation. The treasures, library, rich vestments, and even bells, were removed to the new house: the old Lanthony then came to be considered as a prison by the fat monks of the Severn, who sent thither only “ their old and useless members.”

In doleful mood the monk complains, " We are made the scum and outcast of the ““ brethren.” — “ They permitted the mo

nastery to be reduced to such poverty, " that the friars were without surplices, and


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