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of its rural architecture, is Elm Cottage, the tasteful abode of the late Mr. W. Lambert.
We have scarcely left these beautiful villas, before the bold castellated seat of the Earl of Shannon rises in view with all its grand and overpowering magnificence. It is finely situated; surrounded with wood, and standing on the side of a rising ground, has the air of boldness and grandeur, which characterizes the residence of ancient feudal lords. At a short distance we pass the entrance which conducts us to Norris Castle, the seat of the late Lord Henry Seymour. This noble mansion, beautifully mantled with ivy, and adorned with a fine tower, has the appearance of an ancient baronial residence, is placed on the summit of a very steep ascent, and commands a most imposing view of the Solent, and the variety of objects which present themselves on the opposite coast, reaching below the mouth of the Anton to the distant shores of Sussex. This beautiful mansion has occasionally been occupied during the summer season, by her present most gracious Majesty, and her illustrious mother and suite, to which spot they appear to be peculiarly attached.
A fine old mansion, called Osborne House, is the next seat we pass. It commands a bold and extensive view of Cowes and the neighbourhood. This manor was in the possession of Eustace Mann, Esq. during the time the civil war was raging between Charles I. and the Parliament. There is a coppice in the manor called the money coppice, from a tradition that Mann buried some money in it, which he could not find again.
Not far from this spot the road branches off, and winds its course adjacent to the banks of the Medina, conducting to Newport. At a little distance to the east stands Barton House, formerly the site of an
ancient oratory. It has now the appearance of a fine old farm house, and retains only a few vestiges of the sacred purpose to which it was originally applied. A fragment or two remains, to tell that it was once the retired abode of some ancient religious order. In the route from East Cowes to Newport we pass the retired parsonage at Whippingham. This elegant residence is situated in a scene of ineffable beauty; having the river winding before it, with a faint view of the town of Newport, and the ruins of Carisbrook Castle; these, with the lofty heights of St. Catherine's in the distant back ground, make this sequestered place inconcievably enchanting. The church is very imposing in its appearance; and its quiet cemetery, and white steeple towering to heaven, add very much the interest of the scene. A little beyond we pass Padmore, the seat of C. B. Roe, Esq. On proceeding in this direction Fairlee appears before us, with its beautiful cottage and its noble villa, the elegant and delightful abodes of R. G. Kirkpatrick, and R. Oglander, Esqrs. adding an ornament to the rural spot in which they are placed; and commanding a view of scenery both soft and picturesque.*
* Should the visitor feel inclined to alter his route in returning to Ryde, he may have his vehicle and horses conveyed across the ferry to East Cowes: and he will then pass through this very pleasing tract of country, characterized principally by its rural beauty, till at length he will enter the Newport road, about two miles from Wootton Bridge. This excursion includes a distance of twenty-one miles.
Description of the Tours.
THE Island furnishes a variety of the most beautiful scenes imaginable; each of these lying at the distance of a day's journey from either of the watering places, furnishes a pleasant ride, and affords the visitor the most delightful prospects both by land and by water. The grand southern tour is perfectly unique. It is scarcely possible in any other spot to find such an assemblage of objects, which give us the impression of softened grandeur, as are to be found within the compass of a few miles in this direction. The road narrow, winding, undulating, and passing over the fragments of rock and cliff on every hand, is exceedingly beautiful. The tour, which stretches to the western point, has a fine bold and barren appearance as we approach the extremity of the Island, while the intermediate road is adorned with lovely rural villages. The ride through the centre of the Island, over the downs, commencing at Arreton Down, and terminating at Nunwell Down, is very commanding, from the extensive view of the land scenery which opens, and the beautiful expanse of water, which seems to spread beneath; while the intersections of hill, and the occasional peep of the deep blue ocean, render the prospect most enchanting. The romantic tour of the Island is that which lies from Shanklin to Black-gang Chine; this tour is but seldom performed in one day. For the accommodation of the visitor, who may be disposed to take it at two different periods, we shall give a distinct description of each route.