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pure, salubrious, and restorative, that it has been long ago, and by various authors, styled the MONTPELLIER of England. It commands a pleasing prospect over the western part of the city; and of the Avon, which, when full, and vessels are sailing up or down, add much to the beauty of the view. On the opposite shore, the agreeable, well cultivated, and wholesome part of Somersetshire, completes the landscape. This rises gradually for five miles, from the river to the top of Dundry-Hill, on which is a lofty tower that serves as a Barometer; it being generally overhung with clouds, or enveloped with mists, before rain; and when clearly seen it indicates fair weather. As the delightful situation of Clifton, long since, induced many opulent persons and families to make it their principal residence, the continually new accession of inhabitants have occasioned the hill to be almost covered with elegant piles of building and separate mansions, such as few villages can shew.
Sion-Spring, or Upper-Hotwell, situated on the brow of Clifton hill is worthy of attention. This Spring rises at the depth of 246 feet from the surface, and the water is found to be nearly the same as that of the lower well. Here there is spacious Pump-room erected, and bathing places prepared for those who wish to try the external as well as internal use of these salutary waters.
The set of public Rooms at Clifton are entitled York-House Hotel and Tavern: this has an elegant ball room with a good organ; and commands a picturesque view of Leigh Woods and the Downs. The whole building is a complete Hotel, handsomely fitted up, and extremely well calculated for parties who arrive here, or make excursions for a few days to this delightful spot. It is kept by John Warne, and is situated in Glocester-Place.
Abut five miles from Bristol, is Lord Clifford's elegant house and gardens, at King's-Weston, in the neighbourhood of which is one of the richest, most picturesque, variegated, and extensive prospects in the kingdom; commanding, at one view, the Bristol Channel, the mouth of the rivers Severn and Avon, the counties of Glocester, Somerset, Wilts, and a vast line of the Welch coast and counties.
An Account of the Town of CHELTENHAM, containing its antiquity, Situation, Air, Produce, Buildings, Improvements, Virtues of its Medicinal Waters, &c.
HE ancient town of CHELTENHAM in Glocestershire, forty-five miles north of Bath, derives its name from the brook Chelt, which, rising in the adjacent parish of Dowdswell, runs near the town on the south side, and discharges itself into the Severn at Wainload's Bridge. It lies in the hundred of the same name, within ten miles north-east from the city of Glocester, fifteen north of Cirencester, nine south of Tewksbury, and ninety-two miles almost due west from Loudon; from all which places there are turnpike roads leading to the town. The parish is said to have consisted formerly of divers manors, which may ay all have borne the general appellation of" The Manor of Cheltenham;" since from ancient records it appears, that several proprietors have been possessed of it nearly at the same time.
Doomsday-Book informs us, that in the reign of King Edward, surnamed the Confessor, who lived in the tenth centu→ ry, CHELTENHAM paid him an annual rent of gl. 5s. and 3,000 loaves for the King's dogs; and that in William the Conquerer's time it paid 201. yearly, together with 20 cows, 20 hogs, and 16s. in lieu of bread for his dogs.
In the first year of King John, Henry de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, was owner of the town, and exchanged it with the King for other lands. It was granted by Henry II. to William Longsword, Earl of Salsbury; who, in the seventh year of that King's reign leased the benefit of the markets, fairs, and hundreds of CHELTENHAM to the inhabitants of the town; and the lease, at a certain reserved rent, was renewed three years after.. Longsword was succeeded by his son William, who, in consequence of his going out of the land without the King's leave, had his estates confiscated; and the manor of CHELTENHAM was granted in dower to Queen Eleanor, daughter of the Earl of Provence in France. In the thirty-first year of Henry III. the Bishop of Hereford appears to have been siezed of CHELTENHAM, which afterwards came
into the possession of the Abbey of Feschamp in Normandy, by purchase and exchange of lands at Winchelsea and Rye in Sussex. At length, it was transferred to the Priory of Montburgh, which was an alien monastery in Normandy. But the lands of all alien priories being afterwards vested by Act of Parliament in the Crown of England, the manor and the hundred of CHELTENHAM were granted to the nunnery of Sion in Middlesex. Maud, the Abbess of the nunnery, levied a fine on them to confirm her title in the 22d year of Henry VI. and received a fuller confirmation of it in the first year of Edward IV.
Sir Maurice Berkely, of Beverston, in the county of Glo cester, held the manor, &c. in the fourteenth of Edward IV. which is supposed to have been under a lease from the Abbesses of Sion; and by the dissolution of that nunnery, in the general sweep made by Henry III. the manor of CHELTENHAM came to the crown, and so continued till the year 1608, when it was granted to the ancient family of the Duttons of Shireborne, in this county; James Lenox Dutton, Esq (now Lord Shireborne) is the present lord of the manor, and enjoys great privileges and jurisdictions in consequence of his right. Lord Shireborne has an elegant seat, visible from the road, a few miles to the right, leading from Burford to CHELTENHAM
Few towns in England can with propriety be said to excel this in point of situation, is is seated within the bosom of a valley, which forms a part of the extensive Vale of Evesham. The district, by way of distinction, has also by some writers been termed Gloces er Vale, from its vicinity to that city. It affords such an abundance of the best corn, as well as of pasture for sheep and large cattle, as to be justly reckoned the granary of the adjoining counties. CHELTENHAM is placed at the south-western extremity of this delightful scene, and is almost on every side surrounded with the gently-rising verdant hills of Cleeve, Prestbury, and Lechampton; which, joining the more distant Cotswoulds, and forming a kind of semi-circle, or amphitheatre, seem as it were emulous to monopolize her as her own; and defend her fron those chilling blasts, which would otherwise proceed from the eastern quarter. Three miles on the road from Cheltenham to Glocester, on an eminence, is a view of the towns of Tewkesbury, Cheltenham and Glocester, in a triangle.
From the neighbourhood, particularly of Frogmill on the Oxford road hither, to Crickley-Hill, which leads into the vale of Gloucester, the beauty of landscape is truly great and engaging. About six miles from the former place, from the top of a rising ground, is seen to the right a most prodigious prospect over the wide-spread valley, bounded by the heights of. CHELTENHAM, which often seem to tower amidst the clouds.
The enclosures, beautifully disposed, and formed of tall trees and hedges, appear in a spacious bottom before you, clad in summer with the richest variegated verdure, and very distinctly strike the admiring view. The whole country round is indeed full of picturesque scenes; but the romantic spots from Crickley Hill hither, and the other above-mentioned, are singularly fine; and compose a complete piece of elegant nature, well worthy, the attention of a traveller.
The air and atmosphere of Gloucestershire, in general, are said to be equally salubrious, though different in nature according to the variety of the country. Cotswould for instance, being very lofty, the air thereabout is sharp and chill; but in the vale, particularly in the neighbourhood of CHELTENHAM, is soft and mild; and even in the wintry season not ungenial to its long-liv'd inhabitants. Such, indeed, is the striking difference in this respect, that of Cutswould it has been commonly observed, "that eight months of the year are winter, and the other four too cold for summer; whereas in the vale eight months are summer. and the remaining four too warm for an English winter." Nor will this appear so extraordinary to any one, who considers the situation of the valley; bounded with rising grounds, encumbered with no swamps or marshy soil, and having few streams of water, and those small, running through it.
The celebrated Dr. Short, in his very ingenious and elaborate treatise on the principal mineral waters of Cumberland, &c. remarks of CHELTENHAM, that "this market town, lying only two miles from the lovely Wolds of Oxfordshire,-those high and charming hills, richly clothed with much sweet grass, herds and flocks-hath a dry, thin, pure, healthy air, fitted for pleasure and diversions all the summer;" and after having expatiated on the medical qualities of the CHELTENHAM SPRING, he adds, in very emphatical terms, "What a noble, rich, nitrous water, with a fine, healthy, clear air, and
dry situation can do, for the recovery or preservation of health may be expected here.
As the parish of CHELTENHAM is large, so the soil is various. On the eastern part is a very loose whitish sand; westward, a strong clay; to the south a fine rich loam; and in other parts a mixture of loam and sand.
The country hereabout produces wood in great plenty for timber, fuel, and other uses, and abounds with grain, pulse, vegetables of all kinds, cattle, poultry, and game. The inha bitants have also excellent butter and bacon, and cider is the common beverage of the country.
The ground in which the Mineral Spring in this place is situated, was originally the property of the late Mr. Higgs, of Charlton-Kings; but he not knowing of the medicinal spring, I sold it, with the adjoining land in 1716, to Mr. Mason, who discovered the spring, which was for some time after its discovery left open, and the people of the town drank of it. In the year 1718 it was enclosed; and in consequence of some experiments made by Dr. Baird of Worcester, and Dr. Gre vil of Glocester, its virtues became generally known, and it was sold medicinally till the year 1721, when it was leased to Mr. Spencer, at 611. per annum.
After the death of Mr. Mason and his son, Capt. Henry Skellicorn, father of the present landlord, becoming proprietor of the spring and premises, built a room for the company, a pump, and other conveniences. At the same time he laid out the paved court, formed the upper and lower Walks, planted the trees, and was continually improving the beauties of the place.
This spring, which rises within a quarter of a mile of the town, out of a sandy soil, is supposed to yield about 35 pints of water in an hour, amounting to 840 pints in a day.
According to the celebrated Dr. Smith, the chief ingredients in the composition of the Cheltenham waters are, fixed air, or the aerial acid, steel, and a native glauber salt.
It is to these three, that the peculiar excellence of these wa ters is chiefly to be ascribed, and an elegant and valuable composition do they form. For by the first of those ingredients,