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Robinson's Guide to Richmond (1833)


Part 16

Mortham

"The Castle of Mortham," (we still prefer quoting the notes to Rokeby,) "is a picturesque Tower, surrounded by buildings of different ages, now converted into a farm house and offices. The battlements of the tower itself are singularly elegant, the architect having broken them at regular intervals into different lights; while those at the corner of the tower project into octangular turrets. They are also, from space to space, covered with stones laid across them, as in modern embrasures, the whole forming an uncommon and beautiful effect. The surrounding buildings are of a less happy form, being pointed into high and steep roofs. A wall, with an embrasure, incloses the southern front, where a low portal arch affords an entry to what was the castle court. At some distance is most happily placed, between the stems of two magnificent elms, the monument* alluded to in the text. It is said to have been brought from the ruins of Egglestone Priory, and from the armoury, with which it is richly carved, appears to have been a tomb of the Fitz-Hughs."

* See the view of the tomb, with a distant glimpse of Mortham Tower.

     "South of the gate, an arrow-flight,
     Two mighty elms their limbs unite,
     As if a living canopy to spread,
     O'er the lone dwelling of the dead;
     For their huge boughs in arches bent,
     Above a massive monument,
     Carved o'er in ancient Gothic wise,
     With many a Scutcheon and device."

"The situation of Mortham is eminently beautiful, occupying a high bank, at the bottom of which the Greta winds out of the dark, narrow, and romantic dell, which the text has attempted to describe, and flows onward through a more open valley to meet the Tees, about a quarter of a mile from the castle. Mortham is surrounded by old trees happily and widely grouped with Mr. Morritt's new plantations."

A little to the west of Rokeby, are the ruins of EGGLESTONE ABBEY:

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