49. Garden at Banstead.


Is there any remembrance at Banstead of a clergyman, who amused himself there for fifty years with ornamenting his gardens, and died in a state of dotage about the beginning of the last century? The company from Epsom used to visit his ‘curiosities,’ as they might well call them! for this gentleman had discovered more capabilities in wood and stone, than ever Lancelot Brown dreamt of. You ascended one of his trees by a straight flight of steps, the lop had been flattened in the middle, and the boughs round about dipt into a parapet; here there was an octagon bench; and this place he called his Teneriffe. Another tree was manufactured into Mount Parnassus, and there Apollo was to be seen, perched 87with the nine Muses. That they might not want worthy company, the Great Mogul, the Grand Seignor, the Cham of Tartary, and the Tzar of Muscovy were all to be seen in the garden. Two other trees, clothed with ivy, and cut smooth, stood for the Pillars of Hercules. The old gentleman was a wit as well as a scholar; he had cut one tree into the shape of a rose, and placed a bench under it, where lovers might talk ‘under the rose.’ Uncle Toby might also have found something to interest him in these gardens. There were the whole confederated army and their generals represented by stones, of which the large ones were the officers, and the little ones the men.— Within doors he had montero caps, shoulders of mutton, apples, &c. cut in stone and painted.

Epsom was at this time so much frequented, that forty coaches-and-six were sometimes to be seen at evening in the ring. On Monday mornings they had 88some little diversion, such as racing of boys, or rabbits, or pigs.”


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