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“Ye Old Tea House.” We had a fine, view of both castle and cathedral from nearly every direction. The castle is not open to visitors. It is ivy grown and picturesque. This drive only occupied a little over an hour. We all attended evening service at the cathedral. Nearly all of these old cathedrals have legends. The one here is that two imps, in flying around, one flew into the cathedral and lighted on some high point to rest. While there he was turned into stone, and there remains. The other imp flew off on a witch's back, and nothing more was ever heard of him. You can easily see the stone imp by looking closely. We had a good night's rest.
SHERWOOD FOREST DUKERIES
Monday morning, June 27, we bade our pleasant friends, the Chipmans, good-by, we taking the train to Edwinstowe, they remaining to take a late train to Cambridge, where they were going to visit relatives. On arriving at Edwinstowe, we walked to Dukeries Hotel, left our luggage, had a lunch put up for us and, calling a carriage, we started for a day's drive to Sherwood Forest and the Dukeries. Our drive was one of great interest. The forest is full of immense old oaks, gnarled and worm-eaten till just the shell of the trees remain. One is of immense size, and said to be the largest in the world, but this being on another part of the drive, we did not see it. We passed the first lodge, as it is called. It is built entirely of wood imported from Russia, and is put together with wood, not a nail being used in its construction. It is small but very artistic, handsome carving being used on the outside. Sherwood Forest is an extremely large tract of wooded land, the trees being almost entirely oaks, both large and small, and densely grown. This has been subdivided into princely estates, the largest being Welbeck Abbey, the Duke of Portland's palatial estate. There is a beautiful chain of lakes on this estate. We saw Robin Hood's larder, an immense oak, just a shell and propped on all sides to prevent its falling down, yet it still shows fresh green leaves on its limbs. The different greens of the foliage in this dense forest cast soft green lights and shades that make you feel creepy and take you back in thought to the days of old Robin Hood, till you find yourself involuntarily expecting to see him peeping out at you from behind some of the old moss-grown trees, it is so still and weird. We saw Clumber House, Duke of New Castle's, Thorsby Hall, Earl of Banvers'. We stopped at Wellbeck Abbey, expecting to see it. No vehicles of visitors are allowed inside the gates, so, leaving our carriage, we started on one of the longest walks I have taken for some time. The grounds are very large and beautiful, well worth a visit. Everything is on a large scale. We were directed where to purchase our tickets and had a long wait before the man came, and then another and longer wait for our guide to come, as he was conducting another party. We must have walked two miles before reaching the building where we purchased our tickets, and from there the guide took us another mile to the residence. Here we were taken into an underground passage, leading to the museums, ballrooms and picture galleries, all of which are underground and very extensive. The ballrooms are elegant. Portraits of royalty and the nobility hang on the walls. Most of the furniture and draperies were covered. The rooms are of enormous size, and we were over an hour going through. On leaving and getting above ground again, we were told we could not visit the mansion, as the family were in residence. Had I known of this, I should have declined going through the underground rooms. I was very tired and dreaded the long walk to the lodge gates, but there was no help for it. The Earl is a philanthropist and has built a beautiful block of houses for the poor, called the Winnings. The inscription on them reads: "These houses were erected by the Sixth Duke of Portland at the request of his wife, for the benefit of the poor, and to commemorate the success of his race horses in the years 1888, 1889, 1890. Ayrshire, 2,000 guineas, and Derby, 1888. Donovan: Derby and St. Ledger, 1899. Memoir. The Oaks and St. Ledger, 1890. Semolina 1,000 guineas, 1890.” There is also a large village on the estate for his retainers. On reaching the gates, our carriage was nowhere in sight. We finally found it some two squares away, the horses unhitched and in a stable, where they had been fed and watered. It is the rule here never to leave a horse in harness. A most excellent rule for the horses, but hard on the visitors who are obliged to stand while their carriages are being put in readiness for them.
We drove from here back to the Dukeries Hotel, where we found a nice bright fire and tea awaiting us. Being chilly from the long drive, the warmth of the fire was very grateful. We took the train from here to Chesterfield, arriving about 5 P. M., stopping at Hotel Portland.
Tuesday, June 28, we took a motor to Hardwick Hall, Haddon Hall and Chatsworth. Hardwick Hall is a stone building of the pure Elizabethan style. The present hall was built by the celebrated Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, and was finished in 1587. It is studded with antique windows, and has six square towers of commanding proportions, these being ornamented with carved openwork battlements, and bear the noble lady's initials, "E. S.," surrounded by a coronet. The picture gallery extends the entire length of the eastern front. The windows in this gallery are of enormous proportions and are said to contain twenty-seven thousand panes of glass. Hence the origin of the saying, "Hardwick Hall, more glass than wall.” It is now owned by the Duke of Devonshire, who also owns many other princely estates. A room in one of the square towers is called Mary, Queen of Scots' room. The queen's bed has hangings of black velvet that are richly embroidered in flowers of colored silk, all the work being done by the queen and her attendants when a prisoner there. We arrived earlier than the usual hour for visitors, but the caretaker was kind and showed us over the hall. Everything is covered for protection when the family is not in residence. The caretaker raised the covers enough for us to see the color and texture of material, carving or painting. This is a grand old place, magnificently furnished in old style, everything being carefully preserved. Bedrooms too numerous to mention, both state and private, banquet halls, dining-rooms, both state and private, and so on all through. We entered the great hall, which was the living-room. There is a gallery on the upper floor, extending over the entrance.
This room has rare old paintings, bric-à-brac, weapons, tapestries
The floors are of stone, as are also the stairsteps. The grounds are kept by a landscape gardener and are beautiful. Across the driveway in front of the hall and just at one side are the ruins of the first hall, the back part, being habitable, is used as servants' quarters. We had a most beautiful ride from here to Bakewell, where we lunched at the Rutland Arms Hotel. Afterward going over to the little old church of Bakewell, where we saw the tombs of Dorothy Vernon and Sir John Manning.