HURST CASTLE

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“Here Walter Scott has woo’d the Northern muse;
Here he with me has joyed to walk or cruise;
Hence have we ranged by Celtic camps and barrows,
Or climb’d the expectant bank, to thread the Narrow
Of HURST, bound westward to the gloomy bower
Where Charles was prisoned in yon island-tower.”

W. Stewart Rose.

AMONG the numerous objects which confer particular interest and beauty on the
neighbourhood of Lymington, the most prominent is Hurst Castle, of which a striking
view is presented in the annexed Engraving. It was erected by Henry the Eighth, as a
fortress for the protection of this part of the Channel from piratical inroads and hostile
aggression, and to give his “loving subjects” a strong and lasting pledge of his “paternal
solicitude” for their welfare. It is situated near the extremity of a remarkable, natural
causeway, or point of land, which runs boldly into the sea to a distance of nearly two
miles, and exhibits these massive battlements to great advantage. Its works of defense
consist of a circular tower, strengthened by semicircular bastions; and when armed
and garrisoned in a manner becoming the important trust confided to it, must have
presented a very formidable appearance.

Lymington, to whose neighbourhood this formidable stronghold serves as an
attractive feature, is now well known and much frequented as a delightful watering-
place. It stands about a mile from the narrow channel which separates the main land
from the Isle of Wight. Owing to the daily increasing facilities of communication, the
picturesque scenery of the New Forest, the various objects of interest and notoriety with
which the vicinity abounds, and the delightful prospects which may be enjoyed from
the windows of the apartments as well as from the adjoining walks, Lymington is well
deserving of the commendation which it has uniformly received from all strangers.*

Among the many tempting rides and walks which are open to the public, and
present a continual variety of sea and inland views, the most interesting are those to
Mudiford, Milford, Boldre, Beaulieu, and High Cliff. On the latter the late

• The cliffs which extend towards Hurst Castle abound in marine fossils, shells, and petrifactions,

from which many excellent collections have been made.

Earl of Bute erected a magnificent edifice, in consequence of an early and strong
partiality to the spot; for here, he observed, he had always slept soundly, when be
could find that luxury nowhere else. The view from this point is one of the finest in the
kingdom. The house, though much reduced in size, and modernized by the present
owner, has rather gained than lost by the change ; while the salubrious quality of the
air has certainly not deteriorated. Boldre contains much picturesque scenery, which will
be still more highly appreciated when the stranger is informed that in the vicarage of this
parish, and amidst the scenes which daily met his eye, the late Rev. and pious William
Gilpin composed his popular work on Forest Scenery.* Beaulieu is interesting as having
been the seat of a rich abbey, founded in 1204; the refectory of which has been long
used as a parish church. +Mudiford possesses a fine level sandy beach, of wide extent,
admirably adapted for sea-bathing, and commanding a variety of scenes and objects
of great beauty. It was a favourite with George the Third and Queen Charlotte, when at
Weymouth, who honoured Mr. Rose with a visit at his picturesque cottage on the beach.

* Remarks on Forest Scenery and other Woodland Views, illustrated by the Scenery of New
Forest. 1791. The Picturesque Tours, by the same author, display a deep and correct feeling of the
beauties of nature. At his death, in 1804, he appropriated a collection of his Sketches to the endowment
of t. school at Boldre.

+ The pulpit belonging; to this ancient refectory is the most perfect and elegant relic of its kind in
England.

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