Picture of Celia Fiennes

Celia Fiennes

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Maulbery is in view at some distance from ye adjacent hills and Lookes very fine, with a good river that turns many mills. Its buildings are good and Compact, one very Large streete where stands the market place and town hall,. and at Each end the two Churches, its of a great Length jncludeing the two parishes, and the town stands itself on a high hill. Beyond one of the Churches is the Duke of Sommersets house, has been a greate Rambling building but now most pulled down and newly building, they were painting it, good appartments for what is done but none furnish'd, and its but one Wing and is built with drawing dineing roomes and bed Chambers with Closets and dressing-roomes and two StairCases and some roomes above, which is to have another such a wing on the other side and Joyn'd with a Greate hall.

The only Curious thing is out of ye bowling green. You go many stepps down into a Grass-walke with quick sett hedges cut Low, this Leads to the foote of the mount, and that you ascend from ye Left hand by an Easye ascent bounded by such quick sett hedges Cut Low, and soe you rise by degrees in 4 rounds bounded by the Low Cutt hedge, and on the top is with same hedge Cut in works, and from thence you have a prospect of ye town and Country round and two parishes two mile off in view, and the Low Grounds are watered with ditches, and this mount is Encompass'd about with such a Cannal which Emptys itself into a ffish pond, then it Empts itself into the river. There is a house built over the ffish pond to keep the ffish in. At the ffoote of the mount as I began out of a Green walke on the Left hand to ascend it, so on the Right hand Leads to another such a walke quite round by ye Cannall to the other side of ye bowling-green. In the midst of ye top of the mount was a house built and pond but thats fallen down. Halfe way down is a seate opposite to ye dwelling house which is Brick'd. Maulbery is one of the towns in Wiltshire ye quarter sessions is kept in, its 8 mile to Hungerford over Savernack Forrest where is many deer. Ffrom Hungerford to Newbury in Barkshire 7 mile all very deep way, 15 mile thence to Reading in Barkshire flatt way, but ye vale is heavy sand for 3 or 4 mile. Reading is the shire town, its pretty Large and accomodated for travellers being a great Road to Gloucester and ye West Country, but it is very dear.

Celia Fiennes, Through England on a Side Saddle in the Time of William and Mary (London: Field and Tuer, The Leadenhall Press, 1888)

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