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"they were erected to commemorate a battle fought near Bampton, in 614, between the Saxons and the Britons; when the Saxons, under Cynegil, slew more than two thousand Britons." "The adjacent barrow," he adds, " has been destroyed." StantonHarcourt was among the vast estates which fell to the lot of the Bishop of Bayeux, the half-brother of the Conqueror: and it was evidently, from the mention of it in the Domesday Survey, a somewhat valuable acquisition. From an account of StantonHarcourt, written by the late George Simon, Earl of Harcourt, we learn that " The manor of StantonHarcourt has continued six hundred years in the Harcourt family. Queen Adeliza, daughter of Godfrey first duke of Brabant, and second wife to King Henry I., granted the manor of Stanton to her kinswoman, Milicent, wife of Richard de Camvill, whose daughter Isabel married Robert de Harcourt; and from the time of that marriage it assumed the name of Stanton-Harcourt. This grant was afterwards confirmed to her and her heirs by King Stephen and King Henry II." The service by which it was held of the crown is worth quoting as an example of the somewhat curious mixture of minute observances in these feudal tenures: "The lord of Stanton-Harcourt shall find four browsers in Woodstock park in winter-time, when the snow shall happen to fall, and tarry, lie, and abide, by the space of two days; and so to find the said browsers there browsing, so long as the snow doth lie, every browser to have to his lodging every night one billet of wood, the length of his axe-helve, and that to carry to his lodgings upon the edge of his axe. And the king's bailiff of the demesnes, or of the hundred of Wootton, coming to give warning for the said browsers, shall blow his horn at the gate of the manor of Stanton-Harcourt aforesaid, and then the said bailiff to have a cast of bread, a gallon of ale, and a piece of beef, of the said lord of StantonHarcourt aforesaid : and the said lord, or other for the time being, to have of custom yearly out of the said park, one buck in summer and one doe in winter. And also the said lord of Stanton-Harcourt must fell, make, rear, and carry all the grass growing in one meadow within the park of Woodstock, called Stanton and Southley mead; and the fellers and the makers thereof have used to have of custom, of the king's majesty's charge, six-pence in money, and two gallons of ale." The manor now belongs to the present Archbishop of York.
Of the mansion, which was very large, and some parts of it very ancient, little is left. After the death of Sir Philip Harcourt, in 1688, it ceased to be the residence of the family, and was suffered to go to decay. By the middle of the next century it had become ruinous, and was, with the exception of the portions about to be noticed, demolished by order of its owner in 1770. The porter's lodge, near the road, still remains in its original form; the arms on each side of the gate, in both fronts, siiow that it was erected by Sir Simon Harcourt, who died in 1547. Some upper rooms in the small remaining part of the house adjoining the kitchen, and now in the occupation of a farmer, are nearly in their original state, and bear evident marks of great antiquity. They contain nothing remarkable, however, besides an old stone fire-place and an ancient chimney. Pope passed the greater part of two summers in the deserted mansion, for the sake of pursuing his poetical studies in tranquillity.
The tower, shown in the engraving, bears the name of Pope's Tower from the circumstance that in the uppermost room in it he wrote the fifth volume of his translation of Homer; as he recorded on a pane of stained glass in the window. The pane of glass has been removed, and was long, and, perhaps, is now "preserved as a valuable relique at NunehamCourtney." The room is still called Pope's Study. The tower is in good repair, though the apartments are used only as storerooms. The lower room is the old family chapel; part of it has a flat wooden ceiling composed of squares, with red and yellow mouldings, and a blue ground, with gilt stars in the centre of each compartment. The tower is fifty-four feet high; the upper rooms are each thirteen feet square.
But the most curious portion of the old mansion now existing is the kitchen, shown in the opposite engraving. It is a large stone building of an earlier date than the rest of the mansion, and is the only edifice of the kind known. It bears some resemblance to the abbot's kitchen at Glastonbury, but it is larger and loftier, and has no chimney. Dr. Plot, in his curious History of Oxfordshire, says, "The kitchen of the right worshipful SirSimon Harcourt, Knight, is so strangely unusual, that by way of riddle, one may truly call it, either a kitchen within a chimney, or a kitchen without one; for below it is nothing but a large square, and octangular above ascending like a tower, the fire9 being made against the walls, and the smoke climbing up them, without any tunnels or disturbance to the cooks; which being stopped by a large conical roof at the top, goes out at loopholes on every side according as the wind sits; the loop holes at the side next the wind being shut witlfolding doors, and the adverse side opened." At one of the angles there is a turret in which is a winding staircase that leads to a passage round the battlements, in order to open and close the shutters according to the direction of the wind.
This building is still used as the kitchen of the adjoining house, and the cooks say that they experience no inconvenience from the lack of a chimney; and I saw substantial evidence, a few weeks ago, that its capabilities are sufficiently tested. There are two fire-places against the opposite walls, at either of which an ox might be roasted whole. Only one is used now. Besides the fire-places there are two large ovens, which are still employed. The interior has a singular appearance. It is a room about thirty feet square, capped by a conical roof, in itself twenty-five feet high, and from the floor to its apex about sixty feet. The inside of the roof is thickly coated with soot, and the walls above the fire-places are blackened densely in the centre, shading off gradually to the angles. In the large old fire-place a goodly wood fire is burning, which throws a rich warm glow on to the deep shade above, while three or four neat-handed Phillises busily engaged in the various culinary operations contrast strongly in their lightsome cleanly look with the murky walls of the strange old room. On the canvas of a Rembrandt it would make a striking picture.
The main portion of the mansion was erected in the reign of Henry VII.; the kitchen is supposed to be of the time of Henry IV. Pope in a letter to the Duke of Buckingham described the house as it was before its demolition; but according to the