The castle is seated upon a rock, which rises almost perpendicularly from a narrow valley; through this valley winds a small stream of water, which drives the mill seen through the foliage of the surrounding woods from the turrets of the castle.
In approaching the castle from the south, the path leads down the side of a hill through a thick wood; and on the north side of the valley, opposite the rock on which the castle stands, is a high ridge, partly covered with oak: these hills completely shut in the ruins on both sides. The valley stretches a considerable way both to the east and west, and opens a view at either end into the adjacent country.
From the ivy-covered ruins of the fortress which now remain, it is scarcely possible to say what was its ancient form; but it is most generally supposed to have been quadrangular, having only one entrance, a large double portcullis, at the west end of the southern front, turreted and embattled, as was the whole of the front, with a tower at its eastern end, corresponding with that on the west. This front, with its gateway and turrets, are perhaps the only remains of the original structure. Winding steps, now almost worn away, lead to what once was a chapel, over the portcullis, and thence to the top of the turrets.
In more modern times a magnificent building was erected within the walls of the castle by the Seymour family; but, although upwards of L20,000 were said to have been expended on it, it was never finished, and now the whole forms one common ruin, which, as it totters on it base, the spectator contemplates with awe, while he sighs over the remains of fallen grandeur.]
[Footnote B: A party from Totness went to Lord Courtenay’s masquerade in this way, there being no other conveyance to be had, and met with the ridiculous accident here alluded to.]
TO SIR ROBERT KER PORTER,
KNIGHT OF THE IMPERIAL ORDER OF ST. JOACHIM,
Upon his approaching Nuptials with the Princess Shebatoff.
To save the credit of the dame,
Poets and painters all agree
That Mistress Fortune cannot see,
And on her bandage cast the blame;
When honours on th’ unworthy wait,
When riches to the wealthy flow,
When high desert, oppress’d by woe,
Is left to struggle on with Fate.
But, Porter! when on thee she smil’d,
The fillet from her eyes she mov’d,
To view the merit all approv’d—
A mind inform’d, a heart unsoil’d.
She saw thy virtues bright appear;
A son that mothers seldom know,
A brother with affection’s glow,
The soldier brave[A], the friend sincere.
With honours then thy name she grac’d,
And call’d on Love to bless thy arms
With princely rank, with Virtue’s charms,
And all the pow’rs of wit and taste.
[Footnote A: Sir R.K. Porter was attached to the staff in the late campaign in Spain, and was in nearly every engagement with the enemy.]