Vanishing England eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 374 pages of information about Vanishing England.

In our chapter on the delightful and picturesque old bridges that form such beautiful features of our English landscapes, we deplored the destruction now going on owing to the heavy traction-engines which some of them have to bear and the rush and vibration of motor-cars which cause the decay of the mortar and injure their stability.  Many of these old bridges, once only wide enough for pack-horses to cross, then widened for the accommodation of coaches, beautiful and graceful in every way, across which Cavaliers rode to fight the Roundheads, and were alive with traffic in the old coaching days, have been pulled down and replaced by the hideous iron-girder arrangements which now disfigure so many of our streams and rivers.  In future, owing to this wonderful invention of the grouting machine, these old bridges can be saved and made strong enough to last another five hundred years.  Mr. Fox tells us that an old Westmoreland bridge in a very bad condition has been so preserved, and that the celebrated “Auld Brig o’ Ayr” has been saved from destruction by this means.  A wider knowledge of the beneficial effects of this wonderful machine would be of invaluable service to the country, and prevent the passing away of much that in these pages we have mourned.  By this means we may be able to preserve our old and decaying buildings for many centuries, and hand down to posterity what Ruskin called the great entail of beauty bequeathed to us.

Vanishing England has a sad and melancholy sound.  Nevertheless, the examples we have given of the historic buildings, and the beauties of our towns and villages, prove that all has not yet disappeared which appeals to the heart and intellect of the educated Englishman.  And oftentimes the poor and unlearned appreciate the relics that remain with quite as much keenness as their richer neighbours.  A world without beauty is a world without hope.  To check vandalism, to stay the hand of the iconoclast and destroyer, to prevent the invasion and conquest of the beauties bequeathed to us by our forefathers by the reckless and ever-engrossing commercial and utilitarian spirit of the age, are some of the objects of our book, which may be useful in helping to preserve some of the links that connect our own times with the England of the past, and in increasing the appreciation of the treasures that remain by the Englishmen of to-day.


Abbey towns, 210-29
Abbot’s Ann, 381
——­ Hospital, Guildford, 343
Abingdon, 278
——­ bridge, 320
——­ hospital, 344
——­ archives of, 365
Age, a progressive, 2
Albans, St., Abbey, 212
——­ inn at, 254
Aldeburgh, 18
Aldermaston, 196, 381
Alfriston, 256
Allington Castle, 124
Alnwick, 31
Almshouses, 333-48
Almsmen’s liveries, 346
American rapacity, 6-7, 164, 183
Ancient Monuments Commission, 392
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle on Castles, 116
Armour, 184
Art treasures dispersed, 5
Ashbury camp, 208
Atleburgh, Norfolk, 147
Avebury, stone circle at, 207
——­ manor-house, 180
Aylesbury, Vale of, 86, 91
——­ inn at, 256

Project Gutenberg
Vanishing England from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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