From London To Land's End By Daniel Defoe


They tell us here long stories of the great art used in laying the
first foundation of this church, the - Page 30
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They Tell Us Here Long Stories Of The Great Art Used In Laying The First Foundation Of This Church, The

Ground being marshy and wet, occasioned by the channels of the rivers; that it was laid upon piles, according to

Some, and upon woolpacks, according to others. But this is not supposed by those who know that the whole country is one rock of chalk, even from the tops of the highest hills to the bottom of the deepest rivers.

They tell us this church was forty years a-building, and cost an immense sum of money; but it must be acknowledged that the inside of the work is not answerable in the decoration of things to the workmanship without. The painting in the choir is mean, and more like the ordinary method of common drawing-room or tavern painting than that of a church; the carving is good, but very little of it; and it is rather a fine church than finely set off.

The ordinary boast of this building (that there were as many gates as months, as many windows as days, as many marble pillars as hours in the year) is now no recommendation at all. However, the mention of it must be preserved:-

"As many days as in one year there be, So many windows in one church we see; As many marble pillars there appear As there are hours throughout the fleeting year; As many gates as moons one year do view: Strange tale to tell, yet not more strange than true."

There are, however, some very fine monuments in this church; particularly one belonging to the noble family of Seymours, since Dukes of Somerset (and ancestors of the present flourishing family), which on a most melancholy occasion has been now lately opened again to receive the body of the late Duchess of Somerset, the happy consort for almost forty years of his Grace the present Duke, and only daughter and heiress of the ancient and noble family of Percy, Earls of Northumberland, whose great estate she brought into the family of Somerset, who now enjoy it.

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