In 1728 a second edition of "British Curiosities in Art and Nature" appeared from a press in London's Lincons Inn. This gave an account of 'Parities both Ancient and Modem' in the various English counties.
In the Warwickshire section appear the following:- "This Shire is commended much for the Wholesomeness 0f the Air, specially about the town of Warwick. The Soil is very rich and yieldeth great Plenty of Corn.
Warwick is remarkable
1. For the Castle which is strong both by Nature and Art and is now very Beautiful
2. For the handsome, neat Buildings, since the Fire in 1694, which consumed a great part 0f the Town
3. The beautiful church 0f St. Mary's wherein is remarkable
4. Monuments of the noble family 0f Beauchamps, Earls of Warwick, which curious pieces of Antiquity were with much Pains and Care preserved from ruin by the said Fire
5. Here are Hospitals for poor Men, Women and Children and a Free School.
STRATFORD upon Avon is about 8 miles from Warwick. S.W.
LEMINGTON, Here are Salt Springs, about a mile E. from Warwick.
AULCESTER. Was a Roman Station, as appears by the old foundations and Roman coins found: upward of 600, most Silver but 8 of them Gold, were found in an urn and fell to the Lord Brook.
BEAUCHAMP'S COURT. A seat of Lord Brook 0f Warwick Castle: about 6 Miles near E. from Stratford."
(There follows a list of seats of the nobility dotted across the county but no mention is made of Coughton Court or Ragley Hall:
....nor are any more places situated on the Avon, Arrow or Aine mentioned. What, perhaps, the writer does not describe is, to us, as interesting as what he does; Stratford, for example, had not become by 1728 a shrine to Shakespeare's memory; Ragley was newly built but no fine folk lived there; Coughton was not to be praised, for it was a focal point for the Gunpowder plot."
As Warwickshire is, and was, the Heart of England, one would have thought that the writer's list of 'curiosities' and 'remarkables' would have been more comprehensive than it was: but, then, places as far away as Warwickshire existed only as names to the literate citizens of the capital and the turnpike road system was only in its infancy
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