What to See in England
By Gordon Home
Public Domain Books
THE HOME OF CHARLES KINGSLEY
=How to get there.=–Train from Waterloo. South-Western Railway. =Nearest Stations.=–Wokingham, 5 miles; Winchfield, 7 miles. =Distance from London.=–Wokingham, 36-1/2 miles; Winchfield, 39 miles. =Average Time.=–Wokingham, 2 hours; Winchfield, 1-1/2 hours.
=Fares.=– Single. Return. 1st 2nd 3rd 1st 2nd 3rd Wokingham 5s. 6d. 3s. 9d. 3s. 0d. 9s. 0d. 6s. 6d. 6s. 0d. Winchfield 6s. 6d. 4s. 0d. 3s. 3d. 11s. 6d. 7s. 2d. 6s. 6d.
=Accommodation Obtainable.=–Small village inn at Eversley. “George Hotel” at Odiham, 2 miles from Winchfield Station; very old and picturesque. =Alternative route.=–Train to Wellington College. S.E. and C. Rly.
The drive from Winchfield (7 miles) is chiefly across beautiful heathery commons; from Wokingham the road is more enclosed with hedges. Eversley Church and rectory stand almost alone, save for a farmhouse and barns, being nearly a mile from the other portions of the village. The church is very picturesquely situated on sloping ground, an avenue of yews leading from the lych gate to the porch. Inside, the building has suffered a good deal from restoration, but the pulpit from which Kingsley preached his stirring sermons remains unaltered. The rectory is a very old building which has been modernised on the side fronting on the road. On the lawn stands the group of glorious Scotch firs which Kingsley was never tired of watching. Their boughs sweep downwards and almost touch the grass, and their great red trunks are a strong contrast to the dense green of the surrounding foliage.
In one of the sitting-rooms is a set of drawers in which Kingsley kept a collection of fossils. His grave is on the side of the church yard nearest the overshadowing branches of the Scotch firs. The Runic cross of white marble is a beautiful one. The head is ornamented with a spray of passion flower and bears upon it the words “God is Love.” On the base are the words “Amavimus, amamus, amabimus.”
The neighbouring district of Bramshill has still the little thatched cottage where Kingsley used to conduct a little simple service on Sunday afternoons. The whole of the country surrounding Bramshill Park is closely covered with self-sown firs, and the commons interspersed among the forest lands are covered with heather and gorse. This was the country Kingsley loved, whether he was riding over it with the local pack of foxhounds or on a visit to one of his parishioners.
[Illustration: EVERSLEY RECTORY.
The scene of the labours of Charles Kingsley.]