Old Hampshire Mapped
Cox's HampshireTranscription (65)
coat of arms
de Ow, William
trial by combat
Our British Historians report, that our famous King Arthur was crowned in this City, and that soon after it was demolished, either in the Saxon Wars, or when Athelwolfe being assisted by the Danes, rebelled against his Brother, King Edward, and ravaged all the Country as far as Basingstoke. Nothing now remained but the Walls, which are very high, (tho' the Coping and Battlements are down) and in a great Measure entire, except where the Gates have been. They are about two Italian Miles in Compass, and out of them in some Places grow Oaks of such vast Bigness, incorporated as it were with the Stones, that they are an Admiration to all that behold them. Hence some think Silcester implies a great City.
On the West Side of the Walls, where 'tis level, there runs a long Ridge, cast up for the Defence of the Place, containing about eighty Acres of Land, a good fat Soil, now divided into Fields, with a little Grove towards the West, and Eastward near the Gate a Farm-House with a small Church of modern Building, in which are the Arms of divers good Families in the Windows, as of the Blewets which are, In a Shield Or, an Eagle displayed with two Heads, Gules; of the Cusanz, which are, In a Field Sable, seven Fusils Argent bendwise; and of the Baynards, which are, In a Field Sable, a Fesse, between two Cheverons Or; which three Families were Owners of this Manor, from near the Time of the Conqueror, for some Generations.
In the Conqueror's Time this Estate was in the Possession of William de Ow, a Norman, who being accused of Treason, and demanding to vindicate his Innocency by Combat, was overcome, and thereupon blinded and dismembred.
The Soil about this Town is rich and fertile, yet the Husbandmen have constantly observed, That their Corn will not grow so well in some Places as others, from whence they conclude, that the Streets of the old City ran formerly where there is least Thrift.
British Tiles and Roman Coins are commonly dug up here: These last the common People call Onion Pennies, from one Onion, whom they talk of as a Giant, who was an Inhabitant of Vindonum. Several inscriptions have been found here, but not being understood, are lost; one of them was preserved and sent up to the Lord Treasurer Burghley in Queen Elizabth's Days, viz.
MEMORIAESome think that this was a Monument erected in memory of Victorina, who was called Mater Castrorum, i. e. the Mother of the Camp, who raised the Victorim, Son and Grandson, Posthumus, Lollianus, Marius and Tetricus Caesars in Gaul and Britain, against Gallienus the Emperor: But there having been two Victors flourishing in Britain at the same Time, the one the Son, and the other the Praefect of the Guards to the Emperor Maximus, it cannot be determined which of them set up this Monument.
As there is one military Roman Way that leads from hence directly Southward to Winchester, so there is another that goes Westward thro' Pamber, a thick and woody Forest, and so by some Places that are now uninhabited, till it runs near
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