Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/21

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.


equal wonders. She accordingly took possession of the place, and setting actively to work, exorcised in a short time the whole family of snakes, and like another Medusa, converted them into the serpent-stones which now strew the surface of the country in this neighbourhood.

In after times Keynsham became again, for some centuries, the theatre of lying miracles and gross superstition; William Earl of Gloucester founding an abbey of Black Canons in the year 1170, which, being enriched by several earls of that family, disgorged its wealth into the coffers of Henry VIII, in the year 1539. No vestige of it remains at present, but the fine broad flat meadow in which it stood, washed by the waters of the Avon, evinces that it enjoyed a pleasing and judicious situation. After the destruction of the conventual buildings, a noble house was erected on its scite by a branch of the Bridges family, into whose possession Keynsham came by grant from Edward VI, in 1452. Chiefly constructed with the materials of the abbey-church, where the bodies of several of the earls of Gloucester and other great men were interred, the manor-house, "built in the eclipse," and marked by sacrilege, did not endure so long as its massiveness or grandeur promised or deserved, but was taken down,