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Arreton

Cottage of "The Dairyman" 1845

South of the road stands an object of much interest with many visitants; namely, the Cottage of “The Dairyman” whose “Daughter” has become of such celebrity, through the record of her character and death given by the Rev. Leigh Richmond. The gentleman’s descriptions of the localities of his different tales, are very faithful to the scenes they describe. Speaking of his ride “to see the family at their own home,” he says; “As I approached the village where the good old Dairyman dwelt, I observed him in a little field, driving his cows before him toward a yard and hovel which adjoined his cottage. I dismounted, and was conducted through a neat little garden, part of which was shaded by two large overspreading elm trees, to the house. The little room had two windows: a lovely prospect of the hills, woods, and fields, appeared through one; the other was more than half obscured by the branches of a vine which was trained across it; between its leaves the sun shone, and cast a cheerful light over the whole place. ‘This,’ thought I, ‘is a fit residence for piety, peace, and contentment.’”

Elizabeth Wallbridge

The reverend author’s mention of the Church and of the country he passed through on visiting it for the purpose of solemnising the funeral rites of “Elizabeth,” runs thus. “As travelled onward, - the first sound of a tolling bell struck my ear. It proceeded from the village church in the valley directly beneath the ridge of a high hill, over which I had taken my way. It was Elizabeth’s funeral knell! The scenery was in unison with that tranquil frame of mind which is most suitable for holy meditation. A rich and fruitful valley lay immediately beneath: it was adorned with corn-fields and pastures, through which a small river winded in a variety of directions, and many herds grazed upon its banks. A fine range of opposite hills, covered with grazing flocks, terminated with a bold sweep into the ocean, whose blue waves appeared at a distance beyond. Several villages, hamlets, and churches, were scatted in the valley. The noble mansions of the rich, and the lowly cottages of the poor, added their respective features to the landscape. The air was mild, and the declining sun occasioned a beautiful interchange of light and shade upon the sides of the hills.

“The procession formed. – We at length arrived at the Church. Looking upwards as I drew near the porch, I observed a dial on the wall. The sun’s declining rays directed the shadow to the evening hour. As I passed underneath this simple but solemn monitor, I was reminded of the lapse of time, the uncertainty of life, and the sure approach of eternity.”

The “dial” spoken of is over the porch-door, which leads, from the south side, into the body of the edifice. The church is old and has a heavy embattled tower at its west end. Within is a handsome monument for the late Sir L. W. Holmes, Bart. A stone in the more common cemetery, north of the church, is inscribed with Elizabeth’s memorial, as follows:-
To the Memory of
ELIZABETH WALLBRIDGE
The Dairyman’s Daughter,
Who died May 30, 1801, aged 31 years.
“She, being dead, yet speaketh.”

Source: Barber’s Picturesque Illustrations of the Isle of Wight. Simpkin & Marshall, London. 1845

This page was last edited on: 4th March, 2015 06:16:18

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Wootton Walk leaflet

If you are visiting the Isle of Wight you may be interested in our Wootton Walks leaflets which include a large scale route map.

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