Baniel* [Barnet]: 23rd April

Friday, left London at three in the afternoon for Baniel, 10 miles. For several miles we saw nothing but grass fields in every direction. Upon a gentle rising ground, about five miles, we have a view of a part of London, and saw over to the south side of the river, for many miles. It appears a wood as far as your eye can carry you; the soil on most of the way is excellent. Towards the end of the stage it is but very middling. Baniel is a pretty little town, seems a perfect thoroughfare, and carriages coming into it and going out in every direction.

HATFIELD.

From Barnet to Hatfield, 10 miles. The Marquis of Salisbury’s house is close by the inn; at least the gate into the house and park. This is amongst the first houses in England, and can be seen on certain days of the week, but being sunset when I got there, I could only see the outside of the house. The deer are numerous and beautiful. There being a very great public meeting of the nobility with the Marquis that day, and the servants and horses all at the inn, I had much ado to get lodgings. The landlord here has a hog 21 years old, a very wonderful animal of the kind. I never saw such another; he is not of the long kind, but the thickest and fattest at present they know of. Many hundreds of pounds are depending as to his weight. He is to be killed at Michaelmas, and to weigh 120 stones, London weight, after the grease is taken out. He is kept as clean as any galloping horse, and not disturbed at any time unless you pay sixpence to the keeper to make him get up. The soil on this stage is very variable, hedges in general very well kept in order, farming not so bad. I now seem to be past all the milk pastures, for ten or twelve miles from town nothing to be seen but milk cows. Here is seen feeding stock, both cattle and sheep, but all in very small numbers – 20 or 30 in a field. This is the dearest house I have been in since I set out; the stabling and other accommodation, without doors, are very extensive. The inn itself is very large and well furnished.

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