The visitors, who were welcomed by the chaplain of the abbey, the Rev. S. W. Goldsmith, were first ushered into the banqueting hall, the floor of which is of red brick in mosaic devices. Surmounting a dado of dark oak panellings are handsome tapestries of the Flemish school. These, it is noteworthy, were pieced together by the late Mr. Savile. Near the entrance is an oaken screen carved with quaint Elizabethan tracery, on either side of which, beyond the arches, stand figures in armour, placed in front of old tapestry. Above them is the minstrels' gallery. The stone fireplace, of enormous dimensions, is embellished with Elizabethan carving, and along the whole length of the hall, under the windows, runs a narrow oak table, supposed to have been used by the Cistercian monks. The dining-room is of comparatively small dimensions, and in Lord Savile's opinion is probably the least imposing room of the house. It, however, contains some noteworthy pictures and family portraits. The principal features of the drawing-room, the walls of which are panelled with crimson and white silk of the basket pattern, are the exquisite Gobelin and Beauvaise tapestry furniture. The walls and ceiling of this room are decorated with carvings and flowers, medallions and ribbons in white and gold. A number of interesting family portraits adorn the walls of the billiard-room, these including one of Strafford, by Vandyke, the sixth Earl of Shrewsbury, the husband of Bess of Hardwick, Sir Henry Savile, Barbara, Countess of Scarbrough (by Reynolds), Lord Halifax, and Prince Rupert. The Elizabethan ceiling in the library is of very great beauty, and the walls above the bookcases are covered with rich red velvet brocade. Over the fireplace hangs a fine portrait of the Prince of Wales, in Garter robes, painted by the late Augustus Savile, H.M. Marshal of Ceremonies. The picture gallery, or ball-room, forming part of the wing built by Lord Halifax, is 124ft. in length, with floor and parquet, and has a ceiling copied from one at Hardwick. Pictures by Velasquez, Rembrandt, Teniers, Vandyke, Murillo, Watteau, and Gainsborough, cover the wall on one side of this salon, the opposite side being adorned with Brussels tapestry. Many of the bedrooms are hung with Brussels tapestry specially made for them, and the furniture in most of them is French of Louis XIV. and XV. periods. The tapestry in the Stuart room, where both Charles I. and Charles II. slept, depict the history of Queen Esther, and that in the state room scenes from the life of Marcus Aurelius. The grand staircase of carved oak was designed and built by the late Lord Savile, her Majesty's Ambassador at Rome, the bay window forming the first landing being the only addition to the exterior of the house since the alterations made by Lord Halifax. The windows of this landing are coloured with the coats of arms of the family from the time that Sir George Savile obtained the property through his marriage with Lady Talbot in 1590. Leading down to the chapel, the date of which in its present state is uncertain, is a small oak staircase. The walls are covered with tapestry, and the oak pews are surmounted by carved finials of handsome design. The gallery forms the pew of the family, and, curiously enough, contains no prayer books of more recent date than that of Charles II. In the floor of the aisle is a tombstone with a cross incised and an inscription in Latin, to Robert de Markham, a monk of this house, who died in 1309. The old crypt of the abbey—the servants' hall—has a vaulted roof, huge columns of stone, and a fireplace of colossal dimensions. The cellars adjoining have not been altered since the days of the monks.

On leaving Rufford Abbey, the members re-entered the brakes, and proceeded to Edwinstowe, where luncheon was provided at the "Royal Oak" Hotel. During the progress of the meal the Rev. J. Standish announced that letters of apology had been received for non-attendance from Lord Hawkesbury, Mrs. Musters, the Rev. J. L. Dobbin, the Rev. Canon Pavey, Mr. Haywood, Mr. F. J. Turner, the Rev. R. H. Whitworth, and Mr. J. P. Briscoe. Lord Hawkesbury (Chairman of Council) wrote:—

"You will find much to interest you in the forest centre you are to visit. Ollerton is quite the metropolis of the forest. Rufford Abbey, founded by Gilbert de Gaunt, was formed, as I daresay you know, by a colony of Cistercian monks from Rievaulx Abbey—the second of the three foundations of Walter L'Espec and Adeline his wife, Kirkham being the first, in 1121-22, and Warden Abbey, in Bedfordshire, the third. The late Mr. Augustus Savile told me he still paid some small peppercorn rent to Lord Feversham which had come down from those ancient times. I believe this has since been commuted. Then there is the later history of Rufford under the Talbots (with the courtship and marriage of poor Arabella Stuart's parents), the Saviles, and their descendants, Sir George Savile, the Whig statesman, and his two sisters, the elder the wife of Mr. Thornhagh, of Osberton, who took the name of Hewett for the Shireoaks estate, and was 27 years member of Parliament for Notts., and whose only daughter and heiress was my great-grandmother, Mrs. Foljambe. The younger sister, Barbara Countess of Scarbrough, had a large family of sons, to the second of whom Rufford was left with a shifting claim to prevent it going with the title, and an eventual remainder to Mrs. Foljambe. However, the entail was cut off by the seventh Lord Scarbrough, and the property was otherwise left by his son. At Ollerton Church, on the south side in the churchyard, can still be seen, though almost obliterated, the tombstone of the Rufford butler, Francis Thompson, with the lines commencing:—

'Beneath the droppings of this spout, Here lies the body once so stout, * * * of Francis Thompson.'

A brief time was devoted to an inspection of Edwinstowe Church, which has recently undergone restoration, and then a charming drive extending over an hour brought the party to Warsop. The church of St. Peter, in this village, is remarkable for its early English nave with aisles, clerestory, chancel, Norman arch with dog-tooth moulding, ancient brasses, mural monument of Dr. Halifax, and heraldic glass in the vestry.

Owing to exigencies of time it was decided to abandon the visits arranged for Mansfield Woodhouse, and St. Peter's Church, Mansfield. Mansfield was reached about a quarter-past five, and the programme was brought to a conclusion with a tea at the Swan Hotel.