Elverton Grove

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ELVERTON GROVE. AKA and see "Trip to the Camp (A)." English, Country Dance Tune (4/4 time). B Flat Major (Walsh). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The tune (with dance instructions) appears in London publisher John Walsh's 24 Country Dances for the Year 1712 (p. 7). It was later published (with different dance figures) in John Young's Second Volume of the Dancing Master (editions of 1718 and 1728), and the same John Walsh's Compleat Country Dancing Master (1718) with the primary title "Trip to the Camp (A)" with "Elverton Grove" as the secondary name.

Researcher Graham Christian (2015) relates that Grace Feldman identified the tune as an air in the overture to George Fredrich Handel's Vincer se stesso è la maggior vitoria (Rogerio), performed in Florence in 1707. Nearly the whole overture, writes Christian, was somehow appropriated by an anonymous composer and arranged for a revival of Ben Johnson's The Alchemist at the Queen's Theatre in 1710. Christian links the title with Elverton Castle, also known as Alverton Castle or Aulton Castle, and, more recently, Alton Castle. It was originally a medieval castle, built in about 1175 by Bertram de Verdun (the founder of Croxden Abbey) on a hill overlooking the River Churnet. It was remodeled during the 15th century and subsequently was damaged during the Civil War. At the time the tune was printed, Alton Castle was a property of the statesman Charles Talbot, 1st Duke Shrewsbury, who, despite being raised Catholic, converted and became a support of King William and his successors, Queen Anne and King George I. The castle was converted into a manored estate, and, in the 19th century became the property of the Catholic Church, in whose hands it remains today. What specifically "Elverton Grove" might refer to, or if it is linked to the alternate title "Trip to the Cottage" is unknown. There is no record of an "Elverton Grove," and it may be a descriptive title rather than a proper name.


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