« הקודםהמשך »
Norman church consisted of nave, aisles, and probably
gable for two bells, the usual western tower never being added. That a tower was originally provided for is probable, for during the restoration in 1893, two small chambers, one on each side of the bell-turret, 9 ins. square, 2 ft. 6 ins. deep, perhaps intended for the ties of the tower that was to be, were discovered.
The only part of the Norman church now existing is the west wall, and in all probability the westernmost pillar of the northern nave arcade. The present nave, with the arcades of three bays and aisles, and the chancel, is Early English, thirteenth century. The nave and chancel are 70 ft. in length, and nave and aisles 42 ft. in width. There were no transepts, but the east wall of both the north and south aisles each had its own) altar and accessories. During the restoration, carried out by the present Rector—to whose kindness in helping my investigations and in putting every available source of information at my disposal, I am much indebted-some most interesting discoveries were made.
In the north wall the sedilia and an aumbry were found, the former backed with portions of the top slabs of old stone coffins; and in the south wall, eastward of the sedilia, behind a slab of hewn and bevelled stone, the remains of a very beautiful specimen of an Early English piscina (tig. 2). This had been partly broken into when the chantry (of which we shall next speak) was built, about 1350, and it must have been covered up ever since. So cleverly had this been done, that the best architects could not detect it; but a mason, sounding the wall, found it hollow, and on the slab being broken the piscina was revealed.
The south transept, which was no doubt intended for a guild or chantry chapel, is a magnificent example of Late Decorated work, and completely dominates the existing building It has been plausibly conjectured that it may have been erected in the middle of the fourteenth century by Roger of Northborough, who was Bishop of Lichfield from 1322 to 1360, and was most probably intended as the first part of a new cruciform church which it was proposed to build on the old site, though the design was never carried out. It is surmised that
by whom the patronage of the living was given in 1240 to the monastery of Peterborough, from whom it passed to the dean and chapter in 33 Henry VIII. He was brother or cousin to Michael de Northborough, Bishop of London, 1354-1362, of whom we are told that he acted as pawnbroker to the citizens, and that notice to that effect was given out at Paul's Cross “after the sermon.” If Roger, Bishop of Lichfield, was the founder, he may very likely have obtained help from his relative, the Bishop of London, both in ideas and money. But if the chantry were erected by a Bishop in the middle of the fourteenth century, how is it that no symbol, coat-ofarms, or rebus is to be found ? In the absence of all proof, its origin remains obscure.
This chantry, known as the “ Delamare," and later on as the “ Claypole " Chapel, which name it still retains, is embattled, and has low octagonal pyramidal towers at the east and west corners. À profusion of ball-flower ornament extends all round the building at the cornice. The windows-one fine large one of five lights, in the south side, two east, two west-are excellent examples of the flowing tracery of the period. There was a door on the west, now closed up. At the north-east end there is a fine altar-tomb, with a large hollow arch, two rude columns on each side, and a cornice over the arch. On a square tablet above-very ugly, and perhaps added during the Commonwealth-is this escutcheon : chevron between three roundles, with mantling, and same arms on each side of the arch. Under the upper coat is inscribed in capitals
ALL . GOOD . BLESSIN
GS . UNTO . MAN.
COMETH . OF. THE.
FREE . GIFT . OF. GOD. On one of the columns , on the other 15. Further to the south, and about half-way up the wall, having been probably placed over the north and south ends of the altar, are two very beautiful Gothic canopies of wrought Caen stone (fig. 3), exquisitely carved and decorated in fourteenth-century style, with pedestals beneath, but the
statues were removed at the Reformation. The figures, I should imagine, would have been St. Mary and St. Joseph, though Mr. Pearson seems to have thought that the second would be St. Gabriel. Two fragments of wrought Caen stone, which were undoubtedly those upon
which the statues stood, were found recently at the west end of the churchyard. The piscina is at the
extreme north-west corner, and the sedilia are worthy of note, one being lower than the other, and within the wall beyond them are two old arches, ending in an angle. The tomb of Martha, daughter of Jn. and Eliz. Claypole, who died young and unmarried in 1664, with the inscription still legible, is beneath the south wall, and in the centre of the chapel the widow of the Protector is said to lie.
There is a crypt under the east side, containing a