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We pass now to the Norman work of the church (c, fig. 6). It consists now of the arcade on the north side of the nave-an arch with its half-columns, separating a northern chapel from the present choir—and a corbelled arch, separating the same chapel from the north aisle, of which the walls were originally Norman, rebuilt in Early English times. All the work bears evidence of being Late, or Transitional, Norman work, and the three specimens all differ amongst themselves. The arcading has a strong affinity with Continental work. Noticeable in this respect are the tile form of the abacus, and the “rough Corinthian” style of the carving, quite classical in its effect.
The northern chapel has been described as of the Decorated period (see D, fig. 6). I incline to think its origin much older, the Perpendicular windows being an insertion in the (partly) rebuilt wall.
Barnack consists of two manors : Barnack with Pilsgate and Southorpe.
The manor house of the former stands on the north side of the church (the party afterwards visited this old house, and were shown the remains of the great Norman hall, pulled down in 1830 ; see Parker's Glossary of Arch., pp. 131-133, and note). With this house the north chapel is still connected. From 1189 until the reign of Henry VIII, when it belonged to the Abbot of Peterborough, the manor was held by the families of De Bernak and Vincent. The De Bernak arms, three barnacles (instruments used in shoeing horses), form part of the twenty quarterings of the Sherard (Lord Harborough) family.
In 1327, Geoffrey de Bernak, who married the daughter and heiress of Henry Paas, was co-founder with his father-in-law, or augmented the foundation, of a chantry (see Augmentation Rolls” in Record Office). The chautry altar doubtless stood in this chapel. In the reign of Henry IV, Sir Thomas Vincent married the daughter and heiress of Sir John Bernak; and according to Sir Wm. Dugdale's notes, there was remaining, in 1641, coloured glass in the north windows of this chapel recording that John Vincent and Margarete his wife
" caused this window to be made.' Beneath these windows (also noticed by Sir W. Dugdale) are, under two canopies, the figures of a woman-the dress indicating the date of Henry IV or V—and a knight in chain armour, which gave way to mail armour in 1407. I think it probable, therefore, that these are the figures of Sir John Bernake (6 Edward III) and his daughter and heiress, afterwards Margarete Vincent (fig. 4).
This chapel connects by a door (filled up in 1855) with a small building, further east; containing two rectangular windows, the remains of a staircase from the lower to the upper room, and an opening, originally 2 ft. 6 ins. by 2 ft. 4 ins., with pointed head (now made into a door), into the choir.
We have then here, I believe, the traces of a very interesting ecclesiastical history :-A chantry chapel connected from early Norman times with the manor of Barnack, architecturally opening into the Norman choir by the still-existing Norman arch, enlarged in the Decorated period, and probably again enriched and added to by a Priest's dwelling in the Perpendicular period. I judge this to have been the residence of the chantry priest, or of the chaplain of the very large and wealthy guild of Corpus Christi
, which existed in the parish and numbered two hundred communicants.
The Early English work of the church comprises the very beautiful south arcade (E, fig. 6); the splendid font, the date assigned to which by Rickman is 1250; the Porch, with its high-pitched and groined roof, and elegant arcading; and the crowning Spire of the tower, with the supporting arches and vaulting and belfry steps within. The mixture of rounded and pointed arches, and the round and square abacus, are very noteworthy, and strongly mark the transition character of the work. The external walls of the north and south aisles were no doubt at one time purely Early English, as shown by the formation of the windows. The western end of the south aisle, narrower than the eastern portion, gives us probably the width of the original Early English aisles. In its eastern portion this south aisle has certainly been rebuilt and widened, as plainly shown by the
groove in that part of the porch now inside the church (F, fig. 6).
The tracery of the aisle windows, the north geometrical, and the south (narrower portion) curvilinear, with the two handsome windows of the widened portion, showing externally a good example of the ball-flower moulding, bring us to the Decorated portion of the work.
The choir is large and spacious (G, fig. 6). Its main features are also of the Decorated order. The east window, piscina, and sedilia are remarkable, and very handsome. The window, notable for its crocketed canopy work, is said to be the same as the east window of Merton College Chapel, Oxford, as to the date and Designer of which I can obtain no information. The upper tracery of this window contains some portions of the ancient glass of the church, recovered and placed there by the late Dean Argles, when Rector.
The side windows of the choir correspond with those of the western south aisle.
The choir contains an interesting Jacobean mural monument, in Derbyshire alabaster, to the memory of Francis Whitstones and his wife, and their seven children. The inscription is as follows, and is worth remembering :
“ Hic jacet Mr. Franciscus Whitstones armiger Petriburgensis olim civitatis incola, generos' jurisconsult' justiciarius et quod omnem mundi fastu superat vir vere fidelis et religiosus.
“Sed evanere genus, jus, justitia. Genus in sepulchrum, jus in silentiam, justitia concidit ad Deum in coelo qui dedit. Sola illi virtus in coelo superat. Obiit A.D. 1598 Aprilis 6. Tomas Greenway of Darby 1612.”
The word “armiger," which is a redundancy and does not correspond with the rest of the inscription, is apparently an after-insertion; as are also, I think, certain “shadows” behind the four sons, by the same hand.
The late Rector enriched the chancel by three coloured windows, a reredos containing four mosaics by Salviati, after Fra Angelico's well-known paintings at Milan, and by the decoration of the chancel roof-all memorials, The present chancel roof, which, with the nave and