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(Read 19th May 1897.) GOTHIC hermitage and chapel occupied the summit of Brandon Hill at an early date, and the first known occupant was Lucy de Newchurch, in 1351; while in 1403 a hermit, named Reginal Taylor, lived in the building. A few years
later William Wyrcester visited the hill, and he has recorded the measurements of the chapel. It would appear that both hermitage and chapel disappeared in the reign of Henry VIII, and a windmill was erected here at a later period.
The Cabot Memorial Tower will occupy the site of the ancient hermitage, and the foundations, about eight feet deep, are being dug. The excavation has been carried down to the millstone grit rock of which the hill is composed. Resting on this rock was a floor of beaten earth or thin cement. On removing a portion of this floor, a well-made grave was found. It measured 5. ft. in length, and about 2 ft. in depth, and was broad at the shoulders, tapering to the feet. The grave lay east and west, and was carefully lined with masonry.
A writer2 to the Western Daily Press says :
“The grave contained a skeleton. The covering slab had probably been removed before the workmen knew of its existence. Near at hand were found the remains of two other skeletons, but many of the bones were removed in the soil and rubbish, and only parts of them were to be seen
1 Bristol, Past and Present, vol. ii, p. 121. 2 Mr. Frederick Ellis.
on my arrival.
Of the three skeletons, one cranium only and two lower jaws had been preserved. The cranium was well developed, but thin. Most of the teeth were in position, and in good condition; the molars were much worn, and indicated the use of coarse food. Judging from the teeth and measurement of the thigh bones, one might conclude the age of the person to be forty or upwards. The floor above the graves was bounded in one direction by a wall of massive stones set in very hard cement, and on the other siile traces of a passage, or outlying portion of a room, appeared with carefully plastered walls, similar in character to those subterranean passages which I have seen beneath ecclesiastical ruins in Bristol.
A few fragments of green glazed tiles were also found, and it has been conjectured that they may have belonged to the floor, or perhaps to the roof of the structure which once covered it.
The excavation has also brought to light several beds of ashes and dark earth. Numerous early tobacco-pipes and leaden bullets were found in this dark soil. These were about four feet above the earlier remains, and there is little doubt that these indicated the position of campfires during the sieges of Bristol in 1643-4.
We may infer that the discovery on Brandon Hill is a crypt belonging to the chapel of the Irish Saint Brandon, and it may be that the skeletons are the remains of some of the poor hermits who once occupied the hermitage ; while above this ancient building are the remains of camp-fires, pipes and bullets of the time of Charles I.
sutish Dutchy Dwellings Househouse
Hospital of St John Bap. Bariach
St Mary 08691
Muddle Savoy folie
SAVOY BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS, STRAND.
AXXO 1736. BY MRS. COLLIER.
(Read at the London Congress, 1896). HEN I undertook to contribute a paper on
the Savoy Palace and Hospital, I was unaware of the mass of material which would come
before me, and which I should only be able lightly to touch upon, , though it has
hand as I proceeded with my researches.
researches. I can only briefly sum up the results of my studies, as the time at my disposal this evening does not permit me to treat it in the manner which I consider worthy of the subject.
In the first place, I discovered yesterday, when listening to a learned discourse in the Palace at Maidstone, that the Savoy had never any right to be called a palace at all, as that title is properly reserved for kings' or bishops' residences. However, that error is common property, and I can only say that I find the Savoy called a palace, until it became a hospital, in every work I have consulted on the subject. Leaving that misnomer confessed but not corrected, I will commence at once by reminding you that the present Royal Chapel, Savoy, stands where, until the year 1864, there remained the ancient church of St. Maryle-Savoy, known as the Chapel Royal, and the last relic of the once-splendid palace of that name, originally built about the year 1245 by Peter, Earl of Savoy, when on a visit to his niece, Eleanor of Provence, Queen of Henry III, and presented by the founder to the Fraternity of Mountjoy. It did not remain many years in their possession, as the Queen, in the reign of her eldest son