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extended to the first pillar in the nave, and was occupied on the south side by the singers ; by the instrumentalists (subsequently by an organ) in the centre, while the north part was open to any of the congregation. Access to it was obtained by a staircase, leading from a doorway left in the built-up opening into the nave from the tower, and which occupied a portion of the base of the latter. The ringers were then accommodated with a separate entrance to the ringing chamber through a doorway made in the south face of the tower.
Judging from the style of the external work, the old south porch was removed about the time when the gallery was erected, but its square-flagged floor remained for many years afterwards. entrance doorway, fitted with large doors, was substituted for the porch, and the Norman tympanum was transferred to the exterior face of the adjacent wall. According to a local tradition, one of the villagers having, from some cause unknown been offended, left the place, and swore he would never return until the porch was removed to the Hill Cross Top. Singularly enough, the old materials were taken there, and were utilised in the construction of some farm buildings : this bears a close resemblance to those idle tales that originate after the occurrence.
In 1837 a vestry was built at the end of the chantry and alongside the chancel, into which a door of access was made. There is no history, or even tradition, of an earlier one ; and yet there must have been a sacristy for the officiating priest, and probably on the site of the modern one.
Some remains of fresco work were found on the wall above the aisle arches during the building alterations. In the early part of the last century, some coats-of-arms in stained glass were recorded to have been seen in one of the windows; they were thought to belong to the Ferrers family, but Dr. Cox assigns them to the Nevilles (vol. ii, pp. 49-50).
A period of about 550 years-a very long one in the history of a church-intervened between those portions of the edifice assigned to the Decorated period and the year 1869, when the reconstruction commenced. Of the progressive changes that took place we know but little, and even that is of a fragmentary character.
There is a local tradition of the stones required for the repairs or for the enlargement of the church during the fourteenth century having been obtained from the demolition of the castle or structure that stood formerly in a field (now usually known as the Hall orchard), adjoining the north boundary of the churchyard. It is further asserted that the Norman tympanum already described was removed
to the church from this building, an assertion that scarcely needs refutation. According to the Rev. R. R. Rawlins (MS. Coll., quoted by Dr. Cox), the castle was the residence of the Nevilles, and “ demolished to build the chapel where it now stands ;” but this must be an anachronism, inasmuch as the Nevilles did not possess the property until 1408, when it passed from them to the Cavendish family in 1550. There is no reason to believe the demolition of this structure took place earlier than the sixteenth century, and whatever stone was needed for the alteration or repairs of the church after that, time
may have been supplied from this source. That repairs to the main walls were frequently made, their extremely patched condition afforded ample evidence.
Local historians affirm the “castle” to have been surrounded by a moat; but, judging from the earthwork still remaining, the residence was a small one—it may have served as a kind of hunting box--and the so-called moat was simply the site of the old foundations, which had been taken away for the sake of the stone, the excavations not having been filled up again. In fact, while any portion of the building remained, it served as a quarry to the neighbourhood; and Great bach Hall, a large house erected in the early part of the seventeenth century and still remaining in the village, is said, with much probability, to have drawn much of its building material from this old house of the Nevilles.
In addition to the main walls being rebuilt in 1869-70, the following alterations were effected: the church was re-pewed; the roof raised to about its former pitch; the gallery was taken away, and the arch between the nave and tower was fully exposed to view ; a new organ was placed in the north chantry; the doorway in the south face of the tower was walled up; a new porch was erected, and the tympanum was relegated to its original position; and in front of the skew-arch of the chantry another was built in the same plane as the chancel wall, and thereby the latter was able to be made in a continuous straight line. Stained glass was fitted into the east window, and in 1878 a beautiful one, from a design by the late Sir E. Burne-Jones, was placed in the west window of the north aisle to the memory of Mr. J. G. Cottingham.
The font (probably of the Decorated period) is of octagonal shape, with a plain shield in each alternate panel. Its shaft, also octagonal, is enlarged in the centre, like the knop of a chalice; the lower part is modern; the
upper is remarkable for having carved upon one face the head of a dead animal, of a dragon or lizard shape, and on the opposite one a curved tail of the same animal : apparently symbolical of the
influence of baptism over sin. Although dragons are occasionally sculptured on fonts, as at Youlgreave, this is the only instance yet recorded where the animal is represented as imbedded in the stonework. Like many other fonts in the county, of which Dr. Cox has recorded several similar examples, this one has had its vicissitudes. In the latter part of the last century it was sold by the church wardens to a gentleman residing a few miles distant, as an ornament for his garden, its place being supplied by a small one of alabaster. At a later date, the owner was asked to restore it to the church ; to which he generously acceded, and on its return it was fitted with a new lower part of the shaft. It is figured in Plate 12 of the Journal of this Association, vol. xii (1856).
One of the special features of the church consists in the presence of five funeral garlands suspended from the roof-timbers of the north aisle ; but a description of these will be found in the paper on the subject, printed in the present volume of the Journal (pp. 54-75), so that further notice of them here is unnecessary.
The pulpit is of oak, and contains much carving of the Jacobean period. Of the bells there are three ordinary, and a small Sanctus one: the latter is quite plain; of the others, two are of the early part of the seventeenth, and the third of the eighteenth century. (They are fully described by Ll. Jewitt, in the Reliquary, vol. xii, p. 242.) Some of the bell customs are worth noting: the curfew is tolled at 8 p.m. from November 5th to Shrove Tuesday. As the congregation were leaving the church on Sundays, the bell was rung once or twice, "to tell them to get the puddings out of the oven.” The "pancake bell” is still rung (on the Sanctus bell) on Shrove Tuesdays at 11 a.m., and has been from time immemorial. The Passing bell is also used.
As in a large number of English churches, the path to the south door passes between an old yew tree on the west, and the old cross, or what remains of it, on the east side; of the latter, the lower part of the shaft and the remnants of three tiers of steps are all that have been preserved. The only memorials in the churchyard that require notice here are (1) of the Rev. John Ashe, a well-known Nonconformist minister, who died in 1735; and (2) of Henry Watson, who established the celebrated marble works in the parish in 1748.
The earliest register that has been preserved is dated 1688.
TADDINGTON CHURCH. This church, dedicated to St. Michael, was next visited, and was described by Mr. A. Scrivener, of Hanley. He said: “Taddington
Church consists of western tower, with simple broach spire, nave, with north and south aisles, forming almost a square in plan ; a recently-built south porch, and a chancel, with modern vestry and heating chamber, on the north side. Dr. Cox, in his Churches of Derbyshire, says of it that “no part of the present edifice appears to be earlier than the fourteenth century, and was probably built by the Cotteril family, holders of the manor in that century.” Since Dr. Cox wrote this, the church has undergone restoration, which has brought to light, by the removal of plaster and whitewash from the inner face of the walls, and by the lowering of the floor, clear indications of an earlier structure. The east wall of the tower has a plinth on its eastern face for a portion of its length, and over the tower arch is clearly seen the old line of the earlier nave-roof, which sprung from a much lower level than the present roof, and was high-pitched; and, further, the west respond of the south arcade has an earlier base, and the lower part of the jamb is middle thirteenth-century work, as are also the stones of the arch springing from it, and of the west arch also. In the south wall of the chapel, at the east end of the south aisle, is a piscina of the same date, and the jambs and the sill of the window in the north wall of the chancel, together with a small opening seen only on the inside of the same wall, high up above the floor; and the walls surrounding these are of the same date probably. It would seem, therefore, that when the rebuilding took place in the fourteenth century, the thirteenthcentury west end was retained, with the respond above mentioned, and part of the north wall of the chancel; and the small window was that of an anchorite's chamber, but it must have fallen into diśuse then, as outside the walling is all of the fourteenth century.
“The church is an interesting one, and is a rich example of fourteenth-century work, having fine, square-headed, two-light windows in the north and south walls, with bold, simple, moulded jambs both inside and out, and a fine five-light east window, with rich three-light eastern windows to the aisles, that of the north aisle having had later Perpendicular tracery inserted and the form of arch altered; and similarly the windows next to these in the north and south walls were altered in Perpendicular times by the insertion of Perpendicular tracery.
The caps and bases to the arcade piers are well moulded.
“ The floor levels are curious, owing to the fall of the site, and are no doubt as originally arranged ; the nave floor falls to the east 7 ins. in its length, and the chancel floor is level with it. The tower floor is two steps up, and the north doorway is four steps up.
“The eastern ends of the north and south aisles were respectively the Priestcliff and Blackwall chapels, and corbels for statues are built in the walls, as also in the chancel walls.
“ Traces of the mortice-holes of the rood-loft timbers are seen in the chancel-arch jambs.
“ There is a late stone book-rest in the north wall of the chancel, and Dr. Cox mentions similar ones at Crick and Spondon in the same county.
“Built in the south wall of the chancel are three projecting slabs of stone, quite plain, under an ogee-shaped moulding, the object of which is obscure.
“ At the east end of the south aisle is a brass to Richard and Agnes Black wall and family, which Dr. Cox describes as follows : 'He is wearing civilian costume of the commencement of the sixteenth century, and from his mouth proceeds a scroll bearing the words, Fili Dei miserere mei.' The costume of the lady is interesting, as it represents her in conventual dress. This brass was put up when she lived, but was a widow. It was not uncommon for a widow to take 'religion', and become a mourning widow.'
“The remains of a post-Reformation wall painting have again been brought to light on the west wall of the nave, which was mentioned by one who saw it in 1827, but since that time has been lost to sight under whitewash, until the restoration of the church a few years back.
The tower and spire were taken down, but rebuilt with the old stones in 1872.
“The registers date from 1640; and there are three bells, one bearing an inscription in very fine lettering as follows: + cystoss + NRARŮ + MICHAEL + IT + DVX + AIARỲ. Which Dr. Cox amplifies into Custos Sanctus nostrarum Michael it dux animarum.'
“A part of what was probably an early thirteenth-century holywater stoup has been placed in the porch, after being rescued from the Inn near the churchyard, where it was used as a washing-up sink.
“In the churchyard is an interesting shaft of a cross of probably very
late Norman work." The weather was very wet, but not withstanding that draw back, the second party, which formed a goodly number, under the guidance of Mr. Bryden and Mr. I. C. Gould, journeyed to Dove Holes, and visited what is locally known as the Bullring. Mr. Gould said there could be little doubt that this circle was of exceedingly early date. It was not used for the purposes of defence, as the fosse was within the ramparts. It was similar to that at Arbor Lowe, and appeared to be of about the same area, but had been robbed of its circle of stones, if it had possessed one, as was probably the case. This relic was of