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great church builder and founder of monastic establishments ; besides being a benefactor to the citizens of Leicester, granting them charters of exemption from Gabel-pence and Briggesilver. He became himself a Canon Regular, and died in the Abbey in 1167-9.

His son, Robert Blanchmains, with his wife, Petronilla, were also great benefactors to the Abbey : the latter is said to have built the nave of the church, and to have woven a rope for the hanging of the choir-lamp of her own hair.

Among Abbots of note may be mentioned Gilbert Ffolliott, who supported Henry II against Thomas-à-Becket; Henry de Knighton, who entertained Richard II and his Queen, on the occasion of their visit to Leicester; and John Penny, Abbot, and successively Bishop of Bangor and Carlisle, at the close of the fifteenth century. He died at Leicester in 1520, and his monument is in St. Margaret's Church : a life-size recumbent figure in alabaster, the face stern, but kindly, probably a portrait. The last Abbot was John Bourchier, who handed over the Abbey, with all its endowments, appurtenances, and rights, to the King's Commissioners in 1539.

Another branch of archæological research was dealt with by Col. Bellairs in his paper on “The Roman Roads of Leicestershire," and by Mr. I. C. Gould in a noteworthy contribution on “Early Fortifications."

The former described Ratæ as a most important military centre during the Roman occupation, because it lay so near to the Watling Street which led from Camelodunum (then the capital of the Province of Britain) and London to Deva, and on the direct line of the Foss Way between Eboracum and Lindum to Aquae Solis, these two roads crossing not far from Ratæ at High Cross, the Roman Station of Venones. It was on the Foss Way that the Roman milestone, above spoken of, was discovered,

It was along the straight line of another Roman road that Richard III. marched to Bosworth Field, on the fatal day of his last fight.

Mr. Gould's Paper was an able and graphic study of the hitherto somewhat neglected subject of Early Fortifications; and in the course of it the author took the opportunity of impressing upon students the necessity of a thorough and exhaustive examination and record of all these relics of antiquity, on account of the increasing rapidity of their disappearance through the unavoidable wear-and-tear of time, and the ravages of man, whether as a cultivator of the soil, or in the course of so-called improvement. Going back behind the investigations of Mr. Geo. T. Clark, the great authority on Norman fortifications, and of Mr. J. Horace Round and others, who have corrected Mr. Clark's conclusions in certain particulars, Mr. Gould dealt first with the earliest form of fortifications, that in which a rocky eminence was selected, defended on all sides but one, across which undefended side a rampart and fosse were drawn, as at Coombe Moss, near Buxton; and secondly, with a later form in which we have mighty works crowning and surrounding some great hill-top, and defended by a double and triple line of ramparts, as at Mam Tor, near Castleton, also in Derbyshire. These were both prehistoric, the first going back probably to Neolithic times, the second, Celtic. There is a third form, an example of which may be seen at Maiden Castle, where a bank is drawn across the great enclosure, dividing the camp into two unequal halves. This is late Celtic-it may

be pre-Roman ; but probably dates from the time of the first Saxon incursions. The fourth form is that of the Roman rectangular camp, no longer constructed merely for defence, like the former ones, but distinctly offensive and belligerent in its nature. The fifth form brings us to the moated mound and court, the earliest examples of which may

date from the time of the troubles between Saxon and Dane in the tenth century, though the majority are most probably Norman. At any rate, they cover the period between the tenth and twelfth centuries. In these the court was surrounded with an earthen rampart and ditch, while the mound, usually at one corner of the enclosure, was surmounted by a wooden stockade or palisading. Of these we have an example at Towcester, built in 921. Later on an outer court was added, forming an outer and inner bailey, and the mound carried the Norman stone keep. At Windsor, Arundel, and Ongar, in Essex, we have examples of forts with courts on both sides of the mighty mound. The last form brings us to the simple moated enclosures very common in lowland districts from the fourteenth to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

An interesting discussion followed the reading of this paper, which was heartily received by all who heard it.

Passing by several Papers of more local interest, such as Dr. Brushfield's on

" A Leicester Church-Brief of 1640,” we come to a very valuable and interesting Paper by the Rev. W. S. Lach-Szyrma, on “Wiclif and his Times.” In this, Wiclif was described rather as a social and political philosopher than as a religious reformer; and a highly instructive parallel was drawn between the great fourteenth-century thinker and the late Professor Jowett, both Masters of Balliol. The writer strongly urged the study of Chaucer and Piers Plowman, and of Wiclif himself, if a true idea would be obtained of the condition of England in that most fascinating period of her history-the age

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between Creçy and Agincourt : the reigns of Edward III, Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V.

Here we bring our short résume of the doings of a most delightful week, in spite of some bad weather, to a conclusion. These remarks are only intended, like the hors-d'-cuvre before dinner, to whet the appetite, and set our members, like a celebrated character in fiction, “asking for more.” This will be given in due course, and in our next volume we shall look not only for the full report of the Congress, but shall hope that the majority, if not all, of the Papers read will appear in our pages.

Meanwhile, we must not end without once again recording our warm appreciation of the efforts of the High Sheriff, the Mayor and Mayoress of Leicester, and of the two able Secretaries, Col. Bellairs, V.D., and Major Frere, V.D., to further in every possible way the object of the Association in visiting Leicester.

In the absence of the author, the Rev. H. D. Astley next read the Paper of the evening, written by W. A. Donnelly, Esq., on

" THE MOUND DWELLINGS OF AUCHINGAICH."

“The kindly interest and sympathetic action shown by your Society in my efforts in the antiquarian field, prompts me to lay before them the facts connected with my latest investigation. Although the active work on the Dumbuck Crannog is not yet quite exhausted, still it has been so far and so completely explored and excavated that I felt warranted in diverting some of my research further afield, but still in the old • Colquhoun county,' a district which has yielded such a rich archaic harvest, and still promises more. “My latest researches are still with early man;

neither more nor less than what may be described, for want of a better name, as a 'mounddwellers' colony.'

“It is situated in the north-west corner of Dumbartonshire, on that picturesque and mountainous belt which runs between Loch Lomond and the Gareloch. The site is on the Auchingaich, one of the highest tributaries of the Fruin Water. Access can be had to it either from the Gareloch or Loch Lomond ; but those deciding to walk all the way had best start from Shandon Station, on the West Highland Railway, and strike the Glenfruin Road, following up till the bridge at Strone Hill is reached, then strike the left bank of the Auchingaich, keeping almost due north for a mile and three-quarters, when, amidst a scene of beauty hard to equal, we find the ruined homes of this early race. Conical mountains rise on each side of the glen, pasture-clad to their rounded crowns, 2,000 feet above the level of the sea. The reposeful

and impressive solitude is unbroken by any sound suggestive of an immediate civilisation ; no shrub, nor tree, nor even a fence, breaks the curving contour of the receding mountain sides; the bleating of blackfaced sheep, and the whirr of the blackcock's wing, or the startled cry of the red grouse, alone break the stillness of this sanctuary from the turmoil and din of the busy haunts of men.

“ The mounds first catch the eye, from their colour as well as from their configurations; the turf on their hillock surface being in general of a deeper green, and their outline suggesting a more monotonous repetition of contour than we find in any natural configuration of landscape. Careful and closer inspection reveals positive evidence of their artificial structure.

"The mounds are grouped together in clusters of three, four, or half a dozen, almost touching each other. As a matter of fact, many of them do touch each other. They form a border to a quadrangular space, about 100 yards square, to the number of over forty. They are all more or less circular mounds, standing about 5 ft. at their highest, but more often not more than 34 ft. above the level of the natural hillside. In some cases the dome of the mound was nearly perfect, in others a hollow or depression was invariably found in the centre : a hollow which in some cases was so deep and extensive as to reveal the rude stone structure of the building.

“To my eye, the mounds conveyed the impression of magnified molehills. They also forcibly recalled to my mind drawings which I made from Nature when visiting and studying the life and habits of The Beaver at Home,' the present mounds possessing a most remarkable similarity, both in size, structure, and contour, to the dome-like homes of these wonderful animal architects and builders.

“ The segment of a circle presented to the eye by the home of the beaver is much greater than that in evidence in the mound dwellings.

"These are the impressions conveyed to my mind while recording the features on the spot, by pen and pencil, in an extended search. I was

fortunate in discovering another group of some sixteen mounds; and still further afield, across the Auchingaich on its right bank, and about one hundred yards up the mountain side, another group of some seventeen or twenty more were added, making the colony, as enumerated so far, comprise between seventy and eighty inounds, all possessing the same features and characteristics in general, but differing in many minor details of disposition and internal structure and form. I was also satisfied that evidence was not wanting in boulder or table-like slabs of cup-and-ring carvings; or, to be quite correct, the presence of cup marks without rings.

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