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reported to be in a dangerous condition, and is about to be restored under the direction of the diocesan architect, Mr. J. D. Sedding. The tower of the church of St. Mary Magdalene, Chewton-on-Mendip, 126 feet in height, is one of the finest in that "county of towers," Somersetshire. One of the best authorities on the Gothic architecture of the county, Prof. E. A. Freeman, described this as "a superb tower," and as "nearly perfect," the battlements and parapet, with massive square turrets at the angles, being "neither top heavy as Taunton, nor too small as in some other examples." It is beautifully situated on the Mendip Hills, a few miles north-east of Wells, near one of the sources of the Bristol watersupply, and the source of the river Chew.
At a short distance from Welshpool, on the Oswestry road, there once stood the large Cistercian abbey of Ystrad Marchell, or Strata Marcella, founded by Owen Keveliog in 1172. All traces of the buildings have long ago disappeared, but the site still retains the name of Abbey Bank, and some slight ridges on the surface seem to indicate the position of the buried ruins. Into these banks it is now proposed to dig. Mr. Morris Charles Jones, F.S.A., the capable secretary of the Powys Land Club, who, as far back as 1871, gave full historic details as to the abbey in the volumes of the Montgomeryshire Collections, has secured the co-operation of Mr. Stephen W. Williams, whose investigations at Strata Florida, whence Strata Marcella was colonized, have often been referred to in these pages.
that he noted in that city, and which he rightly conceives has some bearing on the low side window question and the sanctusbell theory: "Passing by the east door of the north transept of Wurtzberg Cathedral Church, I heard in the quiet bit of street at that angle the loud jangle of small bells. Instantly two market - women dropped on their knees, and there remained in that position for some moments. I entered the doorway, and found myself near to an altar, immediately to the left of the chancel arch, where mass was being said, the canon being just concluded. Close to the doorway by which I had entered, and at least 6 feet away from the altar-rails, was a projecting semicircle of ornamental ironwork, to which three little bells were attached. From this ring of bells, which was attached to the wall quite out of reach, depended a broad red bell-pull, on which were embroidered the words 'Heilig, Heilig, Heilig.' This was clearly the old sanctus bell pertaining, I fancy, to one or more altars of this transept, and had just been pulled by the server, with the result of adoration outside as well as inside the church. Its position obviously intended it to have that effect, for it was not nearly as convenient for use by the server as the handbell or bells in use at other altars of this church, but seems to be retained as an old custom."
More attention has been given of late to the Roman station of Little Chester, a suburb of Derby. Mr. George Bailey, of Derby, who
has written on the subject, and who has beautifully illustrated the medieval Prebendal houses that stood upon the site for the
Derbyshire Archæological Society's Journal, is now compiling a list of the coins that have been discovered at different times at Little Chester, with illustrations of some of the better examples. A pot of coins was found by the workmen at Strutt's Park about three years ago, and many of them were appropriated by the men. A man who has been wearing two on his watchchain has recently parted with them to Mr. Bailey, and as they are early examples, we are glad to make use of the blocks illustrating these two coins that Mr. Bailey has kindly sent us. The one is a denarius of the Roman Republic struck B.C. 81; and the other a coin of Tiberius Cæsar, A.D. 14-37.
The wonderful Passion Drama, which is being acted Sunday by Sunday throughout this. summer at Ober-Ammergau with such intense devotion and reality, is far truer this year to antiquarian detail than has been the case in previous decades. Although every one of the 750 performers are natives of the village, the commune has not despised outside help and suggestions in the scenery, dresses, and other requirements of the play. The result has been still further to enhance the profound effect and the solemn grandeur of the varying scenes. The stage, only the middle part of which is under cover, is so large that it affords eight distinct places for action-the great front space, the middle stage, the two streets, the two balconies of the palaces of Pilate and Annas, and the two arcades at the sides through which the chorus enter. The buildings on the stage are erected strictly in the style peculiar to the period represented, and in the larger scenes, such as the Triumphal Entry, or the Way of the Cross, with the large moving groups in constant picturesque action, it is actually difficult for the spectator to overcome the impression that he is really in the old Jerusalem of New Testament days.
the abbey now in progress. In consequence of its having gone greatly to decay, in 1845, the glass of the lower lights was taken down and stowed away in boxes in the abbey, but the tracery lights remained in situ. Those specially interested, either in this window or the subject of it, should see an excellent series of articles in the Selby Times, by Mr. James Fowler, F.S.A., "On Representations of the Tree of Jesse."
In the edition of the Flores Historiarum recently issued in the Roll Series, there is (vol. i., p. 531) a curious bit of folklore introduced, supplementary to a story told by William of Malmesbury and Matthew Paris. It is one of sundry tales scattered through the chronicles, showing traces of pagan dances which the Church had difficulty in putting down. The incident belongs to the year 1002, and is said to have occurred at the village of Colesize-wherever that may be-in Saxony. At Mass time fifteen men and three women came into the cemetery of the church dancing and shouting and singing. They disregarded the priest when he bade them stop. He implored God and St. Magnus to make them dance and sing on continually for a twelve month. The avenging prayer was heard, and the whole year through this weird wandering-Jew-like dance and song went on. When the time of the curse had expired the participants were released, but most of them died then or soon after. Of course a moral has to be tagged on to the story-it is a stern lesson of the dangers of disobedience. Neither Malmesbury (who gives a certificate under the hand of an eyewitness and performer) nor Matthew Paris particularizes the offending song whose dissonance disturbed the Mass. They only say that they were profane ditties-seculares cantilenas. But the compiler of the Flores, not Matthew of Westminster, now relegated to the cold shades of never- was, says expressly, "This was their song:
Equitabat Bovo per silvam frondosam
Quid stamus, cur non imus ?" One would fain learn if elsewhere old romance tells aught of Bovo riding through the leafy wood and making the fair Merswynd his bride.
It may be news to some of our American readers to learn that there was once a New York in Scotland. It was a village near Strontian, some 20 miles from the Point of Ardnamurchan in Argyllshire, built about 1730 to accommodate the lead miners of the York Buildings Company.
What bids fair to be a hot controversy has arisen in Dumfriesshire over the armorial bearings of the county. Not having had arms
of a great link in time and history, and it is pitiful that it should be left so far under the control of two or three self-willed and uninformed country gentlemen. Happily, Mr. Balfour Paul is a Lyon King who can smile at the local omnipotence of rural squires. He will see that Dumfriesshire gets its due.
hitherto, a shield had to be devised for the Motes of the Month (Foreign).
seal to be used by the new County Council. A committee was appointed to see to the matter, and in due course reported. There was no discussion, and the report was adopted recommending a shield consisting of the orle or the escarbuncle (it is not clear which) of Balliol, the saltire and chief of Bruce, and the heart of King Robert-all surmounted by a crown royal. The tout ensemble was to symbolize the close connection of the county with both the rival houses of Bruce and Balliol, and thus with the Scottish Crown. It seems to have been taken for granted that the Lyon Office-the standard and sole authority on matters heraldic-had either suggested or sanctioned these arms. Strong objection was taken by one antiquary of the county, after the proceedings of the Council had been reported in the newspapers, on the ground, chiefly, that the outstanding fact of Dumfriesshire history was that the county of old never had anything to do with the Balliols, and did not want anything to do with them; that, indeed, to put the cognizance of Balliol on a par with that of Bruce on a shield for the county, was a downright insult to the best traditions of a warlike shire. Nothing came of the first protest, but it has now leaked out that the Lyon Office had all along condemned the Balliol-Bruce shield as unheraldic. It is, therefore, probable that the matter will not again run the risk of being smuggled over altogether by an unhistoric committee. It is, however, a little discreditable that these things should be disposed of without the advice and assistance of persons who have made the local antiquities a study. The arms are probably the solitary thing which will last down the ages as a memorial of this particular County Council; it is the forging
At Borgo Panigale, in the same province, a Roman tomb has been found, containing elegant vases in glass, and the figure of at lion made of some artificial paste, with vitreous surface, like those found in the tombs on the Esquiline.
At Corneto, an Etruscan tomb has been opened, in which was found a very fine ancient bowl, cratera, on which is represented the rape of Europa. The other tombs. opened had already been rifled; but amongst the remains of painted vases left by the Roman or modern depredators, is an ancient amphora, on which is the figure of Jupiter about to give forth to the world the Goddess of Wisdom.
but unfortunately broken in two and wanting the upper part. A Hebrew ritual inscription is engraved upon it. Near the Torre degli Anguillara, during the works on the Tiber, a marble plinth has been brought to light, with the lower portion of a statue, probably of Esculapius.
Near the bridge of Roviano, where the ancient road of Subiaco separated from the Valerian, milestones have been found with the numeral 'xxxvI.,' and, what is of more importance, a square stone block on which is cut the same number, with an arrow pointing to the direction taken by the Valerian Road where the Via Sublacensis began. * * *
In making a sewer in the Via Agnello, a piece of an old road, formed of the usual polygonal blocks of lava, was found at a depth of four mètres and a half below the
street in modern Rome.
At the village of Avlōn, in Euboea, two ancient tombs have been discovered containing funeral vases and two statuettes. Near one of the sarcophagi stood a pithos, having within it a hydria, both of terra-cotta. On the same island, while destroying the castle of Chalcis, some inscriptions have been found, one being a long decree, and some well-preserved mural paintings belonging to the long-buried ruins of an ancient Byzantine
In the excavations at the tumulus on the plain of Marathon, begun six years ago by Dr. Schliemann and now resumed by the Archæological Society of Athens, an important discovery has been made of the remains of burnt human bones, which will, most probably, establish the identity of this mound with that raised for the burial of the Athenians who fell in battle against the Persians. Several painted vases and cups with black figures have been found on the site; but further researches are still necessary and are being made, as latterly the traditional identity of
the tumulus has been discredited.
the names of different tribes. On all of them is to be read in addition the name of a certain Antiochos, who, in capacity of agonothetes, had dedicated the seats, and also the water conduit. The Greek Inspector of the excavations, Dr. Kastromenos, has found in the house of a peasant an inscription of 248 lines, which appears to have come from the city Agora. It is a list of prices of various things, and dates from the lower Roman Empire, probably from the time of Diocletian. The slab has been placed in the museum of Megalopolis, which is now rapidly growing in importance.
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The Morgenblad of Christiania contains two interesting papers upon the earliest inhabitants of the Christiania Valley-i.e., the district around the capital. The earliest immigrants were those of the Stone Age, and traces show that they came up along the west coast of the Fjord from the Swedish Province of Bohus. Of remains found in and around the capital of these primæval dwellers are axes, spear-heads, and wedges, all of flint. However, no traces have been found of the domestic animals kept by them, as the case has been in other parts of Scandinavia. Neither has a single grave from the Stone Age been found near the capital; in fact, only two or three such have been found in the whole of Norway, although frequent enough in Sweden and Denmark. It seems that no graves from this age are found on the fjord north of the province of Bohus, on the south-west coast of Sweden, nor, even in the neighbouring province of Smaalenene, in Norway, otherwise rich in flint implements, has a single grave been found. In addition to flint implements, some thirty others of various kinds of hard stone have been found around the capital.
Coming to the Bronze Age very few objects from the same have been found in Norway, as these, being manufactured in the south of Europe, were no doubt costly. Around Christiania only two objects have been found, viz. a handsome buckle, from about the second century B.C., and a bronze celt. Whilst few objects from the Bronze Age have been found, there are none whatever from the transitory period-perhaps many centuries
between that age and the Early Iron Age; and even objects from the latter are scarce. Near the capital, however, several so-called "loom shuttle" shaped stones of quartzite have been found, worn by the men in their Celts or hanging from the same, which were, no doubt, used for the striking of fire. These may be said to date from the second or third century B.C. Of other objects from this age there have been found in and near Christiania swords, arrow-heads, part of a shield, a spear-head, and a pair of spurs—all of iron, and a gold bracteat. The latter are thin round pieces of gold, chased on one side, and worn as medallions. They appear to have been imitations of West-Roman coins of the fourth and fifth century; but the present ornament is assigned to the sixth century.
Of finds from the Late Iron Age-the Viking era-there are many from Christiania, where, no doubt, many tumuli have stood. They consist of double-edged swords, a hammer, a fire steel, an arrow, and spear-heads, axeheads, etc., with calcined bones and clay urns, and-curiously to relate-the fragments of a wooden chess - board, with three dice and eleven figures of bone. Dating from this age are also some oval convex bronze buckles and some shamrock-shaped ones, richly chased with the figures of animals, characteristic of this age, and a silver treasure, consisting of seven armlets, silver bars, and wire, and sixteen Arabic coins struck in the period from the eighth to the tenth century. The coins are Cufic, viz.: hailing from the town of Cufa, near Bagdad, and numerous such have been found in Scandinavia and even Iceland. They are, no doubt, spoils of the Vikings.
During some excavations in the ancient cathedral of Lund, in Sweden, a sarcophagus of burned bricks has been encountered in the centre of the nave and facing the pulpit. When uncovered it was slightly damaged in one corner, whereby is displayed a skeleton, part of the swathing, and some bits of silver, the latter being no doubt the plates from the coffin. The sarcophagus awaits opening pending the arrival of a State Archæologist from Stockholm.
The last portion of an interesting work, Drawings of Ancient Northern Architecture, has just been issued in Copenhagen. There are eighteen handsome plates, among which are six of the ancient castle of Vadstena, in
Sweden, a splendid specimen of the Renaissance style, and a drawing of an altar-table in Linköping Cathedral, originally Roman in style, but with additions and restorations in pure Gothic. The original dates from the transition period between the two. From Norway we have portion of a "Stabur" from Thelemarken, now in the Bygdö Park, near Christiania, where are many ancient Norse buildings collected by King Oscar. Among the Danish plates is an epitaph from Horsen's Convent Chapel over a burgher and a councillor, from 1635, and one representing the southern portal of Velling Church, richly ornamented with fantastic forms of animals.
* * * An important discovery of ancient frescoes has been made in Vigersted Church, in the Island of Seeland, Denmark. They are painted in the dome and on the walls, and represent the Entry of Christ into Jerusalem, the Saviour in the Garden of Gethsemane, and other events from the Old and New Testaments. There are also two paintings, by Kund Lavard, of great historical interest.