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gurgoyles, the mouths being awry, and Mr. Phillimore drew attention to a curious and ludicrous error in White's "Nottinghamshire Directory" some years ago, in which it was stated that here were to be seen monuments of the Ryemouth family.
Although there are only two bells, there is room for a third, the tradition being that one was removed to the neighbouring parish of Orston. There is no evidence in support of the statement which probably arose from provision
There are at
being made for the addition of another bell. the present time, as Mr. Phillimore informed the party, no traces of the Thoroton family in the parish, and he imagined that there would have been none in Thoroton's time, or he would have mentioned them, seeing that he had given so much space to a description of this village, and the neighbouring parish of Car Colston in both of which he was personally interested. Mr. Phillimore conducted the party to the vestry,
and showed them the only monument in the church-that to the Barrett family, dated 1776. He also called special attention to the very ancient font, on which are traces of the lock and hasp with which the lid anciently was fastened down, so as to prevent the villagers having access to it.
Passing out of the Church by the unusually narrow doorway the party first inspected a piece of a Norman arch, built into the eastern wall of the vestry externally. It is well preserved, and implies the existence of an earlier Church than the present one. On the north-west side of the churchyard stands the old plain looking manor house, and, by the kindness of the tenant, the members of the society entered it for the purpose of looking at a foot-stone, dated 1686, in the floor of the pantry. The Vicar, who had not known of the existence of the stone until a few hours previously, promised to look up the date in the Church register. This has since been done, but Mr. Swann states that the register throws no light upon this question.
The Church and manor house were left for the hall, though time did not permit of anything like a thorough exploration. The party then went on to the dovecote which stands in a meadow adjoining the well-kept lawn. The dovecote dates back to medieval times, and Mr. Phillimore pronounced it a very fine specimen. Inside it is honeycombed with nests, and is a sight well worth seeing. Mr. Phillimore pointed out that anciently there must have been in the centre a ladder arrangement which revolved on a central spindle, from which the pigeon holes might be reached.
From Thoroton the party proceeded to Aslockton, the birth place of Archbishop Cranmer [1489-1554] where is the mound which is believed to have stood in the garden of the Cranmer family. It is still known as "Cranmer's Mound," and that it formed part of the pleasure grounds of the lord of the manor is most probable when we remember that such elevations were in high repute in the sixteenth century. Sir Francis Bacon, writing on the formation of a garden, says, "At the end of both the side grounds I would have a mound
of some pretty height to look abroad into the fields." There is also a walk to Orston, known as "Cranmer's Walk."
More direct and tangible evidence of the famous martyr's association with the district was seen at Whatton, where, after luncheon at "The Griffin," the beautiful Church dedicated to St. John of Beverley, was visited. Here there is an incised slab, to the memory of the Archbishop's father, who died in 1501, bearing a still legible inscription, also the arms of Cranmer and Aslockton, and the figure of a man with flowing hair and gown with a purse by his side. There is also a stone tomb with the figure of a cross-legged knight in armour, in the chapel, at the east end of the north isle near the Cranmer slab (Sir Richard de Whatton, temp. Edward II.), and an alabaster tomb at the east end of the south aisle to Sir Hugh de Newmarch (temp. Henry IV.). Under an arch in the north aisle is the effigy of a priest (Robert de Whatton), with curled hair, whose head rests on a double cushion. There also is preserved what remains of the village cross, said to closely resemble the very beautiful cross at Monasterboice, county Louth, Ireland. The tomb to Sir Richard de Whatton and Robert de Whatton have beautiful brasses near stating that they were repaired by Hugh de Heriz Whatton, John Swift Whatton, M.A., and Arundell Blount William Whatton in 1892. As the party were passing the manor house on their way to Langar, Mr. Montagu Hall, of Whatton Manor, who had given the members of the society valuable information in and outside the Church, showed them an old sword and spear head, which were found in a field at Aslockton, in January, 1893.
A picturesque drive led from Whatton to Langar, where the party were met by the Rev. H. H. Wood, the rector. The nave arcades of this Church are Early English, the lobated capital at the east end of the south arcade being worthy of special attention. Containing the memorials of three important families, it may almost be described as a place of tombs, for "storied urn and animated bust" are to be seen on every hand. The transept on the south side is full of
monuments to the Howes, and their predecessors, the Scropes, while the north transept is equally full of memorials of the Chaworths, the ancient owners of Wiverton, whose mansion stood in the vale below Langar, in sight of the sacred edifice. It was in this church that the remains of the Admiral Earl Howe were interred, in August, 1799, in the presence of a great multitude of people. The hero of the glorious "First of June," who shattered the French fleet, causing its admiral to "leave half his dismasted ships behind him," was buried in the family vault, by the side of his brother, the Hon. Thomas Howe, the coffin plate bearing the following inscription:"Richard Howe, Earl and Viscount Howe, Viscount Howe and Baron Clenarley in Ireland, Admiral of the Fleet, General of his Majesty's Marine Forces, and Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, died 5th August, 1799, aged 73 years." The arched vault of brick was built by the first Mr. Howe, of Langar, for a burying place, and extends several feet high from the south transept into the body of the Church. In the transept are the words "Entrance to the Vault," and on the west wall, a little distance away, is a plain tablet of marble to the famous admiral, surmounted by a coat of arms. The rector pointed out some of the principal monuments, especially in the Chaworth transept, and attention was directed to the oak screens of the transepts, and to the Jacobean work of the pulpit, and some of the pews. The Chaworth Monuments are three in number, and commemorate:
(1) Sir George Chaworth, Knt., who died 22nd September, 1521, and Katherine, his first wife, who died 12th October, 1517.
(2) Sir John Chaworth, Knt., son of the above, who died 3rd September, 1558. He had no issue by his first wife, but fourteen children by his second.
(3) Sir George Chaworth, Knt., son of the last, who died 4th March, 1589, leaving an only daughter.
Time did not permit a visit to the site of the old hall, which was sold by the admiral's successor to John Wright,
Esq., whose son took down the building, which adjoined the Church, and divided the park into fields. When Leland visited it in 1540 he described it as "a large stone house, embattled like a castle." Before the time of the Howes it was the abode of the Lords Scrope, and the party inspected and admired the stately tomb in the south transept of the Church to Thomas Lord Scroope, Baron of Bolton and Masham, Knight of the most noble Order of the Garter, who died 2nd September, 1609, and commemorating also his wife and son. The effigies are underneath a canopy, whereon are their arms, with quarterings, the canopy being supported by tall pillars of black marble. A descendant of the Scropes married John Howe, and in this way the parish became connected with a family which gave to England the famous Earl Howe.
From Langar the party drove into the vale, and drawing up in front of Wiverton Hall, were received by Mrs. Chaworth Musters, She had displayed in her drawing-room many curiosities, notably a magnificent illuminated pedigree of the Chaworths, on vellum, and a beautiful miniature of Mary Chaworth, with Byron's manuscript of the well-known verse above it :
Mary Chaworth married John Musters, of Colwick, in 1805, and died in 1832. Mrs. Musters also showed a strong box, from Newark Castle, with a ponderous lock, a sword, once hanging in Langar Church, an old iron kettle-stand, from Annesley, several Chaworth portraits, and other articles of interest.
After inspecting these curiosities, the visitors were shown through the house, attention being specially drawn to a parlour in the ancient gatehouse, in front of which the present modern