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mansion was built. Going through the grounds the remains of a moated enclosure in the wood adjoining the house was pointed out. Mr. Stevenson expressed his opinion that this was the site of the pre-Norman manor house.
The last place on the list was Bingham, and after tea at the "Chesterfield Arms," the rector, the Rev. P. H. Droosten,
met the party at the Church.
He pointed out
to the visitors some of the characteristic features of
the Church, which is in the Early Decorated style, and dates probably from the earlier half of the fourteenth century. The Church is cruciform, consisting of nave and aisles, transept, south transept and chantry chapel, and chancel. The arcade of the northern aisle has capitals carved in a severely conventional style, the most curious of them being the third, which has masks and faces at the angles of the octagon, believed to represent the seven mortal sins, one of them being repeated, to adapt the number to the form of the capital. On the south
side the capitals are very natural and realistic, the second nearest the south porch representing foliage blown right and left, as if caught in a draught from the doorway striking upon the pillar. There are instances of water trough mouldings in
the bases of pillars upon both sides of the Church. The chantry contains a recumbent cross-legged effigy, said to be the tomb of Sir Richard de Bingham, carved in Caen stone, and the broken fragments of a marble effigy of later date.
The tower, which is of earlier design than the Church, has a noticable feature in the deep embrasure of a lancet window, which is heightened in effectiveness by being pierced through a buttress. At the west and south-west angles of the exterior of the Tower are two figures, now headless, which condition is locally assigned to the soldiers of Oliver Cromwell. They are said to represent two of the Evangelists, and are deserving of especial remark from the fact that they are vested in the Eucharistic vestments of a Bishop, very clearly carved. This Early English tower and the decorated spire were much admired.
N Wednesday, about 10 o'clock, the members of the Society and their friends met at St. Mary's Church. Among those who attended were the Rev. A. J. L. Dobbin, Chairman of the Excursion Committee, and Mrs. Dobbin, the Rev. Canon Skelton, the Rev. T. W. Swann (Orston), the Rev. J. H. Heath and Mrs. Heath (Flintham), the Rev. R. J. Burton (Darley Abbey), the Rev. H. L. Williams (Bleasby), the Rev. A. M. Y. Baylay (Thurgarton), the Rev. J. G. Bayles (Hawkesworth), Mrs. Standish, Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Thorpe, Mr. H. Ashwell, J.P., and Mrs. Ashwell, Ald. J. Barber, Prof. F. S. Granger, Mr. J. P. Briscoe, Mr. T. Ward, Mr. B. S. Wright, Mr. C. H. Torr, Mr. W. Stevenson (Hull), Mr. A. H. Reeves (Scarrington), Mr. W. Wells, Mr. G. Harrison, Mr. Hugh Browne and Miss Browne, Mr. M. H. Hall and Mrs. Hall (Whatton Manor), Mr. F. Felkin, Mr. Chas. Gerring, Mr. P. J. Cropper, Mr. G. G. Napier, M.A. (author of “The Homes and Haunts of Tennyson"), Mr. and Mrs. J. Smith, Mr. J. T. Godfrey, Mr. F. W. Dobson, Mr. J. Wright, Mr. J. T. Radford, the Rev. J. Standish (Scarrington) and Mr. W. P. W. Phillimore (London), Hon. Secretaries, and others.
Archdeacon Richardson met the party at St. Mary's Church. He said that he was not an antiquary, not from lack of inclination, but from want of time. However, the party had a well-known antiquary in their midst, and he proposed to ask Mr. W. Stevenson to act as their guide. For a long time after he (the Archdeacon) came to the Church he accepted the view that the date of it was the end of the fifteenth century. He considered that those who held that the building belonged to the preceding century would have difficulty in maintaining their position. But the fact had been pointed out to him lately-and he was more or less convinced by it-that a tomb which would be pointed out, at the end of the south transept, was that of a man who lived
at the end of the fourteenth century. That fact seemed to put the date beyond the reach of doubt, and the only answer that could be given by the advocates of the later date was that it was possible the Church was later than the tomb— that it belonged to an earlier Church, and was preserved when the Church was rebuilt.
Archdeacon Richardson then called upon Mr. Stevenson to act as conductor. Discussing the probable date of the Church, Mr. Stevenson said he relied mainly upon an article written on the subject by the late Mr. Thomas Close, who, in dealing with the heraldry of the building, fixed its date as of the reign of Richard II. It had been stated that the present building was a portion of an earlier Church, and was brought from Lenton Priory when it was destroyed, But that was purely legendary.
Practically the whole of the stone with which the Church was built seemed to have been obtained from Gedling. It had been pointed out that the south porch was in a much worse state than the rest of the Church, but that was probably owing to the fact that the stone was got from a bad vein, or perhaps was procured from the Mapperley Hills, where the stone, although of the same geological formation, was not so good. The design of the porch was the same as that of the tomb, and he thought it ought to be called Salmon's porch, for in all probability he gave it to the Church. It was evident that the porch had been added to the Church, not the Church built to the porch.
Mr. Stevenson then took the party to the tomb of John Salmon (in the south transept, already referred to by the Archdeacon). He said that until very recently the existence of the tomb appeared to have been forgotten, but it was a neglect on the part of the local historian, for the tomb was known in Thoroton's time. It was once an altar tomb, but only the effigy now remained. John Salmon died between 1395 and 1405, and about that time the Church must have been finished. It was just possible that the tomb was erected during Salmon's lifetime ready for his interment.
That would put the date back a few years, and made it fit in with Mr. Close's opinion.
In the course of his remarks on the tomb in the north transept of the Church Mr. Stevenson said it had been a magnificent monument. In the top slab Flemish brasses had been inlaid, but they had been taken away, probably about the time of the Reformation. It was generally supposed that they were removed during the disturbance caused by the Civil War but that was not the fact, because Thoroton practically admitted that he did not know whose tomb it was. If the brasses had been taken out during his lifetime there would have been many people living in the neighbourhood who would have been able to give him information about them. The matrices of the brasses showed that the tomb was that of a civilian and his wife. The monument had been called Plumptre tomb, but that was owing to the fact that a representative of the family had a plate fixed to the wall at the back. Mr. Stevenson then pointed out that the tomb was no part of the construction of the Church-but was of a considerably later period-and he gave reasons, based upon the position of the various mouldings of the tomb and the wall behind, which seemed to thoroughly satisfy the party. In Thoroton's day, Mr. Stevenson went on to say, it was stated that there were three important tombs in the Church. Some years ago a selection of the wills preserved at York was published, and among them was the will of Thomas Thurland, merchant, of Nottingham. The will contained a clause which stated that if he died in Nottingham he wished to be buried in St. Mary's Church. He said, "If I die in Nottingham," probably because he was a merchant, and might die away from home. When the death of Thurland's wife took place some year's afterwards it was recorded by her will that she asked to be buried by the side of her husband in St. Mary's Church. He (Mr. Stevenson) therefore identified the tomb as that of John Thurland, the great merchant, of Nottingham. The tomb, like that of John Salmon, in the opposite transept, had