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passed through many vicissitudes. The front of the slab, which was of costly Purbeck marble, had been cut away about three inches. He was of opinion that the work was carried out in London by Flemish artists. Possibly the tomb itself was local work, for the material was only found in Derbyshire. The apparent age of the tomb corresponded with the death of the merchant with whom he connected it.
The members of the society were then shown the alabaster figures preserved in the Church wall. Mr. Stevenson said it was a very valuable piece of sculpture, and for safety had been let into the wall and covered with glass. It was found under the floor of the chancel when the place was being restored, and probably was contemporary with the erection of the Church. He took it to be a fragment of the ancient reredos. The subject represented seems to be the investiture of a bishop by a pope, enthroned and surrounded by cardinals and others.
Commenting upon the doorway on the north aisle of the Church, Mr. Stevenson mentioned that it was referred to very fully in Mr. Close's article in which the heads are identified as representing Richard II. and his Queen.
In view of the visit of the society the foundations of one of the columns of the nave had been bared. Pointing to the masonry below Mr. Stevenson said it was evidently a portion of the shaft of the early English Church that preceded the present building. Turning the attention of the party to a battered effigy in the north side of the Church, Mr. Stevenson said the tomb appeared to have been destroyed in the early part of the century, and the figure placed on the Thurland Monument, where it rested for some years. When John Salmon's tomb was destroyed his effigy was placed upon Thurland's tomb, the figure which the party were then inspecting being taken away and sold for a few shillings. But the person who bought it did not take it away, and it was left outside the Church. The figure was portrayed in Thoroton's work. In the middle of the last century the Bishop of Meath, during his travels through England,
visited St. Mary's, and he said that the hat or head dress was the most remarkable he had ever seen. It was possibly the head dress, Mr. Stevenson continued, of a civilian or merchant of the middle of the fifteenth century. There was sufficient evidence of the head dress to restore it even now. The hat must have been a very beautiful article of dress at the time the figure was sculptured. It was hopeless now to try to find out whom the effigy was intended to represent. The only other object in the Church to which special attention was devoted was the curiously inscribed font. The inscription, which has been re-cut, is in Greek, and is read backwards or forwards. It runs as follows:
NIYON ANOMHMA MH MON AN OIN
In the churchyard Mr. Stevenson stopped at a quaint old headstone, of the date 1714, and explained that it was earthenware, the letters of the inscription being impressed on the soft material before it was burnt. There was, he said nothing like it in the county, and he did not think that any could be found in Derbyshire, though there were a few in the Pottery district in Staffordshire. The headstone was the finest specimen extant of old Nottingham pottery, and he thought that it ought either to be taken inside the Church or sent to the Castle Museum, but this view was strongly dissented from by several members of the society who expressed the opinion that it should be left there.
ST. PETER'S CHURCH.
The members of the society then proceeded to St. Peter's Church, where they were received by Mr. R. Evans, J.P., who had been appointed leader. Mr. Evans addressed the
* This palindrome has also been used at Harlow in Essex; Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire; St. Martin Church, Ludgate Hill, London, and other places. It may be rendered Cleanse lawless deed, not outward look alone." "Roma tibi subito motibus ibit amor is a Latin example of this kind of ingenuity.—J. S.
party on the various points of interest in the Church, and afterwards took them round the building. His remarks were to the following effect :
I regret that I have not more information to give the Society with respect to our old Church of St. Peter, the records being few and imperfect. I will first direct your
attention to the oldest portion of the building, viz.: the south arcade of the nave, built in the latter half of the 12th century. Over the arches will be seen the old walling of the early English Church, the high-pitched roof of which is shewn by a well-marked indentation on the eastern face of the tower wall. A peculiarity in the arcade is that the second pier from the west is a massive built pier of masonry, with east and west responds; from this point across the nave remains of a screen or parclose was found during a recent renewal of the floor, the remains consisting of stumps or foot-pieces for carrying the main posts of the screen. You will notice that the piers in this arcade are of good detail and proportion.
The northern arcade is of 14th century work, and was much injured by the erection of a gallery over the whole of the north aisle and across the western end of nave; this occured about 200 years ago; the gallery was removed in 1884. The clerestory windows are of a debased character, occupying the place of what we believe to have been windows with tracery of the perpendicular period. The nave roof is a fine example of that date; it is said the Strelley family contributed handsomely to the cost through Archbishop Kempe of York, whose crest can be seen on the bosses at the intersections of the beams.
I desire to direct your attention to the fine groined ceiling in the tower, a well constructed piece of masonry.
Abutting on the southern pier of the chancel are the remains of the staircase to the rood loft which is about to be restored, and a new screen and choir stalls erected through the munificence of Mr. Wm. Gibson. Twenty years ago the present chancel was built on the foundations of what we
believe was the ancient building, taking the place of the chancel erected after the demolition of the original one during the Cromwellian period, about 1646.
In this church and churchyard are burials of considerable interest, such as several generations of the Smith family, founders of the well-known banking firm of Messrs. Samuel Smith & Co.; members of the Drury family; a daughter of the celebrated Col. Hutchinson, and many others, not forgetting the first printer in Nottingham, one Wm. Ayscough, who died in 1719.
In the vestry you will be shewn some old registers, the earliest bearing date 1572, continuing down to the present day, the most interesting book being one in "black letter," containing the records of the ancient Guild of St. George, dating back about the middle of the 15th century.
Before concluding my remarks on the old church I ought to remind you that there were formerly two chapels dedicated respectively to St. Mary and All Saints'; no remains have been found, but doubtless they were situated at the east end of the north and south aisles.
At the Castle entrance the party was met by Mr. G. H. Wallis, F.S.A., the art director. Investigation was commenced by a member asking for information respecting the old cistern, dated 1681, with the arms of the Newcastle family moulded thereon, which is just inside the ancient gateway. Mr. Stevenson suggested that it was cast by the bell founders of Nottingham. Attention was then drawn to the old gateway, and at Mr. Wallis's request Mr. Stevenson entered into an interesting description of it. It was, he said, an Edwardian relic of the ancient Royal Castle. That had always been the entrance to the building. There was no evidence of a portcullis, but he thought that if the bridge near by were examined evidence of a drawbridge would be found. The gateway belonged to the same period as the
defences of the town. There was not elsewhere any portion of it above ground. A relic could be seen underground, the north wall having recently been exposed. The wall and the gateway corresponded exactly, both being built of Nottingham sand rock. The arch on the outside seemed to have been prepared for a portcullis, but the groove was not continuous. Mr. Stevenson alluded to the arrow-slits, and then, pointing in the direction of the garden of the General Hospital, said that there was the spot where King Charles raised his standard. Up to about a century ago, he said, the site was marked by a tree. He thought a tablet should be erected. Mr. Stevenson then explained the size of the original castle, indicated the site of the keep, and, after showing the site of a drawbridge, took the party to the bastion by the side of the Castle green, and stated that it represented the earliest evidence of the use of Bulwell stone, besides many other bits of valuable information. Mr, Wallis, in the course of the ramble, indicated the foundation of the original portcullis, and of the barbican. The members of the society then explored the dungeons under the rock, and went down "Mortimer's Hole."
From the Castle the party proceeded to the beautiful grounds of Mr. J. W. Leavers, J.P., in which a series of caverns of great antiquity are located. Mr. J. Potter Briscoe pointed out that these caverns were excavated on the escarpment of the new Bunter Sandstone, and that they formerly extended westward and southward. The softness of the rock, and its proximity to the River Trent, suggested that they might be made and utilized by the aborigines as habitations. As families developed and increased, these caves would, with growing needs, be enlarged, and additional openings would be hewn. In connection with these rock holes, the name of the " Druid's Holes" has been handed down to within the present century. In reference to the Romano-British period, Roman tiles are said to have been found in the chimneys, and a Roman column is said to have formed part of a chapel here. Stretton stated