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ancient foundation.


It contains an aumbry in the north wall, EDWINSTOWE and the remnant of a piscina upon a bracket in the south-east corner. As there is no indication of a piscina niche in the south wall, it is probable that this interesting relic formed a part of the furniture of the church from the 12th century until the Reformation. It has a square-sided basin, supported on a dwarf pillar formed with four attached shafts having "water-mould" bases, which give a clear indication of date. The damaged portions of the piscina have been carefully restored in wood by Mr. William Stevenson.

This piscina illustrates a step in development from a plain dished water drain in the floor to a table piscina recessed in the wall.

Another fragment of the old church-a piece of worked stone which formerly stood in the chancel wall, near to the priest's doorway-has attracted much attention. Until quite recently it was held to be the standard measure of the forest, which "was marked & graven in the Chancel Wall at Edenstoue, and in the Church of St. Mary at Nottingham, & at Newstede." Thoroton incidentally refers to it in connection with the measurement of the wastes of the forest (under Bulwell, page 247).

The stone in question (15in. long, 11in. wide, 5in. thick) has been taken out of the wall for inspection, and it is now quite clear that it is either the impost of the chancel arch, or a portion of a string-course enriched with the "nail-head " ornament on the front, and having a 4in. attached shaft moulding worked on the angle behind.

For the better preservation of the relic it has been re-set in the inner wall, at the west end of the north aisle, but as it is obviously a structural stone out of the 12th century church, it can have no connection with the long-lost standard of lineal measure, which was "graven" (not built), in the church wall in the time of Edward I.

The standard measure as used in the forest is given by Mr. Robert White, thus :

[blocks in formation]

By a coincidence, each of the elongated "nail-heads on the stone is equal in width to a "barleycorn;" but if the intention was to represent barleycorns, they surely would have been laid lengthwise and not upright.

Externally, the church presents an imposing array of embattled parapets, dominated by a steeple, "which forms a conspicuous landmark for miles around."

At first sight the spire appears to be contemporary with the tower, but on closer inspection it will be seen that the tower is the work of the 12th century, while the spire is at least three centuries later, and appears to have been added when the north aisle was re-constructed, late in the 15th century.

The lowest stage of the massive tower (19ft. by 18ft. inside measure, walls 3ft. thick) is lighted on the south and west by graceful lancets; the one, lofty and narrow, in the western face is treated in an unusual manner by the introduction of a transom, which divides it almost equally in height. This window, with its wide internal splays, forms a very effective feature when seen from the east end enclosed within the lines of the spacious pointed arch of the tower.

The ill-fitting insertion of double lights in the belfry stage was probably introduced late in the 13th century, when the openings in the upper stage were stoned up in order to facilitate the fixing of larger bells, and thus formed into blind arcades of three obtusely-pointed bays within an enclosing semi-arch.

The peculiar arrangement of square pinnacles set upon the broaches, and the dormer lights on each cardinal face of the spire may well be mistaken for Early English work when seen from below, but a scrutiny at close quarters will yield

(1) This is equal to 14in. modern measure.


convincing proof that the work belongs to a much later EDWINSTOWE period.

The upper portion of the spire has been re-built more than once. It was struck by lightning and fell during a storm, circa 1672, and it was again struck by lightning about forty years ago.

The three old bells-the first and second inscribed : "Thomas Hedderley Founder Roger Oldham C·W. 1752," the third dated 1662-were re-cast, and absorbed in a new peal of six bells by Mears & Stainbank. Five of the new bells are quite plain; the sixth bears the following inscription :


"These 6 bells were erected by public subscription A.D.

Rev Henry Telford Hayman. Vicar

John Thomas Bullivant } Churchwardens.

Edgar Gibbons

My sound it is all men to call

To serve the Lord both great and small."

The registers, 1634-1758, have been transcribed and published,' together with a complete list of vicars (from A.D. 1260), cantarists and wardens of the Altar of St. Mary, curates, etc., etc.

In 1093, "the day after that on which Archbishop Anselme was made his Liege man," William Rufus gave to Robert Bloet, the newly-appointed Bishop of Lincoln, the churches of Mansfield and Orston with the chapels which are in the berewicks belonging to the said manors, "and all things which belonged to the said churches in the time of King Edward" (Thoroton, page 272). The dean and chapter transferred the patronage of Edwinstowe to the late Earl Manvers in exchange for St. Mary's, Nottingham.

There are some curious epitaphs to be seen on the headstones in the churchyard; one standing a little to the north-east of the chancel wall is deserving of notice :

(1) By Robert White, Worksop, in 1891.



This awful Monitor to Mans Security

Richard Neil

who after having brav'd

The boisterous Billows of the Biscan Shore
The gaping Terrors of the rude Atlantic
And fulminating Wrath of haughty France
In Fights victorious

at 32 in Vital Plenitude

And the meridian of well earned Friendships
By some disastrous unforeseen Event
Yielded his Social Life

To the Minutia of his Element
in Thoresby Lake

As did the Partner of his fleeting Breath
John Birdsall

of youthful 28 but just immersed
in Joys hymenial

Anxious to meet his lov'd expecting Bride
was too arrested by the liquid Wave
alike deserving and alike belov'd
Fell two lamented Youths
Together in one unpropitious Night
the 29th June 1800

and this Earth

their mortal Parts retain.”

The story of Edwinstowe would be incomplete without a brief reference to the Hermit of Clipstone and the Chantry of St. Edwin, which once stood on the side of the old road (now disused) leading from Edwinstowe to Warsop.

There is no historical veracity regarding the date of foundation, and the most diligent research has so far failed to

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(1) This has been altered on the stone from 32 to 29. Register gives 'age 30th year."

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