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Sir Stephen R. Glynne's Motes on the
HE late Sir Stephen Glynne, Bart., of Hawarden Castle, as is well known to ecclesiologists, was the most indefatigable critical visitor of the churches of England and Wales that this country has ever known. He took a keen interest in the revival of the study of Gothic architecture, and the arranging it in periods, as first attempted by Mr. Rickman, and from that time onwards, for some forty years (1833-1873), spent the larger portion of his leisure in visiting the old churches of our land, until at last those that he had not seen could only be numbered in the hundreds. He invariably took brief descriptive notes of the churches that he saw, and considering the rapidity of his progress, often seeing four or five churches in a single day, the notes are remarkably accurate, even in the light of the more critical study that has been given to English architecture in the last five-and-twenty years.
The Glynne notes on the churches of Kent were published as a posthumous work some few years ago; the Chetham Society has just issued those for Lancashire; the Derbyshire notes were incorporated by me into the four volumes that I wrote on the ecclesiastical fabrics of that county; and portions of several other counties have been printed in society transactions or in other ways.
A short time ago, the Right Honourable W. E. Gladstone, M.P., most kindly lent me some of the Glynne MS. notes on the Yorkshire churches. Some of them, where the old church has been since pulled down (as is the case with Barton-le-Street and Slingsby), are of great value, and many others are of not a little worth in the face of the many disasters that only too often accrue to an ancient building in the hands of a "restoring" architect and committee.
As the members of the East Riding Antiquarian Society have visited this season the churches of Flamborough, Howden, and Hemingborough, I thought it might be well to print in our transactions Sir Stephen Glynne's brief notes on these three fabrics. J. CHARLES COX.
A church of tolerable size, the nave and chancel having each a north and south aisle, but there is no tower, only a wooden belfry. It seems chiefly Perpendicular. The nave is of four bays, the chancel of three. All the aisles are pointed, with octagonal pillars having capitals, and the clerestory is continued along both nave and chancel, which has square-headed windows of two lights, some mutilated.
The east window of the chancel is of three lights, that of the south aisle four, and of the north aisle two, all pointed and Perpendicular. The other windows are square-headed of two and three lights, some of the nave apparently Decorated, the rest Perpendicular, and some mutilated. The chancel arch has good mouldings. There is a fine wooden screen and rood-loft, also a parclose screen on the south. At the west end of the nave there is a large walled space. The interior is much whitewashed. There is an organ. The east
end of the north aisle is enclosed for a vestry. The walls are partially patched with brick in the chancel. On the south of the nave they are mainly of brick, especially the clerestory of the chancel, and a porch at the west bay of the south aisle, the doorway of which has good mouldings in brick. Some parts are whitewashed outside, and the church has a weather-beaten look. The nave clerestory is loftier than that of the chancel. At the west end is a pointed arch in the wall, showing that a tower was intended.
HOWDEN. ST. PETER.
(Visited in 1857 and in 1867).
Howden is a small dismal town, remarkable for nothing but its church, which, it must be confessed, is a very splendid structure. This splendid edifice consists at present of a nave with side aisles, a south porch and school-house south of the nave, a transept, and a choir now in ruins, which has on its north side a beautiful chapter-house, now unroofed. The tower stands in the centre, rising from lofty pointed arches, which rest on clustered columns. The tower is very lofty, and forms a noble and conspicuous object in the surrounding low country. The remains of the choir, especially the eastern front, indicate it to have been of extreme richness, and Decorated work. The east window is of enormous size, but unfortunately has lost the whole of its tracery. The windows whose tracery remains, are all Decorated. The pillars and arches are all down, and the whole area of the choir, without pavement, is open to the sky, the grass grows within its walls, and it is now used as a part of the churchyard. Several ancient capitals and fragments of pillars strew the ground. There is one flat stone with the figure of a cross, and thus inscribed "Hic jacet Joh."
The church is wholly Decorated or Edwardian, save
some Early English indications in the transept, and the noble Perpendicular tower. The latter is of great height, and has a decided character; it has two stories above the roof. The tower has on each face double windows of unusual length, with three transoms; the upper stage has also double windows, but is shorter. The parapet is embattled, but with vanes only at the angles, not pinnacles.
The buttresses are shallow, and there is no ornamental panelling, the tower window being its chief ornament. The tower is open to the interior to a considerable height, and the bells are rung from galleries. The four great arches below are of earlier date, yet of more advanced Edwardian than the arcades of the nave.
There is a building on the south of the western portion of the nave called the school-house, occupying two bays, erected circa 1547, of late Perpendicular work, and adjoining this on the east is the fine porch.
Howden Church was a parochial church made collegiate, and was never connected with a monastic establishment. The entrance to the chapter-house is on the south side of the choir, and is approached by a vestibule which communicates with the choir by an ogee arch, flowered and cinquefoiled, on each side of which is a canopied niche. This vestibule has an elegant groined roof. The chapter-house is of early and very beautiful Perpendicular, and was built at the end of the 14th century, by Bishop Skirlaw. Its form is octagon, its windows are of delicate Perpendicular tracery, and the stalls are divided from each other by very slender clustered shafts with foliated capitals terminating in canopies and rich finials. The backs of the stalls are all richly ornamented with panelling filled with quatrefoils. The diameter of this elegant chapter-house is twenty-five feet. The windows externally have ogee canopies. The transept has a beautiful decorated window at each end, and the door
beneath those windows externally are of elegant early Decorated work, having shafts with foliated capitals. In the north transept is a stone with a cross, said to be the tomb of Bishop Skirlaw, who died 1405. The great arches supporting the tower are very noble, and spring from clustered columns. Beneath the eastern arch is the old organ screen which is a very beautiful perpendicular work, having rich canopied niches with statues. On the eastern side of the south transept is the Saltmarshe Chapel, which contains two ancient tombs, one, under an ogee canopy, is an altar-tomb, on which are the recumbent figures of a man and woman. The arms are quarterly, in the first quarter a fleur-delys. The colours are of course effaced. The other tomb is to one of the Saltmarshes of Saltmarshe, and is an altar-tomb elegantly panelled with figures in its basement. It bears the recumbent figure of a knight in chain armour, bearing a shield charged with the arms of Saltmarshe. The nave is now fitted up for Divine Service, and is divided from its aisles by six lofty pointed arches, springing from clustered columns. The clerestory, consisting of Decorated windows within a double arch, is plainer than might be expected. The roofs of the nave and transept are of fine high pitch. The nave is well paved. Some restoration has been effected by the removal of the galleries in the nave, and the forming of uniform low seats. The organ
occupies the west end of the south aisle, slightly raised. The fine stone screen, which separates the choir, and stands in the west arch of the tower, now forms a reredos. This stone screen is carried also across the aisles.* The windows in the nave are all Decorated. The west front is very magnificent, and somewhat resembles the east end of Selby Church.
*This part of the text is according to a revision made by the author in 1867, the original note being as follows:-" The nave is well pewed, but the altar-piece is in bad taste, there being a painted representation of red curtains, which have a very trifling appearance in so rich and venerable a church. The great west window is hidden very much by an unseemly gallery and organ."