« PreviousContinue »
separated by undulating stems of foliage. There are three principal figures down the centre, and four pairs of figures in the alternate spaces at the sides. The subjects seem to be Christ enthroned in Glory; Ascent of Elijah(?); Moses holding the Tables of the Law,
In the other churches at Lincoln there is only one instance of early Norman figure-sculpture, namely, St. Peter holding a key, on a slab built high up into the wall of the west side of the tower of St. Peter at Gowts. Let us now leave Lincoln and turn to Southwell. There is in the Minster a slab of sculpture which probably originally formed the tympanum of a Norman
Tympanum, Southwell, Notts.
doorway. The sculpture upon it represents St. Michael contending with the Dragon, and Samson or David breaking the jaw of the Lion. Both of these are wellknown types of the contest between good and evil. The dragon has its tail looped and interlaced in a very curious way, being altogether Scandinavian in general appearance, and very like the dragon on the tympanum at Hoveringham, in the same neighbourhood.
Mr. Charles Keyser, F.S.A., has been kind enough to send me the following further notes about Southwell Minster :
"The sculpture is upon the capitals of the east arch, supporting the central tower, and opening into the choir. "On the South side is the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem'; 'Our Lord Washing the Disciples' Feet'; The Maries at the Sepulchre'; and a cradle with three figures adoring.
"On the North side. The Last Supper' (the Holy
Dove within a medallion above); on central capital, an ecclesiastic with altar, on which is a chalice; he points towards the centre, where an angel is directing the attention of a man to the east, where two figures are seated, one, the Virgin, with a sword, and the Infant Saviour in her arms; on another capital, various figures holding palms, lilies, etc."
It would be very desirable to obtain good illustrations of these interesting pieces of sculpture described by Mr. Keyser.
THE ROUND CHURCH TOWERS OF ESSEX.
BY J. M. WOOD, ESQ.
The Parish.-The parish of South Ockendon is situated in the southern part of the county of Essex, in the hundred of Chafford, and is about four miles from Grays Thurrock and the River Thames. There are two parishes contiguous called by the name of Ockendon, but distinguished from each other by North and South, the villages being only about one mile apart. South Ockendon is bordered on the north by North Ockendon and a parish called Cranham, on the south by Stifford, on the east by Ossett, and on the west by Avely. In the records Ockendon is recorded under various names, among the following are some of them: Wokendon, Wokyndon, Wochaduna, Okingdon, Lockington, and Larckington, Wokendon Rokele or Okendon Rochele, and Wokindonad-Turrim. The former of these two latter, Salmon, in his History of Essex, considers takes its name "from an ancient owner", and the latter "from its tower or steeple, as we may believe is the case at Little Easton and Steeple Bumsted, in Essex".
There are five entries in the Domesday Book with reference to Ockendons, but no church or priest is mentioned. They are as follows:
The land of St. Peter's of Westminster, Hundred of Ceffeorda, Wochenduna (North Ockendon). William the Chamberlain holds of the abbot i hide, and there is i team in the demesne, and i team of homagers and iv villeins. It is worth xl shillings.
Hundred of Ceffeorda (Hundred of Chafford), Wochenduna (North Ockenden), was held by Harold for a manor and ii hides, less xl acres, in the time of King Edward; now St. Peter holds it. Then there were viii villeins, now vii; then v bordars, now viii; always iv serfs and ii
teams in the demesne, etc. It was then worth iv pounds, now x. This estate is for an exchange made since the King sailed across the sea.
The See of the Bishop of London, Hundred of Ceffeorda (Chafford Hundred), Wochenduna Episcopi (Cranham). Wochenduna was held by Aluric, in the time of King Edward, for a manor and iii hides, and xl acres; it is now held by Hugo of the Bishop. There were then vi villeins, now viii; then v bordars, now xv; then vi serfs, now iv, etc. It was then and afterwards worth iv pounds, now vi. In Wochenduna the King has i soc-man of xxv acres. Then this was worth xxxii pence lii.
Hundred of Ceffeorda (Chafford Hundred). Wochaduna (South Ockendon) is held of Geoffrey by Turold; it was held by Frebertus, a thane, in free tenure for i manor, and for x and a half hides and xx acres, and Geoffrey has it in exchange as he asserts. Always iii villeins, xxxiv bordars; then iii serfs, now none, etc. Then and when he got possession, it was worth vii pounds; now it is worth xvi pounds. On this property are xiii soc-men, who hold in free tenure viii and a half hides and xx acres, etc.
From these entries it is probable that in the reign of Edward the Confessor the greater part, or the whole, of these lands, now known as North and South Ockendon, and Cranham, belonged to Frebert, a thane. At the time of the Norman survey the larger portion of these lands formed part of the lordly possessions of Geoffery de Mandaville, Earl of Essex.
The parish of Cranham, before mentioned, does not appear in the records before the reign of King Edward IV. Morant, in his History of Essex, states that "it was first called Cranham in 1461; it originally belonged to North Ockendon, and in old records commonly named Wokyndon Episcopi, but for above these two hundred years till now called Cranham at Wokyndon, or Okendon Episcopi". Ockendon, or Wokendon, was a name probably common to this district, when it came to be divided into three lordships, South and North, and this in particular Ockendon Episcopi, now Cranham.
With reference to the etymology of the word Ockendon, it seems doubtful if it is derived from a proper name,
or whether from the Saxon Ac ing dun, i.e., Oak Pasture Hill, or from Wocen or Woca, proper names as they were so called, I am not able to determine. Whereas Salmon "states that Ockendon is named from the number of oaks they produced. Ing will signify land, and Dune a rising ground above the marshes".
It is evident that at the time of the survey the neighbourhood of the Ockendons was to a great extent a forest, with roads probably running through it, as the returns in the Domesday show that vast numbers of cattle were allowed in the woods, especially hogs or swine.
As to the parish having been recorded as Wokendonad-Turrin, is certainly evidence of the existence of a tower at early times, and applies most probably to the existing round church tower.
The Church.-The Church of South Ockendon stands on the highest land in the parish, and is pleasantly situated on the green, alongside of the main road from Grays, on the river Thames, to Brentwood and Warley. It has been ably described by Buckler, in his Churches of Essex in 1856, prior to its restoration, which took place in 1866, when, I am sorry to say, the whole structure was sadly mutilated. I shall not attempt to describe the church in detail, for two reasons; first, because it is outside the scope of this paper; and secondly, because I could not improve the description already existing, by Buckler, of the original fabric.
I will, however, just give an outline description, without going into any detail, to enable you to draw conclusions, and to form some idea of the character of the church to which the round tower is attached. The church is dedicated to St. Nicholas, the authority for such being Ecton's Thesaurus Rerum Ecclesiasticarum, 1742; Bacon's Liber Regis, 1786; Newcourt's Repertorium; and Morant's History of Essex; while on the other hand, Salmon, in his History of Essex, 1740, states that it is dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen. This is probably an error, and may have arisen from the fact that North Ockendon Church, in the adjoining parish, is dedicated to St. Mary Magdalen.
As to the early history of the church, little appears to be known. Newcourt, in his Repertorium, quotes from a manuscript, which is as follows: "The church here was