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been rewarded by the most interesting find yet uncovered, namely, a discovery of workmen's tools. In another column Mr. Hope describes for our readers the concluding phase of the exploration for this season.
NOV 12 18
Motes of the Month.
ARTISTICALLY there is a good deal to interest the antiquarian visitor to the Arts and Crafts Exhibition now open at the New Gallery in Regent Street, although he will not find much of antiquity wherein to revel. The South Gallery is devoted to cartoons, decorative panels, and designs, amongst which Nos. 2 and 54 are specially worthy of notice. The West Gallery is chiefly filled with embroidery and art needlework, and several of the
exhibits are adapted from old designs of various countries, of which the Royal School of Art-needlework has some good examples. In the West Gallery is a collection of artistic furniture, frequently showing traces of reproductions from earlier periods. No. 333, an old mantelpiece in teak and copper, the decoration of which is adapted from old Egyptian examples, is one of the most remarkable. No. 416, a case of vases of lustre ware, rich in colour and bold in design, has probably its origin in the old lustre ware of the sixteenth century. In the Gallery are some excellent specimens of printing and bookbinding, many in the old style. Case 604, the work of the Chiswick Press, is especially noticeable, and the catalogue of the Exhibition, containing articles by several writers on furniture and embroidery, is a creditable specimen of their work. whole, the Arts and Crafts Society may look upon their third exhibition as a success.
Since our last issue, the labours of Messrs. Fox and St. John Hope, at Silchester, have
Meanwhile Mr. G. L. Gomme, F.S.A., has put forward an ambitious and thoroughly comprehensive scheme for the treatment of buried Silchester, in order to preserve excavations already completed, and to prevent the necessity of again filling in those now being undertaken. Briefly, his proposals are these: to purchase the land, about 100 acres, from the owner, the Duke of Wellington; to excavate completely away all the surplus soil; to erect thoroughly every inch of the ground, carting a wooden shed over every fresh site as it is uncovered, so as to preserve intact upon the site all discoveries; and to purchase from the Duke the mosaic pavement, the eagle, and other antiquities stored up at Strathfieldsaye, removing them again to Silchester. If all this were done, Mr. Gomme thinks that we should have a Roman city before us, the fit Englishmen, Americans, and foreigners, and, object for visits from thousands of educated antiquarian societies, schools, and educational above all, the proper place for field clubs, establishments to go down to in order to learn on the spot more than can be taught in an infinite number of books. It is proposed that an influential committee be appointed to draw up a scheme, setting forth the probable cost (1) of purchase, (2) of maintenance, and to prepare a Bill for presentation to Parliament, enabling the Government on behalf of the nation and the County Council of Hampshire (under whose jurisdiction this ancient city is) to provide the funds necessary for this undertaking.
During the past summer Mr. Hugh W. Young has been making some excavations upon his property at Burghead, near Elgin, in order to ascertain by whom the extensive fortifications at this place were constructed. Burghead, as the name implies, is a fortified headland, similar in some respects to others found on different parts of our coast, but
having defensive works of surpassing magnitude. The ramparts which cut off the headland have been entirely destroyed, and the material used to build the present town of Burghead. Notwithstanding the wholesale use of the walls as a quarry for building materials, a great portion of the ancient fortifications still remain untouched. Fortunately a plan showing the original condition of Burghead is preserved in General Roy's Military Antiquities. Mr. Young has discovered that the rampart along the sea-face of the headland is built of dry rubble, faced with dressed stone on each side, and bonded together with oak timbers. The front of the wall, as it stands now, is 9 feet high, and the back 4 feet high, but when perfect it must have been quite 20 feet high. The bottom is paved with large boulder stones. The oak timbers are placed at intervals of 3 feet apart, and fastened together with iron bolts.
Burghead is a place of very exceptional interest for the archæologist. Here the "Burning of the Clavie" still takes place every year, and there seems little doubt that this extraordinary rite is one of the last surviving relics of Pagan fire worship in these islands. A full description of the ceremony is given in Sir Arthur Mitchell's The Past in the Present. The fire altar called the "Dourie " may be seen covered with pitch from the barrel that was burnt on it last year. In pulling down the ramparts to build the harbour, as many as forty stones with bulls incised upon them were found. Most of these were lost; two are still at Burghead; others are in the Elgin Museum; and one is in the British Museum, placed as far out of sight as possible at the top of one of the cases in the Saxon room. If such a valuable relic is not appreciated in London, it had better be sent back to Scotland.
In the last volume of the Antiquary, there was an illustrated account of the highly interesting old manor-house of South Wraxall, Wilts. Some works of repair are now being carried out under the supervision of that scrupulous architect, Mr. C. E. Ponting, F.S.A. It is proposed to make it a habitable house, without any addition, and without any material alteration. During the work several noteworthy finds have been made. At the south-east angle of the hall, under the gallery, a fifteenth-century doorway has been opened out, which led to a turret staircase that seems to have communicated with a bedroom over the kitchen. At the south-west angle of the hall, part of a similar but smaller doorway has been found, with a very steep and narrow stair leading to the room over the porch, which may have been an oratory. It may be mentioned that within 200 yards of the house, though usually overlooked by visitors, stands a farm-house containing the remains of the chapel of St. Andoens or St. Owen, of early fourteenthcentury date, which was a wayside chapel for pilgrims, but which may also have served as the chapel for the manor-house. In the course of the repairs, Mr. Ponting has opened out the roofs, and all the fifteenth and sixteenth century portions of the manor-house have been found to retain their original roofs, although in a dilapidated state. Walker, in his Examples of Gothic Architecture, only refers to a small portion of these roofs.
When the British Association were recently holding their meetings at Leeds, a daily evening paper brought out a sensational article entitled "Kirkstall Abbey Ruined." It was illustrated with two clumsy and inaccurate cuts, one labelled "The abbey as it was," and the other "The abbey as it is." The gist of the article was to try and get up an outcry against the removal of the pretty but deadly ivy which had for so long been permitted to drag the old abbey to bits, and to rend still further its roofless walls. accordance with Mr. St. John Hope's suggestions, a Corporation committee most wisely cleared the walls of the destructive ivy. The work may have been done in rather too hasty and thorough a manner, though we
by no means admit that that has been the case; but we sincerely hope that no amount of tall writing about picturesque ruins will prevail with abbey owners in suffering them to be rent to pieces for the sake of a little knot of artists and photographers. Ivy is a parasite that does not only clothe an old wall, but lives upon it, and draws all the life out of it to feed itself. It forces its tender, innocent-looking shoots into the tiny crevices, and there they grow until they become great trunks, and at last inevitably rend the masonry asunder, and eventually bring down the noblest work of man's skill into a decayed stone-heap.
Some little time ago the Yorkshire Archæological Association succeeded in persuading the owners of Byland and Rievaulx Abbeys to remove a good deal of the ivy. Where this has been done the improvement has been great. Where the ivy still remains the decay of these two ruins can readily be traced year by year. Mr. Micklethwaite, F.S.A., contributed a brief but excellent article on ivy to our contemporary, the Reliquary, about four years ago. In it, when referring to the removal of the ivy from the east end of Rievaulx, he said: "It was one huge mass of green, and I do not deny that it was beautiful. But the infinitely more beautiful old architecture was entirely hidden, and might, for aught that could be seen, have been the end of a ruined cotton-mill. Now, I contend, and I think most men of taste will agree with me, that the remains of old English architecture which have come down to our time can be put to a better use than to make of them frames whereon to grow greenery. The painter may find his ivy anywhere, and an old barn is as good a vehicle for it as the noblest work of architecture. But the beauty of an old abbey is its own, and the loss of one cannot be made up by the existence of others."
While excavating for the new railway on the Great Northern system at Shipley, Derbyshire, about the end of September, the workmen found a red clay urn, twelve inches high,
embedded in the clay. The urn was full of Roman coins. The workmen, not knowing the value of the coins, distributed them freely among the miners working in the pits in the vicinity. A great number of the coins appear to have been disposed of by the navvies for small considerations. Mr. Sebastian Smith, agent to Mr. E. M. Mundy, Shipley Hall, has fortunately secured many of the coins, together with the urn in which they were found buried. It is expected that there will be a description of as many as can be recovered in the next volume of the Derbyshire Archæological Society's Transactions. Our correspondent, Mr. Bailey, has obtained several of the coins, and describes them as much corroded. Moreover, the specimens he was able to secure were damaged by having been filed on the surface to see if they were gold. These are all of the third century, Probus, Claudius Gothicus, and Tetricius, so that probably the coins were buried about the year A.D. 275. The local papers, however, tell their readers that these coins had been buried for "800 years"!
The Builder has been most justly severe on Lord Grimthorpe "for amusing himself by disfiguring St. Albans Abbey," and says that the "silly knot of persons who thought it worth while to propose a testimonial or monument to Lord Grimthorpe have got the snub they might have expected from their genial idol." Lord Grimthorpe's reply was an application to himself of Wren's epitaph, "Si monumentum requiris circumspice," only pointing out that Wren "did not pay for the building." "It appears, therefore," says the Builder, "that Lord Grimthorpe seriously imagines that his work at St. Albans has set him on a level with the designer of St. Paul's! Such vanity would be a spectacle for amusement if unfortunately the results of it were not so permanent. That it will be there for many centuries' is probably true, for it is solid building enough; but it will be there for the laughter and not for the admiration of posterity."
But fame has already come to the great Chancellor of York diocese. In the January
issue of this year's Antiquary, it was said that "perchance the dictionaries of the future may immortalize his titular name in the same way as they have already treated the family appellation of Boycott." This has come to pass far sooner than we anticipated, for we are assured that an American dictionary has adopted our suggestion, and that therein may be read: "Grimthorpe, v. t. To spoil or disfigure an ancient building by lavish and tasteless expenditure. Ex. Reverent and continuous repairs would leave no foothold for the future grimthorping of this venerable structure,' Antiquary mag., vol. xxi. 35."
The church of Lyddington, Rutlandshire, has been re-opened after ten months of repair
and restoration. The extensive work that has been accomplished has been done on good lines. The old stones that floored the aisles have been re-laid, and the grave-slabs have been retained in their original positions. The ancient plastering of the walls of the body of the church has been cleaned, and where necessary renewed; unfortunately this treatment has not been followed out in the chancel, where the walls have been stripped and painted. Some fragments of wall-painting have been carefully preserved. The old oak screen has been cleansed and repaired, traces of the usual coloured figure decorations on the lower panels being carefully retained. Nothing of value seems to have been discarded, as is so often the case in these restorations. The picturesque Jacobean cover
still crowns the font. An uncommon, though not quite unique, feature of the church is that the altar stands in a square enclosure, separated from the east wall, with access for communicants all round. The altar-rails bear the date of 1653, at which period such an arrangement might naturally be expected.
The tower of the church of St. Swithun, Wickham, in the parish of Welford, Berks, is well known as a typical specimen of Saxon work. It has a balustre, belfry windows, and quoins of long and short work. The whole of the lower part of the tower is in as good condition as when it was built. Unfortu
Another Saxon church-tower, not so well known, but even more interesting, and of higher architectural value than St. Swithun's and other familiar examples, is, we are sorry to say, also in danger. The three-staged tower of Appleton-le-Street, near Malton, Yorks, has two series of remarkably good and characteristic bell-chamber windows, of two moulded shafts, etc., upon which rest great lights, divided by small ornamented but impost stones that reach entirely through the wall. It has other good features of late Saxon date, but the noteworthy matter is that the lower stage, though pierced subsequently by a later doorway and arch into the church, are of much ruder and plainer work, and are undoubtedly considerably older than the upper portion.
The timbers of the interior
of the tower and of the roof are in a sad state attention which we believe is about to be of decay, and urgently demand the prompt given to them.
The top of the tower is beginning to suffer from this neglect, and on the south is an ugly-looking crack, extending a considerable way down the tower. It will scarcely be credited that the cause of this crack and settlement in masonry which might Goths of a past but not very remote generaotherwise have stood for centuries, is that the dragging out or damaging the through bondtion actually cut into the solid stonework, stones, to a depth of fifteen inches in order to let in a flue for a heating apparatus. Unless those Saxon builders had built this unbuttressed tower with wonderful skill and excellent materials, the whole must have collapsed many years ago under such desperate treatment.
The committee of the Norfolk and Norwich Archæological Society has lately been instrumental in restoring some missing monumental brass inscriptions to St. Stephen's Church,