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Cherry Valley, cherry being synonymous with craig, which, oddly enough, was derived from the same root as rocher, and was probably a relic of pagan worship of wood and stone. Alt was an undoubted British word and signified a steep place, while shut, as in Dean Shut, conveyed the idea of being steep and narrow, after the manner of a coal shoot. In the district Mr. Andrew pointed out that we had known three Keverlows. Following the history of the word kever we find the word meant a goat, probably a man's cognisance, and possibly a relic of the ancient totem. This might seem a far-off cry,* but it was quite consistent with well and tree worship, and also with cave dwelling. It was also consistent with other things of which they found traces here, in the shape of primeval agriculture and open-field system, and, if he mistook not, clear traces of the Sib. Alt Hill was next visited. This was the birthplace of Joseph Pickford, afterwards known as Sir Joseph Radcliffe, he having taken his mother's name by devise. He was knighted for the active part he took in quelling the Luddite riots. He was of the Pickfords of Macclesfield, Jonathan Pickford, son and heir of James Pickford, of Macclesfield, having married Alice, daughter of John Lees, of Alt Hill, some time between 1653 and 1677. Sir Joseph was a great grandson of this Jonathan Pickford, and was born here May 8th, 1744. He married Katherine, daughter of Thomas Percival, of Royton Hall. The house at Alt Hill is a fair specimen of the architecture of the Commonwealth period, the label moulds in the ancient gable being very fine. Originally built in the shape of a capital T, there was a great hall with small solar and servants' apartments. The date on the drop spout in front is 1713, and judging by the style of the architecture the great hall would probably be renewed about that time. The
dates on the doorheads are 1653 IL.AL. and 1677 IP. AL. Sir Joseph's father-in-law, Thomas Percival, is the subject of an interesting article by Mr. C. W. Sutton, published in the Dictionary of National Biography. At Alt Hill the rest of the journey had to be abandoned owing to the rain. Mr. Andrew had prepared papers on the ancient tithe stone at Twarl Hill, and also on Hartshead Pike.
A stone celt found near Luzley by Mr. Radcliffe, postmaster of Mossley, was exhibited. This celt has been pronounced a good specimen by Professor Boyd Dawkins. An inquiry was made whether it was locally known that an aver rent was anciently attached to the farm at Windy Bank, and what an aver rent was, but no information could be gleaned on the subject.*
Saturday, June 6th, 1896.
HADDON: ANCIENT GRAVESTONES AT BAKEWELL.
The members of the Society visited Bakewell under the leadership of Mr. C. T. Tallent-Bateman. They first visited the fine old church of Bakewell, where they were met by the vicar, who kindly pointed out some of the most interesting parts of the church, including the ancient monuments, the fine old cross, the curious collection of tombstones, and the font. On leaving the church, members drove to Haddon Hall, every nook and corner of which was thoroughly examined.
Mr. George C. Yates read a paper on Bakewell Church and its gravestones. The church is of exceptional size and importance, and from its elevated position (four
* Aver rent is an obligation of a tenant to do portering and carrying for his landlord, explained by paper read by Mr. S. Andrew at Hartshead Pike, 31st May, 1897.
hundred and sixty feet above the sea level) it becomes a prominent object. The original church was rebuilt. early in the twelfth century, and portions of the early Norman work are still remaining. The early Norman church is supposed to have remained fairly intact until the end of the thirteenth century, about which time the chancel is supposed to have been rebuilt, and half a century or so afterwards came the building of the Vernon Chapel. In plan the church is cruciform, and consists of nave, side aisles, chancel, and north and south transepts. An octagonal tower springs from the intersection of the cross, resting upon a square base, and this is surmounted by an elegant spire. About the year 1820 the Norman tower piers began to give way. The side walls could not sustain the pressure, and after every expedient to stay the ruin tried in vain, first taking off the spire in 1825, the octagon tower in 1830, and by cramping together the walls, it was found necessary, in 1841, to take down the whole of the remainder of the tower and both the transepts and the Vernon Chapel. In the course of this work the curious old tombstones were discovered. They consist of several fragments of stone, covered with interlacing bands and other devices, so closely resembling those on the ancient cross in the churchyard that they may be all referred to the same period, whatever that may be. The larger and more interesting portion are the gravestones or coffin-lids, with crosses of different devices cut upon them. They had evidently been used indiscriminately with other materials for the outer facing, as well as for the internal filling up of the walls, and especially in the foundations of the tower-piers and north transept. One had been cut to suit the outline of a half-pillar, and mouldings of windows had been worked on the reverse side of others. Some
time elapsed before these ancient gravestones attracted notice, and many had in consequence been used again in the foundations of the new walls. Fortunately a considerable number (about seventy it is believed) were saved. It is believed to be by far the largest and most varied collection existing in any church in England. It is supposed at least four times as many had been used again in building the new walls. There can be little doubt that many of these stones had been in the churchyard. Ancient gravestones are interesting on several accounts. They seem to furnish evidence that such memorials of the dead were in more general use at an early period, in some parts of the country, than is commonly supposed. We frequently find them in the present day only in the interior of churches, and we are apt on that account to infer they were used almost exclusively to mark the burial-place of the knight, the ecclesiastic, the merchant, or those who, for some special reason, may have been thought entitled to burial within the consecrated building. This collection also presents a great variety of marks of symbols, indicative of the profession or trade of the deceased. Some are well known, such as the sword and chalice, the shears for the woolstapler, and bugle horn for a forester; others with a bow attached to a shaft. Some are rare, such as the key, probably to denote a blacksmith, and some were too imperfect to be made out. It is well known that shields with armorial bearings were not introduced upon tombs till a later period. The use of such symbols is of very high antiquity, for examples are by no means uncommon on Roman tombs combined with inscriptions; and it seems to be admitted that many of the devices on the monuments of the early Christians in the catacombs of Rome, which have been considered by some as emblems
of their martyrdom, refer rather to their occupation than to the instruments by which their tortures were inflicted. May it not have been the case that in an unlettered age such symbols supplied in a great measure the place of inscriptions, which at that period would have been unintelligible to the majority of the survivors? Indeed, it deserves notice that examples of sepulchral crosses of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, marked with inscriptions, are seldom met with in England. A few have been found in Yorkshire and the north-west counties, but they are rare. When inscriptions were added they were more frequently cut by the side of the stem or shaft of the cross than on the margin of the stone, as was usual at a later period.*
Thursday, June 18th, 1896.
A large party of members visited Cheadle, under the leadership of Mr. Fletcher Moss. The interesting old church received first attention. Mr. Moss gave an interesting history of the manor of Cheadle and its lords, the details of which may be seen in his work on Cheadle.
After inspecting the timbers of the reputed more ancient church, the party went to Abney, where they were most hospitably entertained by the Lord and Lady of the Manor. Mr. Watts, through his mother, who was a Buckley of Buckley, claims kinship with the Bulkeleys of Cheadle Bulkeley, and through the Hydes of Hyde, a
* Illustrations of the Bakewell stones are given in Bateman's Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, 1848, page 185; see also Coxe's Derbyshire Churches, vol. i., page 5.