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four vertical faces are ornamented with sculpture in low relief as follows:
North Side.-A coventional tree within a round-headed panel, next the east end; and an arcade of five semicircular arches springing from flat pilasters having stepped capitals like those to be seen in Saxon architecture. The spandrels are filled in with conventional foliage, and there is a narrow band of geometrical ornament running round the inside of each of the arches, and horizontally across between the capitals. The ornament consists of chevrons, a Z keypattern, a row of lozenges, etc.
South Side.-A similar design to that on the north side, but hidden against the wall.
East End. -An ornamental cross with spiral terminations to the arms, and surrounded by eight raised bosses on a sunk background. West End.-A conventional tree.
The coffin is now used as a holy water-vessel. The cover has disappeared; but according to a writer of the seventeenth century it was inscribed, in ancient characters, "Hic jacet Conanus Britonum Rex." The style of the art shows the coffin to be of the eleventh or even twelfth century, so it is quite impossible that it can be the tomb of Conan Mériadec, the first King of the Britons, who is supposed to have lived in the fourth century. Even the existence of Conan himself is doubtful.
J. R. A.
INTERESTING DISCOVERIES AT MOLD.-Some most interesting discoveries of very ancient ruins have been lately made at the Bailey Hill, Mold. Agreeably with a request from the Committee of the Welsh National Eisteddfod, Rhyl, upon the instructions of the Local Board some of the scavengers of the town were put to work on the grounds of the Bailey Hill for the purpose of finding a stone for the Bardic Circle. The men commenced to dig on the summit of the hill with this object, and after going 3 or 4 ft. deep came across a large quantity of stone, and being ordered to proceed with their work discovered a wall and part of a circle. They were then authorised to resume their work in another direction. Operations were afterwards made at the foot of the Hill, where their labours were still more successful. Here, with but little exploration, a wall 6 ft. in width was found, and a number of human bones were taken from the soil. Some little distance away another wall was exposed, which measured no less than 10 ft. in width. The walls are parallel, with a space of about 4 yards between, and are supposed to be an entrance to a tower embedded in the soil, and covered with trees. Much interest is taken in the discovery by the inhabitants.
CARVING AT KIDWELLY CASTLE.-In view of the discovery of a piece of carving on a wall of Kidwelly Castle, it may be of interest
5TH SER. VOL. VIII.
to state that the Castle was built by William de Londres, a Norman knight, soon after the Conquest. It was destroyed in 1093 by Cadwgan ap Bleddyn, and was rebuilt in 1190 by Rhys, Prince of South Wales. It was again demolished; this time by Rhys, son of Gruffydd ap Rhys; and being once more erected, it underwent varions changes till it fell into the hands of the Crown. It was given by Henry VII to Sir Rice ap Thomas, whose monument is in St. Peter's Church, Carmarthen.
Of the finding of the carving a correspondent writes: "Last Sunday a friend made a discovery in Kidwelly Castle. I went there yesterday afternoon to have a look at it. I lit a candle, and had a good look round, but could not find anything for a long while. I gave up the hunt, and was on the point of leaving when I hit upon the carving. Inside one of the most perfect towers, and in a very dark corner, there are remains of a hunting scene cut in the stone and mortar. A hound is distinctly seen, then a hunter on horseback, the rider holding the reins with one hand, and in his right is held out straight something which I cannot make out. The horse seems to be galloping. The Saturday Review says that the chapel in the Castle was built by King John, who was fond of visiting Kidwelly."
DOG-TONGS AT CLYNNOG FAWR CHURCH, CAERNARVONSHIRE.-The dog-tongs is an article of church furniture which, owing to the changed habits of church-goers since the last century, has now fallen entirely into disuse, so that specimens are rarely to be met with. One from Llanynys Church, Denbighshire, was exhibited at the Wrexham Meeting in 1874, and another from Clodock Church, Herefordshire, was exhibited at the Abergavenny Meeting in 1876. The latter is described by Archdeacon Thomas in an interesting notice in the Arch. Camb. (4th Ser., vol. viii, p. 212), in which he mentions incidentally the existence of another example at Gyffylliog.
It is, perhaps, hardly necessary to explain that the object of the instrument was the ejection from the building of dogs that might render themselves objectionable by their bad behaviour during Service. The mechanical principle of the apparatus is that of the "lazy tongs" with which some of us are more familiar. The tongs consist of a series of bars pivoted together at the ends and in the middle, so as to form a piece of lattice-work which can be extended or compressed at will by pushing the handles at the end of the lattice-work either together or apart.
The operation of extending the lattice brings the jaws at the end of the tongs furthest from the handle together with a snap, so as to render the seizing of an object at a short distance quite easy. The end of the tongs appears to shoot out with great velocity when the handles are pressed together, for each individual lozenge of the lattice becomes longer, and is at the same time pushed forward by the increasing of the length of the lozenges behind it. The velocity
thus accumulates all the way from the handle to the jaws of the tongs.
The ignominious and, no doubt, rather cruel method of expelling the canine offender is thus graphically described by Archdeacon Thomas: "The dog-tongs had only to be taken off the seat on which they lay so innocently, and the handles brought quickly together, when out shot the jointed folds and arms, and in an instant seized the helpless wretch around the neck or leg, and without danger or ceremony extruded him from the place."
The dog-tongs mentioned in Archdeacon Thomas' paper are of
Dog-Tongs in Clynnog-Fawr Church, Caernarvonshire.
wood; but the pair at Clynnog Fawr Church, here illustrated, is of iron. This example was seen by the members during the Caernarvon Meeting in 1877. Its perfect state of preservation and dated inscription make it particularly interesting. The instrument consists of six bars three-quarters of an inch wide by three-sixteenths of an inch thick, jointed at the ends and in the middle, so as to form a lattice, with two lozenges in the middle and a half-lozenge at each end. The pivots are six inches and a half apart, centre and centre. The jaws are furnished with a set of four teeth at each side, which are ingeniously arranged so that a tooth on one side is opposite a space between two teeth on the other side. One of the bars with the handle at the end of it is inscribed
REVD H WMS VR
(Revd. H. Williams, Vicar
II W. I WARS 1815
I. I. W. I., Churchwardens, 1815.)
Any member who has notes relating to churches where dog-tongs still exist, or reference in church accounts to such things, is requested to communicate with the Editor.
J. R. A.
INSCRIBED STONE AT SOUTHHILL, CORNWALL.-In the Rectory garden at Southhill, Churchtown, which is about three miles northwest of the market town of Callington, the interesting discovery has just been made of another of those ancient inscribed stones which furnish material for the speculation of searchers who are learned in antiquarian lore.
Inscribed Stone at Southhill, Cornwall.
Mr. J. T. Blight, in his Ancient Crosses of Cornwall, mentions that a cross stood "in the garden of the Rectory, Southhill", which was similar to the one illustrated by him, and standing at Higher Drift in the parish of Sancreed.
Careful search was made for this stone cross on Sept. 3rd last, but with no satisfactory result. The sexton of the parish, an aged man, knew nothing of the existence of such a relic; and the gardener, who has been in the employ of the present Rector and his predecessor for more than twenty years, was equally ignorant. On observing, however, a granite monolith in an oblique position at the eastern end of the Rectory garden, where it was almost hidden by a profusion of ferns and shrubs, I examined it closely, hoping that it might correspond with the description given by Mr. Blight. On its upper surface there were traces of incised work; but as only the
higher portion of the stone was exposed to view, permission had to be obtained to excavate around the sunken end. But the Rector being absent, and the sexton unwilling to spare much time about the experiment, only the upper surface was cleared, when the inscription, as shown in the accompanying illustration, was clearly revealed to view.
The characters were particularly distinct, and in an excellent state of preservation. Of course there will be a difference of opinion as to the reading of the lines. Evidently there are but two words on the stone, and the well-defined contractions indicate the limit in each line. In the first line there can be no doubt about the CUMI, and in the second line the letters N... MAUC are equally clear. The two semicircular incisions are unusual.
That the stone was originally fixed in an erect position, the slightest examination will show; and the uneven state of the end fully above the ground also proves that those who are responsible
for erecting it in its present position utterly failed to realise its true character and purport, inasmuch as it is fixed upside down. Forming, as it does, the chief attraction in a garden-rockery, the jagged part has claims to natural appearance to which the hidden part can offer little or no pretensions.
The following measurements were taken:-Length of the inscription, 2 ft. 6 in.; greatest width of inscribed surface, 1 ft. 5 in.; width of under-side, 6 in.; thickness of the stone, 1 ft.; length of ditto, 7 ft.
It may be mentioned that although I could not fully examine the sides and end of the inscribed part without removing a quantity of soil and some plants and shrubs, yet the upper face was uncovered sufficiently to ensure that no incised work was omitted in the sketch. But it is quite possible that this is the stone which attracted the attention of Mr. Blight when he visited Southhill about twenty years ago. If so, the raised Latin Cross to which he alludes is