« PreviousContinue »
The widow of the second Lord Aldborough (he was brother of Lady Redman and of Lady Ryther, the subsequent coheiresses) died in 1391 (twenty-five years after the castle was built). and the details of her will enable us to furnish the house anew. She bequeathed a bed of crimson and black, with white and red roses; another of Norfolk work with foxes. There was a red tapestry, with crimson border and the arms of Balliol and Aldborough ; seven cushions of scarlet ; a bed, embroidered with a tree and unicorn ; a bed of crimson and grey, with vine leaves ; a bed of green and grey, with birds and rabbits ; a string of pearls, “of which any one is worth 6d.”; a red chest, with the arms of Mauley and Sutton painted on it, etc.
For nearly 250 years the castle continued to be occupied by either a Redman or a Ryther, either conjointly or turn and turn about by seven generations of one family, and by nine of the other-surely a curious and somewhat trying arrangement. The last Ryther who lived here died in 1637. In some way, that is not yet clear, the two moieties were reunited in the family of Wentworth, through the marriage of Margaret Gascoigne, the heiress of Gawthorp Hall, with Thomas Wentworth, the grandfather of Lord Strafford. The Wentworths never lived at Harewood. And in 1656, when the second Lord sold the estate, the castle is described as being ruinous. The advertisement of the sale reads :-“ The castle of Harewood decayed, yet the storeys thereof being much ashlar, and the timber that is left fit for building an hansom new house, may save a deal of charges in the stonework.” The estate of 12,000 acres realised £28,000.
At present the church stands in isolation in Harewood Park ; but in mediæval times the large village, or, rather, market town, clustered up to the church. This was demolished when Mr. Lascelles, in the middle of the eighteenth century, rebuilt the village houses in the ordered and stately rows of arched groups of buildings which now border the Avenue and the high road between Leeds and Harrogate. Harewood is thus the only example--so far as I know-of eighteenth century town-planning in this country. This removal of the village from the precincts of the manor - house and the treatment of the church as a picturesque object in the Park, is thoroughly characteristic
of the aloofness of the eighteenth century aristocratic temperament, which is also conspicuous at Harewood House.
Of the church itself, it may be said that it is not mentioned in Domesday; that its dedication is not clear—whether it was to Holy Rood, to All Saints, or to Holy Trinity. There are no evidences of an earlier structure in the present building ; but there is documentary evidence of a church at Harewood in 1171, when Archbishop Roger founded a chapel in York Minster, and endowed it with-among others—the church of Harewood, ex dono Avicia de Romelli."
In 1353, John de Lisle, of Rougemont-father-in-law of Aldborough, the builder of the castle—had the advowson transferred (for a consideration) to the Priory of Bolton, with the stipulation that a chantry of six priests should be founded at Harewood.
It is always noticeable that when a church passes into the hands of an important abbey, the subsequent building in that church is of a higher order of technical excellence than when a church remains simply a parish church. The monks of Bolton would keep a staff of highly-trained masons, who would be in touch with the best current work; and, therefore, when they were sent to repair or rebuild any of their possessions, the work is always well done and well designed, and such is the case here; the church presents a complete and homogeneous rebuilding at some period subsequent to the taking over of the church by the Priory of Bolton. It should be dated at some time after 1353 and before 1420/i.e. before the earliest of the magnificent altar - tombs, which we shall notice immediately.
The church is large, of excellent proportions, with arcades and windows of good design and workmanship, but it is dull; it is merely the background of all the colour and design which once filled it, and made it a living thing and a picture Bible for the inhabitants of Harewood. The windows were filled with stained glass, and the walls were covered with frescoes. But there have been drastic restorations, and now the place is swept and garnished. The background of dignified architecture remains, but everything that clothed that architecture and gave it life has disappeared. It was said the other day that the only man in high places in the nineteenth century in England who cared for decorative art was not an Englishman at all, but the Prince Consort. Certainly, Harewood Church is a monu
ment to positive dislike of art in this country in the nineteenth century among those who ought to have known better.
Fortunately, six wonderful altar - tombs remain, and they form the glory of the Church. They are the work of the middle sixty years of the fifteenth century, and bring back to us the inhabitants of the castle in their armour, clothing, and headdress, as they lived and moved about in the house we have lately been considering.
All these tombs are of alabaster, from the factory in the neighbourhood of Nottingham. How far the faces are portraits, it is impossible to say.
The one to the north of the chancel is of a Redman and his wife, as is proved by the crest of a horse's head on his helmet. It is probably that of Sir Richard Redman, the Speaker, who died in 1426, and of his wife, Elizabeth Aldborough -one of the coheiresses of Harewood Castle. Whitaker (with a love of symmetry worthy of the precise age in which he lived) attributes the tomb in the corresponding arch, on the south of the chancel, to Sir William Ryther and his wife, Sybil, who was the other coheiress with Elizabeth Aldborough. This, unfortunately, is only conjecture, but there is no reason why it should not be so, and if the supposition is correct, it is a pleasant thought, and an easy one to grasp, that the two heiresses and their husbands balance each other on either side of the chancel. It seems to fit in so well with the fact of the peaceful joint occupation of the castle by the Redmans and the Rythers for so many generations. Sir William Ryther died a year earlier than Sir Richard Redman. The bases of these two tombs are very similar. The most interesting tomb, however, in the church-or, indeed, in Yorkshire-is that which stands furthest to the south-west. It is also the earliest in point of date, 1419—though only a few years before those of Redman and Ryther; and its base is very similar to theirs. It is the monument of Sir William Gascoigne, Chief Justice of England and an entirely honest man--and of his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Alexander Mowbray, of Kirklington.
, The inscription is modern. On the west side of the base angels hold the arms of France and England. These tombs bear evidence of having once been richly coloured, and the arms which were painted on the shield would have made identification easy in all cases had they remained. These three altar-tombs form a group to themselves in point of design.
The other three are later, and their bases belong to another order of design ; for, instead of the top moulding and angels carrying shields, there are arched niches and dividing pinnacles with crochetted tops. The one in the centre of the east wall of the south chapel has this elaborate base, with nine male figures, namely, five knights ; , ,
St. Michael, holding scales, one of which a demon is trying to depress; a bishop; a saint, with chalice; St. Lawrence. On the west: St. John the Baptist, two angels with a blank shield, and a man. On the south side, eight females. This monument is that of a Neville. . Probably Sir John Neville, who died in 1482, and whose heiress married a Sir William Gascoigne.
The next tomb on the south side is very similar to that last described, though both its east and south sides are now hidden by walls. On the north side are six female and five male figures ; on the west, four males. This has been stated to be the tomb of John Gascoigne, of Lasingcroft, who died in 1445, and Elizabeth Heaton, his wife. But the tombstone of this couple is still preserved in Barwick-in-Elmet Church. It has also been attributed to Sir Richard Franks and his wife, of Alwoodley Hall.
The last tomb is that of a Redman, and is attributed, with every likelihood of truth, to Richard Redman, who died in 1475, and who married Margaret Middleton. It is the most elaborate and sumptuous of the series. The man is in plate armour, has his feet on a lion, and rests his head on a casque with the Redman crest.
On the north of the base are statuettes of St. Lawrence, a king, two bishops, and four other figures. To the west are four figures, St. George and the Dragon, and St. Christopher ; to the south are eight male and female figures; to the east are four figures.
SYDNEY D. KITSON.
The house was built, probably about 1380-90, by Sir Thomas Percy, who was created earl of Worcester in 1397, and was executed in 1403. He was a brother of the first earl of Northumberland, and uncle of Hotspur. Many alterations were
, made in later times, especially after the Percies recovered possession of Wressle towards the end of the fifteenth century, but the buildings remained complete until the Civil War of the seventeenth century.
The house as erected by Thomas Percy consisted of buildings arranged around all four sides of a quadrangular court, which measured about 90 feet from north to south by 85 feet from east to west. There was, as Leland states, a tower at each of the four angles, and also a gateway tower, which doubtless stood in the centre of the cast front. Only the south range, with the south-eastern and south-western towers, now remains. The plan may be compared with those of three important quadrangular houses, which were erected about the same time : Sheriff Hutton, built by John lord Nevill, when Raby was on the point of completion (the licence to crenellate Sheriff Hutton is dated 1381); Bolton, in Wensleydale, built by Richard lord Scrope (contract, 1378; licence to crenellate, 1379); and Lumley, in Durham, built by Ralph lord Lumley (licence to crenellate from the bishop in 1389, and from the King in 1392). The family connections of the builders of these houses are of interest, in view of the general similarity of their plans. John Nevill's first wife, Maud Percy, was Sir Thomas Percy's aunt, and Sir Thomas' sister-in-law, Hotspur's mother, was John Nevill's sister. Ralph Lumley was a ward of John Nevill, and he and William, son of Richard Scrope, were married to two sisters, daughters of John Nevill, on the same day at Raby. The plan of Wressle shows the greatest similarity to that of Lumley.
The great hall was in the western range, now destroyed, but its fireplace remains in the north wall of the south-western tower. This tower is three stories in height, and its first - floor is occupied by a large room, described as once having excellent woodwork, which has disappeared, though the fixing holes are still visible. This room was probably the Paradise described by Leland. The south range had, over a basement, a single tall story in the middle, divided into two stories at each end, and was approached by an external staircase from the court. The south-eastern tower was four stories in height; the firstfloor was the chapel, and its altar-slab and piscina remain. The small detached building is a later addition in the northwest corner of the quadrangle; the original walls remain for a short distance on each side of the angle, showing the extent of the original quadrangle; and the walls, with the traces on the north face of the surviving south-western tower, afford some
1 Leland's description of Wressle is printed in Yorks. Arch. Journal, x, 314-5.
? For description of Liimler,
W. H. St. J. Hope), with plan by