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The south porch, the most interesting piece of detail remaining in the whole church, projects from the wall, and has a flagged lean-to roof. It contains a highly enriched doorway, which is, however, not the original one, but has been built up from twelfth-century stones discovered amongst the debris of the ruined apse. Allen's description in 1831 is as follows :“On the south side is a porch, and within it a circular arched entrance, formerly very rich in sculptured ornaments, but now only retaining a solitary bird's head, which serves as a keystone.” Flanking the entrance on either side are now three nook-shafts, which rise from moulded bases standing on a chamfered plinth, which is returned on the sides of the porch. They carry carved and cushion capitals with neckings, and the abacus above (which is enriched with rosettes, etc.) is carried along the wall of the porch on either side, as a string-course. The arch is of three orders, the middle one consists of a series of beak-heads grasping a roll, while the inner and outer orders are also highly enriched with devices into which the chevron pattern enters largely, but which is not easy to describe. There is a hood-mould zigzagged on its inner edge.
The artistic feeling of the work is that of the middle of the twelfth century.
On the inside of the church, just above the west door, is a recess in the form of a vesica, which now contains a very rudely-carved stone, respecting which an eminent authority writes : * There is of course no doubt, I think, of its preNorman date, but as to the right interpretation, that is a very conjectural matter. The attitude of the hands is that of adoration or prayer ; but this might betoken either the Magi or the three Hebrew children in the fire."
Some of the old inhabitants used to tell me that they strongly resented the destruction of the old church, and advocated restoration, but the Rev. Robert Taylor was an enthusiastic rebuilder ; a friend of mine once described the rebuilding of the churches of Barmby Moor cum Fangfoss, as "an unwarrantable and outrageous piece of vandalism.” A large number of carved stones, including many with beaks and grotesque masks (which certainly ought to have been used in the rebuilding), are to be seen in the grounds of Fangfoss Hall, also what is probably a holy water stoup; these are carefully and jealously preserved from desecration by Thomas Eadon, Esq., the owner of the Hall.
1 Alluded to in Yorkshire Archæological Journal, xxi, 254.
THE MANOR-HOUSE OF
BY JOHN BILSON, F.S.A.
The manor-house of the bishops of Durham was situated to the south-east of the church. Its site is now occupied by the
modern vicarage, and by the house to the east of it. The principal buildings were arranged around the four sides of a court, which was approached from the town by a gate on the north side. Some considerable remains of the buildings have survived, and in fact there is more than has generally been recognized.
The manor-house has been the subject of two papers, one by the late Rev. Chancellor Raine, and the other by the late Rev. W. Hutchinson, who was vicar of Howden from 1862 to 1902, and for many years a member of the Council of our Society. These papers relate what is known of the history of the house, and are in most respects so complete that there would have been no reason for my attempting to supplement what has been written by such justly esteemed authorities but for one consideration, which I discussed when the Royal Archæological Institute visited Howden in 1903, viz. that both writers were mistaken in their explanation of the existing remains in relation to the general plan of the house. As their conclusions have been adopted by others, it is desirable that the reasons for questioning their accuracy should be stated, and that an attempt should be made to explain what has survived in the light of what is known of the plan of the house before the greater part of it was destroyed.
In his paper, Canon Raine printed two surveys of the house, one of 15614 which gives a very full description of the buildings,
1 This house, which is the property 2 On the Episcopal Palace at Howden, of Sir John Sherburn, is occupied by by the Rev. Canon Raine, in the AssoMr. P. Kettlewell, who has kindly ciated Architectural Societies' Reports, viii given me every facility for its examina- (1866), 295-302. tion. I have also to thank the vicar,
Ancient Manor-house of the the Rev. G. T. W. Purchas, for similar Bishops of Durham at Howden, Yorkshire, facilities and much kind help. For by the Rev. W. Hutchinson, in the permission to reproduce the photographs Yorkshire Archæological Journal, ix here illustrated, I have to thank Mr. (1886), 384-393. H. E. Illingworth (for fig. 2), Mr. J. V. 4 Ecclesiastical Commission, File Saunders (for tigs. 3 and 4), and Messrs. No. 70,019, Durham Bishoprick Estates, Parrish and Berry, of Hull (for fig. 5). Howden Palace.
and the other, a dilapidation survey of 1577 which furnishes some additional particulars. The earlier survey is invaluable for its explanation of the arrangement of the buildings. Canon Raine's paper is illustrated by a plan compiled from these surveys by Mr. Charles T. Newstead, architect, of York, which gives a good idea of the disposition of the buildings, though it takes no account of the precise configuration of the site, and it has apparently been drawn without any reference to the evidence which still exists on the spot. It shows the court as rectangular, which it was not, and this involves some inaccuracies, as will be seen by comparing it with the plan here reproduced
The most obvious of the existing remains (and indeed all that our two writers believed to be mediæval, except the fruithouse) are bishop Skirlaw's building (now used as a dairy) attached to the western part of the north side of Mr. Kettlewell's house, and cardinal Langley's gateway immediately west of the vicarage house. Of these existing remains, Canon Raine wrote thus :
“The greater part of the gateway towards the north may still be seen. It is made of brick, and bears the arms of Cardinal Langley. One bay, also, of the vaulting under the bishop's lodging is in existence, now used as a dairy, and bearing the arms of the munificent Bishop Skirlaw, who erected it. The fruit-house is the only other portion of the palace that has been preserved. It stands on a little bridge crossing the moat, but it has been much tampered with. On the west side of the gate-house there is a building with a somewhat ancient air ; but it cannot be ascribed to a period earlier than the reign of Charles II. Of course some old materials have been used up in it; and they may also be traced in the modern parsonage house which is at a short distance from it.”1
The Rev. W. Hutchinson followed Canon Raine, with some amplifications, in making the existing gateway to be the north gateway, but, recognizing that the present dairy was obviously a porch, he made it to be the porch at the west end of the bishop's lodging, which was the northernmost building on the east side of the court. If these attributions were correct, the northern side of the court must have been on the line of the present vicarage house and of the house to the east of it, and the western side must have extended into the present churchyard
i op. cit., p. 302.