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is besides enriched with pilasters in the Saxon style. The arch of the south door-way is ornamented with zig-zag mouldings and heads; the shafts of the pillars are covered with sculptured foliage and other ornaments, in the style of the south door-way of Ely cathedral.
Considerable remains of Saxon architecture are to be seen in the churches of Alsop-in-the-Dale, Ashford, Bradburn, Bakewell, Bolsover, Boulton, Brailsford, Brassington, Clown, Darley, Heath, Hault Hucknall,* Hognaston, Kedleston, Killamarsh, Kirk Ireton, Long Eaton, Ockbrook, Parwich, Sandiacre, Stanton, Swarkstone, Tissington, Thorp, Whitwell, Longford, Willington, Winster and Yolgrave. The south door-ways of those of Ashford, Hognaston, Kedleston, Long Eaton and Swarkstone, have rude sculptures in bas-relief within the circular arch: of Bradburn and Whitwell churches, the towers at the west end are in this style of architecture. At the west end of Bakewell church is a large arch, very richly ornamented with Saxon mouldings and grotesque heads: on the sides of this arch are some remains of small interlaced arches.
Thirteenth century.-The specimens of the early gothic architecture which occur in Derbyshire are few, and by no means remarkable. The chancels of Bakewell, Marston-upon-Dove, and Doveridge churches are in this style, as is Breadsall church, which is a handsome edifice, with an embattled tower, supporting a spire at the west end. In the ruins of Stid chapel are clustered pillars with foliated capitals, and the windows which remain are lancet-shaped.
Fourteenth century.—Tideswell church is a large uniform building, in the form of a cross: the nave and aisles are separated by clustered pillars and pointed arches. At the west end is a tower, with four embattled turrets, terminating in pinnacles, ornamented with crockets. The altar-piece is of stone, enriched with two tabernacles; and on each side of the east window, over the altar, is an ornamented niche. John Foljambe, who died in 1358, and whose monument is in Tideswell church, is said to have been a principal contributor to the erection of that edifice. The chancels of Norbury, Dronfield and Sandiacre churches, exhibit fine specimens of this style. That of Norbury church has large handsome windows, with much of the original painted glass remaining in them.
Remains of the architecture of this century are to be seen in the churches of Mackworth and Marston-upon-Dove: there is a very elegant window, with a niche on each side, at the east end of the north aisle of Mackworth church; and in the north wall of the same aisle is an arch, with a richly ornamented canopy over it, between two windows. Spondon church is a handsome building in the style of this century.
Fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.-There are no remains of the ecclesiastical architecture of these centuries worthy of particular notice, except the tower of All-Saints' church at Derby, which has been generally and deservedly admired: it is about one hundred and fifty feet in height, and richly ornamented with gothic tracing; that of the battlements being pierced. On a fascia, running round three sides of the tower, is this inscription, in text hand-" Young men and maydens.”
* Gentleman's Magazine for 1779, part I. page 449.
Painted glass.-There are some remains of painted glass in the churches of Ashbourn, Bradley, Dronfield, Egginton, Hault-Hucknall, Sandiacre and Sutton; but none of sufficient consequence to merit particular notice. In the churches of Morley and Norbury, the remains are considerable: those in the chancel of the latter are in a very good taste; and evidently coeval with the building, which is in the style of the fourteenth century. Rood-lofts, screens and stone stalls.*-In Ashbourn church is a very perfect rood-loft and screen, and at Ilkeston a stone screen of the rood-loft, in the style of the thirteenth century. In Chelmorton church is a stone screen, with quatrefoils at the top; and the lower part of one in Bakewell church. In Elvaston church is an elegant Gothic screen of the rood-loft; and in the chapel at Hayfield an entire rood-loft, the upper part of which is modernized, and has a modern painting of the crucifixion, and St. Mary, and St. John.
In each of the churches of Brailsford, Breadsall, Church-Broughton, Dronfield, Ilkeston, Langley, Longford, Sandiacre and Spondon, are three Stone Stalls stone stalls, of equal height. Those of Dronfield and Sandiacre are richly ornamented, in the style of the fourteenth century, and there is a piscina adjoining each, in the same style. In Baslow, Denby and Whitwell churches, are two stone stalls: those at Whitwell are richly ornamented, in the style of the fourteenth century. In the chancel of Chaddesden church is a single stone stall, with a piscina; and a single one also in the north, and another in the south aisle of the same church.
Ancient fonts.-There are few of the Derbyshire fonts that are worthy of notice, except that in Ashover church, which is of lead, and apparently very ancient, being in the Saxon style: it is two feet one inch in width, and one foot in height; and is placed on a stone pedestal of more modern date. This font is ornamented with twenty figures of men, in flowing drapery, each holding a book in his left hand; and differing only in the position of the head, and of the right hand, which is more or less elevated in different figures: they are all very rudely executed in bas-relief, and stand under circular arches, separated by slender pillars. The fonts in Kirk-Hallam and Osmaston churches are circular: the former being ornamented with tracery of semicircular interlaced arches; the latter with tracery of circular arches and foliage. Those in Winster and Mellor churches are large and circular, ornamented with rude sculptures in bas-relief. Melbourn font is in the form of a basin, standing on four legs; that in Bakewell church is large, and in the gothic style, ornamented with figures, very rudely executed, in bas-relief.
The ancient sepulchral monuments, which occur in many of the churches, will be noticed in the Parochial History.
The holy rood or rood-loft, derives its name from the Saxon word rode or rood, which signifies a cross. It was an image of Christ upon the cross, made generally of wood, and placed in a loft or gallery over the passage leading from the nave into the chancel. The nave without represented the church militant, and the chancel the church triumphant, and those who passed from one to the other must go under the cross and suffer affliction.
History of Churches in England, page 199.
Customs, games, superstitions, &c.
THE manners and customs of a district always bear some traces of antiquity; and notwithstanding the changes which society is undergoing in the course of every generation, the close observer may perceive a vestige remaining in the manners of the people indicative of the mode in which their ancestors thought and acted. Rush-bearing, or the covering the floors Rushof churches with rushes, was formerly common in the northern districts of bearing. this county, and was undoubtedly a relic of Druidism, as on the days of sacrifice we find that the places consecrated to the worship of the ancient British deities were strewn with rushes. Our ancestors, a very few centuries ago, had rushes strewn on the floors of their apartments, as may be proved from various passages in our old comedies. It appears, however, that the custom of rush-bearing was confined principally to the mountainous region of the High Peak, and that since manufacturing industry has changed the manners of the inhabitants, and many elegant new churches have been erected there with modern conveniences, the custom has considerably declined. Mr. Rhodes, in his Peak Scenery, in alluding to this rural rite, has the following interesting passage.
"Previously to our leaving Glossop we visited the village church, a plain and lowly structure, and as little ornamented in the interior as it is without. Here we observed the remains of some garlands hung up near the entrance into the chancel. They were the mementos of a custom of rather a singular nature, that lingers about this part of Derbyshire, after having been lost in nearly every other. It is denominated rush-bearing; and the ceremonies of this truly rural fête take place annually, on one of the days appropriated to the wake or village festival. A car or wagon is on this occasion decorated with rushes. A pyramid of rushes, ornamented with wreaths of flowers, and surmounted with a garland, occupies the centre of the car, which is usually bestrewed with the choicest flowers that the meadows of Glossop Dale can produce, and liberally furnished with flags and streamers. Thus prepared, it is drawn through the different parts of the village, preceded by groups of dancers and a band of music. All the ribands in the place may be said to be in requisition on this festive day, and he who is the greatest favourite amongst the lasses is generally the gayest personage in the cavalcade. After parading the village, the car stops at the church gates, where it is dismantled of its honours. The rushes and flowers are then taken into the church, and strewed amongst the pews and along the floors, and the garlands are hung up near the entrance into the chancel, in remembrance of the day. The ceremony being ended, the various parties who made up the procession retire, amidst music and dancing, to the village inn, where they spend the remainder of the day in joyous festivity." Mr. Farey, in speaking of the rush-bearing at Chapel-en-le-Frith, states,
CHAP. 7. that it usually takes place, as he was informed, at the latter end of August, on public notice from the churchwardens, of the rushes being mown and properly dried, in some marshy part of the parish, where the young people assemble: the carts are loaded with rushes and decorated with flowers and ribands; and are attended to the church by the populace, many huzzaing and cracking whips by the side of the rush-cart, on their way thither, where every one lends a hand in carrying in and spreading the rushes. At Whitwell, instead of rushes, the hay of a piece of grass-land called the church close, is annually, on Midsummer eve, carted and spread in the church.
A very ancient custom called well-flowering still continues to be practised annually at Tissington. Holy Thursday is the day devoted to this very elegant rural ceremony. The day is held as a festival, and all the wells in the place, five in number, are decorated with wreaths and garlands of fresh gathered flowers, disposed in various devices. Sometimes boards are used, which are cut to the figures intended to be represented, and covered with moist clay, into which the stems of the flowers are inserted, to preserve their freshness. These flowers are arranged so as to form a beautiful mosaic work, often tasteful in design and vivid in colouring. The boards thus adorned are so placed in the spring that the water appears to issue from among beds of flowers. On this occasion the villagers put on their best attire, and open their houses to their friends. There is service at the church, where a sermon is preached; afterwards a procession takes place, and the wells are visited in succession: the psalms for the day, the epistle and gospel are read, one at each well, and the whole concludes with a hymn, sung by the church singers, and accompanied by a band of music. This done, they separate, and the remainder of the day is spent in rural sports and holiday pastimes.-This custom of well-flowering is undoubtedly of the highest antiquity. It was common to the Greeks and Romans. The ode of Horace to the fountain of Blandusia is well known.
O fons Blandusiæ, splendidior vitro,
The worship of the rural deities among the ancients was always connected with the decorating of springs and wells with flowers; and this has been beautifully alluded to by Fletcher in his Faithful Shepherdess, where the swains in worshipping Pan throw flowers upon the waters.
"All ye woods and trees and bow'rs
All ye virtues and ye powers
That inhabit in the lakes,
In the pleasant springs or brakes,
Move your feet
To our sound,
All this ground,
With his honour and his name
That defends our flocks from blame.
He is great and he is just,
He is ever good, and must
Whilst we sing
Ever honoured, ever young!
Thus great Pan is ever sung."
In the earlier ages of poetry and romance (as Mr. Rhodes justly observes) wherever fountains and wells are situated, the common people are
accustomed to honour them with the titles of saints. In our own country CHAP. 7. innumerable instances occur of wells being so denominated. "Where a Well-flowerspring or a river flows," says Seneca, "there should we build altars and ing. offer sacrifices." From this ancient custom, which has been continued through a long succession of ages, and is still in existence at Tissington, arose the practice of sprinkling the Severn and the rivers of Wales with flowers, as alluded to by Dyer in his poem of the Fleece and by Milton in his Comus.
with light fantastic toe the nymphs
Mix'd with the green of burnet, mint and thyme,
"The shepherds at their festivals
Carol her good deeds loud in rustic lays,
And throw sweet garland wreaths into her stream,
A similar custom of dressing fountains with flowers has lately been either instituted or revived at Wirksworth, on account of the waters recently conveyed from the adjacent moor to the market-place and higher parts of the town, by means of cast-iron aqueducts. The taps of the pipes are adorned with chaplets and garlands, and the whole resembles very nearly the festivities at Tissington. The clubs of the town walk in procession, with bands of music, and a sermon is delivered at the church.
Sugar cupping is another of the remnants of ancient customs now run- Sugar ning rapidly into disuse. On Easter Sunday, young people and children Cupping. go to the Dropping Tor near Tideswell, with a cup in one pocket and a quarter of a pound of sugar* in the other, and having caught in their cups as much water as they wished, from the droppings of the Tor-spring, they dissolved the sugar in it.
At Baslow, the rural festival of kit-dressing took place on the 4th of Kit-dressAugust, in the present year (1829) the procession was attended by the ing. Baslow band, and the decorations of the kits surpassed in beauty and taste any that had ever before been seen. There were a great number of persons from the surrounding country, and even from more distant places, assembled to witness this rural fête, which gave unusual delight. On one of the kits was this inscription:
The farmer, the plough-boy, the fleece, and the flail,
A beautiful garland and a large pink-coloured flag with emblems, were also carried in the procession. Twigs of willow were bent over the tops of the kits, and entwined with ribbons and flowers; and many fanciful ornaments of muslin and silk, mingled with trinkets of silver and gold
* If this custom has really any claims to antiquity, we must suppose that originally honey was used instead of sugar.