Page images

window, with splayed jambs. The angle buttress at the northwest corner U is built of the same large ashlar as the north wall, but the greater part of the west wall is of stone rubble. In the west wall, a little to the south of the angle, is the lower part of another window, with splayed jambs. Further south, at W, is a projection, 4 feet 2 inches in width and 4 inches in projection, surmounted by a quarter-round corbel course, which probably carried a chimney. The outer face of the west wall has a chamfered plinth, which is stepped down at X to suit the fall of the ground, and is continued along the existing building up to (but not including) the angle buttress at R. This plinth is apparently continued northward, and around the angle buttress at U along the north side, though much of it is now buried. The masonry of the lower part of the west wall, RS, of the existing building is of the same character as that of the wall S X northward, and the wall from R to X is of one build.

The existing building QRST, to the south-west of Langley's gateway, shows in places the same chamfered plinth which occurs on the outside of its west wall. The doorway on its east side is like that in the north wall of the western range described above, and is probably of Langley's time. Both Canon Raine. and Mr. Hutchinson,1 however, considered the building to be comparatively modern, with old materials reused in it. This view is confirmed by the fact that no place for it can be found in either of the sixteenth-century surveys. If the length of 140 feet, which both surveys give as the length of the western range, be taken as its external length, and measured along its eastern face, the south wall of the range would have occupied the site of the north wall of the existing building. If, on the other hand, the 140 feet be taken as an internal length, the south end of the western range would overlap the northern part of the existing building, and may have extended to the south face of Langley's gateway. In neither case, however, could the western range have included the present building. The non-existence of this building when the survey of 1561 was made seems to be indicated by its mention of "a wall of bryck, runyng from the gate of this syde" (Langley's gateway) "to ye barne-wards, of lj fote long, besides a brode gatewaye therin, agenst which hathe been a brewhouse and bakehouse; of which is now left no mensyon."2 The building, or at any 1 Yorkshire Archæological Journal, ix, 2 Raine, op. cit., 299.


rate one of the same plan, existed when the ordnance map of 1847 was made; its west side is raised upon what I take to be a medieval wall, and its north wall was probably built after the western range was destroyed,1 when the building was apparently altered to serve the uses mentioned above.

The survey of 1561 gives the dimensions of the court as 126 feet from north to south, and 186 feet from east to west.2 As the plan (fig. 1) shows, the court was irregular in shape, but its width from north to south along its eastern side is almost exactly the 126 feet of the survey. Its length from east to west, measured along a line opposite J (fig. 1), is about 186 feet.

To the south of the buildings which formed the south side of the court was a pasture or close within several hedges and ditches; "within the myddest of which ground, enclosed wt a great ditche," was an orchard, "wt a fruite house sett on the north side of the same, over a drawebrydge at the entry into the same orcherd." The fruit-house still exists, some 80 yards to the south of the south range, although, as Canon Raine said, it has been much tampered with, and the drawbridge has been replaced by a permanent arch. Its north wall, 12 feet 6 inches long, of large ashlar, is complete up to the top of its moulded cornice, and contains a doorway, 5 feet wide, with a low four-centred arch, the mouldings of which die into the splayed jambs. It is of (or near) Langley's time.


At the orcherd end, betwene the manor and the fruite house," was a large barn, with a high roof, which the survey of 1577 says had been "uncovered by the commandment of the said late busshopp "'5 (Pilkington). No trace of this remains.

The survey of 1577 shows that even by that time the buildings had been allowed to get into bad repair, and, with the abandonment of the house as a residence of the bishops, its ruin was only a question of time. Skirlaw's hall, with its porch, has survived because it has been converted into a dwellinghouse; the other walls have survived because they served as boundaries; and Langley's gateway by some good fortune has been preserved.

1 On account of its uncertain character, the building is shaded as modern on the plan (fig. 1).

2 Raine, op. cit., 297.

3 Survey of 1561, ibid., 300.

Ibid., 300.

5 Ibid., 301.

6 Cf. Yorks. Archæol. Journal, ix, 392.

The surveys brought to light by Canon Raine have made it possible to understand the relation of these fragmentary remains. The house was one of some considerable importance and size. As in other great houses of its time, the hall was the chief and central feature of its plan. From its upper end extended the rooms occupied by the bishop and his suite-the parlour, the great chamber, the chapel, the bishop's lodging, and the rest. From the lower end of the hall extended the kitchen department, while the two other sides of the court were enclosed by buildings of less importance, comprising rooms, stables, and inferior offices. Much of the more important building seems to have been the work of the two great bishops, Skirlaw and Langley, who also left their mark on the great church of Howden.




DURING the Middle Ages the few public highroads of England, which dated as far back as the Roman occupation, and the streets of cities and towns, were in a primitive state of repair. The almost impassable condition of the roads cannot easily be imagined by the twentieth-century citizen, who is so accustomed to irreproachable and systematically macadamised thoroughfares.

In the rural districts innumerable streams flowed through the roads; and during rainy seasons, floods and immense pools of water impeded the passage of travellers, who not infrequently were drowned. These highways were persistently neglected, brambles and other shrubs encroached upon the tracks, and even forest trees were allowed to grow up and hinder the safe passage of wayfarers. The ruts and quags were deep, baggage wagons and carts were often overturned, and the drivers killed; and many a palfrey stumbled and threw its rider into the muddy cesspools. Great indifference prevailed, and the uneven state of the highways went from bad to worse.

Many roads were unsuitable for vehicular traffic, and were mere bridle-paths or jagger-tracks. By these ways the common carrier, with sumpter horses, conveyed cloth and merchandise; and fish from the seaports was often brought to inland towns packed in panniers.

Wealthy people sometimes used a cumbersome covered car, and ladies were occasionally carried in two-horse litters; but the majority of wayfarers, even women, journeyed on horseback. Guides were also requisitioned by those who could. afford to pay for such a luxury; and the safe return of a pilgrim or traveller was an event often commented upon with thankfulness.

Payments to guides are frequently mentioned amongst the privy purse expenses of Elizabeth, the Queen of Henry VII; the following items appear :

[ocr errors]

13th Sept., 1502. Itm. the same day to a guyde that guyded the Quenes grace from Cotes place to Fayreford, viijd."

"Itm. the same day to Richard Justice, page of the robys, for money by him payed to a guyde that went from Monmouth, foure myles bakeward towards Flexley Abbey, to guyde a wayne laden with stuf of the warderobe of the robys that was broken to Monmouth forsaid, viijd."

"Itm. the same day to John Staunton, for money by him payed to a man that guyded the Quene from Flexley Abbey to Troye besides Monmouth, iijs. iiijd."

26th Feb., 1503. "Itm. for horse hyre and to guydes by nyght and day, ijs. iiijd.”1

The transmission of royal treasure was a hazardous undertaking, and wagons drawn by six horses, guarded sometimes by scores of crossbowmen, passed from place to place with difficulty. In the 12th of Edward III, £200 was sent from York to Newcastle; the journey was performed on the 6th, 7th, and the 8th of December. The money was carried in panniers on a horse's back, and there were, besides the driver, two men at arms, and four archers to guard it.2

The thoroughfares and byways of towns and cities were loathsome and deep with offensive matter, and were a constant danger to health and life. There were certain places appointed as common dunghills, or "muckhills," where citizens, who cared to, could deposit their refuse; but invariably in front of dwelling-houses were dunghills appurtenant to them, which were cleared away at long intervals, and then only by official orders. Corporations delegated the duty of keeping the streets clean to the citizens at large, but as they failed to perform this necessary duty, the streets remained dirty and unkept.

One of the ordinances of Worcester, dated Sept. 14, 1467, bearing upon this subject, reads: "Also that euery man kepe his soyle clene ayenst his tenement, and his pauyment hole, in peyne of xld., half to be payde to the Bayllies, and the other half to the comyn tresor."

The modern street of Stonegate, York, is on the line of one of the chief roads, or thoroughfares, which traversed the Roman camp of Eburacum. A few feet below the surface of the

roadway the old Roman paved and concreted road has been

1 Privy Purse Expenses of Elizabeth

of York, Nicloas, 1830.

2 Notes respecting Early Travelling and the Transmission of Treasure, by the

Rev. J. Hunter, F.S.A. Memoirs of
York, 1846.



English Guilds, Toulmin Smith, p.

« PreviousContinue »