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A discovery of considerable interest was made in the first week of August by General Pitt-Rivers, who is engaged in making further investigations with the view of definitely ascertaining the approximate date of Wans Dyke. Although his finds last year pointed to a pre-Roman work, nothing certain could be said on the matter. On the present occasion, however, a light has been thrown on the subject which proves beyond all doubt that the work is Roman or post-Roman. On Monday, August 4, about eight feet below the level, amongst other things brought to the surface were two pieces of Samian ware. They were found in that part of the earth which was thrown up when the Dyke was constructed, and as Samian ware was introduced into Britain by the Romans, it conclusively proves that those people must have been here before the cutting was made. In addition to the Samian ware, an iron clamp was found in the same place, such as was used to fasten the leather harness of the Romans, and similar to many which have been unearthed at Bokerly Dyke and at the Romano-British villages in that neighbourhood. Thus, thanks to the indefatigable efforts of General Pitt-Rivers, there is clear and convincing proof that the earthwork of Wans Dyke is post-Roman. It is difficult to assign an exact date, but it is probable that it was somewhere between A.D. 200 and 400 that the Dyke was made.
ရှာ An interesting discovery of extensive wallpaintings at the church of St. Breage, near Helston, Cornwall, has recently been made by the vicar, Rev. Jocelyn Barnes. At present they have only been partially uncovered. The paintings include a great St. Christopher about 11 feet high, and a large Crucifixion, which is described as "surrounded with emblems of different trades, connected with His body by jets of blood." We expect that, in the latter case, the picture will turn out to be, on more careful examination, a portrayal of the Seven Sacraments, which were usually in medieval wall-painting thus linked with the Sacred Wounds. A figure of St. Conentinus, the first Bishop of Cornwall, who died in 401, has also been uncovered; he is represented vested in a cope, pastoral staff in left hand, and giving the benediction with the right hand. By his side is a fish.
The preliminary excavations on the site of the Montgomeryshire Abbey of Strata Marcella, to which we alluded in our last issue, have now been made, and have yielded encouraging results. We sincerely hope that Mr. Morris C. Jones, F.S.A., and Mr. Stephen Williams, who are in charge of the work, will meet with such a response to their appeal as to enable them to satisfactorily carry out their labours. The work already done gives evidence of a fine conventual church, with a nave 50 feet in width, and of imposing proportions. To the north of the chancel a flagged space about 25 feet square has been exposed. The minor discoveries include a curious round boss of worked bronze, a piece of finely-worked silver gilt, many fragments of stained glass, and a large number of tiles that pertain to thirteen distinct patterns. Ten of the tile patterns are the same as those recently found by Mr. Stephen Williams at Strata Florida.
the fingers of one hand?), whose innate antiquarian perceptions enable them to be safely entrusted with the work of reparation of our ancient fabrics. In lowering the nave to its old level, the base of the font was discovered. The font itself, wherein presumably the famous Andrew Marvel was baptized, had been for a long time desecrated as a horse-trough, but has been now restored to sacred use. The body of the pulpit and the sounding-board are old, and a new pulpit staircase has been made out of the old altar-rails. The oldfashioned pews have been converted into a dado which runs round the nave and aisle, and the handsome oak chancel screen has been carefully repaired and reinstated in its proper place, with the addition of a vaulted loft and cornice.
The old borough seal of Colchester, which dates from about the year 1400, is stated by the authorities of the College of Arms to be the finest borough seal in the country. The College has been consulted in consequence of the proposal to make a new seal after the pattern of the old, but more convenient for the purpose of application to modern docu
de ရာ ရာ Brief reference was made last month to the recovery of the original Brazen Nose of Brasenose College, Oxford. Antony Wood and Camden both tell the story of the migration of Oxford scholars to Stamford in the year 1334, owing to a riotous feud. The students of Brasenose Hall, as it was then called, departed in a body to Stamford, taking with them a knocker consisting of a bronze nose, the emblem of their collegiate society. At the Lincolnshire town they built a new Brasenose Hall, and fastened on the chief gateway this nose of brass. After the return of the students to Oxford, the buildings passed into the hands of the corporation of Stamford; but in 1688 the college was all demolished, save only the ancient doorway. The house erected on the site subsequently passed into private hands, together with the doorway, door, and knocker. At a recent sale of this property Brasenose College happily became its purchaser, and hence have recovered and restored to Oxford, after an absence of five and a half centuries, the knocker wrenched
from its position by the hastily departing students of the fourteenth century. With regard to this emblem, "A. J. B." writes to the Guardian, that in appearance the knocker bears every sign of the very greatest antiquity. It is in the form of a lion's mask of bronze, with an iron ring through the mouth. There is a circular iron plate at the back, which, if not contemporary, is certainly very ancient. The brows of the lion are boldly projected and the teeth are rudely engraved, though the face as a whole is well modelled; while the nose is by no means so prominent a feature as to justify the caricaturing image of more modern times. Where the iron ring issues from the corners of the mouth it is embellished on each side with a roughly indicated bird's, or gryphon's, or serpent's head, something like those on the sanctuary knocker at Durham. These have a decidedly Norman look, and altogether there is little hesitation in assigning the knocker to a date at least as early as the twelfth century.
An epitaph in Ecclefechan graveyard reads
HE DIED APRILE· Ye 4th
1749 AGED 57.
Local tradition asserts that this "Robert Peal" was an ancestor of Sir Robert Peel, the inference being that the great prime minister, if not quite an Egglefechan man like Thomas Carlyle, was at least of Egglefechan blood.
ရာ de ရာ
It will gladden the hearts of all true antiquaries to learn that the eminent ecclesiastical lawyer (Dr. Jeune, Q.C.), whose opinion was taken with regard to the legality of using the bequest of the late Mr. Needham for demolishing the chancel of Chapel-en-le-Frith church and building a new one, has clearly pronounced against the lawfulness of such a use according to the terms of the bequest. The hands of the spoiler have, therefore, for a time been stayed, and we trust will be eventually checkmated. The longer the
The oldest and most influential member of the Society of Antiquaries, John Clayton, F.S.A., of the Chesters, has passed away since our last number went to press. At the meeting of the society held on July 30, an interesting memorial paper was appropriately read by the veteran Dr. Bruce. The first paper which he gave to the Newcastle Society was dated November 6, 1843, and describes the excavation of a fine series of chambers near the east rampart of the station of Cilurnum. His next paper described the mile castle at Cawfields. The excavation of that castle was a most important event; up to that time the structure of these castles on the line of the wall had not in any way been understood. The uncovering of the Roman Bridge on the North Tyne; the laying bare of the walls, gates, and streets of the station of Borcovicus; the excavation of the gates and forum of Cilurnum; and the finding of the bronze tablet conferring the freedom of Rome upon certain troops serving in Britain, were some of the more striking works in which this eminent antiquary was engaged.
It is with great and most sincere regret that we here briefly chronicle the death, on August 2, at his house at Strood, of that venerable, accomplished, and amiable Kentish Antiquary, Mr. Charles Roach Smith, F.S.A. He was born at Landguard, Isle of Wight, in 1805, and at an early age became keenly interested in antiquarian pursuits, especially of a Romano-British character. He was one of the chief founders of the British Archeological Association, and contributed, in 1845, essays to its first volume on Roman London, and Numismatics. From that period, up to the very year of his death, Mr. Roach Smith was a most assiduous and painstaking writer on archæology. The Isle of Wight, and the counties of Berks, Wilts, and Kent were the chief fields of his investigation. In addition to contributing frequently to the Archæologia, to the journals of various provincial archæological societies, to the Athenæum, Gentleman's Magazine, and other periodicals, he was also the editor of the Inventorium Sepulchrale. He further wrote the Antiquities of Richborough, Illustrations of Roman London, and six volumes of the Collectanea Antiqua. His important collection of London antiquities is in
the British Museum, where, with his own catalogue, it was placed in 1856. We are glad to think that his exceptional and longcontinued labours as an antiquary met with a graceful recognition in the spring of the present year, when a committee was formed under the chairmanship of Dr. Evans, president of the Society of Antiquaries, for the purpose of striking a gold medal in Mr. Roach Smith's honour, the balance of the fund to be handed to him, "in recognition of his lifelong and invaluable services in the cause of archæology."
ရာ Mr. Roach Smith was a not infrequent contributor to the columns of the Antiquary; his last contribution of any length was a paper on the "Roman Walls of Chester," that appeared in February, 1889. When a new series of the Antiquary was started at the beginning of the current year, it was with the hearty goodwill of Mr. Roach Smith, who wrote a kindly note, prophetic of success, to the present editor. When the circular was issued, Mr. Roach Smith, in good-humoured banter, objected to being styled "veteran, and wrote: "I hope to contribute to the new series of the Antiquary for years to come. Of course I am old, but why call me 'veteran'? It sounds as if I was on the shelf." Several of the "Notes of the Month" of the present year are from his pen. His last letter to us was about a projected paper-a paper, alas,
that he did not live to finish. R. I. P.
Notes of the Month (Foreign).
POMPEII was again visited by Prof. Halbherr on August 1, when he found the large house he described in our last number not yet completely excavated. The fresh works, however, had revealed the existence of another corridor leading from the upper city, near which was a passage giving access to a small chapel, very low and narrow, having an altar, probably for the Lares. On a small ledge before the altar can still be seen, undisturbed, a terra-cotta lamp and several
small vases, probably for incense and perfumes, together with some other terra-cotta fragments, but without mark or inscription of any kind.
Prof. Sogliano, of the University of Naples, who is now directing the excavations at Pompeii, intends continuing them along the line of walls at the furthest end of the prehistoric mound of lava, in the direction of the sea gate (the present entrance to Pompeii), thus insulating the Basilica, and later on the porta marina itself, which forms one of the most interesting characteristics of the city. * ✶ ✶ The floral decorations of the wainscot band of marble, serpentine, etc., mentioned last month, have now been taken down from the wall, and are being fixed, together with the dedicatory inscriptions, all found last June, in the small museum at Pompeii. * * *
Sig. Fiorelli announces the discovery of fresh inscriptions belonging to the fourth and fifth centuries, from the soldiers' burial-place at Concordia-Sagittaria, which throw very welcome light on the state of the Roman army towards the end of the Empire. Some of the tituli are inscribed on stones, which had already been used for the same purpose in the days of the first Cæsars. One precious fragment of classic times thus accidentally preserved to us by the parsimony or carelessness of a later age, is an honorary dedication to P. Cominius Clemens, which confirms a conjecture of Henzen, made in reference to another Concordian inscription, that he obtained his honours under Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus.
In the Commune of Zanica, in Bergamasco, a tomb of the first age of the Empire has been discovered, containing a rich collection of funereal deposits, all of which are well preserved. They consist of glass cups, vases of terra-cotta with coralline glazing, fictile objects of local manufacture, and various pieces of iron.
* * Near Forli, Commune of Fiumana, a preRoman tomb has been disinterred, and also a bronze statuette at Villanova, Commune of Vecchiazzano, a prehistoric settlement.
In Rome the latest discoveries have been a bit of old road near the church of St. Gregory at the Botanical Gardens; fresh fragments of the dedications placed on the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus by the kings and peoples of Asia Minor, after the war with Mithridates; a fragment of the Calendar in marble; remains of the enclosure of the baths of Diocletian (in the garden of the Deaf and Dumb Institution, formerly at the Piazza di Termini); and two cippi belonging to the boundary on the right hand of the Tiber (found at the Prati di Castello). Of the last mentioned stones, one is the fourteenth of the series, and refers to the boundary fixed by Augustus, A.U.C. 747; the other, of which only the lower portion is preserved, belongs to the limit settled by Trajan, A.D. 101.
Another milestone of the Via Appia has been found at Arcorotto, near Minturno, where various antiquities and inscriptions had been found before. It belongs to the length of road between Minturno and Sinuessa, and bears the number 98 already observed on another stone now at Minturno, which is referred to the repairs of the Appian Road under Maxentius.
The death is announced of Mr. Pelopidas D. Couppa, an architect, who fell from the top of a building at Constantinople. He was a native of Cephalonia, and had become a local authority on Byzantine archeology, on which he had given lectures at the Greek Institution. He was the keeper of the collections of the Institution, which are now fairly good. His special reputation was acknowledged, and he was entrusted by the Ottoman Government in 1877 with the restoration of a mosque, the Kahrieh Jamisi. In manuscript he has left a history of Byzantine architecture, and a description of the mosque.