Archaeological Journal/Volume 1/Proceedings of the Central Committee (Part 3)

PROCEEDINGS OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE

of the

British Archaeological Association.


June 25.


Mr. C. R. Smith stated that the Council of the Numismatic Society had authorized him to present to the Association a complete set of the Proceedings of the Society, 4 vols. 8vo. London, 1836—44.

Mr. Manby exhibited two Roman bronze swords, found near the Roman wall in Northumberland, and a Norman sword found in the Thames, opposite the new houses of parliament.

Mr. Wright read a note from Mr. John Virtue, of 58, Newman-street, accompanying an exhibition of two fragments of Roman red pottery, an ivory knife-handle, an earthen jar and a glass bottle of the middle ages, an abbey counter, and a piece of “black money,” stated to have been discovered, about two years since, with a quantity of the red pottery, and a considerable number of gold, silver, and copper coins, during the formation of the Dover railway, at the depth of about 17 feet from the surface of the ground, in the immediate vicinity of Joiner-street, London Bridge.

Mr. C. R. Smith exhibited a spur and fibula in bronze, the property of Mr. Joseph Warren, of Ixworth, Suffolk. The spur is of the kind termed “prick-spur,” but differing from the Norman (to which this term is usually applied) in form, size, and general character. It is ornamented and studded with small stones, or rather coloured pastes. The ends to which the leathern straps were fastened are fashioned into the shape of animals’ heads. It was found at Pakenham, a village adjoining Ixworth. The fibula is cruciform, and four inches in length, the upper and lower parts terminating in grotesque heads. It was found at Ixworth. These two objects are considered to be either Saxon or Danish. The spur is an extremely rare specimen; the fibula is of a kind common to the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Northampton, but in the southern and western counties is not frequently met with.

Mr. Smith then read the following communications from Mr. Thomas Bateman, jun., of Bakewell, Derbyshire:—

“In making a plantation north of Kenslowe wood, near Middleton, on the 19th of May, 1828, the labourers discovered in a natural fissure in the rock some human teeth and bones, mixed with bones of rats and other animals, amongst others a boar’s tusk, all of which are now in my possession. Thinking that by making a better search something else might be discovered, in April, 1844, I cleared all the soil out of the fissure, and found amongst it some more human bones, which indicate the skeleton to be that of a female, also a large quantity of animal bones, amongst which was the skull either of a wolf or large dog. From the absence of any urn or other article, it is questionable if this can with propriety be styled a barrow, but from the fact of the discovery of human bones I have thought it worthy of record.

“On the 6th of May, 1844, I opened a barrow called Moot Lowe, situated in a rocky field of considerable elevation, about a mile south-west of Grange Mill. The barrow is about 15 yards in diameter, and about 4 feet higher than the surrounding field. We commenced cutting from the east side towards the middle, at about four yards from which we found, just under the turf, on the left-hand side of our trench, a large urn measuring about 16 inches in height, and 13 inches in diameter at the mouth; it is made of coarse and badly-baked clay, and is rudely ornamented with lines running in different directions. When found, it lay on one side, crushed to pieces from having lain so near the surface. I shall be able to restore it partially, when I shall make a drawing of it, which I will send you. Within the urn was a deposit of burnt bones, amongst which was a lance head, or dagger, of brass, measuring 31/4 inches in length, with a hole at the lower end, by which it had been riveted or otherwise fastened into the handle; it has sometime been very highly polished. It is here drawn of the original size. It is remarkable that this is the only brass dagger that I can trace as being found in the Derbyshire barrows, although it is by no means uncommon to find them in the south of England, as see Sir R. C. Hoare’s Ancient Wiltshire, vol. i. Plates 11 and 28, where two are engraved, very similar to this one. A little nearer the centre of the barrow was a skeleton, with the knees drawn up, lying on some large limestones, but unaccompanied by articles of any kind. The ground in the centre of the barrow was at least four feet lower than the natural soil, and filled up with stones without soil, but nothing was found there. Dispersed amongst the soil, of which the barrow was in part composed, were found teeth of pigs and other animals, a small fragment of an urn, some chippings of flint, and a very few rat bones. About 400 yards from the foregoing barrow there was another small barrow, likewise called Moot Lowe, which was formerly opened by Mr. Gill, who (as I am informed) found some articles of gold there. There is now very little of the barrow remaining; however, I examined it on the 6th of May, and found a few human bones and teeth, which had evidently belonged to two skeletons, and a few animal bones also.

“On the 8th of May, 1844, I opened a barrow called Sliper Lowe, situated on Brassington Moor. It is about twelve yards in diameter, but very low, being raised scarcely more than a foot above the ground: it is probably reduced in height by having been ploughed over; indeed, I am pretty confident that such is the case, as we found human bones &c. scattered all over the surface of the barrow, just under the turf, and broken into small pieces, no doubt by being dragged about by the ploughshare. We cut trenches through it in different directions, and found that it was raised upon the rock. On coming to the middle, we found a deposit of burnt bones, with two flint arrow-heads and two other instruments of flint. Proceeding a little deeper, we discovered a cist cut in the rock, which contained a very fine urn of clay rather under-baked, and ornamented in a very uncommon and tasteful manner, measuring 71/2 inches in height and 53/4 inches in diameter at the mouth. Under the urn, and at the bottom of the cist, lay the skeleton of a young person, apparently about ten years of age. In most of the trenches we cut were found human bones, which had belonged to three skeletons at the least, also teeth and bones of various animals, rats, &c. We also found the skull of a foumart or polecat, the same as those found in the barrow at Bull Hill, August 24th, 1843, five instruments and various chippings of flint, a fragment apparently of a stone celt, and a fragment of white pottery with a green glaze, all scattered about the barrow at an inconsiderable depth.

“On the 10th of May, 1844, I made a farther examination of Galley Lowe, which I first opened on the 30th of June, 1843. We opened two trenches in the thicker end, which is raised about five feet above the ground, and which consists mostly of loose stones, held up by a row of large limestones set edgeways near the bottom. In one of the trenches, about three feet from the top of the barrow, and amongst the loose stones, was found a human skeleton, and near it, on a flat stone, a deposit of burnt bones. About a yard farther on, at the same depth, was another skeleton, evidently that of a very young man: both of them were unaccompanied by any kind of articles. In the other trench nothing was found. In filling up again a small piece of a coarse urn was found.

“On the 10th of June, 1844, I opened a barrow situated in a field on Elton Moor, by cutting through it in two different directions, so as to leave very little of it unexplored. About the level of the ground, in the centre, we found a few human bones, which had been before disturbed, some animal teeth, a large flint arrow or spear head, and a piece of a small urn, neatly ornamented. When near the south side of the barrow, and about eighteen inches below the surface of the natural soil, we came to the skeleton of an aged person, the bones of which were very much decayed; near the head was a small fragment of wood, of a half-circular shape, encased with iron (it was at first like the half of a small egg, the iron being the shell, but it got broke, and I have obtained only a small piece of it); behind the skeleton was an urn of badly baked clay, very neatly ornamented, which had been crushed by the weight of the soil, with which it was in some measure incorporated. Inside the urn were found, all in a heap, one red and two light-coloured pebbles, an article of iron ore, polished, which was most probably used as an amulet, (one of the same material, and something like it, was found in Galley Lowe last year,) a small celt of grey flint, a cutting instrument of grey flint, beautifully chipped, no less than twenty-one flints of the circular-ended shape, most of which are very neatly chipped, and fifteen pieces of flint of various shapes, some of them arrow-heads. Very few rats’ bones were found in this barrow, but there were some burnt bones scattered about the last-mentioned skeleton.”

Mr. Wm. B. Bradfield, of Winchester, forwarded a notice of a recent discovery of indications of foundations of a building of considerable extent in the meadow on the south-east side of Winchester college. The lines of foundations, owing to the long continuance of dry weather, are very distinctly discernible, the grass growing on them being withered and brown, while that on the ground adjoining remains fresh and green. Mr. Bradfield considers they are the remains of the chapel attached to the college of St. Elizabeth, founded in 1301, by John de Pontissara, bishop of Winchester.

Mr. Way exhibited some drawings by Mr. J. B. Jackson, representing, No. 1, an artificial mound of earth in the centre of the village of Oye, near Flekkefjord, adjoining the Naze of Norway; No. 2, a circle of stones, which, according to oral tradition, was used by the people of that village for judicial proceedings; No. 3, sketches of churches in the district of Siredale, and of large fragments of stones (apparently portions of Celtic monuments) in Dorsetshire.

Read a note from Mr. G. B. Richardson:—"While the workmen were removing some panelling at the Altar of the church of St. Nicholas, Newcastle-on-Tyne, during some late alterations, they found under the two southernmost mullions of the east window a line sculptured tablet sunk into the wall, representing the crucifixion, surmounted by a beautiful moulding, and inscribed in black letter Merci Jhsu. The face of the sculpture is miserably destroyed; probably, in 1783, the workmen chipped it off in order to obtain a flat surface for the panelling. The stone, which appears to have been monumental, is about 51/2 feet in height."

July 10.

Mr. Wright read a letter from Mr. Robert Cole, of Tokenhouse-yard, accompanying an ancient bronze spur of the Norman period, richly ornamented and set with coloured stones, which had been recently dug up in the Isle of Skye at Monkstot. Mr. Cole remarks, "Mugstot, or Monkstodt, is the seat of the Macdonald family, who now represent the celebrated 'Kings of the Isles,' and the spur, I understand, was found near to the ruins of the castle of Durtulm, the stronghold of those warlike chiefs."

Mr. Wright exhibited a wood carving, supposed to be of the end of the fifteenth century, representing the entombment of Christ, now in the possession of Mr. John Virtue, of 58, Newman-street.

Mr. Croker stated that he had communicated with Captain Brandreth on the subject of the Saxon barrows destroyed in Greenwich Park, and that great exaggerations and misrepresentations had appeared in the public prints. It appears that only twelve barrows had been cleared away, and that the Government has, at a sacrifice of 850l., selected another situation for the reservoir. Mr. Croker added, that the authorities had expressed their readiness to forward the objects of the Association in every way in their power.

Dr. Bromet read a letter from Thomas Brighthomeby, treasurer of the committee for the preservation of the ancient Gothic building raised over St. Winefred's Well at Holywell, stating the measures which had been taken to secure the objects of that committee, and expressing a wish to have the name of the British Archæological Association in the list of subscribers. Mr. Pettigrew having made a statement of the present condition of the funds of the Association, it was moved by Mr. Croker, seconded by Mr. Wright, and resolved, that in the present stage of the formation of the Association it would not be advisable to begin to subscribe money towards the restoration of buildings.

Mr. Wright read a letter from Mr. Ferrey, respecting some important renovations now taking place in Wells cathedral. Mr. Ferrey promises to lay before the Committee a report of any discoveries that may in consequence be made.

July 24.

Mr. Croker read the following letter from the Rev. Thomas Dean to Albert Way, Esq., respecting the state of Little Malvern church, Worcestershire.

Colwall Green, near Ledbury, May 31, 1844.

Sir,—I beg to draw your attention, and through you the attention of the members of the British Archæological Association, to the state of Little Malvern church, situate in the county and diocese of Worcester. Notwithstanding the silent ravages of time and the rude hand of the spoliator, this church contains many very valuable remains of medieval piety, and many interesting specimens of Christian ornament, which are highly deserving of preservation. The entire restoration of this church is an object more to be desired than expected, but even that is not impossible, and would certainly reflect much honour and consolation to any benevolent individual or association invested with sufficient means and taste and skill to restore its ancient proportions. The east window is a rich specimen of the painted glass of the fifteenth century. It is coeval with the rebuilding of the church by Bishop Alcock about the year 1450. This window originally contained what might be considered a continuous history of the royal family of Edward IV. Several of the compartments are still nearly perfect, and a judicious hand would probably be able to restore the whole. The royal arms, those of Beauchamp, of Woodville, and of Alcock, then bishop of Worcester, and probably formerly prior of Little Malvern, are nearly perfect. So are also the figures of the queen and of Prince Edward, afterwards Edward V., who was murdered in the Tower. Another compartment, nearly perfect, contains the figures of three daughters of Edward IV., the eldest of whom, the Princess Elizabeth, afterwards became queen of Henry VII., and united the hostile houses of York and Lancaster; she is dressed in rich attire, and affords one of the finest specimens now remaining of the female costume of that age.

The chancel contains some interesting specimens of the tiles of the fifteenth century and a few of much earlier date.

In the window which is inserted in the arch of the south aisle there is a most beautiful specimen of painted glass, taken from some part of the ancient church, which is probably a representation of the first person in the Godhead; this figure is nearly perfect, and the exquisite beauty of it is unique.

The church originally consisted of a chancel, nave, two transepts, two side chapels, and a sacristy or holy chapel behind the Altar, of which there now remains only the chancel and part of the nave, the remainder is entirely in ruins and overgrown with ivy. Portions of the entire walls and windows remain and may easily be traced. The rood-beam is of beautiful workmanship and with the miserere seats and chancel-screen require attention. The pulpit and reading-desk are in a sadly dilapidated and wretched state. Some of the pews are of the most offensive character and disfigure the building.

The decency requisite for the due service of Almighty God demands that something should immediately be done to restore this interesting church, which has suffered so much from civil and religious discord; but when the state of the parish and of the living, only a perpetual curacy of £44. 10s. per annum, is taken into consideration, it is evident that local means are inadequate to so extensive a work. There are also difficulties of a nature which may in some degree militate against any effort to restore the ancient Christian dignity of this venerable structure, but I trust these will yield to the influence of proper feeling, and no longer embarrass the efforts to renovate this splendid monument of the zeal and piety of our ancestors. And to God alone be the glory.

If it be in your power to lay these particulars before the members of the Archæological Association, you will perform an act of Christian philanthropy, and may afford some pious individual an opportunity to render service in the holy cause of religion, by restoring the whole or some part of this interesting structure; or at all events you may have an opportunity of drawing such attention to the church as may tend to preserve the ancient and historical monuments recorded in the windows, on the floor, and in the carved work, and at the same time rescue this temple of Almighty God from further dilapidation, and from that culpable neglect to which it has for so many years been subjected.

Messrs. Cocks and Biddulph, bankers, 43, Charing Cross, London, will kindly receive any donation or contribution for the restoration of Little Malvern church, and any further information will gratefully be given on application to the Rev.Thomas Dean, Col wall Green, near Ledbury, Herefordshire.

I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient humble servant,

THOMAS DEAN,
Perpetual Curate of Little Malvern.

Albert Way, Esq., Honorary Secretary, &c.

Reference having been made to former proceedings, resolved, with consideration particularly of the minutes of the last meeting, "that in the present stage of the formation of the Association, it would not be advisable to begin to subscribe money towards the restoration of buildings." But it was the wish of the meeting that Mr. Dean's letter should be answered by the Secretary, assuring him of the interest the Association felt in the preservation of Little Malvern church, and expressing their regret that the state of their funds does not enable them to contribute to its support, but that they would call public attention to his communication in the Archæological Journal.

A spur and stirrup, apparently Norman, were exhibited by Mr. J. Perdue, jun., found at the bottom of Cottenton's hill, Kingsclere, while making a trench.

Read, a letter from Mr. Goddard Johnson to Mr. C. R. Smith, with a drawing of a "Gypeyere," or ancient English stretcher for a purse or pouch. Mr. Johnson observes:—"The article was formerly known by the name of 'Gypeyere,' and is noticed under this name in the 'Promptorium Parvulorum,' edited by Mr. Way, as well as by others. It consisted of a purse or pouch attached to the stretcher by sewing thereto, through the holes; the pouch was commonly of leather, and frequently of silk with other costly ornaments. We retain two old sayings to this day which relate to and had their origin from the above articles, and which we use without being generally aware of the derivation, namely, the term 'Cutpurse,' the article in question being formerly worn suspended from a girdle round the waist, from whence the purse or pouch was cut off by the thieves of that time, in lieu of which we now have 'pick-pockets.' Another saying—on the frequent application for money by the tax and rate gatherers, as well as others, we have the common remark of 'one had always need to have one's purse at the girdle.' There is another set of articles which require a further elucidation of their history and use than has come under my notice, I mean those known by the name of 'roundels' and 'lots,' of which an account is given in Gent. Mag., vol. lxiii. pp. 398, 1187; lxiv. 407, 8, 9; lxvii. 281, and lxix. 498. In vol. lxiii. they are called 'lots.' Notwithstanding what is said in the above references, something more is yet required to throw further light upon them."

Mr. Crofton Croker then stated to the meeting with reference to the minutes of the committee of June 12, June 25, and July 10th, that he had communicated with the Hon. Sidney Herbert, Secretary of the Admiralty, respecting the alleged destruction of the barrows in Greenwich Park, and that Mr. Herbert informed him he had already explained this matter in the House of Commons. "The facts of the case," Mr. Croker observed, "were briefly these. A tank or reservoir for water being required for the protection of Deptford Dock-yard and Greenwich Hospital in case of fire, a site was sought by the Admiralty on Blackheath, and selected on a spot considered to be most likely to be generally unobjectionable. The Board of Admiralty, however, finding that the expression of popular opinion was against any encroachment whatever upon the heath, which was regarded as public property, notwithstanding such encroachment would have been made for the security of public works, and that a suggestion had been offered at a public meeting, that as Greenwich Park was the property of the Crown, it was the proper place for the intended tank, the Secretary of the Admiralty was directed to communicate with the earl of Lincoln. Lord Lincoln having represented the case to the Princess Sophia, her Royal Highness' consent was obtained for the appropriation of the least frequented portion of Greenwich Park for the formation of this reservoir. The spot selected under these instructions in the park being objected to on the part of the parishioners, the works which had been commenced were stopped as soon as possible. It appears that out of the thirty-six barrows, some of which had been formerly opened, twelve barrows had been "topped" by the workmen, but upon a feeling of interest being expressed for their preservation, the workmen had not only been taken off, but ordered to replace the earth upon the same spots from which it had been removed, and a negotiation had now secured, it was hoped, another site for the tank outside of Greenwich Park."

August 14.

Monsieur Lecointre-Dupont, of Poitiers, foreign member, presented, 1. 'Séances Générales tenues en 1843 par la Société Française pour la Conservation des Monuments Historiques,' 8vo. Caen, 1843. 2. 'Bulletins de la Société des Antiquaires de l'Ouest,' Années, 1844—46. Premier et deuxième trimestre de 1844, 8vo. Poitiers. Mons. Lecointre-Dupont also forwarded, through Mr. C. R. Smith, a tracing of a drawing of a very curious object in fine gold discovered two leagues from Poitiers, in March. It weighs about 111/2 ounces, is 21 inches in length, 5 inches in diameter at one end, and 11/2 at the other. It exhibits in form a divided cone, adorned with bands, charged alternately with four rows of pellets and ornaments, formed of four concentric circles, each band being separated by fillets. It has been cast entire at once, for there is no appearance of solder or rivet, and the ornaments have been struck from within outwards. It exhibits no appearance of any mode of suspension. Mons. L.-Dupont writes, "To what people and epoch does this object belong, and what was its use, are questions to which I call your attention and that of the British Archæological Association. For my part I am tempted to assign this valuable relic to the Gauls, and I am pleased to find that M. Raoul Rochette, to whom it has been submitted, is of the same opinion. The general notion is, that it is a quiver, but in this I do not concur, believing rather that it may have been an ornament. I shall be happy to have your opinion on the subject, and to know if similar objects have been found in England."

Mr. Redmond Anthony, of Piltown, Ireland, exhibited drawings of a bronze circular fibula, found near Carrick bay, co. Waterford; a white marble inkstand, found in the ruins of the seven churches, co. Wicklow; and an urn in baked clay, ornamented with two bands of hexagonal indentations, found near Clonmore, co. Kilkenny, all of which are now in the Piltown museum.

Mr. C. R. Smith exhibited a female head in freestone, discovered during recent excavations for houses adjoining the church of St. Matthew in Friday Street. This piece of sculpture had been used as a building stone in a wall about eight feet below the present surface. The work, of the time of Henry III., or Edward I., resembles that of the well known effigies of Eleanor; the head bears a trefoil crown; the face has apparently been painted in flesh-colour; the eye-brows and eye-lids are painted black, and the pupils of the eyes retain a dark-coloured composition. Coins of the early Edwards and of Henry III. were also found during these excavations together with earthen cups and other articles of the same period. At a more advanced depth many Roman remains were discovered, together with walls of houses and vestiges of a tessellated pavement.

Mr. Smith also exhibited a bronze enamelled Roman fibula of elegant shape, and a British brass coin recently found at Springhead, near Southfleet, Kent, in the garden of Mr. Sylvester, who had kindly forwarded them for examination. Mr. Smith remarked that the coin was of considerable interest, being an additional variety to the British series. The obverse (incuse) bears a horse, and between the legs the letters cac; the reverse, (convex,) a wheat-ear dividing the letters cam, Camulodunum, which so frequently occur upon the coins of Cunobelin. Several British and a great number of Roman coins have heretofore been found with other Roman remains at Springhead. In the field adjoining Mr. Sylvester's property the foundations of Roman buildings are very extensive, and in dry summers the walls of numerous small houses or of a large villa, (probably the former,) are clearly defined by the parched herbage. Advantage might be taken of these indications for making excavations to investigate the remains, at a trifling cost, and with a certain prospect of success.

Mr. Wright gave an account of the opening of barrows in Bourne Park, near Canterbury, the seat of Lord Albert Conyngham.

"The hills running to the south of Bourne Park are covered with low barrows, which from their shape and contents, and a comparison with those found in other parts of Kent, appear to be the graves of the earlier Saxon settlers in this district. Three barrows within the park, on the top of the hill in front of the house, were opened on Wednesday the 24th of June, in presence of Lord Albert Conyngham, Sir Henry Dryden, Mr. Roach Smith, and myself. Several of them had previously been opened by his lordship, but the only article found in them was one boss of a shield; it would appear as though the nature of the soil (chalk) had here entirely destroyed the deposit.

"We first opened a large barrow, which appeared to have been rifled at some former period. Here, as in all Saxon barrows, the deposit is not in the mound itself, but in a rectangular grave dug into the chalk. At the top of the grave were found two portions of bones of the leg, and at the bottom a fragment of a skull (in the place where the head must originally have been placed), some teeth (which were at the foot of the grave), some other fragments of bones, a small piece of the blade of a sword, and an iron hook exactly resembling those on the lower rim of the bucket described below. At each of the four upper corners of the grave, was a small excavation in the chalk, which was filled with the skulls and bones of mice, with the remains of seed, &c., which had served them for food, mixed with a quantity of fine mould apparently the remains of some decomposed substance. From the condition of the bones and seed, they would appear to be much more modern than the original deposit, but it is a remarkable circumstance that the same articles are found in so many of the barrows here and on the Breach Downs. The grave itself was of large dimensions, being about fourteen feet long, between six and seven broad, and somewhat more than three in depth, independent of the superincumbent mound.

"The next barrow opened was a smaller one, adjacent to the former, of which the elevation was so small as to be scarcely distinguishable from the surrounding ground. The grave was filled, like No. 1, with the chalk which had been dug out of the original excavation. The body, which was perhaps that of a female, and the various articles which it had once contained, were entirely decomposed. A small mass of dark-coloured earth a little above the shoulder, apparently decomposed wood, seemed to be the remains of a small box. The bones were distinctly traced by the colour of the earth, a small fragment of the skull being all that remained entire, and from the quantity of black mould which occupied the place of the body, resembling that which in other places was found to have resulted from the decomposition of wood, we may be led to suppose that the body was placed in a wooden chest. Another large quantity of similar black mould lay together in an elongated form on the left side of the body towards the foot of the grave. In the corner to the right of the feet were found some fragments of small hoops imbedded in wood.

Archaeological Journal, Volume 1, 0272a.png

Fig. 1. Section of two adjacent Barrows (Nos. 1 and 2)

"This small barrow lay on the east side of the one first opened. The last barrow opened was a large one to the west of the first barrow. In the accompanying section, Nos. 1 and 2 are the first and third barrows. In this last barrow we again found the small holes at the corners of the grave, but they were turned towards the sides instead of being turned towards the ends; and they also contained bones of mice. This grave was nearly as long as the first, about a foot deeper, and rather broader in proportion to its length. The floor was very smoothly cut in the chalk, and was surrounded by a narrow gutter, which was not observed in the others. It was not filled with the chalky soil of the spot, but with fine mould brought from a distance, and this was
Fig. 2. Plan of the Grave.
probably the cause of the better preservation of the articles contained in it. The second figure, which is a plan of this grave, will shew the position in which these articles were found. At the foot of the grave, in the right-hand corner, had stood a bucket, of which the hoops (in perfect preservation) occupied their position one above another as if the wood had been there to support them.
Fig. 3.
This bucket (represented in fig. 3) appeared to have been about a foot high; the lower hoop was a foot in diameter, and the upper hoop exactly ten inches. A somewhat similar bucket is represented in one of the plates of Douglas's Nenia. The hooked feet appear to have been intended to support the wood, and prevent its slipping in the bucket. From the similar hook found in the grave No. 1, and the fragments of hoops in the smaller grave, I am inclined to think that similar buckets were originally placed in both. A little higher up in the grave, in the position generally occupied by the right leg of the person buried, was found a considerable heap of fragments of iron, among which were a boss of a shield of the usual Saxon form (fig. 4), a horse's bit (fig. 5), (which appears to be an article of very unusual occurrence), a buckle (fig. 7) and other things which appear to have belonged to the shield, a number of nails with large ornamental heads, with smaller nails, the latter mostly of brass. From the position of the boss, it appeared that the shield had been placed with the convex (or outer) surface downwards. Not far from these articles, at the side of the grave, was found the fragment of iron (fig. 6), consisting of a larger ring, with two smaller ones attached to it, which was either part of the horse's bridle, or of a belt. On the left-hand side of the grave was found a small piece of iron which resembled the point of some weapon. At the head of the grave, on the right-hand side, we found an elegantly shaped bowl
Fig. 8.
(fig. 8), about a foot in diameter, and two inches and a half deep, of very thin copper, which had been thickly gilt, and with handles of iron. It had been placed on its edge leaning against the wall of the grave, and was much broken by the weight of the super-incumbent earth. The only other articles found in this grave were two small round discs resembling counters, about seven-eighths of an inch in diameter, flat on one side, and convex on the other, the use of which it is impossible to conjecture, unless they were employed in some game. One was made of bone, the other had been cut out of a piece of Samian ware. The most singular circumstance connected with this grave was, that there were not the slightest traces of any body having been deposited in it; in fact, the appearances were decisive to the contrary; the only ways in which we could explain this were either that the body had been burnt, and the ashes deposited in an urn concealed somewhere in the circuit of the grave (which is not probable), or that the person to whom the grave was dedicated had been a chief killed in battle in some distant expedition, and that his friends had not been able to obtain his body. This view of the case seems to be supported by the fact that, although so many valuable articles were found in the grave, there were no traces of the long-sword and the knife generally found with the bodies of male adults in the Saxon barrows.

"The three graves lay very nearly north and south, the heads towards the south, as was the case with many of those opened in the last century by Douglas, and described in his Nenia, the variations being only such as might be expected from the rude means possessed by the early Saxon invaders for ascertaining the exact points of the compass. It may be added that among the earth with which the smaller grave was filled two small fragments of broken Roman pottery were found, which had probably been thrown in with the rubbish. It may be observed, that the different articles found in this, as in other early Saxon barrows, are of good workmanship, and by no means evince a low state of civilization."

3. A letter from Mr. George K. Blyth of North Walsham, Norfolk, giving notice of the discovery of some paintings on wood panels, on the screen of the church, and inquiring the best mode of cleaning them from a coating of paint; Mr. Smith suggested the application of a solution of potash and quick lime, in the proportions of one pound of the former and half a pound of the latter to a gallon of boiling water; the solution being extremely caustic, must be used with care, and if the external coating of paint which it may be desirable to remove be thin, diluted with water, and in all cases it is recommended first to try the solution on a small portion of the painted surface.

4. A letter from the Rev. William Dyke, of Bradley, Great Malvern, informing the Committee of the threatened destruction of an ancient encampment near Coleford, in the Forest of Dean. "The camp," Mr. Dyke states, "is that which a line drawn on the ordnance map from Coleford to St. Briavel's (near Stow) would intersect. It is elliptical, and is described as presenting marks of a hurried construction." It appears from Mr. Dyke's letter, that Mr. C. Fryer, of Coleford, is endeavouring to rescue the camp from destruction. The rocks on which it stands are being quarried for lime-burning, but there seems no reason whatever why the burner might not quarry in another direction.

5. A letter from Mr. Alfred Pryer, of Hollingbourne, Kent, respecting some ridges, presumed to be earth-works or fortifications, extending along the brow of the hills from Thornham Castle to Hollingbourne Hill. Mr. Pryer solicited instruction on the subject, in order to ascertain whether these ridges were in reality fortifications, or whether they may have been formed by the continual ploughing of the land down hill, which seems to him the less probable supposition. The Committee recommended Mr. Pryer to place himself in communication with the members of the Association residing at Maidstone, in order to make a further and more complete examination of the site.

Mr. C. R. Smith drew the attention of the Committee to some constructions recently erected in the entrances to the interior of the Roman building usually termed "The Pharos," on the east side of Dover Castle. This interesting structure, probably unique in this country, is well known to antiquaries, and had long been an object of admiration and research, for its antiquity and architectural peculiarities. It forms moreover the subject of a paper, promised to be read by Mr. M. H. Bloxam, at the approaching general meeting of the Association, which it cannot be doubted will induce many of the members attending the meeting, to avail themselves of the opportunity thus afforded to pay a personal visit to the building. They will however be debarred in common with the public from gaining access to the interior, for the entrances are all blocked up with masonry, so that admission is utterly impracticable. It is presumed that the object of this construction was to preserve the walls from the damage to which they are exposed by visitors breaking off pieces of the Roman tiles. This end, however, has not been attained; for the parts exposed to the bad taste of the public are still unprotected, while the character of the structure is destroyed, and the antiquary prohibited from seeing its most interesting features.

Mr. Parker laid before the Committee a drawing of a curious combination of a piscina and monument in the church of Long Wittenham, Berkshire.

Archaeological Journal, Volume 1, 0275.png

Piscina and Monument in Long Wittenham Church.

The monument is of diminutive size, the effigies of the knight being only two feet and two inches in length.

A note was read from Richard Sainthill, Esq., of Cork, to Mr. Smith, with pencil drawings in illustration of Irish ring-money. Mr. Sainthill remarks,—"Immense quantities of gold have been annually found in the bogs and other soils in Ireland, of a ring form, more or less perfect or circular, and various opinions have existed as to their original purpose. Most persons supposed them intended for ornaments. A few years since, Sir William Betham, Ulster king-at-arms, read a paper before the Royal Irish Academy, published in their Proceedings, and almost republished with the illustrations in the Gentleman's Magazine (not having my copy of Sir W. B.'s paper at home, I am prevented referring to its date). In this paper Sir William gave it as his opinion that these rings, which are most abundant in gold, then in copper, and very rare in silver, were money, and the smallest weight he had met with was of twelve grains, which will generally divide into the weights of all the larger; and several having lately come under my observation, I have found this to be the case. I have sent you tracings of nine silver rings, dug up near this city together in March, 1844; the weights of seven, which are perfect, are thus:—

  1. 408 grains, divided by 1234 grains
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
  1. 768 do.64
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
  1. 600 do.50
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
  1. 372 do.31
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
  1. 372 do.31
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
  1. 324 do.27
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
  1. 384 do.32
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Two were broken. I bought a small gold specimen, of which you have a tracing; this weight—168 grains, divided by 12, 14 grains. On the former sheet of tracings you had one of a copper specimen of ring-money, which also answered exactly when divided by twelve grains—2,136 grains, divided by 12, 178 grains. Our Liverpool merchants trading on the coast of Africa, at Bonney and elsewhere, send an article called a manilla, of cast-iron, shaped like the Irish copper or bronze ring-money, which is taken on the coast as money; twenty are estimated as a bar, and the bar varies in value according to circumstances, from 3s. to 4s. In the interior these manillas not only pass as money, but are used as ornaments to the person. The manillas are manufactured at Birmingham, and formerly were composed of copper and block tin."

August 28.

Mr. C. R. Smith read a letter from Mr. George K. Blyth, of North Walsham, Norfolk, announcing a satisfactory result in the application of solution of potash recommended by Mr. Smith at the last meeting of the Committee for the removal of paint from some wooden panels in North Walsham church. Mr. Blyth remarks,—"I applied the potash to all the panels, twenty in number; on eighteen I discovered figures, each with a highly and richly ornamented gold nimbus.

The first panel on the north end of the screen is blank, being painted of a rich and deep red, with gilt ornaments, with the circles formed by the foils. The panels are arched, the form being what may be termed the second, or Decorated period of Pointed architecture, the heads filled in with a cinquefoil moulding, of an apparent later date than the original screen, and painted and gilt in a rather meretricious, or perhaps what may be termed a bad-taste style. I shall now proceed to enumerate the figures, and describe them as well as I can.

2nd panel.—St. Catherine, sword in right hand, wheel in left, crowned head within a gold nimbus.
3. Female, hands placed with palms touching each other, the extremities of the fingers being together (by this I mean not clasped), a vase or urn at the feet, with plant growing from it (the plant is indistinct, but it is very probable may be intended for lilies, as there is the appearance of flowers), flowing hair; I suppose St. Mary of Egypt.
4. Winged figure, richly dressed, wings red and bluish green, kneeling, legs and feet naked, sceptre in left hand, turbaned, with ornamented cross rising from the centre of the turban, and a spiked ball or globe on each side, all gilt, hair flowing, feather hanging from sleeves.
5. St. Jude, with boat in right hand.
6. Apostle, with open book in left hand.
7. St. Philip, with basket of bread, right hand.
8. St. Thomas, with spear in right hand, attitude of prayer, standing.
9. St. James-the-More, staff in right hand.
10. Apostle, open book in left hand, I suppose St. Peter, from his countenance and figure, much defaced.
[These ten form the north part, or end of the screen, there being a continuation of the centre aisle through the screen, and no remains of door.]
11. Apostle, with clasped book in right hand, and sword in left, I suppose St. Paul, defaced.
12. St. Andrew leaning on his cross X.
13. St. John, palm-branch in right hand, and cup in left, with a serpent apparently issuing from cup. This emblem is much defaced.
14. Apostle, with an escallop in his left hand.
15. St. Bartholomew, with knife.
16. Apostle, with a plain crook.
17. St. Barbara, palm-branch in right hand, and castle or tower in left.
18. St. Mary Magdalene, with box or cap in right hand; box of spikenard, no doubt.
19. Female, crowned, within gold nimbus, holding a crossed staff in right hand, the staff of the cross appearing to terminate in what seems a mitre or mitred ornament; the cross itself springs from this ornament, and is highly ornamented and gilt. Probably the Blessed Virgin.
20. Blank, to correspond with No. 1.

The pulpit, which has been freed from an old square casing of wood, is of an octangular form, and of the later Decorated period, just prior to the introduction of the Perpendicular. It was once, no doubt, richly painted and gilt, but the panels have had so many coatings that I have been unable to ascertain whether there be any figures thereon, and the time I had was so short, that I was obliged to give it up. Some interest has been excited already in the parish, and a few persons have expressed a wish to have the paintings on the screen restored. The whole are much defaced, and were no doubt partially destroyed and covered with paint during the Commonwealth, which perhaps may have been renewed from time to time. No person in the town, I believe, was aware of their existence, although it was possible to trace the outlines of the heads of some figures, and some had been cut, so that the features are entirely destroyed. I think that in this instance the Society might exercise its influence to some extent, although I hope it may not be necessary, as it is not the intention of our churchwarden to paint over them at present. If you should not feel it too much trouble, perhaps you will endeavour to inform me what the figures are that I have not named, as I cannot find any clue. Your list in No. 1. does not assist me, although I found it very valuable as to the others. I shall have full-sized drawings, or rather tracings taken of them, which I will forward the earliest opportunity, although I should like to have them returned. I shall not send them unless you think they may be of service in illustrating this particular branch of Iconography."

Mr. Smith then read a communication from Mr. J. A. Barton of Barton village, Isle of Wight, relative to the probability of the existence of apartments within the mound on which the keep of Carisbrook castle stands, the entrance to which Mr. Barton believes he has discovered, and with little assistance could open. Mr. Barton remarks, "My first reason for thinking there are subterranean chambers was this,—that the keep having been intended as a final refuge for the besieged, in its present limited extent is too circumscribed for twenty or a dozen men, and it is therefore but a natural inference to suppose there must have been a more extensive accommodation. Secondly, in viewing the structure itself, seated as it appears to be on a lofty mound evidently not natural, we cannot but reflect that he must have been a bold architect indeed who would have ventured to erect so massive a building upon an artificial tumulus, when he might more easily have built it from the natural ground, and then thrown up the earth around its walls. In every part of the keep," Mr. Barton continues, "are abundant proofs of a complicated and scientific arrangement for the purposes of ventilating and warming underground chambers, the entrance to which I believe I have been fortunate enough to discover. The formation of the Archæological Association offers a favourable epoch for the settlement of many of these 'vexatæ questiones,' and as one of its objects is to examine and throw light upon doubtful points of antiquarian research, I cannot do better than point out this as one worthy of attention, and ask its aid to enable me to set the question at rest."

Mr. Way communicated an account of the discovery of a monument in St. Stephen's church, Bristol, furnished by Mr. J. Reynell, Wreford, who observes; "This discovery occurred about the last week in May, 1814. Having been absent on the continent for some weeks it had escaped my notice, but from my friend Mr. William Tyson, F.S.A., I have derived the following information respecting it, which I have much pleasure in sending you to make any use of you may desire. The workmen who have been employed for some time in altering the pews in St. Stephen's church in this city, quite accidentally, as in the former instance, met with this long-forgotten memorial of the dead. It was previously apparent that some arched recesses had been filled up in the south wall of the church, and a slight opening had been made in one of them which however led to no discovery, and from the shallowness of the wall it was supposed to be destitute of any monument. But in covering the surface with a portion of the pews now erecting, a workman found an obstruction in making good his fastenings, which led to the removal of some stones, when the recess was found to contain a monumental effigy. The figure is that of a man, and measures from the head to the feet six feet two inches. It is in a recumbent position, with the hands joined in supplication. The head is uncovered, with the hair curled round it, so as to resemble a wig. He has a short peaked beard partly mutilated. The dress is a long gown, reaching to the feet, with an upright collar and large full sleeves. The basilard is suspended in front by a belt passing over the shoulders. The feet rest on a much mutilated animal. From the recess being only eighteen inches in depth, the right elbow was of necessity embedded in the wall. The arch of the recess is ornamented in a similar style to that recently discovered in the north wall. The features of the face are in a remarkably fine state of preservation; the countenance exhibits much individuality of character; and the circumstance of the eyes being but partially closed induces the belief that the sculptor worked from a cast. On the fillet in front of the edge of the slab on which the effigy lies, an illegible portion of the usual obituary inscription remains, and which was continued round the other sides of the stone. This circumstance, together with the inadequate space in which the effigy is placed, would strongly indicate that it has been removed from its original position.

There is good reason to believe that other monumental effigies still remain walled up in this church, but unfortunately the vestry were so much dissatisfied with the derangement of their plans respecting the pews which the discoveries had occasioned, that they would not permit any further researches. On the removal of the old pews there was also brought to light the entrance to a newel staircase, leading to the rood-loft, which has been permitted to remain open. A very interesting portrait of the fifteenth century, painted on glass, was found in a fractured state amongst some rubbish on the steps leading to the rood-loft."

The Rev. Beale Post, of Maidstone, informed the Committee that he had personally examined the appearances resembling fortifications on the Hallingbourne hills, the subject of a letter from Mr. Pryer, recently read at a meeting of the Committee. Mr. Post is of opinion that these ridges have been formed by agricultural operations.

Mr. J. A. Dunkin, of Dartford, exhibited a flint celt, the property of R. Wilks, Esq., found in the bed of the river at Darenth. It is of grey flint, is seven and a half inches long, and six inches in circumference in the widest part.

Mr. Wright exhibited a drawing of part of the ruins of old St. Clement's church at Worcester, which was pulled down a few years ago, when the new church of St. Clement was built. They have the apparent character of very early Norman work, and the church itself appears to have been an ancient structure.

Archaeological Journal, Volume 1, 0279a.png

Ruins of old St. Clement's Church. Worcester.

A curious circumstance connected with these ruins is the discovery of a gold coin of Edward the Confessor, said to have been found in the wall immediately over the arches by the workmen employed in pulling it down. This coin, now in the possession of T. H. Spurrier, Esq., is represented in the annexed engraving. The inscription on one side is Edward Rex; and on the reverse Lyfinc on Wærinc, signifying that it was coined by Lyfinc at Warwick (for this seems to be the place designated). It must not be concealed that doubts have been entertained of the authenticity of this coin, (chiefly from the circumstance of no other gold Saxon coin being known,) and therefore of the truth of the story of its discovery. On the other hand it may be stated, that no instance of the same type on other metal seems to be known; and Mr. Jabez Allies of Worcester has taken some pains to trace the history of its discovery, and has taken the affidavits of the persons concerned as to the correctness of their story[1]. The arches, though in character early Norman, might be of the reign of Edward the Confessor, when Norman arts and customs were introduced rather largely into England.

Mr. Wright gave an account of the opening of a Roman harrow at the hamlet of Holborough (vulgo Hoborow, but in ancient documents Holanbeorge, Holeberghe, &c., which would seem to mean the hollow borough, or the borough with a hollow or cave), in the parish of Snodland, Kent, by Lord Albert Conyngham. The party consisted (besides his Lordship and Mr. Wright) of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Whatman of the Friars, Aylesford, the Rev. L. B. Larking, vicar of Ryarsh, the Rev. H. D. Phelps, rector of Snodland, and Mr. Aretas Akers, of Worcester college, Oxford. The barrow is situated on a rising ground, and is overlooked by an elevated field which is supposed to have been occupied as a Roman station. The barrow was twenty feet high from the platform on which it was raised, which had been cut into the side of the chalk hill. From the nature of the ground it was difficult to fix the exact limits of its circumference: a rough measurement before the barrow was opened gave a circumference of somewhat more than two hundred feet, and a subsequent measurement through the trench gave a diameter of ninety-three feet, but this probably included a part of the raised ground which did not strictly belong to the mound itself.

A trench from five to seven feet wide was cut through the centre of the barrow from east to west. From the discoveries made in this excavation, it appeared that the barrow had been raised over the ashes of a funeral pile. A horizontal platform had first been cut in the chalk of the hill, and on this a very smooth artificial floor of fine earth had been made about four inches deep, on which the pile had been raised, and which was found covered with a thin coating of wood-ashes. The surface of ashes was not less than twenty feet in diameter; among the ashes were found scattered a considerable number of very long nails (which had probably been used to fasten together the frame-work on which the body was placed for cremation), with a few pieces of broken pottery, which had evidently experienced the action of fire. A part of a Roman fibula was also found. No urns or traces of any other funeral deposit were observed during the excavation of the trench, but further researches were stopped for the present by the accidental falling in of the upper part of the mound.

Below the barrow, in a large field on the banks of the river adjacent to the church, are distinct marks of the former existence of a Roman villa, to which the attention of the Committee was called by Mr. Roach Smith on a former occasion[2]. The field adjoining to the church-field bears the significant name of stone-grave field. Some slight excavations were made in the church-field, after leaving the barrow: on the further side of the field from the river, part of a floor of large tiles

was uncovered, and many fragments of pottery were picked up. This floor lay at a depth of about a foot below the surface. One or two trenches cut nearer the river brought us only to the original chalk soil, so that it seems probable that the principal buildings did not lay on the water side. The walls observable in the bank overlooking the river have probably been passages descending to the water, as the floors on which they are raised are about ten feet below the level ground. A bath is said to have been discovered in this field about forty years ago, and to have been filled up without undergoing any further injury.

The valley of Maidstone is bounded on the north-west and north-east by two ranges of chalk hills, separated from each other by the gorge through which the Medway flows to Rochester. On these hills, and in the valley which lies between that portion of them commonly called the White Horse Hill and the Blue Bell Hill, there are most extensive British remains. Mr. Wright reported an examination which he had made of these remains, from the extreme western boundary of the parish of Addington on the west, to that of Aylesford on the east. "Some of these monuments," he observed, "have been long known to antiquaries,—others, in positions more removed from the high road and the general line of traffic, seem to have escaped their researches. My attention was first called to them by the Rev. Lambert B. Larking, who has resided in their immediate neighbourhood from childhood, and has therefore had frequent opportunities of observing them. The great extent of these remains had for many years occupied his attention, when he at last applied to me for my assistance in a closer and more regular investigation of them; I therefore devoted a few days in the early part of last August to that purpose, and we traversed the ground together. In the park of the Hon. J. Wingfield Stratford, in the parish of Addington, which adjoins that of Ryarsh on the west, and is situated about a mile from the foot of the Vigo chalk hill, are two circles of large stones (long known to antiquaries), and near them is an isolated mass of large stones, which appear to be the covering of a subterranean structure. Within the smaller circle are traces of large capstones, which probably form the coverings of cromlechs or sepulchral chambers. I would observe that the ground within this smaller circle appears raised, as though it were the remains of a mound which perhaps was never completed. In the southern part of the parish are several immense cones of earth, veritable pyramids, which have every appearance of being artificial. The church of Addington is built on one of them.

"A little to the north of the two circles, in a field at the foot of the hill adjacent to a farm named Coldrum Lodge, is another smaller circle of stones, and similar appearances of a subterranean cromlech in the middle. At the top of the Ryarsh chalk hill, just above Coldrum, we observed two large stones, resembling those which form the circle below, lying flat on the ground, and near them is the mouth of a circular well about twenty feet deep, with a doorway at the bottom leading into a chamber cut in the chalk. These pits arc found in some other parts of Kent. In the wood behind this pit, which runs along the top of the hill, and is known by the name of Poundgate or White Horse Wood, there are said to be other masses of these large stones.

"Proceeding from the circle at Coldrum, towards the east, we observed single stones, of the same kind and colossal magnitude, scattered over the fields for some distance, and it is the tradition of the peasantry that a continuous line of stones ran from Coldrum direct to the well-known monument called Kit's Cotty House, on the opposite hills at a distance of between five and six miles. Mr. Larking and myself have indeed traced these stones in the line through a great portion of the distance; and the existence of these stones probably gave rise to the tradition. On examining the brow of the hill above Kit's Cotty House, about three weeks ago, I found that it was covered with groups of these large stones lying on the sides of the ground in such a manner as to leave little doubt that they are the coverings of or the entrances to sepulchral chambers. Each group is generally surrounded by a small circle of stones. On Friday, Aug. 23, I took some men to this spot, and began to excavate, but was hindered by local circumstances of a merely temporary nature. I then proceeded further on the top of the hill, and found a few single stones lying flat on the ground just within the limits of Aylesford common. Under one of these I began to excavate, and found that it was laid across what was apparently the mouth of a round pit cut in the chalk, and filled up with flints. Some of the cottagers on the top of the hill informed me that these pits were frequently found on that hill, and that generally they had one or two of the large stones at the mouth. When a new road was made a few years ago, the labourers partly emptied some of these pits for the sake of the flints, and I was shewn one emptied to a depth of about ten feet, which had been discontinued on account of the labour of throwing the flints up. Comparing these pits with the one on the opposite hill at Ryarsh, which has at some remote period been completely emptied, I am inclined to think that they have all chambers at the bottom, and to suspect that those chambers are of a sepulchral character. Perhaps after the remains of the dead had been deposited in the chamber, the entrance-pit was filled up, and a stone placed over the mouth to mark the spot. In the middle of a field below Kit's Cotty House is a very large group of colossal stones, which the peasantry call The Countless Stones, believing that no one can count them correctly."

Mr. Wright having represented to the Committee the importance of making some further researches into the monuments above described, for the purpose of ascertaining the objects for which they were originally designed, and having stated that the requisite permission had been obtained for digging, a grant of 5l. was voted for the expenses of excavating, to be applied under his directions.

Mr. Wright then added,—"A little below the single stone, under which we had been digging, in a sheltered nook of the hill, I accidentally discovered extensive traces of Roman buildings, which deserve to be further examined. The spot is only a few hundred yards to the south of that on which Mr. Charles, of Maidstone, lately discovered a Roman burial-ground. The cottagers who live on the hill tell me that they find coins and pottery over a large extent of surface round this spot, which is covered with low brushwood, and has never been disturbed by the plough. I uncovered a few square yards of a floor of large bricks, which had evidently been broken up, and were mixed with what appeared to be roof-tiles, with others which appeared like cornice-mouldings. They were literally covered with broken pottery of every description, among which were several fragments of fine Samian ware, mixed with a few human bones, some small nails, and traces of burnt wood, which seems to indicate that the buildings have been destroyed in the invasions of the barbarians which followed the retreat of the Romans from the island. The floor lay at a depth of from a foot to a foot and a-half below the surface, and was only two or three inches above the surface of the chalk."

The following letter, addressed by the Rev. W. Dyke to Mr. Albert Way, at one of the earlier meetings of the Committee, has been delayed insertion in the Minutes by accidental circumstances:—

"Cradley, May 10, 1844.

"My Dear Sir,—Of the two preceptories possessed by the Knights Templars in the county of Hereford, the remains are very scanty. The name of Temple-Court indicates the site of the establishment in the parish of Bosbury, and persons now living remember the walls of the chapel standing within the moat. Their badge of a cross-patee you recognised on a sepulchral stone in the parish church.


Exterior of Dovecot.

"Of the other preceptory at Garway little more can he said. The foundations of extensive buildings may be traced; only one building of any antiquity exists on the site; this is a circular dovecot, of which I send you an external and internal drawing. Whether this can be assigned to the Templars may admit of a doubt. The builder had no intention of leaving us in any uncertainty, for he placed on the tympanum of the south doorway an inscription with a date. Unfortunately the stone is of so perishable a nature that little of the inscription can now be deciphered. The abbreviation DNI, and the Roman numerals MCCC are distinguishable; but what decimals follow I am unable to discover. (See Woodcut in following page.)


Interior of Dovecot.

"The wall is of stone, and four feet in thickness, with twenty-one ranges of holes for pigeons. The holes are made wider within the wall by cutting away the stones which form the surface. On inserting the hand into one range of holes, they would be found to open to the left, while the range above would be reversed. The building is further strengthened by a course of solid stone between every two ranges. The house is covered by a vaulting of stone, presenting a concave surface internally and externally. A circular opening in the centre of the vaulting affords the means of ingress and egress to the pigeons, while two doors, at the north and south, give the same facilities to unfeathered bipeds. The noble owner (Lord Southwell) has recently substantially repaired the wall, but it is very much to be desired that the roof should be replaced, for the concave form of the vaulting facilitates the effects of the weather, and allows the rain to find its way freely through the vaulting.

"A dovecot of similar though inferior construction may be seen at Oldcourt, Bosbury. It is probable that many of the round pigeon-houses which one sees in passing through the country are similarly constructed.

Archaeological Journal, Volume 1, 0284a.png

Chimney, Grosmont Castle.

"I likewise send you a sketch by the same artist (Mr. William Gill of Hereford) of a chimney at Grosmont castle. It is the principal feature in this picturesquely situated fortress. When I saw it eleven years ago, I was more attracted by its picturesque than its architectural character; I can therefore give you no account of its construction: but I thought its elevated position might one day expose it to destruction, and it was worth while to have a sketch made of it, that some memorial might remain of so elegant a chimney.

"I am, dear Sir, yours very sincerely,

"Albert Way, Esq.

"William Dyke."

Archaeological Journal, Volume 1, 0284b.png

Tympanum &c. of South Doorway, of the Dovecot, Garway.

  1. The following statements are given by Mr. Allies in his work On the Ancient British, Roman, and Saxon Antiquities of Worcestershire, p. 14.

    "The particulars are these:—In the year 1837, having heard that Thomas Henry Spurrier, Esq., of Edgbaston, near Birmingham, had the coin in question in his collection, I called upon him, when he shewed it to me, and said that he bought it of Mr. Allport, of Bull Street in that town, watchmaker, for 10l., who said he purchased it of a Mr. Manning, of Birmingham, for 13s. 2d., who said he bought it of a Mr. Ball, of Worcester, for 10s. who represented that it was found in the rubbish upon taking down the old St. Clement's church, in Worcester. Wishing therefore to know more particulars as to the finding of it, Mr. Spurrier and myself called upon Mr. Allport and Mr. Manning, who repeated the above statement; and we afterwards went to Mr. Andrew Ball, coal-dealer, of Severn Stoke, on the 26th of October of that year, and shewed the coin to him and his wife Elizabeth, when he declared that he was at St. Clement's church when it was being taken down, and whilst he was there one of the workmen discovered the coin in question amongst the ruins, which he (Mr. Ball) purchased of the workman for 5s., and when he got home to his then residence in Worcester, he gave it to his wife to take care of; but afterwards (namely, about four years previously to our interview) sold it to Mr. Manning, of Birmingham, for 10s. Mrs. Ball also declared that the above-mentioned coin was the one which her husband gave her to take care of, and that she cleaned it when brought to her, and noticed it particularly, and should at any time know it from a thousand others."

  2. See Minutes of the Committee, p. 164, in the present volume.