« السابقةمتابعة »
are they after all merely ribands; many of these designs were doubtless copied from processional crosses,—is this any appendage by means of which the tall and perhaps heavy cross was steadied while being carried : does it represent some implement ?
We sometimes find large circles introduced, as in the example from Bungay, Suffolk, Plate x.; are these intended to represent chaplets or garlands placed upon the coffin ?.
Those which occur on the coffin-lid at Repps, Norfolk, (Arch. Journal, vol. iii. p. 268,) two above the limbs of the cross and one upon the shaft, may perhaps admit of a different explanation. It was a very ancient practice in representations of the crucifixion to represent the sun and moon by two circles over the cross ; such occur on the cross at Aycliffe, Durham, (Arch. Journal, vol. iii. p. 260.) These circles above the cross here may have this meaning. It is possible that the diagonal sculptures in the middle of the stone, and the circle on the shaft, may be the A. N. which occur on many early grave-stones, for instance, on the stone from Hartlepool, Plate III.
Sometimes we have two round ornaments about the size which the paten usually has, as on the slab from Bilborough, Nottinghamshire, Plate LvIII.; on another slab lying beside this there is the same cross, but these two ornaments are placed above the limbs of the cross. The same ornaments occur on a fragment of a raised cross slab at Stanton Harcourt.
We frequently find small round ornaments, as in an example at Camboe chapel, Northumberland, which has a sword on one side of the cross, and a row of these ornaments on the other; are they merely ornamental, introduced for the purpose of filling up blank spaces of the stone, or are they significant ? We find them also associated with the crozier ; in the illumination representing the entombment of an archbishop, mentioned at p. 5, the coffin-lid bears a crozier with a row of these ornaments down each side of the shaft, they like the crozier being coloured yellow.
The spear-head shaped ornament introduced upon the small stone at Papplewick, Plate xiv., of which stone there is also an exact duplicate at the same church ; is it a spearhead, or a trowel, or a child's toy-for the stone is only large enough for a child ?
PROBABLY the earliest kind of sepulchral monument in the world was the pillar-stone, a rude unhewn stone set up to mark the place of burial of some great man. These appear to have been used by all primitive nations; many such stones remain in Britain. That many of these were sepulchral is proved by the inscriptions which not unfrequently appear upon them, and by the fact that an interment in a cist has been discovered under one in Scotland'.
After the Christian era, these pillar-stones began to be ornamented with a cross or other Christian symbol, either incised or in low relief, as in the examples on Plates Lxxv. and LXXVII. ; sometimes the ornaments were very elaborate, as in the interesting examples on Plates LXXVII. and LXXVIII. In some localities these pillar-stones continued in use to a very late date ; on Plate LXXXII. is an interesting one from the Isle of Man, A.D. 1489. The examples on Plate LxxxIII. are so late as A.D. 1566 and 1631 ; and others exist in different parts of Ireland, at Dunkeld cathedral, Scotland, and elsewhere.
Some of these stones have a socket at the top, into which probably a cross was fitted, as the stone of Cirusius, Arch. Journal, vol. iv. p. 307.
In time the upper part of the stone itself was cut into a cruciform shape, and the pillar-stone became the tall sepulchral cross, as in the examples on Plate LxxIx. Of these pillar-stones and sepulchral crosses many examples will be found engraved in the Archæologia, Lysons' Magna
Britannia, the Gentleman's Magazine, the Archæological Journal, &c.
The following are references to a few of the more interesting ones.
Those engraved in Mr. Chambers's fine work on the Sculptured Monuments of Angus.
Several from Cornwall, engraved in Archæological Journal, vol. iv. p. 302 to 313.
Interesting one at Penrith, Archæologia, vol. ii.
Three in Whalley churchyard, Yorkshire, Whittaker's History of Whalley.
The pillar-stone was first modified into the sepulchral cross; the next modification, which took place perhaps a century before the Norman Conquest, was into what is usually called the head-cross. This is a stone from one to three feet high, and of different shapes, placed upright at the head of the grave, and sometimes accompanied by a smaller stone at the foot of the grave.
These head-crosses appear to have come into use (as has been said) about A.D. 950. Where the dead was buried in a stone coffin, its lid formed his monument; these headstones seem to have been placed over the grave in cases where a coffin of wood or lead, or no coffin at all, was used. They continued in use until the Reformation, soon after which they were again modified into the tall, square, ugly stones, which now crowd and disfigure our churchyards.
Few ancient examples of head-stones remain, but from those which we have, we see that they are divided into several distinct kinds. First the stone itself is cut into the form of a cross of more or less elaborate design, as in the example from Glendalough, Plate LXXVI.; from Lancaster, Plate LXXVIII.* ; and that from Camboe chapel, Northumberland, given in the margin; and Handborough, Oxfordshire, Plate LxxxI. This kind is susceptible of an infinite variety of forms, and is perhaps the most beautiful kind of
monument. In another kind the stone is left square, or the head is rounded off, and a cross is incised upon the face of it, sometimes on both faces, as in examples from Cambridge and Bakewell, Plates LXXVIII.*, Lxxix.*, LXXX., and LXXXI.
Sometimes the cross is in relief upon the face of the stone, as in examples from New Romney; St. Mary-le-Wigford, Lincoln; and Camboe Chapel, Nortbumberland. Tackley, Oxfordshire, Plate Lxxxi.
Varieties in the treatment of the head are seen in the third Bakewell example, Plate LXXX.; Handborough and Tackley, Oxfordshire, Plate Lxxxi.
Sometimes the cross occupies the whole stone, as in Bakewell, Plate LXXVIII.*, but generally it is confined to the head, especially where the head is circular.
Frequently a stone was placed at the foot of the grave as well as at the head ; it is possible that some of the smaller examples engraved as head-stones may be in fact foot-stones.
Wooden grave crosses were sometimes used, but from their perishable nature no ancient examples, it is believed, now remain : they are still in use in Normandy, and other parts of France.
Of the designs on these head-stones nothing need be said, they generally resemble the heads of the crosses on incised and raised grave-slabs, at least sufficiently so to render any additional remarks upon them unnecessary.