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A.B.C. ARE IN THE TOWER SEDCEFIELD. D. IS AT EMBLETON IN SEDCE FIELD PARISH
GRAVE - COVERS.
EXPLANATION OF THE PLATES.
This is a photo-lithographic reduction of Billings's engraving in The Archi. tectural Antiquities of the County of Durham. It shows the tower with the belfry windows robbed of their tracery, the low-pitched roof over the nave, and the head of one of the clerestory windows. The left hand window in the north transept had formerly tracery the same as the other, as shown by the 'mullion seats' on the sill. This was removed and the single mullion substituted sometime in the last century when the side windows of the chancel were put in.
Plate XXXIII.—GROUND PLAN OF THE CHURCH. This plan has been specially measured and drawn and corrected to date. It is shaded to show the dates of the different parts of the church. The foundations of the old west end of the north aisle were uncovered by Mr. Giles, of Sedgefield, in 1884. Similar foundations remain in part at the west end of the south aisle. There are two steps down from the nave to the transepts. The transepts and chancel are practically on the same level, except for a slight step of quite recent date, made when the chancel floor was laid with tiles. It is very unusual to find a chancel at a lower level than a nave, and as the site of Sedgefield church is practically level, an explanation of it here is difficult.
The jamb of the original window in the north aisle was found by Mr. Giles. It is difficult of access, as it is blocked by the organ which stands in the aisle. The female effigy and the brass in the south transept were concealed by pews and unknown till 1876. The two effigies may be taken to commemorate a man and his wife who were the chief means of the erection of this part of the church, as the wall beneath the window is thickened to contain the recesses. These recesses would be provided when the wall was built and the effigies added some time afterwards, as was often done. The fact of the costume being later in character than the date assigned to the transepts does not therefore militate against the above supposition.
The centre buttress under the east window seems to have been cut down when the present window was inserted. The font has been moved more than once in modern times.
PLATE XXXIV.- INTERIOR OF THE NAVE, LOOKING SOUTH-EAST.
This is also a reduction of one of Billings's plates. It shows the nave void of seats, and the details of the arcades, which are well drawn. In the fore. ground is an ancient almsbox, now gone. The lid is shown raised, and the box is seen to be hollowed out of a long piece of wood which was let into the floor. The clerestory windows are clearly seen. The two-light window in the south transept shows that these windows were altered like the one already alluded to in the north transept. In the distance are seen the Carolinian screen and panelling of the chancel, the chancel roof, and one of the two corbels above the chancel arch.
Plate XXXV.-CARVED CAPITAL IN THE NAVE. This is a view from the south-west of the capital seen on the extreme right of Plate XXXIV. It shows two well-cut heads, into which a good deal of humour is thrown. The woman's large square brooch is interesting. The carving is in excellent preservation, and the foliage is full of power and spirit.
PLATE XXXVI.-CARVED CAPITAL IN THE NAVE. This shows the same capital from the north-east. Two long-necked dragons with feathered wings and bird's claws are biting each other, surrounded by foliage carved with extreme vigour.
PLATE XXXVII.-GRAVE-COVERS. The left hand figure shows the grave-cover of Andrew Stanley in the floor of the chancel. It is really the matrix of a brass, with which metal the hollows and letters were filled. The Holy Lamb is seen bearing an exceedingly long floriated cross, representing perhaps a processional cross. It is not clear what object filled the hollow just below the head of the cross. A chalice was shown lying on the stem. The inscription is in old French.
The right hand figure shows what was, when perfect, a very beautiful grave. cover. It is very much weathered, and lies under a holly bush near the south wall of the chancel. Its date is about that of the nave, and it has the rare feature of a double row of dog-tooth ornament in the head. The double eightrayed cross resembles some of the best examples at Gainford, Barnard Castle, and other places. It is, however, the only one in the county which has the whole surface of the stone ornamented with twining stems and foliage, in which respect it ranks amongst the best examples known, such as that of Gundrada, countess of Warren, at Lewes, and that of the princess Joanna, wife of Llewellyn, prince of Wales, at Margam, the grand one at Corwen, and a few others.
PLATE XXXVIII.-GRAVE-COVERS. These are all in the tower. The richly ornamented one to the left of the plate was found by the writer within the past ten years buried under a mass of rubbish and used as a covering stone to the top of the staircase to the belfry, where it is out of sight, except from the top of the bell carriages. It dates from near the middle of the fourteenth century, when foliated ornament was shown in the most naturalistic manner. The cross moline on a shield, which'again lies on a circular shield or plate, is of great interest. This charge was borne by the Fulthorps, who held land in the parish, and were buried at Grindon, where is a slab with a cross moline. It also appears as the arms of bishop Bek, and may be seen in stained glass in Howden collegiate church. Grave-covers of this elaborate character are very rare. An example with oak leaves and of similar design has recently been found at Redmarshall. At Corsenside, in Northumberland, is one in an advanced state of decay with fine natural foliage. The other two grave-covers on this plate are also in the tower.
THE GOLDSMITHS OF NEWCASTLE.
XXV.—THE GOLDSMITHS OF NEWCASTLE.
By J. R. BOYLE, F.S.A.
INTRODUCTORY NOTE. The materials for a history of the goldsmiths of Newcastle-uponTyne are neither few nor difficult of access. Hitherto the only notice of them or their works of the slightest value is that given by Mr. Cripps in his Old English Plate. The increased attention which has of late been paid to church and other plate in the North of England renders the fullest information attainable about its makers desirable.
The records of the Plumbers' Company, with which the goldsmiths were incorporated till 1702, and associated, except during a few years, till 1716, commence in 1598, and are complete to the present time. The minute books of the goldsmiths commence with their independent incorporation in 1702, and are also complete to the present time. Their first assay book, however, begins in 1747, and ends in 1755. The next book which has been preserved begins in 1761, but from this date the series is complete down to the close of the office. Almost their most precious record, however, is the circular copper plate on which from shortly after 1702 the punches of the makers, whose plate was assayed at Newcastle were impressed. On this plate there are 287 different marks, most of which can be identified; the remainder can only be explained by the discovery of documents which are not now known to exist.
Hereafter this paper should be followed by a catalogue of plate assayed at Newcastle. I should rejoice to see such a list prepared either by my own hand or that of another. Something has already been done in describing and engraving the church plate of the counties of Northumberland and Durham, and, in time, our Proceedings will contain lists of the whole. But with domestic piate scarcely VOL. XVI.