« AnteriorContinuar »
The division which separates them is four inches thick. Tradition assigns this to the times of the Covenanters, who used it for baptism at the time they took refuge in the muirs; and I was informed that the great grandfather of one of the present farmers of the district was christened there. From this point the road returns into the parish of Crawfordjohn, and passes between the farmhouse of Shawhead and the hill called Cairn Kinny, into Dumfriesshire; but it does not continue long in that county, as, after traversing a small corner, it pursues its course into Ayrshire.
The other line is however, perhaps, the most natural, as it continues in the same direction as the Drove Loan had previously pursued. Passing the village of Crawfordjohn, it ascends the left bank of the Duneaton, till it reaches the farm of Sheriffcleuch, where it crosses that river, and soon arrives at a camp. Mr. Robb was so kind as to visit this place, but found that the remains of the camp had been so confused with modern turf walls, that it was impossible for him to make any satisfactory plan of them. Several curious relics were dug up here a few years ago. One of these was the intaglio now in the possession of Mr. Rennie Scott, of Castlemains, by whose kindness I have been furnished with an impression of it. It has been worn as a ring or seal, the perforations by which the setting was attached being distinctly visible. Its reverse is perfectly plain. A bronze spur rowel in Mr. Sim's collection was also found here, along with some pieces of iron, apparently fragments of armour. From this point the road passes on the opposite side of Cairn Kinny, from that taken by the other branch with which it unites at the boundary of the county. Mr. Sim has also in his collection some bronze spear heads, which were found in the upper part of Douglas parish, near Cairntable, but he is unable to ascertain the exact locality. This observation completes the account of the ancient camps of the upper ward of Lanarkshire, with the exception of those in the small district near Biggar, which I mentioned before, and a detached one on Dillar hill, in Lesmahagow parish, which I was unable to visit.
P.S. Having been in Scotland since this paper was read, I have availed myself of the opportunity to make a further
examination of some of the localities, the results of which may be thus stated.
1. The statement that the well in the camp (No. 38) was open within the memory of man, must be placed in the same category with the pretended altar.
2. I entertain strong doubts whether the appearances which were supposed to indicate the existence of a well, both in this camp and in No. 10, are anything but natural depressions of the ground.
3. On the other hand, I have ascertained that the well in No. 1 is undoubtedly entitled to be considered artificial. The tumuli situated in this camp I have found, however, by actual excavation, to be merely natural elevations.
ON THE ANTIQUITIES OF MAIDSTONE, AND THE POLYCHROMY OF THE
BY J. WHICHCORD, JUN., ESQ., F.S.A.
[Read at the Rochester and Maidstone Congress.]
PRIOR to entering on the immediate subject of this paper, it may be permitted that I should very briefly advert to the leading points of antiquity now remaining in the town of Maidstone, the more prominent of which have been visited during this Congress; and in doing so I cannot but allude to a distinguished local antiquary (Mr. Clement Smythe'), who, had he been still living, would have hailed this visit of so many kindred spirits with great delight, and from the mass of information possessed by him relative to the local antiquities of this county, and the anxiety he would have felt, have added much to the interest attaching to the visit of the Association to his native town. Mr. Smythe had long intended to publish
1 See biographical notice in the Journal, vol. ix, p. 111.
the result of his researches; and for the interest of the antiquarian history of the county, it is much to be regretted that his labours were not left arranged in a form fitted for publication.
I pass over the very meagre early history of Maidstone, although Roman remains found in it, especially a Roman bath, sufficiently prove it to have been in existence at that early date; and it has been recognized by antiquaries, and amongst them by the learned Camden, as the Vagniacæ. The modern name of the town is doubtless derived from the river Medway running through it; the Saxon “ Medweg" being easily resolved in Med-weg's town, Meddestan, Maidstone. In the records of the justices itinerant in the time of Edward I, it is said to have been called Maydenstone, or the town of Maidens.1
The chief remaining antiquities are the group of buildings around the existing parish church, consisting of the church itself, the palace of the archbishops of Canterbury, the college of William de Courtney, already ably treated of in a work by our respected associate the rev. Beale Poste. There are also some very slight remains in a house on the east of the college, conjectured by Newton to be the monastery of Grey Friars, mentioned in the supplement to the Monasticon as being founded by king Edward III and his brother the earl of Cornwall.
On the western side of the river are some remains, confined however to the chapel of the hospital for travellers or pilgrims, dedicated to St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. Thomas à Becket; it was established about the middle of the thirteenth century by Boniface archbishop of Canterbury, son of Peter earl of Savoy, and uncle to queen Eleanor, wife of Henry III.
The Grammar School is interesting as having formerly been a house of the brethren of Corpus Christi, who were to pray for the fraternity of the Guild, and celebrate masses for the repose of their souls. I have been unable to discover any record of a founder of this house, although the fraternity were possessed of a considerable estate. The revenues at the suppression were valued at £40:0:8, when the corporation of Maidstone purchased it, and con
1 The old seal of Maidstone represents a maiden standing on a stone.
verted it to the use of a free grammar school; and it is said (I believe, too truly) that it was paid for from the proceeds of the plunder of plate and vestments belonging to the church.
Returning to the group of buildings round the church. The palace, on the authority of Lambard and Kilburne, was begun in 1348, by John Ufford archbishop of Canterbury, and carried on by his successor archbishop Simon Islip, who proceeded very expeditiously with the work, pulling down his palace of Wrotham for the sake of the materials, and by license of the pope charging his whole province with a tax of 4d. in the mark for this purpose. Very little of Ufford or Islip's work is now traceable. The existing structure is to be attributed to cardinal Morton, 1486, and to sir Thomas Wyatt, who became possessed of it through his grandfather sir Henry Wyatt, of Allington castle, to whom it was granted by Henry VIII.
The church was founded by William de Courtney archbishop of Canterbury, who, in 1395, obtained a license. from king Richard II to convert the parish church of St. Mary at Maidstone into a collegiate church of one master or warden, and as many chaplains as he should think fit, and to assign and appropriate several rich benefices to their use. In the centre of the chancel was formerly a superb brass of Courtney, the incision for which in a large slab of Bethersden marble is still apparent.
The archbishop, in a codicil to his will, directed his body to be interred in this church. Much discussion has taken place, however, as to the site of his tomb, which was set at rest a few years ago on examination, when his body, arrayed in full pontificals, was found.
On the tomb of Wotton, the first master of the college, situated at the back of the sedilia, between the high altar and the Arundel chantry, are painted the arms of Courtney, and the painted subjects refer to the dedication of the chantry by archbishop Arundel in 1406.
The painting on this tomb, and on the screen on the opposite side, dividing the high altar from the Gould chantry, has been exquisitely done, and though much defaced, sufficient remains to enable a just restoration to be made; and this colour is so complete a type of the principle which governed the medieval artists in this prin
ciple of decoration, that I have ventured to make it the excuse for the following remarks
ON THE POLYCHROMY OF THE MIDDLE AGES.
From the remotest ages of antiquity, the application of colour has been numbered among the arts. So universal, so general, so apparent, is its adaptation from nature, that we must seek for the laws which governed the earliest schools in the works of nature herself. Every age of the world might afford a theme for the principle on which their use of the polychromatic art was based, and the means employed for the object; but it is to the medieval ages to which our attention is to be more immediately directed.
While every age and country has possessed its own distinctive mode of building, characterised by a spirit embodied under widely differing and incompatible forms, the appliances of colour fall under one law; and the same combinations that impart elegance and harmony to the exquisite contours and open surfaces of classic art, are also capable of producing an equally pleasing effect when found in the shadowed projections and intricate shape of pointed architecture.
The attention which of late years has been directed to the study of our national monuments of the past, influenced in a great measure by the establishment of societies such as the British Archæological Association, has removed the prejudices against the use of colour in restoration, inasmuch as it has established beyond doubt the fact of its use, and as discoveries were from time to time brought to light, the almost universal use of the polychromatic art.
The object of polychromy is to heighten the effect of architectural decorations, by causing a more just subordination of the various parts than can be obtained by mere chiaro-scuro. When the details of enrichment are minute or greatly removed from the eye, the use of strongly contrasting colours is necessary to mark the various details and subdivisions, which would otherwise be lost; or to connect more elaborate with plainer portions of the same work. It is often also used to attract the eye to the more