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was held to be the personification of the god Apis, was "the form of a beetle found under his tongue."* Both Isis and Osiris, themselves the symbols of the moon and the sun, were likewise connected with the worship rendered to the cow, ox, or bull, into which figure Osiris was said to have passed by the doctrine of Metempsychosis.

As therefore the scarabaeus became thus identified with the mythology of Egypt, it may be supposed that it had some mystical allusion to the religious veneration so universally paid to an animal, whose authenticity, as a divine being, it essentially contributed to establish.

Axmimter. N. T. S.

STAFFORD CASTLE. (With a Plate.)

ERDESWICKE, the old historian of Staffordshire, says of the County Town: "The town hath been walled (as I take it) round about, whereof some part remains, and the rest sheweth by the ruins where they have been; and there hath been also a castle within the town, but now it is quite decayed.

"The castle, which now stands on the south side, and is half a mile or more from the town, hath and doth belong to the Earls and Barons of Stafford. The said castle that now is was builded by Raufe first Earl of Stafford, as the report is, and not unlike to be true; and yet I have a certain deed dated apud caslrum juxta Stafford, long before the said Raphe lived, so that it would seem that Raufe Earl of Stafford did but re-edify the said castle, and not build it."

Doctor Plot's account is somewhat different; he says,

"The earliest authentic account of Stafford, is of the year 913, when Elfleda, sister to Edward the elder, and Countess of Mercia, built a castle there, but the site of it is not now known. (Saxon Chron. 104.) Another was founded by William the Conqueror, on an insulated hill near the town, and was given in custody to Robert de Toeni, who assumed the name of de Stadford, and was the progenitor of the illustrious family of Stafford. This castle was garrisoned by King Charles I. but was taken by the Parliamentary forces and demolished in KM I."

J{ Further information may very probably be obtained from the work of Pignorius, from Bochart De sacris AnimaliI'M-, and from the more recent discoveries in the drawings and hieroglyphics of Egypt.

Mr. Clifford, the historian of Tixal, (in 1817,) eays,

"About thirty years ago, nothing of the castle remained visible but a solitary fragment of wall which the late Sir William Jerningham underbuilt to prevent it from falling. Some workmen being employed to search for an ancient wall, discovered that all the basement story of the castle (keep) lav buried under the ruins of the upper parts; Sir William Jerningham immediately ordered the whole to be excavated and cleared of the rubbish, so that the curious traveller may now explore every part of it, and contemplate at his leisure the form and extent of a fortress or baronial castle in the time of the Conqueror.

"Sir George Jerningham, eon of Sir William, has undertaken to build the castle on its old foundations, and has already completed one front, flanked by two octagonal towers, in a very elegant castellated style."

So far the historian. Sir George Jerningharo, who was summoned to Parliament as Baron Stafford of Stafford Castle, in 1824, completed only this front. In the tower are deposited some armour and other curiosities. The ancient well (160 feet deep) of the castle, a little distance from the northeast angle of the keep, was discovered in 1819 by preparations for planting; it was covered with oak planks under 3 feet of soil or rubbish; the water is good and abundant. No search has been made for the outworks of the castle, the foundations of which no doubt remain, and probably included Castle Church.

The artificial n.ount on which the castle stands is of an oblong form, measuring one hundred and five feet by fifty. The walls arc twelve feet high and eight in thickness. J. W.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

IN . NOMINE .

DEI . OMNIPOTENTIS.

BEATISSIM^E . ET . GLORIOSISSIM^E . TRINITATIS .

PATRIS . FILII . SPIRITUS . SANCTI .

AMEN.

LAPIS . HIC . PRIMARIUS . CAPELL^E . IN . NOMINE . S .

NICOLAI . DICANDiE . DEPOSITUS . Ill . DIE . MAII .

ANNO . SALUTIS . M.DCCC.XLII .

REGIN.E . VICTORIA . V .

A . CAROLO . MARCHIONE . AILESBURENSI .

ASSISTENTE . EI . GEORGIO . GUL. FRED. COMITE . BRUCE .

REGENTE . ECCLESIAM . SARISB. EDVARDO . DENISON .

EPISCOPO .

DECANO . ECCL. CATH. SARUM . HUGONE . NICOLAO . PEARSON

HUJUS . LOCI . OFFICIALI .

PAROECIiE . BEDWYN . MAGNvE . VICARIO .

IOANNE . WARD .

BENJAMINE . FERREY . ARCHITECTO .

The population of this parish is dispersed in several hamlets, over an extent of 10,000 acres; and as the mother church, situated in the principal township, is quite at one extremity of the parish, about half of the population is distant from two to four miles from it. The hamlet of East Grafton is central to this outlying population, which exceeds 1,000 ; and the new church is calculated to accommodate nearly 500 persons in open sittings, four-fifths of which are free for the use of the poorer classes.

We are anxious to give a full account of this building, as it is decidedly one of the most successful attempts, that have been made, to produce a good, substantial, correct, and appropriate village church. The style is Norman, about the time of Henry I. and the plan consists of a fully developed chancel terminated with a circular apse, a well-proportioned nave with clere-story and aisles, and at the northwest angle a substantia) tower, pierced near the top with open arches, and covered by a low stone spire, of which there is a good example at Than church near Caen, in Normandy. The whole is built of Bath stone, the exterior face of the walls being left in the rough, and the interior dragged to a smoother finish, yet not so as to destroy the idea of reality; whilst the ornamental detail, both interiorly and exteriorly, is simple, bold, and effective, neither thrust in out of place, nor overdone where it is necessary. The chancel with its apse, 27 feet by 16, is covered with a semi-circular vault, which is divided by transverse ribs over the chancel, with two others converging to a point at the centre of the easternmost transverse rib, over the apse. Astring-course runs round the whole at the springing of the vault. This part of the building is lighted by three roundheaded narrow windows in the apse, the chancel walls being unpierced. The windows are connected together by an horizontal string, level with the abaci of the shafts supporting the mouldings of the window-arches, and further by a low arcade of two openings between the windows, and of one opening between them and the vaulting shafts which divide the apse from the chancel; another string-course forms a base to the arcade and windows. The floor of the chancel is raised three steps from the nave, and the apse one from the chancel. The pavement is of Chamberlain's encaustic tile, of an early pattern, and arranged very effectively after a design by Willement. The altar is of a polished, dark-coloured marble, in the shape of a plain tomb, having engaged Norman shafts at the four angles, a chevron moulding under the slab, and a cross pattoe within

a nimbus carved in the centre. The glass of the apse is beautifully stained by Willement. The centre window exhibits five subjects selected from the life of Christ, namely: the Adoration of the Magi, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection from the tomb, and the Ascension. In the side windows are represented the emblems of the four evangelists, the Alpha and Omega, the IHS, and the double triangle, emblematic of the Holy Trinity. These windows were the gift of the Marquess of Ailesbury. The Commandments are painted in illuminated Norman characters on richly gilt zinc plates, which line the concave of the apse immediately above the altar. The deep splay of the window jambs, the recesses of the arcade, and the spandrels of the arcade arches, are highly decorated with painting in Norman pattern, and over the arcade are introduced sentences of Scripture, the Lord's Prayer, and the Creed, in a very legible Norman letter. The effect produced in this chancel by a happy combination of design on the part of the architect and of the decorator, cannot be fully expressed by words, but must be seen to be duly appreciated. A rich, solemn, and Christian character has been given to this sacrarium by the skilful adaptation of very simple elements.

The nave, measuring with the aisles 64 feet by 40, is divided from the chancel by a tall and massive arch, and from the aisles by four round piers on the south side, and by three on the north, with a plain wall next to the tower. The capitals of the piers, sculptured from examples of the time, differ from each other in every instance. Above the arches, which at present are left quite plain, rises a simple clere-story, pierced with narrow, circularheaded slits. Between these are corbels supporting shafts, whereon are laid the timbers of the roof. The passages are paved with plain encaustic tiles, but the general floor of the church is boarded. The whole of the benches are open, massive, and very low; they are greatly preferred by those who have hitherto been used to pews.

The font is placed near the west door, and is copied, in Painswick stone of very fine grain, from an original Norman example now remaining at Welford church in Berkshire. It is, in plan, circular, and on a projecting base rise seventeen three-quarter shafts, the capitals of which are connected together by intersecting arches of deeply-cut mouldings; over these is a lip-moulding running round the upper edge of the font. The basin is capacious, and lined with thick lead, on the margin of which the following sentence is circumscribed in raised Norman letters,

"» SECUNDUM MISERICORDIAM SUAM SALVOS NOS FECIT PER LAVACRUM REGENERATIONS ET RENOVATIONIS SPIRITUS SANCTI." The cover is flat, with an ornamental scroll in iron diverging at right angles from a Norman cross in the centre. The Queen's arms executed in stained glass are placed in the west window, and underneath is written on a scroll, " Fear God, Honour the Queen."

It ma; be remarked, that in this arrangement of an old custom of the Church, a highly decorative ornament has been substituted for that which is often a sad disfigurement to our churches, at an expense, too, so moderate as not to exceed the usual charge for an emblazonment executed by the village painter.

The sacramental vessels are of silver, parcel gilt, and consist of a paten, two chalices, a flagon, and a basin for the offertory, the whole executed from designs by William Butterfield, esq. in imitation of ancient examples.

The exterior of this church is generally very plain; the windows of the aisles, chancel, and clere-story are separated by shallow buttresses running into a corbel table above. The roofs are of a high pitch, covered with a Cornish slate, and the gables surmounted by the Than cross.

More ornament has been bestowed on the west front. The centre doorway is an excellent specimen of Norman work, consisting of cable, chevron, and other mouldings very happily disposed. Above is the west window, flanked by an intersecting arcade, of which two recesses, one on each side the window, are pierced, thus forming a triplet within. The north door opening into the tower is also ornamented with chevron mouldings, which have a chaste effect.

We cannot close this account without noticing that the church has been erected chiefly through the munificence of the Marquess of Ailesbury, who has also largely contributed to the endowment fund; nor can we omit to pay a tribute of commendation to the architect Mr. Ferrey, who has so eminently succeeded in his exertions to make this church a truly Christian Temple.

Restoration of the church at Woodchurch, Cheshire. Mr. Urban,—Having in the course of last summer passed a few weeks in Liverpool and the neighbouring parts of Cheshire, among several good old friendsr we took the opportunity, according to the bent of our minds, to examine carefully tome interesting old churches and mansions

thereabouts. Our attention was more particularly directed to the parish churches of Bebbington and Woodchurch. My remarks on the former I shall reserve for the ensuing month, and, in the meantime, I have great pleasure in communicating to you the following interesting intelligence concerning the latter.

The parish of Woodchurch, in Cheshire, lies midway between the Mersey and the Dee, and, in former ages, it was a portion of the great forest of Wirrall. A short time before the death of King Edward the Third the whole was disforested. At that time the present church was built, and appears to have been completed early in the reign of his successor. It stands on the site of a much older one, "the church in the wood," and consists of a handsome square tower, a nave, south aisle, chancel, and vestry. The structure is entirely of the old red sandstone, and has not been much injured by the lapse of time. It seems to have been generally kept in good repair. The style is decorated English, with a slight indication of transition to that which followed it. The original work has been well preserved throughout the sacred edifice, with the exception of the windows of the nave and aisle, and the front of the south porch. These were all renewed early in the reign of King Henry the Eighth, a period distinguished for great zeal in re-building, enlarging, and repairing churches. They are all of the square-headed kind, the windows large and altogether of handsome workmanship.

While visiting at Woodchurch we had many conversations on the practicability of in some measure restoring the venerable structure to its original stat t. We happily found the materials in good condition ; but the fine old timber roofs, and the graceful chancel arch, had been entirely hidden by low and flat white-washed ceilings. The richly carved screen had been removed, the entrance to the chancel encumbered with pews, and that portion of the church disfigured by four more that were large, square, and of considerable height.

By the praiseworthy exertions of the good rector, his lady, and one of his nephews, all the projected improvements have been carried into effect, and are now nearly completed. They have shewn great liberality; and, to the credit of the parishioners, at the late Easter meeting a rate in aid of what had already been done was unanimously voted, without a single objection.

In examining the walls the following remains of past times were discovered, and have since been repaired and kept open, viz. 1. On the north side of the chancel, and a few inches within the altarrail, an aperture rather more than two feet in height, seven inches in its narrowest width, and arched at the top. It communicated with the vestry, and had been intended for the convenience of persons necessarily within during the performance of divine service. 2. Indications of steps near the south-east angle of the nave that had led to the rood-loft. 3. A very neat arched niche in the south wall of the aisle, near to its eastern termination, where are some indications of there having been an altar, doubtless that of the blessed Virgin Mary. 4. A plain small opening for a locker on the north side of it. 5. A small niche for the hallowed water in the north-east angle of the porch, close to the south doorway. 6. Nearly the whole of the nave still bears the remains of a painted surface. Much of it is on dressed stone-work, which has long been covered with repeated coats of whitewash. All these had been very carefully concealed on the settlement of the Reformation; and, as a good part at least of the south wall of the chancel was rebuilt about forty or fifty years ago, there are no remains of the tediiia that must certainly have adorned it

The Restorations.—The white ceilings of the chancel, the nave, and the aisle, have successively been taken down, and the high-pitched roofs within are now laid open, together with the chancel-arch; the oldest persons of the present generation never saw them before, and it is very gratifying that their well-proportioned timbers and good condition have far exceeded the general expectation. The workmanship is for the most part plain; but the principals in the roof of the nave are terminated on each side with carved heads.

The piers and arches of the nave and chancel are of polished stone, and the well-formed figure presented by each of them is entirely freed from the mass of paint with which for a length of time it has been covered.

A western gallery, far from being handsome, though of small projection, will shortly be taken down. The opening behind it will then admit of the original decorated window in the west side of the tower being seen from all parts of the church eastward. The tracery of it is intended to be filled with ancient stained glass. The organ, when removed, will most probably be placed on a platform at the west end of the aisle.

Between the organ and the south door

is a fine old font of stone, that was much

admired by Mr. Lysons when he visited

. this parish. It has the sacrarium or water

drain; and at this font the holy sacrament of baptism has always been administered after the second lesson, according to the order of the Church.

The encumbering pews at the east end of the nave will be removed, for the space of nine feet in width; and at the entrance of the chancel will be an elegantly carved screen of Dantzic oak.

The pulpit with its sounding board will be set diagonally at the northern angle, and the reading desk beneath it, looking southward and westward.

The pews that were within the chancel are replaced by a range of stalls on each side, chiefly of oak. They are of good design, and their ends are terminated by richly-carved poppy heads, that have been preserved in the church from the time of its erection.

The altar rails were of such a substance as to admit of being re-modelled according to the justly admired style of the fourteenth century.

New tables of the Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and the Apostles' Creed, have been set up, having the letters painted of a beautiful blue, on a light stone colour, and all the capitals richly illuminated in the three primitive colours. Above the first of these is this inscription,

"The law was given ly Motet. "Grace and truth came by Jena Christ."

Above the Lord's Prayer,

"After thii manner, therefore, prey ye.'

Above the Apostles' Creed,

"llepentye and believe the Gospel."

The mouldings are all suitably decorated.

The original eastern window has been composed of ancient stained glass, from the rare and beautiful collection of Mr. Watson, of Hanway Street, London, brought about half a century ago from the churches of suppressed monasteries in France. The upper parts of the two south windows of the chancel are also decorated with glass from the same source.

The following inscription is inserted at the bottom of the east window.

"Deo et Ecclcsite hanc Fenestram humiliter dedicavit Georgius Smith King,

A.D. MDCCCXLIV."

Yours, &c. Saxon.

Mr. Urban, B. S. June 3. \

IN your valuable Repository, Sept. 1839, p- 236, a letter ia published from John Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, which announces that on the "Monday next cominge" his wife will "lake her cham

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