« AnteriorContinuar »
1831.) Removal of the Screen at York Minster.
131 masterly production, written with gentle- the front of the present screen, originally manly feeling, and polished with the finest covering the backs of the western line of the taste. The inaccuracies, the contradictions, stalls ; and which I have fully described in the omissions, and all the various blunder- my former letter ;1 but not a single mouldings of the ardent Innovator, are enforced ing appears on its surface, to indicate that it with peculiar felicity. We give the follow- ever was an interior wall; pot a vestige of ing specimens. We are told that “the its having been intended to support any pillars of the tower were immured about carved wood-work. That this may have one huodred years after they were built in a been designed, not only to support the stalls, cross wall 15 feet in thickness” (including, but to serve as a temporary separation of the therefore, the porch,) “which forms the choir, I have already allowed; but, until western screen of the choir ;' and next, documentary testimony be given, I cannot «« that the porch and staircases were of allow that this separation was meant to be perlater erection than the western wall” (the manent, or that any other line of separation part now remaining), “ which is only about than that formed by the present ill-treated three feet thick," Again (p. 9 and 49), it screen, was in the view of the original archiis said, by way of apology for the artist who tects of the choir. And of this I can proerected the screen, that he placed it where duce something like proof. Among the very he did, to enlarge the capacity of the organ interesting discoveries which have been made loft; which clearly implies that the western by the removal of the inner work of the wall, the staircases, and the internal ma- screen, and by the excavations of the choir, sonry, are coeval. But in p. 13, we are a wall more than five feet wide has been told that “one hundred years after the choir brought to light, extending east and west was built, a new screen is put up on the within the pillars on each side of the choir, west, and some time aflerwards swells to a composed of grit-stone, and indicating a thickness of 15 feet !” Davus sum, non structure probably anterior to the conquest.
Edipus. I believe no workman who exa- This wall reaches westward, on each side of mines the screen, will find any difficulty in the porch, to the back, at least, of that poraccounting for the ashlar tooling or the tion of the screen which is still remaining, square holes ; or hesitate to pronounce the and rises seven inches above the level of the porch, which is bonded into the front wall, present door of the nave, or eleven inches and all the internal masonry, to have been above the level of the old pavement of the built at the same time with the ornamental church. To make room for the moulded façade.
bases of the interior shafts of the eastern “ That the consent of the subscribers to pillars of the tower, above eight ioches of the proposed removal of the organ-screen this ancient grit wall on both sides of the may be the more readily obtained, they are choir, have been cut away, and the spaces told that the original screen belonging to left between the wall, and the bases of the the choir, said to have been built by Arch- shafts of both pillars, as far as to the present bishop Thoresby, did not stand where the screen, have been filled up, or as the workpresent screen is placed ; that the present men term it, grouted; so that not only have screen, the work of no other artist than a the moulded bases of a large portion of the statuary and a mason,' was set up a hun- pillars been buried, from the very period of dred years after the choir was furnished, their being erected, to the depth of about 'to enlarge the capacity of the organ loft, fifteen inches ; but there never could have by some Dean and Chapter, more solicitous been a time when the space between the for the accommodation of the choir than eastern pillars of the tower, in front of the the architectural appearance of the church;' supposed original screen, was on a level with that it was thus • foisted in between two of the pavement of the tower. This space, the finest pillars in the world, burying their therefore, must have been throughout elebases, and one-third of their height, and vated into steps, as within the present porch; covering what was originally designed to (of which, however, not the slightest traces remain clear.'* The original screen is said appeared under the rubbish' that has to have been a wall, somewhat more than two been removed ;) or a temporary rood-loft feet in thickness, supporting a wooden screen; was erected, occupying the whole area lately or a frame of enriched wood-work, cover- covered by the screen, so as to conceal the ing the back of the western line of stalls, and rude remains of this ancient wall. about fifteen feet eastward of the front of “It requires only an inspection of the the screen now standing.t You will natu- great pillars as they now stand, delivered rally ask what evidence there is of all this? from the rubbish in which they were buried,' and you may be surprised to learn that none in order to be fully satisfied that the burial has been produced. There is, indeed, a part of these fine bases was coeval with their of a wall still remaining, thirteen feet from formation ; the barbarous act' of the ori
ginal architect, and pot of any tasteless * Letter to Lord Milton, p. 7; 2d letter, Dean and Chapter, or any mere statuary or pp. 8, 9, 59. Letter to Lord Milton, p. 10.
Letter to the Subscribers, p. 25.
Removal of the Screen at York Minster. [Feb. mason of a subsequent age: and they ing the veil of his sanctuary, would he cannot be exhumed by modern innova- not call it an inunvation, an heresy in tors, without destroying the uniform level ecclesiastical architecture? Let the reof the floor of the church. We con- movers of the screen plead that it has template such hases with admiration and been “ foisted" in between the pillars of the delight; but the choir of York Minster lantern ; that it formed no part of the Archexhibits at this moment sufficient proof bishop's plan ; let them say that it wants that the ancient architects did not scruple, just proportion, that its beauties are too flowhen it served their purpose, to conceal rid and gorgeous, and that it was produced those results of ingenuity and labour; since by the skill of a mere mason ; let them inthere is not a piilar, from the entrance to sinuate even more ; the prelate would reply the choir to the eastern end of the crypt, that he could pardon all this, but to remove the moulded bases of which have not been the Screen for the purpose of infringing buried either by the walls of the prebendal upon the choir of his Church-this indeed stalls, or in the work of the more ancient would be a violation of priociple he never church, on the remains of which the pre- could forgive. We should be glad to see sent church has been erected.
the altar in its original position, and who “The advocates for the removal of would pot rejoice to view in the space bethe orgau-screen appear to fix their at. hind it, a noble cenotaph inscribed with the tention, and to direct the attention of honoured names of MORRITT, MARKHAM, the subscribers, exclusively upon one point, Wellbeloved, STRICKLAND -- and a still the effect to be produced upon the no- loftier cenotaph enriched with the names of ble pillars of the tower. The effect on those who, questioning their own judgment, the choir does not seem to be con- nobly relinquished their object in deference sidered as worthy of notice or inquiry. I to the general appeal to the integrity of cannot but suspect that the advocates for antiquity? the removal have not themselves yet ven- We have heard that the zeal of the Innotured to look attentively beyond this first vator for the accomplishment of his fell step; and if so, no wonder that they do not purpose, for which he has laboured with ininvite or encourage the subscribers to look dustry (which, in a worthy cause, would further. The Innovator tells Lord Milton have secured him fame and admiration), as he does not know whether the whole of length begins to abate ; or rather that it has the screen can be retained, or whether it been checked by those influential persons must be retrenched;' and that he believes who have hitherto seconded his destructive he may safely assure him that the ancient plans, solely in deference to the formidable crypt need not be disturbed ;' in his second host which their own pernicious schemes for letter he barely promises the Subscri- the improvement of perfection has raised ber' " a still more admirable improvement' against them. We hope for the truth of this than the removal of the wooden altar by report, as an earnest that the admirable Kent. And Mr. Smirke, in his last report, Screen will be suffered to remain where it is, declares "he cannot, after the most atten- and where it was posited by those who were tive investigation, perceive what other far better judges than ourselves of the situachanges in the fabric could be occasioned by tion proper for it. We despise Mr. Ricksuch a removal, to justify the strong objec- mau's half measure no less than Mr. Vertions made by those who are opposed to the non's bold innovation : he is “willing to proposition.' How much more satisfactory, wound, but yet afraid to fight." Let Mr. how much more likely to disarm opposition, Rickman do what he pleases in a church of would it have been, if, instead of such vague his own creation, but he must learn to reand vomeaning assertions or opinions, the spect those great and grand works of antifuture plan of operations respecting the dis- quity, of which York Minster is the chief, position of the choir had been distinctly and from which he has acquired all that he plainly stated."
knows of what he deems“ Gothic” archiOur knowledge of ancient architecture tecture. If we may sometimes question would enable us to give some information on (which we may not do with respect to the the subject of the original Lady Chapel, arrangement of the choir screen at York) wbich is supposed to have stood at one pe the taste of the ancient architects, we can riod on the north side of the nave; but we claim no right to destroy any part of the shall uot now enter with the “ Subscriber" plans of their churches, on the bare pretence on this question. It is sufficient to kuow of giving to the building the full effect, as that the existing Lady Chapel was fixed by it is modestly termed, which the original Thoresby in the eastern part of his building, architect intended, but failed, to produce. and it is to preserve this arrangement entire, Mr. Vernon will merit the thanks of the and the position of the screen, that we and public if he henceforth direct his attention all the advocates for antiquity have both to the « perfect restoration" of the choir, written and spoken.
and be satisfied with the internal beauty of Could Thoresby behold the struggle now the Minster, which he may injure, but which
forward for tearing away and destroy. he cannot improve.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Antiquarian Investigations in the Forest of caer, a city, from whence Carthago;
Dartmoor, Devon. By Samuel Rowe, Penn, the cliff of a hill, from Pinnah; B.A. Member of the Plymouth Institu- and many others: of which see Sammes, tion. 8vo. pp. 36.
p. 60. This author says (p. 59), ihat DARTMOOR exhibits a very co there are many places in these iwo pious collection of British remains. counties, Cornwall and Devonshire, These are here placed under one view which retain exact footsteps of the by Mr. Rowe; and amidst very much Phenicians, that cannot be found any to commend, we have only to regret where else ; and the number of places that explanation has in one or two re. (10 say nothing of the tin irade) beginspecis been sought by Major Smith ning with the prefixes of Pen or Tre from Helio-arkite and Welch works. (from the Phenician tira, by contracAll the antiquities in question occur tion tra, a fort, to secure the iin trade,) both in Asia and America. If the sufficiently atiests his hypothesis. As Welch was the language of either of to the application of this passage to these quarters of the globe; if the Celts Dartmoor, we shall copy from Sammes, had been a Welch colony ; if the crom for the information of Mr. Rowe, prelechs of Malabar, and the stone cir- ceding paragraphs in p. 59, because cles all over the earth, had been bore the local situation of Dartmoor is farowed from Welch exemplars; if Bry- vourable to Phenician intercourse, and ant and his coadjutors could reconcile because ihe remains are only such as his Noachian theory with the worship occur in other parts of the kingdom, of a cow's tail in Africa, indeed of any and teach us from the localiiy to look thing whatever, in the South Sea Is. for the primary introduction to that lands and other savage countries, there peninsula, to which spot, and not to might be some foundation for the mass Wales, the Greek and Roman geogra. of fable and silliness by which the phers, from Herodotus 10 Piolemy Helio-arkites and Cambrians have (through the tin trade), lead us : spoiled British history. Druids still "I will only (says Sammes) mention one exist at Ceylon, Druidesses at Mount thing in this peninsula, (Cornwall, &c.) Caucasus, sione circles, rocking stones, which seems to me exactly to preserve its avenues, &c. in North America, the Phenician name, and this is a fortification tolmen, as a cure for disease, is still of stones only, without any cement or morresorted 10 upon the shores of the Red tar, lying as upon the Lake Leopole, a forSea. The Galla, who inhabit the in tification after the manner of the Britains, terior of Abyssinia, treat a tree (the
as Tacitus describes them, “Rudes et inWansey tree] as a god ; venerate par
formes Saxorum compages,' which was the ticular stones, and worship the Moon
way of the eastern nations, as the Scriptures
themselves inform us. and some of the stars; the Hindoos
"This rude heap of stones the inhabite have numerous Druidical customs.
ants call to this day Erth, without giving Other conformities might be adduced;
any reason for so ancient a rampier, and of and it is only from ignorance of an- so great a compass as it is, so that none cient oriental superstitions and cus- can induce me to believe but that it took its toms, ihat the Welch nursery trash name from the lake on which it lies, for the has met with a different fate from that Phenicians called all lakes Arith, so that which it deserves. The truth is, that this military fence, called, as I have said, Druidism, if analysed, is nothing more Erth, I believe from thence received its than Salæanism intermixed, in substan. name.' tials, with other superstitions of different The stone circles, logan-stones, crom. periodis; it is the Baalism of Scrip- lechs, cairns, and other common antiture; and the Phenicians not only quities at Dartinoor, we shall not nocommunicated their customs, but also tice, because it would lead us into their very local appellations to the 100 wide a field of discussion. We British language, e. g. crug or careg, a shall confine ourselves to the remains hill, is from ihe Phenician carac or of British houses and track ways, which crac; corn or kern, a horn, from koran; are rare subjects.
134 Review.-Rowe's Antiquarian Investigations in Dartmoor. (Feb.
“ The huts or dwellings of the ancient is divided by irregular lines of upright stones. inhabitants are to be found in every part of The hut is in a state comparatively perfect, Dartmoor, in a state generally very imper- the upper part only having fallen in. It fect; the foundation stones and those form- appears to have been shaped like a beeing the door-jambs being all that remain of hive, the walls being formed of large stones these dwellings, with few exceptions. The and turf, so placed as to terminate in a point. huts are circular in the plan, but are at These huts have their counterparts still once distinguished from the sacred circle, extant in the shealings of the Orkneys, as consisting of larger stones, placed with some of which, composed of stone and turf, considerable intervals, so as in these the have the form of ovens or beehives; and stones are set on their edge, and placed others with a base or stone, consisting of closely together, so as to form a secure two circles within each other, have a superfoundation for the superstructure, whether structure of fir or pine poles converging to that they were wattle (the junctæ cortice a point, and covered with branches and virgæ of Ovid), turf, stone, or other mate- heather. Both these kinds appear to have rial. These vestiges strikingly illustrate existed in Dartmoor. All these huts apthe descriptions which Diodorus and Strabo proach with greater or less accuracy to the give of the habitations of the Britons of circular form. their times. The former describes them as “With very few exceptions, these ancient . poor cottages constructed of wood, and dwellings are found in groups, either surcovered with straw;' the latter, as' wooden rounded by rude inclosures, or unprovided houses, circular in form, with lofty conical with this protection. On the banks of the roofs.'"-p. 17.
Walkham near Merivale bridge is a very exThe mischievous Sammes (to use a tensive village, containing huts of various very homely figure) has attached a Phe
dimensions, built on a hill sloping towards nician tin keitle to the tail of Welch
the south-west. This village or town ap
pears to have been of considerable importarchæology; and there has been more
ance, as there are found in it the avenue, cry than wool about this school-boy
the cromlech, maen, aud sacred circle. In trick,-than wool we say, for it is evi
this, as in many other villages on the moor, dent that the Greek and Roman geo
regard seems to have been had to a supply graphers, and through them ourselves,
of water in the immediate vicinity; and, gehave acquired an early knowledge of
nerally speaking, preference appears to have this island, only through the Pheni been given to a south or south-western ascian and Greek intercourse, 'on ac- pect."-p. 18. count of a metal necessary to atlemper
It is noted by Capt. Head in his bronze. Our worthy countrymen are
Life of Bruce (p. 229), concerning not aware ihat in their zeal for ances
the houses of Abyssinia, that when try, they claim descent from the abori.
they begin to appear with conical giñal Indians of Great Britain, many,
roofs, it is a sign that the rains of the perhaps all, of whom originally were
country are violent. Climate is innaked and tattooed. Whatever preten
deed the obvious cause of such roofs. sions such persons had to civilization
It might too be shown that the Cymust have been imported; and it is as
clopes of the Greeks, the Celts, and the ridiculous to suppose that the science
Canaanites or Phenicians, expelled by and learning of the Druids were de
Joshua, were one and the same race. rived from our primary savages, as The Treasury of Atreus at Mycenæ is that the Australians and Otaheileans
of the beehive form, and there are have invented and used fire-arms and
other circular foundations. From this, the mariner's compass.
however, we do not mean to infer To proceed with our extracts : more than the antiquity of the pattern.
" The foundation slabs above-mentioned We think that it even occurs in the generally stand from eighteen to thirty South Sea Islands. inches above the surface. The door-jambs The ancient British fashion, as to in most cases higher, placed nearly at right
public fortresses, was an Acropolis ; angles to the outline of the circle ; in a very
but there might have been inferior considerable proportion of examples the
fortlets. The earliest mention which door faces the south. These hut circles
we possess of the use of “fenced cities" measure from twelve to thirty feet in diameter; the most usual size being about
(as fortified towns are called in the twenty-six feet, though some are found
Bible), is that of the book of Numbers much larger. The single foundation is most (xxxi. 16, 17,) where the Israelites common, but some have a double circle. - say that they will build “ fenced cities One very perfect specimen is found in the for their little ones, because of the incorner of a very remarkable inclosure, which habitants of the land.” Now to these
1831.] Review.–Rowe's Antiquarian Investigations in Dartmoor. 135 cities and their districts a great stone The base of this mound extends in some was an appendage, for in i Sam. vi. parts to twenty feet, but the average height 18, we find that there were “cities of any section would not exceed six feet. belonging to the five lords both of With the exception of openings for ingress fenced cities, and of country villages, and egress, the wall is perfect, inclosing an even unto the great stone of Abel,
area of about four acres. The vestiges of whereon they set down the ark of the
ancient habitations within this primitive
fence are numerous, and occupy the whole Lord, which stone remaineth unto
inclosure, leaving only one vacant spot at this day.”—This stone might have
ve "the upper end, which might have been a been a cromlech. As, however, Poly• place of public resort for the inhabitants of bius says that there were no walled the town. A spring rising on the eastern towas among the Britons before the side supplies the inclosure with water. Roman conquest, we doubt the cor “Many similar inclosures on a less exrectness of the appropriation, especially tensive scale are found in every district of as we hear of no foss, and if such there the moor. One, however, is so essentially are whether they be within or with different in construction from all the others, out the mound. If within, a fortifica. that it merits a particular description. tion could not be the object. We
"lo a small pasture field, about a furlong think that they were residences of
S.E. of Manaton Church adjoining a parish chieftains; for Struti* says, from clas
road, is an inclosure of an elliptical form, in
an exceedingly perfect condition. The stones sical authority, that “British houses
of which the fence is composed, are from were not built in streets, but generally
four to six feet high, placed in a double row on the banks of a river, for the conve.
and set close together. One stone, hownience of water, or in the woods and
ever, is so large, that it fills the whole forests, where abundance of forage breadth of the fence, being five feet wide, might be fouod for the catile. The and five feet thick. The diameters of the most convenient of these places was area are one hundred and thirty-eight feet; chosen by the Prince for his residence, and there are no vestiges of any Druidical and his followers and dependents made relic within the precincts. It will he intheir habitations as near as they could stantly distinguished from the sacred circles conveniently to that of their Sovereign, of Gidleigh and the Grey Wethers, by the and also erected stalls for their calile. positions of the stones, which are without within the same limits. A ditch and late
lateral intervals.”—p. 19. mound of earth'or tampart ran all Mr. Rowe mentions another Cyround.” Now the area of Grimspound clopean inclosure or pound (p. 24), being only about four acres, and of which differs essentially from Grims. Manaton only about a hundred yards pound and others, in circumference, and no vestiges of "in the construction of the fence ; this Druidical relics to be found, we think consisting chiefly though not entirely of that these specimens denote the resi. upright stones, while at Grimspound they dences which we have described far are rudely piled together." more than fortresses. They should, We come now to the Trackways or however, have been tried by the spade, general roads, and Track-lines, as Mr. wbich from discoveries might settle the Rowe designates the mere communia question. But to the extract.
cations with inclosures or huts, which “Cyclopean inclosures or pounds, as they commence and terminate within the are called by the Moormen, frequently sur bounds of each village. One trackway round these ancient towns. They are either is formed of pebble stones, irregularly low walls of stones, piled rudely together in placed together, and forming a rude a ridge-like form, or belts of larger stones causeway, with its crest slightly raised placed erect in the ground. Their general above the level of the country. (p. 20.) form is circular, but some examples are el
This track way is in mean breadth from
This track wond liptical. Remains of habitations are in most to cases found in these inclosures, so that we
five to six feet, another is full 15 feet, may justly conclude that they were origi
a third has a few stones placed erect Dally constructed for purposes of security
at long intervals. The tracklines are and defence.
of irregular forms, intersecting each « Grimspound is by far the finest and other at right angles in great numbers most extraordinary of all the relics of this (as if inarking alleys, lanes, and courts,) class. The wall or mound is formed of and sometimes winding with the avemoorstone blocks, rudely piled together, nues or parallel lines of erect stones. but so large as not to be easily displaced. The Welch mythology (see p. 18) has,
* Chron. of Engl. i. 254.-Rev. when near streams, determined these to