« PreviousContinue »
at first sight seemed to be brass; but many, on being touched, fell to pieces. Whether they are clay casts, or actual brass coins in a state of corrosion, can hardly be determined. On the obverse of one of them, a middle brass, is a laureated head to the right, with the inscription, CONSTAN., very plain. On another the head and shoulders of a man are also very distinct. The head is to the left; the circle of a shield is below, and from it protrudes the point of a spear. No legend is visible; but probably it is the third brass of Crispus, coined in London about the middle of the fourth century. Under the rock in the centre of the barrow, and on which, in all probability, the body was burnt, were a few more bones and a limpet-shell. Quantities of ashes, burnt stones, and charred wood, were scattered throughout the mound. Several pebbles were also found; and chippings of flint are not uncommonly picked up on the adjacent commons, although none were found in the barrow itself.
It is worth mentioning that the valley immediately below the hill on which this interesting barrow stands is said by tradition to have been a battlefield in days gone by. In the midst of it stands a well-known pillar bearing the inscription, in late Roman characters, RIALO BRAN CVNOVAL FIL. ; beneath which, I believe, no interment was found when it was searched some years since.
Six miles west of Penzance, on the brow of a hill to the right of the road leading to the Land's End, I had often observed a large undisturbed barrow, four or five feet above the level of the surrounding fields, and enclosed, as is usually the case, by a circle of large granite slabs set on edge. On the 21st of August in the present year I proceeded to the place with some workmen, and began by sinking a trench in the centre of the mound. The diameter of the ring proved to be thirty-eight feet, but part of one side had been broken into in building a
modern hedge. The number of stones encircling it was originally sixteen, although several have been recently removed. At the depth of about eighteen inches below the turf we came upon a confused pile of natural rocks lying one on the other in no order, and probably never moved by the hand of man. (See the plan.) One of
these rocks, seven feet long by about four broad, was sloping downwards towards its eastern end; and remembering the one at Morvah Hill, I directed a trench to be sunk in that direction, and presently came to a flat stone, three feet in length by two in breadth. When this was removed, the rim of an urn could be seen above the black earth which filled a small kist-vean, one foot long, one foot four inches broad, and eighteen inches deep. The sides of this kist were constructed in a manner very unusual in barrows of this description, of two layers of stone. The urn was placed, mouth downwards,
upon a natural slab of granite, and was so firmly wedged in by the walls of the kist that two of these had to be removed before it could be taken out. As will be seen by the annexed figure, the urn is ornamented by an extremely rude chevron pattern between irregular lines. This pattern extends over four small cleats, or handles, which protrude from each side of the vessel. The present height of the urn is twelve inches, and the diameter at the mouth nine. It is remarkable that no traces of the bottom could be discovered ; and as it is not likely that that part would have decayed sooner than the upper portions of the urn, it is not unreasonable to suppose that it was broken off before being placed in the kist. The urn itself is not well baked, and the pottery extremely rude. The bones it contained were not so thoroughly burnt as those found at Morvah Hill, and can be identified as those of a woman or small man. Among the earth with which the kist was filled were found two chippings of flint and several sea-pebbles. The sloping stone in the centre of the barrow, on which, like that at Morvah Hill, I have no doubt the body was burnt, was surrounded on all sides with ashes and charred wood; and beneath it, when raised, was nearly a cartload of ashes as white and fresh as if the fire had scarcely been extinguished from them. Amongst these were found two more chippings of flint; one of which, from its size and shape, may have been intended for the head of some sharp weapon.
The date of this barrow is doubtless far earlier than that of the one previously described, and yet it is remarkable to find how nearly they resemble each other in several most important points. From a judicious comparison of such barrows as these, much might still be learnt of the mode in which our prehistoric forefathers conducted their funereal rites.
WILLIAM C. BORLASE.
NOTES ON WEOBLEY, HEREFORDSHIRE.
PART I.—THE HONOUR.
No one who has any love for antiquity, passing through the ancient town of Weobley, can fail to admire its noble church as well as the still numerous and graceful remains of its former importance, now fast decaying, or losing their best and most striking features under the levelling influence of modern improvement. Not many years ago these relics were more numerous than they are now; but though some of the more important of them have been destroyed, such as still survive are sufficient to bear witness of the architectural taste and skill of former ages, and of prosperity now long since passed away.
The name Wibelai, as it stands in Domesday, or as it is otherwise spelt, Wobberley, Wobbel, Webberley, Willey, Webley, Weobly, and Weobley, might seem to claim kindred with the name of Wybba or Wibba, son of Creoda or Crida, king of Mercia, whose name seems to be commemorated in the not very distant hill of Credenhill. Probably the termination - ley” is derived from the AngloSaxon leag (a district), a name apparently preserved in that of the estate of “the Ley”; and thus the whole name would be Wibba's Ley, i. e., the portion or land of Wibba. Certain it is that at the time of the Domes. day Survey, A.D. 1086, Wibelai or Weobley was included among the possessions appropriated to the great Lacy family, who have given their name to so many places in Herefordshire. In that county Walter de Lacy, brother
1 A. S. Chron., a. 626, 716.
2 I must confess that doubt is thrown upon this theory by the existence of Webley Castle in Gower. Whether there was any connexion between these two names, or between Lacy and Fitzhamon, the respective occupiers, I am unable yet to determine. See Harl. 6596, f. 66, and Arch. Camb., vii, p. 348, and App.
to Ilbert, whose descendants became Earls of Lincoln, is recorded to have held sixty-five lordships and eighteen manors. He died a.d. 1085, by a fall from the battlements of St. Peter's Church at Hereford, which church he had built from the foundation ;' and was succeeded by his son Roger, who is named in Domesday as the possessor of Weobley. The record, translated, runs thus: “ The same Roger holds Wibelai. “ Edwi cilt” (child, i. e., prince or thane) held it in fee. In Stradford (Stretford) hundred. There are three hides and a half which
In demesne are three carucates and ten villeins, a presbyter, a præpositus (steward), a smith, and five bordarii (cottagers), with nine carucates and a half. There are eleven serfs, and a wood half a leualong and four quaranteins wide. There is a park, and land amounting to one carucate of essarz, pays eleven solidi and nine denarii. One of these villeins doth S. Peter hold by gift of Walter de Laci. In the time of King Edward it was worth one hundred solidi, and afterwards sixty solidi, lately one hundred solidi."
Another son, Walter, became a monk, and afterwards abbot, in S. Peter's, Gloucester; and there was a third, Hugh; and one or two daughters, Emma and Rohesia; but whether one person only is intended by these two names, or two persons, I am unable to determine 3
Roger de Lacy having taken the side of Robert Courthose against William Rufus, A.D. 1088, was banished, and his lands were granted to his brother Hugh, A.D. 1091,4 Hugh assisted to found the abbey of Lanthony, died without issue, and probably lies buried in Weobley Church. The male line of this branch of the Lacy
1 Monast. Angl., iii, 620.
2 The leua was =480 perches=12 quaranteins; the quarantein= 40 perches. The leua was, perhaps,=1 mile. (Ellis, Introd. to Domesday, i, 159.) Essar, a cultivated spot, cleared land (ib. 102). Hide and carucate are considered by Ellis to be nearly the same (ib. 146). 3 Mon. Angl., vi, p. 135.
4 Harl. 6336, 6596, p. 66. 5 Mon. Angl., vi, p. 135; Tanner, Not. Mon.; Harl. MSS. 6596,