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The south porch is Decorated, as is the church door within it. It has a scroll label.
The font is cylindrical, and may be Norman.
Looking to the whole building, the tower base seems the oldest
part, and may be late Norman. The chancel is good Decorated, probably earlier than the south transept, which is singularly elegant, and in its details resembles the work upon Sir Lawrence Berkerolle's seal. The north transept and nave are also Decorated, as is the porch. The upper story of the tower is doubtful; it may be perpendicular.
At the east end of the south transept, beneath a recessed canopy highly enriched with crockets and finials, is an altar tomb, panelled at the two ends and in the front, with six panels, each containing a kneeling figure with a scroll. The two central figures represent monks, the remainder men in armour; and in the spandrils are heater shields, probably once painted in colours.
Upon the altar repose two figures. That on the left, or to the front, is armed in plate beneath a surcoat with scallopped edge, and a hood and tippet of chain mail, leaving the face open. Beneath the knees is a sort of band resembling the Tudor ornament, with the flowers pointing downwards. The sword is gone, but its belt is ornamented with lions' heads. The feet rest upon a lion, and upon the left arm is the shield, bearing a chevron between three crescents in bold relief.
The other figure, à lady, is clad in a wimple and a long robe. Her feet rest upon a lioness. The execution of this tomb is, on the whole, good, and the enrichments profuse. It is much mutilated.
On the east side is another altar tomb which once stood in the centre of the transept, also with male and female figures. In design and costume this tomb and its figures nearly resemble that already described, but the work is less delicate ; the sword belt has also lions' heads. The armour is of the same pattern, and the shield bears the same arms. The panels below contain two figures, each pair holding a book. The ten figures
on the west and north sides are females. The south side is concealed. On the east side are figures in armour. At the four angles are figures also in armour.
In the south wall, east of the tomb, is a late Decorated water stoup beneath a small canopy, and in the west wall a shrine, also under a canopy, but of later date, and which has recently been removed from its proper ecclesiastical position in the east wall.
These tombs probably represent the two penultimate generations of the Berkerolles family, Sir William and Sir Roger, with their wives. The detail of the south window indeed much resembles, in its flamboyant tracery, the seal of Elizabeth Berkerolles, appended to Sir Lawrence's charter of 1392, but executed no doubt earlier. The transept was probably the mortuary chapel of Sir William, who died 1327, and may have been erected by Sir Roger, his son, between that year and his death in 1351. Sir William's tomb is, of course, that which stood in the centre of the transept, and the lady may have been the Nerber heiress, for how he obtained Orchard is not known. The southern tomb is, no doubt, that of Sir Roger. The inheritors of Sir Lawrence were not so likely to have honoured his memory, the relationship being comparatively remote, and the property divided.
The Berkerolles arms are usually blazoned as azure, a chevron between three crescents or.
Other Monuments.—South transept, on the floor. Edmund Thomas, Esq., died 3 June, 16[90 ?], aged 65. Gwenllian Thomas, his wife, died 5 Jan. 1703, aged 73. There is a defaced stone, probably of Thomas, which seems dated 1600. These are of Wenvoe.
North Transept.--Nicholas Thomas, son of Florence -A.D. 1699 ?
Chancel.—John Walter died 20 Nov. 1735, aged 63. Children of Rev. John and Mary Drake, rector 54 years. He died 13 Aug. 1829, aged 81.
Nave.-On an old small hatchment, the arms of Spencer. Quarterly, 2 and 3 a fret; over all on a bend sable 3 mullets argent. Crest of Spencer of Althorpe.
Under the Tower.-Mary Thomas, wife of Thomas Walter, died 24 Oct. 1722. Thomas Walter died 5 April, 1729, aged 70.
Mary Spencer, wife of Christ. Walter, died 6 March, 1702. Buried here by consent of Robert Walter.
Outside the east wall of the Church.-Edward Gamage, rector, died 27 June, 1734.
In the churchyard, south side, is the church-house, common in this district, with the usual exterior steps.
G. T. C. 1868.
ON THE STUDY OF WELSH ANTIQUITIES.
EARLY BRITISH AND ROMAN REMAINS.
The object of the writer of this series of papers is to remind members of the Association of certain lines of antiquarian research which require to be followed up, and which may be either overlooked, or else attended to in only a desultory and imperfect manner. One of the chief dangers which an Association such as ours is exposed to, is the studying of national antiquities in a way too irregular and unsystematic, instead of adopting definite, well-matured plans, and following them up with consistency and perseverance. The former is, indeed, the characteristic of all bodies of volunteers; the latter, that of societies in which individual energies are too often frozen down into stiffness of routine, and strength is petrified into uniformity and dulness. This has been the fate of authorised societies and academies all over Europe, and a deadly lethargy has too often supervened when the highest degree of life and spirit was wanting
I am far from wishing to hint that anything like this is witnessed in the Cambrian Archæological Association. Considering the recent period of its origin, the absence of official encouragement, and the apathy and dulness it has had to contend with, its progress and actual con
dition cannot be considered otherwise than satisfactory. Its energies are not diminished, and the harvest of its labours, as quarterly recorded, is as rich and promising as ever. Still it is exposed to the risk of overlooking much that is valuable, from the very circumstance of its researches depending on the labours of members isolated from each other, and not acting with any implied bond of common purpose. Thus the survey of Roman remains in Wales, carried on by two or three zealous members, seems at present suspended, and in danger of being forgotten. The Monasticon Cambrense, which indeed has produced good fruit, seems in like manner at present in abeyance. The survey of ancient manor houses, in which Wales is rich, depends apparently upon the sole energies of that learned and accurate antiquary of whom Glamorganshire has so much reason to be proud. As for details of the ancient churches of Wales, the clergy seem to ignore their existence; and hardly a line concerning them is published, save what proceeds from members not professionally connected with the Principality. The early inscribed stones of Wales are cared for and recorded by two members only of the Association; and even the genealogies of Wales, the weak point of Welsh antiquaries, are attended to apparently by only very few.
Apathy is a national Celtic failing, and it is of little use to complain of it; but a knowledge of its existence ought to elicit a greater amount of system and energy on the part of those who have really proved themselves “working men” in the general field of Welsh antiquities; and it may serve as an excuse for any one who endeavours to point out existing deficiencies, or to shew where the combined energies of real antiquaries may be well exerted.
Looking at Wales from a geographical and ethnographical point of view, it is obvious that certain physical peculiarities in the natural conformation of the country should be taken into account by whoever wishes to study its antiquities scientifically. Thus, setting
aside, for the time being, the peculiarities of BRITANNIA SECUNDA, it may be asserted that we yet want a connected and systematic account of the defences of the coast all round, as connected with the records or traditions of the early Welsh chronicles. The visits of the Northmen and the Irishmen caused the formation of defensive posts all round the coasts. These all require a thorough examination and a systematic survey. One of our most distinguished members, the Rev. H. Hey Knight, had already begun it, and might have completed it; but he has been taken away, and no one has hitherto come forward to supply his place. Even his papers are not forthcoming; and since its delivery at the Monmouth Meeting, nothing has been heard of the elaborate memoir which he read on the camps of the Danes on the coast of Glamorganshire. There is enough to occupy an active observer for several seasons in examining the coast-defences of the country against seafaring marauders in ancient times ; and a corresponding amount of laborious research ought to be expended on the lines of hillforts, mountain-earthworks, etc., all along the English frontier. The survey of Offa's Dyke has still to be completed in some important points, and possibly other lines of territorial demarcation may be found on minute and diligent inquiry.
Mr. Clark has done much in pointing out the mutual dependence and intercommunications of the great Norman fortresses of Wales and the Marches; but there is yet room for a connected survey of all the great lines of road intersecting the district in times long posterior to those of the Britons and Romans. For instance, a tolerable line of road runs parallel to the march-ground from Cardiff to Chester at the present day; and, again, the lines of road used in the middle ages for communication between Chester and the Edwardian castles of North Wales, or those across from Gloucester and Hereford to Cardigan, have still to be examined,—a task well worthy of the leisure of some of our country gentlemen.
With regard to the Welsh monasteries there is much