The small north window in the chancel, with its singular trefoiled head, deserves attention. Somewhat similar windows are to be seen at S. Michael's, Sutton Bonington. It is much to be regretted that the workmen in 1862, contrary to orders, put a new surface to the masonry of this window, and of the piscina. They also made a mistake in glazing the low side window, which till 1862, had a glazed casement in the place of the old wooden shutter, and hanging on the original hooks, which still remain. The clamps at the corners of this low side window are more modern, and held this casement in its place. The present glass ought to have been placed in the same position. This particular low side window is mentioned in Bloxham's book as having the original iron transoms. They have been retained. The socket for the bolt of the shutter also remains. What these low side windows were used for is, I think, still a mystery. Dr. Cox won't hear of their being leper windows or confessionals, but thinks they were used for ringing the sanctus bell through. They are generally found in the same position as this one, but at Ludlow, I am told, there is a singular passage at the back of the altar with a low side window, and the present Rector of Sanford, when Curate there, was told by an aged parishioner that "they used to ring a bell through that window." If this is an ancient tradition in the parish it would confirm Dr. Cox's story.1

During the restoration in 1862 a very perfect Nuremberg token was found. These tokens, I believe, were not actually coins, but cheques given to the workmen to show that they were entitled to so much money. A silver coin was found in the churchyard in the late Rector's time, which was pronounced by the Curator of the Coin Department of the British Museum, to be Indian, and of the 16th century. How did it get there? Was it buried with some corpse? These coins, together with the ancient key of the church are in my possession.

With regard to the outside of the church, the west wall was blank, with no west window. It had evidently been built at a comparatively recent date, of old materials, some old flooring tiles, still visible, being used where the stones are not so thick as others in the same course. There is reason to believe that the whole of this west wall, or at least the part above the plinth, was built some time in the 17th century, possibly in 1656.

Godfrey states, that "on the 8 of May, 1553, the Church Goods Commissioners placed in the custody of Nycolas Walker, Parson, and the Churchwardens of Curtelyngstok on Challes and a patent Parcell gylte for the Admynystration of the holye Comunio', as also two Bellys off on accorde the one thereoff beyng broken hangyng in the stepull." Does the word "stepull" here mean a tower, or a bell gable similar to those so common in the neighbouring county of Rutland? Examples were to be found in this immediate neighbourhood at Sutton S. Ann's, West Leake, and on the old church at Kingston. Such a bell gable would seem more appropriate to so small a church, but Scott thought there might have been a small tower, similar to that at Hoton. The greater part of this wall was taken down by him, and two or three stones, apparently parts of battlements, were found. This favours the idea that there was once a tower, but we searched for foundations in vain.

The present west window was inserted by Scott. The south window is new, but a facsimile of the old one.

The roofing is of Swithland slabs, so suitable for a church roof. When these were stripped off in 1862 among the red ridge-tiles were found two or three that were glazed, and had evidently had slight crockets. They were perhaps as old as any part of the church.

I would next speak of the south wall of the chancel. Sir Gilbert Scott greatly admired the beautiful proportions of this part of the church, and I think I may be excused for calling special attention to its many beauties and interesting features. Its low side window, its string course rising from one level to another, its very fine square-headed decorated windows with their unusually thick tracery, its founder's tomb (if it is right to call it a founder's tomb), so rarely found in the external wall. Indeed, I think I am right in saying that so many interesting features are rarely found in so few yards of masonry.


The effigy under the canopy is evidently that of an ecclesiastic ; the chasuble, stole and other vestments being visible. It is dreadfully mutilated and worn away. A public footpath formerly passed in front of it, and it seems to have been used as a play place for children. There is a trace of what might at first sight be taken for a pastoral staff, but it is hardly in the right position. Can it have formed part of a canopy over the head of the effigy? Godfrey suggests that the tomb is that of John de Langton, who left directions in his will, dated Christmas, 1345, that he should be buried "in the churchyard." Would this account for its being in the external wall? If, however, the present church was not built till 1360 it can scarcely be the tomb of John de Langton.

Attention should be given to the two very singular crosses on one of the coigns of the nave wall. Bloxham, who visited this church before he wrote his book, and again in 1868, could give no satisfactory account of these crosses, but thought they might have formed part of a sepulchral monument. Scott thought they might have formed part of a churchyard cross. The late Mr. Manning, of Diss, thought that they dated from the 9th or 10th century, and suggests that if the stone were removed another cross might be found on the other side of it. He published an account of them in the Illustrated Church News and in the Antiquary. He says the pattern "is of decided Irish design, and much resembles one engraved on the tomb of Daniel in the early cemetery of Irish Christians, at Clonmacnois." He thought that these crosses, and other similar carved stones in different parts of England, serve to prove that the English Church was derived from Ireland rather than from Rome. A great puzzle with regard to the date of these crosses is that there is a small and faint copy of them on the stone below; but the design (see illustration) seems to have been cut on both these stones before they were placed in their present position.

In the masonry of the south wall the stones of the chancel are not of the same size as those in the nave, as if they were not built at the same date; and yet the whole of the ancient part appears to belong to the second half of the Decorated period. Unlike most of our churches, no addition seems to have been made in the 15th century. All through the turbulent times of the Wars of the Roses the work of church building and enlarging was carried on. The peaceful clink of the builder's trowel, and the stroke of the mason's mallet were to be heard throughout the length and breadth of England. But in this little church the work was considered complete, and no addition was made till the building of the present aisle in 1848. The porch, I believe, was added in 1849.

I would add that Richard Barnard lies buried in the chancel. He was Rector here from 1768 to 1783. He was one of the founders and the first secretary of the Nottingham Clergy Widows and Orphans Charity—one of the oldest charities in the county.

A few months ago a singular discovery was made in the churchyard. In digging a grave a mass of burnt earth, about the size of a man's head, was found at a depth of about three feet. It contained flint stones of considerable size, so thoroughly burnt that they crumbled at a touch. I would suggest that they were buried in a basket or other receptacle that had disappeared through decay. But why were they so buried?

The two old manor houses in the village are well worth a visit, and Mr. Bagnall-Wild wishes me to say that he will be glad to show them to any members who may wish to see them. During the Civil War the Leaks, mentioned by Mrs. Hutchinson as among "the leper gentry," lived in the one to the east of the church, and could have seen from their upper windows the defeat of their party in the skirmish mentioned in Bailey's Annals of Nottinghamshire.

(1) The varying heights of these so-called "leper windows" may point to varying uses. Some valuable notes are given thereon and discussed in Mr. Harry Gill's excellently illustrated book—"The Village Church in the Olden Time." He thinks the most correct theory is probably this—that they were casements for ventilation.—J. S.