Plate VIII. Beauvale Charter-house: encaustic tiles.
Plate VIII. Encaustic tiles.

The tiles found during the excavations are numerous and interesting. They are of two kinds, viz.: (1) Large plain glazed tiles 11in. by 11in. by 1½in., some light yellow and others black : (2) Encaustic tiles, 5½in. by 5½in. by ¾in. They were probably made at the well-known Nottingham or Dale Abbey kilns. Similar tiles are to be found, not only throughout the county, but in cities as far apart as York and Exeter. It would appear that the wooden stamps were transferred from place to place, quite regardless of the fact that some of the patterns were heraldic and represented the arms or badges of persons who had no connection with the church or district in which the tiles are found. The “quarrels” were formed of clay and partly dried in the sun; the pattern was then impressed with a wooden stamp and clay of a lighter colour, called “slip,” was poured into the grooves. The tile was then coated with a glaze and burnt in a kiln. The result was a tile of varying shades of brown or black With a pattern in yellow. This method of manufacture explains the blurs which some­times occurred owing to the excess of yellow slip left on the tile. Some of the tiles are worn until all the glaze is removed from the surface, and they now appear as red tiles with a pattern formed by depressions without any colour. Facsimiles of the patterns found at Beauvale are shown on Plates VIII. and IX. They are all of 14th century type—chiefly heraldic or grotesque,— and it is interesting to notice that in many instances no allowance has been made for the reversal of the pattern on the stamp, so that nearly all the heraldic charges are impressed the reverse way.

No. 1.

Arms of the founder, Nicholas Cantilupe, Gules, a fess vair between three leopard’s heads jessant-de-lis or.1 This, as might be expected, is the pre­dominant pattern. The leopard faces are indistinct, and in some of the tiles the vair is roughly represented by triangles.

No. 2.

Geometrical patterns; repeating with four tiles, —a common feature of the Decorated period.

No. 3.

Arms of Zouch. Gules, 7 mascles conjoined 3 3 and 7 or. William la Zouch, Archbishop of York, confirmed the charter of foundation as Diocesan.

No. 4.

Letters of the Latin alphabet in Lombardic capitals. This is a very common pattern. It will be noticed that every letter is reversed. In specimens of this tile found elsewhere the letters are stamped the right way about, but read from right to left on the tile.

No. 5.

Maltese Cross. An ornamental pattern of frequent occurrence in many places.

No. 6.

Badge of Richard II. (1377-1399). The absence of the Edwardian (heraldic) patterns of these tile-makers supports the opinion that the build­ings were not erected for some time after the granting of the charter.

No. 7.

Geometrical diaper.

No. 8.

A four-tile quatrefoil pattern of birds and oak leaves.

No. 9.

Running pattern, used for division lines and borders.

No. 10.

Shield. Gules, a cinquefoil pierced ermine. Beau­mont.

No. 11.

Shield. A cross moline.  Molineux. No. 12. A double-headed eagle displayed. No. 13. Cross keys, badge of the See of York.

No. 14.

Shield, with key at the side. On a bend a saltire engrailed.

No. 15.

An ornamental pattern composed of oak leaves and acorns, of frequent occurrence in many places.

No. 16.

Geometrical pattern with grotesque centre.

No. 17.

Shield. On a bend, 3 hedgehogs. Paschall, of Eastwood.

Plate IX. Beauvale Charter-house: encaustic tiles.
Plate IX. Beauvale Charter-house: encaustic tiles.

A selection of these tiles has been placed on the walls of the Society’s Room.

(1) The original arms of Cantilupe were gules, three fleur de lis or. S. Thomas de Cantilupo, Bishop of Hereford, 1275-1282, bore three leopard’s heads jessant-de-lis. From these are derived the arms of the See of Hereford, which are gules, three leopard’s faces reversed two and one jessant-de-lis or. The reversal may have been intended as a “difference.” The faces may have been adopted as those of a wolf’s head impaled upon a spear in reference to the name Cant-i-lupe, Wolf of Kent.