In many churches (Gedling, Upton) a small window was inserted high up in the wall at the west end of the aisles. I believe that in all cases this was a removal and not an original window, and that probably it was placed there, after the Reformation, to give light on a singing gallery, since removed.

At Burton Joyce there is a small lancet fixed low down in the centre of the north aisle. This does not command a view of any essential feature within the church. The probability is that it was introduced to light the priest's desk in the chantry chapel, which occupied a large space on this side of the church, and contained the tombs of the dominant owners.

In the Perpendicular period, builders did not hesitate to insert large windows in the old walls in place of the smaller lancets, wherever light was needed for a special purpose. There is one in the nave at Normanton-on- Soar, originally placed there to light the Jesus altar on the right hand side of the doorway in the screen, but the preacher in the pulpit now receives the benefit; there is also one on the north side of the chancel at Gedling to light the desk. In many instances the original shuttered openings were altered at a later date and converted into lights (Barnby-in-the-Willows); and when chancels were entirely rebuilt, the windows at the west end of the chancel were sometimes made with a transom and a low cill—an obvious development of the earlier shuttered window—but never intended to be used for any other purpose than to give light; for both internally and externally the jambs are splayed and beautifully moulded (Wilford). In other cases, the western cill was kept low in conformity with ancient custom, and also probably because the eastern cill was kept high to clear the sedilia; as at Plumtree and numerous churches in the county. The following is a classified list of all openings for light :

Class B.

Church Style or Period Position in Chancel Present Condition
Balderton (St. Giles) Perpendicular insertion in Early English SOUTH SIDE Glazed
Barton-in-Fabis (St. George) Decorated s.w. "
Car Colston (St. Mary) Decorated s.w. "
Cropwell Bishop (St. Giles) Early English N.w. "
East Bridgford (St. Tohn Baptist, St. Mary, or St. Peier) Early English s.w. "
East Leake (St. Helen or St. Mary) Early English s.w. "
Kneesall (St. Bartholomew or St. Helen) Perpendicular insertion in Early English s.w. "
Laneham (St. Peter) Perpendicular insertion in Norman s.w. "
Lowdham (St. Mary) Early English
Normanton-on-Trent (St. Matthew, St. Mary, or St. Nicholas) Decorated (rebuilt) s. "
Oxton (SS. Peter and Paul or St. Peter) Late insertion in Norman s.w. "
Plumtree (St. Mary) Perpendicular s.w. "
South Muskham (St. Wilfrid) Late insertion in E. English s.w. "
Sutton Bonington (St. Anne) Decorated s.w. "
Upton (St. Peter) Decorated s.w. "
West Leake (St. Leonard or St. Helen) Decorated s.w. "
Wilford (St. Wilfrid) Perpendicular s.w. "

* Plumtree may be cited as a representative example of a dozen or more Perpendicular chancels in the county, having the cill of the south-west window of the chancel brought down to a lower level.

The examples that call for special treatment are at Mansfield and Linby.

At Mansfield, side chapels were added in the middle of the 15th century on either side of the chancel, in addition to the chapels at the east end of the aisles. Near to the east end of the wall on the south side of the chancel (the external wall until the chapels were built) a narrow opening has been formed, 4½ft. above the floor level, which has been described as "a lazar window . . . where the lepers could see through to the high altar." But the squint has not the appearance of ever having been external. One side is formed with an ancient incised memorial slab that once covered the grave of a departed architect or mason, and a stone carved with the Norman chevron moulding, has also been used. I therefore incline to the opinion that the opening was cut through the old Norman wall when the side chapel was built, in order to give a view between the two altars.


At Linby, the porch and entrance were originally on the south side, but have been discarded in favour of a more direct approach from the village, which lies to the north. The north porch is a good specimen of late Perpendicular work. It is always said to have been built A.D. 1548, on what authority I know not, except it be because the advowson was presented to Robert Strelley and Frideswide, his wife, four years after the dissolution of Lenton Priory in 1544. The architecture certainly suggests an earlier date. With the assistance of my friend, Mr. G. A. Gascoyne, I have been able, by means of the heraldry, to give a more likely explanation. The shield in the gable carries the arms of Strelley, paley of six argent and azure, differenced with an annulet for the fifth house. The one on the eastern buttress Hunt, vert, a saltire, or; differenced with a fleur-de-lys for the 6th house. The one on the western buttress Savage, argent, a pale fusily, sable. We learn from "Inquisitiones Post Mortem" that Thomas Hunt died seized of a moiety of the manor of Lindby, 6 Henry VI., 1427-8, the estate passing to his daughter and heiress, Joan, wife of John de Hickling. Their daughter and heiress, Elizabeth, was married to John Strelley, who died 4 March, 2 Henry VII., 1487, and in the following year his widow was married to James Savage, 1 May, 3 Henry VII., 1488. If we assume, therefore, that this porch, adorned with the arms of Strelley, Hunt, and Savage, was built as a memorial soon after this second marriage, the style of architecture, the heraldry, and the purpose of the peculiar squint about to be noticed, are all in harmony.

The squint, which is on the eastern side of the entrance, has given rise to much controversy. Some authorities contend that it is a later insertion, others that it is a freak and meaningless. After making a careful examination, I am of opinion that it is a contemporary work, and made with a purpose. It was evidently arranged to look outward, but being close to the wide arched entrance—an entrance that never had doors or gates to close it—the necessity for the squint is not obvious. I can only offer a suggestion by way of explanation. There are two fine crosses in the village street, known as the Top Cross (restored circa 1874) and the Bottom Cross. It is probable that their original purpose was to define the forest boundary, but, as diligent search has failed to reveal any trace of a cross having been set up in the churchyard, and as these crosses are known to have been erected by the Prior of Lenton, who at one time held the advowson, and seeing also that a line drawn through the opening of the squint gave a direct line of sight (before houses were built) from the belfry at the west end of the church, the floor of which is at a lower level than the porch floor, to the bottom cross, I think it is quite possible that this cross was used in the elaborate ceremony of Palm Sunday, "when, after the Palm branches had been blessed and distributed, the priest, bearing the Blessed Sacrament, went out with his attendants and took up his station at the Palm Cross. Then the choir and people came out of the church in procession with their palms to meet him at the cross, and accompanied him back to the church with the singing of Hosannas, and other appropriate anthems, in memory of our Lord's triumphal entry into Jerusalem." This squint would enable the ringer in the belfry under the tower to see when the priest was in readiness at the cross, in order that the bell might be tolled as a signal for the procession to go forth and meet the priest there.

In conclusion, I may say that in making the survey, the position of the manor house, parsonage, and village, and the direction and "lie" of the main road in relation to the church were noted, but I found these things had no bearing upon the low side window; the date of erection and the internal arrangement of the church appear to have been the sole determining factors.

A complete list, with measurements, of all the low side windows in the county is given, and classified as follows:

Type A.— Shuttered openings on one or both sides.
" B.  
Type C.— So-called leper windows that have no claim to consideration.
" D.— Squints, for various purposes.