Square-headed windows were still prevalent in the side walls. Kneesal presents a very good illustration; for not only are the windows very graceful and well proportioned in themselves, but it is obvious that they were introduced in order to give more light; for fragments and indications of the long narrow lancets which they superseded may still be seen in the walls (Vol. XIV.).


The chancel at Wilford was rebuilt during the 15th century, and here it may be noticed that the glass line has receded almost to the centre of the wall, with heavy mouldings both inside and out; and another characteristic feature of the style—an embattled transom—is introduced (Vol. XIV.).

As time went on, a transom became quite a common feature, and the number of the cusps increased until compound cusping, involving double foliation, became the fashion—although, this feature is found more frequently in wood-work than in stonework. As this excess of cusping caused further interference with the designs of the glassman, whose art became more and more important, the other extreme was eventually resorted to; and we find the later windows without a single cusp, notably at Lambley (c. 1480) and Kelham (c. 1500), where the influence of the coming Renaissance can already be detected.

Good examples of windows in the Perpendicular style may be seen at Newark, East Retford (rebuilt in 17th century), East Markham, Tuxford (Vol. XI.), St. Peter's, Mansfield, Dunham tower, west front, and Blyth tower (Vol. V.), west front, and Keyworth.

Gothic architecture was not displaced by the renaissance of Classical forms all at once. It lingered for some time after the Reformation, chiefly in domestic work; for a check had been put upon ecclesiastical work by the period of despoliation; but such work as was eventually accomplished was very insipid and spiritless.

At Colwick, we see probably the last attempt at Gothic work in the county. The nave at Colwick was rebuilt by Sir John Byron, to whom the Priory of Newstead was granted after the Dissolution (c. 1540). The doorway and all the windows of the nave display straight-sided, pointed arches, such as were commonly used in the domestic buildings of the Tudor period. The tower was added more than a hundred years later (1684), in the Classical style, which was then in vogue (Vol. XIX.).

A few years before this tower was built (1666), the neighbouring church, at Holme Pierrepont, had been rebuilt by the Marquis of Dorchester, when an attempt was made to combine Gothic and Classic ideas; the result, as seen in the window tracery, being very clumsy and incongruous. The containing arches are semi-circular, outside, and pointed, inside.

Most village churches of antiquity can shew an example of what may be called, "freak" architecture.

West Bridgford has a lancet window, with head, cill, and jambs all cut and pierced, out of one slab of stone.

At Stanton-on-the-Wolds, a curious local rendering of 14th century tracery was attempted.

At Rolleston, two early 14th century windows, at the west end of the aisles, are unique; each being a quatrefoil in a circle, pierced through a square slab of stone.

Of all the curiosities in the county, the windows in the chancel at Barnby-in-the-Willows (Vol. XIV.), are the most curious. Here we have tracery which is certainly original, and happily unique. Two theories have been put forward in explanation thereof. One is, that the chancel was rebuilt in the 14th century by the village mason, who had received inspiration from a visit to York or Grantham, and had sought to improve upon what he had seen there. If the tracery is indeed coeval with the walls of the chancel—which I very much doubt—I should rather say it is the work of the village carpenter, who usually wrought in oak; probably the accomplished craftsman who made the oak door in the south porch of this church, and the doors at the the neighbouring churches of Balderton and Hawton also. But even supposing that such a travesty of design was possible at a time, when in all other parts of the county Gothic architecture was fast approaching its zenith, it is incredible that it was allowed to remain through the succeeding years, while yet the Gothic spirit was paramount.

I am, therefore, inclined to think that the second theory is more likely, viz., that the traceried heads were substituted for the original work in the Jacobean or Georgian period. If a comparison is made between the "patterns" of these windows, and local domestic work of the 18th century, or even with the woodwork of the doors on either side of the chancel of this same church, one can hardly escape the conclusion, that a village "wright," or carpenter, trained in the vernacular methods of the time, supplied new tracery, using stone as a medium because of the sacredness of the edifice, although his experience had hitherto been limited to domestic work in wood.

Compare the tracery in the illustration, with the chancel doors, or with the windows, say of Tollerton Hall, built c. 1794.

In many churches of humble type, the windows are difficult to classify, as they are devoid of any of the special features which distinguish one architectural style from another. They may prove to be either original windows, and made thus plain, owing to lack in the district of suitable stone, or paucity of skilled masons; in which case the arrises will be left square, or worked with a plain chamfer; or, the windows may have been made up from fragments of older windows, at a time when church architecture was on the wane, or perhaps moribund; in which case they will shew traces of mouldings. They are always interesting, especially when they are glazed with fragments of ancient painted glass, or old "quarries," uneven in thickness, in texture, and in tint, but nevertheless smooth and very "glassy."

"Nothing probably has done so much to destroy the sense of colour, once so exquisite in England, as the wanton destruction of painted windows and frescoed walls of our churches."—Wakeman's "History of the Church of England," page 269.

Once upon a time, doubtless every village church in the county contained a wealth of heraldic and pictorial glass. Even as late as Dr. Thoroton's time, the coat armour displayed was sufficient to make the windows intelligible and interesting. Now alas! only fragments remain.

The following is a list of ancient glass in the county.

Annesley (Old Church).—In the south-east window of Felley chantry, a figure panel of St. John Evangelist, c. 1373. Fragments of heraldic glass. Remnants of quarry glazing in east window.

Attenborough.— Fragments. Clear glass quarries in the central light of south window of chancel.

Averham.—Old glass in situ in upper part of north chancel window; lower part made up of fragments found in the cellar at Kelham Hall.

Balderton.—Fragments of 14th and 15th century glass in chancel windows.

Barton-in-Fabis.—Fragments made up into a small window in the belfry.

Beauvale.—Fragments of 15th century glass, found on Priory site ; and two 17th century Flemish medallions in window at Manor Farm.

Beeston.—Loose fragments. A head of a female saint, tabernacle work, etc.

Carlton-in-Lindrick.—Fragments in east window.

Cossall.— Heraldic glass in windows, probably modern (church rebuilt 1843), but figure of patron saint (Catherine) is said to be ancient.

Cromwell.—Fragments of heraldic glass in chancel : gules five aunulets or.

Cropwell Bishop.—Fragments in east window, south aisle.

Drayton, East.—Fragments.

Edwalton.—Fragments (from Flawford church).

Egmanton.—Two small pieces of good glass.

Elston Chapel.—Fragments in upper panes.

Fledborough.—A fine example of 14th century glass in east window of north aisle.

Halam.—15th century glass in two-light window on north side of chancel—SS. Christopher and Blaise in the upper part, and beneath are Eve with her primitive distaff, and Adam in the garden, in illustration of the popular rhyme which condensed the teaching of John Ball, the "mad priest of Kent," during the Peasant Revolt in the reigns of Edward III. and Richard II. :—"When Adam delved, and Eve span, Who was then the gentleman?"

Holme.—An interesting collection of 15th century fragments.

Kelham.—Fragments.

Kirklington.—Fragments.

Lambley. — A good example of "chalice" glass in east window.

Markham, East.— Fragments of armourial glass.

Muskham, North.—Fragments.

Newark.—Fragments in east window, and south chancel aisle.

Nuthall.—Good examples of heraldic glass in east windows of chancel and south aisle.

Nottingham (St. Mary's).—Fragments of 15th century quarry glazing in north transept, and a made-up window, in new side Chapel, of ancient glass, but not all from St. Mary's.

Papplewick.—14th century figure subjects from Newstead priory.

Saundby.—Fragments.

Southwell.—Heraldic glass in windows of chapter-house.

Stoke, East.—Fragments in chancel.

Strelley.—Fragments of 14th century heraldic glass, and several panels of 16th and 17th century Flemish glass, comprising medallions of "the Virtues," coats of arms, a crucifix, and a figure of a bishop with the letters I.D. UGBERTUS, have been collected and fixed in a window at the east end of the north aisle, and in the west window of the same aisle. The latter were placed there for better preservation (1897), but are no part of the old church; the former were collected from the clerestory lights (1913).

Tuxford.—A figure of St. Lawrence.

Walkeringham.—Fragments.

Warsop.—Portrait head, and I6th century heraldic glass in vestry.

Woodborough.—Winged seraph in tracery of east window, and fragments in side windows of chancel.

Wysall.—Fragments of tinted glass in the western two-light window in north wall.

The jamb-stones of church windows, on the south side of the church, are sometimes found to be scored with vertical grooves—a reminder of the days when archery was practiced on the south side of the church on Sundays, and holy days, after divine service [Archaeologia Cantianna XI., 153]. The soft sandstone of the walling was used by the village yeomen for pointing their arrow-tips.

South aisle window, Edwalton

Not unfrequently a scratch-dial may also be noticed— an incised circle, or square, with radiating lines marked with numerals to correspond with the hours, and a hole in the centre which originally held an iron gnomon. By inserting a stick in the hole to serve as a temporary gnomon, the shadow cast upon the radiating lines will indicate approximately the time of day. (See sketch Edwalton window). There are two dials on south side at North Collingham; the one on jamb of chancel door is 8in. diameter, incised with number of hours. On the south side at Clifton there is a dial, 12in. diameter, with numerals VIII. to IIII., cut on the radiating lines; one at Shelton, with numerals I. to VI.; and a small one at Scarrington, without numerals.

Costock cross

On the jamb of a 14th century window at Costock, a small cross, about 9in. diameter, formed by interlacing lines, has been incised. This may have been one of the twelve crosses, which were placed on the outer walls of the church when it was consecrated; or more probably it was a votive cross to record a vow made by a religious enthusiast of years ago.

In the interstices and sheltering angles of window tracery, the keen observer may find, here and there, a nest of the solitary mason-bee.1 Like the anchoret of old, it has sought immunity from molestation in the unobtrusive-ness of the situation, and in the similitude of its structure to the work of the human mason; while on almost every ancient window, especially on the south and west sides of the church, a prolific growth of gay-coloured lichens bespatters the surface of the stones, and produces an artistic effect, which no hand but that of "Father Time" could accomplish.


(1) Mason-bees make their cells with a sort of mortar made of earth, which they build against a wall exposed to the sun. The mortar, which at first is soft, soon becomes as hard as stone, and in this their eggs are laid.