The north transept has a recess for founder’s tomb flanked by an aumbry with a fine arched head under a hood mould stopped with masks. It has a rebated door casement and is grooved for two shelves. On the floor of the tomb recess is a fragment of some recumbent effigy, the loose Caen stone head of a rather goitre­throated lady. The rood loft stair is complete in the respond of the north arcade and has a fine lower doorway.

Effigy of a lady in south wall of nave, Norwell Church, Notts.
Effigy of a lady in south wall of nave, Norwell Church, Notts.

In the south wall of the nave is an Early English arched recess with detached jamb-shafts, beneath which lies the recumbent effigy in Caen stone of a lady with widow’s head mantle bound by a coronet having trefoil projections and wearing the wimple of a vowess. It is in an exceptional state of preservation, even the nose and fingers undamaged. Her identity is unknown, though one can assume relationship with the knight in the south transept with whom I shall deal presently. (Illustrations of both these effigies are given, from drawings kindly done by Mr. A. Parker.)

The south transept, in which we are told was the chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is now used as a vestry, and is entered through a pointed arch of two orders with plain chamfers and surmounted by a hood mould on the inner side. This arch is supported on responds composed of circular shafts almost detached, with a good example of the keel-pattern fillet, which is continued over the neck mould of the capitals. The architecture of this and of the arched recess to the founder’s tomb within the transept, is so similar to that of the south transept at Egmanton that one concludes that both are the work of the same master-mason. The transept is lit by square-headed south and east windows of three lights.

There is a piscina with credence shelf above, under a trefoil-headed arch with square hood mould resting on masked stops. In one of the spandrils will be noticed the fat face of a bearded gentlemen with deep clean shaven upper lip, luxuriantly curled beard and large flopping asses ears—possibly lampooning some politician or Pooh Bah of the period. The piscina has a foliated drain of eight lobes with projecting basin, the front stone of which, however, is a "restoration."

Founder's tomb in South Transept, Norwell church, Notts.
Founder's tomb in South Transept, Norwell church, Notts.

In the south wall is the founder’s tomb beneath a fine semi-circular arch with bold hood mould supported on a crowned head at its eastern terminal and a moustachioed head which looks like a 19th century "restoration" at its western end, Beneath the hood mould the arch is deeply moulded, with the keeled fillet along the roll which forms its first order. The wall of the recess is broken into a trefoil panel by graceful filletting.

The figure below is the Caen stone effigy of a knight wearing mail reinforced with greaves, knee-caps and coudes of plate armour or cuir-boulli. On his head is a flat-topped bascinet from which the camail of chain-mail depends, secured by a fillet on which traces of ornament still remain. The head rests on a lozenge-shaped cushion, superposed on a square one, which still displays traces of a rectangular trellis pattern diapering. The surcoat is open above the knee, showing the jupon beneath, the legs crossed above the knee have their prick-spurred heels resting against the customary lion. The mailed sleeves are confined with straps at the wrists, and by the hands, which are clasped in prayer, showing no finger divisions, I judge they were covered with mittens of mail, the surface of which is now worn smooth. The cross-hilted sword with bold wheel pommel is slung from a broad leathern belt. The large heater shaped shield unfortunately bears no charges. They were probably indicated only by paint, which would vanish centuries ago. Who was this knight? What­ever his name, it is fairly safe to assume that he was the founder of this chantry chapel and that he lived in the first quarter of the 14th century. Now we know that Sir Nicholas Brett was in possession of the advowson of this chantry prior to his sale thereof to Nicholas Dymock in 1375, and also that he was at that time the principal lay landowner here, but Thoroton says he obtained those lands and the advowson of the chantry as the dower of his wife, Joan. Until we find who Joan was before marriage we cannot say whether it was one of her family who founded the chapel, but there is some probability that the effigy is that of her father or grand­father. In their articles on the Early Military Effigies of Notts. in Vol. 28 of our Transactions, p. 129, Messrs. Lawrance and Routh, who describe this effigy, suggest that it represents Sir John de Lisours who held Wil­loughby in this parish and died about 1330, and that seems a likely attribution.

Other monuments in this transept are worth notice. The large alabaster one with heraldic achievements on the west wall has a slate panel with a long curiously worded Latin inscription to Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Ayloffe and wife of Gervase, son of Gervase Lee, Esquire, with whom it states she lived for twice eight years and blessed with twice eight children, of either sex an equal number, and after such a well-balanced existence died, in the eager hope of resurrection, on 4th April, 1629. Below the east window is a brass plate dated 1658 to Edward Dallowe of Norwell Woodhouse and Anne his wife, with their impaled arms nicely incised above. In the floor is a large alabaster slab deeply carved with the Lee arms and there are later slabs to John Townsend, Vicar, who died 20th July, 1749; Edward Walker, Vicar, who died 10th August, 1797; and several memorials of the Hutton family. On a tablet on the east wall is commemorated Thomas Sturtevant, "who was the last of the family of that name at Palace Hall." He died 1772, aged 87.

The Parish Registers unfortunately do not begin until 1684. The marriages therein have been printed in Phillimore’s Series, Vol XX. Norwell was naturally within the peculiar jurisdiction of Southwell and the wills of the inhabitants were all proved at that court until the abolition of ecclesiastical probate jurisdiction in 1858. The particulars for marriage licences will also, of course, be found at Southwell for this parish. They are now being printed by the British Record Society.

The church plate is noteworthy. It comprises, chiefly, a chalice eight inches high with brim four inches in diameter, with ring on stem. It has no inscription and the date mark is worn away.

There is a fine flagon of sixty-eight ounces, and the date letter for 1733. It has a low domed lid and flanged base and a scroll handle with thumb piece. It is inscribed, "The gift of Thomas Sturtivant of Pallis Hall, Gent . to ye church of Norwell in Nottinghamshire anno dom. 1730." A collecting dish of sauce-pan pattern has the date letter for 1747 and is inscribed "The gift of Margaret widdow of Leonard Esam to the Church of Northwell ."

The Esams were related to the Sturtivants, with whom they intermarried more than once.

The flagon and silver collecting saucepan are of similar type to those in the Leake plate at Newark Church . There is also a large silver plate inscribed:—

"The gift of Mrs. Marie Wilkinson 1729/30" and with the date letter for 1729.

In the churchyard should be noticed a fine coffin­shaped grave cover of the 13th century with foliated headed cross and calvary base. It lies just outside the south porch. There are one or two other medieval grave covers in the churchyard, and almost as worthy of notice because of their excessive rarity, two head­stones of the 17th century. These are in sandstone and stand by the pathway leading directly away from the porch. They commemorate Henry Taylor who died 3rd March, 1693 , and William Cragg who died in August, 1694. Very few churchyard headstones prior to the

18th century are to be found in Nottinghamshire, and such as there are are mostly in Swithland green slate in the parishes on the Leicestershire border. That was a far more durable material for lettering than sandstone.

The church has a scratch dial on the south-west buttress of the south transept.

I have not been into the belfry, so can tell you nothing about the bells. An omission for which I excuse myself on the ground that they will be ade­quately dealt with in the excellent series of articles which the Rev. R. F. Wilkinson is contributing to our Transactions.

Those interested in the treatment of damp walls may like to have their attention drawn to the very ingenious arrangement by which the wall is both ventilated and drained, introduced into the wall at the east end of the south aisle by the generosity of Mrs. Hole of Caunton who had observed it in Belgium.