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essentially a scientific and manufacturing people, not an artistic one Yet in former times we produced much true art work. Our Chelsea and Derby pottery was the pride of collectors, our Chippendale and Sheraton furniture was famed for the beauty of its design and its perfect workmanship, and above all we built grandly and worthily, not just to last a ground-lease out; our cathedrals, abbeys, and ancient churches are truly petrified poems, our picturesque old Tudor and Elizabethan homes are unique, they are true natives of the soil, not copies of the architecture of other lands, an original and perfectly picturesque style, the expression of the artistic feelings of the Englishmen of those spacious times. It seems to be almost forgotten that once, before we converted our craftsmen into simple. workmen, we were an artistic people.
Among the many interesting old houses in Hadleigh the most important now remaining is a large building in the long main thoroughfare street of the place; this has a finely carved and ornamented front with three oriel windows above. The house is now, alas! converted into shops, but the original staircase, a very fine one, still remains intact, and in the centre window the date 1676 is shown worked in narrow leaded glass among the lattice panes, not carved in the beams or cut in the plaster as generally is the case. The interiors of many of the Hadleigh houses are very quaint. We managed to obtain glance into two or three of these, and finding one that was to let and unoccupied with the door open, we invited ourselves in and were much delighted
A FIFTEENTH-CENTURY GATEWAY. 107
with the carved beams and other picturesque ornamental details, proving that the least thing had as much care bestowed upon it as the more important, and that the workman was not content to do less than his best.
But the chief object of interest in Hadleigh is its glorious old church, one of the largest in the county. After our ramble round the town we set forth in search of the clerk, and fortunately, to our pleasant surprise, we found him at home, for, according to our experience, it is more often than not a troublesome and tedious matter to discover the church clerk in country places, and we have generally found that useful party anywhere but at home -sometimes in the public house-but let me do him this justice, that when found he has always been eager to do duty as showman and turn an honest. penny.
Entering the churchyard the grand gateway tower leading to the rectory at once strikes the observer. This is a fine fifteenth-century structure of Tudor brickwork. The gateway is embattled and is flanked by two towers of six stories and of some sixty feet in height; a slit in the thick walls was for the porter to inspect visitors before granting them admission, so that in some measure it would appear that this singular structure served the purpose of a fortress. I know of no other rectory with such a stately entrance. This remarkable edifice bears a singular resemblance to the grander gateway tower of Layer Marney; it would almost appear as if the designer of the one had taken an idea from the other.
Another peculiar feature certain to attract the visitor's attention is the ancient Ave Maria' bell projecting from the steeple and open to wind and weather. Entering the fine old church, a cathedral in miniature, the clerk first of all conducted us to the vestry, a spacious chamber with a grand roof of groined stone. At the intersection of the arches are bosses very sharply cut with grotesque faces of grinning demons, as perfect and defined these as though they had only just left the carver's chisel, instead of being the work of craftsmen dead and forgotten long centuries ago-all perfect save the centre and the finest one; this has been destroyed by being cut through to support a modern gas chandelier! Anything more ridiculously inconsistent than this juxtaposition of the fanciful conceit of the ancient monks with the very modern mechanical castings of Birmingham there could hardly be.
In the vestry we saw still carefully preserved some curious standard measures made of gunmetal. These consist of a quart, a peck, and a bushel; there is also a yard measure of the same metal, but this, unfortunately, is broken into three pieces. The peck measure has inscribed upon it—
For the Corporation of Hadleigh
I. G. MAIOR
Next, up some stone stairs worn concave with the tread of long-departed generations, we were conducted to the Priest Chamber,' situated just over the vestry. This room, as its name implies, was formerly inhabited by the Mass-priest. The roof
here is of oak, the beams of which are finely carved and in an excellent state of preservation. On the floor of this ancient chamber the clerk called our attention to three massive chests iron-bound, 'fearfully old' he said they were. This was manifest but indefinite; they are of curious construction, and it would be interesting to know their exact age. The combination of iron clasps and huge padlocks on one of these was a sight to behold, and moreover each padlock, for better protection, differed from the others. But even the many iron bands and the mighty padlocks of marvellous make did not hold the chests secure. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and our guide pointed out to us a series of auger holes bored in a circle in the wooden portion of one of the safes. It is presumed that these were made with the object of removing the portion of wood that they enclosed, and thus, without the necessity of filing through the iron bands or picking the cumbersome locks, the contents of these old chests could without much difficulty be got at. The clerk told us that they were full of old papers, but he had not the keys. Had it been possible, it would have greatly interested us to have glanced over their musty contents.
The church itself has suffered much at the hands of the notorious William Dowsing, who thus remarks in his journal of his visit to this place. We broke down thirty superstitious pictures' (qy. stained glass windows), and gave order for taking down the rest, which were about seventy, and took up an inscription,
Quorum animabus propitietur Deus,' and gave
order for the taking down a cross on the steeple: gave fourteen days.' Most of the ancient brasses have been torn away, and there are few inscriptions of interest left. In the south wall we were shown a recess arched over, the stone-work being carved with figures and scrolls much mutilated. This recess evidently once contained a monumental tomb, possibly of a recumbent figure, and presumably of some one of importance. The clerk proudly pointed out this to us as no other than the tomb of the famous Guthrum, king of the Danes, who in the year 890 resided in the then royal town of Hadleigh. It will be remembered that it was into the camp of this Danish leader that King Alfred penetrated disguised as a harper. Manifestly the tomb in question is of a date centuries later than the period of King Guthrum. Most probably it is that of Archdeacon Pykenham, who built the great gateway tower approach to the rectory-so at least we imagined, for he was doubtless buried here, and there is no other remains of any monument likely to have been his; and if he built so grandly in his life, he surely would have directed that a stately tomb should be raised to him when dead. Sic transit gloria mundi. The pompous tomb of a great prelate desecrated, robbed of its monumental figure, not even a letter of its inscription remaining, and now in this later century appropriated by tradition to some one else!
I chanced to have my valuable (?) guide-book in my pocket, and before leaving the church I thought I would look in it and see what particulars of the interior it gave. The font, it said, 'bears a curious