The Heavenly Hierarchy

On the Screen across the S. aisle.

David, Amos, Isaiah, Jonah, Ezekiel, Moses, Elias, Jeremiah, Xahum, Hosea, Baruch.

Of the enrichments of the mouldings the wave-design is again much in evidence, showing gold stencilled flowers on the black or dark green undulations, and the wild pink rose on the white. A barber's-pole pattern in a running chequer of red and black, a red member with a little flower at intervals in gold, and a gold bead decorated with a twisted gilt gesso pattern, are all introduced with beautiful effect. In the hollows surrounding the panels, on the sides of the buttresses, and running up the tracery, as at Ranworth, are little flower-forms upon a white ground ; blue with warm brown and pink with green leaves, suggestive of the blue cornflower and the wild dog-rose, so abundant in the fields and hedgerows of the Eastern Counties.

Up the faces of the buttresses, which are richly encrusted with gesso, are the remains of Gothic forms, representations of cusped and traceried niches with

minute figures painted in black upon gold, also tabernacle work and even "windows," some with their small pieces of glass still remaining amongst the rich patterning.

The following extract from Dowsings Journal, a.d. 1643, gives a terse account of the destruction which took place in this fine East Anglian Church.

" Southwold, April the 8th. We brake down one hundred and thirty superstitious pictures. St. Andrew and four crosses on the four corners of the vestry ; and gave orders to take down thirteen cherubims, and to take down twenty angels, and to take down the cover of the font."1

Of beautiful examples of vaulted screens, perhaps that at Bramfield, Figs. 123 to 127, is one of the best preserved. It was originally designed with parochial altars to the two bays at the north and south as at Ranworth, but these have disappeared. Of the destroyed rood-loft there is no pictorial record, but this must have been of elegant pendentive design and exquisite proportions, and was probably enriched with paintings. The screen consists of ten bays, its mullions springing into a beautiful lierne vaulting, Fig. 126, and forming cruciform panels elaborately cusped. The predominating tone is a rich blue, relieved with white and gold. The little flowers painted in sprays along the mouldings and groining are exquisite in drawing and full of life, and in each panel of the vaulting is depicted, upon the blue background, a tiny angel in gold, with detail delicately drawn in black. Of the lower portion of the screen, the mouldings of the transom, Fig. 127, are especially rich, and are encrusted with fine gilt gesso decoration, painted with dainty floral forms upon dark red and white grounds, and a pattern of gold fleurs-de-lys on blue. The buttresses to the mullions are also adorned with beautiful tracery pattern in gold gesso. The panels of the wainscotting have suffered in places from purposed defacement, but the figures of the Evangelists and St. Miry, with their rich gesso background, which are in fair preservation, show the fine quality of the painting. On a dado behind the figures, the names of the saints are decoratively inscribed. The tracery is gilt on its fillets and crocketting>, the hollows red and blue in alternate bays, and ornamented with tiny gilt flowers.

Of the saints pictured on the panels, such as are still recognisable are given on page 162.

1 The significance of this will be noted later in this chapter.

Fig. 169

BOVEY TRACEY, DEVON, PULPIT

Fig. 169

BOVEY TRACEY, DEVON, PULPIT

Late fifteenth century.

Bramiteld Screen. North Side.

  • Effaced). ? (Effaced). St. Mark. St. Matthew.
  • Chancel opening. South Side. St. Luke. St. John.

Fig. 171. KENTON, DEVON, PULPIT.

Late fifteenth century.

Fig. 171. KENTON, DEVON, PULPIT.

Late fifteenth century.

Mr. Iredk. Sumner, Photo.

That Bramheld Church was most lavishly decorated in colour there is no doubt, and another extract from Dowsing's Journal of 1643, shows the havoc wrought by Puritan vandals.

" April 7th, 1643. Twenty-four superstitious pictures, one crucifix, and picture of Christ and twelve angels on the roof (rood), and divers Jesus's in capital letters (1HS) and the steps of the Altars to be levelled by Sir Robert Brook."1

At Yaxley, Figs. 128 and 129, the destroyed loft-vaulting reveals the construction, this screen having been originally of the double-sided groined type. The tracery has lost its ogees, niche bases and canopies, but some idea of the wealth of ornament which existed may be gained from the elaborate head to the opening and the tracery of the wainscotting below. The third panel from the left, Fig. 129, shows the

1 Suckling, " History of Suffolk."

KENTON, DEVON, DETAIL OF PULPIT.

KENTON, DEVON, DETAIL OF PULPIT.

Mr. Fredk. Sumner. Photo.

only remaining ogee which possesses the original rich applied crocketting. Although this screen has suffered so severely, much of its painted and gilt decoration clings to it. The' buttresses which exist upon some of the mullions still show traces of having been once richly ornamented. The gilt gesso dados behind the figures in the panels are reminiscent of Southwold and Bramfield, as is also the delicate treatment of the little sprays of flowers in the wavy design upon the mouldings. The painting of the figure subjects shows refined taste, in drawing and pattern enrichment, and in spite of much obliteration, there is sufficient of the work remaining to enable one to appreciate its fine spirit. The figure of St. Mary Magdalene is shown here in an embroidered and scalloped stomacher ; she holds a richly adorned pot of ointment in one hand, while with the other she clasps the jewelled lid. The other figures on the panels are SS. Ursula, Catherine, Barbara, Dorothy and Cecilia.

At Ludham, in Norfolk, Fig. 1.50, the screen (dated 1493) is of fine design, rich in detail, and aglow with gold and colour. It has, in common with all these East Anglian screens, suffered from ill-usage and neglect. The cill is almost entirely perished, and the vaulted loft is missing. The structure, measuring about 15J feet across and nearly 13i feet in height, is divided into eight equallj spaced bays, the chancel opening being, as usual, formed of two of these. The tracery is composed of simple crocketted ogees and rich cusping. The mullions are supported by pierced buttresses enriched with recessed panels delicately cusped. The carving of the tracery in the wainscotting of the screen is of line design and workmanship, but unfortunately the ornament and crocketting on the ogee-pinnacled canopies of the panels have disappeared, together with the finials of the intermediate buttresses.

The figures are extremely decorative in composition, finely drawn and coloured. The\ are represented in dignified and natural positions, and yet full of the mediaeval grace and charm. The inscriptions of the names of the saints in decorative black lettering are at the base of each panel, and from left to right are represented SS. Mary Magdalene, Stephen and Edmund, then follows Henry VI, succeeded by four fathers of the Church, SS. Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine and Gregory, and SS. Edward the Confessor, Walstan, Lawrence and Apollonia fill the remaining spaces. The background behind the traceried heads of the panels is painted in blue with gold decoration, while below is a patterning of red and green alternately. The general impression given by the glorious colour-scheme of the whole is a rich effect of red and gold. In the beautiful foliated motif of the running leaf which decorates the moulded transom is an inscription which ends, " made in the yere of ower Lord God MCCCCLXXXXIII."

The West-country screens are, as a rule, not so lofty as those of East Anglia, and the proportions are generally heavier. Carving details are usually very elaborate with infinite variety in the use of vine-trails and other Gothic ornaments in frames, cornices and vaultings, as at Atherington, Figs. 132 to 135. This is a magnificent screen, with its canopied and vaulted rood-loft practically intact. The presence of the sixteenth century is evident in the Renaissance ornament which fills the spandrels of the vaulting, Fig. 132. The influence of the Renaissance w as felt very early in Devonshire, although Gothic details persist for many years in clerical woodwork. There is curiously little influence from other counties to be found in this Devonshire woodwork. It is rich, but the fact that it is recognisable in an unmistakable way shows that the variety of the Norfolk or Suffolk work is lacking. Thus the two screen doors, Fig. 136, said to have come from a former Bishop's Palace at Exeter, but, obviously, belonging to a church

Fiff 173

screen, do not need an\ reference to a place of origin to stamp them as Devonshire work. A comparison of this illustration with the Atherington screen, Fig. 133, will show almost an identity of design in the two examples. It is usual to describe the later Gothic as depraved, and it certainly loses in dignity as it advances in intricacy, but technical skill of the highest order can be seen in the gorgeous bressummers with their bewildering wealth of carving, as at Atherington, Fig. 134, Chulmleigh, Fig. 142, Coldridge, Fig. 143, Lapford, Fig. 145, and Suimbridge, Figs. 149 and 150. At the same time, the tendency towards monotony, in these richly carved beams, will be noticed. The creation of this elaborate work must have been restricted to a very narrow locality ; probably in the neighbourhood of Exeter. Apart from their almost barbaric splendour, these screens frequently impress bj7 their enormous size. At Bovey Tracey, Fig. 138, Halberton, Fig. 139, Chulmleigh, Fig. 140, Lapford, Fig. 144, Swimbridge, Fig. 147, and elsewhere, they stretch across ---

the whole width of nave and aisles. In lofts enriched with tabernacle or niched work, as at Atherington, Fig. 135, these Devonshire screens must have been especially rich, although only a few have survived. Atherington is a very elaborate example, richly carved on both east and west sides, although the latter is, by far, the most ornate.

Among the less pretentious examples is the parclose screen at Pilton, Fig. 137, again with the same resemblance in the circular-headed tracery to Fig. 136. This is the arch-headed type of the West, in square framings with foliated spandrels in the corners.

The painted decoration of the Western screens is usually broader

Fiff 173

in technique than in those of the

^ SOUTH BURLINGHAM, NORFOLK, DECORATED PULPIT.

East, the figures executed with less Mid-sfteenth century.

attention to small detail. Some border 011 the crude, but in others, as at Ashton, Ugborough, ( hudleigh, Fig. 108, and Bradninch, Fig. 109, the draughtsmanship and execution is much more powerful, and such figures as are depicted in the costume of their time are particularly interesting.

At Bovey Tracey, Fig. 138, and Halberton, Fig. 139, the screens stretch right across the church, passing under the first arches of the north and south aisles. At Halberton there are little tabernacled shrines which mask the aisle columns. This was a favourite device in Devonshire churches, and is rarely, if ever, found elsewhere.

It is difficult to imagine how much of the appearance of these great screens must have been marred by the removal of their rood-lofts. At Chulmleigh, for example, Fig. 140, the effect of this additional height, especially if the loft front was elaborately carved, as it would have been, must have been exceedingly striking.

The vaultings of these Devonshire screens differ greatly from those of East Anglia. The stonemason tradition is very pronounced in Fig. 142, with its lierne ribs, bossed on their intersections and pierced with tracery in the panels. At Coldridge, Fig. 143, this tracery is solid but the feeling of stone is still present. x\t Lapford, Figs. 144, 145 and 146, Renaissance ornament is introduced into these groined spandrels in similar manner to those at Atherington. This screen is planted clear from the aisle columns, and reaches from the wall of the north aisle to that of the south in the Devonshire manner. Swimbridge, close by, has a very similar screen, although possibly somewhat earlier, but on the evidence of such details as the seaweed ornament of its base, Fig. 148, it may easily have been designed by the same hands. Unfortunately, main- of these fine screens have been locally, and very ignorantly restored. Halberton is an instance of this, with the result of an incongruous jumble of parts patched together.

That these rich screens were further elaborated with colours, in their original state, is unquestionable. Greens and reds appear to have been largely used, but gold, in any amount, was exceptional. Devonshire was not a rich county in the fifteenth century, compared with Norfolk and Suffolk, and the decoration of the rood-screen in the parish church was usually maintained by gifts of money from the charitable or the devout, usually in the form of bequests. Probably for this reason, gold, which is so general in East Anglian screens, is so infrequent in those of Devonshire.

The Renaissance of Italy intrudes itself into Church woodwork in the first years of the sixteenth century, but in a manner somewhat different from its secular introduction. In much the same way as with a parasitic growth on a noble tree, which gains in strength until the tree eventually perishes, so the Renaissance grafts itself on the Gothic, and

finally submerges it. It begins with motives, introduced sparingly and with taste, as in the panels of the Atherington vaulting, but later it begins to debase the character of the tracery, which loses its former logical basis of design and degenerates into meaningless patterns, as at Coldridge, Fig. 151. In this later work the earlier turned shafts recur, but these are now spiral-fluted and twisted. At Brushford, in Somerset, Fig. 152, the tracery is cut from the solid and merely dowelled on to thaspiral-turned shafts. In this screen the debasing of the tracery forms can be noticed very clearly. The solid panels of the base have the linen-fold pattern, which is such a sure indication of the sixteenth century.

In some instances, however, the Renaissance is used with discretion and taste. In the gallery7 at Tawstock, Fig. 153, for example, the ornament has still the Gothic character in vine-trails and grapes, and at Holbeton, Figs. 154 to 156, the tracery is filled with carved work of extraordinary richness, Gothic in character but used in a Renaissance manner. The ornament of the beam, Fig. 155, as a foil, is pure Renaissance, yet the association of the two does not appear to be incongruous, and the effect of the whole screen is extremely rich. Such experiments, however, were fatal to the Gothic as an ecclesiastical style, the greater in proportion to their success.

This final phase of the Gothic produced some very noteworthy results, however, in spite of the decline of the former fine traditions. The Spring Pew at Lavenham, Fig. 157, and the Oxford Pew in the same Church, Fig. 158, are of this late style, but the flair for the Gothic is not extinguished so soon in East Anglia as in the West. There is a loss in meaning and a lack of appreciation of material, however,

E. DOWN, DEVON, FONT PEDESTAL.

Sixteenth century.

Mr. Fredk. Sumner, Photo.

E. DOWN, DEVON, FONT PEDESTAL.

Sixteenth century.

Mr. Fredk. Sumner, Photo.

even more evident in the Spring Pew than in other work of the same date. There is no doubt as to the material of which the early fifteenth-century Gothic is constructed. It is unmistakably of stone or wood. Even in the earlier examples, where the woodworker is just emancipating himself from the stonemason's traditions, there is a sturdy vigour in his conceptions, even when accompanied by an absence of refinement in his details and construction. Unfortunately, it is rare to find an artistic tendency stopping short at the logical. If proportions become refined, they do not rest until they reach such a stage of fragility as to be inartistic. An erection, whether of wood or stone ma}* be of ample strength, but if it appear inadequate neither the eye nor the mind is satisfied. The material must also be equally frank. Construct a bridge of steel and grain it to look like wood, and it will appear unsafe, and its appearance will be false to the eye. Similarly, the early Gothic woodwork, apart from its massive dignity and even grandeur, is not wholly satisfactory ; it is too much like stonework, which has, by accident, been made from timber. It is the Gothic woodwork of the late fourteenth and early fifteenth century which fulfils best, both artistic and constructional demands. It is a style which can become debased very easily, especially in wood. Tracer}' is only pierced fretwork, but when cut by the carver it offers, in many cases, a suggestion of construction which it does not really possess. This Lavenham Spring Pew is, perhaps, one of the most ornate expressions of the later Gothic, yet one has the feeling that it is not woodwork but confectionery. The screens which we have just considered are marred by the absence of their lofts. The result is that vaulting which must suggest the carrying of a superimposed mass, is now inoperative and useless. That, however, is not a defect of the screens, but of the vandals who broke down their lofts and mutilated the artistic effect which they formerly possessed. In the Spring Pew, there is vaulting which carries nothing and never has, and tracery which is mere tortured filigree work. The same may be said of the Oxford Pew, of about the same date, where posts support nothing and where Renaissance ornament is employed to masquerade as tracery.

The vast expanse of a Cathedral carries off superabundant ornament in stone or wood by overpowering it by sheer height and size. It becomes mere lacework in comparison, and one does not expect lace to possess constructional stability, such as will satisfy eye and mind. Thus at Chester the stall canopies possess a delicacy in comparison with the size of the choir itself which would atone for many constructional faults even were they present. At Westminster, on the other hand, the effect is purely that of the work of a pastry cook rather than of a woodworker. It may be worth while to turn back to the grand stall canopies of Winchester, Fig. 93, and to

16s compare them with those of Westminster Abbey, Fig. 159. The latter are truly wonderful, as examples of what was -and should not have been done,—in wood.

In offering a criticism of much of this abnormally delicate woodwork of the later fifteenth century, considerable allowance must be made for the absence of the gilding and colouring where such originally existed. This is very necessary in the case of such works as the great font cover of Ufford, Figs. 1G0 and 161, one of the most remarkable examples of the later Gothic woodwork in England, and certainly the largest and the most ornate of the wooden font covers made at this period. It is octagonal 011 plan, and with its amazing intricacy of pinnacles and niches, ii rich carving of vaulted base and cornice, is a magnificent production of the fifteenth-century woodworker. It has lost its decorative painting and has been much restored. With its original colour and gilding it must have been a superb ornament to the church;- The painted roof above it is shown, in better detail, in Fig. 162. ">

WARKLE1GH, DEVON, RENAISSANCE SCREEN.

Early sixteenth century.

WARKLE1GH, DEVON, RENAISSANCE SCREEN.

Early sixteenth century.

Mr. Fredk. Sumner, Photo.

Z 169

Decoration in colours and gold must have been a necessary part of a font cover such as this. Constructed of wood, visible as such to the eye at a moment's glance, it appears to be impossibly fragile. The fact that it is telescopic further intensities this impression. Constructed of metal, this delicacy of ornament would be justified to the observer. In wood, painted and gilded, it would acquire an appearance of strength in its parts, even although such covering were somewhat in the nature of a deception ; an artistic sham. The painting of the roof above is merely decorative; applied to harmonise the timbers with the font cover suspended below. The cover depends, at its apex, from an effigy of the heraldic pelican' the symbol of the Redemption, which we shall see in a later chapter, in the panel of a pulpit in Aldington Church in Kent.

Niches are provided in each tier, the lower series intended to hold the effigies of saints, but these have disappeared, long since. The cover has been scraped and scoured until the merest vestiges of itiS;original colouring remain, but of the four original panels which exist, two have remnants of the free floral designs in colour and gold which must have been applied to the entire cover. In the upper portions of these panels are the remains of gilded gesso backgrounds, patterned with incised and dotted diapers. The floral dado with a gold ground above, behind each effigy which formerly stood in the niches, must have made a rich and effective setting to the figures.

The second and third tiers of these tabernacles also exhibit evidences of having contained images, originally. The backgrounds of the lower series are in blue and red counter-change ; in the upper tier red and green is used ; the red being above the blue of the lower series. All the canopies to these niches were groined in gold with panels of blue and with little gilt flowers in the centre. The buttresses, pinnacles, tracer}' and other tabernacle-work were in gold ground with decoration of white, green and red. The pelican was in blue and gold with traces of black and white. Of this original colouring, which must have made this Ufford font cover such an exceptional example, even of its time, only the merest indications remain.

The font has always been an object'of importance and reverence in the history of the Christian religion. Constructed of stone, in nearly every case (although lead fonts are not unknown, as, for example, the one in Brookland Church in Kent), many have persisted from Saxon times, and possibly from still earlier periods. The covers, where such existed, were usually made from wood, and have nearly all perished, either with time, or at the hands of iconoclasts.1 At no period, however, was the destruction of font covers authorised, and there are numerous ordinances from Bishops ordering them to be safe-

1 See Powsing's Journal in relation to the destruction at Bramfield.

guarded and provided with locks or similar security. The cover, to protect the font containing the holy water, was almost of as great an importance as the font itself. These covers vary, in different churches and districts, from the elaborate example at Ufford to the mere disc of wood. So many have perished, however, that the latter may be subsequent replacements, and it is possible that each parish church, originally, was provided with a font cover of some degree of elaboration. The usual form was pyramidal, with moulded ribs at the angles, which developed by the addition of a deep moulded or carved base. From this stage the font cover evolved by the addition of crocketting to the ribs, as at Ashbocking, Fig. 163, and Pilton, Fig. 164. The next stage was the deepening of the cover below the pyramid and the introduction of pinnacles and traceried panels, as at Barking, Fig. 165, finally culminating in magnificent covers such as at Ufford.

The later development of the font cover is a canopy supported on posts at the corners, as at St. Peter Mancroft, Fig. 166, instead of being suspended from the roof. The lower stag", which forms the ion1: lid, telescopes into the dome. Unfortunately,

CARTMEL PRIORY, LANCS., STALL CANOPIES.

Early seventeenth century.

CARTMEL PRIORY, LANCS., STALL CANOPIES.

Early seventeenth century.

only the posts and the llat canopy are original ; the dome with its niches are restoration. \t Trnnch in the same county, is another example of this kind, unrestored but very incomplete.

At Swimbritlge, Fig. 167, there is a different development, the cover being formed as an octagonal-framed casing to the font, with doors above which open, for access to the font itself. The ornament is well carved, in the Renaissance manner, which indicates the early years of the sixteenth century.

In St. Michael-at-Plea is the little classical cover, Fig. 168, showing the decline in size and importance which occurred after the Reformation. It demonstrates, also, the complete departure from the Gothic traditions at this date. It is possible that this stone font originally possessed a rich cover, which has disappeared and been replaced by the present one. The following extract from Bloomfield's History of Norfolk (1745) is curious, and must refer to this font either without a cover, or with one of a totals different fashion, although "sitting on the font" (eight persons, be it remembered) must have meant sitting on the steps below it. In any case the present cover could not have existed.

" 1504. Alderman Thomas Bewfield was buried by the font in the Church of St. Michael-at-Plea, Norwich, and founded a mass for eight years, every working day at 8 o'clock in the morning, and his executors were to find eight poor men and women daily to attend it and sit on the font and pray for his and his friends' souls, and each to have fonrpence every Saturday.

Pulpits of the fifteenth century, of which comparatively few examples exist, were generally polygonal 011 plan, and constructed of two curbs, an upper and a lower, formed of several sections, tenoned or " fingered " together at points between the posts, and into these the angle-posts were tenoned, with the panels inserted in grooves. Where stems existed, these were formed of a post tenoned to the floor joist and braced by ribs to the curbs. The Western type as at Bovey Tracey and Cockington, Figs. 169 and 170, are heavier in design and construction than those found in the Eastern counties, and are decorated with an abundance of carved foliage, vine-trails and niche-work. At Cockington, which is the later of the two, the balusters and foliated groined heads are applied to the panels.

These Devonshire pulpits repeat the wrork of the screens in a great measure) which is to be expected, as in Bovey Tracey and Halberton, for example, the pulpits stand immediatel}' in front of the screen and are almost a part of it. That these pulpits were

CARTMEL PRIORY, LANCS., CHOIR STALL CANOPIES. DETAIL

CARTMEL PRIORY, LANCS., CHOIR STALL CANOPIES. DETAIL

originally painted in colours and gold is unquestionable. Bovey Tracer is bright with colour, but this is almost all of much later date. The niched figures are in plaster, but they may have been cast from lost originals. Cockington pulpit is later, of the early sixteenth century, with balusters anil groined heads applied to the panels. It is peculiar in being a sept-sided polygon on plan, but with flat panels, and in being a painted pulpit at a date subsequent to the fashion for the decoration of woodwork with colours.

At Kenton, Figs. 171 and 172, the pulpit, of late-fifteenth-century work, is flamboyant, but extremely rich. It is coloured, which adds further to its ornat(^character. The painting has a definite significance here, beyond mere decoration. This is, in effect, a stone pulpit copied in wood, and it demands painting, either in monochrome or in colours, to complete its effect. The enlarged detail, Fig. 172, shows this carved-stone character very clearly.

The South Burlingham pulpit, Fig. 173, is a very beautiful and complete example of East Anglian colour decoration of the fifteenth century. The general effect is simple, yet rich. The colours follow the heraldic system of counterchange. The panels, with their ogival tracery and crocketted pinnacles, are in red and gilt on a green background, with sprigs of flowers in gold. The central portion of the panel, immediately beneath the cusping, is in red, with a diapered pattern of the same gold flowers. The panels are reversed in rotation, in their colour-scheme, the next having crocketting in green and gild on red. A painted ribbon threads behind the styles, just below the crocketting, and on this are inscriptions in black letters, with red initials and foliated ornaments, on a ground of white. The mouldings, between the panels and the buttresses, are decorated with a wavy design in red and white, with gold flowers on the red, and green on the white bands, in one panel, and in the next the wave is green and white, with gold and red flowers. The buttresses, above the first recessing, are decorated with gilt gesso, in diaper patterns with tiny flowers. The spandrels and the faces of all the tracery are in gold. The base has a white hollow, with green blossoms, and mouldings in red and green. The cornice has small gilt flowers in relief in the cavetto, and the castellated cresting is gilt. This pulpit is remarkable as much for its beauty as for its state of preservation.

With the introduction of the Renaissance into clerical woodwork and the final extinguishing of the Gothic, this chapter may be concluded. Examples of where the two are assorted, sometimes with notably fine results, as at Atheringcon and Holbeton, more often with detriment to the character of both, as at Brushford and Coldridge, have already been given. It remains only to consider, in rapid review, some examples where the Gothic

motives are comparatively negligible, and where the Renaissance has full sway. Thus in the charming gallery at Tawstock, Fig. 153, the Gothic is still present in the vine-trails which ornament the string. The fine font pedestal at East Down, Fig. 174, 011 the other hand, is pure Renaissance with the sumptuous carvirg of the est (unmistakable in its rich character) above the arches. Warkleigh, Fig. 175, has a fine screen of the same period, with elaborate carvings in the upper panels, and the alternate muntins of those below masked by ornate semi-balusters, very similar in style to the aisle-panellings in St. Vincent at Rouen, which will be illustrated in a later chapter. There is always a strong suggestion of French influence, if not of actual origin, in this later Church woodwork of the West, a character which is not nearly so evident in the secular work of the same date. Towards the close of the sixteenth century the Renaissance, where adopted for Church woodwork, loses much of this foreign element, as at Cartmel Priory, Figs. 176 and 177, where the stall canopies, superimposed 011 stalls of much earlier date, show how the Italian style changes in development, in the hands of the Church woodworker, in the early years of the seventeenth century. There is a strong concession to the Gothic in the vine-trails of the columns, but this became a favourite motive, even with secular work, during the earlier years of the seventeenth century, especially in Lancashire and Warwickshire. Examples will be found in the later pages of this volume.

Though carried beyond the proper scope of this chapter, which is concerned onlv with the Gothic, this incursion into the Renaissance period may be of service, if only in bridging from the last phase of the Gothic to the later work, and in preparing the way for the chapters which are to follow.

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