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letter addressed by the late Canon Raine can add to the list of rectors of Wensley

to the present Lord Bolton, dated from given in Whitaker's Rickmondshire," etc.
York 7 April, 1886, in which he says:

Holy Trinity, Wensley. 183

chancel stalls at present in the church were of his
provision, and bear his name with the date 1527.
(T. R. Miscellaneous Books, Henry VIII.)

c. 1540 OSWALD METCALFE. Also vicar of Catterick. Resigned
both benefices in 1542. (Chester Diocesan Records.}

Z 543 REGINALD HYNDMERS. Previously incumbent of Billing-
ham, which he resigned on being instituted here
5 May, 1543. But he appears to have held other
preferment, for on 20 December, 1548, there is a
general acquittance from John, Lord Scrope of Bolton,
to "Sir Raynold Hyndmer, preyst, parson of Hamel-
don." He is mentioned as rector of Wensley in the
visitations of 1548 and 1554. John Acrig was assistant-
curate at both dates. On the death, in 1558, of his
brother, Robert Hindmers, rector of Sedgefield, he
became possessed of the manor of Aislaby, which had
been purchased by his brother in the preceding year,
and which, upon his own death in 1575, descended
to his nephew and heir, John Hindmers. His will
is dated 14 May, 1574, and has been printed by the
Surtees Society in their volume of Richmondshire Wills.
He bequeaths xxs. to the church of Wensley, his body
to be buried within the north door of the said church.
His funeral took place on 19 March, 1574. (Chester
Diocesan Records ; Yorks. Arch. Journal, xiv, 413 ;
Richmondshire Wills, p. 249 ; Parish Registers.)

1575 WILLIAM BENNETT, presented by Lord Scrope, and insti-
tuted 18 May, 1575. On 5 December in the same year,
he entered into a bond in the sum of 500, that he would
not permut 1 or resign the rectory and parsonage without
the good will, assent, and agreement of Lord Scroope
fyrst obteyned. He died in February, 1587-8, and was
buried at Wensley on the 7th of that month. (Chester
Diocesan Records ; Bolton MSS.; Parish Registers.)

1588 OSWALD DYKES, instituted 5 June, 1588, on the presenta-
tion of Lord Scrope. His will, which is dated 7 November
1607, commences with the words : In the Name of God,
Amen. I, Oswald Dykes, clerke and Parson of Wenslow,
being sick in bodie but yet of good and perfect remem-
brance, God be praised, do make this my last Will and

1 permute = exchange.

184 Richmondshire Churches.

Testament in manner and forme following. First, I
bequeath and give my soule into the mercifull hande of
Almightie God my Creator and Redemer and my bodie
to be buried in the quier of Wenslow under the stone wher
Sir Symond Wenslow was buried, yf yt please God soe to
provide for the same, having this inscription, " Non
moriar sed vivam ut narrabo opera Domini." He was
buried at Wensley 5 December, 1607. (Ibid.; York
Wills, xxx, fo. 492 ; Archaeological Journal, xviii, 238 ;
Par. Reg.)

1607 RALPH CHAYTOR, instituted n December, 1607, also on
the presentation of Lord Scrope. On 31 May, 1608, he
let the parsonage house of Wensley, with certain lands
and tithes belonging thereto, to Leonard Smelt, 1 of Kirkby
nighe Fletham, who three days later assigned the lease
to Thomas, Lord Scrope, "whensoever and how often it
shall please the Lord Scrope being in Richmondshyer to
live and remayne at it." The olde ancyent and accustomed
rent of fyfteen pounds twelve pence is to be paid at East
Bolton Chapel ; and the lease to endure for 21 years if he
so longe doo lyve and contynewe parson of the said Rectory.
Mr. Chaytor shall be resident and serve the cure of Wenslow
and the chapel of Redmire, not absenting himself for more
than forty days in any one year. (Chester Diocesan
Records ; Bolton MSS.)

1643 GEORGE SCOTT, instituted 14 July, 1643. Patron, Lord
Scrope of Bolton. Died 20 December, 1672, and was
buried at Wensley. (Ibid.; Parish Registers.)

1673 JAMES CLAYTON. St. Catherine's College, Cambs.; B.A.,
1668 ; M.A., 1675 ; D.D., 1701. Presented by Lord
St. John of Basing, and instituted 26 March, and
inducted 26 April, 1673. Resigned 1683, apparently,
in performance of a bond to do so given to the Earl of
Wiltshire, and in return for an exchange with the
succeeding rector. (Ibid.; Bolton MSS.)

1683 WILLIAM MASON, presented by the Marquess of Win-
chester, and instituted 29 October, 1683. He resigned
the benefice in 1702, upon his appointment to the
vicarage of Holy Trinity, Hull. He was the father
of William Mason, the poet. (Ibid.; Par. Reg.)

1 Leonard Smelt was a schoolmaster at Kirkby Fleetham.

Holy Trinity, Wensley. 185

1703 JOHN CLAYTON, son of John Clayton, of Manchester.
Matric., Brazenose College, Oxford, 4 March, 1694-5,
aet. 19 ; B.A., 1698 ; M.A., 1703. Presented by
James Clayton, S.T.P., and instituted 5 March, 1702-3.
While at Oxford he was the associate of John Wesley,
and he joined " the Holy Club " there. Wesley
afterwards preached both in the church and on the
village green of Wensley. One of the bells in the
church tower bears the inscription : SVRSVM CORDA
i : CLAYTON RECTOR, 1725. He died in 1746, and was
buried at Wensley on 28 July in that year. (Ibid.;

I746 - PETER CHALIF, Of Corpus Christi College, Cambs.; B.A.,

1748. Presented by the Duke of Bolton, and instituted
22 December, 1746. Buried at Wensley 20 December,

1749. (Ibid.-, ibid.}

T 75 JACOB COSTABADIE, LL.B., son of Jean Jacques Costa-
badie (who immigrated from Argentat, France, with
his father in 1684). Baptized S. Michael le Belfry, York,
3 March, 1724-5. Ackroyd scholar of Jesus College,
Cambs., 1748. Instituted 3 April, 1750, on the pre-
sentation of the Duke of Bolton. Died 13 November,

1802, aged 78, and was buried at Wensley. Eliza
his wife, nee Rutter, of Houghton le Spring, whom he
married in 1756, died 1 80 1, aged 70. (Ibid.; Tombstone.}

1803 JACOB COSTABADIE, son of the preceding rector.
Born 1758. Ackroyd exhibitioner of Jesus College,
Cambs.; B.A. 1781 ; M.A. 1784. Previously rector
of Graveley and vicar of Swavesey, co. Cambs. Fellow
and tutor of Jesus College. Instituted i January,

1803, on the presentation of Thomas, Lord Bolton,
and Jean Mary, Lady Bolton. He died 8 November,
1828, aged 70, and was buried at Wensley. Anne
his wife, daughter of Rev. Thomas Mimes, of Newark,
died 30 December, 1856, aged 83. His son, Henry
Palliser Costabadie, was, upon the rector's nomination,
licensed to the assistant-curacy of Wensley, 3 October,
1824 ; and another son, Hugh Palliser Costabadie,
was curate of Holy Trinity, Richmond, 25 July, 1830.
(Ibid.; Bishop of Chester's Act Book.}

186 Richmondshire Churches.

1829 JOHN ORDE, son of John Orde, of Westwood, Northum-
berland. Matriculated Lincoln College, Oxford, 23 Oct.,
1788, set. 18 ; B.A., 1792 ; M.A., 1800. Formerly
vicar of Kingsclere and rector of Winslade, Hants,
1811. Died 13 January, 1850.

1850 HON. THOS. ORDE POWLETT, second son of the Hon.
Thos. Powlett Orde Powlett, and younger brother of
William Henry, third Lord Bolton ; assistant-curate
from 1844, and rector in 1850. Of Trinity College,
Cambs.; B.A., 1844 ; M.A., 1847. Died 12 September,
1894, aged 72 ; buried at Wensley.

1895 ERNEST ORDE POWLETT, second son of the preceding
rector, instituted on the presentation of Lord Bolton,
February, 1895.


To face page 187.



ALTHOUGH there are no material remains of a definite Christian
character to suggest a church at Tanfield in pre-Norman times,
there can be small question that a spot so favoured by natural situa-
tion would be a centre of population at a very early period.

In Tanfield Wood, to the west of the village, in a field
called Magdalen Field, are the foundations of a castle surrounded
by earthworks, occupying a position of exceptional military
strength by reason of the winding and the precipitous banks
of the River Ure. Mr. Allcroft considers that these remains
exhibit characteristics of the Norman period 1 ; and the place
in all historic times has been known as the Hermitage. So
late as 24 September, 1314, John Marmion had licence to
crenellate his dwelling-place, which is called the Hermitage, in
his wood of Tanfield, co. York, and to surround it with a wall
or parshment. 2 It seems therefore possible that a Norman
stronghold was erected upon the site of a hermit's dwelling of
pre-Conquest days ; for a sculptured stone of that era was
discovered amongst the ruins, and is now preserved at the
farm-house of Stubbings, half a mile away. This is a squared
block of sandstone, carved on two sides with representations
of animal forms like deer, such as are commonly met with
in the stone sculpture of the Eighth century e.g. the Masham
pillar and it may quite possibly be a fragment of a cross shaft.

Having glanced at these early vestiges, we come now to
the church itself. It has been well observed of the church of
West Tanfield that whilst it may not vie with its neighbours
at Bedale, Burneston, Well, or Kirklington in architectural
grace and elegance, yet it excels them all in the splendour
of its sepulchral decorations/ 1 The work carried out in 1859,
however, so greatly exceeded bona fide restoration as to rob
us of all the most suggestive clues in the building, and it is
only with difficulty that its story can now be read. From
a sketch of the interior, published in the Associated Architec-

1 Earthwork in England, 1908, p. 448.
2 C,il. / } at. Rolls, Edw. II. ;? Whttctker, ii, 169.

188 Richmondshire Churches.

tural Societies' report for 1850, it appears that the old chancel
arch was of semi-circular form, with plain square jambs and
soffit, the springing being marked by an impost, chamfered
on its under side, carried across the reveal and returned for
a short distance on the east and west sides. So far as we
may judge from the drawing, this arch appears to have been
constructed early in the Twelfth, or, possibly, even at the
end of the Eleventh century. This fragment of the Norman
Church has, unhappily, not been preserved ; and the nave
and chancel, with the arcades on the north of both, appear
to indicate that the fabric was almost entirely rebuilt about
the middle of the Fourteenth century. But the walls have
been refaced in modern times, and the majority of the nave
and chancel windows are of doubtful authenticity. The four-
teenth century survivals are confined to the nave and chancel
arcades : what has been called a low-side window, set in a
projection in the wall towards the eastern end of the nave :
and a curious chamber constructed in the north abutment
of the chancel arch. The pedimental canopy surmounting the
tomb recess in the aisle wall belongs also to the same period,
namely the middle of the Fourteenth century, but it has been
removed from its original position and reset in a fifteenth
century wall.

The structure to which we have alluded in 'the north-west
angle of the chancel is shown in the plan and also in Plate XLIX,
but in the latter it is not quite accurately drawn. The pro-
jection into the chancel has a sloping lean-to roof against the
interior face of the north wall, and there are five openings,
which are trefoil-headed and cusped, three looking east and
two south. The lower pair of openings on each face is ren-
dered square by sunk eyes, but the upper one facing east
is pointed. The small chamber thus formed is extended through
the thickness of the chancel wall, where it is vaulted, and it
opens on the north to the Marmion Chapel. A splayed squint,
which pierces its western side, affords a view of the east end
of the chapel from the nave. The interior dimensions of the
chamber are 4 ft. x 3 ft. 9 in., and this has usually been con-
sidered too small for the functions of a chantry. But a chantry
does not necessarily imply a place of any considerable size,
nor, indeed, a place at all. The chantry was the sum of
money bequeathed for masses to be said for the soul of a
deceased person ; and there might be more than one chantry

To face page 188.



Saint Nicholas, West Tanfield. 189

at the same altar. We have record of no fewer than four
separate chantries in the church, three of which were founded
between 1340 and 1364. That is about the age of this small
apartment, as well as of the recessed chamber in the south
wall, containing the so-called low-side window. And in the writer's
view it is impossible to resist the conclusion that both these
singular structures were connected with chantries. The last-
named small chamber, constructed within a projection thrown
out into the churchyard, measures 5 ft. 4 in. x 2 ft. 9 in., which again
is smaller than most chantry chapels, yet the east wall is quite
large enough to accommodate an altar. The purpose of the
low-side window has never been satisfactorily explained. Many
fantastic suggestions have been made, but if its principal use
were the obvious one of affording light to the priest at his
reading-desk, then the window under notice did not fulfil that
object, for the openings are small, admitting little light, and
the unusual position of this window, which is in the nave
and not in the chancel at all, has no relation to the priest's
desk. It has been styled an alms- window and an outward
confessional ; but for none of these purposes was there any
need to set the window in a recess, which really amounts to
a diminutive chapel.

The nave arcade is of four bays, set on short octagonal
columns and responds, having very plainly-moulded bases and
caps, and the arches themselves are of two plain chamfered
orders. The single arch opening to the Marmion chapel from
the chancel is of the same form and date, springing from
semi-octagonal respond piers at either end. As the chancel
is slightly narrower than the nave, tne wall above this arch
is corbelled out on the north, to carry the roof timbers of the
aisle. The whole of this work exhibits characteristics of about
the year 1350, from which it is evident that the fourteenth
century aisle, like the present one, was extended eastward
for about half the length of the chancel. There is nothing to
indicate the width of the aisle at that period, but it was
doubtless much narrower than it is now. The extension took
place in the Fifteenth century, and was most likely the work
of Sir William Fitzhugh, who died in 1452, or of his widow.
The masonry of the east wall shows, on the outside, some
slight distinction between what is fourteenth and what is
fifteenth century work. Three windows , light the north side ;
they are each of three lights cinquefoil-headed, and with "Per-

190 Richmondshire Churches.

pendicular" tracery. The east window is of five lights, with two
ranges of lesser lights in the head ; while the west window
of the aisle is of three lights, with an embattled transom inter-
secting the tracery. All are set in deeply-recessed arches
with hood-mouldings. Those on the north are of low-pointed,
segmental form, while that of the east window is a broad
full-centred arch approaching a semi-circle. The buttresses
are of three stages ; that at the north-east angle is set diagon-

The aisle and nave have separate gabled roofs, which, however,
date only from 1859, and they are of too high a pitch for the style
of the building which they cover.

The tower at the west end of the nave has been built
as two works, the two lower stages being contemporary with
the erection of the gate-house tower near by. It opens to the
nave by a pointed arch of two chamfered orders, interrupted
at the springing line by a moulded string. On the west face
there is a pointed window of three lights with good perpen-
dicular tracery, set low in the wall ; and diagonal buttresses
support the western angles There can be small question that
the lower half of the church tower as well as the gateway
house are the work of Sir Henry FitzHugh, 1 who married the
heiress of the Marmions about 1406 and died in 1424. And
it is not difficult to see the reason why the former was not
carried higher until towards the close of the Fifteenth century,
as it would have commanded the gate-house and rendered it
ineffective as a stronghold. The gate-house is provided with
fireplaces and other conveniences, and was, in fact, a residence,
the old manor-house of Tanfield, which Maud Marmion had
leave to castellate in 1348, having fallen to decay. There
was nothing unusual in this. Bywell Castle in Northumberland
is only a gateway tower, and even Dunstanburgh, which con-
tains a large number of rooms and is built on so extensive
a scale as to be almost a castle in itself, is only a gateway.
Examples of the same thing are numerous in Normandy, though
there are perhaps not many in England.

1 Sir Henry FitzHugh, K.G., attended the Evangelist and all the saints in

Henry V in his French wars with 66 heaven, her body to be carried with all

men-at-arms and 209 archers. Will dated goodly haste to Jervaulx, and there to be

27 December, 1424, and he died 3 buried before the high altar, before her

January following. Elizabeth, his widow, lord's body. To her son Robert FitzHugh,

made her will 24 September, 1427, be- Bishop of London, a ring with a relic of

queathing her soul to God Almighty and Saint Peter's finger,
to our Lady Saint Mary, and to St. John

Saint Nicholas, West Tanfield. 191

The completion of the church tower by the addition of its
two upper stages was deferred, as we have said, until quite
late in the fifteenth century. The belfry openings are of two
lights with cusped heads, and this stage is surmounted by an
embattled parapet, but without pinnacles.

In the Transactions of the Yorkshire Architectural Society
for 1850, already referred to, it is said of this church : " The
tower staircase is very good, and should be ascended to visit
the clock case, which is partly composed of old screen work,
apparently Early English, and if so, very rare and curious." 1

Before describing the sepulchral monuments for which
this church is justly famous, we may notice the account given
by Leland, who visited Tanfield about 1530.

From Ripon to West Tanefeld about, 4 miles, parte by woode, parte by
pasture and corne. And as I cam out of Ripon I passid by a great park
of th' Archbisshope's of York vj miles in cumpace.

And or ever I cam to West Tanfeld I passid by fery for lack of bridge.

The tounlet of West Tanfelde standith on a cliving 2 ground hard by
Ure, a river of a colour for the most part of soden water, by reason of the
colour and the morisch nature of the soile of Wencedale from whens it

In the Chirch of West Tanfelde be dyverse tumbes in a chapelle on the
North syde of the Chirche, of the Marmions.

Whereof one is in an arch of the Waulle and that semith most auncient.

Then lyith there alone a lady with th' apparaell of a Voues, and a nothar
Lady with a crownet on her hedde.

Then is there a high tumbe of alabaster in the midle of the chapel, wher,
as I hard say, lyith one Lorde John Marmion.

And in the south syde of the Chapelle is another tumbe of the Marmions
buried alone.

The Castelle of Tanfeld, or rather as it is now, a meane Manor Place,
stondith harde on the ripe of Ure, wher I saw no notable building but a fair
tourid Gatehouse and a Haule of squarid stone.

The effigies do not appear to be in quite the same relative
positions as they are described by Leland, nor even as they
were noted by the seventeenth century heralds. We will,
however, take them as they now are.

About midway down the aisle wall is a fine canopied recess,
which has doubtless been taken out of the former aisle wall,
and reinserted in its present position, when the aisle was
extended in width. The work is in all respects characteristic
of the middle of the Fourteenth century. The enclosing arch
is well moulded and doubly cusped ; the longer cusps terminate

1 This no longer exists. ' 2 Cliving = sloping or shelving.

192 Richmondshire Churches.

in richly-carved bosses. The arch rises from shafts with moulded
capitals and bases, and over this is a lofty pediment orna-
mented with crockets of the oak leaf pattern and a fine finial.
The flanking buttresses are panelled and carry crocketed
pinnacles ; and a straight cornice above is enriched with
ball-flowers. The figure which reposes beneath the recess is
that of a knight clad in complete chain mail, covered by a
surcoat extending to below the knees. He has a shield upon
his left arm, but without cognizance ; and a short-hilted
sword is attached by a loose girdle about the waist. This
is the figure which appeared to Leland the most ancient ; and
it is evidently of earlier date than the canopy itself, which was
probably constructed to contain the effigy of Maud Marmion,
who was living in 1348 and deceased in 1361. The armour of the
knight is very similar to that of Brian FitzAlan at Bedale,
who died in 1306 ; but the sleeveless form of the surcoat
points to a rather earlier date. In the last respect the closer
parallel is provided by the figure of a knight in the church of
Pickhill, believed to represent Andrew de Neville, who died
in 1295.

Beside the last-mentioned, and supported by a tomb pro-
jecting in front of the canopied recess, is a female figure, which is
worked in limestone, whereas the other four effigies on the
north wall are ah 1 of fine grained sandstone. The lady's dress
is close fitting to the upper part of the body, but with full
skirt, and the mantle which depends from the shoulders falls
at the back of the wearer without covering any part of the
front of the person. It is held together, loosely, across the
chest by tasselled cords, which are stretched between two
lozenge-shaped fermails or brooches of wrought metal work.
The sleeves end below the elbows, and the cuff has a row of
beads. The hands are uplifted as in prayer, and the feet rest
upon a hound or other animal, which is much decayed. The
head reclines upon a pillow supported by angels, and the
wimple and coverchef are bound to the head by a coronet.
The figure may be assigned to the Fourteenth century, and
quite possibly represents Maud Marmion, the foundress of the
aisle and chantries.

Next, to the east of this comes a tomb surmounted by
the effigy of a lady whose feet are supported by a very large
lion. The composition appears to have been similar to that
last described, but the figure is much decayed, the lineaments

To face page igt.


[C. C. Hodges, phot.


Saint Nicholas, West Tanfield. 193

of the head and face having quite disappeared. The"": tomb
itself is enriched by five sculptured shields below a battlemented
cornice, bearing :

1. Or 3 torteaux 2 & i for COURTENAY.

2. Chequy or & azure a fesse gules for CLIFFORD.

3. Barry of six argent & azure a bendlet gules for GREY OF


4. Or a chevron gules charged with a fleur-de-lys for STAFFORD.

5. Quarterly ist & 4th argent, 2nd & 3rd gules a fret or ; over

all a ribbon sable for LE DESPENCER.

The next monument has the effigy of a very tall lady,
the effect of surpassing stature being enhanced by a lofty
headdress. The costume is that of the latter half of the] Four-
teenth century, and consists of a kirtle and sideless surcoat,
with a loose mantle, fastened in the same manner as that
above described ; but the brooches on the shoulders are round
instead of square, and from the chain which connects them
depends an ornament consisting of a series of eight square
medallions of goldsmith's work set in close order, and having
the appearance of a knight's belt.

At the foot of the last-mentioned, and most easterly of
the monuments on the aisle wall, is the figure of a knight in
complete chain mail, which has been removed to its present
position from the south side of the aisle. 2 This has been
supposed to represent a certain Robert Marmion.^who was
an invalid in 1335, and died in youth and without issue shortly
after that time. It is, however,' of considerably earlier date.
From the style of the armour and its covering, this effigy
appears to belong to the Thirteenth rather than to the Fourteenth
century. It is executed with great spirit. The head is covered
with chain mail, and a coif of the same material has a plain
band about the brows. The arms and hands are similarly
clad, the gauntlets being unfingered, but with thumbs separate.
A narrow strap surrounds the wrist, the gauntlet being probably
part of the sleeve. The mail skirt reaches nearly to the knees,
and the legs and feet are in mail, with spur shank and strap

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