A Few informal words will not, I trust, be out of place by way of introduction
to this Inventory, and may help to explain both the arrangement of these
pages and the manner in which the monuments have been recorded.
The volume contains (in addition to the terms of appointment and official
report) an Historical Summary covering the whole of the County; a Sectional
Preface which, under subject headings, calls attention to any particularly interesting
examples mentioned in the Inventory; an illustrated Inventory, with a concise
account of the monuments visited; a list of monuments that the Commissioners
have selected as especially worthy of preservation; a glossary of architectural,
heraldic and archæological terms; a map showing the topographical distribution of
the scheduled monuments, and an index.
Under the heads of parishes, arranged alphabetically, will be found a list of
their respective monuments. The chronological sequence chosen is not perhaps
scientifically perfect, but it has been found a workable basis for classification. The
order adopted is as follows:—
(1) Pre-historic monuments and earthworks.
(2) Roman monuments and Roman earthworks.
(3) English ecclesiastical monuments.
(4) English secular monuments.
(5) Unclassified monuments.
In addition to dwelling houses, the English secular class (4) includes all such
earthworks as mount and bailey castles, homestead moats, etc. To the section of
unclassified monuments (5) are assigned all undatable earthworks.
Each category of monuments has been under the care of separate SubCommissions, with Lord Plymouth, Lord Crawford and Balcarres, Professor
Haverfield, and myself as Chairmen.
The descriptions of the monuments are of necessity much compressed, but the
underlying principle on which accounts of any importance are based is the same
throughout. Thus, in the case of ecclesiastical monuments, the description begins with
a few words on the situation and material of the monument, together with a statement
as to the historical development of its various parts. A second paragraph calls
attention, when necessary, to its more remarkable features. This is followed by
a concise description, mainly architectural, of its details. A fourth paragraph deals
with the fittings of churches in alphabetical order, while the concluding sentence gives
a general statement as to structural condition. The accounts of less important
buildings, whether secular or ecclesiastical, are still further compressed, and, in the
case of secular monuments, consist sometimes of a single paragraph.
The illustrations are derived from photographs taken expressly for the
Commission, and reproduced by H.M.'s Stationery Office, whose work, I think,
deserves special recognition. They have been chosen rather for their educational than
for their æsthetic value. Had appearance alone been made the test of selection, many
more might have been easily included. The map at the end of the Inventory shows
the distribution of the monuments, and incidentally throws some light on the concentration of population in the country at various times before the year 1700.
The Glossary has been edited by Mr. C. R. Peers, M.A., F.S.A., Mr. St. John
Hope, M.A., and Mr. Oswald Barron, F.S.A.
The Index, which is combined with the index of Vol. i, follows the rules laid
down by a small Committee of the Commission, whose members, with a view to
assisting in the co-ordination and correlation of archæological indices generally,
adopted in a great measure the conclusions of the Index Committee of the Congress
of Archæological Societies.
In conclusion I may add that no monument has been or will be included in
our Inventories that has not been actually inspected and the account checked in
situ by a member of our own investigating staff. It may also be well to draw
further attention to the fact that our Record cards may now be consulted by any
properly accredited persons at our office in Scotland House. The cards contain
drawings of tracery and mouldings as well as plans and sketches of the
monuments—forming in truth the complete National Inventory—and will
ultimately be deposited for public reference in the Record Office.
In a work of such intricate detail there must be mistakes. But I hope these
are neither numerous nor serious. Each account has been carefully checked, and
nothing is mentioned that has not been personally examined. A further guarantee
of accuracy lies in the fact that Mr. W. Page (General Editor of the Victoria County
History) has served as a member of each Sub-Commission, and that Mr. C. R. Peers
(Secretary to the Society of Antiquaries) has himself revised the reports of our
investigators. I should also add that the heraldry of the Inventory has been
supervised by the Rev. E. E. Dorling, M.A., F.S.A., and the spelling of names and
description of costumes by Mr. Oswald Barron. Nevertheless, I shall heartily
welcome any corrections that may be sent to me, with a view to their possible
inclusion in some future edition of this volume.