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each divided into two compartments, and are also segmental, within a square head—of which examples in this style are far from common. The roof is divided into eight cellular compartments; at the intersection of the ribs the bosses are carved—the centre one bearing the sacred monogramH. H. $. The porch was formerly a favourite place of sepulture, but is now chiefly occupied by the vault of the Haden family.
At the entrance into the churchyard the lych gate formerly stood, affording a convenient shelter, where the corpse might rest, as directed by the Rubric, until the arrival of the clergyman. It is, in our opinion, unfortunate that this lych gate has been destroyed, as there are so few remaining in the county.
Cooke states* that, “ about sixty years ago, the walls in the inside of the church were ornamented with paintings by some masterly pencil, and which might have continued many years to come, had not the sacrilegious hand of a common mason, with a whitewashing brush, put a final end to their beauty."
From a document that was found in the roof of the church, during the late somewhat partial restoration, we learn that the church was repaired in the year 1766. The workmen employed received two shillings per day. This was during the incumbency of the Rev. Edward Best. In lapse of time the church had greatly fallen into decay. The Rev. John Atcherley, the curate, in a published lettert complains “that the pulpit had literally streamed with rain whilst he stood there, and that he was frequently exposed to the rude attacks of winter, when engaged in the service of the Chureh. The churchyard wall was partly in ruins, and, indeed, the whole fabric seemed likely to perish.” If, however, the guardians of the church, in days gone by, had neglected their duty, yet, at a later period, they were more alive to their responsibilities, for in 1828, the church was partially restored and enlarged; but, unfortunately owing to the degenerate state of art, no attention was paid to its fair proportions and elegant workmanship, so that its individual character—whereby it was distinguished in common with other parish churches, from those of neighbouring places—was completely lost, and its traditional character wholly obliterated. And here we would express our conviction, that those to whom the conservation and restoration of such buildings are committed “ should exercise their duties with a reverential care, lest, while restoring them to a state of seemly reparation, they efface or alter their details—lest, while repairing the casket, the jewel it contains be lost; a jewel not handed for our use only, but given us in trust, that we may transmit it to gene. rations having more knowledge and more skill to use it aright. Nearly every restorer has his favourite style or some fancy notion to which he wishes to make everything subservient; and it is a most lamentable fact that there has been far more done to obliterate genuine examples of Pointed architecture, by the tampering caprices of well-meant restorations, than had been effected by centuries of mutilation and neglect. A restored church appears to lose all its truthfulness, and to become as little authentic, as an example of ancient art, as if it had been rebuilt on a new design. The restorer too often preserves only just what he fancies, and alters even that if it is not quite in accordance with his taste. The practical workman detests restoration, and will always destroy and renew rather than preserve and restore, so that an antagonistic influence ought always to be at hand. When any of the ancient seats or other woodwork remain, they ought to be carefully preserved and repaired, though perhaps rough and plain. The same remarks apply to encaustic tiles, fragments of stained glass, or ancient ironwork, and their patterns should be generally followed, although it is possible that finer examples might be found elsewhere."* We could have desired that this conservative principle had been carried out in the late restoration of our noble parish church, but unfortunately it was totally disregarded. The elegant chancel was shortened by the nave being carried out towards it; and at its entrance was placed a pile of timber, called a “reading desk,” and “ clerk's desk,” surmounted by the ancient pulpit,t (removed from its former position), which serves effectually to hide the Communion Table, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, from the view of a great portion of the congregation. The stalls were nearly all demolished, none of them being suffered to remain in the chancel or in the church, but became the property of the builder, who allowed them to be conveyed away. The other carved work shared the same fate, being actually wheeled away in barrows, to be converted into articles of domestic use, or whatever else the spoliator might think fit. Thus, the curiously wrought back of a seat, or part of a screen, was seen doing duty as a shutter to an upper window of a mean house in the town; whilst, on the opposite side of the way, the stable door of a public house bore the sacred monogram and fleur-de-lis, being part of the spoils of the roof of the parish church. The windows, likewise, suffered much at different periods, so that now only a very small portion of the original glass remains, consisting of some few fragments to be seen in the vestry. This is greatly to be regretted, as they contained, in heraldic devices, much of the
* Topographical Library of Great Britain.
+ A.D. 1805.
history of the lords of the manor. The porch and spire, with a peal of eight bells, remain as formerly. The church, as enlarged, consists of a nave, two aisles, with spacious galleries, a chapel on the south side, with a building, intended to correspond, on the north, and contains 1300 sittings, of which 459 are free and unappropriated. It was re-opened on Sunday, November 9, 1828, when, after sermons preached, in the morning by the Rev. A. B. Haden,* jun., and in the evening by the Lord Bishop of the Diocese,t £174 were collected, and, on the following day, a further sum of £114 was added, after a musical service. The entire cost of re-building was about £5500. The sum of £500 was given by the Incorporated Society for Building Churches and Chapels; £1500 were borrowed, to be repaid in ten years by church rates; and the remainder was raised by private subscriptions and the sale of pews. The present chancel windows were presented by the late Samuel Addison, Esq. They are filled with stained glass, the centre one bearing the figure of S. Bartholomew, to whom the church is dedi. cated, but is inferior in design and execution. The fine toned organ (not occupying the position of its ancient predecessor), which cost £500, was the gift of Benjamin Wright, Esq., of Birmingham, A.D. 1830, in remembrance of his native place, and in lieu of the one presented in the year 1807 by the late Rev. John Rose Holden. Under the communion table is an incised monumental slab,f bearing the effigies of Richard Jennyns and Isabel his wife, with the following inscription :Of your charytie prape for the soules of Richard Jennyns and Isabel his wyfe,
the which Richard departed .... MDXXX, veing LXXVIH geares of age, of whose soules Jesus have mercg. Amen. * Now Vicar of Brewood.
+ Dr. Henry Ryder. This slab is marked with five small crosses, which is a singular and interesting example of an usage now and then seen of marking a monumental stone with the same sacred emblems as was formerly done upon stone altars.
Within the chancel rails is a monumental slab bearing the figures of a man in armour, and also the effigy of a lady, and one son and four daughters at their feet, with this marginal inscription :
Of your charyte prape for the soule of Xhon Cumberfort, Gentylman, and Em hys
DUyffe, the whgehe thon departed the xxv day of Aperyll in the yere of oure Lord · Eod MD LEX, of whose soule God have mercy.
There are also, within the rails, on an alabaster monument, two recumbent figures, with the following inscription at the feet:
Christicolis colamenque suis Solamen egenis,
Patronime studiis nunc lapis iste tegit.
On the front, at top :
Μακαριοι οι νεκροι εν Κυρια αποθνησκοντες, απαρτ.
To number our days so teach us that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.—Psalm 90, v. 12.-[In the Hebrew character.]
In the middle :
This sad monument
anno ætatis LV.
Ερχου Κυριε Ιησου.