FUNCTION, TRADITION, IDEOLOGY OR PATRON: WHAT INFLUENCED THE ARCHITECTURE OF KNIGHTS HOSPITALLER COMMANDERY CHAPELS AND ASSOCIATED CHURCHES IN BRITAIN 1140-1370?
by Sebastian James Bernard Fry Architectural Association School of Architecture Thesis submitted for Postgraduate Diploma in Building Conservation April 2013
ÂŠ 2013 Sebastian James Bernard Fry
CONTENTS Abstract/Summary…………………………………………………….....i Acknowledgements…………………………………………………….......ii I. Introduction, Sources and Methodology………………………….…1 Scope…….................................................................................................................2 Modern Scholarship: A brief overview………………………………..…...2 Documentary Sources………………………………………………….......3 Architecture……......................................................................................................4 Methodology……………………………………………………………....5 II. The Knights Hospitallers and the Holy Land ………………….......7 The origins of the Hospital of St John in Jerusalem.…… ……………...…7 The First Crusade……………………………………………………….....8 The Knights Templar and the militarisation of the Hospitallers…………....9 The Hospitallers role in the Crusades………………………………….....12 The later history of the Order………………………………………….....13 The Hospitallers organisation………………………………………….....15 III. Knights Hospitaller Commanderies in Britain…………………...17 Establishment in Britain………………………………………………......17 The form and function of commanderies in Britain…………………....…20 The layout of commanderies…………………………………………..…23 Conventual life…………………………………………………………...28 Chapel services……………………………………………………..…….29 IV. ‘This New Jerusalem’: Hospitaller Round Churches and the Influence of the East………………………………………...…………30 The Church of the Holy Sepulchre ……………………………………....30 Round churches in Britain……………………………………………..…34 The Church of St John the Baptist, Clerkenwell………………………......37 Clerkenwell in context………………………………………………....…40 Little Maplestead………………………………………………………....44 Hospitaller architecture in the East…………………………………….....53 V. ‘Caring for the sick’: Hospitaller Commandery Chapels and Spiritual Healing…………………………………………………….….59 Spiritual Healing………........................................................................................59 Manifestations of a military hierarchy………………………………….…75 Accommodating the clergy……………………………………………….88 An architecture of austerity?.................................................................................98 The influence of patronage……………………………………………...102
VI. ‘Spreading the faith’: Hospitaller parish churches…………...…111 Commanderies and parish churches…………………………………….111 VII. The Hospitaller Legacy: The Conservation and Preservation of Commandery Buildings Today ……………………………………....121 Government conservation……………………………………………....122 Temple Manor……………………………………………………….….124 Conservation applied…………………………………………………....126 St John’s Chapel, Swingfield…………………………………………….131 Conservation in action……………………………………………….….133 The Ministry’s work in retrospect…………………………………….…136 Commandery buildings today and in the future…………………………139 VIII. Conclusion: What influenced the architecture of commandery chapels…………………………………………………………………145 Bibliography………………………………………………………...…149 Appendices Appendix 1. Gazetteer of Commandery Chapels Appendix 2. Case studies 2a Little Maplestead church 2b Godsfield chapel 2c Swingfield chapel 2d Poling chapel 2e Ansty church 2f Sutton-at-Hone chapel 2g Slebech church 2h Swingfield Parish Church 2i Poling Parish Church 2j Standon Parish Church Appendix 3. Ancient Monuments Branch Notes on Repair Appendix 4. Site visit letter
Cover Image (Figure 1): The Grand Master of the Knights Hospitallers gives instructions, whilst all around him masses are said in the Order’s churches on Rhodes. Original manuscript held in the Bibliothéque Nationale, MS Lat. 6067, fol. 33v. (Source: http://threegoldbees.com/images/stories/collegia_notes/heraldic_tabards)
ABSTRACT / SUMMARY
This thesis examines the architecture of Knights Hospitaller commandery chapels in Britain. The Order of St John of Jerusalem, or Knights Hospitallers as they are otherwise known, were a medieval military order which had the dual purpose of providing hospital care and defending Christian occupation of the Holy Land. Commanderies were monasteries, which provided hospitality to pilgrims and raised revenue for the crusades. A total of 14 chapels survive dating from 1140 to 1370, which relate to 37 commanderies founded by the Knights Hospitallers in Britain. This study begins by providing an overview of the origin and history of the Order as well as the form and function of commanderies. The architecture of chapels is then explored thematically whilst utilising detailed information from a range of case studies. First the iconographic influence of the East is considered whereupon it is shown that the plan form of two chapels was modelled upon the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Secondly the implications of the functions of the buildings are examined including: the role in providing spiritual care to poor or sick pilgrims, the effect of military hierarchy and social segregation; and the accommodation of priests. These are each set in the context of the Hospitallers developing ideology. With the exception of the Orderâ€™s headquarters in Clerkenwell, London, the buildings are found to be functional and austere but distinguished by a high quality of workmanship. There is limited evidence for the influence of patronage except at two sites. A third theme is the association of the Hospitallers with parish churches, whereupon it is clear both in terms of architecture and patronage there is a considerable contrast to commandery chapels. Finally an account is given of government conservation approaches to commandery buildings and the presentation of the sites today.
Total No. of words: 29,995.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank Richard Halsey for acting as my thesis tutor and providing many valuable comments, particularly regarding Slebech Old Church. I am grateful to the Curator of the Museum of the Order of St John, Pamela Willis, in providing access to the wonderful collections at Clerkenwell. My thanks go to David Heath in overseeing this element of the AA course and his helpful assistance in answering general queries. Finally a special tribute must be paid to Ruth Hegarty for her continued patience and support during the period spent researching and writing this thesis.
I INTRODUCTION, SOURCES AND METHODLOGY The Order of St John of Jerusalem, or the Knights Hospitaller as they are otherwise known, were one of the most remarkable organisations in the history of the medieval world. Established initially to provide hospital care to pilgrims in Jerusalem during the 11th century, they eventually became militarised and took an active part in the defence of Christian occupation of the Holy Land. In the 12th century the Order expanded across Europe. In Britain they established commanderies, which were essentially monasteries founded to raise revenue towards the crusades. Many commanderies included hospices, which offered accommodation, alms or care to pilgrims, the sick, and the poor. The occupants followed a monastic life under the authority of a professed knight; the commander (or ‘preceptor’). The Latin term for a commandery is ‘preceptory’ and the two terms tend to be used interchangeably today. However for the purpose of this thesis ‘commandery’ is adopted in line with that used by the Museum of the Order in Clerkenwell, London. The Knights Hospitaller were contemporary with the Knights Templar, another military order which established commanderies in Britain. However Templar commanderies did not have the dual function of providing hospitality and merely served as recruitment and revenue producing centres.
This study sets out to examine the architecture of Knights Hospitaller commandery chapels and associated parish churches in Britain. Of all the monastic orders the Knights Hospitaller has perhaps the least well-understood archaeology and architecture. There is no detailed history of the Order’s activities in Britain. In most major works on medieval architecture the military orders are entirely absent or noted merely as an after thought.1 Only one scholar has attempted an archaeological synthesis of Hospitaller commanderies (Gilchrist 1989 & 1995) and this provides
For instance Eric Fernie only provides a few sentences on the buildings of the Hospitallers in his book The Architecture of Norman England (2002: 191-192).
only limited comment on chapels or churches. There is therefore considerable scope for new research, which will be the subject of this thesis.
Scope This study is concerned exclusively with commanderies founded by the Knights Hospitallers, the first of which were established in about 1140. The Knights Templar were disbanded in 1312 and their property was awarded to the Hospitallers. However this study focuses on the chapels built on the Hospitallers original 37 commanderies (See Chapter III, Figure 3.1). Some of these chapels were rebuilt at a later date and two particularly well preserved examples date to about 1370 and are included in this study.2 Specifically excluded are the Templarâ€™s commandery chapels, except to serve as a means of comparison with the architecture of the Hospitallers in Britain.
Knights Hospitaller commanderies had a significant association with parish churches, many of which became their property and served as a source of revenue as well as a means to disseminate Hospitaller ideology. This thesis provides a brief overview of this relationship and a consideration of parish church architecture. However the greater part of the study is devoted to Hospitaller commandery chapels. In addition an account is given of the conservation and presentation of commandery buildings from the 20th century through to today.
Modern Scholarship: A brief overview A short overview of existing scholarship is appropriate to provide a context for my investigation. The concept of the military orders enjoyed a revival in the Victorian period through literature, music and art. On the basis of medieval romances and morality tales they could be perceived as part of an age of chivalry and Christian heroism.3 This influenced some later accounts such as William Reesâ€™s book on the Hospitallers in Wales (1947), which was one of the first major historical publications. However there were also some expert architectural studies of individual sites such as Johnston on Poling Commandery (1921), Kipps on Sutton-at-Hone (1935) and Rigold on Moor Hall (1965). More recently several authors have provided new 2 3
Dinmore, Herefordshire, and Godsfield, Hampshire. As outlined in journal articles by Nicholson (1994: 340) and (Sibbery 1994: 369).
general histories including Sire (1994), Riley-Smith (1999) and Nicholson (2001). The latter is the most detailed although none give an in-depth account of the Hospitallers activities in Britain.
The first archaeological synthesis of commanderies was carried out by Roberta Gilchrist in 1989 as part of the English Heritage Monuments Protection Programme to designate archaeology. Its main focus was below-ground remains and earthworks at both Templar and Hospitaller sites. However some information on standing fabric was included in a later publication by Gilchrist in 1995.4 This remains the principal account of the archaeology and architecture of the Knights Hospitaller in Britain. However it is essentially an overview and does not offer detailed architectural analysis of Hospitaller commandery chapels or parish churches.
Historical data on individual sites is also contained in the Victoria County History series, which are an invaluable source and have been extensively used in this study. Furthermore two excavation reports on Carbrooke, Norfolk, (2006) and Clerkenwell, London, (2004) have provided some very significant recent archaeological research.
Documentary sources The primary data I have used to achieve this study has included a range of sources. It is first appropriate to outline these and provide brief comment on some of the problems and limitations of using the material, as well as my overall methodology.
There are three main medieval documentary sources relating to the Hospitallers activities in Britain, which have been utilised in this study. These are the cartulary of the Order, the monastic Rule and Statutes, and a financial report of their possessions in 1338. The Hospitallersâ€™ cartulary records individual donations of land and property. It has been transcribed into Latin from manuscript (MS) by Michael Gervers in two principal publications; the Prima Camera (1996) and Seconda
Camera (1982). By far the greater part of the MS to survive relates to the Orderâ€™s properties in Essex. This is because most of the Hospitallers original records were 4
Contemplation and Action: The Other Monasticism (1995)
destroyed when Clerkenwell Priory (the headquarters in Britain) was set alight in the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt. It is then only a partial account but provides important information on patronage and the foundation dates of commanderies.5
The Order’s monastic Rule, Statutes, Esgarts (Judgments) and Usances (Customs) were translated by King in 1934 and provide an important insight into Hospitaller conventual life. This will be discussed in Chapter III, although it is important to note that the monastic Rule was drawn up in the East, probably with the main convent at Jerusalem in mind, and may be a less accurate account of monastic life in Britain. In the early 14th century the Knights Hospitallers affairs in Britain were found to be in a disorganised financial state. The senior official in Britain; the Prior of Clerkenwell, was ordered to provide a report to the Hospitallers headquarters on Rhodes. It is known as ‘The Report of Prior Philip de Thames to the Grand Master Elyan de Villanova for A.D. 1338’, and was transcribed from the original MS into Latin by Rev. Larking of the Camden Society in 1857. It is in effect a Domesday survey, providing a balance-sheet of the income, expenses and inhabitants of every commandery in Britain. This provides an invaluable record although it is of course open to inaccuracies in the process of transcription and translation. In terms of 20th century conservation approaches to commandery buildings I have utilised the Ministry of Works and Department of Environment files held by English Heritage. These can generally be regarded as a reliable account of conservation works carried out at that time. However it is always possible that some activities, especially those of a controversial nature, were not recorded on file or that some of the original papers are missing.
Architecture The main source for this thesis is the buildings themselves; commandery chapels and parish churches. The greater part of investigation involves a visual assessment of the stylistic and typological evidence for construction dates, phases, building breaks and mouldings. The accuracy of such interpretation rests largely on the knowledge, 5
Many of these dates are also contained in Victoria County Histories.
experience and understanding of the investigator, which in the case of the author is continuing to develop. Buildings themselves can sometimes be misleading, especially where churches have been restored and Victorian fabric aims to imitate a medieval design. In this case restoration plans held in the Incorporated Church Building Society (ICBS) archive at Lambeth Place are invaluable, as are 18th or 19th century paintings or sketches of a church. Standing building analysis is also supplemented by dates and information gleaned from documentary sources, excavations, dendrochronology and cartographic evidence, which have been used wherever available.
Methodology The main research for this thesis involved site visits to ten commandery chapels and/or parish churches: Swingfield and Sutton-at-Hone in Kent, Poling in West Sussex, Godsfield in Hampshire, Little Maplestead in Essex, Standon in Hertfordshire, Ansty in Wiltshire, and Slebech in Pembrokeshire, between December 2012 and February 2013. Where properties were in residential use a letter was sent to the owner beforehand requesting permission to visit (Appendix 4). During each visit the buildings were carefully studied and analysed, and notes were made regarding stylistic features and building phases. Furthermore measurements were taken, moulding profiles drawn, building orientation recorded and the exterior and interior of each church or chapel was photographed. Additional site visits without such detailed notes were made to the Hospital of St Thomas the Martyr in Kent, Stebbing Church in Essex, Temple Church and Clerkenwell Priory in London, as well as the Conventual Hospital and Grand Masterâ€™s Palace of the Order of St John on Rhodes. Information made through visits was supplemented by archival research at the Museum of the Order of St John in Clerkenwell, the British Library, Lambeth Palace and the National Archives. An overview of surviving Hospitaller buildings in the East was gleaned by a study of the huge corpus of volumes produced by Denys Pringle on crusader churches (1993).
A gazetteer of Hospitaller commandery chapels was completed and is contained in Appendix 1. Furthermore detailed descriptions, building histories, maps and moulding profiles for each case study are contained in Appendices 2A â€“ 2J. Although
each case study is referred to in the main body of the text readers should refer to the appendices for more detailed information. The thesis itself is laid out thematically in order to present the material in the most logical and interesting manner. A general overview of the Knights Hospitallers is provided followed by a thematic consideration of the different influences upon the architecture of commandery chapels or churches. The penultimate chapter gives an account of government conservation approaches to commandery buildings and the presentation of the sites today.
II THE KNIGHTS HOSPITALLERS AND THE HOLY LAND The foundation of the Order of St John of Jerusalem and subsequent militarisation marks an astonishing episode in the history of the Christian Church. This chapter will provide a general overview of the origins and history of the Knights Hospitaller. It will set the context for more detailed examination of the Order’s architecture and role in Britain.
The origins of the Hospital of St John in Jerusalem Jerusalem has been a focus for Christian pilgrimage since the early years of the Christian church. From at least the beginning of the 7th century hospices in Jerusalem provided shelter to pilgrims; those making a penitential journey to the Holy City (Nicholson 2001:1). In 638 Jerusalem was captured by the advancing armies of Islam and fell under lasting Muslim control. Islamic rulers gave Christians unrestricted access to the Holy sites except for a brief period under Caliph al-Ḥākim1 (985-1021). However during the course of the 11th century reaching Jerusalem became more difficult; the land route from the West came increasingly under the control of the Seljuk Turks whilst further south pilgrims were attacked by Arab bandits.
The first references to a Hospital of St John in Jerusalem date to this period. According to William, Archbishop of Tyre, merchants from the Italian city of Amalfi asked the Caliph for a site within Jerusalem to accommodate their country men (Ibid: 2). They were given a spot near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where they built a Church of the Resurrection and Benedictine monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In about the 1070s the monastery established a hospital or
xenodochium dedicated to St John the Baptist (Riley-Smith 1999: 19).2 In the medieval tradition this provided accommodation and general charitable relief for the 1
The third Fatimid caliph’s full name was Al-Hakim bi Amr al-Lāh (literally ‘Ruler by God's Command’). 2 The Mosque of Omar in modern Jerusalem corresponds to the former site of the Hospital of St John according to Pringle (Courtauld Institute Conference, 2013).
sick, elderly and destitute (Gilchrist 1995: 8).3 The conventual complex later expanded to include two hospitals, a great hall, monastic residence and three churches (Rees 1947: 6).
The ethos of the early Hospitallers was a departure in religious thinking. They called themselves the servants of the ‘Lord’s poor’ who were considered to embody Christ himself (Rule Para 2, King 1934: 20). The poor were therefore given luxurious treatment in the Hospital by medieval standards such as beds with feather mattresses, as well as woollen cloaks and sandals (Riley-Smith 199:26). This philosophy and veneration of poverty foreshadowed the later ideals of the Franciscans (Ibid: 21). The first recorded Master of the Hospital is the ‘Blessed Gerard’ who was in charge at the time of the First Crusade (Rees 1947: 5). After the capture of Jerusalem the Hospital was brought under the direct authority of the canons of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, who followed the Augustinian rule (Nicholson 2001: 4). Separate hospitals were also eventually established on pilgrim routes in the Holy Land. In 1113 a papal bull recognised the Order as a separate entity. It was given the power to elect its own Master, freedom from tithes and put under the Pope’s protection (King 1934: 16). Further papal privileges followed: In 1137 the Hospitallers were awarded the right to build villages, churches, chapels and cemeteries on donated ground; and in 1154 they were afforded the power to have their own priests and clerics, free from the authority of the diocesan bishop (Nicholson 2001: 7). This latter right, as with many other papal bulls, almost certainly recognised an existing practice. Thus the Hospitallers were a supranational order free from local authority and only answerable to the Pope.
The First Crusade In 1095 an appeal had been made by from the Byzantine emperor, Alexius I, to the Pope for aid against the invasion by the Seljuk Turk armies (Boas 1999: 1). In November of that year Pope Urban II called for Christian armies in Europe to unite in aid of the Church in the East. This was a new sort of ‘holy’ war; a crusade. The Pope promised ‘Whoever for devotion only, not to gain honour or money, goes to 3
It was not a hospital in the modern sense to treat the seriously ill or urgent medical cases. Primitive methods meant little could be done but to ease the plight of the dying in these cases.
Jerusalem to liberate the city of God, may substitute this journey for all penance’ (Nicholson 2004: 14). Thus the military expedition was a form of pilgrimage, which allowed those who took part to remit their sins and find a new way of earning salvation. In 1096 the first organised crusade was led by Raymond of St Gilles, Godfrey of Bouillon and his brother Baldwin, among others. In 1098 they gained their first territory; Edessa, before moving on to conquer Jerusalem on 14th July 1099.4 During the subsequent reign of Baldwin I (1100-18) the Christian territories significantly expanded, eventually reaching a peak in the 12th century. A series of ‘Crusader States’ were established centred on the cities of Edessa, Antioch, Tripoli and Jerusalem. They extended from Edessa in the north to Darum in the south and several kilometres inland (Figure Figure 2.1 2.1). Figure 2.1: The Holy Land at the time of the crusades. (Source: Tyerman 1988)
It should be remembered that the First Crusade was a brutal episode in the history of Christianity; the crusaders cut a swathe of suffering through Europe and western Asia. They carried out massacres on route and caused widespread slaughter of the local population once they arrived in the Holy Land (Boas 1999: 7).
The Knights Templar and the the militarisation of the Hospitallers Following the liberation of Jerusalem it was proclaimed that the holy city would become a new spiritual paradise. Pilgrims flocked to the East but were often robbed or attacked as they made their way through foreign lands. In Eastertide 1119 some 300 pilgrims were massacred by Saracens whilst taking the road to Jerusalem (Lord 2002: 1). In about that year a band of nine knights was formed to protect the pilgrims by providing self escort. They were founded by two Frenchman; Hugh de Payens and Godfrey de Saint Omer, and were called ‘The poor fellow-soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon’, known otherwise today as the Knights Templar (Lewer and Dark 1997: 9) (Figure Figure 2.2 2.2). They took their name from the dwelling place granted to them by Baldwin II (1060-1131) within the precinct of the Temple of Solomon and dedicated themselves to the rule of St Augustine. The idea of a military order of monks was a profoundly new concept. It went against the precepts of a monastic life that forbade the spilling of blood. However it should be seen within the context of a gradual shift towards a more active vocation of monasticism as well as church efforts to influence the warrior class.5 Canon law forbade clerics to fight however the military orders overcame this by drawing a distinction between chaplains and lay brethren (Forey 1992: 10). Only chaplains received the tonsure which meant knights and other members were not prohibited from bearing arms.
Figure 2.2: 2.2: A drawing from the medieval Chronicles of Matthew Paris showing the seal of the Knights Templar. This depiction of two knights on one horse is thought to be a representation of either fellowship or poverty (or both). (Source: http://historyofengland.typepad.com/blog/drawings-of-matthew-paris.html)
In the late 11 century successive Popes had stated that violence was valid if used to defend Christendom whilst the writings of St Bernard of Clairvaux provided direct support for those that fought in God’s name (Forey 2001: 185).
The Hospitallers first step towards militarisation was probably in extending its services to pilgrims by adopting the Templar practice of providing safe escort.6 The lack of manpower in the Holy Land was also a major factor. They answered the urgent requirement for defence against Muslim incursion. By 1136 the Hospitallers had been granted the castle of Beit-Jibrin to defend the frontier at Ascalon near Egypt (King 1934: 3). Several more soon followed including the magnificent fortress of Crac des Chevaliers (Figure Figure 2.3 2.3). Hospitaller brothers-at-arms (military personnel) included knights as well as sergeants who were of lower rank. There were probably never more than 300 Hospitaller brothers-at-arms in the East but they led large numbers of mercenaries (Riley-Smith 1999: 44).
Figure 2.3: 2.3: The Hospitallers Castle of Crac des Chevaliers. (Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Crac_des_chevaliers_syria.jpeg)
The Templars and Hospitallers were not the only military orders. Another major order, the Teutonic Knights, grew out of a German hospital established near Acre in the late 12th century. They were engaged in several crusades in the Baltics.7 Among the smaller English orders were the Knights of St Lazarus and the Knights of St Thomas of Canterbury at Acre (Gilchrist 1995: 63). The former began as a leper hospital in Jerusalem in the 1130s whilst the latter were formed at Acre towards the end of the 12th century. They both established monastic houses in England such as the leper hospital at Burton Lazars in Leicestershire. The military orders could be distinguished by their dress. The Hospitallers wore a black mantle with a white cross 6
This is recorded in a letter from Pope Innocent II (1130-1143) (Forey 1992: 12). Crusades were not confined to the Holy Land and could be fought elsewhere against pagans or heretics as well as Muslims. Both the Templars and Hospitallers were engaged in th fighting on the Iberian Peninsula in the 12 century.
on it whilst in the religious house and a red surcoat with a white cross in battle (Nicholson 2001: 81).
The Hospitallers role in the Crusades Over the 12th century there was a gradual recovery of Muslim unity as a series of leaders united Middle Eastern Islam. In 1144 the first of these leaders captured Edessa leaving the Pope once again to rally Christian forces (Ibid: 20). This, the Second Crusade (1145-49), was badly planned and suffered failure. The Hospitallers are not thought to have played a significant role. However they were involved in several disastrous invasions of Egypt. These eventually led to the unification of the country with Damascus under single Muslim control. When the adept leader Saladin became ruler of Damascus the Christianâ€™s control of the Holy Land was in peril. He invaded in 1187 decisively defeating Christian forces at the battle of Cresson and Hattin (Lloyd 2001: 37) (Figure Figure 2.4). 2.4 Jerusalem was captured and the most sacred relic in the Kingdom; the Lordâ€™s Cross, carried off to Damascus. Two years later the Third Crusade (1189-92) was launched. The Hospitallers played a leading role; assisting in the defence of Tyre, the siege of Acre and commanding the rear guard (Nicholson 2001: 24). Acre was captured and became the Hospitallers new headquarters where they established their main conventual hospital.
From the death of Saladin in 1193 until 1260 the Muslim territories were divided and the Latin Christian states recovered. Jerusalem returned under Christian control in the 1220s. However in the later 13th century there were a series of succession problems in the Kingdom, which caused instability and the ultimate loss of Jerusalem to the Khwarezmian Turks in 1244 (Tyerman 1988: 108). The political disputes had sometimes brought the Hospitallers into direct conflict with the Templars. The military orders were heavily criticised and the mid-13th century chronicler Matthew Paris blamed pride and avarice for their ultimate defeat (Vaugham 1993: 119). In 1260 the Mamluk Sultan of Egypt defeated the mongels in Galilee. The Crusader States now found themselves surrounded by Islamic forces. Over the next three decades the Christians were driven out of Syria and Palestine. The loss of Acre in 1291 marked their final fall in the Holy Land. The Military Orders continued to have a presence in the Eastern Mediterranean but their primary purpose had been lost.
Figure 2.4: 2.4: An illustration of the Battle of the Horns of Hattin, Saturday, July 4, 1187, from a medieval manuscript. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hattin.jpg)
The later history of the Order The loss of the Holy Land left the military orders in a vulnerable position in the West. This ultimately led to the suppression of the Templars. They were accused of heresy in 1307 by the French King Philip IV who was envious of their wealth and extensive landholdings (Lord 2002: 184). A weak Papacy failed to protect them and the Templars were arrested and forced to confess under torture. In February 1310 a group of 54 Templars were burnt at the stake in Paris and about two years later a Papal Bull disbanded the Order (Ibid: 191). In Britain the Templars were also arrested but those that confessed were given penance, absolved and reconciled into the Church (Ibid: 199).
The Hospitallers reacted quickly to the catastrophe that befell the Templars. In 1309 they moved their headquarters to Rhodes, which they had invaded three years before (Riley-Smith 1999: 89) (Figure Figure 2.5). 2.5 This brought them off the coast of Asia Minor and in the frontline of the war against Islam. They developed naval forces that opposed Turkish expansion and policed shipping lanes. The occupation of Rhodes
Figure 2.5: 2.5: The conventual chapter on Rhodes in the Late Medieval period. Grand Master Philip d’Aubusson being presented with a copy of the history of the Turk’s failed siege in 1480. Surrounding the Grand Master are the conventual bailiffs as well as merchants and other petitioners. Original manuscript held in the Bibliothéque Nationale, MS Lat. 6067, fol. 3v. (Source: http://threegoldbees.com/images/stories/collegia_notes/heraldic_tabards)
influenced a papal decision in 1312 to grant them the Templar’s estates across Europe.8 They remained on Rhodes for over 200 years until a Turkish siege led to their withdrawal in 1522 (Sire 1994: 57). By 1530 they were awarded the Islands of Malta, which remained their headquarters until its capture by Napoleon in 1798 (Riley-Smith 1999: 124). In the 19th century the Order were based in Rome where they renounced their military role and re-adopted hospital care as the prime activity. Today the Order’s structure is based on a series of national associations. In England the St John Ambulance Association stem from the Hospitallers.
The Hospitallers organisation The Knights Hospitallers central administration was always placed together with its central convent, which for most of the 12th century was Jerusalem and later Acre and Rhodes. The central convent acted in chapter as an assembly which set out the monastic rules and statues of the Order and carried out administrative business. They also elected a Master to lead the Order who was entitled ‘Grand Master’ in the 14th century. Under the Master were five Conventual Bailiffs; senior officers with specific responsibilities. They were: the Grand Commander who was responsible for supervising estates; the Marshall who commanded military personnel; the Hospitaller who was in charge of the main hospital; the Treasurer who managed finance; and the Drapier who served as quartermaster (King 1934: 13).9 In the early 12th century the Hospitallers began to develop estates across Europe. These comprised land and churches, which were donated by aristocratic families and smaller landowners.10 The estates provided recruits and resources to support the Hospitallers activities in the East. Each province in Europe was known as a ‘Priory’ and was under the charge of a ‘Prior’ who resided at the mother-house (Figure Figure 2.6) 2.6 (Nicholson 2001: 78). Under him the officer in charge of a single house was known as a custus or commander (praeceptor in Latin) and these properties were referred 8
In Britain the Crown delayed the transfer of Templar estates until 1324 whilst it was still receiving revenue from the land. Several transfers were still not complete by 1338 and some land never passed into the Hospitallers hands. 9 th At the beginning of the 14 century an Admiral was added to take charge of the fleet and the Turcopolier to control mercenary troops. 10 For instance the King of Aragon bequeathed his entire Kingdom to the Hospitallers and Templars in 1134 (Moore 1981: 2248).
to as commanderies (or preceptories). They were monastic institutions leading a conventual life but also creating produce and revenue to fund the Order in the East. A commander was a professed member of the Order. The province or Priory was further divided up by administrative units known as a titulus, each of which were under the control of a commandery. The Knights Templars had a similar mode of organisation. Besides the commanderies there were also camerae, which were properties held in absentia without a resident commander. They were smaller than commanderies and closely resembled a grange or farm.
Figure 2.6: The Knights Hospitallersâ€™ priories in Europe. (Source: Nicholson 2001)
III KNIGHTS HOSPITALLER COMMANDERIES IN BRITAIN This chapter will place commandery chapels in context by explaining their form and function in Britain. It will also provide an overview of how the Order became to be established and the surviving archaeological evidence.
Establishment in Britain The first major Hospitaller establishments in Europe were St-Gilles, Southern France, and Messina, Sicily. These were large ports serving as embarkation points for pilgrims heading to the Holy Land. Initially the English Priory was only a small establishment and was therefore controlled from St-Gilles (Sloane and Malcolm 2004: 2). From about the 1130s the Order began to receive gifts of land from the highest nobility in Britain. At Godsfield, Hampshire, a commandery was founded by the brother of King Stephen, Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester (1129-71) (VCH Hampshire, Vol 4, 1911: 189-190). Especially rich patronage came from the Clare family, Earls of Striguil (in Essex) and Pembroke, and a commandery with an extensive estate was founded at Slebech on the Gower Peninsula in Wales (Rees 1900: 13). From the 1140s onwards some 2,000 properties passed to the Hospitallers in Britain, ranging from the odd vineyard or mill to large manorial holdings (Moore 1981: 2248).
Generally the foundation of a commandery was a gradual process, formed of several donations of property where the Order directed their influence. Unlike the Templars the Hospitallers admitted women into the Order who served as nuns, caring for the sick and poor in hospices. Prior to 1180 there were six Hospitaller houses in Britain occupied by nuns but in that year they were brought together into a single community at Buckland, Somerset (Sire 1994: 174). In 1185 the Master of the Order, Roger des Moulins, and the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Heraclius, visited England. Their arrival almost certainly stimulated further donations and recruits. In
London they consecrated St John’s Priory, Clerkenwell, which had been founded in 1144. At about this time it became independent of St-Gilles and served as the motherhouse of the Order in Britain. By the later 13th century there were 36 commanderies in Britain (Figure Figure 3.1). 3.1 However following the Statute of Mortmain in 1279, which prohibited religious houses from receiving land without royal licence, new foundations largely ceased (Gilhrist 1995: 68). Only one was added; Low Chibburn, Northumberland, which occurred sometime before 1313.
The Hospitallers report of 1338 records that there were 116 professed Hospitallers in England and Wales comprising 34 knights, 34 chaplains and 48 sergeants in 37 commanderies (Larking 1857: lxi). In addition 106 other dependants1 and 400 servants resided at their religious houses (Ibid: lxi). A further 70 secular priests served at the Order’s churches. Following the Templars suppression in Britain in 1312 the Hospitallers subsumed many of their estates. Former Templar properties were listed separately in the 1338 report but because they were disputed by the Crown took many years to be transferred. Eventually this meant that the Hospitallers commanderies rose to as many as 59. However through the late medieval period the Order declined in Britain and by the early 16th century held just 19 commanderies. The Order was dissolved in 1540 and their lands confiscated.2 Subsequently many commanderies were converted to manorial settlements or farmhouses.
This included three donates, 48 corrodories and 55 clerks. There were a number of associates attached to commanderies (Nicholson 2001: 85). Donati or donatae were people who took vows of obedience and promised to join the Order in the future. ‘Corrody’ holders were those who made one large one-off payment and were accommodated in the commandery in their old age. Whilst confratres were those who made an annual donation and subsequently received a pension and burial but lived in their own homes. 2 An Act of Parliament ruled that the Hospitallers were more loyal to the Pope than King Henry VIII, and existed for the promotion of superstitious ceremonies (VCH Somerset Vol II 1911, 147).
Figure 3.1: Knights Hospitaller Commanderies in Britain in the later 13th century. By the early 14th century the Hospitallers also established a commandery at Low Chibburn, Northumberland, making a total of 37 in the 1338 report (Larking 1857: xix). Sites with chapels surviving as standing remains pre-dating 1370 are underlined and case studies contained in Appendix 2 are marked in red. The original status of the surviving parish church at Standon is uncertain and thus not underlined.
The form and function of commanderies in Britain The primary function of Knights Hospitaller commanderies in Britain was to raise revenues to be sent to the East. This came from the produce of the estates, voluntary contributions from the district and donations received in parish churches. The main collection for the crusades was called the confraria3, which was taken by officials sent out from the commanderies and then passed to the motherhouse at Clerkenwell where it was stored and sent to the East. In addition the commanderies served as religious houses where occupants undertook a conventual life in accordance with the rules and statues of the Order (see below). Many were sited on major roads, pilgrimage routes or near waterways and had an especially important role in providing hospitality to travellers as well as distributing alms to the poor (Figure Figure 3.2). 3.2 As military establishments their locations facilitated the rapid collection and distribution of resources or revenue to the East.
Commanderies usually survive as earthworks and/or cropmarks of buildings. However just over one third of Hospitaller commanderies have some form of standing remains. In common with monasteries of other orders, commanderies were enclosed within precincts, usually defined by moats or a bank and ditch but also sometimes walls. At the commandery of Beverley a massive moat 1.9m deep enclosed a rectangular island 83m by 121m, equating to about one hectare in area (Gilchrist 1995: 74). These moats acted as boundaries rather than defences and were symbolic of status and synonymous with manorial settlement. The larger commanderies had gatehouses, which controlled ingress to the precinct. One survives at Quenington, Gloucestershire, which in addition to the main entrance arch has a postern doorway with an image niche above (Figure Figure 3.3 3.3) (VCH, Gloucestershire, Vol.6, 1981).
The confraria, fraria, or collecta, as it was diversely termed, was a highly important item of the accounts of the commanderies of the Knights Hospitallers. Voluntary collections were made by clerks specially deputed for the purpose from churches. The total collected in England and Wales in this way, in the year 1338, was ÂŁ888 4s. 3d (VCH Norfolk, Vol.2 (1906), 424).
Figure 3.2: Hospitaller commandery locations. By mapping commanderies against the existing system of Roman roads, which were re-used in the medieval period, it can be seen that their locations coincided closely with major routeways. (Authorâ€™s sketch)
All commanderies included provision for worship and communal living but did not have facilities for private contemplation or reading. They had chapels for the brethren and servants to worship in such as those at Swingfield, Kent, and Godsfield, Hampshire. At least two chapels were circular in plan to replicate the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem (See Chapter IV). However the majority were simple rectangular buildings formed of an aisleless nave and chancel. In some cases the Hospitallers utilised existing parish churches as their commandery church, such as that at Quenington. Alternatively there could be a chapel and a parish church in close proximity to each other, both under the Hospitallersâ€™ control, as at Poling, West Sussex. Figure 3.3: The 14th century commandery gateway at Quenington, Gloucestershire. It was altered and extended to the north-west in the early 16th century to form an additional two storey wing. (Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/ ÂŠ Gordon Hatton).
Commanderies had a main hall which incorporated the dormitory and living areas. This was normally in close proximity to the chapel or sometimes even directly attached to it, as at Swingfield. In addition smaller halls functioned as refectory and kitchens with a garderobe nearby. As self sufficient and revenue producing estates commanderies included agricultural and industrial components. These might be barns, workshops, stables, dovecotes, kilns, brewhouses and ovens linked by an open yard or cobbled roadway. At Quenington a round dovecote with revolving ladder is still intact. In close proximity to the commandery were often fishponds such as the
large water-filled example that still survives at Ansty, Wiltshire. There were also wind and/or watermills and surrounding demesne field systems and stock enclosures. Beyond the commandery was sometimes a tenant village, such as the group of flint and timber cottages, which are now situated 0.5km to the south of Poling chapel.
A rare surviving manuscript provides a specific insight into the buildings that stood at Swingfield, Kent. This is ‘the view and state of the Commandery of Swingfield and its appurtenances in 1529’, transcribed and published by Grove and Rigold (1979). It is an inventory and valuation of the buildings by Hospitaller officials in 1529. The inventory lists: a hall, chapel with gallery, new parlour with commander’s chamber, a study, an old parlour, pantry, two butteries, a priest’s chamber, servant’s chamber, three more chambers, a longhouse, a malthouse, a storehouse, a stable, a hay barn, a great barn, a dovecote, a great gate, an orchard, a garden and a pond (1979: 102114). The chapel, chamber block and hall were certainly of 13th century date and the practice of living in separate chambers appears to be a later occurrence. The inventory indicates that the chapel was attached to the chamber block and hall and that the kitchen block and lodgings were placed to the south and the agricultural buildings centred around a farmyard to the west.
The layout of commanderies The layout of buildings within the commandery varied, although most were grouped broadly around an open space. An example is the layout of the only fully excavated commandery, which is the Knights Templar site at South Witham, Lincolnshire. Here the buildings are arranged within and around the earthwork perimeter leaving an empty central space (Figures Figures 3.4 - 3.5) 3.5 (Mayes 2002: 4-6). The domestic and agricultural buildings were broadly separated; the former being located at the southwest and the latter at the north and west. However there is evidence that some Hospitaller commanderies had a more formal plan. At Low Chibburn, Northumberland the commandery may have comprised several ranges forming a quadrangular courtyard. The buildings at Dinmore Manor, Herefordshire, were substantially rebuilt in the late 16th century and heavily altered in the 19th century, but are laid out around a courtyard and likely to echo the former medieval commandery plan (Murray 1936). In the case of commanderies which were smaller
in size and consisted of just a few buildings there may have been a more informal layout. An example is Ansty, where the buildings were grouped around one side of a pond.
Figure 3.4: An archaeological plan of South Witham. The numbers correspond to: 1. Aisled barn, 2. Barn, 3. Barn, 4. Aisled barn, 5. West gatehouse & later garderobe, 6. East gatehouse, 7. Animal houses, 8. Brewhouse/Dairy, 9. Kitchen, 10. Granary, garderobe, workshop and blacksmiths forge, 11. Aisled barn, 12. Lesser hall, 15. First hall, 16. Great hall, 17. Rebuilt great hall, 18. Chapel, Chapel 19. Water mill. (Source: Mayes 2002: 4).
Figure Figure 3.4: An artistâ€™s impression of the only fully excavated commandery in Britain; the Knights Templar site at South Witham, Lincolnshire. (Source: Smith 2002: 56)
The picture generated above is quite different to the highly formalised layout of the majority of medieval religious institutions. The ‘standard’ monastic plan was to have the church and domestic buildings situated around a cloister. Generally the church formed the northern range, often with the chapter-house and dormitory at the east, the refectory at the south and other buildings such as the guest hall, cellarage or offices at the west. (Figure Figure 3.6). 3.6 A plan on this basis is found at sites such as: Cistercian Cleeve Abbey, Somerset (Harrison 2000: 18); Augustinian Kirkham Priory, North Yorkshire (Harrison 2010: 28); and Benedictine Westminster Abbey (Fletcher 1938: 378).
Figure 3.6 – An example of the ‘standard’ monastic plan with buildings centred around the cloister and the church situated at the north; The Cistercian Abbey of Beaulieu, Hampshire. (Source: http://www.historyfish.net/images/monastics/plan_beaulieu_med.jpg © Richenda Fairhurst, 2008)
Figure 3.7 – A conjectural reconstruction from the excavated evidence of Penhallam manorial buildings, Jacobstow, Cornwall. (Source: Platt 1994: 59)
Apart from the mother-house; Clerkenwell Priory (Sloane and Malcolm 2004: 92), commanderies did not feature chapter houses nor was the original church of cruciform plan. It has been suggested that commanderies paralleled Cistercian granges or secular manors where landlords were rich enough to have their own chapel (Ritoók 1994: 172). One similar manorial example is the 13th century manorhouse of Penhallam at Jacobstow, Cornwall (Platt 1994: 59-60). Here the 12th century two-storey stone chamber-block was retained through 13th century rebuilding. It was eventually incorporated into a range of domestic apartments set around a courtyard sited within a moat (Figure Figure 3.7). 3.7 Since this was a restricted site it may have been the pre-existing moat, which helped to define the courtyard plan. Ritoók cites two further 13th and 14th century examples; the bishop of Hereford’s manor house at Prestbury, Gloucestershire and a manorial complex at Cuxham, Oxfordshire (1994: 173). However it seems unlikely that they represented resource production centres on the same scale and certainly not for the same purpose as Hospitaller sites. Furthermore manorial centres did not adopt communal living or a 27
conventual routine. At Hospitaller commanderies the chapel formed the centre of monastic life where the seven services of the Divine Office were celebrated on a daily basis.
Conventual Conventual life The conventual life of a Hospitaller commandery was governed by the Rule and Statutes of the Order. The Rule was first laid down by Raymond de Le Puy who was the Master of the Order between 1120 and 1160. It was initially based on that of St Augustine but was amended and expanded through the statutes of later Masters as well as the 13th century Esgarts (Judgments) and Usances (Customs). These served as the general regulations of the Order and had particular significance to the running of the central convent. However it is less clear to what extent they would have been followed by small houses in Britain. There were probably periodic public readings of the regulations by the chaplains of the Order (Forey 1992: 201).
The Hospitallers followed a cenobitic form of life; eating and sleeping communally. However most commanderies contained no more than two or three brothers, which limited the potential for a â€˜common lifeâ€™ experienced by other monastic orders (Ibid: 190).4 Brethren took the three main vows of chatisty, obedience and poverty. The daily routine was based on the normal monastic horarium including Matins (12am), Lauds (1am), Prime (7am), Morning Mass (8.30 am), Tierce (9.30am), High Mass (10am), the Hour of None (1pm), Vespers (5pm) and the Hour of Compline (7pm) (King 1934: 144-145). The afternoon gave time for work, recreation or military exercises.5 The members also managed the estates and provided hospitality to the visiting nobility as well as pilgrims, the sick and the poor. The Hospitallers were expected to have simple clothing and equipment.6 There were penalties for those breaking the regulations including: Expulsion from the Order; loss 4
The ideal of the communal life does not always appear to have been maintained. In the 13 century some brothers were acquiring their own rooms at the Hospital in the East (Forey 1992: 196). This may also have been the case in Britain. By 1529, and probably much earlier, there were separate rooms at the commandery of Swingfield, Kent. 5 The latter may have been fairly limited in England but in the East is known to have included gymnastics, wrestling, drill, sword exercises and cross-box shooting (King 1934: 145). 6 th In the 13 century statutes there were frequent prohibitions of possessions such as embroidered cloths and gold and silver equipment indicating that some Hospitallers were gaining these belongings (Statutes of 1262 to 1295).
of the habit for a period (i.e. temporary expulsion); quarantaine and septaine, which were periods of fasting when the offender ate on the ground; and minor deprivations of food or wine (Rule, Para’s 58, 89, 91, 94 , 104).
Chapel services The ideal was to have three priests serving in a commandery but this was rarely achieved (Riley-Smith 2012: 100). In addition to their own priests the Hospitallers also employed secular clergy.7 These served in the parish churches over which they held patronage. A papal ruling in 1139-43 also allowed secular priests to temporarily serve in commanderies for one or two years (Nicholson 2001: 7). The chapel served as the venue for the services of the monastic horarium. In the chancel the priest would administer the sacrament wearing white raiments (The Rule: Para 3). During the 12th century most brethren were probably illiterate, which meant they merely observed services rather than taking an active involvement (Forrey 1992: 190). The chapel altar was used as part of the ceremony of admittance (Usance 121). After the recruit had placed their hands on the Missal (liturgical book) and made the Order’s vows they brought it to the priest who placed it on the altar. It was then returned to the other brothers and the new member received his mantle. According to the Rule the brothers conduct in church should be ‘decorous’ and conversation ‘appropriate’ (Rule, 3). Following the death of a brother his body was taken to the chapel where the priest was to keep watch over him until mass (Fr.Jobert, Statute 5, 1172-7). Thirty masses (the Trental) were said for his soul (Rule, Para 14).8 For pilgrims who died in the hospices there appear to have been public masses (Fr.Jobert, St. 6). The chapel was also the place where corporal punishment was administered. Those undergoing the quarantine or septaine, knelt before the altar, removed their mantles and were flogged whilst the priests recited a psalm (King 1934:14).9
‘Secular clergy’ are ministers, such as deacons and priests, who are not monastics and do not belong to a religious institute. 8 Priests were required to sing the masses, other clerics to chant the psalter and the lay brothers to say 150 pater-nosters (prayers). 9 According to King (1934: 142) this form of punishment in the church was only confirmed in 1603, although it is likely that it was the custom long before.
IV ‘THIS NEW JERUSALEM’: HOSPITALLER ROUND CHURCHES AND THE INFLUENCE OF THE EAST This chapter will consider the influence of the East on commandery architecture in Britain. It will explore the iconographic effect of Jerusalem and provide an overview of the Hospitallers churches in the Holy Land.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre The most sacred place in medieval Christendom was the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, which contained the tomb of Jesus Christ himself. After the First Crusade the Hospitallers were brought under the direct authority of the canons of the church. Early charters gave donations to the ‘Holy Sepulchre and the Hospital of St John’ emphasising this close link (Nicholson 2001: 4). They subsequently gained independence but the iconography and spiritual associations of the church were to have a lasting resonance.
Following his crucifixion Jesus Christ was laid in a rock-cut tomb at a place called Golgotha (Matthew 27.33). This was outside the city walls of Jerusalem but between AD 41 and 69 the walls were extended to enclose the area (Pringle 1993, Vol.3: 6). In AD 135 the Emperor Hadrian built a temple on the site. The construction involved covering the tomb in a deep deposit of earth. When Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the eastern Roman Empire in AD 324 the temple was demolished and the tomb exposed (Ibid: 7). A basilica was built and Christ’s tomb was enclosed and faced in marble to form a free-standing aedicule (Figure Figure 4.1). 4.1 The building that later covered this took the form of a rounded structure with a central drum carried on columns, which probably supported a timber roof or dome (the rotunda of the ‘Anastasis’) (Ibid: 7). The essential form of the 4th century complex remained unaltered for about three centuries. In 614 the church was sacked by the Persians and the structures partly burnt. They were restored shortly afterwards. In 1009 Caliph al-Ḥākim ordered the demolition of the church. However 30
according to recent research large parts of the tomb and church survived (Biddle 2013).1 From what remained the church was rebuilt by 1048. Figure 4.1: Plans showing the development of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the fourth, eleventh and twelfth centuries. Recent research by Biddle (2013) indicates that the 11th century church (b) had a much longer eastern apse then shown here. This would provide the â€˜keyholeâ€™ shaped plan copied by numerous churches in England in the early 12th century before the Holy Sepulchre was altered in the mid-12th century. (Source: Pringle 1993, Vol.3, p8)
According to Biddle (Courtauld Institute Conference, 2013) the south wall of rock, the burial couch and part of the north wall of the aedicule survived. The rotunda survived to just over 10m high and other parts of Constantineâ€™s church survived to 4.6m high.
Following the First Crusade the Franks undertook a major construction project (Figure Figure 4.2 & 4.3). 4.3 Instead of the previous free-standing rotunda with separate buildings to the east, they brought all the holy sites together under one roof (Pringle 1987: 111). A large Romanesque choir was built with a domed western bay where the transept crossed and an eastern bay containing the high altar (Boas 1999: 127). An ambulatory curved around the eastern altar with three apsidal chapels. Taken together the choir and the rotunda had a keyhole shaped plan, similar to its 11th century predecessor, which would be heavily replicated by round churches in England. At the main entrance from the south a remarkable Romanesque faรงade and a five-storey bell tower were built (Figure Figure 4.4). 4.4 This is the essential form of the building, which we inherit today.
Figure 4.2: A detailed plan of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Key to chapels: 1. Prison of Christ; 2. St. Nicholas; 3. Crowning with Thorns; 4. Flagellation; 5. Adam. (Source: Pringle 1993, Vol.3, p8)
Figure 4.3: A reconstructed east-west section through the 12th century Church of the Holy Sepulchre looking south. Beneath the circular building (rotunda) is the aedicule, which contained the Holy Sepulchre (Christâ€™s tomb) itself. (Source: Pringle 1993, Vol.3, p8)
Figure Figure 4.4: A view of the south front of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre built by the crusaders in the 12th century. (Source: http://thisculturalchristian.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/stealing-goddess-temple-of-venus.html)
Round churches in Britain In the 12th century churches closely replicating the plan of the Anastasis were built across north-west Europe by the military orders, pilgrims and returning crusaders.2 These copies were funded by patrons to raise popular awareness of the foreign policy of the day (Gervers 2013; Crossley 1988: 17). In Britain round-naved churches were principally a 12th century phenomenon.3 There are 17 known examples with just over half surviving above foundation level, though in many cases they have been heavily altered or restored (Figure Figure 4.6 4.6).4 Among these are eight churches of the Knights Templar and two of the Hospitallers (Figure Figure 4.5 4.5). Most (15) date to the 12th century but the Hospitallers church at Little Maplestead, Essex, which was built in 1241-45 is the latest of the crusader period. The variation in size; Little Maplestead is 9m in diameter compared to Clerkenwellâ€™s 20m, indicates that it was the form itself that communicated the symbolism (Sloane and Malcolm 2004: 6). All were originally keyhole shaped in plan but the chancel was often adapted and altered at a later period (see below). Most round churches required an arcade to support the roof. This arcade carried a higher central drum above the level of the aisle with windows acting as a lantern or clerestory (Ibid: 6). An example is the reconstructed form of the early 12th century church at Northampton with low arcade, gallery and clerestory (Figure Figure 4.7 4.7). Here the aisle was groin or rib-vaulted. Although inspired by the Holy Sepulchre the form is also thought to have been influenced by the round churches and baptisteries of Northern Italy (RCHME 1985: 61).
Examples outside England include the Rotunda at Lanleff, nr Caen and the Templar Church in Paris (Krautheimer 1942: 4). 3 Strictly speaking most of the naves of round churches were hexagonal or octagonal, as defined by the 6 or 8 columns of the arcade, whilst it was the surrounding aisle that was round. 4 Hudson suggested Canterbury and Warwick possessed round-naved churches but no such evidence has been found (Hudson, E. 1900. â€˜The church of St John of Jerusalem (Knights th Hospitallers), Clerkenwellâ€™, In the Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects, 25 August, p.468 (Cited in Sloane and Malcolm: 2004:6))
Figure 4.5: Some comparative plans of Templar and Hospitaller round-naved churches in Britain. Note that the plans showing Temple Bruer, Garway and Temple Church II are multiphase; all originally had a â€˜key-holeâ€™ plan. (Source: Sloane and Malcom 2004: 7). Single-phase plans:
Figure 4.6. 4.6 Medieval round-naved churches in Britain. Name Chapel of St Mary Magdelene, Ludlow Castle, Shropshire Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Northampton Church of St Nicholas on Orphir, Orkney Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Cambridge Knights Templar Church, Dover, Kent Temple Church , London (Holborn) Church of St John the Baptist, Clerkenwell Priory, London Temple Church , London (Temple) Temple Bruer, Lincolnshire Temple Church, Bristol St Giles Hospital, Hereford, Herefordshire Church of St Michael, Garway, Herefordshire West Thurrock Church, Essex Templar Church at Penhill, Yorkshire Templar Church at Alsackby, Lincolnshire Church of St John the Baptist, Little Maplestead, Essex Chapel Notre Dame de la ClartĂŠ, Jersey
Date Early C12 1116 Pre 1122 c.1130 1130s 1144 c.1146-56 c.1150s c.1150s Mid C12 Mid C12 Post 1180 C12 ?C12 ?C12 1241-5 c.1520
Status Castle chapel, Extant Parish Church, Extant Parish Church, Part Extant Parish Church, Extant Templar Church, Foundations Templar Church, Foundations Hospitaller Ch, Crypt Extant Templar Church, Extant Templar Church, Foundations Templar Church, Foundations Uncertain, Foundations Templar Church, Extant Parish Church, Foundations Templar Church, Destroyed Templar Ch, Destroyed Hospitaller Church, Extant Pilgrimage church, Extant
Figure 4.7. 4.7 Reconstruction plan of the Parish Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Northampton, (Source: RCHME 1985: 60).
The Church of St John the Baptist, Clerkenwell Clerkenwell Priory has been the subject of a recent extensive monograph (Sloane and Malcolm 2004) following excavations and will therefore only be given limited attention in this study. However its form, function and architecture are significant to the overall picture of Hospitaller churches in Britain. The following summary description is based on the monograph (2004: 24-195).
The Priory of St John was founded in 1144 on land gifted by Jordan de Bricet and his wife in lieu of a pledge of 13d of annual alms to the Hospital in Jerusalem. The original church, built c.1146-56, consisted of a round nave, a narrow aisleless chancel with a crypt beneath (Figure Figure 4.8). 4.8 It was built of chalk, Kentish ragstone, Reigate stone and some Caen stone dressings. Today only three bays of the Norman crypt can be seen (Figure Figure 4.9). 4.9 The round nave was divided internally by an arcade of eight piers; the outer aisle being 3.1m wide and the central atrium 11.6m in diameter. Among the surviving architectural fragments is a bracket from an eaves corbel table carved in the shape of a wide-eyed cat (Figure Figure 4.10 4.10). This shows an interesting parallel with a gargoyle found at Ascalon near Egypt, where the Hospitallers were present in 1136 (Figure Figure 4.11 4.11).5 However its influences are probably closer to home; Sloane and Malcolm cite: the Holy Sepulchre, Cambridge; Romsey Abbey, Hampshire; and St-Germer, Picardy (2004: 29).6 Attached at the east was the chancel, which was 4.85m wide and at least 3 bays long, although the eastern apsidal termination is only conjectured. This was 1.5m above the nave and was accessed by stairs, possibly wrapping around an altar. The chancel is not thought to be wide enough to have contained choir stalls. A flight of stairs from the nave also led down into the crypt, which had a masonry bench on three sides, which could accommodate 40 people. From this bench rose pilasters supporting a vaulted ceiling formed of transverse arches and diagonal ribs. Scalloped plasterwork on the ribs, red paintwork and lantern fixtures indicate that the crypt was congregational. At the east end there may have been an altar or the Priorâ€™s seat. In the walls were nine deeply splayed single light windows, some of which survive today. In c.1160-70 a rectangular
Although this appears to have a mane and is therefore probably a lions head. Cat heads like those at Clerkenwell and Temple Bruer are quite commonly seen in Romanesque corbel tables (e.g. Carlisle cathedral south transept).
side chamber was added, which is thought to have been a treasury. Altogether the 12th century church is thought to have been a relatively simple and austere building.
Figure 4.8. Plan of the 12th century church at Clerkenwell Priory (scale 1:200). (Source: Sloane and Malcolm: 2004)
Figure 4.9. The crypt of the 12th century church, subsequently extended in the 13th century. The east end opens out to form three bays, which is not clearly apparent in this photograph. (Source: Authorâ€™s photograph).
In the later 12th century the existing chancel was demolished and replaced by one with three aisles and a quadripartite vaulted ceiling. The crypt below was also expanded to three times its original size to include a central chapel, south-east chapel and strongroom. The side aisles of the chancel are thought to have accommodated chapels to St Mary and St John the Evangelist. It was similar in style
to work at Lesnes Abbey, Kent and St Cross, Winchester, Hampshire. However a fragment of an arcade capital (A18) has a motif consisting of stylised palm tree crowns decorated in polychrome paintwork, which is thought to be closely influenced by Continental Cistercian churches such as Fontenay Abbey. Other mouldings show stylistic affinities to the late 12th century nunnery of St Mary at Clerkenwell. This link is thought to have been due to the fact that both institutions were founded by the same patron. The late 13th century involved further rebuilding. In about 1280 the round nave was demolished and a rectangular aisled nave built with a cloister to the south. Further development occurred in the priory precinct, which by the 15th century became palatial in scale. An extensive range of buildings is shown in a 17th century engraving (Figure Figure 4.12 4.12).
Figure 4.10. A carving of a cat from the eaves corbel table of the 12th century church at Clerkenwell (Source: Sloane and Malcolm 2004: 31, Architectural fragment A6).
Figure 4.11. A gargoyle found in Ascalon (Boas 1999: 166) and a later, probably 13th century, carving of a cat at Temple Bruer (Brighton 2006: 165).
Figure 4.12. Clerkenwell Priory shown in a 17th century engraving by Wenceslas Hollar. Only the gate-house and church crypt survive today. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org).
Clerkenwell in context At 20m across the 12th century round church at Clerkenwell was the second largest such structure in England, being just centimetres smaller than the building at Northampton. In a London context it perhaps provided a direct answer to the nearby Templar church which had been built just a few years before. Although fighting for the same cause; the defence of Christendom in the East, the Templars and Hospitallers competed for donations and patronage in Britain. The Templarsâ€™ first church was 14m in diameter and rested on six round pillars in contrast to Clerkenwellâ€™s eight (Lewer and Dark 1997: 18).7 The new church at Clerkenwell probably sought to out do its rival, at least in size if not in grandeur. Shortly before 1160 the Templars sold their church and built a new one between Fleet Street and the Thames.8 The nave of the new Temple was 18m in diameter with an arcade of six columns and a vaulted aisle (Figure Figure 4.13 4.13). The architecture was far more 7
This was located near where Southampton Buildings are today at the north end of Chancery Lane. The remains were excavated in 1875 (Lord 2002: 23). 8 Recent research by Wilson asserts that this was built shortly before 1160 rather than the later dates offered by previous authors (2010: 20).
elaborate and significantly different then the Hospitallers church at Clerkenwell. It had a Norman west doorway of seven orders with dogtooth decoration and statues in niches (Lord 2002: 33). Internally Caen stone and Purbeck marble was used together to striking effect. The church is thought to have marked the reception of Gothic architecture in England with some traits later reflected in the Early English eastern arm of Canterbury Cathedral.9 Like Clerkenwell the building was influenced by French models, though to an even greater degree. Wilson has argued that it was designed by a French architect and utilised the work of French sculptors (2010: 20). His analysis of the moulding profiles and decorative features show close parallels with aspects of the churches of Saint-Denis, Saint-Leu-dâ€™Esserent, Saint-Martin-desChamps, Tournai and Dommartin (Ibid: 26-34). The church exceeded, both in ambition and accomplishment, any of the buildings erected by the Templars in Britain in the 12th century.
Figure 4.13. 4.13. The nave of Temple Church today reconstructed on the basis of the original following bomb damage during the Second World War. (Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jane_sanders/2438799999/).
According to Wilson the eastern arm of Canterbury Cathedral owed two idiosyncratic traits to Temple Church; the tendency to spring many ribs from single shafts and the infilling of vaults with masonry courses set at an angle to the ridges (2010: 42).
In the later 12th century the old chancel at Clerkenwell was demolished and replaced by a structure of three aisles, which was of exceptional quality, probably being one of the finest Transitional-style buildings in London at the time. The aisled chancel was a rare feature; most other churches at this time were either aisleless or provided with an ambulatory (Sloane and Malcolm 2004: 57). Several decades later the Templars appear to have imitated the Hospitallers in using the â€˜hall-churchâ€™ format, for their new choir at Temple Church (Jansen 2010: 61). This is thought to have been built in about 1231 and also had three altars at the east end (See Figure 4.6). 4.6) In 1953 an astonishing discovery was made beneath the choir when a chamber 13m by 4m was found (Lewer and Dark 1997: 29). It is thought to be a treasury or a chapel, predating the choir with stone benches on the walls and two stone lockers. The architectural splendour of the London churches was clearly important to the military orders. These were buildings of prestige, which provided hospitality to the powerful, many of whom were their potential benefactors. Clerkenwell accommodated Henry III in 1185, King John in 1212 and an expeditionary force of knights in 1237. The two orders appear to have been competing in stone. Surprisingly there is no mention of this architectural rivalry in the recent monograph by Sloane and Malcolm. Although the form of the buildings was taken from the Holy Sepulchre, the architectural features clearly show French influences. This is perhaps not surprising given the close links between England and France at the time and the importance of the military orders respective commanderies on the continent; the Templars headquarters at Paris and the Hospitallers at St-Gilles. The layout of the 12th century church at Clerkenwell also has some significant liturgical implications. The 1.5m difference in height between the nave and chancel together with the nave columns and chancel arch would have made it extremely difficult for brethren to observe the Elevation of the Host at the altar (Sloane and Malcolm 2004: 37). In consequence it seems likely that an altar must have been placed elsewhere such as the west end of the chancel in the nave. The construction of a new chancel in the later 12th century surely indicates that this layout was proving inadequate. The new building had three altars at the west end and several in the crypt, including some used as chantries. There may then have been specific roles for
different chaplains; ordained chaplains, secular chaplains and chantry chaplains, requiring separate chapels.
The Hospitallers impressive church at Clerkenwell contrasts starkly with the simple rectangular chapels attached to most commanderies elsewhere. However there are broad similarities between Clerkenwell and the Templar’s mid-12th century round church at Temple Bruer. St John Hope’s excavation in 1908 showed that it possessed a crypt beneath the chancel, which was accessed via two flights of stairs from the nave (St John Hope 1918: 67). The chancel was later extended, a new choir was added and a tower built at the north-east (See See Figure 4.6). 4.6 Another tower was subsequently added at the south-east to balance the structure (Figure Figure 4.14 4.14). The Templar’s late 12th century round church at Garway, Herefordshire, (Figure Figure 4.15 4.15) may, like Clerkenwell, also have been proving inadequate for their needs. In the 13th century it was replaced by a rectangular nave and an extended chancel (RCHME 1931: 71).
Figure 4.14: Computer-generated image of the Templar’s commandery church at Temple Bruer. Only the south tower survives today. (Source: http://www.lincsheritage.org/education/temple_bruer/cgi/index.php)
Figure 4.15: Plan showing the development of the Templars’ commandery church at Garway, acquired by the Hospitallers in 1326. (Source: Lord 2002: 112)
Little Maplestead St John the Baptist Church at Little Maplestead, Essex, was built remarkably late for a round-naved church of the military orders (Appendix Appendix 2A, Figures 4.16 – 4.19). 4.19 Documentary evidence indicates that it was built in 1241-5 (Gervers 1982, lxiv), although the church has been extensively altered since then. Generally, the use of the round nave seems to have waned after the loss of Jerusalem to Saladin in 1187. The construction of a new round church at Little Maplestead may have been stimulated by the (short-lived) re-capture of Jerusalem in 1229 (permanently lost in 1244) or Richard of Cornwall’s crusade in 1240. It was slightly larger than the Templars’ 12th century round church at Dover but similar in plan to the church at West Thurrock (St John Hope 1918: 68). The building today is situated about 150m to the north of Maplestead Hall, a building largely of the 17th century but with a 14th century hall house at its core. This may represent one of the original buildings of the commandery.
Figure 4.16: A view of Little Maplestead church from the north. (Source: Authorâ€™s photograph)
Figure 4.17: A view from the nave of Little Maplestead church looking towards the chancel. (Source: Authorâ€™s photograph)
Figure 4.18: A plan of Little Maplestead drawn up by William Wallen, 1835. (Source: Wallen 1836)
Figure 4.19: A section drawing of Little Maplestead drawn up by William Wallen, 1835. (Source: Wallen 1836)
A parish church was in existence at Little Maplestead at the time of the Domesday Survey. In 1185 the village and church was given to the Knights Hospitallers by Juliana Fitz-Audelin (Cartulary entry No.91 in Gervers 1982: 69). However this building was replaced when the round-naved church was built in 1241-5. The architectural evidence indicates that the round church was largely altered and refenestrated or altogether reconstructed in the early 14th century. Davidson suggests a date of about 1335 (1956: 9). In 1338 there was a knight commander and another knight, as well as two secular chaplains attached to the commandery (Larking 1857: 87-88). One celebrated mass at the nearby chapel of Odewell. By 1463 the Hospitallers no longer resided at Little Maplestead and the commandery buildings were leased out (VCH Essex, Vol 2 (1907): 178). Nonetheless a chaplain continued
to conduct services until the Dissolution. The patronage of the benefice then passed through the hands of several lay owners. The church was extensively restored in 1851-7. The external walls were refaced, windows and buttresses renewed, new roofs added and the interior scraped (Dickinson 1956: 14). A piscina and sedilia were discovered on the south wall of the chancel but are now hidden beneath plaster. Fortunately a valuable record of the church before the restoration survives in the form of a book written by William Wallen in 1836.
Little Maplestead church has the usual keyhole plan with a hexagonal nave surrounded by a circular aisle at the west, attached to an apsidal-ended chancel at the east. The chancel is about 10.5m by 4.5m and the nave is 9m in diameter. It is built of flint rubble with Caen stone dressings, a plain red tiled roof and timber belfry. In an etching of 1835 a small single-light window is seen in the east end of the chancel (Figure Figure 4.20 4.20) (Wallen 1836). This is now blocked but it may be the only early feature to survive the 14th century rebuilding. The roof on this side terminates in an unusual gable, which is thought to have originally been designed to contain a window throwing light down onto the altar (Dickinson 1956: 15). A similar feature is seen at nearby St Gilesâ€™s Church, Great Maplestead. Remarkably the 1835 engraving also shows a chimney on the east side.
Figure 4.20: An etching of Little Maplestead from the north-east, 1835. (Source: Wallen 1836)
In the walls of the nave and chancel are 19th century windows, which were built to imitate the 14th century designs. They each contain two trefoil-headed lights and a quatrefoil beneath a two-centred arch. Above each window is a hoodmould, which terminates in stiff-leaf foliage carvings about a third of the way down. The west end of the church has a conical tiled roof containing gabled dormers, which is topped by a hexagonal timber bell turret. In the west wall of the nave is a 14th century arched doorway of two chamfered orders carved with quatre-foiled flowers. Above it is a hoodmould decorated with three-petalled flowers, which terminates in a 19th century carved head on each side (Figure Figure 4.21). 4.21) An engraving shows that there was a timber-framed addition on this side (Figure Figure 4.22) 4.22 (Wallen 1836). The use of closestudding would seem to indicate a late medieval date. This may have been added by the parish as a porch and meeting place in the 15th or 16th century. Alternatively it could have served to accommodate the priest. Figure 4.21: A view of the west doorway, 1835. (Source: Wallen 1836)
Figure 4.22: 4.22: An etching of Little Maplestead from the south, 1835. (Source: Wallen 1836)
The nave is separated from the aisle by an arcade of six bays. These comprise columns formed of three filleted shafts divided by V shaped projections.10 The mouldings are similar to an arcade of c.1300 at Little Addington, although that has four shafts divided by ogee-shaped projections (Forrester 1972: 41 No.263). The base mouldings comprise scrolls coupled with what is perhaps a debased form of the half-roll with fillet (See Appendix 2A). The arcade columns support two-centred arches, which are formed of two wave moulded orders and supported by foliage corbels in the outer wall. The font in the nave is thought to date to about 1080 (Dickinson 1956: 18) and presumably came from the earlier church but was retained by the Hospitallers. The former layout of the interior is indicated by documentary evidence. A late 18th century engraving shows that a screen stood at the west end of the chancel, separating it from the nave (Figure Figure 4.23). 4.23 It had a central doorway flanked by
The number of shafts and columns makes Little Maplestead stand out from its 12 century predecessors. Round churches normally tried to reproduce an important feature of the Jerusalem Rotunda; that it was carried by 20 supports, viz. eight piers and twelve columns th (Krautheimer 1942: 10). The 12 century copies reproduced either the number of piers or that of the columns. However Little Maplestead reproduces neither of these since there are six columns formed of three shafts equalling 18 instead of the normal 20 supports.
traceried openings, which indicate a medieval date. Access to the rood loft was by a staircase in the aisle wall, entered by a door (now blocked) near the north wall of the chancel (Wallen 1836: 156). At the east end of the chancel the apse was cut off by another screen and the space behind was used as a vestry (Figure Figure 4.24). 4.24 This screen had a square-headed doorway and paintings displaying classical architectural features. It seems to have been a post-medieval feature and may have been associated with the fireplace at the east end, which was perhaps installed in the 18th century.
Figure 4.23: A view of the nave showing the screen at the west end of the chancel in about the late 18th century. (Source: http://www.old-print.com)
Figure 4.24: The screen at the east end of the chancel, 1835. (Source: Wallen 1836)
Dickinson (1956:12) suggested that the chancel of the church was originally used by the Hospitallers whilst the nave remained in parochial use. This would make for an interesting solution to the dual function of the building, providing the Hospitallers with a level of privacy as well as respecting their status by accommodating them nearest the altar. There may possibly have been a separate altar for parish use in the nave. Furthermore both the Hospitallers and parishioners could enter the church by separate doors in the nave and chancel. Such a solution may have been appropriate to the difficulties presented by the plan form of the building. It may have helped to ensure that it continued in use whilst so many other round-naved churches were altered or replaced. A complementary use for the nave of round churches may have been as venues for weekly chapters, at least in the 12th century. The circle according to St. Augustine was a symbol of virtue and the use of the round naves in this way may have been fitting to the military orders ideology of companionship. Commanderies of the orders were not specifically provided with chapter houses but the function has been suggested for some undercrofts or ground-level halls, such as that at Temple Manor, Kent (Gilchrist: 1995: 90). The crypt at Clerkenwell with its bench would have been particularly fitting in this respect.
There may have been many more round churches at Hospitaller commanderies, particularly in the 12th century. However very few buildings dating to this period now survive. Besides Clerkenwell the only other commandery building is St Leonardâ€™s Chapel at Brimpton, Berkshire, which was originally attached to Shalford Manor (Figure Figures Figures 4.25 & 4.26) 4.26 (VCH Berkshire, Vol.4, 1934, 51-55). It is a rectangular building 10.5m by 6m, which is originally said to have contained a revered statute of St. John (Ford 2004). The building was altered in the 13th and 14th centuries but the most notable feature is the Romanesque tympanum over the north door. It has a cross patĂŠe with terminals ending in leaf-scrolls and at the centre a depressed lozenge surrounded by beading.11 The cross is set against a fishscale pattern with a chamfered border. The design appears to be locally influenced. Seven miles away at Hampstead Norreys, Berkshire, was a font (now moved), which was adorned with variations on 11
This cross can be seen on several Hospitaller tombs in Britain and may possibly have been used by the Order before they adopted the Maltese cross.
the cross form, beading and fishscale used to articulate the bodies of fish (Baxter 2008).
Figure 4.25: The exterior of St Leonardâ€™s Chapel, Brimpton, from the north-east. (Source: http://risk.english-heritage.org.uk/images/register/749.jpg)
Figure 4.26: The north doorway of St Leonardâ€™s Chapel, Brimpton. (Source: http://www.crsbi.ac.uk/search/county/site/ed-be-brimp.html)
Hospitaller architecture in the East The influence of the Holy Sepulchre is clearly apparent in the form of the roundnaved churches in England. However it remains to be seen whether there were other influences from the East. Hospitaller churches in the Levant took a variety of forms. Some were influenced by existing Byzantine churches. For instance the rebuilding of the old church of St John, Jerusalem replicated the existing layout of the 5th century crypt and had a trefoil plan with a western narthex (Pringle, 1993, Vol III: No.322). At Amwas12 there is a pilgrimage church associated with a Hospitaller community (Pringle, 1993, Vol I: No.10). This was built in about 1140 and utilised the apsidal east end of an earlier three-aisled Byzantine church. The walls were built over the colonnade so that a single nave was formed of four bays divided by rectangular pilasters. Some of the decorative sculpture survives, which depicts the
Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) (Figure Figure 4.27) 4.27). This symbol was widely used by the military orders and a carving survives at Garway church, possibly dating to the Hospitallers later acquisition of the building (Figure Figure 4.28). 4.28 However such iconography was in widespread use throughout Christendom and it cannot be asserted that it was a specific Eastern influence. Figures 4.27 and 4.28: 4.28 Two carvings of the Agnus Dei from a stone retable at Amwas in Palestine (Left) and St Michaelâ€™s Church, Garway, Herefordshire (Right). (Left Source: Pringle 1993 Volume I: No.10 (p56)) (Right Source: http://www.britainexpress.com/counties/hereford/churches/Garway/Garway-8142.htm ÂŠ David Ross)
One of the supposed sites of the Biblical Emmaus where Christ appeared to the disciples after the resurrection (Luke 24. 13-35).
Most Crusader churches in the East were substantial Romanesque structures with vaulted ceilings and thick walls. This reflected a trend towards defence necessitated by the hostile conditions (Boas 1999: 124). Most were of the basilical type; rectangular buildings usually divided into three by two rows of piers (Ibid: 128). In Jerusalem the abbey churches associated with the Amalfitans, the Hospitallers predecessors, were rebuilt in about 1130 to this plan. Both the churches of St Mary Latin and St Mary the Great had naves three bays wide and four bays long terminating in apsidal east ends (Pringle, 1993, Vol III: Noâ€™s. 334 & 335) (Figure Figure 4.29). 4.29 Hospitaller churches at Abu Ghosh and Acre were built on similar lines. The nearest architectural forms to these types of buildings in Britain are the wide chancels added to Clerkenwell and Temple Church, which had an altar in each aisle.13 These were rare in Britain at the time; most church chancels, including all parish churches in London, were either aisleless or provided with an ambulatory (Sloane and Malcolm 2004: 57). Jansen emphasises how unusual the broad â€˜hall-churchâ€™ format was at Temple and found no compelling reason why it should not have been extended in length rather than width (2010: 54). However the aisles at these churches did not have apsidal east ends whilst the stylistic influences of the decorative elements were derived from English or French models. Figures 4.29: Plan of the church of St Mary the Great, Jerusalem (Source: Pringle 1993, Vol.3, p45)
The basilical type may have had a particular resonance with the round churches given that there had formerly been a basilica and three apsidal chapels to the east of the Jerusalem Rotunda.
Hospitaller buildings in the East, even those built on a magnificent scale, feature an architectural simplicity that served as a visual expression of penitential austerity (Riley-Smith 2012: 112). At Abu Ghosh the interior is extremely plain and carved decoration is limited to thick-leaved capitals on the elbow columns of the nave. (Figure Figure 4.30). 4.30 A high level of austerity can also be found in the architectural decoration of those Hospitaller chapels in Britain which are situated outside of London (see Chapter V). An exception to this simplicity may possibly have been the widespread use of frescos and wall-paintings, although only limited evidence of this now survives in Britain. At Abu Ghosh the east end of the building was enlivened by frescoes of Christ, the Virgin Mary, St John the Baptist and the Anastasis. Figures 4.30: A view of the east end of the Hospitaller church at Abu Ghosh. (Source: http://www.shawnthebaptist.org/2012/06/coming-down/ ÂŠ 2012 Voice in the Wilderness)
The sites of the most important Hospitaller commanderies in the East, such as those in Tripoli, Antioch, Jaffa and Tyre, have never been located (Riley-Smith 2012: 113). However an infirmary chapel survives at Khirbat â€˜Iqbala dating from about 1140. It is situated at first floor level on the south side of a courtyard (Pringle, 1993, Vol I: No.101). Similar to many of the Hospitaller chapels in castles and monasteries it has a simple rectangular plan of an aisleless three-bay nave (Figure Figure 4.31). 4.31 However the notable feature is the eastern bay, which is separated from the nave by a stone wall with a small opening in the centre. The nave may originally have housed hospital
beds, essentially making the east end an apsidal chapel but this is uncertain. Many commandery chapels follow a simple rectangular plan in Britain and several, such as Low Chibburn, may have been situated on one side of a courtyard. Most of the Hospitallersâ€™ large conventual hospitals in the East were designed to a quadrangular layout, which stemmed from the Benedictine monastic infirmary (Karassava-Tsilingiri 1994: 96). The best surviving example is the 15th century hospital on Rhodes (Figure Figure 4.32Figure 4.34 4.32-33). This is of two storeys arranged around two courtyards (Figure 4.34). The main courtyard is cloistered with the entire east side occupied by the great hall of the infirmary. The infirmary is divided centrally by an arcade with capitals bearing the cross and arms of St John. It has an apsidal chapel formed of a three-sided niche opening onto the main ward (Ibid: 92). In this instance the chapel formed an essential element, serving as a form of spiritual healing. This would be echoed in the layout of some preceptory chapels in England, which will be dealt with in the following chapter.
Figures 4.31: Plan of the Hospitallersâ€™ infirmary at Khirbat â€˜Iqbala with the chapel occupying the south range. (Source: Pringle 1993, Vol 1, p.242)
Figures 4.32: The great hall of the infirmary at Rhodes. (Source: Authorâ€™s photograph)
Figures 4.33: The apsidal chapel in the great hall at Rhodes. (Source: Authorâ€™s photograph)
Figures 4.34: Plan of the first floor of the conventual hospital at Rhodes. The great hall of the infirmary is on the left with latrines or chambers in the walls and a small apsidal chapel in the east wall (the plan is orientated with south at the top). (Source: Karasava-Tsilingiri 1994: 90)
V ‘CARING FOR THE SICK’: HOSPITALLER COMMANDERY CHAPELS AND SPIRITUAL HEALING Knights Hospitaller chapels in Britain were primarily functional buildings that formed a central component of monastic life.1 Their essential purpose was to provide a place of worship for commandery inhabitants as well as spiritual care to poor or sick pilgrims seeking hospitality. This chapter will explore the implications of these functions on the layout and architecture of commandery chapels. It will consider the influence of patronage, military hierarchy and the asceticism that served as a central tenet of Hospitaller ideology.
Spiritual healing One of the functions of many commanderies was as a hospice, which offered accommodation to the sick, poor and travelling pilgrims. The organisation and layout of conventional medieval hospitals was determined by the need to provide for the bodily and spiritual care of inmates. However the care of the soul was considered to be of far greater importance than the care of the body (Prescott 1992: 16). All disease was regarded as both a spiritual and a physical affliction. Leprosy, for example, was thought to be brought about by sin, particularly those of a sexual nature (Gilchrist 1995: 39). Between about 1200 and 1350 many hospitals were built to an ‘infirmary-hall’ plan type whereby inmates were accommodated under one roof with a chapel adjoining. The basic plan was of a long hall, with or without aisles, terminating in or adjoined by a chapel, usually at the east end.
Several commanderies appear to be influenced by the infirmary-hall plan type but do not follow it exactly. The chapels at Dinmore, Herefordshire, and Godsfield, Hampshire, retain important evidence of a layout which facilitated communication
A chapel is distinguished from a church in that it is a space reserved for private devotion or for specific religious services such as saints’ anniversaries or devotions to the Virgin (Fernie 2002: 233).
between the chapel altar and the hospice. In about 1190 Richard I granted Dinmore to the Hospitallers and a commandery was founded. It was laid out to a courtyard plan with the chapel attached at the north. This building still retains 12th century work, which forms the greater part of the north wall, but was rebuilt in the mid 14th century (Figure Figure 5.1). 5.1 This involved extending the chapel towards the east and probably also the south, as well as constructing a tower in the position of the former nave (RCHME 1932: 67). The current building is built of sandstone rubble and ashlar with a rectangular nave, a three-storey west tower and north porch. However perhaps the most significant survival is the remains of a hagioscope in the north wall of the chapel. This allowed the occupants of the hospice or sick room in the commandery to witness the daily celebration of mass from their beds (Murray 1936: 19).
Figure 5.1: 5.1 The chapel of St John of Jerusalem at Dinmore Manor as viewed from the northeast. (Source: https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Dinmore,_Herefordshire).
The Hospitallers were granted property at Godsfield2 prior to 1171 by Walter de Andeley, a knight holding land under the bishops of Winchester (1129-1171) (VCH Hampshire, Vol.4, 1911: 189). His grant to the Hospitallers was approved by Bishop Henry de Blois (1129-1171) in the episcopal court. Further grants by other
The name â€˜Godsfieldâ€™ is thought to be associated with the practices of early Christians who would gather in an open clearing or field to hear the preaching of the Gospel and dedicate a spot marked by a cross to worship and/or burial (Eyre 1887: 73). Thus the name itself indicates that this may have been a sacred spot at a much earlier period. Other occurrences of the name include Godshill on the Isle of Wight, Godstone in Surrey and Godstow in Oxfordshire (Ibid).
landholders soon followed and a commandery was eventually established. In 1338 Godsfield included a messuage with the buildings in poor repair, a garden, 300 acres of land as well as pasture for 900 sheep, 9 oxen and 6 horses (Larking 1857: 21-23). The brethren included the commander William de Multon, a professed chaplain John Couffen, and four household servants. The buildings in poor repair must have included the chapel for it was rebuilt between about 1360 and 1370.
Figure 5.2: 5.2 The south elevation of the chapel at Godsfield, Hampshire. (Source: Authorâ€™s photograph).
Figure 5.3: 5.3 The north elevation of the chapel at Godsfield, Hampshire. Note the squint on the left hand side providing a view onto the altar of the chapel. (Source: Authorâ€™s photograph).
Godsfield is one of the best preserved Hospitaller commandery chapels in Britain (Appendix 2B). The building is constructed of flint with Clunch dressings and is rectangular in plan except for a projecting staircase at the north (Figure Figure 5.2 and Figure 5.3). 5.3 It comprises a chapel, 7.9m long by 3.9m wide, at the east and a two storey priest’s chamber, 4.2m square, at the west. The east elevation has a large blocked two-centred arched window, which appears to have been of three lights. In the south wall are four cinque-foil headed windows and a low square window whilst in the west wall is another square window. The priest’s chamber will be discussed below. However the significant element in the current context is the north wall. This is largely blank at the east end and indicates that there was a range, probably an infirmary or hospice, attached. It retains an unblocked squint, which originally provided a view onto the altar of the chapel. A brick fireplace has been inserted in the position of the former altar and the chapel does not retain any medieval furnishings. However there are still several notable architectural features. It is entered by a step down through a plain chamfered arched doorway at the north, which retains numerous markings or graffiti on the jambs (Figure Figure 5.4 and Figure 5.5). 5.5 These include two cross pommée3, two disc patterns, the possible outline of a bird’s head, a grid pattern and several letters. The roof is a queen post structure probably dating to the 19th century but three original 14th century trusses of a wagon roof survive at the west end. At the east are two half-octagonal corbels, which may have supported statutes, perhaps of St John the Baptist and the Virgin Mary, on each side of the altar (Figure Figure 5.6). 5.6 A view of the altar for sick inhabitants of the hospice was especially important because the eucharist was believed to have held healing qualities (Gilchrist 1995: 17). At Godsfield one remarkable item from the altar has survived: a gilded pyx, which originally contained the Sacred Host; the consecrated bread or wafer used in the Mass (Figure Figure 5.7). 5.7 It was found whilst uprooting a nearby hedge in 1870 and is one of only two examples of the same period in England.
The cross pommeé was used at an early date in England, appearing on Anglo-Saxon coins. However it was popularised by the Crusaders in the medieval period. Many of those returning from the East brought with them gold coins, known as Bezants, featuring the cross (Folda 2005: 49). The circle on the end of each arm of the cross pommeé represents an apple and is thus symbolic of the fruits and rewards of living a good Christian life (Holme 1908: 80).
Figure 5.4: 5.4 The north door providing entry into the chapel with letters and graffiti towards the apex of the arch.
Figure 5.5: 5.5 Examples of graffiti and possible mason marks on the north door jambs and elsewhere in the chapel.
Figure 5.6: 5.6 A view of the east end showing the former location of the altar. Note the two semi-octagonal corbels and the squint on the north side.
Figure 5.7: 5.7 The Godsfield pyx is thought to date to the the latter half of the 14th century. It is made of gilded copper alloy and is engraved with acanthus-like foliage between moulded borders. The cross finial and hinge are modern. Only two 14th century English pyxes have survived: the Swinburne Pyx of about 1310 and this example. (V&A Museum No: M.3601921) (Source: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O110443/the-godsfield-pyx-unknown)
The integration between the chapel and hospice at Dinmore and Godsfield bear some relation to the hospital of St Thomas the Martyr, Canterbury. Now known as Eastbridge Hospital, it was built for the accommodation of poor pilgrims who came to visit the shrine of the martyred Archbishop St Thomas Becket after his canonisation in 1172. The hospice erected in the late 12th century comprised four principal spaces; an entrance vestibule, undercroft, infirmary hall and chapel (Figures Figures 5.8 - 5.12). 5.12 The groin-vaulted undercroft served as the pilgrims sleeping area, and dividing walls on one side denote the cubicles in which they slept. Stairs from the vestibule lead to an infirmary hall above. This two-storey arrangement is particularly unusual and differed from other hospitals at Chichester, Ramsey and Ledbury (Prescott 1992: 11). The hall/refectory has a three bay arcade on one side formed of two-centred arches set on octagonal columns with capitals decorated with stiff-leaf foliage. On the north wall is an early 13th century painting showing Christ in Majesty (Figure Figure 5.13) 5.13 whilst a gallery and furnishings are later additions. The hospital chapel is set at right-angles to the infirmary hall; a feature only to be found in Kent (Ibid: 11) but which can be likened to the arrangement at the commanderies of Godsfield and Dinmore. It was built in 1190 but has a crown-post roof dating to 1285, which is
similar to an example at the commandery chapel of Swingfield, Kent. The chapel was altered in the 14th century and three Decorated windows of two lights and quatrefoil tracery in the north wall date to this period. There are several similarities between St Thomasâ€™s and Hospitaller commanderies. Here the chapel was small in size, simple in plan and functional; a rectangular single cell building used for private worship. The biggest architectural pretention was given to the infirmary hall, which formed the main social space and was sanctified by wall paintings. This may also have been the case at commanderies. Few now survive but there is a two-storey hall with a vaulted undercroft at the Templar camera known as Temple Manor, Kent, and there was once a similar one at Hospitaller Moor Hall, Middlesex.
Figure 5.8: 5.8 An 18th century view of the Hospital of St Thomas the Martyr, Canterbury. The left hand range still retains much of the original appearance today. (Source: http://www.machadoink.com/St%20Peters%20Street.htm)
Figure 5.9: 5.9 A plan of the Hospital of St Thomas the Martyr, Canterbury. (Source: http://users.trytel.com/~tristan/towns/florilegium/popreli20.html)
Figure 5.105.10-12: 12 The undercroft, infirmary hall and chapel of the Hospital of St Thomas the Martyr. (Source: Authorâ€™s photographs)
Figure 5.13: 5.13 The tempera painting in the infirmary hall, which is thought to date to the latter part of the 12th or early 13th century. The figure of Christ in a mandorla is supported at the four corners by the four evangelists. Christ is in Majesty, sat on a throne with an orb in his left hand and the right hand raised in blessing. (Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stiffleaf/5710233666/)
At Stydd, near Ribchester, Lancashire, the Hospitallers acquired an existing hospital. This was situated near an important junction where a north-south road met an eastwest route crossing the Pennines. Documentary evidence indicates that the hospital was established by about the mid-12th century, although the Hospitallers may not have acquired it until the mid-13th century (Openshaw 2001). In 1338 it was attached to the commandery at Newland, near Wakefield, Yorkshire but was by now a
camera. (Larking 1857: 112-3). The chapel of the hospital is all that survives today. It dates from about the late 12th century and is built of sandstone rubble to a rectangular plan with a slate roof (Figure Figure 5.145.14-6). In the north wall are blocked round-headed windows and a doorway with dog-tooth and zig-zag ornamentation. However the significant element is a blocked chamfered arched doorway high up in the west wall. This is thought to have led to a wooden gallery running across the west end of the chapel (Openshaw 2001). The west doorway has displaced the window next to it, which is not central to the elevation. It is a two-light window with Y-tracery dating to about the early 14th century. The location of the window next to the doorway indicates that the chapel was not attached to another building but that there was an external stair providing access to the gallery. Here the gallery may have served to provide sexual segregation for occupants of the hospital attending services. Alternatively it could have been a form of social segregation, which was introduced by the Hospitallers when the property became a camera administered by a knight (see below).
On rare occasion chapels or hospitals appear to have been situated some distance from the commandery. Such is the case with St Leonard’s Chapel, which is on the Clanfield-Radcot road, just to the north of Clanfield Commandery4, Oxfordshire. It now forms the core of a row of cement-rendered cottages but is thought to mark the site of a wayside chapel (Blair 1985: 209). This may have begun as a leper hospital given its location, near a centre of population but isolated from it, served by sisters of the Order before their removal to Buckland, Somerset, in about 1180. The surviving chapel today is thought to date largely to a rebuilding of c.1237-44 when it perhaps became a chapel-of-ease with hospice functions (Ibid: 213). Little survives
Clanfield Commandery is thought to have been on the site of the moated enclosure now known as ‘Friar’s Court’.
except some of the walls of a rectangular building, about 10.6m by 3.7m internally, with a door on its south side.
Figure 5.145.14-5.16: 5.16 The Church of St Saviour, Stydd, Lancashire from north-west (top), southeast (middle) and inside (bottom). (Source: www.geograph.org.uk).
More impressive is St John’s Chapel, Swingfield, (now called ‘St John’s Commandery’ by English Heritage), which originally formed an integral part of a large commandery near the major route way of Watling Street, which ran between Dover via Canterbury to London (Appendix Appendix 2C). 2C All that survives of the commandery today is the early 13th century chapel and part of a chamber-block at the west (Figure Figure 5.17 – 5.19). 5.19 Originally a 13th century hall was attached to the north side of the chamber block. The other commandery buildings have been mentioned above (Chapter III). The site was originally a convent occupied by sisters of the Order but sometime after 1180 became a commandery. The parish church, a short distance to the southeast, was originally attached to the commandery but was probably given over to the parishioners use when the new chapel was built in about 1230. In the 1338 report the commandery occupants included the knight commander Ralph Basset, Alan Mounceux who was a brother, three chaplains, an esquire and two clerks who collected the confraria, six servants, two lads, a page and a corrody holder (Larking 1857: 91). A later commander; Daniel de Carreto, was a particularly significant figure. He was recommended by Pope Urban V in 1364 to fill the position of Prior at Rome (VCH Kent, Vol II 1926: 176). In the 1520’s the commandery was the residence in England of Sir John Rawson, Prior of Ireland. At the Dissolution the chapel and part of an adjoining hall were converted to a farmhouse. Figure 5.17: 5.17 St John’s Chapel, Swingfield from the south-east. (Source: Author’s photograph).
Figure 5.18: 5.18 A drawing of the east end of St Johnâ€™s Chapel, (Source: Wadmore 1897: 261).
The chapel is a rectangular building constructed of a mix of flint and stone rubble, including chalk and Kentish ragstone, with limestone dressings, although later alterations are in red brick. It has a steeply pitched tiled roof, hipped at the west end, and a brick chimney of four flues near the centre. Attached to the west end of the north side is a two storey porch. In the east wall are three stepped lancet windows, each with an oculus above, and a low square window that lit a 16th century 70
cellar. The south elevation has three later inserted doorways towards the west end but the original features include a two centred arched window and tall lancet at the east, as well as a single lancet at the west, which is set above a string course. A buttress near the centre marks the remains of a wall that originally extended further south. A drawing of 1806 shows it originally formed part of a lean-to (Chapter VII, Figure 7.10) 7.10 The west side of the chapel includes part of a chamber block, which was truncated in the mid-19th century and sealed by a tile-hung wall with two sashes. The porch on the north side of the chapel has a quadripartite ceiling and an arched inner door with a continuous-roll moulding and a small cross incised into one of the jambs (Figure Figure 5.205.20-21). 21 The other windows in the north side are mid-19th century lancets replacing earlier square-headed windows. Figure 5.19: 5.19 A watercolour of St Johnâ€™s Chapel from the north in 1794. (Source: Grove and Rigold 1979).
Figure 5.20: 5.20 The north elevation and porch of St Johnâ€™s Chapel. (Source: Authorâ€™s photograph).
Figure 5.21: 5.21 A cross carved into a jamb of the porch doorway. (Source: Authorâ€™s photograph).
Internally the building comprises two halves divided by the chimney stack; at the west end there are two rooms over two floors whilst at the east end is the chapel (Figure Figure 5.22 & Figure 5.25). 5.25 There is also a small room above the porch. The chapel is overlooked by a first floor gallery (Figure Figure 5.23). 5.23 It is modern but occupies the place of a late-medieval predecessor, incorporating some original timbers. A 14th century crown-post roof survives as far west as the chimney shaft (Figure Figure 5.24). 5.24 It has three tie-beams, each with a moulded octagonal crown-post. In the east wall of the chapel the outer lancet windows are doubled-shafted and the inner lancet windows triple-shafted with bell capitals and bases. The mouldings to the outer lancets are formed of two shafts with a pointed roll between. They are similar in design to the Early English piers of Beverley Minster, Yorkshire, which date to circa 1220 (See Figure 249 in Forrester 1972: 40). Below the southernmost window is a broad chamfered recess, at the east end is an aumbry, and next to it is a bracket, which may formerly have supported a statue. In the opposite wall is a 13th century pointed-arched piscina. The hoodmould comprises a deeply cut roll and frontal fillet moulding (See See Appendix 2C). 2C It is a variation of that appearing at Worcester Cathedral as both a string course and pier moulding of circa 1230 (See Figures 201 and 414 in Forrester 1972: 39 and 46). The eastern part of the chapel has modern timbers marking out the foundations of choir stalls and a screen found in 1977. The ground floor of the western half of the building comprises a corridor along the north wall and, adjacent to it, one large room (the former farmhouse parlour). This room has a 16th century ceiling with a moulded cross beam and joists. The first floor is reached by a modern dog-leg stair that rises to the gallery, which leads to a first floor room. This room has a 16th century ceiling with a chamfered cross beam,
tenoned axial beams and some moulded joists. The room above the north porch is reached through a plain-chamfered pointed arched doorway. Figure 5.22 5.22: .22 The east end of St John’s Chapel, showing the stepped lancets. (Source: Author’s photograph).
Figure 5.23: 5.23 A view from the east end looking towards the gallery inside the chapel. (Source: Author’s photograph).
Figure 5.24: 5.24 The crown-post roof. (Source: Author’s photograph).
Figure 5.25: 5.25 A view down from the gallery onto the east end of the chapel. (Source: Author’s photograph).
Today Swingfield is a confusing picture of later alterations, which perhaps obscure our understanding of the original chapel. However the survival of the valuation of 1529 (see Chapter III) provides an invaluable insight into the arrangements at that time. This indicates that there was an aisled hall with a dias attached to the north end of the chamber-block (Grove and Rigold 1979: 123). The chamber-block contained the service rooms to the hall. These included the old parlour, the pantry and the buttery. The great chamber, probably the Hospitallers dormitory but perhaps also used to accommodate pilgrims, was sited over the old parlour on the first floor. At the west end of the chapel was a new parlour and the lord’s new 74
chamber and between them and the chapel was a two-stage gallery. These were probably all added in the late medieval period, perhaps by Sir John Rawson. The implications are significant. The original arrangement comprised the great chamber next to the chapel, which may imply that there was direct communication between both, perhaps in a similar form to that seen at Godsfield and Dinmore i.e. there was a view from the chamber into the chapel. The changes in the late medieval period indicate that social segregation was taking hold. The insertion of a gallery may have meant that the knight commander was given an elevated seat in the chapel whilst the servants and labourers were seated below.
The only problem with the above notion is that the inventory lists the Masterâ€™s pew after the choir stalls, which might indicate that it was situated on the ground floor next to them. However it is possible that the commander had use of both the gallery and a seat near the altar. Incidentally the inventory gives a fairly full picture of the contents of a commandery chapel at this time, which included: a chalice; a mass book; an altar cloth; candle sticks; a reredos; curtains; crosses with a picture of Christ; a silk cloth from Rhodes; a pyx; pictures of the Virgin Mary, St John the Baptist, St John the Evangelist and St Blase; wooden carved choir stalls with a picture of Christ above; a pew for â€˜Mr Commander to syt or knele inâ€™; curtains to draw around the same pew; and church bells hanging over the porch (Grove and Rigold 1919: 107).
Manifestations of a military hierarchy In 1236-39 a hugely significant change occurred within the hierarchy of the Knights Hospitallers; Master Bertrand de Comps gave knights precedence over priests serving in commanderies, priories and the conventual hospitals (King 1934: 8). The Knights Templars had made priests subordinate much earlier in 1139 (Riley-Smith 2012: 99). However priests had formerly been on a level footing within the Hospitallers. This new ruling was followed by an increasing gentrification of knights within the Order. In 1262 it was decreed that they must be of knightly families, which was later defined as those of both noble birth and arms (King 1934: 9). It might be expected that this increasing change in status could be reflected in the architecture of Hospitaller commanderies. One sign, among others (see below), may
be the construction of galleries within commandery chapels. This may have occurred at Stydd, Lancashire (see above), and Low Chibburn, Northumberland, during the mid-14th century.
Figure 5.26: 5.26 A view of Low Chibburn Commandery chapel and attached Dower House from the south-east. (Source: http://www.fusilier.co.uk)
Figure 5.27: 5.27 A view of south wall of the commandery chapel. (Source: http://www.fusilier.co.uk)
The commandery of Low Chibburn is now a complex ruin of several phases (Figure Figure 5.265.26-5.28 5.28). The date of foundation is not known but it is recorded in 1313 and was on the pilgrim’s route to Lindisfarne, probably serving as an important staging post. The commandery was originally defended by a moat de-limiting a circular central island, 91m in diameter, with access via a gatehouse on the north side. The commandery buildings may have formed a quadrangle with the chapel on the south side, which is now the only surviving building.5 Following the Dissolution the land was granted to Sir John Widdrington in 1553 who built a Dower House connected to and utilising the old commandery buildings. The north part of this house now survives at a right angle to the chapel. The chapel is a mid-14th century building in the Decorated style with several single light ogee-headed windows, a two-centred arched doorway and a trefoil-headed piscina in the south-east corner. It was extensively altered when the house was constructed. In 1860 Woodman observed in an archaeological paper: ‘a peculiarity deserves notice; there is a floor nearly on a level with that of the upper rooms and communicating with them…[it] does not extend to the east window, but about two-thirds of the entire length from the west end’ (1860: 38). This was subsequently corrected by Wilson (1861: 116) and it is now held that a floor was inserted all the way across in the 16th century when a fireplace was built against the north wall. However it is possible that the alterations in the 16th century actually involved extended what had originally been a gallery. The single ogee-headed lights in the upper and lower part of the west end of the chapel would support this hypothesis. Furthermore Gilchrist (1995: 92) came to the conclusion that the chapel was originally two-storied at its western end after viewing an unpublished archaeological survey carried out by Peter Ryder in about 1991.6
A suggested artist’s reconstruction by Terry Ball on Northumberland HER website (http://www.keystothepast) indicates that the commandery was not quadrangular in plan as previously suggested by Gilchrist (1995: 75) but it is not known what the evidential base is for the drawing. 6 Despite efforts to obtain Peter Ryder’s unpublished archaeological survey report from Northumberland HER and the English Heritage archaeological archives it was not possible to gain a copy. All copies in the public domain appear to have been lost.
Figure 5.28: 5.28 A proposed reconstruction of the commandery chapel and attached Dower House in the late 16th century. Note the two shields above the doorway, one has traces of a cross pattĂŠe on it and was probably a shield of the Hospitallers and the other is thought to have been the coat of arms of the Widdrington family. Both are likely to date to the later 16th century rebuilding of the chapel. (Source: Woodman 1860)
More substantive evidence for a gallery can perhaps be found at the commandery chapel of Poling, West Sussex (Appendix Appendix 2D). 2D The Hospitallers acquired their first land at Poling from Ralph Fitz Savary of Midhurst in about 1150 (Wealden Buildings Study Group (WBSG) Report 2003). Further gifts followed and by 1240 a commander is recorded (Johnston 1921: 92). The commandery was situated very close to a major Roman road from Chichester to Lewes, which would have remained in use during the medieval period. Pilgrims would have utilised this route in reaching ports on the south coast or to travel to St Swithunâ€™s Shrine at Winchester. By 1338 the commandery held 317 acres and comprised the knight commander Peter atte Nasshe, his confrator (assistant) knight Clement de Donewico, a chaplain, a steward, a cook, two attendants and two clerks who collected the confraria (Larking 1857: 24-25). In addition to this there would have been farm labourers and lesser servants. The commandery was confiscated at the Dissolution and by at least the 18th century had been converted into a house.
The house, now known (misleadingly) as ‘St John’s Priory’, includes several elements. At the east end is a chapel, in the centre is a cross-wing of about 1480-1500, and to the west, but originally attached to the chapel, is an open hall house of 1425 that was truncated when the cross-wing was built (Figures Figures 5.295.29-31) 31 . The chapel is built of flint, chalk and stone rubble with dressings of Pulborough and Caen stone. It is rectangular in plan, measuring 8m long by 5.4m wide, with a gabled roof, which is now hipped at the west end and covered in Horsham stone slabs. An inspection of the attic shows that the original west gable survives but the hip now oversails it. The east elevation contains a blocked two-centred arched window, probably of 14th century date, and stepped stone buttresses at the angles. There are also remains of later blocked squared-headed windows. The south wall contains early 19th century French windows and square-headed casements above. However between the French windows is part of a blocked lancet window with Caen stone dressings. Just west of centre is an arched doorway and further west is a single lancet window on the ground floor. Above the lancet was formerly another lancet with a hoodmould shown in a sketch of 1780 (Figure Figure 5.32). 5.32 The doorway has a continuous rollmoulding, which Johnston used as the basis to date the chapel to about 1220 although this moulding could be slightly earlier (1921:102) (Appendix Appendix 2D). 2D 7 The hoodmould above the arch is thought to be a later insertion of the 15th century (Ibid: 102) (Figure Figure 5.33). 5.33 Indeed it shows similarities with a 15th century moulding at Hatfield, Hertfordshire (Forrester 1972: No.153). The underside of the arch is inscribed with graffiti including several crosses, an hour glass shape, and a leaf shape (Figure Figure 5.34). 5.34 The north elevation is now largely blank but includes a single lancet in the first-floor, part of a blocked lancet and blocked segmental-headed brick windows.
The plain roll, used as a three-quarter round, has a broad date range from c.1160 to c.1240 (Forrester 1972: 10-11). Whilst the pointed arch was common place by about 1190 (Child 2007: 75). Therefore it is possible that this feature could be slightly earlier then previously th suggested; perhaps having been built at the beginning of the 13 century.
Figure 5.29: 5.29 The south elevation of the chapel of Poling Commandery. (Source: Authorâ€™s photograph)
Figure 5.30: 5.30 A view of Poling Commandery from the north-east showing the late 15th century cross-wing abutting the chapel. (Source: Authorâ€™s photograph)
Figure 5.31: 5.31 Plan of Poling commandery chapel and adjacent buildings. (Source: Johnston 1921: 99)
Figure 5.32: 5.32 A sketch based on a colored view of the east side of Poling chapel drawn by S.H. Grimm, in 1782 (Source: Johnston 1921: 105). The original drawing by Grimm is held by the British Library (Item No.BLL01004981473)).
Figure 5.33: 5.33 The south door into the west end of Poling chapel. (Source: Authorâ€™s photograph)
Figure 5.34: 5.34 Detail of inscribed graffiti on the south doorway of the chapel. (Source: Author’s photograph)
Internally the chapel was originally divided into two sections with an ante-chapel or gallery at the west. However there is now a floor across the chapel with a 19th century staircase at the west. Running through the range near the centre is a 17th century red brick chimney with an open fireplace. Significantly the roofs conform to the original structural separation of the chapel; there is a mid-13th century raised aisle roof at the west and a wagon roof of about 1220 with curved ashlar pieces and soulaces at the east (WBSG 2003). The Wealden Buildings Study Group observed grooving below a tie and collar flanking the ‘ante-chapel’, indicating that there had been plank walling (2003). Rigold (1965: 121) and other authors suggested that there may have been a priest’s chamber at the west, such as that found at Godsfield (see below), but this recent evidence suggests a light timber structure/partition, perhaps more indicative of a gallery. The change in roof structure might count against this argument as would another find by Johnston. He identified a small hole at the bottom of the upper north lancet window, suggesting this was the opening for a rope to pull a bell, most likely operated by the priest as a call for Mass (1921: 104). On the ground floor at the west end of the north wall is the Caen stone jamb and rounded lintel of a doorway. Johnston (1921: 102) suggested that this was originally part of a stair turret providing access to the first floor, which is supported by evidence from the Wealden Buildings Study Group.8 In the east wall of the chapel is a 8
The Wealden Buildings Study Group found that the sole pieces on the masonry walls to the common rafters are tennoned into the ashlar pieces and notched over the inner plate, however at the west end the ashlar pieces sit above the sole pieces (2003 Report).
15th century piscina formed of a cinquefoiled four-centred arched head under a square label. Just below the head of the window is a credence shelf where the sacred vessels would have been placed before and after use. This piscina must have been moved from its original position in the south wall when the French windows were inserted in the 19th century. Figure 5.35: 5.35 Wealden Buildings Study Group plan of the open hall and cross wing attached to Poling chapel (Source 2003 Report).
The other buildings are worth brief note as associated structures. In line with the chapel but further west is the remains of a two-bay open hall with an open-truss crown-post roof, which was probably the early 15th century refectory of the commandery (Figure Figure 5.35). 5.35 The roof timbers and a wattle and daub partition towards the east end are soot-encrusted indicating the position of a fireplace. In the west wall of the chapel several further fire-places were inserted. This open hall is now truncated by a three-bay floored cross-wing of c.1480-1500 at right angles to the chapel. This may have been the Hospitallersâ€™ dormitory. A mortise in a post at the north-east corner indicates that there was a doorway into the stair turret (WBSG 2003). In the upper part of the north wall is a door, which probably led to a garderobe. There are indications that the Knights Templar also had galleries at the western end of their commandery chapels. A prime example is South Witham, Lincolnshire; a commandery excavated in 1965-7 where the chapel, dating to about 1220-40, survived as below-ground walls and foundations. It was a rectangular building 12.8m by 5m internally with a door in the north wall and a later porch over it (Mayes 2002: 18) (Figures Figures 5.365.36-37). 37 In the side walls of the chancel were possible foundations of wall-safes to contain the sacramental vessels and/or for the safe-keeping of money. There was a wall at the east end, which extended about two thirds of the way across the width of the nave blocking off much of the chancel. At the north-west angle was part of a staircase whilst in the centre of the nave was an oval posthole, which had a stone block at its base (Ibid: 19). Here then seems clear evidence for a west gallery, supported at its east end (Figure Figure 5.38). 5.38 Another example is Temple Balsall, West Midlands, a commandery chapel dating to about 1290, which has suffered a heavyhanded restoration. Preserved in the south-west angle is a stair-vice and a splay across the angle contains remains of a segmental pointed entrance to it whilst above was a blocked doorway entered from the gallery (Smith 2002: 66-67). The gallery is not thought to have extended more than about 8.25m west and there was also an upper chamber over the south porch. Smith has identified two other chapels with galleries at the west, although these late 14th century buildings are not connected to the military orders; Wingfield church, Suffolk, and the chapel of West Bromwich manor house, West Midlands (Ibid: 67).
Figure 5.36: 5.36 A plan of the excavated remains of South Witham chapel. (Source: Mayes 2002: 20).
Figure 5.37: 5.37 A â€˜transparentâ€™ reconstruction drawing showing South Witham chapel from the east including the internal features such as the gallery at the west end. (Source: Mayes 2002: 66).
Figure 5.38: 5.38 A reconstruction drawing of the interior of South Witham chapel from the west showing the gallery. (Source: Mayes 2002: 66).
Needless to say the occurrence of two storeys within a medieval church in England is an extremely rare phenomenon. However there are precedents. The best known group internationally are the double-chapels (Doppekappelen), in the Rhineland, which probably inspired examples elsewhere (Clapham 1936: 173). In England the late 11th century chapel in the Bishopâ€™s Palace at Hereford had two storeys. The lower storey was an undercroft, which formed the church of St Mary Magdalene whilst on the first floor was St Catherineâ€™s chapel (Fernie 2002: 233). At the west end of this floor was a raised area; the equivalent of a west-work, whilst piercing the centre of the room was a circular well. This allowed those at the west end of either storey to see both altars and to hear the service. Therefore a magnate and his family
could attend the same services as the lower household without any loss of dignity by being accommodated on separate floors. Among other two storey examples are the early 12th century palace chapels of the bishops of East Anglia at North and South Elham. Although of quite different plan forms (Figure Figure 5.39) 5.39 they both had a stair turret indicating an upper storey (Ibid: 236-239). The slightly later royal Church of St Michael & St Mary, Melchbourne, Derbyshire, was completely on two storeys with a tribune at the west end of the upper level presumably for the King (Ibid: 241). The Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller therefore appear to be drawing upon aristocratic models to distinguish the knight commander and other brothers from the great number of servants who worked at a commandery.9
Figure 5.39: 5.39 Palace chapel plans. (Source: Fernie 2002)
Architectural evidence for differences in social status is not confined to chapel galleries. At the Hospitaller commandery of Torphichen, West Lothian, Scotland, and Templar commandery of Garway, Herfordshire, Gilchrist has observed that the decoration of the chancel arches is confined only to the west side, where the knights would have gathered, but is plain on the east (1992: 77). This has also been noted at the Templar church at Shipley, West Sussex (Gem 1983: 241). Torphichen was a 9
Johnston estimates that 13 servants served the two knights and chaplain at Poling commandery (1921: 97).
particularly significant commandery for the Hospitallers, effectively serving as their headquarters in Scotland, and there may often have been several senior knights in attendance. At several churches the chancels were extended at a later date. This occurred at Clerkenwell and Slebech in the late 13th and 15th centuries. It may be the case that initially knights were largely illiterate and did not keep choir offices like other monastic orders who could read (St John Hope 1918: 65). There was therefore a requirement for only a small presbytery. However as knights increasingly came from aristocratic, well educated, backgrounds there may have been a need to extend the chancel.10 In many cases then chapel architecture may serve as a manifestation of the hierarchies within Hospitaller commanderies and more widely within the Order itself. Accommodating the clergy Several commandery chapels provide evidence that part of the building served to accommodate the priest. These chambers normally incorporate a view out onto the east end of the church so that the priest could ensure the altar was always lit. It was emphasised in the Orderâ€™s Rule that the chapel must be lit day and night (Rule. Para 3). However towards the end of the 13th century this became especially important. It was now ruled that all priests would have to undergo the harsh punishment of the
septaine if there was found to be no light in the church (Esgart 69). This ruling may have stimulated some commanderies to incorporate a watching chamber in the chapel.
Godsfield chapel incorporates a two-storey chamber, 4.2m square, at the west end (Figure Figure 5.405.40-41). 41 This is blocked off by a stone wall and is accessed by a separate entrance from the north. On the ground floor is a fireplace and under the stairs is a barrel-vaulted storeroom. This would seem to apply that the lower room was used for cooking. A staircase on the north side leads up to the first floor but at the stair head is a small recess in the wall perhaps for a chest (VCH Hampshire Vol.4. 1911: 190). The upper room has another fireplace and a garderobe projecting from the west wall. A squint provides a view of the altar to the east. The room is covered by an arched braced roof formed of three trusses. These are largely undecorated but 10
Another reason for the alteration, rebuilding or extension of chancels may have been the rulings of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) on transubstantiation and worship.
there are scribed gauge lines on the arris, indicating that it was intended to be moulded but either due to lack of time or money was never completed (Burliegh 1999: 3). Figure 5.40: 5.40 The upper chamber in the west end of Godsfield chapel. Note the squint in the east wall providing a view of the chapel altar. (Source: Authorâ€™s photograph)
Figure 5.41: 5.41 A plan of Godsfield chapel showing the priestâ€™s accomodation at the west end. (Source: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=56781)
Swingfield chapel may have included a priest’s chamber above the porch. A window in the east wall would then ensure a view to the chapel altar through the north lancets. By the 1529 valuation the chamber was in use as a study next to the ‘lord’s new chamber’ and the priest had perhaps been downgraded since he was living in a chamber block with the servants. The valuation describes his room:
‘…a chamber at the steyer hed whiche the prist lieth in wherin is an old broken federbed and to the same a bolster and a pelow old and feble al not worth the [kep]ing.’ (Grove and Rigold 1979: 109) A two-storey north porch was later added to the chapel at Templar South Witham, which like Swingfield probably included an upper chamber (Smith 2002: 68). There were similar two-storey porches at Temple Balsall and Rothley. The porch at South Witham was only accessible from inside the chapel. However the upper storey was later altered to link it to the adjacent building so that the knights had direct access to the west gallery from the Great Hall (Ibid: 68). At Hospitaller Torphichen 15th century alterations included the addition of rooms above the transept, complete with fireplaces, as well as access to the chapel for night services ((Ministry of Public Building and Works 1967: 3) (Figure Figure 5.42). 5.42 Figure 5.42: 5.42 The much altered chapel at Torphichen commandery, Scotland. (Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/74844)
The Hospitaller commandery church of Ansty, Wiltshire, and chapel of Sutton-atHone, Kent, also provide possible evidence of priestâ€™s chambers. Ansty manor was granted to the Knights Hospitallers by Walter de Turberville in 1211 (VCH Wilts, Vol III 1956: 328-329). The value of Ansty lies in the layout of the buildings, which, though largely altered or replaced, stand on the footprint of the originals (Appendix Appendix 2E). 2E They include the former church, court-house11 and manor house grouped around the south side of a pond (Figure Figure 5.43). 5.43 Despite the church guide and list description, which claim St Jamesâ€™s Church was built by the Hospitallers in the 13th century, it seems likely that it was an existing parish church dating to at least the Norman period (see below). The building has undergone drastic restoration, which now considerably limits its value as a historical document. It is cruciform in plan with nave, chancel and two 19th century transepts, built of dressed limestone with gabled tiled roofs (Figure Figure 5.44 5.44). .44 The external fenestration largely consists of 19th century lancet windows whilst internally the church has chamfered pointed arches on octagonal responds to the transepts and chancel. These are also replacements but the chancel arch appears to be a copy of a 14th century original.12 Figure 5.43: 5.43 An aerial photograph showing the position of the church (bottom), manor house (centre left) and courthouse (centre) of the commandery of Ansty, Wiltshire. (Source: www.googlemaps.com)
This has also be described as a hospice and a guest-house but Riley-Smith suggests that it was most likely the commandery court-house (1999: 81). 12 The arch, which is replicated in the transepts, is a plain-chamfered two-centred arch, which springs from half-octagonal capitals formed of an under-cut scroll moulding and fillet. th (Appendix 2E). This may be a debased 14 century moulding (See Forrester 1972: 43, Noâ€™s. 323 to 329); it shows some similarity with an arcade at Ledbury (Ibid. No. 326). Prerestoration plans show that its general form is unchanged.
Figure 5.44: 5.44 A view of St James’s Church, Ansty, from the south. (Source: Author’s photograph).
Figure 5.45: 5.45 'North West View of Ainsty (sic) Church' in 1817. Showing the north porch, the nave, and the chapel. By John Buckler (1770-1851) (Source: William Salt Library Item BV XXVII.3b)
Fortunately documentary sources provide a picture of St James’s Church before restoration. An 1817 watercolour shows a two-storey north porch, which may have included a priest’s chamber, although this is far from certain (Figure Figure 5.45). 5.45 It had a two-centred arched doorway, a string course separating the floors and slit windows in the upper floor. In the north wall of the nave and chancel were two-light windows
set in square frames and in the west walls were two square-headed windows; these appear to date to the late 16th or 17th centuries. Written notes on pre-restoration plans and elevations drawn up in 1841-42 suggest they replaced 14th and 15th century predecessors (Figure Figure 5.465.46-48). 48 The chancel was apparently rebuilt or altered in the late 17th century but retained the existing chancel arch. In 1848 the two-storey porch was demolished, the church was re-fenestrated and the north transept added. Unfortunately this also resulted in the removal of a Norman arch that led to the south transeptal chapel, which indicates the buildings earlier origins. This is supported by a Norman font with drop ornament, although it has been suggested that this too is a 19th century replica (Freston 1963: 9). Figure 5.465.46-48: 48 Ground plans and elevations of St Jamesâ€™s Church, Ansty created by George Singleton in 1841-2 prior to restoration. The note attached to the west elevation states that the square-headed windows in the church replaced 14th and 15th century predecessors. (Source: ICBS file 02956, www.churchplansonline.org)
The chapel known as St John’s Jerusalem, Sutton-at-Hone, has also been altered but is a far better survival then Ansty (Appendix Appendix 2G) Figure 5.492G (Figure 5.49-51). 51 It is located on a moated site, 185m long by 120m wide, which has a large outer bank and an associated fishpond fed by the River Darent.13 About 3km to the north is Watling Street Roman road; a major routeway in the medieval period. A commandery was established in about 1199 after the manor was gifted to the Hospitallers by Robert de Basing (Wadmore 1897: 257). In 1234 Henry III, whilst staying at Sutton, gave an order that five oaks in Tunbridge forest should be gifted to the commander to build the ceiling of the chapel (Tallents 1944: 10). The king used it as a regular stopping place; visiting 15 times between 1232 and 1264. In 1325 the commandery held 60 acres for the king under the condition that it distributed peas or bread to the poor three times a week (Ibid: 12). By 1338 the property was leased out (Larking 1857: 93). Following the Dissolution the buildings were largely demolished but the chapel was converted into a house by the 17th century and further altered in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Figure 5.49: 5.49 The south elevation of the chapel of St John’s Jerusalem, Sutton-at-Hone, Kent. (Source: Author’s photograph)
Scheduled Monument Record No.1009021. English Heritage. The National Heritage List th for England. Retrieved from http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/ on 8 January 2013.
Figure 5.50: 5.50 Drawings of the east end of the chapel of St Johnâ€™s Jerusalem, Sutton-at-Hone by John Sutton. The elevation is a transverse section showing the internal features. (Source: Wadmore 1897)
St Johnâ€™s Jerusalem is constructed of flint rubble, some chalk or soft greensand blocking, with some Caen stone dressings, and later alterations in red brick. The flint was probably robbed from an adjacent villa in the medieval period.14 Today the building is of two storeys and is L-shaped in plan with a main range, rectangular in plan, orientated east-west and a further wing attached at the west. The greater part of the 13th century chapel survives at the east end. This range has a red tiled gabled roof with attic dormer windows, which is hipped at the east. The south elevation includes the lancet windows, two of which have been truncated, and a blocked medieval two-centred arched doorway. There are otherwise four bays of sash windows and an 18th century pedimented doorcase. In the east wall are three stepped lancets and pilaster buttresses with Caen stone dressings. These buttresses are different then those elsewhere and appear to be contemporaneous with the original build whilst the rest were probably added later for architectural effect. This is supported by two mass dials, which are incised into the southern buttress of the east wall. The north elevation has two 19th century ranges running perpendicular to the main building. At the east end are two 13th century lancets breaking the storeys, one of which is partly blocked. Further west are evidence of at least two more blocked lancets. The west wall is formed of the 18th century stuccoed wing with three bays of sash windows. When the stucco was removed in 1961 â€˜traces of two upper lancets, not as long as the chapel onesâ€™ were found, although it is not clear whether these were for the ground or first floor (Leach 1994: 3). Leach has also identified evidence for a small window in the south wall (Ibid: 7). Internally the east end of the chapel was blocked off from the house in the 19th century to form a billiards room accessed from a separate south door. It has also been floored over to create a basement. The lancets in the east wall are surrounded by arches springing from the capitals of engaged columns (Figure Figure 5.50). 5.50 The capitals comprise an arrangement of several roll mouldings and fillets (See See Appendix 2G). 2G In the south wall of the basement are double piscinas set into arched recesses, one with a simple round bowl and the other with a wedge shaped bowl (Leach 1994: 45). At the north end of the east wall is an area of blocking, which may have been an aumbry. An alcove in the north wall may mark the position of an Easter Sepulchre. 14
Scheduled Monument Record No.101265. English Heritage. The National Heritage List for th England. Retrieved from http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/ on 8 January 2013.
Leach postulates that there were originally six lancets in the north and south sides with the two at the east end positioned to light the altar (Ibid: 6). The chapel was all of a single storey but the contemporary west wing was almost certainly of two storeys given the thickness of the walls. There was probably a tower in the southern part but the fact that the walls of the north side of the wing are of the same thickness indicate it was part of a larger range. The division between the chapel and this range is not clear and is therefore open to speculation. On the ground floor there is likely to have been a door in the place of the current one whilst at first floor level there may have been a gallery or a window looking down into the chapel. This may have been a priestâ€™s chamber but could equally have been put to other uses.
Figure 5.51: 5.51 A plan of the chapel of St Johnâ€™s Jerusalem. Recent research by Leach (1994) has shown that the west range is of medieval date and survives better than indicated here. (Source: Kipps 1935: 208)
An architecture of austerity? austerity? The detailed study above indicates that commandery chapels were largely functional buildings, usually built to a rectangular plan of local stone or conglomerate. Variations in their form were usually linked to particular uses such as the construction of west galleries or priests chambers. Most were built of materials that were readily available and close at hand such as flint, clunch, ragstone and greensand. Many employ knapped flintwork but its use must have made construction slow. Dressings were often in Caen stone, which was a particularly high quality freestone but was more cheaply and freely accessible across the channel then the land-route to many other stone quarries in the south-east (Clifton-Taylor 1972: 23). The use of decorative stonework was limited by the architectural vocabulary of the period, which for the majority of surviving chapels is the Early English period. The greatest attention was naturally reserved for the east end of chapels; the most sacred part of the building, and particular attention was given to embellish the east windows and beautify the piscina. On the whole commandery chapels do not appear to be â€˜show placesâ€™ like so many of our parish churches, although they were well constructed, with a high quality of stone dressing and often very fine roof structures and carpentry. This would have been an important sign of status, perhaps a pre-requisite of providing hospitality to the nobility on occassions, especially such prestigious figures as Henry III who made Sutton-at-Hone a regular stopping point.
A study of Hospitaller and Templar commanderies in Normandy by Miguet (1995) shows parallels with Britain. Chapels were commonly found to be rectangular in plan and simply decorated, although medieval stained glass was identified at several Templar sites. The average chapel size was four bays and aisles were always absent. Furthermore the conventual buildings were concentrated in the upper part of the monastic enclosure whilst agricultural buildings were clustered around the periphery, which reflects a similar picture to South Witham, Lincolnshire. Perhaps similarities should be expected between Britain and France given the close links between the Hospitallers administration in the two countries.
The earliest architecture of the Templars in England is perhaps the most striking. A detailed study of Shipley Church, West Sussex, the earliest surviving Templar church, has been undertaken by Gem (1983: 239-245). Shipley consists of a rectangular chancel, a tower with very thick walls and a nave 19.8m long internally (Figure Figure 5.52). 5.52 Evidence suggests that it was largely rebuilt when donated to the Order between 1129 and 1141. However three features stand out. The first is the use of doublesplayed windows in the nave, something more common in secular buildings by this time. The second is the ground level passage built within the thickness of the tower wall; a feature unknown in an ecclesiastical context but reminiscent of mural chambers in castle walls. Both of these findings may have formed part of an attempt to give the building overtones appropriate to a military order. Thirdly there is the unusual instance of the nave being the same width as the tower, something seen in the palace chapels of North and South Elham (see above). Gem suggests the very restrained form of ostentation may have been fitting for the Templars founding ideals, which were modelled on the writings of St. Bernard (1982: 244). Unfortunately too little of the Hospitallers 12th century buildings survive to provide a significant comparison. However the evidence for the first church at Clerkenwell suggests that it was relatively simple and austere whilst the walls of the chancel may have been up to 1.8m thick (Sloane and Malcolm 2004: 33, 193).15
Figure 5.52: Shipley Church, West Sussex. (Source: http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Sussex/Shipley.html)
This is the thickness of the west wall of the crypt.
The Templars, like the Cistercians, appear to have lost any ideal of architectural restraint they may have had at the start (Fernie 2002: 192). There are several later churches with fairly elaborate sculptural decoration or motifs. At Garway the chancel arch is particularly ornate and possibly shows eastern influences in the decoration of the underside whilst there is an unusual head carved into one of the respond capitals (Figure Figure 5.53). 5.53 Corbels with grotesque or animal heads can be found (sometimes reset) at Temple Bruer, Temple Guiting and Sompting (Ritoók 1994: 176). At both Temple Bruer and Temple Manor there is fairly elaborate blank arcading within the interiors whilst the western door of Temple Church may be decorated with busts representing the Infidels (Ibid: 176). There are no such parallels at Hospitaller chapels and, with the exception of the late 13th century chancel at Clerkenwell, most display very little decoration. The Order’s architecture may therefore have been better at keeping to the Hospitallers ideal of penitential austerity. Clerkenwell should in any case be treated separately because being based in London it had to impress the highest nobility and royal courtiers to attract patronage.
Figure 5.53: The chancel arch at the Knights Templar church of Garway, Herefordshire. (Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8861756@N08/4351955213/)
Most Hospitaller commandery chapels and parish churches, such as Swingfield and Poling, are marked by a cross, often on the door jambs or arch. This may have served as a mark of ownership as well as to show exemption from diocesan control. At Ansty, Dinmore, and the (no longer extant) commandery chapel at Newland, West Yorkshire, there were patriarchal crosses.16 Another Eastern symbol is the Swastika-pelta, which is recorded at both Hospitaller and Templar sites or associated churches such as St Margaret’s Church, Chippenham, Cambridgeshire where there is a Hospitaller chapel (Gilchrist 1995: 98).17 The use of these symbols on Hospitaller churches may have been to underline the Order’s purpose and association with the Holy Land. Hospitaller commandery chapels may have had greater decoration in the form of wall paintings however very little evidence now survives. On the crossing at Torphichen there are faint traces of line decoration in red visible on the upper parts of the capitals of an arch (Ministry of Public Building and Works 1967: 3). The east wall of the south transept also has evidence of decoration in red and black paint whilst the vaults are inscribed ‘I.H.S’ surrounded by ‘MARIA TRINITAS’.18 At the east gable end of Swingfield evidence was found in 1970 of paintwork marking out false ashlar joints.19 Moor Hall (prior to its demolition) also had ashlar-joints marked out in red but with a sexfoil painted in the centre of each ‘stone’ (Rigold 1965: 117) (Figure Figure 5.54 5.54). However the use of simulated ashlar was fairly common in 13th century buildings. Furthermore none of this can be said to compare with the impressive murals found at Hospitaller buildings in the East such as the east end of Abu Ghosh church (see above) or the ‘Presentation of Christ in the Temple’ and ‘St George and the youth of Mitylene’ depicted on the chapel at Crac des Chevaliers (Folda 2005: xxi). The existing evidence for most Hospitaller buildings would seem to support a 16
This type of cross appeared in the Byzantine Empire in about the 9 century. The symbolism of the two bars has several interpretations, one of which is that the first bar represented the death of Christ and the second his resurrection. 17 The Swastika-pelta is a symbol with late Roman and Early Christian connections and occurs in mosaics in Antioch and the Church of the Nativity, Bethleham. In Britain it is recorded at several churches associated with Templar and Hospitaller commanderies including Chippenham, Great Wilbraham, Whaddon, Swaffham Prior, Teversham, Duxford (Cambs), Sible Hedingham (Essex) and Rowston (Lins) (Gilchrist 1995: 99). 18 The I.H.S monogram may be interpreted as Iesous a rendering of the Greek orthography for ‘Jesus’, Iesus Hominum Salvator (Jesus, saviour of mankind), whilst MARIA TRINITAS is a rendering of Mary and the Holy Trinity. 19 Note in the DoE File AA051488/2 PT3 held by the English Heritage Registry, Swindon.
picture of relatively austere and functional architecture in Britain. The exception, again, is the Hospitaller’s Priory at Clerkenwell where the later 12th century choir had a particularly impressive decorative scheme. The arcade capitals (Fragment A18) were painted with vermillion, azure, navy, black and orange or gilt, in a polychrome scheme which is thought to represent one of the finest surviving examples of paintwork of the period in Britain (Sloane and Malcolm 2004: 47).
Figure 5.54: Medieval wall decoration at the (now demolished) Hospitaller camera of Moor Hall, Middlesex. (Source: Hugo 1866)
The influence of patronage Having examined the architecture of commandery chapels, a good basis is provided for considering the influence of patronage and whether this affected the overall form or design of the buildings. Patrons of the Hospitallers hoped to receive prayers for their souls in the commandery chapel and sometimes the right to be buried within the cemetery. John de Basing, the son of the initial benefactor of Sutton-at-Hone, made clear his purpose in gifting his estate to the Hospitallers:
‘I, John de Basyngges the son of Robert de Bassynes…moved with the divine love and for the salvation of my soul, and the souls of my antecessors and successors, give…to God, the blessed Mary, and S. John the Baptist, and the blessed poor of the holy House of the Hospital of Jerusalem and the brethren of the House at Sutton att
Hone sojourning there, and serving God, all of my land…to the foresaid brethren and their successors for free, pure, and perpetual alms…’20 (Wadmore 1897: 257)
The crusades also served as a significant inspiration. In Essex grants to the Templars peaked in the mid 13th century when Jerusalem was regained (Gilchrist 1995: 67). A detailed study on the patronage of the Order of St Lazarus in England has shown some important findings. Many donations came from the knightly classes and the most significant benefactions were made by those who had been on crusade, including several hospitals and churches (Walker 1994: 332).21 The patronage of these individuals would have induced other members of their families to follow suit. Notably William Fitz-Aldelin, the benefactor of the Hospitallers commandery at Little Maplestead in 1187, was preparing to go on crusade three years later (Flanagan 2004). This indicates that the Hospitallers’ cause was one particularly close to his heart. In other cases patrons made benefactions as a means of salving their consciences for not participating in the crusading movement (i.e. as ‘arm-chair’ crusaders) (Walker 1994: 332).
The Clare family, Earls of Striguil (in Essex), Hertford and Pembroke, lavished particularly rich patronage on the Hospitallers.22 Through their benefaction the Hospitallers established commanderies at Standon (Hertfordshire), Carbrooke (Norfolk) and Melchbourne (Bedfordshire) (Cartulary entry No.34 in Gervers 1996). They also granted them St Mary’s Church, Hadlow, Kent, and probably St Mary’s Church, Eaton Socon, Bedfordshire, among many others (Ibid). In Pembrokeshire the remarkable expansion of Slebech, which became the Order’s richest commandery by far, appears to have been part of a scheme of Flemish colonisation promoted by the Clare family. Among many other significant patrons of the Order elsewhere were Henry de Blois, Bishop of Winchester (1129-71) who gifted Godsfield Commandery, 20
A 13 century donation recorded in the Grand Cartulary of 1442 but cited by Wadmore. The patrons include Sir Roger I de Mowbray (1125 – 1188), a regular crusader who was largely responsible for the establishment of the Order in England, and William I de Burdet who may have gifted Tilton Hospital and two churches after returning from a crusade in the midth 12 century (Walker 1994: 329-330). 22 The Clare family were hugely pious in their religious benefactions and held patronage of more than a dozen monasteries and nunneries across Britain. The family’s wealthiest monastery; Tewkesbury Abbey became a family mausoleum (Strober 2007: 162-166). 21
Hampshire, and William de Ferrers, 3rd Earl of Derby (d.1190), who donated St Mary’s Church, Stebbing, Essex in 1181 (Cartulary entry No.192 in Gervers 1996).
The ability to read the influence of a patron in the architecture of a medieval building is notoriously difficult (Fernie 2002: 41-3). The formal qualities of architecture are rarely attributable to an individual, especially where churches or chapels fairly closely matched existing building traditions as appears to be the case of many Hospitaller buildings. This is exacerbated at commanderies given that very few buildings datable to the original foundation survive and because almost all are simple, functional, buildings that are plainly decorated. It also seems likely that most patrons took very little interest in a commandery after the initial act of foundation. However there is some scanty evidence. At Clerkenwell, detailed study has indicated stylistic affinities between the priory and the nearby nunnery of St Mary, which is thought to be a link that existed through their shared founders and patrons (Sloane and Malcolm 2004: 195). Furthermore ceramic floor tiles have been found in the outer precinct of the Priory showing the arms of the Clare family (Gilchrist 1995: 67).
The most significant signs of patronage are seen at St John the Baptist Church, Slebech, Wales (now known as ‘Slebech Old Church’). This appears to have served as both a commandery chapel and parish church throughout its history. Lying isolated on a bank of the Claddau estuary of the Gower Peninsula it is now one of the most evocative Hospitaller ruins (Figure Figure 5.555.55-59). The remains are situated next to an 18th century mansion, which is thought to be located on the site of the commandery. A short distance out into the estuary is a small mound, known as the ‘Sacred Isle’, which is traditionally the spot where a broad sword was dug up (Rees 1900: 6). This is now held in the National Museum of Wales (Figure Figure 5.60 5.60). 60 The exact date of the establishment of Slebech commandery is uncertain but it was one of the earliest in around the 1130s (See Appendix 2G). 2G Slebech was well positioned as a resting place for pilgrims taking the long journey west to St David’s. Many would have travelled in that direction after the declaration of Pope Calixtus II in 1123 that two pilgrimages to St David’s equalled one to Rome and three pilgrimages equalled
one to Jerusalem.23 The 1338 report shows that it was taking a heavy toll on the commandery since people were arriving ‘in great numbers, from day to day, and are great wasters and a heavy burden’ (Larking 1857: 36). At this time the occupants included John de Frouwyck, the knight commander, two brothers, a chaplain, four corrodary holders, and 13 servants (Ibid: 35). Security was provided locally by two magnates who were paid to drive away ‘highway robbers and malefactors of the countryside of Wales, who are fierce in those parts’ (Ibid: 35). The expenses included gifts to the king’s servants and those of other lords. In the 15th century Lewis Glyn Cothi wrote a cywydd (ode), which referred to the multitude who journeyed to Slebech commandery to receive pardon at the altar of St John (Rees 1947: 31).
Figure 5.55: An early 19th century view across the East Claddau River towards Slebech church and hall. (Source: Fenton 1811)
A detailed description of Slebech Church is given in Appendix 2G. 2G It is constructed of coursed stone rubble and is cruciform in plan, comprising a chancel, nave, north and south transeptal chapels with a square tower set at the north-west, between the angle of the nave and transept. The earliest part appears to be the nave, which may date to the 13th century but there are no early architectural features; the windows 23
St David’s Cathedral. 2012. A Brief history. Retrieved from th http://www.stdavidscathedral.org.uk/index.php?id=931 on 24 February 2013.
and doorways having been replaced in Perpendicular style. The chancel arch is set on low walls and dates to the Decorated period but may have been inserted judging by the disturbed stonework around it. The chancel is of considerable length (12.5m) and appears to have been rebuilt or extended in the mid-15th century. Perhaps it was extended to segregate the knights and their patrons from commandery servants in the nave. The Perpendicular tower was probably added in about the early 16th century at about the same time as the north chapel. The south chapel was rebuilt in the late 18th century but may have had a late medieval predecessor. Figure 5.56: A view from the chancel into the nave of St John the Baptist Church, Slebech, Wales. (Source: Authorâ€™s photograph).
Figure 5.57: An 1835 plan of Slebech Church (Source: ICBS 10532, Lambeth Place)
Figure 5.58: The north transeptal chapel of Slebech Church. (Source: Authorâ€™s photograph).
Figure 5.59: The north doorway of the tower of Slebech church. (Source: Authorâ€™s photograph).
Both historical and architectural evidence indicate that a patron played a significant role in re-building or extending the church in the mid-15th century. Two recumbent alabaster effigies of a knight, Sir Henry Wogan of Wiston (1421-1475), and his wife, Margaret Herbert, were formerly situated in the south wall of the east end of the chancel (RCHAMW 1925: 384). This location is traditionally the ‘founders spot’, where the patron would be commemorated. Laws and Edwards suggested that in the 15th century the commandery had passed out of the hands of the Hospitallers, citing a reference in 1463 to ‘Henry Wogan, armiger de Slebech’ (1911: 374). They consider that Sir Henry Wogan, who claimed descent from the original founder, Wizo the Fleming, returned the property to the Hospitallers (Ibid). Whether this is the case is uncertain but the Order certainly held the property in 1535. What seems likely is that Sir John Wogan proved a significant benefactor to the Hospitallers, funding the rebuilding of the chancel and was thus honoured with a resting place in the church for himself and his wife. The rebuilding may have occurred after they married in 1442. The church passed into the hands of the Barlow family after the Dissolution from 1546 until the later 18th century (Fenton 1811: 297). They may also have marked their acquisition by funding further building work. In the mid 19th century a new parish church was built a mile to the north-west and the old commandery church was left to fall into ruin.
The evidence for patronage at Slebech may be particularly apparent because it also served as the parish church. One important question that is worth considering is who might have had the responsibility for initiating building work at commandery chapels or closely associated parish churches. It seems likely that new work would have been discussed between the commander and the Prior of Clerkenwell (the chief official in Britain) on his annual visit to the commandery. They may also have consulted the main patrons in the locality although it seems more likely that they dictated the work considering that commandery chapels were largely the domain of the knights. Some last word, even if it held less weight, for alterations or rebuilding may have been given by the priest that served at the chapel itself.
Figure 5.60: This iron two-handed 15th century sword, which is nearly 2m long, was found at Slebech Commandery. The original binding for the grip no longer survives but the sword is held by the National Museum of Wales (Item Ref. 33.106). (Source: http://education.gtj.org.uk/en/item1/25941)
One final interest patrons took in a commandery chapel or associated church was to exercise burial rights, often given in return for the initial benefaction. This was certainly the case at the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Carbrooke, where the founder of the associated commandery, the Countess of Clare, and her son are buried. Their tombs are East Angliaâ€™s oldest identifiable coffin slabs.24 More tantalising 24
Noted on the Norfolk Churches website, retrieved from www.norfolkchurches.co.uk on 12 March 2013.
evidence for burial practice may be found at the commandery of Poling. Immediately east of the chapel Johnston stated that within living memory people had descended into a charnel house by means of a circular stone stairwell and found tombs of knights (and perhaps patrons) within Sussex marble coffins (1921: 107). A similar example of a charnel house behind an altar is recorded at Wonersh, Surrey, which had a curious lean-to roof against the external wall of the church (VCH Surrey, Vol.3 (1911), 121-127). One coffin slab does survive at Poling. This is now set into a wall at the west end of the house (Figure Figure 5.61 5.61) and bears a Norman French inscription around a large cross: ‘IHV CRIST: PVR SANTIOHAN: AIT MERCI. DEL ALME. BERNA….’, which translates as: ‘JESUS CHRIST, FOR [THE SAKE OF] SAINT JOHN, HAVE MERCY ON THE SOUL OF BERN[RD]…’ although the last part is missing (Johnston 1921: 108). This is surely testament to the burial of a knight of the Order but whether similar coffins existed for patrons of Poling commandery awaits discovery below the turf to the east of the chapel. Figure Figure 5.61: The Knights Hospitaller tomb at Poling commandery, West Sussex, (Source: Author’s photograph) and Johnston’s sketch next to it (1921).
VI ‘SPREADING THE FAITH’: HOSPITALLER PARISH CHURCHES Knights Hospitaller commanderies also possessed jurisdiction over a large number of parish churches. This chapter will explore the relationship between these churches and commanderies, their role in creating revenue for the crusades, as well as influences upon their architecture.
Commanderies and parish churches An interesting relationship existed between several commanderies and nearby parish churches. At Ansty and Little Maplestead the Hospitallers took over existing parish churches, which also served as the commandery chapels. At Swingfield and Slebech the parish church appears to have been built by the Hospitallers and subsequently provided conventual services.
Parish churches served as a valuable source of revenue. Slebech commandery had no less than 31 other parish churches or chapels attached to it (Figure Figure 6.1). 6.1 Like other property, a church could be alienated, leased, shared or divided. It was often appurtenant to a manor so the grant of the manor also carried with it rights of advowson1 (Rees 1947: 36). The Order, through it’s Prior in Clerkenwell, nominated to the living when it became vacant; the brethren assuming the place of the rector2 and claiming the revenue but usually maintaining only a vicar or chaplain on a yearly stipend to carry out the duties of the cure (Ibid: 36). The revenues from the parish church could include: the great tithes3 and the small tithes4; altar dues; offerings on occasions of funerals and vigils; oblations and offerings on the special feast days such
Advowson is the right to appoint the parish priest. The rector holds the office of presiding over an ecclesiastical institution. Tithes are the legal property of the rector who can employ a vicar on a stipend (salary) but has no claim over the tithes. 3 The great tithes were corn, hay and wood. A tithe is a tenth of this produce that is given to the church. 4 The small tithes included livestock, butter & cheeses, fruit & vegetables, honey & wax, flax and wool, hemp and rushes, yields of the hunt and selling fish. 2
as Good Friday and Easter; fees for marriage, baptism, christenings and sanctuary; as well as voluntary contributions, gifts and bequests. In addition the Hospitallers collected the confraria in parish churches; voluntary contributions towards the crusades. The rector’s (i.e. the Order’s) expenses included the costs of the repair of the chancel, church fittings and the bread and wine for the Eucharist. The great range of revenues open to the rector meant that the system was open to abuse. The funds could be diverted to other ends for which they weren’t intended and the spiritual life of a parish subsequently impoverished. In the case of the Hospitallers it seems clear that although parish churches provided revenue towards the East, they were also seen as an important means to spread the Hospitallers’ influence and perhaps also ideology.
Figure 6.1: The balliwick or titulus (administrative area) of Slebech commandery showing the many parish churches over which it held jurisdiction. (Source: Rees 1947)
The maintenance of the spiritual life of a parish was important to ensure that the Order maintained a good reputation in Britain, which in-turn meant continuing patronage by local families and the nobility. In the Hospitaller Statutes of 1258-77 it is stated that some churches were failing to maintain a priest and that action should be taken to the contrary (Para.17 (King 1934: 39)). This might indicate that the Hospitallers were neglecting their spiritual duties. However it is also stated that where churches provided too little revenue to support the priest that Priors should find a way of maintaining them to ensure they could go through their ministry with greater effect and reputation. In these cases the priest of a parish church was often accommodated in the local commandery. Slebech maintained seven priests in 1338, six of whom served in parish churches and one who provided services at the commandery (Larking 1857: 34-35). Intriguingly the priest serving at the commandery was paid 10 shillings more, possibly indicating that there was some form of clerical hierarchy.
A particularly close association appears to have existed between the parish church of St Peter’s, Swingfield,5 and the nearby commandery (Figure Figure 6.2) 6.2) (Appendix (Appendix 2H). 2H The nave of the church dates from about the mid 12th century and includes two re-set Romanesque windows. It may be contemporary with the establishment of the commandery, which occurred sometime before 1180. In this case St Peter’s may have served to provide the Hospitallers’ conventual services before the 13th century commandery chapel was built. Thereafter it would have been given over to the parishioners use. A cross pommée inscribed on the aumbrey and another cross on a door jamb may perhaps be a sign of the Hospitallers’ association with the building. Notably the nave has a 14th century crown-post roof, which is similar and possibly contemporary with that at the commandery chapel.6 Perhaps both the roof of the commandery chapel and parish church were replaced at the same time and the work carried out by the same carpenters. The fenestration in the east wall of the chancel resembles that at the nearby chapel but this is rather an attempt to copy it by 19th
The name ‘Swingfield’ means ‘the field of swine or pigs’. It consists of slender octagonal crown posts with braces running from crown post to the collar and collar purlin, sole plates, ashlars pieces and scissor braces (Arnold and Howard 2011: 1).
century restorers then any original work (Figure Figure 6.3). 6.3 7 The 1529 commandery valuation records that the chancel of the church was among its holdings and possessed an expensive altar cloth of green and yellow satin (Grove and Rigold 1979: 114). Figure 6.2: St Peterâ€™s Church, Swingfield from the south. (Source: http://churchesconservationtrust.org)
Figure 6.3: A ground plan of St Peterâ€™s Church in 1870. Parts marked in red are work to be carried out for the restoration including a new north aisle and substantial rebuilding of the chancel. (Source: ICBS 07135, Lambeth Palace)
The valuation of 1529 records six windows, which would be few if each lancet in the east wall was counted as a separate window (Grove and Rigold 1979: 114).
The establishment of the Hospitaller commandery at Poling in the latter half of the 12th century coincides with the expansion of the parish church of St Nicholas (Appendix Appendix 2i). 2i It may have been the case that an increase in the local population, to build and service the commandery as well as farm the Hospitallers’ estate, necessitated an enlargement of the Saxon church. In 1190 a south aisle was built. This has an arcade formed of two chamfered arches set on round columns with octagonal capitals (Johnston 1919: 77). It contained an additional altar, probably a chantry, evident by a piscina in the south wall. The south entrance is incised with a mass dial and cross pommée. The church was further expanded in 1380 when the small Saxon chancel was demolished and replaced (Steer 1965: 3). Set into the chancel floor is a Hospitaller tomb slab, which is comparable to the example at the nearby commandery.
Several churches reflect a similar expansion to that seen at Poling. A new chancel was built at St Mary’s Church, Hadlow, Kent, following the Hospitallers’ acquisition in 1216 (Tatton-Brown 1994). It was later appended to the commandery of West Peckham. The same occurred at the Church of St Mary, Ludgershall, Buckinghamshire. At Chippenham, Cambridgeshire, the parish church of St Margaret was situated almost opposite the commandery.8 It was expanded in the 13th century when a Lady Chapel was built by the Hospitallers. In this case the benefactor may have been Prior Robert Botyll, a Knights Hospitaller, whose armorial shield is depicted on the fresco of St Michael in the chapel. It is divided from the aisle by a 13th century demi-arch and contains an altar recess, which is thought to be shaped for a statue of the Virgin Mary.9 Some parish churches, such as St Mary’s Church, Stebbing, Essex and St Andrew’s Church, Langford, Bedfordshire, were entirely rebuilt under the Hospitallers. The latter is particularly notable as it was formerly held by the Templars but was entirely demolished after their suppression in 1312 and rebuilt under the patronage of the Hospitallers. For many churches the Hospitallers acquisition meant a re-dedication to a saint more in keeping with the Order’s
Medieval fabric associated with the commandery is thought to survive below the ‘Georgian School House’ opposite the church. 9 Listed Building Record No.1161953. English Heritage. The National Heritage List for th England. Retrieved from http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/ on 8 January 2013.
sympathies.10 For instance the little church of All Saints, which stood near the commandery of North Baddesley, Hampshire, was re-dedicated to St John the Baptist in 1304.11 It contains an ornate 15th century tomb decorated with quatrefoiled panels and shields bearing the Hospitallers’ cross.
Only a cursory examination has been carried out of the architecture of the Hospitallers’ associated parish churches. However it seems to present a considerable contrast to the austere and functional commandery chapels. Both significant expense and ornate decoration could sometimes be afforded to a parish church. One example is the phenomenal 14th century stone chancel screen at St Mary’s Church, Stebbing, Essex, which is embellished with ball-flowers, trefoils and gargoyles, among much else (Figure Figure 6.4). 6.4 12Another is the impressive Early English chancel arch at St Mary’s Church, Standon, Hertfordshire, which is carried on shafts with foliage capitals and consists of two richly moulded orders separated by dog-tooth ornament. Figure 6.4: The Decorated stone chancel screen at St Mary’s Church, Stebbing, Essex. (Source: http://www.beenthere-donethat.org.uk/essex/stebbing16big.html)
Among such re-dedications may have been the parish church of St John the Baptist near th the commandery at Sutton-at-Hone. This was initially founded in the 12 century but rebuilt in th the 14 century when it may have been re-dedicated to St John. 11 Listed Building Record No.1093668. English Heritage. The National Heritage List for th England. Retrieved from http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/ on 8 January 2013. 12 Relatively few stone screens exist, although there is one at nearby Great Bardfield, one at Harlton (Cambridgeshire) and another at Welsh Newton (Herefordshire).
Standon Church (Figure Figure 6.5 6.5) stands out for several other, more unusual, features (Appendix Appendix 2J). 2J Firstly there is a significant incline through the building towards the east end of the chancel. The church is built on a west facing slope but there is no reason why the ground should not have been levelled before it was constructed. It is claimed in the church guide that the incline occurs only in churches of the Knights Hospitallers, which were â€˜processional churchesâ€™ (T.D.S, Undated). There seems to be no significant evidence to support this assertion. Processions were carried out at the conventual Hospital in Jerusalem on Sundays (Rule 15), when holy water was sprinkled throughout the house, as well as the days of the Ascension, Candlemas, St John the Baptist, the Virgin Mary (Usance 96). However there is no evidence that such processions were also carried out at parish churches. A second unusual feature is the height of the chancel above the nave; a rise of 1.9m, requiring two flights of steps to reach the altar. This substantial elevation is thought to be because of a burial chamber that may lie beneath. Finally there is the south-east tower, which is thought to date to the 15th century. This was completely detached from the church before an organ chamber was built in the 19th century. It is one of several unusual tower positions, associated with Crusader churches (Figure Figure 6.6 6.6), which include the Hospitallersâ€™ churches at Slebech and just across the water at Templetown, Wexford, Ireland (Figure Figure 6.7 6.7). Templar Garway church was originally also detached. In these instances the tower may have taken on extra functions not normally associated with them. The lower part of the tower at Temple Bruer has benches and arcading, which may suggest that it was a meeting place for commandery chapters. They may also have served as places to store goods and money collected by the military orders such as the confraria. However the fact that they all have relatively large doorways at ground level shows that they are not overtly defensive in character. Architecturally they do not show close similarities with Crusader towers in the Levant (See Pringle 1994). Furthermore two detailed studies by Mcaleer have shown that detached medieval church towers are a rare but particularly British tradition with at least 3013 associated with parish churches (2003: 79), seven14 with cathedrals and eight15 with abbeys (2001: 54).
This figure is for parish churches in England and Wales. This figure is for cathedrals in England and Scotland. 15 This figure is for abbeys in England and Scotland. 14
Figure 6.5: St Mary’s Church, Standon, Hertfordshire from the East. (Source: Author’s photograph)
This chapter has served to provide a brief outline of the Hospitallers’ associated parish churches. It has been demonstrated that in some cases they received significant patronage and also that architecturally they show notable distinction from commandery chapels. Several unusual features have been highlighted, which deserve further investigation. Parish churches were important components of the Hospitallers’ estates that served to spread their ideology, attract benefaction to the Order, and also create revenue for the crusades. The relationship between the commanderies and parish churches justifies much further study, which could serve as a postgraduate thesis in itself.
Figure 6.6: 6.6: Tower arrangements at several commandery chapels and parish churches of the military orders. (Source: Author) 1. St Maryâ€™s Church, Standon (Hospitaller) 2. St Michaelâ€™s Church, Garway (Templar) 3. Slebech Old Church (Hospitaller)
4. Templetown, Wexford (Hospitaller) 5. Temple Bruer (Templar) 6. Shipley (Templar)
Figure 6.7: All Saints' Church, Templetown, Co.Wexford, Ireland, from the East. (Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/1soanes/3692991315/)
VII THE HOSPITALLER LEGACY: THE CONSERVATION AND PRESERVATION OF COMMANDERY BUILDINGS TODAY The Hospitallers original network of 37 commandery chapels is represented by a mere 14 that are still extant today. This chapter will consider the preservation of commandery buildings; how they have come to survive and what approaches have been taken to their conservation. It will explore the way they have been presented to the public, the viability of current uses as well and their preservation prospects for the future.
During the last century the government has taken a significant role in the preservation of several commandery buildings. Some sites, such as St Johnâ€™s Chapel at Poling and the commandery building at Sutton-at-Hone, have survived due to conversion to dwellings by private owners. Others, such as Godsfield chapel, have become farm buildings or stores. They have continued to be maintained and therefore preserved. However many more have fallen out of use and become vulnerable to decay. Prior to the 20th century this normally resulted in their demolition. However the advent of the conservation movement in the 19th century and the subsequent formation of a government preservation branch in 1912 offered one alternative.1 Between 1952 and 1978 the Ancient Monuments Branch within the Ministry of Works took over three commandery buildings. Two of these sites were Templar properties; Temple Manor and Denny Abbey but the other is St Johnâ€™s Chapel at Swingfield, which was a Hospitaller foundation (see above). The Department acted to ensure the permanent preservation of these buildings by bringing them into guardianship as historic monuments2, consolidating the remains
All surviving chapels are now protected as listed buildings or scheduled monuments - see Appendix 1. 2 Guardianship is the process whereby the owner of a historic monument voluntarily transfers it into the care and management of the government but retains the freehold and ownership.
and opening them to the public. This process is well documented in files held in the National Archives and English Heritage Registry and provides a valuable opportunity to consider the conservation approach.
The following account will focus on two of these examples; Temple Manor and St John’s Chapel. Although Temple Manor is not an original Hospitaller foundation it set an important precedent for the later preservation of the chapel at Swingfield. When the Ministry of Works were considering taking St John’s into guardianship in the early 1960s it was stated that the two properties would be ‘complementary’.3 Temple Manor represented the residential range of a commandery whilst St John’s had served as a chapel. They were both located in Kent and had been managed by the Knights Hospitallers in the early 14th century. Thus both the history and the preservation of these commandery sites had a significant association.
Government conservation The foundations of the government conservation approach were essentially laid down when the Ancient Monuments Branch first formed. This was the first government team specifically dedicated to the preservation of historic buildings. It was established in 1912 as a department within the Office of Works just before the introduction of the Ancient Monuments Consolidation and Amendment Act, which gave the government the first compulsive powers to preserve historic buildings. The direct successor to the Branch, through a number of guises, first within the Office of Works then the Ministry of Works and the Department of the Environment (DoE), is English Heritage.4
At the head of the Ancient Monuments Branch in 1912 was the Inspector of Ancient Monuments Charles Peers.5 He was an architect that had served as an architectural editor to the Victoria History of the Counties of England (VCH). As such he had 3
Extract from the quarterly report of the Planning Committee to the County Council, 23 Feb 1966. Contained in DoE file AR051488/3 PT1 held by the English Heritage Registry, Swindon. 4 The Office of Works became a Ministry in 1940, which then became the Department of Environment (DoE) in 1970. In 1983 English Heritage, an executive non-departmental body of the government was formed and subsumed the DOE’s responsibilities to historic monuments and buildings. 5 Charles Peers became Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments in 1914 when three Inspectors for England, Wales and Scotland were appointed under his charge.
helped to pioneer an approach to recording historic buildings, which focussed on the production of phased plans. Alongside Peers within the Branch was the Principal Architect Frank Baines who directly managed much of the work on guardianship sites. The declared conservation philosophy was ‘repair as found’, which had long been expounded by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) and others, particularly in response to aggressive church restorations of the 19th century.6 However in practice this worked out quite differently, which is clearly shown by the ‘Notes on repair and preservation’ handed out to staff (Appendix 3 (A fascinating conservation document in itself)). The approach focussed on exposing the original buildings through the clearance of vegetation and fallen debris, the removal of later additions and the consolidation of what remained. The recovery of the plan form was seen as an essential element of any preservation works, which was coupled with a preference for the primary phase of the building. This usually meant presenting a monastic site at its medieval zenith and mercilessly demolishing the Post-Dissolution features. The consequences were well-summed up by Edmund Vale in 1941:
‘…there is a tendency to arrange matters, giving preferential treatment to one historical period above another. Thus, the very charming little cottage that for nearly two centuries had been dovetailed into the corner of the ruins of Haughmond Abbey has been completely destroyed….the archaeologist of the future will think himself cheated of a period piece that he would have valued as much as the pure monastic work. Surely one of the best excuses for spending public money on the preservation of an ancient monument is that it should demonstrate the passage of history. In order to do that you cannot eliminate the freaks of evolution. They must be as sedulously preserved as the rest.’ (1941: 12) The level of intervention to the medieval remains was often just as striking. For instance at Rievaulx Abbey a ferro-concrete beam was concealed within the entire length of the south wall of the nave.7 Subsequently the consolidated remains were presented in a manicured setting of well cut lawns. These are the hallmarks of ‘Ministry’ sites, which are well known to professionals in the field of building conservation today. The level of intervention and lack of honesty in preservation
‘Ancient monuments and historic buildings: Report of the Inspector of Ancient Monuments st for the year ending 31 March 1912. Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of His Majesty’. London: HMSO. Contained in PRO WORK 14/ 2470 C442196. 7 Works file AA16260/2B PT1 – PRO WORK 14/787.
techniques often brought the department into direct conflict with SPAB.8 However the approach was favoured because it was thought to be inexpensive and long-lasting (Baines 1924: 104).9 It ensured the Ancient Monuments Branch could take on and preserve a great number of sites.
Temple Manor The manor of ‘Strood Temple’ was a royal manor, which was gifted to the Knights Templar by King Henry II sometime before 1159. Strood is not thought to have become a commandery until late in its existence but was rather a lodging for Templar dignitaries travelling from London to Dover (Rigold 1990: 11). When the Templars were suppressed in 1308 and their lands subsequently taken over by the monarchy an inventory was made, which shows that Strood possessed a stone hall, a chamber, a chapel and a barn. The hall was built in about 1240 and comprised a large rectangular building set on a vaulted undercroft of three bays with a gabled roof. The upper floor was originally divided into two by a timber screen with an inner chamber possibly serving as a chapel (Ibid: 4). In the early 14th century it passed to the Knights Hospitallers for a time but the King never fully withdrew his claim to it. At about this period some of the timber buildings surrounding it were pulled down leaving the stone hall as the nucleus of a compact house. Eventually it passed to the Franciscan nunnery at Denny Abbey.10 After the Dissolution it was confiscated by the Crown and passed through a long line of private owners who utilised it as a manor house. In the 17th century the then owners, the Blake family, refashioned the gables in the Dutch mode and added two brick extensions at either end of the former hall (Fi Figure Figure 7.1 7.1). This symbolised their ascending status from former iron tradesman to petty gentry (Rigold 1990: 14). In the 18th and 19th centuries further additions were made
The SPAB commented on the heavy use of grouting and concealed concrete beams at Tintern Abbey, Wales: ‘There remains one consideration which it would not be right entirely to overlook and that is the physical change – it might almost be called a spiritual change…the walls [are]…monolithic…the building is no longer alive with the poise and counter-poise of mediaeval work and the thrust of the arch “which never sleeps”. Everything is now fixed, solid and secure, a medieval ruin frozen, as if by cold storage, into perpetuity.’ (SPAB report contained in the Tintern Abbey Works file AA82074/2 PT4 – PRO WORK 14/1372). 9 Whether the interventions at Rievaulx abbey were inexpensive is highly questionable, although Baines may have thought them cheaper then entirely rebuilding the nave walls. 10 English Heritage. History and Research: Temple Manor. Retrieved from http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/temple-manor/history-and-research/ on 12th January 2013.
on the north side of the building, which marked a considerable expansion of the original building (Figure Figure 7.2 7.2). Figure 7.1 7.1: A view of the commandery at Temple Manor in 1783. Published by S. Hooper. (Source: Photograph of a print in Heritage Antiques, Honition, Devon).
Figure 7.2 7.2: Office of Works plan of the ground floor of Temple Manor, April 1934. This clearly illustrates the multi-phase nature of the built structure in 1934. However much of the dating is incorrect â€“ the 15th century features are actually of the 13th century and the 16th century additions date to the 17th century. Nb. The plan is orientated so that north is at the bottom. (Source: Office of Works File AA50985/2 PT1 â€“ PRO WORK 14/870).
Conservation applied The government first became involved in Temple Manor when the Surveyor of the City of Rochester contacted the Chief Inspector, Jocelyn Bushe-Fox, in March 1934. Bushe-Fox had taken over charge of the Ancient Monuments Branch after Charles Peers retired the year before. Temple Manor was well maintained and set within a fine garden until the early 1930s (Figure Figure 7.3 7.3-7.4 7.4). At this time the City of Rochester acquired what was left of the estate for industrial development. In his letter to Bushe-Fox the City Surveyor stated that the council were unsure what to do with Temple Manor and sought the opinion of the Office of Works on whether it should be retained in its entirety.11 The Ancient Monuments Branch provided a detailed condition report with advice regarding the preservation and conservation of the structure.12 Among the recommendations of the report were to: •
Take up the floorboards at ground floor level and lay four inches of concrete on the surface of the ground and then provide a new floor supported upon sleeper walls with air bricks providing ventilation beneath.
Treat ground floor brickwork and masonry with a fungicide to destroy spores of dry rot.
Re-point perished mortar in the brickwork with lime mortar.
Cut out any fractures in the walls and strengthen by means of hidden reinforced concrete ties.
New timbers to be spliced onto joists and rafters where these have decayed.
All timbers in contact with the wall to be treated with creosote.
Remove the cement rendering from the external faces of the walls to reveal original features.
The roof tiles to be overhauled and the disfiguring chimney pots to be removed.
All ‘modern’ (18th, 19th and 20th century) additions, both exterior and interior, including staircases, partitions, brick walls, sanitary fittings, etc. to be removed.
Thus despite the retention of the 17th century additions the Branch recommended a similar level of intervention as elsewhere, through the insertion of concrete ties, 11
Letter from Surveyor of the City of Rochester to the Chief Inspector, 2 March 1934. Contained in Office of Works Temple Manor file AA50985/2 PT1 – PRO WORK 14/870. 12 Condition Report dated May 1934. Contained in the above file.
replacement of the floors, removal of the chimney pots and all the 18th and 19th century additions. The Corporation did not head this advice and instead did nothing. The building gradually deteriorated and after the City had concluded that no economic use could be found a local committee was formed to preserve it. However their efforts were interrupted by the Second World War. Figures 7.3 7.3 and 7.4 7.4: Temple Manor in 1934. Top: A view from the north-west showing the 17th and 18th century additions. Bottom: A view from the south with cement render obscuring the 13th century architectural features. (Source: Office of Works File AA50985/2 PT1 â€“ PRO WORK 14/870).
Figure 7.5: 7.5: A proposed restoration of Temple Manor. This appears to have been drawn by the City of Rochester Surveyor but was in-line with the views of Bryan O’Neil, the Ministry Inspector. (Source: Office of Works File AA50985/2 PT1 – PRO WORK 14/870).
In April 1944 the case was again referred to the Ancient Monuments Branch, now within the Ministry of Works. The Inspector of Ancient Monuments for England, Bryan O’Neil visited in connection with an application for a Preservation Order. However since the Rochester Corporation had no plans for demolition one was not issued. Some minor works had been carried out in the intervening period and the removal of plaster had revealed more of the medieval features. O’Neil concluded that the Corporation should be encouraged to carry out further preservation works but personally felt that all later additions, including the 17th century elements, should be entirely removed (Fi Figure Figure 7.5 7.5):
‘…in order to show it as it deserves, the later additions north of it should be removed. The Elizabethan13 addition east and west of the original building should probably be left in deference to modern public opinion, although my preference would be for their removal, because their best features have been spoilt, they are badly proportioned, they contain very few good features inside, and they tend to obscure good medieval work.’14 O’Neil’s comment was tempered by the observation of the Chief Inspector BusheFox. Following his promotion in 1933 he had drawn a re-appraisal of the types of monuments that should be taken into guardianship, showing much greater
These were not in-fact Elizabethan additions but were added in two stages; the western th extension added after 1625 and the eastern extension in the third quarter of the 17 century (Rigold 1990: 8-9). 14 st File note dated 21 April 1944. Contained in Ministry of Works File AA50985/3 PT2.
appreciation of post-medieval buildings.15 In this case he remarked that the 1934 photographs demonstrated that this was ‘a most charming building, showing its changes and additions through the centuries’ and the retention of the best of the later additions would ‘add greatly to the usefulness of the building’.16 Nothing was done during the remaining course of the war and immediately following the conflict the Corporation found that it had no money for repairs.
Figure 7.6 7.6 : A view of Temple Manor from the north, 21st March 1949. (Source: Office of Works File AA50985/2 PT1 – PRO WORK 14/870).
By 1947 Temple Manor was in a ‘shocking state of neglect’.17 It had suffered bomb damage in addition to several years of exposure and vandalism making the structure altogether dangerous (Figure Figure 7.6 7.6). The Ministry spent the next two years highlighting the poor state of the building and pressurising the council to carry out works. The adjacent medieval barn collapsed and was demolished. A letter received from the Kent Archaeological Society suggested that the Corporation may have neglected the
An example is the Elizabethan Country House at Morton Corbet Castle. It was originally considered of insufficient interest by Charles Peers in the 1920s. However following the appointment of Bushe-Fox as Chief Inspector it was duly taken into guardianship. (See Office of Works guardianship file AA090813/3 PT1). 16 th Memorandum dated 29 April 1944 contained in the above file. 17 st Note of site visit made by the Inspector of Ancient Monuments, Paul Baillie Reynolds on 1 April 1947. Contained in Ministry of Works File AA50985/3 PT2.
building because it stood on the course of a proposed by-pass.18 Appeals were also made in the local papers (Figure Figure 7.7 7.7). Finally the Ministry decided to take the monument into guardianship and carry out the works itself. The Deed was signed on the 13th November 1950.19 However the fact that the later addition on the north side were in such a poor state encouraged the Ministry in its normal policy of restoration. A decision was taken not to preserve the north wing but to demolish it and reconstruct an external staircase. The building was entirely stripped out leaving the medieval shell with the east and west additions (Figure Figure 7.8 7.8). The later rendering was removed and some medieval features restored where elements were missing. Finally after the house had been consolidated the surrounding area was put down to grass. Ten years and ÂŁ22,190 later the works were complete and the monument was opened to the public (Figure Figure 7.9 7.9). Figure 7.7 7.7 : An article, which appeared in the Evening News on the 5th September 1949. (Source: Office of Works File AA50985/2 PT1). Figure 7.8 7.8 : The Ministry Works underway circa 1951.
Letter dated 4 August 1949 contained in Ministry of Works File AA50985/3 PT2. Ministry of Works File AA50985/3.
Figure 7.9 7.9: Temple Manor exterior from the north-west as seen today. (Source: English Heritage Photo Library).
St Johnâ€™s Chapel, Swingfield At about the time that the Ministryâ€™s work at Temple Manor was coming to fruition they were encountered with a preservation crisis at Swingfield. However before considering the conservation story it is appropriate to outline the building history. The original structure of St Johnâ€™s Chapel has been considered in detail above. In the medieval period it comprised the 13th century chapel with a two-storey chamber block attached at the west end and a separate aisled hall to the north. By the early 16th century the commander John Rawson had extended the west chamber to encroach on the chapel and added a gallery looking out upon the altar (Grove and Rigold 1979: 123). After the Dissolution the chapel was converted into a farmhouse and the gallery was extended to create a first floor running right across the building. On the south side two lean-tos were built (Figure Figure 7.10 7.10). 10 In about the 17th century a chimney stack was inserted through the centre of the range and square-headed windows were added, replacing the lancets on the north side. Next to the porch there was also a two-flue chimney breast (Chapter V, Figure 5.19). 5.19 In the mid-19th century the chamber block at the west end was demolished and the truncation was sealed with a tile-hung wall (Ibid: 121). The outshots on the south side were demolished and replaced with a south wing. On the north side of the chapel the square-headed windows were now removed and 19th century lancets formed of hard cement inserted but not in the same places as the originals. The building continued
to be occupied as a farmhouse until the 1940s and the interior was further compartmentalised with modern sub-divisions.20
Figure 7.10 7.10: 10 A view of St. John’s, Swingfield from the north-east engraved by G. Cooke in 1806. Compare this with Figure 7.13 below showing the chapel today. (Source : Grove and Rigold 1979)
Following the death of the last occupant St John’s Chapel had been allowed to deteriorate. By the 1960s it was in a poor state; the building had not been modernised and now proved uninhabitable. The tiled roof was leaking, the glazing was missing from the windows, the building had been vandalised and the exterior was covered in ivy.21 It was a Grade II* listed building, which meant that appeals to save it had previously been addressed to the county council rather than the Ministry. In January 1962 a letter from the Ministry of Works to the County Planning Officer concluded that Swingfield was ‘a local rather than a national monument’.22 The Order of St. John had stated that they could find no use for it and the Ministry had
English Heritage File AR51488/3. th Note of site visit made by the Inspector of Ancient Monuments, Andrew Saunders on 6 November 1963. Contained in DoE File AA051488/2 PT3. 22 st Letter dated 31 January 1962 from J.R. Gilbin to the County Planning Officer. Contained in English Heritage File AR51488/3. 21
decided two years earlier that the building should not be taken into guardianship. By 1964 there had been a full re-appraisal and the Ministry stated that if the council acquired it they would now be prepared to assume guardianship. This verdict was largely due to the input of Stuart Rigold, one of the foremost experts on the Order of St John who at the time was an Assistant Inspector within the Ministry. Furthermore the demolition of the commandery buildings at Moor Hall23, Harefield, Middlesex, in 1960 probably had an influence. It was later stated that the destruction of the building to make space for council playing fields had caused ‘great bitterness in archaeological circles’.24
In October 1967 a letter from the Ministry to Kent County Council appealed for the rehabilitation of Swingfield as a monument by ‘freeing it of its later accretions’ and restoring the 13th century fenestration. It stated that decay was taking hold at such a rate that full repair had to be put in hand without further delay. However the proposals for restoration were rejected by the Kent Finance Committee. The Ministry therefore invited all members of the council to a site meeting so that the Chief Inspector could explain on the spot the great importance of the commandery chapel. Significantly they were also taken to Temple Manor, which served as a model for work the Ministry had previously done. Following this visit the council revised its opinion and agreed to acquire it by a Compulsory Preservation Order. The owners objected; they had proposed to turn the chapel into a potato clamp. A public inquiry was organised but shortly before it took place the owners withdrew and the building was acquired in 1969 to enable the Ministry to begin restoration work.
Conservation in action An earlier site visit by the Inspectorate25 had set out some of the work that would be required.26 The roof was to be stripped and the tiles re-layed. Many of the timbers of the roof had become soft and there was concern that if these were pared down the structure would loose its character and shape. Plastered ceilings were to 23
Moor Hall was both a camera and a commandery during its history under the Hospitallers. rd Extract from the quarterly report of the Planning Committee to the County Council, 23 Feb 1966. Contained in DoE file AR051488/3 PT1. 25 The name of the Ancient Monuments Branch by the 1960s. 26 th Site visit report dated 6 November 1963 setting out the advice of Andrew Saunders (Inspector) and Stuart Rigold (Assistant Inspector) to the council. Contained in DoE File AA051488/2 PT3. 24
be taken down or renewed and plastered walls re-decorated. Most significantly the first floor was to be removed to allow the commandery to be ‘seen in its original condition’ and most importantly to expose the roof structure, which was considered to be of the greatest architectural interest and ‘a very important preservation factor’. The works were to be carefully recorded throughout with plans, elevations and sections made and photographs taken. A specialist was to be brought in to investigate the plastered surfaces to verify the possible presence of medieval wall paintings beneath. The estimated costs for the work were £17,000.
Figures 7.11 7.11 and 7.12 7.12: 12: Left: An article that appeared in the Daily Telegraph, 3rd November 1969 Right: An article that appeared in the Evening News, 3rd November 1969 (Source: DoE File AA051488/2 PT3)
The restoration began in November 1969 with positive articles appearing in the national papers (Figures Figures 7.11 7.11 and 7.12 7.12). 12 Unfortunately the photographs of the works underway do not survive but the site notes remain on file. Work began by stripping out the modern timber and plasterboard structures to allow the roof structure and original surfaces to be more easily seen. In February 1970 a decision was taken to remove the flooring at the east end but to leave the two storeys at the west end.27 Hence a similar layout to that which existed in the 16th century was favoured. Later medieval floors and partitions at the west end were retained and the gallery was reconstructed using some of the original timbers. A temporary roof was installed to allow the tiles to be re-layed. In 1971 several roof members were transported to
Chief Inspector’s instructions dated 27 November 1969. Contained in DoE File AA051488/2 PT3.
Walmer Castle for repairs.28 The feet of rafters, which were defective were scarfed and the joints were secured with galvanised bolts. Several works were carried out to the stonework. The arch of the south window in the east gable was restored. The north window in the same wall originally had bricks built into the crown of the arch. These were removed and restored with stone. At the east gable end medieval plaster survived showing traces of false ashlar markings. This was protected by wooden casings. At every stage a careful process of recording was carried out, which included a full tape and measure survey in July 1971.
In March 1973 discussions began on what should be done with the south wing, which was dated to circa 1840-50. This had replaced an earlier lean-to structure. Stuart Rigold, by now a fully-fledged Inspector, suggested that the east wall may be older and therefore should be retained. However the south and west walls were of lighter construction, tile hung and definitely of mid-19th century date. He advised that these should be demolished. This philosophy was questioned by another Inspector, Jonathon Coad, who not surprisingly observed that demolition of everything except the east wall ‘may look a little odd’. The subsequent decision was to demolish the entire structure. In August the following year a catastrophe occurred. The stack of 11,000 original Kent peg tiles, which had been placed next to the commandery before they were re-layed, were stolen in their entirety over a single weekend.29 The financial cost was estimated to be £825 but the loss in architectural interest was surely much greater. In April 1977 excavations were completed in an area at the east end of the chapel that was to be re-floored.30 This entailed the discovery of several skeletons, one of which lay in a lead coffin, and textile from a shroud. The coffin was left in-situ but the bones were taken to the Ancient Monuments Lab for analysis. The footings of the choir stools and a screen were uncovered and subsequently marked out with timber to help visitors visualise the layout. Once the chapel was re-floored the final works involved fencing and laying out a car park. In February 1978 a deed of
The following are instructions given by the Carpenter and Inspector of Ancient Monuments th on 27 November 1970 for the works to be carried out the following year. Contained in the above file. 29 DoE File AA051488/2 PT3.. 30 th Note by Stephen Dunmore, Assistant Inspector of Ancient Monuments 4 April 1977. Contained DoE File AA051488/2 PT3 and DoE File AA51488/2A.
guardianship was signed and in 1980, eleven years after work had begun, the site was opened to the public (Figure Figure 7.13 7.13). 13 Figure 7.13 7.13 – St John’s Commandery, Swingfield today. (Source: Author’s photograph)
The Ministry’s work in retrospect The overriding principle in the Ministry’s treatment of the commandery buildings at Temple Manor and Swingfield was to view them as ‘objects’ or academic ‘documents’. This sought to expose the medieval elements so that the original form could be understood. In addition it served as an educational tool for the visiting public. This viewpoint dated from the earliest origins of the Ancient Monuments Branch.31 However it was still current when the former Inspector Michael Thompson wrote his book ‘Ruins: Their Preservation and Display’ in 1981. He again compared ruins to museum ‘objects’ (1981: 29). At Swingfield this approach was realised by stripping out later partitions, removing the first floor at the east end and exposing the roof structure. In some sense this can be understood; it is perfectly plausible to remove modern plasterboard so that people are better able to
See the Memorandum by the First Commissioner of Works in: ‘Ancient monuments and st historic buildings: Report of the Inspector of Ancient Monuments for the year ending 31 March 1912. Presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of His Majesty’. London: HMSO. Contained in PRO WORK 14/ 2470 C442196.
appreciate elements of architectural interest, especially something as significant as a 14th century crown-post roof. However it can be questioned whether other interventions such as the removal of the mid-19th century south wing were absolutely necessary. It obscured no medieval architectural features and formed part of the history of the building. The preceding work at Temple Manor had taken this a step further. The 17th century features were seen as ‘badly proportioned’ and the chimney pots ‘disfiguring’. This view was not confined to the Ministry but was held stronger still by the Rochester Corporation (See Figure 7.5 7.5) and the Kent Archaeological Society who demanded the removal of all post-medieval remains.32 Fortunately the east and west additions survived but the 17th to 19th century extensions attached at the north were entirely swept away. Thus over 300 years of later history was swiftly removed. Today conservation professionals are expected to show an understanding and appreciation of all historical elements of a building. A careful judgement is then taken to consider the significance of these elements to minimise harm to its historic and architectural value. It forms an essential part of managing change and development to historic assets within the new National Planning Policy Framework (Para 128 and 132-134).
Arguably the most significant loss at Temple Manor and Swingfield was that of evidential value. This is now articulated as a key element of English Heritage’s Conservation Principles (2008: 28). At Swingfield this loss was to some extent mitigated through a careful programme of recording and photography. However the same does not appear to have occurred at the earlier works at Temple Manor. Thus there are no detailed records of the demolished later structures or of any of the discoveries during the building works. There was also little appreciation of the surrounding historic landscape. Relatively little emphasis was placed on saving the adjacent medieval barn at Temple Manor whilst the earthworks of the medieval pond were never even taken into account at Swingfield.
Letter from J. Hebert Bolton, hon. Curator of Eastgate House Museum and hon. Secretary to the Kent Archaeological Society, April 1944. Contained in Ministry of Works File AA50985/3.
In terms of the conservation works themselves some elements were soundly undertaken, such as the use of lime mortar at Temple Manor and the intention of relaying the existing tiles at Swingfield. Other elements would not be encouraged today; for example the removal of bricks from the crown of the arch in the north window of the east gable and replacement in stone. This has removed the evidence of later patching. The decayed stonework of the south lancet was also replaced and is now very difficult to distinguish from the original medieval work. This approach might be compared with the 1999 stone repairs at Godsfield Chapel, Hampshire, by Nimbus Conservation. Here even where there was advanced decay an attempt was made to conserve original stonework as far as structurally possible in preference to replacement (Burleigh 1999: 1-5). Historically there had been no previous interventions to the window mouldings, which had become friable and were delaminating. The windows were recorded in detail and then lime mortar used to consolidate loose stonework and primal AC3333 used to fill voids. A sheltercoat was then applied only to degraded surfaces, not the entire stonework, therefore avoiding a bland â€˜paintedâ€™ appearance. This sheltercoat will serve as a sacrificial layer, prolonging the life of the original masonry, which can be re-applied when necessary in future. Obviously technology and conservation philosophies have moved on since the restoration of Swingfield in the 1970s. However it might have been possible to repair the south window using a lime mortar mix and at least to distinguish it from the medieval work.
Another criticism of the Ministryâ€™s treatment of the buildings could be the slow pace of their work; in each case amounting to a decade or more. This brought attention in the local newspapers and letters of complaint were received from the public.34 Part of this is explained by both the nature of the works and the level of recording undertaken. Furthermore financial constraints meant that only a certain amount of work could be undertaken in any one year. However as monuments purchased by and for the taxpayer it is a long time to wait for visitors to be able to appreciate the building. Today this is often mitigated by allowing the public to visit and see conservation work in progress, which also has an educational benefit. 33
Primal AC33 is an acrylic emulsion that prevents cracking in old stonework, aids drying of lime mortar and provides mechanical strength. 34 DoE File AA051488/2 PT3.
One positive element to be taken from the Inspectorate’s work is the development of understanding over time. The preservation of Swingfield was informed by greater appreciation of the architecture and history of the Knights Hospitallers, which had developed through the research of Stuart Rigold. It contrasted notably with the naive demolition of Moor Hall by Middlesex County Council in 1960, which resulted in the loss of the best preserved commandery in Britain. Furthermore the works at Temple Manor were utilised as a model for Swingfield. Hence the Inspectorate managed to convince Kent County Council to acquire Swingfield by taking councillors on a tour of Temple Manor. This allowed them to understand the architectural interest as well as the potential presentation of the building. In retrospect it is easy to be critical of past conservation efforts at Temple Manor and Swingfield. However it is absolutely clear that without the Ministry’s intervention both buildings would almost certainly have been demolished. In both cases the Ministry’s historic experts managed to convince local authorities that the buildings were worth saving. They then provided the expertise and resources to conserve them. However it remains to be considered whether their current use will remain viable in the future.
Commandery buildings today and in the future Today it remains to be seen if treatment as a ‘monument’ is the best solution for the future preservation and presentation of commandery buildings. My visit to St John’s Commandery in December 2012 showed the issues associated with this approach. There is no custodian appointed to the site and access has to be gained by a telephone booking with Dover Castle, another English Heritage property, which then arranges for a key holder to meet you on site. The car park is locked and without pre-planning a visit is simply not possible. The situation is the same throughout the year.
The DoE file shows that in the first year of opening there were just 300 visitors to Swingfield.35 Throughout the process of acquisition and conservation there appears 35
DoE File AA051488/2 PT3.
to have been very little planning or forethought regarding the final use of the building. In 1979 ‘old’ furniture was supplied mainly for the custodian’s use on site. 36 The building was otherwise presented as an empty shell. It was several years before a guide book or information boards were even provided. By 1985 the lack of visitors meant that the post of seasonal custodian was redundant and replaced by a key keeper. The following year the DoE were approached by a group of volunteers who offered to open and manage the monument, providing tours to visitors.37 They proposed to: provide a caravan as a refreshment, sales and information point in the car park; to furnish the commandery and display battle pennants, banners and armour; provide a pictorial history of the Order and a landscape model of the original commandery. Despite the enthusiasm of the group the proposals were condemned by the Inspector of Ancient Monuments as misleading and lacking scholarly research. Indeed they included a lady chapel in the crypt – a PostDissolution feature – and windows boxes and carpets. However some of the elements such as the pictorial history and landscape model would have provided valuable interpretation to the visitor. With the Inspector’s guidance a positive solution might have been reached. However the situation remains the same today as it was in 1985.
The ‘Heritage Cycle’ highlighted in the English Heritage Corporate Plan (2011: 12 – Figure 7.14 7.14) 14 states that through enjoying the historic environment comes a thirst to understand and therefore value and care for our heritage. The current treatment of St John’s Commandery at Swingfield hardly allows this cycle to begin. It seems likely that with proper marketing and interpretation it could prove a successful visitor attraction, certainly at least in the summer months. It is readily accessible off a major road and there is a relatively high population density in the district. However it requires investment to ensure that it is inviting to visitors and catches their imagination. The provision of a café, interesting historical recreations and welltrained custodians has proved successful at other English Heritage attractions such as Dover Castle. The current situation means that the cost of maintenance is high yet the taxpayer receives very little educational or recreational benefit.
This included a dresser, butchers table and beach chair. DoE File AA051488/14-1.
Figure 7.14 7.14: 14 The â€˜Heritage Cycleâ€™. (Source: English Heritage Corporate Plan, 2011: 12)
Where a monument is little visited a sensitive conversion to a domestic residence, holiday cottage or other use may be a more cost effective, if less preferable, solution. At Sutton-at-Hone, Kent, ownership of the commandery chapel by the National Trust provides a very viable future for that building. Handed into the Trustâ€™s care in 1944 the west end is leased as a domestic residence whilst the east end is open to the public in the summer (Tallents 1944: 16). This case is perhaps unique since the east end was blocked off and provided with separate access in the 19th century, which helps facilitate the current arrangements. At Slebech, Pembrokeshire, and Low Chibburn, Northumberland, the commandery chapels are in a ruinous state. Here their value is primarily evidential, as archaeological sites which retain considerable research potential. In this case, as scheduled sites of national importance, the assumption is rightly towards preservation in-situ.
Figure 7.1 7.15: The Peel Tower at Blencowe Hall with inserted glass structure serving as part of a domestic residence. It retains the original gash in the stonework caused by subsidence. (Source: http://www.redbubble.com. Photograph by Tom Gomez)
English Heritage’s recent publication ‘Constructive Conservation in Practice’ encourages the re-use and development of historic structures, such as the conversion of the medieval Peel Tower at Blencowe Hall into a dwelling (2012: 28) (Figure Figure 7.1 7.15)). However this has to be undertaken in a way that helps sustain their heritage values. There is here a valid alternative to treatment as a ‘monument’, though it is more suitable for buildings such as Swingfield then the heavily ruinous chapel at Low Chibburn. A recent case in point is the Hospitallers’ associated parish church in the village of Swingfield. Due to a long term fall in the number of congregants the church was made redundant in 2000. Local planning policies encouraged economic activity and initial efforts focused on attracting tourism and encouraging rural crafts and workshop uses. After this proved unsuccessful the Diocese received a proposal for residential use through a planning consultant (Figures Figures 7.16 7.1616-17). 17 38 This demonstrated a sympathetic approach to reuse, which aimed to minimise impact on the historic fabric and qualities of the church.39 In spatial terms enclosure was limited to the north aisle for bedrooms and bathrooms. The chancel was to be utilised as a kitchen and the altar as a dining area, retaining the open aspect of the east end of the church and leaving the nave as a single space. The first floor of the tower was envisaged as a children’s play area. Piercing of the 38 39
English Heritage Redundant Church File AFC 0911. Residential Use Concept Statement in the above file.
existing fabric was limited to the north wall of the north aisle, which was a late 19th century addition. A new raised timber floor was planned to facilitate service runs and protect the existing stone floor. The partitioning of the north aisle involved timber panelling to carry service routes for drainage and electrics. There was no proposed external change of appearance or secondary glazing. Altogether it could be said to represent an inventive and sensitive re-use, which would have sustained the historic significance of the building. In the event the church came into the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. This was a better solution since it meant there were no interventions to the fabric and the building remains open and accessible to the public. However it could be said that proposals of re-use might provide one way to help ensure some Hospitaller buildings are preserved and maintained in the future when other forms of conservation are not found.
In conclusion it has been demonstrated that a range of solutions are available for the conservation of commandery buildings. Normally this should focus on retaining the buildings in use, or at least promoting them effectively as visitor attractions. Most importantly there is a need to continue to raise understanding and appreciation of Hospitaller buildings by the publication of research on the history and architecture of the Order. This will help ensure that these rare building types have the greatest prospects for the future.
Figure 7.16: Part of an architectâ€™s sketch plan for the re-use of Swingfield parish church. (Source: English Heritage Redundant Church File AFC 0911)
Figure 7.17 7.17: 17: An architectâ€™s sketch for the proposed re-use of Swingfield parish church. (Source: English Heritage Redundant Church File AFC 0911)
VIII CONCLUSION: WHAT INFLUENCED THE ARCHITECTURE OF COMMANDERY CHAPELS? This thesis set out to investigate the architecture of Knights Hospitaller commandery chapels and associated churches; namely to what extent function, tradition, ideology and patronage influenced the form of the buildings between 1140 and 1370. I have come to my conclusions through a series of detailed case studies as well as by examining documentary and written sources.
Overwhelmingly commandery chapels were functional buildings, which served as the centre of daily life on the Hospitallersâ€™ monastic estates. A consideration of plan forms and architectural details has shown that they were sometimes influenced by the layout of infirmaries. In the cases of Dinmore, Godsfield, and perhaps also Swingfield and Sutton-at-Hone, there was direct communication between the chapel and hospice or hall, which facilitated the spiritual needs of sick or poor pilgrims. Since the Eucharist was held to have healing qualities, a view was provided from the hall or hospice directly out onto the altar of the chapel. Such a feature distinguishes Hospitaller chapels from those of the other major military order; the Knights Templar.
At the same time Hospitaller commanderies also had to accommodate the highest nobility. Several elements of their architecture and planning suggest that they drew upon aristocratic models. Firstly the size and scale of their surrounding moated enclosures served as a distinguishing mark of status. Ingress into the enclosure was often controlled by an imposing two-storey gatehouse. The commandery chapel was situated near the centre of the precinct. Although rarely large in size, these chapels exhibited a high quality of workmanship with fine stone dressings and impressive roof structures. In some cases, such as Sutton-at-Hone, additional buttressing may have been added at a later date for architectural effect. The use of galleries within commandery chapels was a particularly remarkable way of facilitating social 145
segregation among inhabitants and perhaps also visitors. This drew upon the precedents of upper-status planning laid down by royal and episcopal palaces in Britain. For instance at Melchbourne and Hereford the king or bishop were accommodated on a separate storey from the lower members of the household. At commanderies it also served as a manifestation of the Hospitallers’ military hierarchy, where special privilege could be afforded to the commanding knight. The increasing importance and changing status of the knightly class within the Order from the mid-13th century onwards appears to have encouraged the construction of galleries. It distinguished the commander from the lesser members or servants of the commandery. This rise in status may in some cases also have resulted in the rebuilding and extension of chancels. Where brethren were progressively from better educated and literate backgrounds, there may have been a desire to sing the choir offices or to provide readings in the chapel. However the increasing authority of the Order’s knights may also have resulted in greater divisions between its members. The decision in the late 13th century to punish priests with the septaine if the altar was found unlit was particularly important. It appears to have encouraged separate living accommodation for the clergy, normally integrated with the chapel with a watching chamber over the east end.
Beyond functional considerations the architecture of commandery chapels was relatively plain and austere. Sculptural decoration was limited to the east windows and the piscina. There is of yet no significant evidence for elaborate wall paintings, which are found at some Hospitaller churches in the East. Commandery chapels in Britain showed a relatively close affinity to the Hospitallers ideology of asceticism and penitential austerity. The Hospitallers were to have simple equipment and wear plain clothes and so were their buildings. An exception was the Order’s impressive church at the headquarters in Clerkenwell. This may be because the Hospitallers were responding to a different set of expectations related to their social position and political office in London. They needed to court and accommodate the highest international nobility on a regular basis as well as compete with the Knights Templar for patronage. One of the means to do this was to have a church on a scale to contend with London’s finest. Certainly in the late 12th century the quality and carving of the decoration of the chancel made it particularly exceptional in Britain.
Notably it is only at Clerkenwell that international stylistic influences can be seen. Here the arcade capitals of the late 12th century choir were closely modelled on French Cistercian churches such as Fontenay Abbey. Outside London Hospitaller commandery chapels closely respected vernacular traditions in material, decoration and construction technique. Incidentally there is no strong evidence for Eastern influenced decorative elements. The only possible hint may be the use of such symbols as the Patriarchal cross and the Swastika-pelta.
The iconography of Jerusalem did influence the overall plan form of some chapels. The circular naves of Clerkenwell and Little Maplestead were explicitly designed to mimic the Jerusalem Rotunda, which housed Jesus Christ’s tomb at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. These buildings were constructed at a time when Jerusalem was under Christian control. By building churches with a round nave the Order and/or its patrons drew attention to the popular foreign policy of the day; the crusades and the defence of Christendom in the East. Notably as a rare later example of the type Little Maplestead differed from its predecessors in that it did not accurately replicate the number of supports at the Rotunda. Following the re-capture of Jerusalem by Muslim armies in 1244 the influence of its iconography waned in Britain and no further round-naved churches were built by the military orders.
Altogether there is only limited evidence for the patron’s influence in the architecture of commandery chapels. This is partly because it is difficult to attribute specific medieval architectural designs to individuals and also due to the small number of buildings that date to their original 12th century foundation; most chapels were rebuilt by the Hospitallers in the 13th or 14th centuries. One exception is Clerkenwell, which shows stylistic affinities to the nearby nunnery of St Mary due to the fact that they shared the same patrons and founders. Another is Slebech, where the re-building of the chancel appears to be closely attributable to Sir Henry Wogan and his wife who were thus honoured with a tomb in the ‘founders spot’. On a more general level the expansion of the Hospitallers control over a great number of parish churches in South West Wales appears to be due to the Clare family, which were important benefactors of the Order.
A brief survey of the architecture of associated parish churches has shown that they present a remarkable contrast to commandery chapels. At churches such as Stebbing and Standon significant expense and ornate decoration was afforded to the chancel. The Hospitallers may in these cases have had much closer relationships with their patrons, which may also help explain why there is more evidence for benefaction at Slebech where the church served both the commandery and the parish. Alternatively the Hospitallers may have funded works themselves as an outward sign of their commitment to the surrounding community. This ensured they maintained a good reputation in Britain, which in-turn meant continuing benefaction from local families and the nobility. Often the Hospitallersâ€™ acquisition of a parish church went hand in hand with expansion of the building as well as re-dedication to a saint more inkeeping with the iconography of the Order, such as the Virgin Mary or St John the Baptist.
In conclusion it has been demonstrated that function, tradition, ideology and patron all had some bearing on the architecture of commandery chapels. The buildings accorded well with the ideology of the Order. They were distinguished by a high quality of workmanship yet most were simply decorated. The greatest influence was the function of the building, which dictated its layout and often its plan form. Like the Hospitallers themselves their commandery chapels were distinct, austere, and devoted to their purpose. There is room for further study regarding the way Hospitaller communities reconciled the need to accommodate both the highest nobility and poor pilgrims of low status. Secondly the association between commanderies and parish churches can be more clearly elucidated. Finally the existing research could also be expanded to take into account the Hospitallers later chapels, which may show a departure from the style and functions of their earlier buildings.
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Nero E VI): A Study of the Manuscript and its Composition with a critical edition of two fragments of earlier cartularies for Essex. Toronto: Pontificate Institute of Mediaeval Studies. Gervers, M. (1982). The Cartulary of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem in England. Secunda Camera. Essex. British Academy Records of Social and Economic History New Series, 6. Gervers, M. (1996). The Cartulary of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem in England, Part II Prima Camera, Essex. Oxford: British Academy. King, E. (1934). The Rule, Statutes and Customs of the Hospitallers 1099-1310, with introductory chapters and notes. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd. Larking, L. (1857). The Knights Hospitallers in England: Being the Report of Prior Philip de Thame to the Grand Master Elyan de Villanova for AD 1338. London: Camden Society. Vaughan, R. (1993). The Illustrated Chronicles of Matthew Paris: Observations of Thirteenth Century Life. Translated, edited and with an Introduction by Richard Vaughan. Cambridge: Alan Sutton.
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National Archives and English Heritage Registry files: files: Original Number / EH Registry Number
National Archives / PRO Number
Temple Manor, Rochester, Kent: Scheduling
AA 50985/2 PT1
AA 50985/2 PT2
Temple Manor, Rochester, Kent: Works 1934-39 Temple Manor, Rochester, Kent: Works 1944-61 Temple Manor, Rochester, Kent
WORK 14/ 2470 C442196
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Rievaulx Abbey Works file
National Monuments Record for Wales Letter from W.G. Thomas to Revd W. Watkins regarding St John the Baptist (old) Church, Slebech, dated 25th July 1984. Held by the National Monuments Record for Wales (Ref: M/PE). Notes regarding St John the Baptist (old) Church, Slebech, written by A.J.P and dated 14th April 1986 held by the National Monuments Record for Wales (Ref: NA/PE/89/68).
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APPENDIX 1 â€“ GAZETTEER OF KNIGHTS HOSPITALLER COMMANDERY CHAPELS IN BRITAIN 11401140-1370. *See Chapter III, Figure 3.1 for distribution map.
County England Berkshire
St Leonard's Chapel, Brimpton
SU 5581 6527
Built in the latter half of the C12 but with additions of the C13 (N. window) and C14 (E. window).
Chapel of St Mary and St John the Baptist, Stydd (Yeavley commandery)
SK 1720 3997
St John the Baptist Church, Little Maplestead
TL 8225 3399
St Swithun's Church, Quenington
Godsfield Chapel, Old Alresford
SP 1483 0391
TQ 3168 8216
SU 6042 3705
Grade II* listed 06/04/1967 Scheduled Built in the C13. Only the north wall with a doorway and three lancet windows remain standing. Grade I listed 13/09/1967 Scheduled Round Church. Built in 1241-5 to replace All Saint's Parish Church but heavily altered/rebuilt in Dec. style in C14. Served as both a commandery chapel and parish church. Grade II* listed 21/06/1962 Scheduled A parish church recorded before 1100 but gifted to the Hospitallers to use as a commandery church in the C12. Fine Norman Typanum over N. door, chancel windows of C13 and C15, nave windows of C17. Grade I listed 26/11/1958 Round Church at the motherhouse of the Order in Britain. Built from 1146 to a keyhole plan but only the crypt survives of the original church. Grade I listed 29/12/1950 Built in 1360-1370 including a priestsâ€™ chamber at the west end. Grade I listed 16/11/1983 Scheduled
Chapel of St John of Jerusalem, Dinmore
SO 4860 5027
St John's Chapel, Swingfield
TR 2322 4401
Chapel of St John of Jerusalem, Sutton-atHone
TQ 5589 7035
Chapel of Low Chibburn commandery
NZ 2660 9653
Poling commandery chapel, Poling
TQ 0467 0569
St James's Church, Ansty
ST 9565 2629
Built in the late C12 but largely rebuilt; extended to the east and widened to the south, in about 1370 when a west tower was also added. Grade II* listed 15/07/1985 Built in about 1230 in Early English style but with a C14 crown-post roof. Grade II* listed Built in about 1230 in Early English style. Grade II* listed 01/08/1952 Scheduled Now a roofless ruin but built in the mid-C14 with ogee-headed windows in the Decorated style. Heavily altered to form part of a Dower House in the C16. Scheduled 28/11/1932 Built in about 1220 with an antechapel at the west. Grade I listed 12/10/1954 A Norman parish church gifted to the Hospitallers in 1211 and used as a commandery chapel. Heavily restored and re-fenestrated in Early English style in the C19. Grade II listed 06/01/1966
St John the Baptist Church / 'Slebech Old Church', Slebech
SN 320 139
A roofless ruin, possibly with a C13 nave but the earliest featured is the Dec. chancel arch. Largely in the Perpendicular style with a C15 chancel, C16 north chapel and tower and C18 south chapel. Grade II listed, Scheduled
Scotland West Lothian
Torphichen commandery chapel
NS 9690 7251
Built in the C12 but enlarged in the C13 when a bell tower was added. In the C14 and C15 the transepts and crossing were reconstructed. Grade A listed, Scheduled
Appendix 2: 2: CASE STUDIES: Detailed historical notes, descriptions, building histories, moulding profiles, maps and plans [For images see the main body of the thesis]
o 2A Little Maplestead church o 2B Godsfield chapel o 2C Swingfield chapel o 2D Poling chapel chapel o 2E Ansty church o 2F SuttonSutton-atat-Hone chapel o 2G Slebech church o 2H Swingfield Parish Church o 2I Poling Parish Church o 2J Standon Parish Church
APPENDIX 2A: St John the Baptist Church, Church, Little Maplestead, Maplestead, Essex NGR: TL 8225 3399 Situation/Location: St John the Baptist Church, Little Maplestead, is situated on level ground to the east of a tributary valley of the River Colne. The church is approached from a small lane to the north and there are open fields to the south. Adjacent, about 150m to the north, is Maplestead Hall, a house largely of the 17th century but with a 14th century hall house at its core. This was the site of the 14th century, and possibly earlier, commandery of the Knights Hospitallers. Between Maplestead Hall and the church are several ponds, which appear to have been created by modern quarrying. They are not shown on the 1897 OS map but appear on the 1923 map. Position in relation relation to major medieval roads/pilgrimage routes: Little Maplestead church is less than half a mile to the east of the projected course1 of a Roman road, which ran from Chelmsford to Ixworth, Essex, linking up with other major roads enroute.2 In the medieval period this road probably served as a routeway for pilgrims travelling south towards Waltham Abbey and London or north towards Norwich Cathedral or Walsingham. In Walsingham a shrine was set up after the sighting of the Virgin Mary in 1061. Patron: Juliana (and William) Fitz-Audelin in 1185 [the original commandery]. History: A church was in existence at Little Maplestead at the time of the Domesday Survey (1086) when a priest is recorded but this building no longer survives. In 1185 the village and church of Little Maplestead was given to the Knights Hospitallers by Juliana Fitz-Audelin. Her husband, William, the dapifer of Henry II, confirmed the grant and made another by a charter dated 16th March 1186 (VCH Essex, Vol 2 (1907): 178). The commandery is thus thought to have been established at about this time. It administered an extensive estate; one of the tituli/bajulia. About a fifth of the cartulary of the order, nearly 600 entries, relate to Maplestead. This is partly due to the accident of preservation but it is clear that the order recovered more grants in Essex then in any other county (Ibid: 178). These included lands in Little Maplestead, Great Maplestead, Halstead, Gestingthorpe, Hedingham, Colchester, Steeple Bumpstead and elsewhere (Dickinson 1956: 7). The parish church was replaced when a round-naved church was built in 1241-5. The architectural evidence indicates that the round church was largely altered and refenestrated or altogether reconstructed in the early 14th century. Davidson suggests a date of about 1335 (1956: 9). In the 1338 report the income of the commandery amounted to ÂŁ77 16s. 8d. and the expenses ÂŁ37 16s. 8d. There was a commander and one brother (both knights), two chaplains, a steward, four clerks, a bailiff, cook, baker, porter and several lesser servants. Among the expenses were ÂŁ3 9s. 4d. for 1
Looking at the alignment of other stretches of the Roman road it appears that this road ran even closer to the commandery then postulated in the National Record of the Historic Environment, perhaps within 100m. 2 English Heritage. The National Record of the Historic Environment (PastScape). Record No: th 1044728. Retrieved from www.pastcape.org.uk on 20 January 2013.
robes, mantles and other necessaries for the two knights, 20s. for the stipend of one of the chaplains, and 40s. for the other, who celebrated mass three times a week at a chapel at Odewell (Larking 1857: 87-88). By 1463 it appears that the Hospitallers no longer resided at Little Maplestead for it was leased to John Syday (VCH Essex, Vol 2 (1907): 178). Nonetheless a chaplain continued to conduct services until the Dissolution when the commandery was dissolved (Dickinson 1956: 8). The patronage of the benefice then passed through the hands of several lay owners. In 1910 it was bought by the re-established Knights of St John who still conduct services at Little Maplestead (Stanford 2006). In 1851-57 Little Maplestead was extensively restored by the architect R.C. Carpenter at a cost of ÂŁ1193 2s 4d (Dickinson 1956: 14). The external walls were refaced and the windows and buttresses renewed. An excavation of the foundations indicated that there were originally buttresses against the north and south walls of the chancel so these were restored (Wallen 1836: 157). New roofs were added, the wooden belfry was rebuilt and the old western porch was replaced by a smaller one. A south vestry was planned but the funds ran out and only the passage was built on that side. Internally the church was scraped, the chancel levels raised and a new altar added in the east wall (Dickinson 1956: 14). The font was moved from the southwest of the nave arcade to the north of the west door. When the chancel walls were stripped a piscina and sedilia were discovered on the south side (Ibid: 14). These are now hidden beneath plaster. A stone coffin was also found but has since been lost. Several engravings provide evidence of the former layout. An engraving of 1770 shows that a screen or pulpitum, stood at the west end of the chancel, separating it from the nave. It had a central doorway flanked by traceried openings. The space above it was completely boarded up and painted with the royal arms. Access to the rood loft was by a staircase in the aisle wall, entered by a door near the north wall of the chancel (Wallen 1836: 156). This was removed in 1851. At the east end of the chancel the apse was cut off by another screen and the space behind was used as a vestry. It is shown in a drawing in Wallenâ€™s book of 1836. The vestry was approached from a door in the south wall and lit by a single-light opening in the upper part of the east wall. Dickinson (1956: 12) suggested the two screens were contemporary with the Knights Hospitallers and that the chancel was fitted with stalls and used for the Knightsâ€™ services whilst the nave was an adjunct in parochial use. The traceried appearance of the west screen would indicate it was of medieval date but the eastern screen may well have been added later. The bottom half of it is painted with classical architectural features. An engraving of 1835 sheds further light on the church before the mid-19th century restoration (Wallen 1836). A large timber-framed porch was situated at the west end. It had a fireplace and chimney and was used as a school room. By this time the west screen had been removed and box pews were placed in the nave and chancel. In the north wall of the chancel there was a doorway.
Chapel Orientation: Orientation 95 degrees Plan: A plan of Little Maplestead drawn up by William Wallen, 1835. (Source: Wallen 1836)
An elevation drawing of Little Maplestead drawn up by William Wallen, 1835. (Source: Wallen 1836)
Description: The church has a key hole plan; a hexagonal nave surrounded by a circular aisle attached to a chancel with an apsidal east end. The chancel is 10.6m by 4.5m and the nave is 3.05m in diameter or, with the encircling aisle, 9.15m. It is built of flint rubble with Caen stone dressings, a plain red tiled roof and timber belfry. The font may possibly be of Barnack stone. EXTERNAL The chancel has a semi-circular apse with traces of an east window, which was blocked at the restoration. The roof on this side terminates in an unusual gable, which is thought to have originally been designed to contain a window throwing light down onto the altar. A similar feature is seen at nearby St Gilesâ€™s Church, Great Maplestead. In the north and south walls are two 19th century windows, which were built to imitate the original 14th century design. They each contain two ogee and trefoil headed lights and a quatrefoil beneath a two-centred arch. Above each
window is a hoodmould, which terminates in stiff-leaf foliage carvings about a third of the way down. Between the windows are flint rubble buttresses of two stages with ashlar dressings. Built up against one of the buttresses on the south side is a 19th century gabled vestry with a tiled roof and a two-centred arched west doorway. The circular west end has four 19th century windows, which are longer but matching those of the chancel. Between them are four stepped buttresses and at the west end is a 19th century gabled porch which has a flint plinth and a boarded front. In the north and south side are four-light lattice windows. The west end of the church has a conical tile roof containing gabled dormers, which is topped by a hexagonal timber bell turret. This is weather-boarded but contains small louvres. It has a pyramidal roof surmounted by an iron weathercock. The two-centred west doorway into the church is mainly original 14th century work. It has two chamfered orders carved with quatre-foiled flowers. Above it is a hoodmould containing a triangular pattern decorated with three-petalled flowers, which terminates in a 19th century carved head on each side. During the restoration the finial at the apex of the hoodmould was renewed and the carved heads added in the place of what were originally angels. INTERNAL Internally the nave has an arcade of six bays. These comprise columns formed of three filleted shafts divided by V shaped projections. The mouldings are similar to an arcade of c.1300 at Little Addington, although that has four filleted shafts divided by ogee-shaped projections (Forrester 1972: 41 No.263). The base mouldings comprise scrolls coupled with what is perhaps a debased form of the half-roll with fillet. Two moulding profiles taken from the base of the columns show that they are not all consistent in design. This indicates that some or all of them were replaced during the 19th century restoration. Furthermore neither the base nor capital of the arcade columns show a close affinity to medieval mouldings, which provides further evidence that they are most likely later replacements. The arcade columns support two-centred arches, which are formed of two wave moulded orders and supported by foliage corbels in the outer wall. The eastern and western arches are 30cm wider than the rest. Over the nave is a flat timber ceiling formed of large beams resting on plain corbels, which intersect to form a rectangular bell hole. The aisle has a 19th century plaster ceiling. There is no chancel arch between the nave and chancel. The chancel and apse have a beamed roof painted with flowers. The font is the located to the north of the west door. It is thought to date to about 1080 and has Romanesque carvings on its four faces (Dickinson 2011: 18). The south and east faces each have two roughly carved volutes, the north has two roundheaded arches and the west has an off-centre saltire. The bowl is thought to have originally been square but has at some time had the corners cut-off.
Sources: Dickinson, P. (1956). St John the Baptist or The Round Church Little Maplestead: Guide. (Revised and re-published by Little Maplestead Parochial Church Council in 2001). Larking, L. (1857). The Knights Hospitallers in England: Being the Report of Prior Philip de Thame to the Grand Master Elyan de Villanova for AD 1338. London: Camden Society. Page, W. (ed.). (1907). The Victoria County History of England and Wales, Essex, Vol. II, 178-179. Stanford, D. (2006). Essex Churches. London: Frances Lincoln. Wallen, W. (1836). The history and antiquities of Little Maplestead Church, Essex:
Formerly belonging to the Knights Hospitallers of Saint John of Jerusalem, preceded by an historical sketch of the crusades. London: J. Weale.
St John the Baptist Church, Little Maplestead
1 Waterhouse Square, 138 -142 Holborn, EC1N 2ST Tel: 020 7973 3000 Fax: 020 7973 3001 www.english-heritage.co.uk
This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationary Office. Crown Copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown Copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. English Heritage. 100019088. English Heritage. Historic OS Mapping: Copyright and database right Crown Copyright and Landmark Information Group Ltd (All rights reserved) License numbers 000394 and TP0024
St John the Baptist Church, Little Maplestead
1 Waterhouse Square, 138 -142 Holborn, EC1N 2ST Tel: 020 7973 3000 Fax: 020 7973 3001 www.english-heritage.co.uk
This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationary Office. Crown Copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown Copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. English Heritage. 100019088. English Heritage. Historic OS Mapping: Copyright and database right Crown Copyright and Landmark Information Group Ltd (All rights reserved) License numbers 000394 and TP0024
St John the Baptist Church, Little Maplestead - 1876 OS Map
1 Waterhouse Square, 138 -142 Holborn, EC1N 2ST Tel: 020 7973 3000 Fax: 020 7973 3001 www.english-heritage.co.uk
This map is based upon Ordnance Survey material with the permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationary Office. Crown Copyright. Unauthorised reproduction infringes Crown Copyright and may lead to prosecution or civil proceedings. English Heritage. 100019088. English Heritage. Historic OS Mapping: Copyright and database right Crown Copyright and Landmark Information Group Ltd (All rights reserved) License numbers 000394 and TP0024
APPENDIX 2B: 2B: Godsfield Chapel, Chapel, nr. Old Alresford, Hampshire NGR: SU 6042 3705 Situation/Location: Godsfield Chapel is situated in a valley about 3.5 miles east of a small stream that feeds the River Itchen near Alresford. Position in relation to major medieval roads/pilgrimage routes: The chapel is situated between two major medieval roads. It is about 2.7km to the north-east of a Roman Road which ran from London to Winchester, which almost certainly continued in use in the medieval period.1 It is less than 2km to the southeast of the ‘Ox Drove Road’, a medieval or earlier trackway.2 Patron: Walter de Andeley / Bishop Henry de Blois of the original commandery before 1171 History: The name ‘Godsfield’ may be associated with the practices of early Christians who would gather in an open clearing or field to hear the preaching of the Gospel and dedicated a spot marked by a cross to worship and/or burial (Eyre 1887: 73). Thus the name itself indicates that this may have been a sacred spot in the early medieval period. Other occurrences of the name include Godshill on the Isle of Wight, Godstone in Surrey and Godstow in Oxfordshire (Ibid). The first grant to the Hospitallers at Godsfield was made prior to 1171 by Walter de Andeley, a knight holding land under the bishops of Winchester (VCH Hampshire Vol 4 (1911): 189190). He offered land and pasture for 12 oxen and 200 sheep at a rent of five shillings a year. The grant was approved by Bishop Henry de Blois (1129-1171) in the episcopal court. Further grants by other landholders soon followed, allowing the Hospitallers to gradually increase their estate in this part of Hampshire. The first mention of a commander, showing that a commandery had been established, is in 1304 to Thomas le Archer. Previous grants had been made to the Prior at Clerkenwell but hereafter they were largely made to the brethren of Godsfield. In 1338 Godsfield included a messuage with the buildings in poor repair, a garden, 300 acres of land as well as pasture for 900 sheep, 9 oxen and 6 horses (Larking 1857: 21-23). The brethren included the commander William de Multon, a professed chaplain John Couffen and four household servants. Among the expenses was 4 marks for the stipend of a chaplain serving the chapel but living outside the commandery. The total revenue amounted to £66 13s with just over half being given to the treasury of the order (Ibid). At the Dissolution in 1540 the manor of Godsfield was granted to Sir Thomas Seymour, brother to Edward, Duke of Somerset (Eyre 1893: 79). At the execution 1
English Heritage. The National Record of the Historic Environment (PastScape). Record No.1326475. Retrieved from http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1325626 on the th 8 January 2013. 2 English Heritage. The National Record of the Historic Environment (PastScape). Record No.1065612. Retrieved from http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1325626 on the th 8 January 2013.
of the Duke in 1549 it returned to the Crown before passing to Sir William Paulet. There then followed a string of private owners. In a 16th century survey of Godsfield the ‘faire chappell’ was described as adjoining ‘ a convenient dwelling house for a gentleman builded of tymber with viij or nyne good lodging chambers…watered with a well of excellent good water with garden, orchard, barnes, stables and all other outhousing of all sortes sufficient’ (VCH Hampshire Vol 4 (1911): 190). It was deconsecrated at some point for it was later used as a dovecote, cottage, and barn (Pinder 1893: 81). In 1870 a remarkable pyx was found nearby, which is thought to date to the later 14th century and was part of the original furnishings. By 1939 the chapel was in use as a hostel. The present owners have carried out conservation work to the building, which is now empty. Plan: A plan of Godsfield chapel showing the priest’s accommodation at the west end. (Source: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=56781)
Chapel Orientation: 86 degrees (East) Description: MATERIALS Godsfield Chapel is thought to date to about 1360-70, showing elements of the Decorated and Perpendicular. It is built of flint with Clunch dressings (A hard chalk limestone – possibly from Horsham Surrey) and a tiled gabled roof. The building is rectangular in plan except for a projecting staircase at the north. It comprises a chapel, 7.9m long by 3.9 wide, at the east and a two storey chamber 4.2m square at the west. This was most probably to accommodate a chaplain. It has two chimneys at each end; a fireplace in the upper and lower rooms, a staircase and storeroom at the north, and a latrine at the west. EXTERNAL Moving clockwise around the exterior the north elevation has two two-centred arched doorways just to west of centre; one providing access to the chapel the other to the west chamber. Most of the north wall is blank but at the east end is a squint providing a view of the altar. This indicates that there was originally another range attached to the north. Low down at the west end is a square window lighting a
small storage room in the chamber. Above it there is a square opening in-filled with brick, probably the position of a later window. The east elevation has a large blocked two-centred arched window which appears to have originally been of three lights. This is infilled by a brick chimney. The south elevation has three cinque-foil headed arched windows lighting the chapel at the east end. In the west end is another cinque-foil window with a square hoodmould ending in square label stops. Below it is a low square window with a relieving arched formed of chalk blocks. The west elevation is blank except for another low square window with relieving arch over. Two wide projecting buttresses are situated at the north end of the wall. INTERNAL There is a large step down into the chapel through the plain chamfered arched doorway at the north. The door jambs have several markings or graffiti, the most notable of which are: the possible outline of a birdâ€™s head; two cross pommĂŠe, one of which is inside a circle; two disc patterns; a grid pattern; and several letters. The chapel does not retain any original furnishings. Inserted at the east end is a large brick fireplace. To either side are half-octagonal corbels, which may originally have supported statutes. At the west end is a later inserted doorway. There is a modern wooden floor raised above the level of the original. The roof is a queen post structure probably dating to the 19th century except for three original 14th century trusses of a wagon roof at the west end. The west chamber is set lower than the chapel and there are four modern steps down into it through the plain-chamfered arched doorway. Inscribed into the arch and jambs is much later graffiti. In the south wall is a square window and in the west wall is a semi-circular fireplace with another square-headed opening near it. Set into the north wall is the staircase. Beneath it is a small barrel-vaulted chamber lit by a window to the north. This appears to have been a store-room, probably for food if the lower chamber was used for cooking. The staircase is lit from a slit window at the east whilst at the top is a corbel, marking the position of a now blocked recess, which perhaps originally contained a chest or cupboard (VCH Hampshire Vol 4 (1911): 190). The upper room is entered through a two-centred arched doorway. In the east wall is a fireplace of similar design to that on the adjacent wall below. Next to the fireplace is a squint providing a view of the east end of the chapel. This chamber has an arched braced roof formed of three trusses. The centre truss is similar to an arched brace truss whilst the other two have soulace braces up to a collar (Burleigh 1999: 3). The roof is undecorated except for a simple moulding on the lower arris of the inner wall plate (Nexus). However there are scribed gauge lines on the arris and round the truss, which indicates that it was originally intended to be chamfered or moulded but either to due to a lack of time or money, was not completed. (Ibid: 3). In the west wall is a garderobe or latrine, which is now lit by a single rectangular light at the south. However the outline of a small blocked round-headed light can be seen in the west wall.
Sources: Burleigh, M. 1999. Nimbus Conservation Limited: Report on the Conservation of Godsfield Chapel, Arlesford, Hampshire. Frome, Somerset: Nimbus Conservation Limited. Eyre, Rev. W. 1893. ‘Godsfield and its ancient chapel.’ In Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society Volume 2, 73-80. Haggard, D. 1966. ‘The Commanderies of Hampshire’, In Hampshire: the county magazine, July 1966, 27 Hoggarth, P. 1988. ‘Godsfield Chapel’, In Alresford Displayed Issue No.13 Mee, A. 1939. The King’s England: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. London: Hodder and Staughton. Page, W. (ed.). 1911. The Victoria County History of England and Wales, Hampshire, Vol. IV, 189-190. Retrieved from http://www.britishhistory.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=56781 on 2nd December 2012. Page, W. (ed.). 1973. The Victoria County History of England and Wales, Hampshire, Vol. II, 187-188. Retrieved from http://www.britishhistory.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=38111 on 2nd December 2012. Pinder, R. 1893. ‘Architectural Notes on Godsfield Chapel’, In Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society Volume 2, 81-84.
Godsfield Chapel Modern OS Map large scale
Godsfield Chapel, Modern OS Map
Godsfield Chapel 1871 OS Map
APPENDIX 2C: St John’s Chapel, Chapel, Swingfield, Kent. Kent. NGR: TR 2322 4401 Situation/Location: St John’s Chapel, or St John’s Commandery as it is now called by English Heritage, is located five miles north-west of Dover in Kent. It is just three miles to the west of the Knights Templar commandery at Ewell founded in about 1164. Swingfield is two miles south-west of Watling Street Roman Road, which ran between Dover via Canterbury to London (passing through Ewell on route). This continued in use as a major route way in the medieval period. Swingfield was in close proximity to both Canterbury and Dover. The former was an important pilgrimage centre, as the place where St Augustine founded the English Church in the 6th century and the resting place of St Thomas Becket following his murder in 1170. Dover was a major port from whence pilgrims would have journeyed to destinations in Europe or to the Holy Land. Swingfield is situated on level ground to the west of a valley. The chapel is just to the east of a small pond, which is shown on the 1873 OS map. This may originally have been associated with the commandery. On aerial photographs there are cropmarks of a possible north-south road running immediately next to the chapel. A 13th century chapel and part of an adjoining chamber-block attached at the west are all that remains standing of the commandery. However traces of walls have been identified as cropmarks to the south and west of the chapel.1 Indeed to the west the ground is uneven and rough stones could apparently be seen above ground in the 1950s. On this basis it has been suggested that the chapel lies to the east of a courtyard formerly containing several buildings.2 The cemetery lay to the north-east of the chapel. History: The foundation date of the first monastic house of the Order of St John’s at Swingfield is not recorded. It was originally a convent occupied by sisters of the Order before the nunnery at Buckland, Somerset was established in 1180 whence all sisters were removed to that location and it became a commandery. In the 1338 Report Swingfield was occupied by the knight Ralph Basset who was commander, Alan Mounceux who was a brother, three chaplains, an esquire and two clerks who collected the confraria, six servants, two lads, a page and a corrody holder (Larking 1857: 91). A later commander of Swingfield, Daniel de Carreto, was a particularly significant figure within the Order. He was recommended by Pope Urban V in 1364 to fill the position of Prior at Rome (VCH Kent, Vol II 1926: 176). In the 1520’s the commandery was the residence in England of Sir John Rawson, Prior of Ireland.
English Heritage. The National Record of the Historic Environment (PastScape). Record th No.466229. Retrieved from http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=466229 on the 8 January 2013. 2 Ibid.
Building history St Johnâ€™s Commandery Chapel is Early English in style and is thought to have been built in the first half of the 13th century. The crown-post roof post-dates the original construction. Dendocronology of samples of fourteen oak timbers indicated an estimated felling date in the range AD1395-1404. Thus the roof appears to have been added at about the turn of the fourteen century, assuming it was built immediately after the trees were felled. The list description suggests that the porch may possibly be a 14th century addition but this is uncertain. To the west was formerly a two-storey chamber-block with a chamber upstairs and service rooms for a hall running north. The western part of the chapel, abutting the chamber-block, was converted into residential use and a first floor gallery inserted overlooking the chapel in the later medieval period. Also at this time the chapel was re-floored. The 16th century brick floors still survive at the west end but were removed at the east end in the 1970s. After the Dissolution the building became entirely residential with rooms on two floors throughout. The main serviced buildings attached to the west end of the south side were extended, eventually to form a wing. Two tiers of windows were opened on the north side of the main building where there had originally been a single range of tall lancet windows. However lancets were reinstated in the 19th century. The building was restored in 1972-74 by the Department of the Environment (DoE). Chapel Orientation: 82 degrees (ENE) Plan A plan of the chapel made in 1968. The south wing was removed during the DoE works. (Source: English Heritage registry file AA51488/2 PT1)
Description: EXTERIOR St Johnâ€™s Commandery comprises the remains of a 13th century chapel and part of a chamber-block attached at the west. It is a rectangular building constructed of a mix of flint (some knapped) and stone, including chalk and Kentish ragstone, with limestone dressings. There are some later alterations or infill in brick at the west end. The building is of two storeys with a steeply pitched tiled roof, which is hipped at the west end. The apex of the roof is decorated with an alternating pattern of trefoil and ogee ridge tiles. Towards the west of centre is a large red brick chimney of four flues. Attached to the west end of the north side is a two storey porch. The eastern half of the building has a battered plinth. In the east elevation are three single plain-chamfered lancets, which are stepped in height. Above each is an oculus. Below the centre lancet is a buttress and below the north lancet is a rectangular brick opening, providing a vent to a cellar beneath the chapel. The wall of the south elevation originally continued further west but it has been truncated and now forms a two storey buttress. There is also a two storey buttress towards the centre, which is formed from a truncated wall that ran to the south. A stone string course runs about half way to the west from this buttress. There is a plain-chamfered first floor lancet above it and a rectangular doorway with a boarded door below it. A medieval stone with a moulded corner has been inserted into one the jambs. To the west are two blocked rectangular doorways with brick dressings and the eastern half of a now blocked pointed-arched ground floor doorway. To the east there are two windows breaking the storeys; a broad pointed two-centred arched window and a taller and narrower plain-chamfered lancet. The west elevation is tile hung and has two mid-19th century sash windows. Attached to the north, but extending slightly further west than the main building, is a two storey porch. The roof of the porch has higher eaves and a lower ridge than the main range and is hipped at the north. On the west side a ground floor buttress marks the truncated wall of the main range. Above it the wall is partly infilled with red brick and there is a single rectangular casement window. The upper storey of the porch is slightly narrower than the ground floor. On the north side there is a pointed-arched hollow-chamfered outer doorway. One of the jambs is incised with a cross. The porch has a quadpartite vaulted ceiling springing from moulded stone corbels and a brick floor. The corbels are not consistent in design; several appear to be later insertions formed of poorly carved roll mouldings. However one carries the original design but it has been damaged and only partly survives. There is a moulded pointed-arched inner doorway with a ribbed and studded door. The north elevation has three tall chamfered mid-19th century lancet windows. These probably replaced sash windows on two storeys. The red brick jambs can still be seen. This elevation retains areas of render painted and scored to resemble red brick in Flemish bond.
INTERIOR Internally the building comprises two halves divided by the chimney stack; at the west end there are two rooms over two floors whilst at the east end is the chapel. There is also a room above the porch. The chapel is overlooked by a first floor gallery. It is modern but occupies the place of a late-medieval predecessor, incorporating some original timbers. A 14th century crown post roof survives as far west as the chimney shaft. It has three tie-beams, each with a moulded octagonal crown-post. There are collar beams and sous-laces. The east end of the roof structure obscures the central oculus indicating that it postdates the original construction of the chapel. The foundations of the choir stalls and screen, discovered by excavation in 1977, are marked out by modern timbers. In the east wall of the chapel the outer lancet windows are doubled-shafted and the inner lancet windows triple-shafted with bell capitals and bases. There is a roll-and-fillet hoodmould to each window and a continuous moulded string to the cills. Below the southernmost window is a broad chamfered recess with a cambered head and bar stops. At the east end of the north wall is a plain-chamfered pointed-arched aumbry. Next to it is a bracket, which may formerly have supported a statue. Opposite it is a 13th century moulded and shafted pointed-arched piscina with a roll-and-frontal fillet hoodmould. In the north and south walls near the chimney stack are blocked rerearches to the windows. There is also a corbel in each wall and a maltese cross in the south wall. Beneath the east end of the chapel is a rectangular 16th century cellar with several wall niches and re-used beams and joists. To each side of the chimney stack on the ground floor is a fireplace with bressumer. The ground floor of the western half of the building comprises a corridor along the north wall and, adjacent to it, one large room (the former farmhouse parlour). This room has a 16th century ceiling with a moulded cross beam and joists. In the east wall a 16th century fireplace has been partly infilled and there is a modern surround. In the south wall there is a plain chamfered segmental arched doorway, which is now blocked but originally led to a south wing of the later farmhouse. The first floor is reached by a modern dog-leg stair that rises to the gallery. On the east side of the chimney a fireplace with bressumer is infilled with a smaller semicircular brick fireplace. In the next room there is a blocked rectangular doorway in the south-wall, In the east wall a fireplace with bresumer has been part-infilled and replaced with an iron grate and modern surround. The ceiling has a chamfered cross beam, tenoned axial beams, moulded joists to the northeast end and plain joists to the rest. The room above the north porch is reached through a plain-chamfered pointed arched doorway, which appears to be contemporary with the original construction of the porch in the 13th or 14th century. The position of the doorway, set close to the west wall, clearly indicates that the original building continued further to the west but was truncated at a later date. The porch has a deep window embrasure in the west and east walls. In the north wall is a blocked window, which incorporates some earlier moulded stonework, including part of what appears to be a squint.
Additional details / Mouldings: The Early English east window is 5.1m wide, formed of three lancets of which the central lancet is 1.5m wide. The combination of deeply-cut mouldings to these three lancets are engaged double shaft – triple shaft – triple shaft – double shaft. A moulding profile of the base of one of the three shafts to the central lancet was taken. It is formed of two roll mouldings. The mouldings to the outer lancets are formed of two shafts with a pointed roll between. They are similar in design to the Early English piers of Beverley Minster, Yorkshire, which date to circa 1220 (See Figure 249 in Forrester 1972: 40). The mouldings to the central lancet consist of the three engaged columns with a quarter roll between, which show an affinity with some slightly later piers of circa 1230 at Beverley Minster (See Figure 250 in Forrester 1972: 40). Over each lancet is a roll-and-fillet hood mould, which is pointed to the inner lancet but semi-circular to the outer lancets. Below the southernmost east window is a broad chamfered recess with a cambered head and bar stops. Given the proximity to the piscina this may have been a stone credence on which the sacred vessels were placed prior to use and immediately afterwards. The aumbrey, which is 0.5m wide, is not given architectural embellishment. It is a plain feature formed of a plain-chamfered pointed arch originally with the wooden doorway set flush within the wall and carried on hinges set into the stone. The piscina is 0.6m wide and 0.95m high. The pointed arch of the piscina is decorated with a plain roll rising from a single engaged column at each side. The hoodmould comprises a deeply cut roll and frontal fillet moulding. It is a variation of that appearing at Worcester Cathedral as both a string course and pier moulding ring of circa 1230 (See Figures 201 and 414 in Forrester 1972: 39 and 46).
Sources English Heritage Registry Files: Original Number / EH Registry Number AA51488/2 PT1 AA51488/2 PT3 AR 51488/3 AA 51488/2A AA 051488/14-1
Name The Commandery, St. John’s Farmhouse, Swingfield, Kent: Works The Commandery, St. John’s Farmhouse, Swingfield, Kent: Works The Commandery, St. John’s Farmhouse, Swingfield, Kent: Works The Commandery, St. John’s Farmhouse, Swingfield, Kent: Excavations The Commandery, St. John’s Farmhouse, Swingfield, Kent: Presentation
Arnold, A. and Howard, R. 2011. Church of St. Peter, Swingfield, Kent: tree-ring analysis of timbers. Portsmouth: English Heritage. Grove, L and Rigold, S. 1979. ‘The View and State of the Commandery of Swingfield, 1529’, In Hall, F. A Kentish Miscellany, 102-127. ‘History’ and ‘Description’ of St John’s Commandery contained in the on-site notice boards. Larking, L. 1857. The Knights Hospitallers in England: Being the Report of Prior Philip de Thame to the Grand Master Elyan de Villanova for AD 1338. London: Camden Society. Page, W. (ed.). 1926. The Victoria County History of England and Wales, Kent, Vol.
St John's Commandery, Swingfield, Kent
St John's Chapel, Swingfield, Kent - Modern OS map
St John's Commandery, Swingfield, Kent - 1873 OS map
APPENDIX 2D: Poling Commandery chapel, chapel, now known as St John’s John’s Priory, Priory, Poling, Poling, nr Arundel, West Sussex. Sussex. NGR: TQ 04671 05690 Situation/Location: St John’s Priory is located on low-lying flat ground 3.5km (2.1 miles) east of the River Arun and 4.3km (2.7 miles) north of the coast. The area was settled in Roman times; the course of a Roman road running from Chichester to Lewes is just 160m to the north1 whilst a Roman villa is situated 1.3km to the south-east.2 As a settlement Poling is strung out along a small lane; Poling Street, which runs south from the main road before turning west and then resuming south again, ending in a cul-de-sac. It seems possible that this may have had its origins in a branch road that served the villa. It is very deeply sunk, indicating that it is of antiquity and is almost certainly the road used in the medieval period. The village is on a very slightly raised area (5m above sea level) that was originally surrounded by marshland forming the delta of the Arun. It was intermittently covered by the sea, which is said to have flowed up to the parish church, 1 km to the south of the commandery, in the 15th century (Johnston 1919: 67). Adjacent to St John’s Priory are a group of brick built farm buildings mainly of 19th century date. There is also a horse gin and a thatched barn constructed prior to 1750 partly with re-used medieval timber (WBSG 2003). A pond immediately to the south may be contemporary with the commandery. Position in relation to major medieval roads/pilgrimage routes: The major Roman routeway from Chichester to Lewes would have remained in use through the medieval period. Pilgrims would have utilised this road in reaching ports on the south coast (Southampton, Portsmouth and Newhaven) or to reach the pilgrimage destinations of St Swithun’s Shrine at Winchester (possibly the second most popular pilgrimage site in England3) or Lewes Priory. Patron: Fitz Alan family.. History: Poling does not occur in the Domesday book under that name, but is thought to have been included in ‘Lolinminstre’, in the hundred of Rieberge or Risberge, where there was a church and water-mill (Johnston 1919: 70). Indeed Poling parish church is pre-conquest in origin and contains a Saxon double-splayed window in the north wall of the nave. In the later 11th century Poling was held by Roger de Montgomerie, one of William the Conquerors principal councillors. It subsequently passed with the 1
English Heritage. The National Record of the Historic Environment (PastScape). Record No.1325626. Retrieved from http://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=1325626 on the th 8 January 2013. 2 Scheduled Monument Record No.1015886. English Heritage. The National Heritage List for th England. Retrieved from http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/ on 8 January 2013. 3
earldom of Arundel to the Fitz Alans, and in 1255 the manor was allotted to John Fitz Alan (Johnston 1919: 70). The Hospitallers acquired their first gift of land at Poling from Ralph fitzSavaery (de Bohun) of Midhurst in about 1150 (WBSG 2003). Further gifts from Gernagan de Poling and his son Ralph followed before the end of the 12th century. There is no substantive evidence for the main benefactors of Poling commandery. However Johnston suggested that this was probably the FitzAlans within the last quarter of the twelfth century (1921: 92). A ‘Master’ at Poling is mentioned in 1240 and by 1300 the commandery held property in Up Marden, Coombe, Offham, Climping, Rumboldswyke and Ocklinge in Eastbourne. By 1338 it held 317 acres and comprised Peter atte Nasshe, knight commander, and his confrator (assistant) Clement de Donewico, knight, a chaplain, a steward, a cook, two attendants and two clerks who collected the ‘confraria’ (Larking 1857: 24-25). In addition to this there would have been farm labourers and lesser servants attached to the commandery. Johnston supposes that a total of 15 people may have been attached to the establishment (1921: 97). The commandery was dissolved in 1541, whereupon it passed briefly to the College of the Holy Trinity Arundel, before descending with the manor through the hands of the Carrylls and the Shelleys (VCH West Sussex, Vol II 1973: 93). In 1828 it was sold to the Duke of Norfolk and was subsequently converted into a ‘gentleman’s residence’ (WBSG 2003). At this time, or shortly after, it became known as ‘Fair-place Farm’ for its proximity to a fair that was held in the village (Johnston 1921: 98). Today it is called ‘St John’s Priory’, a misnomer considering its original use. Chapel Orientation: 85 degrees (Nearly directly east) Plan: Plan: Plan of Poling commandery chapel and adjacent buildings. (Source: Johnston 1921: 99)
Description: St Johnâ€™s Priory comprises three major elements. At the east end is a 13th century chapel, the western part of which was originally of two-storeys. Attached and in-line with the chapel at the west is part of an open-hall house, which is thought to have been built in about 1425. The eastern end of the open hall was replaced when a cross wing was built in about 1480-1500, which had a garderobe in the north-east corner.
The Chapel MATERIALS The chapel is built of flint and stone rubble, backed with chalk, with dressings of Pulborough stone to the buttresses and Caen stone to the south doorway and lancet windows. Horsham stone slab roof. EXTERNAL The chapel is rectangular in plan, measuring 8m long by 5.4m wide internally, with walls 0.9m thick. It has a gabled roof, which is now hipped at the west end where it joins the western range. This is covered in Horsham stone slabs, which diminish in size as they go upwards. An inspection of the attic showed that the original west gable survives partly intact but no-longer supports the roof, which now oversails it and ends in a hip. The east wall has stepped stone buttresses at the angles. They each have a plinth and two setbacks and are built of Pulborough stone quoins and flint infill. Johnston suggested that these may have been added in the 14th or 15th centuries (1921: 99). In the centre of the wall is a blocked two-centred arched window, probably of 14th century date. Below it is the cill of a later brick window and below that is a blocked square-headed brick window. The stone-work in the upper half of the east wall incorporates Caen stone quoins, which may originally have formed the jambs of lancet windows in this elevation. A drawing of the house in 1780 shows that there were three windows in this wall at that time; two casement windows and a squareheaded window. The south elevation is of four bays between stepped buttresses. The two eastern bays each comprise a c.1832 French window on the ground floor and square headed casement window above, both with brick jambs. Between these two bays is part of a blocked lancet window with Caen stone dressings. The third bay is formed of a two-centred arched doorway. The jambs and arch have a continuous roll-moulding between the chamfers. Johnston (1921: 102) dated this to about 1220, which has been thought indicative of the date of the construction of the chapel. The plain roll, used as a three-quarter round, has a broad date range from c.1160 to c.1240 (Forrester 1972: 10-11). Whilst the pointed arch was common place by about 1190 (Child 2007: 75). Therefore it is possible that this feature could be slightly earlier then previously suggested; perhaps having been built at the beginning of the 13th century. Above the arch is a hoodmould, which Johnston thought was a later insertion dating to the 15th century (1921: 102). It comprises an
ogee moulding coupled with a hollow chamfer and has square label stops. There are no close parallels in Forrester’s guide but it shows some similarities with a 15th century moulding at Hatfield, Hertfordshire (1972: 37, No.153). Upon the underside of the arch is graffiti inscribed into the stone, including several crosses, an hour glass shape, and a leaf shape. Johnston identified remains of a black-letter inscription (1921:102) but this was not seen on this visit. The fourth bay has a single lancet on the ground-floor and a casement window with brick jambs above. The 1780 drawing shows that this casement replaced an earlier lancet with hoodmould. There was also a buttress immediately to the east of the south doorway. In the south wall of the cross-wing immediately to the west of the chapel was a buttress-projection with a recessed doorway. This could have been the remains of a wall running southwards like at Swingfield. The north elevation is now largely blank except for an 18th or 19th century segmental headed doorway at the west with a single lancet in the first-floor above. In the eastern part of the north wall are several blocked windows; part of a lancet window with Caen stone dressings and two segmental-headed brick windows.
INTERNAL Internally the chapel was originally divided into two sections; the full-height chapel at the east and two-storey accommodation, a gallery or an ante-chapel at the west. However a floor has now been inserted across the chapel diving it into two rooms with a 19th century staircase at the west. Just west of centre is a 17th century red brick open fireplace and chimney, which runs through the range. The roofs over this range conform to the original structural separation of the chapel. The western part of the chapel is a raised aisle roof, dating to about the mid-13th century, whilst the eastern part is a wagon roof with curved ashlar pieces and soulaces, probably dating to about 1220 (WBSG 2003). The Wealden Buildings Study Group observed grooving below a tie and collar flanking the ‘ante-chapel’, indicating that there had been plank walling (2003). The single-lancets in the north and south walls of the chapel have internal jambs and pointed segmental arches in hard chalk, although those of the upper window are now concealed beneath a thick layer of paint. In the early 20th century Johnston restored these windows, which were at that time blocked with chalk and flint. The blocking of the lancet in the north wall contained part of a 15th century two-light window with cinque-foil mouldings. Johnston also identified a small hole at the bottom of the window, which he suggested may originally have provided the opening for a rope to pull a bell or for some other domestic purpose (1921: 104). On the ground floor at the west end of the north wall is the Caen stone jamb and rounded lintel of a doorway. Johnston (1921: 102) suggested that this was originally part of a stair turret, which provided access to the first floor. The jambs are now covered in a thick layer of paint but in the early 20th century Johnston observed ‘fine axe tooling’ indicating that they dated to the late 12th century. This would make them earlier than the primary phase of the chapel, which is c.1220. However it is clear that interpretation of tooling marks has changed over the last century (Schofield and
Samuel 2010: 21), and it is possible that Johnstonâ€™s original dating is incorrect. The Wealden Buildings Study Group found evidence in the roof structure at the west end of the chapel, that lends support to their having been a stair turret. The sole pieces on the masonry walls to the common rafters are tennoned into the ashlar pieces and notched over the inner plate, however at the west end the ashlar pieces sit above the sole pieces. The splays and arched head of the east window can still be seen internally. Also in the east wall is a 15th century piscina. This must have been moved from its original position in the south wall, probably in the 19th century when the French window was inserted. It has a cinquefoiled four-centred arched head under a square label. Just below the head of the window is a credence shelf where the sacred vessels would have originally been placed before and after use (Child 2007: 100).
Open hall house In line with the chapel is the remains of a two-bay open hall with an open-truss crown-post roof, which was built in about 1425 (WBSG 2003). The roof timbers and a wattle and daub partition towards the east end are soot-encrusted (WBSG 2003). In the former west wall of the chapel several fire-places have been inserted. The south wall is 2 feet 3 inches thick. Johnston suggests that this range may originally have been the Hospitallers refectory (1921: 106). A floor was inserted across the open hall in about the 17th century (WBSG 2003). Several architectural fragments, including the jambs and heads of early 13th century lancets were discovered re-built into this range in 1914 (Johnston 1921: 106). This indicates that there may have been a range to the west of the chapel in the 13th century.
Cross-wing Now adjacent and at right angles to the chapel is a three-bay floored cross-wing of c.1480-1500. This is thought to have replaced a single-bay floored end of the openhall house, which stood up against the west wall of the chapel (WBSG 2003). At a later date fireplace was introduced into the west bay of the open hall. The cross-wing has an original hip on the north side and two surviving plain braced crown-posts. A mortice in a post at the north-east corner indicates that there was originally a doorway here into the stair turret (WBSG 2003). In the upper part of the north wall is a door to a garderobe. At ground floor level in the west side of the cross wing there is a doorway formed of a four-centred arched head.
Charnel house and coffin Immediately east of the chapel is a large paved area, which is traditionally believed to be the site of a crypt or charnel house. Johnston stated that within living memory people had descended into the charnel house by means of a circular stone stairwell and found tombs of Knights of the Order within Sussex marble coffins (1921: 107). He himself excavated the floor of the chapel but did not find a crypt below that, although it is quite possible that there was an external one like that at the North chapel of Wonersh Church, Surrey (Ibid).
Set into a wall at the west end of the house is the very rare survival of a Knights Hospitaller coffin slab of Sussex marble. This was formerly used as a seat in the garden. It is 1.4m long by 0.67m wide and 10cm thick, although the bottom part of it is broken off. The sides have a hollow chamfer and the top is incised with a cross set within a circle on a moulded stem. In the centre is a crosslet. Within the circle and along the stem is an inscription in Norman French, the beginning of which is marked by another crosslet. The Inscription reads: ‘IHV CRIST: PVR SANTIOHAN: AIT MERCI. DEL ALME. BERNA….’ which has been translated by Johnston (1921: 108) as: ‘JESUS CHRIST, FOR [THE SAKE OF] SAINT JOHN, HAVE MERCY ON THE SOUL OF BERN[RD]…’ although the latter part is missing.
Sources: Child, M. 2007. Discovering Churches and Churchyards: A guide to the architecture of English parish churches from Anglo-Saxon times to 1900. Princes Risborough, Bucks: Shire Publications Ltd. Johnston, P. 1919. ‘Poling, and the Knights Hospitallers. Part I – The Village and Church’, In Sussex Archaeological Collections, Vol LX, 67-91. Johnston, P. 1921. ‘Poling, and the Knights Hospitallers. Part II – The Commandery’, In Sussex Archaeological Collections, Vol LXII, 93-110. Larking, L. 1857. The Knights Hospitallers in England: Being the Report of Prior Philip de Thame to the Grand Master Elyan de Villanova for AD 1338. London: Camden Society. Page, W. (ed.). 1973. The Victoria County History of England and Wales, Sussex,
Vol. II, 93. Steer, F. 1965. Diocese of Chichester: Guide to The Church of St. Nicolas, Poling. The Poling Parochial Church Council. Wealden Buildings Study Group. 2003. St John’s Priory, Poling, West Sussex: Wealden Buildings Study Group Report 03/3. Held in West Sussex Record Office. Websites: English Heritage. The National Heritage List for England. Retrieved from http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/ on 8th January 2013. English Heritage. The National Record of the Historic Environment (PastScape). Retrieved from http://www.pastscape.org.uk on the 8th January 2013.
Poling village, Nr Arundel, West Sussex
St John's Priory / Poling Preceptory, Nr Arundel, West Sussex
St John's Priory / Poling Preceptory 1876 OS Map
APPENDIX 2E: St James’s Church, Ansty, Wiltshire. NGR: ST 9565 2629 Situation/Location: Ansty is situated in a spring valley forming a tributary of the River Naddar, 1.1km north of the steep escarpment known as Swallowcliffe Down on the West Wiltshire downs. St James’s Church is located on the south side of the village and forms part of a several buildings associated with the Knights Hospitallers, which are grouped around the south side of a large pond. At the west is Ansty Manor, to the south is the church and at the south-east is a 16th century banqueting house, which is thought to be situated upon the site of the former court-house. This building was apparently built by Thomas Arundell in 1596 (Freston 1963: 3). It measures 33.5m by 9m and includes several square-headed windows with hoodmoulds. Given the thick walls, heavy buttressing and disturbed stone work evident on the exterior, it is possible that it incorporates earlier work heavily altered in the 16th century. The roof burnt down in 1922. An 1817 watercolour shows that there were slit windows and an arched doorway in the north end wall. The windows were all, or part, replaced in 1986 and 2001. Ansty Manor is a 16th century building located on the site of the original commanderr. Pevsner suggests that traces of earlier work are evident in a basemoulding on the south side (Pevsner 1963: 84-5). It includes ‘massive stone walls’, which may indicate that it incorporates some surviving fabric of the 13th century commanderr (Freston 1963: 4). Position in relation to major medieval roads/pilgrimage routes: Just over 5km to the south-west is the course of a Roman road running from Badbury Rings to Kingston Deverill. The commanderr probably provided hospitality to pilgrims travelling to the Abbey of Shaftesbury and more distant shrines. Patron: Walter de Turberville, 1211 History: The Domesday book records that ‘Anestige’, as it was then called (meaning ‘the way up’), contained two mills.1 In the reign of William II Ansty was granted to Payne de Tuberville, as a reward for having fought in the conquest of Glamorganshire. In 1211 his descendant Walter de Turberville granted the manor to the Knights Hospitallers (VCH Wilts, Vol III 1956: 328-329). Documentary sources show that a commanderr had been established by 1281 for in that year the Commander, Walter de Permot, was involved in a dispute with St Nicholas Hospital, Salisbury (VCH Wilts, Vol III 1956: 328-329). The hospital had drawn a pension of 5 marks from the church, which had been payable by the knights as early as 1245. The dispute must have been resolved in favour of the hospital for they continued to receive a pension as late as the 17th century, long after the knights had left.
The Domesday Book Online. Retrieved from http://www.domesdaybook.co.uk/ on 25 January 2013.
In 1338 the property at Ansty included a manor-house with a garden, dovecote and watermill (Larking 1857: 7-9). The associated land maintained 900 sheep and the commanderr generated £93 in revenue with £40 in expenses. The church was worth £6 after St Nicholas’s Hospital had been paid. The commanderr consisted of the Commander; John Dyngeland, a knight; John de Wyncestre, William West, who occupied the place of a knight, together with a corrodian, a chaplain, three clerks, a squire and 6 servants (Ibid: 7-9). Nearly 200 years later, the annual revenue was virtually the same, amounting to £90 in 1537. At the Dissolution Ansty commanderr passed to the Crown but in 1542 it was sold to Sir John Zouche (Freston 1963: 8). Nonetheless Henry VIII covenanted to pay £6 a year for the stipend of a curate in the church. In 1594 it was sold to Sir Matthew Arundell of nearby Wardour Castle and for the next 300 years the family served as patrons. Chapel Orientation: 87 degrees Plan: Ground plan of St James’s Church, Ansty created by George Singleton in 1841-2 prior to restoration. (Source: ICBS file 02956, www.churchplansonline.org)
Building History: The church has undergone drastic restoration, which now considerably limits its value as a historical document. An 1817 watercolour in the church shows its appearance before restoration. There was a two storey north porch towards the west end of the church, which had a two-centred arched doorway, a string course separating the floors and slit windows in the upper floor. In the north wall of the nave and chancel were two-light semi-circular headed windows set in square frames. The east end of the nave had a full height buttress. In the west wall were two square-headed mullioned windows; a lower window of four-lights and an upper window of three-lights, probably of 17th century date. This indicates that there may have been a gallery in the nave at this time.
The information from the watercolour can be supplemented by pre-restoration plans and elevations drawn up by George Singleton in 1841-42 (FIGURES 00-00). These show a four-centred, probably 15th century, doorway in the north wall of the chancel. In the east wall were two three-light square-headed mullioned windows. According to the plan the windows are thought to have been added in the 17th century in place of 14th and 15th century windows. The chancel was apparently rebuilt in the late 17th century but the chantry chapel/south transept and the â€˜low pillarsâ€™ (presumably the responds) were 13th century work that still survived. The transept was altered in the 19th century but the plans indicate that the stonework, excepting the transept arch and south window, are probably original. The west belfry is absent indicating that it was added at the restoration. In 1848 the existing two storey porch was demolished, the church was refenestrated with Early English style lancets replacing the existing 17th century windows, and the north transept was added. Unfortunately this also resulted in the removal of a Norman arch that led to the chantry/south chapel (Freston 1963: 10). The pre-restoration plans indicate that this was about half the width of the current transept arch. Further works were carried out in 1917 to repair dry rot to the floor timbers, pews and pulpit, as well as install a new heating system. In the process two stone coffins with elaborately carved lids were found but were re-buried. The south vestry appears to have been built at this time for it is shown on a plan of 1918. Finally in 1963-65 the nave roof was replaced and the apex crosses were replaced. Description: Detailed measurements Internal length: 19.4m. Nave length: 11.8m. Chancel Length: 7.6m. Nave: width 4.4m. Chancel width: 2.7m. Chancel arch width: 2.7m, Porch: width 4.1m, length 4.1m EXTERNAL The church is cruciform in plan with a tall nave, a lower chancel and two 19th century transepts. The nave measures 11.8m long by 4.4m wide internally and the chancel is 7.6m long by 2.7m wide. It is built of dressed limestone, incorporating some greensand and some ironstone blocks, with gabled tiled roofs. The walls are thickest at the west end. The church is entered from the north transept via a chamfered two-centred arch doorway with a hoodmould over. Above it are three stepped lancets, also with a hood mould, and a coped parapet with an apex cross. The nave has paired lancets in the north and south walls. Immediately to the east of the window in the south wall, appears to be a blocked doorway. The gabled west end has diagonal stepped buttresses, three stepped lancets with a hoodmould, a coped parapet and a belfry topped by a patriarchal cross. The south transept has a four-centred arched doorway in the west wall. The south wall has three stepped lancets under a hoodmould, and a coped parapet with an apex cross. A chimney built of dressed limestone and brick is incorporated into the east wall. Attached in the angle between the chancel and transept is a flat roofed vestry of 1878 with a square-headed chamfered doorway and two square-headed, chamfered windows. The chancel has a
pair of lancets on the north and south walls. In the east gable wall are three lancets of equal height and above them a coped parapet surmounted by a patriarchal cross. INTERNAL Internally the church is plain plastered and has chamfered pointed arches on octagonal responds to the transepts and chancel. There is a collar-tied roof to the nave and a wagon roof to the chancel. Both date to the 1965 restoration. In the chancel are late 17th century bench ends decorated with carved foliage, which are said to come from Salisbury Cathedral. In the north transept is a cylindrical font decorated at the top with a drop ornament. It is uncertain whether this dates to the Norman period or is a 19th century replica. It may just have been the base that was replaced at the restoration. In the south transepts are a pair of late 18th century wall tablets. Further notes / mouldings: mouldings: Current accounts of the history of St Jamesâ€™s Church are inconsistent. The church guide and the list description state that it was built in the 13th century, shortly after it was gifted to the Hospitallers in 1211. There appears to be no evidence to support this assertion. In-fact it seems clear that St Jamesâ€™s was a pre-existing Norman parish church. This is supported by the Norman font (even if it is a 19th century replica) and a Norman arch that is said to have led to the chantry chapel prior to restoration. The architecture of the church is very austere with few decorative elements. Almost all have been replaced during the later restorations. Among these is the chancel arch, swept away and replaced in 1848, although it may have been based on a medieval original. The arch, which is replicated in the transepts, is a plain-chamfered two-centred arch, which springs from half-octagonal capitals formed of an under-cut scroll moulding and fillet. This may be a debased late 14th century moulding (See Forrester 1972: 43, Noâ€™s. 323 to 329); it shows some similarity with an arcade appearing at Ledbury at this time (Ibid. No. 326). Together this indicates that the chancel may have been rebuilt in the 14th century before it was again replaced in the late 17th century. The patriarchal cross appeared on the chancel before the 19th century restoration and is probably an original feature. The patriarchal cross is a variant of the Christian cross and comprises a small cross bar placed above the main one. It appeared in the Byzantine Empire from at least the 9th century. There are several interpretations of the symbolism embodied by the cross. One is that the first bar symbolized the secular power of the Byzantine emperors and the second their ecclesiastical power. Another is that the first bar represents the death of Jesus Christ and the second cross his resurrection. The two storey porch may have had a variety of uses, perhaps serving as a gallery into the church or as a room for the chaplain. The slit windows would have provided little light and it therefore seems likely that it would have been open to the church on the south side.
Lambeth Palace ICBS 02956 Folios 30ff. Church Plan: Ansty, St. James (1841-42), Wiltshire Singleton, George: fl. 1826-42 of Donhead (Surveyor) ICBS Minutes: Volume 10, pp 355, Volume 11, pp 169. ICBS 11350 Folios 1-36ff. Church Plan: Ansty, St. James (1916-19), Wiltshire Harding, John: fl. 1868-86 of Salisbury Harding, Michael: fl. 1886 of Salisbury (Architect) ICBS Minutes: Volume 33, pp 62, 65, Volume 35, pp256, 380. ICBS 11350 Folios ff.1-36. Church Plan: Ansty, St. James (1963-66), Wiltshire Hare, Richard Williams: fl. 1945-1975 of Salisbury Potter, Robert: b. 1909 of Salisbury. ICBS Minutes: Volume 33, pp62, 65, Volume 35, pp 356, 380.
Publications Freston, P. 1963. St Jamesâ€™s, Ansty. Church Guide. Alvediston: Jill Bullen. (4th Edition reprint, 2000) Larking, L. 1857. The Knights Hospitallers in England: Being the Report of Prior Philip de Thame to the Grand Master Elyan de Villanova for AD 1338. London: Camden Society. Page, W. (ed.). 1956. The Victoria County History of England and Wales, Wiltshire, Vol. III, 328-329. Pevsner, N. 1963. The Buildings of England: Wiltshire. London: Penguin books.
St James's Church, Ansty, Wiltshire
St James's Church, Ansty, 1887 OS Map
APPENDIX 2F: St John’s Jerusalem, SuttonSutton-atat-Hone, Hone, Kent NGR: TQ 5589 7035 Situation/Location: The commandery of St John’s Jerusalem is situated on low-lying ground at the foot of the river valley of the Darent, at Sutton-at-Hone on the North Downs, Kent. It is on a moated site to the east of the village. About 500m to the north-east is the site of a major Roman Villa and an Anglo-Saxon settlement. The villa complex was excavated in 1894-5 and is one of the largest in the country. It was formed of an extensive group of buildings with flint footings ranged around two walled courtyards with a bath house, monumental gateway and surrounding barns, storehouses and worksheds.1 The villa was the largest of several that cluster along the Darenth valley. Watling Street Roman Road is about 3km to the north and there was probably a side road off it providing access to the villa. Indeed the current lane to the east, which is cut into the hillside is called ‘Roman Villa Road’. These route ways are likely to have continued in use through to the medieval period and are thus significant to the position of the commandery. In 1972 excavation during the construction of a pipeline revealed an Anglo-Saxon settlement next to the villa. This included an eastwest aligned rectangular timber building (7m by 5.18m, thought to have been of at least three bays with a gabled roof) and four sunken-floored buildings.2 The parish church is 600m to the north-west of St John’s Jerusalem. It is dedicated to St. John the Baptist and is thought to have been founded in the 12th century but was rebuilt in the 14th century.3 It is built of flint and stone dressings with a nave, chancel, south aisle and west tower, which has a circular south-east turret. There is no documentary evidence linking the church with the Hospitallers but the tower is notably similar to that of the Hospitallers parish church at Swingfield, Kent. The commandery is a moated site with an associated fishpond situated beside the River Darent. It lies on a NNW-SSE orientated, sub-rectangular, artificial island measuring 185m by 120m.4 This is surrounded on all four sides by a moat, the south western arm of which is formed by the river. The north western, north eastern and south eastern sides are between 5m and 8m wide. The moat is surrounded by outer banks, which survive particularly well at the north and east, and are up to 2m high and 12m wide. To the south-west are the remains of a rectangular fishpond, circa 146m long and 12m wide, originally fed with freshwater by the river.5 Among archaeological finds from the site are medieval armour and a 15th century oak roof boss buried in a wall (Tallents 1952)
Scheduled Monument Record No.101265. English Heritage. The National Heritage List for th England. Retrieved from http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/ on 8 January 2013. 2 Ibid. 3 St John the Baptist, Sutton-at-Hone, Church Guide. 1985. (Author unknown). 4 Scheduled Monument Record No.1009021. English Heritage. The National Heritage List for th England. Retrieved from http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/ on 8 January 2013. 5 Ibid.
History: The exact date for the establishment of the commandery is unclear. One document (Kent County Archives K 13/17(iJ)) apparently records an initial donation of 42 acres in 1198 (Leach 1994:1). Traditionally however Robert de Basing gave his manor in Sutton-at-Hone to the Knights Hospitallers in 1199. A commandery was thus probably shortly established after this date. It was certainly established before or during the lifetime of Robert’s son John. A charter recorded in the Grand Cartulary of 1442 states that John gave lands at Sutton to the ‘Hospital of Jerusalem’. The wording is of interest as an example of the motivations of donors in gifting land to the order:
‘I, John de Basyngges the son of Robert de Bassynes…moved with the divine love and for the salvation of my soul, and the souls of my antecessors and successors, give, concede, and by these my presents confirm to God, the blessed Mary, and S. John the Baptist, and the blessed poor of the holy House of the Hospital of Jerusalem and the brethren of the House at Sutton att Hone sojourning there, and serving God, all of my land…to the foresaid brethren and their successors for free, pure, and perpetual alms…’ (Wadmore 1897: 257) In 1234 Henry III, whilst staying at Sutton, gave an order that five oaks in Tunbridge forest should be gifted to the commander Brother Edward, to build the ceiling of the chapel (Tallents 1944: 10). It proved a regular stopping place for the King on his journeys through Kent; between 1232 and 1264 there is evidence for fifteen visits (Ibid: 10). The names of the Hospitallers residing at Sutton-at-Hone are recorded in the Grand Cartulary of the order and other papers: In 1224 Brother Walter was the Master; in 1251 it was Brother Richard de Bramford and in 1267 Brother Henry (Ibid 12). It is recorded in one document that Hugh Mancouement was the chaplain and Robert was a deacon of the house but the year is not recorded (Ibid: 12). The Grand Cartulary of 1442 includes 76 folio pages of MSS., recording grants made to Suttonat-Hone commandery (Wadmore 1897: 256). These are undated but indicate that the commandery had by this time had considerably expanded its wealth and resources. In several grants the benefactions are made ‘…to God and the blessed Mary and S. John the Baptist and brethren of the Hospital of Jerusalem…in the town of Sutton’ (Ibid: 256-258). Several are made to maintain lights within the chapel. For instance Robert Chambers granted 12d. at Easter to maintain the light of the Holy Cross (Tallents 1944: 13). An inquisition of 1325 against the Prior in England records that the commandery held 60 acres of land for the king (Ibid: 12). This was originally under the condition that it distributed peas or bread to the poor three times a week. At a later date one of the distributions was reserved to maintain two chaplains. By 1325 the Hospitallers had failed to provide the poor with alms from this land and a case was raised against them. The Master, Robert Nauntel, had also appropriated 42 acres of land and, for the past six years, withdrawn a chaplain serving in Sutton (?parish) church/chapel. The 1338 Report shows that the commandery was no longer in use; the land being leased to Lord John De Pulteneye for 40 marks (Larking 1857: 93). However the confraria was still collected and it seems that services continued in the chapel. In 1375 another case was brought against the Prior for having withdrawn one of the
three chaplains dedicated to celebrating divine service for the king at the commandery chapel. Chapel Orientation: 75 degrees (ENE) Plan (Source: Kipps 1935: 208)
Building History: The gift of five oaks by Henry III for the ceiling of the commandery chapel on 8th April 1234 indicates that the chapel was under construction at that date. In 1544, following the Dissolution, the chapel and manor were granted to Maurice Dennys, the first of many private owners (VCH Kent, Vol II 1926: 176). In 1660 Abraham Hill, a founder of the Royal Society and Commissioner of Trade and Plantations and of Sewers, bought the chapel and 500 acres of land (National Trust Guidebook). By this date the other commandery buildings; living quarters, hospital and outbuildings, had been apparently demolished (Ibid). He probably converted the west end of the building into a house on two floors at this time but preserved the east end as a private chapel. Edwards Hasted, an eminent historian who produced several volumes on the history of Kent, leased the property from about 1757 to 1776 (Kipps 1935: 205). He carried out major works including adding a drawing room, a staircase, creating a new entrance on the south side, building a detached outbuilding. He also lowered the roof. So much was spent on the work that Hasted apparently bankrupted himself and was imprisoned for five years (National Trust Guidebook).
In c1870 a laundry was added and a floor was inserted across the chapel with the lower part being used as a scullery and the upper part as a billiards room (the splays of the windows prob being hollowed out at this time) (Leach 1994: 9). A new door was cut into one of the south lancet windows to provide entry from the garden. New outhouses were also built. In 1927 the property was bought by Sir Stephen Tallents and in 1943 it was gifted to the National Trust. Sir Stephen is the author of a book on St Johnâ€™s Jerusalem. Description: The commandery chapel was converted to a residence in the 16th century and substantially altered in the 17th-19th centuries. Part of the 13th century chapel survives at the east end whilst an 18th century wing at the west was erected on the foundations of a 13th century tower. The chapel measures 22m by 7m internally with walls 0.7m thick. The adjoining building at the west, possibly a tower, is nearly square; measuring 5.2m by 4.6m with walls 1.1m thick. MATERIALS The chapel is constructed of flint rubble (some knapped), some chalk or soft greensand blocking, with some Caen stone Ashlar dressings, and later infill and additions to the west built in red brick. It is possible that some flint rubble was robbed from the remains of the nearby Roman villa during the construction of the commandery in the 13th century. The mouldings to the primary lancet windows and quoins to the east buttresses are of Caen stone. EXTERNAL The building is of two storeys and attics. It is L-shaped in plan with a main range, rectangular in plan, orientated east-west with an 18th century wing attached at the west. Two 19th century additions are attached to the north side of the main range. The main range has a red tiled gabled roof with attic dormer windows, which is hipped at the east end. The south elevation comprises the chapel, of flint rubble and stone dressings, at the east and later additions, in red brick, to the west. Some of the flint is knapped. The south side of the chapel has two lancets breaking the storeys. That to the west has been truncated by an 18th century pointed doorway with red brick voussoirs. To either side of the lancet windows are stepped stone buttresses. They each have a plinth and two setbacks and are built of limestones quoins and flint infill. Another buttress extending east from the wall is of pilaster form. It has no plinth and only one setback and is built with Caen stone quoins. Incised into the quoins are two Mass dials. Running west from the chapel are four bays of sash windows. In the first bay the lower sash has a west reveal of chalk blocks and an east reveal of Caen stone, whilst the upper has a west reveal of brick and an east reveal of chalk ashlar. The second bay has a sash window at first floor level and beneath it an 18th century pedimented doorcase. Between the first and second bays is a blocked medieval two-centred arched doorway. Above it is a blocked round-headed window of chalk or soft greensand voussoirs. According to a National Trust guidebook this was originally a
French window opening onto a balcony but no evidence to support this has been found (Leach 1994: 2). Also at first floor level is a lancet window incorporated into the brickwork on a slightly higher plain to the lancets of the chapel. It may have been reset when a staircase was added (Kipps 1935: 209). Immediately below it is a part of a splayed stringcourse, which presumably continued further west but has been truncated by later alterations. It is in a similar position to the string course at Swingfield commandery and appears to be built into the flint rubble, which indicates that it is contemporaneous with the chapel. The third and fourth western bays are mostly built of brick but incorporate a significant amount of stonework. Attached at the west is an 18th century stuccoed wing with sash windows and a modillion eaves cornice. It incorporates part of a 13th century building, possibly a tower, beneath the render. In 1961 when some render was removed an arched doorway was discovered and a stone arch and cill were seen at first floor level (Leach 1994: 2). The east elevation of the chapel has three stepped lancets and pilaster buttresses to each side as described above. The top of the central lancet is truncated by the eaves of the roof. Beneath the lancets are two inserted casement windows lighting the ground floor. The north elevation elevation has two 19th century ranges running perpendicular to the main building. At the east end are two 13th century lancets breaking the storeys, one of which is partly blocked. Between them is a plinthed stone buttress, which has been re-built as a brick chimney above its lower setback. It seems likely that there were further lancet windows immediately to the west but these have been concealed or destroyed by the 19th century two-storey red brick range. Built into the west wall of this range is a plinthed stone buttress, Beyond it the building continues in flint and there is a blocked lancet window, now truncated by two later windows, and a plinthed stone buttress. Two blocks of Caen stone to the west may indicate another lancet. These remains clearly indicate that the chapel continued to the west and met another building that is now concealed by the 18th century wing. One the later windows in the west side of this elevation has timber mullion and transoms and rectangular leaded glazing and is thought to be of 17th century borigin (Kipps 1935: 207). The west elevation is formed of the 18th century stuccoed wing, which has three bays of sash windows and a hipped tiled roof with two dormers. When the stucco or render was removed in 1961 â€™traces of two upper lancets, not as long as the chapel onesâ€™ were found, although it is not clear whether these were for the ground or first floor (Leach 1994: 3). INTERNAL The house is in residential use and could not be inspected but the list description records that there is a 17th century kitchen with an inglenook fireplace and an 18th century staircase, drawing room and boudoir.6
Listed Building Record No.1085776. English Heritage. The National Heritage List for th England. Retrieved from http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/ on 8 January 2013.
The ground floor of the chapel was not accessible for inspection. However a good account of it is given it in an archaeological report (Leach 1994: 4-5). It is limewashed and has a screed floor and a well covered by a stone slab. Two iron columns support a beam that carries the inserted floor above. In the south wall are double piscinas uncovered in 1871. These are set into arched recesses, one with a simple round bowl and the other with a wedge shaped bowl. At the north end of the east wall is an area of blocking, the bottom of which shows a band of rusty ironwork. This may have been an aumbry but it could also be a more recent feature. An alcove in the north wall is of 20th century construction but may mark the position of an Easter Sepulchre. The first floor of the chapel was blocked off from the house in the 19th century to form a billiards room. It is now only accessible from a door in the south elevation. The chapel is 7.15m wide. The walls are plastered but leaving the quoins of the windows exposed. At the west end is a chimney and inserted in the north wall is a fireplace. There are two lancet windows in the south wall and two in the north. In the east wall are three lancets. The top of the central one is obscured by the ceiling. The window splays have been cut by an inserted cill cut 16cm into the wall (to provide space to play billiards?). The original cills appear to be concealed by the floor below. Over the windows are arches springing from the capitals of engaged columns. The capitals comprise an arrangement of several roll mouldings and fillets. The shafts terminate about half way down the windows in what is probably a 19th century base. DENDOCHRONOLOGY A partially smoke-blackened piece of timber removed â€˜over the front doorâ€™ by Rentokil and dated on architectural grounds to the early 13th century has been examined through dendochronology (Leach 1994: 6). This provided a germination date of c1150 and a felling date of c1236, which fits in well with the documentary evidence indicating that the chapel was under construction in 1234. Additional Notes / Discussion The original sequence of lancets in the chapel is not clear. At the east end of the range there are three lancets in the north wall and three in the south wall. Leach observed that the centre to centre dimension of the easternmost pair is 3m but that of the westernmost is 8m (1994: 6). This indicates that those at the east were positioned to light the altar whilst the spacing of other lancets was greater. Leach observes that a spacing of 4m would agree with a postulated fourth lancet on the north elevation and would make a total of sic lancets on each side (Ibid: 6). He suggests that the east end was originally gabled and may have had three oculi like Swingfield. The two buttresses at the east end, which feature Caen stone dressings and are inscribed by the two Mass Dials, are clearly primary. However the two buttresses on the south side and three on the north are of significantly different design and materials. They do not align with those on the opposite wall nor with the positions of the tiebeams internally according to Leach (Ibid: 7) and there is no obvious distortion of the walls. They were thus probably constructed for architectural effect.
The blocked door on the south elevation may have given access to claustral buildings on this side. There is no evidence for an original door on the north. Leach (1994:7) asserts that there was a tower at the west. However the walls of the north side of the west wing are of the same thickness, which indicates that they may be contemporary with the rest of the structure. This wing has thicker walls than the main range and it is likely to have stood to at least two storeys high. Leach (Ibid: 7) found evidence for a small window in the south wall of the west wing and postulates that there were originally two. The division between the chapel and the west wing or tower is not clear. On the ground floor there is likely to have been a door in the place of the current one whilst at first floor level there may have been a gallery or a window looking down into the chapel. Leachâ€™s survey of the interior indicated that there was not two storeys to the chapel as has been asserted by other authors. The height of the piscinas support his assertion but it remains possible that there may have been a floor or gallery inserted at the west end. The blocking at the north end of the east wall may have been an aumbry but it could also be a more recent feature. An alcove in the north wall of the ground floor of the chapel is of 20th century construction but may mark the position of an Easter Sepulchre. Kipps (1935: 210) recorded some architectural fragments found in the garden, which were formerly part of the building. These included: a circular base with roll moulding, part of a door or window jamb with double splayed angle; and a double arch springer hollow-chamfered. Forrester dates the hollow chamfer types of moulding from c.1370-1550, which indicates that this was a later feature. St Johnâ€™s Jerusalem, Sutton-at-Hone is nearly contemporary with Swingfield commandery. It is similar in architectural style with stepped lancets [and perhaps originally a gabled end lit by oculi] at the east end and further lancet windows elsewhere. The interior treatment is more restrained at Sutton-at-Hone. There are single engaged arches and shafts rather than the use of double or triple shafts as at Swingfield. The extent of restoration at Sutton is not clear. Verbal information from the occupier indicates that at least part one of the arches had been replaced in the 19th century. The termination of the shafts in a base form of two roll mouldings appears to be a 19th century feature, contemporaneous with the alterations that took place in c.1870. It bears no similarity with the extensive collection of medieval mouldings recorded by Forester (1972). The capitals comprise a simple of roll mouldings and fillets (See Appendix 00). They also do not bear close similarity to the medieval mouldings recorded by Forrester. The architectural features recorded in the garden by Kipps (1935: 210) included a double arch springer hollow-chamfered. Forrester dates the hollow chamfer type of moulding from c.1260 to the early 16th century. Considering the chapel was under construction in 1234 this moulding would thus appear to have been a later feature; alteration or addition.
Sources: Tallents, S. 1944. St. John’s Jerusalem, Sutton-at-Hone. South Darenth: Little Boys’ Press. Tallents, S. 1952. Green Thoughts. Faber and Faber. Kipps, P. 1935. ‘The Chapel of the Knights Hospitallers at Sutton-at-Hone’, In Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 47, 205-210. Larking, L. 1857. The Knights Hospitallers in England: Being the Report of Prior Philip de Thame to the Grand Master Elyan de Villanova for AD 1338. London: Camden Society. Page, W. (ed.). 1926. The Victoria County History of England and Wales, Kent, Vol.
II, 175-176. Leach, P. 1994. St John's Jerusalem, Sutton at Hone, Kent. Unpublished Archaeological Report written by the National Trust. Held by Kent Historic Environment Service Report No.1994/61. Wadmore, J. 1897. ‘The Knight Hospitallers in Kent’, In Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 22, 232-275. Listed Building Record No.1085776. English Heritage. The National Heritage List for England. Retrieved from http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/ on 8th January 2013. Scheduled Monument Record No.1009021. English Heritage. The National Heritage List for England. Retrieved from http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/ on 8th January 2013. National Trust. National Trust Guidebook: St John’s Jerusalem, Sutton-at-Hone. Swindon: National Trust. Jacob, T. 2005. St John’s Jerusalem, Sutton at Hone. Unpublished notes compiled from various sources.
St John's Jerusalem, Sutton-at-Hone, Kent
St John's Jerusalem, Sutton-at-Hone, Kent
St John's Jerusalem, Sutton-at-Hone 1885 OS Map
APPENDIX 2G: Slebech, Pembrokeshire, Wales The First Commandery – St John the Baptist Church NGR: SN03201392 Situation/Location: St John the Baptist Church, or Slebech Old Church as it is now known, is situated on the banks of the East Claddau; one branch of the River Cleddau, which unites with the West Caladdu to form the Daugleddau estuary to the south-west. The word Slebech is thought to be Viking meaning ‘stony beach’, which has led to the suggestion that the Vikings may have sailed inland as far as Slebech, utilising its strategic position on the waterway.1 It is uncertain whether St John’s Church was originally built in the 12th century as a parish church or whether it formed the main church to the Hospitallers commandery.2 The dedication to St John the Baptist would seem to support the supposition that it was built by the Hospitallers. The village of Slebech originally stood to the west of the church (Fenton 1811: 295) but was later abandoned. There is now an 18th century mansion on what is thought to be the original site of the Hospitallers commandery. Just to the south-east of the church is a stone quay, which was probably built in the medieval period. Surrounding the church are hanging gardens with walks and parterres, which are thought to have been laid out in the early 18th century, although Rees suggested that they may have had their origin in the original garden attached to the commandery (Rees 1900: 6). Position in relation to major medieval roads/pilgrimage routes: In 1123 Pope Calixtus II declared that two pilgrimages to St David’s equalled one to Rome and three pilgrimages to St David’s equalled one to Jerusalem.3 The importance afforded to St David’s Cathedral now brought pilgrims in their thousands. Slebech was therefore well positioned as a resting place for pilgrims taking the long journey west. Patron: Originally Wizo the Fleming but largely rebuilt by Sir Henry Wogan of Wiston (1421-1475). History: The exact date of the establishment of Slebech is uncertain. After the recognition of the Order by Pope Paschal in 1113, Wilfred, Bishop of St David’s (d. 1115) gave the Order the right to remove any chaplain or clerk in its churches, and thereby appoint their own (Rees 1947: 25). One of the earliest grants to the Hospitallers was St Leonard’s Church, Ros Castle, gifted by Alexander Rudepac, lord of Rudbaxton (Parry 1996: 24). This was confirmed by a charter of Bernard, Bishop of St. David’s,
Slebech Park. 2011. Our History. Retrieved from http://www.slebech.co.uk/about-slebechrd park/history/ on 23 Ferbuary 2013. 2 Monument No: 300431 ‘St John’s Church; Slebech Old Church’. Coflein database. National Monuments Record of Wales. Retrieved from http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/300431/details/ST+JOHN'S+CHURCH%3B+SLEBECH+OL rd D+CHURCH/ on 23 February 2013. 3 St David’s Cathedral. 2012. A Brief history. Retrieved from th http://www.stdavidscathedral.org.uk/index.php?id=931 on 24 February 2013.
who died in 1148. However to fully understand how the Hospitallers came to gain a foothold in Wales it is necessary to go back to the Norman Conquest. Shortly after the Conquest, Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, established the lordship of Pembroke in West Wales. In the early 12th century the Montgomery family revolted against the Crown. Pembroke was confiscated by Henry I and much of the area gifted to the Flemings. Henry had signed a treaty with the court of Flanders who had provided troops to help quell the Welsh rebellion (Ibid: 22). The lordship of Daugleddau, in which Slebech was situated, was granted to Wizo the Fleming. Prior to 1115 Wizo endowed the Benedictine Abbey of Gloucester with the churches of Daugleddau. Some years later the Prior of Worcester disputed the right of the Abbey to hold this land. As a consequence Wizo’s son or grandson, Walter (both had the same name, causing confusion in historical sources), withdrew the grant altogether and transferred it to the Hospitallers (Rees 1900: 13).4 The Prior appealed but, after the intervention of the Pope at the Hospitallers request, the Order retained their new possessions in Daugleddau. A charter made sometime between 1161 and 1176 confirmed that the Hospitallers were to hold Slebech, which by this time included a church, mill and fishery (Rees 1947: 27-28). During the later 12th century and early 13th century there were extensive donations to the Order in West Wales. Most of this support came from the area populated by the Flemings; southern Pembrokeshire and southwestern Carmarthenshire, sometimes called ‘Little England beyond Wales’. This land was administered from Slebech Commandery, which served as the headquarters of the Hospitallers bailwick (administrative area). By the mid-13th century Hospitaller possessions in West Wales were largely complete. The Templars had notably less success here; their territories including only the manor of Llanmadoc, the hamlet of Templeton (Templar’s town) and a mill at Pembroke (Rees 1947: 32) The first major insight into life at Slebech Commandery is given by the report issued in 1338. This shows that the commandery included a garden, a church, two mills, two fish-weirs and 53 acres of land (Larking 1857: 34-35). Those listed as occupying the commandery included John de Frouwyck, the knight commander, two brothers; Simon Launcelyn and James de Mount Gomery, a chaplain, four corrodary holders (including one of whom was a chaplain), a squire, a chamberlain, a steward, a cook, a baker and his boy, a clerk, a reaper, a porter, a gardener, a swineherder and his boy, and a cowherder (Ibid: 35). The revenue from the bailiwick amounted to £307 1s. and there was £141 2s. in expenses leaving more than half free to be paid into the treasury of the Order. Among the expenses were £14. 10s. for the stipends of seven chaplains; 50 shillings for the chaplain at Slebech and 40 shillings to the chaplains serving other churches in its possession. This indicates that there may have been a clerical hierarchy within the Order; those providing services in the commanderies were above those serving in associated churches. Security for the Hospitallers estates within the bailiwick was provided by two magnates who were paid to drive away ‘highway robbers and malefactors of the countryside of Wales, who are fierce 4
MSS No. 19880 held in Cardiff Library states: ‘Walter Son of Wizo hath given to God and to the Blessed Virgin and to the brethren of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem the land of Slebech, to wit, one hundred acres of land with a mill and a fishery with all the tithes appertaining to the same land for charitable purposes for ever.’ (Parry 1996: 24).
in those parts’. The expenses also included gifts to the king’s servants and those of other lords. Among the most important properties attached to Slebech was the manor of Minwear on the opposite side of the estuary. Supplies were brought across the estuary by boat but the tidal waters could make it a treacherous journey and many drowned making the crossing. By the early 15th century it was proposed that a causeway be built across the estuary (Rees 1947: 34). The Hospitallers appealed to the Pope for the right to collect alms for the purpose. Permission was granted in 1419 and for the next ten years those enjoined to penance were exempted if they granted money towards the project (Ibid: 34). Despite this no evidence has been found that the causeway was ever built. The Commandery distributed alms to the poor within the parish. It had been laid down by the donor upon foundation that the Hospitallers were to hand out 40 quarters of barley and 15 quarters of beans and peas each year. It also provided hospitality to travellers and pilgrims, although the 1338 report indicates that this was being abused. Its states that people came ‘in great numbers, from day to day, and are great wasters and a heavy burden’ (Larking 1857: 36). The church itself was a focus for pilgrimage. In the 15th century Lewis Glyn Cothi wrote a cywydd (ode), which referred to the multitude who journeyed there to receive pardon at the altar of St John (Rees 1947: 31). Slebech Commandery continued to prosper until the Dissolution of the Order by Henry VIII in 1540. Little of the later history is known, although it is clear the church suffered damage during the Civil War. Slebech Hall was probably first built on the site of the commandery after the Dissolution but was later demolished and rebuilt in the 18th century. Chapel Orientation: 93 degrees Plan: An 1835 plan of Slebech Church (Source: ICBS 10532, Lambeth Place)
Building History: St John the Baptist Church is thought to have been founded by Wizo the Fleming in the mid 12th century but very little, if any, survives of that building. The earliest part appears to be the nave, which may date to the 13th century but there are no early architectural features, the windows and doorways having been replaced in Perpendicular style. The chancel arch appears to have been inserted late in the Decorated period judging by the disturbed stonework around it, and is set on low walls. The chancel is of considerable length and appears to have been rebuilt or extended in the mid-15th century (see below). A tower was added in the 16th century and a chapel added on the north side of the church. Historical evidence supports a part rebuilding of the church in the mid-15th century. The effigies of a knight, Sir Henry Wogan of Wiston (1421-1475), and his wife, Margaret Herbert, were formerly situated in the south wall of the east end of the chancel. This location is traditionally the ‘founders spot’, where the patron would be commemorated. Laws and Edwards suggested that in the 15th century Slebech Commandery had passed out of the hands of the Hospitallers, citing a reference in 1463 to ‘Henry Wogan, armiger de Slebech’ (1911: 374). They consider that Sir Henry Wogan, who claimed descent from the original founder Wizo the Fleming, returned the property to the Hospitallers (Ibid). Whether this is the case is uncertain but the Order certainly held the property in 1535. What seems likely is that Sir John Wogan proved a significant benefactor to the Hospitallers, funding the rebuilding of the chancel and was thus honoured with a resting place in the church for himself and his wife. The rebuilding may have occurred after they married in 1442. A description of the chancel ceiling indicates that it had a panelled ceiling in the Perpendicular style decorated with the arms of the Barlow family. Roger Barlow (c.1500-1553) purchased the manor from the crown in 1546 and may have repainted his arms on an earlier ceiling. He may have marked his acquisition by substantial rebuilding of the church including the tower and north transept. The Barlow family owned the church until the later 18th century. It was probably them or their successors which rebuilt the south chantry chapel or transept to form a family pew in the late 18th century. There is no evidence for the date of the earlier chapel although it is known that it existed before 1640 and may perhaps have been a late medieval addition. The churchwardens accounts from 1757 show that there was consistent expenditure on re-roofing and repairing the church, which continued until the early 19th century. However in the mid 19th century the then owner of Slebech, Baron de Rutzen founded the building of a new parish church, which now lies about 1.5km to the north-west.5 Baron de Rutzen ordered the stripping of the roof of the old church in 1844 to stop worshippers coming onto his land.
National Library of Wales: Slebech Estate Records. Retrieved from th http://www.archiveswales.org.uk/anw/get_collection.php?coll_id=20220& on 24 February 2013.
Description: Slebech church is cruciform in plan, comprising a chancel, nave, north and south transeptal chapels with a tower set at the north-west, between the angle of the nave and transept. It is built of coursed stone rubble including welsh bluestone, hard reddish limestone and large blocks of white limestone. There are patches of internal plaster surviving in places such as on the walls of the chancel. At the north-east is a large 16th century tower, which is square in plan, 3.3m by 3.6m, with walls about 1.2m thick. About midway up the stonework tapers in so that the upper half is narrower than the structure below. The quoins of the lower part are larger and less finely worked than those above, which would seem to indicate two phases of construction. The tower is entered from the north through a late Perpendicular hollow-chamfered doorway. The doorway is formed of a four-centred arch set in a square frame with shields in the spandrels, which is covered by a square hoodmould terminating in circular stops. Above the doorway is a relieving arch and three stages of windows. The lower window is a single lancet set in a square frame, which has a shield above it. Next there is a square window and above that, in the belfry, is a two-light window. There are two steps down into the tower, which has a barrel vault on the ground floor. A further three steps lead down through a south doorway into the nave of the church. On the right-hand side of this doorway, before entering the church, is a plain-chamfered four-centred arched stoup with a square bowl. Built into the east wall of the tower is a circular staircase entered from the transept through a square-headed doorway. Just to the right of it is a slit window, which may have lit the staircase but the space behind it is now infilled with rubble. This indicates that the tower pre-dates the north transept. Internally the upper part of the tower has lost all former floor levels and is now roofless and open to the sky, revealing the deep window embrasures and corbels on the upper stage of the tower, which must have originally supported a floor. There is a square recess about midway up on the south side. The belfry is punctuated by two-light and single square windows and at the top is corbelling below a (missing) battlemented parapet. The nave is about 16m long and 7m wide. In the north wall is a ruinous semi-circular arched window, which probably dates to the 18th or 19th century. It is absent from a plan drawn by Thomas Rowland in 1835 (ICBS 01532). Opposite it is a similar window under a semi-circular arched head. The lower part of the west wall is supported by a continuous plinth, which was apparently added after part of the wall collapsed in the 19th century. Several quoins built into the wall behind it clearly indicate that it is a later addition. This wall contains a late Perpendicular squareheaded window under a hoodmould. In the south wall, opposite the tower, is Perpendicular segmental arched doorway with a square hoodmould, which ends in square stops ornamented with flowerheads. The jamb mouldings are formed of ovolo mouldings which indicates that the doorway was added in the late 17th century. Inscribed into one of the jambs is the faint trace of a cross patée. The interior of the church no longer contains any furnishings except for a font situated on a square stone platform near the centre of the nave. This is formed of a round bowl carved with vertical incisions or scallops, which is supported on a cylindrical stem and square base. It may date to the 17th or 18th century, perhaps at a time when the church was re-furnished. The floor of the nave is obscured by soil but according to an early 19th century account it was ‘paved with small painted bricks’ (i.e. tiles) such as those found in the chancel of St David’s Cathedral (Fenton 1811: 295).
The chancel is about 12.5m long and 6m wide. The length indicates that the chancel has been rebuilt or extended late in the medieval period, probably during the 15th century. It is separated from the nave by a two-centred arch formed of an ogee and quarter circle moulding. The arch is thought to date to the Decorated period (Lloyd et all 2004: 452), although the moulding indicates that it was built shortly before the Perpendicular period and may date to the late 14th century. Disturbed walling around the arch indicates that it may be a later insertion. High up in the wall near the apex of the arch is a corbel, which may have originally supported a rood loft. Blocking to the south side of the arch suggests the location of a former stair. In the north and south walls of the chancel are rectangular windows with later brick headers. No tracery survives but at the bottom of one of them is the hole for a mullion indicating they were originally of two lights. In the east wall is a large two-centred arched window, which also no longer contains tracery. At the east end the altar dais is raised two steps above the rest of the church. In the south wall is a blocked square recess and, next to it, a larger semi-circular arched recess supported externally by a buttress. This originally housed two recumbent alabaster effigies under a marble canopy, which were moved to the crypt of the new Parish church when it was built in about 1848 (RCHAMW 1925: 384).6 The first was that of a man dressed in mid15th century armour, having a pendant decorated with stars and roses around his neck, a dagger at his waist, knee plates incised with maltese crosses and his feet resting on a lion. Beside him was a woman clothed in a dress and cloak, wearing a mantle and a chaplet on her head, with her feet resting on two dogs. They are thought to be the knight Sir Henry Wogan of Wiston (1421-1475) and his wife Margaret Herbert, sister of William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke (Laws and Edwards 1911: 371-380). They married in 1442 and resided at nearby Picton Castle. In the north wall of the chancel are traces of two further possible recesses for monuments or plaques. These are now blocked but incorporate some plain-chamfered masonry. The chancel was originally floored in black and white marble, according to Fenton (1811: 295). He describes the roof as â€˜ceiled with wood in square compartments, with a flower in each angle and overlaid with the Barlow armsâ€™, indicating that it was in the Late Perpendicular style. Following the Dissolution Roger Barlow (c.15001553) purchased the manor of Slebech from the crown in 1546. Fenton notes that Rogerâ€™s grandson, George Barlow (d.1662), was a great benefactor to the church, endowing it with a vicarage (1811: 297). He may have re-furnished the church and added the font and the 17th century south doorway. The north chapel is lit by two Perpendicular windows; one in the east wall of three cinquefoil-headed lights set in a square frame with a square hood mould, and another in the north wall of three-trefoil headed lights under a flattened arch. Internally it is linked to the nave by a four-centred arch of considerable breadth, which is formed of a Perpendicular ogee and quarter circle moulding. The arch rests on diagonally set responds, which have capitals decorated with cresting. The east respond has been hollowed out to form a trefoil-headed recess, which may have housed a statue or relic. Next to it is a plain-chamfered arched recess, which is now blocked. This is shallow in depth and may simply have formed the surround of a painting.
The new parish church was consecrated in 1848. It was de-consecrated in 1990 due to subsidence and is now derelict.
The south chapel is recorded by Fenton as existing before 1640 and may originally have been a late medieval addition but was substantially re-built as a family ‘pew transept’ in the late 18th century.7 It is lined with brick internally and joined to the nave by a four-centred arch. This is designed to broadly emulate that of the opposite transept but is not decorated by mouldings and is supported on plain rectangular pier responds. In the east and west walls are semi-circular headed windows with ‘Gibbs surrounds’ formed of alternating brick and stone jambs, large stone voussoirs and keystones. In the south wall are two oeil-de-boeuf windows and a brick fireplace.
Sources: Lambeth Palace ICBS 01532 Folios 100ff. Church Plan: Slebech, St. John the Baptist (1833-1848), Pembrokeshire. Rowlands, Thomas: b. 1803-1883 of Haverfordwest (Architect) ICBS Minutes: Volume 7, pp217; Volume 9, pp246; Volume 11, pp296; Volume 12, pp251; Volume 13, pp81. National Monuments Record for Wales Letter from W.G. Thomas to Revd W. Watkins regarding St John the Baptist (old) Church, Slebech, dated 25th July 1984. Held by the National Monuments Record for Wales (Ref: M/PE). Notes regarding St John the Baptist (old) Church, Slebech, written by A.J.P and dated 14th April 1986 held by the National Monuments Record for Wales (Ref: NA/PE/89/68). Secondary Publications Fenton, R. 1811. A Historical Tour through Pembrokeshire. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Co. Green, F (ed.). 1912. West Wales Historical Records: The annual Magazine of The Historical Society of West Wales Volume II: 1911-12. Laws, E. 1888. The History of Little England beyond Wales, and the Non-Kymric Colony settled in Pembrokeshire. London: George Bell & Sons. Laws, E. and Edwards, E. 1911. ‘Monumental Effigies, Pembrokeshire’, Archaeologia Cambrensis, Vol XI, 371-380 7
Letter from W.G. Thomas to Revd W. Watkins regarding St John the Baptist (old) Church, th Slebech, dated 25 July 1984. Held by the National Monuments Record for Wales (Ref: M/PE). th Notes regarding St John the Baptist (old) Church, Slebech, written by A.J.P and dated 14 April 1986 held by the National Monuments Record for Wales (Ref: NA/PE/89/68).
Lewis, S. 1833. A Topographical Dictionary of Wales comprising the several
counties, cities, boroughs, corporate and market towns, parishes, chapelries and townships, with Historical and Statistical Descriptions, Volume II. London: S. Lewis and Co. Ludlow, N. 2002. Cadw Early Medieval Ecclesiastical Sites Project, Part 1. Cardiff: Cadw. Parry, J. 1996. The Commandery of Slebech in Wales of the Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem. Slebech: Fairwind Publications. Rees, J. 1900. Slebech Commandery and The Knights of St. John. London: Bedford Press. Rees, W. 1947. A History of The Order of St John of Jerusalem in Wales and on the Welsh Border including an account of the Templars. Cardiff: Western Mail and Echo Limited. Royal Commission on the Ancient Monuments in Wales and Monmouthshire (RCAHMW). 1925. An inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Pembrokeshire. London: HMSO.
Slebech Old Church - Modern OS Map
Slebech Old Church - Modern OS Map
APPENDIX 2H: Church of St Peter, Swingfield, Kent NGR: TR 2328 4342 Situation/Location: See Swingfield commandery - St Peter’s Church is a short walk across the fields to the south-west of the commandery. History St Peter’s Church was founded in about the mid 12th century and remained attached to the Hospitallers until the dissolution in 1540. Swingfield means ‘the field of swine or pigs’. The church was enlarged in the 13th century when the chancel was lengthened. From at least the 17th century the church was served by a perpetual curate - priest without full parochial income – indicating that Swingfield was by then a poor and sparsely populated parish. In 1870-71 a major restoration was carried out by Charles Whitley. A north aisle was added, the chancel windows were renewed and the east wall re-built. In 1980-82 repairs were carried out by the architect Kenneth Waite. The church became redundant in 2000 but was taken over by the Churches Conservation Trust in 2011. Plan:
Above: Plan of Swingfield Parish church in 1870. Parts marked in red are new work to be carried out for the restoration. (Source: http://www.churchplansonline.org/)
Description and Building History Built in about the mid 12th century (circa ?1140) of knapped flint with ragstone and Caen stone dressings, and tiled roofs. The nave dates to about the mid 12th century, the earliest features being two late Romanesque windows from the north wall now inserted into the east and west walls of the north aisle. The south doorway appears to be early 13th century but with some transitional elements (squared imposts and use of two orders). It is a pointed arch of two orders; an inner order with rounded edges, an outer order with three
roll mouldings and a hood-mould formed of a pointed-roll1. This is supported on squared imposts, the outer of which is chamfered and roll-moulded. On the left (west) jamb are two mass dials; one large and one small. The doorway is covered by a 14th century porch with a crown-post roof. The lower walls are of flint with ragstone quoins but the upper half is originally thought to have been an open structure but which was covered in timber cladding in the 19th century. The south wall has two buttresses. The east buttress is stepped but that to the west has been repaired in brick. Either side of the porch are two square-headed Perpendicular windows; one of two trefoil-headed lights and another of two cinquefoil-headed lights. It seems likely that these replaced earlier Romanesque windows. In the east part of the south wall is a tall plain chamfered 13th century lancet window. Internally the nave has a 14th century octagonal font at the west end but otherwise a 19th century pulpit and benches. The south wall is cut away to provide space for a ladder to the rood loft. The nave has a 14th century crown-post roof. It consists of slender octagonal crown posts with braces running from crown post to the collar and collar purlin, sole plates, ashlars pieces and scissor braces (Arnold and Howard 2011: 1). The east end is thought to be a later alteration. Here the crown-post is raised on a secondary collar with ogee braces between the collar and tie-beam. The chancel was extended in the 13th century and now has two angle buttresses. It is built of knapped flint with blocks of stone almost in a chequer pattern. In the north and south walls are two plain-chamfered lancet windows. However in the east wall are three stepped lancets with an oculus above, mirroring the same elevation of the nearby commandery. The chancel windows were renewed in the 19th century and much of the east wall was rebuilt. Internally a 19th century double plain-chamfered chancel arch divides the nave and chancel. In the north and south walls of the chancel are two aumbrys; that to the north is unchamfered but that to the south has a plain-chamfered Caen stone pointed arch, which has a cross pommĂŠe inscribed in one of the jambs. The chancel has a collared common rafter roof with five tie beams, sous-laces and ashlar-pieces (Arnold and Howard 2011: 1). The west tower is of three stages with a chamfered stone plinth. It is generally thought to date to the 15th century (CCT 2012) but is more likely of 13th century origin, heightened and altered at a later date. Internally there is an Early English plain chamfered tower arch with broach stops and a four-centred arch to the south-east turret. Externally the tower has stepped angle buttresses at the north-west and south-west but these obscure a string course on each side and could thus be later additions. Also in the west elevation is a two-centred arched doorway with a Caen stone lancet above. Both have square hoodmoulds above them, which have the appearance of 15th century insertions. In the south, west and north sides of the belfry are pointed two-light windows with a sexfoil over, and in the east side is a square window. There is a circular turret at the south-east corner with slit lights. The north aisle was added in 1870 but is largely built in 13th century style. It has four lancets in the north wall and a lean-to roof. Internally there is a four-bay arcade with plain-chamfered arches resting on alternate circular and octagonal columns. 1
The listed building description refers to this as a scroll-moulding.
Discussion St Peter’s Church pre-dates the surviving chapel of the nearby commandery, having initially been built in the mid-12th century. It is uncertain whether the Hospitallers built the church although they certainly gained possession at a later date. This first church appears to have been rectangular in plan with a small chancel attached at the east and two Romanesque windows in the north and south walls. The establishment of the commandery subsequently led to an increase in the local population as well as pilgrims visiting the church – as was the case at Slebech, Wales. This probably necessitated the extension of the chancel in the 13th century. The extended chancel closely resembles that of the Hospitaller chapels of Swingfield and Sutton-at-Hone, particularly the use of the three stepped lancets and an oculi in the east wall. However these features appear to be a 19th century restoration. The church also features a 14th century crown-post roof in common with the commandery chapel. A tower appears to have been built at the west in the 13th century and has a circular turret, which is characteristic of many Kentish churches. This is example is similar to Sutton-at-Hone parish church.
Sources: ICBS 07135. Church Plan: Swingfield, St. Peter (1870-71), Kent Whitley, Charles: d. 1909 of Dover (Architect) ICBS Minutes: Volume 19, pp 342, Volume 20, pp 26. Arnold, A. and Howard, R. 2011. Church of St. Peter, Swingfield, Kent: tree-ring analysis of timbers. Portsmouth: English Heritage. English Heritage. The National Heritage List for England. Retrieved from http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/ on 8th January 2013. Lambert, G. 1894. Swingfield and what little is known of it; together with a narrative of King John’s surrender of his country, crown and sceptre to the Pope Innocent III., May 15th 1213, etc. London: T. Brettal & Co. The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT). 2012. Church of St Peter, Swingfield, Kent. Church guide. London: The Churches Conservation Trust.
Swingfield Parish Church, Kent - Modern OS map
APPENDIX 2I: Church of St Nicholas, Poling, West Sussex. NGR: TR 2328 4342 Situation/Location: See Poling commandery chapel. There is no road to the church; it is approached by paths and stiles and surrounded by elm trees. History A Pre-conquest church thought to be recorded under ‘Lolinmistre’ in the Domesday Survey (Johnston 1919: 70). After the conquest it passed to Roger de Montgomeries then to the Fitz Alans. By 1999 the place occurs as ‘Paling(e)(s) or Palyng(es); the etymology of which is though to derive from a meaning of ‘people or dwellers by the pãl or stake’, indicating some sort of palisade in the area (Steer 1965: 1). This may possibly have been associated with the commandery. After 1305 it took the form ‘Polynge’ and remained as such until the 16th century. Much of the parish was owned by the Hospitallers but following the Dissolution the estates were given to the College of Arundel in 1541. Plan (Source: Johnston 1919: 72)
Description and Building History Poling church is built of hard white chalk, Quarr stone and Pulborough stone. Sussex and Purbeck marbles are used in the floor slabs and altar. The Saxon church is thought to occupy the remains of the present nave, the north wall surviving of that earlier building. It includes a deeply-splayed Saxon window of white limestone and Caen stone, which originally included a Saxon wooden shutted, part of which is preserved in the church. This original church would have been small,
with a nave 7.5m by 4m and a chancel about 3m square, coated with plaster with a roof of reed thatch (Johnston 1919: 72). The establishment of the Hospitallers in Poling, during the latter half of the 12th century coincides with the expansion of the church. It may have been the case that an increase in the local population, to build and service the commandery, as well as farm the Hospitallers’ estate, necessitated an enlargement of the Saxon church. In 1190 a south aisle, which has an arcade formed of two chamfered arches set on round columns with octagonal capitals, was built (Johnston 1919: 77). It contained an additional altar, probably a chantry, evident by a piscina in the south wall. The south wall was originally painted with a consecration cross but it was removed at the restoration (Ibid: 79). In the west wall of the aisle is the splay of a lancet window, altered to form a 15th century window, whilst in the south wall is the cill of another lancet. The south doorway is incised with a mass dial and cross pommée. In about 1380 the small Saxon chancel was demolished and a new one built; the north and south walls of the nave being extended eastwards (Ibid: 82). Saxon window quoins of characteristic long and short work were built into the angles of the new east wall. Within the chancel is another sign of the Hospitallers association with the church. Set into the floor in front of the piscina is a Hospitaller grave slab of Sussex marble which features traces of a cross. Although of the same material as the memorial at the nearby commandery, it is much smaller. The east window of the chancel contains interlaced tracery in the Decorated but was renewed in 1830 (Steer 1965 3). Internally to each side of the window are two moulded stone brackets at the level of the cill that may originally have carried a beam for a cross, candlesticks, images or statues of St John the Baptist and the Virgin. The enlargement of the chancel led to the removal of a Saxon chancel arch and the erection of a roodscreen (Johnston 1919: 82). In the north wall of the nave are two square-headed Perpendicular windows and towards the west end is a two-centred arched doorway. The nave and chancel have braced collar beam roofs covered in Horsham stone slabs and tile. Attached to the west end of the church is an early 15th century tower built of flint rubble and Pulborough sandstone. Built at the north-east angle is a large square stair turret. The tower walls are pierced by small single loop holes or larger two-light square-headed windows whilst in the west wall is an arched doorway. Sources Johnston, P. 1919. ‘Poling, and the Knights Hospitallers. Part I – The Village and Church’, In Sussex Archaeological Collections, Vol LX, 67-91. Steer, F. 1965. Diocese of Chichester: Guide to the Church of St. Nicholas, Poling. Poling, West Sussex: The Poling Parochial Church Council.
Poling Parish Church, Kent - Modern OS map
APPENDIX 2J: St Mary’s Church, Standon, Hertfordshire NGR: TL 3964 2225 Situation/Location: Standon Church is situated towards the foot of a valley of the River Rib about 5 miles NNE of Hertford. Position in relation to major medieval roads/pilgrimage routes: The church is about a mile (1.6km) to the east of the former course of Ermine Street Roman Road, which continued in use in the medieval period. About 1.1km to the north was Stane Street and about 1.7km to the east was the probable course of a Roman road running from Braughing to Harlow. Standon was therefore extremely well connected. In terms of pilgrimage sites Standon was situated between shrines at Waltham Abbey (shrine of the Holy Rood) to the south and Ely (St. Etheldreda) to the north. Patron: Patron: Gilbert de Clare (c.1115-1152) History: During the reign of King Stephen (1135-1154) the Earl of Hertford, Gilbert de Clare, gave the Hospitallers the church of Standon and 140 acres of land. Gilbert’s brother Roger also gave them a mill outside the town gate prior to 1174 (VCH Hertfordshire Vol 4 (1971): 444). A commandery was subsequently established, which was occupied by sisters of the Order before they were removed to Buckland in Somerset in 1180 (Ibid: 444). This no longer survives but the original site of the commandery is thought to be occupied by ‘Knights Court’, a 16th century building formerly used as a school but now converted to residential accommodation. Before 1280 Standon Church was served by a vicar but in that year the vicarage was formally endowed with a messuage and 3 acres of land (VCH Hertfordshire Vol 3 (1912): 347). In the early 16th century there was ‘a brotherhood of our Lady’ in Standon church (Ibid: 347). Presumably this was associated was a successor branch to the 14th century Dutch brotherhood that venerated the Virgin Mary. Following the Dissolution the adwowson of the church was granted with the rectory and manor to Sir Ralph Sadlier (Ibid: 347). It passed with the manor until the 18th century when it was sold to Christopher Puller of Youngsbury. Building History: The earliest part of the church is the Early English chancel, dating to about 1230-40, which is attached to a Decorated nave, which was rebuilt in about the mid 14th century when the aisles were added. The west doorway is slightly earlier than the nave, dating to about 1320-30. It is generally thought that the tower was added in the 15th century when the west porch was also built. In 1864 the church was extensively restored: the chancel was re-fenestrated, the roof was replaced, a vestry built on the north side of the chancel, a timber porch built on the south side of the nave, an organ chamber built joining the tower with the church, and the upper part of the tower rebuilt in brick and cement.
Description: St Maryâ€™s Church comprises a nave flanked by aisles, a chancel, a west porch, an (originally detached) tower at the south-east and a later vestry and organ chamber. It is built of flint with clunch and oolite/limestone stone dressings. Originally much of the flint was apparently arranged in a chequer pattern, in a similar way to the chancel at Swingfield parish church, but it was re-arranged without any pattern during the 19th century restoration. Internally the nave is 22m by 7m, the chancel is 12m by 6m, and the tower is about 4m square. The chancel has three stepped lancets in the east wall and a moulded bracket supported by an angel bearing a shield. The lancets replaced a 15th century east window at the restoration. In-fact most of the architectural features are 19th century restorations but the chancel arch is largely original. It is formed of two richly moulded orders separated by dog-tooth ornament. The arch is carried on 19th century Devonshire marble shafts but the foliage capitals and bases are original. On each side of the arch are squints offering a view into the chancel from the aisle, the lower parts of which are now infilled. There is a five bay nave arcade of two-centred arches resting on columns formed of semi-octagonal shafts and above it a clerestory formed of two-light windows. There are 14th century two-light windows in the north and south aisles. In the east wall of the north aisle is a bracket for an image and a pointed arched piscina with a projecting bowl. The east and west windows of the north aisle are of three lights with flowing tracery. A stair to the rood-loft is placed in the north-east corner of the south aisle and is approached through a 15th century four-centred arched doorway. In the south wall towards the east end of the aisle is a mid-14th century pointed piscina and a large 19th century ogee-arched tomb recess. Further to the west is a two-centred arched doorway of two orders. There is an early 14th century west doorway into the nave and above it a Decorated four-light window with flowing
tracery. The 12th century font is situated next to the west door. It is octagonal with an upper part encircled with two rows of foliage ornament. There is a three stage tower to the south-east with two-centred arched doorways on the north and south sides, loop windows to the second stage, 19th century twolight windows to the belfry and a crenellated parapet and spire. Each stage of the tower carries a string course. Against the south-west angle of the tower are two substantial stepped stone buttresses, finished in ashlar. These appear to be later additions for they obscure the quoins and are placed over the top of the middle string course. The lower string course continues around the buttresses and is probably contemporary. Additional notes / Discussion The church displays several unusual features. Firstly there is a significant incline through the building towards the east end of the chancel. The church itself is built on a west facing slope but there is no reason why the ground covered by the building should not have been levelled before it was built. It is claimed in the church guide that the incline occurs only in churches of the Knights Hospitallers, which were ‘processional churches’. However no evidence could be found to substantiate this statement. It seems instead that this feature is peculiar to Standon church. The chancel is substantially higher than the nave and is approached up a flight of eight steps, giving a rise of 1.2m. The altar is reached by a further 5 steps, a rise of 0.7m. This substantial elevation is thought to be due to a burial chamber that lies under the chancel. A further unusual feature is the detached south-east tower. Sources: ICBS 06140 Church Plan: Standon, St. Mary the Virgin (1863-65), Hertfordshire Goodwin, George and Henry (Architects) ICBS Minutes: Volume 18 pages 20, 133 T.D.S. St. Mary’s Church, Standon: Church Guide.
Victoria County History. 1912. The Victoria County History of England and Wales, Hertfordshire, Vol. III, 347-366. Retrieved from http://www.britishhistory.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=43626 on 2nd December 2012.
Victoria County History. 1971. The Victoria County History of England and Wales, Hertfordshire, Vol. IV, 444. Retrieved from http://www.britishhistory.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=37969 on 2nd December 2012. Wetherall, R. 1900. Standon Church, Hertfordshire: Its church and monuments, &c. Ware: Jennings and Bewley. English Heritage. The National Heritage List for England. Retrieved from http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/ on 8th January 2013.
Standon Church, Modern OS map
Standon Church, 1879 OS map
Appendix 3: 3: â€˜Ancient monuments. Notes on repair and preservation.â€™ Issued to Office of Works, Ancient Monuments Branch staff (Contained in PRO WORK 14/2469)
Appendix 4: 4: Site visit request letter
Published on Mar 7, 2014
AA Postgraduate Diploma in Conservation of Historic buildings Alumni Sebastian Fry was awarded the IHBC Student Award 2013 for his AA thesi...