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The surface of the ground in this parish is lowest about half a mile or rather less from the bank of the river. The land then rises with a gradual ascent until we come to Mawe Hill, in the lordship of High Melwood, which is one of the highest elevations in the Isle, and from which Lincoln Minster may be distinctly seen, at the distance of thirty miles. The soil next the river is in most places very rich and fertile, but changes on the higher grounds to a strong clay. Most of the low grounds in this parish have been improved by the progress of warping.
Near the place where the land begins to rise above the level of the Trent at high water, during spring tides, and which forms to the south-east the commencement of the higher grounds, stood the now ruined Castle of Kinnard. “There was a castelle,” says Leland," at the southe side of the Church garth of Oxtun, whereof no peace now standith. The dike and the hill where the arx stood yet be seene. It sume time called Kinnard.”
As there is no mention in Doomsday Book of an Aula or Castellum at this place, we may infer that it was one of those castles erected soon after the conquest by the Chief Lord of the Fee, and by building which the Sax. ons were so cruelly oppressed; for we find that, at so early a period as the twentieth of Henry the Second, A.D. 1172, it was in a dilapidated condition, is said to have been long time ruinous, and was repaired at that time by Roger de Mowbray, as before mentioned in the biographical notice of that person. It never was rebuilt after the destruction which it suffered in the fol. lowing year, together with all Mowbray's other castles : for it was the policy of Henry, in order to promote the better administration of justice in his dominions, to prevent the erection of such places; and he left no fortress standing, when it fell into his hands, the owner of which he had cause to suspect.
The site is a small eminence, containing about three acres of ground, which was surrounded completely by the outward wall. When we enter this area we perceive a mound or conical tumulus of raised earth, which measures within the ditch 270 paces, and which still retains its ancient form as when the arx or keep of the castle was standing. The moat in one place is as plain to be seen as when it was first made, the sides being quite steep as
if newly cut, though the accumulation of earthy matter, during so many centuries, has taken considerably from the depth. There are remains, though in a less defined manner, of both an inner and an outer ditch on the west. On the north the outer ditch occupied the space of the present high road, and the inner one may still be seen beneath the churchyard wall. A pond, now used for watering horses, shews where the outer ditch was on the east; but modern improvements have entirely destroyed all traces of the inner one in that direction ; on the south it is again visible exactly where those improvements end.
now Courcb Yard
Reference to the Plan of the antient Site of Kinnard Castle.
DDD Outer Ditch.
E Hill on which the Arx stood.
G New Church Road,
When the country was in its natural state, and before any embankments had been made to confine the waters of the Trent into one channel, the Castle of Kinnard would command the passage of the river from Lincolnshire to the Isle of Axholme; and was then most probably placed as near the water as was consistent with the comforts and convenience of the garrison. Surrounded on the south and east by an extensive tract of low marshy ground, it was no doubt a place of considerable strength, which might easily be defended against a superior force.
On the ground which once formed the Castle Yard, now stands the parish church, dedicated to St. Martin, of which we may say, as Leland has of Doncaster, “there is likelihood that when this church was erected, much of the ruins of the castelle were taken for the foundation and filling up of the wallis of it.” From the style of the architecture, we may be certain that the aisles have been rebuilt in the reign of Henry the VII: the pointed arches of the nave, the east window in the chancel, and those in the tower, shew that these parts of the fabric are buildings of much earlier date.
About forty-nine years since this Church underwent a thorough repair. The roof of the nave being considered in a dangerous state, a new one was erected and covered with slate. A few years after the aisles underwent a similar repair. However necessary these repairs might be, they have had the usual effect which generally follows the substitution of slate for lead, that of destroying the clear story or upper range of windows above the arches of the nave, so denominated from being glazed with clear instead of stained glass, and which is a very material part in the design of our most beautiful Gothic churches. The clear story gives a light to the nave and roof, which cannot be obtained from the windows of the aisles, especially when the arches which support the nave are low. The body of the Church, being deprived of the light from these upper windows, appears heavy and dull. The win, dow of the aisles and chancel being glazed, the painted glass which was in a da-, inaged state was removed, save one single specimen, which remains to shew that it was of the very best and richest colours. The Church was also new pewed ; and the substantial oak seats, with their beautifully carved fineals,
were replaced by high square closets, as unsightly and inconvenient as the cattle pens in Smithfield market. One of these seats with the fineal perfect still survives, and, with the small remnant of stained glass, may be sufficient to convince us how little the munificent founder regarded expence when he fitted
up this Church to the worship of Almighty God. It appears from the fenestella *, or niche in the walls intended to hold the piscina, that the original design of the architect contemplated the erec. tion of two other altars, one at the east end of the south aisle, and the other at the east end of the north aisle. We have no record, however, of the endowment of any chantries in this Church.
Several improvements and additions have been made to this Church within the last few years. In the year 1823 a vestry was built on the north side of the Chancel, in a style of architecture corresponding with the other parts of the building. About the same period also an approach was made, by altering and levelling the ground, and planted with elms, sycamores, and chesnuts on each side, which have already become very umbracious, and will in the course of a few more years, when he who planted them rests beneath their shade, form a stately avenue.
In 1835, an organ loft was erected by the donations of his Grace the Archbishop of York and the Right Honourable Earl Pindar Beauchamp,
* The fenestella, or small niche, contained a vessel bason, or piscina, for washing the hands. Two pair of such basons were bequeathed by Cardinal Beaufort to the altar of the Chantry by him founded in his Cathedral at Winchester. The piscina was applied also to other uses; should a fly or spider fall into the chalice before consecration, it was directed to be thrown, together with the wine, into this receptacle; but should it happen after consecration, it was directed to be burnt super piscinam. This direction is contained in a book named the Royal, “compyled at the request of King Philip le Bel of France, in the year 1279, to which are annexed certain injunctions or instructions to a priest saying mass, intituled of the Negligences happyning in the Masse, and of the Remedies made especially for the symple people and for the symple priests, which understand not latyn.” Very requisite, therefore, was it that the piscina should be situated near the celebrant ; and this accounts for our finding these niches not only in the walls of chancels, not far from the high altar, but also in the aisles and chantry chapels where there were side altars for private masses.
in which was placed an excellent organ, built by Ward, of York. following inscription is on a brass plate, on the front of it :
ELIZABETH STONEHOUSE DEDICATED
FOR THE RECOVERY OF HER HEALTH.
1836 the East Window in the Chancel was filled with the most beautiful painted glass*, exécuted by Mr. Thomas Ward, of London. Above the spring of the arch, in the smaller compartments, are four angels in the attitude of adoration, and looking up to the name of Jehovah, surrounded by a glory, which is immediately above them : these figures are about two feet in length. In the three large and principal compartments of the win
* The most mistaken ideas and injurious notions have been entertained, of late years, with reference to this splendid production of human ingenuity and talent,-glass painting in vitreous colours; such for instance that the art was lost, that modern artists could not produce such colours as the ancients did, and many other opinions equally erroneous. That this art was ever lost or could be lost is not true: that it has in modern times been nearly starved to death for want of patronage is very true; but so long as a china or even a pottery manufactory remains in any country, the elements of the art of making colours proper for glass painting never could be lost. The bases of the colours are the same for china as for glass; with this difference, the glass painter requires his tints to be much more intense, inasmuch as his recipient is translucent, wbile that of the potter is opaque. Bernard Pallisq, who painted so beautifully on glass subjects, after Raphael, in chiaro obscuro, for Charles the IX. of France, was himself a potter, and as such was appointed “Inventeur des Rustique Figulines du Roy et de la Reine sa Mere.” Even the ancient ruby is not lost to those artists who can and will patiently seek after it. Surely it may wịth propriety be asked, why the modern artists, with all their astonishing improvements in chemical knowledge, should not produce works equal to the ancients? The answer is plain,-want of patronage, he cannot afford it, he has no inducement to give up his time to make those repeated essays and experiments in an art which depends more than any other on practical knowledge, and must always more or less live and die with the artist himself. Give him the same unbounded patronage as was bestowed upon the ancients, and he will soon go beyond them: patronage such as Cosmo and Lorenzo de Medicis gave to genuine talent is all that is wanted. The papers of Brogniart shew that, after the rage of the revolutionists in France had destroyed all that was royal, and Buonaparte wished to restore the manufactory of glass and china at Sevre, although they had the library of receipts, yet when they