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grave, now decayed, and converted into a barn; and all those closes called Dowswould Laundes, thereto belonging, reputed formerly to have been within the park of Belgraves, with all their appurtenances.” The entry of this Parish in Doomsday Book, is as follows:
Geoffrey de Wirce has the manor. In Beltone, Ulf and Alnod had five carucates of land to be taxed. Land to five ploughs. Geoffrey has there one plough, and seventeen sokemen, and twenty villanes, and six bordars, having four ploughs and six oxen ; and eleven fisheries of seven shillings. Wood pasture here and there, two miles long and two miles broad, value in King Edward's time seven pounds, now four pounds five shillings and four-pence. Tallaged at 20s.
Gilbert de Gand claims of the same Geoffrey de Wirce half a carucate of land in the soke of Beltoft, which was Ulfenisc's. Gilbert de Gand claims of the same Geoffrey four carucates of land, and six oxgangs.
This is the land of Ulfenisc.
The ninth lamb, the ninth fleece, and the ninth sheaf, was valued in Belton at £xx; the return being made on the oaths of William de Wroote, Richard Cook, William Fourmery, William Cole, John de Belwood, William de Iynynghagh, Walter Wybald, William Waryner.
The village of Belton is situated on a tract of that rich field land for which the Isle of Axholme is so justly celebrated. It is built, like Haxey, in a very straggling manner; and is composed of several sınall hamlets, each having a distinct appellation : Westgate, Grey Green, Bracton, Churchtown. In the centre stands the Church, a lofty and spacious building, of good ashlar stone. It consists of a nave, north and south aisle ; a chancel, with a Chapel on the north side, part of which is now made use of as a cemetery by the owners of the Temple Bellwood estate: and on the south side of the chancel there is a small mortuary Chapel *, in which a Chantry was
* These chapels were constructed about the close of the fourteenth century; and arose from practice, which prevailed in the twelfth and following centuries, amongst wealthy and influential individuals, of bequeathing their bodies to some particular church for interment; with donations of a
founded, now made use of as a Vestry, and in which modern alterations have obliterated all remains of antiquity. The architecture of this. Church presents nothing very remarkable: it belongs to that description which is generally termed irregular; and has probably been partially rebuilt at different periods.
The north side of the roof of the Chancel is supported by two beautiful pillars, which, with a wooden screen, divided it from the Chapel adjoining. The roof of the nave is supported by three pointed arches, resting on pillars of very considerable altitude, and is lighted by a clear story of two windows on each side. At the west end of the nave is an arch similar to those on each side. The east wall of the Tower, however, closes up this arch; the Tower being a separate building from the nave. The south door-way has been highly ornamented with foliage, of exactly the same pattern as the west door-way of Althorpe Church, but has perished in a great measure from the mouldering of the stone. On one of the pillars in the nave there still remains the iron frame of the hour glass, by which the preacher, about the time of the Reformation, regulated the length of his discourse.
Under one of the arches on the north side of the Chancel is an Altar Tomb of Richard of Belwood, one of the eleven freeholders mentioned in Mowbray's deed. It contains on each side three shields, on which no doubt were emblazoned the different quarterings of his arms: two only are now visi.. ble,-three escalop shells between a fess crenelled, and on the other a bora dure indented. In the sixteenth century this tomb was opened, for the purpose of interring therein the remains of Thomas Vavasor, who requested on his death bed to be buried there, when the bones of Richard de Belwood were found in a lead coffin, and a pair of slippers on his feet*. On the top
more substantial nature, such as the foundation of altars, at which masses might be sung for the repose of the dead. These small sepulchral chapels were neither capacious enough, nor were they designed to contain more than a single tomb, which was generally placed in the midst. At the east end, an altar was constructed, at which mass might be celebrated; and at the south-east corner was piscina. Bloxam's Monumental Architecture, page 173.
* Stovin's MSS.
of this Altar Tomb there is a large stone block, which I should conjecture to have been originally the lid of a stone coffin. It is ridged-shaped or angular, has a cross sculptured upon it in high relief, and at the upper end is the head of a figure deorsively laid, with the bands raised in prayer. The feet also are visible, resting on the mutilated remains of a dog. On the left side of the angular shaped lid, under which the effigy is represented as resting, is a shield with a bend, which the heralds tell us " denotes the bearer to have been valiant in war, and one who mounted on the enemies walls.” This is no doubt a very rare and curious specimen of the slab monuments, which
were in use during the latter part of the thirteenth and early in the fourteenth century.
A very interesting inquiry now presents itself to the antiquarian and topographer. Who was the person this monumental effigy was intended to represent ? Certainly not one of the Mowbrays, for their coat of arms was a lion rampant; and for the same reason it could not be a Belwode, or a Beltoft, or a Lound, or a Sheffield. It may be intended for one of the family of Robert at Hall, one of the principal tenants mentioned in Mowbray's deed,