A few informal words will not, I trust, be out of place by way of introduction
to this Inventory, and may help to explain both the arrangement of these
pages and the manner in which the monuments have been recorded.
The volume contains (in addition to the terms of appointment and official
report) a Sectional Preface which, under subject headings, calls attention to any
particularly interesting examples mentioned in the Inventory; an illustrated
Inventory, with a concise account of the monuments visited; a list of monuments
that the Commissioners have selected as especially worthy of preservation; a glossary
of architectural, heraldic and archæological terms; a map showing the topographical
distribution of the scheduled monuments, and an index.
Under the heads of parishes, arranged alphabetically, will be found a list of
their respective monuments, and an introductory paragraph calls attention to the
more noticeable monuments in the parish. The chronological sequence chosen is
not perhaps scientifically perfect, but it has been found a workable basis for classification. The order adopted is as follows:—
(1) Prehistoric monuments and earthworks.
(2) Roman monuments and Roman earthworks.
(3) English ecclesiastical monuments.
(4) English secular monuments.
(5) Unclassified monuments.
In addition to dwelling houses, the English secular class (4) includes all such
earthworks as mount and bailey castles, homestead moats, etc. To the section of
unclassified monuments (5) are assigned all undatable earthworks.
Each category of monuments has been under the care of separate SubCommissions, with Lord Plymouth, Lord Crawford and Balcarres, Professor Haverfield,
and myself as Chairmen.
The descriptions of the monuments are of necessity much compressed, but the
underlying principle on which accounts of any importance are based is the same
throughout. Thus, in the case of ecclesiastical monuments, the description begins
with a few words on the situation and material of the monument, together with a
statement as to the historical development of its various parts. A second paragraph
calls attention, when necessary to its more remarkable features. This is followed
by a concise description mainly architectural, of its details. A fourth paragraph
deals with the fittings of churches in alphabetical order, while the concluding sentence
gives a general statement as to structural condition. The accounts of less important
buildings, whether secular or ecclesiastical, are still further compressed, and, in the
case of secular monuments, consist of a single paragraph, or of a mere mention of their
situation if they belong to a group with certain characteristics described in a covering
The illustrations are derived from photographs taken expressly for the
Commission, and reproduced by H.M.'s Stationery Office, whose work, I think
deserves special recognition. They have been chosen rather for their educational
than for their æsthetic value. Had appearance alone been made the test of selection,
many more might easily have been included. The map at the end of the Inventory
shows the distribution of the monuments, and incidentally throws some light on the
concentration of population in the country at various times before the year 1714.
To insure clearness of description, all ancient churches not illustrated by
historically hatched plans have been provided, in this volume, with key plans to a
uniform scale of 48ft. to the inch and with the monumental portions shown in solid
The Glossary has been revised by a special Committee consisting of Sir John
Horner, Sir W. St. John Hope, Mr. Oswald Barron, F.S.A., Mr. D. H. Montgomerie,
F.S.A., and Mr. G. H. Duckworth, F.S.A. The Index also has received further
revision at the hands of a small Committee of the Commission whose members, with a
view to assisting in the co-ordination and correlation of archæological indices generally,
have followed in a great measure the conclusions of the Index Committee of the
Congress of Archæological Societies.
It may also be well to draw further attention to the fact that our Record cards
may be consulted by any properly accredited persons, though, for the period of the
war, due notice of any such intention should be given to our Secretary at the Ministry
of Munitions, in Whitehall Place, S.W. The cards contain drawings of tracery and
mouldings as well as plans and sketches of the monuments—forming in truth the
complete National Inventory—and will ultimately be deposited for public reference
in the Record Office.
In conclusion, I may add that no monument has been or will be included in
our Inventories that has not been actually inspected and the account checked in situ
by a member of our own investigating staff. In a work of such intricate detail
there must be mistakes. But I hope these are neither numerous nor serious. A
further guarantee of accuracy lies in the fact that Mr. W. Page, F.S.A. (General Editor
of the Victoria County Histories) has served as a member of each Sub-Commission,
and that Mr. C. R. Peers, F.S.A. (Secretary to the Society of Antiquaries), and Sir
Wm. St. John Hope have revised the reports of our investigators on secular and
ecclesiastical monuments, while Mr. D. H. Montgomerie, F.S.A., has himself visited
and supervised the reports on Earthworks. I should also add that the heraldry
of the Inventory has been supervised by the Rev. E. E. Dorling, F.S.A.; the
descriptions of armour by Mr. C. J. ffoulkes, F.S.A., Curator of His Majesty's
Armouries at the Tower of London; the descriptions of glass by Dr. M. R. James,
D.D., F.B.A., Provost of King's College, Cambridge; the descriptions of brasses by
Mr. Mill Stevenson, F.S.A., and the spelling of names and description of costumes
by Mr. Oswald Barron, F.S.A.
Finally, any points in dispute between our experts have been referred for special
consideration and report to a small Committee consisting of Sir Hercules Read,
LL.D., F.B.A., former President of the Society of Antiquaries and Keeper of British
and medieval Antiquities and Ethnography in the British Museum, Mr. G. F. Hill,
Keeper of Coins and Medals in the British Museum, and Mr. C. R. Peers, F.S.A.,
Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments in H.M. Office of Works. Nevertheless, I
shall heartily welcome any corrections that may be sent to me, with a view to their
possible inclusion in some future edition of this volume.