A few informal words will not, I trust, be out of place by way of introduction
and may help to explain both the arrangement of these pages and the manner
in which the monuments have been recorded.
This volume contains (in addition to the terms of appointment and official
report) a general historical introduction; 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. 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) Pre-historic 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 undateable earthworks, as, for
instance, unopened tumuli.
Each category of monuments, as explained in the Official Report, has been
under the care of separate Sub-Commissions, with Lord Plymouth, Lord 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 sometimes of a single
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 have been easily 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 county at various times before the year 1700.
The index follows the rules laid down by a small Committee of the Com
mission, whose members, with a view to assisting in the co-ordination and correlation
of archæological indices generally, adopted in a great measure the conclusions of
the Index Committee of the Congress of Archæological Societies.
In a work of such intricate detail there must be mistakes. But I hope these
are neither numerous nor serious. Each account has been carefully checked, and
nothing is mentioned that has not been personally examined. A further guarantee
of accuracy lies in the fact that Mr. W. Page (General Editor of the Victoria County
History) has served as a member of each Sub-Commission, and that Mr. C. R. Peers
(Secretary to the Society of Antiquaries) has himself revised the reports of our
investigators. 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