This Volume contains (in addition to the official Report) a series of general articles on the
County as a whole, 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; an armorial of heraldry
before 1550; architectural mouldings; a glossary of the architectural, heraldic and archæological
terms which occur in the volume; a map showing the topographical distribution of the scheduled
monuments, and an index.
The monuments will be found, as in the Essex and Huntingdonshire Inventories, under
the heads of the parishes arranged alphabetically, with an introductory paragraph calling attention
to the more noticeable among them in each 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) 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 such earthworks
as mount and bailey castles, homestead moats, etc. To the section of unclassified monuments (5)
are assigned all earthworks not definitely dated.
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.
In the first place, the Parish is located by letters in brackets which refer to the square where
it is to be found in the map at the end of the volume; reference is also given where necessary
to the Ordnance sheets (scale 6 inches to the mile) by small letters in front of the number of each
monument. In the case of churches, the description begins with a few words on the situation
and material of the monument, together with a statement as to the 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 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 paragraph.
The standardization of the spelling of proper names in the Commission's inventories has
always presented considerable difficulties, and almost any system is open to criticism. It is well
known that during the period covered by our terms of reference, and indeed to a much later
date, the art of spelling was in a very fluid state, proper names especially being subject to a wide
variation, dictated partly by their phonetic values and partly by individual caprice. In the
absence, therefore, of any final court of appeal, it has been thought best to abide, in the matter
of place-names, by the spelling adopted by the Ordnance Survey, without prejudice as to its
accuracy. In the matter of personal names, in treating of individual funeral-monuments, etc.,
the actual spelling of the memorial has been reproduced, while in the rest of the text the normal
spelling of the name has been followed.
The illustrations, with two exceptions, are derived from photographs taken expressly for
the Commission, and reproduced by H.M. Stationery Office, whose work, I think, deserves
special recognition. They have been chosen for their educational and 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 influence of physical features, on the siting of particular categories
of monuments such as castles and homestead moats, as well as on the concentration of population
in the county at various times before the year 1714.
The photographs and plan of Offa's Dyke are reproduced by permission of Dr. Cyril Fox
and the Cambrian Archæological Association from Archæologia Cambrensis.
To ensure clearness of description, all ancient churches not illustrated by historically
hatched plans, have been provided with key-plans to a uniform scale of 48 feet to the inch, with
the monumental portions shown in solid black. The dimensions given in the Inventory are
internal unless otherwise stated.
It may also be well again to draw attention to the fact that our Record Cards for the County
may be consulted by properly accredited persons who give notice of their intention to our
Secretary at 29, Abingdon Street, Westminster, S.W.1. The cards contain photographs, 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 reference in the Public
Record Office. Copies of the photographs may be purchased on application to the Secretary.
As in the past, no monument has been, or will be, included in our Inventories that has not
actually been inspected, and the account of any monument of importance 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 my fellow Commissioners, Dr. James, Dr. Page, Sir Charles Peers and Dr. Hamilton
Thompson, have revised the reports of the Inventories of secular and ecclesiastical monuments,
while my fellow Commissioner, Mr. Montgomerie and Mr. O. G. S. Crawford have supervised
the reports on earthworks. Further, the heraldry of the Inventory has been checked by the
Reverend E. E. Dorling, F.S.A.; the descriptions of glass by Dr. M. R. James, O.M., F.S.A.;
the descriptions of brasses by Mr. Mill Stephenson, F.S.A., and the accounts of Roman monuments by Dr. R. E. M. Wheeler, F.S.A. (Keeper of the London Museum and Assistant Commissioner). Nevertheless, I shall welcome any corrections and criticisms that may be sent to
me with a view to their possible inclusion in some future edition.
It is much to be regretted that, owing to the financial exigencies of the time, our staff has
not yet been restored to its pre-war strength.
The success that has already attended the publication of the Commission's Inventories and
their value in securing the preservation of monuments of historical interest that otherwise might
have been destroyed, leads me to hope that the reduction of the work of investigation will be
CRAWFORD & BALCARRES.