« PreviousContinue »
lead; and has been painted, like most of the roofs in Craven about that time, with broad lines of minium. The springers of the beams are adorned with rude figures of angels. On the south side is a triforium running the whole length of the nave.
“ Bolton was the burial-place of such of the Cliffords as died in Yorkshire. It is difficult to say what became of their remains at the dissolution. The earl of Cumberland would certainly be able to protect them from exposure and insult. Yet the vault at Bolton was empty when explored about thirty years ago; and they were certainly not removed into that at Skipton. On the whole, I am inclined to believe that the vault was left closed at the dissolution ; but that in the progress of subsequent decay, part of the arch may have fallen in, which would leave the lead a prey to sacrilegious hands, in consequence of which the bodies so exposed would gradually disappear.
6. The entire outline of the close at Bolton cannot now be traced; but it certainly extended from the great gateway north and south, and touched upon the Wharf behind the churchyard at one point, and near Prior's Pool at another. Part of the wall, however, by the way-side, yet remains strong and
well-constructed of ashler. Within this inclosure, as usual, were all the apartments and offices of the house.
“ The cloister-court, containing the chapterhouse, refectory, kitchen, dormitory, &c. with the exception of a few fragments, is destroyed. The chapter-house was an octagon, and perhaps the only specimen of a chapter-house of that form which was not placed northward from the choir. All these apartments appear to have been coeval with the translation of the house, and to have been vaulted and groined with excellent másonry, of which some of the grotesque caryed key-stones remain. To the south-east, but connected with these, stood the prior's lodgings, of which the outline is distinctly traceable by the foundations. On the site of the kitchens stands the schoolmaster's house, a foundation of the incomparable Robert Boyle. The present school was one of the offices of the priory, as old as the foundation.
66 At a small distance from this stands a most picturesque timber-building, in which tradition reports that the last prior endled his days. In the parlour has been a long oblique perforation through the wall, turned towards the kitchens, through
which the inhabitants, whoever they were, might receive their commons.
“ All the modern additions in the inside of this building having lately been removed, an entire hall appeared in the centre open to the roof, and in the middle 'was the base of an ancient reredoss, resembling a millstone much smoked and burnt. Here the fire had evidently been kindled, and the smoke had found its way out at some aperture in the roof. Some chimneys had been added to the building at some later period. On the whole, from the situation of this building near the gateway, and still nearer to the kitchens of the house, I am inclined to believe that it was the Aula Hospitum !
“ Near this, and unconnected with any building, was the priory oven; of such extent that the tenant of the demesne, missing sixty sheep, after some research found them sheltered under that ample arch. It was, in fact, an hemisphere eighteen feet in diameter.
“ In the general wreck of the offices at Bolton, the gateway alone escaped. Probably the earl of Cumberland thought it might be of use as a temporary retreat for himself, or a residence for his bailiffs. Here, too, the records of the priory were
kept; and in the same repository many of the evidences of the Cliffords have been discovered. It is a strong square castellated building, of late gothic architecture, of which the outer and inner arch having been walled up, a handsome groined and vaulted apartment has been obtained within *."
The earl of Cumberland survived this large acquisition of property but a very short time, being prematurely cut off at the age of forty-nine, on April 22d, 1542, only nineteen days after the grant of the estates and priory of Bolton. In his will occur two particulars which, as well from their juxta-position as from their own import, are worthy of notice, exhibiting not only a provident regard for his own spiritual welfare, bút a laudable anxiety for the corporeal comfort and safety of those whom he had left behind. “I will that c markes be bestowed on the highways in Craven, and c m'kes wthin Westmoreland. Itm I will that ev'ry curate wthin Westmoreland and the deanery of Craven, and elsewhere wher I have any land in England, doe cause a masse of requiem and dirige to be songe or saide for my soul wthin every yp'ish church,
* Whitaker's Craven, pp. 417, 418, 419, 420, 421, 423.
and they to have for doing therof vis. viiid. or soe much therof as my ex’ors shall think fitt, the remaynder to be given to the poore *."
His lordship, in consequence of the dissolution of Bolton Priory, and the almost immediate desecration of its choir, was not carried to the ancient vault of the Cliffords in that edifice, but buried in a vault beneath the altar of the church at Skipton, the future place of interment for the greater part of his family. Into this vault, after having been closed for many years, Dr. Whitaker was permitted to enter in March 1803. He found the lead coffin of this first earl much corroded, and exhibiting the skeleton of a short and very stout man, with a long head of flaxen hair gathered in a knot behind the skull. The coffin had been closely fitted to the body, and proved him to have been very corpulent as well as muscular. Next lay the remains of Margaret Percy, his second countess, whose coffin was still entire, and who appeared to have been a slender and diminutive woman t.
To this nobleman, so singularly fortunate in the acquisition of titles and estates, succeeded his eldest
* Whitaker's Craven, p. 262.