Page:Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey.djvu/19

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PREFACE.

erect a stone church after the Roman method. "Architectos sibi mitti petiit, qui juxta morem Romanorum ecclesiam de lapide in gente ipsius facerent." (Hist. Eccl. 1. 5, c. 21.) However this style of building, namely, of wood, was not, as perhaps might be supposed from the above, confined to the northern division of our island, but certainly had not been, up to the seventh century, generally exploded within the English boundary; for in one instance, namely, a church raised at Lindisfarne by Bp. Einian, at some period after his consecration A.D. 652, we are told, that it was originally constructed entirely of hewn oak, "de robore secto totam composuit," and thatched with reeds; but subsequently, by Eadberct, installed bishop of the place A.D. 688, the reed was removed, and replaced by sheets of lead, covering walls as well as roof : "ablata harundine, plumbi laminis earn totam, hoc est, et tectum et ipsos quoque parietes ejus cooperire curavit." (Bed. Hist. Eccl. 1. 3, c. 25.) Still, about the period when this was done, stone churches must have been growing more common, because we are informed, (Ib. 1. 5, c. 19, and notes), that Bp. Wilfrid, who died A.D. 709 after filling the episcopate nearly forty years, had erected some sumptuous churches; and Acca, his successor at Hexham, enlarged and greatly ornamented his cathedral. The above-mentioned request too of the Pictish king demonstrates among the English a great advance beyond the old timber structures. This advance, we may well assume, was largely owing to the exertions of, among others, Benedict Biscop, founder of the monastery of Wearmouth, who, about A.D. 675, went into France after masons; "Gallias petens, cementarios qui lapideam sibi ecclesiam juxta Romanorum, quern semper amabat, morem facerent, postulavit, accepit, attulit." (Bede, 319; Oxford, 1846.) A few lines farther on we are assured, that the use of glass for windows &c. was introduced into England at the same time from the same quarter; it being expressly stated, that not only Benedict's work (to the church of his new monastery) was then completed, but also the art of making glass taught in the country. "Proximante autem ad perfectum opere, misit legatarios ad Galliam, qui vitri factores, artifices videlicet Brittannis eatenus incognitos, ad cancellandas ecclesiæ, porticuumque, et cænaculorum ejus fenetras adducerent. Factumque est, et venerunt : nee solum opus postulatum compleverunt, sed et Anglorum ex eo gentem hujusmodi artificium nosse et discere fecerunt : artificium nimirum vel lampadis ecclesiæ claustris vel vasorum multifariis usibus non ignobiliter aptum." These quotations indeed actually refer to other districts,