Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/309

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9*8. XI. APRIL 18, 1903.] NOTES AND QUERIES.



CONTENTS. No. 277.

NOTES : " Hagioscope " or Oriel 301 Bacon-Shakespeare Question, 302 Keats's ' Ode to a Nightingale 'Gods and Men, 305 Thomas Hood Jews in England 'The Prime Minister at Whittinghame' House of Commons' " Sessions," 306 -" Conservative" as Political Term, 307.

QUERIES : " Owing to," 307-St. Mary O very Warring- ton Wood, Sculptor Major Colquhoun : Archibald Graham " Sniping" Hymn by Dean Vaugha Hogarth and Wesley ' Palenque," a Poem County Families -Rings in 1487 " Pindy," 308 Clare Market Synagoga: Chronista Collie-dog " Mary had a little lamb" Christmas Carols Wool as a Foundation Chaucerian Quotation Sir John and Lady Taylor, 309 J. P. Benjamin Arthur Graham, 310.

REPLIES: The Old Wife, 310 Lady Whitmore, 311 Canute and the Tide, 312 Arms of Married Women Watchhouses and Bodysnatching Archer Family, 313- Pasted Scrap* Counsellor Lacy Vicissitudes of Lan- guage, 314 Historical Catechism Keemore Shells 'Banter' Sir W. Wallace London Apprentices, 316 Inn Signs The Asra Hedgehog Picture in Berlin Arsenal, 317 Keep your hafr on" "So many gods" The Christening Door "Maiden" applied to a Married Woman, 318.

NOTES ON BOOKS :' Nova Solyma ' ' Love Letters of Dorothy Osborne ' ' Scottish Antiquary ' Booksellers' Catalogues.



IN a recent number of ' N". & Q.' a question was asked about " the meaning or original use " of an enigmatical aperture in Piddinghoe Church, Sussex.* It was described by MR. GIBB, the querist, as "a square opening with a stone slab in front, situated in the south wall of the nave, just below the chancel." Replying to the query, MR. W. HENEAGE LEGGE described the opening as "between the chancel and the first bay of the south aisle," and, without giving his reasons, ex- pressed the opinion that it was "a com- paratively modern feature" of the church. Another correspondent, MR. DORMER, said that "if the altar is visible through the opening it is a squint or hagioscope." " The object of the squint," said MR DORMER, " was to facilitate a view of the elevation of the Host."

Similar definitions of "hagioscope" are given in books of reference and dictionaries. Thus in the last edition of ' Chambers's En- cyclopsedia ' (1901) we have :

" Squint or hagioscope, a narrow aperture cut in the wall of a church (generally about two feet wide) to enable persons standing in the side-chapels, &c., to see the elevation of the Host at the high altar."

  • See 9 th S. x. 347, 477.

F. A. Paley, in his 'Manual of Gothic Architecture,' 1846, refers to the "squint" as a " slanting hole from the transept into the chancel," and says that "of its use there can be no doubt. It was meant to afford a view of the elevation of the Host at the high altar " (p. 239). He also observes that " these apertures have been called hagioscopes."

In Parker's 'Concise Glossary of Architec- ture,' first published in 1846, the " squint" is defined in similar terms, and the author says:

"The usual situation of these openings is on one or both sides of the chancel arch, and there is fre- quently a projection, like a low buttress, on the outside across the angle to cover this opening: these projections are more common in some districts than in others; they are particularly abundant in the neighbourhood of Tenby, in South Wales ; but the openings themselves are to be found everywhere, though they have commonly been plastered over, or sometimes boarded at the two ends, in other cases filled up with bricks. In some instances they are small narrow arches by the side of the chancel arch, extending from the ground to the height of ten or twelve feet, as at Minster Lovell, Oxon : usually they are not above a yard high and about two feet wide, often wider at the west end than at the east. They are commonly plain, but sometimes ornamented like niches, and sometimes have light open panelling across them ; this is particularly the case in Somer- setshire and Devonshire. There are many instances of these openings in other situations besides the usual one, but always in the direction of the high altar, or at least of an altar ; sometimes the opening is from a chapel by the side of the chancel, as at Chipping-Norton, Oxon. In Bridgewater Church, Somerset, there is a series of these openings through three successive walls, following the same oblique line, to enable a person standing in the porch to see the high altar."

The * New English Dictionary ' defines "hagioscope" as "a small opening, cut through a chancel arch or wall, to enable worshippers in an aisle or side chapel to obtain a view of the elevation of the Host," the definition being followed by a number of extracts from writers on church architecture, beginning in 1839.

The writers who have discoursed on "hagioscopes," on "hagioscopic arrange- ments," and " hagioscopic windows " are not a few. It never seems to have occurred to them to examine the foundations of their belief. Indeed, when people are dealing with "ecclesiology,"as they call it, inspiration, and not evidence, is all that is necessary. You can describe the chancel arch as a symbol of the gate of heaven ; you can say that churches were made cruciform to represent the instru- ment of the Crucifixion, that chancels were deflected from the axis of the nave in memory of the inclination of the Saviour's head on the cross, or that little openings in the south walls of chancels were vulne-windows, or else