Page:Notes on the churches in the counties of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey.djvu/48

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20
NOTES TO KENT.

chancel is an altar-tomb, with a Lombard inscription on the slab; and in the pavement of the south aisle are the remains of another slab, with an inscription in similar characters. In the chancel are three plain stalls and a piscina. Alkham is united with Capel-le-Ferne.

5. Allhallows.—In (A.D. 1291) styled a chapel, "Capella omnium sanctorum," to Hoo.

6. Allington.—At Longsole in this parish was formerly a chapel, to which, as a free chapel, Stephen Fynamour was licensed, 24th of K. Edward III, A.D. 1351. In 1422, an official inquiry was instituted, whether the chapel of St. Laurence of Longsole was situated in Allington, or in Aylesford. (Reg. Roff.) There are still extensive remains of the castle. In December, 1847, an ancient interment of a remarkable character was discovered in a large stone quarry in this parish, about a mile north-west from Maidstone, where "a cavity was fallen in with, about four feet six inches long, by three feet broad, and five feet deep from the surface of the ground. The cavity itself being about eighteen inches high where the head and chest of the skeleton were laid, and the height at the other end about twelve inches. The body was deposited nearly north-west and south-east. The manner of forming the cist, which was constructed in a way extremely unusual, was as follows:—The pit having been dug of the dimensions as above stated, the bottom and lower parts of the sides were worked and prepared in the same way as clay is tempered for making pottery or bricks. When this had been sufficiently done, fuel was introduced and a strong fire made, which burnt into a solid substance of brick the bottom and lower parts of the sides; and thus the cist was in part formed and the work so far advanced. When this had been thus made and had become cool, the ashes were cleared out, and the corpse was placed in, along (as is conjectured by impressions on the interior lining of the cist) with a quantity of moss, which was strewed on and about the body. It appears from the nature of the cavity the head must have been inclined on the chest, and the knees slightly raised and bent. A dome was then made over the corpse, composed of rods of wood, in diameter from an inch to half an inch, stretched across from side to side, crossed at about the distance of six or seven inches (as was judged) by other rods, two or three together, some impressions of which have been preserved. This having been prepared for a support, the dome of tempered clay was then made over it, fuel introduced, and a