mouldings. The Scropes, into whose hands the possessions of Roald passed, in the reign of Edward II, almost entirely rebuilt the Abbey on a more magnificent scale, and the claim of the latter to the title of founder having been ignored by Leland, has since been disputed. The Abbots of St. Agatha were not, as far as is known, very eminent men, and the only one, I believe, who appears on the page of our national history is found in the scarcely congenial company of Geoffrey Chaucer. These two, the ecclesiastic and the satirist of ecclesiastics, were both sworn and examined as witnesses on behalf of Richard le Scrope in the famous fourteenth-century case of Scrope and Grosvenor. The suit was instituted by the Scropes in defence of their right to the arms “azure a bend or," against the assumption of them by Sir Robert Grosvenor, and when “Sir Simon Parson” of Wensley had produced in court an alb, the apparels to which were embroidered with the Scrope arms azure a bend orof very ancient work, the Abbot deposed that the same shield appeared in windows, in glass of the chambers and of the frater, and on altar frontals, vestments, and a corporax case of silk belonging to the Abbey church, of which the Scropes were recognised as founders.

The ground-plan of St. Agatha's, owing perhaps

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

to the bend of the river and the fall of the ground, and probably also to the proximity of the parish church, is exceedingly irregular ; the south-west angle of the cloister was decidedly acute, and the eastward tendency of the buildings, which should have run due south from the west end of the church, is fatal to right angles elsewhere. The distribution of the various buildings, especially those near the river, is an interesting question, the discussion of which would perhaps hardly be appropriate to these pages.

It may, however, be remarked that, like the Benedictines and unlike the Cistercians, the canons had their “frater” lengthwise to the south walk of the cloister, and they seem to have preferred to raise it on a vaulted undercroft, such as we have already noticed in the exceptional Cistercian instances of Rievaulx and Byland. The pillared and vaulted room west of the frater at St. Agatha's, and commonly called the kitchen, was most likely the guesthall. There are strong indications of the existence of the real kitchen south of the western half of the frater, and the usual hatch or “frater-hole” may be seen at a reasonable elevation in the wall above. The mysterious iron hooks on the north, south, and east walls of the frater are, I am told, only the relics of a recent year, when some sort of temporary floor and roof was run up for the purpose of a ball or other entertainment. Of the church itself, which was cruciform with aisleless choir, but north and south aisles to the nave, the distinctive features are the supposed Scrope chapel in the angle of the transept and north aisle, and a chapel or sacristy south of the choir. The Gate-house, with a large upper room, probably used as the lodging of the lowest class of guests, is singularly perfect. The usual double entrance, a larger and a smaller side by side, may be seen within the vaulted passage, and the whole space is spanned by a pointed arch, beneath which, more perhaps from wayward fancy than for constructive reasons, is a single semicircular order. The buildings north of the transept have been iden

i Since the writer visited St. Agatha's it has been almost completely excavated and explored by Mr. S. John Hope, to whose exhaustive account, reprinted from the Yorkshire Archeological Journal, every serious inquirer should refer. As to the range of buildings on the west side of the cloister, Mr. Hope says: “Generally speaking, this part of a monastery was devoted to the reception of the stores, and the housing of guests of the better sort ; and known as the cellarium. At St. Agatha's, in addition to these, part of the building was devoted to the canons.” “From about the middle of the west side of the cellarium a compact block of buildings extends towards the river. Owing to a sudden fall in the ground this block is built upon a vaulted basement and is three stories high. There are signs of the main range having been also so planned, but for some reason this was confined to the southern half


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