In 1975 I took the opportunity to make a photographic record of a number of ancient stone relics lying with the vicarage garden at Fishlake.

These stone architecture fragments appear to have been salvaged following Victorian restoration work undertaken at Fishlake church. To understand there origins and significance we need to study a lecture given by Canon George Ornsby in 1857, vicar of Fishlake. The lecture was given in Doncaster at the meeting of the Yorkshire and Lincoln Architectural Societies on September 23 rd 1857, entitled Fishlake Church and Parish. This was the results of a long period of patient research undertaken by  very able and respected ecclesiastical historian.

In the lecture (faithfully reproduced by Rev Kenneth Arthur in Historical Notes of Fishlake Church and Parish, 1961) recounts the urgent and necessary restoration  work undertaken by Mr Kyle, of Durham employed by the Dean and Chapter of Durham during the 1850's under the close eye of Canan Ornsby himself.

He recalled the Chancel  restoration between 1854 and 1857, "when the south wall of the chancel was under set, fragments of early gravestones were dug up which had been used in making the foundation of the building which superseded the original Norman one. Portions of Lancet headed windows appeared to have been unscrupulous applied to the purpose. These I have preserved together with a corbel or two of the late Norman character which were turned up at the same time. So these are the stone relics now resting in the vicarage garden. Confirmed in 1961 by Rev Kenneth Arthur.

See photographs below:

 

 

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Fishlake vicarage garden with a collection of stone relics in the distance.

 

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Top of  lancet window arch, Early English. 1200 onward.

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Another Lancet window head.

 

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Another lancet headed window.

 

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Corbel stone carved with the head of a beast.

 

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More miscellaneous fragments.

 

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Base and shaft and again below.

 

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 Rob Downing December 2018