Volume 12: Nottinghamshire

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Current Display: East Bridgford 2, Nottinghamshire Forward button Back button
Present Location
Unknown. The stones reported could not be found in 2008.
Evidence for Discovery
Du Boulay Hill reported that, during the restorations of 1901–3, 'several fragments of round shafts have turned up, the square base of a small engaged shaft, and a small piece which looks like the bulged centre of a vertically fluted baluster' (Hill 1903, 101; 1916a, 197).
Church Dedication
St Peter or St Mary
Present Condition
Not known, though when discovered the stones were said to be 'reddened as though by the action of fire' (ibid., 101).

Du Boulay Hill tells us first that, 'one of these fragments shows the square base of a small semi-cylindrical engaged shaft, and another fragment may be a portion of a bulging column with vertical flutings' (1903, 101). In his later publication, he varies the formulation of the report to the effect that 'several fragments of round shafts have turned up, the square base of a small engaged shaft, and a small piece which looks like the bulged centre of a vertically fluted baluster' (1916a, 197), and he seems quite clear that these fragments represent the remains of a late-Saxon baluster shaft, an opinion that has carried weight ever since. The only image of these two fragments that we have been able to trace (Hill 1903, pl. 3A; reprinted in Hill 1932a, fig. 3) [3] shows a fragment from a deeply moulded circular base sitting above an unornamented square sub-base (see Ills. 25, 26a). The base moulding appears to have an angled lower torus with a quirk and a smaller fillet above. The 'shaft' fragment, as drawn, appears to have two bold vertical flutes and the remains of a third. The two more complete flutes appear to terminate in elliptical facets.


The form of the base moulding must raise some doubts as to the accuracy of Hill's identification. The moulded base he shows is apparently of Attic sequence, and looks simply like a Romanesque architectural detail. Such base moulding types are frequently met with in minor architectural bases of the twelfth century throughout England (Rigold 1977). From the same drawing, the fragment that Hill believed was the 'bulged centre of the shaft' originally above the base looks rather like a fragment from a multi-scalloped capital, which would also be of Romanesque date. As the recycling of East Bridgford 1 also demonstrates, building was in progress at this church in this era. It must be doubtful, therefore, that these fragments do represent a mid-wall shaft of baluster form, partly because the drawings are more satisfactorily explained as fragments from Romanesque architectural detail, and also because there are no known examples of genuine Anglo-Saxon balusters decorated with vertical fluting in this manner.

Unfortunately, as the stones have apparently disappeared, we are unable to confirm these assessments by direct modern observation. We have, therefore, also to report that Hill's original identification was accepted by many of his contemporary scholars, who did have the opportunity to see the stones. Stapleton (1911, 119), for example, compared it with the undoubtedly genuine surviving baluster at Southwell (Southwell Minster 2, p. 185, Ills. 120–2).

Perhaps eleventh century (if a baluster); perhaps mid twelfth century
Hill 1903, 100–1, pl. 3; Stapleton 1903, 113; Stapleton 1911, 119; Cox 1912a, 43; Hill 1916a, 197; Hill 1932a, fig. 3

[1] Godfrey 1907, 150 and n.

[2] The following is an unpublished manuscript reference to East Bridgford 2: Nottinghamshire Archives Office, PR 6571, pp. 117–20.

[3] Hill's original drawings for this are preserved in Nottinghamshire Archives Office, PR 6571, pp. 117–20.

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