« 前へ次へ »
The small village of Dalmeny stands a short distance westward of the great north road from Edinburgh, where it approaches Queen's Ferry. Unlike other Scottish villages which generally consist of a narrow and filthy street, where the dwellings are as densely crowded together as if they were in the centre of a city, the few houses of which Dalmeny consists are separated by a broad
green, and they have a clean, airy, healthy appearance. · Abundance of woodland, scattered over picturesque broken ground, is in its close vicinity, and occasional glimpses may be had of the scenery of the Frith of Forth and the distant ranges of hills. In this quiet and pleasant spot, stands, almost entire, one of the most truly venerable and interesting specimens of ecclesiastical architecture of which Scotland can boast. Dalmeny Church is in the purest Norman style. It is a simple quadrangular edifice without tower, aisles, or transepts, although an unadorned projection on the north side may possibly have been added as the commencement of a transept. The windows have all the small Norman arch with toothed mouldings. A horizontal moulding runs along either side near the roof, which appears to have consisted of a series of entertwined curves like the letter S laid longitudinally, but which seems to have been supposed by the architect who has restored part of it, to be a succession of crescents lying with their concave sides alternately upwards and downwards. Above this is a row of carved heads, presenting the variety characteristic of such buildings. The main entrance door is in a porch projecting to the south, the archway of which is supported on two plain pillars with Norman capitals. There are over this door the remains of a line, concentric with the arch of sculptured figures and animals, many of which are fabulous, and have a considerable resemblance to those which appear on the ancient sculptured stones scattered throughout Scotland, by which the acuteness of antiquarians has been so effectually baffled. On either side of the arch are the remains of a statue, and from a curved mark on the masonry, connecting the two together, it may be inferred that some mouldingprobably in the form of a cord-united them together. Over this doorway is an arcade of interlaced Norman arches, highly ornamented. In front of the porch lies one of those old stone coffins, frequently found in Scotland, of which the interior was cut out in such a shape as to fit accurately to a body swathed in bandages like an Egyptian mummy, there being a circular cavity for the head, a channel shallower and narrower to contain the neck, and a larger excavation for the rest of the body, broadest and deepest at the place where the shoulders are to lie, and becoming narrower and shallower towards the extremity corresponding with the feet. Archæology has not yet thrown any light on the period when the narrow house first assumed this substantial character ; but it is observable that stone coffins of this description are generally found near the places where the most ancient existing churches stand, or where such edifices have existed, but are no longer standing.
The interior of this small Church has a fine massive simple effect. The chancel is in the form usually called an apse, and consists of a semicircle with the arc outwards, under a groined arch, the ribs of which are deeply moulded, and ornamented with tooth work. The small chancel is, according to a common arrangement, lower than the rest of the Church, and the difference in height has been very skilfully adjusted in such a manner as to enhance the effect of the perspective from the western end. The arching of the chancel appears to be in its original
DALMENY CHURCH, 1-2.