carved embattled stones with colouring upon them.
There have been different opinions expressed as to what this recess was
originally intended for; some affirm it was the tomb of the founder
(which was frequently in this part of the church); but it was evidently
the Easter Sepulchre.
This theory seems confirmed upon turning to the Glossary
of Architecture, which says that the sepulchre was a representation
of the entombment of our Saviour, set up in the Roman Catholic church at
Easter, on the north side of the chancel, near the altar. In this
country it was most commonly a wooden erection, and placed within a
recess in the wall. The crucifix was placed in the sepulchre, with great
solemnity, on Good Friday, and continually watched from that time till
Easter-day, when it was taken out and replaced upon the altar.
Fosbroke, in his Antiquities, mentions a procession
Passion week, with a wooden tomb of Christ, and the
Paschal candle. Our old church book of Smarden, which dates from 28
Henry VIII, 1536, throws additional light upon the subject, serving to
prove the theory already advanced; thus:—
1547, leyde owte for ix li. of new waxe to
renew the paskall.
1554, paid for makinge the pascall iiij d.
1556, paid to Christopher Mills ffor makinge the
and other things against Ester, iij s. viij d.
1557, to Richard Ricard for makinge the pascall iiij
The Low-side-window, directly opposite the sepulchre, was
opened at the same time. The Glossary of Architecture states that
"these windows were never glazed, but closed by wooden shutters,
and iron gratings." Such was the case here; saddle bars were found,
and also hinges for a shutter.