The Medieval Combat Society
Location: Crown Street, South Church Bishop Auckland
In the 12th Century 2 churches stood here and the current Church contains traces of an older 3rd church. Within the Church is a Saxon Cross and a Roman Altar which has been converted into a holy water stoup and bears the arms of Bishop Neville (1437-1457). Bishop Carileph (1081-1095) expelled the secular clergy from Durham and chose Auckland as one of the places for the clergy. In 1292 Bishop Anthony Bek (1283-1310) endowed the church appointing a Dean and 9 Prebendaries and made a large number of alterations as well as establishing the colleigate establishment. It is thought that the Chancel orginally had 8 lancet windows in the south wall and 3 in the east wall, which Bek later replaced by a 5 light window or possibly this was an original window. Bek widened alternate lancets in the south wall combining 2 into 1 window and blocked up the intervening lancets. On the North side 3 windows were widened and 1 blocked up. On the South side Bek added a low window. The tower was built in 1270. A priests door was added into the right side of the Sedilla and the Sedilla extended to the left. The Sacrarium contains a double Piscina. Bishop Langley extended the tower and added the 24 stalls in 1417 and the misercords are of foliage apart from one with the Langley coat of arms and another with the coat of arms of Bishop Skirlaw (1388-1405) which may indicate that he also contributed to this work.
1340 Hamo de Belers
1340 John de Houten
1343 John Mandyt
1350 William de Westlie
1362 John Kynceston
1369 Richard de Castro B'rnardi
1378 John de Newthorp
1378 William de Walworth
1388 William de Westwyke
1395 John Burceys
1409 Thomas Lyes
Wooden oak effigy of an unknown knight, possibly of the Pollard family, said to be of 1340 or a little earlier The head is covered by a conical bascinet to which a mail camail is laced. A loose surcoat is worn falling in folds to the knees with a narrow belt around the waist. Beneath the surcoat is a mail hauberk with the arms extended to form mittens, and beneath the hauberk is a thickly padded shirt or gambeson. The legs below the knees are protected by plates of possibly hardened leather called cuir-bouilli or steel and flanged knee caps. The hands are joined in prayer and legs crossed below the knee. The feet with spur leathers rest against either a boar or a crouching lion which has been later recarved into a pigs snout. The sword hangs from a buckled belt at the front and has been broken off below the hilt. The right shoulder has a narrow shield strap but the shield is now gone.
There is an interesting tale which could help explain why his feet lie on what may be a boar, called the Pollard Brawn where the Bishop of Durham offered a reward to the person who could kill a ferocious boar (or brawn), sometimes caled a worm. Richard Pollard, a poor young knight killed it south of Auckland and cut off its tongue, but was so exhausted he fell a sleep. A passer by found the carcass and took it from the sleeping Ricahard who upon waking up guessed what had happened and made his way to Auckland Palace to see the Bishop of Duham. Richard explained what had happened and showed the tongue which was indeed from the carcass. The Bishop said that as a reward Richard could keep all the lands he could ride around, while the Bishop finished his meal. Richard returned a few minutes to the surprise of the Bishop, later having ridden around Auckland Palace. Not being able to give up Auckland Palace, Richard was rewarded for his cleverness him with some of the most fertile lands in the Auckland area, which became known as Pollards Lands.
Fine Sandstone Efigy of a late 14th Century Lady her head resting on 2 tasselled cushions. Her hair is in a jewelled net forming a square frame to the face with a jewelled head band accross the forehead. A veil covers the hair and falls in folds at the back. The Lady wears a kirtle with tight sleeves and cuffs covering the hands to the knuckles beneath a surcoat with short sleeves fastened at the front by seven large buttons and falls in full folds from the waist covering the feet and with long lappets from the shoulders nearly to the feet. The hands are joined in prayer , and the feet in pointed shoes rest on a hound.
Priest of about 1380 in Choir Vestments. He wears an over cassock with close fitting sleeves buttoned over the wrists and wears a surplice with long sleeves, a hood and long pendants and over all a choir cope.
Bishop Auckland Anglo Saxon Cross
Bishop Auckland Stained Glass Heraldry
Sedilla cut off on the right and extended on the left