The Armyn Monument
The Armyn Monument is
a large limestone edifice standing against a blocked up window of the North
wall of the Chancel. Erected in 1605 to the memory of Bartholomew Armyn,
it has an open table base supported on short square pillars carved with
numerous trophies of war and all round the edge are 24 small shields carved
with the coats of arms of the family’s connections. Above the table
are two superimposed orders with detached carved and fluted columns supporting
rich entablatures, the upper surmounted by two pediments
Six members of the Armyn family are described as having buried under the monument and it is assumed that there is a family vault underneath the Chancel. A further eleven members are recorded as having been buried at Lavington over the centuries.
Nikolaus Pevsner's description reads:"Monument. Armyne family, erected 1605, but looks as if it were of c.1570. Altar table at the foot on short square pillars. Then two bays, two tall tiers of back panels, slender, baluster-like Corinthian columns, with foliage in their lower parts, fluted in the upper. The panels between have inscriptions on the upper tier, shields on the lower. The panels are surrounded by egg and dart. No figures at all."
This has raised interesting questions about the exact history of the monument. It is possible that the lower part of the altar table on square pillars was the original monument to William Armyn (died 1558) and Katherine, and which may have stood alone beneath the (then unblocked) window. This would validate Pevsner's suggested date of c.1570 for the design of this part of the monument.
The upper superstructure dated 1605, was erected by William (the grandson of William and Katherine) to the memory of his father, Bartholomew (died 1598) and also to his own wife, Martha (died 1601). There is a curious disparity in the designs of the two parts of the monument. The six short, square pillars of the base are covered on all sides with detailed, high-relief carvings of the trophies of war - armour, lances, flags, drums, cannon, pikestaff and, swords. In contrast, the upper part has six slender, fluted Corinthian columns with foliage at the base, giving it a completely different appearance.
The depiction on the monument of trophies of war may well refer to the exploits of two members of the Armyn family: William Armyn, who was knighted in 1349 and was "Commander of the Ships at Boston"; and a later Sir William Armyn, who "was in the expedition to Spain with John of Gaunt ...(and) Treasurer of Calais and Guynes .1385".
Research has not yet revealed any names of carvers, but to quote one expert (Dr. John Lord): "The tomb's design is sophisticated, and the cutting well done. However, the use of a local stone suggests a local, but talented sculptor (a fact perhaps confirmed in that the Lenton memorial does not feature in Adam White's study of London tomb makers)."
As Lenton is in the centre of the Ancaster limestone area, and surrounded by many quarries for this wonderful and popular stone, it would have been a natural choice for any sculptor, whether local, travelling, or foreign.
This memorial, on the
north wall of the Nave, remembers those men of the parish who died in the
Great War, 1914-1918.
George Henry Rudkin, Christopher Baxter, William Bothamley, Harold Brumpton, Joseph Thomas Ibbeth, Edward Green, Thomas Henry Collin.