Extract from Arthur Mee’s Derbyshire –
 The King’s England 1932

 The Lady Constantia

 SCARCLIFFE.  It has the memory of a gracious lady for whom it rings its curfew every year for three weeks on each side of Christmas.  It is said that the lady and her little one were lost in a forest hereabouts, overcome with weariness and cold when the curfew bell of Scarcliffe led them safely home; and she left five acres of land to the church for the ringing of the curfew for ever.

She was the Lady Constantia, probably one of the Frecheville’s who held the manor in the 13th century; it was one of their ancestors who gave the church to the monks of Darley.  The doorway through which the monks came is here to this day, with a tympanum over it carved with geometrical patterns of a design so varied that it seems as if the sculptor had been practicing his art.  Here also are four round arches and three pillars of varying shapes set up by the Normans; one of the three pillars is round, one octagonal, and one is four-clustered.

 The fine little priest’s doorway is Norman too, buried in plaster until last century, and the tiny piscina in the corner of the chancel is the old one used by the monks.

 In this fascinating little place lie the mother and her child who were lost in the forest 700 years ago.  They lie in marble, the babe in the mother’s arms, one of its hands up to her face.  With her right arm the mother gathers up the graceful fold of the mantle she is wearing over her simple gown, which is fastened at the throat with a round brooch.  Her hair is in plaited braids and on her head, which rests on a lion for a pillow, is a lovely coronet telling of her high estate.  It is a lovely memorial, one of the finest for its time.

 The tower of this old place is hardly yet a centenarian;  the roofs are fine and old, and there is an enormous chest about ten feet long made out of four huge planks.  

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