Corpus publications available online

There are 12 volumes published to date of the Corpus of Anglo-Saxon stone sculpture. Each volume consists of a full illustrated catalogue of all known sculpture in the named region (defined according to pre-1974 English county boundaries). As well as providing consistent data and an informed analysis of the sculpture itself, each volume also includes several CHAPTERS covering subjects such as the form and distribution of motifs, historical background and regional geology. Volumes I-V are currently available online. Vol VI will follow in due course. Chapters for these volumes, along with copies of the in-text images, are available through this website. Please select your area of interest from the list below:

 

Vol 1: County Durham and Northumberland, 1977
Vol I cover photo

Volume I covers the pre-1974 counties of Durham and Northumberland the heartland of the old Northumbrian kingdom of Bernicia. The sculpture reflects the changing fortunes of this area, from the monastic colonization in the late 7th century, when important centres such as Lindisfarne, Hexham, Wearmouth and Jarrow were established, through the zenith of its cultural flowering in the 8th, when Anglo-Saxon carvers produced monuments of a quality scarcely matched in Europe, to subsequent decline.

Vol I: ONLINE CATALOGUE | Vol I: CHAPTERS

Vol 2: Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire-North-of-the-Sands, 1988
Vol II cover photo

Early medieval Cumbria remains in many ways an enigma: it is rarely mentioned in documentary sources; and settlement sites of the period continue to elude the archaeologist. For the principal visible evidence of human activity in the area in the Dark Ages, one must turn to the series of stone sculptures, which have here been systematically collected and made fully accessible in print for the first time.

Introductory chapters relate to the earlier research on this material, the historical background to the sculpture of the Anglian and Viking periods, and the regional geology. Further chapters deal with the topography and distribution of Anglian-period sculptures, the forms and the ornament of the Anglian-period work, the Bewcastle Cross and its context, a summary for the Anglian period, the chronology of the Viking-period sculptures, their numbers, distribution, forms, and schools of sculpture (Gosforth Master, spiral-scroll school, and Beckermet group), and the late developments. The catalogue of individual pieces follows, with many plates.

Vol II: ONLINE CATALOGUE | Vol II: CHAPTERS

Vol 3: York and Eastern Yorkshire, 1991
Vol III cover photo

The quantity and range of carvings revealed by recent excavations at York have transformed our appreciation of the sculpture from this major medieval centre. The third volume in the series provides a comprehensive photographic record of the region's sculpture, along with a detailed description of each stone and chapters that set the historical context. Many pieces are published for the first time, including a remarkable series of slabs discovered in situ in the Minster cemetery.

The carvings speak of a fusion of cultural impulses over a period when York was the political and economic focus of renewed settlement. The continuity of Anglian traditions through the period of Viking domination is clearly demonstrated. Local workshops have been identified, stylistically and by cutting techniques; even the work of individual carvers can be detected.

John Senior's geological analysis demonstrates extensive reuse of Roman building materials. Analysis of the inscriptions is provided by Raymond Page and John Higgitt.

The late James Lang held the post of Inspector of Ancient Monuments, English Heritage.

Vol III: ONLINE CATALOGUE | Vol III: CHAPTERS

Vol 4: South-East England, 1995
Vol IV cover photo

The Reculver cross from Kent and the large collection of sculpture from the important excavations at Winchester Old Minster are among many masterpieces reviewed in detail here, with many of the pieces being published for the first time.

The significance of the material, in European terms, is that it displayed a flowering of pre-Romanesque art in the tenth and eleventh centuries, not only in the well-known Winchester Style of ornament but in architectural development.

The important increase in the scale and variety of later monuments is demonstrated here in architectural sculpture, monumental inscriptions and even the mass-produced grave covers.

Vol IV: ONLINE CATALOGUE | Vol IV: CHAPTERS

Vol 5: Lincolnshire, 1999
Vol IV cover photo

The wealth of pre-Conquest sculpture in Lincolnshire, recorded here definitively for the first time, forms a crucial source for our understanding of the Anglo-Scandinavian period in this region.

Illustrated by excellent photographs, the catalogue contains fresh discussions of such famous carvings as Crowle, Edenham, and South Kyme. It also includes many newly discovered pieces and important re-evaluations of others.

Several major groups of sculpture are identified, extending across the East Midlands in the tenth and eleventh centuries. The authors discuss how this material provides evidence for settlement and administrative structures, both lay and clerical, in this part of the Danelaw.

Vol V: ONLINE CATALOGUE | Vol V: CHAPTERS

Vol 6: Northern Yorkshire, 2002
The rich and diverse visual heritage of Northern Yorkshire in the pre-Conquest period is revealed in this major addition to the much-admired Corpus series.

This volume surveys the sculpture in the historic North Riding of Yorkshire (excluding those parts already covered in Volume III). The total of some 400 carvings include important pre-Viking Age monuments, such as the crosses at Croft, Easby and Masham. The excavated sculpture from Whitby Abbey include a range of inscriptions which form crucial epigraphical evidence for our understanding of the pre-Conquest monastery. But Anglo-Scandinavian monuments predominate, with major collections at Brompton, Kirklevington and Lythe. A number of workshops have been identified and it was in this area that the hogback recumbent memorial first appeared.

Much of the Anglian sculpture has stylistic connections with western Yorkshire and Mercia, and the wider connections with Europe are manifest in the iconography and styles of the great crosses at Easby, Masham and Cundall/Aldborough. There are strong Irish links with the area in the Anglo-Scandinavian period.

This catalogue is a crucial piece in the Corpus jigsaw linking Volumes I, II and III, and marks the culmination of the lifetime's work of a great Anglo-Saxon scholar.

Vol VI: ONLINE CATALOGUE (forthcoming) | Vol VI: CHAPTERS

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