Volume I: County Durham and Northumberland

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Current Display: Norham 01, Northumberland Forward button Back button
Overview
National Grid Reference of Place of Discovery
Present Location
Showing in north, east and west of pillar formed from fragments of pre-Conquest sculpture, standing under tower at west end of church (Pls. 204; 205, 1166)
Evidence for Discovery
Raine (1852) records that about eighteen fragments of sculpture found by Mr. Gilly in 1833 in investigating foundations of building in churchyard a few paces from east end of present church. Fragments built up into pillar by time of note in (-) 1869-79c, and possibly before Stuart (1867), whose plates show only faces now visible (those faces which are cemented into the pillar cannot be described but some descriptions can be based on earlier illustrations). Pillar originally in churchyard: Allen and Browne 1885, 351; (-) 1889-90d, 243; Tomlinson 1891, 551. Removed indoors c. 1891: (-) 1891-2b, 49-54; Hodges 1893, 85. Very few fragments described before Stuart.
Church Dedication
St Cuthbert
Present Condition
Badly damaged by reuse
Description

A (broad): The moulding on the right of this face is damaged; that on the left has a shallow incised cable. One large volute of a spiral scroll survives; its root is grounded on a broad flat plinth and the stems of the main scroll are median-incised. The spiral centres with a small petalled flower, and other stalks terminating in trilobed berry bunches fall stiffly through the spiral.

B (narrow): The root and the beginnings of a simple scroll with tangled stems, set on a fine double roll moulding.

D (narrow): Part of a simple scroll with tangled stems and trilobed berry bunches springing from a root grounded on a fine double roll moulding. On the lower volute the stems are interlaced and the berried stalks sprout upwards to cross with those hanging stiffly from the upper volute.

Discussion

This seems to be the lowest portion of a shaft, of rather slab-like section. The cutting is deep and confident, and although the formula with plant-scroll on all faces ultimately derives from Hexham, the deep jungly scrolls without leaves and the three element buds are more closely linked with Jarrow work (no. 2). The tangled composition is typical of the first half of the ninth century, a period of swift developments dominated in Northumbria by Deiran styles (Introduction, pp. 15-16; Cramp 1978a, 8-13).

Date
Second quarter of ninth century
References
Stuart 1867, 20-1, pl. xxvii, 12; Cramp 1965b, 11-12; Cramp 1978a, 12-13, pl. 1, 7

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