Volume II: Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire-North-of-the-Sands

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Current Display: Dacre 02, Cumberland Forward button Back button

National Grid Reference of Place of Discovery
Present Location
Set against south wall of chancel, inside
Evidence for Discovery
Found amongst rubble of east wall of church during restoration work in 1875 (Richardson 1875, 33; Mathews 1891, 226)
Church Dedication
St Andrew
Present Condition
Face C cut away

The slab-like shaft is complete, as is clear from the presence of both upper and lower border mouldings to the panels on sides D and E. The edge of the head on face A and all faces of the shaft were bordered laterally by a roll moulding.

A (broad): At the top and bottom of the shaft is a border formed by a single incised line; two wavering parallel lines divide the two panels on the shaft. On the head are remains of interlace of unidentifiable type. At the top of the shaft is a backward-turning contoured quadruped with a small scooped ear; the ground around the animal has not been cut back. Below are two human figures, the larger to the right, whose hands are joined over a rectangular object with two pellet-like legs. Between their heads is a cluster of three pellets. The ground to the right of the figures has not been cleared completely but sprouts curling or circular branches.

Below the left-hand figure is an uncarved area shaped like a boat, which partially separates this scene from the one below which contains a horned quadruped on whose back is a crouching wolf/dog with curling tail. The ground in front of the horned animal and between its legs has not been cut back.

Below the incised border the lower panel contains a Fall scene. The female figure to the left is clothed in a short kirtle and reaches to pluck a fruit pellet from the tree. The right-hand figure, who is not clearly clothed, grasps a branch. A snake coils to the left of the tree. The ground around this scene has not been completely cleared.

B and D (narrow): Below the springing for the ring-head is a single panel of plain plait, four-strand on face B, three-strand on face D.

C (broad): Recut.


Bailey (1977) has argued that the upper scene shows the sacrifice of Isaac with the ram set above, the sculptor employing the 'central altar' iconographic variant also known in England at Breedon, Leicestershire (Abbot 1963–4). The curling tendrils surrounding the scene may have been intended as the entangling brambles. The prominence of the sacrificial ram, and the juxtapositioning of this scene with one showing the Fall (a combination repeated at Breedon and Newent, Gloucestershire (Abbot 1963–4, pl. 1; Allen 1907)), can be explained by the interpretation of the Isaac sacrifice as a 'type' of the Crucifixion. The upper scene of Redemption thus balances the lower scene of the Fall. Though the 'hart and hound' motif in English sculpture appears to represent a Viking-period abstraction from the more crowded hunts of Celtic and Pictish art, patristic commentaries suggest that (in this context) it could also have functioned as a symbol of Christ's redemptive sacrifice. This is one of the few overtly Christian carvings from Viking-period Cumbria and may have been inspired by paintings in the defunct Anglian monastery.

Tenth to eleventh century
Richardson 1875, pl. III; Knowles 1880, 142; Mathews 1891, 226–8, fig. facing 226; Calverley 1891b, fig. facing 228; Collingwood 1892–6, 188, fig. on 188; Calverley 1899a, 113–15, 297, figs. facing 113, 114; Collingwood 1901a, 271, 272–4, fig. facing 272; Collingwood 1903a, 381; Collingwood 1906–7a, 123; Collingwood 1907a, 279, 282; Kermode 1907, 59, 215; Collingwood 1911a, 290; Collingwood 1912a, 32; Collingwood 1912b, 160; Collingwood 1915a, 190; Collingwood 1923c, 226; Reitzenstein 1924, 185–6, fig. 10; Collingwood 1927a, 151–2, fig. 172; Pevsner 1967, 117; Wilson 1968, 310; Pattison 1973, 229; Johansen 1974, 115; Bailey 1974a, I, 220–4, II, 95–6, pls.; Wilson 1976c, 399; Lang 1976a, 87; Loyn 1977, 65; Bailey 1977, pl.; Bailey 1980, 172–4, 230, pl. 47; Wilson and Klindt-Jensen 1980, 107, pl. XXXIX, C; Bailey 1981, 86, 91–2, pl. on 91; Lang 1983, 187; Cramp 1983a, 280; Tweddle 1983, 30; Wilson 1983, 181; Bailey 1984, 23; Cramp 1984, 146

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