Volume VI: Northern Yorkshire

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Current Display: Kirby Hill 01, Yorkshire North Riding Forward button Back button

National Grid Reference of Place of Discovery
Present Location
Loose in north-west corner below tower
Evidence for Discovery
Found during the restoration of the church in 1870, built into the north face of the north wall of the nave, near the top (Rowe 1870, 241). Subsequently reused as a grave-marker in the churchyard (Rowe 1870; Collingwood 1907; Pevsner 1966).
Church Dedication
All Saints
Present Condition
Very worn; shaft cracked in two, two arms lost

A (broad) : A stumpy free-armed cross of type 11 with circular arm-pits and very slightly convex tips. There is virtually no length to the surviving lateral arm, the tip springing immediately from the arm-pit. There is a broad modelled edge moulding which extends as a perimeter to the cross. The left-hand arm has four pellets arranged in a square (contra Collingwood's two). In the centre is a broad ring, in a modelled strand, 18.5 cm in diameter. It contains four large pellets arranged in a square. The stump of the right-hand arm has the remains of two pellets, one above the other. Below the ring are three large pellets in a row across the neck of the cross (contra Collingwood's two). Contained within the edge moulding is a transverse bar at the top of the shaft. Below it is a long panel of very worn interlace with deeply drilled hole-points on a diagonal grid, each 2 inches (5 cm) apart. At the top left the interlace has a free end to the strand, which is broad and modelled. The base is much worn, though the hole-points indicate a regulated pattern.

B (narrow) : The cross-arm is lost. The edge moulding is modelled and contains (on the shaft) quite open interlace with a free-end to the strand at the top right. It is very worn near the base but the pattern was laid on a diagonal grid of hole-points 2 inches (5 cm) apart. It appears to have been a three-cord twist.

C (broad) : The centre of the cross-head has a large circle identical with that on face A. In the centre is a very worn circular boss, ringed by eight similar bosses. The right-hand arm is filled with very worn interlace, possibly a Stafford knot. The neck of the cross has a similar pattern, worn at the top, perhaps a twin-link (closed circuit pattern B), but not with Collingwood's tapered points. A horizontal bar separates this from the shaft; it possibly extended downwards as an inner frame for a long panel of interlace in broad modelled strand in simple pattern F of two registers. It is very worn at the base.

D (narrow) : The tip of the cross-arm is very worn and eroded. The edge mouldings are almost worn away and the interlace they contain especially worn down the left-hand side, since Collingwood's drawing. It appears to have been a three-cord twist constructed on a diagonal grid with hole-points 1.5 inches (4 cm) apart. But the cord count evidently changed since there are two box-point terminals at the top.


The patterns of this cross are more carefully constructed than Collingwood'suggests. The use of diagonal grids and pattern F interlace, as well as the open nature of the interlace, might suggest a late Anglian milieu, though the Allertonshire workshop nearby was capable of the same features at a later date (Chap. VI, p. 44). The pelleted cross-head has distinct metalwork echoes of rivet covers, but no other sculpture sites in Yorkshire have yielded this excessive use of bosses. There are, however, parallels in Cumbria for the cluster of bosses in a ring: Brigham 5C (Bailey and Cramp 1988, 76, ill. 147) and Workington 7A (ibid., 157, ill. 599), for example.

Ninth to tenth century
Rowe 1870, 241, fig. 9; Allen 1891, 170 (5); Bogg [1895], 339; Morris, J. 1904, 212 (8); Collingwood 1907, 269, 271, 272, 274, 286, 287, 292, 343, figs. f–h on 339; Collingwood 1912, 124; Page, W. 1914, 371; Collingwood 1915, 279, 281; Stapleton 1923, 5, 10, 14, 57, ill. 3; Mee 1941, 125; Pevsner 1966, 210

[1] The following are general references to the Kirby Hill stones: Lunn [1867], 13; Allen and Browne 1885, 353; Allen 1890, 293; Bulmer 1890, 734; Hodges 1894, 195, 201; Morris, J. 1904, 212, 420; Thompson 1908, 113; Stapleton 1923, 7, 10, 53; Morris, J. 1931, 212, 417; Pontefract and Hartley [1936], 126; Mee 1941, 125; Taylor and Taylor 1965, I, 355; Pevsner 1966, 210; Morris, R. 1989, 161; Muir 1997, 96–7.

[2] The following is an unpublished manuscript reference to no. 1: BL Add. MS 37552 no. XIV, item 630 (Romilly Allen collection).

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