Corpus News
June 2017 - Northern Yorkshire, Volume VI, online!

Crathorne 5 and 6CASSS is delighted to announce the release of all data for Volume VI – Northern Yorkshire, by the late James Lang, including full catalogue entries, all photographic images, drawings and tables and written chapters. You can now browse the remarkable monuments of the region via our online catalogue.

This volume was published in the British Academy Series in 2001 providing insight into the rich and diverse visual heritage of Northern Yorkshire in the pre-Conquest period. Sadly the volume appeared after the death of the author and this major work was finished in part with the help of a research assistant Louise Henderson, sponsored by the Aurelius Trust, the General Editor Rosemary Cramp and Research Fellow Derek Craig. However James Lang's work was left as far as possible untouched, 'so that his inimitable voice comes through' (Introduction – General Editor Rosemary Cramp).

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 sculptures 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 also strong Irish links with the area in the Anglo-Scandinavian period.

This volume marked the culmination of the lifetime's work of a great Anglo-Saxon scholar, but also served to introduce generations of researchers to the remarkable Anglo-Scandinavian monuments of the North Riding, such as the Brompton hogbacks. The catalogue is a crucial piece in the Corpus jigsaw linking Volumes I, II and III, and VIII, and our next imminent volume on Derbyshire and Staffordshire (Vol XIII).

Brompton 23The release of this volume and its associated catalogues brings to an end CASSS's first phase of digital release. The online publication of the chapters, catalogues and images from Volumes I-VI has been achieved with financial support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (1999-2004), The British Academy (ongoing), The Aurelius Trust (2013-14) and Durham University (2013). Taking original manuscripts and translating them to a form suitable for online release has been no mean feat and is due in large measure to Sarah Price (Soffed Ltd.) our project web-site designer and co-ordinator. Dr Derek Craig took forward the initial preparations and coding of early volumes and has since given generously in terms of detailed oversight of the online material in terms of checking and correcting the catalogues. Funding from The Aurelius Trust supported Dr Celia Orsini in creating high resolution scans of images for Vols IV-VI and transposing and coding the catalogues. The release of Volumes I-VI online means the project has met its long standing commitments to the AHRC. While we hope to continue the on-line release of material, this is dependent on future funding, but we do hope that in the short and long term, we will succeed in freely releasing further volumes for academic and public use.

June 2017 - Exciting recent find from Hart on Teeside

new find from HartlepoolAn exciting recent find from Hart on Teeside, has been made by AAG Archaeology. The excavators suggest this name stone fragment shares similarities with other mid-7th to mid-8th century examples from Hartlepool. Although damaged, an inscription can partly be made out - further research is underway. The fragment measures 265mm wide by 213mm long and is 76mm thick.


June 2017 - new Lindisfarne fragments

One of the exciting things about the study of early medieval sculpture is that the corpus of known objects continues to expand. Recent excavations led by Durham University and DigVentures on the site of the early medieval monastery at Lindisfarne produced two new stones. We're excited to release an exclusive update from David on the new Lindisfarne sculpture fragments!

"The first find was a fragmentary name stone of a type well-known from Holy Island, with fourteen other examples known from the site. It is not terribly elaborate, but does retain the top and right-hand arms of an incised cross with circular terminals, and hints that the central boss of the cross may have been sunken to receive a metal inset. Excitingly, the cross bears a previously unattested Anglo-Saxon name *YTFRIÐ. No exact parallels are known for this name- although it is possible that it is a version of Eadfrid, which can be found in the Durham Liber Vitae.

The second fragment of sculpture was a cross-incised stone – with an incised image of a shaft (possibly a cross) running down centre of main face defined by parallel incised lines c.20mm apart. This was flanked by two partial Latin crosslet. It is not easy to find parallels to this stone from amongst the existing repertoire of early medieval stone sculpture from Anglo-Saxon England or from Scotland; the difficulty in finding a good parallel is exacerbated by its fragmentary state.

The best parallels in Scotland are a group of upstanding crosses with subordinate crosses from the Rhinns of Galloway, including examples from Craignarget, Laggangarn, Larg Liddesdale and the Golgotha Stone from Whithorn. This cluster has clear Northumbrian connections, with Whithorn becoming the centre of diocese by the early 8th century AD. From elsewhere in Scotland, a slab from Gleann na Gaoith' (Islay, Argyll) has two crosslets flanking the extended top arm of an outline ring cross, whilst another fragmentary cross, also from Islay, has a ringed cross with flanking crosslets within the ring. Finally, there are parallels with a group of stones from Inishmurray (County Sligo, Ireland), although the Lindisfarne crosslets are not as expanded as these Irish examples. On Inishmurray, the stones are mainly associated with excavated leachta (dry stone built rectangular stone structures, associated with pilgrimage and possibly functioning as altars), and probably date to the 10th or 11th centuries AD, however, the smaller examples, similar in size to the Lindisfarne stone could be earlier.

The excavation team will be returning to Lindisfarne this summer, where they hope to uncover more sculptural material to enhance the existing corpus of Anglo-Saxon sculpture from Northumberland.

Thanks to DigVentures, the Crossman Estate and acknowledgements to Elisabeth Okasha for her reading of the namestone and to Derek Craig for his thoughtful comments on the other fragment."

May 2017 - 3-D images of key sculptures

Across 2016, CASSS together with Professor Joanna Story from Leicester University and Prof Dominic Powlesland at the Landscape Research Centre, Vale of Pickering, Yorkshire, have been experimenting with using Structure from Motion techniques to capture 3-D images of key sculptures. The focus has been on the Soke of Peterborough with some remarkable results - not least the exceptional movable 3-D images of the Hedda Stone. You can see some of the results via Dominic's Sketchfab pages.

We're hoping, funding permitting, to take this work further in future volumes, and to release additional models freely for public use.

May 2017 - Publication of Volume XIII: Derbyshire and Staffordshire

Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture, Volume XIII, Derbyshire and Staffordshire, by Jane Hawkes and Philip Sidebottom, with contributions by Martin Biddle, C. Roger Bristow, Birthe Kjølbye-Biddle, David N. Parsons, Robert Toynton and Barbara Yorke.

This latest volume in the Corpus series will be going to press this autumn, for publication by the British Academy and Oxford University Press before the end of the year.

May 2017 - Release of Volume VI: Northern Yorkshire

The Corpus is delighted to announce the forthcoming online release of Volume VI – Northern Yorkshire – by James Lang. 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 formatting of data and images is being finalised and Volume VI should be available in June 2017 on this website as a searchable and fully illustrated catalogue.

May 2017 - See recent sculpture finds from Lindisfarne

Durham's very own David Petts has been excavating at Lindisfarne with Dig Ventures Ltd. In the summer of 2016 several important sculpture finds were made. These can be viewed on the project website where you can view the Anglo-Saxon name stone in 3-D.

April 2017 - New bid submitted to AHRC for funding

The Corpus has benefitted across the years from a mosaic of funding. In recent times and in the present, it is generously supported by the Headley Trust, part of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. With a view maximising the online release, and public awareness and use of the Corpus resources, the project recently submitted a bid to the AHRC for further funding. We remain active in seeking funding to complete this remarkable project, bringing to press and online every fragment of Anglo-Saxon sculpture from across England.

March 2017 - Lang's pioneering thesis on Hogbacks now available digitally for free

James Lang's M.A. thesis, `Hogbacks in north-eastern England' (1967), although now fifty years old, was a pioneering study of these Viking Age grave-covers in the shape of a house but with bears clasping the ends. Although much work has been done on these since, most authors include a reference to this thesis. It remains one of the primary pieces of research on sculpture and underpins many new avenues of research. http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/12000/

December 2016 - The Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture on Facebook

Follow us on Facebook for news updates and discussion on early medieval stone sculpture. We've recently uploaded some colour images from the Early Cornish Sculpture volume XI.

As always, do let us have your views and comments on the usability of this site and our new social media page.

November 2016 - Release online of catalogues for Volumes IV and V

The release of Volumes IV and V means that items of sculpture from a wide geographical area are now available for study. Counties include: Durham and Northumberland, Cumberland, Westmoreland and Lancashire, York and Eastern Yorkshire, South East England and Lincolnshire. The catalogue for volume VI is on its way. We will also make available the chapters from these volumes as an additional free resource. Do contact us and comment on the site and its usability. Queries and questions are always welcome.

April 2016 - Launch of Volume XII

We're delighted to announce the publication this year of The Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture XII, Nottinghamshire, authored by Paul Everson and David Stocker. This new publication provides an authoritative listing, description and illustration of all examples of early medieval decorated stone sculpture in Nottinghamshire. New information revealed by systematic study demonstrates the major contribution that this category of material can make to an obscure and under-investigated period in Midlands history. Nottinghamshire emerges with a distinctive identity in the pre-conquest period, having strong connections both with the Mercian state to its south and with the Northumbrians to the north.

July 2015 - Recording Anglo-Scandinavian Sculpture from St Mary Bishophill Senior, York

Dr David Petts of Durham University is currently working together with Jane Stockdale and the York Archaeological Trust and Gareth Beale from the York University Centre for Digital Heritage on a community project undertaking Reflectance Transformation Imaging recording the early medieval and medieval sculpture currently housed at the Church of Holy Redeemer in York which was built in the 1960s but incorporates nearly all the Anglo-Scandinavian sculpture from St Mary Bishophill Senior. The end result will be a new element on the church website hosting the RTI images and a viewer, and new display panels in the church.

July 2015 - Release online of Volume III catalogue

The York and Eastern Yorkshire catalogue, containing a quantity and range of carvings revealed by excavations at York, has transformed our appreciation of the sculpture from this major medieval centre. The carvings speak of a fusion of cultural impulses over a period when York was the political and economic focus of renewed settlement. The author, the late James Lang, held the post of Inspector of Ancient Monuments, English Heritage.

July 2015 - New publication on Early Medieval Stone Monuments

A new volume of papers dedicated to exploring early medieval stone monuments of the 5th to 11th centuries from a variety of perspectives is due for publication in 2015. Edited by Howard Williams, Jo Kirton and Meggen Gondek, all from the University of Chester, Early Medieval Stone Monuments investigates stone monuments from Ireland, Britain and Scandinavia. Building on recent theoretical trends in archaeology and material culture studies in particular, it uses the themes of materiality, biography and landscape to reveal how carved stones created senses of identity and history for early medieval communities and kingdoms.

July 2015 - CASSS at the 2015 British Archaeological Association Conference

Prof Rosemary Cramp and Prof Jo Story, authors of the forthcoming East Midlands Volume, will be presenting on CASSS related research at The British Archaeological Association's 2015 annual conference at Peterborough on the 10th-14th July. The focus of the conference is architecture, art and archaeology throughout the Soke of Peterborough, especially that of Peterborough Cathedral and its precincts from the earliest period through the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century. Click here for more information.

June 2015 - CASSS secures continued funding from the British Academy

We're delighted to share the news that the project continues to benefit from small grant funding from the British Academy. This funding enables authors to travel and study sculpture in situ. It facilitates the geological analyses and underpins the high quality production of images and maps which complement the scholarly volumes. The funding will also allow us to progress the online release of data, widening access and usage of this unique resource.

June 2015 - CASSS wins funding to develop new 3-D models

Together with Jo Storey from Leicester University, CASSS has won seedcorn funding from both Durham and Leicester Universities to pilot Structure from Motion (SfM) imaging techniques on key pieces of Anglo-Saxon stone sculpture. The recording and modelling is being pioneered by Professor Dominic Powlesland, Field Archaeologist in Residence at Cambridge University. The new 3-D imagery will be made available soon on this site.

June 2015 - Theft from All Saints Church, Hovingham

We are sad to report that a finely decorated fragment of pre-Conquest sculpture has been reported missing from All Saints Church, Hovingham. This is an important piece from a very significant collection and should be returned to the church. We ask all those following the project to be especially aware in case this item appears for auction or sale. The theft has been reported to the police. If any news of its whereabouts emerges we would ask you to inform them and us as soon as possible.

December 2014 - Publication of Volume XI

Volume XI published! We're delighted to announce the publication earlier this year of The Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture, XI, Early Cornish Sculpture, authored by Ann Preston-Jones and Elisabeth Okasha.

Volume 11 surveys the county of Cornwall and provides an analytical catalogue of its early sculpture, highlighting the particular distinctiveness of Cornish sculpture compared to other regions. Introductory chapters set the material within its topographical, historical and archaeological context, considering it especially in relation to its development as Cornwall, at one time an independent Celtic kingdom, became part of the Anglo-Saxon realm. To fully illuminate the material, the volume includes specialist contributions on the geology of the monuments, the historical background, and the sculpture which continued the tradition of monumental carving in Cornwall after the Norman Conquest. There is a full photographic record of each monument, taken for the most part by the authors, which highlights the fact that Cornwall, unlike some regions, has many impressive and complete monuments still surviving.

Volumes can be purchased direct from the Oxford University Press.

December 2014 - Corpus celebrates the rescue of an important Cheshire piece

It has been a matter of considerable concern in recent years that several items of Anglo-Saxon sculpture have appeared in the sale-rooms of auction houses, with on occasion items sold to anonymous bidders before any proper publication could be undertaken. It is therefore welcome that an Anglo-Saxon grave-marker, which apparently had been bought with a job lot of stone from Cheshire, was recently saved at auction through purchase by a public spirited private buyer from the UK , and will be published in due course. This is exceptionally good news and we would like to share it.

March 2013 - Release of Volume II Online

We are pleased to announce the online publication of the second volume of the Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture. This latest volume is authored by Professor Richard N. Bailey and Professor Rosemary J. Cramp and covers the pre-1974 counties of Cumberland, Westmoreland and Lancashire-North-of-the-Sands. The resource includes all catalogue entries, with images, and the full text of the 13 specialised chapters that were included in the original printed volume.

January 2013 - Extension of publisher's discount

We have learned of a welcome extension of the publisher's discount for Volume X: West Midlands. The 40% discount continues to be available until 1st February 2013 from the Oxford University Press. Here is the link to the order form, which you should download, complete and rush to OUP before the deadline expires. Volume X providing even more value, for a limited period.

November 2012 - New Online Website

The release of the new website into the public domain in 2012 represents a significant advance for the project. The development of a searchable on-line catalogue was first achieved by the project as a result of AHRC funding and initially a searchable resource covering all data from Volumes I-III was made available. Loss of AHRC funding brought the development of the site to a halt in 2008. We are delighted to announce, however, the launch of a new website, made possible with funding from the British Academy, which makes available data from volume 1. In due course we hope to release the remaining data from volumes II-X. This is a work in progress and feedback and suggestions are welcome on the design and format of the site. We welcome your comments or suggestions.

July 2012 - Vol X (the West Midlands) available at Publisher's Discount

Volume X of the Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Scultpure is now available with publisher's discount from the Oxford University Press. This volume surveys the western Midland counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. Introductory chapters set the material within an historical, topographical, and art-historical context, and there are specialist contributions concerning the geology of the monuments and the analysis of ninth-century paint. There is a full photographic record of each monument which includes many new illustrations. To receive the discount, which enables a full 40% reduction on the recommended price, please download this order form, complete, and send to the Oxford University Press.

June/July 2012 - Volume X Approaches Publication

Dr Derek Craig is working with volume author, Richard Bryant, to publish the tenth Corpus volume in 2012. This volume addresses the surviving Anglo-Saxon sculpture of the West Midlands. As well as a full catalogue of all surviving fragments art historical material, this volume includes will include specialist sections on the geology of the monuments and on an analysis of surviving ninth-century paint.

When published (forthcoming), this volume may be purchased from the Oxford University Press.

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