Volume II | Preface Next Back to catalogue index

The successful completion of volume two of the British Academy's Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture will further establish the series in the minds of the scholarly public and will demonstrate that Professor Cramp and her colleagues are intent on producing the complete Corpus within a reasonable time. The value of the Corpus, already proven by the previous volume, should grow exponentially with each succeeding publication.

Since the appearance of the first volume I have taken over as chairman of the committee of the Academy which supervises this project and, in so doing, I must acknowledge the enthusiasm and initiative shown by my predecessor, George Zarnecki. It was through his energy and active advice that the project was piloted through the narrow seas of finance and bureaucracy. Only he and Professor Cramp will realize how near the vessel was to foundering on a number of occasions. Anglo-Saxon scholarship owes him a great debt of gratitude.

The present volume has been completed in record time by the general editor and Professor Bailey. It deals with one of the most interesting and elusive regions of Christian Anglo-Saxondom; a region for which the sculpture provides the only coherent body of evidence. The sculpture is clearly related to the Celtic north and west of the British Isles, where much work needs to be done; it also provides a basis for study of Anglo-Scandinavian ornamental and religious syncretism. While acknowledging the pioneering work of Calverley and Collingwood, scholars have long needed a modern survey. This has now been made available and our academic thirst can be slaked.

As with the previous volumes, the archive of the project is housed in the Department of Archaeology of the University of Durham, where scholars are always welcome to consult it. The continuing generosity of the University in all aspects of the preparation of the Corpus must be gratefully recognized, whilst the financial and administrative support of the Academy should be acknowledged with many thanks.

David M. Wilson, Chairman, Committee for the Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture, 1985