Volume IV | Chapter 4 | Classification of FormsNext Back to catalogue index
by D. Tweddle

GRAVE-MARKERS AND GRAVE-COVERS (Cramp 1991, pp. xiv, xxi, and figs. 4–7)

The earliest memorial sculptures from the region are probably the two stones from Sandwich, Kent (Ills. 151–7). Each is of square section with a flat upper end, and tapering towards the lower end. It is evident that the roughly dressed tapering bases were inserted into the ground and the upper ends left exposed; one is panelled on two faces and the other has a runic inscription. This division between a roughly dressed base and a decorated upper portion is precisely the pattern encountered among the later, tenth- and eleventh-century, grave-markers discussed below. In addition the runic inscription has been read as a personal name, again suggesting a memorial function, although the alternative reading proposed by Dr Parsons in the catalogue entry, completely revises this interpretation. Both the absence of Christian symbolism and the archaic features exhibited by the runic inscription suggest an early, perhaps seventh-century, date for these pieces; they are certainly of a form without close parallels.

Accepting an early date for the Sandwich pieces there is a long gap before grave-markers occur again and grave-covers appear for the first time. Chronologically, the next grave-marker is that from Whitchurch, Hampshire (Ills. 481–9), for which a ninth-century date can be argued. This represents a new type in southern England, having parallel sides and a semicircular head (Cramp 1991, fig. 4bii). In this case the thickness of the stone suggests that it was not sunk into the ground, but stood on the ground surface.

The Whitchurch grave-marker is the sole ninth-century example of this type from south-east England, but in the tenth, and more particularly the eleventh, centuries the semicircular-headed type persisted in use; examples occur at Stedham, Sussex, where there were three (nos. 7 (Ills. 243–4), 10 (Ill. 246), and 11 (Ill. 248)), Rochester 3, Kent (Ills. 147–50), and perhaps also at White Notley, Essex (Ill. 375), though the shape of the latter may not be original. The markers from Stedham, Rochester, and White Notley are all much thinner and more slab-like than the Whitchurch example, and their lower ends must have been inserted into the ground. Decoration is also usually much simpler, consisting of a low relief or incised cross on one or both broad faces. This is in contrast to the elaborate figure sculpture on face A of Whitchurch, combined with plant-scroll on face C and an inscription on the edge. Among the late semicircular-headed grave-markers only Rochester 3 has similar elaborate decoration, with part of a cross on face C, animal ornament on face A, and an inscription on the edge, as at Whitchurch.

In addition to the semicircular-headed markers at Stedham, Sussex, there was apparently a single parallel-sided, square-headed example (no. 9; Ill. 247; Cramp 1991, fig. 4biii). This was decorated with a plain relief cross on face A. Of the same general type, if much more elaborately decorated, is the Ringerike-style stone from St Paul's, London (Ills. 351–2). This has often been described as the end of a box tomb or sarcophagus, but contemporary accounts of the discovery suggest that it was discovered in situ at the head of a grave with no other associated sculpture. In addition there was a lower, undecorated, part of the stone which was subsequently cut away and discarded. In all respects, therefore, the piece when discovered resembled other grave-markers except only in the quality and elaboration of the decoration.

A third form of marker, in the form of a small circular cross-head with square-ended, splayed arms (type E8), is represented at Winchester Old Minster 95 (Ills. 717–18). The similar heads from South Leigh, Oxfordshire (Ill. 406), Pagham, Sussex (Ills. 98–100), and St John Walbrook, London (Ills. 347–9) may have come from comparable grave-markers but equally could have come from small standing crosses and are, therefore, discussed below with the other cross-heads.

The pieces from Rochester, Kent (no. 2), Great Canfield, Essex, and London (All Hallows 3) are also probably parts of grave-markers but are too fragmentary to be classified.

Excavations at a number of sites, notably the Old Minster, Winchester (see below, Chap. VIII; Biddle 1966a, 325, pl. LXI), Raunds, Northamptonshire, and Wharram Percy, Yorks (Beresford and Hurst 1976, 133–4, pl. II.13), have demonstrated the use of grave-markers in association with grave-covers. However, in south-east England there are more than three times as many covers than markers. Either this is an accident of survival or covers were also used separately from markers.

The grave-covers from south-east England are all of tenth- or eleventh-century date, and fall into four basic shapes. The overwhelming majority have squared ends and taper towards the foot: Arundel, Chithurst, Cocking, Stedham 2, 4–6, and Steyning 2 in Sussex; Canterbury St Augustine's 2 and Dover St Mary in Castro 1, Kent; London, St Benet Fink; Cardington and Milton Bryan, Bedfordshire; Oxford, cathedral; Titsey 1–3 and 5, Surrey; Weyhill, Hampshire; and probably Great Maplestead, Essex. At Oxted, Surrey (Ills. 235–6) and probably at Stedham, Sussex (no. 9; Ill. 247), there are covers with square ends and no taper (Cramp 1991, fig. 4a) and at Steyning an example with squared ends which tapers towards both the head and foot (no. 1; Ill. 249). From Dover (St Peter) in Kent is a cover with rounded ends which also tapers towards the foot (Ill. 77).

A few covers have more three-dimensional forms. The covers from Tandridge, Surrey (Ill. 231) and Headbourne Worthy, Hampshire (no. 2; Ills. 684–5) are coped (Cramp 1991, fig. 4g), as is an example from Winchester (Old Minster 6; Ills. 509–10, 521). That from Bexhill, Sussex, takes the form of a truncated pyramid on a rectangular base (Ill. 10). One of the Steyning covers (no. 2) is almost square in section and a fragment from St Maurice, Winchester (no. 1; Fig. 42) must also have been nearly square in section, but longitudinally convex on the upper face, not flat as at Steyning. A grave-cover from London (City 1) has a transversely convex upper face.

One very specialised form of cover is represented by the coffin lid from Westminster abbey (Ills. 355–7). This was made to fit a reused Roman coffin, but both the decoration on the upper face and contemporary drawings of its excavation suggest that the lid was left exposed. When in use, therefore, there would have been no apparent distinction between this coffin lid, and the other covers which simply lay on the ground surface over the grave.

FREE-STANDING CROSSES (Cramp 1991, p. xiv, and figs. 1–3)


There are 25 standing cross-shaft fragments from south-east England falling into two main types, angular shafts (those of square or rectangular section), and round shafts (those of circular section).

Fifteen of the cross-shaft fragments are of the angular type, one which was introduced to the south-east of England in the mid eighth century and which, apparently, always remained the predominant type. It occurs at Barking 1 and Saffron Walden, Essex, Bedford and Elstow, Bedfordshire, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, London (All Hallows 1), Preston by Faversham and Rochester 1, Kent, Reigate, Surrey, and Bishop's Waltham, Southampton, Steventon, Wherwell, and Winchester (Upper Brook Street 1), all in Hampshire. The remains of a slight step at the upper end of the Elstow shaft (Ills. 268–9) may suggest that it belongs to the stepped sub-type (Cramp 1991, fig. 1c), but there is no evidence that any of the others originally derived from the stepped, shouldered, or collared sub-types encountered in other areas (ibid., fig. 1c–e).

Ten fragments derive from round shafts. The earliest monument of this type is probably the shaft from Reculver, Kent, which accounts for seven of the ten known fragments. This can be assigned to the late eighth or, more plausibly, the early ninth century (see Chap. VI). The other examples are from Wantage, Berkshire, and High Street 1 and Priors Barton 1 in Winchester. The Wantage and Priors Barton shafts are probably of tenth-century date, while the fragment from High Street is ninth century. From these few examples it seems that the type may have fallen out of use by the beginning of the eleventh century although there is little enough evidence on which to base any solid conclusion. Of these shafts only at Reculver is there enough surviving for it to be fairly certain that it was columnar (Cramp 1991, fig. 1f). The other round shafts could have come from either columnar types or round-shaft derivatives (Cramp 1991, fig. 1g–h). In addition there is one clear fragment of a round-shaft derivative, that from St Augustine's, Canterbury (no. 1). This exhibits the usual upper part of square section, with the faces ending in semicircular swags, and with a group of roll mouldings below marking the transition of the shaft to a circular section (Ills. 20–3).


There are only five surviving cross-heads from south-east England. As noted above, it is not clear if all of these derive from free-standing crosses rather than small grave-markers. Nevertheless these five cross-heads represent five different types. The earliest is undoubtedly the lost fragment from Reculver (no. 3), for which an eighth- or early ninth-century date can be suggested. This was apparently a fragment of a free-armed head of the general type A9 or 10. Surviving photographs reveal no evidence for a ring and supporting evidence for the head having been free-armed is provided by the concave disc on face A, with a moulding of square section running away from it along the vertical axis of the arm (Ill. 121). These features suggest that the piece was part of a free-armed head of the 'lorgnette' or 'spine and boss' type, where face A was decorated with five discs or bosses linked by straight plain mouldings (Collingwood 1927, 94–8). The remaining four heads are all of tenth- or eleventh-century date. Those from Pagham, Sussex, and South Leigh, Oxfordshire, are ring-heads. The Pagham example is of the general form E11 with a type b ring (Ills. 98–100) and the South Leigh example of the form B6 with a type a ring (Ill. 406). Related to this form is the circle-head encountered at All Hallows by the Tower, London (no. 2), of the type E8 (Ills. 343–4). The remaining cross-head, from St John Walbrook in London, is a disk-head with very narrow arms of type E1 (Ills. 347–9).


The only possible cross-base from south-east England is from South Hayling, Hampshire (Ills. 465–9). The piece, currently used as a font, is in the form of an inverted, truncated pyramid, decorated on all four faces, and hollowed. There is a drain hole in face B (Ill. 466), and there appears to have been a prominent moulding of square section around what is now the rim of the bowl. This is now very heavily weathered. The piece resembles no known pre-Conquest font in southern England. The examples from Potterne, Wiltshire (Okasha 1983, 96–7, pl. IXa), Deerhurst, Gloucestershire (Rice 1952, pl. 30a), Wells, Somerset (Rodwell 1990, 162–3, pls. 2–4), and Melbury Bubb, Dorset (Cramp 1975, 198, pl. XXI), are all circular in section. This appears also to have been the norm elsewhere. It is possible, therefore, that the piece has been reused. Certainly the drain hole is secondary as it cuts through the decoration, and by inference the hollowing may also be secondary.

If it was not originally a font, then the South Hayling piece is best inverted and viewed as a cross-base (as in Ills. 465–9). The truncated pyramidal form is relatively common particularly in early contexts (Bailey and Cramp 1988, 13), and the ornament of the South Hayling piece certainly suggests an early date, perhaps in the late eighth or early ninth century. Only two possible cross-bases are known from southern or eastern England, the cuboid bases from Haddenham (Okasha 1971, 74–5, n. 43, pl. 43) and Balsham (Tweddle 1978) in Cambridgeshire, and cross-bases occur only rarely elsewhere. However, the surviving examples can be divided into three main types: cuboid bases, as at Beckermet St Bridget (nos. 1–2) and Brigham (no. 9) in Cumberland (Bailey and Cramp 1988, ills. 41, 168–71), and Hexham, Northumberland (Cramp 1984, i , 181, ii , pl. 176 (928–32)); stepped bases, as at Addingham and Gosforth, Cumberland (Bailey and Cramp 1988, ills 1–4, 292–5); and truncated pyramids, as at Raistrick and Walton, Yorkshire (Collingwood 1915, 231–3). The latter pair are taller in proportion to their width and depth than is the case at South Hayling, but the overall concept is the same. Cross-bases much more closely comparable in form to the South Hayling example can be found among the early Christian monuments of Wales, as at Penmon (Nash-Williams 1950, 65–7, pl. XXXII), and of Ireland, as at Kells (Henry 1964, pls. 26 and 28), Clonmacnoise (ibid., pl. 46) and Durrow (ibid., pl. 52). These particular examples have no direct parallels with the decoration of the base at South Hayling, but they serve to demonstrate that this type of base was known in Insular sculpture in the eighth and ninth centuries. The suggested reuse of part of a cross as a font can certainly be paralleled both in southern England and elsewhere. At Melbury Bubb, Dorset (Cramp 1975, 198, pl. XXI) and Wilne, Derbyshire (Routh 1937, 42–4, pl. XXI), for example, the fonts are made from reused sections of circular cross-shafts.


Almost half of the pre-Conquest carvings from south-east England are architectural. The material can be divided into nine categories in accordance with standard architectural terminology: baluster shafts; capitals; imposts; bases; hoodmoulds and arch heads; mid-wall slabs; string-courses; friezes; sundials; figural groups; and church furnishings.3 In addition, there are several pieces which, although probably architectural, cannot be further classified.


These may be divided into two main types: those which are lathe-turned with grooved decoration; and those which are moulded. The first type is rare in south-east England, occurring at Canterbury St Augustine's 8 (Ill. 50) and perhaps also at Winchester Old Minster, though there the remains are extremely fragmentary (e.g. nos. 17–18; Ills. 515–16; see Chap. VIII). These may have been architectural in function or formed parts of church furnishings. The second type may have been exclusively architectural in function, though many of the examples are ex situ so it is difficult to be certain of this. Major collections of the latter occur at Dover (St Mary in Castro), St Albans, and Winchester Old Minster, while there are in situ examples at Oxford St Michael and North Leigh, Oxfordshire.


There are 35 decorated capitals from south-east England, from seven sites. In Sussex, Botolphs has two and Sompting nine. There are six at Hadstock in Essex (nos. 1–2) and twelve at Langford; all are in situ. The pair of capitals from Reculver (no. 4), the three from St Augustine's, Canterbury (nos. 3–5), both in Kent, and the single capital from Betchworth in Surrey, are all ex situ. The Reculver and Canterbury capitals belonged to free-standing columns. Two of the Sompting capitals (nos. 20–1) derive from mid-wall shafts. The remaining examples are attached shaft capitals. On the basis of their form and decoration they can be divided into five types: composite capitals, upright leaf capitals, volute capitals, faceted capitals, corbelled capitals and moulded capitals.

Composite Capitals

This type is represented only by the three capitals from St Augustine's abbey, Canterbury (nos. 3–5). The standard elements of this type, a double row of upright leaves on the base separated by a recessed zone of egg-and-dart from the volute-decorated upper portion, are greatly simplified but still recognisable. The double row of leaves has been reduced to one and the egg-and-dart transformed into a recessed zone of interlocking triangles (e.g. no. 5; Ill. 39).

Upright Leaf Capitals

This type of capital is decorated with one or more horizontal zones of upright leaves, although the leaf form varies. There are seventeen capitals of this type from south-east England: three at Sompting and two at Botolphs in Sussex, and twelve at Langford in Oxfordshire (no. 4).

The best examples of the type are the capitals of the half-columnar soffit shafts of the tower arch at Sompting (no. 14; Ills. 183–91), together with the closely-related example on the half-round shaft on the north face of the tower (no. 18; Ills. 200–1). Each of these capitals is decorated with overlapping horizontal zones of out-turned upright leaves with clubbed ends. At Botolphs, Sussex, the soffit roll of the chancel arch is also carried by capitals of this general type. On the south side the leaves are reduced to three horizontal rows of pointed-ovoid incisions, a simplification of the Sompting type (Ill. 4), but on the north side there is a single row of narrow, pointed, vertical leaves on short thick stems (Ill. 5). At Langford (no. 4) the form is different again (Ills. 297–312). The capitals are reduced to narrow strips delineated by plain mouldings of square section. The ornament consists of a row of acanthus leaves developing from the lower moulding. In the centre of each window above the capital, a band of acanthus also decorates the springing of the archivolt roll moulding.

Despite the variety of leaf forms, all of these capitals may be thought of as greatly simplified Corinthian or Composite capitals, with the volutes suppressed and the zone of upright leaves greatly enlarged. This phenomenon can be observed on the continent, for example, on the capitals of the westwork in Corvey, Germany, where the volutes are vestigial; from there it was only a short step to their complete suppression.

Volute Capitals

In the same manner as the upright leaf capitals, these are derivatives from Corinthian or Composite types, but with the zone of upright leaves suppressed and the volutes enlarged. The three capitals of this form from south-east England are all from Sompting, on the south, east, and west half-round pilasters of the tower (nos. 16–17 and 19; Ills. 196–7, 202–4).

The tower arch capitals at Sompting (no. 14), with their flanking strips, perfectly exemplify this process of disintegration of the Classical prototypes into separate volute and upright leaf forms. The capitals of the half-columns themselves, as noted above, represent the upright leaf zone of the Corinthian or Composite type. The flanking volutes on the dosseret or jamb behind each half-column equally represent, no matter how whimsically, the upper voluted zone of such a capital displaced to form flanking strips, as at Langford (Ills. 183–91).

Facetted Capitals

This form is similar to the Romanesque cushion capital, but instead of having a lunette on each face, the curve of the lunette is replaced by an angle. In the same way, on what is normally the conical section, the capital is trimmed to produce flat planes meeting at an angle. There are six capitals of this form in south-east England, all from Hadstock in Essex. Two are on the angle shafts of the north door (no. 1; Ills. 279, 284) and four on the angle shafts of the south porticus arch (no. 2; Ills. 288–91). In every case they are decorated all over with palmette ornament.

Corbelled Capitals

This form again resembles the cushion capital, except that two parallel faces are extended to the full thickness of the wall, with the consequent loss of the lunettes. Only two decorated examples are known from south-east England, both from Sompting (nos. 20–1) where the mid-wall shafts of the north belfry windows are of this form; the long faces are decorated with two pairs of volutes, one above the other, linked at the base (Ills. 205–12).

Moulded Capitals

The moulded capital is decorated with a series of plain mouldings parallel to the upper end of the capital and of diminishing size towards the lower end. There are three capitals of this form from south-east England, two from Reculver (no. 4) and one from Betchworth. All are decorated with superimposed fasciae; those at Reculver narrow from top to bottom (Ills. 126, 128), but it is unclear which way up the Betchworth example (Ill. 2) would have been set originally.


In addition to these capitals there is one other which is unclassified, also from Sompting (no. 23). This is inside, on the shaft between the two triangular-headed windows in the north side of the tower, and takes the form of a face mask carved onto the body of the shaft (Ills. 214–15).


There are twelve decorated imposts from south-east England, at six sites: Breamore and Corhampton 4a–b in Hampshire, Dartford in Kent, Hadstock in Essex (nos. 1–2), and Little Munden and Walkern 2 in Hertfordshire. They can be divided into two main types, square imposts and moulded imposts, following the classification proposed by Taylor (Taylor and Taylor 1965–78, iii , 1051–5). The only modification here is to place the sculptured imposts, grouped separately by Taylor, with the undecorated impost type which they most closely resemble. Except that from Dartford, all of the imposts are still in situ.

Square Imposts

These are of square plan and section and are the commonest type of pre-Conquest impost. There are six decorated examples from south-east England, two from Breamore, Hampshire (no. 2a–b) and four from Hadstock, Essex (nos. 1–2). At Breamore the south porticus arch imposts are enriched with cable mouldings on the angles, except on the north face where the imposts have been cut back flush with the wall (Ills. 429, 434–7). At Hadstock the imposts of the north door (no. 1) are also fundamentally square in section, but each has a prominent roll moulding on the lower angle which returns across the outer end of the north face (Ills. 277–84). On the south porticus arch (no. 2) this feature is so enlarged that the imposts have acquired a stepped profile (Ills. 285–91). Both sets of imposts are decorated with palmette ornament.

Moulded Imposts

Essentially these are a variant of the square or chamfered impost in that they have one or other of these basic shapes, enriched all over with horizontal mouldings and lacking any other decoration. There are six imposts of this type from south-east England, a pair each from Corhampton, Hampshire (no. 4a–b) and Little Munden, Hertfordshire, and one each from Walkern, Hertfordshire (no. 2), and Dartford, Kent. At Walkern 2 (Ills. 398–9) and Little Munden (Ills. 318–19) the imposts are chamfered, but each enriched with cable mouldings, the cables twisted alternately in opposite directions. The Dartford impost is square with its single surviving decorated face treated in a similar manner (Ill. 61). The Corhampton imposts are also square (Ills. 442–3, 445), but with plain rather than cabled mouldings.

Decorated Imposts

Attention has been drawn to the strips flanking the archivolt roll capitals of the belfry windows at Langford, Oxfordshire (no. 4; Ills. 297–312) and to the similar strips on the tower arch at Sompting (no. 14; Ills. 183–91). These rather curious forms are difficult to classify, but most resemble a form of decorated impost block.


Two sites in south-east England have surviving decorated bases: Reculver, where there are two (no. 4), and Corhampton, Hampshire (nos. 2–3, 4c–d) where there are four. With so few extant examples no classification is possible.

At Reculver the bases are those of two free-standing columns which originally supported the triple arcade between the nave and chancel of the church. Both bases are of the same form and are elaborately decorated with cable mouldings and fret ornament (Ills. 133, 138). At Corhampton, by contrast, the bases belong to external pilasters of square section; two are decorated with a pair of out-turned volutes flanking a median bulbous feature (nos. 1–2; Ills. 439–40). These are unparalleled elsewhere in the corpus of pre-Conquest architectural sculpture.

In addition there is a base from St Pancras's, Canterbury, decorated only with mouldings.


On the basis of their section hoodmoulds are normally split into three categories, those of square section, chamfered section, and half-round section. Decorated hoodmoulds are rare. The single example from south-east England, from Hadstock, Essex (no. 1) is of square form decorated with palmette ornament confined between shallow roll mouldings along the edges (Ill. 278).

In addition to this hoodmould there are two decorated arch heads from south-east England, though one of these, at Tangmere, Sussex, is the result of post-Conquest reuse. At Breamore, Hampshire, the north face of the south porticus arch has voussoirs ornamented with an incised inscription (no. 2c; Ills. 429, 430, 433). Two other fragments from similar inscriptions survive ex situ (nos. 3–4; Ills. 431–2). They are very damaged and incorporated into the fabric so it is difficult to ascertain if they were originally voussoirs from a similar arch or arches, perhaps into the north porticus or chancel, or whether they belonged to another type of architectural feature. The size of the letters, however, is broadly similar to those on the south porticus arch.


Mid-walls slabs, whether in wood or stone, provided a framework for glazing or shuttering a window. The specimen from Boarhunt, Hampshire (Ill. 420), is the only example in stone, decorated or undecorated, from south-east England, although there are undecorated wooden examples from Hadstock, Essex (Taylor and Taylor 1965–78, i , 275). The Boarhunt slab is decorated on both sides with two bands of cable moulding outlining the opening (Ills. 423–4).


External string-courses survive on fourteen sites in south-east England (Taylor and Taylor 1965–78, iii , 902–14) but only at Sompting is there any decoration. At Sompting the string-course (no. 15) divides the ground floor of the tower from the upper floors (Ill. 192). It is of fundamentally square section enriched with a chequer pattern; both the raised and recessed fields are vertically facetted (Ills. 193–5).

No pre-Conquest fabric in south-east England retains an internal string-course in situ, but it is possible that the fragments of acanthus-decorated frieze at Sompting originally served this purpose (nos. 1–8). The pieces probably all derive from the same feature as they share several closely-related acanthus forms (Ills. 162–71), and their dimensions are closely comparable; all the pieces are 10–12 cm thick. The total length of the fragments is c. 372 cm and the original feature from which they derive must have been longer as none of the surviving stones is complete. The large-scale nature of this feature is sufficient to suggest it was architectural and the form of the fragments would be compatible with their use as a string-course; all are of rectangular section with the carving confined to one of the narrow edges. An internal use is implied by the fine preservation of the carving, which can never have been exposed to weathering.


The only recognizable remains of a decorated frieze are from Sompting (nos. 9–11), together with a lost stone from Dover (St Mary in Castro 4; Ill. 70). At Sompting there are three rectangular fragments, each decorated with the remains of one or more reeded arch heads; plant ornament fills the tympanum and spandrels of each (Ills. 172–80). The similarity of their decoration suggests that the pieces are from the same feature. Five arch heads survive, giving a minimum original length of c. 500 cm and potentially very much more. Close examination reveals that the junctions of the arch heads were originally carried down to form piers. However, in each case, the careful confinement of the ornament to the tympanum suggests that it did not extend down between the piers. Instead these must have flanked niches or a separate sculptured panels. This would allow the reconstruction of the fragments as a frieze or blind arcade. Alternatively the pieces may have formed part of a free-standing screen. This is, however, less likely as on one of the fragments the arch is carved on the lower half of a larger stone, the upper part of which is roughly dressed. If this were a frieze fragment then the upper part would originally have been set in the wall and plastered, but if the fragment formed part of a screen it is difficult to see how this roughened area could have been disguised, particularly as the other fragments lack this feature.


There are ten surviving sundials from south-east England. These can be divided into three groups: circular dials; square dials; and semicircular-headed dials. Circular dials have the dials cut on the face of a circular stone, as at Orpington, Kent (Ills. 105–7), and Hannington (Ill. 441) and Winchester St Maurice (no. 2; Ill. 672), Hampshire. Square dials employ a circular dial on a square stone, as at Stoke d'Abernon, Surrey (Ill. 216), and Corhampton (no. 1; Ill. 438), Warnford (Ill. 478), and Winchester St Michael (Ill. 671) in Hampshire. Semicircular-headed dials have the upper half of the circular dial fitting into the semicircular head of a parallel-sided slab, as at Bishopstone, Sussex (Ills. 6–7) and Marsh Baldon, Oxfordshire (Ill. 358). Related to this type is the dial from Langford, Oxfordshire (no. 3; Ill. 296). This also has the dial forming the upper part of a rectangular slab, but here the dial is semicircular and its upper edge co-terminus with the upper edge of the slab.

Decoration is usually minimal. At Orpington and Marsh Baldon there are cabled edge mouldings; the Orpington dial also has a marginal inscription. At Bishopstone there is a simple fret encircling the dial and an inscription on its face (Ill. 7). The Langford dial is held aloft by two figures (no. 3; Ill. 296). The Hampshire dials, apart from the example from Hannington, all have simple foliate decoration. The dial from Stoke d'Abernon is undecorated.

The number of calibrations is of little help in classification. Calibration is usually confined to the lower half of the dial; only at Orpington is the whole dial calibrated (Ills. 105–7). The principal, mid-tide, lines at 9 am, 12 noon, 3 pm and 6 pm, are usually crossed near their ends. Between each pair of principal lines there are either two minor lines marking the hours, or alternatively, a single line marking the hour and a half. Only two dials lack this standardised calibration. Both at Marsh Baldon and St Maurice's, Winchester, the gnomon hole is placed towards the upper edge of the dial, and at Marsh Baldon the 6 am and 6 pm lines are missing (Ill. 358). This was apparently also the case at St Maurice's although the lines of calibration are now almost weathered away (Ill. 672).


In south-east England there are six large-scale pre-Conquest crucifixion groups. The examples at Headbourne Worthy, Hampshire (no. 1) and Walkern 1, Hertfordshire, are in situ; those at Breamore 1 and Romsey (no. 1) in Hampshire, and the two at Langford in Oxfordshire (nos. 1–2) are reset. In addition there are two crucifixion panels, at London (Stepney) and Romsey 2, Hampshire, and two other figural panels, at Jevington 1 and Sompting 13, both in Sussex.

The large-scale crucifixion groups can be classified iconographically, or according to their position in the church, but in either case the ex situ examples remain problematical as their original position is lost and any subsidiary figures may have been destroyed in their removal. In addition the examples at Breamore 1 and Headbourne Worthy 1 have been mutilated.

Iconographically the material can be split into three groups: those with Christ depicted as in agony; those with Christ depicted as in repose; and those where Christ is robed. At Breamore 1 (Ill. 428) and Langford 1 (Ill. 293) the figure of Christ is depicted as in agony with limbs contorted. At Headbourne Worthy 1 and Romsey 1 (Ills. 451–2) Christ's body appears in repose; at Romsey the drilled pupils of the eyes indicate that they are open and that the figure of Christ was intended to be living (Ill. 456). This feature is not paralleled at Headbourne Worthy, but the head of Christ there has been destroyed. At Headbourne Worthy (Ill. 448), Breamore, and Langford 1 (Ill. 293), the crucified Christ is accompanied by the figures of the Virgin and St John. The sun and moon are also personified at Breamore (Ills. 425–8).

These figures do not occur with the robed Christ at Walkern 1 where, if they had existed, they might be expected to survive. They are also absent at Romsey 1 and Langford 2, but both figures are ex situ and accompanying figures may have been lost. At Headbourne Worthy 1 an area of chiselling beneath the feet of the crucified Christ suggests that something has been cut away (Ill. 448), perhaps a serpent, as at Bitton, Gloucestershire (Taylor and Taylor 1966, 6–8, fig. 2).

This classification is a slight modification of Coatsworth's (Coatsworth 1988, n. 29). The crucifixions with Christ in agony correspond to her type 3, and those with Christ in repose and placed frontally to her type 1. The only disagreement is over the crucifixion at Headbourne Worthy 1 which she assigns to her type 2, a type in which the trunk sags to one side so that one hip is lower than the other. This may be the case at Headbourne Worthy, but the extent of the damage makes it uncertain (Ill. 448). Robed crucifixions, excluded from consideration by Coatsworth, are included here.

Little can be made of the position in the church of these groups. Headbourne Worthy 1 is over the west door, while Walkern 1 is over the original south door. Nothing is known of the original position of the groups at Langford 1, Breamore 1, nor of the great rood figure Romsey 1, although it is interesting (if not necessarily significant) that on all these sites the crucifixions have been reused in association with south doorways. The crucifixion panel from Stepney in London was reused in a similar manner.

The two crucifixion panels from London (Stepney) and Romsey 2, Hampshire, have a close relationship with the large-scale crucifixion groups. At Stepney (Ill. 354) the figure of Christ is depicted as in agony, but at Romsey (Ills. 453, 455) he is in repose. In both cases the crucified Christ is accompanied by the Virgin and St John, although at Romsey there are the additional figures of Stephaton and Longinus and an angel above each of the arms. At Stepney personifications of the sun and moon occupy these positions. Although their iconographic relationship with the major crucifixion is clear, these much smaller slabs need not have been used in the same way. Perhaps they were used in conjunction with altars as part of the church furnishings (Taylor and Taylor 1965–78, iii , 1056; Taylor 1975, 167–8).

Similar rectangular slabs, but decorated with figural groups other than the crucifixion, are known from Sompting (no. 13) and Jevington (no. 1). At Sompting the slab is decorated with a single figure within an arch (Ill. 181). The figure is tonsured and has to the left a crozier and to the right a reading desk. It must, therefore, represent a monk who was also a bishop and possibly an author. There is no comparable figure in stone, ivory or metalwork from southern England, but comparisons with the manuscripts suggest that the figure could be either St Gregory or St Benedict. At Jevington (Ill. 232) the scene is more easily recognisable as Christ trampling on the beasts, as related in Psalms 91, 13: 'Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under foot'. This satisfactorily explains the careful differentiation between the forms of the animals at the feet of Christ, a feature paralleled in a number of late Anglo-Saxon manuscripts (Temple 1976, nos. 56 and 79, ills. 168, 259). Again the precise functions of these panels is not known, but they may represent part of the church furnishings.


In addition to the slabs discussed above, there are three other pieces of church furnishing from south-eastern England, possible screen fragments from Sonning, Berkshire, and Dover, Kent (St Mary in Castro 4; Ill. 70), and a stoup fragment from Godalming, Surrey (no. 1).

When reconstructed (Fig. 37) the Sonning fragment is c. 60 cm square and decorated with a free-armed cross with a circular interlace in each of the re-entrant angles. As the piece is built into a wall (Ill. 454) it is not possible to see whether there is decoration on the other side, or to gauge its thickness, so the panel may not originally have been free-standing. It is, however, in the same size range as the Hexham panel which is regarded as a closure screen (Cramp 1974, 175, n. 23, pl. viia). Alternatively, the Sonning piece may have formed part of another feature employing decorative slabs, such as the frontal of a box altar (Thomas 1971, 183–90) or part of a shrine.

The lost slab from St Mary in Castro, Dover (no. 4), may also have been a closure slab. It was decorated on both faces and may, therefore, have been free-standing. It was originally c. 70 x 55 cm, the same size range as the possible closure slabs from Hexham and Sonning described above. However, the decoration on face A, a Latin cross with interlace in the re-entrant angles, fits the field precisely (Ill. 69). In contrast, the decoration on the opposite face (C), the junction of two reeded arch heads with plant ornament in the spandrel, was clearly intended to continue onto other slabs (Ill. 70). This may simply reflect differing decorative schemes on each side of the original screen; it may, however, suggest that the slab has been reused, in which case, any discussion of its function is much more problematical. Perhaps the arch heads originally related to a frieze or blind arcade, such as that postulated at Sompting. The piece may have been reused to form a small grave-cover or -marker. There is a very similar grave-cover from Little Shelford, Cambridgeshire, for example (Fox 1920–1, no. 21, pl. v).

The function of the sculptured ring from Godalming, Surrey (Ills. 81–91) is equally difficult to establish, not least because there is no comparable piece from Anglo-Saxon England. The ring is of fundamentally square section with a chamfer on the inside of the upper edge and a rebate on the inside lower edge (Ills. 81, 83). On this basis the piece may have formed the separate rim of a cylindrical stone vessel lined with metal. If the metal were folded over the lip of the lower element it could be neatly accommodated by the rebate. The piece is too small for use as a font, but its association with a smaller vessel such as a stoup is possible.


This study of the uses and form of sculpture from south-east England has taken no account of fifteen other fragments for which neither function nor even original form is readily identifiable. These are the pieces from: St Martin's Canterbury and Rochester 4 in Kent; Godalming 2, Surrey; Ford, Selsey, and Sompting 12 in Sussex; Stanbridge, Bedfordshire; Lavendon, Buckinghamshire; and Lewknor and Oxford (St Aldate's), Oxfordshire.


3. Besides these groups, two other architectural fragments survive: the gable cross from West Wittering and the apotropaic figure from Oxford (St Michael 2). Both are unique in the region and neither of them finds ready parallels from elsewhere. In addition the roundel fragment from Abingdon, Berkshire, may also be architectural, but how it was originally used is unclear.

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