Volume V | Chapter 5 | Introduction to the Monument GroupingsNext Back to catalogue index
by P. Everson and D. Stocker

The main catalogue contains a total of 187 monuments at some 96 separate locations with an additional 184 monuments in the various appendices. Within the main catalogue grave-covers are very much in the majority with 104 examples represented. As against this there may be as few as 40 shafts, and only 18 standing grave-markers are indicated. The remaining 25 stones are mostly items of architectural decoration (16 items, with the remaining 9 being scraps of uncertain function). The sections which follow discuss the cross-shaft, grave-cover and grave-marker groups one by one, whilst the items of architectural sculpture in the main catalogue are dealt with in Chapter 6.


forms of cross-heads and -shafts

There are at least 40 pre-Conquest cross-shafts in Lincolnshire. Two of these are represented only by their base or socket stone, whilst a third (Brattleby 1) is still set within its original base (Ill. 60). The great majority of these shafts have lost their cross-heads and strictly it is an assumption that almost all were originally surmounted by crosses, but it is made on the basis of the many parallels to the north and north-west of the county. Only the stone at Crowle, with its strange side extensions below the top of the surviving shaft (Ills. 145–9), is a real contender for a decorated shaft monument without a cross-head, that is, a stele. Although the lack of a cross-head in this case would suit its apparently secular decoration, the closest parallels (in the Vale of Pickering for example), though also decorated with secular iconography, have conventional ring- or circle-headed crosses and it seems preferable to suppose that this curious feature at Crowle is an odd variant of the pre-Viking cross-shaft collar.

The ten pre-Conquest cross-heads known from Lincolnshire are of three types. The standard ring-headed form, widespread in northern and eastern England in the tenth and eleventh centuries (type E6 or E8 with a ring of type 1a: see Cramp 1991, figs. 2, 3) predominates, with only three examples not falling into this category. Of these three, Marton 1 (Ills. 290–1) may also be a very large example of the ring-head type, with in this case a decorated rim; but it may alternatively have originated in a circle-headed cross (type 3). The small fragment from Bardney (no. 1; Ills. 4–6) represents the unusual type E9, which is probably a late development of the form, whilst the peculiar form of the cross-head at Harmston (no. 2; Ills. 201–2), with its combination of curved and straight arms, also seems to be a late development, perhaps unique nationally.

The shafts on which these heads sit or sat are of a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are rectangular in section, others more nearly square, but the distinctions between types are less likely to be related to date than to the quarry centres at which they were produced. Consequently the shaft forms are described in the regional groupings into which they have been divided below.

early examples

Lincolnshire contains only one fragment which is part of a pre-Viking cross-shaft, namely Edenham 1 located near the county's south-western border (Ills. 163–6). Though the fragment at Redbourne in Lindsey may perhaps also have been part of one, it is perhaps more likely to represent a cover or shrine and, anyway, it offers little scope for further constructive comment (Ill. 314). A lost cross is also represented by the socket stone at Bardney (no. 2; Ills. 11–14), but the reuse of Roman masonry that it represents is as well evidenced in the later tenth and eleventh century (e.g. Lincoln Cathedral 2 and Lincoln St Mary-le-Wigford 6) as earlier.

The Edenham shaft, by contrast, is a major survival of ninth-century Mercian art (see Chapter 4) and deserves consideration along with the series of shafts of similar or somewhat later date that include Asfordby and Rothley in Leicestershire and Stapleford in Nottinghamshire, and indeed with the Mercian-influenced Northumbrian shafts such as that at Dewsbury, west Yorkshire. Unlike all of these examples, however, the decoration on one face of the Edenham shaft is dominated by a large, hieratic, full-frontal figure, depicted with competent naturalistic drapery (Ills. 162–3). This limited series of examples of broadly similar monument types helps, nevertheless, to establish the Edenham shaft within a tradition extending from the ninth century into the early part of the following century that, including the cross-shaft at Newent, Gloucestershire, covers Mercia as a whole.

Edenham 1 is of at least equal significance, however, for the fact that this shaft was evidently erected in the churchyard of a contemporary church (see Chapter 6).

Fine though the Edenham shaft is, it is an isolated example set on the south-eastern edge of a distribution pattern of monuments concentrated further west. The nearest known contemporary monuments lie about thirty miles in any direction and this may suggest that monumental cross-shafts were not frequently met with in pre-Viking Lincolnshire. Burials and other sites, it must be presumed, were more frequently marked with monuments of other sorts in other materials.

the anglo-scandinavian era

Earlier tenth-century examples

In the tenth century, the cross-shaft tradition in Lincolnshire has a number of strands and examples become more plentiful. The earliest of these Anglo-Scandinavian crosses and the only one with an unequivocally Scandinavian decorative scheme and affinities is the shaft at Crowle in the north-west corner of Lindsey (Ills. 144–50). The Crowle 1 shaft is clearly an outlier of the Hiberno-Norse group of sculptural products associated with the Viking kingdom of York (Lang 1991; and see Chapter 8). It has lively figure sculpture in profile and simple but carefully executed interlace. Its closest parallels are monuments like the shafts from Middleton in Ryedale, which, as Lang argues (1978c; 1991), belong chronologically to the period of Viking influence in York between c. 920 and c. 950 and reflect culturally that political power base. Since the Crowle shaft is carved in a column of Pennine Millstone Grit, it is a clear import to Lincolnshire; but it is uncertain whether the decoration was cut locally on a stone imported to the area in the Roman period or was a monument imported from a contemporary workshop in a Roman city like York itself. Crowle lies close to the Trent outfall and was therefore no less accessible than the unequivocal sculptural import from the York workshops, the grave-cover at Holton le Clay (Ill. 203), which is presumably the result of coastal contact by way of the haven at Grimsby (see Chapter 8).

If the small fragment, Marton 1 (Ills. 290–1), comes from a very large wheel-headed cross, its closest parallels are some of the circle-heads from Cumbria and Cheshire, which offer some analogy to its presumed size (like Bromfield 3 and Dearham 1; Bailey and Cramp 1988, 81, 94) and its decorative form. If, more specifically, it forms a decorated section of a ring-head, then its analogies lie in the smaller-scale ring-heads of Ryedale, or North Frodingham (Lang 1991, 187) closer at hand in east Yorkshire. The latter would have a similar significance to Crowle 1 and Holton le Clay 1 in indicating the influence of the Viking kingdom of York before or around the middle of the century (Lang 1989; 1991). The location of Marton on the Trent and at a long-established crossing point lends weight to the impression that the influence of York was closely associated with the riverine and coastal network of the Humber basin (Fig. 22).

The stone type of Marton 1, however, marks it as a product of the Lincoln quarries. Surprisingly in view of their scale of production of covers, markers, architectural masonry and building stone generally (see below), the only other cross-shaft known to have been produced in any of the types of Lincoln stone in the pre-Conquest period appears to have been Conisholme 1 (Ills. 99–101) in the eleventh century (Fig. 8).

The enigmatic standing figure at Great Hale (Ills. 185–6) might represent a cross-shaft of analogous type, though we have argued that it is more likely to be a figure of St Mary from a major rood (see the catalogue entry). Because of its poor state of survival it is hard to date independently, but if it is from a rood, then a date in the first half of the eleventh century is likely. Its stone type remains uncertain but it lies only ten miles due east of the Ancaster/Wilsford quarries in an area thick with mid-Kesteven covers from that source (Fig. 12). Certainly, around the mid tenth century Ancaster is the source of the shaft, Cranwell 1 (Ills. 105–8), and of the hogback in the same church, Cranwell 2 (Ills. 109–20), with which it is linked by details of decoration. Even though this shaft is, therefore, roughly contemporary with the strongly Hiberno-Norse shaft of Crowle 1 and possibly Norse-influenced Marton 1, the decoration of Cranwell 1 has no evident Scandinavian inspiration. It continues the pre-Viking tradition of enfolding a cross within the decoration on the shaft itself. Its Anglo-Scandinavian character is deduced from its inclusion in a composite monument with the grave-cover of hogback type, Cranwell 2 (see below). At least in the case of this shaft, therefore, we may be able to detect an Anglo-Scandinavian tradition which is distinctive when compared with the group of sculpture linked with the Viking kingdom of York. The more obviously distinctive character of the Kesteven material, however, lies in the grave-cover series from this area that springs from the hogback group to which Cranwell 2 belongs (see below).

The South Kesteven cross-shaft group and related monuments

Towards the end of the tenth century, and from then until the Conquest, cross-shaft production in the county became dominated by a group of inter-related shaft types which seem to have been produced at quarries in the south of the county and in quite large numbers. We have called these monuments the South Kesteven shafts.

a) Defining characteristics

This group of shafts were probably all originally surmounted by cross-heads and are related to each other by their stone type, form, and range of decorative motifs. The proposed members of the group are listed in Table 2 and their distribution is plotted on Fig. 7. Two examples are known in Lindsey, nine in Kesteven and Holland, and at least twenty three further examples to the south-west and south-east of the source quarries.

Although the members of the group vary in height, from shafts which would have been at least 3.5m tall (like Stoke Rochford 1, Ills. 346–9, and the Elloe Stone at Moulton, Ills. 171–2, 176–8) to the more common examples which are approximately 2m tall, all share similar proportions. The shafts are all at least twice as broad as they are thick and are not strongly tapered. Several of the Lincolnshire examples which survive in a complete enough state have a collar placed towards the top of the shaft but well below the point at which the cross-head would start. These collars, present at Creeton 1 (Ills. 124–7), the Elloe Stone at Moulton (Ills. 171–2, 176–8), and Toft next Newton 1 (Ill. 376–8), are formed from a band of stone projecting about 10mm from all four faces of the shaft. Each of the four faces of the collar is decorated with interlace patterns within a plain border. The cross-head itself survives attached to the shaft in only one Lincolnshire example, namely the Elloe Stone at Moulton, where it takes the form of a simple wheel cross with a cross-head type E6 and a ring of type b (Cramp 1991, figs. 2, 3). The interstices between the cross arms are not pierced. Cross-heads of very similar type survive on a number of the examples beyond the county borders, including Barnack, Cambridge Castle, both shafts at Elton, Fulbourn, Gunwade Ferry, Helpston, Stapleford, Willingham, and Whissonsett.

The decoration within the group is standardised and is always confined within panels defined by undecorated borders of rectangular section. The two narrow side panels are almost always decorated with a simple three- or four-strand plait – the two exceptions are both at Market Overton in Rutland – whilst the broad face panels are usually decorated with two vertical registers of interlace. At Colsterworth 1 there is no physical division between these two vertical zones (Ill. 94), but sometimes they are divided by a central fillet, as at Creeton 2 (Ill. 121) and Stainby 1 (Ills. 335, 337). The interlace cutting within this group is usually quite competent, with thin strands of rectangular section and a large area of sunken background. The strands are only rarely enlivened by the medial line found on the Elloe Stone at Moulton (Ills. 171–2) and Toft next Newton 1 (Ill. 377). Colsterworth 1 (Ills. 96–7) and Creeton 1 (Ill. 124) are like a shaft at Peterborough in carrying a bold vinescroll on one broad face, whilst Stoke Rochford 1 has a panel decorated with a jumble of curling strands which might have been intended to suggest something similar (Ill. 346).

b) Function

It seems that this group of shafts were produced for a variety of functions. The smaller examples (of which Colsterworth 1 and Creeton 1 are the finest) were almost certainly produced as markers for individual graves and would probably not have been set in stone sockets, but perhaps in stone-lined holes instead (cf. Gilmour and Stocker 1986, 20-1). A shaft the size of Stoke Rochford 1, however, would have required a substantial socket – perhaps that in which it has now been reset – to make it safe (Ills. 346–9, 355). This, as well as the size of the monument, makes it perhaps less likely that it was intended to mark a single burial. Stoke Rochford 1 is probably better seen as a graveyard cross marking the burial ground as a whole, as is probably true of the Ancaster shaft at Brattleby (no. 1, Ills. 60–4, 66–7) on the basis of better evidence (see Chapter 8).

Of much greater rarity, however, is the Elloe Stone (Ills. 171–2, 176–8), which still marks the meeting place of the wapentake of Elloe and which was almost certainly originally produced for this purpose. It is not known whether there was a burial or burials as part of this function, or whether there was more formally a burial ground at this meeting place, as is sometimes the case with such sites. No burials have been reported from the vicinity and there is no reason as yet to suppose that this stone marked anything other than the site of the meeting itself.

c) Internal development and date

The Lincolnshire examples clearly belong to a much larger group of monuments in the East Midlands and East Anglia (Table 2 and Fig. 7). It is nevertheless possible to see some development of the type within the Lincolnshire examples, although it is not easy to place most of them in any convincing date order.

At the beginning of the putative sequence should be set examples like Colsterworth 1 and Creeton 1, both of which are distinguished in having similar vinescrolls on one broad face (Ills. 96–7, 124). These vinescrolls are quite closely related in size and disposition to examples in Derbyshire, for example on shafts at Bakewell and Bradbourne (Routh 1937, pls. II, VII), although the detailing on these monuments is finer than the Lincolnshire examples. There are parallels, moreover, in Cumbria at Aspatria 2, Haile 1, Isel 2 and elsewhere (Bailey and Cramp 1988, ills. 26, 333, 384, 387), in Northumbria at Egglescliffe 1, Gainford 28 and elsewhere (Cramp 1984, pls. 52, 249 and 74, 365) and in Yorkshire at York St Mary Bishophill Junior 2, Kirkdale 4, Middleton 3 and elsewhere (Lang 1991, ills. 224, 545, 683). Bradbourne and Bakewell are usually dated to the ninth century, whilst the latter monuments are usually dated to the tenth century.

The Lincolnshire vinescrolls, however, have much flatter stems and are generally less well articulated than most of these examples. The two Lincolnshire vinescrolls, nevertheless, do share almost identical bud forms with the two Derbyshire examples. This might indicate that the detail was acquired from the northern Danelaw territory to the north-west, rather than from Northumbria. It is an area to which mid tenth-century links are indicated by the Trent Valley hogback type (see below). The parallels in Derbyshire are evidently earlier in date than their Lincolnshire derivatives and they probably suggest that Colsterworth 1 and Creeton 1 were carved in the central part of the tenth century. The cross-head on the Elloe Stone at Moulton can also be seen as a debased version of Derbyshire examples and consequently also following them in date.

The end of the development of this type of monument is probably marked by the large shaft, Stoke Rochford 1 (Ills. 346–9). It is decorated throughout with poorly organised and debased interlace forms which had been competently laid out in other, probably earlier, examples. The interlace on Stoke Rochford 1 is also badly executed by comparison with that on Colsterworth 1 (Ills. 94–8) or Creeton 1 (Ills. 124–7), and it is almost certainly correct to see the Stoke Rochford monument as a late, debased, version of the original type represented by these two. Its decoration also incorporates undoubtedly late motifs such as the square knot (Ill. 348), which is found in early post-Conquest sculpture in the county like the tympana, Rowston 3 and Haltham-on-Bain 1 (Ills. 493–4). On this evidence, Stoke Rochford 1 is unlikely to date from earlier than the mid eleventh century.

In summary, Colsterworth 1 and Creeton 1 may mark the beginning of a tradition of cross-shaft making, introduced from the northern Danelaw in the later tenth century and characterised not only by details of form and decoration, but also in comprising smallish memorials for individuals, of which there might be several in a graveyard. It flourished in the county until after the middle of the eleventh century. This conclusion accords well with that put forward by Fox (1920–1), when in his analysis of certain Cambridgeshire members of this group he suggested that they were all produced between c. 950 and the Conquest.

d) Production and distribution

These Lincolnshire examples constitute the northern and north- western elements of the distribution pattern of this group of cross-shafts, which are found scattered around the Fenland and its margins (Fig. 7). The group was recognised and considered by Fox (1920–1), and several further examples have come to light since he wrote, for example from the excavations at Raunds (Cramp 1996). Fox suggested that they all had their source at a single production centre, which he identified as Barnack. The archaeological evidence of early quarrying indeed suggests that this outcrop, facing Stamford across the river Welland, has been exploited along a great length, westwards into Easton parish and south-east into Upton. The Lincolnshire examples of this cross type, however, make the situation appear more complicated than Fox suggested.

First, the distribution pattern of the Lincolnshire examples from the South Kesteven shaft group clusters more around the quarries in the Clipsham area, which were worked from at least Creeton parish southwards to the Welland at Stamford, than around those near Barnack. Further, the out-lying examples, such as the Elloe Stone at Moulton, are certainly as well connected to Clipsham by waterborne routes – in that specific instance provided by the river West Glen – as they are to Barnack by the Welland. What is more, the ragstone stone types from the two quarry sources at Clipsham and Barnack are very closely related and it is hard to distinguish one from the other reliably (see Chapter 3). The distribution pattern, therefore, may be the only indication available that some of the crosses within the group were produced in the area of quarries around Clipsham village rather than in those around Barnack itself.

Nevertheless, there seems little reason to doubt that production of many members of the group in the Soke of Peterborough and Cambridgeshire indeed came from the quarries around the village of Barnack, as Fox said they did. The features which allow the suggestion that some of these monuments are influenced by cross-shafts in the north Danelaw do not occur in the examples which are more certainly, on grounds of location, from the quarries around Barnack. This observation prompts the further suggestion that the extensive Barnack series, represented by stones in the Fenland to the south and south-east, follow the putative Clipsham members of the South Kesteven group in date and may be derivatives of it. If this is true it would appear to provide some evidence not just for the spread of influence from the north Danelaw into Lincolnshire around the year 1000, but also for its spread in the following decades further into the Fenland and East Anglia.

Fox was correct to suggest that these monuments were distributed primarily by water on the Fenland river systems. The presumption that, wherever possible, waterways were used for the transport of such stone in this period is repeatedly reinforced by the distributions of the Lincolnshire sculpture as well as being supported by documented later medieval practice (see Chapter 8). The stones in and around Cambridge must certainly have arrived by water, as must those at places like Moulton in Lincolnshire (i.e. the Elloe Stone). If they were from the quarries around Clipsham rather than from the quarries around Barnack, the group of ragstone shafts along the south-western Lincolnshire border will have travelled overland for distances of up to six or eight miles. This may not be the whole story, however, as the Clipsham quarries are within two miles of the headwaters of the river Witham and all of the sites are accessible from this river system, except Market Overton which even then is some five miles overland. If this inference from the distribution were incorrect, however, and these stones came rather from quarries around Barnack, then they will have travelled twenty to thirty miles overland from quarry to churchyard, probably using the extant Roman road system.

It is perhaps more difficult to be sure how the shaft arrived at Whissonsett in Norfolk. It might have come up the river Nar from Lynn and overland at the end of its journey; but the village is actually in the upper valley of the river Stiffkey, which reaches the sea on the north Norfolk coast. Had the stone come this way, then passage in a sea-going vessel must have been involved, rather than a Fenland barge, and this would probably have meant trans-shipment. It is perhaps likely, also, that the stones at Toft next Newton 1 (Ill. 376–8) and Thornton le Moor 1 (Ill. 374) will have been trans-shipped from vessel to vessel, perhaps more than once. To Toft a journey through the fenland waterways up from the Welland valley into Barlings Eau is feasible, but unless the stone at Thornton came the same way and then overland for the last ten miles or so, it may have been carried around the coast and up the river Ancholme.

e) Related tenth- and eleventh-century cross-shafts

In addition to the closely connected examples in Barnack/Clipsham stone here defined as a single group, it is also possible to identify a few related monuments which share the same or similar stone types but display non-standard decoration. North Witham 1 (Ills. 315–16), for example, though of Barnack-like stone that may perhaps rather be from Clipsham because of the proximity of that source, is decorated with motifs which are more reminiscent of the mid-Kesteven cover group (see below). Lincoln St Mary-le-Wigford 1 (Ills. 265–6) is also cut from ragstone, but in form and decoration does not appear to conform precisely to the South Kesteven norm. Outside this area, the shafts from Gunwade Ferry (no. 2), Helpston (no. 2), and Peterborough Cathedral (no. 3) (Irvine 1883–4; 1889b), and two from the Cambridge Castle group (nos. 2 and 3) (Kerrich 1814; Fox 1920–1) are all known or presumed to have been in Barnack-type stone, but they display a number of oddities of decoration which distinguish them from the remainder of the group.

Cross-shafts from the Ancaster quarries

A second group of crosses has been identified, which, though similar in some ways to the South Kesteven cross-shafts, are not made of Barnack/Clipsham but of Ancaster stone (Table 3 and Fig. 8). They form a less coherent grouping.

Two fragments, Brattleby 1 (Ills. 60–4, 66–7) and Ruskington 1 (Ill. 325), illustrate the production at Ancaster of cross-shafts that are closely associated by their decorative scheme with the mid-Kesteven covers from the same quarries (see below). They are major tapered shafts of rectangular section and Brattleby 1, at least, is a composite rather than monolithic shaft. Decoratively these two are linked by the detail of an unusual border of diaper or lozenges. But, more generally, their decoration is similarly organised within bordered panels and deploys a number of the standard panel-filling interlace combinations that occur on mid-Kesteven covers (Fig. 10). The shared decoration with the covers in this case need not suggest that these shafts formed composite funerary monuments with mid-Kesteven covers. Rather, their function was more probably as focal graveyard crosses, as the important evidence of the in situ position of Brattleby 1 argues (see Chapter 8).

The suggested origin of these shafts in the Ancaster group of quarries (see below) represents valuable evidence that these quarries, whose main concern was the production of mid-Kesteven covers, also continued on a limited scale to produce cross-shafts; and moreover those shafts were decorated with the grave-cover motifs with which they were familiar. The shaft or shafts represented by the fragments Creeton 4 and 6 may have been similar products (Ills. 128–9, 130); they are of a similar stone and were deployed in a graveyard which probably also contained monuments in Creeton 1, 2, 3, and 5 that were made from more local stone sources.

The same detail featured on Cranwell 1 – a cross placed within the decoration on the shaft (Ill. 105) – may also appear on later Ancaster products at Ropsley 2 (if that stone is indeed a reused shaft cut down to form a quoin-stone) and at Bracebridge 1 (if that fragment is correctly interpreted as from a shaft) (Ills. 58, 323–4). As a motif it certainly occurs on the grave-cover, Ewerby 1 (Ill. 170), that is cut in Ancaster stone. It is also found at the end of the Anglo-Saxon period at Harmston 1 (Ills. 195), which continues the tradition of Ancaster shaft production, though here on a small scale and with a narrower cross-section, possibly influenced by the form of the shafts of the South Kesteven group (see above).

Further probable tenth- or early eleventh-century products from the Ancaster source include the cross-heads at Bardney 1, Colsterworth 2 and Lincoln St Mark 1, and shaft fragments at Bicker 1, perhaps Bicker 2, Burton Pedwardine 1, Dowsby 1 and Syston 1. The total number of crosses originating in the Ancaster quarries is not large (Table 3), therefore, but it is sufficient to indicate a continuity and variety of production that is in itself significant. Pending research in adjacent counties west and south-west, one cannot be sure yet of the extent of Ancaster cross-shaft production in this period. But the number already stands in sharp contrast to production of this monument type by the Lincoln quarries, particularly in the later tenth and early eleventh centuries when only one example of a Lincoln cross-shaft is known (see above). Furthermore, the evidence suggests that specific needs for this form of monument in Lincoln and Lindsey were commonly supplied from the south of the county.

Quantitatively, however, the dominant form of stone monument in the county in the second half of the tenth century was not the standing shaft but the recumbent cover.


grave-cover groups in kesteven and holland

Trent Valley hogback types

The remarkable grave-cover which is reconstructed here from the four stones at Cranwell (Cranwell 2a–d, Ills. 109–20; see Fig. 25) requires consideration alongside a small group of kindred monuments in the Trent valley and Yorkshire (Fig. 22). They are found at Shelton (no. 1) in Nottinghamshire, at St Alkmund's, Derby (Derby Museum no. 1) and at Lythe (nos. 13 and 14) in north Yorkshire (see Ills. 472–7). All of these monuments are related to the hogback series and are designated by Lang (1984, 101, fig. 9) as the 'Wheel Rim Type' within his hogback classification. The odd geometry of this group must relate them closely to each other, as the shape is too complex for the similarities to be accidental. Indeed the monuments at Shelton (Ills. 472–4) and at Cranwell are cut from a very similar stone, apparently from the Ancaster group of quarries, and must be from the same workshop. The monument from Derby St Alkmund (Radford 1976, 53–4; Lang 1984, 128) was considerably smaller than those from Cranwell and Shelton and appears to be made of a Pennine sandstone. Although the overall form of the decoration is very similar to its fellows in the Trent valley, the interlace does not follow the pattern in detail (Ill. 475). Furthermore, although the small dragonesque terminal in the interlace on the side panel (Radford 1976, pl. 10a) may derive from terminal motifs such as those on the Cranwell monument, it is quite distinctively different. Whilst clearly a member of the same group, then, the Derby monument is probably not a product of the same workshop as those other two.

The two stones at Lythe (nos. 13 and 14; Ills. 476–7), which probably came from the same original monument (Lang 1984, 154), ought to be considered as outliers of this Trent Valley group, even though there is no obvious explanation for the connection with the north Yorkshire coast (Fig. 22). Indeed, the Lythe monument is made of a local sandstone, so it is not imported from the Midlands; further, its interlace style is very much that of the local hogback group rather than that of the Trent Valley monuments. The form of the monument alone relates it to the Trent Valley examples. The Lythe monument is one of a very large group of closely interrelated covers (Collingwood 1911, 293–7; Lang 1984, 148–54) and it is usually suggested that all the monuments in the Lythe graveyard were broadly contemporary. Thus, Lythe no. 13/14 is probably not markedly later in date than the various other, more orthodox, forms of hogback represented there; consequently, a date in the first half or middle of the tenth century is probably indicated, and such a date would also apply to Shelton no. 1 and Cranwell 2.

Both Shelton no. 1 (Hill 1916, 204; Lang 1984, 162) and Cranwell 2 have a more accomplished interlace style than the mid-Kesteven covers (see below). This may be an indicator of an earlier date, and it is argued below that the mid-Kesteven covers are simplifications of monuments of this type and should therefore be dated later. The Trent Valley monuments are unlikely to date from much later than the mid tenth century, then, but how much earlier they might have been produced is less easy to say. Their introduction to the area much earlier than the first decade of the tenth century is unlikely, however.

The second monument at Shelton (no. 2) is a large chest with a coped lid and hipped gables all decorated with interlace (Ills. 479–80; Hill 1916, 204–6), and is related both to Shelton no. 1 and to Cranwell 2 by its petrology and by its interlace style, but it does not belong to any of the hogback types identified by Lang (1984). The style of interlace cutting, which is very similar, and the layout of the interlace panels on the sides above a plinth, as well as the stone type, together connect it closely to the mid-Kesteven covers. Its more complex geometry and its discovery alongside Shelton no. 1 might suggest that it is in some way intermediate between the Trent Valley monuments and the mid-Kesteven grave-cover group proper.

The mid-Kesteven grave-cover group

Lincolnshire has a large and homogeneous group of fragments which belong to a closely related group of monuments that we have labelled the mid-Kesteven covers. The group of perhaps as many as 47 monuments found at 42 separate sites includes seven in Nottinghamshire and one each in Leicestershire and Derbyshire (Table 4, and Figs. 9 and 12). Although these non-Lincolnshire examples are not individually catalogued, their influence particularly on the group's distribution is discussed here.

a) Defining characteristics

This large group of monuments is united by a number of common features. They are, without exception, made from a very similar stone type – an even-grained oolitic limestone matching that from the quarries in the Ancaster gap (see Chapter 3). Where it is possible to check, all monuments are of near-square section with only slight tapering, if any. It is only possible to estimate the original size for a small number of the monuments but the available information suggests that they range in length from 1.5m to 2m and in thickness from about 35cm to 50cm.

The decoration on each monument is always defined by borders, laid out to form the characteristic arrangement of panels (Fig. 9). These borders are usually of a simply carved, flat, cabled roll moulding which is sometimes paired to produce a herring-bone or wheat-ear pattern. Occasionally the borders are flat bands decorated with a simple incised chevron or without any incised decoration. Where it survives, all examples have an undecorated space or plinth along one edge of the side panels, which offsets the decoration within the face.

Within these borders the decorative scheme is remarkably uniform. The lids of the monuments, where discernible, always have a long central panel with a transverse panel at either end. These end panels are always decorated with an enclosed unit of interlace decoration (see Fig. 10 for the range of types), whilst the long panel in the centre of the lid is filled with a double-ended cross surrounded by interlace. The interlace cutting itself is also remarkably uniform throughout the group. Although skilfully laid out, it is not very carefully executed. The strands are both very broad and flat in profile and, consequently, the background is reduced to a minimum. They are usually median incised, sometimes doubly. Within the main lid panels the interlace characteristically develops out of the terminals of the cross-arms themselves, and occasionally fragments from elsewhere on the monuments show interlace developing similarly out of other components of the design, particularly the panel frames.

The side panels vary in depth. In many monuments they are almost as broad as the lids – that is the monument is virtually square in section – but even in these cases, the decoration is off-set towards the lid of the monument by a broad and usually undecorated plinth. Decoration mirrors the lid in layout and standard forms. It always consists of a transverse panel at either end, flanking a long central panel which occupies most of the available space. The transverse end panels are filled with the same range of enclosed interlace motifs (Fig. 10), whilst the decoration of the long central panel can be one of two types. The more simple pattern has the whole field occupied by a four-strand interlace, which is divided into two parts by a single motif in the centre of the upper part (e.g. Creeton 7; Ill. 133). This motif we have termed the 'bull's head' (see below and Fig. 11). The more complex layout is formed by two horizontal runs of interlace, the upper a run of simple three-strand plait developing from the horns of the centrally placed bull's head, the lower is a run of four-strand plait in two parts divided by the nose of the bull's head and is sometimes separated from the upper register by a border moulding (e.g. Burton Pedwardine 3b; Ill. 77). Sometimes both side panels have the same decorative scheme, but in other examples one side has the first type and the other has the second.

The 'bull's head' motif is almost exclusively confined to this group of monuments. Its range of depiction varies from simple rectangular projections to highly detailed renderings (Fig. 11). There can be little doubt that they were envisaged as zoomorphic masks, since some have two drilled holes for eyes and some have decorated nose-bands and nostrils. The origin of the motif is obscure. It may be a distant reference to the bovicranium of classical architecture and sculpture, which turns up occasionally on classicising Anglo-Saxon sculptures of the pre-Viking period, for example on the ivory panel of the Ascension at Munich (Beckwith 1972, no. 9). Nearer in date, the detail may have been derived from metalwork, for example the zoomorphic terminals on some Borre-style strap-ends (Wilson and Klindt-Jensen 1980, 87–94). Even closer in date and function, however, are the zoomorphic masks occasionally found marking the terminals of crosses on Yorkshire covers, particularly in the group associated with the York Minster graveyard (Lang 1991, nos. 35–8; see Ill. 478). The fact that the mid-Kesteven examples always have interlace emerging from their horns must associate them with the crosses on their own lids, which, like those at York, also usually have

interlace developing from their terminals. The motif seems to have been transferred to another type of grave-cover at the end of the period of currency of the mid-Kesteven covers, as it occurs on the small, eleventh-century grave-cover at Crowland Abbey (Crowland 1; Ill. 143).

b) Function

When first recording these monuments, we presumed that they were cross-shafts, as earlier scholars had assumed. As it became clear that the decorative schemes were remarkably standard, it emerged that none is decorated on four sides of the stone (Fig. 9). Furthermore, the undecorated side is always below the plinth on what prove to be the side panels. Consequently we have to conclude that the decoration is cut for a recumbent monument lying prone over the burial. The mid-Kesteven grave-covers, then, are large chest-like monuments which would have stood high above the ground surface.

None appears to be decorated on the ends, however, and this contrast with the elaboration of the decoration on the sides may imply that they were intended to be set between two crosses or other forms of upright markers. This is the pattern that the composite monument of Cranwell 1 and 2 suggests. It may be that the shaft represented by Burton Pedwardine 1, too, was originally set in this position at one end of Burton Pedwardine 2 or 3.

c) Production and distribution

These 47 monuments are so similar to each other and so uniform in stone type, layout and style of sculpture, that there can be little doubt that they all originate from a single source. Furthermore, the fact that the stone type used is so uniform must suggest that the stones were produced in a single quarry or group of quarries closely related both petrologically and in the organisation of their exploitation. The stone type is very similar to that from the Ancaster group of quarries, as exemplified in the fabric of Ancaster parish church. This whole group of quarries occupied a long belt of outcrops on both sides of the Ancaster gap, where extensive remains of quarrying from at least the Roman period onwards is detectable as field evidence along lengths of the scarp on both sides of the valley from at least Wilsford east of Ancaster itself as far south-west as Londonthorpe parish above Grantham and north-west to Normanton.

This petrological conclusion is matched by the distribution pattern of the monuments. Like the earlier Trent Valley cover group, the mid-Kesteven covers have a quite tight distribution across central Kesteven and into the Trent valley (Fig. 12). The greatest concentration is around the suggested production sites in the Ancaster gap. All are within fifty miles of these supposed production centres and 80% are within twenty miles.

As with most medieval quarries, the Ancaster outcrops all lie within easy reach of water transport that allowed products to be moved in every direction (see Figs. 2 and 12). To the east, the river Slea connects the quarries in Ancaster and Wilsford parishes to the Fenland waterways; examples of mid-Kesteven covers travelling by this route are probably those at Sleaford, Kirkby Laythorpe, Bicker, Burton Pedwardine, Rowston, Sempringham and Dowsby. To the south, these quarries were also close to the head of the rivers East and West Glen, by means of which the stones at Kirkby Underwood and Creeton were probably delivered. To the west, the quarries on the western scarp of the limestone hills in Honington, Barkston and Syston parishes are all within a mile of the river Witham; by this route the stones could travel both to the upper Witham – the examples at Little Ponton, Colsterworth, Barrowby – and to the lower Witham – the examples at Hougham, Brant Broughton, Bassingham, Thurlby, Eagle and Lincoln itself. Beyond that, the waterway networks allowed the stones to move via the Foss Dyke system either to local Lindsey destinations such as Aisthorpe or to the Trent, and so to Girton, Rolleston, Shelton, Hawksworth, Screveton, East Bridgeford and Derby, and also, perhaps, to Stathern in Leicestershire. The distribution pattern along the Trent is worthy of comment, however. There are no monuments, with the possible exception of Corringham 1, which lie downstream of the junction between the Foss Dyke and the Trent at Torksey. This may suggest that the stones were habitually carried in craft which were trading exclusively upstream from Torksey.

The stone on the north-east Lindsey coast at Humberston shows that sometimes these covers were traded more widely. It must have been brought by sea and is probably evidence that, like the South Kesteven shafts and the Lindsey covers (see below), these Ancaster products were sometimes trans-shipped onto sea-going vessels.

Some cartage overland must nevertheless have been undertaken, probably to North Rauceby, Normanton on Cliff, West Allington and possibly to Fulbeck and Coleby as well; but the distances involved were short, and only exceptionally over ten miles.

d) Date

The mid-Kesteven type of grave-cover is clearly a development of the Trent Valley hogback monument type (see above); in effect it is a simplification of this original, rather complex design. Both are very tall and elaborately decorated chest-type monuments, but instead of the complex geometry of the 'wheel rim' which forms a terminal at either end of the stone in the Trent Valley hogbacks, the mid-Kesteven covers have a transverse band of interlace. In place of the complex three-dimensional shape of lid leading to a central cross at Cranwell 2 (Fig. 25), the mid-Kesteven covers have a simple flat lid decorated with a double cross. The interlace itself in the mid-Kesteven group is also a simplification of that found on Cranwell 2, in both quality and style. This simplification and the very much larger numbers of examples suggest that the mid-Kesteven monuments follow on in date from the Trent Valley group. If a date in the mid tenth century applies to the Trent Valley hogback group, the earliest of the mid-Kesteven group should be no earlier than this.

The quality of layout and execution within the mid-Kesteven group varies, and there are groups of minor decorative variations within the series (Fig. 9). These are probably capable of further analysis, but more generally they suggest an extended period of production. One pointer to the date of the end of the mid-Kesteven monuments may be the emergence of the Fenland grave-covers from the Barnack region, which came to dominate the entire region by the time of the Conquest (see below). These Fenland covers can be seen as a simplification of the mid-Kesteven type, and the earliest examples of that series are likely to date from the years around AD 1000. This would suggest that the mid-Kesteven covers gave way, no doubt gradually, to these Barnack products in the early decades of the eleventh century.

The mid-Kesteven group of covers are therefore best seen as monuments of the second half of the tenth century, although a number may have been produced in the first decade or two of the eleventh century.

e) Comparanda

There is not much to compare with this clearly defined group of monuments. Substantial chest-like grave-covers as relatively common funerary accessories, as opposed to shrine chests and decorated sarcophagi, are usually thought to be an introduction of the Anglo-Scandinavian era in England. Their most evident manifestation is in the hogback series (Lang 1984), but there was also an important and distinct tradition of thick grave-cover monuments in the city of York itself, represented by the coped cover from St Denys Walmgate and a number of those excavated from below the Minster (Lang 1991). Only two examples, York Minster 34 and 46, are decorated on their sides, however, and are in that way comparable to the mid-Kesteven group (ibid., ills. 145–7, 187–8). Despite this interlace decoration along their sides, neither of these monuments is as near square in section as the mid-Kesteven examples: in short, the Yorkshire pieces remain slabs rather than chests. Even so, they show that the production of chest-like monuments was not confined to hogbacks in the Anglo-Scandinavian period. Further connections between the mid-Kesteven cover group and this York series might be implied by the general similarity between the bull's head motif and the zoomorphic terminal masks on the crosses on some of the York covers (see above).

Gainford 23, co. Durham, is an example of a chest-like monument of nearly square section from the banks of the river Tees in the centre of the hogback distribution itself (Cramp 1984, pls. 72, 356, 358 and 73, 359–60). A grave-cover at Haile in Cumbria (Bailey and Cramp 1988, ills. 340–4) is not only of this chest-like form, but the lid appears to have transverse zones of interlace at either end like those found in the mid-Kesteven group. The much-discussed grave-cover at Hickling in Nottinghamshire (Lang 1984, 140) is a nearby example of a chest-like monument, but its decoration is unlike the mid-Kesteven group.

But these are all isolated examples in their regions. Such chest-like monuments were never, it seems, a common monument type outside the area of the mid-Kesteven group. Even so, now that the type has been identified, it may be worth reconsidering other Midlands monuments hitherto thought to be upright shafts. For example, the fact that the famous tympanum at Southwell Minster has now been shown to be decorated on two adjacent faces, that it is reused in its present position and has been clearly recut at least once, might indicate that this was originally a monument of this sort (Tudor-Craig 1990a). The fragmentary grave-cover at Marton on Trent (Marton 3a–f; Ills. 294–9) was probably of this chest-like form. Furthermore it may have been a reminiscence of this type of monument which prompted production of the group of Romanesque chest-like monuments in Lincoln, the Trent valley and south Yorkshire in the mid twelfth century (see Chapter 8).

The Fenland grave-cover group

a) Defining characteristics

Lincolnshire contains five certain examples (and a further probable example in Mavis Enderby 1) of a type of grave-cover defined and discussed by Fox (1920–1), which can be called the Fenland grave-cover group. As with the later cross-shafts, however, there are a number of other covers which should be considered alongside the Fenland group proper because they share certain of its defining characteristics (see below and Fig. 13).

Members of the Fenland group are all broad tapering slabs (though some taper only slightly), ranging from approximately 25cm in maximum width to over a metre and which are rarely more than 15cm thick. They share the common decorative motif of a centrally placed cross surrounded by interlace. The cover is usually framed by a border moulding which is of simple rectangular section and without decoration. The interlace forms used are always simple three- or four-strand plait. The group is devoid of distinctive sculptural motifs such as the bull's head of the mid-Kesteven covers, although many have secondary cross-bars placed across the shaft – some centrally placed, some at one or both ends – and a number of the more complete examples retain a semicircular foot or 'Calvary mound' at the base of the cross-shaft, or more rarely at the base and head.

All the examples in the Fenland group proper are of the distinctive grey shelly oolite of the Barnack area; however, as has been discussed above in connection with the South Kesteven shafts, the outcrop of this type of ragstone is extensive and it may be that some of this stone came from quarries some distance from the village of Barnack itself (see above, and Chapter 3).

b) Discussion

As a group these monuments are distributed across the Fenland and deep into its hinterland; that is into Norfolk and Suffolk on the east and into Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west (Fig. 13). As with the South Kesteven cross-shafts, members of the group were transported a long way from their point of production, almost certainly by means of the Fenland river system. Sometimes, again as with the shafts, these products must have been trans-shipped from river-going to sea-going craft to reach London St Benet Fink, Cringleford and Huntingfield.

This Fenland grave-cover type was in use at the time of the Norman Conquest; a graveyard containing such covers and which seems to have been in use shortly beforehand was buried by the ramparts of the castle at Cambridge, built in 1068 (Kerrich 1814, 228; Fox 1920–1, esp. 19–21; see Ill. 486). The Cambridge Castle monuments are a diverse collection ranging from the more complex to the most simplified designs of their type. Amongst the more complex are the sub-group comprising Tallington 1 (Ill. 360), Cambridge Castle no. 8, Peterborough Cathedral no. 4, and perhaps Maxey (ibid.; Irvine 1883–4; 1889a), which not only have an intricate layout of a cross with many cross-bars surrounded by interlace, but also deploy interlace within the cross form itself.

It may be legitimate to see the more complex examples, including therefore Tallington 1, as earlier within the Fenland cover tradition. The motif of the cross surrounded by interlace and with several transverse elements across the lid, that characterises these examples, could be seen as a simplification of the layout on the mid-Kesteven cover lids, or even of the older Trent Valley group. This would indicate that the Fenland cover series follows on in date from the mid-Kesteven series and therefore begins in the years around 1000 at the earliest. On the strength of this, the Fenland covers group as a whole probably occupies the first two thirds of the eleventh century, between those earliest examples like Tallington 1, which perhaps date to around the year 1000 AD, to the latest which were new when the graveyard at Cambridge Castle went out of use in 1068.

The six Lincolnshire examples are identified as belonging to this large group by their decorative detail and their stone type. Market Deeping 2 (Ill. 288) and the two pieces from Whaplode (Whaplode 1 and 3a–b; Ills. 385, 387) are fragmentary and not more widely informative, but the cover at Lincoln Cathedral (Lincoln Cathedral 1; Ill. 230), presumably deriving from an earlier church on the site, is one of the most complete of the surviving members of the group and has many of the definitive characteristics, including the Calvary mound at the base of the shaft. Tallington 1 (Ill. 360), though only a fragment, represents an example of the rarer highly decorated, and potentially earlier, sub-category. The large fragment, Mavis Enderby 1 (Ill. 304), is of the right stone type, and, although thoroughly trimmed off in secondary use as a threshold stone, could well represent a similar monument to that at Redmile in Leicestershire.

Monuments related to the Fenland grave-cover group

Although the Fenland cover type was dominant in the first half of the eleventh century over a large territory, other grave-covers in Lincolnshire seem to be versions of it, but differ in form and detail. All were worked from the local stone. Broughton 2 (Ill. 68) is from north Lincolnshire quarries, very probably from Lincoln itself, whilst Ewerby 1 (Ill. 170) and Lincoln St Mark 8 and 18 (Ills. 248, 264) are made of freestone of Ancaster type. These stones can be viewed as contemporary local products which take their inspiration from the dominant current monument type. The style of the decoration of these derivatives is very individual and they cannot be grouped together very closely. In the case of Ewerby 1, however, the interlace has transverse panels in addition to those flanking the cross, which is reminiscent of the earlier mid-Kesteven covers; this probably argues for a date nearer the year 1000 than the Norman Conquest for that specific item.

The use of Ancaster stone for Ewerby 1 is notable, since the village is within twenty-five miles of the Barnack quarries and within easy reach by waterway. Fenland group covers produced in the Barnack area, on the other hand, found their way by water to many sites more than seventy-five miles away in mid Norfolk, southern Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Bedfordshire (Table 5 and Fig. 13). They therefore have a very off-centre distribution pattern, lying almost entirely to the east and south-east of the production centre. An explanation for this may be that the success of the Barnack industry was not so much in providing innovative designs which achieved a dominance in the market, but in monopolising the supply of grave-covers to those areas where good stone was scarce. This included the Lincolnshire fens, at Whaplode for example, as well as in the southern fens and into Norfolk. By contrast, where there was a good local source of stone, as at Ewerby, the local quarries successfully produced their own slightly idiosyncratic versions of the prevailing Fenland design and Barnack products failed to penetrate.

This observation places Lincoln itself in an interesting light. It is unique in having both an original Fenland monument in Lincoln Cathedral 1 and more locally produced versions of the type, like Lincoln St Mark 8. This may be a reflection of the cosmopolitan nature of the town, either in having a clientele sophisticated enough to require an original monument rather than a local copy, or perhaps in being a focus for trade in other goods coming from the south-western Fenland edge.

The situation of local quarries producing versions of the dominant monument type that pertained in the first two-thirds of the eleventh century seems to have been reversed in the later eleventh and twelfth centuries. Then, according to Butler (1964), the simple cross pattée types of cover produced in the Barnack area swept all before them to become the ubiquitous form of grave-cover throughout the East Midlands, even in those areas where good local stone was to be found (see Chapter 9).

grave-cover groups in lindsey

Early examples

No pre-Scandinavian tradition of stone grave-covers survives in Lindsey, unless the fragment at Redbourne (Ill. 314) is from a cover or shrine component like Kirkdale 8 (Lang 1991, 162–3). There is no direct evidence, either, of the influence of the series of Trent Valley hogbacks, whose appearance at Cranwell in Kesteven was evidently of seminal importance in the emergence of the distinctive chest-like covers of the mid-Kesteven group (see above). Outliers in the distribution of that group's products occur in Lindsey at Aisthorpe, Corringham, Humberston, Lincoln St Mark and St Mary-le-Wigford, and at Toft next Newton, all presumably of later tenth- or early eleventh-century date (Table 4). Only in the fragmented cover at Marton on Trent (Marton 3a–f; Ills. 394–9) is there evidence of what appears to be a similar chest-like cover decorated in a manner outside the standardised form of the mid-Kesteven workshop. Its stone type associates it decisively with Lincoln as quarry source. It appears most plausibly to be a combination of the form of the mid-Kesteven cover type (see above) with the repetitive decoration of the Lindsey cover group (see below). Such a hybrid may have been a one-off product. The chronological implication is that it belongs to the later tenth century rather than earlier, as an independent parallel development locally from the Trent Valley hogbacks. This date may throw in doubt an association with the suggested cross-head with distinctively Anglo-Scandinavian analogues represented by Marton 1 (Ills. 290–1), despite its precisely similar stone type.

These apart, the earliest covers in Lindsey have a distinctively Anglo-Scandinavian decorative flavour (Fig. 22). In the case of Holton le Clay 1 (Ill. 203), this is because it is straightforwardly an imported piece from the tenth-century York workshops, and is in a non-Lincolnshire stone. The same stone type at Thornton Curtis 1 (Ills. 372–3) may mark a second example whose decoration is now unintelligible. The analogies of Holton le Clay 1 lie in York with covers at St Denys Walmsgate, St Olave and the excavated cemetery beneath the Minster (Lang 1991; see Ill. 478). It carries animals rendered in a recognisable form of Jellinge style. It probably belongs to the first half of the tenth century, and is representative of a period of social and economic contact with York which the limited numismatic evidence also suggests (Blackburn, Colyer and Dolley 1983, 13–15, 25; see Chapter 2).

The remarkable pair of grave-covers from Lincoln (City Broadgate 1) and Hackthorn (1a–b), which constitute the 'Hackthorn group' (Fig. 22), are similarly distinctive in the stylishness of their decoration, which can be related to the Borre style of Anglo-Scandinavian art. Both are flat covers, which though of more than minimum thickness make no decorative use of their sides or ends. For the detailed decorative scheme of both we have to rely on nineteenth-century drawings, in the case of the Lincoln piece because it is lost (Ill. 231), in the case of the Hackthorn cover because its upper surface is now so defaced by weathering (Ills. 187–9); but for both our sources are local antiquaries of note. Most remarkably, the two, though sufficiently different in detail to assure that they are not two records of the same item, are practically identical in form and decoration. The similarity extends not only to the organisation of the incised decoration around a cross with A1 type cross-head (Cramp 1991, fig. 2), but also to the range and execution of the infilling motifs of triquetras, returned knots, and (most distinctively) hieratic and abstract birds. Such close replication of a decoratively complex monument is surprising and significant, perhaps suggesting a more organised and standardised basis of production than might have been anticipated.

To call this the Hackthorn group is convenient, but it is much more probable that production was Lincoln-based. The stone type is from the Lower Lincolnshire Limestone of the Lincoln vicinity and of a silty to sandy variety found commonly among the early funerary monuments from St Mark's in Lincoln. The excavated graveyards of St Mark and St Paul-in-the-Bail have also produced covers derivative in decoration and inferior in fineness of production to the original pair. The clearest example is Lincoln St Mark 6, with boldly splayed and divided foot and triquetras above and below the A1 type cross-arms (Ills. 243–4). More distantly, perhaps, Lincoln St Mark 8 and 13, and Lincoln St Paul 2 also pick up elements of that tradition (Ills. 248, 253–4, 277). All are of the later tenth or early eleventh century.

More generally it may be from this early and influential group that the local tradition of flat covers with simple decoration based on an incised A1 type cross traces its origin.

The Borre style, to which (at whatever remove) the Hackthorn group owes its distinctive treatment of the return knots and stylised birds, is extremely rare in England and especially interesting in its occurrence on stone sculpture. This arguably implies a particularly direct contact with Scandinavian taste. The style is in full flower in England in the early tenth century and lasts into the latter half of the century. Its wide distribution across the Danelaw suggests that its currency may pre-date the English reconquest of the region (Wilson 1976). Particular points of analogy are found between the Hackthorn group and stone and metalwork with derived Borre-style decoration in York (cf. Wilson 1984, ills. 170–1). It may be from that source with its established production of stone sculpture, therefore, that an equivalent contemporary tradition represented by the Hackthorn group drew its impetus to meet a comparable market in Lincoln and its immediate hinterland.

The unusually decorated cover, Lincoln St Mark 5 (Ill. 242), appears less plausibly to be an early monument, despite its far-flung and generally Norse focus for comparisons. Rather, the excavated context places it in the period from the mid tenth to later eleventh century, and it appears a debased one-off and part of the cosmopolitan mixture of styles and products that characterise Lincoln in the eleventh century (see Chapter 8).

The Lindsey grave-cover group

The distinctively repetitive decoration and restricted distribution of fragments that constitute this group led to its early identification and definition (Stocker 1986a, 61 and fn.). Thanks to recent discoveries and a level of confidence in categorising fragments as parts of monuments of this type, twenty-one items within or closely related to this group can now be listed (Table 6, and Figs. 14 and 15).

a) Defining characteristics

The form and decoration of these covers is well understood because of the survival of relatively complete examples through their suitability for selective secondary use as specialised architectural members, such as threshold stones. This was the case with Cammeringham 1 and Miningsby 1 (Ills. 81, 301). In the cases of secondary uses in smaller pieces, the evidence for their systematic splitting lengthwise as well as cross-wise in two, three or four, as for example at Broughton 1 (Ill. 69) and the scoring lines on Theddlethorpe St Helen 1 (Ills. 370–1), allow reconstructions that reinforce the covers' standard form.

These covers are of flat, rectangular or barely tapering form. The normal width is in the close range 50–60cm (20–24 in). All seven of the examples in sub-group (a) – see below – with measurable or reasonably calculable widths fit this, as do Cammeringham 1, Lincoln St Mark 3 and Manby 1 in sub-group (b). Others including Northorpe 1, Tathwell 1 and Theddlethorpe St Helen 1 fall little short at approximately 46cm (18 in) in original width. Because evidence of its borders is present at both ends, Northorpe 1 gives the most direct indication of a complete original length at 110cm (43.5 in), and if it is assumed with Miningsby 1 that only completion of the decorative pattern and the border are lacking, its original length would have been about 120–130cm (48–51 in), and that of Cammeringham 1 about 135–140cm (53–55 in). In contrast to their large size, the thickness of these covers is characteristically not great, generally in the range 14–18cm (5.5–7 in); eight out of ten with reliable measurements lie within these limits and North Thoresby 1 is exceptional in being as much as 24cm (9.5 in).

Several examples have edges that are carefully shaped and finished to a bevelled or bowed section (Blyborough 1, Lincoln St Mark 4, Stow 1, Theddlethorpe St Helen 1) or to a batter (Lincoln St Mark 3, Miningsby 1), but the edges are universally undecorated.

The decoration on each monument is always framed by a cabled border, either single or double, the latter giving a herringbone or 'wheat-ear' pattern. This difference forms the basis of a sub-division of the group between type (a) with double cable border and type (b) with single. Slight tapering on more complete survivals such as Miningsby 1 show that in sub-group (a) the herringbone patterning standardly points to the marginally narrower foot of the cover.

Within the frame, the decorative scheme is wholly standardised and repetitive in both sub-groups (Fig. 14). It is based on interconnecting rows and lines of interlace employing the 'Carrick bend' (simple pattern F: Cramp 1991, fig. 23) to produce a repetitive figure-of-eight pattern with linking diagonals between rows. This is characteristically carved in a modelled technique, so that the strands have a squared, U-shaped section and stand out sharply against a flat cut-away background (ibid., fig. 8a). Such sharp contrast between interlace and ground suggests original enhancement by paint, but no traces have been noted on surviving monuments.

All examples of type (a) have or had three rows of such interlace, and each unit of figure-of-eight approximates closely to 18 x 11.5 cm (7 x 4.5 in): only Lincoln St Mark 4 has marginally smaller units. It seems that five lines of units, as at Miningsby 1, was the norm. Generally the rows and lines of figures-of-eight are well-ordered and evenly spaced, but not uniformly or mechanically so in a way that might suggest an overall blanket template. Lines are commonly slightly irregular; on North Thoresby 1 there is a markedly large gap between two of the lines of units, as if the pattern had been stretched irregularly to fit the slab available (Ill. 313). On Miningsby 1 and Lincoln St Mark 4 there is a reserved area at the head end of the cover, defined in both cases by the deliberately curving format of the returned strands (Ills. 301, 241). This, too, might be simply the residual space from fitting the pattern to an available slab; but since it occurs almost identically in the only two examples from a small sample where that end of the cover survives, it is more likely that this is the standard form of the head end of at least sub-group (a). Indeed there is some evidence of incised decoration of this space on Lincoln St Mark 4 (Ill. 241), that tends to confirm its deliberate creation. By contrast the foot end is shown on Laceby 1c as having the strands cross-joined and turning in box points tightly against the corners (Ill. 227; cf. Cramp 1991, xliii). As a sub-group, type (a) covers are more generally distinguished by their care of execution and fineness of finish.

Type (b) has many of the same characteristics as type (a) in its decorative scheme, but there appears generally to be a lower quality and consistency in production. Three interlinked rows of figure-of-eight is the norm, and probably five lines, as survive on Cammeringham 1 (Ill. 81). Adjustments to variations in the space available are common and may reflect less consistency in preparation of the limestone slabs. On Tathwell 1 units are squashed together laterally (Ill. 359); on Manby 1 they are widely spaced both laterally and lengthwise (Ill. 284); on Northorpe 1 a fifth line of figure-of-eight is replaced by free rings (Ill. 308). On Cammeringham 1 the pattern is distorted in the very centre of the cover by avoidance of a flaw – a large fossil shell – in the stone (Ill. 81): on Theddlethorpe St Helen 1 the lines are wildly askew (Ills. 370–1). Nevertheless the unit size of the figures-of-eight conform closely to that of type (a) at 18–19 x 11.5–13cm (7–7.5 x 4.5–5 in). The sole exception is Stow 1, which has distinctively smaller units (Ill. 350). This indicates either a standard Lindsey cover with three rows of interlace but of much smaller overall size than the norm, or perhaps some form of hybrid type (c) of four rows like Cumberworth 1 (Ill. 151; see below), and of more typical overall dimensions. The identification of head and foot orientation is not clear-cut as in type (a). On the analogy of type (a) the box points of Manby 1 and Tathwell 1 (Ills. 284, 359) might identify the foot ends of these monuments and are consistent in giving cabling along both sides that slants inwards when viewed from the foot, i.e. the outer band of cabling from type (a). This disagrees with the equally good box points of Cammeringham 1, however, and would place the free ring fillers on Northorpe 1 implausibly at the head rather than foot end of that monument. As with the Lindsey markers (see below), therefore, it is probably wrong to look for such consistency within the type in this respect. Though five of the seven fragmentary covers in this group include ends, none of them has the reserved area of type (a) examples, and it may be reasonable to conclude that this was a further difference.

Type (c) is a hybrid form of Lindsey cover that is related to type (b) by its single cable border. In both clear-cut examples it incorporates into a pattern based on interlinked rows of figure-of-eight interlace a narrow, lengthwise cabled rib and probably a similar cross-member, though in both examples this does not survive but is an inference. The effect is to insert a sculpted cross motif into the standard Lindsey cover design and thereby to produce something in an established local idiom that was in general terms akin to the covers with a rectangular cross embedded in interlace of the York metropolitan school or products of southern Lincolnshire and beyond (see above). Significantly the cutting of the interlace is in the familiar U-shaped section against a flat background, which is especially marked on Broughton 1 (Ill. 69). In that case, too, the unit of interlace is the same as on types (a) and (b), whereas on Cumberworth 1 it is scaled down to fit the restricted space (Ill. 151).

Other fragments are not capable of close assessment and allotting to type, through being variously too small and lacking a surviving border, or lost.

b) Function

The form and decoration of this group of monuments already clearly defines their function as recumbent grave-covers, intended to be set flush with or very slightly protruding from the ground surface. Only the unusual thickness of North Thoresby 1 has ever occasioned a contrary view.

A notable aspect of types (a) and (b) which the hybrid form of type (c) highlights is that they do not in their carved decoration contain a cruciform or any overtly Christian element. This might have been remedied by original painting; if, for example, the central row of interlace units and the flanking units of the second row from the head end were picked out in a distinctive colour against different colours for the background and other units, the effect could have been that of a crude manuscript carpet page or interlace panel. A further possibility is that Lindsey covers regularly or occasionally formed parts of composite monuments with upright markers carrying a cruciform image. Plausible candidates for this are the group of Lindsey markers (see below), which have a distribution similarly limited to Lincoln and Lindsey, occur at four locations – Lincoln St Mark and St Mary-le-Wigford, Manby and Stow – with Lindsey covers, have widths similar in range to the covers, and have a source as indicated by their stone type that is similar to type (b) covers and likely to lie at Lincoln or a little further north along the Edge.

c) Production and distribution

The distribution of the Lindsey cover group is strikingly confined to Lincoln and Lindsey (Fig. 15). This is despite the fact that waterborne distribution of these monuments to the Lindsey Marshland, to the eastern Wolds, and to the southern Wolds from anywhere on the limestone outcrop must have used waterways and coastal shipping which could have produced a less restricted distribution. It may be significant that finds are absent from localities on the western boundary of Lindsey that would have been served by the lower Trent river systems.

The standardisation of form and decoration of this cover type point to a single production source. Such large yet thin limestone slabs in themselves were a specialised product of restricted availability, as use of a slab at Cammeringham so flawed as to cause a blatant distortion of the decoration reflects (Ill. 81). Three of four covers of type (a) examined in detail originate in the Lower Lincolnshire Limestone, probably of the Lincoln vicinity, with North Thoresby 1 as an exception; all three of type (b) similarly examined are categorised as Upper Lincolnshire Limestone but not of Ancaster or Barnack types. The two examples from the same graveyard at St Mark's in Lincoln reflect this geological difference, at least in being from different beds. However, this promising and potentially coherent geological distinction within the group requires testing by a more detailed specialist study beyond the scope of this work. The assessments nevertheless confirm the strong likelihood that the productive source of the whole group was Lincoln itself. Whereas Jurassic limestone from north along the Lincoln Edge is of very variable quality and has been exploited in every parish for building rubble and lime, at Lincoln the strata deepen around the river gap and have provided good-quality stone of both the Upper and Lower Lincolnshire Limestone in decent bed depths, which have been quarried since the Roman period.

There seems no systematic difference of distribution between the different types within the group. Of the six examples known from the Lindsey Marshland three are of type (a), two of type (b) and one of type (c); of the two in the Wolds, one of type (a), the other type (b); and along the Lincoln Edge and in Lincoln they are similarly intermixed. This may reflect mixed contemporary products, or (as suggested below) a more protracted period of production with one type following the other.

Waterborne transport via the river Witham and coastal shipping is probable for the examples on the Lindsey Marshland and Wolds. For those along the limestone edge north of Lincoln, the intact Roman road system may have offered a viable alternative to the rivers of the flanking clay vales.

d) Date

Lincoln St Mark 3 and 4 belong to a graveyard with a currency dated by excavation to the period from the mid tenth century to the later eleventh. Any association of the cover type with the Lindsey group of markers would give a similar date range.

How early in the tenth century this group come into production is unclear. Decoratively it shows no influence from either Hiberno-Norse or Anglo-Scandinavian tastes and tradition represented in the area in the early and mid century, whether from animal-enhanced interlace of the York metropolitan school or from the Hackthorn group, or from the Viking colonial monument type of the hogback, the ubiquity of whose influence is re-emphasised by the mid-Kesteven group of covers. Rather, the decorative fashion for massed or repetitive figure-of-eight patterns is a period rather than wholly a local or regional phenomenon of the tenth century, exemplified in southern and midland England on such monuments as the tenth-century cross-shafts at Colyton and Dolton in Devon (Reed 1935; Allen 1902), the cover and shafts at Ramsbury and Teffont Magna in Wiltshire (Allen 1894; Brown 1937, pl. CXIV; Kendrick 1938, pl. XCIX; Newall 1937–9), and fragments at Lewknor in Oxfordshire (Tweddle et al. 1995, ills. 316–17), and St Peter's, Northampton (Allen 1887–8, fig. 4). This may fix the context for introduction of the Lindsey cover group firmly after the recovery of the northern Danelaw by the kings of Wessex in 942 and perhaps relate it to the resurrection of the bishopric of Lindsey in 953. Further implications of this idea in relation to the political stance of Lindsey and the development of the network of parishes are explored in Chapter 8.

The examples of type (a) have the uniformity and quality of an original product, whilst the lower quality and variability of type (b) is open to interpretation as a chronologically later and derived development. Certainly the introduction of free rings in Northorpe 1 (Ill. 308) suggests a later rather than earlier date, perhaps in the eleventh rather than the later tenth century. Such a chronological difference might sit comfortably with the specialist geological assessments that the two types were products of different quarries or quarry beds in Lincoln, without necessarily implying any discontinuity.

The hybrids of type (c) show variations on type (b) but not type (a), which adds a little weight to the impression of chronological development between (a) and (b). The hybrids display both general and specific influences and analogies that belong as much to the early eleventh century as to the later tenth. They are therefore likely to be later rather than earlier in the series. The remarkable uniformity of the group may nevertheless argue a restricted overall timescale or special significance for the decorative scheme.

other lincolnshire grave-cover types

Towards the end of the Anglo-Saxon period, discrete grave-cover types multiply. Some groups come from the same stone sources as the covers of the larger groups. For example, Whaplode 2 is decorated with a lozenge pattern of incised lines (Ill. 386), and is a member of a larger group of covers which are made of a Barnack-type stone and have a distribution similar to the Fenland covers group. There is an example at Barnack itself (no. 9) and others at Cringleford (no. 5) in Norfolk, Easton-on-the-Hill in Northamptonshire and Greetham (no. 2) in Rutland. In fact this is a period rather than a local trait, for there are examples of similar covers decorated with lozenge patterns well outside the East Midlands, as at Adel in west Yorkshire (Lewthwaithe 1867–8), Forcett in north Yorkshire, Auckland St Andrew 4 and Gainford 11 in co. Durham (Cramp 1984, 41, 84), and Bolam 2 in Northumberland (ibid., 238).

Variants of this decorative type are found on Crowland 1 (Ill. 143) and Sleaford 3 (Ill. 429), respectively in Barnack and Ancaster stone, and in the repetitive chevron pattern of North Kelsey 1 (Ill. 419) in a local stone, which compare with the isolated lozenges found on some later eleventh- and twelfth-century monuments published as a group by Butler (1957).

Lincolnshire also has a number of covers, perhaps as many as 18 in all, decorated with a simple incised cross with rectangular or slightly splayed arms (type A1 or B6). Brauncewell 1 (Ill. 65), Carlby 1–4 (Ills. 83–7), Castle Bytham 1 (Ill. 88), Lincoln St Mark 9 and 10 (Ills. 245–7), Langton by Wragby 1 and 2 (Ills. 228–9), Marton 4 and 5 (Ills. 292, 300), Wilsford 1 (Ill. 389) and Winterton 1 (Ill. 388) and 2 fall in this category. Four of these are coped and the remainder are on flat stones, but the form of the stone is not a decisive indication of date. Similar monuments occur throughout much of the country, wherever stone was used for grave-covers in the eleventh and early twelfth centuries; examples extend from Bolam in Northumberland through York (Parliament Street), to Westminster Abbey (Cramp 1984, 237; Lang 1991, 108; Tweddle et al. 1995, 230). Insofar as these rectangular slabs with their simple crosses can be considered as a group at all, the examples which have been dated to the late tenth or early eleventh century through their excavated context at St Mark's in Lincoln (Stocker 1986a) probably represent the earlier end of the date range. Marton 5, too, has a secondary use in the architectural fabric of a west tower of the earliest post-Conquest period (Ill. 300). Nevertheless, several of the Lincolnshire examples probably date from as late as the early twelfth century.

A further category of Lincolnshire covers is decorated even more simply with an incised type A1 cross composed of two lines of more or less equal length. Hough-on-the-Hill 3 (Ill. 399), Lincoln St Mark 21 and 22 (Ills. 405, 406), and North Witham 2 (Ill. 425) are of this sort. The examples from Lincoln St Mark belong to a date established through excavation as between the late tenth and the late twelfth centuries. Even more than the plain rectangular cross types, though, this form of decoration is so simple that it could be produced, almost accidentally, at any date. Similar monuments have been found in contexts of this broad date range elsewhere, however, for example in excavations at The Hirsel in Berwickshire (Cramp and Douglas-Home 1977–8), and it may be that such cross-marked stones exemplify a genuine tradition characteristic of this period. Many examples of this type of monument are of a similar unusual size, usually not more than 1.25m long, half-way between a grave-cover and a grave-marker. Perhaps the best explanation of their function is that such stones were conceived originally as markers which would stand upright, but which could later be laid flat if that were thought more appropriate. An alternative explanation of such simple monuments of reduced size as the memorials of children relies on an overly simplistic association between the size of grave-cover and the size of the interment.


The excavations at St Mark's in Lincoln produced four rectangular tablets of local stone which had been carved on one or both faces with designs based on rectangular-armed crosses (nos. 16–19). One was excavated in situ, standing upright over the grave it marked (Lincoln St Mark 18; Ill. 263–4). The lower parts of two others are roughened where they were intended to sit in the ground. It can also be argued from the close similarity of their decoration that one of the examples (Lincoln St Mark 17; Ill. 256) stood upright at the head of a large grave-cover which also still survives (Lincoln St Mark 7; Ill. 249). The detail at the foot of the cross on Lincoln St Mark 17, like that on Lincoln St Mark 20 (Ill. 411), is skeuomorphic and should be seen as a representation of a wooden cross in stone. Such markers, then, were used either alone or as part of a composite monument (a grave-cover with markers at one or both ends) and they seem to have been contemporary with the marking of graves with upright wooden crosses. Indeed, what may have been the evidence for stake holes for such crosses was also found during the excavation of the contemporary graveyard at St Mark's (Gilmour and Stocker 1986, 17–21). The dating evidence for the earliest of these excavated markers suggests that they were in use before the end of the tenth century and that the tradition of marking graves with upright tablets of stone probably continued until the Conquest (Stocker 1986a).

In terms of decoration, the grave-markers at St Mark's were a mixed group. Only one of them belongs to a much larger group, the rest are individuals. This diversity is a valuable antidote to the impression from the remainder of the Lincolnshire material that monument forms are very standardised and that, therefore, we might imagine whole graveyards full of identical monuments (see Chapter 8).

The Lindsey marker group

Lincoln St Mark 16 (Ills. 257–60) may be considered along with eight other grave-markers in a group whose distribution is confined to Lincoln and Lindsey (Table 7A and Fig. 16). All are thick rectangular tablets of stone, ranging in size from about 60cm to 90cm in height and from about 40cm to 60cm in width. They vary in thickness between about 10cm and about 30cm. The upper parts of both sides are framed with a bold cable-moulding. This cable is carried across the ends of the tops of the stone to create a distinctive framed blank top panel, which is all that can now be seen of the examples at Lincoln St Mary-le-Wigford 5 (Ill. 269), Manby 2 (Ill. 284) and Stow 5 (Ill. 354). They are usually decorated on both sides with identical crosses. These crosses are of type A1, formed by incised lines reinforced with a second line within. Two examples, Gayton le Wold 1 (Ills. 180–4) and Hackthorn 2 (Ills. 190–4), have a small circular incised boss at the centre of the cross, whilst Glentworth 1 (Ill. 179) is unique in having a pattern of incised chevrons within the central area of the cross.

These markers may sometimes have been parts of composite monuments, but not invariably. The Lindsey grave-covers (see above, and Table 6) which are also found at St Mary-le-Wigford and St Mark in Lincoln, Manby, and Stow, may be thought associated with them simply because they occur together on such a relatively large number of sites. But it is equally possible that these markers were employed in isolation, without an accompanying cover, as was the case with the one excavated in situ marker in the graveyard at Lincoln St Mark's (no. 18).

All nine Lindsey markers are also connected by their use of a similar stone type. All four of the group examined in detail are assessed as being from the Upper Lincolnshire Limestone but not of Ancaster or Barnack types. That is, they are also similar to all three of the Lindsey covers of type (b) with a detailed petrographic description and to North Thoresby 1 of type (a). A noteworthy closeness of stone type between North Thoresby 1, Lincoln Cathedral 2 and Lincoln St Mark 16 has also been noted. Presumably they are all from a single quarry source in Lincoln itself, as the Lincoln city examples including the reused Roman stone from which Lincoln Cathedral 2 was cut must certainly be; though other unknown quarries on the limestone ridge to the north may be possible sources for individual monuments (see above).

Though this is clearly a group of standardised products, the numbers do not give a strong distribution pattern except in their exclusiveness to Lincoln and Lindsey (Fig. 16). It does not help directly in the question of source. All of the locations outside the city are in touch with Lincoln by waterway in much the same way as the Lindsey covers; Glentworth and Stow by means of the river Till, Gayton le Wold by the river Bain and Hackthorn by the Barlings Eau. Manby 2 would presumably have travelled by sea-going craft, regardless of its original quarry source.

Lincoln St Mark 16 is dated by its archaeological context to the period between the mid tenth century and the later eleventh; Glentworth 1 was reused in an architectural feature of a west tower of late eleventh-century date. It may not be possible to refine the dating very much further. However, the relationship with other marker groups would suggest that the Lindsey markers are near the start of a tradition of large, tablet-like grave-markers which spread southwards from Lindsey. This implies a date in the later tenth or early eleventh centuries for members of this group. Perhaps their production stands in place of the shafts and cross-shaped markers, which on present evidence are so notably absent from the Lincoln quarries in this period (see above).

Imitations of the Lindsey markers

Outside Lindsey, there is a group of five imitations of these Lindsey markers made in stone of Barnack/Clipsham type (Table 7B; Fig. 16). One is at Barnack itself (no. 5) and four are from the excavations below the castle mound in Cambridge (Kerrich 1814; Fox 1920–1). The stone type of the latter four is inferred as Barnack, like the covers alongside which they were discovered. They share with the Barnack example an undecorated border of rectangular section rather than the elaborate cable moulding of the Lindsey originals, which makes them appear to be crudely made and simplified versions of the original Lindsey markers. It seems reasonable to date these imitations, along with those covers, to the first two-thirds of the eleventh century (see above).

The gridded marker group of Kesteven and Holland

A third group of tablet-like grave-markers are characterised by their decoration, though not by their stone type. Five examples have been catalogued in Lincolnshire, and a further six are known at three locations in Rutland, Leicestershire and the Soke of Peterborough (Table 7C; Fig. 16). Like the Lindsey markers, these are broad rectangular tablets of stone with a well-defined border, though in this case it is undecorated. They are decorated on both faces with simple patterns based on cross forms, in which a geometrical effect seems to have been as important as the cross itself.

The decoration on face C of the marker, Swarby 1 (Ill. 357), hints at the underlying intention behind the decoration both on its own face A and on the other members of the group. This was evidently conceived as a simple cross type A1 with diagonal lines decorating the interstices. The same decoration is used on one face of Wilsford 2 (Ill. 390); on the reverse faces of Wilsford 2 and Swarby 1 the decoration consists simply of a grid of diagonal lines within a plain rectangular border (Ills. 356, 391), and Bicker 4 also has decoration of this type (Ills. 49–52).

The gridded markers at Wilsford, Swarby and Ancaster (Ill. 10) are cut in Ancaster-type stone, whereas Bicker 4 and Gosberton 1 (Ill. 175) are both of Barnack type. Indeed, there is a fragment from an identical marker to Bicker 4 at Barnack church (no. 7) and two further closely related stones – one is a marker (no. 6), with the additional decoration of cross pattées, and the other is perhaps a small grave-cover (no. 8). The Barnack-stone example at Tixover is also only five miles up-river from the quarry area.

This evidence for the production of monuments of similar type at different quarries mirrors that from grave-covers (see above). Unsurprisingly with such a simple memorial, the Ancaster examples have a distribution limited to an area close to the quarries. Those in Barnack stone are found further from their source, though still within easy reach by means of the Fenland river system. Oddly, further examples of gridded markers in Barnack stone have not been recorded in Cambridgeshire. It must be presumed that, just as the Lincolnshire examples were newly identified in fieldwork for this volume, these simple monuments have yet to be recognised there. To put against this skewed distribution in the east, there is an unexpected find of four gridded markers at Thurnby church in Leicestershire (Hunt, J., 1878). They are made of Barnack/Clipsham-type stone and lie on the extreme western edge of the usual distribution of Barnack products.

The cover or marker from Burton Coggles (no. 1; Ill. 70) is also decorated with a simplified version of the same incised grid pattern, although it is of a quite different shape. Its location some fifteen miles up the river West Glen from the village of Barnack is much closer to the Clipsham part of the outcrop.

The similarity of shape and size between the gridded markers and the rectangular markers of the Lindsey group and its imitations (see above) may suggest that this is a contemporary version of the same monument type, made as cheaper versions of the more sophisticated Lincoln products in the local stone. This would date them to the period between the late tenth century and the Conquest. The gridded markers are usually decorated with a single type A1 cross, like the markers of the Lindsey group and other Lincoln markers. Furthermore, the gridding in the interstices looks like a simplification of the additional crosses and other decoration found on the Lincoln examples, as on Lincoln St Mark 17 (Ill. 256). There is also the further possibility that these gridded markers may be related, even if less closely, to rectangular tablet-like monuments with grids of interlace such as that at Harston in Leicestershire.

Other grave-marker types

Towards the end of the eleventh century and in common with many other parts of the country, Lincolnshire began to adopt simple markers with disc heads decorated with a variety of splayed-arm cross types. There are a great number of examples decorated with cross pattées (see Chapter 9 and Appendix F), but there are some with closely related cross-head forms but of slightly earlier types, such as E6 or E8; for example, Beelsby 1 and Cabourne 1 in Lindsey (Ills. 392, 396). The round-headed marker, Lusby 1 (Ill. 283), which has a more elaborate cross-head carved in low relief with bosses at the centre and probably at all four terminals, is perhaps an early example of this type, and may be approximately contemporary with the mid eleventh-century church at the site.

There are also a number of markers decorated with more than one cross-head (Trollope 1853), which exhibit a variety of forms. An early example of the type may be the enigmatic stone with a pair of crosses at Ropsley (no. 1; Ill. 321). Although this may be a cover, it could also be seen as a variant of the Lindsey marker type adapted for a double memorial. A similar, though probably post-Conquest, example with twin cross-shafts and heads is North Rauceby 3 (Ills. 420–3); and perhaps monuments such as these inspired the many markers decorated with multiple cross pattées (Appendix F). These are more or less indistinguishable from the likes of Bracebridge 2 (Ill. 401), which are decorated with other cross-head types, often thought to be typologically earlier in date.

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