Hogback (sculpture)

Hogback (sculpture)

Hogbacks are stone carved Viking sculptures from 10th-12th century England and Scotland. Their function is generally accepted as grave markers.

Hogbacks take the form of recumbent monuments, generally with a curved ('hogbacked') ridge, often also with outwardly curved sides. This shape, and the fact that they are frequently decorated with 'shingles' on either side of the central ridge, show that they are stylised 'houses' for the dead. The 'house' is a Scandinavian type, and hogbacks are agreed to have originated among the Danish settlers who occupied northern England in the 870s after the fall of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. It has been suggested that the monument-type was invented about 920. There are particular concentrations of hogbacks in Yorkshire and Cumbria, the former being their likely area of origin. Individual examples are found over a much wider area, however, from Derbyshire to Central Scotland. There are stray examples as far afield as the Northern Isles, Orkney and Cornwall. Ireland has a single example at Castledermot, Co. Kildare. The most numerous collections are the ones preserved in St Thomas's church of Brompton, Yorkshire. Discovered in 1867 following the restoration of the church, six were taken to Durham Cathedral Library leaving four whole ones and fragments of others at Brompton. They are characterized by carvings of bears hugging the slabs with strapwork in their mouths. Elsewhere five are in the parish kirk of Govan, once a rural parish, but now part of Glasgow.

External links


Further reading

* Bailey, R N 1980 "Viking Age Sculpture in Northern England", Collins Archaeology, London.
* Graham-Campbell, J & Batey, C E 1998 "Vikings in Scotland: An Archaeological Survey", Edinburgh UP.
* Lang, J T 1976 'Hogback Monuments in Scotland', "Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland" 105, 206-35.
* Lang, J T 1984 'The Hogback: A Viking Colonial Monument', "Anglo-Saxon Studies" 3, Oxford.
* Richards, J R 2000 "Viking Age England", Tempus, Stroud.
* Ritchie, A (ed.) 1994 "Govan and its Early Medieval Sculpture", Alan Sutton, Stroud.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hogback — may refer to:*Hogback (sculpture), a type of sculpture found in the UK *Hogback (geology), a geological formation in the category of a dip slope * Hogback Island in the Mississippi River, upstream of Qunicy, Illinois in the USA * Hogback Mountain …   Wikipedia

  • Rapid City, South Dakota — City of Rapid City   City   Downtown Rapid City …   Wikipedia

  • Meigle Sculptured Stone Museum — View of the Meigle museum including the backs of Meigle 4 at left and Meigle 2 at right, with one side of Meigle 26 in the foreground.[1] The Meigle Sculptured Stone Museum is a permanent exhibition of 27 carved Pictish stones in the centre of… …   Wikipedia

  • Black Hills — This article is about the region in South Dakota. For other places, see Black Hills (disambiguation). The Black Hills, South Dakot …   Wikipedia

  • English church monuments — The effigial monument to John Gower in Southwark Cathedral, Surrey (now London). A church monument is an architectural or sculptural memorial to a dead person or persons, located within a Christian church. It …   Wikipedia

  • Vermont — This article is about the U.S. state of Vermont. For other uses, see Vermont (disambiguation). State of Vermont …   Wikipedia

  • Wirral Peninsula — Location map|United Kingdom label = lat = 53.35702 long = 3.07574 caption = Map showing the location of the Wirral at grid reference gbmapscaled|SJ285850|25|SJ285850 float = right background= white width = 175Wirral or the Wirral (pronEng|ˈwɪrəl) …   Wikipedia

  • Gosforth Cross — The Gosforth Cross is a large stone Anglo Saxon high cross in the churchyard at Gosforth in the English county of Cumbria, an area heavily settled by Vikings. It has elaborate carvings which have been interpreted as representing characters and… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.