Doncaster Museum, Yorkshire, West Riding

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Feature Sets (2)


Of the objects described here, items A, B and D to J were in the store at the Museum; item C was on display in 2012, but had previously been seen in store; item M was on display in the museum; items K and L were in store at Barnby Dun.


Loose Sculpture

Item A. a column base

Base for column, Excav. No. DC A17, finds 10. Found in grounds close to St George’s (the major 12th-century church of Doncaster, burnt down in 1853). Made of limestone, the upper torus is broken, so it is not possible to measure the diameter of the column.


Height: 0.17 m
Max. square area: 0.3 m

Item B. a slab of uncertain period

Slab with line of incised Xs, DT finds no. 16. It was found in the wall of a school or college within St George’s grounds. 


Height of slab: 0.11 m
Width of patterned area: 0.26 m

Item C. almost complete window-head with chip-carving

This item came from an excavation at Hickleton. Doncaster Museum dates it as c.1000-1100.

This item was seen in 2001 in store at the Museum; in 2012, it was on display there.

The window-head was in about seven pieces, but the surface looks unweathered. The fragments were found "in the footings of the side walls of the chancel extension" on the N side (Ryder 2011, 18); there were also fragments of painted glass, provisionally dated to the 12th century.

The carving is on the exterior face. Next to the opening, the first arc is a chamfer; the next has diagonal incised lines with some on the left varied to make Vs; the third and fourth concentric arcs are rows of star-in-square; the outermost arc is a plain, narrow border.

A little red ochre could be seen on the inside splay (Ryder). There is no obvious rebate for glass or a wooden frame. Ryder does not mention one. See Ryder (2011), 16-17. 


Approximate height: 0.4 m
Max. width of stone from side to side: 0.7 m
Thickness of block: 0.14 m
Width of the opening in the window-head: 0.15 m

Item D. possible candlestick

Compact item in the form of a base, column and capital; the top is hollowed out and has a bored hole central in the bowl. The top corner is broken. No information on find spot recorded by fieldworker.

This item is thought by Paul Barnwell to be a possible candlestick. It would have been placed on the floor beside an image or altar. The bored hole would have taken a metal spike.


Approx. square area of base: 0.16m x 0.17 m
Height: 0.225 m

Item E. fragment of grave-slab

Small piece of a grave-slab showing part of a cross-head.


Depth: 0.115 m
Height: 0.16 m
Width: 0.26 m

item F. fragment of grave-slab

Fragment from head-end of grave-slab with the lower part of a bracelet cross head and the pommel of a sword.


Depth: 0.15 m
Length (head to foot): 0.37 m
Max. width: 0.52 m

Item G. foot-end of grave-slab

Foot-end of grave-slab, from Anchorage Lane, Sprotborough. The face of the slab has incised setting-out lines, a stepped base with whirl rosette; tooling was created by claw-chisel. The reverse view suggests a possibly Roman surface.


Height of sculptured face: 0.37 m
Overall depth: 0.175 m
Width of sculptured face: 0.31 m

Item H. waterleaf capital

Jamb shaft waterleaf capital from Hickleton (S68). The left face has an incised cross with barred ends; this is on the upright above the waterleaf. The angle has a nodding foliage volute.  Drawing in Ryder (2011), p.18; it would appear to match the base, S65.


Height: 0.255 m
Width of main face: 0.43 m
Width of side face: 0.33 m

Item J. column base

Base from Hickleton (Ryder 2011, item S65); this may match item H, a capital (Ryder 2011, 18, item S68).


Height: 0.175 m
Max. area of base: 0.36 m x 0.4 m

Item K. architectural sections with paint

Painted stones from Hickleton: two of the pieces are awaiting conservation. These pieces were among those seen on the fieldworkers' visit to an outbuilding at Hickleton Hall in 2011. See Ryder (2011), 11-14.

Item L. fragment of window-head

Fragment of a window-head from Hickleton showing tooling on the interior splay.


Depth: 0.232 m
Height: 0.455 m
Width: 0.41 m

Item M. top of standing cross

Displayed in the museum, this top of a standing cross was found in Wadworth; DONMG: 1976.488.  The design is said to be the same on each side, but the reverse could not be seen due to the display case. The museum label suggests it was the top of a standing cross, perhaps marking a meeting place such as a market. 


Approx. depth: 0.12 m
Approx. height: 0.45 m
Approx. width: 0.33 m


The pieces of carved stone from Warmsworth which might be relevant to CRSBI (Hey and Magilton, 1983, figs. 9-12) were not seen by the fieldworker, although on p. 59 Hey and Magilton say they were in Doncaster Museum. See separate report for Warmsworth. 

Item C is a decorated window-head.  Another, but much damaged, decorated window-head is preserved at Swillington; that seems to have had chevron or an incised saltire star pattern. Isolated examples occur elsewhere, as at Kirby Sigston, N Riding, and Aldborough, E Riding. The window-heads with dentation at Adel (W) and Fangfoss (E) are probably later, possibly dating from the 1140s.

Item B: Slab with line of incised Xs, DT finds no. 16. Martin Henig believes that the stone does not look Roman and would not class it as sculpture. He suspects it is medieval [communication by email]. On the other hand, some Roman milestones have Xs like this stone.

Item M: top of standing cross. Lawrence Butler thinks this is from a standing cross, and is not an architectural finial.


  • D. Hey and J. R. Magilton, 'St Peter's church, Warmsworth' Yorshire Archaeological Journal, 55 (1983) 27-58

  • P. F. Ryder, Lapidiary material from the 1983 Hickleton Church Excavation, 1983, revised 2011. Unpublished.

Map of the medieval town, displayed in the gallery in connection with the town's medieval pottery.


Site Location
Doncaster Museum
National Grid Reference
SE 580 030 
now: South Yorkshire
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Yorkshire, West Riding
now: Sheffield
medieval: York
Type of building/monument
Museum and/or Museum store  
Report authors
Rita Wood 
Visit Date
24 August 2012