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Carlisle, Cathedral Museum, Cumberland

(54°53′42″N, 2°56′18″W)
Carlisle, Cathedral Museum
NY 399 560
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Cumberland
now Cumbria
medieval Carlisle
now Carlisle
  • James King
05 October 2016

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=14250.

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Feature Sets

In 1979, the carved fragment of yellow sandstone was found during the excavations of an 18thc pit at Keays Lane, Carlisle.


The Domesday Survey does not record this area of the country. William Rufus took control of Carlisle in 1092 and had a castle built, while in 1122 Henry I visited Carlisle and ordered that the village be fortified with a castle and towers. In 1123 an Augustinian monastery was founded and later, in 1133, a cathedral was established. David I of Scotland re-took control of Carlisle in early 1136 and it remained in Scottish hands until Henry II took it back in 1157.


Loose Sculpture


The decoration on the fragment has strong parallels with the Herefordshire School of Romanesque sculpture, comparisons being made with the interlace band on the baptismal font of the church at Castle Frome. The possibility that the fragment may originally have formed part of a baptismal font is reasonable but cannot be proven. Such comparisons suggest a likely date in either the 2nd or 3rd quarters of the 12th century.


R. Cramp, Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture, vol. 2: Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire North-of-the-Sand, Oxford 1988, 164.

M. McCarthy, Carlisle: A Frontier City, Carlisle 1980.