Volume 12: Nottinghamshire

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Current Display: Eakring 1, Nottinghamshire Forward button Back button
Present Location
Unknown; not found in October 2006
Evidence for Discovery
Reported in a letter by W. Stevenson of Alfreton to W. H. Mason of Morton Hall dated 1 June 1916 (Nottinghamshire Archives Office, Acc. 6426 box 1 of 5 (uncatalogued)). Stevenson said here: 'I am fully conversant with similar work at Rolleston church, East Bridgford and Eakring churches etc. in the county'. This strongly suggests that there was a piece of interlace carving at Eakring that is no longer to be found. Eakring church was greatly restored in 1880–1 (Cox 1912a, 78) and a fragment of interlace might have been discovered at that stage. In 1815 Stretton reported that the church of his time was 'built out of the materials of the former church, many of the broken floor stones with Calvary crosses and other ornaments being visible in the walls'. This was in addition to the four complete grave-covers he recorded, of later twelfth- or thirteenth-century date (Robertson 1910, 3–5).
Church Dedication
St Andrew
Present Condition

Stevenson's letter was part of a correspondence about the stones from Coates, which were in Mr Mason's possession (Coates 1 and 2, pp. 96– 101). In noting 'similar work at Rolleston church, East Bridgford and Eakring churches etc. in the county', he adds his fixed, but mistaken, view that 'in each case they represent the cable or interlaced work used for decorating the face of stone crosses' (Nottinghamshire Archives Office, Acc. 6426 box 1 of 5). Nevertheless, he identifies the appearance of the lost piece(s) from Eakring with clearly pre-Conquest items.


Appendix C item (lost stones for which no illustration has survived).

Stevenson was comparing the Eakring stone(s) with the distinctive interlace carving on the grave-covers Rolleston 2 and East Bridgford 1 (pp. 145, 106, Ills. 76–82, 20–4). As these two monuments are clearly large grave-covers of the mid-Kesteven type (pp. 53–61), this might suggest that such a monument was once to be found at Eakring too. Eakring lies well within the expected distribution pattern of such monuments (Everson and Stocker 1999, fig. 12; this volume, Fig. 9, p. 60 — Kneesall lies two miles to the north west, for example), and it is entirely credible that there should have been a monument of this type here. Unfortunately for this theory, the stones from Coates, which were the subject of the correspondence between Stevenson and Mason, clearly represent Lindsey covers, which have an entirely different petrology and style of interlace (pp. 61–6). It is undoubtedly true that Stevenson, in his many interventions of this sort, was principally concerned to assert his prejudiced, 'expert' (and mostly incorrect) view that all pre-Conquest fragments were relics of crosses — a prevalent obsession among historians and antiquaries of the time — and was blind to and uninterested in the variations of interlace. Nevertheless, this uncertainty means that we can add Eakring to the map of mid-Kesteven covers only tentatively and with qualification.

Late tenth or early eleventh century?

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