Rosemary Cramp 1929-2023

We are sad to share the news of the passing of the founder and leader of our project, Professor Dame Rosemary Cramp, who has died at the age of 93.

An internationally renowned archaeologist specialising in the archaeology and art of the early medieval world, Rosemary's contributions were far-reaching, most notably the founding of our long-running Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture project. She developed a strong interest in pre-Conquest sculpture soon after arriving in Durham, encouraged by V E Nash-Williams, and began to publish on sculpture in the 1960s, initially on the southern Scottish monuments. In 1972 the Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture was formally recognised and funded by the British Academy as a national project, and after assembling a team of scholars, the first volume, by Rosemary herself, was published in 1984. Her second CASSS volume came out in 2006.

After serving as Head of Department in Archaeology at Durham University for 19 years, from 1971-1990 Rosemary remained a key and active member of the department as an Emeritus Professor, continuing to publish and lead the completion of the Corpus in her last years. Rosemary has been the leading expert and voice on Anglo-Saxon stone sculpture for nearly 70 years and her rich legacy of published work on the subject will continue to be profoundly influential for all scholars, new and established, working in the field of early medieval sculpture studies. We will carry on Rosemary's work in the next few years with the much-anticipated publication of the remaining three volumes in the series, on Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire (XIV), East Midlands (XV) and Norfolk and Suffolk (XVI). Rosemary will be deeply missed by colleagues and friends.

The Corpus

The Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture identifies, records and publishes in a consistent format, English sculpture dating from the 7th to the 11th centuries. Much of this material was previously unpublished, and is of crucial importance in helping identify the earliest settlements and artistic achievements of the early medieval and Pre-Norman English. The Corpus documents the earliest Christian field monuments from free-standing carved crosses and innovative decorative elements, to grave-markers.

From Books to Online

Durham University, under the guidance of Professor Dame Rosemary Cramp, supported by more than thirty researchers spread throughout the country, has, since 1977, coordinated the production of a series of bound, detailed and fully illustrated volumes that provide coverage of every early medieval Sculpture in England. In recent years, with the support of the AHRC, British Academy and the Aurelius Trust, the project has sought to release the data from all volumes online, as a searchable catalogue, accompanied by digital images. The data available on this website is the result.

Project Sponsors

The Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Headley Trust, part of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, and by the British Academy, with additional funding from the Pilgrim Trust. Funding from the AHRC will now enable the completion of the project in book and digital form and facilitate a series of workshops and a final project conference. The online release of volumes has been made possible by support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (1999-2004), The British Academy (ongoing), The Aurelius Trust (2013-14) and Durham University (2013). The full online release of our digital data has now been made possible by substantial funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.