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Hogback Monuments

Govan hogback (Lang 1994)

University of Reading
Department of Archaeology
Module: Vikings in the West
Instructor: Dr. Gabór Thomas
Author: Annette Baus

Chapter 1

Hogback monuments are usually tegulated, house-shaped recumbant tombstones of

the 10th to 12th century with a distribution from northern England as far north as to the River

Tyne (Lang and 199:28-9 and 2001:21-4.)

In the following essay I will try to free hogbacks of Lang’s typology he established in

his Master’s thesis in 1967 (Lang 1967) and reconsider the shared message these

monuments have in common. In default of other means to establish a chronology Lang

developed a minute typology based on art historic details (see fig. 1 and 2). However, a

dating purely on style and iconography is more than feeble as were for example the early

assumptions of Abbé Breuil’s (e.g. 1952) and Leroi-Gourhan’s (e.g. 1968) typology of

Palaeolithic art showed after the discovery of the grotte Chauvet (Pettitt & Pike 2007). I will

therefore concentrate on the symbolism of its form, its iconography, its setting in a certain

locality, local as well as regional, and above all its historical context. I will show that a much

narrower date span is likely for these monuments. This will also inevitably give an idea about

the function of hogback monuments, being much more than a mere grave cover of a Viking


Chapter 2
What Does the Form of Hogback Monuments Tell us about the People who
Stand behind these Monuments?

In general the form of hogbacks is based on the shape of a long-house with bombé

sides (Lang 1972-74, 206, Walton 1954:68, Crawford 1987:172, Lang 2001:21). This was

already suggested by W. G. Collingwood in 1927, when he put forward that they were exact

replicas of contemporaneous dwellings. Although other propositions for the origin of the

‘house-form’ range from Anglian shrine tomb to Irish reliquaries were put forward, the

consent lies in an acceptance of the house interpretation). Since Anglian stone shrine tombs

like the Hedda Stone at Peterborough (fig. 3) are extremely rare in the areas where

hogbacks can be found, Lang (1972-74:206 and 1991:28) dismissed the idea of such an

origin. Also the rendering of a reliquary like the Bamberg or Cammin casket, which itself is

based on the shape of a house, is ruled out by Lang (1972-74:207) although –as we will later

see- the end beasts are also visible on those two examples of reliquaries.

Walton (1954) especially called attention to the fortified settlement of Trelleborg,

Denmark. And, indeed, curve-walled houses are known from Danish fortresses like

Trelleborg, Fyrkat, or Aggersborg and thus suggest an aristocratic connection (Schmidt


If we assume that hogback monuments are representing contemporaneous buildings,

it is interesting to note, that the Danish fortresses were all constructed at about the same

time, namely the end of the 10th or the beginning of the 11th century by either Svein

Forkbeard or Cnut, his son. And indeed, a hogback has been found at Aggersborg church

(see page 12) which might be more than a coincidence.

Although the form of tegulation varies in the different hogback types (see Walton

1954:fig. 3), Cramp 1984:fig. 7 and fig. 4) it is clear that hogbacks are not representing

ordinary Scandinavian or Anglo-Scandinavian dwelling houses, which have been

reconstructed as thatched wattle-and-daub buildings. Thatching was for example so common

in Scotland that ‘thatch’ (theik, thak) became a generic term for the application of any roofing

material (Walker 2000:163), slate and tiles being introduced much later. This makes timber

shingles a probable material for the tegulations shown on hogbacks 1 . However, timber

shingles are a sign for high-status buildings. Churches of the 12th and 13th century like the

Salisbury Cathedral, to cite an example, were shingled when first erected (Innocent

That these are realistic depictions and not jaust an artistic representation can be seen by reconstructions based
on artwork and the high degree of observation that can be found in the carvings (Walker 2000:165, Morris 1984
and 2000).

1916:184). Furthermore the shingle types of stave churches in Scandinavia of the 12th and

13th century correspond with the tegulation types found on hogbacks. Before the introduction

of cheaper slate shingles in the 14th century and beyond, timber shingles or bark shingles

(spon) were the choice for royal manor houses and castles (Walker 2000:165).

If the ‘house wall’ is formed out in a hogback as e. g. Brompton or Govan, we can see

that rather than wattle-and-daub highly decorated wooden staves or tiles were used, as for

example in Brompton (fig. 5). An analogy with Urnes-style stave church portals as can be

seen in the Hemse church is obvious (fig. 6). Unfortunately non-secular high-status buildings

of the Scandinavian mainland are preserved in a way which could give us a means of

comparison. In the Book of Kells (~AD 800) folio 202v, the temple of Jerusalem is depicted

on the basis of an Irish aristocratic house which might give us some understanding of houses

of the nobility in the early Middle Ages (fig. 7).

Gondek draws our attention to investment in production and how this can reveal

concentrations of power (2006:107). The use of material wealth generates symbolic wealth

and the production and display of a stone monument was a visual representation of

patronage and social relationships (Gondek 2006:108). Although her studies cover Pictish

symbol stones only, it is clear that the underlying meaning is the same: The process of

sponsoring and producing sculpture … created and proclaimed political and ideological

authority (Gondek 2006:140). The production process in itself refers to a patronage by

aristocrats or royalty.

Since the representation of a Scandinavian stave church can be excluded due to the

architectural plan, it can therefore be assumed that hogback houses are representing either

high status buildings or religious pagan buildings like the Uppåkra cult house.

Chapter 3
Iconography and Iconology

Iconography studies the identification, description, and the interpretation of the

content of images, whereas iconology analyses the content and symbolism with respect to

literary sources. Iconography has been used widely on the studies on hogback monuments

in order to classify and date them, but also to identify different ‘schools’ of artists. I am not an

art historian, nor have I seen the monuments in real and am therefore the study of the

iconography and iconology of these monuments have to rest on specialist in this field.

However, although a huge amount of literature exists on topics concerning the pagan

elements and their meanings on a Christian monument, few exists which explore the

secular–political meaning of the depicted motifs.

Most hogbacks lack ‘conventional Christian symbolism’ (Lang 1972-74:209). A

considerable number of hogbacks have pagan references, but for some there is evidence

that the hogback was placed between crosses, as in Inchholm (Lang 1972-74:209), Penrith

(Lang 1972-74:211), Lythe or Gosforth. Lang’s reading of the Sockburn hogback as

exclusively pagan (1972:247) and depicting the motif of binding the Fenrir wolf with an

enchanted fetter, during which Tyr put his hand in the beast’s mouth (fig. 8) is debated by

Schwab (1994:506) because it could easily be understood as the Christian motif of Daniel in

the lion’s den. Another common theme from mythological background is the Thor-fishing-

scene described in Ragnarsdräpa stanzas 13-209. On the hogback from Tyninghame, East

Lothian is another scene from Ragnarök, the scene where the wolves devour sun and moon.

Also the female figure which welcomes the dead as for example on the Sockburn hogback

(Lang 1972:241-4) can be attributed to pagan iconography since we have nearly exact

comparisons on the Gotland picture stones (fig. 9). An important statement in this context is

the fact that we have no surviving material from Denmark and therefore a majority of scenes

might be elusive in their meaning due to this fact, like the heroic lays inscribed on the Rök

rune stone (Fuglesang 2006:10).


Lilla Kopár (2003) sees this as an accommodation of pagan material in the Christian

system of thought of the Anglo-Saxons, a visual manifestation in stone sculpture. The choice

of pagan iconographical elements reflects more or less the mental integration process (Kopár

2003:82); shared patterns are used as links between narratives, especially of similar

character, shared ethical concepts, and narrative structures (Kopár 2003:82). This is not

restricted to the Viking times, a mixture of pagan and Christian motifs can be observed on

objects as early as the Franks Casket from the 8th century which shows scenes as different

as Romulus and Remus, Weyland Smith, the sack of Jerusalem, the Egill’s Saga, and the

Adoration of the Magi (Fuglesang 2006:5) As a reliquary there were no thought of conversion

underlying the choice of motifs.

Jesch (2004:57) goes even so far as to claim that the art and literature (e. g. the court

poetry Knútsdrápa) are basically pagan. An apparent fact which she calls ‘cultural paganism’

(Jesch 2004:58) and even Cnut’s baptism becomes doubtful since it was ‘only’ mentioned in

two sources (Adam of Bremen’s Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum and Ademari

Cabannensis Chronicon) (Jesch 204:57-8). This is a statement, which is astonishing in itself,

since it usually takes no more than one entry in a historical document to become a ‘fact’. The

evidence mentioned, like the motifs on a memorial stone from St. Paul’s in London with

typical decoration of the Anglo-Scandinavian style and a runic inscription on a grave cover

are certainly not a ‘Scandinavian idiom’ (Jesch 2004:60) but a widely used art style which

can be found on cross slabs, caskets and churches itself, partially commissioned by abbots

and other members of the cleric. The Franks’ Casket, certainly a Christian object since it was

meant to hold reliquaries, features a runic inscription after all, too. And why should Cnut, a

strong –albeit probably politically motivated- supporter of the church and lover of art not have

included what his Scandinavian background can offer and combine the best of two peoples.

As already mentioned I will rather explore the secular-political aspect as Würth (2000)

did for Ragnarök episodes in literature with Christian context. Her argument was that texts

from the 13th and 14th century weren’t meant to help a conversion from heathendom to

Christendom (Würth 2000:586) but that the popularity of this topic is rather based on their

flexibility and their relevance to existing situations in different time periods. Up to the 13 th

century, in Scandinavia as well as on the British Isles, there existed a huge interest in

Ragnarök motifs (Würth 2000:582). Parallels to the anarchic state in the Icelandic 13th

century, the date of the Völuspá Saga, were responsible for their popularity. Murder among

kin, extinction of complete families, political disorientation and moral decline are elements

common to all times of crisis and they can be used in diverse time contexts and thus create

the immense popularity. The Erlöserfigur, the hero who, with strategic knowledge and

through military activity, is the saviour will establish a new order with peace and prosperity

and extinguish the preceding cataclysmic time period. Since the saviour is a returning figure

the redeemer obviously belongs to the ruling royalty (Würth 2000, 586-7). The new ruler,

which in the Völuspá is described as successor of Odin, is therefore a ruler from

Scandinavian descent. This identification of the new ruler with descending from Odin and

being of Scandinavian origin is a main aspect expressed in hogback monuments, a

statement of political identity.

Motifs from the life of an aristocratic elite emphasize this view. This shall be

exemplified by the hunting scenes on hogbacks. Hunting scenes are not limited to the

hogback distribution. I want to draw attention to some Pictish examples because hogbacks

(as we will see in Chapter 5) are concentrated at the fringes of Scandinavian influence, which

is basically at the boarder to Pictland.

In the Elgin hunting scene (Alcock 1998:128 and fig. 10) we can observe a stag hunt

with riders, their hawks and dogs, and on a Burghead slab shrine or sarcophagus, and hence

a Christian monument, there is also a deer hunt depicted (Alcock 1998:519-20). Artistically

not comparable but iconographically identical is the motif on the Govan sarcophagus in

Strathclyde or the hunting scene on the hogback from Heysham, Lancashire (fig. 11). Alcock

explains their presence on Christian monuments, for example the cross shaft at Dacre,

Cumbria with the medieval pattern of ‘multi-think’, a concept developed by Krautheimer

(1971:149). Early Christian architecture was based on a multitude of connotations, ‘fleeting,

only dimly visible and therefore interchangeable’ (Alcock 1998:520). This might be true, as

are Kopár’s ideas of conversion. But on hogbacks this can also be interpreted as a response

to Pictish nobility.

Many hogbacks have so-called end-beasts, often muzzled bears, facing inwards and

holding the house with their paws. There are also muzzled bears at the priest’s door at

Clifton Reaynes church and on the north door of Stewkley church (Ettlinger 1967:285). The

depiction of bears offers several possibilities of interpretation:

 bear baiting as aristocratic pastime (Compton Reeves 1995:101),

 as beasts of burden in saint’s lives (Réau 1955:110-1 und 130),

 Scandinavian bear heroes, characters with bear ancestry, bear-like strength or

a person who had killed a bear (Arent 1969:150-1), or

 as a bear-cult animal, a mythic animal with astral origin that will eventually

reincarnate or return to the sky (Dubois 1999:48)

Bears as beast of burden are unlikely, since these monuments were very likely

commissioned by the nobility and only to a lesser extant -if at all- by clerics. Bear baiting as

an expression of an elite way of life, however, is a likely explanation and a bear baiting scene

can also be seen on the Bayeux tapestry (fig.12). There are also examples of the bear as a

mythological figure: under the choir of medieval Fröso Parish church bones of wild animals,

including the bones of a bear were found together with a birch tree stump. The assembladge

has been connected with the tree of life of Norse mythology. However, Fröso lies in Jämtland

which is under Sami influence. The connection to bear heroes will be explored in the

following chapter, after a short overview over the political situation.

Chapter 4
Political Background

I want to give a short overview over the political situation of Northern England and

especially Northumbria, since this is also the main concentration of hogback monuments.

Although a timeline is given in table 1, I will here concentrate on the events of the 11 th

century. This has the following reasons:

 hogbacks are, despite their mixed pagan-Christian symbolism, a Christian

monument and therefore the patron for these monuments were very likely

Christians themselves. Therefore it would be illogical to investigate in a time

period when pagan Scandinavians ruled parts of the British Isles. The

conversion of the Norse in Orkney, for example, belonged into the reign of

Thorfinn Sigurdsson (1020–1064) (Crawford 1987:80). Svein Forkbeard was

baptized in the early 960s (Gestae Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum III,

53) and although he invaded England several times during the first two

decades of the 11th century it was not before 1013 that he moved to the North

(ASC 1013) where Uhtred, the earl of Northumbria submitted to him. But after

a short stop he focused his attention towards the South again and Uhtred kept

his position as earl of Northumbria. After Svein’s Death he transferred his

allegiance back to Ethelred the Unready. We can therefore assume that there

was no major impact of aristocratic Scandinavian elite on architecture or art,

be it ecclesiastic or vernacular. This only changes when Uhtred was killed (AD

1016) and his position replaced with Eric of Hlathir (Håkonarson).


 Since hogback monuments are generally found in churchyards they can

hardly be earlier than the first foundations of the churches themselves. The

churches, most of them founded by Scandinavians and not much older than

the 11th century thus give us a datum post quem for these monuments.

In 1016 Northumbria saw the first Scandinavian earl, Earl Eric Håkonarson, king of

Norway. Although baptized while still in Norway, his court poetry stayed entirely traditional

whereas the poetry of Olaf Tryggvason or Olaf Haraldsson praised them as Christian ruler

(Christiansen 2002:273) In the Fagrskinna, one of the king’s sagas written at about 1220, it is

noted that he choose Christianity but didn’t force his followers to take over the new faith

(Finlay 2004:132). In 1014 or 1015 he left Norway and joined Cnut for his campaign in

England (ASC 1016). Cnut’s army forced its way into Northumbria where the current earl,

Uhtred the Bold, was killed (ASC 1016) in 1016. Cnut appointed Eric earl over Northumbria.

although Scots and Britons were constantly threatening Northumbria there are no records

that Eric ever fought against them. From 1023 onwards when he last witnessed a document,

Eric was not mentioned in any documents any more, however, his successor Earl Siward

Björnsson was not confirmed as earl before 1033. Instead hold Carl began witnessing

documents in the year 1024.

Siward Björnsson descended from Danish royalty. It is unclear whether he had his

ancestors already in England or whether he arrived with Cnut. In any case, Siward ruled

Northumbria or rather Yorkshire from 1031 until his death in 1055. During this time he tried to

strengthen his position by marrying Aelfled, the granddaughter of Uhtred. Siward not only

served Cnut with loyalty, but also his sons Harald I (1035-40) and Harthacnut (1040-1042). In

1054 Siward led the Engklish invasion of Scotland in the Battle of Dunsinane (AU 1054.6 and

ASC 1054). After Siward killed Eard Eadwulf he governed the whole of Northumbria from the

Humber to the Tweed (Hayes 2005:149). Siward died in 1055 in York (ASC 1055) and was

buried at St. Olaf’s Church, York, which he had founded.


According to the Vita et Passio Waldevi, an early 13th century manuscript, Siward’s

father was called Björn of whom was said that he was the son of a bear (Kleinman

2004:311-27). This brings us back to the end-beasts and the idea of the bear-hero. Siward

as the ‘descendant of a bear’ would give ample reason for using this very animal as protector

of the house.

Chapter 5

Since many hogbacks are of an unknown exact location, it is difficult to assess

whether they are really tombstones of a Christian graveyard. All hogbacks of known location

have been found in churchyards or have been re-worked and re-used as building materials in

churches or church-connected buildings. On the other side, none has been found outside of

this context.

From 38 hogbacks in Scotland mentioned by Lang (1972-74:209-33) 16 have been

found in a churchyard or graveyard or reworked into the church porch, respectively. Of the

remaining 22 hogbacks no records of their discovery survived. On the other hand, no graves

have ever been directly associated with hogbacks. On the contrary, where their original

position is reconstructible, they seem to form groups together with standing crosses as for

example in Govan (Kelly 1994:12) or the ones from the Parish church of St. Andrew at

Penrith, Cumbria, the so-called ‘Giant’s Grave’ (Lang 1991 and fig. 13). In Meigle, too the

stone monuments were gathered into a decorative grouping, almost certainly beside the

standing cross slab (Ritchie 1995: 3). In some cases hogbacks and crosses must have been

present before the original building of the church itself. These may have been foci of religious

gatherings and worship rather than burial monuments. Earlier assembly places are

connected with hogback sites. Govan, for example, was the principal royal centre of

Strathclyde, with the nearby Doomster Hill as an early assembly place. Across the river the

royal residence (Patrick castle) and supports the importance of this site. Another example is

St. Andrews, Fife, where a Pictish stronghold is situated and in Orkney, too, churches are

connected to ecclesiastical and secular important sites, as is the case of the St. Boniface kirk.

The same is true for Meigle, which was most certainly a royal estate in the 9th century

(Ritchie 1995:4).

A multifunctional purpose can not be dismissed. Therefore it is totally possible that

hogback monuments have served as a religious community focus, as a memorial, a grave

cover, and above all an expression of identity of the ruling elite, a reminder to all visitors of

these places who the generous patron and ruler is.

In 1991 Lang claimed that the origin of hogback monuments lies in the North Riding,

especially Brompton, North Yorkshire and Lyle, North Yorkshire and that the distribution of

hogbacks is ‘confined’ to the Viking settlement areas of Northern England. However, one

must ask oneself why hogbacks cannot be found in the Viking settlement areas proper.

Before we have a look at different settlement maps derived from place names I want to

emphasize that place names ending in –by should be excluded from these maps. The place-

name element -by remained productive even after the Norman Conquest, and it is quite

possibly just a replacement of the native place-name element -byrig. Greasby in Cheshire

appeared in Domesday Book as Gravesberie, Naseby as Navesberie, and Rugby as

Rocheberie. In these cases the -by element is no longer regarded as Scandinavian and it is

impossible to ascribe those -by names to Scandinavian settlement sites (Yokota 2004). If we

now have a look at settlement maps derived from place names of Scandinavian origin it is

evident that the area of the Danelaw was quite heavily influenced by Scandinavians (fig. 14),

but, compared with Lang’s distribution map for hogback sites in England and Wales (fig. 15)

it is quite obvious that these areas are more or less exclusive of each other, hogback

monuments are situated on the fringes of the Danelaw area and, as can be clearly seen, not

in the Danelaw proper. Graham-Campbell and Batey cautiously comment on the hogback

distribution: Alongside these place-names are sometimes mapped the ‘hogback’ stone

monuments which have a somewhat similar distribution (1998:100)2.

Before the age of Cnut the earls of Bamburgh ruled Bernicia and the area south of the

river Tees. Starting with Oswulf I’s reign even York was included in the kingdom of

Northumbria after Oswulf I removed Eric from York.

According to the early 12th century text ‘The Siege of Durham and the Probity of Earl

Uhtred’ King Aethelred rewarded Uhtred by giving him his fathers (Waltheof I) earldom

(Rollason 2003, 269). Thus when Cnut gave the earldom of Northumbria to Eric

Håkonarsson, the earldom of Bamburgh was very probably excluded. The house of

Bamburgh held its earldom on an hereditary basis and there is no evidence that any of its

members was appointed as earl of Bamburgh by the king. It is in this area, the borderline to

the earldom of Bamburgh where the English hogback monuments can be found. This is also

the area down to which the Scottish raided e. g. ASC 948, ASC 1027 or ASC 1031. Cnut led

an army to Scotland against Malcolm II (ASC 1031) following in the submission of Malcolm II.

Northern Cumbria belonged to the Scots since Malcolm I.

If we look at the distribution of Scottish hogback monuments in Scotland (fig. 16) it is

clearly visible that here, too, hogback monuments and Viking presence exclude each other.

Whether we look at the distribution of Viking graves as a measure of settlement activity (fig.

17) or Scandinavian place names (fig. 18), the hogback distributions is outside the

Scandinavian settlement area proper and rather in a Cumbric-Pictish area of influence (fig.

19). In areas which were settled more or less exclusively by Scandinavians like Shetland or

the Orkney’s, there is only a neglecteable number of hogback monuments. Only one

Words emphasised by me.

hogback site can be found on Shetland (St. Ninian’s Isle) and two in the Orkney’s (Papa

Westray and Skaill). In short, in Scotland, too, hogbacks are situated in areas of conflict.

Although the distribution of hogbacks is a geographically restricted phenomenon,

there are unmistakable connections to bordering nations. The Art of Stone sculpturing is

certainly influenced by a long-lasting tradition that can be found in the Pictland 3 with an

iconography not dissimilar to art further in the south 4 . There is a similar preference of

decorative art motifs in Anglian as well as in Scandinavian stone carvings, which makes it

difficult to decide which style influenced the other. And although there are examples of

Danish hogbacks, for example at Aggersborg (fig.20) church or the Klimsten from Klim

churchyard in West Thorup, Parish Fjerritslev (fig. 21), these were certainly brought back

from England and not an indigenous invention (Andersen 1984).

Chapter 6

I want to make a case here, that hogback monuments had been created as political

display of power by the ruling elite. Cultural, as well as personal identity was expressed

through these monuments and a deliberate placement in areas of unrest was used as a

means of establishing order at troublesome borderlines. Traditions known in these areas, like

stories told in form of stone carvings, Anglo-Saxon decorative motifs, depiction of houses

that immediately recalled the halls of the ruling aristocracy as well as a likely representation

of symbols for these powerful families (end-beast as a kind of totem or family crest) had been

used to exemplify local and regional political power.

Pictish Class I stones are dating from the 6th to the 8th century.
See for example the portrayals of riders or hunting scenes.

The use of labour-intensive stone sculptures for these memorials emphasises the

reconnaissance of the ruling families and their connection to the king. This is especially

accentuated through their local settings. I want to argue that the earlier hogbacks were

erected in pre-church context as a monument dedicated to communal worship and

congregation. Later on churches would have been sponsored by these very families and the

hogback monuments therefore lie within the boundaries of the newly erected churches. At

the same time some hogbacks would have been used as a memorial stone and have been

erected additionally after the dead of a member of these influential families.

Since most parish church foundations are based in the 11th or early 12th century the

pre-church use would probably have lasted only a relatively short time before the

construction of the church. I want to re-date the earliest hogbacks to the early 11th century.

This dating is supported by the political situation5, since the manufacture of hogbacks must

have fallen into the Christian period of Scandinavian activity along with the manifestation of a

new frontier i. e. either under the reign of Svein Forkbeard or Cnut the Great.

Although Lang (1972-74 and 1991) dates the earliest hogback monuments into the

mid 10th century, this is purely based on stylistic reasons, whose typology is difficult to prove.

Jellinge Style has a run time from roughly AD 850 to the 11th century in the Scandinavian

homeland, partially overlapping with the Mammen Style moreover, Ringerike and Urnes Style

are overlapping, too. Besides, their use could have lasted substantially longer in England,

especially since a new ‘Anglo-Scandinavian’ art style evolved from it in its own right.

Although my view on hogbacks is debatable, it is as valid as any other theory on

origin, reason and date of hogbacks and only the discovery of an in-situ hogback site will be

able to shed light on these enigmatic monuments of the Anglo-Scandinavian period in

England and Scotland.

See chapter 4.


AU Annals of Ulster
text online at:

ASC Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

text online at:

HDE Historia Dunelmensis Ecclesia


Table 1
Time Table for Norse-Scottish relations from the 9th to the 11th century

Date Event Source

Battle of the gentiles (i. e. heathens) against the Pictish royal seat Fortriu.
839 AU 839
In the Chronicle of Huntingdon the ‘Danish’ are explicitly mentioned to have fought against the Picts
Olaf became king of Dublin.
853 In the same year, according to the Chronicles of the Kings of Scotland, Danes raided the Pictland as
far as Clunie and Dunkeld.
Destruction of Fortriu.
Olaf of Dublin raided the land of the Picts.
866 AU 866
The Danish conquered York.
Olaf and Ivar besieged and subsequently destroyed the seat of the Strathclyde Britons, Dumbarton
King Ivar and Olaf died.
The Dublin Norse were expelled by the Irish.
King Sigtrygger II of Yorkshire died and Aethelstenwas announced King over York.
Battle of Brunanburh.
Constantine III, king of Scots, marched into England.

Strathclyde was laid waste by Saxons.

946 ASC 946
Battle of Luncarty.
Danish Invasion into Scotland.
Fighting between Scots and Saxons.
1006 AU 1006.5
Battle of Mortlach (Malcolm II against the Danes).
Uhtred, earl of Bamburgh, was killed on Cnut’s order.
the English were defeated at Carham..
1018 HDE
Cnut goes to Scotland and receives submission of Malcolm II, king of Scots, Maelbaeth, and Iehmarc.
Eadwulf ‘Cudel’ followed his brother Uhtred as earl of Northumbria.

The Dates were taken from the AU, the ASC, and the HDE. In all other cases Crawford 1987 and Rollason 2003.


Alcock, L 1998
From realism to caricature: reflections on Insular depictions of Animals and
People, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 128, 515-36.

Andersen, JM 1984
En stormandsgrav I Klim, Historisk Årbog for Thy, 1984, 63-76, online at:
(accessed 23.01.2008).

Bailey, RN 1980
Viking Age Sculpture in Northern England, London.

Bailey, RN 2000
Scandinavian Myth on Viking-period Stone Sculpture in England, in: Barnes, G
and Clunies Ross, M (eds.), Old Norse Myths, Literature and Society, Sydney.

Bailey, RN & Cramp, R 1988

Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Scupture, Volume II, Cumberland, Westmorland
and Lancashire North-of-the-Sands, Oxford.

Breuil, H 1952
Four Hundred Centuries of Cave Art, Montignac.

Carrington, A 1996
The horseman and the falcon: mounted falconers in Pictish sculpture,
Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 126, 459-468.

Compton Reeves, A 1998

Pleasures and Pastimes in Medieval England, Oxford.

Cramp, R 1984
The British Academy Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture, Volume I,
County Durham and Northumberland, Oxford.

Crawford, BE 1987
Scandinavian Scotland, Leicester.

Crawford, BE 1994
The ‘Norse background’ to the Govan hogbacks, in: Ritchie, A (ed.), Govan
and its Early Medieval Sculpture, Stroud, 103-12.

Dubois, TA 1999
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Fig. 1 Typology of Hogbacks according to Lang (Cramp 1988:fig.5)


Fig. 2 Typology of Hogbacks according to Lang (Cramp 1988:fig. 6)


Fig. 3 Hedda Shrine, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire (Bailey 1980:plate 24)

Fig. 4 Tegulatin types according to Lang (Cramp 1988:fig.7)


Fig. 5 Brompton, Allertonshire (Lang 1991:fig. 89)

Fig. 6 Hemse stave church (Nylén 1981:88)


Fig. 7 Book of Kells folio 202v (

Fig. 8 Sockburn hogback (Lang 1972:fig 1)


Fig. 9 Gotlandic Picture Stone from Tjängvide (Nylén 1981:69)

Fig. 10 Elgin hunting scene (Alcock 1998:illus.2)


Fig. 11 Heysham hunting scene (University College Cork, Documents of Ireland IX,
online at:

Fig. 12 Bear baiting scene on the Bayeux tapestry


Fig 13 ‘Giant’s Grave’, Penrith, Cumbria (


Fig. 14 Scandinavian settlement in the Danelaw area according to place names

(Macafee without date: map 7, online at:

Fig. 15 Distribution of hogback monuments in England and Wales (Lang 1972-74:fig.1)


Fig. 16 Distribution of Hogback Monuments in Scotland (Lang 1972-74:fig.2)


Fig. 17 Area of Scandinavian settlement according to pagan burials (Historical Atlas of

Scotland, c.400-c.1600:71).

Fig. 18 Area of Scandinavian settlement according to place names (Historical Atlas of

Scotland, c.400-c.1600:66).

Fig. 19 Place names of Cubric and Pictish origin (Historical Atlas of Scotland, c.400-

Fig. 20 Aggersborg hogback


Fig. 21 Klimsten, Denmark (Andersen 1984)