Monday, 6 June 2016

The Gosforth Cross is the most important Viking Age carving in England. This slender sandstone sculpture, 4.43 metres tall, has survived 1050 years of weather, with its carvings still displaying an amazingly sophisticated blend of Norse mythology and Christian Tradition. It deserves to be far better known.                                              

And the social background of its composition is also fascinating. At the time the cross was made, the area now known as Cumbria seems to have been one where Viking migrants and the longer-established Saxons lived in peace. The opening sequence of the first of the films below gives the most likely explanation.                                  

These resources have been made for an RSA Fellowship project about the Gosforth Cross undertaken with Richard Cobden Primary, Camden and Gosforth CE Primary, Cumbria. 

The project has been substantially enhanced by the work of Professor Dominic Powlesland of the Landscape Research Centre who made a 3D scan of the cross, produced in collaboration with the Leverhulme Trust 'Impact of Diasporas' research programme at the University of Leicester. 

The lesson plan below uses the same materials devised for the two primary schools and incorporates the films they helped make.

Lesson planning used in the Gosforth Cross project

Alternative/Extra Activities

Resources used in the lessons;

Reading the Gosforth Cross: Cumbria version

Reading the Gosforth Cross: V&A version








Further Resources

Here is the medium resolution version of Professor Powelsland's Scan...

And the medium resolution with colour...

And the scan made of the 'Loki Stone' at St Stephen's Church, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria...

Dominic explaining the value of scanning objects like the Gosforth Cross...

... and how the scan is made.