Perhaps the three most famous of hogbacks, in the church at Brompton, North Yorkshire

In January 2015 I took the opportunity to visit Brompton church and its famous bear-guarded hogback stones. These recumbent stone monuments are usually dated to the 10th/early 11th centuries and hence are often regarded as ‘Viking colonial’ grave-covers or tombs.

IMG_20160707_190254On the 7th of July, I went back, this time to the Methodist church hall in the village of Brompton, near Northallerton, N. Yorkshire, to talk about hogbacks. I entitled my talk:

“New Thoughts on Hogbacks”

I was proud to address the Brompton Heritage Group about their striking early medieval monuments and their importance including the splendid church warden, Doreen Newcombe, organiser Unity Stack, and I got to meet a familiar face from my alma mater the University of Reading;, retired archaeological illustrator Margaret Matthews.

The church hall was packed with around 60 people. I presented them my views on how hogbacks worked as early medieval technologies of remembrance: material media for constructing senses of identity and place through social memory. I addressed specifically,

Together, the talk provided an overview of how far my thinking on these monuments has developed over recent years in thinking about hogbacks’ mnemonic agency.

I’ve done quite a few talks about hogbacks at public venues, as discussed before on this blog here. I’ve decided this one was my last-but-one. I’ll come back to the topic once again, but not for now I simly felt privileged to talk at the spiritual home of hogbacks to the community of Brompton about their very special stones.