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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Sharing our Viking treasures

THE Viking treasures of one of our area’s most historic churches have featured on a BBC2 Culture Show programme about the splendours of Viking art.

By Margaret Crosby

The programme, presented by historian and art-critic Andrew Graham-Dixon, on Saturday, featured an interview filmed on location in Gosforth with expert Prof Richard Bailey of Newcastle University.

The two men examined the 14ft Viking sandstone cross in St Mary’s churchyard which dates from the early 10th century and two extremely rare ‘hogback’ tombstones, high status grave monuments, kept inside the church.

They were discovered under the foundations of a 12th century wall of the church during restoration in 1896. The cross depicts the victory of Christ over heathen gods.

The programme, made to mark the British Museum’s first major exhibition on Vikings for over 30 years, also visited Irton’s 3m carved 9th century red sandstone cross.

The show is available on the BBC iPlayer.

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