Resolving the Carving: The Application of Laser Scanning in Reconstructing a Viking Cross from Neston, Cheshire
The five Viking-Age carved stone cross fragments located at the Church of St Mary and St Helen at Neston, Chester and West Cheshire form a distinctive cluster of monuments attesting to Viking settlement in the tenth century. A project begun in 2008 proposed to use laser technology to reconstruct one cross completely and create a resin replica. The results would be used to critically examine the hypothesis, put forward by the author in an earlier paper, that two of the figural cross shafts belonged to the same monument. The resulting scans permitted the creation of a resin replica that formed the centrepiece of a community display on Viking heritage in the Wirral at the Grosvenor Museum Chester. The whole project thus became an exercise in community engagement, as well as generating real research outcomes that have fed into the definitive publication of the cross fragments.
KeywordsNeston Cheshire St John’s Chester Viking age sculpture Laser scanning Reconstruction
The author is grateful to Martin Cooper for supplying details of the scanning system and software, and for the hard work put in by him and his team on the project. Access to the stones was kindly organised by Peter Rossiter while Revd. David Chesters, Rector of St John’s Chester and Revd. Neill Robb, Vicar of St Mary’s and St Helen’s kindly granted permission to scan the stones. Elizabeth Royles of the Grosvenor Museum, Chester, made everything possible through the HLF grant and she is warmly thanked. Stephen Harding, University of Nottingham, was instrumental in bringing the group together and offered the original invitation to participate.
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