views updated

Breedon church, dramatically set on a Leicestershire hill, stands on the site of an Anglo-Saxon monastery and houses an extensive collection of 8th- and 9th-cent. stone sculpture. The most important are fragmentary sections of two lengthy friezes. The narrower frieze is now some 24 feet long and carries scroll-work whose details can be paralleled in Carolingian manuscripts and Italian sculpture of c.800; this was set internally. The contemporary broader frieze was placed externally and is some 45 feet long. It employs a wide range of plant, animal, bird, and human motifs which draw on both Carolingian and Byzantine sources.

Richard N. Bailey