The Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland

The Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland (CRSBI) is an evolving electronic archive of British and Irish Romanesque stone sculpture.


Romanesque sculpture marks a high point of artistic production in Britain and Ireland, corresponding to the boom in high-quality building that followed the Norman Conquest in 1066, and reflecting a new set of links with mainland Europe. A good deal of this sculpture remains in parish churches and cathedrals, houses and halls, castles and museums throughout these isles.


Much of the sculpture is exposed to the risk of wear, damage and theft. Records of the sculpture's condition are invaluable for conservators and the church and heritage bodies responsible for its protection. The Shobdon Arches are a case in point.


The aim of the project is to photograph and record all the surviving sculpture, making this important part of British and Irish heritage available over the Internet. A team of skilled and dedicated volunteer fieldworkers locates and visits sites where Romanesque sculpture survive, describing, measuring and taking photographs. The project editors convert the raw materials of their research into an electronic archive. Church plans, generously made available by the Church Plans Online project, are included where available as an additional visual aid.

The CRSBI has already established itself as an authoritative scholarly resource. Significant quantities of previously unrecorded material have come to light in the course of the project, and there are many examples of sculpture that are here being recorded, catalogued and photographed in an academic context for the first time. Concurrent with its academic importance is the project's role in raising awareness of the British Isles' rich twelfth-century heritage, helping to ensure its conservation and preservation.

Principal investigator
Mr Sandy Heslop
Principal project staff
Dr Ron Baxter; Dr Anna Bentkowska Kafel; Ms Hazel Gardiner
Start date
Tuesday, March 29, 1988
Source material
Text documents, transparencies and raw digital images (see Resource Description for further details).

CRSBI site reports are being published online at