Manx Crosses

All posts tagged Manx Crosses

I have to be honest and say that these old Manx Runic Stones and Crosses do fascinate me.

This rather strange stone (No. 110) is displayed in Kirk Michael Church and is a broken shaft of a cross slab, which in 1669 was turned upside down, reshaped and carved with a skull and cross bones. It shows remains of the double twist and ring design. On one edge part of an inscription reads, A.B. cut (these) runes.

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Manx Crosses and Slabs - © www.manxscenes.com

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(Manx National Heritage catalogued Cross No. 106)

This 10th Century cross-slab was found in the churchyard in 1891 and is the only Runic Cross to be found in Ballaugh to date.

The Cross is 4’6″ high and 20″ across the head and the stone is 3″ thick.

The cross shows features of the famous sculptor, Gaut and it’s weather worn runes testify that this cross was erected by Olaf Liotulfson in memory of Ulf, his son.

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Ballaugh Cross © Peter Killey - manxscenes.com

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(Manx National Heritage catalogued Cross No. 128)

The transition in the Viking world of Pagan beliefs to the final embrace of Christianity is depicted on this stone. The Vikings brought pagan religion to shores already believing in Christianity and for a short time, both creeds co-existed. But eventually, Christianity won.

One side of this stone shows the Norse god Odin (recognised by the raven on his shoulder, and weaving his famous spear) being devoured by Fenris the wolf at the Battle of Ragnorok – the fight against evil and the end of the world for the Norse deities. The other side is filled with Christian symbolism – a figure with a book and a cross, by a fish and a defeated serpent.

This stone is not only a ‘page-turn’ from pagan to Christian beliefs, it also has that rarest of things – the name of the person who was responsible. Down one side, written in ancient Norse runes, is the inscription ‘Thorwald raised this cross’.

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Thorwald's Cross - © Peter Killey - manxscenes.com

Thorwald’s Cross – Front

Thorwald's Cross - © Peter Killey - manxscenes.com

Thorwald’s Cross – Rear

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