Thorwald's Cross - © Peter Killey -
Thorwald's Cross - Front

Thorwald’s Cross (Andreas)

(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’.

Feel free to make any comments either on this website by clicking the “Write comment” below or by logging onto my Facebook Page enjoy – Click on any of the images for a larger view.

Thorwald's Cross - © Peter Killey -
Thorwald’s Cross – Front
Thorwald's Cross - © Peter Killey -
Thorwald’s Cross – Rear


  1. Eleanor

    Those are great pictures Peter. The workmanship was amazing. Please can we have some more pictures of Manx crosses. I was amazed by how many churches had bits of cross tucked away inside them.

    • Hi Eleanor thanks for your kind comments, yes I agree the intricate work is fantastic and a great legacy left for us all to look back on.

      I will definitely be adding some more images of Manx crosses and if you look at the right hand side of my website you will see a a new link to the Manx cross section.

      Peter 🙂

  2. Eleanor

    Do you know Peter, I’d not noticed this section before! I will have to spend some time looking at all the photos. Did you ever achieve your aim of photographing all the Manx churches?

  3. Peter Killey,
    I have reproduced in oak, a similar motif, standing stone cross, which when I last saw reference, was also known as Thorvald’s Cross.
    As in this example, detail in the upper corner of the archaeological drawings was missing due to chipping and aging. I had to interpolate detail where there was none, and the early drawings I had access to at the time, revealed irregular repeated shapes.
    I carved one side as it appeared, but tried to ‘straighten’ the forms. In the second side carved later, I redrew the pattern on paper several times before importing the scan into Adobe Illustrator, to see what it might look like with all regular lines, curves and spacing.
    I’d love to get your take on the duplication of the names, as well as investigate more of these magnificent pieces that you have researched.
    You may find the image of my carving, among several others, on my FaceBook page, below.

    Paul Oyen

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