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Images from 'Cross Purposes
  “The stonecarver would probably first have roughed out his design using chalk,
or, if none were available – chalk does not occur naturally on the Isle of Man –
used a mud paste to outline the design. ”
Cross Purposes Page 7
 
 
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  carved cross inside Braddan Old Church  
 
Cross Purposes
 
  What fascinated us most about the
Manx crosses is not just their design
or their antiquity, but the people
they concern.
 
  There are hints on the crosses
themselves. The names of wealthy
patrons who commissioned the work
occasionally appear on the crosses:
‘Hedin set this cross to the memory
of his daughter Hlif.
’
‘Mal Lumkin raised this cross in
memory of Malmury his foster mother…
’
‘Odd raised this cross to the memory }of his father Frakki…’
 
  Those they commemorate are
mentioned of course:
‘to the memory of Ofeigr his father…’
‘Ambecatus, son of Rocatus lies here.’
‘… of Grim the Black.’
  And then there are the carvers:
‘Juan the priest cut these runes’
‘Thurith wrote these runes’
‘Arni carves these runes.’
  Most famous of all is Gautr whose
cross at Kirk Michael claims that
Gautr made me and all in Mann.’
Early advertising!
  The Manx crosses might look slightly
alien to modern eyes, but their
inscriptions show that the wishes
and thoughts of the mediaeval people
who created them are not so far
removed from ourselves.
  Cross Purposes: an introduction to mediaeval Manx crosses
The Isle of Man is noted for is its collection of
stone crosses carved out of local slate and
decorated with swirling designs and fantastic
beasts. Christian symbols, they also carry the sagas
and language of pagan Viking invaders.

images from Cross Purposes

For centuries the crosses stood majestically in the
landscape braving the weather and changing
fashions. Often they were the most striking
man-made features in the Manx countryside.
Today most of the ancient crosses have been given
sheltered accommodation in their old age.


Yet, for something so famous quite a lot is still
tantalisingly obscure. Who raised the crosses and
why? How were they carved? Where did the stone
come from? What do they mean? And do other
countries have similar memorials?


This book explores and explains the stories behind
these enigmas of the Manx landscape.

image from Cross Purposes

images from Cross Purposes



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