Manx Crosses

Manx Crosses - Old Kirk Braddan, Braddan


One of the best collections in the Island


Not only does Old Kirk Braddan  have a marvellous Georgian interior, it also houses one of the best displays of early Christian crosses found on the island. This includes complete crosses as well as fragments and two cross bases. The earliest dates from around 600AD but the majority date from the C9th or C10th.

Braddan Old Church

Braddan Old Church

The best and most famous is the lovely Braddan Wheel Cross (Cross 72) dating from the C9th. The cross is covered with interlacing similar to the Lonan Wheel Cross. At the top is  a depiction of Daniel in the lion’s den (although only Daniel’s head with large moustache is visible). This was a symbol of the resurrection, with the lion’s jaws represent the jaws of Hell.

Braddan Old Church crosses

Braddan Old Church crosses

Number 65 is a tall but badly weathered cross slab, with a simple raised cross. It was found in a local field.

Braddan Old Church crosses 

Only half of Cross 63 with a raised ring cross carved on it survives. It was found in the west wall of the church  tower.

Braddan Old Church crosses
 
This wheelhead cross (number 78) is cruder and less well carved with pierced circles in the head. It had been used as a dividing stone in a style.

Braddan Old Church crosses     Braddan Old Church crosses

Thorstien’s Cross (number 112), is missing its top. The runes cut down the side read ‘’Thorstein erected this cross to the memory of Ofeig son of Krina’. It was used as a door step in the church and the back is more eroded than the front.

Braddan Old Church crosses      Braddan Old Church crosses

Thorleif’s Cross (number 135) is one of the later crosses dating from the late C10th or early C11th and is a tapering pillar with a small pierced ring at  top. It is the design typically used for war memorials around the island. There are Viking dragons carved on  shaft. It has a runic inscription that reads ‘Thorleif hnakki erected this cross to the memory of Fiac his son, brother's son to Hafr’. Fiac is a Celtic name and may be a first generation Manxman with Norse father and Celtic mother. Beneath the cross head, and may have been carved by a different person, is the word Ihsus (Jesus).

Braddan Old Church crosses   Braddan Old Church crosses

Only the shaft base of Odd’s Cross (number 136) survives with its intertwined dragons similar to those found on Thorleif’s Cross. On the other side is an intertwined design. The  inscription ‘Odd raised this cross to the memory of his father Frakki. But Thor ....’ but the rest has been lost. This was found as a lintel over a doorway in the church tower.

Braddan Old Church crosses     Braddan Old Church crosses

This lovely cross (number 64) is described as a cross patee as the arms are narrower at the centre than the ends. It was discovered in a wall near the church.

Braddan Old Church crosses

Only a fragment of Cross 138 survives with its inertwined design and runes. 

Braddan Old Church crosses

Number 146) is carved from sandstone and was found in the churchyard wall. It now thought to have been part of the decorative masonry from the C12th church, rather than a cross.
 
Braddan Old Church crosses

Also on display are two of the stone bases that would have held the crosses upright in their original positions.

Braddan Old Church crosses 

The crosses are displayed in the church. This is usually open 10-4. If it is locked their is a phone number to ring or there may be someone in the Parish Office in the new church who can unlock the church.

The church is set back from the A1, Douglas to Peel Road at Braddan Bridge and the A23 roundabout. There is some parking in front of the church.  The post code is IM4 4lb and the grid reference is SC 364768.The post code is IM4 4LB and the grid reference is SC 364 768

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