Isle of Man

Manx Crosses - St Patrick's Church, Jurby


A small number of crosses from the local area are on display in the church porch


The crosses found from around the local area are displayed in the porch of St Patrick's Church.

Jurby Church, Isle of Man

The oldest cross is a simple cross incised on a boulder found in a local keeill.

Jurby Church, crosses

The rest of the crosses are C10th and have a mix of Christian and Norse symbolism. The most impressive is Sigurdís Cross, number 119, which was too large to photograph. The carving is now well worn. It told the story of Sigurd who kills the dragon Fafnir in his search for the gold of Hreidmar. Regin, Sigurdís companion wants him to die and advises Sigurd to roast and eat the dragonís heart. When Sigurd tastes the dragonís blood he can understand the language of he birds and animals and they warn him of Reginís treachery.

Jurby church, crosses

Heimdallís Cross, number 127, originally stood 6í tall but only the top part survives. This is the only cross at Jurby to have runes carved on it. One side has a cross. At the top of the other side is a man in a buttoned tunic holding an Alpine horn. This is Heimdall, Warder of the Gods, who lives at the foot of the rainbow leading from Earth to Asgard. He is in charge of the Gaillar Horn which is used to summon the gods to the last battle and the end of the world.

Jurby Church, crosses      Jurby Church, crosses

Only part of the shaft of OdinĒs Cross, number 125, survives, but this is the best preserved example of carving. It has been dated from 950-1000AD. Odin was Father of the God. The cross shaft is covered with interlaced designs. On one side of the shaft is a lovely carving of a boar, which was feasted on by the Norse gods and heros. Below is a stag which watches over Odinís Hall. On the other side of the shaft is King Jormanreck who sacrificed his son to Odin, by hanging him.
 
Jurby Church, crosses   Jurby Church, crosses

The final cross is number 134. Again only part of the cross survives and the carving on one side is very worn. On the other side, the figure of a stag can just be made out.

Jurby Church, crosses     Jurby Church, crosses

The church is open daily from 10-4. The nearest post code is IM7 3JP (which is Jurby Prison) and the grid reference is SC 350985.

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