Isle of Man
A selection of Celtic pre-Viking crosses, including the wonderful wheel cross, still ion its original position
|St Adamnanís Church
was one of the first keeils to be established in the Isle of Man. The
keeilís provided shelter for the Culdee (Irish missionary) and the
congregation worshiped outside around a cross.
The Lonan wheel Cross dates from early days of keeil in the C5th and is the only cross still standing in its original position on the south side of the church yard and in its original base.
It stands 8í high and is a wonderful example of interlaced Celtic knot and plait work. The back of the cross is uncarved. Even though it has been exposed to the elements for over 1500 years, the carving is still clear, even though the cross has begun to lean, giving it an attractive lop sided angle. This must rank as one of the most important and significant crosses on the island. It is similar to the wheel cross in Braddan Old Church which may have been carved by the same person.
The other eight crosses from around the parish, are found in the small cross house in the bottom corner of the church yard and are much more worn. These are all Celtic era crosses with none of the Viking mythology seen in other crosses on the island.
These include some of the oldest crosses on the island with just a simple cross carved on them.
In some, only the head of the cross survives.
Cross 77 shows the beginning of the development of the wheel headed cross.
There are two almost intact simple wheel headed crosses, which lack intricate carving of the wheel cross in the churchyard.
The crosses are in the churchyard which is accessible any time. The church is isolated and not the easiest to find. There are full details at the end of this page. The grid reference is SC 427794 and the nearest post code is IM4 6AL
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