[From Manx Crosses, 1907]

Introduction to Manx Crosses

THEMONUMENTS here treated of form a continuous series from the introduction of Christianity into the Isle of Man nearly to the close of the Scandinavian rule. Though there is no indication either way in the wording of the older Ogam inscriptions-the characters, language, and formula of which might be Irish of the fifth century-it is more reasonable to suppose that this form of writing was introduced by, and that the monuments were set up to, Christians ; and the fact that one of those commemorated was a " Son of the Druid " implies that the new religion had but recently been adopted. Of the date of the conversion of the Celtic Manx we have no direct evidence, "but from the large proportion of the names of Irish ecclesiastics surviving in the appellation of the old Manx Keeils or Cells, which are of similar type to the Irish oratories of the sixth and seventh centuries, and in the dedication of the Manx parish churches, which are usually on ancient sites, it may be reasonably conjectured that Manxmen were for the most part Christianized by Irish missionaries; and indeed it would have been strange if the proselytizing Irish monks, who, beginning in the sixth century, wandered all over Europe, had avoided an island so near to them."1

These ancient Keeils,2 in the walls or the immediate neighbourhood of which, or of the older parish churches, our monuments have almost invariably been found, are all, unfortunately, in a complete state of ruin. Some idea of their structure and appearance will help us to realize the conditions under which our earlier crosses were erected.

Dr. Oliver, in whose time there were better opportunities of studying their remains, thus describes them in the Manx Society, vol. xv., 1868, p. 80: " In their materials and construction they correspond with the account given in the Book of Armagh of similar places of worship in Ireland, of the age of St. Patrick." When the Apostle visited Tirawley (he quotes) "he built there a quadranglar church of moist earth, because there was no wood near. Here," he adds, " we have an exact description of the Manx Cabbal, and there can be no doubt that the primitive Churches of Ireland formed the model of the Manx. . . . The Cabbal and Keeil are invariably quadrangular, the lights oblong or quadrilateral openings, splaying inwards, and the stonework of the doors and windows unchiselled." He accompanies his description with a figure of "the Cabbal of the Fifth Century," but does not say from what his figure or his description is taken.

The word " Cabbal " is doubtless a mere corruption of the English " Chapel," and I do not think that Oliver's distinction between it and the Keeil can be maintained, nor is it likely that they belong to so early a period as that assigned by him. The latter he supposes to have been introduced about the middle of the sixth century, and says of them:--"These churches are of two kinds; one built wholly of stone, and the other of a mixture of sods and stones. They are larger than the Cabbals, and measure from fifteen to twenty feet in length by twelve in breadth, but rarely exceed these dimensions.

In a few instances the Keeil carries a slab roof. It has also side lights and a door of entrance in the south wall." He gives a figure, but again, unfortunately, omits to say from what it or his description is taken. He then proceeds to quote Bede's account of the building of S. Cuthbert's Church, Lindisfarne,3 in 684, as exactly describing the method pursued in the Isle of Man, giving reference-Beda. Vit. Cudberti, p. 243. As Giles' edition of Bede's Works, vol. iv., p. 264-5, gives a much better translation, I quote from it instead (Vita S. Cuthberti, chap. xvii.) :" Of the habitation which he made for himself in the island of Farne, when he had expelled the Devils. . . . The building is almost of a round form, from wall to wall about four or five poles in extent; the wall on the outside is higher than a man, but within, by excavating the rock, he made it much deeper, to prevent the eyes and the thoughts from wandering, that .the mind might be wholly bent on heavenly things, and the pious inhabitant might behold nothing from his residence but the heavens above him. The wall was constructed not of hewn stones or of brick and mortar, but of rough stones and turf, which had been taken out from the ground within. Some of them were so large that four men could hardly have lifted them. . . . He finished the walls of them by digging round and cutting away the natural soil within and without, and formed the roof out of rough poles and straw."

The ruins of the Keeil and enclosure at Ballingan, Marown, will give the reader some idea of one of these old places of worship. It is situated about a mile-and-a-quarter from the Peel road, and south of Marown parish church (see Map). The enclosure on which it stands is one hundred and six feet long by sixty-three feet broad, inside measurements, and in an excellent state of preservation. In the south-east part lies the Keeil, which measures thirteen feet E. and W., by nine feet N. and S., the walls remaining being about four feet high by three feet thick. The masonry, says Dr. Oliver, is of a much superior description than is usual "in Keeils of the sod and stone formation." In the west end there has once been a window, but it is now entirely destroyed. The doorway is in the south-east angle, guarded by two inclining monolithic jambs, and not more than one foot ten inches wide.

Plan of Ballaquinney Keei
Fig 1 Plan of Ballaquinney Keeil
(Sir H Dryden)

Sir Henry Dryden has left a plan (1873) of a Keeil on Ballaquinney, close by the last, which is reproduced in fig. l. It measures fifteen feet four inches by ten feet inside. The door, one foot nine inches wide, is in the west wall, and the walls are about five feet thick, and three feet high inside. The surrounding enclosure is a hundred and thirty-five feet long by a hundred and eleven broad, inside measurement. In Plate I., figs. 2 and 3, I give views of these remains from photographs taken for me by Mr. T. H. Midwood.

Keeil Woirrey, in Corna 4 valley, Maughold, where an early Celtic cross and a late Runic inscription have been found, measures inside twelve feet by nine; the walls are over three feet thick. The floor was thought to show traces of pebble pavement, but this might be due to the collection of white quartz pebbles, which we find, sometimes in great numbers, in many of our old burial grounds, both Christian and Pagan.

Keeill Ballakilley
Fig 4 Keeill Ballakilley

Dr. Oliver describes an entirely different class of buildings, which he thinks are intermediate between the Keeils and the churches of the Middle Ages. These, he says, are the true treen 5 churches, introduced towards the close of the eighth century. . . . The masonry is still rude, but for the first time we find it put together with cement (i.e., of plastic clay). He then describes the treen church of Ballakilley, Malew, lying three miles north-east of the parish church, and about fifty yards from the farmhouse:---" Its dimensions inside are twenty-one feet long by nine in breadth. The western gable, crowned with ivy, is still standing, but the east end is in ruins, and blocked to the height of the remaining portion by quantities of fallen masonry. This church has a very peculiar appearance from the walls being built of rounded boulders of granite and quartz, giving to the whole the resemblance of a pile of cannon balls. Their height is six feet three inches from the ground to the spring of the roof, and the western gable sixteen feet nine inches to the peak. In the south wall near the eastern angle is the door of entrance, five feet two inches in height by two feet six inches at base, and diminishing upwards to two feet. Opposite it, in the north side, is a square-headed window, and another in the south wall near the west end. This window, externally, is-two feet six inches high by one foot six inches broad, splaying inwards. Internally it measures two feet six inches high by three feet broad. In the north-west angle of the gable is a similar window, measuring one foot five inches long by nine inches broad, and splaying internally to one foot five inches in length by one foot eight inches in breadth, so that the external and internal measurements are reversed" (Plate II., fig. 4)-I figure also the ruins of two other churches which come within the period of our later Scandinavian monuments-dating probably from the latter half of the twelfth century.

St Trinian's
Fig 5 St Trinian's

S. Trinian's, at the foot of Greeba, Marown, measures seventy-five by twenty-four feet. My figure 5 is from a drawing by the late Sir Henry Dryden. The chapel on S. Michael's Isle, near Langness (fig. 6, from a photograph taken for me by Mr. J. Kewley, of King William's College) measures thirty-two by about fifteen feet inside. Both show the Celtic type of plain rectangular building. Even the Cathedral at Peel, of which the chancel may date from about 1195, and the lower transepts and nave about 1226, shows no decoration or carving, but mouldings of the plainest kind.

With such severe simplicity and total absence of ornament in the ecclesiastical architecture of the period, it is not to be wondered at that our early sepulchral monuments are generally of the rudest and most simple description. This primitive period to which our Ogam pillar and. probably most of our smaller undecorated cross-slabs belong, continued for about three centuries with little or no change; and now the Island was to feel the wave of the Scandinavian invasion, which, though it impoverished and arrested the growth of the Church, did not, like tha of the Saxons into central England at the end of the fifth century, entirely extinguish it. In 795 the Vikings 6 appeared in the Irish Sea, and for the following century Man must have suffered from their plundering expeditions. When at last, about 883, Harold Hárfager had brought all Norway under his sway, and many of his countrymen, rather than submit, had "fled from their heritage out of Norway " to the Western Isles, Harold followed to drive them out or bring them under subjection. From Caithness, Hebrides, and the Orkneys man; made for the Faroes and Iceland, which owe their population to this circumstance,7 and it was among the latter that the epic prose compositions-the Sagas-originated. Others sought refuge in the Sudreys,8 which he " laid under his rule."

When Harold returned, however, the Vikings haunted the Islands, and "harried and robbe( far and wide" (Landnáma-bok). It was probably about the end of this century or the beginning of the tenth that the Scandinavians, for the most part Norwegians, came to settle in the Isle of Man, which for the following century fell under the rule of the successors of Olaf the White who had made himself King over Dublin. Though still pagan, they had been sufficiently long in contact with the Celtic inhabitants not only of Man, but of the Western Isles, to have become acquainted with their language and their customs, and to tolerate their religion- which, indeed, had been accepted by many individuals among them ;9 and though in the absence of inscriptions we have no means of dating the monuments with precision, it is probable that Christianity and the Celtic Church had revived, and that our later Celtic or pre-Scandinavian pieces, carved in relief and highly decorated, belong to this period.

In the year 985 Olaf Tryggvasson visited Man in the course of his Viking expedition, and, ten years later, on his way to Norway, captured Sigurd, Earl of Orkney, only releasing him upon his undertaking that the Orkneys should accept the Christian religion. But upon the death of Godred, King of Man, in 989, the Island had come into the possession of Sigurd, forming part of his kingdom of the Nordreys and Caithness, as well as the Sudreys. In the last year of Olaf's short reign, iooo, the Icelandic Althing formally legalized Christianity,10 and the conversion of the whole of Norway itself was completed in the reign of Olaf the Saint, 1015-1030. The Scandinavian settlers, therefore, in Man and the Sudreys would have been gradually prepared for, and had no doubt " received Christendom," during the first quarter of the eleventh century. We find accordingly that soon after the middle of the century there was a Norwegian Bishop in the Island-Roolwer (Hrólfr)-who, says the Chronicle, was the first Bishop, and was succeeded by another, William, before the time when Godred Crovan began to reign, that is to say, before 1075.11

Though we do not know the exact year of Bishop Roolwer's death, nor can we tell when he came to the Island, his appearance here gives us an approximate date for the first of our Scandinavian Christian monuments, which cannot well be older than about 1025 or 1030; and as Gaut claims, in one of his inscriptions, Michael 74, to have made all the crosses in Man, there must have been an interval after the latest Celtic work sufficiently long to have allowed these latter to have been lost and forgotten.

The continuity of the Church under the Christian Scandinavians, says Mr. Moore, " is proved by the fact that the inscribed crosses, dating from the latter part of the Scandinavian period, are for the most part found on ancient sacred sites dedicated to Celtic saints, whose names have come down to our own times.12 It is proved, also, by the nature of the monuments themselves: not only is the form the same, not only is the cross carved upon them always of the Celtic type, but the decorative treatment and the individual patterns and designs are such as might have been taken direct from Celtic illuminated MSS.-indeed, they probably were-until by slow degrees the Scandinavian artists freed themselves from the Celtic trammels so far as to introduce Zoomorphic designs and dragons of distinctly Norse type, and even figures illustrating scenes from the Norse mythology. In one respect only did they show no indebtedness to any Celtic or even Christian model, and that was in their inscriptions-the formula, the language, and the characters of which were peculiarly Norse, and derived from their own heathen monuments.

Among the followers of Godred Crovan in 1075 may possibly have been one at least to succeed Gaut the sculptor; but the great expedition of Magnus Barefoot in 1098, followed by a fresh influx of Norwegian settlers, is perhaps even more likely to have introduced such skilled artists; and we may agree with Canon Taylor, with respect to Olaf, King of Man, that " all the conditions point to his long reign, 1103-1153 A.D., as a period favourable to the erection of some of the more costly crosses on the Island."13

The foundation of the Abbey of Rushen in 1134. was an important event in the history of the Manx Church, leading practically to its subjection to the great English Abbey of Furness. Its influence would naturally be opposed to this class of monument as to anything peculiar to the native Church-and especially to the inscriptions in Runes which savoured of paganism 14 -and would favour and support the spread of Catholicism. If the handsome tombstone shown at Furness as that of Reginald, King of Man, who was slain in battle in 1226, and buried at Furness Abbey, be really his, it shows that he, as a staunch son of the Church, was commemorated by a monument of English art; and we have at Rushen Abbey a Gothic coffin-lid of the thirteenth century which bears no inscription, but may have been that of King Olaf the Black, 1237, or of his son Reginald, 1249, or of his other son and Reginald's successor, Magnus, the last of the Scandinavian Kings of Man, 1265, all of whom were buried at Rushen. In any case, I think it very unlikely that any of our sculptured monuments of this early school of Celtic art are later than the very beginning of the thirteenth century.

These monuments, pre-Scandinavian and Scandinavian alike, are all of local rock, derived generally from their immediate vicinity, for the most part clay-slate, in some cases of a hard metamorphic character; one or two early pieces in Marown and Malew are of local granite; one at Kirk Bride of red sandstone, probably from a boulder found in the neighbourhood; and one, at Maughold, of Pooilvaaish limestone, which must have been brought from the South of the Island.

Though for convenience I speak of them as Crosses, they are more properly described as Cross-slabs-upright monuments ranging from about two feet six inches to six feet (and, in a few cases, seven and eight feet high 15) by about fifteen to twenty-four inches wide, and from two to four inches thick. While generally rectangular in shape, or roughly so, they sometimes have the head rounded, and a few are wheel-headed. Occasionally the spaces between the limbs and surrounding circle are pierced. In two late instances at Braddan the outline of the stone itself has been cruciform. The earlier pieces are incised, and among the seventy-one pre-Scandinavian only nine are decorated on both faces. In the later Norse examples it is the exception not to have both faces decorated. Owing to the nature of the material, the edges are narrow, and they are seldom ornamented, but on them the inscriptions are generally incised.

They are almost all sepulchral,16 but one from Peel may have been an altar-slab, and the square block from Bride, showing the Temptation of Adam and Eve, may have been an architectural feature built into the wall of a twelfth century church.

Out of the one hundred and sixteen pieces so far recovered, forty-five are Scandinavian and seventy-one of earlier date.4 The Parish of Maughold has by far the greatest number- thirty-seven ; Michael coming next with ten, Braddan nine, and Jurby eight; Andreas, German, and Lonan have seven each ; Conchan six; Rushen and Marown five each; Bride four ; Santon and Malew three each; Arbory two ; and Lezayre, Patrick, and Ballaugh one each.

DISTRIBUTION 17

PRE-SCANDINAVIAN.

SCANDINAVIAN.

PARISH.

Uninscribed.

Inscribed.

TOTAL.

Uninscribed.

Inscribed.

TOTAL

TOTAL CROSSES

PARISH.

1. MICHAEL

1

-

1

2

7

9

10

MICHAEL.

2. BALLAUGH

1

1

1

BALLAUGH.

3. JURBY

1

-

1

6

1

7

8

JURBY.

4. ANDREAS

-

-

-

2

5

7

7

ANDREAS.

5. BRIDE

1

-

1

2

I

3

4

BRIDE.

6. LEZAYRE

1

-

1

-

-

-

1

LEZAYRE.

7. MAUGHOLD.

27

3

30

4

3

7

37

MAUGHOLD.

8. LONAN

7

-

7

-

-

-

7

LONAN.

9. CONCHAN .

5

-

5

-

1

1

6

CONCHAN.

10. BRADDAN .

5

--

5

-

4

4

9

BRADDAN.

11. SANTON

2

1

3

-

-

-

3

SANTON.

12. MALEW

2

-

2

1

-

1

3

MALEW.

13. ARBORY

-

2

2

-

-

-

2

ARBORY.

14. RUSHEN

2

2

4

1

-

1

5

RUSHEN.

15. PATRICK .

1

-

1

-

-

-

1

PATRICK.

16. GERMAN

4

-

4

1

2

3

7

GERMAN.

17. MAROWN .

4

-

4

-

1

1

5

MAROWN.

TOTALS .

63

8

71

19

26

45

116

 

 

PRE-SCANDINAVIAN.

.SCANDINAVIAN

. TOTAL

NORTHERN DISTRICT

41

34

75

SOUTHERN

30

11

41

 

71

45

116

It is interesting to note the larger proportion of the earlier Celtic pieces in the old Parishes-Maughold, Lonan, Conchan, Braddan, Rushen, and German. Except in the case of Maughold and Braddan, the Scandinavian pieces are met with in greater numbers where there are very few or no Celtic, as in Andreas, Michael, and Jurby. As the crosses extend over a period of more than six centuries, the total recovered probably represents but a small proportion of those erected, and it is only when we come to examine and carefully study the few which still remain that we can appreciate the extent of the loss to the Island of those which have been taken away or destroyed.

Even as it is, there is no district of so small an area 18 which can boast so great a number of monuments of this class, extending over such a lengthy period, and having such a variety of interest-Ogam, Latin, and Runic inscriptions, Celtic art with its Scandinavian application and development, Christian symbols and pagan myths! Is it possible that they will be suffered any longer to stand exposed and to perish before the eyes of the people who possess in them so great a treasure ? Surely, before it is too late, they will be collected and preserved with that loving care which their venerable associations and their intrinsic merits demand.

1 History of the Isle of Man. A. W. Moore, M.A.

2 Doubtless the same word as the Irish Cille, Cill, Kil. Whether derived from the Latin Cella, or, as suggested by Mr. Borlase (The Dolmens of Ireland, iii., 790), from an older word in use among the ancient inhabitants of Ireland, but of Teutonic origin, signifying Burial-place, it appears to have been applied in Man only to the primitive little churches or chapels at one time so numerous, till superseded by the Norse Kirk (Kirkja), which is the prefix to all except two of our parish churches.

3 Farne. The account expressly says not Lindisfarne.

4 Pronounced "Cornay," with the accent on the second syllable.

5" Treen," whatever the origin of the word, is a division of land, and a Treen church is a Keeil belonging to such a division.

6 The Vikings, Wick-folk, supposed to be so called as "men of the bays "from their infesting Wicks, creeks and fiord! But I prefer Vigfusson's later suggestion (Corpus Poet, Bor., i., Intro. lxiii.) that it was rather because they came to us from th Wick (Scage Rack), " the centre and natural outlet of the dales of South Norwegian tribes, of Gauts, of Jutes, the land whence Godfred and Ragnar and Guthrum, aye, and Harold Fairhair and his sons, and Cnut also, sailed West, whence certainly came the leaders of the greatest Kingdoms the Northern Emigrants raised in these islands."

7 Iceland had already been visited and partly occupied by Irish Christians, who " went away because they would not be here with heathen men, and left behind them Irish books, and bells and crooks " (Libellus Islandorum, i., 3).

8 The Orkneys and Shetlands were called the Nordreys or Northern Isles, and the Hebrides and Islands off the West of Scotland the Sudreys, Southern Isles, a term which has come down to us in the name of our Ecclesiastical diocese, Latinized a " Sodorensis st Manniae," which was contracted into " Sodor : et Man : " and finally corrupted into Sodor and Man !

9 No doubt there were many like Helgi, the lean, of whom we are told in Landndma-bok, " He was very mixed in hi aith. He put his trust in Christ and named his homestead after him, but yet he would pray to Thor on sea voyages, and i hard stresses and in all those things that he thought were of most account to him "(iii., 14s 3).

10" The summer when Christendom was taken into the laws of Iceland were gone from the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ one thousand winters" (Cristne Saga, 8, 11, p. 403).

11 The first Bishop in Iceland was Isleif-from about 1056 to 1080-but it had been visited by missionary bishops since about 976 ; the first church was built in 984.

12 Diocesan Histories: Sodas and Man (A. W. Moore, M.A.), p. 31.

13 Manx Note Book, July, 1886, p. 102

14 So, with the Anglo-Saxons, when they were converted to Christianity, the Runic characters went almost wholly out of use, giving place to the Latin introduced by the missionaries.

15 Three are nine feet and upwards, while six are less than two feet.

16 In two or three instances I have found them set at the head of modern graves, but only one has been deliberately altered and inscribed afresh-and that so long ago as 1699-viz., Michael 85.

17 That is to say, they show no certain indication of Scandinavian art or workmanship. Where there is no inscription this is obviously all one has to go upon in forming a judgment.

18 See Maps.

19 The Isle of Man measures about 30 miles long, with a central breadth of from 8 to 12 miles, and, together with the Calf Island, contains only 227 square miles.

LITERATURE

The first copies of these monuments were made in 1841 1 by W. Bally, of Manchester, who took casts of some of the inscriptions for a Mr. Jones; these, in 1844, were bought by Sir Henry Dryden, and after his death presented by Miss Dryden to the Isle of Man Natural History and Antiquarian Society, in whose collection they now are. In 1853 Sir Henry visited the Island, staying with Captain Goldie at Ballagarey; he gave Cumming 25 towards getting a set of moulds and casts, which was done.2 When Cumming shortly afterwards left the Island, he left with Quilliam, marble mason, some of the moulds to make what he could out of them by casting and selling copies.

In 1873 Sir Henry Dryden again visited the Island, and found that nearly all the casts had been destroyed. Some of the moulds in Quilliam's possession he bought, and in 1874 gave them to Liverpool; but they were found too much damaged to cast from.

In 1889 Mr. T. H. Royston, of Douglas, began to make my collection, which I should scarcely have attempted had he not been good enough to charge me only the actual cost of material and his out-of-pocket expenses, besides finding house-room for the moulds, and in other ways assisting me. As the casts have been of the greatest help to me in preparing this work, I feel duly grateful, and as the collection, which is in the Museum at Castle Rushen, is now complete and forms a permanent record, accessible to students and experts, residents and visitors, I think that Manxmen generally, and all who are interested in the development of Christian art in the British Isles and the history of our Celtic and of our Scandinavian fore- fathers, will share this feeling.

In 1841 W. Kinnebrook published his Etchings of the Runic Monuments in the Isle of Man. The etchings, twenty-six, are on too small a scale and incorrect in detail; the inscriptions are hopelessly bad. The letterpress gives merely the site and the measurements.

Professor P. A. Munch, who saw copies of the casts taken by Bally, was the first to read the Runic inscriptions correctly, or nearly so. His readings of several were first published in the Memoires of the Royal Society for the Ancient Literature of the North, 1845-1849, P. 192, and appeared again, revised by his hand, in " The Author's Preface " to the Chronicle of Man and the Sudreys, as published by the Manx Society, vol. xxii., 1874, p. 26.

Dr. Daniel Wilson, in The Archaeology and Prehistoric Annals of Scotland, 1851, gives six of our inscriptions, acknowledging " the assistance of Professor P. A. Munch in translating them." Possibly these were from the copies of the casts at Edinburgh.3

In 1852 was published An Account of the Danes and Norwegians in England, Scotland, and Ireland, by J. J. Warsaae. This work refers to the crosses in Man of which Warsaae had seen the casts at Edinburgh and at Canons Ashby. Figures are given of five which have inscriptions.

Sir Henry Dryden has left the following MS. note:---"In 1853, Miss Wilkes, of the Isle of Man, possessed the original sketches from which the prints of the Runic stones were done in Trans. of Royal Society, Edinburgh. Done for the Duke of Athol."4

In 1857 the Rev. J. G. Cumming, who had left the Island for Lichfield, published his Runic and other Monumental Remains of the Isle o f Man, illustrated by figures "taken from photographs of the casts." In 1868 Cumming contributed an essay on " The Runic Inscriptions of the Isle of Man" to the Manx Society (vol. xv.). In the same volume he gave an illustrated description of " Some more recently-discovered Scandinavian Crosses in the Isle of Man"; also an illustrated paper "On the ornamentation of the Runic monuments in the Isle of Man." Of the forty-eight described by Cumming, only eighteen are pre-Scandinavian He was the first to treat of their decoration in a scientific spirit, but his illustrations are far from perfect, and since his time our knowledge of the subject has increased.

Mr. W. Kneale, of Douglas, brought out a Guide to the Isle of Man in 1860, which gives figures and readings of some of the inscriptions.

In July, 1886, an article on " The Manx Runes," by Canon Isaac Taylor, appeared in the Manx Note Book, p. 97, dealing mainly with the chronology of the Scandinavian inscriptions, and in the October number, p. 164, this was reviewed by Professor W. Boyd Dawkins and Mr. Henry Bradley.

Dr. Vigfusson, of Oxford, contributed a valuable and interesting article, The Manx Runic Inscriptions Re-read," to the Manx Note Book, No. 9, January, 1887. In the Academy, No. 773, February 26th, 1887, and succeeding numbers, Canon Isaac Taylor, Sir Henry Dryden, and the present author criticised some of the re-readings, and Dr. Vigfusson replied.

In January, 1887, Mr. Romilly Allen read before the British Archaeological Association (Journ. Brit. Archeeol. Assoc., vol. xl., p. 158) a paper on "The Early Christian Monuments of the Isle of Man"; and in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, June, 1887, pp. 328 and 331, and May, 1889, pp. 333, 336-338 appeared accounts by Mr. G. F. Black of the Andreas pieces, 84, 95, and 102.

In 1887 the present Author published a Catalogue of Manx Crosses, followed by a second revised and enlarged edition in 1892. In 1895 he contributed " Saga Illustrations on early Manx Monuments" to the Viking Club, and to Archaeologia Cambrensis of July in the same year he gave an account of the Santon inscription, 34, the only Latin one then known in the Island; and to Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie, January, 1896, the Guriat inscription, Maughold 48, then recently discovered. In The Reliquary and Illustrated Archaeologist, April, 1896, and April and July, 1902, appeared his accounts of Lonan and Maughold crosses; and, in 1903, the Isle of Man Natural History and Antiquarian Society published in pamphlet form his " Traces of the Norse Mythology in the Isle of Man," illustrated with ten plates of Scandinavian Crosses.

In Nordiske Runeindskrifter og Billeder paa mindesnuerker paa Øen Man, Copenhagen, 1900 Prof. S. Bugge reviewed the writer's pamphlet on the Saga illustrations and catalogue, and offered further and valuable explanations of the inscriptions and the figures on our Scandinavian pieces. Finally, in 1904, Prof. Alexander Bugge, who had visited the Island and examined the stones, made important references to them in Vikingerne, Christiania, translated into German by Dr. Heinz Hungerland, " Die Wikinger," Halle, 1906.

1 Train (History of the Isle of Man, vol. ii., p. 32) says :-" In the summer of 1839, Mr. William Bally, of King Street, Manchester, visited the Isle of Man and took casts in plaster of Paris of all the runes in the Island." I got the date 1841 from Sir Henry Dryden; possibly that was the year in which Mr. Jones received them.

2 On the back of one of these, which was broken, I found the name of the Italian engaged to take the casts- "L. Canepa, 12 May, 1853. Viva 1'Italia e la liberta / morte a la Tiranni della patria." He appears to have taken about forty; in five or six instances one face of the stone only was cast.

3 Dr. Hibbert-Ware left twelve volumes of MS., from 1848, now in Manchester Free Library, including (pp. 126-142) about sixteen drawings of Manx Crosses and some inscriptions. They are of no particular value however.

4 But were these published? They do not appear in the T. R.S.E. about that time.

PLAN OF PRESENT WORK

In the following pages the plates are on a larger scale than in any of the Author's previous writings, and this is necessary where there is much detail in the ornament. They are taken from photographs of the full-size drawings, all of which are founded on rubbings carefully outlined with the original stone as a copy. In shading and finishing the drawings I have had the benefit of the casts, which I could move about so as to get the most favourable light, now for one part, now for another, thus bringing out details which no photograph of the original could give. Where any restoration has been attempted, it has been carefully kept distinct by drawing in the outline merely, if the piece is broken off the stone, and not shading. In some cases where the pattern is flaked off the face of the stone or very badly worn, and it has been possible to restore it, I have done so by using dotted lines in order to distinguish from cut lines appearing on the stone.

In the descriptive part I have endeavoured to arrange the whole series, so far as possible, in chronological order, except where it has seemed more convenient to keep together those belonging to distinct groups, such as the four Sigurd pieces, which are of different dates. In the absence of dated inscriptions it is, of course, impossible to give this order with certainty; some may be contemporary work by different hands; one can but take all things into account-the inscription, the decorative ornament where there is any, the form of the cross itself, the execution, whether incised or in relief, and the shape and general appearance of the stone-and so classify according to type and the architectural relationship one to another. More than half of the pieces are here for the first time fully described and figured, namely, about forty-four Celtic and seventeen Scandinavian. With respect is the rest, I am unable to agree with Canon Taylor's arrangement. The Mal Lumkun cross is undoubtedly later than Gaut's pieces, and earlier than a good many others, and the difference in the Futhork is due to its being Swedish, whereas the others are Norwegian. The Ballaugh cross is, I think, earlier than that at St. John's (Tynwald), and so with others, while the Conchan Dog crosses appear to me to be Celtic, not Scandinavian. But, as I said, the chronological order cannot be given with absolute certainty, and each one who studies the subject will probably have a different opinion as to the exact position of some one or other of the monuments in relation to the rest.

Whatever arrangement we adopt, however, we may see in the whole collection a continuous series-from the rude unhewn blocks bearing nothing but incised inscriptions in Ogams, stones with surface undressed exhibiting the cross incised, and, later, sculptured in relief, many void of any ornamentation, others decorated with the most simple designs, geometrical patterns, growing more elaborate and beautiful, figures and pictorial scenes, Christian and heathen-the most interesting point of all being the development of Celtic art under the hands of Scandinavian artists. Finally, to complete the circle, we have rough undressed stones bearing nothing but inscriptions incised in Runes which may be as late as the beginning of the thirteenth century, after which this class of monument gives place to Gothic work, as seen in the thirteenth century coffnn-lid at Rushen Abbey, and in the beautiful fourteenth or fifteenth century standing cross at Maughold.

The number of artists represented in these hundred and sixteen pieces it is impossible to give, but not more than about half-a-dozen-more generally two or three-of the crosses can be assigned to any one hand. It seems remarkable that no trace of this beautiful decorative work has come down to us in any other form, and particularly that its influence has not made itself felt in Manx architecture either during the period of the crosses or at any time after. Nor can its influence be traced in the work of modern times, or in the present day life of the people. Nothing now remains to show that the Isle of Man for many years produced a local form of decorative art equal in originality, in purity of feeling, and skill in execution to any Celtic, Hiberno-Saxon, or other similar art to be met with in the surrounding lands- nothing but these neglected and perishing monuments!

I trust that one result of my work will be a more just appreciation of these remains, the loss of which can never be replaced, with a desire for bringing to light any that may still remain hidden from view, and for their collection and preservation in the districts to which they belong.


 

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