[ILN 16 May 1853]


Kirk Braddan Cross

For upwards of seventy years a stone which, as far as it could be discerned, had the appearance of what is called a Danish cross, has been known to exist in the steeple of Kirk Braddan, Isle of Man. It was partly bedded in mortar and stones above the lintel of a doorway leading to a loft above the gallery. On the 19th of November it was removed from its place under the superintendence of an English gentleman who had been travelling about the island. it not only proved to be a Northern cross, but a Runic one; that is, it bore a Runic inscription. As soon as the stone had been taken out of the wall the gentleman in question copied the inscription and translated it, to the best of his ability, in the presence of the church clerk who had removed the stone. The Runes were in beautiful preservation, and looked as fresh as if they had just come out of the workshop of Orokoln Gaut. Unfortunately the upper part of the cross was partly broken, so that the original inscription was not entire. In the inscription, as it is, the concluding word is mutilated in its original state It was probably "sonr", son; the Runic character which answers to s being distinct, and likewise the greater part of one which stands for o. Yet there is reason for believing that sonr was not the concluding word of the original, but the penultimate, and that the original terminated with some Norwegian name: we win suppose,"Olf.",

The writing at present on the stone is to this effect:-

Otr . Risti . Kros . Thunu . Aft . Fruka
Fathor . Sin. In. Thorwiaori . S ... [Sonr Olfa.]

Otr raised this Cross to Fruki his father,
The Thorwiaori, so[n of Olf]

The names Otr and Fruki have never before been found on any of the Runic stones in the Isle of Man. The words In. Thorwiaori, which either denote the place where the individual to whom they relate lived, or one of his attributes or peculiarities, will perhaps fling some light on the words In. Aruthur, which appear on the beautiful cross which stands nearly opposite the door of Kirk Braddan. The present cross is curiously ornamented. The side which we here present to the public bears two monsters, perhaps intended to represent dragons, tied with a single cord, which passes round the neck and body of one whose head is slightly averted, whilst, though it passes round the body of the other, it leaves the neck free. Little at present can be said about the other side of the stone, which is still in some degree covered with the very hard mortar in which it was found lying. The gentleman of whom we have already spoken, before leaving the island, made arrangements for placing the stone beside the other cross, which has long been considered one of the principal ornaments of the beautiful churchyard of Braddan.

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